Author

Aly Semigran
Staff editor Aly Semigran is a New York City native who grew up in Philadelphia and spent the better part of her youth trying to figure out what the Philly Phanatic was (an anteater?), quoting 'The Simpsons,' and learning all about movies from her dad. After graduating from Temple University, where she studied journalism, she moved back to NYC and began her career as a freelance entertainment journalist. Her work has been published in Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, MTV.com, and iVillage.com. She is thrilled to be a part of the Hollywood.com team and she is still quoting 'The Simpsons.' ('I'm Idaho!')
  • 'X Factor' and Britney Spears: Ushering in the New Era of Reality?
    By: Aly Semigran May 15, 2012 9:58am EST
    Imagine, as an up-and-coming entertainer, trying to upstage Britney Spears. (Lest you forget her power as an upstager, already established star Christina Aguilera kissed Madonna on that VMA stage, too.) That's exactly the prospect the contestants for the upcoming season of X Factor are going to be faced with as they'll attempt to prove themselves as breakout stars in the same room as one of the biggest pop stars/media fixtures in the world. That's not to say this season of X Factor couldn't find a Kelly Clarkson in the rough. Then again, the only pop star Kelly Clarkson had to outshine was Paula Abdul. (Sorry, Paula.) It's an interesting conundrum in the reality television world that's begun to emerge since American Idol's revolving door of celebrity judges led to The Voice, where the judging panel is arguably the reason people tune in. If the judges, like X Factor's Spears and Demi Lovato, are the stars, what happens to the contestants? Has the era of finding new talent ended for good to make way for remodeling stars' careers? When Idol debuted a decade ago, the nation became fixated on Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarani. (Hey, these were simpler times.) Sure, there was fascination with the judges, especially Simon Cowell's patented brand of meanness and Paula's patented brand of crazy (sorry again, Paula), but viewers were invested in the contestants. When fans voted for Clarkson and helped launch the career of a bona fide star, it felt like this was a reality show that worked. When you watched Idol, you were going to find a star, not have one handed to you. But things got a little muddled. For every legitimate star Idol produced (Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry) there were ones that fell through the cracks (Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard). And the judges' table shake-ups (the coming-and-going of Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, the addition of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler) changed the overall tone of the show. For some, it felt like the show began to lose sight of its unknown talent-driven purpose. Newcomer The Voice acknowledged that who is sitting (or in their case, spinning) at the judges' panel does actually make a difference with viewers and built a show around that notion. While the industry fate of Season 2 winner Jermaine Paul remains to be seen, he was still overshadowed by The Voice judges Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, and the aforementioned Aguilera. Hell, even Purrfect the Cat soaked up the spotlight more often. It seems like with the announcement of Spears and Lovato, X Factor is taking The Voice's cue to make the stars the stars. Let them create the must-see TV. While there's no doubt the method does work, is it a long-term sustainable plan for success? X Factor will undoubtedly pull in viewers curious to what Spears and Lovato will do, but will they stick around to watch them beyond a season or two? If reality shows had the same contestants every year, it's a safe bet viewership would decline steadily with each season — won't the same notion apply to judges, no matter how (in)famous they are? While Idol has fallen into the celebrity judge sphere, the contestants have remained the focus of the show. Until The Voice produces a true superstar on the stage or X Factor differentiates itself as the show that has both wildly popular judges and contestants, reality show hopefuls are in for an even bigger challenge than breaking out in an already challenging business. Do you think The Voice and X Factor are changing the landscape of reality television competitions? Are the stars taking over and the contestants becoming second banana? Sound off in the comments section! [Photo credit: David Edwards- © 2012- DailyCeleb.com- All Rights Reserved] More: Britney Spears, Demi Lovato Join X Factor X Factor Adds Britney and Demi: Why It Could Work Britney for X Factor: How Pop Princesses Became the Go-To Judges
