Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Am A TV Junkie: Emmy Winning Tracey Ullman Returns to Showtime Jan. 25 (and so do Arianna, Chanel, Ruth Madoff and Rachel Maddow)

Okay, I already don't like this post. I don't like it because I just realized that Arianna Huffington is identifiable by only her first name. Not that I don't like HuffPo or still hold a grudge that she tried to launch a closeted gay Republican (the very worst kind of Republican) into the CA governor's office, I guess I'm just tired of her omnipresence.

Apparently Tracey Ullman feels similarly, you'll see Arianna in the season opener of Tracey Ullman's State Of The Union on January 25 at 10:30, right after the third series premiere of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl on Showtime.

You can see a taste of Tracey's Arianna by clicking this link but it won't be til the premiere that you catch in one sketch Tracey playing the blogger/pundit in the makeup chair at The Rachel Maddow Show, the show's glam-averse host, Meghan McCain and Barney Frank.

Then Christiane Amanpour shows up in the wrong studio and it's all Rachel can do to stay inside her own skin.

Best Rachel Maddow impression I have seen yet, but then Tracey seems to manage to find ways to actually change her face to pull this off. And she must be awfully good at it because she's been doing this for years now and it still feels fresh with each new character. It's not even just makeup that makes it happen, there's a concerted effort on every level down to the way she holds her face that turns her into other people.

Those other people include a constant phoner/texter/Tweeter who becomes an unwitting guest on an Intervention-type series, Penelope Cruz at a junket for a film that has her starring as Salma Hayek called Dos Chichis Con Leche ... and TSA security screener Chanel, who leads those under her charge in a dance medley tribute to Michael Jackson.

Besides SNL and the odd sketch on one of the late night shows there's not much of it happening on US television. Of course back in the UK where Tracey's from (though she's been living in Calfornia now for years) there's always a hot sketch show on the air (and a few that aren't so hot, like the Corden and Horne series from this past year on BBC Three) .

Wish we had more of them, not that they'd all be of this quality. Tracey and partner/husband Allan McKeown have been doing this kind of thing for years and the loss of Gail Parent this season should be filled nicely by Bruce Wagner, who you might know from his screenplays including the upcoming Map To The Stars but also his print work in mags like Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Details and The New York Times magazine.

And in the first two episodes of this season you'll also see from Tracey's old Fox series Sam McMurray and Joseph Malone.

Good stuff, very sharp political humor, biting commentary on life and how we're doing with it, you would be foolish not to check it out.

And you can right now. Click this link and watch the season two premiere that's posted on the Showtime website.

More as we get closer to the Jan. 25 premiere, because then hopefully I'll have clips.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, season three -- An early look

British female comedy impressionists like Catherine Tate should pay royalties to Tracey Ullman for copying her schtick. Ullman was the original and still remains one of the best, if not THE best, at what she does.

As with the first two seasons of her Showtime series Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, she pretends to be, or rather becomes, different personalities across the United States over a single day with an ubiquitous announcer informing us of who she is and where in the country she is located. She even impersonates various celebrities on the way, and sometimes she is more than one of them at the same time.

Like most of America, I was first introduced to Tracey Ullman the comedian from her old Fox show, The Tracey Ullman Show, which also introduced the world to The Simpsons (and before that she was a singer in the 80's with several hit singles in the U.S. and U.K.). I also managed to catch a few episodes of her HBO series Tracey Takes On... While Ullman remains perpetually young and incredibly talented in this series, her humor has gotten a little more subtle and acerbic.

Ullman's humor has always been situational rather than the simple set-up and punchline, although that sort of humor certainly exists within the series. An example includes showing a group taking a tour of a Holocaust Museum and speaking of those who have perpetrated horrible crimes against the Jews, then having a likeness of Bernie Madoff in the center of it. It's more about the character and what the character says about America and society, in general.

Unlike Ullman's other works, she rarely shares the stage with any co-stars, possibly because very few can keep up with her as she plays her characters. Highlights include Tracey playing Penélope Cruz playing Salma Hayak, Ruth Madoff (Bernie's wife) and one woman who can't live without being on the cell phone or Internet (and nearly causing several traffic accidents on the way).

At this stage in her career, Tracey Ullman probably doesn't need to work. However, not giving her a show would be tantamount to treason since it takes an outsider (albeit one who is now a U.S. citizen) to best show America its own warts and failings. At least it's shown with love.

Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, the third season, premieres Jan. 25 at 10:30 PM on Showtime.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

"State of the Union" Season 3 Completed!!!

tracey shows set for showtime, Dec. 3, 2009

Tracey put the finishing touches late last night to the new series of her State of the Union series, at Point 360 post production in Santa Monica. The new series was produced by Melanie Patterson and directed by Tracey Ullman.

This new series is the most ambitious to date with Tracey appearing in one sketch as 5 differant people all set in the make up room at MSNBC. A Micheal Jackson tribute choreographed by Joe Malone a dancer on the original Beat It video

The series will be delivered to Showtime for airing January 25th 2010. World wide distribution will be via Portman DRG , dvd released again by Eagle Rock . The series is copyright to Allan McKeown presents who financed and produced the series.

Source: Allan Mckeown

Tuesday, December 1, 2009