You May Have Noticed...

Lake
that I have been horrible about updating this journal. I'm terribly sorry - can I blame the utterly crappy fall 2010 television season? Well, I'm going to. I'm also going to quote Justin Timberlake because that's the kind of gal I am. I quote JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE for truth.

"Does a painter make a painting because he has to make it by December 21st? No, he doesn’t. It happens when it pours out of him. That’s how music is for me," said Timberlake. "I never stop making music. I don’t know what else to tell you."

So, until my muse strikes me again, I'll leave you in this lovely room and wish you calm seas and happy television.

Pilot's License - FOX

Glee
Lone Star
Monday @ 10 p.m.
Up Against: The Event, Gossip Girl, 2 1/2 Men/Mike & Molly
Plot: A hunka hunka Texan con man leads a double life
Most Critics Say: Generally regarded as one of the best new dramas, if not the best
I Say: Very high concept but it totally works. The lead is a "bad guy" but successfully has you rooting for him all the way. Guess that's why he's a con man. David Keith and Jon Voight as the father figures are excellent. The use of music in the pilot, from Mumford & Sons to Alexi Murdoch, is fabulous. Aside from Blue Bloods this is the only show that has a distinctive "look" in the way it was shot.

Running Wilde
Tuesday @ 9:30 p.m.
Up Against: DWTS, NCIS: L.A., Life Unexpected
Plot: A spoiled richboy and his crazy household take on an eco warrior and his childhood sweetheart
Most Critics Say: What a mess.
I Say: The pilot is all over the place, not funny and makes no sense. This being said, Will Arnett & Keri Russell are enjoyable to watch. I've heard that the creators basically know the pilot sucks and have worked on correcting the tone of the show, so good luck to them.

Raising Hope
Tuesday @ 9 p.m.
Up Against: DWTS, NCIS: L.A., Life Unexpected
Plot: After sleeping with a serial killer (heh) a 20-year old is left to raise Princess Beyonce
Most Critics Say: One of the best comedy pilots.
I Say: My favorite comedy pilot. Just all-around entertaining. Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton are terrific as the parental units, and the kid playing Hope's dad is great. A love all the throwaway sight gags, typical of any Greg Garcia production. When utilizing his very, very old baby car seat at the supermarket: "Yeah it's used." Cashier: "Used by who, baby Jesus?" LMAO.

Pilot's License - CBS

Ruby Slippers
Mike & Molly
Monday @ 9:30 p.m.
Up Against: DWTS, Lone Star, Gossip Girl, The Event
Plot: A guy (beat cop) & a girl (teacher) meet in Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
Most Critics Say: Fat jokes but sweet.
I Say: Very very cute. And funny too ("I'd kill you, but I don't think I have enough chalk to outline your body"). The two leads have great comedic timing and I'm very happy to see Melissa McCarthy in a starring role rather than sidekick because she is awesome. And Swoozie Kurtz is her mom and a little Swoozie is always appreciated. Chuck Lorre Stamp of Success!

The Defenders
Wednesday @ 10 p.m.
Up Against: LOLA, The Whole Truth
Plot: Two lawyers in Vegas
Most Critics Say: Mixed.
I Say: I suspected I would like this show and I did. Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell are just very likable actors and they play really well off each other. The plot was highly predictable but entertaining so I didn't mind. The supporting cast are well cast and executed too: new associate played by Jurnee Smolett a.k.a. Jess from FNL, quirky receptionist who takes messages on star sticky notes and has fabulous makeup, and local D.A. played by Natalie Zea a.k.a. Winona on Justified. I always enjoy Vegas as a setting for shows because it's such a unique city and thus truly has unique stories to tell.

Bleep My Dad Says
Thursday @ 8:30 p.m.
Up Against: My Generation, Community/30Rock, Bones, Vampire Diaries
Plot: http://twitter.com/shitmydadsays
Most Critics Say: Meh, Shatner is better than this dreck.
I Say: Stick to the twitter feed.

Blue Bloods
Friday @ 10 p.m.
Up Against: 20/20, Outlaw
Plot: A multi-generational New York family of cops and one D.A.
Most Critics Say: Watch it.
I Say: A damn good drama pilot. This is the one show that when watching I not only felt like the show had already been on for years, but could also see the potential of where many of the storylines could go and how interesting it would be to watch them unfold. It's a combination of a family drama and a detective/mystery show, which is a great combo! Tom Selleck & Donnie Wahlberg - hell yeah. Plus, it is shot beautifully and really utilizes New York as a character.

