Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

So You Think You Can Dance: The Final Four Revealed July 31, 2008

Filed under: So You Think You Can Dance,Television — Emily @ 10:18 pm

Tonight I learned that I like cheesy ’80s ballads better when they are paired with a dance, as Bette Midler’s “The Rose” nearly made me tear up while watching our Top Six dance beautifully to a Mandy Moore-choreographed routine.

Here are a few other observations from the blur of activity we were bombarded with during this bloated one hour results show:

  • Cat looked like she fell through a doorway of streamers on her way to the stage. Can you call what she was wearing a dress?
  • A small child named, if I heard correctly, Lil’ Demon, break danced his way around the stage for way too long (it was cute for about a minute…)
  • Lady GaGa arrived with her posse, fresh off a time machine from a 1980s music video. Seriously. What was with the leotard, the gaudy yellow shoes, and the shoulder pads? Maybe she thought they were doing a Toni Basil tribute, commemorating her short-lived early 80s music career?

Before the results were revealed, each of the remaining dancers danced a solo:

  • Courtney – “Almost Lover” by A Fine Frenzy – She looked like she forgot the choreography at the beginning, but I suppose it was just a slow-starting dance.
  • Mark – “Wind It Up” by Gwen Stefani – Fun with suspenders.
  • Katee – “Beautiful Disaster” by Jon McLaughlin – She did more lighting up of the stage.
  • Joshua – “I Can Make You Dance” by Zapp – His solo was the best of the night. Loved when he went down into splits, then halfway back up, then down again. He’s so good!
  • Chelsie – “The Girl’s Gone Wild” by Travis Tritt – Travis Tritt. Is he still making music? I wasn’t a fan of this boot-scootin’ solo.
  • Twitch – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin – Seems like Twitch was sending a vibe of “I’m cool with whatever happens tonight.” Turns out he didn’t need to worry!

Safe – When I heard these two names called as being two of the finalists, I breathed a sigh of relief. As long as they are there next week, I don’t really care about the others

  • Katee
  • Joshua

In Danger

  • Mark and Twitch
  • Courtney and Chelsie


I really expected that out of that bottom four, Twitch and Courtney would be going home. Instead, their names were called as the remaining finalists! I thought that Mark had a bigger fan base than Twitch – same for Chelsie. Guess I was wrong. I have a lot of respect for Courtney. She has impressed me more and more each week. And Twitch has held his own in many different styles.

The Final Four

  • Katee
  • Joshua
  • Courtney
  • Twitch

Last year’s final four consisted of Sabra, Danny, Neil, and Lacey. I was hopeful that Sabra and Danny would be the final two, and I got my wish. From there I had hoped that Danny would win, but I was okay with Sabra winning. (By the way, where has Sabra been this season? Will she show up next week to congratulate the new champion?) This year, I won’t be disappointed with any of these four winning, but I will be cheering loudest for Joshua. I think that he or Katee are most deserving to win this year.


So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 6 Perform July 30, 2008

We’re already down to the final six dancers? This season has flown by. Cat looks straight out of an Austin Powers movie in her shimmery silver go-go girl outfit. Tonight’s guest judge is Adam Shankman. Given that I am weary tonight and lack the concentration to record the judges’ exact comments to the contestants, I will give a general impression of their opinion, after making my own observations about each performance.

Courtney and Mark – Viennese Waltz (Jason Gilkison) – “The Time of My Life” by David Cook

Ouch. This isn’t good news for Courtney and Mark, since the Viennese Waltz isn’t normally a crowd pleaser. Let’s see how they do. Cheesy song choice, as much as I love David Cook, so that detracted from the routine. Wardrobe seems to be an important aspect of a waltz, and the wardrobe department got it right on this one. Courtney’s dress was simple, yet flowing and elegant. They seemed to do well. The judges were impressed – thought it was well choreographed and romantic.

Courtney and Mark – Jazz (Sonya Tayeh) – “The Garden” by Mirah

This routine is about “old French burlesque,” a battle of the sexes. This style suited Mark, by giving him plenty of opportunities to shake his hands, strike a pose, and basically just act weird. I liked it. But for me, Mark totally overshadowed Courtney. I agree with Cat that the music was great. The judges raved about how bizarre and unique Sonya’s choreography was, and how great Courtney and Mark were together in this routine.

