Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2012

The Daily Beast: "6 Best Spoof Videos of the Emmy Nominated Period Drama Downton Abbey"

PBS’s white-hot British import Downton Abbey , nominated this year for 16 Emmy Awards, is now a bona-fide cultural phenomenon—with its own spoofs. From Jimmy Fallon’s "Downton Sixbey" to the Mean Girls - Downton mash-up, I take on the six best. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature "6 Best Spoof Videos of the Emmy Nominated Period Drama Downton Abbey ," in which I take a look at the six best Downton Abbey video spoofs and discuss the swirling pop culture influence of the period drama. While devotees of costume dramas instantly fell under the spell of Downton Abbey when it first premiered in the U.S. in January 2011 on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic, it took a second season for it to truly permeate popular culture. Nominated for 16 Emmy Awards this year—including Best Drama, Best Actress in a Drama, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and seemingly a billion others—Downton Abbey has become deeply entrenched

The Daily Beast: "TiVo’s Top 20 Shows Watched Before Bed: Jimmy Fallon, Lost Girl, and More"

Just what are you watching before bed? Do you tune in to watch a 10 p.m. drama? A late-night talk show? Or reality television? At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TiVo’s Top 20 Shows Watched Before Bed: Jimmy Fallon, Lost Girl , and More," in which I examine data obtained from TiVo about the top 20 shows that people watch before they go to bed, from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Revenge to Chopped and NCIS: LA . It’s no secret that many Americans turn on the television as part of a nighttime ritual before bed. But what is surprising is just what they’re watching before their heads hit their respective pillows. According to data provided by TiVo to The Daily Beast, the top program watched at bedtime was NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, while TBS’s Conan was the most-watched cable show before bed. “Perhaps it’s not surprising that many late-night talk shows are watched before bed,” Tara Maitra, TiVo’s general manager of content and media sales

The Daily Beast: "Roseanne Barr Hails the Comedic Genius of Phyllis Diller"

Phyllis Diller, who died Monday at 95, paved the way for generations of female comedians. Roseanne Barr on the legendary and ‘paradoxically regal’ comedian, her enduring legacy, and what the gin-drinking Diller thought about the afterlife. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read a feature that I had a hand in making happen: "Roseanne Barr Hails the Comedic Genius of Phyllis Diller," in which Barr reflects on the death of her friend, gin-drinking comedy legend Phyllis Diller. All hail and observe a moment of silence—a genius has vacated this space and left us here to remember her life and her work. I remember hearing her records as a child. My dad collected comedy records, and what I loved the most about her was her laugh. She was the only comic I saw who laughed at her own jokes, and I found that funnier than hell. I stole that from her, but she viewed it as more a tribute than a lift. The last several years I called my ex-husbands “Fang” on stage, too. It was timeless,

The Daily Beast: "TV's New Prostitute Fixation"

When Mad Men 's Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) received her indecent proposal this season on the AMC period drama, viewers were sharply divided about her actions within the controversial and polarizing episode. But Hendricks' Harris is emblematic of a larger trend within television this year: the virtual proliferation of prostitutes within scripted dramas. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TV's New Prostitute Fixation," in which I examine the sudden proliferation of prostitutes on television, from Game of Thrones and Crimson Petal to True Blood and Copper , and what may be behind the trend. On BBC America’s period drama Copper, which premiered on Sunday, the first person encountered by Kevin Corcoran, the 19th century New York City policeman played by Tom Weston-Jones, is a child prostitute who promptly offers to “pleasure” him in exchange for coin. No more than 10 years old, Copper’s Annie (Kiara Glasco) acts as a conduit t

The Daily Beast: "Christine Baranski: The Grande Dame of The Good Wife"

2012 Emmy nominee Christine Baranski’s character on The Good Wife , Diane Lockhart, is coming off a fierce season. She tells Jace Lacob what lies ahead for the show and addresses those crazy (and untrue) Brady Bunch rumors. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Christine Baranski on The Good Wife Season 4, Diane, and Brady Bunch ," in which I talk to Baranski about what lies ahead in Season 4, playing Diane Lockhart, her binary romantic choice this season, those bizarro Brady Bunch /child actor rumors, and more. In the third season of CBS’s The Good Wife, Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart found herself on the defense, fending off attacks from the equity partners after the suspension of her partner, Will (Josh Charles), a grand jury investigation, uppity clients, and vengeful adversaries. In the process, Emmy and Tony Award winner Baranski, 60, showed Diane at her fiercest, as she kept a strong hand on the firm’s figurative tiller, even as, in her

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men: Matthew Weiner and Christina Hendricks Dissect 5 Scenes From ‘The Other Woman’"

Mad Men ’s creator Matthew Weiner and star Christina Hendricks go deep into five pivotal scenes from the Emmy-nominated episode “The Other Woman” in the second of a two-part conversation. Read Part 1 here . At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men : Matthew Weiner and Christina Hendricks Dissect 5 Scenes From ‘The Other Woman,’" in which Weiner and Hendricks discuss five scenes from Season Five's controversial Joan-centric episode, "The Other Woman." In Mad Men’s controversial fifth season episode “The Other Woman,” Christina Hendricks’ Joan Harris is offered an indecent proposal: sleep with the head of the Jaguar dealership association and receive a partnership in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Over the course of the episode, Hendricks’ Joan battles with the decision, ultimately choosing to sell her body for a seat at the table next to the men. In Part 2 of a two-part deconstruction of “The Other Woman,” series creator Matthew Weine

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men: Matthew Weiner & Christina Hendricks on ‘The Other Woman,’ Part 1"

Season Five’s ‘The Other Woman’ was a controversial, polarizing episode of Mad Men . Show creator Matthew Weiner and star Christina Hendricks offer an oral history of the heartbreaking, Emmy-nominated Joan episode, the first of a two-part conversation. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men : Matthew Weiner and Christina Hendricks on ‘The Other Woman,’ Part One," in which I talk to Weiner and Hendricks about the controversial Joan-centric Season Five Mad Men episode, "The Other Woman." (Part Two is slated to run tomorrow.) Among the topics covered: the thematic undertones within the episode, Peggy's departure, and what would happen if the writers put Christina Hendricks' Joan Harris and Jon Hamm's Don Draper together. AMC’s Mad Men has never shied away from uncomfortable or challenging circumstances, but Season 5’s “The Other Woman”—during which Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks’s Joan Harris had sex with a potential clie

Before All Else, Be Armed: How Borgen Gets Everything Right (Or What Aaron Sorkin's Newsroom Could Learn From Borgen)

"A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise." - Niccolo Machiavelli Machiavelli's words continue to hold power today, though in the current era, it's context is limited not to royalty but to those who hold elected office as well: the leaders of dominant world powers, the prime ministers and presidents whose decisions echo through the lives of ordinary folk. Promises are made and broken, alliances tested, enemies courted and appeased. This is felt most keenly within the stellar Danish political drama Borgen (or, literally, "The Castle"), from creator Adam Price. Borgen wrapped up its second season run last night on U.S. cable/satellite network LinkTV following a 20-episode run that asked tough questions about policy makers, mothers, and citizens. I've been writing and tweeting almost incessantly about the show for the last few months, having fallen under its intelligent, incisive, and gut-wrenching spell. (Missed the series? No wor

The Daily Beast: "Art in the Age: Ex-Ad Man Steven Grasse’s Wonderfully Weird Spirits"

It's a little bit off the beaten path for this site, but as much as I'm passionate about television, I'm equally obsessed with food and cocktails, particularly the spirits made by Art in the Age, an organic, artisan spirits company based out of Philadelphia that produces “historically based artisanal crafted spirits, each one completely different.” At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Art in the Age: Ex-Ad Man Steven Grasse’s Wonderfully Weird Spirits," in which I talk to Hendrick’s Gin creator and former ad man Steven Grasse—once called “the Don Draper of outrageousness”—about his eclectic spirits venture, Art in the Age. The shelves of local liquor stores are piled high with concoctions such as bubble gum vodkas and root beer schnapps, sickly sweet libations that are not only synthetically flavored but also reminiscent of a candy store. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Art in the Age, a Philadelphia-based spirits company that ha