Posts tagged with “The Big C”

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – July 25, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | HBO
There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane
– Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated documentarian Liz Garbus directed this documentary about the headlines-grabbing July 2009 tragic car crash in which a woman named Diane Schuler drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway in New York, colliding with an oncoming vehicle and killing her daughter, three nieces, everyone in the other car and herself. The crushing case continues to be a nightmare for the survivors and family members left behind, including the loves ones of the victims in the other car, as well as Schuler’s son, who is still dealing with the injuries he received in the crash, and Schuler’s husband, who has to live with the fact that an autopsy revealed his late wife has a blood-alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit.

The film is the latest entry in HBO’s fantastic Documentary Films Summer Series, which has unspooled a fascinating new documentary each Monday night this summer, and continues through August 15.

9PM | TNT
The Closer
– Flynn and Provenza try to make some extra cash serving court papers for an attorney … but moments after they deliver the documents, the recipient is murdered.

9PM | SYFY
Warehouse 13
– Pete and Myka end up in bed thanks to a mystery, while Dr. Vanessa Calder (guest star Lindsay Wagner, who will cross over to an episode of Alphas next month) returns to work on a case with Artie.

10PM | NETWORK – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
The A-List: New York
– The boys are back! Season one was the ultimate in guilty pleasure viewing, and considering that the premiere includes more gossip about Reichen and Rodiney and Reichen’s new Internet business, there’s no reason to think season two will be any different.

10PM | SYFY
Alphas
– The team moves to new offices after the attack on Rosen (David Strathairn), while riots break out on the east coast, apparently linked to a teen who has run away from home.

10PM | BRAVO
Real Housewives of New York City
Reunion, Part 1 Andy Cohen has hinted that the reunion gets very heated, with Ramona (no surprise) being at the center of several blowouts amongst the women. Jill apparently gets into with both Ramona and Alex, and, given her behavior all season, I’m betting there are going to be even fewer Team Jill members after this one.

10PM | SHOWTIME
Weeds
– Shane decides to take Nancy’s advice and enroll in college course, while Nancy’s attorney helps her make her way to California, where she tries to get ahead of her sister (guest star Jennifer Jason Leigh) in the custody battle for her son.

10:30PM | SHOWTIME
The Big C
– Cathy considers pawning her jewelry because of Paul’s layoff, while bro Sean tests his baby sling for the moms in his ‘hood.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Ashley gets a surprise visitor before she hands out roses to her final two dudes on The Bachelorette (8PM, ABC);
– One of the women gets so fed up with the fighting in Italy that she heads some early on Basketball Wives (8PM, VH1);
Will Wheaton and Stan Lee guest star on Eureka (8PM, Syfy);
– The top 15 compete on Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox);
– Amy tries to help Ricky get into college on Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family);
– On Cake Boss (9PM, TLC), Buddy builds a camping-themed cake that includes real fire to roast marshmallows;
– Competition turns ugly when Dave and Adam both go after a position on the school’s airwaves on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
How I Made My Millions (9PM, CNBC) tells the stories of a woman who makes and sells jewelry boxes on QVC and the founders of Firehouse Subs;
– The weekly four-episode It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia marathon on Comedy Central (9PM) includes “The Gang Gets Whacked” and “The Gang Dances Their Asses Off”;
Charo guest stars on RuPaul’s Drag U (9PM, Logo);
– On Behind Mansion Walls (10PM, ID), an ongoing family feud ends badly;
– On the 1st season finale of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (10, ABC), a mom who weighs 445 pounds tries to lose weight to be there for her sick daughter;
– A Civil War musket and a cool 1950s pedal car toy are among the items brought to Rick and company on Pawn Star$ (10 and 10:30PM, History);
– Boston Fleet Week brings murder and Frosts dad (guest star Ernie Hudson) on Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): H. Jon Benjamin, Emma Stone and K.T. Tunstall;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Neil Patrick Harris;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Brian Cox;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Brian Williams and Tim Robbins & the Rogues Gallery Band;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Jessica Alba;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Mark-Paul Gosselaar;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Jon Favreau;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Don Cheadle and Zach Braff;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Don Rickles and Matt Smith;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Rob Riggle (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – July 18, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | TEENNICK – 11TH SEASON PREMIERE
Degrassi: Now or Never
– The classic teen series gets all telenovela-y again, as tonight’s premiere kicks off seven weeks in which a new episode airs each night, Monday thru Thursday. Tonight, Sav is crushing on a new girl, who he runs into in a surprising way at the big Keke Palmer concert that opens the seven-week run. Elsewhere, Drew and Bianca worry about the return of her ex, and Fiona has a thang for a model in Holly J’s class. And those rumors about something tragic occurring this season? All true. As always, Degrassi … it goes there.

