I Eat, I Watch, I Write

Parks and Recreation Watch: Ron and Tammy, Part Deux

I mean, the picture should be incentive enough.

In case it’s not, here’s a selection from the story I wrote about the couples on Parks and Recreation last month:

Ron and Tammy, Sex So Wrong It’s Right (But Still Wrong): To give away anything about what some would call the “epic” reunion of Ron and his manipulative ex Tammy (Offerman’s real-life wife Megan Mullally) would be, to put it mildly, a crime against humanity. But here’s what Jim O’Heir, who plays Jerry, says about the upcoming sequel to Season 2’s “Ron and Tammy”: “I keep telling Nick that’s his Emmy episode. When you see what he does, I mean, he’s like Ron, but then Tammy takes him to otherworldly Ron.”

Offerman says he even got “exceedingly uncomfortable” while filming their rather graphic encounters — in a good way! “My wife goes deep, both figuratively and literally, with both hands,” he explains. “The writers really exploit our real-life relationship, so they were able to take the characters to more intimate places than a couple of co-stars would usually go. When they decided to do a sequel, there’s nothing to do but try to go deeper and more crazy.”

There’s also this choice nugget from my visit to the set:

The writers have also worked up an extra-kinky sequel to last season’s “Ron and Tammy” episode, the mere mention of which makes several of the other actors squirm — with delight. Jim O’Heir, who plays Jerry, mentions cornrows and a kimono. Adam Scott, who plays state auditor Ben, offers: “Oh, it’s epic. Animal noises. I can’t say more than that.”

Nick Offerman, who plays Leslie’s unapologetic anti-government boss Ron says, “I can’t really remember much of what happened. It was kind of hallucinatory. I do remember that Jerry loves to watch, it turns out.”

Friday Night Lights Comes to an End: The Cast Says Good-Bye with Clear Eyes, Full Hearts

And now… *sniff*… the third and final post in my Friday Night Lights oral history.

(If you haven’t seen the finale yet, do not read further!)

An excerpt about The Importance of Tim “Texas Forever” Riggins:

The person who has always seemed anchored to Dillon is Tim “Texas Forever” Riggins. Kitsch wasn’t in every episode throughout the final season, but he was never out of mind — a deliberate choice, Katims says.
All I kept asking was for it to be real — and we knocked it on the head with that. Jail would change an 18-year-old kid with no purpose, with no sense of direction. I think as simple as that life is in Dillon, he often felt so f—-ing out of place. I think that hurts a lot more than anything else he’s dealt with.
But then he figures out what he wants, and the beauty of Riggs is that you can truly give him anything, put him anywhere, and he can deal. A trip to Mexico to help a friend? Let’s go. New York? Let’s do it.
Katims: What’s really wonderful is that while Tim isn’t around the whole time because he’s in jail, he’s always present in the show. He is Dillon. I particularly like what we wound up doing with his brother Billy and Billy’s wife Mindy (Stacey Oristano). I love the surrogate family that happens with them and Becky (Madison Burge) — and that happens because of Tim. it’s at once hysterically funny and very moving  to watch them. There are certain characters and stories that reach me, that grab me in ways I didn’t expect. For me, it’s watching scenes in that house with the Rigginses.
There were things about Tim that really resonated with me and what I’ve been through in my own life. His father, or lack thereof, was huge. Tim’s relationship with his Billy… man, that scene where Tim tells him that he’s going to give himself up and take the fall. Huge. There was just an immense amount of trust between me and Derek Phillips [who plays Billy]. I’ve been through all the brother drama too, but maybe not as intensely as their fight outside The Landing Strip. You always come back around; that’s just the way family works. No better way to go out than to be building a house with him.

Read the rest here.

Friday Night Lights Comes to an End: The Cast on Series-Saving Fans, Graduation, Panther Hate

Here’s an excerpt from Part 2 in which Jason Katims and Kyle Chandler talk about leaving the Panthers behind for East Dillon’s Lions:

Suddenly, the Panthers were the enemy.
It was such a big gamble, the idea of literally switching teams, changing our allegiances. I kept thinking, “Is this idea going to work? Is the audience going to believe it?”
I remember watching the second episode of that fourth season, the episode where Tami basically gets booed off the stage at the Panthers pep rally [because Eric’s with The Lions at that point], and it was amazing: I was in the editing room, watching the episode as a viewer would and thinking to myself, “I hate the Panthers. I hate them!”

