31 January 2011


There are two American stars on TV right now who remind me of two local Filipino stars.  If you can't tell by now, I'm not a big fan of local showbiz. We have a lot of talented people here, alright. But there are not enough good materials for them to show what they can really do as actors.

So, whenever I'm watching these US TV shows, I can't help but picture that it's actually our local stars who are on it. I keep telling myself, "See? How awesome would it be if they actually get roles like that on Filipino programs?!"

Christine Woods from Perfect Couples looks like....

Christine Woods, Perfect Couples
...Kristin Hermosa's older sister, if not Kristin Hermosa herself.  Christine Woods' role on the series is tailor-made for Kristine, who has been used to playing the romantic lead for many years.

Kristine Hermosa

And Monica Raymund from Lie To Me is...

Monica Raymund, Lie To Me
...a dead ringer for Judy Ann Santos. I know she once played a cop in a series, a million years ago. The role on Lie To Me would be perfect for her.

Judy Ann Santos
Are you like me sometimes and compare local stars with foreign actors? Which ones do you have?

28 January 2011

Two Guys I'd Gladly Have Dinner With: Michael Scott & David Brent

It finally happened!

The Office USA's Michael Scott meets The Office UK's David Brent! They chatted, they laughed and then they hugged.
Awww, you two. ♥ 

You've made fans like me really, really happy!

26 January 2011

I Think I Found My New "Sopranos"

It's difficult to love boxing. Watching people beat up each other so that one of them could go home wearing this golden belt? That's not entertainment. That's also not a sport I can cheer for.

So, I didn't find any reason to look forward to watching Lights Out when I learned that it was about a boxing hero.

Not expecting to like the first episode, I was actually proven wrong.

I'm glad I was.

Because in spite of the shocking first scene, the rest of the show actually had a very engaging story to tell.

And I found myself loving Lights Out.

Love it enough to say, this is The Sopranos of boxing.

The series is about a former champion, Lights Leary, who had to give up on his lucrative career as a boxer, as his wife had wished. The last fight left Lights really badly beaten up; his face already unrecognizable. Five years later, he discovers he's got a condition called Boxing Dementia and he is going bankrupt.

To manage keeping with the lifestyle he and his family have been accustomed to after becoming a champion boxer, Lights take on odd jobs commissioned by his brother and finance manager. I suspect his brother is mishandling his bank account,  but that's not the only problem Lights needs to deal with.
  • There's Lights' family and his promise to his wife that he will never step inside the boxing ring ever again. How's he going to convince her he's gearing for a comeback? How's he going to tell her he needs this so that they can keep the nice car, the nice house and the kids can stay in the private school?
  • There's Lights' 2nd daughter, who has figured out her dad is losing his mind. How long can she keep his father's secret? And what can possibly happen to Lights knowing that his condition is either going to kill him instantly or never going to matter at all (it's apparently an extreme one)?
  • There's Lights' extended family --- a father, a brother, a sister  and a nephew. All of them figure so much into Lights' daily activities. They are either at odds with each other or supporting each other.
Lights Out deliver so many similarities to the tone that made The Sopranos one of TV's best. Although, it's not exactly delivering knock-outs in terms of buzz and hype (compared to when The Sopranos was on air) and I don't expect it to be as successful.  But give watching it a try.  The show is layered, well-crafted and well-acted that even if you despise boxing, you will find this series compellingly entertaining.

21 January 2011

Off The Map is Off The Scale Ridiculous!!!

Am back!

I spent last weekend traveling back to my hometown. The short visit, plus the things that happened here at home afterwards, left me frazzled. I have tons of watching and catching up to do (on last count, 28 episodes unwatched!)

But I did spend time watching this new show, Off The Map. Has anybody else seen it? Lotsa eye-candy but so utterly unrealistic!

Off The Map is another TV program, another medical show by Shonda Rhimes and company.  If you're addicted to television, she is a name you will instantly recognize. She is the reason why we have a bunch of McNicknames on television. Shonda created Grey's Anatomy and its spin-off, Private Practice. While Off The Map is not entirely her brainchild, she serves as its executive producer and the creator of the show worked under her wing on Grey's Anatomy.

Simply put... Off The Map is Grey's Anatomy set in the jungles of South America.