Pilot’s License - NBC

Ruby Slippers
The Event
Monday @ 9 p.m.
Up Against: DWTS, Lone Star, Gossip Girl, 2 ½ Men/Mike & Molly
Plot: Uhhh…weird shit is happening.
Most Critics Say: Uhhh…weird shit is happening.
I Say: The pilot is executed very well except for way too many time shifts (ex: eight months before, 23 minutes before, 2 seconds before). The casting is uniformly good, Jason Ritter is excellent and he’s the Everyman lead, so there’s that. I just wish shows like this had a finite season so I knew it was okay to get invested in the mystery. I’m totally sucked in for now, though. Dammit.

Chase
Monday @ 10 p.m.
Up Against: Castle, Hawaii Five-0
Plot: A Houston-based U.S. Marshal team hunts down criminals.
Most Critics Say: It's dull and predictable and needs a better script.
I Say: I actually quite enjoyed the pilot and can see this as a very palatable procedural. I love me some Cole Hauser and the show is set in Houston and filmed in Texas so I enjoyed that aspect. For hardcore Marshal action I will still watch my beloved Justified, but for Bruckheimer escapism and routine {i.d. bad guy, chase bad guy, catch bad guy} this’ll do.

Undercovers
Wednesday @ 8 p.m.
Up Against: The Middle/Better With You, Survivor, Lie to Me, ANTM
Plot: Married CIA spies
Most Critics Say: It’s J.J. Abrams!
I Say: I really wanted to like this more than I actually did. The two leads have nice chemistry and it’s quite funny in a couple of parts, but it was too much like a Poor Man’s Mr.& Mrs. Smith thing, where in turned into a parody of itself. Ooh, she’s having multiple conversations – one with a catering company and one with someone who’s trying to kill her – because she’s living a double life! Get it?!

Outsourced
Thursday @ 9:30 p.m.
Up Against: Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, Fringe, Nikita
Plot: An American in India…at a novelty gift call center
Most Critics Say: This is the most offensive show ever.
I Say: Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the movie this is based on, but I didn’t think it was that bad. It’s always nice to see another culture on tv, even if it is “sitcom-ized.” The cast is almost 100% unknowns, which I like as well. If you’re a Thursday NBC sitcom watcher, I see no problem with adding this to the rotation.

Other new NBC shows I haven’t seen yet:
LOLA a.k.a. Law & Order Los Angeles
Wednesday @ 10 p.m. (a.k.a. Law & Order’s proper timeslot)
Up Against: The Whole Truth, The Defenders
No one (critics or me) has seen the pilot of this as far as I can tell but the cast will have me watching occasionally for sure. Terrence Howard & Skeet!

Outlaw
Friday @ 10 p.m.
Up Against: 20/20, Blue Bloods
Based on the trailer Jimmy Smits is a bad boy Supreme Court justice who resigns and becomes a rebel lawyer…or something. Carly Pope is one of his team. This has gotten just awful reviews by most critics, and you lost me at bad boy Supreme Court justice, but I’ll always love you Jimmy!

The Adventure of the Illegal BBC Adoration

221B
One holiday season many years ago I worked at Barnes & Noble, happily ringing up book sales and spreading goodwill towards men. As part of our bookseller orientation we were to find our favorite book in the store and then sell it to the other trainees i.e. why this is a great book everyone should read. I grabbed a big ass hardcover version of "The Complete Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" and launched into my pitch with glee because, obviously, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are the Best. Fictional. Characters. Ever.

How can you deny something which has kept fans enthralled for over a century? When poor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill off our eccentric hero back in 1893, the public went batshit crazy so that ten years later he finally gave in and wrote "The Adventure of the Empty House" a.k.a. "My Bad, Sherlock's Totally Alive. JK/LOL."

I have no idea when or why I picked up my first Sherlock Holmes story, but I think it was probably love at first read. When I visited London for the first time in 1998 the first thing I did with my free time from class was visit 221B Baker Street which then, and I'm assuming still, is lovingly recreated as Sherlock and Watson's flat (I'm ignoring that pesky time when Watson got married and wasn't living there. Whatever, Watson.) My favorite part of the museum is a book and displays with letters from all over the world that people have written to Sherlock and John as if they were real detectives.

