Monday, January 14, 2008

David Duchovny, Why Don't I Like Thee?

First off, in case you missed the so-called "press conference" last night, here are the Golden Globe winners for television:

—Series, Drama: ‘‘Mad Men,’’ AMC.
—Actress, Drama: Glenn Close, ‘‘Damages.’’
—Actor, Drama: Jon Hamm, ‘‘Mad Men.’’
—Series, Musical or Comedy: ‘‘Extras,’’ HBO.
—Actress, Musical or Comedy: Tina Fey, ‘‘30 Rock’’
—Actor, Musical or Comedy: David Duchovny, ‘‘Californication.’’
—Miniseries or Movie: ‘‘Longford,’’ HBO.
—Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Queen Latifah, ‘‘Life Support.’’
—Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Jim Broadbent, ‘‘Longford.’’
—Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Samantha Morton, ‘‘Longford.’’
—Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jeremy Piven, ‘‘Entourage.’’

For all but one category (and if you read the title to this thread, a play on old pop song, you can guess which one) I think the foreign press association did a decent job. Most of the picks you can make a solid argument for even if you wanted someone else to win. And I was glad to see Jon Hamm and "Mad Men" get their due.

Which brings us to David Duchovny, an actor I've usually liked since his "X-Files" days. But on this insipid show "Californication," Duchovny is reduced to smirking for the camera and dispensing snarky witticisms in between bouts of sex. It's a two-dimensional character on a pointless show.

Meanwhile, any of his competition in the category would have been a better pick. Alec Baldwin is generally considered to be the funniest actor on TV right now; Steve Carell already has an Emmy; Ricky Gervais continues to craft terrific characters for himself; and Lee Pace is one of the best things about TV's best new show.

I mean, maybe this is what happens when you give foreign journalists votes. Maybe they thought, "it should be anyone on this list BUT David Duchovny," and for some reason decided to write his name down. I'm guessing the Foreign Press Association members are mostly French, anyway.

As for the awards show itself, the writers strike may have done everyone a favor by reducing it to a manageable hour rather than the overblown mess most awards shows devolve into. (That being said, if I'm ever nominated for an Oscar, I want the orchestra, the red carpet, the whole nine yards).

And once again, foreign French press guys, take five minutes to expand the supporting characters category. How you can compare someone who is a supporting actor in a TV movie to someone who is a regular in a sitcom or hour-long drama is the ultimate apples-vs.-oranges. It's unfair to all of the performers.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: Hopefully, you caught last night's "Sarah Connor Chronicles." Tonight, the series airs in its regular timeslot (Fox, 9 p.m.) as Sarah, John and Cameron adjust to life in the 21st century. It follows an all-new "Prison Break," in which T-Bag insinuates himself into the escape plan. (Um, wasn't that a big part of the plot in Season 1?)

"Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann" (ABC, 8 p.m.) provides us with alternate strike-style programming, and it's followed by new installments of "Notes From The Underbelly" and "October Road."

Elizabeth Berkeley guest stars as the mother of David Caruso's son on a new "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 10 p.m.). With those parents, I'm betting the kid is going to be pretty messed up.

"Kyle XY" (ABC Family, 8 p.m.) returns for an all-new season beginning tonight, while "Medium" (NBC, 10 p.m.) is all-new. BTW, Patricia Arquette didn't win a Golden Globe last night (Woo-hoo, foreign press guys!)

Finally, "American Experience" (PBS, 9 p.m.) takes a new look at the Kennedy assassination. Hopefully, Oliver Stone isn't involved in the documentary.


CresceNet said...
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zodin2008 said...

Is Duchovny "French" for James Spader"?

I agree wholeheartedly - I had a problem with a lot of the TV picks, but none was more offensive to me than Duchovny beating out any of those other 4 actors, ESPECIALLY Alec Baldwin. Outrageous.

This wreaks of another Spader like anamoly. Then again, when they continue to nominate horrible actresses like Mariska Hargitay, Patricia Arquette and Holly Hunter for the horrible "Saving Grave", it further shows that TV critics like Matt Roush, Robert Bianco, Mo Ryan, Alan Sepinwall and yes - maybe even Phillip Ramati, should be the ONLY people voting on these things.