Lily (Caroline Dhavernas) is the Meredith Grey of the jungle
The writers seem to be creating a love story arc for her and the McDreamy of the jungle, Ben (Martin Henderson) ---
He can't act, by the way. But he tips off the hotness scale and brings it on overdrive. He's freakin' gorgeous. 
Mina here (Mumie Gummer) is the Christina Yang of the jungle.
Tommy (Zach Gilford) is the Alex of the jungle.
I haven't figure out who's gonna turn out as Bailey or Izzie or McSteamy, Addison and Callie. And god forbid, I hope they don't come up with a jungle version of Denny Duquet. But I'm happy to say, there isn't a George of the Jungle in the cast. (LOL! Get that? George of the Jungle??)

Off The Map, like all of Shondaland's shows, has ridiculous and unbelievable plots, told in melodramatic storylines (complete with moving musical scoring), with hot doctors hooking up all the time. I watched the first two episodes completely suspending all expectations that I will find it satisfactory. It helped that I've set my expectations so low. Whatever I've seen so far was tolerable. It also helped that these actors are so good-looking. :P

Of the bat, just a few nitpicks I have to say out loud:

  • Off The Map has a clinic that's set in a remote village. There is, however, a swanky bar nearby and its safe to say this doctors aren't roughing it over there. It's like a summer holiday all year round!
  • None of the new doctors know a word of Spanish, and yet, they've been the ones granted this "privilege" to work at the remote clinic among thousands of other hopeful doctors across the country. You would wonder what the criteria are for qualifying...
  • Tommy is a plastic surgeon. He went to medical school at what? 8 years old? And I still can't believe Zach Gilford is part of this show.

I'm not complaining, really. This is kind of expected. I mean, coming from this team that gave us Grey's and Practice... you would have to expect it's more style and fluff than substance.

But this show is going to stick for awhile, I can feel it.

Because in spite what I may feel about the creators and writers of this show... I still end up watching.  And so do millions of other viewers.

Shonda Rhimes, et. al holds the magic formula to making stupid programs on television that everyone will watch.

11 January 2011

Wow. Shameless.

Just wow.

I've never seen the British original which I believe now runs four seasons (or five? or three?). But the American adaptation --- starring William H. Macy, as the alcoholic father, and Emma Rossum, as the eldest child in a family with seven foster kids (I lost count. I think it was seven...six?) --- is super engaging, well-acted, heart-tugging and realistic.

It's also very graphic with one of the actors doing frontal nudity and some sexually explicit scenes, including one with Emma Rossum and this guy (as pictured) whose name escapes me right now. But I'm sure he's going to become some sought-after TV heartthrob I'm gonna be reading about, a lot, in the coming months.

Anyway, Emma? She really was shameless! And I mean that in a good way. As in --- she tore her clothes off, exposed her breast, had her partner grab and eat those (for real!), pumped on the guy --- all for the sake of art. She really was convincing. And hot. And spicy. (And...yes, I am also shameless for saying she's spicy! :P)

There's only a handful of British remakes that do well on American TV. Something gets lost in translation between adaptions. But Shameless? Ticks all the right boxes.

While watching, I said out loud 3x --- "Oh, man...this is a good show!"

Rest in Peace, Major Dick Winters *salute*

The world has lost a hero.

I only know of Major Dick Winters from watching Band of Brothers and obsessively following stories about their troop's achievement afterwards. But what I learned about him is enough to tell me how great he is.

Major Dick Winters died on January 2nd, 2011 in Pennsylvania. He has been afflicted with Parkinson's Disease. He was 92 years old.

I grieve. But the good soldier made his long life so purposeful, I am grateful that we had him.

Thank you for giving your life to the world, sir! *salute*
More info: Dick Winters, of Band of Brothers fame, dies

10 January 2011

Seven Reasons Why I Know I'll Love "EPISODES"

Showtime's Episodes, this latest comedy series starring Matt Le Blanc (Friends) and created by David Crane (Friends creator) & Jeffrey Klarik (Mad About You, head writer) premiered last night.  Here are 7 reasons why I'm certainly tuning in for more:

1. David Crane, by way of loyalty to Friends. It's only my favorite show my entire life.

2. Matt Le Blanc, same reason as #1.

3. It also stars two British actors playing British people. Not British actors or Australian actors playing Americans or the other way around.

4. That the British people these British actors play are award-winning British TV writers, in a show that feels very British.

5. British TV writers are brilliant. And grounded. Also insane. But regular taxi-riding people. Even if they've won awards.

6. Tamsin Greig, the actress who plays the wife, Beverly, in this British TV-writing duo. She's very Maria Von Trap/Julie Andrews-charming to me. Maybe it's the hair. Or the accent. But she comes across as adorable, very smart and funny, all rolled into one. You're gonna love her.

7. This character, Myra, the network's Head of Comedy Development:

OMG, she is HILARIOUS!!! You have to watch the show, as in watch it right NOW, to "experience" why I say that. She's got that face on. All the time. And when she starts speaking? Funny!

Myra is played by actress Daisy Haggard. For just sitting there, I believe Daisy deserves an award.

Let me just say it again: She is HILARIOUS!

* I specifically picked 7 reasons because Episodes, as promising as it looks, will only run seven 30-minute episodes for the first season. I know --- bummer!

07 January 2011

New Guilty Pleasure: Live To Dance

I'm gonna start by saying that Live To Dance, this Paula Abdul-produced dance competition, has nothing new to offer. Much of the ideas presented are so similar to America's Got Talent (and its other inceptions).

I was dreading one thing before watching --- I was dreading listening to Paula's comments. She's one of the three judges, along with one of Michael Jackson's choreographers (who did THIS with Cebu's now-famous Inmates) and a Pussycat Doll.

But surprisingly, Paula's tolerable here.  And the other two judges sounded fine. Or maybe I'm being less judgmental because (I am not a judge? LOL) I still am getting to know them.

For a show that's clearly a copy of another show (which is a copy of some other show, too), the dancers and their performances are actually quite interesting. Live to Dance allows contestants from all ages and from all genres of dance --- which can either be a good thing or a bad thing. It can be this really entertaining program with lots of variety. Or it can end up becoming a circus. Since it's only been two episodes so far, I'm holding off verdict on that.

I also do not have a clear favorite. It's still the audition stage, edited and cut heavily.

And sure there are sobs stories and dramatic elements and I get that this is the standard formula for competition programs. But years of watching shows like this has taught me one thing --- I can always press the fast forward button when the segment's becoming too sappy and cheesy.

The huge surprise for me, however, is seeing Andrew G host the show. I wasn't aware. I've been a fan of his work on Australian Idol because he's been very engaging and showed such a good rapport with the contestants and the judges. Now that that show is unofficially canceled and Andrew's off to LA since his wife works on Hollywood (as a producer of TV programs, I think), he's finally crossing over to American television. I've been lurking in some fan sites to check what they have to say about Andrew and the comments have been unkind so far. And all I can say to that is --- to wait till they do the live shows for Live To Dance. Because that guy can do his job really well.

Did you watch the first week of Live To Dance? Are you glad to see Paula back on TV? Did you like Andrew G?

06 January 2011

Oh, man! 2011 Fall Season TV Shows in Development

I got this list from EW and needless to say (but I'll say it anyway...) I can't wait to watch these programs! These are slated for Fall 2011-2012.

CBS - so many Western-themed shows. Me thinks it's timely, with True Grit getting so much raves at the movies. But I'm not interested with those (yet). I'm more keen on Treadstone and Dear Girls Above Me.
  • Carol Mendelsohn project. Based on the Jane Whitefield novels by Thomas Perry about a one-woman witness protection program (drama, script).
  • Jason Alexander detective project (Alexander, Simon Davis Barry). A former TV star works for his ex-wife’s detective agency when he’s down and out (drama, script).
  • Desperado (Kyle Ward, Anthony Zuiker). A modern-day western crime drama set in Texas (drama, script).
  • Siringo (Trey Callaway). Based on the life of cowboy Charlie Siringo, who caught crooks in the late 1800s (drama, script)
  • Female police chief drama (Carl Beverly, Gary Lennon). Chronicles first female Chief of Police in Newark, N.J. (drama, script).
  • The Wild Wild West (Ron Moore, Naren Shankar). Update of the old western that aired on CBS (drama, script).
  • Treadstone (John Glenn, Anthony Zuiker). Based on Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series of novels about a group of spies working for the Treadstone Corp. (drama, script)
  • Real estate comedy (Rob Riggle, Robert Smigel). A real estate agent ends up working for the guy he made fun of in his youth (comedy, script).
  • Colin Cowherd radio comedy (Bill Martin, Mike Schiff, Cowherd). Comedy based on the life of ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd (comedy, script).
  • Dear Girls Above Me (Jason Goldberg, Ashton Kutcher). Based on a Twitter feed from a man who recounts what he hears from the girls who live above him (comedy, script).

