Comic-Con 09: Recap Video & LOST Panel

Regular visitors to this site (hi Mom & Mel!) have probably noticed that I don’t post as often here anymore. That is because I am primarily covering television as a contributing writer on TVOvermind and participating in a lengthy Lost ReWatch project.  While I have no plans to abandon this site, I will probably continue to only post here on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  I encourage you to bookmark TVOvermind and follow me there, as I tend to discuss and analyze many of the same shows that I cover here.

Most of you know that I was at Comic-Con last week in San Diego. I wanted to share my very first vlog/video diary recap of the panels I attended, as well as a highlight of the fun pop culture treasures I picked up along the way!

In addition, I have posted a comprehensive recap and analysis of the very last LOST panel at Comic-Con over on my Lost site.

Thank you for your patience – and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts about shows I am or should be watching!


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I’ll Be There For…Some of You: Revisiting a Few “Friends”

I find it hard to believe that Friends debuted 15 years ago. While that makes ME feel old, I am rather impressed with how one half of the cast has fared since the season finale.  That’s right, three of them. The female friends. Because let’s face it…have you seen anything stellar from the likes of David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc or Matthew Perry recently?

The reason I’m revisiting this show and topic is that I recently discovered yet another gem from Lisa Kudrow, the online series Web Therapy. Dry, dark, hysterical. Kudrow is the queen of amusingly awkward and uncomfortable.  I was not at all surprised to learn that she was a 2009 Webby Award winner for Outstanding Comedic Performance for these webisodes. Guest stars have included Courteney Cox, Rashida Jones, Jane Lynch and Steven Weber. Trust me, it is well worth 10-15 minutes of your time each week to watch this series, from Kudrow’s frequent writer/director collaborator Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex, Happy Endings).

After Friends ended, I fell in love with Kudrow’s wildly underrated series The Comeback, which featured up and coming actors like Malin Akerman (Watchmen) and Kellan Lutz (Twilight). It only lasted one season on HBO, but at least she was Emmy nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress.  And then I was very pleasantly surprised by her performance in the dark comedy The Opposite of Sex; to me it was worthy of  a Best Supporting Actress nod.  Currently, Lisa Kudrow has a few films ready for release and in production…I am hoping that her roles lean toward the unexpected in at least some of them.

Jennifer Aniston is obviously the break out star from the six pack of Friends, but I have yet to discover why so many love her on the big screen. I still do not buy her as a MOVIE STAR, despite the obvious indie attempt (The Good Girl), the glamor and the endless adoration from fans and the media. I have enjoyed Aniston in exactly one movie thus far, and ironically it was a voice-only role (The Iron Giant). Until she successfully pulls off a Monster or Boys Don’t Cry level transformation, I will continue to relegate Aniston’s films to rainy afternoon, happen-to-catch-it-on-cable status.

Of the three actresses from Friends, I still find that Courteney Cox has the best comedic timing. Her series Dirt was a true guilty pleasure and I was quite entertained by her stint on Scrubs as well. She is the only reason that I plan to give the new ABC show Cougar Town a chance when it debuts in the fall. Based on that title alone, it may have otherwise been a pass.

By the way, there is something about Jennifer Westfeldt (who will be on 24 next season; she also co-wrote & starred in the fantastic Kissing Jessica Stein) that has always reminded me of Lisa Kudrow. The above is a Gap ad that she appeared in with her boyfriend of over ten years, Jon Hamm (Mad Men).

I digress, as usual. 

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No, I have not transitioned this into a pornography review site. [You may have noticed a style revamp, but that is purely coincidental.]

There is no way I was going to pass on the opportunity to play with the title of this new HBO series. And thankfully, when you Google the word hung…actual websites for the show and for American Idol reject William Hung populate the first page.  I imagined the search result would be far more graphic.


Like many, I have been generally disappointed by the original programming that HBO has offered since the end of Deadwood, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos. Currently, I am only a dedicated fan of Entourage and True Blood. Yes, I know – I should also be watching In Treatment (it tops my long list of shows to watch after Lost ends next season).


Thus far, I have only tuned in to the pilot of Hung. The first episode trudged along, and the pacing could have been better. It was not an instant sell and I am not hooked, but I am intrigued enough by the premise and cast to give it a few more episodes before deciding to either set a Season Pass or stop watching altogether.

In short (not so much), Thomas Jane plays a down-on-his-luck, divorced high school coach who decides to market his best asset in order to improve his life; though we do not get a glimpse of the whip behind his zip, we quickly ascertain that there is potential for both great success and comedy of errors.

I haven’t made up my mind about how I feel about leading man Jane yet. However, I do love his partner-in-pimp Jane Adams; she has been in some of my favorite films (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Wonder Boys) and reminds me of Susan Sarandon in the 80′s. Personal life aside, I enjoy watching Anne Heche on the small screen. It is a shame that the underrated Men in Trees was canceled before the show was able to wrap up her story line.

Separated at birth?

I do love that the children of the good looking Jane and Heche are anything but Stepford. By the way, goth teen Damon is a young doppelganger for Jermaine on Flight of the Conchords

Rich in quirky

The creative team behind the series gives me hope for its future. Hung is from the mind of Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin, who brought us The Riches.  The tone and feel of first episode reminded me of an Alexander Payne movie…so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the pilot was directed by Payne himself (Election, Sideways).

Initial grade: B

I recommend that you give Hung a shot and decide for yourselves. As a longtime viewer, I feel as though I am entitled to hold HBO to higher standards. Given the network’s track record and brilliant programming in years past, I remain cautiously optimistic that Hung will improve with each episode.

In the meantime, however, I am enjoying Showtime’s resurgence and fare far more: Dexter, Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara and Weeds.

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