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People Top 5
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- February 13, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 6
Picks and Pans Main: TV
Hot Under the Collar
Syfy, Mondays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |
Whenever Bo attempts sexual intimacy, her eyes glow ice-blue, and she sucks the life out of her partner. It's like a breath freshener in reverse. As Bo learns in this entertaining piece of schlock, she's both a succubus and member of a supernatural population, the Fae. Adjusting to her identity, Bo takes up work as a P.I. specializing in ghoulish cases. Girl has a surprisingly casual sense of humor-one of Bo's clients is a will-o'-the-wisp with a weight problem-and Anna Silk is physically just right in the lead role. Sensually ripe and dangerous, she's like a Goth Liz Hurley.
ABC's Modern Family and NBC's Parenthood always feel like home
When NBC's hourlong drama Parenthood premiered in 2010, a season after Modern Family established itself on ABC as the brightest, most contemporary sitcom in prime time, it seemed old and already in need of remodeling. But a couple of years have brought the two shows closer to a consoling parity-at any rate, I find them both soothing in this election year, when politicians keep telling us the middle class is going to wind up like the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath. As long as these people go about their lives, we're okie dokie. Yes?
Parenthood has evolved nicely, moving around its large cast of characters with slow, gentle agility as they deal with everything from aging and longing to money concerns and special-needs children. Lauren Graham, as a single mom, sets the tone for many of the performances: a stuttering, slightly mannered "naturalism" that nonetheless comes close enough to a real domestic tone that it works. The show has a benign wooliness.
Modern Family, on the other hand, has lost some of its shine. The laughs come less frequently, although I can't pinpoint any reason other than that it's all become, well, familiar. The show still has a light precision in identifying key moments in family life-not only the recent episode in which toddler Lily kept uttering a certain four-letter word, but the way it depicts growing children seeing their parents as fallible. These themes aren't modern; they're classic. BOTH SHOWS:
YOU'VE GOTTA SEE THIS ...
PUPPY BOWL VIII
NBC will broadcast the tournament of bipeds, but cute four-legged stars merit a day on the field too. Animal Planet, Feb. 5.
The biggest song competition to challenge American Idol starts season 2, with mellifluous Cee Lo Green back as coach. NBC, Feb. 5.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Zooey Deschanel hosts. May she crush those who doubt her comedic gift! NBC, Feb. 11.
Lost's demise put the actor into a funk, but he found himself again on FOX's new hit series Alcatraz
Not even the most diehard of Lost fans took the show's 2010 conclusion as hard as Jorge Garcia, who played lovable plane-crash survivor Hurley. "It was a rough period. Aside from just a sadness and depression that goes with a job that you love ending, it was leaving this whole life we created in Hawaii," says Garcia, 38, who had spent six years in Oahu shooting the landmark series. Then, "the day we were supposed to move back to California," his beloved Chihuahua Nunu was hit by a car. As a result, says Garcia, "reacclimating to the world was a bit rough."
Thanks to his new hit show Alcatraz, Garcia's depressing days are long gone. "It's really great to be able to figure out a new guy so soon after Lost," says Garcia, who plays an Alcatraz aficionado on the FOX mystery series about former inmates of the legendary San Francisco prison. His live-in girlfriend, writer Beth Shady, helped him land the part. When Shady ran into Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams at the 2010 Emmys, "she told him she was writing a book on Alcatraz. He was, like, 'Get out! We're doing a show on Alcatraz!' And she was, like, 'Get Jorge on that show,'" Garcia recalls, laughing. "She credits herself for getting me the job, but I remind her that she wouldn't even be talking to J.J. if it wasn't for me."
ABC'S THE RIVER
1 THE GIMMICK
This horror saga about a reality TV crew hunting in the Amazon for a missing explorer is shot in the documentary style of Paranormal Activity. Clever. It's like Survivor in hell.
2 THE SCARES
They're not as over-the-top as American Horror Story but more chilling because they're applied glancingly. You're forced to watch very, very closely. So keep an eye out for the monkey.
3 THE CAST
Bruce Greenwood, whom we see as the explorer in "found" footage, is most intriguing because he's most remote. All anyone else basically needs to do is stare, scream and RUN!!! Which they do, perfectly.
Charming con artist Matt Bomer gets most of the attention on the crime caper White Collar (Tuesdays, USA). And why not? He's so playfully debonair. To Tim DeKay falls the job of tethering the show to a semblance of reality. As the FBI agent who keeps Bomer honest, DeKay has mastered the slow burn without showing blisters. He makes being square not only honorable but fun. Thank you, sir.
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