January 31, 2012

TV Clip of the Day: I Am a Pole (and so can you!)

Stephen Colbert has a great interview with Maurice Sendak about children's literature. He concludes with a reading of his yet-to-be-published children's book.

BIG NEWS: Paul Brittain Leaves SNL

It was just announced that featured Saturday Night Live cast member Paul Brittain has abruptly left the show mid-season.  He joined the cast for the 2010/2011 season, and although he never broke out as a household name, he still had some memorable characters in his 1.5 seasons on Saturday Night Live.  Here is a look back at some of our favorite Paul Brittain characters:

James Franco
Paul does a great impression of James Franco (who had recently hosted SNL), poking fun at his need to have multiple jobs.

Ron Paul
While all of the Republican Presidential candidate debates going on, Brittain has portrayed none other than Ron Paul.  While Ron Paul certainly isn't a front runner in the race, he hasn't dropped out yet, so it will be interesting to see who SNL picks to replace him in the upcoming political sketches.

"Sex" Ed Vincent
Another popular Brittain character is "Sex" Ed Vincent. First appearing in the October 23, 2010 episode hosted by Emma Stone, he more recently appeared in the December 3, 2011 show hosted by Steve Buscemi.

Lord Wyndemere
Brittain's most popular character (and most bizarre character) would probably be Lord Wyndemere.  The character first appeared in the October 15, 2011 show hosted by Anna Farris, and then appeared again for a second (and now final) time on the January 7, 2012 show hosted by Charles Barkley.  Below is the last appearance of Lord Wyndemere.

Paul Brittain, you will be missed.  Here's hoping you become the next Casey Wilson, and find a new project that really lets you shine.

January 28, 2012

TV Clip of the Day: Dog Show!

While flipping through the channels yesterday, I stumbled upon an old episode of Saturday Night Live from 1998 hosted by Vince Vaughn.  It featured a sketch called "Dog Show" hosted by Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon and their dogs Mr. Bojangles and Rocky Balboa.  I vaguely remembered seeing a  "Dog Show" sketch years ago, but I don't think I had ever seen this one before.  I did some research, and it turns out this was the first "Dog Show" sketch of the 6 that aired.  We watched them all on Hulu this morning, and they were all really fun, but in my opinion the first one was still the best.  Here is "Dog Show"!

January 27, 2012

TV Clip of the Day: Martin Luther King Day - The Movie!

Today's TV Clip of the Day comes from last night's episode of 30 Rock (well, one of last night's episodes of 30 Rock).  Featuring cameos from some of our favorite TV stars like Andy Samberg (SNL) and John Krasinski (The Office), here's the trailer for Jenna's new movie, Martin Luther King Day!

January 25, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: A Potential Dwight Schrute Spinoff of The Office?

According to this article posted a few moments ago on Officetally and Deadline, there is a spinoff of The Office in the works for potential pickup in mid-season 2013.  The show would focus on Dwight's home life on Schrute Farms, running a bed and breakfast with his cousins (no word yet if Mose will appear).  The show would be produced by Rainn Wilson (who plays Dwight) and Paul Lieberstein (writer/producer of The Office, who also plays Toby).  If The Office is picked up for a 9th season, Dwight would appear on the first half of the season, before transitioning over to the new show.  We'll post more as this story unfolds!

How We Got Into How I Met Your Mother

If you look at all of our favorite TV characters flashing before you on the upper right corner of this page, you'll probably notice one thing:  Nearly all of the post-2000 comedies that we watch are single camera shows.  I'm not quite sure why this came to be. We love the traditional multi-camera sitcoms of the 90's (Friends, Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc.), but for some reason, the more recent multi-camera shows to come out (Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, Whitney, etc.) just seem so formulaic in plots and joke setups that it's hard to watch, particularly right after a night of single camera television.

So why then did we get into How I Met Your Mother?  Well in traditional HIMYM style, we'll tell you the long, drawn-out, and often tangential story of how we got into How I Met Your Mother:

You see kids, it all started about 2 years ago in our local public library.  We were bored and looking for something to watch.  I had heard about How I Met Your Mother, and was intrigued by the show partly due to it's intriguing premise, but mainly because I already knew 60% of the main cast from various movies (Jason Segal from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Alyson Hannigan from American Pie, and Neil Patrick Harris from the Harold and Kumar films).  So we decided to rent the first season and give it a shot.  We watched the first season and enjoyed it enough.  The episodes were funny and the story was interesting.  But we weren't fully hooked.  The main character Ted was kind of whiny and annoying, always complaining about how he'll never find true love (even though we knew he somehow eventually ends up with this mysterious mother) and despite the big season 1 finale cliffhanger, we returned the DVD and decided not to get season 2.  We had enough shows to watch, we thought, and we were busy with other things, so we decided to end it there.

As the years passed, sometimes we'd come across syndicated episodes of HIMYM while flicking through the channels on TV.  But somewhere in the back of my mind I thought that we might continue watching this show someday, so I never watched the them in fear of spoiling the older episodes that we hadn't seen.  And when our favorite comedy music star "Weird Al" Yankovic tweeted that he would be making a cameo in an upcoming episode, even then we did not watch, so that our brains would still be in the mindset of where we left off at the end of season 1, in the unlikely event that we someday would continue to watch the show.

We had pretty much forgotten about How I Met Your Mother, until one fateful night last month, during our winter vacation, when a friend randomly brought the season 2 DVD to my apartment.

And with that we were hooked.  We watched all of disc 1 that night, and 2 and 3 the next day, ending season 2.  The next morning, we woke up in a panic, needing to know what happens next to Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall and Lilly!  Desperate for more, we drove to our local Target and bought seasons 3 and 4 rushed home to watch.  A few days later, we returned to buy seasons 5 and 6, and when we finished those, we turned to Amazon Instant Video to download the first half of season 7 so we could catch up in time for its mid-season return.    We watched 5 and a half seasons in about 8 days.

Now what is about this show that got us so hooked?  Well, unlike most TV comedies, the show is very plot-oriented, as we're slowly trying to figure out what's happening as we go along.  We know that Ted eventually ends up with this woman who is the mother of his children, but we don't know who she is or how he meets her.  But along the way, we discover little clues.  Also, Neil Patrick Harris is hilarious as Barney.

Since we watched several years' worth of HIMYM for the first time in this multi-season marathon, we ended up becoming rather impatient for clues about the mother.  We became very annoyed with the show.  Specifically, because we knew that the mother won't be revealed until the end (or will she?), any woman Ted meets and dates along the way can't possibly be the mother (this was even more so when we were watching the season 3 DVD knowing that it's currently airing in season 7), so we rarely got emotionally attached to them. We also knew that the show has already been renewed for at least another season, which means that we probably won't find out who the mother is for another year and a half. And if the show gets renewed past that, then the story might get stretched out even more.  And while many of the episodes reveal clues about the mother or lead to events which allegedly help Ted meet the mother, many episodes in between simply seem to just be random.  This makes sense, in that the story can't possibly be so complex that all 200 or so episodes are actually relevant, but it is kind of frustrating that the show is supposed to be about how he met the mother, and sometimes it's more about Ted just hanging out with his friends.

Nevertheless, we can't stop now, with all the work we put into catching up!  It has officially been added to the schedule.  Also, watching on a normal time scale has made it much more enjoyable.  

January 24, 2012

Academy Award Nominations!

This morning, the Academy Award nominations were announced.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  The Academy Awards are for movies, so why are we talking about them here on a TV blog?  Well, it turns out that many of our favorite TV stars are in fact multi-talented!  So congratulations to the following TV stars who just got nominated for an Academy Award:

Jim Rash (Dean Pelton on Community)

Longtime readers of this blog will remember that back on October 27, 2009, we did a TV Star Spotlight on Jim Rash, the actor who plays character of Dean Pelton (or as he's usually more commonly referred to, "The Dean") on the cult hit NBC comedy Community.  The Dean started out as only a recurring character on Community, occasionally dropping in on the gang's study group to inform them of some crazy assembly or program going on in the school. His scene-stealing performances soon earned him top-billing in the show.  It came as a surprise when we learned that the actor who played this flamboyant, over-the-top character was in fact one of the writers of the critically acclaimed dramedy The Descendants starring George Clooney.  And it was an even greater thrill when I discovered this morning that he had been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.   Here is the crazy Dean Pelton and the trailer for The Descendants, from Academy Award nominated Jim Rash:

Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)

The terrific Kristen Wiig, along with her writing partner Annie Mumolo, was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for the blockbuster comedy Bridesmaids.  The film also has a great supporting cast with television roots, including Wiig's former SNL co-star Maya Rudolph (who now stars in NBC's Up All Night), The Office's Ellie Kempner, and the scene-stealing Melissa McCarthy, who also earned an Academy Award for Supporting Actress for her role in this film (McCarthy also stars in the CBS comedy Mike & Molly).  Here is Academy Award nominee Kristen Wiig in SNL and Bridesmaids


Brett McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords)

Brett McKenzie is one half of the comedy folk duo Flight of the Conchords (with Jemaine Clement).  The successful comedy musical act from New Zealand created their own HBO comedy series Flight of the Conchords, where they play fictional versions of themselves, a folk band from New Zealand who are trying to make it big in New York City.  The show also incorporated musical numbers, which were written and performed by the Conchords themselves.  Therefore, when it was announced that Brett McKenzie would be  the musical supervisor and writer of original songs for the new Muppet movie (written by and starring How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel), we were very excited.  The Muppets was a really fun film with lots of great songs, including "Man or Muppet", which just earned Brett an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.  Check out Brett McKenzie's musical writing skills in Flight of the Conchords (in the style parody of The Police) and Academy Award nominated song "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets:

The Academy Awards air Sunday February 26th, so tune in to see who wins!  Good luck to Jim, Kristen and Brett!

January 21, 2012

We're Back! (for now...)

Welcome to the newly revamped We Like TV!  We haven't posted here in a while (about a year and a half), but we figured it was time to start up again.  Notice the new modern look, the slideshow of pictures on the side, and the label cloud on the bottom.  While a lot has changed in the last year and a half, one thing has not: our love of television!

Actually, I take it back.  It has. Our love of television has greatly grown over the last year and a half.  We've gone from strictly watching our Thursday night NBC comedies (and the occasional show on the side), to expanding our TV horizons to watch lots of great shows, on non-NBC networks and non-Thursday nights.  Each week we have a full schedule of shows to watch, which means each day we'll have a whole lot to blog about.  While in the past we had posted on a pretty inconsistent and infrequent rate, now are vowing to do our very best to post on a somewhat regular basis.

Welcome back to We Like TV, and our first real post of 2012 should be coming soon...