Katee and Joshua – Contemporary (Tyce Diorio) – “All By Myself” by Celine Dion

This dance has a Romeo and Juliet vibe, a story of reunited lovers. They did a good job of playing the characters. I’m so glad to see them back together again, as were they and the audience. I get chills watching the leaps that they pull off. But everything in between was well done, too. It’s also amazing how well Joshua does with all the different styles of dance he is given. He and Katee are, in my opinion, the most versatile contestants left on the show. The judges thought it was beautiful and impressive, and they think these two are headed to the finale.

Katee and Joshua – Paso Doble (Jason Gilkison) – “Filet” from Le Reve soundtrack

I always enjoy this style of dance, which shows us the matador and his cape, which represents his aggression. I wasn’t crazy about the music, but as usual, Katee and Joshua were very fierce and entertaining. The judges were amazed by the routine. They think these two are magic together. I agree!

Chelsie and Twitch – The Mambo (Tony and Melanie) – “Ahora Mi Toca A Mi” by Victor Manuelle

I liked Chelsie’s fun little red dress, despite the wardrobe malfunction that sent bows flying across the stage. I thought she was great (how about those spins?!), but they didn’t have much chemistry together and Twitch didn’t seem fully invested. The judges thought Twitch was a pretty good partner and that Chelsie was on fire and in her element.

Chelsie and Twitch – Hip Hop (Tabitha and Napoleon) – “Control” by the Vitamin String Quartet

This is a humorous, playful routine about dueling conductors. And who thought we’d ever hear orchestral Janet Jackson on this show? Very random. Yet appropriate for this routine. I liked the first half better than the second half. The judges like the wit of T and N’s choreography. They are amazed at everything that Chelsie can do, and love Twitch in his hip hop element.


  • Chelsie – “When I Grow Up” by Pussycat Dolls – That Chelsie is a mover and a shaker for sure. Lots of energy, and quite an ending with the splits!
  • Twitch – “Midas Touch” by Midnight Star – Continuing his gimmicky performances, he was decked out in gold, to match his song, of course. No doubt he’s very talented, but I was actually more entertained by Cat putting on his glasses and gold teeth. Very cute.
  • Katee – “Can’t Stop” by Maroon 5 – She brought more of a spunky personality to this solo than her previous ones.
  • Joshua – “Like That” by Memphis Bleek – From his fast moves, to slow motion, to booty shakin’, to super high leaps, his solo seemed to have a little of everything. And it exuded energy and personality as well.
  • Courtney – “Rock Your Soul” by Elisa – I always like Courtney better in her solos than in her partner performances. No exception tonight.
  • Mark – “Bum Like You” by Robyn – As usual, I enjoyed his quirky, fun solo. Methinks it was right up the alley of many a teenage girl as well, which is one reason I think Mark will still be standing next week in the final four.

My Favorite: Katee and Joshua’s Contemporary

My Least Favorite: Chelsie and Twitch’s Mambo

Predicting Who Will Be Sent Home: Twitch and Courtney

I’m more sure about Courtney than Twitch. At this point it seems like all three guys are rather equally popular, so it’s a matter of how many votes their respective fans will cast. My fingers are crossed that Joshua makes it into the Final Four!

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90s Cinema: So I Married an Axe Murderer July 27, 2008

Filed under: Movies — Emily @ 12:13 pm
Tags: , ,

Last night I watched one of my favorite comedies from the early 90s: So I Married an Axe Murderer. I have probably seen this movie a dozen times, and it never gets old. It stars Mike Myers as a Beatnik-type poet, Nancy Travis as the “bellicose butcher” that he falls in love with, Amanda Plummer as her eccentric sister, and Anthony LaPaglia as his San Francisco detective friend.

