Dean Pelton Talks TV With the People Who Make It
TV for TV nerds, by TV nerds: that’s Jim Rash’s The Writer’s Room in a nutshell. Known to most as Dean Pelton from Community and others as the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind The Descendants and this summer’s The Way, Way Back, Rash’s latest venture is a Sundance Channel miniseries in which he talks to the people behind some of the most buzzed-about shows on TV. Fittingly, the first episode, aired this week, centers on the Breaking Bad team, currently staring down the premiere of their final season. Also on the list: Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, and Parks and Recreation. If you’re not already sprinting to Sundance’s website as fast as your fingers can type, there’s nothing we can do for you.
True Blood Kills Off Another Character
This one probably won’t be missed. After just a season of poor characterization and a lame converted-zealot story line, Nora met the True Death, but not before giving the audience the corniest flashback in the history of a show chock full of ’em. Thankfully, it looks like Nora’s demise at the hands of Governor Burrell and his manufactured Hep V plague will give Eric just the motivation he needs to go medieval on the state of Louisiana, Billith in tow. In other news, Alexander Skarsgard can do a mean ugly-cry, much to our pleasant surprise.
The Tonight Show‘s Good Old Days Air on TCM
I’ve been loving — loving — Turner Classic Movies’ Monday night hour of vintage Tonight Show interviews, Carson on TCM, a wonderful compilation show of interviews (many of them unseen since their original airing) conducted by Johnny Carson with Hollywood legends of the past and present. The laid-back vibe of Carson’s Tonight is utterly refreshing; these stars are often just dropping in to chat, in sharp contrast to the sell-sell-plug atmosphere of late-night talk these days. Carson, who is too often remembered as a capital-L Legend rather than a very good broadcaster, is affable and smooth, so accomplished at conducting an interview that he seldom even seems to be doing one. The clips are well-chosen; this week’s edition, for example, included Elizabeth Taylor’s only appearance on the show, a few months before Johnny’s retirement. She’s candid, funny, and sharp as a tack, giving it to Johnny as good as she gets. And on top of everything else, they’re hosted by Conan O’Brien, which is a nice “fuck you” to current Tonight Show host Jay Leno. This week marked the conclusion of the show’s initial five-week run, but hopefully they’ll do more, and soon. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor