Make Canoe my Homepage

Devious Maids clean up after a Bad Teacher in Salem? TV must-sees for the week

- April 20th, 2014

Ari Graynor in Bad Teacher

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of April 20

1 Bad Teacher
Debut: Based on the Cameron Diaz film, this stars Ari Graynor (pictured above) as a former trophy wife masquerading as a teacher. Wait a minute, isn’t there already a show called Trophy Wife? I’m so confused.
When: Thursday on CBS, Global

2 Devious Maids
Season-two debut: More sexy clashes between the rich and not-so-rich. Marisol (Ana Ortiz) finds a new love, while Zoila (Judy Reyes) discovers that Valentina (Edy Ganem) has returned from Africa.
When: Sunday on Lifetime

3 Salem
Debut: This is a new take on the infamous witch trials of the 17th century, exploring intriguing theories as to why they actually may have taken place. Stars Janet Montgomery and Shane West.
When: Sunday on Space

4 Parks and Recreation
One-hour, sixth-season finale: Leslie (Amy Poehler) ponders her future while Ron (Nick Offerman) has another run-in with ex-wife Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally). Michelle Obama guest-stars.
When: Thursday on NBC

5 Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide
Canadian debut: Standup special sees Morgan performing in his home town of Brooklyn, talking about everything from growing up in the projects to the time he had to be, um, removed from Prince’s house.
When: Saturday on Comedy

6 Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Debut: If you’ve ever wondered what happens to “dead letters,” well, this is not a documentary. Rather, it’s a new series about ridiculously dedicated postal people, starring Eric Mabius and Kristin Booth.
When: Sunday on M3

7 Veep
Dan (Reid Scott) tries to minimize the impact of a Saturday Night Live sketch about Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) just as she is preparing to announce her candidacy for president of the United States.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

8 Black Box
Debut: Kelly Reilly stars as Dr. Catherine Black, a world-famous neurologist intent on unraveling the mysteries of the human brain. But she is hiding the fact that she’s bipolar. Is that good thinking?
When: Thursday on ABC

9 The Returned
Canadian debut: This creepy series from France allegedly breaks conventional zombie stereotypes. I’m just stunned we’re living in a world where conventional zombie stereotypes exist.
When: Saturday on Space

10 True Tori
Debut: I’m not going to lie, while it really doesn’t affect my life one way or the other, I don’t quite get the endless fascination people have with Tori Spelling. What is this, reality show No. 90210 for her?
When: Tuesday on Lifetime

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Girls find Flowers in the Attic in Suburgatory; TV must-sees for the week of Jan. 12

- January 11th, 2014

True_Detective_promotional_image

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Jan. 12

1) True Detective
Debut: Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in this dark and brooding eight-episode series about cops and occult-related killings. The narrative jumps between 1995, 2002 and 2012.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

2) Girls
Third-season debut: Some people love it. Some people hate it. Many don’t understand it. But few series in this day and age prompt as much discussion as this one from star/creator Lena Dunham.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

3) Justified
Fifth-season debut: Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) confronts the Crowes, a deadly, lawless family from Florida that is determined to find a new centre of operations.
When: Tuesday on Super Channel

4) 1964
Debut: Documentary examines what has been dubbed “the last innocent year,” in which the world both came together and split apart as it embraced the Beatles and dealt with rising civil unrest.
When: Tuesday on most PBS affiliates

5) Flowers in the Attic
Debut: Made-for-TV movie tells the twisted story of kids living in an attic in an ill-advised effort to reclaim a family fortune. With Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn and Kiernan Shipka.
When: Saturday on Lifetime

6) Golden Globe awards
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey return as hosts of this hardware handout that tends to cause more eyes to roll than any other awards show. But hey, at least Amy and Tina will provide a few laughs.
When: Sunday on NBC, CTV

7) Shameless
Fourth-season debut: This picks up a few weeks after the previous season ended, with the Gallaghers braving a brutal winter. Tell me about it, huh? William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum star.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

8) Suburgatory
Third-season debut: Tessa (Jane Levy) and her dad George (Jeremy Sisto) adopt a furry friend as they try to rebuild their relationship, while ditzy Dalia (Carly Chaikin) tries to fill a void.
When: Wednesday on ABC, Thursday on City

9) Cloud 9
Debut: Executive produced by Ashley Tisdale, this made-for-TV movie stars Dove Cameron as a snowboarding diva. Are snowboarding divas like regular divas, but colder?
When: Friday on Family Channel

10) House of Lies
Third-season debut: Marty (Don Cheadle) is seeking clients for his new firm, while Jeannie (Kristen Bell) plots big moves of her own, like the Veronica Mars movie. Wait, that’s not right.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

‘SNL’ season finale full of goodbyes

- May 19th, 2013

stefon

As Stefon would say: This Saturday Night Live had everything.

