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Latest Chuck Barney Stories

2008-10-09 21:00:27

By Chuck Barney As the presidential election nears, it has become almost a daily occurrence in workplaces everywhere: The latest campaign-related spoof or parody arrives via e-mail and touches off a minor frenzy. "You can always tell when something new has arrived," says Donna Lynn Rhodes, a senior account executive for Diablo Magazine "You can hear the giggling all over the office." Like millions of Americans during this historic election season, Rhodes has been bombarded by various...

2008-10-07 21:00:26

By Chuck Barney IF YOU THOUGHT all those gag-inducing ads for "Kath & Kim" that NBC ran during the Olympics were awful, wait until you check out the actual show. Better yet, don't bother. Starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair, "Kath & Kim" follows the outrageous misadventures of a dim, dysfunctional mother-daughter duo. It is based on a comedy that originated in Australia and it might be just cause to immediately cease trade relations with that country. Shannon is Kath, a...

2008-10-01 21:00:15

By Chuck Barney It's comforting to know that, in a television cooking-show world that has become jampacked with combative iron chefs, backstabbing wannabes, kitchen nightmares and gimmicks galore, there still is Jacques Pepin. No frills. No nonsense. Just culinary magic for your viewing pleasure. "With Jacques, it has always been what you see is what you get," says Tina Salter, a longtime associate of Pepin's and producer of his shows. "He doesn't have a special TV persona he turns on...

2008-09-29 21:00:22

By Chuck Barney ABC is hitting the "reset" button with its entire Wednesday lineup, all the while hoping that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. "Pushing Daisies,""Private Practice" and "Dirty Sexy Money" -- remember them? -- return after being packed away in cold storage since last December. That's when the freshman dramas, along with a lot of other shows, left the air because of the writers' strike. But unlike most of those other shows, this trio did not bounce back to...

2008-09-24 21:00:21

By Chuck Barney In 1994, the year "ER" came racing down the hallway and bursting onto our television screens, Hillary Clinton was the first lady. Gas sold for just over a dollar a gallon. No one had an iPod wired to their ears. And George Clooney had yet to sprout that very weird beard. The times indeed have changed. And perhaps no other mega-hit show has ever weathered change as well as "ER," which launches its 15th and final season on NBC tonight. One by one they departed Chicago's...

2008-09-22 06:00:21

By Chuck Barney Remember when television was regarded as a mass medium? It sure didn't appear to be one during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, where much of the love was showered upon basic-cable and network shows that have earned more critical praise than viewers. Chief among them was "Mad Men." The dazzling period piece about advertising in the early 1960s captured the trophy for outstanding drama, becoming the first basic-cable show to earn that distinction. "Mad Men," which had an...

2008-09-19 15:00:33

By Chuck Barney Dust off those remote controls. A new television season is upon us. Here's a quick rundown of where some of our favorite shows left off and what they have in store for us: 'Desperate Housewives' When last we saw them: A sudden flash-forward propelled the ladies of Wisteria Lane five years into the future. What to expect: Bree (Marcia Cross) becomes a Martha Stewart- like celebrity business titan; Susan (Teri Hatcher) hooks up with a new guy played by Gale Harold;...

2008-09-19 15:00:32

By Chuck Barney The networks are still withholding some pilots from us (blame the strike, they say). But that doesn't mean we can't do a cursory slalom through the new shows and toss in some snap judgments along the way. Here's a rundown to help you get with the program: Monday -- "Worst Week" (9:30 p.m., CBS, Sept. 22): Newcomer Kyle Bornheimer stars in this slapstick romp as a bumbling klutz whose attempts to win over his future in-laws always go horribly -- and hilariously -- awry....

2008-09-19 15:00:27

By Chuck Barney It's another absurdly gorgeous day in Hawaii. The sunlit sky is a neon blue. A gentle breeze caresses the tops of the palm trees. And the turquoise ocean is calm and inviting. But just off the eastern shore of Oahu, in a cramped, two- person, rented kayak, a storm is brewing. "We're never going to get there if we don't row in sync," mutters my wife, Diane, her voice tinged with exasperation. "There" is tiny Moko Nui island, one of two picturesque atolls anchored beyond...

2008-09-17 06:00:00

By Chuck Barney It's Emmy time once again in Hollywood and this year the basic- cable runts get to leave behind the kids table and eat with the grown-ups. But will they get to scarf up on more than just scraps? Thanks in part to a writers strike that put a huge dent in the broadcast television season, and in part to the departure of that powerhouse known as "The Sopranos," fringe shows such as "Mad Men,""Damages" and others have attracted plenty of well-deserved Emmy love. "Mad Men"...


Word of the Day
bellycheer
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".
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