Chachi’s life is cheesy fun
The 100-day war – aka the writers’ strike – is over, and you can almost hear the clacking of keys as Final Draft Pro boots up on dusty laptops all over Hollywood. Not that you’ll suddenly see new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy or Ugly Betty. You’ll have to settle for a handful of ER antics. And 24 fans will have to wait until 2009 to see Jack Bauer back in action, torturing, maiming and talking on his cellphone.
In the meantime, for every Rome there’s an American Gladiators, and for every Heroes there’s a Knight Rider, which drew enough viewers to guarantee it a slot on the fall schedule.
I was excited by the idea of the crime-fighting supercar turbo-boosting back into prime time. Unfortunately, this 80s reboot is a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a show I wish didn’t exist. The script is so fromage-filled, I’m surprised KITT – now a Mustang with the voice of Val Kilmer, giving his prissiest performance since The Saint – didn’t skid off the road. By the time the Hoff showed up I was hoping he’d down a few drinks and get behind the wheel.
Speaking of the 80s, is anybody else watching Scott Baio Is 46... And Pregnant? The surreality series is a follow-up to the guilty pleasure of Scott Baio Is 45... And Single, which should have been called Scott Baio is an infantile narcissistic Hollywood man-whore (or Chachi Loves Chachi).
I admit I like the show. I say it’s because I was a fan of Happy Days and Charles In Charge, but my friends say it’s because it’s about a middle-aged womanizer with commitment issues, as if I can relate. Either way, here’s a guy who does things – confronts ex-girlfriends in a High Fidelity fashion, attends a cuddle party, takes a class in daddy daycare – just so he’ll have great stories to tell his buddies over beers and cigars.
The Oscars will be rolling out the red carpet on Sunday. After watching the BAFTAs (the British counter-part), I realized Hollywood hasn’t cornered the market on vapid award shows.
The BAFTAs were very Hollywood, from A-list bums in the seats to the clip-filled intro, which was surprisingly blockbuster-centric for a show honouring the best cinema in the land of William Shakespeare. Of course, Shakespeare was a populist playwright, the Steven Spielberg of his time, but somehow that doesn’t quite jibe with the images of Spider-man and the Transformers opening an event that went on to honour films like the stiff-upper-lipped Atonement.
Which leaves very little quality programming. The chillingly cool Showtime series Dexter is being rebroadcast on CBS. Nothing says Sunday night like serial killers.
Tate Donovan could’ve been Lloyd Dobler until he pissed off Cameron Crowe.
Something worth watching is Damages, a slick legal thriller starring Glenn Close, Rose Byrne Tate Donovan (ex of The O.C.), which I wrote about recently (www.nowtoronto.com/movies/television.cfm?content=161519). I interviewed Donovan about playing a shady corporate lawyer, working with Glenn Close and why he’ll never work with Cameron Crowe.
Like The O.C., Damages is the kind of show where everybody wants to know what happens next.
Yeah, but this is the first time my peers, people I really respect and admire, come up to me and want to talk about the show.
What’s it like to work with Glenn Close?
It’s terrrrible. She’s such a pro, so prepared, she comes to the set with her A- game. She’s not going to discover the meaning of a scene or how it should be played in the moment. She also has a lot of courage to ask questions when she doesn’t feel she has a full grasp of a scene. You don’t want to be an idiot around her.
What role do you wish you’d gotten?
For some weird reason 18 years ago, when Cameron Crowe was making Say Anything, he got it into his head that I refused to read for the John Cusack role, even though I was doing a little play on Santa Monica for $80 a week. But he thought I thought I was too good to take the role, and ever since he’s refused to audition me for anything.
So John Cusack has your career.
Yeah. That really sucks.
What’s the worst thing about being named Tate?
I like my name now, but I hated it when I was a kid. They used to call me Potato. Foods are tough to get over.