Spend all week staring at the calendar trying to will it into being April already? Here's what you missed on TV.
Women Rule at the Golden Globes
Most of the Monday morning discussions after the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards had to do with Jodie Foster's rambling quasi-coming-out speech, with some extra snark thrown at Lena Dunham for choosing shoes she couldn't walk properly in and Lucy Liu for coming dressed as a Victorian loveseat. But the real story of the night was how fantastic Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were as hosts. Their jokes were as hilariously cutting as anything Ricky Gervais came up with -- on director Kathryn Bigelow's controversial Zero Dark Thirty, Poehler cracked "When it comes to torture, I trust the lady who was married to James Cameron for 3 years." -- but about 500% less smug. Let's just have them host everything from now on.
A Familiar Face Visits Paradise
As much as I loved Amy Sherman-Palladino's Bunheads during its summer run, I agreed with the complaint that the show's pacing was arguably a bit too slow. The first two episodes of the show's winter season have been considerably peppier. A particular highlight was this week's subplot about Truly (Stacey Oristano) losing the lease to her dress shop, which included a welcome visit from Liza Weil as Truly's domineering landlord... and, oh yeah, estranged sister. Weil's deadpan Paris Geller was one of the best things about Gilmore Girls, so it was nice to see her back performing Sherman-Palladino's trademark rapid-fire dialogue.
Another Familiar Face Visits Jimmy
One of my all-time favorite bands, Yo La Tengo, released their great new album Fade this week. Performing the opening track "Ohm" on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, they sounded typically awesome with Ira Kaplan performing one of his trademark squalling solos by pummelling and otherwise abusing his guitar. It was particularly neat to see Saturday Night Live and Portlandia's Fred Armisen return to his first career as an indie-rock drummer: he and percussionist Kid Millions both joined YLT drummer Georgia Hubley on the song's tricky polyrhythms.
Everyone's A Critic
One of Quentin Tarantino's trademarks is that he releases action figures based on the characters in all of his movies, for the collector-nerd demographic that's a major part of his fanbase. On Conan, writer Deon Cole performed a bit suggesting the writer-director go a step further in marketing the controversial slavery fable Django Unchained, suggesting Barbie-style accessories like The Django Unchained Plantation Playhouse. Due to the controversy over the action figures, The Weinstein Company announced later in the week that the toys were going to be pulled from the market.
When Publicity Stunts Go Awry
For the last several months, Fox and the producers of American Idol have been coyly leaking and simultaneously disavowing rumors that new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey are engaged in an old-fashioned diva feud. Unfortunately, they forget something important: as the horrible film Glitter proved, Carey can't act. Therefore, this week's premiere episode proved pretty conclusively that the rivalry is almost entirely manufactured: Carey's snipes at Minaj (whom she may well not actually like very much, because let's face it, Minaj is kinda annoying) sounded completely rehearsed. So can we drop this? It's demeaning for everyone. Especially the viewers.