Tag Archives: Willie Garson

My TV Favourites of 2012

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

Go On

Go On

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.

The Newsroom

The Newsroom

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.

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Good Morning Jeff Eastin!

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…

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White Collar Season 4 Interview With Willie Garson

Willie Garson White Collar S4 promo

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…

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Web Series Review: WHOLE DAY DOWN Ep6 “The Artist Is Taking You With Him”

Have you ever wondered how terrorists got their start?  Maybe some of them had normal childhoods; but then again, they may be the spawn of arterrorists like Bob (guest star John Ales).

What’s an “arterrorist”, I hear you ask.  Well, I’m not really sure there is any definitive answer to this question, but Bob’s art involves strapping a home-made bomb to himself and becoming the central exhibit in an underground art gallery.

The way Willie (Willie Garson) explains it, the exhibit is “natural deconstructivism” which sounds like a really snobbish way of saying “f**k the world” to me, but what do I know?  (And this is why I love this show so much.)

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Web Series Review: WHOLE DAY DOWN Episode 5 “The Jeremy Flegg Show”

When I tell my friends to watch WHOLE DAY DOWN, they ask me why they should.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: Hey have you checked out WDD yet?

The Other Me (TOM): Weapons of Dastardly Destruction?

Me: Whole Day Down!

TOM: What does that mean?

Me: Errr…Anyway, it’s a really funny webseries starring Patrick Breen and Willie Garson.  You know, the Broadway and TV stars? Between the two of them, they’ve been in, like, everything!

TOM: Ok…What’s it about?

Me: It’s about two guys who’ve been best friends since, like, forever, and they decide they want to share their love of art by opening their own art gallery, except they have no money because Willie is an out-of-work actor, which is totally not true in real life, and Patrick married money so he’s got nothing of his own.  Anyway, Patrick’s father-in-law, Mr G, is, like, this really mean dude who always threatens to cut people’s balls off.  Patrick’s wife, Nadine – you might know her as the gorgeous redhead Gayle from the NBC series “In Gayle We Trust”, has this relationship with her Dad that is suspiciously incestuous.  Nadine convinces her Dad to let the guys use his gallery on Mondays so the guys come up with these absolutely crazy exhibitions.

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Running the Long Con – “White Collar” Then and Now – Part 2

It is another day closer to the season 3 return of my favourite TV show, WHITE COLLAR.  I hope you enjoyed reading Part 1 of my look back at the things I love about the show.  If you missed Part 1, here’s what you missed:

  • The Wardrobe
  • The Truth, Half-Truths and Little White Lies
  • The Quirky Friend
  • The Women of White Collar

There was too much to talk about for one post so here is Part 2.  I’m sure I’ll think of something more after I publish but I’m sure there will be more opportunities in the future for more!  So here we go…let the recap continue! 🙂

5.  The Villains

This show has not been lacking in the villains department given our protagonists are here to solve crimes.  I particularly loved the ones with the fun nicknames like The Dutchman (season 1, “Pilot”), Ghovat (season 1 “Threads”) and The Vulture (season 3 “Taking Account”).  I wish they had more names for the villain-of-the-week – let’s hope I will get my wish in season 4.

But for now, let’s just look at some of the most interesting ones, namely, those who have had a past with Neal.

Fowler, Adler, Keller - coincidence all the baddies' names end with "ler"? Lol

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Web Series Review: WHOLE DAY DOWN Episode 4 “Last Impressionists”

If texting while driving is frowned upon and drinking while driving is illegal, then someone should be arresting Willie right now.  Perhaps we can just blame it on his participation in all those pharmaceutical drug trials giving him strange side effects, such as growing an extra arm like Zaphod Beeblebrox (from “Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy”) and worse.

In “Last Impressionists“, our intrepid gallerists, Patrick (Patrick Breen) and Willie (Willie Garson), have a Cubist Couture exhibit they are preparing for.  The artist is an exotic and beautiful woman named Amora (Marta McGonagle) who repurposes the clothes that the Impressionists were buried in.  I think I’d look good in a Cezanne Suit Jacket with the Monet Mini Skirt…

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