Here are some things that I love about the movie:

  • The soundtrack – This may be the last album on cassette tape that I purchased before moving on to CDs. I actually still have it! It features some great songs, including Toad the Wet Sprocket’s “Brother” and “There She Goes” by the Boo Radleys.
  • Mike Myers as Charlie’s Scottish father – Myers’ is no stranger to playing dual roles, but this may be the first time that he did so. He was hilarious as this loud, obnoxious, loyally Scottish, kilt-wearing father.
  • The Sputnik scene – The classic, quotable scene from this movie involves Charlie’s younger brother, known only as “Heed,” blocking the television screen with his large noggin. Their father starts spouting off jokes about how big his head is, and it is hilarious. (It’s like an orange on a toothpick, it’s a virtual planetoid, it has its own weather system, it’s like Sputnik, etc.)
  • The Wo-Man Poem – Another quotable part of the movie is Mike Myers’ poetry, which he first performs in a coffee house and then serenades Harriet with. It has some of the best alliteration that I can remember ever hearing: “Harriet. Har-ri-et. Hard-hearted harbinger of haggis. Beautiful. Bemused, Bellicose. Butcher.”
  • Phil Hartman as “Vicky” the Alcatraz Guide – It makes me sad now to see Phil Hartman, knowing about his tragic death. But he was hilarious in this cameo, telling inappropriately disturbing stories to his group of tourists, all with a straight face.
  • The San Francisco setting – I love the city of San Francisco, and there’s plenty of it to see here, from the Golden Gate bridge, to the Palace of Fine Arts, to the North Beach area.
  • The Plot – Unlike some comedies, this one actually has a plot that makes sense. Charlie has a fear of commitment, so he always comes up with an excuse to break up with his girlfriends. One was a clepto. Another smelled like vegetable beef soup. After his mother tells him about a serial killer who murders her new husband on their honeymoon, he starts to believe that his latest girlfriend is this Mrs. X. Mike Myers plays awkwardness and paranoia very well, and Nancy Travis is equally good at being aloof and shifty. As the story unfolds, there’s plenty to keep you guessing and laughing.

Do you love this movie as much as I do? What are some of your favorite things about it?


So You Think You Can Dance: The Top Eight Perform July 23, 2008

Filed under: So You Think You Can Dance,Television — Emily @ 10:45 pm

The competition is really heating up now, as Kherington and Gev were sent packing last week during a results show that surprised many. I was sad to see Gev leave, but at this point any of the guys leaving is a disappointment. I’m not as attached to the girls this season, although I really like Katee and Chelsie.

Cat’s black, bejeweled dress tonight reminds me of Christie Brinkley in Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” video from the 80s. Don’t know why. That’s just what came to mind.

Singer/dancer/director/choreographer Toni Basil is tonight’s guest judge. Cat says we all know her from her huge 1982 hit “Mickey.” I took a look at the music video on YouTube. Let’s just say she’s come a long way since that one hit wonder.

On to tonight’s dancing. Each couple is once again dancing twice, plus everyone is dancing a solo.

Will and Courtney – Samba (Jean-Marc Genereaux)

Very flashy, lots of gyrating. Courtney looked great in her yellow 1/3 of a dress plus tassels. And Will looked very athletic in his black samba suit. They made this samba look effortless and fun. I especially liked Will’s personality in this. I like him more and more every week.

  • Nigel – “When you weren’t thinking too much about technique, it was fantastic.” “Somehow all the guys on this show look like they’re out of the movie 300.” That is a true statement.
  • Mary – “Where’s Ashton? Because I think I’m being punk’d right now.” She’s referring to how good these contemporary dancers were at samba.
  • Toni – “I had so much fun that I actually forgot I was judging.”

Will and Courtney – Hip Hop (Tabitha and Napoleon)

According to Tabitha, this is a slow hip hop dance about turning back time and having one more moment with someone you love. For me, it didn’t live up to the emotional impact that was hyped in the intro. The only time I really felt the longing they were trying to convey was when they slow danced together for a moment.

  • Nigel: He was reminded of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost. (Fitting, since Will wanted to be Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing as a kid. That was funny to learn.) “You were emotionally together.”
  • Mary: “You blew my expectations right out of the water.”
  • Toni: “Great art makes you feel something,” and she’s glad to see it happening on this show.

