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.


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