Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Don't Let Good TV Shows Be Cancelled #TV

So many great TV shows get cancelled each year, because they're audiences can't find them in the avalanche of new programs each season on network and cable TV. Here are 3 wonderful network TV shows that are teetering on the cancellation list I would hate to see disappear. So tune in ASAP!

First up is Forever. This show definitely has a Sherlock feel but with a great twist and cast. It's on Tuesdays check your local listings. Here's the network description.

Doctor Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City's star medical examiner, has a secret. He doesn't just study the dead to solve criminal cases, he does it to solve the mystery that has eluded him for 200 years—the answer to his own inexplicable immortality. This long life has given Henry remarkable observation skills which impresses his new partner Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza), but piques her curiosity about who he is. Each week, a new case and their budding friendship will reveal layers of Henry's long and colorful past. Only his best friend and confidant, Abe (Judd Hirsch) knows Henry's secret.

Forever stars Ioan Gruffudd as Henry, Alana De La Garza as Det. Jo Martinez, Barbara Eve Harris as Lt. Marcia Roark, Donnie Keshawarz as Detective Hanson, Joel David Moore as Lucas Wahl, and Judd Hirsch as Abe.

Madam Secretary reminds me of the West Wing. I love the weekly political stories mixed with lead Tea Leoni's family dramas. It is fighting the uphill battle of Sunday nights ridiculous choice of amazing quality shows. Trust me it is DVR worthy.

Here's the Network description. MADAM SECRETARY stars Tèa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State who drives international diplomacy, battles office politics and circumvents protocol as she negotiates global and domestic issues, both at the White House and at home. A college professor and a brilliant former CIA analyst who left for ethical reasons, Elizabeth returns to public life at the request of the President following the suspicious death of her predecessor. The President values her apolitical leanings, her deep knowledge of the Middle East, her flair for languages and her ability to not just think outside the box, but to not even acknowledge there is a box. McCord's team includes her Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver, speechwriter Matt Mahoney, press coordinator Daisy Grant and her charming assistant Blake Moran. When McCord debates third world problems, finesses foreign dignitaries at work and does battle with the President's combative Chief of Staff Russell Jackson, it's just a warm-up for when she goes home to her supportive husband, Henry, and their two bright children, where "politics" and "compromise" take on new meaning.

Finally, A to Z is an adorable TV sit com, which I don't usually go for. I know you think I like it just because the male lead famously  (spoiler) lost a nipple on Mad Men. I will cop to feeling somewhat loyal to my Mad Men cast, but this show really is a great twist on the couple sit com.

The show airs Thursdays. Here's the network desciption. "A to Z" tells the story of Andrew (Ben Feldman, "Mad Men," "The Mindy Project") and Zelda (Cristin Milioti, "The Wolf of Wall Street," "How I Met Your Mother") - a pair that almost wasn't - and all that happened from the day they met. Andrew and Zelda will date for eight months, three weeks, five days and one hour. This program is a comprehensive account of their relationship - from "A to Z."

If for no other reason, please watch these shows to keep smart TV on the networks. I know people love the reality shows but scripted shows are great too and shouldn't just be for people who want to pay for cable. Thanks, in advance, for helping secure these programs.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Can Your Daughter Walk Alone? #Feminism @FCKH8

For the last day this video from FCKH8.com has been floating around in my Facebook stream. It features little girls in princess dresses talking about every thing from pay inequality to sexual assualt with a liberal use of the F word. It is jarring to see these little girls use such salty language, but really shouldn't we be more concerned about the content between the expletives. That little girls are still living in a world where they will be paid less than their male counterparts, are still getting the message their appearance is the most important issue of their lives and can expect to be a victim of sexual assault should be the more upsetting issue. Which is, of course the point of this video.

