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Showing posts with the label Parks and Recreation

The Daily Beast: "The 10 Best TV Shows of 2012: Borgen, Girls, Parenthood, Mad Men, and More"

From Borgen to Downton Abbey to Girls , Jace Lacob and Maria Elena Fernandez pick the 10 best TV shows of the year. Warning : may contain spoilers if you are not entirely caught up on the shows discussed here. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The 10 Best TV Shows of 2012," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer up our individual Top 10 TV Shows lists for 2012. My list, not surprisingly, contains shows like Borgen, Mad Men, The Good Wife, Louie, Parks and Recreation, Shameless , and others. What was on your list this year? Now is the winter of our (TV) discontent. After a fall season that largely failed to deliver on the promise of new shows—and, in some cases, returning programs as well—it’s time to take a look back at the year in television as a whole, as we try to remove such canceled shows as Partners, The Mob Doctor, and Made in Jersey from our collective memory. But rather than dwell on the very worst of the year (ABC’s Work It!),

The Daily Beast: "Why Comedy Writers Love HBO's Game of Thrones"

Game of Thrones is beloved by viewers and critics alike. But the Emmy-nominated HBO fantasy drama is also a surprising favorite in the writers’ rooms of TV comedies around Hollywood. I talk to sitcom writers about why they’re obsessed with the sex-and-magic-laden drama, and how the show informs their own narratives. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Why Comedy Writers Love HBO's Game of Thrones, " in which I talk to writers from Parks and Recreation, Modern Family , and Community about why they love HBO's Game of Thrones, nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Drama. Fox’s upcoming sitcom The Mindy Project, created by and starring Mindy Kaling, deconstructs the romantic comedy fantasies of its lead character, an ob-gyn whose disappointment in the dating world stems from her obsessive viewing of Nora Ephron films. At the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in July, Kaling was candid about the role that When Harry Met Sally and oth

The Daily Beast: "2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions for Who Will Win"

Will Breaking Bad unseat Mad Men ? Will Maggie Smith be crowned a winner? Ahead of Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, Maria Elena Fernandez and I predict the outcomes of the top races. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions for Who Will Win," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer our predictions in ten of the key races in Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards. Will Mad Men remain triumphant? Will Downton Abbey 's Dowager Countess reign supreme? Let's take a look The Emmy Awards aren’t typically known for shocking anyone, but there are some unexpected twists every now and then. Just look at last year’s surprise Best Actor win for Kyle Chandler for the beloved, barely watched Friday Night Lights, and the look of absolute shock upon the face of Best Supporting Actress winner Margo Martindale. This year’s races are tighter than ever, especially in the acting categories, where no fewer than seven comedia

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV Preview: Where We Left Off"

Can’t remember how Revenge, Homeland, The Good Wife , or Dexter ended? Refresh your collective memory about the cliffhangers for 27 returning shows—and previews of what’s to come. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Fall TV Preview: Where We Left Off," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I refresh your memory about how 27 shows--from Revenge and Homeland to The Good Wife and Boardwalk Empire --ended last season... and offer a glimpse about what's to come. Carrie remembered stuff! Leslie was elected! Sheldon took Amy’s hand! Gloria is pregnant! Nucky whacked Jimmy! Victoria Grayson’s plane blew up! Dexter…oh, Dexter! The fall TV season is officially here, which means we can all breathe a sigh of relief and pull ourselves up from the cliff-hanging precipice. Sure, there’s a bunch of new TV shows across the dial champing at the bit for your attention. But we want to focus on your returning old favorites. What’s next on Scandal—will we find o

The Daily Beast: "2012 Emmy Nomination Snubs & Surprises"

The nominations are out: Homeland, Downtown Abbey , and Girls get their shot at the awards, while The Good Wife, Community, Louie, Justified , and many others are shut out. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "2012 Emmy Nomination Snubs & Surprises," in which I discuss which shows and actors were snubbed by the TV Academy as well as a few surprise nominations. Plus, view our gallery of the nominees . The Television Academy has today announced its nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards and, looking at the list, you may be forgiven for thinking that every single member of the casts of Downton Abbey and Modern Family had walked away with nominations. (It just seems that way.) AMC’s Mad Men and FX’s American Horror Story tied for the most nominations, with 17 apiece, while PBS’ cultural phenomenon Downton Abbey—which shifted from the miniseries category into Best Drama this year—grabbed 16 nominations (tying with History’s Hatfields &

The Daily Beast: "11 Best TV Politicians: Parks and Rec, The West Wing, 24 & More"

In honor of July 4, I picked my 11 most beloved politicos on television, from Leslie Knope ( Parks and Rec ) and Clay Davis ( The Wire ) to David Palmer ( 24 ) and Sigourney Weaver’s Elaine Barrish in USA’s upcoming miniseries Political Animals . Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "11 Best TV Politicians: Parks and Rec, The West Wing, 24 & More," in which I pick out 11 of the best, most memorable, or all-around unforgettable fictional politicians on television (plus one out there bizarre choice). While Garry Trudeau and Robert Altman’s short-lived mockumentary Tanner ’88 may have been one of the first television shows to focus squarely on the democratic process in action, shows as diverse as The Wire, Parks and Recreation, 24, Veep, and The Good Wife have dived into political action at its best and worst. With the Fourth of July upon us, it’s time to look back at some of television’s most memorable politicians, from Parks and Recreation’s new

The Daily Beast: "Amy Poehler Talks to Rachel Dratch About Her Memoir"

If you're at all like me, you love Amy Poehler. And if you're at all like me and Amy Poehler, you also love Rachel Dratch. At The Daily Beast, I had a hand in today's interview feature, in which Parks and Recreation 's Poehler interviews her former Saturday Night Live colleague and long-time friend about her new memoir, out this week, as well as about motherhood, ghosts, the prairie, and more. In her new autobiography, Girl Walks Into a Bar…: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle , former Saturday Night Live star Rachel Dratch—the rubber-faced comedian behind Debbie Downer and Abe Scheinwald, to name two of her creations—comes clean about growing up, life behind the scenes on SNL , what happened with 30 Rock , dating possible cannibals, and her life now that she’s in her forties and a first-time mother. When Dratch was performing with improv comedy troupe Second City in Chicago, her understudy was an up-and-comer named Amy Poehler, who woul

The Daily Beast: "Homeland, Justified, Downton Abbey and More: The Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011"

At The Daily Beast, it's finally time for my Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011 list: with 10 shows up for recognition as the best (including Justified, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Community, Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife , and more) and five for worst of 2011. (Plus, you can also compare my Best/Worst picks to my colleague Maria Elena Fernandez's.) Head over to The Daily Beast to read my latest feature, " Homeland, Justified, Downton Abbey and More: The Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011," which--as the title indicates--rounds up the best and worst television that 2011 had to offer. Warning: the story may contain spoilers if you are not entirely caught up on the shows discussed here. What is your take on our lists? Did your favorite/least favorite shows make the cut? Head to the comments section to discuss and debate.

The Daily Beast: "Parks and Recreation: The Comedy of Hope"

It's no secret that I love NBC's Parks and Recreation . Over at The Daily Beast, I have not one but two features on the Pawnee-set comedy today, which returns later this week for a fourth season. In Part One of my Parks and Recreation feature at The Daily Beast, in which I visit the set of Parks and Recreation and spend time with Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, and showrunner Mike Schur, exploring what Offerman deems "the comedy of hope" that the show taps into, and the intelligence and spirit of Parks and Rec . In Part Two , I offer some mild spoilers for Season 4, exploring what's ahead for Leslie, April and Andy, Ron Swanson, Ann Perkins, Mark Brendanawicz, and The End? Season Four of Parks and Recreation begins this Thursday at 8:30 pm ET/PT on NBC.

