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Archive for June, 2012

Jeff Daniels in “The Newsroom”

Producer/screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing”) makes a triumphant return to television with this smart, engaging series about the inner workings of a cable TV news program. Jeff Daniels stars as anchorman Will McAvoy, and Emily Mortimer plays his executive producer, MacKenzie McHale. The premiere kicks off with one of Sorkin’s signature monologues (delivered with zest by Daniels) and truly gets firing on all cylinders when the newsroom is faced with covering a major breaking story. The expert supporting cast features Sam Waterston, John Gallagher, Jr., Thomas Sadoski and Alison Pill.

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“Christmas Waltz”

I had a bit of a “Mad Men” marathon the last few days, getting geared up for the season finale. And while Jon Hamm normally gets most of the press for this show (and deservedly so, his Don Draper is an amazingly conflicted and watchable character), this season I’ve been struck by Christina Hendricks’ portrayal of Joan Harris.  The character has so much presence and humanity, it’s hard to take your eyes off her.

In the “Christmas Waltz” she episode shared a lovely scene with Don over drinks. Both characters had received some major news and it was great to watch them interact outside of the office, with melancholy holiday music in the background.

“The Other Woman”

In the following episode (“The Other Woman”) Joan had to make a monumental decision regarding a possible client for Sterling Cooper Draper Price. In this episode especially, Hendricks shone like a beacon. The emotions that came across her face nearly broke my heart.

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Yes, yes, I know it’s just television, but since NBC seems to have given this cute little sitcom the ax, this is probably your last chance to catch it. Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham play best friends, also named Jessica and Lennon, living on different coasts who are thrown back together after Jessica is served divorce papers. The banter between the two friends is clever and funny, and Luka Jones is lovable as Lennon’s goofball boyfriend. Hey, TBS, this show might make a good companion series with your newest acquisition, “Cougar Town.”

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