Michael Arbeiter
Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.
  • 'Boardwalk Empire' Recap: Georgia Peaches
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 27, 2011
    S2E10: It’s funny. I was just saying how Angela might very well be my favorite character on all of Boardwalk Empire. And then, this happens... “How them new shoes be fitting these days?” – Chalky “A little tighter than expected.” – Jimmy After only a few weeks of unofficial reign over Atlantic City, Jimmy Darmody has managed to lose the favor of just about every character on Boardwalk Empire. This week’s episode, “Georgia Peaches,” makes an effort to explore the friendless world that the man has built for himself. It seems that a poetic justice has imparted itself unto Jimmy in return for his betrayal of Nucky. Last week, we saw hints that even Richard might be beginning to lose his worship for Jimmy. This week, we see both the “up-and-comers” (Al Capone, Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Mickey Doyle) and the business heads (Eli Thompson and Jimmy’s father, the Commodore, included—and to a subtler extent, Mr. Whitlock) express an antagonism towards their far-from-competent leader, Jimmy. Capone and co. are unhappy with Jimmy because, thanks to Nucky’s secretive business dealings, none of them can sell any liquor in Atlantic City. So, they are forced to high-tail it elsewhere (heading to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia…and Jimmy, as we learn at the end of the episode, heads back to his college town, Princeton). Also sparking some animosity is Jimmy’s dismissal of Meyer’s and Lucky’s proposal to sell heroin—a plan in which they are both heavily invested. “Do what we’re paying you to do. End this.” – Business head The business heads are meanwhile fed up with Jimmy’s inability to handle Atlantic City’s black community’s strike, provoked last week by a plan set forth by Chalky White and “new friend,” Dunn Purnsley. Jimmy suggests the businessmen give into their salary demands and offer nickel raises—however, just about no one is on board with this. Eli proposes a far more popular violent reaction: the strikers are attacked by Billy-club waving bandits, who also impart some wrath onto Deputy Halloran for his none-too-savvy conversation with Esther Randolph last week. We also get a taste of the black community’s distaste for Jimmy, courtesy of his conversation with Chalky. When Jimmy fails to meet just one of Chalky’s demands—that is, “justice” brought to the men responsible for the described violence—Chalky insists that the strike will continue through and beyond tourist season. And, finally, there’s Manny: Jimmy’s number one enemy right now. Manny knows Jimmy was behind his attempted murder. And Manny was already pretty put off by Jimmy’s refusal to pay his debt. So, when Mickey Doyle shows up with an alcohol delivery courtesy of Jimmy, Manny strangles Mickey until he reveals where Manny can find his boss, so that he might take some revenge. “What’s so fascinating?” – Angela “That fellow. Not a care in the world.” – Jimmy Now, before we get into the last bit of misfortune for Jimmy, I think it’s interesting that this episode is notable in its absence of Jimmy’s mother, Gillian. Gillian is at once an incredibly supportive and an incredibly destructive figure in regards to Jimmy. While she is unwaveringly in his corner, she is also responsible for provoking some of the less favorable choices he has made, most notably shooting Nucky. Gillian is only mentioned in passing this week—by Angela, she’s babysitting Tommy—which is funny in an episode that is almost entirely about the devastation that is becoming of Jimmy. My first thought was, the show wouldn’t want to include any character that might be “pro-Jimmy,” in this episode (even Richard is barely seen this week). And that might very well be the reasoning. But maybe we’re also supposed to accept that Jimmy has become his own destructive force. When we met Jimmy in Season 1, he was an entirely promising individual—intellectually and ethically (at least, within this world). Recently, we’ve seen the effect his mother has on him. But now, we’re perhaps intended to understand that even in the absence of Gillian is Jimmy without hope of redemption. He has become what pulls him downward, he no longer relies on his mother for that. “The most important thing in life, darling…your health. Your husband did this to you.” – Manny Now, the “big ending.” As I said, Angela might well be my favorite Boardwalk character. And because of that, the scene she shares with Jimmy this week is one of my favorites in a long time. Jimmy acknowledges how unhappy she is, and what thoughts she might have of him. But he promises to make things better for her soon—this is just before he heads to Princeton (the town where he started on his bright path—he’s going back there to corrupt it…some fun symbolism there), and not long before Manny Horvits breaks into their house, killing Angela as payback for everything Jimmy has done to him. It’s actually the saddest a Boardwalk episode has made me in some time—first, the heartbreaking scene between Jimmy and Angela really wrenches, because we understand (as do they, beneath it all) just how hopeless it is for the two of them to be happy. And then, this tragic figure who still, despite all her tragedy, wants to live…if only for her son…gets killed, thanks to the misdoings of the husband to whom she has been