8PM | FOX – 9TH SEASON PREMIERE
Hell’s Kitchen
– One contestant ends up in the hospital and another trio is deemed, by Gordon Ramsay, “the three stooges” as 18 new cheftestants try to win a head chef gig, this season at BLT Steak in New York City.

8PM | LIFETIME
Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story
– Any Harry Potter fan worth his or her Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans knows the backstory of Potter author Rowling’s welfare days, but this sweet little biopic, with Poppy Montgomery as Rowling, is still worth a view in honor of last week’s release of the final Potter flick.

9PM | TLC
Cake Boss
– Buddy bakes a giant cheeseburger cake for National Hamburger Month, which leads to a burger-eating contest with the staff. Sounds like a White Castle contest I regrettably witnessed in college. White Castle + drunken 20-year-olds + a bet = Gore on that level of that episode of The Walking Dead where the zombies noshed on the horse.

9PM | TNT
The Closer
– Capt. Raydor (Mary McDonnell) gets extra snoopy into Brenda’s department, just as the police department undergoes some major reorgs.

9PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– Tonight’s four-episode marathon includes the very un-PC (which is probably a redundant statement where any Sunny ep is concerned), but hilarious “Sweet Dee’s Dating a Retarded Person,” in which no one’s sure about the mental capabilities of Dee’s new boyfriend, rapper Lil’ Kev.

9PM | SYFY
Warehouse 13
– Pete and Myka investigate the sudden memory losses of witnesses in a murder trial. Maybe they ran out of their gingko biloba supply.

10PM | SYFY
Alphas
– Okay, they’re Alphas. But now, they have to learn to balance their regular lives with their not-so-regular skills.

10PM | SHOWTIME
Weeds
– While Nancy tries to land a job at Doug’s new office, Silas tries to talk his mom into a new partnership.

10:30PM | SHOWTIME
The Big C
Hugh Dancy guest stars as a fellow patient Cathy meets on the first day of the clinical trials, while Sean frets his house is haunted and Adam gets into a throwdown at school.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Ashley goes on home visits with her final four picks, including one who ‘fesses up that he’s not ready to get engaged yet, on The Bachelorette (8PM, ABC);
Jen and Evelyn‘s friendship is threatened when Evelyn confronts Jen about unflattering comments Jen made in a radio interview, on Basketball Wives (8PM, VH1);
– Carter plays babysitter to Allison’s kids when she goes out of town for a medical conference on Eureka (8PM, Syfy);
– On The Secret Life of the American Teenager (8PM, ABC Family), Adrian returns to school and walks head-on into a confrontation with Ben;
– The top 11 compete on Masterchef (9PM, Fox);
Molly Ringwald and Lady Bunny guest on RuPaul’s Drag U (9PM, Logo);
– A 456-pound nurse tries to lose half her body weight in a year on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (10PM, ABC);
– Among the goodies coming into the shop on tonight’s back-to-back Pawn Star$ (10 and 10:30PM, History): a Godfather script signed by Al Pacino and a motorcycle once owned by Steve McQueen;
– On Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT), Jane and Maura investigate the murder of a pregnant surrogate mother.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Bryan Cranston;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Daniel Radcliffe;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): John Prendergast;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Bono and The Edge;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Neil Patrick Harris;
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Piers Morgan;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Aaron Paul and Roseanne;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Mila Kunis;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Elizabeth Banks;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Alex Prager.

 

Channel Surfing – August 18, 2010

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– ABC is holding a live press conference, with reporters, during the Aug. 30 episode of Bachelor Pad, to announce the next cast of Dancing With the Stars. This better be soooome cast, with all that hubbub. Among the many names that have been rumored to be contestants for season 11: Betty White (who’s pretty much rumored to be cast in everything these days … wishful thinking, usually), David Hasselhoff, Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa Giudice and Danielle Staub, Richard Simmons, The Situation from Jersey Shore, Hilary Duff, Brandy, Ali Fedotowsky, Jennifer Grey, NFL vet Kurt Warner and Ryan Seacrest (where would he find the time?).

– Speaking of The Hoff, last Sunday’s Comedy Central roast of David Hasselhoff was the network’s fifth highest-rated celeb roast ever. What did you think? I loved Seth MacFarlane as host — dude should have his own talk show — but the rest of it was a little low-key. And the ending, with The Hoff singing, was just weird.

– Another big ratings winner: Showtime’s premiere of The Big C on Monday, which was the network’s highest-rated premiere in eight years.

– And, speaking of Real Housewives Jerseyites Teresa and Danielle, they both may need jobs on DWtS, or anywhere else they can get paid. One of them — Danielle — reportedly hasn’t been asked to return to RHoNJ for the show’s third season (the season two finale airs Monday, Aug. 23), while the other’s (Teresa) bankruptcy case has taken another bad turn, as the court now has proof that Giudice and her husband went on a $60,000 home furnishings shopping spree after filing for bankruptcy.

Betty White has signed a deal to write two new autobiographies.

– “More pie, Andy?” There’s definitely more Andy, Andy, as TV Land is asking viewers to vote for their fave Andy Griffith Show episodes, which will make up a 50-episode marathon to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary, in September.

The Kids in the Hall have reunited for a miniseries, Death Comes to Town, which aired in Canada earlier this year, but debuts in the U.S. on IFC this Friday.

– The Brits love them some Glee, apparently: A new Glee FM radio station in Oxford will play only songs from the show.

– And have you seen the new Glee Slushee poster?

– Did you know Lindsay Lohan is in a movie with the Shamwow dude? Me neither. The Hollywood Reporter, uh, reports, that her appearance in Vince “Shamwow Guy” Offer‘s The Underground Comedy Movie is one of the many pathetic ways people, including Lohan, will be trying to capitalize on her downward spiraling life when she gets out of rehab.

– CBS’ Undercover Boss is getting a new companion series, which will pit two employees against each other in the name of getting a promotion.

– The big Lost auction is being held in Santa Monica this weekend, and among the many, many props and other Lost goodies that are expected to fetch a pretty penny: Claire’s creepy squirrel baby.

– E! Online reports that ABC wants recent Bachelorette runner-up Chris Lambton to be the next Bachelor, but he, sanely, wants to simply return to his pre-reality TV life. That actually kinda makes him an even more appealing Bachelor, no?

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which kicks off its new season on Sept. 13, is getting some major changes. The biggest one: no more hot seat … the contestants will now stand for the competition.

– And, this is awesome: Rapper Wale has made another album that was inspired by Seinfeld. And it turns out everything from 24 and Lost to The Dukes of Hazzard and Married … with Children have also inspired rappers.

REVIEW: ‘The Big C’

The Big C
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Stars: Laura Linney, John Benjamin Hickey, Oliver Platt, Gabriel Basso, Gabourey Sidibe and Phyllis Somerville

The Big Idea: Uptight Minneapolis wife/mom/schoolteacher Cathy (Linney) finds out she has the titular “Big C” — stage four melanoma — and, instead of immediately seeking treatment, she decides to keep the diagnosis to herself and spend what time she has left getting her life in order, shaping her teen son into a good human being and having a little fun.

To Watch or Not to Watch: Go ahead and give it a season pass on your DVR, because The Big C not only starts off strong, but only gets better with each episode that follows.

The main reason: Linney is perfectly cast in the role. Truly, after the first few moments of the premiere, it’s impossible to imagine anyone else playing the role of Cathy, who could come off as prickly, over-the-top wacky or just plain grating and less sympathetic in the hands of a less talented, less likable actress. After all, she’s kicked her husband Paul (Platt) out of the house for reasons neither he nor their teenage son Adam (Basso, who joins the junior set on Modern Family and The Middle in making up one of the least annoying crops of TV kids ever) understand, and she’s keeping the news of her diagnosis from them.

But the fun (and the implicit nudge that we should all rethink our priorities, before some major life event forces us to) comes from what Cathy does do after getting the bad news, which includes hiring a contractor to install a swimming pool in her yard, cost be damned; telling off, and then befriending, the crabby neighbor (Somerville) across the street; reconnecting with her brother Sean (who chooses to be homeless); and trying to help one of her students, the irreverent Andrea (Sidibe, who makes up for her gig as one of the all-time worst Saturday Night Live hosts by proving she can pull off the funny), lose weight.

The show could have been subtitled How Cathy Got Her Groove Back. Sean (the scene-stealing Hickey) even tells her at one point, “You’re starting to get your weird back, sis,” and the weirder, and less uptight, Cathy gets, the more fun the show becomes. And yes, as unlikely as it might seem that a show about a terminal illness could be fun, or funny, The Big C is, and that’s the best reason to tune in.

TV Screener Tidbit: The star-packed first season of The Big C (and I’m guessing a second-season renewal will come pretty quickly for the show) will include guest appearances by The Wire/The Office‘s Idris Elba (as a love interest for Cathy); Brian Cox as Cathy’s dad; Cynthia Nixon as a friend of Cathy’s; Reid Scott (My Boys) as Cathy’s hottie dermatologist (who has some very flirtatious moments with her in the first few episodes); and Liam Neeson as a holistic healer Cathy seeks out.

The Big C premieres Monday, August 16, at 10PM ET on Showtime

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