Sunday, October 14, 2012

And this week in TV...

So I am now officially swamped with TV viewing, and some shows have had to be sacrificed--bye bye Elementary (just not good enough to make me ditch any of my tried and trues), and sadly bye bye Last Resort (on too heavy of a TV nite and my DVR can't accommodate it--hoping it sticks around and gets shifted to another nite and slot). Not sure about the 666 show--any thoughts on if I should stick with it?

If you like Revenge (which you should :D), try Nashville. Great pilot and I can't wait to see all these fabulous actors chew the scenery each week; and the songs are actually pretty good as well. (Speaking of which--Glee so far is doing quite well at weathering the shift to a new cast...) And while I respect Taylor Swift and find some of her stuff catchy, I rather enjoy the digs at her expense via Hayden Pantierre. Need to watch Arrow, too.

Lots of solid returns so far, with ABC Wednesday leading the way. Good Wife is stellar (and finally not being bumped off my DVR via football) with Nathan Lane and Kristin Chenoweth (would like to see Matthew Perry return here--he was so amazing last season). And anytime I can catch Lucy Lawless (Parks and Rec) I'm a happy camper.

For my TV comedy buffs out there--and for my History students trolling for extra credit--please check out "The Greatest Event in Television History." True story: my husband DVR'd it and I deleted it because I thought he'd recorded some PBS special that there just wasn't room for on the machine.  We watched it tonight and I had tears streaming from my eyes--slam dunk funny!

(Check it out here:

No major news that I know of this week in the department, except: Registration for J-term and Spring begins in a few weeks, which means you should start planning to meet with your faculty advisor...And Oh yeah!  TV Department students, faculty, and alum got quite a few Midwest Regional Emmy nominations (so check out the TV page for news on that).

Until roughly midterms, yours in shared "how do I watch all the good shows" misery...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This Week in TV Land, Columbia Style


1) a message from a TV student doing a show on Frequency...

Dear Students of the Television Department,

Hey you! Yes you! How are you? Well that's great. Aw thanks for asking! I'm great too because Frequency TV's fall semester live show is back and I'm hosting! 

My name is Katie McCarty and I am the host of "And Then Some..." the show where we talk about the top headlines of the week and laugh at them....and then some. Get it? We premiere Friday Oct. 5th at 7PM, and we would love for you to join us in our live studio audience! 

Where is it you ask? Right here at Columbia College on the 15th floor of 600 South Michigan in Studio A. You can come right after class and laugh off the stress of the week with us! Doors open at 630! We hope to see you there, and come early because seating is limited and you don't want to miss this! Have a great day!

P.S. Don't worry if you can't make it we will also be streaming live on And be sure to check our other new fall shows!

Many Thanks,
Katie McCarty

2) Turner Broadcasting is coming to visit the Portfolio Center on October 11th...They manage everything from CNN to the Cartoon Network and you may want to attend (esp. if a junior or senior):

3) Semester in LA info sessions are upon us!  They run all week in various places, so look for the flyers on bulletin boards...

4) Museum of Broadcast Communication has opened—and they’re having a 5$ event—“From I Love Lucy to YouTube.”  There’s a tour, and a talk with local media executives.  Check it our (October 24th)—HISTORY STUDENTS, IF YOU GO AND WRITE UP A 1-2 PAGE SUMMARY OF WHAT YOU SAW AND LEARNED, EXTRA CREDIT! 

5) If you’re into sports and/or documentaries, the Film Department’s Chair—Bruce Sheridan—has produced a film about athletes and concussions (Head Games) with director Steve James (he did Hoop Dreams, and if you don’t know what that is, for the love of god, find out!).  It’s getting some early pre-Oscar buzz, too... You can download the film from a few major sites or find it OnDemand:

6) DO NOT—I REPEAT—DO NOT RUIN REVENGE FOR ME! I was swamped grading you History folks’ proposals and so I am behind on the real premiere and will come after anyone who spoils it for me...

7) New TV.  Found Elementary a bit of a yawn (I saw no chemistry of any kind there) and don’t know what to make of Revolution yet (liked the acting and pacing, but cannot get beyond the logistics: where is solar power?  where are the scientists who could put a fracking generator together or bottle some lightning?  why is everyone who is starving and poor wearing clean clothes, sporting shiny hair, and having access to lip gloss?)

Your 2 cents are always welcome....

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Opening gambit of the Emmys—loved Lena Dunham from Girls naked and noshing, but found the Mindy Kaling (sp?) inclusion a bit “pandery.” :D...but bueno handoff from Ellen!

(Did you, my students, catch the Farnsworth reference? think of the Honey Boo Boo connection when we discuss Newton Minow this week...)

So Major wins (and I in no way represent the Department’s view here):

Nice to see a totally solid category with supporting noms, men here...happy to see Eric Stonestreet win. And for supporting actress...ok, but Mayim Bialik got a smidge robbed. 

AWESOME! Louis CK for writing comedy—yes!

(my husband wants to know: real press we're seeing offstage taking pics, or staged for production value...?)

(OK--definitely NOT happy with Kathy Bates winning best guest actress comedy...should have been anyone but her. Man is Matthew Perry looking old, or what? --i.e., looking my age. :D)

anyone who can reference The Graduate in an intro bid deserves a directing comedy emmy--you go, Steven Levitan. close second for the Modern Family Lily bit and the Chik-Fil-A nod...

comedy leads: industry likes to reward an underdog~ Ducky finally gets the Big One.  Wouldn't say deserved, but gotta love the 'ha" to Charlie Sheen. Come on--Julia Louis-Dreyfus?  Sorry--should have gone to Poehler.  Bleck. Except that the "speech switch" kind of made me pee my pants. The women always do something classic.

(ok--best way to do Ernst and Young to-date...and best tech flub of the nite from McFarlane...How much does Tom Bergeron get paid, I wonder?)

Drama drama--so much good drama!   supporting: nice for Aaron Paul cause it's pretty much a lead role...(and presenter Claire Danes, pregnant or not--pretty sure you're gonna get eaten up by Fashion Police). Blah Maggie Smith--belonged to Christina Hendricks.

OMG--how long will Tracey Morgan stay there Ernie Kovacs Whom Dunnit style?!

Homeland pilot, yes--pure genius writing. Have no complaints per guests in a drama winners, esp. Martha Plimpton in the Good Wife.

(There's a new Bond movie?!) (Bah--Nashville is what I'm jones-ing to see, after Revenge.)

(why are they playing music from Grease during the drama section of the show?)
(am laffing in 1000 different wrong ways for the fake In Memoriam--distastetful genius?)

surprised--not displeased--by Damian Lewis; thought Hamm might finally win as Lewis's role was more supporting than lead. Elizabeth Moss' best year but it needs to be Danes.  IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED HOMELAND, YOU MUST--RIGHT UP THERE WITH MAD MEN AND GOOD WIFE. (if you want a funny Claire Danes story pre her getting married, ask me in class...)

Nice--Louis CK at the Beacon!!  Pay attention folks...his use of the internet really got him rolling in the mainstream...(cannot stop laffing at Gervais per Louis CK...and nice roll in the aisle with Fallon, Stewart and Colbert--and god bless the first bleep of the nite coming from John Stewart)

(nice follow-through on Ellen giving her pants to Jimmy Kimmel)

(ok--sorry--zoning out some during miniseries...)

(getting to feel old here--so many gone from the 60s and 70s of TV, boys and girls--you'll be learning about many of them in the weeks to come...)

(OMG--Jonathan from Buffy and Doyle from Gilmore Girls won an emmy for best mini-series :D From extra cut from the unaired pilot of Buffy to emmy-winner...)

OK...the emmys have now totally lost steam in the miniseries category; no disrespect, but come on already!

ok--gotta be Homeland...Totally deserved. I would give it to Parks and Rec, which was shamefully un-nominated, but it must be Modern Family out of this bunch.

and good nite!  Mostly a yawnfest as awards shows go...But bodes for another good year of TV content-wise! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So we're almost in week 3 in TV Columbia College Land...

and things probably feel crazed already.  So let's have some highlights of Life in TV to lighten things up!