  • '30 Rock' To End Next Season 
    By: Aly Semigran May 14, 2012 11:37am EST
    While it comes as no big surprise, it was confirmed at the NBC upfronts in New York City on Monday that the upcoming seventh season of the Emmy-winning comedy 30 Rock will be its last. Nerds! NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt officially made the announcement: "I know Tina [Fey], Alec [Baldwin], and the rest will deliver some of their best work," he said, adding, "We think the world of Tina and hope she will be in the NBC family for years to come."  With the Season 6 finale airing this Thursday, we can only ponder what will be in store for the strangest batch of nuts on prime time television (you lucked out, Dance Moms) for Season 7. But here's what we hope to see happen to the 30 Rock gang when the whole thing wraps up next year. (Well, other than another visit from Oprah or Wesley Snipes.)  Liz: Forget you, Murphy Brown! If there's anyone who's going to be able to raise a child without the help of her colleagues (because let's face it, no baby should ever be brought around TGS studio) it's Liiiiiiiiiiz Lemon. Okay, I really want Oprah to come back. Besides, she will be just fine with the help of her boyfriend, hot dog van entrepeneur Criss (James Marsden.) I have no doubt that Liz could raise a baby solo, but I love the idea of her settling down with someone finally worthy of her awesomeness.  Jack: Speaking of families, as much as it would be nice to see Jack wind up with Nancy Donovan (Julianne Moore) Avery's return was a reminder as to what a good couple they make. We're wicked sorry, Nancy. And Good God, someone make him the CEO already. The man has more than paid his dues.  Jenna: After Mickey Rourke tries to unsuccessfully ruin her sponsored celebrity wedding, Jenna lives happily ever after with Paul (well, their warped idea of happily ever after, anyway) and lands the lead role in a rock n' roll biopic about Joan Jett called Jessie Jarmp-Jarmp. Tracy: Tracy finally EGOTs! In fact, he DEGOTs after winning a daytime Emmy for his work on Queen of Jordan.  Kenneth: The greatest NBC page of all-time entrusts his duties to Hazel so that he can finally go back from whence he came, Stone Mountain, Georgia.  Grizz and Dot Com: The pair pen an episode of Downton Abbey that makes them two of the most sought-after writers in the industry. They still never leave Tracy's side.  Hornberger: Pete rejoins Loverboy and heads back on the road with them for a reunion tour. "Yes, Hornberger!" Lutz: Lutz totally redeems himself and becomes a functional, decent member of society who knows how to order a proper lunch. Just kidding, Lutz is the worst.  What do you hope to see happen to the 30 Rock characters? Who do you hope they bring back in the last 13 episodes of Season 7? Sound off in the comments section.  [Photo credit: NBC]  (Additional reporting by Kelsea Stahler)  More:  30 Rock Renewed! Ham!  30 Rock Recap: (French Candian) Kiss and Make Up  The Aging Timeline of 30 Rock
  • 'Mad Men' Preview Predictor: What Does It All Mean?!
    By: Aly Semigran May 14, 2012 8:44am EST
    "Next week on AMC's Mad Men"... someone says something vague and cryptic. Week after week, fans of the Emmy-winning drama stick around until the very last second of each new episode, and not just to hear which perfect song will play during the closing credits. Despite knowing that Matthew Weiner will never give any spoilers away and that our DVR probably won't let us see the entire thing anyway, Mad Men fans watch those 30-second teasers in which there's absolutely no way to tell what the next new episode will entail by watching our beloved characters spout nondescript one-liners. (What did Don Draper mean by "What"?!)  Last night's trailer was no exception (Joan tells someone "I could care less"), but by God, we're still going to try and guess what the heck the employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce are talking about to make the wait for next week's episode more bearable. In fact, every week until the finale we'll dissect the puzzling phrases from those ads and see if we can guess what's going to happen. Then, when the new episode airs the following week, we'll see how we did. Now, as one of our Mad Men characters might frustratingly ask, "What does it all mean?"  After last night's ep "Dark Shadows" (strange coincidence?) here's what some characters had to say during the teaser:  Harry: "They're derived from reality, but they're hopes and dreams." First of all, that's some deep stuff, Harry Crane. Assuming he's not talking about his coveted White Castle burgers, the guess is that he's chatting with someone about the look of a new campaign. Sounds groovy. Can't wait to see what it is, man. But, things could be a mess with said campaign or his bosses, as his secretary tells him "He's sort of been threatening to stop by lately." Maybe Roger wants that bribe money back, after all.  Don: "Someone's not going to be happy and I'd rather not stand it in for a month." Uh oh, there's a chance in hell something has gone awry with either Heinz or Sno Ball. Later in the ad Don told someone, "Maybe you and I should go as a couple." Since he's seen going somewhere nice (the opera?) with Megan in the spot, he's probably kidding around with Pete or Ginsberg.  Lane: "Your promise was to extricate me from this situation all together." Trouble on the home front? This sounds like a classic lost-in-translation conversation between Lane and his wife Rebecca.  Joan: "I could care less." Classic Joan, saying it with just the right amount of conviction. That tone sounds reserved for one of her secretary underlings who messed something up and wants her advice. (Jeez, can anyone ever get anything right the way Joan does? Answer: No.)  Pete: "You may have to stay past 5:30." Ugh, Pete, you are the worst lately. It's bad enough you're cheating on your lovely wife, but then to tell, presumably Ginsberg, he's got to work late, makes us like you even less than we thought possible.  Okay, your turn! What the heck was everybody talking about during that preview for next week? Share your guesses in the comments section below and then check back in next week to see how we did with our theories.  [Photo credit: AMC]  More:  Jon Hamm Nearly Lost Mad Men Role Because He Wasn't Sexy Enough Mad Men and the 'Fat Betty' Conundrum  Mad Men Recap: Second Wives Club
  • Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson To Guest Star on 'Glee' Next Season
    By: Aly Semigran May 14, 2012 6:42am EST
    Who could have guessed so many Hollywood stars would want to go back to high school? Joining the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Ricky Martin, and Neil Patrick Harris, actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson will soon make their way through the singing, dancing halls of McKinley High on Glee. Fox announced on Monday that Parker, who will be making her first return to television since Sex and the City, and Hudson, who probably just starred in another romantic comedy in the span of this sentence, will both appear in Season 4 of the Emmy-winner.  While there's no details about who Parker will play or how long she'll be on the series (Hudson, however, is slated for a six-episode arc) we have some thoughts on what these stars could/should do during their visit to celebrity destination hotspot McKinley High. Since both stars have a musical background (Parker previously appeared on Broadway in shows like Annie and Once Upon A Mattress and Hudson starred in the movie adaptation of the musical Nine) they should have no problem knocking out these numbers:  SJP: Who wouldn't want to see Carrie Bradshaw sing about shoes or fashion? The 42-year-old could croon Nancy Sinatra's classic "These Boots Were Made For Walking" or Paolo Nutini's "New Shoes" and fans could envision a SATC musical that never happened. Then again, it might be fun to watch the actress revisit her Broadway roots with an encore of "Tomorrow" or "It's a Hard-Knock Life."  Kate Hudson: Since she'll be appearing in six episodes, it's a safe bet the 33-year-old will be playing yet another one of McKinley's subs. My guess is either as a music teacher or a history teacher, since she starred in one of the greatest movies about music in history, Almost Famous. Since it would be sacrilege for Ryan Murphy to attempt to recreate the magic of the Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" singalong (seriously, don't do it) maybe she could bring us through musical history with Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" or Nena's "99 Luftballoons." Then again, she could always just sing some Muse.  What do you think SJP and Kate Hudson will –– or should –– sing during their respective visits to Glee? Share your ideas in the comments section! [Photo credit: WENN.com]  More:  Glee Recap: Prom Heals All Wounds  Sarah Jessica Parker Cheers On Teen Carrie Bradshaw  Kate Hudson, Bill Hader Voice Animated-Hybrid Me and My Shadow
  • 'Saturday Night Live' Recap: Will Ferrell Returns, Digital Shorts Get Star-Studded Celebration
    By: Aly Semigran May 13, 2012 2:11am EST
