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Thomas Lennon

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  • TV Picks: 'Party Down,' Funny or Die video selection, 'Manhattan'

    TV Picks: 'Party Down,' Funny or Die video selection, 'Manhattan'
    "Party Down" (Hulu). This comedy about a less than merry band of caterers, which went for two seasons on Starz in 2009 and 2010, was created by "Veronica Mars" mastermind Rob Thomas with "Mars" cohorts Dan Ethridge and John Enhom and actor Paul Rudd, who appeared in the pilot but was a movie star by the time the series came around. Even so the cast reads like some retrospective supergroup whose album you can't believe you've never heard (unless you did): Adam Scott (in for Rudd), recent Rolling Stone cover girl Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch (who left near the end of the first season for "Glee" but returned for what turned out to be the series' finale), Martin Starr, Megan Mullally and Ryan Hansen (now going from the axed "Bad Teacher" to the new "Bad Judge"), but with appearances also from cool kids Ken Jeong, Joey Lauren Adams, Kristen Bell, June Diane Raphael, and various cool kids like Jim Piddock, Paul Scheer, Thomas Lennon, J.K. Simmons and Rachael Harris among others. (My original review is here.) Every episode is set at a different Southern California party or event, bringing in a fresh group of guest stars and a new theme to explore, while the servers work out their own messy business, their antipathies and affinities, as they remind one another and themselves that this is just a job and what they Really Do is act, play music, write. The series, which punches above its weight, has a guerrilla swing to it -- well-finished, but not overtly slick in the way even shoestring productions manage to look now -- and one can sense the actors' delight beneath their characters' dissatisfaction.
  • The laughs are real on fake talk show 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'

     The laughs are real on fake talk show 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'
    Thursday brings the third-season return, on IFC, of Scott Aukerman's "Comedy Bang! Bang!" An often surreal and free-associating sketch show in the guise of a talk show, it is also a talk show within a sketch show — the one shading into the other...

    'What To Expect When You're Expecting' review: Well, if you're Jennifer Lopez

    'What To Expect When You're Expecting' review: Well, if you're Jennifer Lopez
    * (out of four) Imagine a relatable, perceptive movie that honestly confronts the unforeseen challenges and unrecognized wonders of pregnancy. You know, what to expect when you're expecting. Now imagine the exact opposite and you’ll know what to...

    TCA Press Tour: Critical acclaim doesn't always bring Emmy love for FX shows

     
    FX's popular "Sons of Anarchy," "Rescue Me" and "Justified" rank among the most acclaimed shows by TV critics as well as viewers. But the edgy dramas were snubbed by Emmy voters, who declined to give the show any nominations. "The...

    Oscar nominations: ‘King’s Speech’ dominates, ‘True Grit’ and ‘Social Network’ do well

     
    The usual suspects' named were trotted out when the nominations for the 83rd Academy Award were announced this morning. We're talking “The Social Network,” “Black Swan” “The King's Speech” (12 nominations, leading the...