allison janney

Why You Should Be Watching: Mom

Although it’s easy to think of comedies and dramas as separate entities, the best series are often able to execute both styles of storytelling in establishing their identities. Mom is one of those series, and to call it a sitcom is almost misleading.

‘The Way, Way Back’ a charming, low-key, and bittersweet coming-of-age tale

The Way, Way Back belongs, in no small way, to the same subgenre of low-key indie dramedies like Little Miss Sunshine and Juno, small-town stories populated with well-known actors and an almost sitcom-esque quality to the dialogue. Where this film, written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, breaks free from such familiar shackles is in its impressive ensemble cast, specifically the teen actor Liam James and the raffish character actor Sam Rockwell. The Way, Way Back is maybe a touch formulaic, but it’s an assured, enjoyable, and bittersweet coming-of-age story.

Veep, Ep 2.08: “First Response” forces Selina to face the media, and take drastic actions to try to pull attention away from her numerous scandals

With Selina’s growing political issues in the second season of Veep, from the CIA operative hostage situation, to the scandals involving her ex-husband, a rough meeting between the Vice president and the press seemed inevitable. While Meyer was able to avoid the press in Finland, despite Dan’s bumbling efforts, such reprieve could not go on for long. This episode sees Meyer face the press, in an episode that illustrates how Meyer’s recent political actions are being viewed by those in the public eye, while still managing to be comedically top-notch.

Tribeca 2013: “Trust Me” cleverly combines satire and film noir

From the first shot of Trust Me, Clark Gregg makes it obvious that his satirical picture owes a huge debt to Sunset Boulevard. Both are film noirs set in Hollywood that concern themselves with female actors clawing desperately at fame, but each is told from an opposite end of the spectrum. Billy Wilder’s classic memorably depicts an aging has-been desperate to reclaim her former glory, and Trust Me follows an up-and-coming starlet willing to go to any lengths to obtain celebrity. And the allusions just pile on after that.

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