    Two of this season's best episodes of Saturday Night Live came when some of its most distinguished alums returned to Studio 8H. Jimmy Fallon and Maya Rudolph brought back their same comic energy that made them breakout stars on the show and gave the 37th season of SNL a jolt it so desperately needed. The same couldn't necessarily be said for this season's third hosting alum Will Ferrell. While the (typically) funny man revived some old favorites, the whole affair felt surprisingly unceremonious.   Kicking off with a crowd-pleasing cold open which featured the actor doing his famed George W. Bush impression ("[Mission accomplished] is something I like to say when a problem isn't solved and I don't want to talk about it anymore," he heh-heh-heh'ed to Jason Sudeikis' childlike Joe Biden) the night seemed poised to have some more classic Ferrell moments. Mission not exactly accomplished.  After a sweet and silly opening monologue in which Ferrell brought his own mom on stage to wish her a Happy Mother's Day from the heart (or, from the "brain place to my mouth hole") and a hilarious faux allergy medicine commercial in which he played a man with a horrendously loud sneeze with a wife at the breaking point (a sketch-stealing Kristen Wiig) it was time to bring back another old favorite.  Yes, with a little help from friend Ana Gasteyer, SNL fans were treated to another musical journey from the Culps. This time around our favorite middle school music teachers (still wearing their same fashionable getups, naturally) brought their unique musical stylings to an LGBT-friendly prom. It gets better: They performed the likes of Adele's "Rumor Has It," Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass," LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It," and Deee-Lite's "Groove is in the Heart." I was sort of hoping they would sing one of the runes from musical guest Usher (whose performances of "Scream" and "Climax" were solid, if not a little unmemorable) but it was still the best kind of high school reunion.  But, that's all folks. At least, when it came to classic Ferrell characters. There was no Alex Trebec or James Lipton or even Robert Goulet. The rest of the episode was marked by originals and while they weren't all bad, we probably shouldn't be expecting a fourth Best of Will Ferrell DVD anytime soon. Especially not thanks to overlong sketches like the ESPN Classic Ladies' Golf Long Drive 1994 (though the return of fellow alum Will Forte is never a bad thing), the ho-hum 2012 Funkytown C-Span debate (relying on funny costumes and names does not a successful sketch make), the dreadful "Broadway Sizzle" (not even Ferrell's cry of "Fudge me to dern!" could save this one) or the dead-in-the-water awkward anniversary dinner speeches made by weird cousins (including Forte again.) Where's Bill Brasky to save the day when you need him? That son of b***h.  In fact, the episode's highlights were from (mostly) Ferrell-less moments. While the funny man appeared in the epic 100th Digital Short bonanza, so did Usher and his mentee Justin Bieber, a rapping Natalie Portman, Michael Bolton /Captain Jack Sparrow, Justin Timberlake, and Jon Hamm (Sergio!) In honor of all things Digital Short, from Shy Ronnie to Laser Cats, Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island cohorts Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone celebrated the best way they knew how by, well...you know what, just listen to the song yourself to find out:  In case that wasn't enough star power for you, Liam Neeson dropped in for a visit during the always-funny Weekend Update "Get in the Cage with Nicolas Cage" segment. The stoic Taken star squared off against Samberg's wonderfully deranged take on the eccentric actor for the most hilarious moment of the night. (Even Seth Meyers couldn't stop giggling at the madness.) Neeson, or Tall Bono, if you will, could do nothing more than listen on as "Cage" wondered why he wasn't in Battleship ("It has all the elements of a Nic Cage movie. One, it's based on a children's board game. And two, you don't need to speak English to enjoy it") and describe himself as having "the skin of a sundried Gremlin and the hairline of a Puerto Rican Beetlejuice." For the record I would see both Cage's Hungry Hungry Hippos movie and one in which he and Neeson kidnap God. Check out the hilarious visit here:  It's hard to call this a lackluster episode of SNL what with the star-studded 100th Digital Short and the Neeson appearance (turns out he has a knack for comedy after all) but it definitely needed something else for its host that was desperately lacking. Ah, yes, I think I know what it was: More cowbell.  