Category Archives: television

Bob Newhart 9.5.13 Thought of the Day

“I don’t like country music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means ‘put down'”– Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart

George Robert “Bob” Newhart was born on this day in Oak Park, Illinois, U.S. in 1929. Today is his 84th birthday.

He was one of four children born to George and Julia Newhart. Bob is the only boy. He attended Catholic schools, including Loyola University of Chicago. He graduated from Loyola UofC in 1952 with a degree in business management. He served in the Army during the Korean War (he was stationed stateside). After the war he worked as an accountant and clerk before turning to comedy.

By 1959 he was recording comedy albums and doing stand up. He had his first taste of television with “The Bob Newhart Show” in 1961. This first effort lasted only a year, but Bob was a regular guest on variety shows. through out the 60s.

Publicity photo of the cast of The Bob Newhart...

Publicity photo of the cast of The Bob Newhart Show. Standing from left: Bill Daily (Howard Borden), Marcia Wallace, (Carol Kester), Peter Bonerz (Jerry Robinson). Seated: from left: Bob Newhart (Bob Hartley), Suzanne Pleshette (Emily Hartley). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the 1970’s Mary Tyler Moore and Grant Tinker gave Bob another chance at starring in a series when they developed “The Bob Newhart Show” (part 2, if you will). The show ran for 142 episodes over six seasons.

It was as Bob Hartley that Newhart wedged his button-down way into many of our hearts. Who didn’t want a straight man like Hartley as your psychologist, your friend, your neighbor? He let the other characters go nuts around him because he was eternally the solid, helpful center, who wasn’t perfect, but who stood in for everyone who’s ever wondered, “What the heck have I gotten myself into?” [NBCNews.com]

In 1982 he starred in another successful sit-com, Newhart, as Dick Loudon, a Vermont innkeeper. Newhart lasted 8 years. Both series were nominated for Emmy’s several years in a row (as was Newhart) but never managed to take home the statue.

Newhart

Newhart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Nathan Fillion 3.27.13 Thought of the Day

Nathan Fillion at the 2005 Serenity premiere.

“What could be better than captain of a space ship? I get to ride horses, shoot guns, have adventures …” —Nathan Fillion

Nathan Christopher Fillion was born on this day in Alberta, Canada in 1971. He is 42 years old.

Nathan is the second son born to Cookie and Bob Fillion, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He attended Holy Trinity Catholic High School then went to Concordia University College of Alberta and the University of Alberta. His parents and brother Jeff are all teachers, and Nathan was on the path to becoming one as well, but just before graduation he was offered a role on ABC’s One Life To Live.

He proved very popular as the show’s character Joey Buchanan and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award, as well as a Soap Opera Digest Award, for “Outstanding Young Actor” in 1996. [Nathan Fillion.org]

As Joey Buchannon on One Life to Live [Image courtesy: Sop Opera Weekly]
As Joey Buchannon on One Life to Live [Image courtesy: Soap Opera Weekly]

His first film role was as the “Minnesota” Ryan in Steven Spielberg’s  Saving Private Ryan.

In 1998 he turned a recurring guest appearance as Johnny Donnelly  into a permanent role on To Guys, a Girl and  Pizza Place. The series ran for three more years.

Fillion as Caleb in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. [Image courtesy: Wikipedia]
Fillion as Caleb in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. [Image courtesy: Wikipedia]

A character arch as Caleb, a defrocked priest, serial killer and really, really bad guy on Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer helped bring the series to its dramatic finale.

Fillion worked with Whedon again in 2002 on the science fiction series Firefly. He played Captain Malcolm Reynolds,

Once a sergeant in the losing war for independence, Mal captains a team of misfits in smuggling operations on the edge of the galaxy. His main goal in life is to be left alone and avoid the Alliance government—until he discovers (in the movie Serenity), their heavy-handed plan to fix (i.e., medicate and subdue) the world, at which point he aims to misbehave. He’s broken, bitter and faithless. He’s also damn funny and the one person his crew can count on without reservation. [ PasteMagazine.com]

An example of the Wild West influenced clothin...
He aims to misbehave. …An example of the Wild West influenced clothing and weaponry in Firefly and Serenity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fox rather famously (and stupidly imho) cancelled the series 11 episodes in, but loyal Browncoats kept the faith. The creative team and cast came together again for the motion picture  Serenity in 2005.

He played the “hapless, frustrated hero, Police Chief Bill Pardy” [Nathan Fillion.org] in the campy horror film Slither in 2006.  Then went more romantic as an understanding gynecologist in 2007’s Waitress with Keri Russell.

He joined forces again with Whedon  (this time with Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day) for the three-part musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

You can currently catch Fillion as the mystery novelist turned detective Rick Castle on ABC’s Castle. The series is in its fifth season.


Leonard Nimoy 3.26.13 Thought of the Day

“The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have”–Leonard Nimoy

“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end” — Nimoy as Spock

Nimoy as Spock [Image courtesy: Fanpop]

Nimoy as Spock [Image courtesy: Fanpop]

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on this day in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1931.  He is 82 years old.

He is the youngest son of Max and Dora Nimoy. His parents and grandparents were Yiddish speaking Orthodox Jews who fled from the Ukrainian region of Stalinist Russia and settled in the West End neighborhood of Boston. Max owned a barbershop and was a neighborhood fixture. Leonard and his older brother Melvin sold newspapers in Boston Commons. His parents wanted him to go to college or at least take up the accordion so he’d have a  reliable means to make a living, but Leonard was set on being an actor. It was his Grandfather who stood up for him and encouraged him to pursue his dream.

Nimoy started to act in neighborhood theater when he was eight. He continued to act while at Boston’s English High School.

…After his graduation in 1949, he attended Boston College. While playing the role of Ralphie in a collegiate production of Clifford OdetsAwake and Sing, Nimoy noticed that another Odets play was making a professional, pre-Broadway debut in Boston. After seeking career advice from one of the play’s established cast members, Nimoy submitted an application to California’s Pasadena Playhouse. He made his way out to the West Coast using money he earned by selling vacuum cleaners. [Biography.com]

He landed a few guest spots on tv before getting his first starring role as a boxer in Kid Monk Baroni.

He served in the United States Army and reached the rank of Sergeant before being honorably discharged in November of 1955. He went back to acting, taking small parts in film and television and larger roles on stage.

After carving out a niche with day-player roles on the likes of Dragnet, The Rough Riders, Sea Hunt, Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildaire and Perry Mason, Nimoy’s featured role on a 1965 episode of The Lieutenant earned the attention of producer and writer Gene Roddenberry. [Biography.com]

Roddenberry was developing a science fiction series, Star Trek,  and he needed a tall, thin, logical, intelligent science officer. Nimoy got the role of Mr. Spock.

Half-Vulcan and half-human, Spock is largely emotionless and operates on a level of pure logic, serving as a counterpart to Shatner’s more combustible Captain James T. Kirk. It was Nimoy himself who came up with the concept of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, since he believed it would be out of character for Spock to punch or chop an enemy combatant. [Daily Press.com]

He also introduced the Vulcan hand salute in the episode “Amok Time.” It is a derivation of a Jewish blessing. The show ran from 1966 to 1969. Nimoy earned three Emmy nominations for the iconic role of Mr. Spock.

Looking very logical in a publicity still from Star Trek. (Image courtesy: Collider.com)

Looking very logical in a publicity still from Star Trek. (Image courtesy: Collider.com)

Nimoy was almost immediately picked up by Mission: Impossible where he played master of disguise The Great Paris.

