Erik Wilkinson, Author at Give Me My Remote - Page 2 of 8 : Give Me My Remote

HOUSE: Larger Than Life

January 17, 2011 by  
Filed under #1 featured, House, House Recap, Posts by Erik

In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle took the unusual step of turning a prime time television character into a Presidential Campaign issue. Mr. Quayle attacked the producers of CBS’ MURPHY BROWN for allowing Murphy, played by actress Candice Bergen, to become a single mother, “mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another ‘life-style choice.’ ” If you are not old enough to recall the media firestorm ignited by these remarks, consider this analogy. It was as if House Speaker John Boehner accused Snooki of being the mastermind behind 9/11.

In a fitting role reversal, Candice Bergen joined the cast of HOUSE this week as Cuddy’s outspoken mother Arlene, and immediately chided her onscreen daughter for not living a Quayle-ific existence. By episode’s end, however, Bergen gave Arlene more than one note to play, and propelled the Huddy storyline forward without injecting sap or melodrama.
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HOUSE: A Pox On Our House

November 16, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, House, House Recap

On the heels of the San Francisco Giants’ victory in the World Series, a new star has stepped up to the plate in Fox’s primetime lineup. Amber Tamblyn is batting 1.000 over her first two appearances on HOUSE. With Cameron & Thirteen absent from Princeton Plainsboro, a strong female voice was desperately needed in the Diagnostics department. Thankfully, Martha M. Masters has recalibrated the workplace dynamic for Dr. House, his team, and a roster of patients who have been habitually lied to for years!

Since the conclusion of the Survivor-style search for new team members in Season 4, House has found little reason to mentor anyone on his staff. Truth be told, the late Dr. Kutner was the only addition to House’s team who was emotionally connected to the boss. Kutner’s suicide, Foreman’s ill-fated attempts to take over in House’s absence, and Cameron’s departure last season deepened the void. Exceptional teachers require exceptional students, and the deepening trust between House & Masters is the best part of the show.

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HOUSE: Office Politics

November 9, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, House, House Recap

As a longtime devotee of TV shows that perished too soon, I empathize with fans of JOAN OF ARCADIA. The critically heralded CBS drama produced just 45 episodes before its cancellation in 2005, leaving behind a loyal audience of viewers who embraced the idea that a teenage girl could communicate directly with God. Though the premise of the show appeared to stretch the limits of one’s imagination, this week’s HOUSE helped me understand why fans of Joan Girardi were so disappointed to see her story end. Amber Tamblyn, the brilliant actress who brought Joan to life, joined the team at Princeton Plainsboro with a performance that knocked everyone, including Hugh Laurie, off the screen.

The role of Martha M. Masters could have easily been another roadblock in the uneven 7th season of HOUSE. Idealism often comes across as self-righteousness on television. Even an experienced, capable actress would be hard-pressed to inject humanity into a character centered around doing the right thing, each and every time she is pressed to act. Clearly, Ms. Tamblyn is beyond capable, as I bought into every shrug, quizzical look, and frustrated whimper that she exclaimed. Instead of serving as an annoying do-gooder, running around the hospital shouting down bad behavior, Martha stands her ground by using logic to test her new colleagues in a respectful manner. And no one buys into her methods more than the most morally ambiguous member of the staff, Dr. House himself!

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October 6, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Parenthood

Adam Braverman and I live very different lives, but I found myself sympathizing with his life this week. Though I am not a husband or father, my journey as a first year teacher has been accompanied by a host of unplanned distractions and commitments. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of grading papers and attending parent/teacher conferences is less time to watch and critique the shows I love most.

Unfortunately, many fans of PARENTHOOD have chosen other avenues on Tuesday nights, as the show’s ratings have suffered in its second season. Casual viewers have been sampling ABC’s new drama DETROIT 187 and jumping on THE GOOD WIFE bandwagon, leaving a void among supporters of Team Braverman.

“Date Night” attracted an audience of 5.162 million viewers, down over 30% from the season premiere. I am not ready to start asking GIVE ME MY REMOTE readers to shoot air rockets at NBC headquarters for a “Save the Show” campaign, but the trends are not good.

Last night’s PARENTHOOD was a return to form, balancing the joy & humor of family life with the rough edges of teenage angst and false expectations. I enjoyed the episode’s direction, though this show could use a moratorium on screaming and incoherent bickering.
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PARENTHOOD: I’m Cooler Than You Think

September 29, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Parenthood

Small victories are often the sweetest. In a culture that is becoming both more interconnected via computers and smart phones and more impersonal because of texting and busier lifestyles, there are few substitutes for the comfort of simple human kindness. TV writers and producers have hit us over the head for years with stories of kids who suffer from a lack of parental love or involvement. Yet, we rarely talk about Moms and Dads as human beings, who also yearn for the satisfaction of their children’s good deeds, kind words, and respect.

Tonight’s PARENTHOOD sent an important message to parents who tuned in. It is ok to want your children to love you. There is nothing wrong with wanting to build connections with your kids. Isn’t that what raising a family is all about?

In this season’s first two episodes, Adam Braverman was buried under a cloud of workplace distractions. This week, Peter Krause reminded us why no other actor could play Adam with as much authenticity. Adam’s conversations with Kristina and Gabby about Max’s lack of social skills were brutally revealing, demonstrating how emasculating it could be for a father to think of himself as a stranger to his own son. However, Krause’s best moment was unaccompanied by dialogue. Early in the episode, Adam caught a glimpse of Max on the staircase, head buried in a video game and removed from the family dynamic, then watched Joel and Sydney completely in sync, planning a father/daughter building project.

It has become a tradition for PARENTHOOD to move me to tears, and the fearful look in Krause’s eye just slayed me. Powerful, powerful stuff…

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HOUSE: Selfish

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, House, House Recap, Posts by Erik

Seven days removed from a Huddy-centric season premiere, HOUSE returned to its traditional formula this week. Writer/producer Eli Attie was assigned the difficult task of weaving the new romance between House and Cuddy into the show’s patient of the week template. As the scribe responsible for writing Allison Cameron’s departure from Princeton Plainsboro, as well as the fantastic “Lockdown” episode, Attie was a wise choice to calm viewers’ fears that their favorite drama is turning into a soap opera.

Let’s start with the obvious. House and Cuddy’s coupling is going to be a centerpiece of this season. There is no breakup in sight, and the creative team is clearly exploring their relationship from every angle, personal and professional. If you plan to stop watching the show as a result, however, this episode demonstrated exactly what you would be missing. With a heartbreaking patient story, a much needed infusion of humor, and a return to relevance for Dr. Taub, “Selfish” was the prototype for integrating new stories with old favorites.
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September 21, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Parenthood, Posts by Erik

Berkeley, California is a progressive town. With residents who embrace big ideas and even bigger housing prices, the liberal landmark is no stranger to rapid change. This week’s PARENTHOOD was a demonstration of the consequences of change for nuclear families, budding relationships, and small businesses alike. Each branch of the Braverman family tree had its strength tested, with mixed results.

I’ll have a full breakdown of the episode up Wednesday evening, including my thoughts on Adam & Sarah’s workplace dynamic, Crosby & Jasmine’s struggle to trust one another, and Julia’s breakdown of the social politics among five year olds. In the meantime, chime in with your thoughts on Episode 2 of the sophomore season from Berkeley’s most fascinating family.

Where do you stand on the Adam/Sarah disagreement? Whose point of view would you relate to most? How did you feel about the latest events in Crosby & Jasmine’s romance? Will they make it through? For our readers who have children of their own, what would you do if Noel Lessing was left on your doorstep?

HOUSE Season Premiere: Now What?

September 21, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, House, House Recap, Posts by Erik

David Letterman was supposed to follow Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show. Despite a penchant for tweeking NBC executives, Letterman had built a loyal, young audience for his 12:30 Late Night program. As an experienced broadcaster with legitimate comedy chops, the Indiana native never imagined losing out on TV’s most prestigious franchise to Jay Leno. As the battle for Johnny’s chair intensified, Letterman made a final pitch to NBC, addressing their concerns that he did not understand the ramifications of moving to 11:30pm. Changes would have to be made for a larger audience, Letterman agreed. He understood that his persona would have to mature, lest the viewers reject him immediately. With over a decade of experience on their airwaves, Letterman could not fathom why the powers that be could not trust him to make that change in a professional manner.

