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Tag Archives: Enlightened

Laura Dern Talks Big Little Lies, Enlightened and Working with David Lynch

16 May

The gap between film and TV award season chatter feels like it gets smaller every year and I am thrilled that this time of year is upon us. To the extent that I even wondered out loud (or rather on Twitter), which Big Little Lies cast member will take part in The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable discussion.

Another go to source for all things awards is Goldderby and their interview series constantly delivers on in-depth interviews with actors and creatives who might be hearing their names called come nomination day (July 13). This is when I fall down a YouTube hole and the next thing I know it is a couple of hours later; they tend to run around the twenty minute mark and this is pretty much the ideal length for getting sucked in.One of the best shows from this awards year is Big Little Lies and it is one I keep returning to in terms of how much time it is occupying conversations and thought space. Plus I’ve been pretty much listening to the soundtrack on a daily basis. It is also one of the reasons why the mini-series category looks set to be one of the most interesting and while there is talk of a potential second season (this gets touched on in the interview below) it is pretty much perfect as it is. Even though we live in a time when anything can be resurrected it doesn’t mean it should.

Which brings me to this interview with Laura Dern and unsurprisingly Dern is a delight offering up thoughts on why Big Little Lies resonated, everything she loves about playing Renata and working with a lot of the Wild team again. Dern also talks about characters it has been hard saying goodbye too and what she says will likely please fans of Enlightened.

There is also the small matter of teaming up with David Lynch again for the Twin Peaks revival and as I already mentioned any TV show can come back.

Award recognition and what this attention means in terms of the visibility of a project also comes into play especially as there are so many shows to consume right now.

Laura Dern also reminds me that I still need to watch Enlightened and I don’t know why I haven’t done this already.

Look out for more award season chatter on TV Ate My Wardrobe in the next few months.

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10 New Yorker TV Posts: From The Hummingbird Theory to Reality TV

24 Jul

The New Yorker has dropped the paywall for all articles dating back to 2007 for the summer and now is the time to catch up on seven years of writing that you may have missed or only read select quotes from. The New Yorker is calling this “a summer-long free-for-all” as they launch their new site and introduce a similar system to The New York Times in the fall. Content wise they are also introducing a Daily Cultural Comment column “in which our critics and other writers confront everything from the latest debates over the impact of technology to the latest volume from Chicago, Oslo, or Lima and the ongoing sagas of Don Draper, Daenerys Targaryen, and Hannah Horvath.”

With this in mind I have selected 10 articles with a link to television including some of my favorite pieces from current TV critic Emily Nussbaum (who makes up just under half the entries and hates lists, sorry Emily), recollections from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, a range of genres and one profile that is about a current pop culture queen back in 2011 (this one is the exception to the TV focus of this list).

EnlightenedIn the same package as The Hour boxset and another show on my catch up list is Enlightened and Emily Nussbaum’s Hummingbird Theory draws on Laura Dern’s Amy Jellicoe from Enlightened among others like Leslie Knope and Carrie Mathison. It is something we touched upon during our Comeback discussions and these kinds of characters are “idealistic feminine dreamers whose personalities are irritants.”

Emily Nussbaum’s essay on Sex and the City in reaction to Brett Martin’s Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’ to ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad is one of my favorite Nussbaum New Yorker pieces. Nussbaum looks for reasons beyond the terrible movies as to why Sex and the City has lost its place in TV legacy discussions. All while pointing out its groundbreaking position and reinforcing why it was one of the most talked about shows beyond its ties to fashion.

Continuing with Emily Nussbaum and female centric shows that spark a lot of debate/column inches with Nussbaum’s thoughts on the sex scene in one of the most discussed and beloved (and hated) episodes of Girls “One Man’s Trash.”

The final piece from current New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum is an examination of the variety – quality and genre – of work from one of the most controversial and prolific showrunners working in TV at the moment; Ryan Murphy.

Tina Fey wrote about her experiences on SNL and the lessons from working on late night in an essay from her book Bossypants (there are slight differences between the two).

Nailing those pre-college summer job feelings and slowly realizing what she wanted to do with her life is Amy Poehler in “Take Your Licks.”

Emily Greenhouse says goodbye to Gossip Girl and makes sure to mention Dan Humphrey’s fictitious New Yorker submission.

Last year Lauren Collins asked why so many (myself included) have become obsessed with Scandinavian television tracking the success of Forbrydelsen (The Killing), Broen (The Bridge) and Borgen.

While I don’t necessarily agree with everything in Nancy Franklin’s reality TV analysis in “Frenemy Territory” it is fun to look back to 2008 when reality shows like The Hills were at peak popularity.

This last recommendation is a slight cheat as it isn’t strictly TV (SNLCSI and Teen Mom all get a mention), it is however a fascinating look at the Taylor Swift angst empire back in 2011. Lizzie Widdicombe talks about Swift’s “unjaded sincerity no matter how contrived the situation” in “You Belong with Me” and it’s just as relevant now three years later.

Variety Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable Discussions

5 Jun

The pre-Emmy nomination roundtables are in full flow and Variety has produced supporting and lead actor/actress discussions in both comedy and drama categories. These panels are all around 15 minutes long and feature actors from both cable and network shows.

comedy lead

Today I am going to focus on the comedy actresses (plus it’s the unofficial Ellie Kemper week here at TV Ate My Wardrobe) and the shows these are the shows that are represented; New GirlEnlightenedVeepSuburgatoryThe Office, The Mindy Project, 2 Broke GirlsThe Big Bang Theory and Cougar Town.  Network and cable shows feature, along with multi-cam and single camera shows. Some of the participants are also involved behind the scenes as Zooey Deschanel is a producer on New Girl and both Laura Dern and Mindy Kaling are creators of their respective shows. Mindy Kaling is also in the writers’ room on The Mindy Project and she mentions that this helps the show be a little more feminist.

comedy actress

The difference in a cable show versus a network one is a lot to do with format and time restrictions; network sitcoms have to be the same length every week, whereas on cable the time can vary by a substantial amount. Network shows have a set commercial break pattern which could stifle the creative element, but all of the shows featured have found a way to work within these parameters.

When they shot Enlightened (which HBO has sadly cancelled) they had all of the scripts for the season written ahead of time, a show like New Girl adds things at the last minute and as both Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone mention their scripts often change from the table read to the day of shooting. Simone adds that she is constantly surprised by where they take the characters as they aren’t usually given advance notice of their season long arc. This organic approach has really helped a show like New Girl particularly with the big ‘will they/won’t they’ story in season 2. It isn’t just New Girl that has this style as Busy Philipps’ comments about Cougar Town sound like they share a similar approach. For the shows that are filmed in front of a live studio audience such as The Big Bang Theory it sounds like it needs to be more structured that this. On Veep they workshop the episode ahead of time as this is a process that creator Armando Innaucci favors and the cable format aids this. There is also a discussion about Netflix and how this digital model is even more flexible than both cable and network.

Watch both panels below and for more of Variety’s Emmy roundtable season head here.

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