sadly, fearfully and devotedly attached. “Georgia Peaches” really gets to me. “What would you do, Arnold?” – Nucky “No one likes a longshot more than a gambler.” – Rothstein Onto Nucky and family. Nucky’s business in this episode largely concerns his search for a new lawyer—he fires the lawyer whose hairdo we have come to admire for his inadequacy in making Nucky’s case work in any way to his benefit. He then heads to New York to meet a tricky, silver-tongued lawyer named Fallon, recommended by Rothstein. More personal matters involve the worsening condition of Emily, and Teddy’s jealousy of the attention his sister is getting. When Nucky tends to Teddy to remind him that his mother still loves him, Teddy reveals that he knows that Nucky burned down his old house—but that he’ll never tell. Meanwhile, Margaret revisits her faith in order to pray for her ailing daughter. She even taps into her stowed away money, donating it to the church in order to earn God’s favor, so to speak. “What should I make sure I never, ever do again?” – Eli Finally, Esther (free of quips, but still fantastic) rehearses a testimony with Nelson Van Alden, and offers a jailed Eli a deal if he’ll cooperate in the trail against Nucky (which I truly don’t see why he wouldn’t, considering the lack of brotherly love, unless I’m missing some way that this can harm him). I always prefer when Boardwalk episodes pay tribute to one character in particular as opposed to forwarding six or seven plotlines. “Georgia Peaches” doesn’t offer that much in the vein of new information or developments (with Angela’s death as the exception), but we really needed to see an episode devoted so strongly to Jimmy’s catastrophic downfall. There are suppositions on the rise that he might not be around much longer—but then again, the Princeton tease at the end might indicate otherwise. Either way, getting an illustration of a desperate Jimmy (one so worn out as to be as vulnerable as he was with Angela) is something I highly appreciate.
  • What Makes 'Hugo', 'Arthur Christmas' and 'The Muppets' Truly Magical
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 26, 2011
    I’m sure plenty of you have noticed how these past few days have been unseasonably warm and sunny. Well, there’s a reason for that. No, I don’t mean depletion of the ozone layer. And no, I’m not talking about the approaching effects of Betelgeuse’s supernova (2012 is coming, people). What I’m actually referring to is this past Wednesday’s release of three movies with the power to warm hearts, inspire dreams, and (in one case especially) connect rainbows: Hugo, Arthur Christmas, and The Muppets. It’s interesting that these three movies all released on the same date, but not surprising that it came at the start of the Christmas season—the annual equivalent of a whimsical love letter. In fact, it seems as though this joint release of these three films was a very carefully crafted statement about the people who might take to seeing any or all of them—and specifically, what they, or rather, we and our world today, have become: cynical. Hugo, Arthur Christmas and The Muppets all have a good deal in common. They’re all family-friendly: enticing to children due to their imagery and magic, but often even more entertaining to the adults in the audience thanks to the complexity and value of their messages. Further on this thought, they all build from something we’re already familiar (and in love) with. Hugo is a celebration of the art of film itself. Arthur Christmas is, naturally, a proponent of Christmas, and all things related—believing in Santa, the spirit of giving, etc. And, finally, The Muppets. That’s about Muppets. But there is a fundamental difference that exists between each of these films, and one that’s none too hard to pinpoint: their media. Hugo’s story is delivered by live people. Arthur Christmas’ is done so by animated characters. And The Muppets’ is, primarily, by puppets (I’m including Jack Black in that genus, by the way). Now, it’s hard to define the exact effect this span of media has on the delivery of the message the three films embody. But at the very least, one can assume that a message delivered by this variety of film will reach a larger audience. Arthur Christmas will beckon all young children of today—I can’t imagine a dystopian future wherein kids have become disinterested in animated movies. Add Christmas into the mix, and you’ve got a winner. The Muppets is appealing on its own, topped with encouragement by younger parents for their kids to enjoy the same characters that they themselves did in childhood. Plus, there were a healthy sum of us childless twenty-somethings camped out in the theater. And Hugo: a movie that is, despite its ostensible appeal to kids, really written for adults. Kids with broad enough attention spans can find entertainment in the dazzling imagery, but the sophistication of the story is unmistakably mature. So, parents of older children, and non-parents alike, will find themselves in the presence of Hugo this season. If you think about it, it’s actually a brilliant plan. Connect with as many audiences as possible, while not extending the bounds of a genre that is capable of fostering the message of whimsy and idealism. Of course, each media has its own unique way of approaching this message. Animation’s is the most fluid: the entire world on screen is itself a dream. There are no restrictions in an animated world—whimsy can attack you as early as the opening titles. Live-action is an overly less “magical” medium; we’re watching real people interact instead of caricatured Christmas elves. However, Martin Scorsese builds a magical world in Hugo, exciting us with a dazzling cinematography constructed around the inner-walls of the Parisian train station that is Hugo Cabret’s home. Where animated might be more whimsical on the surface, live action has it a bit easier in the department of authentic emotion. Now, I’m not going to say I don’t cry every single time I watch The Lion King, Toy Stories 1 through 3, or that episode of Futurama about Fry’s dog, but there is often an additional complexity to the emotional substance afforded by the contributions of a real life actor—especially when the actors we’re dealing with are as talented as Asa Butterfield and Ben Kingsley. And finally, puppetry. It is one of the least-traversed media in this day and age—that mere fact emanates a sense of dreamy nostalgia when we’re graced with a cast of smiling felt characters on screen (in a very full theater, no less). The Muppets, as with the film and television manifestations of Jim Henson’s characters in the past, cements its magic with humor. The silliest, purest, most classic humor imaginable. We are adorned with sight gags, wordplay and self-referential humor none too dissimilar from that in the original Muppet Movie from 1979. The movie isn’t just a celebration of the dreamy days of yore, it feels like it’s actually a product of them. Each of these three films has a simple but potent theme: times have changed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hold onto the glory of our younger days. In fact, the message is timeless. Hugo compares the early career of George Méliès, turn-of-the-20th-century French filmmaker, to his later days, after he had given up on the fruition of his dreams. Arthur Christmas places the tech-heavy, impersonal present against the Christmases that Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) oversaw a hundred years ago. And The Muppets examines the differences in the cynical, jaded zeitgeist of today to that of its dreamy, fun-loving 1970s/‘80s counterpart, when the Muppets were universally adored. Really, it’s not about the passage of time in the world—it’s about the passage of time within each of its audience members. The movies are about growing up, but still wishing to hold onto the magic of which we were comprised as children. The movies are about believing in ourselves, our friends and our dreams—a factor that somehow gets extinguished from our conscious as we age. Although they couldn’t look any more dissimilar from one another, the movies all celebrate the same theme. They use a mystical imagery, a charming, old-fashioned type of humor and the creation of whole new, magical worlds to do so. They all build on what we know, instilling within something of which we need to be reminded. Each of these films, individually, does a great service to the important ideology of holding onto the magic. And whoever decided to release them all together has done a phenomenal job of making sure this message really hits home, with everyone and anyone, this holiday season. It doesn’t matter what you cherish and believe in. For a live action George Méliès in Hugo, it’s the majesty that is cinema. For the animated title character in Arthur Christmas, it’s the spirit and magic of the holiday season. And for the bobbly felt stars of The Muppets, it’s the sharing of pure, good-natured, unadulterated joy. But when today’s audiences, young and old, are graced with these films, it is simply that universal message that gets delivered. There is something magical in each of us, and we are meant to hold onto that—for, that’s when really glorious things happen. So, whether it rings most true to you coming from Ben Kingsley, an animated Santa, or Kermit the Frog, it’s a message for all of us: the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
  • 'Modern Family' Recap: Punkin Chunkin
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 23, 2011
    S1E9: As I’ve watched Season 3 of Modern Family, I’ve found that some of the magic seems to be slipping from the show’s grasp. Week after week this year, we find thinner family moments, fewer laughs, and a tiresome exploitation of the characters’ formerly human, now increasingly outlandish eccentricities. Few episodes in Season 3 have resembled the genuine, life-affirming charm that the glory days of Modern Family celebrated. But I say “few,” because as of this week, it is most certainly not “none.” Modern Family’s Season 3 Thanksgiving episode, “Punkin Chunkin,” is something of a phenomenon. It seems to disregard all of the tawdry humor and phoned-in sentiment that episodes these past weeks have advertised. As a matter of fact, in both laughter and emotional authenticity, “Punkin Chunkin” might well be one of my favorite Modern Family episodes ever. What really works for the series is when a universal theme joins the three households—both spiritually, and (in the climax) physically. What we deal with this week is, despite the simplicity of its description, a true testament to the depth of these characters: Dreamers vs. Pritchetts. The three sighing Pritchett adults, dedicated to sense, tough-love and grounded living, find themselves at odds with their more flighty, imaginative and emotional romantic partners: “Claire, you always do this! You squelch me! You squelch me right when I’m about to soar!” – Phil “Honey, you’re folding napkins.” – Claire “You’re folding my dreams!” – Phil The grandest of the three stories ensnares Claire and Phil. When an old neighbor boy (Josh Gad in a riotous performance) who had a close connection with Phil comes back to town after becoming a wealthy entrepreneur thanks to his life maxim (“What would Phil Dunphy do?”), Phil begins to blame Claire for always shooting his ideas, and general thirst for life, down. Such dreams of Phil’s that Claire is accused of destroying: the rice pudding franchise, the adult tricycle, the Aspirin gun, and the Real Headscratcher...TM. By the way, there's another Phil/Luke homemade commercial: best thing ever made by a human. “My mother used to criticize everything that I did. And look at me now—I’m a jumble of insecurities.” – Gloria “…I’m not getting that.” – Jay Jay and Gloria are next—arguing, naturally, over their disparate views on parenting. When Manny presents a subpar centerpiece that he created for the Thanksgiving dinner, Gloria praises it relentlessly, hoping to bolster his self-esteem. Jay argues that Manny would be better suited hearing the truth: there are some things he’s just not good at. But Gloria resists this philosophy, continuing to shower her son with compliments about everything imaginable. “There’s no such thing as a supportive ‘wa-wa!’ A ‘wa-wa’ by its very nature is vicious and undercutting!” – Cam Finally, the storyline to which the episode owes its title: Mitchell takes issue with Cam’s insistence to tell a farfetched childhood story about catapulting a pumpkin across the length of a football field and into a neighborhood preacher’s car. Mitchell’s complaints, initially apparently just about Cam’s repetition of the story, are eventually revealed to be rooted in the fact that he doesn’t believe that the story could possibly be true. —I’d like to take a quick side-note to express how grateful I am for this storyline in particular: this is the Cam we know, and the Cam who Cam deserves to be. He’s sensitive, but incredibly confident. He’s a showman, a bit dramatic, and “impish,” but not the childish and immature character we’ve seen lately. Plus, I appreciate it when the show explores Mitchell and Cam’s relationship without feeling the need to pepper it with jokes about/at the expense of their homosexuality. “It’s like a thousand tiny angels are line-dancing on my scalp—oh, looks like we’ve got a slight malfunction in the rear-nogginizer.” – Phil So there it is—three ostensibly unrelated storylines that, when linked spiritually by intermittent talking heads of Claire, Jay and Mitchell sighing exasperatedly, reveal to be, more than any other recent plotline, a great indicator of everything this show has to say: 1. people are different, 2. two different people can very well belong together, and 3. a whole bunch of different people can form one hell of a family. This last idea comes into play when the households merge at the Dunphy home for the Thanksgiving feast. Of course, all parties are in a huff over their individual spats, and nothing stays beneath the surface for long. When the mutual resentment of the realist Pritchetts becomes vocalized by the dreamers that are Phil, Gloria and Cam, the family’s mentalities divide them, and they decide to settle the bet over which ideology is the superior by testing out the veracity in Cam’s alleged “Punkin Chunkin” once and for all (as they’ve all heard the story many times before). The realists (Claire, Jay, Mitchell and Alex*) scoff as the dreamers (Phil, Gloria, Cam, Haley* Luke, and Manny) enthusiastically boast about their idealism and set up a catapult on the local high school’s football field. After a ferocious setup, the latter team launches a pumpkin no more than a few yards, sulking at their defeat and expecting a heavy gloating from their oppositionary loved ones. However, all three Pritchetts agree that, unexpectedly, they sort of wanted the dreamers to be right. (* "This is not the time for moral equivocation.” – Alex “Okay…I don’t know what that means. And also, don’t tell me.” – Haley There’s also a storyline wherein Haley and Alex dent Claire’s car and try exhaustively to keep this a secret. It’s not entirely connected to the universal realists/dreamers theme, more so just filler. Fun filler, though. They make a terrific team/rivalry. ) So here’s where the magic comes in: using a bit of the Pritchetts’ logic—such as an understanding of angles and physics or whatever you might need to know to chunk a punkin properly—and more of the dreamers’ spirit, a second launch is ventured, and the pumpkin soars magnificently beyond the length of the field. “The dreamers need the realists to keep from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists? Well, without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.” – Cam This conclusive scene hammers in the fact that this is such a beautiful episode of television. Up until this point, it is simply a hilarious, well-crafted piece of human comedy. But when the “two sides” of the family join, each with its specific, terrific value, to accomplish a task that is at once intrinsically worthless but spiritually insuperable to this family, it is a majesty of warmth and inspiration. Dreamers needs realists, and realists need dreamers. But what’s more important than that, as the show proves, is that people need the people who love them—no matter how different they may be.
  • Exclusive 'Misfits' Season 3 Clip: Meet the New Guy
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 23, 2011
    This past summer, America imported one of the most fantastic products that Great Britain has ever set forth: the sci-fi comedy/drama Misfits, a television series about a group of miscreant young adults who, during their mandated community service, get struck by lightning and develop superpowers. Thanks to the holy spirit that is Hulu, American audiences have been able to view the first two seasons of Misfits, as well as the subsequent Christmas special, online for free. And come Dec. 19, we'll get the same opportunity to watch the third season, which has already begun airing on television in the UK. One of the new developments of the third season comes in the form of a new castmember: Joseph Gilgun, who you might recognize for his roles in the Michael Caine-starrer Harry Brown and the comedy-drama This is England. Gilgun will be playing a new member of the crew: Rudy. In the exclusive clip below, Gilgun discuss joining the cast in the third season, touching on both the great fun he has had so far as well as the intimidating task of replacing former star, Robert Sheehan (who played the loudmouthed Nathan). Gilgun assures us, however, that Rudy will not disappoint when it comes to the comedic charm for which Misfits is so beloved. Of course, what fans of the show are probably most curious about: will Rudy have a superpower? And if so, what will his power be? We've seen a vast array on the show so far, including (spoilers) some traditional powers—time-travel, invisibility, mind-reading, invincibility, shape-shifting (a few different incarnations of this, actually)—as well as some more original ones, like making people need to sleep with you, and controlling milk. It's always exciting to surmise what a new character's power will be on this show; seeing as Rudy is the first new main character, it amps up the curiosity that much more. Enjoy the clip below, and mark your calendars for Dec. 19, when Misfits Season 3 comes to American audiences via Hulu. Of course, if you're not all caught up, Hulu still has Seasons 1 and 2 for us to enjoy.   
  • Gary Oldman Out, Ken Watanabe Offered His Role in 'Akira'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 23, 2011
    Sorry, people who love both Gary Oldman and Akira: the two will reportedly not merge. But the good news is, another tenacious figure from Christopher Nolan's Batman universe has been offered the The Colonel role that Oldman turned down: Ken Watanabe. We've been hearing a lot about the developing remake of Akira, the 1988 anime sci-fi feature. So far, Garrett Hedlund is still the only actor officially cast—he'll be playing Kaneda, the hero of the story and young biker who becomes involved in the quest to stop his newly psychokinetic best friend Tetsuo from destroying the city. Others still in question for Akira roles include Kristen Stewart, Keira Knightley, Alden Ehrenreich and Helena Bonham Carter. Those looking forward to the remake (there are quite a few purists out there who aren't on board with a live-action take on the celebrated film) might be disappointed by Oldman's dismissal of the role. However, Watanabe has a pretty impressive resume under his belt; the actor was arguably the strongest player in Nolan's Inception. As news continues to accumulate about Akira, we all have our hopes, and our doubts. But if Watanabe signs on for The Colonel, I think we can all at least nod in subtle approval. Source: Twitch
  • Check Out New Pics in Our 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' Gallery
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 23, 2011
    In honor of the upcoming fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible movie series, we have compiled a gallery of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol images. The new film  reunites Tom Cruise with his Ethan Hunt character, this time in an attempt to clear the name of his organization, IMF, when they are framed for a bombing. Brad Bird, director of Ratatouille, brings the Ghost Protocol film to life on Dec 21. The cast also includes Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. Click the image below to see our full Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol gallery, with more building-hanging.
  • 'Dancing with the Stars' Winner J.R. Martinez Celebrates His Victory: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 23, 2011
    Last night, Dancing with the Stars winners J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff made an appearance via satellite on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to celebrate their recent victory, say thanks to the fans who voted for them, talk about what is still to come for J.R., and to throw in a few jokes about other DWTS contestants. Chloe Moretz stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to admit that she tricked Martin Scorsese into giving her a part in Hugo by pretending that she was British. Dane Cook joined Jay Leno on The Tonight Show to give a special musical reading of some of his favorite tweets. Finally, Amy Sedaris showed up to discuss with David Letterman the torrential process it was for her to get onto The Late Show.
  • Amy Poehler Adapting Web Series 'Broad City' for FX
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 22, 2011
    If Amy Poehler tells you to do something, you do it. You don't consider the consequences. You don't weigh the options. You get on board. And that's exactly what we'll be doing with the new project Poehler is backing: a television adaptation of the web series Broad City. The series, created by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (where they met Poehler, a founding member), will join the FX network's already awesomely offbeat array of original programs. Poehler will act as executive producer, while Glazer and Jacobson will write the television incarnation of their project. Broad City focuses on the day-to-day, especially quirky adventures of characters based on and played by Glazer and Jacobson, who run amok through New York City. Often, the episodes focus on their (not particularly successful) romantic lives, their attempts to avoid a would-be player, or general mundane tasks that the duo instills with their vivacity and wacky humor. The web series is a phenomenal source of comedy and spirit, and having Poehler on board is nothing short of glorious.Check out the series at Broad City's website here. Source: Deadline
  • NBC Picks Up Sarah Silverman Comedy Pilot, Backed by Ron Howard
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 22, 2011
    This summer, a bidding war broke out over a new comedy pilot to star and be co-written by comedian/actress Sarah Silverman. The increasingly ambitious NBC won out, and has just finalized the pilot order for this new project, which will be executive produced by Ron Howard and his Imagine associate Brian Grazer. The pilot, written by Silverman and her Comedy Central series The Sarah Silverman Program writers Dan Sterling and Jon Schroeder, will be a humorous, semi-autobiographical account of Silverman's transition back into single life after a decade-long live-in relationship. Many are probably familiar with the long-term relationship Silverman shared with ABC's late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel from 2002 to 2009. This new single-camera comedy is still untitled. What begs a few questions is Silverman's merge with network television. The comedian is infamous for her very crude, very raunchy brand of humor. Naturally, getting a way with this sort of material was not as big a problem on her former cable station, Comedy Central. However, the Silverman we know might be amended to fit what the standards of network TV. Perhaps a more regimented, more balanced format is what Silverman needs to really excel. The comic actress is a talented one, but her Comedy Central series was a bit too all over the place to really work for many of us. Putting the wild Silverman in a more grounded universe could be a formula for comedic success. And having Howard involved inspires a great deal of faith. Soure: Deadline
  • Ewan McGregor Joins Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest in HBO Pilot 'The Corrections'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 22, 2011
    News regarding HBO's developing drama pilot The Corrections is both sparse and invigorating. The small, somewhat perplexing synopsis hints at a series with a lot of character, and a lot of heart (though likely, a lot of sadness). The newest piece of information about The Corrections pilot furthers our optimism: Ewan McGregor has been cast as one of the lead roles. The story centers on an aging Midwestern couple, nearing the winter of their lives as the year 2000 approaches rapidly. The couple, who will be played by Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest (as it was announced last month) vow to organize "one last Christmas" to be celebrated with their three estranged children. McGregor will play the couple's middle child, Chip, with a sordid personal and professional life. Chip, a radical Marxist, worked in education before losing his job as a result of his illicit affair with one of his students. When the pilot opens, Chip will work for a Lithuanian crime ring that operates by defrauding business investors in the United States. The pilot is based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Jonathan Franzen. In the novel, the two older children (yet to be cast) are Gary, the oldest, an unhappy, alcoholic banker who resents the hold his wife and children have on him, and Denise, the youngest and only daughter, a bisexual chef who loses her job due to a messy romance involving both her boss and his wife. Directing the pilot is Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale), who also co-wrote with Franzen, while Scott Rudin produces. Source: Deadline