Saturday, May 14, 2011

Treme gets a surprising third season, plus a free Lizzy Caplan movie

I love David Simon and Eric Overmyer's "Treme," but have to admit, this second season has so far been a real downer. No less entertaining, but, as Simon's stuff often is, very hard-hitting and more than a little difficult to watch.

And still thoroughly engrossing, if you take the time to dive into its tapestry of very richly drawn characters struggling to survive in the world of New Orleans post-Katrina. A bleak place, for sure, but still littered with moments of levity among the drama, with Antoine Batiste's (Wendell Pierce) efforts to start a band a very funny ride.

And now comes word that, even though the second season premiere on April 24 was down nearly 50 percent from the first season premiere, there will indeed a season three next year on HBO, and I can only say bully to that. Simon and crew obviously have a lot more stories to tell from the Crescent City, and I'll be watching.

After that today, there's really a theme in the news, being beautiful women who I like to watch on screen, be it big or small, starting with the confirmed return of Sarah Michelle Gellar to TV, and surprisingly to the channel (sort of) where she started way back when with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

"Ringer," in which Gellar will play twin sisters, was originally headed to CBS, but has instead been shipped off to the CW, which CBS co-owns. The show is about a set of twins, Bridget and Siobhan, who grew apart after a tragedy and couldn't be more different. Bridget takes over her sister's identity when she goes on the run from the mob. It turns out Siobhan has died in an accident, but she also has a hit out on her. Juicy stuff.

This could of course very be nothing but awful, but I've been known to watch CW shows that are even worse as mindless entertainment after a long day, so I'm in for a few episodes at least of this.

In other TV news about a show actually heading to CBS, the always very funny Kat Dennings will co-star with someone named Beth Behrs (I have no idea who that is, clearly) in something called "Broke Girls," a comedy that revolves around two 22-year-old women who "tackle life in New York City as they try to make their dreams come true." I always like watching her, and if you're looking for a rental, for a romantic comedy that's actually as funny as it is sweet, check out "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," with her and Michael Cera.

And that's a rough segue of sorts, because Cera has signed to a movie called "Magic, Magic," that only caught my eye because it will also co-star one Catalina Sandino Moreno - remember her?

Before resurfacing a couple of years ago in Steven Soderbergh's at-least-five-hour "Che" (OK, I might be exaggerating a bit there, but trust me, only slightly ... what an excruciating act of hubris!), she had only managed to appear in one other movie that I had taken notice of, but it happened to be my favorite movie of 2004, "Maria Full of Grace."

If you haven't seen that little gem, in which she plays a drug mule, rent it as soon as you can find it, and I guarantee you'll love it. And I have no idea what part she'll play in this latest movie, but I do know that it also stars Juno Temple and Emily Browning, is being directed by Sebastian Silva, and is about "a girl on vacation in Chile who begins to lose control of her mental faculties."

OK, enough about that. I promised you a free movie, and here it is. And for a comedy short (that's often pretty painful to watch), it's a real winner. Called "Successful Alcoholics," it's about a couple (Lizzy Caplan and T.J. Miller) who get back together seemingly only so they can manage each other's rather prodigious alcohol intake. Sounds pretty depressing, I know, but not surprisingly, it's also very funny. It's directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and co-written by he and Miller. Enjoy courtesy of Funny or Die, and have a great rest of the weekend. Peace out.

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