Having a 10 year old daughter I like to think things are so much better now than when I grew up in the 70s and they are in many ways, but I think we can all agree we've still a long way to go. The video has a line about it being great that woman have the vote but now can we have the right to walk to the car. That made me catch my breathe. Because I don't feel safe walking to my car or even walking around my own block at night. I'm a 45 year old woman and I need someone to walk to my car with??? And sadly I would advise my daughter not to walk alone either.

I wish I could say I'm just paranoid about being accosted, but if I look back over my life, it is a warranted fear. At age 7 a man pulled his car up to me and a friend walking home, he was masturbating inside. When I was 10 I was again walking home and another man pulled up in his car to launch into a verbal assault of a sexual nature. When I was 19 I was mugged on a side street of Sunset Blvd. with a friend. When I was 20 I was mugged again in a grocery store parking lot. Finally, when I was 28 as I was walking into my apartment a man ran up and flashed me. So the fact that I don't want to walk to my car alone isn't crazy it's self preservation.

With all of those incidences behind me I still consider myself lucky I have never been raped. Because as a girl or a woman all of the things that have happened to me are the least you have to worry about when you are walking to school, the store, or really anywhere. That's right, every time you see a woman walking alone she is constantly aware of foot steps behind her, blind corners, the bushes, and any possible danger. She jumps in her car quickly and god forbid a van has parked next to her. (Van=serial killer)

So forget pay equality, and body image, and slut shaming and all the rest of it. Just ask yourself one question what kind of world do our girls live in when their own mothers don't feel safe walking to their cars? With that in mind it's a wonder all little girls aren't talking like the ones in this video.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Neil Patrick Harris to Host 2015 Oscars

Yesterday it was announce Neil Patrick Harris will be the host of the 2015 Academy Awards!

As you, faithful readers, might remember I mentioned 2 weeks ago in my review of Gone Girl my desire to see more of him.

"If I had one complaint it would be that we don't get nearly enough Neil Patrick Harris (Though he does have a fully naked scene, did I just bury the lead?). Even in this very serious role he is spectacular. But as with any book you can't film every word. So we get what we get of Neil Patrick Harris and will just have to hope that this role gets him more work in bigger parts in things to come."

You ask and you shall receive.

I do love Neil Patrick Harris. Calling him a triple threat is an understatement. He's stupendous on all fronts as far as I can tell. Maybe he doesn't floss or something but otherwise... perfection.

Neil has hosted the Tonys once and the Emmys twice. Neil has won five Emmys and received the Tony last year for his performance in Hedwig and The Angry Inch. All of this just to say which do you think he'll get first the EGOT (winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) for his performances or be the first person to host all four shows. Personally I think he should host everything from here on out.

Prepare yourself for some great Oscar watching this year people. Who cares what anyone is wearing or what films get nominated. What do you think Neil will do????

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Historic El Capitan Theatre Tour @elcapitanthtre #MyDayInLA

Interior of  El Capitan Theatre Hollywood 

Beginning October 10th the historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Blvd is providing Disney Movie Palace & Backstage tours, including front of house, back stage and even below stage. These great old movie houses have so many amazing stories to tell. This is a great addition to our LA tours.

El Capitan Theatre door frame at entrance. Now that's a door JAM
The tour begins giving you details about the original theatre which ran plays. Location, location, location, was the mantra of actors who worked at the El Capitan in those days, as the Masonic Temple members next door often attended plays and their roles included Louis B Mayer and other big wigs in Hollywood. Landing a part in a play at The El Capitan could be your first step to a studio contract. Legendary stars Clark Gable, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford, Joan Fontaine, Henry Fonda and Will Rogers have all graced the El Capitan stage.

El Capitan Theatre ceiling decoration

Built in 1926 by Charles Toberman and Sid Grauman, the second of their three exotically themed theatres the others being Graumans (now TCL) Chinese Theatre and The Egypatian, all on Hollywood Blvd. Toberman often called "The Father of Hollywood" played a role in developing over 30 buildings in the heart of Hollywood, including the Roosevelt Hotel and the Hollywood Masonic Temple (now the El Capitan Entertainment Centre, home to ABC's late night talk show, JimmyKimmel Live!).

El Capitan Theatre Wall of Fame
The theatre continued running plays until 1941 when Orson Wells was looking for an independent theatre to have the premiere for Citizen Kane. After the premiere they decided to switch to film and after a 9 month renovation reopen in 1942 as the Hollywood Paramount. The theatre owners had boarded over the original East Indian inspired decor and replace it with Art Modern, which is more or less how it stayed as it changed hands multiple times over the next 45+ years.

El Capitan Theatre Replica Light Fixtures

In 1989 Walt Disney Company and Pacific Theatres launched a major renovation, returning the theatre to it's original glory. They were able to restore much of the original interior that still existed behind the boarding, everything else they reconstructed from photographs. They were able to match paint colors exactly by scraping the existing paint and matching it with microscopes! After 2 years the El Capitan reopened in 1991 with the premiere of The Rocketeer.

El Capitan Theatre Down Stairs Lounge all original. Used for displays and after parties
Times and Prices

30 minute tour is $15 and begins at 8:30am. This includes a history of Hollywood and the El Capitan, full access behind-the-scenes of the theatre, including the Sherman Brothers Star Dressing Room, named for the composers of such Disney songs as “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “It’s a Small World,” an opportunity to take a photo with the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, and a full viewing of the curtain show.
15 minute express tour runs throughout the day and is $5. This includes the history of the theatre, a visit to the Wall of Fame, and a tour of the lobby areas.

For more information, details and options, visit the El Capitan Theatre Box Office, call 1-800-Disney6, or check the El Capitan Tour Website.

El Capitan Theatre organ

I believe the El Capitan Theatre is the only theatre on Hollywood Blvd with an organ. This one was original to a 1920s Fox theatre in San Francisco. It is the top of the line with all the bells and whistles as they say. It rises from the floor before screenings and is played beautifully. I hope to one day see a silent film in the El Capitan Theatre accompanied by it.

El Capitan Theatre organ's original Fox seal

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Halloween at Disneyland #HalloweenTime @Disneyland

If you are looking to really kick up your Halloween fun Disneyland is ready to serve you. My family was invited to visit this weekend and it was spectacular as always!

As soon as you get off the tram you're treated with Halloween decorations galore. Once you enter Main Street you are greeted by the giant Mickey Pumpkin pictured above. My family couldn't wait to get on rides so we made a bee line for Space Mountain which is spookified by Ghost Galaxy. As if being on a roller coaster in the dark isn't freaky enough they've added howling ghouls.

Of course, the Haunted Mansion is scary all year round but come Halloween Jack Skellington and his friends from the film Nightmare Before Christmas invade and give it their own special touch. This treat works double duty as it conveniently encompasses both Christmas and Halloween.

Be sure to make it to the Halloween Carnival in Big Thunder Ranch (in Frontierland). There are jugglers, magicians, and even a fortune teller on the Jamboree Stage. You'll find fun for the whole family with characters in Halloween costumes, Mickey’s Mask-Parade, amazing pumpkin carving demonstrations, carnival-style games and activities, Halloween merchandise, and yummy treats!

Here's Disney's list of all the special treats and surprises for the Halloween season.

Enjoy seasonal attractions and special activities during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. Celebrate the season with the Haunted Mansion Holiday, brought to you by Jack Skellington, from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the residents of Halloween Town. Escape the clutches of freaky phantasms as you are launched to a haunted section of the universe on Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Drop in for ghostly encounters and hair-raising thrills at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Take a spooky stroll down Main Street, U.S.A., which is transformed into a Pumpkin Festival with hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins on display—and no two alike. Meet some Disney villains as they are conjured up in a sideshow tent at the Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland. Create Halloween crafts and enjoy some not-so-spooky activities for kids at Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch. Plus, watch pumpkin carvers and meet some of your favorite Disney Characters in their Halloween costumes. Observe Dia de los Muertos with a traditional skeleton display in Frontierland. Show off your monster moves on the dance floor at the Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure Park, where you can dance the night away, chill out in the lounge or just take in the scene. Discover the thrills and chills of the Disneyland Resort on the Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour that takes you on lively adventures through both parks.