Of course there have been countless incarnations of Holmes & Watson on both the big and small screen, some of which take the names but nothing else, and others which are pretty much letter perfect. One of my favorite modern twists on the plot are House & Wilson on House, M.D. I was so very excited a few years ago when I heard they were making a Sherlock Holmes movie and Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law were cast. Then my heart sank and broke into a thousand pieces when I saw the first trailer, complete with CGI and supernatural hokum. I almost couldn't bring myself to see the film, but felt it was my duty as a Sherlockian. The irony of Guy Ritchie's film, to me, is that the scenes with just Holmes and Watson are terrific. If the movie had stuck closer to its source material and just had H&W solving a case together in their quirky methodical way, I would've quite enjoyed it. Too bad it became the Festival of Excess it was. My favorite part of the movie is the end credits, which you can check out here: end credits of awesome.

So, all this is to say that when I heard the BBC was releasing an update and modern-day I was...nervous. Praying to the altar of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "please let it not suck, please!!" Although I do not live in the U.K. I have managed to watch all three 90-minute movies and they are freaking awesome. It's like a British fangirl took little bits from all the stories like the way Sherlock sometimes sits in his chair, his use of underground street informants, Mycroft's general 'I could take over the world' at any momentness, etc. and seamlessly integrated them into the scripts. In short, BBC's Sherlock: You're Doing it Right. In long:

-The casting is brilliant. BRILLIANT. Sherlock Holmes is a larger than life figure who cannot be played by just any actor, and we have to believe Watson is a trusty sidekick, but not a pushover, right away. And Moriarty? I'll just let you wait and experience that craziness for yourselves.

-Watson is a soldier and a doctor. In the books what is the FIRST thing Sherlock says to John? "You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive." Gee, I wonder if this can translate to 2010? I wonder, I wonder...

-The wardrobe is amazing. Sherlock's suits - good lord. He looks good. Ridiculously good. I never gave much thought to what Sherlock was wearing as he traipsed about London except ACD does mention his coat a lot. Well, score one for a freaking fine-looking coat, wardrobe people. Click here for a GQ U.K. Wardrobe love article.

-The clever, clever modern stuff that is still totally in character: Of course Sherlock would text everyone instead of calling - a lot of times he communicates via telegraph and ads in the post; John writes a blog rather than writing up the cases for the paper

-In the last episode there are overt references to "the Five Orange Pips," "The Naval Treaty" and "The Final Problem" and I have a feeling once I rewatch it I'll be able to catch even more.

In conclusion, I am completely obsessed with a television program that has not even technically aired in the U.S. yet. I repeat, I have frakking listened to DVD commentaries for a show that has not aired in the U.S.

I'd say need an intervention, but people, this is Sherlock bloody Holmes.

Sherlock's first episode "A Study in Pink" airs Thursday, Oct. 28th @ 9 p.m. on your local PBS station. God give me strength, almost two months! AGGH!

***

These are a few of my favorite things...

Remember those awesome credits I mentioned above? magnuscharm made Sherlock BBC credits in the same style, because the internet LOVES ME: end credits of awesome/BBC style

Marriage certificate of graphic awesomeness by cassiopeia13

Movie poster of graphic awesomeness by ibshon

Sign(s) of the Times II

I {tv} TV
Ahh, the end of summer, or in the case of Los Angeles, the beginning. You see summer hasn't really hit us here yet. We've had one or two days of 90+ temperatures but that's it. So it feels a bit odd to be doing my annual "fall television billboards have taken over my neighborhood" post, but here it is nonetheless.

Once again, this is because I've heard through the family and friend grapevine that sadly, television advertising does not in fact take over every bus shelter, billboard and building in other cities.

As always you can click multiple times on any of the pictures to make them bigger.

Follow me, I know the way! a.k.a. click here for moreCollapse )

Sitcom Taping 101

Dr. Sheldon Cooper
Last August in celebration of 10 years in L.A. I made a list of "10 Thing I've Never Done." I'm happy to report that a year later I have completed 6 of the 10, one of them being to attend a sitcom taping. This Tuesday night I was happy to score a ticket to see "The Big Bang Theory," which unlike many other shows, are not easy tickets to come by. Even having a "ticket" means you have a good chance of getting in, but are not guaranteed a seat. A ticket gives you the joy of an idea of a seat IF you get to the studio on time a.k.a. two hours early.