ABC - Ehhh...maybe True Lies? Being Erica would probably do, too. But I might just end up comparing this to the Canadian original, nitpick and make myself miserable. Baker Street Letters sounds a lot like Sherlock Holmes meets Psych...okay, maybe that's good.
  • Untitled Shonda Rhimes project (Rhimes, Betsy Beers). Revolves around the life and work of a professional fixer and her dysfunctional staff. The character is based on the career of Judy Smith, a crisis management consultant who has guided corporations, politicians, and public figures over the last 20 years (drama, pilot).
  • Alive in Necropolis (David H. Goodman). Cops hunt alive — and dead — criminals (drama, pilot).
  • Romeo & Juliet (Andrea Berloff). A look at the love story of Romeo and Juliet, as well as the events occurring during the Renaissance (drama, script).
  • Being Erica (Maggie Friedman). An adaptation of the Canadian series with the same name (drama, script).
  • True Lies (RenĂ© Echevarria). Based on the 1994 feature film, True Lies, directed by James Cameron (drama, script).
  • Long Gray Line (Gideon Yago). Drama set in the world of West Point (drama, script).
  • Baker Street Letters (Nicholas Wootton). Two brothers rent Sherlock Holmes’ old office space and respond to letters that still come to the dead sleuth (drama, script).
  • Nannyland (Ann Blanchard, Alexa Junge, Jennifer Lopez). Three nannies working for three different branches of a Los Angeles family (dramedy, script).
  • Awkward Family Photos (Mike Bender, Doug Chernack). Based on book and website featuring really awkward but hilarious old photos (comedy, script).
  • Carlos Mencia project (Mitchel Katlin, Nat Bernstein). Show based on Mencia’s large immigrant family (comedy, script).
  • Cedric the Entertainer project (Al Higgins, Devon Shepherd). A retired baseball player gets a job as a radio host (comedy, script).
  • Gynecology project (Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen, Marc Cherry). Two brothers, one gay and one straight, open up a practice for women (comedy, script).
  • Supermom comedy (Laura House, Stu Bloomberg, Barry Sonnenfeld). A frazzled mom finds a suit that gives her superpowers (comedy, script).
  • Damon Wayans project (Don Reo). A model father on TV is very different at home (comedy, script).

Fox - Alcatraz! Of course. I hope it lives up to the hype. And a Will Smith-produced crime drama, huh?

  • Alcatraz (J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Liz Sarnoff). Revolves around Alcatraz Island and notorious criminals housed there (drama, pilot).
  • Will Smith crime drama (James Lassiter, Will Smith, Eva Jin). A female college student fights crimes in China (drama, script).
  • Full Nelson (Jeffrey Lieber). Focuses on a woman’s rise in the music industry in the 1980s (drama, script).
  • Hitch (Pete Chiarelli). Adaptation of the feature film that starred Will Smith (drama, script)
  • Smokers (Brian Vaughan). A documentary crew follows a group of heroes who eliminate alien threats in space (drama, script).
  • The Council of Dads. Based on the memoir about a man with cancer who lures a group of friends to supervise his daughters if he dies (comedy, pilot).
  • Tiny Monsters (Alexandra Rushfield) An animated show about a group of mean girls in junior high (comedy, script).

NBC - their list offers the most variety. It's so varied, I do not know which ones I'm going to like! But hey, Bryan Fuller's back!

  • 17th Precinct (Ron Moore). World ruled by magic, not science (drama, pilot).
  • Playboy (Chad Hodge). Set in the 1960s, the drama takes a look at the lives of Playboy bunnies (drama, pilot).
  • Echelon (Michael Gordon). About a team called GHOST (Global Hierarchical Observation Strategy Taskforce) that investigates the paranormal (drama, script).
  • The Munsters (Bryan Fuller). A modern-day take on the old CBS comedy (dramedy, script).
  • Rest (Philip Levens). Based on the comic book series Rest by Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff about a workaholic who enrolls in a drug trial which eliminates the need for sleep (drama, script).
  • S.A.N.D. (Craig Titley). A squad called the Sleep and Nightmare division enter peoples’ dreams to tackle their nightmares (drama, script).
  • Are you there, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea (Chelsea Handler, Tom Werner, Dottie Dartland Zicklin, Julie Larsen). Based on Handler’s best-selling memoir (comedy, pilot).
  • Ghost Angeles (Henry Alonzo Myers, Josh Schwartz) A young woman speaks to dead people who help her (comedy, pilot).
  • A Lot Like Us (Scot Armstrong, Ravi Nandan, Liz Feldman). A lesbian couple expecting a baby lives with the donor (comedy, script).
  • Emerald City (Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins). Re-imagining of the The Wizard of Oz, set in Gotham (comedy, script).
  • Guardians (Carlos Jacott, Ajay Sahgal) Guardian angels disguised as Starbucks baristas help customers (comedy, script).
  • My Life as an Experiment (A.J. Jacobs). Comedy based on A. J. Jacobs’ self improvement projects (comedy, script).

