Thursday, October 30, 2008

News Flash!!! Jon Hamm on 30 Rock...Please God Let it be True!

This just in from the Ausiello column for Entertainment Weekly online. There is a rumor that Jon Hamm will be in a multi-episode story arc this season on 30 Rock. Has somebody been reading The Flaming Nose? It's a dream come true....please, please, please let it be real. But wait...there's more! He might become Liz Lemon's new boyfriend! If that isn't reason to live, I don't know what is.Check out Michael Ausiello's very funny blurb. He's even more excited than we are!

30 Rock Returns Tonight!

Here's something guaranteed to relieve post-Mad Men depression, pre-election jitters and the fact that it is sadly not Friday yet. After what seemed like an obscenely long wait, the brilliant and hilarious 30 Rock returns, tonight on NBC at 9:30. Always a critical favorite, but never a ratings star, it will be interesting to see if any of the publicity from Tina Fey's SNL Sarah Palin impersonation translates into a wider audience for 30 Rock. Couple that with Alec Baldwin's Emmy win for playing Jack Donaghy, the world's most lovable self-absorbed TV honcho, and this show has the best chance ever to increase its numbers.

Not since The Dick Van Dyke show has a TV program about the making of a TV program been so wildly entertaining. Tune in tonight for the continuing adventures of Liz Lemmon, Jack Donaghy and (my personal favorite) Kenneth the page (Jack McBrayer) who's bunny rabbit demeanor obscures a fierce ambition to make it in the TV world!

Best of all, 30 Rock is coupled with The Office at 9pm, so we will have a solid hour of laughs again on Thursday nights!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nose-talgia: James Mason for Thunderbird Wine

Just in case you didn't appreciate quite how spot-on Jon Hamm's impersonation of actor James Mason was in his Saturday Night Live appearance -- see our previous post -- I offer some proof. Here's the real James Mason doing a commercial:

Jon Hamm -- and James Mason -- rock!

Jon Hamm on SNL -- as James Mason

NBC hasn't posted this skit from the past weekend's Saturday Night Live, but it was one of the funniest, especially for guest host Jon Hamm's dead-on and drop-dead funny impersonation of actor James Mason. I'm hoping YouTube hasn't taken it down yet -- here it is:

I thought you'd like it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mad Men Season Finale: Great Leaders Don't Blink

Mad Men on AMC ended its second season Sunday night, and as usual, I recorded the episode. I watched it tonight, and I wish I hadn't. There is a terrible hollow feeling when a series this brilliant ends, and there is nothing left to console me in its absence but the long wait for the boxed set on DVD, and even longer drought until Season Three.

Episode 13, "Meditations in an Emergency" had all the hallmarks that have made this series great, weaving the real life drama of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis into the Sturm and Drang of Sterling-Cooper's takeover (so relevant 40+ years later) and the timeless angst of betrayed families and broken promises. This final episode was all about power, leadership, and the redemption of confession.

The amazing and always riveting footage of JFK on TV in the background served as a litmus test and catalyst for Mad Men's characters, who always seem on the brink of something. A power grab, a nervous breakdown, a furtive and hopeless tryst in the back room of a dark bar. The looming nuclear apocalypse causes different reactions for our cast of mad men and women. Panic for some (who cares about the bomb...what about my JOB?), indifference for others. Peggy the budding star who gained a new office after landing the Popsicle account, fears for the loss of her soul. She confesses, finally, bringing last season's cliff hanger full circle. But the truth is told to a bewildered Campbell, and not to her weasel faced priest.

JFK draws a line in the sand for the Soviets, on a fuzzy black and white television. Don Draper draws a line in the conference room at Sterling Cooper after Duck (the darkest character of all to be sure...who could forget what he did to his beautiful Irish Setter) says creative will no longer be a part of the agency's primary directive. Don Draper, back from his A.W.O.L. Southern California sojourn, wants no part of it. He's gone. "I don't sell advertising", Don says, cool and measured as a fighter pilot. "I sell products. If the world is still here on Monday, we can talk".

This final episode was a poem to the subtle but essential qualities of leadership, at a time when we all yearn for its example. Don't blink. Don't stand down. Watch Mad Men.

And for heaven's sake...don't forget to vote.

Below, JFK's address to the nation in 1962.

"TrueBlood" Now Even Better with Lizzy Caplan On Board!

We neglected to give a much-deserved shout-out to lovely and talented actress Lizzy Caplan who's now featured in HBO's immensely entertaining series TrueBlood. She's a Flaming Nose favorite for her horrifyingly truncated but spirited and courageous role in the nervewracking monster movie Cloverfield from earlier this year. Lizzy played Marlena, who met an gruesome and untimely end, as seen here in this behind-the-scenes featurette:

Now she's turned up as Amy, a highly-educated rich girl who gave it all up to embrace the metaphysical Gaia philosophy with the help of liberal snorts of vampire blood. Amy hooked up with Sookie's virile brother Jason (played rather endearingly by Ryan Kwanten), who's also been lured into using vampire enhancements to spice up his life, and they made beautiful sparkling lights together.

She's fascinated by his authenticity, and he's intrigued by her intellect and by her interest in him. I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for this incredibly attractive pair!

TrueBlood continues to offer vivid and highly involving melodrama, stopping just short of soap opera, featuring one of the most diverse and delightful cast of characters -- and acting talent -- on TV. I can't think of three more unique young women characters than Anna Paquin's Sookie, Rutina Wesley's Tara, and now Lizzy Caplan's Amy. (Well, except for Elisabeth Moss' wonderful Peggy on Mad Men.)

Television is better than ever, my friends!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don Draper is the Most Interesting Character of this TV Season

Thanks to Lisa for pointing out that the fabulous Don Draper was featured on Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately I did not see the post until Sunday afternoon! Woe is me! Surely must stream entire episodes of SNL somewhere, after the live episode has aired!

I am particularly devastated because Mad Men's Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is the most intriguing character on television these days. He has more layers than my Aunt Lorene's chocolate cake and not all of them are angel food. There is the dark side of Don who shunned his own brother causing the poor kid's suicide. There is the amazingly compassionate side of Don who gave co-worker Peggy the heart and bravery to become one of the fast track stars of Sterling Cooper. He treats his wife like chattel, but he has lovingly maintained a long term friendship with the real Mrs. Draper, a sweet soul from San Pedro with a bad leg. Don is menacing, enigmatic, and sometimes cruel. But at the end of the day, his innate decency as a human being always shines through. The only other TV character I can recall being this fascinated by was Nate Fisher (Peter Krause on Six Feet Under) who had the same amphibious, emotionally remote dark exterior, but hiding inside was the nicest guy you ever want to meet.

No doubt about it, Sunday nights are the best night of the week for TV. After tonight's Mad Men season finale, we will still have True Blood, Entourage and Dexter to enjoy for a bit longer. Then Christmas, then New Year's and then....mercifully....a new season of American Idol. Life in the TV lane goes on!

Mad Men's Jon Hamm Is Hilarious -- Who Knew??

Hope you caught Mad Men's Jon Hamm on Saturday Night Live -- he was terrific! So good looking and with a deft comedy touch that I think might have taken some of us by surprise! It was quite a bold plug for MM, too, with his intro cheekily referencing hit TV shows as a come-on to solicit viewers watch Mad Men, plus a dead-on MM skit featuring appearances by the also very amusing John Slattery and Elisabeth Moss from the show.

For now, let's post the droll skit "Don Draper's Guide To Picking Up Women" -- if this doesn't drive some viewers to MM, they don't know what they're missing!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our Favorite Mad Man on SNL Tonight -- Jon Hamm!

If you love Jon Hamm as Mad Men's Don Draper as much as we do here at The Flaming Nose, you won't want to miss his guest hosting appearance tonight on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Couldn't come at a better time to get some nice exposure for Mr. Hamm and Mad Men, of course. SNL is on a roll these days, parlaying some daffy political satire, an uncannily incisive impersonation of a certain VP candidate by SNL-alum Tina Fey, and whatever else put the fire back in their belly -- and let's not forget NBC's opportune scheduling of several extra primetime SNL specials to coincide with election campaign events -- to propel them to ratings records.

Let's hope a little of Saturday Night Live's current magic rubs off on Jon Hamm and Mad Men, the best show out there on TV that most people aren't watching yet.

"Mad Men" Season Finale Coming Up on Sunday!

Wow! How can we already be at the end of this batch of Mad Men, which is quite simply the most intriguing, adult, multi-layered, coolly exciting show on television right now? It's completely unlike anything else out there, relying not on blood, gunshots, knifeplay -- unlike some of our other favorite shows like Dexter and TrueBlood -- but on shifting relationships, unseen rivalries, unspoken desires and all that other fascinating jazz to weave its hypnotic spell.
Starting from the opening credits, so bleak and wonderful, Mad Men is one habit that you just don't want to break.

But anyway, the last episode for now -- "Meditations in an Emergency" -- is up tomorrow, and here's a sneak peak:

Don Draper et al, we hate to see this season end! Be sure to visit the Mad Men site on AMC for all sorts of terrific web extras!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Buzz is Building for True Blood!

The buzz is definitely building for True Blood (HBO, Sundays at 9pm), which is fast becoming THE water cooler topic of conversation at work places nation wide. If you have not tuned in since the vampire saga premiered a few weeks back, you might want to consider giving it another look. It's the steamiest, strangest, and occasionally funniest one hour drama on the air these days. Get out your tank tops and flip flops for Sunday nights, Nose Fans. Between Dexter on Showtime (set in Miami) and True Blood on HBO (set in Louisiana), there is enough heat to help you keep those gas bills down as another cold winter approaches.

At the top of the list for most compelling character is Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), the vamp with a sensitive side and an insatiable thirst for Sookie (Anna Paquin) the southern sweetie who can read every body's mind but his. It is also never, ever dull when Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) the world's toughest trannie is on the set. Lafayette has decked so many characters, he could be a WWF 3 inch nails and 5 inch heels.

I had my doubts about Sookie's brother Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), who's drug addled sexual high jinks have become tiresome. But his latest "friend with benefits" is a crazy hippie witch who brings out the best in Jason's good old boy comic relief. Funniest bit in last night's episode involved Jason musing about how much he hates revisionist history, including the fact that Pluto has been demoted as a planet and Brontosauruses have a new name.

Two weeks ago Sookie and Bill finally consummated their wispy relationship and Bill sealed the deal with a little nip to her no longer virginal neck. Will Sookie become "one of them" too? Last night ended with a cliffhanger. Is Bill in jeopardy? How the heck do you kill someone when he's not even alive to begin with?

Personally, I wonder how this relationship can go long term. Bill can't ever spend the night...or the case may be, since he has to sleep under a dusty bed in his haunted house as soon as the sun rises. And it's not like they can ever enjoy a nice dinner together since all he ever consumes is synthetic blood. After the sparks stop flying, it would be weird to have a boyfriend who doesn't want to order a pizza and watch TV.

But we'll keep watching...because this is Alan Ball at his best, and once again, we are absolutely hooked.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

David Cook to debut his new band on SNL on 11/1!

Two powerful forces come together on November 1st: an up-and-coming rock star and the NBC institution known as Saturday Night Live.

The American Idol season 7 champ demonstrates once again that he's fearless. And ambitious. Just last week he announced his newly formed band. In their very first public gig together, they will perform the brilliant and very hard-to-sing new single, "Light On." Think about it. Just three weeks after they formed, and 4 1/2 weeks after the single dropped, Cook and his boys take on live television, on what will likely be the highest rated SNL all season. It's the Saturday before Election Day, Ben Affleck is hosting (he's one of the show's best hosts), and Tina Fey will likely make her last appearance as Gov. Sarah Palin. Even though Cook is the musical guest, look for him to appear in a sketch or two.

So let's meet David's new band (they're a bunch of lookers!). Some fans have dubbed them "David and his boy scouts..." David, Neal, Andy, Kyle & Joey... don't you just love the names! Don't let that fool you; these guys are hard core rockers. And two of them are David's closest friends and bandmates from his time with The Midwest Kings (MWK). That David was able to get RCA to sign them is more evidence of his clout (and how good they are).

Neal "Dr." Tiemann (middle, with Andy & David) - Lead member of MWK (he managed the band and played lead guitar). He's a kickass guitar player and will continue in the role of lead guitar with David. He was the first to join David's band and is the one band member who played on every track on the soon-to-be released album.

Andy Skib (right, with David) - keyboards and backup rhythm guitar (David will play primary rhythm guitar). He will also do backup vocals during live performances. Andy was the lead vocalist for MWK; he also performs (sometimes with Neal) under the solo project "To Have Heroes." He has an amazing voice.

Joey Clement - Bass guitar

Kyle Peek - Drums

No other AI contestant has ever been given this much creative control. Rock producer extraordinaire Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Kid Rock) was tapped as producer of Cook's new self titled album, which drops on 11/18. Cook wrote or co-wrote (with some big name rock stars) 11 out of the 12 tracks. "Light On" was written by Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave) and Bryan Howes (Hinder). Very smart of Cook to go the band route instead of purely solo with studio musicians. This will help him build "rock cred."

This SNL gig is just the first of several TV appearances to promote the new album. Cook and his band will also appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Ellen Degeneres Show," "Regis & Kelly," "Good Morning America" (11/17), and will headline a huge fundraiser thrown by NY Mets star David Wright on 11/12 (the two have become fast friends).

Sample the new single "Light On," now avaialble on itunes &

Cook's official website -
For more info on Andy Skib,
For more info on MWK,

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to THE FLAMING NOSE!

It doesn't seem possible, but while no one was looking, our beloved TV blog, The Flaming Nose, has just experienced its one year anniversary. In honor of this extraordinary event, I have prepared a list of stats and fun facts about The Flaming Nose. I'm also posting an excellent video clip of our revered muse, Lucille Ball, as she talks about her (and our) favorite Lucy episode with Merv Griffin. What could be a more fitting tribute to mark one year of fantastic television commentary?

Here are some interesting Nose factoids:

  • After one year of existance, the Nose has received 25,039 visits from people around the world. How fitting that the Nose passed its 25k visitor mark on its birthday!
  • Today alone, the Nose had visitors from such exotic locations as Istanbul, Seoul Korea, Barcelona Spain, Quezon, Philippines, and Leopoldov Slovakia.
  • There have been 432 individual posts over the past year...433 if you count this one.
  • The most prolific poster has been Lisa, our Queen and Fearless Leader who has made approximately 220 of those posts, or a little better than half our total volume.
  • The busiest months (traffic-wise) over the past year were June and July 2008, no doubt from all the frenzied American Idol posts and links.
  • The Flaming Nose has been featured or linked with such illustrious media entities as the Showtime Website, various American Idol blogs and Ceasar Milan's Dog Whisperer website.
  • The Flaming Nose has its own MySpace page
Many thanks to all of our very talented writers, including Lisa, Judith, Dean, Karen, Scott, Jeri, Michael the young Sports fan and Media Guy. And a grateful thank you to all of our faithful readers around the world. We just know you love TV as much as we do.

Happy 1st Birthday to The Flaming Nose. May there be many, many more.

Life on Mars Does Not Disappoint

If you did not catch the premier of Life on Mars last Thursday night (ABC), you might want to skip this post. However, ABC is graciously streaming the entire episode on their website, so by all means click on the link above and check it out. If you can make it through the very pedestrian first 5 minutes (typical broadcast network cop show set in present day) you will enter a captivating time warp that delivers plenty of "wow" moments.