The crew quickly followed suit. In fact, they ditched the Panthers blue entirely.
The switch didn’t just happen on the show, it happened with the entire culture in production. You never see anyone in a Panthers T-shirt, or wearing blue, period. They’re all wearing red. That really is true.
The paraphernalia that I have left over? I think I’ve maybe got two blue hats and four or five red and black ones. Also, here’s something I’ll say, finally: I never liked that Panther blue. At all. When we got red, I thought, “Well, the red is cool, but on camera, it’s too much. Why can’t we just have black?” I started scheming, trying to find a way to get the Lions to use black shirts instead. Finally, we did. Now you tell me: Did it not look great?

Read the rest here.

C’mon, Fox! This is The Black Eyed Peas! This is not Booky and the Booka Dookas!

—Whoopi Goldberg, complaining about the audio problems during the Super Bowl halftime show, on The View.

Friday Night Lights Comes to An End: Producers and Cast Remember Building Dillon

To deal with my grief, I decided to do an oral history of “Friday Night Lights.” The show airs its series finale Wednesday on DirecTV. I was late to the game with this show, deciding to watch it only last summer.

Over the past few months, I interviewed executive producers Jason Katims and David Nevins, and cast members Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Taylor Kitsch, Aimee Teegarden, Michael B. Jordan about their experiences working on the show.

Here’s an excerpt from Part 1 of my three-day farewell:

On Oct. 3, 2006, the show premiered to spectacular reviews and not-so-spectacular viewership. It didn’t help that it debuted against ratings giant Dancing with the Stars. But the show managed a full-season pickup (and eventually a Season 2 renewal), and the crew kept chugging along.
You know, at first, it hurt. I had thought, “I’m on this amazing show. It’s going to be huge. Everyone’s going to love it.” And then it just wasn’t. But once we were renewed for our second season, and then thereafter, it was like, “Whatever, we’re still here. We’re still doing it. We’re still loving it” — which is to say, we got over it pretty quick.
Britton: It’s funny, because we were shooting in Austin and we were so in our little bubble of Dillon, it was almost like that ratings stuff never seemed that important to us. Ignorance is bliss, basically. … I do remember how great that first season felt. It was a real time of discovery. We’d shoot things and go, “Oh wow! Cool! Look what we found. Look what we learned about Tami. Or Julie.” We were creating a world, and that was very satisfying.
If we weregoing to get picked up or not, I just love that we never truly waivered. We never tried to become some soapy, mainstream thing to get ratings.
Nevins: I always knew it was an oddball, but I would say there was some degree of disappointment. You don’t realize as you’re shooting it, but looking back, there were a lot of commercial challenges to the show.

Friday Night Lights
was initially marketed to boys and football fans, which made it difficult thereafter to sell what, essentially, was a character drama to women.
Here’s the thing:It’s a show about football, but it’s primarily for women. It’s a show about teenagers, but it’s primarily for adults. It’s a show about the economically disadvantaged by it’s got some real upscale appeal. So there were a lot of contradictions built in.
Kitsch: I think they didn’t how to market it. It was tough. There’s not a specific tone to it where they could just label it something easy to sell.

Read the rest here.

Is it fair to compare The Black Eye Peas’ (perhaps Tron-inspired) halftime extravaganza to that of Glee’s relatively modest McKinley High zombie apocalypse? Of course! The brain-craving Glee kids win! Sorry, Will.I.Am. Even with all the neon and the extras — including assists from Slash and Usher — Glee brought it big time with a mash-up of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll.”

Also, I’m biased.

Because I was working on Super Bowl Sunday, I was lazy. Which is to say, I pulled a Sandra Lee and used a mix for the buffalo wings. You know what? Still tasty, Semi-Homemade haters.

For the chili, I adapted Rachael Ray’s Turkey Chipotle Chili, only I omitted the chicken stock so it would be less soupy. I also used a bottle of hard cider instead of Mexican beer (it’s what I had on hand), added some ground coriander, some of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, green bell pepper, more garlic and a jalapeno. All that and Geoff said it still wasn’t as hot as what I came up with last year. For the muffins, I just threw in two cups of jack cheese and a jalapeno. Should have added salt.

That’s pumpkin ale, you’re seeing. Deeeelish.