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Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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  • TV Picks: 'Party Down,' Funny or Die video selection, 'Manhattan'

    TV Picks: 'Party Down,' Funny or Die video selection, 'Manhattan'
    "Party Down" (Hulu). This comedy about a less than merry band of caterers, which went for two seasons on Starz in 2009 and 2010, was created by "Veronica Mars" mastermind Rob Thomas with "Mars" cohorts Dan Ethridge and John Enhom and actor Paul Rudd, who appeared in the pilot but was a movie star by the time the series came around. Even so the cast reads like some retrospective supergroup whose album you can't believe you've never heard (unless you did): Adam Scott (in for Rudd), recent Rolling Stone cover girl Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch (who left near the end of the first season for "Glee" but returned for what turned out to be the series' finale), Martin Starr, Megan Mullally and Ryan Hansen (now going from the axed "Bad Teacher" to the new "Bad Judge"), but with appearances also from cool kids Ken Jeong, Joey Lauren Adams, Kristen Bell, June Diane Raphael, and various cool kids like Jim Piddock, Paul Scheer, Thomas Lennon, J.K. Simmons and Rachael Harris among others. (My original review is here.) Every episode is set at a different Southern California party or event, bringing in a fresh group of guest stars and a new theme to explore, while the servers work out their own messy business, their antipathies and affinities, as they remind one another and themselves that this is just a job and what they Really Do is act, play music, write. The series, which punches above its weight, has a guerrilla swing to it -- well-finished, but not overtly slick in the way even shoestring productions manage to look now -- and one can sense the actors' delight beneath their characters' dissatisfaction.
  • The selling of Oak Park teen Tavi Gevinson

     The selling of Oak Park teen Tavi Gevinson
    Look! Here's the recent high school graduate Tavi Gevinson swinging from a crab apple tree in her Oak Park backyard — as photographed by Annie Leibovitz and published in Vanity Fair. Look! Here's Tavi Gevinson lying on her single, teenager's bed...

    What Makes the Emmys Such a Hard Show to Fix

    If the big banks were notoriously too big to fail, the TV awards process might finally have become too big to wrangle. Granted, it's now expected Emmy nominations and awards will yield gripes from fans and critics, lamenting programs and performers who...

    Allison Janney on Her Double Emmys Win and Post-'West Wing' Act in TV

    When "The West Wing" ended in 2006, Allison Janney was secretly terrified. She worried she would never find another TV series role as powerful as the one she held in the Bartlet administration for seven seasons. She was nervous about being typecast as...

    Aaron Paul's Wife on the Emmys Shoutout That Crashed Her Charity's Website

    The Emmys proved a big night not just for the winners, but for the causes they support as well. Winning his third Emmy for his role as Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad," Aaron Paul took the opportunity to thank his wife Lauren Parsekian, and made special...