It Caught My Eye: LA Plays Someplace Else

So in the midst of last night’s episode of Survivor, an ad comes on that jumps out of the TV at me. It’s a riveting futuristic marvel featuring a transformer-like plane swooping into a disaster area to effect a dramatic last-minute rescue atop a crumbling debris-strewn bridge littered with debris, presumably deposited by a Katrina-esque hurricane.

Removing the injured and taking off literally nanoseconds before the span collapses, I’m rapt wondering if this is a spot for Skyline, Harry Potter and the I Don’t Give a Crap, or perhaps one final political ad from Meg Whitman, until the familiarity of the location breaks the spell and I grab the remote and take myself back to the bridge. Sure enough, I pause the scene and grab the cam:


(click image to maximize)

Though I’d guess the US Air Force recruitment commercial is trying to conjure up a New Orleans bridge over the Mississippi, what you’re really looking at above is a downtownward-looking angle from our very own historic 6th Street Viaduct, albeit augmented with severe storm crap (is that part of a house?) atop a heavily CGI’d river flowing below it, literally bank-to-bank.

Ironically, there’s some truth in the apocalyptic ad showing the bridge falling apart, because indeed it slowly is. The concrete made on-site when the Merrill Butler-designed landmark was completed in 1932 is slowly failing.

From the Bridge’s Wiki page:

The quality of the concrete turned out to have a high alkali content and lead to an alkali-silica reaction which creates cracks in the concrete and saps the strength of the structure. Current estimates are that the viaduct has a 70% probability of collapse due to a major earthquake within 50 years.

PaleyFest 2010 Is Upon Us

Terry O'Quinn & Michael Emerson at the PaleyFest "Lost" panel on 2/27/10. Photo by Jodi

I’m a little late in getting this post up, considering the 27th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival (PaleyFest) has already started. You’ve only missed three events, Modern Family and Lost, which were both fantastic and NCIS, which I didn’t attend. There are 10 nights left highlighting such acclaimed shows as Breaking Bad and Dexter. The only one aside from Lost that is sold-out so far is Glee.

This is the 9th year I’ve attended PaleyFest, the ever-changing and growing celebration of television programming and its creation. It is hands-down one of my favorite annual L.A. events. For the past two years, it was held in the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight Hollywood, a much bigger venue than the previous theater at the Directors Guild. As the festival continues to grow, it has once again moved and is being held at The Saban Theatre (formerly The Wilshire Theatre) in Beverly Hills, which can hold 1900 people.

The full programming schedule can be found here. Ticket prices are tiered based on seating section and Paley Center membership status. Seats are not assigned, just the section. Check for more information on ticket availability for the remaining shows on this site.

The Saban Theatre is located at 8440 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, 90211. The surrounding neighborhoods all have permit street parking, so be prepared to pay $10 to park in one of two designated lots.

Let us know if you plan to attend any of the events. I’ll report back on my experience at the end of the fest.

Cathy schools Martha about Lily – March 11

Handmade flowers from Cathy of California
Handmade flowers from Cathy of California

Local craft goddess Cathy of California is slated to appear on Martha Stewart on Wednesday, March 11th.

She’ll be extolling the virtues of none other than Lily Pulitzer, in honor of Lily’s 50th anniversary.

Cathy will be wearing vintage Lily, and making some vintage inspired flowers on a flower loom as well as talking about 60s – 70s crafts.

Check your local listings on Martha.com!

Memo to Casting Agents: Please don’t waste actors from The Wire

Sunday night, the Best Show In The History Of Television airs its final episode. Once The Wire is gone, what is going to happen to its stellar cast? Several of them have relocated to Los Angeles and I hope that their stars will be on the rise. But somehow, I’m guessing they’re in for some rough road.

For example, Andre Royo has recently relocated to Silverlake with his wife, who runs Canele in Atwater. He should be getting ready to collect his fifth Emmy for his portrayal of Bubbles. Instead, you may have seen him for a second and a half, getting wordlessly gunned down in the background of an episode of Terminator, the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Robert F. Chew, who played the amazing Proposition Joe, is still in Baltimore, and given the parts he’s been asked to read for by Hollywood production companies, maybe that’s a good thing. (listen at about 20:30 mark.)

At least Lance Reddick is showing up on Lost, when he’s not hawking Cadillacs.

Anybody else seen or heard of Wire alumni here in town? Anybody see them in other shows, in parts big or small?

And is there any hope for a sitcom starring Isiah Whitlock, following the antics of a lovably corrupt public official with a penchant for a certain extra-syllabic epithet? Or how about pilots for Wendell Pierce or Clarke Peters?