Monday, June 29, 2009

Crazy Summer TV: Green Porno

It's unfathomable that it has taken so long for the Flaming Nose to report on the Sundance Channel's "Green Porno" series, since it is right up our alley in every regard. Actress Isabella Rossellini stars in a series of vignettes, demonstrating the incredibly varied reproductive lives of insects (Season One) and aquatic animals (Season Two). In addition to their unquestionable weirdness (always a plus for Nosers!), these shorts are packed with science trivia and feature the most colorful, imaginative costumes ever. If Barney the Dinosaur was designed by Jacques Cousteau and Jean-Paul Gaultier, the result would look something like this.

This season has included Isabella depicting the wacky underwater world of marine animal sex for whales, starfish, barnacles and anglerfish. If you don't subscribe to The Sundance Channel, you can visit the Green Porno website where it is possible to stream episodes from both seasons. The site is loads of fun, and includes games, widgets and a nifty app that tells you your "green porno" name. Mine happens to be Canary Deepwater. I like it!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Billy Mays, TV Pitchman, Dies in Tampa

Is there no end this week to the celebrity death parade? Popular and extremely effective television commercial pitchman Billy Mays was discovered dead this morning in his Tampa, Florida home. Mays was the co-star of Discovery's series The Pitchmen (along with Anthony Sullivan) and is remembered for his enthusiastic and bombastic ads for a variety of household products.



From what the news reports are saying, and as you can read from Mays' own Twitter (his last), he was on the U.S. Air flight to Tampa that blew a tire on landing yesterday. Items were flying around the cabin, and Mays reported to a local TV station that he was hit hard on the head by something during the landing, but laughed it off. Coincidence? Sounds very possibly like a delayed reaction to a severe brain injury to me, much like Natasha Richardson's unfortunate accident. (Do read Mays' Twitters. They show a nice family man with a very friendly outlook on life. Really poignant to read them now.)

Billy Mays was clearly a memorable part of the current television landscape, and we offer our sympathy to his family, friends and fans.

Thomas Jane is "Hung" -- Tonight, on HBO



All titters aside, we're looking forward to watching HBO's new comedy series Hung, premiering tonight at 10pm, right after our favorite vampire saga TrueBlood. First of all, it stars Thomas Jane, the appealing hunk of masculinity and acting prowess who's starred in some nifty action/sci fi movie favorites like The Punisher and The Mist (and the not-so-good Dreamcatcher), and many other projects including HBO's baseball movie 61. (He's also the soon-to-be-ex Mr. Patricia Arquette). The interesting Jane Adams co-stars, along with the equally interesting Anne Heche. That's a great trio in anybody's book. Check out the promo now.



As you can see, Hung is the tale of Ray, an underpaid schoolteacher with money woes -- good to see TV finally acknowledging that teachers frequently get the shaft...we're thinking Walter in Breaking Bad, too -- who in his desperation is forced to think outside of the box. He's encouraged by his friend Tanya (Adams) to capitalize on his most impressive asset -- guess what that is -- by becoming a gigolo. Obviously rife with penis jokes (and would you want it any other way?), Hung is an intriguing concept, combining a strong sexual component -- good for tune-in -- with some down-to-earth contemporary domestic strife. Created by the minds behind FX's droll series The Riches, Hung is an appealing package that should offer plenty of adult laughs delivered by a very capable cast. (Above right, T. Jane and J. Adams).

Advance word is that it may take a few episodes for audiences to completely warm to Hung's ample pleasures, so hang with it for more than just tonight's opening episode, whatever you do. HBO's now the sweet spot for the best Sunday night entertainment, what with TrueBlood taking off like crazy since its second season preem two weeks ago and now the sexy Hung added to the mix.

Be sure to visit HBO's Hung website for more information and behind-the-scenes exclusives!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

70's Icons Meet Their Demise on Same Day

The grim reaper made a double play today, with two extraordinary iconic celebrities from the 1970's passing away within hours of each other. One was expected, as Farrah Fawcett succumbed after a long battle with cancer at the age of 61. Click on the link for an excellent tribute posted by Lisa on The Flaming Nose.

The other was shocking to most, as news trickled in around 3:30pm pacific time that Michael Jackson had died in Los Angeles supposedly of a heart attack, at the age of 50. Mr. Jackson had been rehearsing vigorously for an eagerly anticipated concert series in London. He was found unconscious in his rented mansion and rushed to the UCLA medical center, where they were unable to revive him. Crowds of bereaved fans immediately started gathering at the hospital.

Michael Jackson had a very long and accomplished musical career, that was often over shadowed by his "stranger than fiction" personal life. In the 1970's at the age of 11, he became a huge star for Motown records as part of a family singing group called The Jackson Five. They racked up a number of hit singles including "I'll Be There", "ABC" and "I Want You Back". More details can be found on the official Michael Jackson web site (linked above and now crashed due to an overload of interest from around the world). Additional discographies are available on Wikipedia,
which was updated with news of Michael's death only minutes after it was first reported on TV.

In the 1980's, Michael Jackson went solo and enjoyed enormous success as a pop star and MTV icon with his super platinum album "Thriller" (1982), which remained on Billboard's top ten list for 80 consecutive weeks and spawned the popular hit singles "Beat It", and "Billie Jean". It is sometimes cited as being the best selling album of all time and the title song has been a staple of Halloween parties for over two decades.

In 1983, Michael appeared on one of the most phenomenal live television specials of all time, NBC's "Motown 25" celebrating the 25th anniversary of Motown records. It was on this event that Michael Jackson unveiled his trademark moon walk dance, in which he appears to glide across the stage as if the floor was made of ice.

From the 1990's through the present, Mr. Jackson's extremely odd personal life started to overshadow his fame as a recording artist. The list of his eccentricities is almost longer than his string of musical hits. He started to alter his appearance with extreme plastic surgery until he looked more like Norma Desmond than a handsome African American man. He created his own Amusement Park and palace in the hills of Santa Barbara called "Neverland". He briefly married Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of the original King of Pop. He befriended a chimp named Bubbles, who became his traveling companion. Most infamously, he was accused of child molestation, (but acquitted) in a trial that became, like most of his life, a complete media circus. Although not convicted, his career never really recovered after the trial.

From a cute child star to a plastic surgery train wreck and worse, Michael Jackson was absolute cannon fodder for the paparazzi. Now that the glare of their flashbulbs will be dimmed forever, he might be remembered for his musical genius as well as for being as mad as a hatter. For a glimpse of that genius, here's his performance of "Billie Jean" on NBC's Motown 25 television special in 1983.

R.I.P., Farrah Fawcett


News sources just announced that sixty-two year old Farrah Fawcett has succumbed to the cancer she so bravely fought for the last several years.

She had a long career in many projects over the years, but she'll always be one of Charlie's Angels to her many fans who loved her.



Her exceptional beauty and sunny personality brought her early attention in many television commercials, including this one for UltraBrite Toothpaste:



In addition to her lighter roles, Farrah Fawcett eventually achieved critical success for her roles in tougher dramas like the 1984 TV movie The Burning Bed and the 1986 film Extremities, which she had played on stage a few years before.



Here's an nice pictorial tribute to Farrah featuring a song she recorded with Jean-Paul Vignon:



A devoted fan has compiled a selection of special Farrah Fawcett moments from many of her movies and TV shows. We share that here with you, with thanks to YouTube subscriber MomentbyMoment1978.



In addition to her credits in show business as an actress, Farrah Fawcett showed that she had uncommon grace and courage as a human being during her long fight against her illness. We trust those qualities will be the ones that truly define her legacy as time goes by.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Veteran TV Announcer and Sidekick Ed McMahon Dies

You've probably heard by now that the ailing Ed McMahon has just passed away, at the age of 86. Best remembered for his years co-hosting the Tonight show with Johnny Carson, he was for a generation the very model of a television emcee, his amiable presence as comfortable as an old shoe.

