Perhaps the wisest words to anyone starting a new job, as bequeathed unto the world by one Arthur Miller, are as follows: "Don't whistle on the elevator." But Willie Loman lived in a simpler time. A time when the execution of a stream of air through one's lips could be deemed the most outrageous offense on the first day of employment. Luckily for that harried workaholic, he didn't live to see the modern era: when brand new television anchors are wont to kick off their on-air positions with a barrage of expletives.
A.J. Clemente started and possibly ended his turn a local news anchor for NBC's Bismarck, N.D. outlet KFYR, on Sunday night, launching his very first segment with a string of absent-minded curse words. When the camera cut to Clemente and his co-anchor Van Tieu, viewers heard the newbie uttering obscenties like "F**king s**t," followed by a few other hostile-sounding murmurs.
You can watch the NSFW video over at Deadspin, if you're prepared to feel wistful for the good old days of Walter Cronkite...
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Award shows are rough. Sometimes, the planets align and the most admirable nominees become thoroughly deserving winners (here's looking at you, Modern Family Season 1); other times, the industry goes into freak-out mode when an unexpected win shakes the system (even Edie Falco didn't know that Nurse Jackie was a comedy!). Then, perhaps, there's the most tragic of all award show misfortunes: the infamous Emmy oversight. These are the cases of the meritorious should-be nominees, the actors and actresses who don't make it onto the ballot, yet whose shows would lack the key ingredients that make them successes in the first place should the non-nominees depart.
What's Parks and Rec without the marvelous, mustachioed Nick Offerman? Revenge without Madeleine Stowe's perfectly icy gazes? It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia without the never-sunny-yet-always-Sweet (Dee) Kaitlin Olson?
Over the last few weeks, our writers have made their case for a host of performers who should have gotten the call from Emmy long ago, but who have yet to be nominated for their often irreplaceable roles on television's best (and sometimes not-so-best) shows. Here are some choice excerpts:
Kelly Schremph on Smash's Megan Hilty (Ivy Lynn): "Hilty brings more to the table than just her musical chops — she (or rather her multi-layered character) also brings tons of drama. Hilty provides a depth to the series in areas where everyone else falls short. She conjures up just as much emotion in her onstage performances as she does to her offstage antics. Ivy has faced a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the first season and, in doing so, has really carried a majority of the plot. Think about it — without Hilty's scene-stealing moments and grand musical numbers, would Smash really be... well... a smash?"
Michael Arbeiter on Happy Endings' Adam Pally (Max Blum): "The humor and the softer side of Max are both attributed to the glorious performance of Pally. He makes the character mean, but lovable. Hilarious, but sad. Max is more than just a wise-cracking sidekick; he's a lonely man, stuck in the only routine with which he's comfortable. The way Pally carries Max through each episode is not only entertaining — it's extremely artistic. He's constantly looking for love all the while pushing it away. And he throws in a handful of Goonies references and sardonic remarks to boot. While everyone on Happy Endings should be applauded, Pally is the reigning champion."
Kelsea Stahler on Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson): "…let us consider that Offerman’s talent extends beyond delivering hilarious one-liners with the anti-gusto that makes his brow-furrowed character who he is — though you’ve got to love the way he grumbles about anything that isn’t steak, whiskey, or breakfast food. His greatest contribution to the character is the fact that he can quite literally steal an entire episode with only a single, fleeting expression… while much of that credit goes to the writers, the creation of any great TV character is born out of a symbiotic relationship between an actor and the folks who put words in his mouth. Without Offerman, there is no Ron Swanson."
Aly Semigran on Girls' Zosia Mamet (Shoshanna): "While other actresses would have been tempted to play too over-the-top or underplay Shoshanna's less attractive qualities (a spoiled rich girl with all the luxuries of Manhattan life at her disposal whose main objective seems to be finding a man), Mamet has carefully crafted her character into a motormouth princess who you would likely avoid in real life, but whose every sped-up word on Girls you hang on to. ('I'm so happy to see you, I could murder you.') Not to mention, she's the most likable one of the bunch… Mamet has made the playful yet nuanced Shoshanna both Girls' colorfully dressed black sheep and the one viewers most want to include in their own gang."
