Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Joan Rivers Hosts TV Land's How'd You Get So Rich ~ Episodes 1, 2, and 3

TV Land has a terrific new show, How'd You Get So Rich?, hosted by Joan Rivers. Return visitors to In A Lather may recall that reality shows are usually not my cup of tea. With a few exceptions, TV Land's The Foreman Family, The E! Channel's Pam: Girl On The Loose, and now TV Land's How'd You Get So Rich?. Aside from the fact that these three shows have iconic figures associated with them, they have something else in common---they're entertaining, and worth your time to watch.

In the case of How'd You Get So Rich?, it has what i categorize as the Don King factor. No, not a shock of kinky hair, oh no wait, one of the entrepreneur's products does have that on a hat, but that's not what i'm referring to. It's the "only in America" element of the show's "richies" as Ms.Rivers calls them. These multi-millionaires, and in some cases multi-billionaires, are all self-made, achieving their monetary riches through, hard work, perseverance, and ingenuity.

i intentionally use the phrase monetary riches, because as Ms Rivers points out of one of the subjects, 80 yr old Blaine, the $100,000,000.00 New Orleans Louisiana Mardi Gras King, he is rich not only in money, but also in family and friends. Blaine grew up during the depression, and at the age of 20, to pay his mother's medical bills, he painted a mural for the doctor who was treating her. The doctor was so pleased with Blaine's work, he commissioned another mural depicting Mardi Gras parades. Today Blaine The Mardi Gras King who is also a philanthropist, owns 2/3rds of the city of New Orleans.

The other part of the show that i get a kick out of are the Get Rich Quickies segments, where all across America Joan combs the streets looking for people who look wealthy, and asks them about their cars, wardrobe, jewelry, coiffure and of course, how'd they get so rich. All inspirational, or as Ms Rivers says aspirational [i love that description], rags to riches stories.

TV Land Prime's How'd You Get So Rich?, hosted by Joan Rivers airs Wednesdays at 10:00pm on TV Land. Please check your local listings. If you miss any episodes or just want to see them again, TV Land provides full episodes on-line.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mad Men Season 3 Episode 1 Out Of Town

i don't know how i came to miss the first 2 seasons of AMC's Mad Men, but after seeing it's 3rd season opener "Out Of Town", i have vowed i will be a devoted follower from here on in. There are 38 eps remaining in the 3rd season and i am very much looking forward to them. After seeing one episode, it's easy to see why Mad Men has won 3 Golden Globes and 6 Emmy Awards. Matthew Weiner's creation about a Madison Avenue advertising agency has the ability to transport the viewer to another time. It captures the fashion, the decor, the social mores [if not the social unrest] of the early 1960's, and more specifically early 1960's corporate America.

i do have one complaint about the cast---the lack of minorities. i was willing to accept that when the scenes were taking place in NYC on Madison Avenue, even though in the back of my mind i kept thinking, that surely in the lobby of the building that houses the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency, there would be a person of color at the newsstand, or a shoeshine man. Or in the offices if not a receptionist or secretary [i didn't dare hope for an executive] perhaps a maintenance person. Or outside the building a cabdriver. After watching the scene [several times] where copywriter Peggy [played by Elizabeth Moss] and office manager Joan [played by Christina Hendricks] are chatting as they wait for the elevator i did see one woman walk by at a 'blink and you'll miss her' pace who i'm pretty sure was black. From her wardrobe and grooming quite possibly a secretary, or receptionist, or perhaps a switchboard operator. Then i thought when two of the main characters Don Draper [played by Jon Hamm] and Salvatore Romano [played by Bryan Batt] took a business trip to Baltimore Md.[the actor playing the senior client nails the Baltimore accent BTW], that surely more minorities would appear---but no, not even in the background.

i'm willing to forgive this oversight [though i am hoping that it will be addressed in future episodes/seasons]. Why? Because the scripts are great. The cliquey world of office politics and the requisite jockeying for advantageous position are in full effect. Mr.Weiner and company have taken the AMC slogan "Story Matters Here" to heart. i can't help but think that is also why the real life sponsors of Mad Men make the effort to have the advertisements for their products compliment the look and feel of the show [see Clorox' ad posted at In A Lather].

Also the current cast is brilliant. i am still getting acclimated, but of course i love Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper, Senior Partner of the Sterling Cooper Agency. Casting him is a stroke of genius. For anyone out there who hasn't seen "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying", run do not walk to your DVD provider to see Mr.Morse's performance. my other Mad Men cast favs are Christina Hendricks' Joan Holloway---she is a pulchritudinous goddess, and Fierce with a capital F. Mr.Hamm's Don Draper and Mr.Batt's Salvatore Romano play extremely well off each other. The closeted Salvatore's pathos is subtle enough that you feel his pain, but he's strong enough that you know in your heart that he's destined to be out loud and proud before too long [despite the fate of a former colleague after his declaration]. Jon Hamm as hetero horndog Draper is seductive in every sense of the word. However emotionally disfunctional Draper may be, watching him is totally pleasurable.

Mad Men airs Sundays at 10:00pm on AMC. Please check your local listings.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shatner's Raw Nerve ~ William Shatner Interviews Jenna Jameson, Leonard Nimoy, And Other Celebs

i love William Shatner. He's funny, sexy, artistically prolific, loves horses, and gives great interviews. i discovered the other day that he's equally adept at getting interviews. Airing on the Biography Channel, Shatner's Raw Nerve is a great talk show. i think the secret to the show's appeal, aside from the celebrities [Leonard Nimoy, Jenna Jameson, Tim Allen, Fran Drescher, to name but a few] that sit for a chat with 'The Shat' is that he employs a skill that many interviewers have forgotten [if they ever did make use of]---he listens. As a result, not only are the subject's responses more interesting, it allows Shatner the chance to take the topic discussed to the next level.

i don't usually watch talk shows---oh i've seen a few eps of Ellen and Fox' recently renewed Wendy Williams Show, and i enjoy Jay Leno and Letterman, but the former has been on hiatus and they're both on past my usual bedtime. But in general, imho, the genre has not had a good example for generations. i'm very 'old school' in my taste for talk---Johnny Carson, Steve Allen, Mike Douglas, David Susskind, Virginia Graham, David Frost, Dick Cavett. The last two no longer interview, and the ones mentioned before them, unfortunately are no longer with us.

The other thing that's appealing about Shatner's Raw Nerve is the set. The decor is extremely tasteful, and i especially like the way the chairs are positioned---as one guest remarked, like a loveseat. Shatner's Raw Nerve is a feast for the eyes, the ears, and the brain.

Shatner's Raw Nerve airs on the Biography Channel. Please Check your local listings.

Shatner's Raw Nerve

Shatner's Raw Nerve Guest: Leonard Nimoy

Shatner's Raw Nerve Guest: Jenna Jameson

Shatner's Raw Nerve

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dexter Season 4 Episode 1 The Trinity Killer

Dexter Season 4

Sunday September 27, 2009 9:00pm Showtime's Dexter is back for it's 4th season. When 'the dark passenger' returns he's a sleep deprived, double-life juggling suburbanite, newlywed, father of 3. The most recent addition to the Morgan household is baby Harrison, named in honor of his grandpa, Dexter's foster dad, the late Harry Morgan.

FBI special agent Frank Lundy [Keith Carradine] enlists Dexter's help in catching the newest monster in Miami. Walter Simmons [John Lithgow], dubbed 'The Trinity Killer', slaughters in threes and has done so across the U.S. for 3 decades. Dexter envies, admires, and is intrigued by 'The Trinity Killer', "the most successful serial killer ever---to get away with it". Should be interesting to see how this plays out. Will they swap techniques? Despite their differing motives, will Dexter see in Walter a kindred spirit as he did in Jimmy Smits' Miguel Prado? And if so, will Walter come to the same fate as Miguel, and find himself on the receiving end of the brand of justice of "America's favorite serial killer"? Or will he be extended a professional courtesy and be allowed to continue to kill?

What about Deb and Special Agent Lundy's relationship? Will Lt.LaGuerta be able to keep her hands off Dexter---she wants him in the worst way. Will she be able to keep the secret about Miguel being a murderer? Will Rita discover Dexter's secrets? Having to wait 7 weeks and 3 days 'til we have the answers to these and other Dexter questions---is murder!