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Oscar History

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Oscar Horrors: Kathy Bates in Misery

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Entries in TV (483)


Judy by the Numbers: "Lena Horne Medley"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

If you watch the full Judy Garland Show from start to finish in the order in which it was filmed rather than the order in which it was broadcast - which is what we're doing in miniature - a few patterns emerge early on. First, there is the legendary talent that crowds the first episodes: besides Judy herself, we've seen Garland reunited with Mickey Rooney, swinging with Count Basie, introducing her daughter Liza, and now she's belting Lena Horne numbers to Lena Horne herself. For any midcentury music geek, this show is the gift that keeps on giving. However, if you push past the fabulous talent to watch the format itself, you'll notice something else: for a variety programme, The Judy Garland Show doesn't have much variety.

The Show: The Judy Garland Show Episode 4
The Songwriters: Various, arranged by Mel Torme
The Cast: Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Terry-Thomas, directed by Bill Hobin

The Story: Only four episodes in, The Judy Garland Show had already fallen into something of a rut. The basic format never wavered - Judy sang first and introduced the guest(s), the guest(s) performed, star and guest(s) chatted, star and guest(s) performed, then Judy wrapped everything up with "Born in a Trunk." CBS execs had noticed - as had Judy Garland. By episode 4 her bad behavior had resurfaced, causing Lena Horne to reportedly lose her cool after Judy missed every rehearsal day.

Despite that conflict - or maybe because of it - Lena performs sparklingly on the show. In variety and expression, she even outperforms Judy. (Lena's references to Louis Armstrong during "Meet Me In St Louis" especially charm.) Nonetheless, missed rehearsals or no Judy Garland can carry a number, and the overall musical montage works well, even when a beat or two is missed. Unfortunately, the next week's show would not be so kind.

previously on Judy by the Numbers


Transparent Season 3. Part 2 - Heading for Disaster

by Chris Feil

Transparent thrives on impending personal cataclysm and the middle portion of its third season is no exception. Per usual, the Pfeffermans are on track for explosions big and small coming not soon enough for their own good or too fast that they can't see it as its happening. When Eric left us off, Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) had made the decision to fully transition, Sarah (Amy Landecker) was still struggling to get spiritually arrested, and Alli's (Gabby Hoffman) was continuing her relationship with the shifty Leslie (Cherry Jones). In this next section, Judith Light's Shelly takes a backseat, while Josh (Jay Duplass) begins a series of oncoming crises.

Episode 4 - "Just the Facts"

Maura opens the episode with a visit to her plastic surgeon to see the potential outcome from her planned facial reconstruction. She's beginning to see the belabored process of intrusive and endless therapy visits required to fully transition, but the projection of her future self staring back at her is all too promising to get discouraged...

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Drag Race All Stars E6: 'Pants. Pants I Say...'

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 2 didn't need a runway theme to remind us that Alaska is wearing the pants this time around. RuPaul's joke about goofing off during deliberations, which is genius as we've discussed, only further emphasizes who's the boss this season. And it ain't Ru, okay gurl?

I can't wait to see how this turns out.

That binocular miming bit from Katya was cute but there's no suspense. I think we all know who's turning it out at the finale...

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Feeling the "Effects" (One Mississippi, Episode 2)

by Stephen Fenton

When a loved one dies, there’s a flurry of activity; all manner of tasks to be done and arrangements to be made. It’s those first few days after the funeral that are the hardest, when reality starts to kick in, and you realize you to make sense of this new normal. And that’s where we find Tig and family in the second episode of One Mississippi.  

“How was your stay at the hospital? Were you satisfied? Or did things not go so well?...Because you died.”

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Transparent Season 3. Part One 

TV’s best comedy/drama/tragedy, Transparent, is back for Season 3 in all of its sexual/pansexual/transsexual glory as creator Jill Soloway brings us back into the tumultuous lives of the fallible Pfefferman family.  Here’s a look at Episodes 1-3…

Episode One:  Elizah
It’s a bummer that the first show out of the gate is probably the weakest episode of Transparent we’ve seen.  While the show starts promisingly with Rabbi Raquel (the magical Kathryn Hahn, promoted to full-time cast member this season) jogging through misty woods to a soundtrack of Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas”…this episode is devoted almost entirely to one storyline.  While Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) works one of her first shifts at the LGBT community center hotline, she receives a call from a confused young trans girl named Elizah.  When Elizah hangs up on her, Maura is so moved and involved that she spends the day tracking her down...  

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Exhuming Hitchcock's Grave... Again

Alfred Hitchcock was not above a remake. Or adaptations. Or self referencing. But this latest news is taking things too far in posthumous Hitchcock mania. A new show called Welcome to Hitchcock is going to "reimagine" Hitchcock stories one season-long mystery/crime at a time. The news gets worse: Chris Columbus will direct the pilot. Because, you know, Columbus has always excelled at taut psychologically provocative suspense (wtf?).

Sigh. After all the Hitchcock rip-offs and "sequels" and homages and "recreations" over the years, we do not need a ten episode reimagining of Psycho or Rear Window or Notorious; they're perfect the way they are. With the TV-making community scrambling to jump on the hot hot hot anthology train we all should have assumed that remakes were next. But if they must do this, let's hope they find a young director with an actual voice and gift for suspense to flesh out some of Hitchcock's less successful efforts instead. Any suggestions? 


Some Brain Vomiting About "Finding Prince Charming"

By Nathaniel R

Outside of talent-based competitions like Project Runway and RuPaul's Drag Race, I rarely watch reality television. Sure, I've seen an episode here and there of some of the big ones (mostly due to Emmy races or being around friends who were watching them) but I've never seen an episode of anything from the Housewives subgenre or Kardashians anything and never will. I've also never seen an episode of The Bachelor or Bachelorette.

This avoidance is less about artistic judgement than a lifelong aversion to famous people who are famous for no good reason. Celebrity that comes from talent or a contribution to society is easy to respect even if you don't personally admire that particular celebrity. Nevertheless after becoming obsessed with UNReal last season (have you finished S2?) its brilliant acting, disturbing psychology, and its evisceration of The Bachelor I suddenly had all these curiousities about this particular subgenre. 

Enter Finding Prince Charming on Logo which bills itself as the 'first' all gay dating show and is basically The Bachelor with old school Shakespearean casting; men play all the roles...

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