You should read his obits and his bio (a good one on Wikipedia here), but most of all it's good at a time to watch him in action. To that end, let's look at a few clips showing the many sides of Ed McMahon.

First up is a clip from Tonight, with Johnny Carson sharing some memories and footage of a slightly tipsy and amusing McMahon:




McMahon, post-Tonight, hosted the talent competition show Star Search in the mid-1980s; here's the opening to the show.




McMahon also frequently co-hosted and did announcing duties on the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, and here's a clip of them singing together on the 2000 show.



As a longtime spokesman for Budweiser Beer, McMahon frequently showed up in commercials for the product, including this one co-starring Frank Sinatra.





And here's an appearance by Ed on an episode of The Tom Green Show where he talks about making that Sinatra commercial.




There's also an eight-part interview from the Archive of American Television with McMahon, where he discusses his long career in television. Part One is here, and you can access the others from this page, too. You might also enjoy this nice article and interview with him from the pages of Entertainment Weekly magazine, from 2005.

Ed McMahon was one of those ubiquitous performers who always seemed to be busy working, and who also always seemed to have a good sense of humor about himself, enabling him to adapt to the changing times and make himself relevant to many different age groups. That's one reason why the fairly recent publicity about McMahon's money woes made the news at all -- by this point in his life he was like everybody's elderly relative, and our sympathies were with him.

He's gone now, but his legacy as the consummate sidekick survives, and The Flaming Nose salutes Ed McMahon's life and his achievements on this sad day for his family, friends and fans.

Monday, June 22, 2009

True Blood Season 2: Tastier Than Ever

Two episodes into the new season, and I'm crazier than ever for True Blood.

Without spoiling too much, here's a little recap of my favorite things from last night's "Keep This Party Going".

Funniest New Plotline: Jason Stackhouse is attending the Light Of Day anti-vampire leadership conference. I loved him gamely trying to sing born again Jesus songs on the bus with the other bright eyed devotees. "And if the Devil doesn't like it he can sit on a tack...Ouch!" Actually they didn't sing that song but I wished that they did.

Most Stomach Churning Dungeon Moment: Lafayette digs out the hip replacement hardware from the severed leg of Eric's latest victim and uses it to break his shackles. Clever guy!

Something you Don't See Everyday on TV: Subtitles for Eric's brief conversation with one of his co-horts in Swedish.

Best Line:
Lafayette convincing Eric he'd be a great Vampire because he's already of "low moral character".

Best Person without a Shirt On: It's a tie between Tara's new boyfriend "Eggs" and Jason Stackhouse playing flag football. Ooo la la.

True Blood is the best thing to happen to Sunday nights in a long time!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just When You Thought it was Safe to Get Back in the Water!

Now that summer is officially here (thanks for the Solstice tribute, Lisa!) our thoughts naturally turn to the beach. And what summer beach thought would be complete without a few nervous nods to the shark. It's time to reminisce about great shark movies and television. At the top of the heap, thanks to author Peter Benchley, director Steven Spielberg, and composer John Williams, is JAWS. Released exactly 34 years ago, it has been scaring the daylights out of people (and keeping them out of the water) ever since. Funniest personal "Jaws" anecdote: my sister used to run a dive boat in the Florida Keys. Inevitably some tourist would have a nervous melt down in the water. To get them to snap out of it, she would calmly ask them..."Do you hear the music? No? Well if you don't hear the music, the shark's not coming". It worked every time.

On television, the greatest shark programming has been coming to us compliments of the Discovery Channel for over 15 years. "Shark Week" returns on August 2nd with plenty of new footage, including a segment about shark encounters with dogs and other animals. We'll give another update when it gets closer to the air date. In the meantime, the Discovery website has plenty of fun videos, pictures and games about sharks.