Sam Tyler (in a sturdy performance by Jason O'Mara) is an NYPD detective from 2008 who's hot on the trail of a red haired serial killer and also in a contentious romance with fellow cop played by Cosby show alumni, Lisa Bonet. Try not to groan when the suspect turns out to have (oh noooooo) an evil twin who is the actual murderer. The bad guy gets Ms. Bonet, and our distracted hero Sam gets hit by a car on the streets of NYC. This is when it finally starts to get interesting.

In a hallucination that is either space-time glitch or coma, Sam wakes up amidst the burning trash cans and detritus that was early 1970's Manhattan. Sam is confused...his iPod has been replaced by an 8 track cassette tape, but the same David Bowie song is still playing. He doesn't really get that he's "not in Kansas anymore" until he turns around. Oh my God...there are the Twin Towers of the WTC, as if 9-11 never happened. This is a great shocky moment, and sets the tone for all the blast from the past tidbits that follow. It's amazing to think how much the world has changed in just 35 years. In his new (old) world, Sam is still a police detective. But his captain is now a sexist maniac (played fabulously by Harvey Keitel) and his co-cops are the immensely colorful and hilarious Ray (Michael Imperioli) and police woman wannabe Annie (Gretchen Mol). The latter is given the charming nickname "No Nuts" by the captain, in this pre-politically correct era.

I won't give away any of the key plot lines in this pilot, but please tune in if you haven't already, as the 1970's references are fascinating. Am I the only one who found a framed picture of Tricky Dick Nixon oddly comforting, given the haunted house tone of today's political meltdowns? Old Alka Seltzer commercials and Colombo are on the tiny tube televisions (remember antennas?) and the sound track is infused with awesome classic rock and roll, including Bowie and The Who. And even if you have already seen the first episode, it's still worth a trip to the ABC Life on Mars website which has song playlists, photos and a 70's trivia quiz. You can also rediscover the mind numbing joy of playing "Pong", the world's first video game.

The time warp motif is a tricky theme to keep fresh from one episode to the next, but the 1960's are working very well for Mad Men on AMC. For Life on Mars, it looks like the next decade may be just as compelling.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Rover Has Landed: Check out LIFE ON MARS

The buzz on the blogosphere has reached a perfect storm for Life On Mars, which premiers tomorrow (Thursday, October 9th-10pm eastern) on ABC. Critics, press, fans, buzz-maniacs, as well as friends and relatives of yours truly have contacted me to say...what is the Flaming Nose doing about LIFE ON MARS? At first glance, this series seems to have everything in the world we like about television. Top stars: (Harvey Keitel...LOVE him...Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos...CHRISTOFUH... we missed you so much, Gretchen Mol and Lisa Bonet, a great and contentious blast from the past Cosby Show. Beyond the fabulous cast, we also have the tantalizing part sci-fi/part cop/part oh I so can't wait for the flashback to the funky, gritty, weird New York City of the 1970's setting. Honestly, I would tune into tomorrow night's premier for the promise of the old dirty New York setting alone.

One never knows the outcome until the actual delivery, but there is certainly enough here to get a great tune-in audience for the first night. Life in 2008 at the moment is not that splendid, let's tune in to Life On Mars and see if it's any better (or worse). Fire up your disco balls, we're heading back to the 70's.

2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: More Disappointments!!!

Back in July, my fellow Noser Judith posted a scathing criticism of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and its stubborn avoidance towards recognizing certain much-loved though perhaps less "hip" 70s rock staples like Linda Rondstadt, Heart, The Doobie Brothers, Chicago and the like. I responded in kind, adding KISS, The Monkees, Donna Summer and Cat Stevens, among others, to the mix of the unjustly snubbed.