…He was one of the world’s greatest magicians (billed as ‘The Great Paris’)…after Rollin Hand quit his position with the Impossible Missions Force …Paris was recruited … as the team’s master of disguise. … Paris has played everything from a Japanese kabuki actor to a mobster … [IMDb]

Still from Mission Impossible with Nimoy in disguise. [Image Courtesy : Ribbonrain]

Still from Mission Impossible with Nimoy in disguise. [Image Courtesy : Ribbonrain]

After Star Trek and Mission Impossible he went back to the stage, notably as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, as Vincent Van Gogh in his one man show Vincent, and in Sherlock Homes and  Equus.

Back on TV he was the narrator for paranormal series In Search Of... and he picked up another Emmy nomination for his role as Golda Meir’s husband in 1982’s  A Woman Called Golda.

His post Star Trek time also included directing, photography and writing (poetry and autobiography.)

Fanpop.com

[Image courtesy: Fanpop.com]

Back on the big screen he starred alongside Donal Sutherland in the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers in 1978 before putting the pointy ears on once again.

Buoyed by the success of George Lucas’ 1977 Star Wars, Roddenberry and crew brought the Star Trek franchise back to life with a big budget for the big screen.

The film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, was released in 1979. It was a box-office smash, and was nominated for three Oscars. Nimoy returned for 1982’s sequel, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and even directed the third and fourth installments in the series — 1984’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. [IMDb]

The movie series limped on with two more releases (Final Frontier and Undiscovered Country) and Nimoy played Spock in guest spots on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and voiced the character for video games and on-line. He was Spock “Prime” for the J.J. Abrams reboot of the series in 2009 and got to meet his Spock doppelgänger (actor Zachary Quinto) in the final scenes of the movie.

In between he’s done lots of made-for-television movies, while “honing his directing chops, voicing animated projects, and appearing in the occasional acting role.” [Ibid]

A 2003 photo from The Jewish Journal.com [Image courtesy: Jewish Journal.com]

A 2003 photo from The Jewish Journal.com [Image courtesy: Jewish Journal.com]


Fred Rogers 3.20.13 Thought of the Day

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life, is a hero to me.” — Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fred McFeely Rogers was born on this day in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA in 1928.  Today is the 85th anniversary of his birth.

Rogers was born to James and Nancy Rogers. He also spent a lot of time with maternal grandparents the McFeelys. James started out as a laborer at McFeely Brick Factory and wound up buying out his father-in-law to own the business. From there he bought Latrobe Die Casting Company. The family was well-respected and influential in town.  His mother, Nancy, volunteered as a nurses aid. Rogers said she had  “something like 25,000 volunteer hours at the hospital…. And during the Second World War she was in charge of making surgical dressings for the troops.” [The Wonder of It All] Nancy also knitted sweaters for the troops.

In fact, my mother, as long as I could remember, made at least one sweater every month. And at Christmas time, she… would give us each a hand-knit sweater … Until she died, those zipper sweaters that I wear on the Neighborhood were all made by my mother.” [Ibid]

That iconic red cardigan — the one that is in the Smithsonian? — Fred’s mom knit that for him.

Hand-made sweater worn by Fred Rogers, on disp...
Hand-made sweater worn by Fred Rogers, on display in the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But despite the outward Norman Rockwell appearance not everything was sugar and sweetness in Fred Rogers childhood. He was painfully shy, overweight and sickly. His parents were hyper protective of the little boy. They worried that he’d get sick, get hurt, or worse, get kidnapped (the Lindbergh kidnapping was fresh in every one’s mind.) The summer air was humid and the Pittsburgh’s factories added to the low air quality. That meant asthmatic Fred spent almost all his time inside his air-conditioned room during school break. He was isolated and lonely.

I was… very, very shy when I was in grade school. And when I got to high school, I was scared to death to go to school. Every day, I was afraid I was going to fail… I resented those kids for not seeing beyond my fatness or my shyness. I didn’t know that it was all right to resent it, to feel bad about it, even to feel very sad about it. … because the advice I got from the grown-ups was, “Just let on you don’t care, then nobody will bother you.” [Ibid]

One thing he did to make himself feel better was to play the piano. He started taking lessons when he was five and he soon found that music allowed him to express the feelings he otherwise had to keep inside.

He blossomed by Senior year, and finished high school as the, and was no longer the painfully shy child he had been when he entered as a Freshman. He started at Dartmouth College but transferred to Rollin College in Florida because their had a better music program. He got his degree in music composition and planned to attend Pittsburg Theological Seminary.

But then he saw his first  TV show. It was a base affair — with “people throwing pies at each other” — and Rogers “decided he wanted to be involved with this new medium to make it something better.” [Ibid]

He went to New York and began to work at NBC. He started as an assistant to the producer for NBC Opera Theater and later became floor manager for various music programs. His work on the Gabby Hayes children’s show convinced him that programing for children should be commercial free and educational. He quit NBC.

In 1954 he started  as a puppeteer on The Children’s Corner at WQED, a public  television station at Pittsburgh. Other shows followed, most famously Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. The show went national in 1968.

Not only was Fred Rogers a pioneer in children’s media, but he also was an artist, minister, composer and musician, environmentalist, and advocate for children and families.  With his gentle, unassuming manner, he made a profound impression on everyone he encountered. [Fred Roger Center]

Rogers authored the following books:

  • Mister Rogers Talks with Parents, 1983;
  • The New Baby (Mister Rogers’ First Experiences Books), 1985;
  • Making Friends (Mister Rogers’ First Experiences Books), 1987;
  • Mister Rogers: How Families Grow, 1988;
  • You Are Special, 1994.
President George W. Bush greets Fred Rogers of...
President George W. Bush greets Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood in the Blue Room before an early childhood education event in the East Room April 3, 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He won the following awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as well as the TV Critics Association.
  • The Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Two George Foster Peabody Awards.
  • Rogers was appointed Chairman of the Forum on Mass Media and Child Development of the White House Conference on Youth in 1968.
  • “Pennsylvania Founder’s Award” in June 1999 for his “lifelong contribution to the Commonwealth in the spirit of Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn.”

In December of 2002 Rogers was diagnosed with stomach cancer.  He died on February 27, 2003.


Glenn Close 3.19.13 Thought of the Day

“As an actor, I go where the good writing is. That’s the bottom line.“–Glenn Close

[Image courtesy: FanPOP.com]

[Image courtesy: FanPOP.com]

Glenn Close was born on this day in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA in 1947. She is 66 years old.

She is one of four children born to Bettine and Dr. William Taliaferro Close. The first seven years of her live were ones of privilege. She fondly remembers the ease and freedom of living in on her grandmother’s estate in the Connecticut countryside. But then things changed. Her parents joined the conservative salvation group Moral Re-Armament. The family moved into communal living centers and eventually her parents traveled to the Belgian Congo where her father ran several medical clinics and became a personal physician to  Mobutu Sese Seko. Close went to school in Switzerland. She attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Greenwich. And for a while in the mid-to-late 1960’s she performed with the MRA’s singing group “Up With People.”

At 22 she left the MRA and entered William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. There she took up acting in earnest.  Upon graduation she moved to New York and found work on the stage. She had her Broadway debut in 1974 as Angelica in Love for Love. Her break out role on the Great White Way was as Chairy Barnum in the Original Broadway Production of Barnum in 1980.

Close in The World According to Garp. [Image courtesy: Fixster.com]

Close in The World According to Garp. [Image courtesy: Fixster.com]

She made the jump to film in 1982 with The World According to Garp. She played Jenny Fields. The role earned her the first of her many Academy Award nominations. Another Oscar nomination came for her role as Sarah Cooper in The Big Chill in 1983, and yet another for her part as Iris Gaines in 1984’s the Natural.

She went against type and starred as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction in 1987. She got another Academy nod — this time for Best Actress. And got nominated again in that category for Dangerous Liaisons in 1988.

Close as Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons. [Image courtesy: the Oscar Nerd.com]

Close as Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons. [Image courtesy: the Oscar Nerd.com]

In 1990 she played Queen Gertrude to Mel Gibson’s Hamlet, And Sunny Von Bulow to Jeremy Iron’s Claus  in Reversal of Fortune.

In 1991 She played Sarah Wheaton in Sarah, Plain and Tall. It was the first of a Hallmark trilogy which also includes Skylark and Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter’s End.

Cruella De Ville (Image courtesy: FanPop.com)

Cruella De Ville (Image courtesy: FanPop.com)

But not everything on her CV is a drama. In 1996 she co-starred as First Lady Marsha Dale in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! and the first of her gigs as the villainous, puppy hating Curella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians.

Dvd cover for Paradise Road. [Image courtesy: Amazon.com]

Dvd cover for Paradise Road. [Image courtesy: Amazon.com]

In 1997 she was Adrienne Pargiter in the brilliant and under rated Paradise Road. The film is a…

Fact-based recounting of a group of women who are imprisoned on the island of Sumatra by the Japanese during World War II and used music as a relief to their misery. [IMDb]

The movie co-stars Pauline Collins, Frances McDormand, Cate Blanchette, Jennifer Ehle and Julianna Margulies  and is a beautiful testament to the human spirit and the power of music. If you haven’t seen it… do your self a favor and put it in your queue.

She showed off her pipes again as Nellie Forbush in a made for TV version of South Pacific. (An interesting counter part to Paradise Road — considering both films cover the same period in history, the same conflict,  and approximately the same geography, and both contain some lovely music… yet they take a very different look at WWII.)

Close was Eleanor of Aquitaine opposite Patrick Stewart’s Henry II  in the TV version of The Lion in Winter, in 2003.

Promo shoot for Damages. [Image courtesy: FanPop.com]

Promo shoot for Damages. [Image courtesy: FanPop.com]

She had a 13 episode character arch as Captain Monica Rawling on The Shield. She voiced Mother Simpson on the Simpsons several times, and, more dramatically,   played Patty Hewes  on the TV series Damages starting in 2007.

Close was nominated for yet another Best Actress Oscar for her work in Albert Nobbs. The film came out in 2012.

Close as Albert Nobbs (Image courtesy: NPR.com photo by Patrick Redmond.]

Close as Albert Nobbs (Image courtesy: NPR.com photo by Patrick Redmond.]

Currently she has two films in the works for 2014, The Grace That Keeps This World, and Always on My Mind. Maybe she’ll get nominated again for one of these, and maybe, just maybe, the 7th time will be a charm!


Aidan Quinn 3.9.13 Thought of the Day

“I think my being such a nomad let me into acting. I was always having to create a new image whenever we moved.” — Aidan Quinn

Legends of a Fall [Image courtesy: Tristar films]

Legends of the Fall [Image courtesy: Tristar films]

Aidan Quinn  was born on this day in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1959. He is 54.

Born to an Irish American family, he grew up in Illinois ( in Chicago and Rockford) and in Ireland. His mother, Teresa, was a bookkeeper, his father, Michael, was a literature professor. Brothers Robert, Paul,  and Declan  and  sister Marian  round out the Quinn brood. He studied acting at the Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston, Illinois and has a BFA in acting from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Quinn in Desperately Seeking Susan.

Quinn in Desperately Seeking Susan.

After working on the stage in Chicago he made the jump to film in 1984 with the drama Reckless, but broke through with the comedy Desperately Seeking Susan in the role of Dez in 1985. The Television drama An Early Frost, in which Quinn plays a young man with AIDS, earned him his first Emmy nomination. The next year he played a small role in [one of my favorite movies of all time] The Mission. “…Quinn found a niche playing sensitive, intelligent male characters, often in supporting roles. Notable films include Avalon, Benny & Joon, Michael Collins and Practical Magic.” [Biography.com]

One film that was close to his heart was also a family affair. He plays Kieran O’Day in 1998’s This is My Father.

This Is My Father

He plays a poor Irish farm hand in love with Moya Farrelly’s Fionna in This Is My Father

The film was written and directed by his brother Paul, brother Declan was the cinematographer, and sister Marian had a cameo.

Although having starred alongside “big names …and in some “big” films such as Legends of the Fall, Mary Shelley’s Frankensteinand Michael Collins he has managed to keep a fairly low profile. This is not something he’s unhappy about, since he likes to keep his private life private. [Aidan Quinn — The Biography]

“Celebrity” he says  ” is not a thing to seek.” That’s not to say he doesn’t keep busy. Between films, television and the stage Quinn has performed regularly (averaging 3 or 4 projects a year) since he entered the business.

Recently he’s been in the movie  Sarah’s Key and the US version of Prime Suspect. You can currently catch him in Elementary.

Aidan Quinn 2 by David Shankbone

Aidan Quinn 2 by David Shankbone (Photo credit: david_shankbone)


Keeley Hawes 2.10.13 Thought of the Day

“I’ve been really lucky with my career so far. I haven’t been pigeon-holed, which sometimes happens to actors. … I’m even lucky enough to have done my pocket version of Lady Macbeth!”– Keeley Hawes

Zoe Reynolds

Zoe Reynolds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clare Julia “Keeley”  Hawes was born on this day in  Marylebone, London, UK in 1976. She is 37 years old.

The youngest of four siblings she grew up in a working class family. Her father drives a taxi, and her brothers followed suit. Keeley is the only one in the family who was bit by the acting bug. They lived near the Sylvia Young Theatre School and she attended on a grant. There she took ten years of elocution lessons to lose her cockney accent. She also took acting lessons.  At 16 she began modelling for a year and half before making the switch to working as a fashion assistant for Cosmopolitan magazine.

In 1996 she landed a role in Dennis Potter’s Karaoke with Albert Finney and her acting career started in earnest. She had a starring role in the BBC’s 1998 adaptation of Dicken’s Our Mutual Friend. Her Lizzie Hexam is shy, humble, poor, innocent.

Her next major mini series role, Cynthia Kirkpatrick, in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters is none of those things. The only thing Lizzie and Cynthia have in common is that  they both wear a corset… and Hawes is wonderful in both parts.

In 2002 she took on a much more modern role as Zoe Reynolds in the BBC One spy series Spo0ks (MI-5 in the US). She met her husband, Matthew MacFayden, while working on the series.

Keeley Hawes and Matthew MacFayden from Spooks (Image courtesy Fanpop.com

Keeley Hawes and Matthew MacFayden from Spooks (Image courtesy Fanpop.com]

Speaking of modern, Hawes starred in two modernized Shakespeare plays; an Andrew Davies penned retelling of Othello for Masterpiece Theatre, and as Ella MacBeth in BBC’s  Shakespeare Retold  with James MacAvoy.

Hawes has been busy (I’m only mentioning the performances I’ve seen == all of which have been excellent).

Her latest “Masterpiece” was last year’s Lady Agnes Holland on the reboot of Upstairs Downstairs.


Second Character Saturday: Jim Halpert 2.2.13

Who: Jim Halpert/ Tim Canterbury

jimhalpertVStimcanterbury

From: The OFFICE (US/UK)

Played by:  John Krasinski / Martin Freeman

Created by: The US version of the Office was adapted from the UK series for an American audience by Greg Daniels  / The British version of the Office was  created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant

Date first appeared: 2005 / 2001

Jim attends an office Halloween party as s"Three whole Jim"

Jim attends an office Halloween party as “Three Whole Punch Jim” [Image courtesy: NBC]

Why: Is there a more “everyman” currently on television than Jim Halpert? His dogged humility, humor, kindness, and all around good guy-ness has appealed to audiences since the Office appeared on NBC’s schedule in 2005. Actually the character originated on the BBC as part of the Gervais/Merchant original Office in 2001.

Martin Freeman in the BBC's The Office (Image courtesy the BBC)

Martin Freeman in the BBC’s The Office (Image courtesy the BBC)

Martin Freeman (yes, today’s Bilbo and Dr. Watson) played put upon Tim Canterbury to Gervais’ David Brent.  Jim/Tim play the straight man to Michael/David and annoying co-worker Dwight / Gareth. There is also a certain Cinderella thread running in Jim/Tim’s story with Pam/Dawn the receptionist.

Pros: Friendly, creative, funny, inclusive.

Cons: Unmotivated, somewhat insecure, indecisive, competitive with Dwight/Gareth

Shining moment: My favorite Jim moment is when Michael and Dwight are away and he and Pam cook up the Office Olympics.

It helps that both John Krasinski and Martin Freeman are such good comic actors. Both men can evoke a lot of emotions without saying a word (something Krasinki had to do when he lost a jinx to Pam and couldn’t talk for most of an episode.)

Here’s a sampling of Freeman’s emotional facial expressions:

tim Canterbury faces

In general the BBC version of the show runs a little more on the blue  than it’s American off shoot. Garreth is more insufferable, the boss, David, is more slimy. That makes Tim’s road even more pathetic than Jim’s.

But Jim Halpert has had several more seasons to develop. The American version of the Office is still on the air and Jim is continuing to grow as a character. Here’s a youtube video featuring Krasinski’s Jim faces:

I think Jim or Tim would be an asset to any office.

So have you seen the BBC version? Who is your favorite? AND do you think Jim Harper (from HBO’s Newsroom) is the next generation Jim Halpert?   Discuss.

John Gallagher Jr. plays good guy Jim Harper on HBO's Newsroom. [Image courtesy HBO]

John Gallagher Jr. plays good guy Jim Harper on HBO’s Newsroom. [Image courtesy HBO]


Julia Louis-Dreyfus 1.13.13 Thought of the Day

 

“I like playing somebody who has to apologize to their kid, all the time, for screwing up. That seems really real.” —Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Elaine Benes

Elaine Benes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus was born on this day in New York, New York, USA in 1961. She is 52 years old.

 

Louis-Dreyfus was born into a wealthy family. Her father, Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, is a billionaire and the chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services. Her mother is a writer. They divorced with Louis-Dreyfus was a baby and she went with her mother to live in Washington DC.  She studied acting at Northwestern University.

English: "The Golden 50th Anniversary Jub...

English: “The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee” cast photo: Brad Hall, Gary Kroeger, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Paul Barrosse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She worked with Chicago’s Second City comedy group before moving to New York and joining the cast of Saturday Night Live for a three-year stint from 1982 to 1985. She left the show to do movies — landing supporting roles in Hannah and Her Sisters, Soul Man, and North  among others, and  to do prime time TV. She co-starred in Day by Day for that show’s two season run, and did a number of guest spots.

The Seinfeld gang. (Image courtesy NBC.)

The Seinfeld gang. (Image courtesy NBC.)

 

But Louis-Dreyfus really broke through with her role as Elaine Benes on the Seinfeld show.  She

 

proved that she could hold her own as the sole female member of Seinfeld’s do-nothing quartet of neurotic New Yorkers. With her “big wall of hair,” signature shoes and penchant for over-enthusiastic exclamations, Louis-Dreyfus’ Elaine was no mere foil, but rather a full participant in the show’s increasingly popular, irony-laden comic shenanigans. [Star Pulse.com]

She won her first Emmy award for the role in 1996. The show ran for nine seasons.

 

After Seinfeld she starred in the short-lived comedy Watching Ellie with fellow Second City alum Steve Carell. She had recurring rolls on high profiles shows like Arrested Development, The Simpsons and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The New Adventures of Old Christine

The New Adventures of Old Christine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She won her second Emmy for her next sit-com, The New Adventures of Old Christine which ran for 5 seasons.

 

2012 saw her starring in a new series, HBO’s Veep. Louis-Dreyfus won her third Emmy for her role as Selina Meyer. She is a co-producer for the series.

English: Julia Louis-Dreyfus attending a cerem...

English: Julia Louis-Dreyfus attending a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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