HOUSE may be an 8pm scripted drama, but the schism between the pro-Huddy and anti-Huddy factions is reminiscent of the late night battles of the early 1990’s. The Season 7 Premiere pulled the trigger on Hugh Laurie & Lisa Edelstein’s onscreen romance, with no immediate end in sight. Director Greg Yaitanes and writer Doris Egan crafted a story to introduce House & Cuddy as a mature, communicative couple. There were demonstrations of passion, affection, and old-fashioned chivalry. Unfortunately, the premiere will do little to retain long-term viewers who have spoken out loudly against the Huddy storyline.

From my perspective, I believe that House’s producers and writers thought carefully about how to present House & Cuddy’s romance to a wider audience. Just as David Letterman and his team put together a plan for the demands of 11:30, I saw compromises being made to appease both pro and anti-Huddy fans. By retaining House’s acerbic wit and Cuddy’s type-A tendencies, mixing in a broken champagne bottle and an uncomfortably warm bath, they drew a line in the sand. This is the show WE want to make. These are characters that YOU love. Please TRUST us.

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HOUSE Season Premiere: You Ask, I Answer

September 17, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, House, House Spoilers, Posts by Erik

The title of HOUSE’s Season 7 Premiere is, “Now What?” If Katie Jacobs & David Shore spent their summer on TV message boards, they would have seen that question posed with regard to the romantic pairing of Gregory House & Lisa Cuddy. For Huddy-shippers, this season could not be more eagerly anticipated. For those opposed to mixing business with pleasure, HOUSE is a candidate for deletion from their DVR’s Season Pass list.

After a sneak peek at the first two episodes of the season (yes, writing about TV has perks) this week, I set out to answer some of your burning questions about HOUSE in the era of Huddy.

Quick note of warning: Though my answers do not contain any major spoilers, there are definite hints and (hopefully) clever teases about the road ahead. Please do not read on if you would prefer to enjoy Season 7 in its pure, unspoiled form. For everyone else, the fun is just a simple click away…
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PARENTHOOD: I Hear You, I See You

September 14, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Parenthood, Posts by Erik

Last year, America joined Team Braverman. Following tonight’s PARENTHOOD Season Premiere, I am pledging my allegiance to Team Joel! In a surprising turn of events, Executive Producer Jason Katims fashioned a script that centered around Joel Graham, the often-seen but rarely heard husband to ambitious attorney Julia Braverman-Graham. Sam Jaeger shined brightly in his scenes with Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson, and onscreen spouse Erika Christensen, as we witnessed a new star being born.

Just as Season One tested the resolve of the Bravermans’ commitment to one another, Season Two is shaping up as a battle of externals. New challenges in the professional arena, along with gut-wrenching decisions of the heart, mirror the difficulties being faced in households across the country. Backyard barbecues make for feel-good TV, but those gatherings are not possible without economic resources and personal stability.

Before this week, Joel Graham’s role on Parenthood was quite simple. Make sure Sydney made it to play dates on time, and gaze adoringly while Julia comes undone by her family squabbles. I give Sam Jaeger full credit for broadening his character’s point of view, and interacting so well with his castmates. My favorite scene of the premiere was Jaeger & Lauren Graham discussing Sarah’s ideas, and how he could build a desk for her to foster her sense of creativity. I cannot recall these two actors sharing a scene together in Season One, yet I teared up when Joel agreed to help his sister-in-law challenge herself to be more.

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Countdown to THE EVENT: Will YOU Be Watching?

September 13, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Posts by Erik, The Event

After a summer of relentless promotion and creative teaser trailers, NBC’s THE EVENT premieres in just seven days. Though the show’s ubiquitous ads invited viewers to discover, “What IS The Event,” the biggest question facing NBC executives is, “Will YOU be watching?”