I know we'll all be seething together when we see the list of nine nominees for induction in 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Only five from this list will make it:

Jeff Beck
Wanda Jackson
Little Anthony and the Imperials
The Stooges
Bobby Womack

Infuriating. I mean, Chic? "Good Times" and "Le Freak" were their only two hits!! These hard-headed guys on the RRHOF board are going to HAVE to bend our way sooner or later. That said, Run-DMC, Metallica, The Stooges and War seem like locks (and I suppose deserved ones). Wanda Jackson will probably be thrown in there as the lone female inductee (over Linda Rondstadt????). Anyway, thought y'all might like to know what we have to "look forward" to when the ceremony airs on TV in March 2009. Whoopee.

Monday, October 6, 2008

"Dexter" Does Not Disappoint This Season, on Showtime

How are you liking Dexter so far this season? I'm totally thrilled with the addition of Jimmy Smits as Miguel Prado; he's sincere, sexy, and vibrant, and judging by what happened at the very end of this week's episode "Finding Freebo", he's now extremely important to Dexter. Really fascinating development, that last surprise, and it puts a terrific spin on the season. Smits' presence makes us pine less for last season's wonderful Agent Lundy, played by Keith Carradine. We'd love to see him again but Smits brings something completely dashing to Dexter.

Loved Debra's profanity-filled rant in the Miami dance club that "smells like armpits" when she was trying to get some info out of Anton the informant, in an intriguing performance by David Ramsey. It was one of her most hilarious cursing events and you could feel her strain and bravado as she desperately pleaded with the guy to help her out. Jennifer Carpenter is so good as Deb; she better hit the Emmy list next year. Is there some attraction there, too, with Anton? He's clearly intrigued by her. Hmmm. I know she's been flirting with that possibly dirty cop Joey Quinn, played by Desmond Harrington; don't you love that Internal Affairs officer who keeps popping up to bedevil Debra about him? Liz Lapira is excellent in the role. Annoying to Deb but completely fascinating character, and naturally she's getting to Debra, tempting her with a detective badge and invoking the name and reputation of her beloved father.

Not so into the whole baby thing. The police situations are so intense that the mopey pregnancy talk and the to-have-or-have-not dilemma seem like annoying diversions. Dexter's halting friendly interactions with the so emotionally-open Miguel Prado are much more interesting than Dexter's romantic relationship with Rita, but that might be just me. Eh.

Michael C. Hall is consistently excellent as Dexter, of course. Dexter's trying on all the different roles in life he's expected to play is a treat to watch, and the voice-overs have never gotten old.

It's quite a Sunday night, going from Dexter to Mad Men and to TRUEBLOOD, not necessarily in that order. And then throw in Entourage and Little Britain USA and you definitely need a week to rest to get ready for next Sunday. Brilliant television!

Here's a little scene from next week's episode 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight" -- I hope they get to eat some Cuban food; looks like they might be at a festival!

Friday, October 3, 2008

CBS' "The Ex List" Premieres Tonight

Not sure if the idea of a show with a 33-year-old gal searching for her Mr. Right is up your alley, but what if we told you a psychic said her dream fella is someone she's already dated and they must meet up again with a year or true love with never come to either of them? Puts on the juice a little, right? It's the premise of the new CBS show The Ex List, premiering tonight at 9pm.

Starring the cute but not-too-cute Elizabeth Reaser (Grey's Anatomy), this is obviously candy for the ladies. We know there's a lot of resentment among viewers of the network's cancelled vampire romance Moonlight which was in the timeslot last season (and honestly wasn't half as much fun as TrueBlood is on HBO), and that those gals won't watch this under any circumstances. Consensus out there seems to be that The Ex List isn't bad at all but probably won't last. (It's based on an Israeli series, btw.)

You might want to give it a look. This is the show that exec producer Diane Ruggiero left about two weeks ago, citing creative differences with CBS. Could signal that the show is a mess, or maybe it's not. See for yourself!

Because There's Nothing Funnier Than This

In anticipation of the new season of HBO's Flight of the Conchords which is currently in production, here's one of their hilarious songs from last season -- "If You're Into It" from the episode "Yoko" --

FoTC is currently running all over the HBO schedule, and there's nothing nicer than running into one of the episodes and remembering why it's one of our favorite shows.