Monday, January 17, 2011

Top Ten Moments of Winter TCAs...

Well, that's pretty explanatory, right? You already got a little inside look at some of the great personalities presented in front of me at the winter press tour over the past two weeks, but let's face it, the time spent in the ballroom in Pasadena wasn't all about famous names and faces. So now that it's officially over and I'm back to working from the solitude (and warmth!) of my own apartment, I decided to reflect on some of my favorite moments:

10) Recyclable grocery-turned-swag bags. Let's face it, I don't have much use for tote bags, but I go to the supermarket often and prefer not to have to get my groceries packed in plastic bags. Also these sturdier, larger rectangular bags hold a lot more, which means more swag inside!

9) The sizzle reel for AMC's The Killing. I was not one of the lucky few who managed to get the link to the screener working prior to AMC's presentation, so when I saw the package they put together to promote the adaptation, which begins airing in April, I was completely blown away. I had known next to nothing about the series, and I had prejudged it as being too intense and dramatic for my liking. But the show is from the creator of Cold Case, who will always have a place in my heart for that long-loved series, and both the writing and the acting look phenomenal. It's part family drama, part thriller whodunit?, and I cannot wait to watch the story line unfold!

8) Accidentally walking in on David Duchovny. That's not nearly as dirty as it sounds, but on Friday the order of my interviews got a bit messed up, and I headed up to the room at what I thought was the right time to chat with Tamsin Greig from Episodes only to knock on the door and have a sleepy, messy-headed Duchovny pull it open. I was so frazzled by the events of the morning (it was my busiest day and the last day in a long two-week stretch), but he couldn't have been nicer and invited me in. I should have taken the moment as a happy accident to grab a quick interview, but he had to change clothes, and I thought I was late for my actual interview, so sadly I let the opportunity pass. If he ever comes and does an IBG event, I'll have to remind him of our encounter, though.

7) Joan Rivers. She's a legend. She's an icon. She's hilarious. And she knew how to start the day off right, performing a little bit of stand-up for sleepy critics over a Rainbow Media breakfast. Some little birdie had told her of Oprah Winfrey's hour-long jabbering antics the day before, and she took jabs at her, as well as her own station, saying she and Melissa were starting one, too, and it would be called "Rent." For the record, as long as it shows old stand-up specials and her documentary, A Piece of Work, I'd watch that!

The food at the Oprah party. I'm a sucker for any party in which waiters come around with trays of food on sticks, and this one featured no shortage! While most journalists were keeping one eye roving around the room looking for their first sign of Lady O herself, my eye was firmly planted on the bacon and potato leek balls, the ricotta and mushroom gnocchi, and the candy bar set up in the corner. I don't drink, but I have it on good authority that Oprah's signature vodka and ginger beer was a pretty tasty cocktail, too. We didn't get cars under our seats, but she tried to make it up to us by stuffing us silly.

5) People-watching at the NBC party. I got a lot of good interviews in the first hour or so of being in the lobby lounge of the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, but once everyone funneled in from the red carpet, it was too crowded to move and too loud to really be productive. So I mixed; I mingled; I got great glimpses of some adorable couplings...and some odd ones. Highlight was probably the brief moment Scott Patterson passed by Lauren Graham and gave her a little wave hello. In my mind Luke and Lorelai are married now and they might be open to adopting me.

Turning random celebrities onto my book. I swear I didn't do it on purpose! Summer TCA of 2010 was a time when I was putting the finalizing touches on my pop culture memoir, and winter TCA was when I was putting the finalizing touches on the eBook conversion. So needless to say, it was on my mind, and it just happened to come up a few times. First with Tatyana Ali, who I interviewed for her new TV One sitcom, later with David Walton at the NBC party, and most notably with Sarah Chalke, who actually told me that she wants to read it. She may have just been saying that to be nice, but I'm totally sending her a copy! My goal is to get it on a handful of sets as a prop or piece of set dressing, so you never know... Besides, she might get a kick out of it; after all, she started acting young, on a program that very easily could have found its way mentioned in the pages of my book. She may relate.

3) The Community panel. It was the last panel of a very long day, after seeing presentations for less-than-stellar shows from Syfy, Oxygen, Bravo, and NBC. Community didn't have anything new or particularly special to promote or announce, but the cast was as lively as ever, waking up every journalist in the room, regardless of whether or not all of the journalists actually watched the show (it became apparent quite a few had never seen it). But I'm a huge fan so to get to see them on not only yet another panel but then to get to chat one-on-one with a few was a blast. Community was my Oprah!

Finally getting to meet Mark-Paul Gosselaar in person. 'Nuff said.

1) Getting to catch up with other reporter, blogger, and journalist friends that I usually only see on Twitter and meeting a few new ones! TCA is like a twice-a-year camp. We come from all over, for a brief period of time in which we work hard, play harder, and rarely get any sleep. There are buffet breakfasts and box lunches, and I know at least for me, I feed off the crazy creative and competitive energy in the room, all of us typing away and filing similar stories, racing to deadlines the way I used to race in the swimming pool every summer.

And what about the biggest regret? Oddly not that I missed opportunities to get my picture with Gosselaar or Matt LeBlanc (because at least I got to chat with them both) but that I didn't know Jiggy the Pom was at the NBC party! I definitely needed to meet him; he was the biggest star there and a potential new boyfriend for Madison! Oh well, next time, right, guys?

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