Launching a show at 9:00 p.m. on Monday night is a dangerous proposition. Competing for eyeballs with established hits like DANCING WITH THE STARS and TWO & A HALF MEN will immediately test the wisdom of NBC’s scheduling strategy. Since the show features established stars from NBC’s 10:00 p.m. hits of the past, Blair Underwood (L.A. Law) & Laura Innes (ER), I was surprised to see this high concept program scheduled earlier in prime time. Hopefully, the competition will spur the creative team behind THE EVENT to focus on top-shelf writing and innovative storytelling.
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PARENTHOOD: Spoilerific Preview of Season 2

September 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Parenthood, Posts by Erik, TV News

With just five days left until PARENTHOOD returns for its second season, NBC has pulled back the curtain for a detailed look at what to expect in Season 2. With Peter Krause as our tour guide, the extended clip discusses the lessons learned last year, as well as hints about the road ahead…

SPOILER ALERT: This video contains significant hints about a number of storylines left unresolved in the Season 1 Finale. If you would prefer to start fresh, please steer clear of this video, and join GIVE ME MY REMOTE for our post-show discussion next Tuesday, September 14th!

Follow @GMMRTV and @FreelanceErik on Twitter, and Facebook too, for all your up-to-the-minute TV news and commentary.

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PARENTHOOD: Two New Clips from Season 2

August 28, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Parenthood, Posts by Erik

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Behind the scenes at GIVE ME MY REMOTE, we are huge fans of NBC’s PARENTHOOD. If you listen to Kath’s TV Talk Podcast, follow Korbi’s scoops on the show’s cast, or read my reviews from Season One, it comes as no surprise that we are part of Team Braverman.

Since I started teaching two weeks ago, my e-mail inbox has been woefully neglected. It is unfair to my friends planning get-togethers and to spam marketers offering me the financial opportunity of a lifetime. Shaping young minds requires sacrifice, and I had to set those invitations aside.

However, when the subject line of a message says, “New Parenthood Promos,” grading and lesson planning has to take a back seat. I set aside my grade book and red pen, and rushed to share these clips with GMMR readers.

Please enjoy these two new sneak peeks at Season 2:

PARENTHOOD: Your First Look at Season 2

Tune in to PARENTHOOD’s Season Premiere on Tuesday, September 14th, then remember to visit GIVE ME MY REMOTE to join the discussion about Team Braverman’s new adventures!

Follow GMMR and FreelanceErik on Twitter, and Facebook too, for all your up-to-the-minute TV news and commentary.

COVERT AFFAIRS: Inside Scoop from Sendhil Ramamurthy

August 24, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Covert Affairs

COVERT AFFAIRS is already one of USA’s biggest hits, with a passionate fan base who have already earned the show a second season. Armed with a fresh take on the spy world and a cast full of familiar and talented faces, COVERT AFFAIRS is well-positioned for a long run in prime time. Before tonight’s episode, titled “Communication Breakdown,” I thought GIVE ME MY REMOTE readers would appreciate a peek behind the scenes with one of the program’s most influential characters.

Sendhil Ramamurthy is no stranger to enthusiastic TV fans, most notably for his run on NBC’s HEROES. After four seasons as Dr. Mohinder Suresh, Ramamurthy was eager to take on a new challenge, free of superpowers and overarching storylines. Recently, Sendhil took time out to offer insights about his background, the journey to join COVERT AFFAIRS, and scoop about his character, Jai Wilcox.

-How Sendhil became a part of the COVERT AFFAIRS cast:

USA decided to make a little change from the pilot and bring in the Jai Wilcox character. They kind of approached me about it… and I did a chemistry read with Piper Perabo and I got the job the next day. It was a script that I really liked. It was a very different character for me to play from what I had been doing before.
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PARENTHOOD: Your First Look at Season 2

August 21, 2010 by  
Filed under #1 featured, Parenthood, Posts by Erik, TV News

PARENTHOOD is the crown jewel of NBC’s catalog of dramas. A rare combination of big-time star wattage and top-shelf writing, the program built an audience around the feats and foibles of the Braverman family. There were dozens of ways the show could have gone wrong, but millions of viewers are grateful that it defied the odds and became part of our weekly routines.

Just in time for the back-to-school season, NBC is offering a sneak preview of Season Two. There are minor spoilers in the clip, so be forewarned. Let’s just say that kids can ask the darndest questions sometimes!

Tune in to PARENTHOOD’s Season Premiere on Tuesday, September 14th, then remember to visit GIVE ME MY REMOTE to join the discussion about Team Braverman’s new adventures!

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