Make Canoe my Homepage

No “Joshing,” it’s The Good Wife fifth-season finale

- May 16th, 2014

Capture josh charles and julianna margulies

Having become so used to Josh Charles on The Good Wife, it was kind of odd to see him in a recent episode of the sketch comedy series Inside Amy Schumer.

Charles was playing a fast-food restaurant manager in a skit titled The Foodroom, which was a takeoff on The Newsroom. It was purposely over-dramatic in a hilarious way, but be that as it may, I remember thinking to myself, “Oh yeah, he can do other things.”

Basically, that’s why Charles decided to leave The Good Wife, which airs its fifth-season finale Sunday, May 18 on CBS and Global. I’m not sure if I still have to put a SPOILER ALERT on this, but please take heed at this point if you don’t want to know that Charles’ character on The Good Wife, Will Gardner, died back in the 15th episode of the season.

Charles had long previously informed the makers of The Good Wife – which stars Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick – that he would be leaving the show. But even after he found out the extreme manner in which his character was going to exit, Charles said he was fine with it.

“I was actually supportive,” Charles said. “Knowing that I was leaving gave them a few options and I think they took the more dramatic, more shocking option, and I supported that. I thought that was more interesting

“You know, four and a half years, four full seasons working nine-plus months out of the year, long hours doing the same role. I felt like I had really explored a lot of what I wanted to explore and was just ready for some new creative experiences.”

So now Josh Charles is free to do other things. Such as managing a fast-food restaurant? Hey, easy there, not for real, just for fun.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Here comes the Sunday; John Oliver targets television’s “week spot”

- April 27th, 2014

John Oliver, Last Week Tonight

One only can assume the difference between “daily” and “weekly” will not be lost upon John Oliver.

So this should be a breeze, right?

I’m just kidding. In some ways, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver may be harder to put together than The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, because the choices of what to include may be tougher.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which debuts Sunday, April 27 on HBO Canada – the same date as HBO in the United States – is being billed as a weekly satirical look at the events of the previous week. So, it’s kind of what The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report do now on a nightly basis, snugly stuffed into a once-a-week format.

Oliver, of course, previously was a regular contributor to The Daily Show, as the “senior British correspondent” beginning in 2006. Then Oliver really proved his mettle in the summer of 2013, as he filled in as host of The Daily Show for eight weeks when Stewart was off directing a movie.

Oliver, who also has a recurring role as Professor Ian Duncan on the sitcom Community, obviously was impressive enough hosting The Daily Show that HBO snapped him up. Sometimes timing is everything.

It was in December 2013 that HBO announced it had hired Oliver for this new weekly gig. But then just a few weeks ago in early April 2014, David Letterman suddenly announced he’s retiring from The Late Show, and Stephen Colbert has been hired as Letterman’s replacement, starting some time in 2015.

You just wonder, had HBO not hired Oliver, would he at this moment be the No. 1 candidate to take over Colbert’s time slot?

Well, at least John Oliver has to put on a tie and perform in front of the cameras only once a week now.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

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

Friends With Better Lives win Juno Awards while Inside Amy Shumer; TV must-sees for the week of March 30

- March 29th, 2014

Cristin Milioti, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Bob Saget

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of March 30

1 Juno Awards
Live: Co-hosted by Serena Ryder, Johnny Reid and Classified, scheduled performers include Arcade Fire (taped), Tegan and Sara, Sarah McLachlan, Robin Thicke, the Sheepdogs and Thunderface (kudos if you get that joke).
When: Sunday on CTV

2 How I Met Your Mother
Series finale (cast pictured above): There are many rumours and theories about what might be revealed, some of them quite dark. Here’s hoping Ted (Josh Radnor) and “the mother” (Cristin Milioti) aren’t facing some horrible tragedy. It’s a sitcom, people!
When: Monday on CBS, City

3 Friends With Better Lives
Debut: New sitcom following the How I Met Your Mother series finale that clearly wants to be the next How I Met Your Mother, albeit a notably dirtier one. With Kevin Connolly, Brooklyn Decker and James Van Der Beek, among others.
When: Monday on CBS, City

4 Short Poppies
Debut: This eight-episode series sees Rhys Darby – who you will remember as hapless band manager Murray Hewitt on Flight of the Conchords – playing multiple characters in a “mockumentary” about ordinary New Zealanders.
When: Thursday on Netflix

5 The Late Late Show/The Price is Right
It’s an April Fool’s switcheroo, as Drew Carey and Craig Ferguson swap jobs. Note that Carey hosts The Late Late Show in the early hours of Tuesday, a.k.a. late Monday night, with Ferguson hosting The Price is Right on Tuesday morning.
When: Tuesday on CBS, OMNI/CBS, City

6 Inside Amy Schumer
Season-two debut: Another 10-episode campaign for this combination sketch/standup/interview series gets off to a purposely awkward start, as Amy’s characters marry a black guy, lose a tennis match and try to pray away a nasty case of herpes.
When: Tuesday on Comedy

7 Dragons’ Den
Eighth-season finale: The Dragons hit the road to surprise some of the show’s most memorable pitchers. Have the people who landed deals succeeded or failed? And what of those who were turned down but were convinced the Dragons got it wrong?
When: Wednesday on CBC

8 Raising Hope
Series finale: Back-to-back new episodes wrap up this underrated series after four seasons. In the first episode, Downton Abbey’s Lesley Nicol guest-stars. In the second, Kenny Loggins makes a musical appearance, playing himself.
When: Friday on Fox, City

9 Intelligence
First-season finale: Riley (Meghan Ory) and Gabriel (Josh Holloway) are shocked to learn there are foreign sleeper agents embedded in the U.S. government, and even more shocked when the identities of the spies are revealed.
When: Monday on CBS, CTV Two

10 Family Guy
An ad executive guest-voiced by Peter Dinklage asks Peter Griffin (voice of Seth MacFarlane) to be the face of an anti-smoking campaign, as long as he continues to smoke. Sheesh, and I thought Game of Thrones was complicated.
When: Sunday on Fox, Global

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Funniest bit from the James Franco roast, courtesy of Jonah Hill

- September 6th, 2013

Jonah+Hill+Comedy+Central+Roast+James+Franco+XA101vgGzBpl

Okay, I’ve been laughing about this bit all week and can’t get it out of my head. So I might as well share it.

Here’s Jonah Hill (pictured above) from the Comedy Central Roast of James Franco, which aired across Canada last Monday on the Comedy Network, commenting on ex-Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Hader’s recent career choices. Very clever. Totally cracked me up, and as I said, I’ve been repeating it to myself all week and chuckling every time.

WARNING: There is some explicit language in this clip. You can watch it here.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca