Caryn James

Tina Fey as Blerta, The New Roommate on 'Girls' (SNL Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 29, 2013 10:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It's easy to spoof Girls, from Lena Dunham's very particular delivery to her character's unlimited insecurity and narcissism. But host Tina Fey took an entirely fresh approach in the best of the sketches from last night's otherwise tame Saturday Night Live, as a new roommate -- a peasant crone named Blerta who blurts out the truth to the friends. "Don't speak. They will know you are simple," she advises Shoshanna. But she saves the most perfect observation for Hannah (perfectly played by new cast member Noel Wells) at the end.

'Zero Dark Thirty' Parodies: With Lena Dunham and As A Rom-Com

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 28, 2013 12:10 PM
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Who knows if these parodies might have helped Zero Dark Thirty in the Oscar race? (Could they have hurt more than the controversy about torture?) Laughing about the subject probably wasn’t in anybody's awards strategy, but these two very funny videos reveal how firmly the film has pervaded the cultural conversation.

The 'Girls' Episode That Leaves the 'Girls' Behind

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 8, 2013 9:31 AM
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Every now and then on ‘Girls,’ Hannah leaves her girlfriends and her search for success and rent behind, and we see deeper aspects of her character – revelations for both Hannah and for us. Last season it was a road trip to her parents and the hometown she has outgrown. This season it arrives with the next episode, called “One Man’s Trash,” as she steps into an upscale Brooklyn brownstone at the off-handed invitation of a neighbor, played by Patrick Wilson.

Watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Funny, Edgy Golden Globes Opener

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 13, 2013 11:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It’s too bad they disappeared for most of the show, because hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were by far the best part of watching The Golden Globes. Some of their lines were as jaw-dropping as anything Ricky Gervais said, but were delivered with such warmth that they didn’t seem to sting. “I haven’t really been following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty,” Poehler said, “but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.” The “special material” writers included SNL’s Seth Meyers and 30 Rock’s Robert Carlock, which explains a lot.  

'Girls,' Season 2: Where Does Lena Dunham End and Hannah Begin?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 8, 2013 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
With the ultra-sharp new season of Girls,  I finally understand – though I don’t agree with – the Lena Dunham backlash. For all I know, in real life she’s perfectly likable. But her character, Hannah, is the most squirm-inducing character on television. Hannah’s total self-absorption (as if the world should be interested) and defiantly strong self-image is combined with its reverse: the cringingly bad self-image her bravado masks, and utterly self-destructive relationships. Who would want to be this whiny mess’ friend? But Dunham plays her so convincingly that the distance  between herself and Hannah seems to vanish – which is especially weird, considering that Dunham is the writer/director/actor/ and Judd Apatow protegee with a  reported $3.5 million book deal and Hannah is a struggling, post-college mess.

Watch Jimmy Kimmel in His PJ's Announce the Emmy Nominations

  • By Caryn James
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  • July 19, 2012 10:26 AM
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The best part of the Emmy nominations? Jimmy Kimmel appearing in his pj’s, speaking truth to power. “This could be just as good at noon, really,” he said at the insane hour of 5:40 AM Pacific time. Kimmel, who will host the awards show on Sept 23., stepped in to announce the nominations with Kerry Washington when Nick Offerman was delayed in the East because of yesterday’s monster storm. And he went straight to an even more cogent point in an interview with GMA after the nominations.

'Girls' Ends Its Season More Brilliant Than Ever

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 17, 2012 9:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
There has been so much ink, web time, energy and hot air devoted to Lena Dunham’s Girls that there can’t possibly be any synonyms for zeitgeist left unused. Is her HBO series inbred in its casting and elitist in its characters, as charged? Sure it is, but so what? The actors are terrific; the elitism is part of its young-educated-ambitious-kids scenario. And the show, which started off savagely smart, funny and honest, has only gotten better through the season.

Jeremy Irons In 'The Borgias' Stunning Season Finale (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 17, 2012 9:00 AM
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On a day packed with season finales, two wildly different series stand out: Lena Dunham’s increasingly brilliant Girls on HBO (for a preview, click here) and the extravagant Neil Jordan-created Showtime drama, The Borgias, which ends its glorious and gory second season tonight with one of its most affecting episodes -- and an ending that would feel unresolved if we didn’t know a third round is in the works.

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