Twitch and Katee – Contemporary (Mia Michaels)

Twitch is the boyfriend in an argument with his co-dependent, psycho ex-girlfriend, and his disinterest makes her angrier and crazier. Should be interesting… The first half of the routine was mediocre. But about the time Twitch closed the door on Katee, it got much better. It was interesting seeing them dancing “together” while separated by a closed door. They did a good job of continuing the connection. And then the choreography got even more interesting when he opened the door again. There were some acrobatic moves that required a lot of strength from both of them. So, I was impressed with them, and it was cute, but this was not one of my all-time favorite Mia routines. By the way, Katee looked very different. She had an Amy Winehouse look going on with the puffed up hair and dramatic eye makeup.

  • Nigel: “The performance was absolutely fantastic!” “You’ve gotta wonder what goes through Mia Michaels’ head.” He thought they were great as their characters, and that it was one of the most entertaining routines they’ve had on the show.
  • Mary: “Two of the best dancers we’ve seen on this stage!”
  • Toni: “Aren’t you guys lucky… being choreographed by the reigning queen of contemporary dance.” She hit the nail on the head. Whoever draws Mia out of the hat has a head start on the votes.

Twitch and Katee – Broadway (Tyce Diorio)

So the story is that Katee is Sweet Georgia Brown, and she’s looking for a man. Twitch is a man on her block, but he doesn’t want her. This was a sassy, fun routine, but my eyes were mostly drawn to Katee in her cute red dress, with the big flower in her hair. Just as with one of his previous Broadway routines, Twitch looked a little awkward up there.

  • Nigel: He thought it looked like a real Broadway routine. Twitch, “Here you are rising to every single challenge we give you.” Katee, “There isn’t one routine that you’ve done this season that I haven’t enjoyed you doing.” I can agree with that. He added, “You lighten the world when you dance.”
  • Mary: “That was magnificent and well matched.” She noted how much fun everyone is having tonight.
  • Toni: She thinks Twitch brings more reality to the dance than most Broadway dancers do. “He dances from the inside out.” She wanted more of a “deep, rough approach” from Katee to match the vocals. That was good feedback.

Mark and Comfort – Hip Hop (Tabitha and Napoleon)

This is about what kids do when they are stuck in detention. Like a funky Breakfast Club? This was intense and playful, and I was very impressed by the one move that had Mark flipping Comfort up in the air and over his head.

  • Nigel: He’s surprised that Comfort is so much better when she’s choreographed than when she dances her solos. He was also impressed by how good Mark was.
  • Mary: “You guys did a great job with that piece.”
  • Toni: She knows it’s not easy to do Tabitha and Napoleon’s choreography because she sometimes takes classes from them. That’s interesting.

Mark and Comfort – Foxtrot (Jean-Marc Genereaux)

Mark is supposed to be a man who’s down on his luck, until he meets Lady Luck Comfort. They both did okay with the technical aspects, but what was missing was the genuine charisma, chemistry, and joy. They didn’t look like they were having fun. Their smiles looked fake. I think Mark must be missing his old partner (Chelsie) more than any one else is missing their former partner. The other problem is that the fox trot is usually bad news for anyone. Danny and Anya had one that was pretty good last year, but this dance just isn’t a big crowd pleaser. These two may both be headed home tomorrow night.

  • Nigel: “I think Lady Luck walked out of the room when you got your fox trot.” He thought they lost their chemistry because they were thinking too hard. “It was slightly amateurish.” Ouch.
  • Mary: “Nothing was melting together.”
  • Toni: She thought their turns looked like a recital.

Joshua and Chelsie – Argentine Tango (Dmitri Chaplin)

This dance is set in the 1940s, and is about a couple who is flirting with each other. And the props just keep on coming. We’ve had a door and two desks tonight, and now they are joined by a table and a chair. As it turns out, they were there more to set the scene than to be used for the dancing. I am okay with that. Technique-wise, Chelsie was fantastic with those great legs of hers. And I thought Joshua kept up with her just fine. And, the technique was matched by their personality and energy. I was spellbound by their performance, which included a few wow moments. I love both of these dancers. No matter what the competition has thrown their way, they give everything they have, and the result is always a fantastic performance.

  • Nigel: “Chelsie, your legs are absolutely fantastic.” “Joshua, you do have the biggest bum in the competition.” He thought this routine used her legs and his strength very well.
  • Mary: “Because you committed so much to it, it was really believable.” They are still on her hot tamale train.
  • Toni: She thinks this is the most spontaneous and torrid of the ballroom dances, and that they accomplished this.

Joshua and Chelsie – Disco (Dorianna Sanchez)

I don’t usually care for the disco routines on this show, or anywhere for that matter. But this one was fun. The first thing going for it was Gloria Estefan’s “Everlasting Love.” Good song. The second thing was that it starred the two top contestants to beat this season. The two of them dancing together tonight was special to see. All the lifts, throws, and other feats of strength and balance made this a disco to remember.

  • Nigel: He praised all the lifts they pulled off – Joshua’s strength and Chelsie’s courage. “You both carried it off really, really well.”
  • Mary: She couldn’t believe how many lifts Dorianna put in the routine. “You were dancing your bodies full tilt.”
  • Toni: “You pulled together the spirit of disco.”


  • Comfort – I liked this week’s solo better than last week’s. She had more energy and personality to match her impressive technique.
  • Will – Um, was that Will, or Eddie Murphy from his SNL days up on stage? Not sure why he decided to ham it up as James Brown for his solo. Perhaps he’s been reading complaints that he’s too serious. It was fun, but didn’t do the best job of showcasing what he’s capable of.
  • Chelsie – I enjoyed her ballroom solo tonight. She sure can move!
  • Katee – Her solo was very clean, crisp, and uplifting. That’s the best way I know to describe it.
  • Mark – I like how he even dances with his fingers. If he were barefoot I bet his toes would be moving, too. That being said, tonight’s solo was a little sluggish compared to last week’s.
  • Joshua – He is the full package. He’s got amazing technique, a fun personality, and all around star quality.
  • Courtney – She brought her usual vibrant personality and bursts of energy to this solo.
  • Twitch – He’s very entertaining to watch. This is a reminder of why he’s still in the competition.

My Favorite Performances

  • Twitch and Katee’s contemporary
  • Joshua and Chelsie’s Argentine tango

My Least Favorite Performances

  • Mark and Comfort’s Foxtrot
  • Will and Courtney’s hip hop

My best guess is that we’ll say goodbye to Mark and Comfort tomorrow night. Everyone else brought their A-game tonight, but I felt that something was lacking from these two.

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Double Feature: Duel and Superman III July 20, 2008

Filed under: Movies — Emily @ 3:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Continuing my new tradition of watching old(ish) movies during the weekend, I sat down for a little ’70s style suspense, and some ’80s style superhero antics. Which one did I enjoy more? Read on, and it won’t be too hard to figure out.


  • No, I’m not talking about the new ABC game show. I’m referring to the 1971 made-for-tv, Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Dennis Weaver. I have seen this movie several times, and it never gets old. Particularly for a tv movie, it is very well done.
  • The premise is very simple: David Mann (Dennis Weaver) is a traveling businessman who is riding along the remote highways of mountainous Northern California in his little red Plymouth, when he makes one innocent mistake. He passes one big truck, which unfortunately is driven by one crazy trucker. This sets off a chain of events that grows increasingly unnerving, for both David and the audience.
  • Dennis Weaver does a great job of showing how a real person (as opposed to Rambo or Indiana Jones) might react to such a situation. He goes from annoyed, to angry, to incredulous, to terrified, and continues on this emotional ferris wheel until the grand finale.
  • In addition to Weaver’s performance, there are a couple of other things that make this movie a classic. One is the constant tension. You feel like you are riding along with David on the dusty highways, creeping up the mountain passes and flying out of control back down, all while trying to allude the scary monster on wheels. That leads to the second factor: the truck. Because you never really see the driver’s face, it’s almost like the truck has a life of its own. And it’s one intimidating big rig!
  • Aside from the entertaining action and suspense, watching the movie 30+ years after its release makes it a funny 1970s period piece. Just to name a few of the now defunct cultural markers:
  1. David’s car only has AM radio
  2. He has the windows down because the car doesn’t have A/C
  3. The gas stations are full service, rather than self service. I think the last of the full service gas stations died out in the mid-90s, when pay at the pump became the norm.
  4. At the cafe where he eats lunch, the water glass is tiny! This was before Americans’ portion sizes were enormous.
  5. David has to use a pay phone to call his wife, as well as the police. If there had been cell phones in the ’70s, there wouldn’t have been a movie to make. Oh wait, his cell phone would have been out of service or out of battery. But anyway, his situation seemed more dire in the pre cell phone era.
  • For its time, Duel was like a modern spin on the western – two men in the wild west, dueling it out from their motor vehicles instead of their horses. To reinforce this theme, at some of the most intense moments in the movie, high tempo country music plays on the radio. This is a movie well worth viewing for anyone who likes action and old school suspense, and who can tolerate the 70s clothing, cars, and conversation.