There really is something for everyone.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TCM Letter Writing Campaign #DontTouchTCM #TCMParty @TCM

Yesterday Will McKinley's blog, Cinematically Insane posted about the imminent lay offs at Turner Broadcasting. Fresh off our high of the announcement of the TCM Classic Film Festival dates it put fear in every TCM loving heart. TCM is a family to us and we can't imagine a single person is expendable.

Because of that feeling many of us have decided to post open letters to our blogs as well as send them to Turner Headquarters in Atlanta. I would encourage you to do so as well. Their address is:

Turner Broadcasting
One CNN Center 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303


We are being advised to direct letters to:

John Martin, CEO
Turner Broadcasting
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY 10019-8016

Please use this address if you haven't already mailed your letter

If you have a blog or facebook please post your letters too or copy and paste mine, whatever you want and use the #DontTouchTCM

Without further ado here is my plea to the powers that be at Turner to leave TCM in tact.

To Whom It May Concern,

As a long time TCM viewer I am extremely concerned about the recently reported lay offs. TCM has an unheard of audience of loyal viewers, with the possible exception of PBS. Similarly TCM's programming is both entertaining and educational, to the point they won a Peabody award last year. Also like PBS, TCM is good for the whole family. Finally like PBS it fills a need in television that is not filled elsewhere and must be protected.

Host Ben Mankiewicz has stated that TCM has a fan base like no other. It's not just one show we love it is the entire channel. What makes us this loyal is the commercial free films, the educational documentaries, the beautiful memorials and mini bio short, the intros telling us about the films,their social media interactions, and the amazing face to face events, including Road To Hollywood, the film festival and the cruise. All of these are executed so masterfully.

I beg you not to remove one of these talented people who have created classic film programming, documentaries, and events that keep these films alive. TCM's level of excellence promotes, not only film education but film preservation. It is everyone one of TCM's employees who have earned it's viewers fierce loyalty and created a channel that is unparalleled.

Thank you for your consideration,

Elise Crane Derby

Proud TCM devotee

Monday, October 6, 2014

Twin Peaks Season 3 coming to Showtime in 2016 #TwinPeaks @Sho_Network

The internet is all a"twitter" about the just announced third season of Twin Peaks coming to Showtime in 2016. It will be a limited series with just nine episodes.The scripts will all be written by David Lynch and Mark Frost and all the episodes will be directed by Lynch. WOO HOO!

While few details are publicly known I think Kyle Maclachlan's tweet makes it pretty clear he will be involved.

If, like me, you were a huge fan of the series when it originally aired but haven't seen it since, not to worry Showtime says they'll be reairing the original two seasons before the premiere of these new nine episodes.

In case you doubt my original fan status I'm including pictures of me and a friend outside of Seattle visiting some of the exteriors of the show. These were taken a few years after the show was, sadly, cancelled.

Waterfall in opening credit of Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks Coffee Shop for a damn fine cup o Joe

Sorry for the quality. These are from a time before digital cameras!

Finally, for the holidays, here is Twin Peaks' The 12 Days of Christmas. There were at least 2 Christmas' where this would actually be played (relentlessly) on all alternative radio stations.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

TCM Classic Film Festival Dates Announced #TCMFF #TCMParty @TCM @TCMFilmFest

UPDATE: TCM Film Festival tickets will go on sale to the public November 13th at noon. Passes can be purchased exclusively through the official festival website: www.tcm.com/festival. A limited number of festival passes will also be available to Citi cardmembers via an exclusive online only presale at www.citiprivatepass.com. This exclusive presale begins at 10 a.m. (ET), Tuesday, Nov. 11, and ends at 10 a.m. (ET), Thursday, Nov. 13.

