Tag Archives: tv dramas

Momotypes

Everyone loves their Momma on Mother’s Day. And yesterday on Twitter, the tributes were as unique as the women they honored.

But TV moms? Not so much.

They’re all kinda the same. In fact, if you look back at the women who have portrayed moms on TV sitcoms and dramas — at least in my memory — three actresses pop up again and again.

Blythe Danner

Susan Sullivan

Holland Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

All three are currently on the small screen playing moms — Danner on Up All Night, Sullivan on Castle, and Taylor on Two and a Half Men.

Heck, Sullivan even played the mom on one episode of Two and a Half Men before Taylor took over. Viewers probably didn’t even notice the switch.

Which is my point. Do the TV powers-that-be really thing that moms everywhere are fair-haired ladies with bob haircuts?

‘Cause that would be a NO.

Dynamic duos

Ricky and Lucy.  Ross and Rachel.  Sam and Diane.   Every generation has had its seminal TV couple.  But not today.

We gots all kinds of ’em!

Thanks to a really strong lineup of sitcoms — and dramas, too — the current television landscape boasts multiple couples with great chemistry, fun banter, and unconventional relationships.

Do I have favorites?  You betcha!  (Thanks for asking.)

Here are my 2011 Top Five TV Couples:

No. 5Sheldon and Amy, The Big Bang Theory — Call them the ‘uncouple’.  They don’t like to spend too much time together, preferring to Skype.  The terms ‘girlfriend’ and ‘boyfriend’ offend their sensibilities.  And the only kiss they have ever exchanged was more scientific experiment than sexual act.  But their pairing has added a spark to the already smoking nerd fest that is TBBT. Long live Shamy!

No. 4:  Jack and Liz, 30 Rock — We’ve all had that work colleague who is more than a friend.  But in the fantastical world that is 30 Rock, Liz and Jack’s more-than-a-friendship mentor-ship blurs the lines in bizarre, often disturbing, always hilarious ways.  Heck, they even got married by accident.  If I had a nickel…

No. 3:  Castle and Beckett, Castle — This may be a TV drama, but anyone who watches Castle knows this police procedural is sprinkled with a heavy helping of funny, thanks to Nathan Fillion’s take on its namesake.  And his chemistry with Detective Beckett is as Sam and Diane as it gets on TV today.  Will they?  Won’t they?  When?  Hurry up already!

No.2:  Ben and Leslie, Parks & Recreation — My favorite ‘newbie couple’ on TV today, Ben and Leslie are as positive and life affirming as those shiba inu puppies on the web cam.  I love their characters separately; I love the idea of them together even more.  Since the series is relatively young, I thought they’d keep us dangling like a worm on a hook in a lake in a park in Indiana. But did you see last night?  “Uh oh.”

And, last but definitely not least, my choice for the absolute bestest TV couple of 2011:

No. 1:  Claire and Phil, Modern Family — No couple on TV is funnier because no two actors are braver.  The Dunphys’ sexual exploits alone are worth a spin-off.  (Could they be more unsuccessful?  How did they have three children?)   This week’s episode “Bad Dog, Good Dog”  — featuring a brilliant parenting role switcheroo — was yet another tour de force for Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen.  They are, simply put, the very best on television today.

Emmy voters, mark your ballots.



No contest

Television is wimpy.

If movies and TV shows met in a dark alley, movies would kick their butts…easy.

Just take a look at the subject matter of the top movie box office for this past weekend alone:

  • a band of zombie fighters
  • a machine that turns water into food
  • the first man to ever tell a lie in the world
  • people using surrogates to live their lives
  • a roller derby league for women
  • a documentary on capitalism
  • a performing arts high school
  • an executive who turns informant
  • a motivational speaker who doesn’t practice what he preaches

Would any of those story lines ever be a TV series?  No.  (Well, maybe the last one…and that’s because it’s the worst of the lot.)

For some reason, television executives have decided that the only dramas that audiences want to see revolve around hospitals, police stations and courtrooms.  This year they got all excited and found a new angle — nurses.  Awesome…that totally changes things.

In comedy, it’s all about the non-traditional family.  Which version do you prefer?  Courtney Cox in “Cougartown?”  Julia Louis-Dreyfus in “The New Adventures of Old Christine?”  Or the male equivalent in “Gary Unmarried” or “Two and a Half Men”?

Even reality shows are just giving us the same thing over and over again.  “Dancing with the Stars”  and “So You Think You Can Dance” co-mingled with “The Biggest Loser” to begat “Dancing Your Ass Off.”  Kill me now.

Why can’t series television show a tenth of the creativity and risk-taking of movies?  Sometimes it does…in series like “Glee” and “Mad Men” and “True Blood.”  And in case the networks don’t get it — that’s why audiences have gone crazy.

Hey, look — television series about something different…a high school choral group, and an ad agency set in the 1950’s, and a New Orleans town inhabited by vampires and shape shifters.

Not a doctor or lawyer or cop in the bunch.  And we’re still watching.

Stings, doesn’t it?