Kanye West, Jennifer Garner, Anderson Cooper, a musical super group, a surprise guest appearance from Amy Poehler and what looks like the departure of not one, but three cast members.

Bill Hader made it official earlier this week, but apparently he isn’t the only one moving on: Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis appear to be leaving too.

With all the stars and farewells, tonight’s SNL season finale made it hard for even a multiple Oscar winner to carve out a place to shine.

At least host Ben Affleck knew he was being upstaged at every turn and had a good sense of humour about it.

Even when he introduced Kanye West for the rapper’s first performance of the show, he knew what everybody else was thinking.

“Ladies and the gentleman,” he said. “Here he is – the man you came to see. Kanye West.”

It was that kind of night.

wedding

BEST GOODBYE: Bill Hader

Bill Hader’s departure from SNL means saying goodbye to everybody’s favourite “city correspondent” Stefon. He went out in style, with Seth Meyers leaving his Weekend Update chair to stop Stefon’s wedding to Anderson Cooper in front of a church filled with the club kid’s favourite nightlife characters like smurfs, midgets, a gremlin and of course, ALF.

GOODBYE TO FRED AND JASON TOO?:

The last sketch of the night was a performance by Fred Armisen’s punk alter-ego Ian Rubbish and his fictional band the Bizarros. The band (which included Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader) played what sounded like a sweet goodbye song called “It’s a Lovely Day” before being joined by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Aimee Mann, J Mascis, Michael Penn, The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones and Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein. It’s a Lovely Day sure sounded like a swan song. Major cast changes ahead.

bengo

BEST SKETCH: Bengo F—k Yourself

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (played by Fred Armisen) gets back at Ben Affleck’s “Argo” by starring as the actor in his own movie “Bengo F—k Yourself”. Oddly enough, Affleck himself is involved with Ahmadinejad’s film as a sound man because he’s “longed to be in a movie worse than Gigli.”

WORST SKETCH: Prima Donna

A lazy depression era dirt bag would rather use his prostitute to hit people over the head with a brick than wake up at 8 AM to make an honest living. Even Ben Affleck’s Jimmy Stewart-style impression didn’t have enough charm to save this one.

BEST KANYE: No Kim K

Whatever you think of the Kanye’s new songs Black Skinhead and New Slave (the former a mix of hip hop and industrial beats, the latter an intense rant against consumer culture) he did it all without Kim Kardashian. Yes, there was no Kim K Kameo on SNL last night. Thank you for that, Mr. West!

WORST KANYE: N-word gets through

Maybe New Slave wasn’t the best choice for performing live? By my count, it has 11 N-words, 6 F-bombs and a refrain with the word ‘d—k’. Kanye made a valiant attempt to self-censor via substitution (using ‘prick’ instead of ‘d—k’) and mumbling some of the curses. It worked really well – until it didn’t. At least one of those N-words got through. Song is still hot, though.

BEST CAMEO: Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler stopped by to help Seth Meyers with his Really!?!: segment – and then stayed on for the rest of “Weekend Update.” Bonus.

So that’s a wrap.

What did you think of the finale?  Is SNL in trouble with all these departures? Who will you miss the most? Did Ben Affleck do a good job? Did you like Kanye’s new songs? Let me know in the comment section below.

Amy Poehler on series-changing Parks and Recreation scene: “I cried.”

- October 26th, 2012

Adam Scott, Amy Poehler

So just how series-changing is the series-changing moment that we just saw on Parks and Recreation going to be?

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know what happened in the Parks and Recreation episode titled Halloween Surprise, which aired Thursday on NBC and Citytv, now’s the time to bail.

We all know of sitcoms that changed forever after a hookup or a proposal or an engagement or a wedding. Well, Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler, above right) and Ben Wyatt (played by Adam Scott, above left) now are engaged after a simple but emotional proposal scene.

“Well, starting next week it’s an hour-long medical drama,” joked Parks and Recreation co-creator and executive producer Mike Schur in a conference call with TV reporters on Friday. “So it definitely is a before-and-after kind of a situation.”

Poehler and Scott were asked for their thoughts on the big moment.

“When I read that scene, I cried,” Poehler said. “Because I was so happy that I had my job at Parks, and I got to do that scene with Adam, and that Mike Schur wrote it, because I knew it would be great. I was really happy for Leslie.”

Added Scott, “I felt like this was a really big deal for all of us. We, of course, are well aware that these are fictional characters that we are playing on television, but we all care about them. Speaking for myself, I care about them quite deeply. There was a feeling that this was very special, and we wanted it to be special for the fans and for the characters.”

Just a reminder, don’t forget to tune in next time for the debut episode of Leslie Knope, M.D.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv