February is here and WHITE COLLAR is back. The upcoming episode, “Empire City”, marks the second directorial outing for its star, Tim DeKay. As a big fan of Tim’s and the show, I was lucky enough to be invited to join in the press call with him to talk about this episode, the show in general, and just how much of a fan I am (getting up at 2.40am Sydney time!). I had such a great time chatting with Tim on the phone – can’t wait to meet him in person!
Here’s a transcript of my Q&A with Tim
Valerie: Good morning Tim!
Tim: Good morning Val, how are you feeling?
VL: I got about four hours’ sleep but I’m very excited to be talking to you.
TDK: Excellent, likewise.
VL: Last season you made your directorial debut filming in Yankee Stadium and this time you were in the Cotton Club. Where would you like to shoot next time around?
TDK: I’m aiming for the White House. We’ll see if that happens…I don’t know, we’ll see…
VL: Oh, that would require you to be out of state, right?
TDK: Yeah it would…so…some other iconic place in New York City…Madison Square Garden! There you go, that would be my aim for next season – Madison Square Garden. [I hope the writers are paying attention to this one for season 5!]
VL: That would be awesome…Having played Peter Burke for four seasons now, is there anything that you have learnt about Peter or anything that he has done that has caught you most by surprise?
TDK: Hmm…that’s a good question…what has caught me by surprise about Peter…I’d have to say I’m always surprised and challenged by his ability to balance between doing what’s right for Neal and doing what’s right for the FBI. The writers have been able to have Peter continue to walk down that line between being a friend to Neal and having to answer to his job as an FBI agent.
VL: This season has been very much about Neal’s back story and I don’t think the writers have reconvened for season 5 yet but are we likely to see more of Peter’s back story? Does he have some dark and seedy past we’re going to discover in season 5?
TDK: I’ve talked to some of the writers about that and I would love to have something uncovered about Peter that would be surprising to the audience. I think we have to be careful with any back story as long as it keeps the action moving forward. I think that’s important. So how we would delve into Peter’s back story would only be so that we could keep the story moving forward.
VL: You’ve done a lot of theatre work. Would you ever consider doing an international tour with a theatre company and bring your performance down to Australia?
TDK: I would. I would love to do that. There was a very famous production of…maybe I’ve told you this before, so forgive me if I have… a very famous production of Our Country’s Good* that was done in Sydney, I think it was near the Opera House, where the back of the stage came up and you could see out into the water. The audience was looking out on to the stage – I think it was in a warehouse or something. I would love to do that play in Australia, although I don’t think that would ever happen but sure, I would love to take any play and tour the world.
VL: Well, it would be a sell-out show for sure if you do come so I hope it does happen! Thanks so much for your time, Tim.
TDK: Sure. You can go back to bed now.
Another year has gone by and at this time of year, “Top 10” lists abound. Well, I do not profess to be a professional television critic, and so my lists are purely reflective of the shows that I have watched and loved over the 2012 season. In TV land, many new shows make it to air each year, but sadly many don’t survive. But for those shows that have and continue to be regular staples in our homes, we welcome you and look forward to many more seasons of goodness.
And so, here are some of my favorites for 2012. If you are interested in reading through some of my past TV reviews, you can find all the links to them on this site under “TV Reviews“.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@valshopaholic) and leave a comment below to share with me your favorites!
Favorite New Shows
Matthew Perry was always my favorite “friend” on the sitcom that made him famous and in the years since, he has made it clear he can master drama as well as comedy (remember his appearances in The West Wing and, more recently, The Good Wife?). Now Perry is back in the comedy world (does anyone remember Mr. Sunshine? Anyone?), playing radio sportscaster, Ryan King, who joins a community therapy group after the sudden death of his wife. The premise may be a little predictable – from Ryan’s original dismissal of group therapy as being ridiculous and full of crazy people to his growing fondness of those crazy people – but who doesn’t need a little bit of cray-cray in their lives to make them feel more “normal”? As with any story involving a death, I have to confess, the show brings the occasional tear to my eye as Ryan moves from denial to grief. The supporting cast is funny and quirky without being annoying, which makes a whole world of difference when it comes to whether a comedy works or not. I, for one, am glad that NBC have decided that the show will, indeed, go on.
As an avid fan of The West Wing, I was excited by the return of Aaron Sorkin to the small screen (after his award-winning effort on the big screen with The Social Network in 2011). Sorkin spent a couple of years researching life behind the making of news programs. With the trademark Sorkinesque rapid-fire dialog, we are introduced to Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a respected TV anchor and editor of News Night as he suffers a very public breakdown. The Newsroom uses real-life news events of the past year as a backdrop to the stories covered on air by Will and his team, led by former flame, Mackenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) as his producer and Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston) as his boss. Throughout the season, we have seen Will face death threats, get high and confront politicians as election time neared. The supporting cast is well deserving of every award just for being able to keep up with Sorkin’s dialog, with a special shout-out to Olivia Munn who shows off her Japanese language skills brilliantly. It is exactly the dose of intelligent news reporting television audiences have been waiting for.
Every year I tell people I don’t like making a fuss over my birthday. But then as my birthday draws nearer, I start to get a little more excited and I start telling everyone within earshot that my birthday is coming up. Since my birthday is on the last day of the month, it always feels like such a long wait from when September comes to when it is actually “the big day”.
For the past couple of years, my birthday has been a bittersweet time of year. I spent my birthday in 2010 flying halfway across the world to be by my grandmother’s bedside as she laid in a hospital bed, and since she passed away four weeks later, my birthday has been a constant reminder of those last days I got to spend with her. But that emotional period also serves as a reminder of how blessed I am and how far my friends are prepared to go to make me happy. (You can catch up on my birthday posts for 2010 and 2011).
September 2012 got off to a wonderful start. First, I got a new contract, thus keeping alive my much-coveted dream of a trip back to the US (which I last visited in 1998). Then came the presents. The first completely knocked me off my feet with amazement because of the sheer unexpectedness of it.
I openly admit I have a massive crush on the writers of TV show White Collar. Everyone who follows me on Twitter or is a Facebook friend regularly see me post undeniably over-the-top comments about how in awe I am of them. So, imagine my surprise when I got a notice in my letterbox to pick up a parcel from the post office, which contained an autographed copy of the script from one of my favourite episodes of the show (it was the season 2 mid-season finale “Point Blank”)! It was signed by the entire staff in the White Collar writers room!!!
Halfway through my birthday month and I have got the best gifts already. First off, I got a new job (yay!) which means I can finally start planning the vacation I had been coveting for the past two years (double yay!). Secondly, a week ago, I received a most fantastic surprise birthday present from my fellow blogger/writer-wannabe/conspiracy theorist, Ceil, who had apparently been planning this surprise for three months (more on that another time).
The latest “gift” required a 4.30am alarm this morning, and an international phone call to join in a press chat with none other than my favourite TV showrunner, Jeff Eastin – creator and executive producer of WHITE COLLAR. How many people can say they have talked to their favourite writer whilst in bed? OK now I know I’m going too far with this and I don’t want to find my next gift in the form of a restraining order.
So, a word of warning, this piece of writing is the result of lack of sleep and over-excitement from this morning so I apologise in advance that there will be grammatical errors, possibly incomplete sentences and may not make complete sense (I have voices in my head arguing about White Collar conspiracy theories).
Armed with my long list of questions and being a little smarter this time around (my first press call was with the funny, talented and generous actor, Willie Garson), I managed to score myself second in line for the call. Being a bundle of nerves and trying to keep my brain and my mouth in sync at 5.30 in the morning proved more difficult than I expected. Maybe it’s time to use “English is my second language” as an excuse…
There are very few people I would get up at 4.30 on a cold wintry morning for (in case you’re new to my articles, I live in Sydney, Australia). Willie Garson is one such person. I had the opportunity to join in a press call with Willie on Monday who is one of the stars of the USA Network hit WHITE COLLAR. And yes, I am taking the liberty to call him “Willie” rather than “Mr. Garson” because, as of right now, I feel like we are old pals, and I say this because when I introduced myself on the call, his response was “aaaaahhhh, is this ‘valshopaholic’?” (for the uninitiated, that is my Twitter handle).
The challenge with participating in a conference call is that, if you are farther down the line for your turn to ask a question, someone else may have already asked the question you had prepared. And so, in my usual nutty fashion, I tried to think of the most “out there” questions – without scaring him, of course!
So here goes…