We were so thrilled with the recent news that Louis C.K. is returning to Parks and Recreation to rustle the recent reunion between Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) that we got to thinking. Louis C.K. was such a killer guest star on Parks -- there have to be more of his kind. And once we started thinking about it, we realized there's an overabundance of great romantic guest stars on our favorite sitcoms, which means we had to whittle it down to a few of our favorites. Maybe we're not that great at whittling, because we've still got 12, but they're all pretty unforgettable so I'm sure you'll forgive us.
Louis C.K. on Parks & Recreation
The comedian's comedian stopped by Pawnee, Ind. for a few episodes to let his bumbling character, Dave, steal fair Leslie's heart. While their romance almost hit the skids before it started thanks to that whole Madeline Albright/ Leslie's grandma confusion, Louis C.K. eventually made a good impression by putting up with Leslie's drunken late-night visit and her tireless tirade on the pre-teen bully/vandal/prankster/Bart Simpson wannabe, Greg Pikitis. Dave never really knew quite the right thing to say, but he was always earnest and sweet, and he made Leslie light up like a Christmas Tree. His return spells trouble for Beslie (is that what we call them?), but I'm still amped to see him come back.
Matt Damon on 30 Rock
I struggled with choosing Michael Sheen or Matt Damon for this entry, but then I remembered the explosive breakup between Carol Burnett (Damon) and Liz (Tina Fey). Sorry, Wesley Snipes (Sheen), "Gangway for Footcycle" gets me everytime, but nothing beats a pilot's discount at Sunglass hut. Damon was pitch perfect for Liz; from his name (a reference to Liz and Fey's comedy heroine), to his constant references to mundane pilot perks that Liz would enjoy more than any other human, to his stalwart love for her show (which no one else in the world seems to give two cheesy blasters about), Carol is perfect for Liz...for a little while anyway. Eventually, they get points for the best breakup ever because they both hold up an entire plane in order for them to figure out they're just too similar. Classic.
Elizabeth Banks on 30 Rock
Just as Liz met her double in Carol, Jack (Alec Baldwin) met his match in Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks), the conservative financial reporter. Together, they worshipped Ronald Reagan, bought their daughter a saddle to ride the maid, and both shreiked with terror when their baby was not only born in CANADA, but with the help of socialized medicine. The horror. Avery too, had to say farewell, and in another dramatic way -- she was kidnapped and taken to North Korea, never to be heard from again. This show sure knows how to get rid of a guest star, eh?
Woody Harrelson on Will & Grace
I promise, I'm not trying to write about all NBC series, but man do they get great guest stars. You may remember that Connick Jr. was the yin to Grace's (Debra Messing) yang as Dr. Leo Markus, but by far, her best boyfriend had to be the slovenly Nathan (Harrelson). As her neighbor, Nathan first drives her crazy, but of course hate turns to sexual tension and they end up together for a good chunk of Season 3. Of course, their breakup circumstances are pretty hilarious as well -- they all stem from Nathan's cry of "Marry me" during sex. They're awkward around eachother until Grace decides that in order to fix it, she'll propose to him. But he says no and breaks it off. Word to the wise: don't propose marriage during bedroom activities.
Luke Wilson on That 70s Show
We thought nothing could come between Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon), but apparently all it takes is a Kelso. No, not Michael (Ashton Kutcher), but Casey Kelso the Trans-Am-driving charmer sure does the trick. He's slimy and the complete anti-Eric, but he knows how to play the system and he's old enough to drink beer. Swoon, amirite? He's just as dumb as his younger brother, but he's so charming, that Donna doesn't seem to catch on until Bob orders Donna to stop dating him and Casey doesn't seem to care. She wanted a laid-back dude, didn't she?
Megan Mullally on Parks & Recreation
As Ron Swanson's (Nick Offerman) second ex-wife, Tammy, Mullally draws on the already hilarious relationship with her real life husband (Offerman) to simultaneously terrify Ron and whip him into a disgustingly sexual frenzy. And her second appearance sees the craziest Ron we've ever witnessed, with cornrows, a boxing robe and a lack of mustache -- from the friction. Shudder.
Kristen Bell on Party Down
If there's anyone better to play a tiny, adorable, unbearably uptight girlfriend and catering manager, point me in their direction, but I think you'll find that Kristen Bell is the tops. She played Uda, Henry Pollard's (Adam Scott) girlfriend after fellow cater waiter Casey (Lizzy Caplan) breaks his heart. She's terrifying, even when she's not on screen, and her love of mundane things like The Mentalist are just the icing on the cake. Her proposal for Henry to give her a call for a date is one of the most haunting comedic moments in recent memory.
on Family Guy
Brian is obnoxiously pseudo-intellectual. He constantly assumes he's so much smarter than every other person on the show, though he's constantly shown to be completely pretentious. Nothing quite drives that point into the ground like his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Jillian. She was gorgeous, blonde and a complete and total idiot. She completely puffs up Brian's confidence in that she's so hot and that she constantly needs him to explain just about everything to her. "How do I know if I'm Jewish?" "Are you Jewish?" "Nope." "There you go, sport."
That's the sound of 14-year-old girls' hearts breaking across America. MSNBC cites an unnamed source as saying that famed boy band 'N Sync will break up, and as soon as this fall. MSNBC's insider is quoted as saying that friction among the band members is not an issue; it's that "they just have their own interests and would like to pursue solo careers. They've been together for something like four years now, and in the pop world, that's a lifetime." Actually, listening to any one of 'N Sync's songs in its entirety seems like a lifetime.
The rights to the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre have been bought by New Line Cinema, which promises to deliver a "fresh and thrilling post-modern" and toned-down retelling of the cult classic. Toned-down in this case would mean that only 24 people get butchered by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, and not 25.
So what would you do if you're Jerry Seinfeld and you have no place to park your Porsche collection (20 strong and growing) near your Manhattan home? You simply build a $1.39 million parking structure just a few blocks from your Upper West Side duplex, reports People magazine. Clearly, Jerry is the master of his domain.
Jude Law (A.I.: Artificial Intelligence) and wife Sadie Frost will give birth to their third child sometime in August, the Associated Press reports. The delighted couple is already parents to son Rafferty, 5, and daughter Iris, 18 months. Contrary to popular belief, Haley Joel Osment is not part of the family.
Comedian Bob Hope has donated $1 million of his own money to the organization behind the Primetime Emmys (the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) to help build an archive of classic comedy performances. Hope turns 99 at the end of May and has clearly decided that if you can't take it with you, you might as well let a Hollywood academy waste it for you.
First, Gary Condit gets whitewashed in his bid for re-election, and now this: According to the New York Post, Carolyn Condit, Gary's wife, asked NBC for an on-air retraction following the Feb. 6 episode of Law & Order, which dealt with a politico's missing aide. The show, which echoed the Condit affair with missing intern Chandra Levy, later revealed that the murderer was the politico's wife. A spokesperson for the TV show's producers denied any connection to reality, stating, "The show is fictional." Anyone who watched the Connie Chung/Condit interview knows not to believe everything they see on TV.
DC Comics is suing the makers of Kryptonite gel, a new hair product that, according to Wella Corp., is "excellent for smooth, chunky spikes or textured styles," the AP reports. While Wella goes on to state that the gel is safe for humans, there's no word on what it does to Superman's powers--or his hair.
Alicia Keys has added her name to Jay-Z's and P. Diddy's--where are Heavy D and Master P?--who are headliners for the charity UrbanAID 2 concert next month. The concert hopes to raise awareness about AIDS (and not awareness about the plight of under-talented, over-hyped rappers with one-letter monikers).
Alanis Morissette's latest creation held off the Grammy-winning O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack to claim the top spot on SoundScan's music chart this week. Under Rug Swept, the grammatically challenged title from the Canadian songbird, sold more than 215,000 copies, besting country-compilation O Brother's 209,000. Last week's top spot holder, Jennifer Lopez's J to tha L-O!, slipped toward the bottom of the Top 10. (Mmm, we like the idea of Jennifer on the bottom almost as much as the idea of Jennifer on the top.)
Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin will be the headliner (and final performer) of the inaugural Rochester International Jazz Festival in June. The festival will also feature performances from jazz greats Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves and The Rippingtons. In what could be the understatement of the year, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Mooney told the AP, "This is easily the biggest music festival this city has ever seen."
ABC has forced Drew Carey, the eponymous star of The Drew Carey Show, to rewrite an episode that made fun of airport security guards, and the heavyset comedian is none too happy about it. Carey told the Los Angeles Times, "If you can't satirize authority institutions, what's the point?"
October 19, 2001 5:57am EST
The film opens with prison warden Colonel Winter (Robert Redford) greeting the highly respected General Irwin (James Gandolfini) at the start of his 10-year sentence for disobeying a presidential order. When they meet Irwin makes a snide remark about Winter--a non combatant--proudly showcasing military trinkets and memorabilia in his office. The comment instantly touches off a power war between the two which ends with Irwin threatening to take over the prison and flying the American flag upside down--a symbol that the castle has fallen. Winter rises to the challenge and the two begin their strategic plotting. Irwin wins the respect of his fellow inmates in an overly drawn scene where he is forced to carry large stones from one pile to another in the prison courtyard and forms an army of inmates using clichéd chess tactics to demonstrate his assault plans. Winter meanwhile watches from his cozy office overlooking the courtyard as if he was watching a reality series on a big-screen TV.
The highly regarded General Irwin is a simple solemn type which unfortunately is what is fundamentally wrong with the film. While Redford does the brooding thing quite well the script never calls for him to do anything more than that. James Gandolfini takes on the role of prison warden Colonel Winter with fitting simplicity. He accentuates Winter's dumb-thug persona by over-enunciating his words and speaking in an unnaturally slow manner. Redford and Gandolfini both churn out great performances but it would have been more rewarding had the script called for their characters to be more well-rounded. Steve Burton plays Winter's right hand man Captain Peretz convincingly considering what few lines he has. His body language facial expressions and dialogue manage to convey his character's thoughts even when his lines don't.
Directed by Rod Lurie (The Contender) The Last Castle is a well-paced story without a dull moment. It concludes with a dramatic and exciting climax but the problem is it's just too simple. While it's easy to get caught up in the story it's hard to buy how easily the inmates are able to take control of such a heavily guarded maximum-security prison. Using cafeteria trays as shields is one thing but hurling stones using a giant catapult that somehow went unnoticed by prison security is hard to swallow. So is the fact that these inmates a group of hardened criminals cooperate so easily with hardly any friction. While it could have been a very emotional story it fails because the characters are one-dimensional and never really explored including the two main characters played by Redford and Gandolfini. One is a great strategist and the other draconian but viewers are left to guess why and how they got that way.