Am I crazy in thinking this was a disappointing episode of Saturday Night Live? Or would you agree that, in comparison to Jimmy Fallon and Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell didn't rise to the challenge quite the same? Which sketch was your favorite? Least? What did you think of Usher's performances? Did you think his funky appearance in the Funkytown sketch actually brought the most funk? Sound off in the comments section below.  [Photo credit: NBC]  More:  Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live Promo: Catch the Thrill!  Will Ferrell vs. Zach Galifianakis: Cast Your Campaign Vote!  Usher and Justin Bieber Releasing Two Duets
  • 'Parks and Rec,' 'The Office,' 'Up All Night' Renewed By NBC
    By: Aly Semigran May 11, 2012 12:00pm EST
    What a glorious past 24 hours this has been for Leslie Knope. The newly appointed City Councilwoman of Pawnee has something else to celebrate: Parks and Recreation has been picked up for a full fifth season by NBC. Victory waffles for all! The fan and critical favorite joins its Thursday night comrades 30 Rock and Community, which were picked up yesterday by the network for a 13-episode stint each. (Parks, on the other hand, have been given a full 22-episode pick-up for Season 5.) Also staying put on NBC's Thursday night lineup is the freshman sitcom Up All Night and comedy staple The Office. Assuming there's no schedule shake-ups, it looks like Thursday will remain the same. Ron Swanson will be so thrilled. While it's surprising that the beloved, but minimally watched like Parks, 30 Rock, and Community will be back for more, the biggest renewal shocker is that NBC has also decided to bring back the widely panned Wednesday night comedy Whitney. Good news for Whitney fans (show yourself!) but bad news for 30 Rock (we miss you, Jonathan!) Alternately, there was no good news for Awake, Are You There Chelsea?, Bent, or Best Friends Forever. The newbies will all go to the great Single Season TV Show palace in the sky. [EW] [Photo credit: NBC] More: Parks and Rec-ap: Vote or Die Why I'm Finally Breaking Up With The Office 30 Rock Renewed! Ham!
  • TV and Movies to Avoid with Your Mom This Mother's Day
    By: Aly Semigran May 11, 2012 11:18am EST
    We love Mom. We love television. We love movies. We love watching television shows and movies with Mom. But this Mother's Day, there's some entertainment we're actively avoiding taking in with the wonderful woman who brought us into the world. As much as we're psyched for the new episode of Girls on Sunday, we just can't bring ourselves to watch those cringe-worthy sex scenes with her or dodge questions about whether the show is an accurate portrayal of people in their 20s. (The answer, for the record, is "No, Mom.") But Girls isn't the only thing we'll be skipping on Mother's Day. From horror movies that can't be erased from your (or your Mom's) brain like Teeth and The Human Centipede to off-the-wall comedies that will make her wonder what kind of child she raised (Throw Momma from the Train, The Sweetest Thing), we've got plenty of suggestions of what not to watch with Mom. Word to the wise: Just rent The Sound of Music. Again. TV AND MOVIES TO AVOID WITH MOM THIS MOTHER'S DAY [Photo credit: HBO] More: Justin Bieber's Ode to Mom: 'Turn To You' – LISTEN
  • 'Parks and Rec'-ap: Vote or Die
    By: Aly Semigran May 11, 2012 9:07am EST
    Nearly midway through last night's bittersweet Season 4 finale of Parks and Recreation, titled "Win, Lose or Draw" Andy uttered what sounded like a dreadful foreshadowing: "This is the worst thing to happen in Parks and Rec history." Of course, Andy wasn't talking about the results for Leslie Knope's campaign for City Council (he was talking about his wife April's monumental work flub, but more on that in a bit.) But for an episode that was going to be the culmination of a season of holding our breath for our beloved Leslie, those words resonated like some sort of awful premonition. But before we get to whether or not Leslie's election results turned out to be "the worst thing to happen in Parks and Rec history" lets start from the very beginning. (I've been told this is a very good place to start.) Leslie and Ben met with Jennifer (Kathryn Hahn, don't go!) at a voting committee meeting to discuss yet another unfair Bobby Newport trick in this election. This time around the Newports made candy-dispensing voting booths that treated voters for picking Bobby and asking Knope supporters if they were sure of their vote and cried when they didn't change their mind. Even with all their tricks and bamboozles (clearly the Newports knew not of Leslie's victory in the art world) Leslie was only separated from Bobby by a "razor thin" margin. And, even though she was on the "verge of a nervous breakdown" (in her exhausted state she almost ate her cell phone with cream cheese) Leslie, as always, had her head in the game. Still, even the most determined and headstrong, like our own lovely Leslie can't help but eventually feel the brevity of what's happening to them. After a puzzling meeting with Bobby (her endlessly hopeless rival earnestly told her he was voting for her because voting for yourself is "illegal") and an even more puzzling conversation with her boyfriend/campaign manager/Sexy Elf King Ben. Her partner-in-crime revealed that Jennifer had offered him a position as a coordinator in Washington, D.C. for a congressional campaign for a Senator. Oh, and he'd be gone for six months and he'd have to make a decision in two days. Leslie could have eaten an cell phone with cream cheese and waffles (mmmm) and it would have been entirely understandable. But Leslie had to put all those distractions aside: She had to head into the voting booth and fulfill her lifelong dream of seeing her name on a ballot in Pawnee. Teary-eyed and overwhelmed with pride a joy, Leslie voted for herself. And when Leslie Knope cries tears of joy, the whole world cries tears of joy. (Or at least I definitely do.) And when Leslie Knope cries "My dream is dead....oh, f**k" after she finds out that Bobby Newport beat her in the hard-fought election by 21 measly votes, the whole world cries "Oh, f**k" right along with her. What a gut punch that moment was as Leslie watched her lifelong goal be handed to her undeserving foe. Speaking of people crying "Oh, f**k," April was back at the Parks and Rec office freaking out after she erased all the files from all the computers. ("You did the right thing by hiding under the table," her husband reassured her.) After some plans to run away and start a new life (Andy suggested they burn acid on their fingertips and switch faces, if need be) Donna, as always, came to the rescue and saved the day. Turns out, she created a backup system because Gerry does it all the time. Dammit, Gerry! Back at the Jermaine Jackson Suite (ha!) things were taking a turn for the better, too. After encouraging Ben to follow his dream and go to Washington (if anyone can survive a long-distance relationship, it's these two) and waiting out a recount, beautiful Ann came back with news: It was still a victory by 21 points. Only, those 21 points were won by the new City Councilwoman Leslie Knope. Victory speeches were made (Ben, sweetly, didn't even bother writing a concession speech), happy tears were shed, and Leslie hung her photo up on the wall with pride. (As well she should, she was the only woman up there.) While its Thursday night brethren Community and 30 Rock have already been picked up for new seasons, Parks and Rec still hangs in the balance. But, if this were to be the very last episode of the series (weep!) not even silly side plots like Chris hooking up with Jennifer or Tom and Ann getting back together can take away from how wonderful this was for Leslie. (Michael Schur, thank you for going with your gut.) I hope more than anything that our wonderful friends at Pawnee return. Ron may always want things to stay the same (after all, he turned down Chris' position) but life doesn't always grant us that. If we don't see you again Leslie, just know, we'd jump off that cliff with you, too. Some of the other best lines and moments from "Win, Lose or Draw": - The Jermaine Jackson Suite (He visited Pawnee once!) - Tom referring to Ben as an "uptight nerd who shall remain nameless." - Andy's list of dream locations to move away with April: Winterfell (!), South Africa (home of Andy's hero Dave Matthews), U.S.S.R. (Russia), the moon, Florida (Everglades), Key Largo, Montego, Cocomo. - Andy trying to fix the computer X-Box style: By blowing on it and swatting it off the table. - April's dream job is to be a dentist/medium so she "can clean people's teeth and tell them when they're going to die." - April's worst fear after losing her job: Getting another lecture from Leslie on the importance of responsibility. - Ron's motto: "I've never been one for meeting new people or doing new things, or eating new types of food, or traveling outside of Southern Indiana. I've had the same haircut since 1978, and I've driven the same car since 1991. I've used the same wooden comb for three decades. I have one bowl. I still get my milk delivered by horse." (I love you forever and always, Ron Swanson. Never change.) - Ben spitting out the dark drink Ron, who was 11 whiskeys in, ordered him. - Ben, trying to change the subject with Leslie: "Where can I buy some jeans?" (Her response: "You have plenty of jeans!) - Leslie almost being swayed out of a recount with the promise of Joe Biden's phone number. - Bobby Newport described by Perd Hapley as an "amateur go-kart champion." - Bobby playing with the boom mic and later getting ink all over himself in the voting booth. - Bobby's concession speech: "Honestly, I've never been more relieved in my entire life." - The return of Jean Ralphio! Cleared of insurance fraud charges and wearing a jaunty scarf! - The return of Drunk Ann! - Gerry forgetting to vote and Ron ratting him out at the very end. Dammit, Gerry! - The idea of Officer Andy Dwyer. FBI Agent Bert Macklin would be so proud. - Leslie's promise to Ben: "We'll do it all over Washington." - Leslie celebrating with "victory waffles" and to "stay up all night talking about our lives and our feelings." (I love you forever and always, Leslie Knope.) What did you think of the finale? Are you relieved Leslie won? Do you fear this was the very last ep ever? Sound off in the comments section. [Photo credit: NBC] More: Parks and Rec Boss Mike Schur and Cast on Finale: 'We Went With Our Gut' Parks and Rec, Community On Track to Return Parks and Rec-ap: Van, Go
  • '30 Rock' Recap: (French Canadian) Kiss and Make Up
    By: Aly Semigran May 11, 2012 7:05am EST
    Up until just a few hours before the penultimate Season 6 episode the fate of the future of 30 Rock was up in the air. Were we actually gearing up for the second-to-last ever episode of the Emmy darling? It certainly felt that way between those sinking ratings and Alec Baldwin's comments, it seemed like we were reaching the end of the road with the TGS gang after six wonderfully weird, weird seasons.  But the renewal gods smiled upon 30 Rock fans (high five!) and are giving the comedy a final, 13-episode seventh season. Still, something else sort of amazing happened. If the show hadn't been renewed one of Liz Lemon's parting words would have been these: "I reject Chris Brown's comeback! Lemon out!" Good God Lemon, what would we have done without her in the fall? Thankfully, we don't have to ponder that. Liz, in addition to making a bold statement that so many of us have wanted to make about a certain pop star, was tackling the issue of gender role reversals with her boyfriend Criss (a continually impressive James Marsden) in last night's season six finale "The Return of Avery Jessup." (Which, she most certainly did, but more on that later.) Liz and Criss were renovating their apartment to make room for, possibly, a metaphorical plant. But some problems quickly arose, and not just the fact that it seems like Liz is under the impression babies come out of butts. Criss felt his role as the man of the household threatened as Liz brought in the bucks while he went to yoga and "had lunch with the girls." Criss promised he'd start to earn his keep beyond the Criss Points System and start selling more hot dogs out of his car. (Sorry, hot dog van with a car engine.) Which, naturally, culminated in a fight between Criss and off-brand, tourist-harassing Sesame Street characters. Sidebar to my non- New York City readers: Not only do these things actually exist, but they are just as creepy and off-putting as 30 Rock so accurately portrayed them. Damn you, Elmar. Among one of the many reasons why we'll get that Season 7 is that we seem to be edging closer and closer to a deserving happy ending for Liz Lemon. While it seemed like Liz and Criss are still on the track to having their own plant (or at the very least, a Chinese plant or an older plant they're a little afraid of) there was still no surefire knowledge of what's to come. Whether or not Liz makes a life with Criss (which I truly hope she does) to not know the fate of Liz Lemon would have been worse than sitting through a conversation entirely about soccer, jazz, and infidelity. There was no pondering what would become of Jack and Avery (Elizabeth Banks) who had been separated all season as she was held captive in North Korea leaving Jack to raise their gun-toting, technically Canadian daughter Liddy alone. At long lost, Avery was brought back to the United States and Jack did everything to make sure things would return to normal, including throwing her a ThanksChristmasValenEasterWeenOfJuly party. Of course, "normal" for the Donaghys is playing "psychosexual mind games" to try and figure out which one of them cheated on the other during their separation. While Jack was desperate to find out if Avery got close with her fellow U.S. captive Scott Scottsman, it was the always-cunning Avery who got Jack to confess to unpure thoughts about an adult Dora the Explorer ("I took her in Madrid...she had flowers in her hair") and his unpure actions with her mother. A deal breaker, ladies? Hardly. In fact, the Donaghys kicked conventional love straight in the ass and planned to renew their vows. All was right in the world again. Elsewhere Jenna was hoping to say her vows for the first time to Paul for their own sponsored celebrity wedding but ran into a bit of a snag when her sponsor, the Southern Tourism Board dropped out after she couldn't do a Southern accent for a commercial. Turns out Jenna's Southern past is one of the many skeletons in her terrifying closet. But, Kenneth and Tracy came to her rescue to help her train ("AGAIN!") to get the commercial, non-intimate wedding she'd always dreamed of. In the end, it was a knock-off shoe company that was the right fit to sponsor her. So we may just get that Jenna and Paul wedding, after all for the season finale. That is, if Mickey Rourke doesn't come in and ruin the whole thing. Coming off of last week's inspired and non-stop funny Queen of Jordan episode, this one felt like a bit of a letdown (especially considering how little Liz's story was moved along) but, if anything, that makes knowing that there's still a finale and 13 episodes Season 7 episodes on the way made it a little bit better. That is, if NBC doesn't turn into a website that sells used office supplies before we get there. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen. Here are some of the other best lines and moments from "The Return of Avery Jessup": - "Well, I could dip into my 401K is something I’ve heard old people say in commercials.” - Liz to Criss - "An hour for the year? Am I supposed to just scratch the surface of Channing Tatum’s meteoric rise?” - Liz, after Jack suggested she make a one-hour presentation of everything Avery has missed. - "There’s an iPod 3 and a Mitt Romney 4. They worked all the bugs out. He’s not killing hobos at night anymore.” - Jack's recap for Avery - "Understandably, she’s a little wary of me. I heard her ask her bear who the dye job is.” - Avery, regarding Liddy - "Feminism promised us two things. Fatter dolls and an end to traditional gender roles.”- Liz - "I've been writing a sex column for Cosmo. Cosmo is my 14 year old neighbor. He doesn't know anything." - Jenna - "Now get in that bed....and let's watch Dance Moms"- Criss to Liz - "Tracy, Jessica Tandy Zombie is coming to find you. Is that correct?" - Tracy's Siri (Tracy's answer: "Yes, thank you, baby!") - "Aging star Jenna Maroney beats up Elmo with her...so you own things that's always good.... Christian, that's always a good word..."- Kenneth, reading her Page Six blurb to Jenna - Frank wearing a SPiN NYC shirt, a nice shout-out to his love Lynn (Susan Sarandon, who the Manhattan Ping Pong parlor). - Avery is "still furious with Al Gore for stealing George Bush's idea to have an internet." - Mayor Bloomberg's Halloween costume as Mayor Boo-berg. - Liz's declaration: "I reject Chris Brown's comeback! Lemon out!" (Sorry that one is so great it's worth mentioning twice.) What did you think of last night's 30 Rock? Are they setting us up for a happy finale for Criss and Liz? Sound off in the comments section! [Photo credit: NBC] More: 30 Rock Renewed! 30 Rock Recap: All Hail Queen of Jordan! 30 Rock Live Blog
  • '30 Rock' Renewed! HAM!
    By: Aly Semigran May 10, 2012 1:45pm EST
    30 Rock fans are all high-fiving a million angels right now: NBC has officially announced that Tina Fey's Emmy-winning show will return for a seventh and final season. After much speculation about the fate of the cult comedy, particularly because of continually dropping ratings and star Alec Baldwin's various comments about the series' end, it's confirmed that 30 Rock will be given a shortened 13-episode season. While there's no official word on whether the rest of NBC's Thursday night line-up will be back, both Parks and Recreation and Community have been reported as likely returns. In addition to the good news about 30 Rock, NBC also announced that fan favorite drama Parenthood will return to its Tuesday night slot for its fourth season, giving viewers more time to figure out what's going on with Haddie and Amber's hair. [THR] [Photo credit: NBC] More: Which Network Shoes Are Canceled, Saved, and Endangered? 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Community All On Track To Return 30 Rock Recap: All Hail Queen of Jordan!