Four film have also been announced all making restoration world premieres, Ron Howard's Apollo 13 (1995), Stanley Kubrick'sSpartacus (1960), William Dieterle's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) and Charles Reisner and Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928). The Keaton comedy will be accompanied by legendary silent film composer Carl Davis conducting the world premiere performance of his new score for the film.

TCM Classic Film Festival 2015 is celebrating it's 6th year and will be held on March 26-29. The theme this year will be History According to Hollywood. Which should give them a lot of film to choose from! Here's their description.

"The Old West. Medieval England. Ancient Rome. Hollywood has found endless inspiration in re-creating historical moments and bringing to life the heroes and villains of the past, creating a form of time travel for audiences through the ages and around the world. These films, however, are not always true to the historical record. Filmmakers have often created works about the past that are a reflection of the period in which they were made, or change facts to suit a particular storyline. The 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival will explore how cinema has shaped how we view – and remember – history."

We have our lovely, and both looking pretty cool too, hosts Robert Osbourne and Ben Mankiewicz.

Ben Mankiewicz at TCMFF 2014
Robert Osborne TCM 2013

Tickets will go on sale in November. The pass levels will be:

Palace Pass
$299 – Includes access to all screenings and events at the TCL Chinese Theatre (excluding the opening-night red-carpet gala) and the Egyptian Theatre Friday, March 27 – Sunday, March 29, as well as poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Classic Festival Pass
$599 – Includes access to all film programs at festival venues Thursday, March 26 – Sunday, March 29 (does not include admittance to the opening-night red-carpet gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre or the opening-night party); access to all Club TCM events, panels and poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; an opening-night welcome reception at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; and the closing-night event.

Essential Festival Pass
$749 – Includes all privileges available to "Classic" passholders, plus entry to the opening-night red-carpet gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre and official TCM Classic Film Festival collectibles.

Spotlight Festival Pass
$1,649 – Includes all privileges available to "Classic" and "Essential" passholders, priority entry to all screening events; plus entry to the exclusive opening-night party following the red-carpet gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre; meet-and-greet events with TCM friends, including Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz; and a limited edition TCM Classic Film Festival poster.

In past years individual tickets have been available. I have yet to hear if this will be the case this year but here is how that worked last year.

UPDATE: Individual passes will be available at the prices listed below

Individual Tickets
Individual tickets are $20 for general audiences, $10 with valid student I.D. for most events. Individual tickets are $30 for general audiences, $15 with valid student I.D. for the closing night presentation. Individual tickets are sold on a cash only basis.

Mitzi Gayner TCMFF 2013
I wouldn't miss it for the world! The experience of seeing great films, in great old movie palaces, sometimes with interviews with cast, directors, or producers, and add to all of that an enthusiastic audience of Classic Movie fiends it's unparalleled.

As we get closer to the date of the festival I'm sure we'll get announcements about film selections. I wouldn't be surprised however if the opening night film remains a secret until painfully close to the festival. In an interview I did with TCM head programmer, Charlie Tabesh, he told me that in the early years of the festival they felt the audience needed to know what they were signing up for. But now that the festival is established and more of a known quantity audiences know what to expect. TCM feels they can allow more time to lock down the Gala opening night film and celebrity guests. It's hard on those who are deciding which pass level to purchase but ultimately probably makes for a better opening night event.

It really doesn't matter whether it's your first time or you've been to every single one, the experience is that of a class reunion. Everyone has this one thing in common and are happy to talk about it as long as you want. I've had so many priceless experiences over the years, meeting Ernest Borgnine, munching cookies with Tony Curtis, test driving Kim Novak's hand print cement.
If you love classic film it really is the ultimate experience. Tickets go fast so be sure to get yours ASAP and book your hotel now, especially if you want to stay at the historic Roosevelt Hotel site of the first Academy Awards and the TCMFF official club house, where many events take place.

Other Hotels in the area


Jane Fonda Getting her prints at TCL Chinese Theatre TCMFF 2013

See you there!