So, of course, I am not exaggerating to say when I Ieft work early I encountered was the WORST L.A. traffic I have been in in a long while. It took me an hour just to get to Beverly Hills, which is usually a 20 minute trip on a bad day. I finally decided to go over the mountains and was pretty successful once I hit Mulholland. This being said, they cut off the line about four people behind me - yikes!

It was nice that I had a rather short time in the audience holding pen in the parking garage where they check your IDs and stamp your hand with an invisible black light stamp to prove you're not a Movie Studio Lot Terrorist...or something. After passing muster the cattle heard onto the lot begins, including two metal detectors. One I get. But why two?

I was definitely more experienced that most of the audience in that I had been on the WB lot {many times} and soundstages before. I've even sat in a sitcom sound stage but they were not filming at the time. Therefore, it's hard for me to remember what I thought the first time I saw a set for a show I watched, other than thinking it was small. In the case of TBBT, the standing sets are Penny's Apartment, the hallway and Leonard & Sheldon's Apartment. This is set up exactly the way it is on the show, left to right like a dollhouse.

Everything else is a movable and easily transferrable set. The other ones needed for the season premiere were: Wolowitz's bedroom, a Sheldon-approved resturant (not the Cheesecake Factory), Penny's car interior and a hospital waiting room.

One of my favorite things about movie and tv sets are all the details that we the audience never see, but are there for the actors. You could see a bit more of these from the audience but not as many as if you were on the set itself. The best part of the Big Bang Theory set to me is the stairs and elevator landing which are one set, center stage. Things they change out for the walk up scenes are:
1) the "out of order" sign on the elevator
2) the floor numbers on the side of the elevator
3) the placement of the caution tape
4) the apartment door numbers
5) the decorations (or lack thereof) on the outside of the doors, such as the plant on the 2nd floor

Once you are seated in your icy cold audience gallery, you will soon learn to love and hate the one man present at every taping of anything ever: the warm-up guy. The warm-up guy will: tell many jokes, perform magic, instruct people to dance on cue, hand out candy, hand out more candy, direct the DJ to play some tunes, make us clap, make us laugh, hand out pizza, introduce the cast, introduce all 8 million producers, begin family therapy on site, hand out candy again, etc.

One of the best bits he did was have those in the audience from other countries come up and sing a song from their native country. These ended up including New Zealand, China, Canada, Switzerland and Australia. The guy from China worked at the China Space Administration and was sitting pretty near the guy who earlier had identified himself as working at NASA - pretty cool.

There are tons and tons of people on the set during taping and the only one I ever definitively figured out was the director. I REALLY wish they would do is just once have the staff of the show wear t-shirts or something saying their job i.e. "set designer", "grip", "dolly operator" etc. I for one would have found that fascinating. They shoot everything in script order just like you see it on the show and most times they do at least two takes. The most interesting bits were when they completely changed the script or obviously told the actor to act/react in a different way. I'll be very curious to see which take they choose of a couple of the scenes they did about five takes of.

All in all the taping was pretty short, we were done by 9:30, which was only three hours. I've heard tell of tapings that last for 5+ hours. I must gives props to the actors, who are acting in front of a live audience, which is a different skill than working on a closed set. I also have new, improved shiny respect for Jim Parsons because Sheldon truly has about four times as much dialogue as everyone else and it's not easy dialogue at that. Whenever they were adjusting cameras or shifting lighting, etc. he had his script out and was reciting it either out loud or presumably in his head. Simon confirmed to me that he is the best natural physical comedian of the bunch because almost half his scenes were based almost solely on facial expressions and reactions.

When you think about it, it is rather wild that a mere 100 people are representing the millions upon millions of people that watch the show, so it was very cool to be a part of the audience. Let me know if you have questions I didn't answer.

Go Humans

Sky
You know those feel-good stories that people send in e-mail forwards and that show up frequently on the yahoo homepage? Little things that someone did somewhere not expecting any recognition, but the sheer big-heartedness of the deed made it notable? This is one of those stories.

Ever since I was little have loved music. Probably because my Mom & Dad love music, but especially my Dad. Every Sunday the local public radio station in Houston plays blues and every Sunday that blues was on in our house. I remember putting on records, everything from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Live Live 1975-1985. Willie Nelson and Hank Williams were also played often. At some point before I was 10 I sat in Preservation Hall in New Orleans and listened to jazz for what seemed like hours (looking back, it was probably like 30 minutes but I was NOT a jazz aficionado at age 8).

