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Friday, Jul 29, 2011
In Season Four of Gossip Girl, the series featured both one of the healthiest and one the most abusive relationships between a man and a woman on television.

High Point Number 7: Dan and Blair on Gossip Girl


My favorite moment in the entire 2010-2011 television season came in the final seconds of the Gossip Girl episode “While You Were Not Sleeping”. Blair Waldorf has been driving herself to the limits of physical endurance throughout the episode, getting virtually no sleep, skipping meals, undertaking two or three difficult tasks at the same time, all in order to move her life to a new place where she would impress and win back her demon lover Chuck Bass. But unable to keep up the pace, she implodes and gets fired from her internship.


For solace, she goes not to the Upper Eastside where she lives, but to the apartment of her old enemy but new friend Dan Humphrey in Brooklyn, where they talk, order pizza, and watch The Philadelphia Story. The Blair we see here is unlike the Blair we’ve see the previous three years. Instead of being mean, tense, driven, and more than a little bitchy, she is relaxed, smiling, content, and very much at home with herself. The magic moment comes in the very last second: Dan and Blair, both asleep, her head resting on his shoulder.


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Thursday, Jul 28, 2011
The Onion News Network didn't break any new ground, but it treaded over old ground so deftly to make the format seem completely fresh. Portlandia was another matter entirely.

High Point Number 8: IFC’s Two Great Comedies


I really had no intention to watch either of the two IFC original series Portlandia and Onion News Network. I loved the Onion newspaper and the videos they put on their website, but I didn’t imagine that it would translate well to regular cable TV. Things began to change when I saw a link to a long excerpt for Portlandia on the Internet. When I learned from watching the clip Carrie Brownstein, best known before now as the co-guitarist/singer/songwriter of the legendary band Sleater-Kinney (and let me confess right here that for me Sleater-Kinney was a band that could do no wrong… until they decided to go on permanent hiatus) was, along with Saturday Night Live vet Fred Armisen, going to headline the show, I knew I had to give it a view. And since Onion News Network followed, I decided to give it a shot, as well.


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Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011
PopMatters continues its 10-day countdown of some of the high and lowpoints of the 2010 to 2011 TV season. This time up... the superlative BBC drama Being Human and the oh-so-sad, watered down SyFy version of the show.

Highpoint Number 9: Mitchell’s Arc in Season Three of the BBC series Being Human


After two spectacular seasons, the only question was whether Being Human—the critically acclaimed BBC series about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who live together—would continue the standard of brilliance it had already laid down. The great news is that it did. Although Annie and George’s (and his girlfriend Nina’s) stories continued to new and interesting places, Season Three was dominated to a degree previously unknown by the story of the vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner).


In the first two seasons he had been merely the most compelling character on an overall superb show, but even while splitting the overall narrative, his story reached fever pitch this year. Season Two ended with Mitchell driven to commit unspeakable horrors, horrors so terrible that one had to ask whether he had gone beyond the pale. Had he crossed the point beyond which there was no redemption?


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Friday, May 20, 2011
‘A middle-aged, middle-class, balding Englishman has no business playing the blues… But what do you do about it?’

You did not know this perhaps, but Hugh Laurie’s real intention when adopting America as his home was not to create a stir on television but to break into music. His ulterior motive, with the whole acting gig in House just a ploy really, was to be accepted as a serious musician in New Orleans. And being House has certainly opened many doors for him as this documentary, shown on I TV1 in the UK on 15 May 2011, demonstrates.  As he tells us, his belief is: ‘There’s only two categories of music that matter: there’s good and there’s bad, the rest is just indexing.’


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Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011
PopMatters sat down with Firefly and V. star Morena Baccarin in February 2011 to get her thoughts on working with Joss Whedon and playing an alien lizard queen.

Though she’s since become known to fans of the contemporary remake of the sci-fi television classic V, in a former TV life Morena Baccarin was known to fans the world over as an interplanetary prostitute on Joss Whedon’s heralded but short-lived series Firefly.


Inara Serra was really more than just a mere hooker in Firefly (and its follow-up feature film, Serenity). In the late 25th century world concocted by Whedon, Companions like those played by Baccarin are really high-society courtesans and part of the social fabric. Naturally, Inara Serra is something of a tormented soul. Coming as Baccarin’s first steady Hollywood gig, it was also an unforgettable experience.


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