If you've read the last post you know I'm an experimental foodie.  Try Beaver's Donut truck--they're in the South Loop every Wednesday 7-11am and have fresh, hot, killer mini-donuts that can get you through at least your first class. Tell them you're Columbia TV and that I sent you and encourage them to therefore give me extra donuts! (I had chocolate sauce with sprinkles today and nutella with strawberry jam is next on my agenda...)

Now on to other things of import...

If you're in TV and not involved yet with the student organization, find out about TVAS! Contact Christy LeMaster to get involved (; not only is she lovely as our Student Activities Coordinator, she brings in cool guests with real world experience to give you advice in a demanding media market. This group does a lot for the department and their meetings have started this week--and I can tell you they get a lot of "preference" for gigs that get them exposure to professionals, material for reels, etc.

But now to TV proper.  I'd love to hear your 2 cents.  I so was underwhelmed with The Mindy Project---might be my age and generation, but I found her way too whiny and boy-obsessed for my liking.  I love Mindy K--but actually felt she was the weak link in the pilot.

Liked the Matthew Perry "Go On" pilot--but omg did the 2nd ep not do it for me!  Bit of a mess...too bad, given the stellar cast.

DO check out The New Normal--NBC has done something nice here based on 2 episodes so far.  Funny, warm--Modern Family-ish but (and I love MF, but...) with less upper-middle-class issues and more down-to-earth "there are other classes of folks" sensibility--which is why I like and recommend The Middle. With NN, courtesy of Ellen Barkin, Ryan Murphy is offering some  ribald Arrested Dev.-like absurdity--and a Mary Cherry cameo for fans of Popular...

Still have to watch Revolution On Demand--looks promising, but then look what happened with "The Event..." Am definitely looking more forward to Revenge's return... (follow the deliciously spilling tidbits of "Nolan" (aka Gabriel Mann) on twitter @Gabriel_Mann)

And if you haven't heard of BunHeads and plan on doing anything at all with teen/dramedy/anything Gilmore Girls like--please find this show!  Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop together are a wonder.

Now must go schedule in a Parenthood viewing (I am a parent, after all--and I love me my Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, Jason Ritter--shout out to Joan of Arcadia fans!--, and now Ray Romano...)

Bonus for anyone reading the blog: send my your emmy picks...Whoever picks the most winners   (must send me your picks at by 9/23 5pm) gets lunch with the Acting Chair at Flacos Tacos in October... (alums included...)


ps--the Portfolio Center has Turner Broadcasting coming in early October--look for more and flyers and such soon as we get the deets

Friday, August 17, 2012

Set your alarms and pack your bags: school's back!

Welcome back--or welcome anew--to the start of school in the TV Department at Columbia College in Chicago!  Many of you might be here because you're in my History of TV class, some because you're new to the TV department, and others because you're bored at the moment and stumbled upon the link somehow.  I'll be using this blog to try to address your various needs, and also to chat about the world of TV that we live in.

As you get settled into the first few weeks of school, here are 5 tips for you if you're new to TV/Columbia:

1) Make a point of meeting each of your teachers, one-on-one...we all deal with many students, and we'll be able to know you better and help you better if you spend a little time telling us about yourself.

2) Take some time to wander the campus on your own...while tours are great, you usually take them under some kind of stress (applying to the school, worrying about financial aid, desperately cursing Oasis...) Find your classrooms, find the library, find the best coffee, and get some Harold's Chicken (Wabash) and Flaco's Tacos (Dearborn).

3) Visit the 7th, 14th, and 15th floors for TV: find the Equipment Centers, the faculty offices, the main office, Frequency TV, Engineering, etc.  Get to know the staff--they wield great and necessary powers and should become your new best friends.

4) Start watching TV and talking about TV. We live and breathe it here and you'll find that discussing something you just saw will be the secret handshake that gains you access to great minds and personalities.

5) And last, whatever else you do from this tips list, embrace what you're learning.  If the cameras bewilder you, work with your TA to conquer the fear. If my exams put the fear of God in you, visit with Candis, your SI leader. When you find something you love, do it more and ask questions about opportunities in the department.  It's important to try a little bit of everything and not over-committ to one skill--you never know what you might end up being amazingly good at so keep an open mind as you move through your core classes.

(and ps: Get ready for the Emmys: