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Archive for March, 2010

Russell Hantz

“Survivor” and “Modern Family,” two of my favorite shows were new last night, and I think they both deserve a little shout out.

The 20th (!) edition of “Survivor” has had me hooked from the beginning. I must admit that I had stopped watching the show regularly the last few seasons, but having some of the best players from the last 10 years return for this “Heroes vs. Villains” edition was a brilliant idea.

Last night’s episode had the players scrambling when they discovered that both teams were headed for Tribal Council to each vote a member off. It was kind of sad to see Colby (a favorite of mine from season two) seeming to give up, and watching Russell (pictured, right) try to outplay “Boston” Rob was just great freaking tv. Both Tribal Councils were surprising as to who was finally sent home (no spoilers for those who haven’t seen it), and I totally agreed when a member of the villains tribe stated “What just happened?”.

Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara

The “Starry Night” episode of  “Modern Family” was another great mix of storylines with characters Cameron and Gloria (Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara, left) having dinner together, father and son Phil and Luke (Ty Burrell and Nolan Gould) working on Van Gogh school project, and a astronomy outing with Jay, Mitchell and Manny (Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rico Rodriguez). The acting is great, with my favorites being Burrell, Stonestreet and Rodriguez, and the writing top notch. Some of my favorite lines last night were, “Everybody is stupid, except me,” “I feel like I ate the sun” and “My mouth is asleep like at the dentist.” I find myself laughing out loud every week and can hardly wait for the next new episode.

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How do I put in words how much I love this tv show? Season three started this past Sunday, and the AMC drama is back with a vengeance. From the opening moments when people were oddly crawling on the ground, to that incendiary finale, I was totally hooked.

Bryan Cranston is nothing short of superb as a former chemistry teacher, now drug kingpin. Watching his Walter White change over the last two seasons has been fascinating. I also really enjoy Anna Gunn as Walter’s wife Skyler. She’s more than just a wronged woman and protective mother. Also, hats of to producer, Vince Gilligan (he used to work on the “X-Files”). He’s steering this show in incredible and strange directions, making it so much more than just another drama. Whew!

And…a big “Happy Birthday” to my niece Kira! I can’t believe how the time has flown. I remember the cute little eskimo-looking bundle that came in to the world 20 years ago today and contrast that with the lovely, tough, fast talking young woman I see today (see photos below). Good job, Jenny and Kirk. She is quite amazing.

Very young Kira

Kira, age 20

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For some reason the silly little ditty that Billy Crystal sang when he hosted the Oscars is going through my head today. Yes, it’s Oscar night, and tonight should (hopefully) be a different sort of show.


Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are hosting the 82nd Annual Academy Awards and I’m not sure what to expect. They both can be funny, but for three-plus hours? Adam Shankman, whom I’ve come to love as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance?,” is a co-producer of the show. Let’s hope the dance numbers look great.

I’m hoping for wins by Christoph Waltz, Mo’Nique, Kathryn Bigelow, Sandra Bullock (sorry, Meryl), Jeff Bridges and “The Hurt Locker” in the major categories, but there’s nothing like a good ol’ upset. And I hope “Avatar” cleans up in the technical categories, it certainly deserves that. Best picture? Not so much.

Time to go prepare. I started watching “The Hurt Locker” last night and need to finish before the ceremony starts.

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