TCA Awards: Friday Night Lights Wins Program of the Year, Game of Thrones Named Outstanding New Program

It is known: Game of Thrones is the winner of this year's Outstanding New Program by the TCA. As a member of the venerable Television Critics Association (TCA), I joined the professional journalists' organization this evening for the annual TCA Awards, which are always a fantastic evening celebrating the best of television. At the ceremony (which, as per TCA tradition, are not be televised), Parks and Recreation 's Nick Offerman was on hand as the host of the evening, which saw awards given out to Game of Thrones (Outstanding New Program), Friday Night Lights (Program of the Year), Mad Men (Outstanding Achievement in Drama), Modern Family (Outstanding Achievement in Comedy), Sherlock (Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials), and The Amazing Race , among others. Individual winners included Mad Men 's Jon Hamm, Parks and Recreation 's Offerman, Modern Family 's Ty Burrell, and Oprah Winfrey, who was the recipient of a career achiev

The Daily Beast: "The Emmy Awards’ 10 Biggest Snubs"

The nominations are out: Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, Friday Night Lights , and Mad Men get their shot at the awards, while Community , Nick Offerman, and many others are shut out. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled, "The Emmy Awards’ 10 Biggest Snubs," in which I examine shows and actors were snubbed by the TV Academy. Plus, view our gallery of the nominees . The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be televised live on September 18th on Fox.

The Daily Beast: "The Death of Will-They-or-Won't-They"

In recent years, it’s been a given that romantic pairs on television had to be subjected to the will-they or-won't-they dilemma—where couples as clearly in love as Ross-and-Rachel, Sam-and-Diane, or Jim-and-Pam were prevented from jumping into bed together for years, as the writers forced them through increasingly tight narrative hoops. These days, though, it seems like more and more TV couples just will. As writer-producers have sought to surprise the audience, they’re puncturing romantic tropes in the process. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Death of Will-They-or-Won't-They," for which I talk to Community ’s Dan Harmon, Parks and Recreation ’s Mike Schur and Greg Daniels, and Bones ’ Hart Hanson about how TV is throwing off that age-old will-they-or-won’t-they paradigm in the post-Jim-and-Pam era.

Fairy Tale Beginnings: Considering Couples and Consequences on Parks and Recreation

Kudos to the writers of Parks and Recreation for pulling off what will go down as one of the all-time best episodes of the NBC comedy series, one that threw off the audience's preconceptions of comedy narratives and shattered our expectations about how romantic comedy couples are meant to be handled. In this week's hilarious and emotionally resonant episode ("Fancy Party"), written by Katie Dippold and directed by Michael Trim, newly dating couple April and Andy got married. It wasn't a Very Special Episode. It wasn't preceded by NBC hitting us over the head with promos for a wedding site for April and Andy or forcing us to watch them shop for rings or make wedding plans, the writing team instead pulled the rug out from underneath the audience, transforming an episode about the unlikely couple hosting a dinner party into an impromptu wedding episode. It was unexpected and magical, not least because the wool was pulled over the characters' eyes as well as

PaleyFest 2011: Details From NBC's Parks and Recreation Panel

Welcome to the home of the world famous Julia Roberts... lawsuit. To the Paris of Indiana. Welcome to Pawnee. It was clear, as the cast and crew of NBC's painfully funny and wickedly sweet Parks and Recreation gathered on stage last night as part of the 2011 edition of the Paley Festival, that there's as much love for the series coming from the actors than there is coming from the audience. "I think this is the beginning of us being around for a long time," said Amy Poehler about Parks and Recreation reaching its stride. The numbers have climbed during the long-delayed third season, which made the move to the plum post- Office timeslot in January. Though Poehler was quick to poke fun at moderator Michael Ausiello of TVLine for issuing a backhanded compliment about the underrated first season of this winning comedy series. "It's a bit like saying that your baby used to be ugly and is now cute," said Poehler on reactions to Season One, which she termed

Sick Day: Parks and Recreation's Cast Shines in "Flu Season"

"Stop. Pooping." The MVP award for last night's fantastic episode of Parks and Recreation ("Flu Season") goes to Rob Lowe, for his sensational delivery of the above two words as Chris succumbs to the virulent strain of flu infecting everyone in Pawnee. Chris' ouright outrage and horror, upon learning that the "microchip has been compromised," is transformed into self-loathing and ultimately a complete and utter breakdown as he vomits into a drawer, makes friends with the hospital room floor, and manages to make would-be girlfriend Ann at ease with him for the first time during their nascent courtship. But the heights that "Flu Season" reached (which, I might add, for all of their strengths are topped by other upcoming episodes this season) are due to the tremendous work being done by all of the members of Parks and Rec 's talented ensemble. For all of the scene-stealing done by Lowe here, there are standout moments for Aubrey Plaza (

