William Shatner

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According to the SAG Awards, ...

Question: According to the SAG Awards, Boston Legal is a comedy. James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen and the show itself all received nominations in the comedy category. The show is hilarious at times, don't get me wrong. But after all these episodes and all those Emmy/Golden Globe wins in the drama category, I never knew it was a comedy series. What gives? Answer: Excellent question, and it comes with an interesting answer. David E. Kelley's company submitted Boston Legal to the SAG Awards as a comedy, feeling that the show has evolved this year into a hybrid that's more comedic than dramatic, regardless of the drama awards the show has reaped previously at the Emmys and at the Globes (which ignored the show this year). Last time I checked, Kelley's camp hadn't yet decided how to enter the show when the time comes for Emmy consideration. The debate goes like this: Given the past wins in the drama category, why fix what isn't broken? But given that the show itself isn't likely ... read more

In Justice Generally, I have an...

In JusticeGenerally, I have an aversion to procedural crime dramas, so why am I digging this mid-season underdog? The writing's decent, and the acting's better than average (I'll forgive Kyle MacLachlan for channeling William Shatner's Denny Crane on Boston Legal), but there's something else. Maybe it's the sympathetic liberal inside of me who thinks there's nothing so unjust as innocent people getting locked up for crimes they didn't commit. Then again, maybe I just get a huge kick out of seeing Curtis Armstrong (aka Booger from Revenge of the Nerds) posing as a public defender! But seriously, this poor man went to prison because an eyewitness made a crucial mistake. Everyone involved with the case assumed the perp was black in fact when he was white. See, t read more

SAG'S A BOSTON FAN

Boston Legal bested the rest of the TV pack with four SAG nominations in the Comedy category — William Shatner, James Spader and Candice Bergen included — while Grey's Anatomy was a close second with three Drama contenders, including lead nods for Patrick Dempsey and Sandra Oh. In the Drama Series Ensemble contest, it's The Closer versus Grey's, Lost, Six Feet Under and The West Wing, while the Comedy Ensemble category pits Arrested Development against Boston, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Desperate Housewives, Everybody Loves Raymond and (catch breath) newbie My Name Is Earl. Lastly, a catfight alert: Felicity Huffman is Housewives' lone individual acting nominee. Someone tie down the blenders. read more

I went to the Watercooler ...

Question: I went to the Watercooler last week to see what wonderful things your fellow critics had to say about Martin Landau's performance (and Anthony LaPaglia's as well) on the Dec. 8 episode of Without a Trace, and nothing! So maybe you will feel like discussing it with me. I sent this to the Watercooler team, perhaps you'd like to discuss it instead: "Did any of you catch Martin Landau's exemplary performance on Without a Trace? Anthony LaPaglia's showing was also on a par. Watching Jack sitting with his father just after his sudden death, trying to hold back the grief, and only after it was too late, telling him 'I love you,' was one of the most moving moments on any show this season." So, Matt, do you think these performances warrant an Emmy or Golden Globe as I do? Answer: Well, it's already clear that LaPaglia, a former Globes winner for Trace, didn't make the cut this year. Given the fact that The Sopranos will be back this season, he's probably a long shot for Emmy ... read more

First off, I'd like to apologize...

First off, I'd like to apologize to Jamey Sheridan for my tacky eye-patch comments from last week. The reason he wore it (which I wanted to know anyway) was the medical condition known as Bell's palsy, as a lot of people wrote into tell me. Pointless aside that I can't fit anywhere else: Ever notice that D.A. Carver is holding a knife in the opening credits? Now, on with the analyzin': This heavily hyped two-hour "event" began with a missing popular high-school girl, nipple clips and a guy who bites girls on the lip. Dug the ersatz Nancy Grace. "Smell the rotting meat in the air, that's the vultures gathering..." mused Deakins. Bethany (the name alone suggests a naïve tart — why didn't they call her Catherine or Joanne?) wasn't the only missing girl — there was a black girl who also disappeared. Nancy Grace apparently had no read more

A few years ago, William ...

