Mike O’Malley


When I think comedy and the Miami Heat’s big three, I’m generally looking at Chris Bosh interview-bombing Dwayne Wade and LeBron James, but James has bigger aspirations than fooling around between quarters. I mean, naturally. He’s the King. James, in association with Mike O’Malley, Tom Werner,  Maverick Carter, and Paul Wachter, now have a six episode series order by Starz for their basketball-centric half-hour scripted television project, Survivor’s Guilt.  To be written and executive-produced by O’Malley, the show will focus on young basketball prodigy Cam Calloway, who moves to Georgia with his cousin Reggie Vaughn after signing a multi-million dollar contract to play for their pro basketball franchise. They contend with his sudden fame and fortune, family hangers-on, and Cam’s struggles to hold on to the community from which he came.


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On the whole, season four of Justified was pretty spectacular. With a few exceptions, almost every episode was filled with perfect writing, skillful, action-packed direction, some of the greatest acting performances on television, and really interesting character arcs. We also said goodbye to one of the show’s greatest assets, Raymond J. Barry as Arlo Givens in one of Justified’s greatest show openers ever, a vicious prison shanking. While Arlo’s passing was a loss to the show, we all made it through, and have one helluva episode to remember him by. Though most of this season did involve the marshallin’ stiffy-inducing search for fugitive Drew Thompson, who was Arlo’s buddy in Vietnam, and who brought cocaine to Harlan County. Drew, of course, turned out to be the kindly old Sheriff Shelby (Jim Beaver), who rescued dumb-but-sweet prostitute Ellen May (Abby Miller) from the clutches of Boyd and Ava, since she witnessed Ava kill Delroy… Now that Raylan officially brought in Drew/Shelby and skirted the Detroit mob, this season’s central “mystery,” now what? With most of the season’s plot wrapped up last week, this week’s finale did not have that much to do. Raylan had to tie up some loose ends with the Detroit mob, and Boyd had to get that whole Delroy thing squared away. The episode, entitled “Ghosts,”directed by Bill Johnson and written by Fred Golan and Benjamin Cavell, was certainly a very good one, but Justified could have done just a bit better. There were some unanswered questions left over […]


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With Justified winding down to its season finale in two weeks, it hasn’t lost the high-octane momentum of last week’s amazing episode with “Decoy” continuing to plow along full steam ahead – an apt metaphor, given that Rachel and Shelby/Drew got the hell out of Harlan on the coal train by the episode’s end. Again, this episode upholds Justified’s high standard for the most clever, well-written dialogue on television (this episode was written by showrunner Graham Yost and Chris Provenzano) and at the helm of director Michael Watkins, had a consistently swift and exciting pace, cutting between various high-tension locations and groups of characters. Each character also got their moment in the spotlight – Raylan and Boyd being clever and badass! Tim’s sardonic wit! Colton’s tortured-ness! Art being Art! Johnny’s bleeding heart! Ava being one tough cookie! – which is a difficult feat to accomplish, given this week’s large ensemble-like nature. So many good things again this week, it’s almost difficult to simmer down and make this sound coherent.


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I love Justified. I love Justified so hard. Yes, there is the odd placeholder episode. Yes, there are smatterings of cheesy “reveals.” But when you get down to it, there is nary another show on television that is consistently exciting to watch, or that strikes the perfect, watchable balance between action and character development. That actually gets the plot moving week by week. That rewards fans of the show with little nuggets from seasons past, making the Harlan County crime universe a fully realized place where characters aren’t simply written off but are always lurking somewhere, acting behind the scenes. Oh yeah, and it has probably the most cleverly written dialogue on television, too.


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Tonight came with a huge shock. Before the opening credits. I haven’t fully come to grips with it yet, and I’m not sure if I can say whether or not it was handled correctly. Nevertheless, shocking it certainly was – and it created a huge void in the show.


So Jeremy Piven

The past few years have seen some of the most anticipated cinematic pairings finally come to fruition: Aronofsky with Portman, the Coen Brother reuniting with Jeff Bridges, Jeff Bridges reuniting with Young Jeff Bridges. However, all of them stand to be trumped when Jeremy Piven co-stars with Miley Cyrus. We’ve already reported on So Undercover (even though you most likely learned about it while reading your daughter’s texts over her shoulder and wondering what FJD means), but the news of Piven’s involvement is a real wrench in the works that usually pump out pure, clean sarcasm. It’s impossible to know what to think about this. Still, Piven seems to be continuing his family-friendly roles (with this and Spy Kids 4 forthcoming), and his performance here stands to rival the time Paul Giamatti agreed to appear head to toe in blue paint for a children’s film. The movie will also feature Mike O’Malley (a legitimate actor forever in the shadow of the Aggrocrag) and Kelly Osbourne, securing the fact that I am definitely not the target audience for this.

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published: 01.26.2015
B-, C-
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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