April 21, 2011
CINEMA VERITE. 9 p.m. Saturday, HBO. I REMEMBER THE Louds. Or I thought I did. As a high-school student in 1973, I caught at least some of the 12-part public-TV documentary, "An American Family," that propelled Pat and Bill Loud and their five children into millions of living rooms. I was horrified. But then, as an adolescent with six younger siblings, I craved privacy, not exposure. The Louds, whose name seemed all too apt, might as well have been aliens, living their lives in a luxurious Santa Barbara, Calif., fish bowl, sounding like TV characters who'd forgotten their scripts.
April 20, 2011 |
ABC announced the cancellation of two soap operas last week, All My Children and One Life to Live , set in the mythical Main Line suburbs of Pine Valley and Llanview. Weep not, fans of high theatrics and conniving characters: Philadelphia is home to its own soap, The Streets Where We Live . The boisterous Street brothers, John F. and T. Milton, while not nearly as fetching as Erica Kane - though T-Milt can rock a jaunty tam - are providing much drama in our otherwise narcoleptic mayoral foofaraw.
April 15, 2011 |
After weeks of rumors, ABC announced Thursday that it was canceling the tent poles of its daytime schedule, All My Children and One Life to Live . Episodes of AMC will air until September, OLTL until January. Both serials were set in fictional Philadelphia suburbs, All My Children in Pine Valley (a stand-in for Bryn Mawr) and One Life to Live in Llanview (Ardmore). Both were created by soap-opera doyenne and Main Line resident Agnes Nixon.
March 28, 2011
NURSE JACKIE. 10 tonight, Showtime. UNITED STATES OF TARA. 10:30 tonight, Showtime. BODY OF PROOF. 10 p.m. tomorrow, 6ABC. HOW DIFFICULT does a woman have to be before she's a little too difficult for network TV? Can she pop pills all day long while snapping people's heads off, the way Hugh Laurie's "House" does on Fox? Maybe. Maybe not. Edie Falco's "Nurse Jackie," could probably match Dr. House pill for pill - and she's out there saving lives, too - but her activities are confined to Showtime, which brings her back for a third season tonight, along with the many high-maintenance people (of both genders)
December 3, 2010
MICHAEL VICK'S night finally ended at 12:30 this morning, a small groan seeping out as he lifted his body from a chair and stepped gingerly from the podium. This was after a long stint in the training room, that followed another superhuman performance that required what seems to be superhuman resilience. "I'm used to taking hits," he said after the Eagles outgunned the Houston Texans, 34-24, at the Linc last night. "It's not that bad. They may look harder than what they seem. But it's not that bad. If I take one and I stay down, then you know I took a good one. I'm a pretty tough guy. " How tough?
November 15, 2010 |
Somewhere along the way, the NFL evolved from CIA secret to HBO original series. Like any long-running melodrama, it takes ever more outlandish plotlines to keep viewers coming back. Brett Favre. Brad Childress. Randy Moss. Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones. The Ryan Brothers' coaching and cussing contest. The weekly roundup of video-game hits, concussions and ever-increasing fines. Who comes up with this stuff? This episode of Monday Night Football is a textbook example.
October 12, 2010 |
"Webcamgate," the Lower Merion School District soap opera about two teens and two school-issued laptops that spied on them, was never supposed to be about money. But that's exactly what brought the whole screwy saga to a close yesterday - a boatload of money. The district's Board of School Directors voted unanimously to pay $610,000 to settle lawsuits filed by the families of Harriton High sophomore Blake Robbins and Lower Merion High graduate Jalil Hasan, both of whom were unknowingly photographed scores of times at home by webcams on Apple MacBooks.
September 10, 2010 |
Sometime before sundown, at a hulking ballpark nestled between congested freeways and auto-body shops, Brad Lidge will pick up a baseball and try to throw it. And with that simple act, for better or worse, the soap opera that has been the Phillies' season will take yet another plot twist. If all goes well when the closer tests his hyperextended right elbow before tonight's game against the Mets at Citi Field, the bullpen just might be well-girded for the stretch drive and the playoffs that loom like a pot of gold beyond.
September 10, 2010
SOMETIME BEFORE sundown, at a hulking ballpark nestled between congested freeways and auto-body shops, Brad Lidge will pick up a baseball and try to throw it. And with that simple act, for better or worse, the soap opera that has been the Phillies' season will take yet another plot twist. If all goes well when the closer tests his hyperextended right elbow before tonight's game against the Mets at Citi Field, the bullpen just might be well-girded for the stretch drive and the playoffs that loom like a pot of gold beyond.
September 10, 2010
El Conquistador! A brilliant, funny, wildly theatrical show about Latin American soap operas ( telenovelas ). Thaddeus Phillips (who created this with Tatiana Mallarino and Victor Mallarino) is the only live actor onstage (if you don't count his beloved potted plant). He plays Polonio, a poor Colombian farmer who goes to the glamorous big city and becomes a doorman for an apartment building called Nuevo Mundo. Considering that the show begins in 1492 and then skips ahead 515 years, the whole idea of "New World" is slyly politicized, and further complicated when one of the building's tenants (we see them through the intercom camera each time they call the doorman)