Shark trivia question: Which beach in America has the most recorded shark attacks? Answer: New Smyrna Beach, Florida, which has recorded over 200 attacks. None were deadly. Note to readers, I have been swimming in the New Smyrna Beach waters dozens of times over the years on vacation (it's near the more famous Daytona Beach) and have never even seen a shark, much less been nipped by one.

So grab your tube of Coppertone and a good scary summer paperback. Whether you stay on the beach and read or are brave enough to venture in, it's important to remember that the odds of a shark encounter are slim to none. Instead of being afraid of this amazing, almost prehistoric beast, we should all think about preserving them. Some are becoming increasingly endangered and rare, like the gentle giant whale shark pictured here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quiet Week on the Nose; Hello Longest Day of the Year!


Sorry for the few days off here -- various events and a road trip for one of the Nosers have resulted in a little off time. Back on Sunday with some good stuff!

Also, our Fall Preview is in the works and will be up shortly! We're creating a great interactive look at what's coming up on all the networks, and we can't wait to share it with you...just as soon as it's done!

In the meantime, Happy Summer Solstice, Everybody!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Nurse Jackie" on Showtime Last Night

Though we neglected to remind you to watch Showtime's incredible new series Nurse Jackie yesterday, we hope you did anyway. It's an enigmatic and for me, at least, quite moving show, with Edie Falco absolutely perfect in the title role. What a multi-layered character, played intelligently and with tremendous depth by Falco, is Nurse Jackie. Her friendship with the cool and glamorous lady doctor is intriguing and completely understandable, at least from the doc's POV. Who wouldn't want to be friends with somebody like Jackie?

Great show, great cast. Nurse Jackie is a winner in our book.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Shuttle Launch Scheduled Again--Wednesday

Space Shuttle mission STS-127 has been rescheduled for Wednesday, June 17th, at 5:40am eastern. This is a work day for most folks so the early hour might prevent quite a few from watching the launch. You might want to set your DVR however. As mentioned in the last post, the Fox News channel seems to be the most faithful for always covering a launch. You can also watch streaming on the Nasa TV website. It's always worth a trip to the Nasa website, where you can see and download gorgeous pictures like the one here (celetial gamma ray bursts) and many others. Let's hope the second time goes without a hitch!

So, What Did You Love About Last Night's "TrueBlood"?


Whooee! Steamy, scary, surprising, sexy, scathing -- last night's Season Two Premiere of HBO's Alan Ball-produced vampire skein TrueBlood lived up to all expectations, at least around here at The Flaming Nose. Other than the simple fact that the show is back -- reason enough to celebrate -- we'd like to compile a list of what tickled us about Season 2, Episode 1 "Nothing But The Blood". To wit, I'll start with my five, and don't read if you don't want spoilers!

1. That wheel of torture downstairs in Eric's lair! Yikes! Miserable, damp, drippy, with a communal chamber pot and hot and cold running terror.

2. Finding Lafayette alive down there! Thank goodness! We understand that in the book series the terrifically entertaining chief cook and "V" peddler buys the farm early on, but we are so pleased to see him back for more in the show. Wonderful performance by Nelsan Ellis. Congrats to Alan Ball for not going strictly by the book and recognizing Lafayette's tremendous charisma.

3. Nekkid Bill and Sookie! Always good to see two attractive and intelligent actors -- Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin -- doing the wild thing onscreen. Bravo! And more, please...

4. Eric getting his hair foil-bleached, since obviously he's not going to be getting sun highlights anytime soon. Almost too cute but a nice touch.

5. Anytime Rutina Wesley as Tara is in a scene. She's magnificent!


That's just a few. I've left out some good ones. Allons! Share yours, mon chers!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Handy Dandy True Blood Character Guide


It has been months since we've enjoyed Alan Ball's deep south bon bon, so I thought a quick character re-cap might be in order. It's also not too late to jump on board if you missed the first season, and maybe this reference guide will help get you started if you're so inclined.

