Television


The Big Bang Theory
CBS

Great comedy featuring the best geeks on TV
Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki, (of "Roseanne" fame) star as Sheldon and Leonard


The cast of "The Big Bang Theory" – Kunal Nayyar (second to the left)
Johnny Galecki (third from left), Kaley Cuoco (center)
Jim Parsons (second from right) and Simon Helberg (foreground, right)
 on set with executive producers Bill Prady (far left) and Chuck Lorre (far right)


Breaking Bad

One of the most interesting series on TV is "Breaking Bad."  It focuses on a chemistry teacher (Walter White) who is diagnosed with lung cancer.  Walter has spent decades trying to teach uninterested high school students about chemical interactions.  He could have been a highly valued chemist in a progressive company. Instead, he finds himself having to 'cook' crystal meth as a way to support his cancer treatment and family. His brother-in-law works for the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). The acting is amazing.
 Bryan Cranston plays Walter White, the chemist. Aaron Paul plays Jesse,  a spaced-out. young kid who makes bad decisions and partners up with his former teacher, Walter. Anne Gunn plays Skyler White, Walter pregnant wife. RJ Mitte plays Walter Junior, who actually has cerebral palsy in real life. Dean Norris is Hank, Walter's brother-in-law, and Betsy Brandt is Skyler's sister.

Bryan Cranston earned back-to-back (2008/2009) Primetime Emmy« Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Walter White. He was previously nominated for three Emmys« and a Golden Globe« for his performance as Hal on Fox's "Malcolm in the Middle."

Aaron Paul earned a 2009 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for playing Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad." 


Documentary Channel


The Early Television Foundation


Flashpoint
New CTV/CBS Series

Flashpoint is the best Canadian action drama ever.
The acting  and shooting is terrific.
The production focuses on
an elite  Toronto special tactical team
The Strategic Response Unit (SRU).
Creators: Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern

Cinematography:
David Perrault:  Episodes 1-2
Stephen Reizes: Episodes 3- 13

News: CTV and CBS have upped their latest orders of Flashpoint to 18 episodes.
The
Toronto-shot cop drama will also air on the U.S. cable channel ION.


ęPhoto  by Lois Siegel
Stephen Reizes, Director of Photography


Glee
Entertaining high school comedy about a Glee Club. Great casting,
excellent choreography of musical numbers.


Emergency resident: Ann Czarnik MD
Cameraman: Richard Chisolm

Hopkins
ABC News

"Hopkins" is the most interesting real-life medical documentary on TV.
This 6-part series features different doctors each week
from Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins Hospital.
ABC's crews spent four months filming at Hopkins.

The stories are riveting.
Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa climbed over a border fence from Mexico as a boy
 to pick fruit in California, and eventually became one of the nation's top brain surgeons.


Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

Executive Producer: Terence Wrong
"Yes, you will still see the amazing medicine they practice. But you will also get an incredibly intimate look at the lives of the doctors, residents and families at Hopkins."


Emergency resident: Ann Czarnik MD
Cameraman: Richard Chisolm


House, MD

FOX

Hugh Laurie stars as Dr. Gregory House, an acerbic doctor who solves obscure medical problems that no one else can diagnose. His students are his 'pets.'  He gives them a hard time because he wants them to learn. The dialogue is sharp, witty and entertaining. The acting is superb, and the photography is excellent. Dr. House is funny-mean.  He does things everyone would like to do but they don't have the nerve to do. That makes the program delightful.


  Hugh Laurie


Chi McBride, Mark Valley, Jackie Earle Haley
Human Target

Fox

Mark Valley plays Christopher Chance, a James Bond-type guy who is hired
 to protect people from certain death. He becomes the target.
The show unrolls like a cartoon, so it's not surprising that it's based
 on a DC Comics comic book and graphic novel.
Most of the film is a series of slam-dunk, incredible, action-packed stunts.
Of course, our hero survives.
All the characters are well-cast.  Chi McBride plays Winston, who is a private security company contractor. And child star Jackie Earle Haley creates a wonderful character: Guerrero,
a mysterious, take no crap technical whiz who has shady contacts
in the underground world of bad guys and
who invents solutions to unsolvable problems.
Great fun to watch.


Kukla, Fran and Olie 
 


Damien Lewis

Life

NBC
Wednesday nights at 10/9c

Damien Lewis stars as a gutsy  detective who was recently released from prison after serving twelve years for a crime he didn't commit.  He's a millionaire because of a court settlement. He drives fast cars and eats lots of fruit. Great humor, unpredictable. Best new release on TV.
Now on 2nd season.

Interview


The Marriage Ref

This show is a Seinfeld creation.
The host, Tom Papa, is hilarious.
Couples appear in the middle of an argument. 
They give us sneak previews into some quirky problem in their lives.
A husband likes to keep the blinds closed all day. His wife likes to have the light coming in.
A wife snores and her husband retreats to the couch,
 or a gay guy doesn't like the way his partner dresses.
The situations are controlled, but funny, and the arguments are fun because we are observing,
but not participating  like we do in our real lives.