Which brings us to our tale. Dad had been in the hospital for a little over a week (most of it in the ICU) and I knew he was getting depressed and bored. I was trying to think of what I could do to brighten his day. I decided to make a mix cd, but then figured out it would be awhile before he would actually get it. Then I had a faint memory that I once heard about a volunteer program at Cedars Sinai where musicians would play in people's rooms.

Then I had AN. IDEA. I could hire someone to come and play for him in his room! I called the nurse's station and they confirmed that it wouldn't be a problem as long as it wasn't "a band." So I was settled on a solo musician and thinking of what my Dad would like I decided on guitarist. I did a google search using old and new work-honed "musician finding" methods and found a recommended classical guitarist in Houston.

So I wrote a blind email to this guy, asking for a quote for this special "event" and hoping that it wouldn't be too much money. Now that I had this idea in my head I really wanted to do it, but I'm not exactly rolling in dough.

Guess what? Not only did this guitarist do it, he did it for free. He had never met me, never met my Dad, but he went to a hospital room in Houston and played for 45 minutes just for him. My Dad said it was fantastic and when he called me he was chuckling non-stop and said it was the greatest thing ever.

I wasn’t there and no one has any pictures, but I can still see the scene crystal clearly in my mind and my Dad definitely has a smile on his face.

Thanks, Mark.
http://www.markmooreguitar.com/

Jill's Top Moments on Television 2009

Ruby Slippers
I know you've been waiting with bated breath, so here they are! Just like the last two years, these are simply moments that I remembered and appreciated the most over the past year, some in great episodes, others in not so great ones.

10. Flight of the Conchords - "Wingmen"
In my favorite musical number of the final season, Bret insists "I Told You I Was Freaky." What does being freaky entail to our favorite Kiwis? You know...painting yourself to look like wallpaper, covering yourself in honey (and money), sitting with a teacup on your head...the usual. I told you I was freaky, baby. You did not believe me.

9. The Mentalist - "Red Scare"
After a season and a half of pining, kickass teddybear CBI Agent Rigsby confesses his love in the most awkward and endearing way possible, in the most unromantic locale possible - while in an underground tunnel working a case:
Wayne: "I love you. I've loved you since the first moment I met you. Screw the rules, screw the CBI, I need you"
Grace: ....{deer in headlights}... "I...I...."
Wayne: "Unless you stop me I'm going to kiss you now."
(Me at home: "wheeeee! holy crap!!")

8. Leverage - "The Second David Job"
Our modern day Robin Hood and his Merry (Wo)Men have separated but end up casing the same joint for their next job. Hacker Hardison (in disguise as a phone repair man) grows increasingly agitated as the security detail closes in. Hitter Elliott is in disguise as a security guard and motions to Hardison that he'll take care of it. The manner in which he does this (knocking Hardison to the ground with a single punch and generally manhandling him) is a throwaway sight gag that is superquick but hilarious no matter how many times I watch it.

7. Supernatural - "The Monster at the End of This Book"
The Winchester brothers meet a schlubby, bathrobe-wearing pulp writer who has been unwittingly chronicling their lives in a series of books. Throughout the episode Sam, Dean and writer Chuck attempt to determine what he is. Psychic? God? Warlock? It's only when Dean loses his cool and almost punches the shit out of Chuck that the totally cool truth is revealed by Castiel: Chuck is a...Prophet of the Lord.

6. The Big Bang Theory - "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation"
Our favorite ragtag trio of geniuses must travel to Texas to retrieve wayward roommate Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Astrophysicist Howard Wolowitz dons a bright yellow western shirt and red cowboy hat stating "I want to blend in!" Kkothapali's awesome response: "To what - Toy Story?"

5. Glee - "Pilot"
Lady fabulous Kurt Hummel auditions for New Directions glee club by singing "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago. In perfect falsetto he divas the final line whilst not missing a beat: "Never even knoooo{adjusts bangs}oooow my name."

4. Lost - "The Incident "
OMFG Juliet & Sawyer in that final scene with her hanging in the pit and the don't you let go, don't you let go, and the crying and the I love you James and when she lets go of his hand?!! I can't even write about it coherently. This is the season of Lost that made me a Josh Holloway and Elizabeth Mitchell fan for life.