Question: A few years ago, William Shatner hosted a special for TV Guide going through most of the sci-fi shows that had been on over the years. I believe that it was called "TV Guide's Best of Sci-Fi" or something to that effect. Is it available on video and, if not, what is the name of the old children's sci-fi show that starred Ruth Buzzi as a lost space person traveling from one planet to another? Do you know? Thank you.


Answer: Why, of course I do. The program in question, TV Guide Looks at Science Fiction, features Shatner presenting highlights from such notable shows as Lost in Space, The X-Files, Planet of the Apes and others. You should be able to find it on VHS and DVD at local video stores and online merchants.

The show you're wondering about is The Lost Saucer, y read more

Since this is the first time ...

Boston Legal

Question: Since this is the first time that I've ever really felt passionate about the Emmy Awards, I have to ask you  — how can you stand it? Not only did I see my favorites lose, but my second choices as well. Terry O'Quinn and Alan Alda lost to Captain Kirk. Tony Shalhoub beat Jason Bateman and Zach Braff (and Ray Romano, for that matter). James Spader beat Hugh Laurie, Ian McShane and Kiefer Sutherland... Holy crap, Lost just won best drama. Forget I said anything. Emmy rules! Answer: Loving those mood swings, Phil. Join the club. And let the rants begin. For the record, the post-Emmy e-mailbag was pretty close to 100 percent rants. I have to agree. (Check out my Dispatch from Monday for my complete morning-after analysis.) If there was unanimous scorn for anything, it was the double repeat wins of James Spader and William Shatner for Boston Legal. Again, I have to agree. In an era of remarkable drama on network and cable, these are the best dramatic performances? Not by a long ... read more

NO PLACE LIKE HOME BOX OFFICE

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers

For both of you who skipped reading Damian J. Holbrook's deliciously snarky blow-by-blow of Sunday night's Emmycast, those wiseguys from The Sopranos, MIA this year, contracted out a hired gun named Inspector Clouseau to get the job done for HBO. Fueled by nine wins for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers — including a gold lady for star Geoffrey Rush — HBO amassed 27 Emmys overall, the same tally as the top two broadcast networks, ABC (with 16) and CBS (11), combined. Monk's Tony Shalhoub and Medium's Patricia Arquette were the night's "not so expected" wins and Felicity Huffman beat out Housewives favorites Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross. Boston Legal's James Spader (a repeat winner) and William Shatner packed a one-two punch, and everybody showed Raymond read more

If it weren't for Lost, you might...

If it weren't for Lost, you might never have known what year was being honored at Sunday's Emmy Awards. James Spader and William Shatner— didn't they win last year? A Raymond sweep — haven't we seen that before? Tony Shalhoub winning again? Wake me when it's over. I think Felicity Huffman (prior to her own surprise, but not undeserved, win) summed it up best when she muttered, "Clunk." She was referring to some lame banter during a joint presentation by the five main Desperate Housewives, but she could have been talking about the night itself. Poor Ellen DeGeneres did her droll best to keep this bloated show afloat, but not even the second coming of Johnny Carson (who was paid generous, if solemn, tribute by David Letterman) could have rescued this long, unsatisfying evening. Few awards are as capricious and as maddening as the Emmys. Even when you s read more

EMMYS WORSHIP IDOL

William Shatner

This, folks, is a cautionary tale about what happens when you put a Grammys producer in charge: The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, airing Sept. 18 on CBS, will feature actors performing classic TV theme songs throughout the telecast. At the end of the show, a winner (determined by viewer votes) will be declared the "Emmy Idol." The playlist includes The Apprentice's Donald Trump and Will & Grace's Megan Mullally doing Green Acres (OK, that could be fun); Boston Legal's William Shatner and opera star Frederica von Stade channeling Star Trek (There are lyrics? I'm scared); Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell taking on Fame; and CSI's read more

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