True Blood is "Twilight" for grownups. These vampires are not moody, sensitive teenagers. They are bad to the bone and have lots of sex with humans in a Louisiana bayou setting so steamy you can practically smell the Spanish moss.

Here's a little map to keep track of the characters:

  • Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin)- Our heroine; part time waitress and full time lover of main Vampire Bill Compton. Sookie also has special powers (mind reader) which makes her like catnip for most vampires who sort of look down their noses at the bovine, helpless mortals.
  • Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer): He smolders, he talks like a 19th century southern gentleman and he's super nice to church ladies. When he unfurls his vampire teeth they make a sharp click, like a switchblade opening.
  • Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell): He's a shape shifter who would, IMHO, make an excellent boyfriend. Most of the time he's a nice looking, slightly over protective bartender. Once a month he turns into a fluffy dog. Both incarnations are appealing, what's not to like? I just can't understand why Sookie doesn't fall for him. She's always so busy pining away for Bad Boy Bill!
  • Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley): Sookie's BFF, Tara is the tough girl with a chip on her shoulder. Mom's a former alcoholic who made Tara's childhood Hell. When we last left her, Tara had joined some sort of a cult where she gets to live in a fancy mansion and eat petit dejeuner on the front patio. She carries a torch for Sookie's demented brother.
  • Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten): One taco short of a combo plate, Sookie's frere fou has gotten himself in more trouble Season One than you can shake a stick at. He's like a tom cat that is forever getting stuck at the top of a tree. Falsely accused of murder, addicted to vampire blood, his brain lives in his pants. But his stunning stupidity does provide some comic relief and he's devoutly loyal to sister Sookie.
  • Lafayette (Nelson Ellis): Possibly my favorite character, this is one Trannie you don't want to mess with. He's fierce, he's funny and he knows all about voodoo and Vampire blood. Lafayette brings sizzle to every scene.
  • Eric Northman (Alexander Skaarsgard): Introduced halfway through last season, Eric has become the breakout character causing the most buzz. A Swedish speaking 1000 year old Viking (yummy), he is the leader of the Vampire pack and not to be trusted for a second. Everyone is afraid of him. Even the other vampires.

Only one more day ....True Blood returns tomorrow night at 9pm eastern on HBO. Yippee! It's enough to wake the dead!

This Morning's NASA Launch Postponed



Latest News on the Endeavour Shuttle Launch, so eloquently saluted in Jane's post:

This morning's launch has been scrubbed due to a gas leak, and will be rescheduled.

Read the news report on CNN here.
We'll let you know when it's back on track!

Friday, June 12, 2009

STS-127 Shuttle Mission: The Real Star Trek

Hello to all our US and Global Nose readers....sorry for the last minute post but we must give an update for the next Space Shuttle launch. Set your alarm clocks for 7am US Eastern (4am here on the west coast of the US) and everybody else around the world will have to do the math.
There are few things more magnificent than a space shuttle launch. Breathtaking on TV and, life changing in its explosive beauty if you are ever lucky enough to see one live. As some may already know, the Space Shuttle program is being phased out, while NASA determines the next best steps for mankind's reach for the stars. That being said, these final missions are television events to be treasured, so don't forget to set your clocks for tomorrow's latest mission. This particular adventure will involve more improvements for the International Space Station. You will be able to watch it on Nasa.gov streaming. Or you can turn to Fox cable news, which apparently is the only network covering space shuttle launches on a regular basis. Tune to the Fox affiliate in your local area to see it on TV. If you click on the Nasa TV link above, you can see a live cam of the shuttle at night...waiting for it's moment of glory at dawn tomorrow.

To Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Doug Hurley, Astronauts Dave Wolf and Cristopher Cassidy and Mission Specialists; Julie Payette (from Canada, Lisoid!), Tom Mashburn and Tim Kapra...we, your brothers and sisters still earthbound, wish you a safe and successful journey!

Posting below, a video of STS-109, an amazing shuttle launch that I witnessed in person at Cape Canaveral a few years ago with my son Tommy and sister Karine. It was a memorial launch for our brother, who had worked for NASA and passed away. We were there at the viewing mount before dawn, and got to see the Hubble cross over our heads. Seconds later, the Columbia took off, chasing the Hubble in a perfect parallel arc of triumph. The vapor trails stayed in the sky for a long time, as the sun came up over Florida.

That...was the best way to start a day, ever. Tune in tomorrow to watch a launch and see for yourself. TV ( or the Internet...if you watch it online streaming) does not get much better.

Are You Ready for the Return of "TrueBlood" on HBO?


We are! Our little Meez gal in the sidebar is as close to Sookie Stackhouse as we could make her, too!

Sunday, 9pm, HBO!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Viral Video Moment: Try Singing This!



An absolutely awesome medley of John Williams movie masterpieces, in a spell binding a cappella rendition. Enjoy!

Viral Video Moment: Father Bird Knows Best

Raising Rheas


With Father's Day a little more than a week away, I thought this adorable viral video moment might be appropriate. Thanks to the National Geographic channel (and MySpace Video), here's a little clip showing a flock of baby Rhea chicks, being watched over lovingly by their Dad. Rhea's are related to the Ostrich, and they look like a ball of fluff being propelled along on a couple of pipe cleaners. On a scale of 1-10 in the Cute department...this is an 11.

Happy early Father's Day to all the hard working Dads out there!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer TV Grazing...Let's Start with Reality Shows!

I have an ambivalent relationship with reality television. Occasionally it's magnificent, sometimes it's a train wreck and (all too often), it is one of the seven signs of the coming apocalypse. No other network on TV is able to capture all of these cultural red flags better than TLC, once known as The Learning Channel. If you like your education to be more big top circus tent than university classroom, this network is for you. Most recently, TLC has gotten a big infusion of publicity over the off-line escapades of Jon and Kate Plus 8. Once a cute show about an enormous family of twins, sextuplets and their attractive parents, J&K+8 has taken a dark turn recently due to possible parental infidelities. The tabloids are in heaven and the ratings have reached for the sky. Apparently, a new episode has featured the grounded and wonderful celebrity chef, Emeril. I'm hoping he cooked them something tasty with a lot of fat grams. There's nothing like Cajun comfort food to make everyone settle down.

American Chopper is another regular TLC series that happens to be a personal favorite. Not because it's about motorcycles...not because the imposing but unusually cuddly Teutul family snipes at each other hilariously...no. I'm fascinated because it mostly takes place in a little rural upstate town in Orange County NY about 20 minutes away from where I grew up. I love seeing the background foliage of my humble rural beginnings, when they zoom by on their $100,000 bikes.

TLC specials are among the most terrifying and mesmerizing you will ever witness. Watch at your peril, I'm not kidding. This is where modern day carnival sideshows still have a place in American society. Step right up ladies and gents....two headed babies, mystery diseases, and all forms of medical maladies are in great abundance. Recently, I got pulled into a special called, "The Half Ton Teen". I wanted...I really truly wanted to turn away. Alas I could not. It turned out to be an amazing Pas De Deux between a teenager and his enabling mother, and the redemptive power of stomach staple surgery. I was quite moved, and not a little bit haunted by their story. It's a cautionary tale too, which might help those who are struggling to shed a few (hundred) pounds.