The most pleasing of the award winners, BY FAR, was Jon Hamm and "Mad Men". It's the one thing I can hang my hat onto.

I completely agree with the utter ridiculousness of say Jeremy Piven facing off against a serious actor from a TV movie like "Longford". It's the ultimate case of apples & oranges, but more to the point, LAZINESS by the foreign press.

However, I will say THIS: BEST. AWARDS SHOW. EVER.

Yes - all award shows should be 1 hour reading of lists. No boring speeches, no ass kissing, no bad musical and dance numbers, no dull tributes (although I love Steven Spielberg and I was pleased that they announced they would give him the Cecil B. Demille award in 2009).

As for "Terminator", I loved the pilot - they clearly spent a fortune to make it and the effects were fantastic. Some of the actors they chose really worked. Summer Glau was sexy fun as the good fembot, Owen Yomain (not a series regular) was a complete bad ass as the bad guy Terminator and Thomas Dekker was solid as John Conner.

I am a huge Dean Winters fan and while it doesn't appear he's going to be a regular as Sarah Conner's ex from 1999, the guy is great in anything he does. I hope we get more Winters.

My 1 giant complaint is the star of the series, Lena Headey.

Headey is gorgeous, athletic and sexy - she seems to have the right look and make-up for a part like Sarah Conner. But she's WAY, WAY too super serious and emotion-less for a role like this that's going to be a weekly series.

It's fine for Linda Hamilton to not crack a smile for 2 1/2 hours of a film in 1991's T2: Judgement Day. But it's a whole different ballgame when you are talking about a weekly Television series.

I hope she lightens up a little or at least attempts to - I suppose my sense of humor & sarcasm would go down if a killer cyborg from the future came back to try and kill my family.

Thanks, Phillip, for mentioning "Kyle XY". I am looking forward to it, tonight.

Phillip Ramati said...

Sarah, and Headey, have a few lighter moments tonight.

But it's hard to make that role light-hearted. She's supposed to be a pretty serious character, and I think Headey has done a good job filling Linda Hamilton's big shoes.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I can ever again completely trust an awards show like the Golden Globes or the Emmy's for their refusal to nominate "The Wire" for anything. I know only 10 people have ever seen the show, but those 10 people would tell anyone who asks that it is perfect television, and in fact transcends the medium.
That said, Terminator is OK, we'll see what happens. Summer Glau seemed a little too emotive for a cyborg, especially at the beginning. And Ms. Connor is hot.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, Anon, it's not just The Wire that gets overlooked. Other quality shows like The Shield, Battlestar Galactica, et al also have gotten the shaft from the awards show. I believe with shows like that after 4-5 years, if they haven't gotten the recognition now, they never will. Which is why I was so happy for Mad Men last night.

I don't know why they had the cyborg show emotion at the beginning of the episode, then become more cyborg-like later on. If she was programmed to display emotions to help her cover, then she should be able to all the time. But the plot flows much better if she's emotionless.

Jonathan said...

Enjoyed the hell out of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Although I have to admit that scene in the classroom made me almost turn my T.V. off; thank god I stuck around because the show got a lot better.

Still, that scene was so annoying, I can't help thinking about it. All the teacher had to do was walk down the aisles while calling out the role and then we he got to John's name, walked over calm like and snapped his neck. Really no need for the gun coming out of the thigh (Except to show a cool special effect) and there was definitely no need for him to turn back to the class and say "Class Dismissed!" Jesus!

I might be overstating my disgust for that scene, but lazy writing like that annoys the hell out of me. Obviously we can't have John die, but there are more clever ways that scene can be written. Still, like I said, the show got so much better after that; looking forward to tonight.

Phillip Ramati said...

I read a review that was very similar to what you said, Jonathan, but yeah, it wasn't a good scene. Of course, it'd be a very short series if the terminator had actually killed John, so there's that.

It's going to be kind of a problem that these supposedly unstoppable killing machines with super strength and perfect aim keep not killing Sarah and John each week, which is probably why the producers are going with this whole conspiracy angle.

You also wonder why the older T-800 models are the ones being sent back and not the shape-shifting T-1000s, which are a lot deadlier.