Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Go Forth and TiVo! 

Yes, yes, I still owe you a final comprehensive Sundance roundup. But in the meantime, it's worthwhile to point out that TheOnion.com has started a new feature in their AV Club section called "TiVo This Now!" with recommendations of shows to consider getting season passes for. In the spirit of this new offering from our friends at TheOnion, I thought I would take a moment to point out a few of my own suggestions.

Slings & Arrows
First up on the list of recommendations is Slings & Arrows which returns to the Sundance Channel on Sunday. This wonderful, literate dramedy features The Kids in the Hall's Mark McKinney (who also writes and produces) and a cast of brilliant Canadian actors. It's a shame we've never heard of them before - with the exception of Rachel McAdams (hubba hubba) - because they are excellent to a (wo)man. Detailing the day-to-day, behind the scenes drama of the New Burbage Shakespeare Festival, Slings & Arrows is full of biting wit, human foibles and tons of heart.

Theatre insiders will immediately intuit that the Stratford Shakespeare Festival is the company on which the show is based; right down to season one's storyline about an American action hero hired to play Hamlet (and sell tickets). Those of us "in the biz" way back when remember Keanu's fabled trip north to do the very same. (S&A writers are kinder in granting their action hero greater acting capability than history judged Mr. Reeves to have displayed in his Hamlet.)

If you missed the first season, set your TiVo to record the first six episodes on Saturday! They're airing them all back to back. Then jump on board for second season's premiere on Sunday.

My Name is Earl
Are you watching My Name is Earl yet? It's a half hour of vintage Coen Brothers, Raising Arizona-style comedy each week. Jason Lee leads a cast of unbelievable redneck farceurs in the craziest combination of Buddhist philosophy and Married with Children slapstick since I don't know when. Call it Waiting for GodIDIOT.

I wrote in November of 2004 about the best TV show you'd never heard of: O'Grady. According to an inside source, Nickelodeon has seen the wisdom of commissioning a second season of six episodes for it's nighttime lineup on their Noggin channel - which strangely switches to an older demographic and changes its nom d'air to "The N" during the night. O'Grady is starting up again on Monday March 3rd at 9pm.

Apparently, the premiere episode features special guests Conan O'Brien and Amy Poehler. I'm told that guest appearances in the new season will include Will Arnett, David Cross, Rachel Dratch, and Rob Corddry.

I'm more than ready for some more doses of this wonderfully original, half-hour animated show. And I'm very frustrated that there are only six new episodes!

Unknown White Male
I've been waiting to tell you when Court TV would air one of my fav docs from last year's Sundance called Unknown White Male. I just discovered that while it will air on Court TV in June, it will have a limited cineminatic release first. It will open in The City and in L.A. on February 24th and then go to selected cities nationwide in March. So you can either set your TiVo in advance for its eventual air date in June or go out and see it in theatres this month. Personally, I am tempted to do both if K. will let me.
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