Shaunna Murphy on Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper): "Shipka manages to steal every scene she's in. Though we love our Peggy, our Ken, and our Joan, it's Sally's experiences that are the most universally relatable, and it takes a very talented actor to make those experiences so emotionally powerful for the adults who went through them decades ago. Shipka makes it seem easy, and though we love Sunday night television's other female teen powerhouse (Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams as Arya Stark), it's Shipka that deserves the Emmy nomination this year. Thanks for making our own adolescence seem a little less terrifying in comparison."
Brian Moylan on Revenge's Madeleine Stowe (Victoria Grayson): "So often on television dramas you see the characters boiling over into histrionics and crying jags and pleading scenes where they're just asking for one man to love her. Never Ms. Stowe. It is all about control with her, not only of the other people around her, but over her own emotions. So often the Emmy goes to someone who is completely unhinged (congratulations on your inevitable victory, Claire Danes), but I think it's time that we bestow a trophy for the rarest of dramatic gifts: restraint."
Alicia Lutes on Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Selina Meyer): "Louis-Dreyfus has been in the game for ages, so she knows how to jump from cold to vulnerable to tedious to frazzled to sad to uppity to out-of-touch with a fluidity that is rarely seen in even the most practiced of dancers. Timing is everything in comedy, and when your comedic platform discusses the frenzied, constantly-moving multi-headed beast that is politics in America, well, you've got your work cut out for you. But not our girl Julia — oh no, no, no. She is in charge of at least one thing as Selina Meyer, and that is her comedic brilliance. There's no better sort of take-down than a comedy take-down, and home-girl is giving it to us."
Matt Patches on Awake's Jason Isaacs (Det. Michael Britten): "Issacs understands Britten in a way that makes him indefinitely malleable — a key to his ability of slipping back and forth between worlds. The perfect example of Killen's curveball-after-curveball strategy comes when Britten 'loses' his son's reality. Britten's groove is completely thrown off and Isaac sells it. Sometimes it's breakdown, breakdown, breakdown with Awake, but it always works thanks to Isaac's everyman quality. It's hard to imagine the man as the same guy who embodied the dastardly evil of Harry Potter's Lucius Malfoy."
Kate Ward on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Kaitlin Olson (Dee): "Credit Olson for being able to make you cheer for a woman you hope never to meet your entire life. She is one of the most unique actresses currently on television, playing a woman with little to no redeeming qualities outside of her ability to heavily binge drink… Not to mention the fact that Olson is one of the most gifted physical comediennes on television. Olson comes from the same school of physical comedy as former Emmy winners Lucille Ball, Debra Messing, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Add that to her spit-out-your-beer delivery of lines like "I will eat your babies, bitch!" and the actress' moxie (Olson once told me that she strongly lobbied for Dee to be just as terrible as the rest of her Paddy's cohorts, and not just act as "the girl" amongst horrible men), and it's hard not to hope that Olson will soon boast the award notoriety of comedy's most talented lady legends."
Kelsea Stahler on Shameless' Emmy Rossum (Fiona Gallagher): "Fiona’s load of issues is too much for one person, and taking on such a character is a feat for only the most talented, nimble actress. Rossum is just that. She tackles the mile-a-minute, inconsistent road of the Gallagher family rock with ease, switching from hot-and-heavy romance to motherly affection to stern, familial protector to losing her mind in the span of a single episode. She struggles with the feminist issue of being the eldest daughter and therefore being charged with the duty of taking her mother’s duty while her brothers frolic with their teenage tryst-mates. Rossum juggles the actress’ equivalent of her character’s harrowing load and she does so flawlessly."
Michael Arbeiter on Community's Danny Pudi (Abed): "While Pudi might be written off as a quirky sidekick character, he’s actually the lifeblood of Community. He’s the character with the most riveting emotional makeup, and quite often the character that commands the biggest laughs. Abed can most likely rattle off every Emmy winner in TV history. If there’s any justice in the world, he’d be adding Danny Pudi’s name to that list this fall."
Alicia Lutes on Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza (April Ludgate): "In the world of comedy these days, awkward is king. And no one makes us feel more uncomfortable than Aubrey Plaza. And we mean that as a total compliment. No one has mastered the art of deadpan quite like her — and on a sitcom peppered with the hyper-enthusiasm of Leslie Knope, Tom Haverford, and her own husband (on the show) Andy Dwyer, her distaste for pretty much, well, everything is a fantastic foil for the show. To make a character like that not seem tedious and overdone is definitely no easy task, and April Ludgate-Dwyer's evolution over the past few seasons has shown her range. She is more than just the sarcastic girl, and for that we love her."
Brian Moylan on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: "That is why RHOBH is one of the best shows on television. It is like a gorgeous palace that was built on a tar pit and everyone once in awhile, the black ooze starts to bubble up all around it and all the ladies pretend like nothing is happening, like we can't see the inevitable disaster, but it's all there, all their hopes and fears, all their shattering omissions, all their deep dark regrets and bad behavior. It's all right there for us to see, and just like Willy Loman, that other great American tragic figure, demands: attention must be paid."
Kelly Schremph on Once Upon a Time's Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin): "…if there's one thing audiences love, it's a challenge. Carlyle gives us something to dissect and continually propels the plot forward with his double-crossing antics. It's impossible to determine which side he's really on, which makes him all the more enthralling and a bit of a wild card. Basically, Carlyle has the uncanny ability to spin character development into gold... The writers may be the creators, but Carlyle brings it all to life, keeping the audience on their toes right up to the very last mischievous laugh."
Aly Semigran on New Girl's Jake Johnson (Nick): "A great straight man stands back and lets the leading lady or pratfall man take the center stage, an unsung hero who effortlessly elevates the material with a biting quip or thoughtful detail. He is the ultimate secret weapon to making an ensemble tick, something Jake Johnson most certainly does every week on New Girl. It's not as obvious or sexy to nominate or reward subtle work, but if anyone is a testament to be an unassuming, unexpected delight, it's Jake Johnson."
[Photo Credits: NBC/FX/Fox]
2012 Emmy Longshots: Nick Offerman Had Us At "Meat Tornado"
2012 Emmy Longshots: Happy Endings Bear-in-Winter Adam Pally
2012 Emmy Longshots: Shameless Star Emmy Rossum, the 20-Something Matriarch
S2E2: NBC did a nice job of packing three weeks worth of blind auditions on The Voice into two, back-to-back nights. It’s amazing how last night’s two-hour special quickly tripled the team members and brought the total to 13 singers. Every coach is pretty even at this point with three singers except Christina, who has four, and keeps displaying her need to show off a little too much cleavage (I’m not complaining). It was a “jam”-packed night that saw some ultra-creative song renditions of Adele’s “Someone Like You” to a coffee-house cover of Trey Songz “Say Aah.” Oh, and the judges threw in a mini Prince concert to kick it all off. Let’s get this party started!
“As soon as I heard the second voice kick in, I was really, really intrigued.” - Christina
Our first duo of the season, The Line (consisting of Hailey and Leland) hit the judges early with “American Girl,” a song I’m proud to say was inspired in Gainesville at the campus of my Florida Gators (just saying). The group got together after Leland approached this buxom blonde by offering her a shot of Jack Daniels (my kind of guy). Apparently this couple is not involved even though you can tell Leland is playing the long con. Keep at it man, it will happen someday. Blake jumped on The Line first, later followed by the trio of Christina, Cee-Lo and Adam, almost at the same time. Blake was not happy. He was even less pleased when they chose Christina, who laughed and gloated a little too much.
The next singer selected is one who will definitely use the show’s platform to spread his message. Jamar Rogers got off Crystal Meth six years ago only to find out he had HIV. Cee-Lo is his personal idol and after he made a bold choice by singing “Seven Nation Army,” it was kismet as Cee was the only coach to turn his chair around and select the young man. It was a goosebumps kind of moment. He actually kind of sounded like a mix of Cee and Adam during the performance. Rogers put it best when he said “There is beauty that does come from ashes.” Okay, I’m done being sentimental, let’s move on.
“If you look across this panel here, you’ll see spikes and you’ll see tattoos, and things like that. I’m your county guy, I’m your man.” - Blake
Oh Blake, you smooth talker you. That plea cajoled Gwen Sebastian, who is putting off having a family to pursue music, to join his team after everyone except Christina buzzed in. The girl had a wide range from the start singing country hit “Stay” and Cee-Lo mixed it up by getting in the action. That would have been an interesting pair! Adam felt left out, poor baby, so he buzzed in as well. Blake and Cee hit the nail on the head by calling her rendition kind, considerate and tender in all the right places. We know what Blake meant by this but lord only knows what Cee meant and that’s probably for the best.
In addition to our first duo of the season, we saw our first 50 year-old in Kim Yarbrough. No early bird special jokes here. This woman is as cool as the other side of the pillow, once having worked security for Dave Matthews Band. You kidding me? There was also the little detail of her working in a potato chip factory (I can’t make this stuff up). The woman doesn’t look a day over 49 and with deep soothing tones, she belted out “Tell Me Something Good” to the delight of Cee-Lo, who started to hump his chair (again, not kidding). After Adam used his best Willy Loman (look it up people), she gladly chose the rock star.
“But you’re beautiful obviously, so congrats on that.” - Adam
It was a bad day for the hotties as Pamela Rose, who Adam congratulated on her looks, and Dez Duron, a Yale football star, were sent packing. Christina took one look at Duron, who sang Backstreet Boys and said “How adorable are you?” Obviously not cute enough.
“I saw a woman in a military outfit singing an incredible Adele song. I was like look at this hot chick singing who’s defending our country.” - Carson
Air Force hottie Angie Johnson has been deployed to the Middle East seven times, and that alone should earn her a spot on the show, but her voice was a nice addition. Carson actually helped get Johnson on the show after seeing a YouTube video of her with over a million hits. Johnson busted out “Heartbreaker” to the delight of Cee-Lo, who was obviously smitten. Even Christina could not pry this war vet away from Cee’s strong, yet little hands. Mark one for Team Cee-Lo.
The highlight of the night for me was Lindsey Pavao who had the stones to sing an acoustic version of “Say Aah” by Trey Songz, who tweeted #LOVE right after her performance. Her Fiona Apple influence was apparent to Christina, Cee and Blake who all buzzed in. Despite Christina creepily saying she wanted to “play” and “experiment” with Pavao, she still got her aboard the Aguilera train.
“I could hear the swag, it sounded like swag” - Cee-Lo
This was one of the more interesting pairings of the night. Jermaine Paul used to sing background vocals for Alicia Keys, but his audition piece was a soulful “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne and instead of going with the natural fit Cee-Lo, he went with Blake. That’s punk, R&B and county all rolled into one blind audition. Now, I think Paul made the right choice here and one that may catapult his career. Blake is not going to give Paul anything and he does not care one bit that he used to sing for Keys. You can just tell these two are going to push each other to their limits. Worse comes to worse, it will make for some entertaining TV.
I swear there must be some singers out there who had a normal life, but they are not on The Voice. Angel Taylor comes from an abusive father and used music as an escape. It was fitting that her audition was “Someone Like You” by Adele and prompted Adam, Blake and Cee-Lo to all fight for her. With a very smoky tone, this girl was absolutely nervous to start but even I could tell there was serious raw talent there. And even though she admitted to having a serious crush on Blake, she chose Adam who we all know has “Moves Like Jagger” (even thought Jagger is 70 and probably has a hip replacement).
After two intense nights, we get a well deserved week off from The Voice to marinate on the singers already chosen by the coaches. It’s time for everyone to pick a side and root for a team. So, the only question I have for you is what’s it going to be: Team Christina, Adam, Cee-Lo or Blake?
What did you think of the show last night? Do you like who was chosen for the teams? Do any of the backstories touch your heart? Let us know with some comments below and find me on Twitter @TheRealRothman.
The most famous street in the world is getting a makeover. Sesame Street, the show that has been making learning fun since 1969, will unveil its new look with the opening of its 33rd season Monday.
Much-loved characters like Elmo, Ernie and Big Bird will not change, and while the street where the air is sweet will remain the same, the way it is presented to young viewers will be significantly different.
When the show was created in the late '60s, its goal was to educate poor children between the ages of 3 and 5 who didn't go to preschool. But Sesame Street's audience has since changed and now primarily consists of more media savvy 2-year-olds.
Michael Loman, the show's executive producer, told the Associated Press that they needed to cater to the younger viewers without lowering the level of challenge involved in the show.
To cater to children's short attention spans, the show is becoming a series of individual stories.The Sesame Street "street story" that used to be visited throughout the hour will now be told in one 10-minute block. Ernie will also get his own segment called Journey to Ernie, a daily installment in which viewers will search for Ernie in a computer-generated world. But there will still be regular points in the show in which a letter and number of the day are featured.
In keeping with the show's tradition of ethnic inclusiveness, the new Sesame Street will introduce viewers to a Spanish word of the day. Eventually, the show may introduce additional languages.
Loman, who has been heading Sesame Street for nine years, told AP that while he was concerned about changing a show that is considered an institution, it was important that they keep up with the times to avoid becoming a relic.
This story was brought to you by the letters "H" and "L," and by the number "3."