Superman III

  • This movie was released in 1983, and it was quite a departure from the previous two Man of Steel films. Not in a good way. The opening scene is about as ridiculous as they come – phone booths fall like dominoes, a blind man stumbles into the street, toy penguins trip a woman on skates, and one poor man gets hit by various objects, including a pie in the face. What does any of this have to do with Superman? I have no idea. It doesn’t get much better from there. I only enjoyed the movie at all because it made me nostalgic about my childhood. It’s clear, though, that I had no clue what the plot was when I was five years old.
  • Unlike Duel, whose 1970s cultural references added to its appeal, Superman III does not stand up well to the test of time. Maybe 25 years is in the too recent past to appreciate it, or maybe the movie was just done poorly. The main problem: computers. In 1983 the general public didn’t know much about them, particularly when it came to using computers for power and control. Now that we do understand how computers and networks work, and what kinds of things won’t work, it’s hard to watch Richard Pryor’s character, Gus, a supposed computer genius, push a few buttons to manipulate the world’s weather, re-route all the oil tankers, and create kryptonite. Even sillier, when the villains launch a computer-controlled missile system at Superman, the radar screen appears like a video game, with the bad guys aiming their weapons at a cartoon Superman. Guess that’s the only way the writers thought the audience could understand what was happening?
  • Despite the campy, ridiculous plot, there are a few disturbing scenes in the movie. The subplot involving Superman and Clark to split into evil Superman and powerless Clark, leads to a violent standoff in a junk yard. Evil Superman attempts to crush Clark in some creative ways, but as a child they were also scary ways. And, the transformation of the main villain’s uptight sister into a robot assassin (as a result of the super computer developing a mind of its own, of course) should have made my list of Disturbing Cinematic Images. Even watching it as an adult, there was something creepy about the scene:

  • Watching any of the Superman movies now, it is very sad knowing what happened to Christopher Reeve, so young and strong in these movies, a decade later, with the equestrian accident that paralyzed him and led to his premature death.
  • The first Superman movie was truly a classic. I also enjoyed the second one. This one has its place in history as a silly but tolerable addition to the series. One that should never have been made is Superman IV. We’ll pretend that it didn’t happen.

2008 Emmy Nominations in Drama: My Two Cents July 19, 2008

Filed under: Emmy Awards,Lost,Television — Emily @ 12:19 pm

Overall, I must say that I am pleased with all of this year’s Emmy nominations. As always, I have a few complaints, but they recognized many of the right people and shows this year.

Boston Legal
Mad Men

  • Lost had a great resurgence this year, so it totally deserves this nomination. House remains a consistently strong and inventive medical drama – much better than Grey’s Anatomy at this point, so I’m glad it made the cut over that show, which lost me at the beginning of this season when Izzie tried to save the deer that had been injured. I was intrigued by the darkly humorous Dexter in its first season, and can’t wait to watch the second season when it is released on DVD in a couple of months. I assume its second season is equally deserving as the first was to be nominated. And although I’ve never watched Damages or Mad Men, I’ve heard only good things about them.
  • That leaves us with Boston Legal, the old standby in this category. Same old story, and I have the same old complaints as last year. I won’t get into it again, but here’s an excerpt from my 2007 Emmy reaction post: “Boston Legal – Am I out of the loop? I just don’t get it. What is the big deal about this show? I can never stand to watch more than a few minutes of it. The characters are caricatures, the show relies too heavily on guest stars… Can someone please explain to me why the Emmy voters are so fascinated by this legal comedy?”

Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
James Spader, Boston Legal

  • I think Michael C. Hall is brilliant in Dexter. He plays the haunted serial killer in a way that makes us sympathize with him, and even cheer him on. Although House is a character that makes me cringe, he is so selfish and manipulative, you can only applaud Hugh Laurie for playing the role with such gusto. It’s strange to see Bryan Cranston in this category, since I only know him from Malcolm in the Middle (a show that outstayed its welcome).
  • Again, my only complaint it with Boston Legal. James Spader? Again? I’d much rather have seen someone from Friday Night Lights, Battlestar Galactica, or Lost.

Glenn Close, Damages
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

  • This category looks like more of the same as last year, aside from Holly Hunter and Glenn Close’s characters. I don’t watch any of these shows, so I will hold on to my dream world in which the amazing Mary McDonnell would win this category for her powerful portrayal of Laura Roslin on Battlestar Galactica. She’s just so good!

Ted Danson, Damages
Michael Emerson, Lost
Zeljko Ivanek, Damages
William Shatner, Boston Legal
John Slattery, Mad Men

  • If Michael Emerson doesn’t win, it’s a tragedy. He is so good at being manipulative, slightly evil, never trustworthy, but strangely likable as Benjamin Linus on Lost. If William Shatner wins this drama category for his goofy, campy role on Boston Legal, I will be angry. As always, Battlestar Galactica’s great actors were overlooked – most notably Michael Hogan as Tigh.

Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy

  • I’d like to see Chandra Wilson or Rachel Griffiths win this category. Other than that I have no opinion, other than that I shake my head at Boston Legal being represented in every major acting category.

I skipped talking about the guest stars on drama series, as well as the reality categories because I don’t really care about them. I may watch the Emmys to see if Lost or Dexter can pull out a win. I doubt it, so I probably shouldn’t waste my time.

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2008 Emmy Nominations in Comedy: My Two Cents July 18, 2008

  • Last year I had the foresight to come up with my own Dream Emmy Ballot, but this year time got away from me. So, I’ll just hem and haw about the actual nominees.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office
30 Rock
Two and a Half Men

What I Like: Yay for 30 Rock and The Office. I think 30 Rock should win again. It is consistently the quirkiest, most randomly funny comedy, at least on network television. I can’t speak for Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm since I don’t subscribe to (so-called) premium channels.

What I Don’t Like: I’m tired of Two and a Half Men’s perpetual presence in this category. I’ve forced myself to sit through the show, and it’s humor is tired and predictable. It’s like Perfect Strangers for the 21st century. Just as silly, but way more sexual humor. I’d rather have seen How I Met Your Mother here, but it had a so-so season.

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

What I Like: I loved Lee Pace on Pushing Daisies. What a refreshing show, character, and actor. The humor is much more subtle, though, than it is with the other nominees, so I doubt he will win. But it’s at least nice for this little gem of a show to get recognized. Steve Carell and Alex Baldwin are both great at what they do on their shows.

What I Don’t Like: Repeat nominations for Charlie Sheen and Tony Shalhoub (I didn’t even know Monk was still on!)

Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

What I Like: This is a very strong category. I don’t really have any complaints. I’ll be cheering for Tina Fey. She is so hilarious as Liz Lemon.

Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Rainn Wilson, The Office

What I Like: Neil Patrick Harris receiving another nomination. He should totally win this year! Stop giving this award to Jeremy Piven!

What I Don’t Like: Rainn Wilson’s nomination. He isn’t near to being the funniest supporting player on The Office. He’s mostly annoying.

Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Jean Smart, Samantha Who?
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

What I Like: Another strong category. Women must be taking over television, with all the talent on this list. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone nominated for an Emmy for their work on SNL, as Amy Poehler is here. She is very deserving, though.

Will Arnett, 30 Rock
Shelley Berman, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Steve Buscemi, 30 Rock
Tim Conway, 30 Rock
Rip Torn, 30 Rock

What I Like: The recognition of how brilliant the guest stars on 30 Rock are. Will Arnett should win this hands down.

Polly Bergen, Desperate Housewives
Edie Falco, 30 Rock
Carrie Fisher, 30 Rock
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Sarah Silverman, Monk
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock

What I Like: More 30 Rock love! Edie Falco was perfect in her role, so my vote is for her.

So there was a lot to like in the Emmy Nominations in Comedy. What about in Drama? I’ll take that topic on next.