Go Big or Go Home: An Advance Review of Season Three of Parks and Recreation

Last season, NBC's Parks and Recreation exploded into a bona fide comedy hit, a critical darling that had transformed itself from being in the shadow of The Office to outperforming it in terms of heart, humor, and brains on a weekly basis. It took the series, created by Greg Daniels and Mike Schur, a few episodes in the first season to find its footing but it came right out of the gate at the beginning of its sophomore season, with its tone, sense of humor, and characters just right. Over the course of the twenty-odd installments of Season Two, Parks and Recreation quickly established itself as the go-to workplace comedy, the sort of mockumentary show that had expanded upon its initial premise to become a series that combined the awkwardness of romantic life in Pawnee with the eccentricities of the Parks Department workers and the cockeyed optimism of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), whose can-do spirit were often at odds with, well, reality. Despite the critical success of the serie

The Daily Beast: "Amy Poehler Curator: My Favorite Sad Films"

Attention: Parks and Recreation fans! Over at The Daily Beast, Amy Poehler picks her 11 favorite sad film scenes in a hysterical piece written by Amy, entitled "Amy Poehler Picks Her Favorite Sad Films" (the latest in our Curator series), that I wrangled into existence. Among the offerings: 11 of Poehler's favorite sad movie scenes, from You Can Count on Me and Pretty in Pink to--wait for it-- Dumb and Dumber . (Yes, you read that correctly.) In true Amy Poehler fashion, our latest curator discusses her topic of choice with flair, wit, and, above all else, humor. So grab a tissue and prepare to laugh until you cry. Season Three of Parks and Recreation launches Thursday evening at 9:30 pm ET/PT on NBC.

Midseason TV Preview: 16 Shows to Watch This Winter

Winter is coming... Well, not that winter, not just yet. While we continue the long slog until April when HBO launches its adaptation of Game of Thrones , there's quite a lot of new and returning television series to keep us entertained in the meantime. Over at The Daily Beast, I offer "16 Shows to Watch This Winter," a round-up that includes such series as Episodes, Shameless, Big Love, Downton Abbey, Parks and Recreation, Portlandia, Off the Map, The Chicago Code, Lights Out, Archer, Justified, The Killing, Body of Proof , and others. In other words: quite a fair bit coming up. Which of these new and returning shows are you most excited about? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Year in TV: The 10 Best (and 5 Worst) TV Shows of 2010

It's that time of year when we bid farewell to the last twelve months and start looking toward the future, but it's also a chance to reflect, to catalogue, and to reminisce as well. My selections for the Ten Best (and, cough, five worst) TV shows of 2010 have now gone live over at The Daily Beast . The series selected represent the very best that television had to offer the past twelve months and include such shows as Mad Men, Community, Terriers, Parks and Recreation, The Good Wife, Fringe, Justified, Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights , and Modern Family. It wasn't easy to whittle down the competition to just ten shows as, despite the overall drain in creativity this calendar year, there were quite a lot of fantastic series. (In fact, one of the very best of the year didn't even air on American television at all: Season Three of BBC One's Ashes to Ashes --including its breathtaking and gut-wrenching series finale --would have made this list if it had been open

NBC Announces Midseason Schedule, Third Hour of Comedy, Return of Parks and Recreation

I just left the first post-merger bureau meeting to learn that NBC had announced its midseason schedule, complete with a few scheduling shifts (cough, Parenthood ), a third hour of comedy on Thursdays (along with a renewal for 30 Rock , when it all goes pear-shaped), and a few missing series as well. ( Love Bites and Friends with Benefits , I'm looking at you.) And, most importantly, a announcement about the long-delayed return of Parks and Recreation , which returns to the schedule on January 20th in a new timeslot of 9:30 pm ET/PT, right after The Office . (About time it got this plum timeslot as well.) I'm off to an interview but I'm curious to know what you think about the new schedule, the musical chairs, and the return to Pawnee. Head to the comments section to discuss. The full schedule can be found below, along with the official press release from NBC. NBC ANNOUNCES NEW MID-SEASON SCHEDULE UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – November 15, 2010 – NBC today made several mid-seas