3. Big Love - "Rough Edges"
Nicki Grant has always been my favorite Big Love character, enormous flaws and all. This season we got to witness her falling in love for the first time, not with her husband but with Assistant D.A. Ray who, of course, had no idea who she really was and that he had in fact only met her due to lies, deceit and general Grant mischief. Still, there was something so sweet about their awkward courtship and those lovely moments where Nicki finally let down her walls to someone. So in this ep, when we see earnest Ray bringing flowers to "Margene" and we know that the jig is up, it was really gutwrenching. The moment though, was in the split second when the wives and Bill were in the middle of the street and Ray announced the entire scheme to all. As he storms off Nicki turns not to her sister-wives and husband, but rather runs after Ray apologizing and explaining herself as stridently as possible. Barb's shock, Ray's disgust and Nicki's helplessness were so powerful, it was truly heartbreaking television.

2. Chuck - "Chuck Versus the Colonel"
Captain Awesome finds out Chuck is a spy. Don't freak out.

1. NCIS - "Truth & Consequences"
In the season 7 premiere Tony travels to Africa for revenge after months of believing Ziva 's dead. He sits in a dirty hovel, interrogation by torture going strong. After awhile his captor brings in a hooded prisoner to use as leverage. As the hood is lifted, the reaction of Tony to seeing Ziva's bruised and battered face? I swear, I forgive Micheal Wetherly for whole seasons of hamming it up for that one perfect moment. Shock, joy, sadness, anger and then total contentment in about 3 seconds. Of course smartass Tony soon wins out - "So, how was your summer?"

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I'm Grateful for Pop Culture

Enterprising
It's that time of year when we all sit down and take stock of everything in our lives we're thankful for. Serious things, like health, jobs, food, clothing, shelter and all that jazz. But let's get real here at "Give Me TiVo or Give Me Death" - I'm grateful for meaningless pop culture stuff too. You know, the little things that bond us all here in little slice of the universe we call America. So here goes:

I'm grateful for hulu. Can't wait until they start charging next year and lose every user. Yeah, I know they said they're only going start charging for "premium" content - I'll believe it when I see it.

I'm grateful for Supernatural for teaching me everything I never knew about the Bible. I've learned more about archangels, Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Revelations, Lucifer, etc. than I ever knew before. Who needs Bible study when you've got 'Natch? And yes, they are taking it dead serious - Biblical scholars approve.

I'm grateful for whoever is coming up with the one-liners on Big Bang Theory this season. Example:
Leonard: Sheldon knows football?
Sheldon: I grew up in Texas. Football is ubiquitous in Texas. Pro football, college football, high school football, pee-wee football; in fact, every form of football except the original: european football, which most Texans believe to be a commie plot.
Leonard: Unbelievable.

Sheldon: If you're interested I also know all about frying meat that isn't chicken as if it were chicken.

I'm extremely grateful for my DVR. The only show I've watched "live" this season was the NCIS season premiere. And by "live" I mean 20 minutes after it started thus ending right on time with no commercials. Lost's final season starting Feb. 2nd will probably get this special treatment as well.

I'm grateful for Netflix. Did you see the Nightline piece about how Netflix works? Fascinating.

I'm grateful for the creators of Glee giving choir/musical theater nerds like me our very own show. Too bad after two more eps we're on hiatus until April 13th. Bad move, Fox. Maybe This Time (not the best quality but I wanted to link to one with the actual scene rather than just the singing).

I'm grateful for youtube. How did we survive before it? Typical "youtube is awesome" example: the day after Thanksgiving Mom and I get into a discussion about old school SNL skits involving Dana Carvey. This of course gets the timeless classic "Chopping Broccoli" in my head. Thanks to youtube I can watch like three versions instantly. Click this for the magic.

I'm grateful for screenings, especially in "10 Best Picture slots OMG!"-crazed L.A. Not sure the last movie I paid for...I think Star Trek back in June? Speaking of, how grateful are we for Star Trek's awesomeness? I call Best Picture nominee, baby!

I'm grateful for whatever genius thought of the character of Manny on Modern Family. I pretty much die at every word out of his mouth.

I'm grateful to Fringe for chugging along nicely despite its horrible ratings in its dismal new timeslot. One thing I'm looking forward to most in all of tv-land is the revelation of OtherWorldPeter, whenever it may be. Damn, it's gonna be awesome.

I'm grateful to itunes, although I miss the good 'ol days when all songs were 99 cents.

I'm grateful for tv shows that are shot almost entirely on location. Friday Night Lights and Trauma, I'm looking at you.

I'm grateful for blog readers, especially when they share what pop culture goodies they're grateful for by clicking "Leave a comment" right below.