CW - Raven will most likely get a lot of press time. And there's another Sherlock Holmes inspired series.

  • Acting Out (Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Todd Graff). Musical and dancing dramedy explores relationships of counselors and staff of a down-on-its-luck summer camp (dramedy, script).
  • Hawkshaw (David Loughery, Samuel L. Jackson, Amanda Tracey). Sexy, mysterious 20-something doesn’t know his true identity but believes he is a detective and possible descendant of Sherlock Holmes who starts solving crimes (drama, script).
  • The Prickly Spheres (Rich Frank, Jeff Kwatinetz, Matt Goldman). Extremely talented teen forgoes classical music scholarship to Julliard and joins a new indie alternative rock band in Minneapolis (drama, script).
  • Raven (Diego Gutierrez). Based upon the DC Comics character, the daughter of a human and a devil with abilities to read emotions and divine secrets, Raven fights crime — as well as the darkness in her own soul (drama, script).

What looks interesting for you?

After the holidays, TV's back! With more goodies!

There's considerably lots of good stuff on TV this week, with tonight being one of the best nights a TV junkie like me can look forward to.

The Middle, Better With You, Modern Family and Cougar Town are back.

And then I briefly read that Castle and Pretty Little Liars had significant episodes last Monday. Admittedly, I have yet to watch those. Stuff, like real life, got in the way of my TV viewing pleasure again.

And the one show (ONE!) I was able to watch with TV shows returning from the holiday hiatus was only How I Met Your Mother. Which was all worth it, in all fairness. What an emotional ending that was! Have you seen it already? Never thought Jason Segel could make me cry. But I was absolutely a wreck after watching.

This month also marks the season premieres of lots new programs, I'm getting that kid inside the candy store feeling! (Whee!)

Anyway, just thought I'd say hey.... so, hey!

05 January 2011

Camelot Miniseries First Look

First mentioned here, now watch this short feature on Camelot, a miniseries from Starz which will debut in April. It will go up against HBO's Game of Thrones. The comparison should be very interesting!

03 January 2011

Sky Cable CAMANAVA and RIZAL Area New Channel Line-Up

Happy New Year!

We are without proper internet connection when we rang the New Year. We're still waiting on getting reconnected. It's a bummer because new episodes and premieres are supposed to start this week (Pretty Little Liars, tomorrow!) and I've got to wait till Thursday, at the latest, to get our internet back. :P 

I am forced to tune in to local cable TV as a result and in doing so, I've discovered that our channel listing has changed beginning today.

If you are subscribed to Skycable and you live in the CaMaNaVa and Rizal area, here's the newest listing. This came out of the newspaper right after Christmas (in which case, I missed it so I wasn't aware of the changes):

5 - ZOE 33
6 - NBN 4
7 - 3ABN 45
10 - TV5
12 - GMA
15 - IBC 13
16 - ETC
17 - STUDIO 23
18 - NET 25
20 - GEM TV
21 - BTV
23 - MYX
24 - QTV
27 - ANC
28 - CNN
31 - ESPN
33 - UNTV
34 - BALLS
36 - MAX
44 - HERO TV
49 - AXN
51 - JACK TV
54 - HBO
58 - CCTV 9
62 - ARIRANG**
65 - TV5 FRANCE*
66 - TVE*
67 - CEC***
68 - NOW*
69 - RAI*
70 - DA-AI*
72 - RTP*

*Channel available only in selected areas
**Family Land and Arirang are replaced by EWTN and KBS respectively in selected areas
***Channel assignments may change in certain areas.

I am currently enjoying time away from the internet (since I can only sporadically check online using sloooooow mobile connection) watching old episodes of favorite TV shows on cable.

What's good to watch on cable these days, huh?