Three well-known comedians and personalities give their opinions as to who should 'win' the battle.
Appearing have been Seinfeld, himself, Madonna, Ricky Gervais, Martha Stewart and Donald Trump.


Their comments are more like running jokes.
Tom Papa moderates and then makes "The Call."
He tells the couple who has won the "battle."

Simon Baker

The Mentalist
Tuesdays 9:00pm ET/PT

Australian actor Simon Baker plays Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation, in this new television show. Baker solves crimes by observation.
He doesn't follow the rules and seems to sense what has happened during the criminal act.
The show is entertaining because the right dose of humor is always present.
CBS has ordered a full season of the show.


Miami Medical

The characters make this series work. Jeremy Northam is strong as
a somewhat mysterious Dr. Matthew Proctor with a curious past.
Elisabeth Harnois is refreshing as a very young Dr. Serena Warren.
It's unfortunate the series was just cancelled.

Modern Family
The funniest show on TV.

They are gay, straight, multi-cultural, obsessed, uptight, immature,
- everything you need to make a comedy work.
 The show is witty, modern and very entertaining.


The Museum of Broadcast Communication


The Newsroom

Jeff Daniels, nominated for a Golden Globe Award, is terrific as News Anchor Will McAvoy. The dialogue is fast moving, scripted by Aaron Sorkin, a master of timing and precision (The West Wing, The Social Network). Great casting, wonderful variety of characters.
Exciting, multiple storylines.

Video


Pilot Guides


Taiwan Martial Arts


Australia Blood Sky


The Ron Clark Story, directed by
Randa Haines,  90 minutes, U.S./Canada
This Made-for-TV film is the story of one man's belief that he can teach kids, any kids, to learn. Matthew Perry plays a small-town, rural North Carolina teacher who moves to New York City after he sees an ad in a newspaper "Teachers Wanted." He finds a job in Harlem. The story is based on true events.



Rookie Blue

 Rookie Blue is not only the most-watched Canadian TV show this year,
it's also the highest-rated Canadian TV show in two decades.
"Grey's Anatomy" with Cops.

 
Six Feet Under, HBO, Sundays, 9 p.m., EST. Awards
"Six Feet Under" features a family of undertakers.  Alan Ball ("American Beauty") is the creator and Executive Producer. A must see. Good hard-edged, unpredictable material.
 

Summer Heights High
Written by and Starring Chris Lilley

This ABC-TV series is one of the funniest programs I've ever seen.  Comedian Chris Lilley plays three of the main characters at an Australian high school, and he does so brilliantly.

They are Jonah, a misbehaving bully (center)



Mr. G, a flamboyant drama teacher with a hugh ego



and
Ja'mie, a rich, spoiled young lady so full of herself that the viewer becomes repulsed.


Chris Lilley as Ja'mie


The humor is caustic and extremely funny.
I saw two episodes on an Air Canada flight and was immediately hooked.

HBO's Summer Heights High Is Secondary School for Comedy


Trauma
"Trauma" introduces more good characters in another medical show.
This time it's paramedics. Cliff Curtis stars as daredevil flight medic Reuben "Rabbit."
He doesn't always behave and gets into trouble, but he's dedicated to his work.
Kevin Rankin adds variety as Tyler Briggs, a gay paramedic.


© 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc.
The Unit
Created by David Mamet
Based on the book "Inside Delta Force" by Eric L. Haney,
 
CBS’ new military drama
focuses on super-secret Special Forces officers
 and the women who love them
.
The show is filled with action and the drama of conflicting family situations.
Tight discipline is enforced upon The Unit and their families.

Filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet (“Glengarry Glen Ross”)
 is an executive producer and is writing or directing.


Weeds

Cutting-edge comedy about a mom who sells pot to support her dysfunctional family.
Dysfunctional is actually the key to every family featured on the program. Somehow they all find
ways to survive as we laugh our way through their misadventures.

Zero Hour:  Historical events are re-lived minute-by-minute on this 4-part series. One of the best new TV docu-drama series. Produced by Cineflix, Montreal.


©Photo by Ivan Kozlov Courtesy of Cineflix

Chernobyl: Perevolchenko (Holosnyak) screaming into CCTV camera to the control room, "The reactor's about to blow."




©Photo by Sophie Giraud Courtesy of Cineflix

Columbine High School
A 24-hour examination of the 1999 massacre  

Actors Ben Johnson and Josh Young
portray Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris

 


©Photo by Pete Dadds Courtesy of Cineflix

"Terror in Tokyo"
A casualty of the Sarin gas attack in the Tokyo Metro


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