Miami Ink (tattoo people), Little People, Big World (dwarf family) and the absolutely delicious Cake Boss (don't watch this one after "Half Ton Teen, or you will be terribly conflicted) are some other series worth visiting on TLC. It's not for everybody. But if you like the roar of the grease paint and the smell of the crowd; grab some popcorn and cotton candy...summer viewing is here.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Interesting Take on "Nurse Jackie" and the Dramedy


Salon.com's television critic Heather Havrilevsky has a nice article about Showtime's Monday-premiering Nurse Jackie, and the whole half-hour dramedy format. You can read the article here. She brings up some cogent points about the genre that is so popular now -- Weeds, United States of Tara, now Nurse Jackie, among others -- and it will be fascinating to see how the form evolves. At least for now it certainly appears to be the one of the very best ways to see tremendous actresses like Mary Louise Parker, Toni Collette and now Edie Falco do their stuff.

We're excited about the Nurse Jackie around here, and I didn't want to neglect to mention the charismatic actor Haaz Sleiman who co-stars as Nurse Jackie's male nurse friend Mo-Mo. If you haven't seen last year's movie The Visitor (for which Richard Jenkins received a Best Actor Oscar nomination), you should, and you'll fall in love with Sleiman in it.


Nurse Jackie premieres tomorrow night on Showtime!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Little Moment with "Kung Fu" and David Carradine

David Carradine 1936-2009: Farewell Grasshopper

The Flaming Nose mourns the passing of acting great David Carradine, who was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room today, apparently by hanging. Perhaps best known for his role as Caine in the 1970's television series "Kung Fu", Mr. Carradine was also recently seen in the Quentin Tarantino movie series, "Kill Bill".

David Carradine was part of an American acting dynasty that included his father John Carradine (The Grapes of Wrath) and brother Keith Carradine who has recently appeared on the Showtime series "Dexter".

Mr. Carradine was an exceptional character actor who's filmography is astonishingly long. He appeared in over 100 film and television roles in a career that spanned over 30 years. A true Renaissance artist, David Carradine was also an accomplished musician and painter. Pictured here is one of his works, featured on the David Carradine website.

We may never know what demons lead to Mr. Carradine's demise. But it is safe to say he lived life to its fullest and left us with an incredibly full oeuvre of film and television memories. Goodbye "Grasshopper". May you rest in peace.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nurse Jackie: Just What the Doctor Ordered

OK everybody....if you let your Showtime subscription lapse, it's time to re-up again. Dexter is around the corner and in another week, we will have one more cure for the Monday blues. Nurse Jackie premiers on June 8th at 10:30pm. If you'd like a sneak peak of this dark medical comedy, there are several options for viewing. The website is streaming episode one, YouTube is also streaming the whole thing and if you are a cable subscriber with On Demand, the pilot is posted there as well.

I watched Nurse Jackie tonight and was quite impressed. Edie Falco, surely one of the finest and most accomplished character actresses working today, gives a no nonsense performance that is full of surprises. And here's the best part: from this time forth, we will never have to wonder who Dr. Gregory House (Fox Broadcasting) should hook up with. Calling Dr. House.... we've found your perfect woman. She's a workaholic (like you Greg!), addicted to pain killers (ditto for Dr. House) and super smart. Does House suffer fools gladly? No. Neither does our Jackie. She saves lives and she leads a double life. It's a match made in heaven.

Check out the preview below or go to the website and watch the whole thing. It's another winner, thanks Showtime!

Conan O'Brien Debuts as "The Tonight Show" Host...Tonight!

We'd be remiss if we didn't wish best of luck to the hilarious and talented Conan O'Brien as he takes over Jay Leno's slot as host of The Tonight Show. If you were a Leno fan (really? you were? really?!) and hate to see him leave, don't worry, you'll be seeing plenty of him this fall at 10pm every weeknight.

But rejoice! We're lucky to now have undoubtedly the most accomplished comedian in the show's host role since Steve Allen started the show in 1953, plus now we've got the equally hilarious Andy Richter along as his sidekick.

This is a beautiful thing, folks, great for late-night TV, great for comedy, and great for NBC! Here's a little video of the preparations as Conan's show moved West.