Linda Holmes

Today in great fun: a look at the execution of difficult stage directions, such as — but not limited to — "Exit, pursued by a bear." [The Guardian]

It's safe to say that if you find yourself on the new Lifetime show My Life Is A Lifetime Movie, something has gone wrong. [Crushable]

Bret Michaels has given Tom Cruise the thumbs-up for Cruise's performance in Rock Of Ages. So that's one thing you don't have to worry about today. [L.A. Times]

The advent of serious, thoughtful, artistically ambitious television has brought us many marvelous shows: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife. And the growth of comedies with strong points of view has allowed oddball projects like 30 Rock and Community to emerge and earn praise.

It's always an interesting feeling when people react to things completely differently than you do, and this is a great example — this newspaper account talks about how James Corden dedicated his Tony Award (for One Man, Two Guvnors) to his girlfriend, and calls it "cringeworthy." I was going to say "adorable." [The Telegraph]

We'll be here at 7:45 p.m. to live-blog the 2012 Tony Awards, with Marc Hirsh and me monitoring the ceremony at home and Trey Graham on site at the Beacon Theater.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

We enjoy the Tony Awards here at Monkey See — it's often the awards ceremony with the largest quantity of actual merit, by far. True performers! True performances! Admittedly, one of the most famous moments the Tonys have had in the past few years was Bret Michaels getting hit on the head with scenery, but normally, they are very dignified.

It's Prometheus week, and you know what that means: extraterrestrials. Specifically, the many different kinds of extraterrestrials you meet in the movies and on television. We generally divide them into a few categories, based on their levels of malevolence and evil.

Lev Grossman writes about the problem of reading while walking, explaining that on the one hand, he knows it's "foolish," but he can't help himself. [Time]

The Television Critics Association (which I'm part of) has announced the nominees for its annual awards, which will be handed out during press tour in late July.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar is curiously resilient for a guy who started out on Saved By The Bell. In a new interview, he talks a little about the writing on that show not necessarily being so great, and he discusses his TNT show Franklin & Bash, where he yuks that as long as he gets paid more than co-star Breckin Meyer, he doesn't even care which of the guys he's playing: "I could be the ampersand." [Yahoo TV]

So Taylor Swift wrote this song about John Mayer a couple of years ago, and now John Mayer is like, "Not cool, Taylor Swift," and it's in Rolling Stone. Frankly, it is kind of "cheap songwriting," as he says, to write about your famous exes by name. But then, so is writing a song about Kanye West just to tell him you forgive him for interrupting you. [Rolling Stone]

Lindsay Lohan has tried a lot of things to escape her own image, which has been battered for years by her legal, personal, and substance difficulties. You may remember that in 2008, she sat for a series of photos in New York Magazine specifically calling back to a Marilyn Monroe shoot six weeks before her death. (Some of those, by the way, are topless photos, so use your judgment if you look at them.)

You may have heard me talk in the past about the "onomatapology," an invented term for the celebrity or politician statement that sounds like an apology and makes noises like an apology but actually is not an apology. Jason Alexander said some dopey things on Craig Ferguson's show a while back, and what he has issued in the aftermath? That is what an apology is like. [OutSports]

Let's say this first: Popular television is bad at lots of things, and one of them is representations of people with disabilities. Even where they're present – Artie on Glee, or Walter, Jr. on Breaking Bad – they tend to be in isolation. When there's more than one person in a wheelchair, for instance, like when Jason Street was in rehab on Friday Night Lights, the story is usually about the disability itself.

It turns out that Off-Broadway plays, in particular, are so reliant on the feedback they get (and the revenue they get) from preview performances that they sometimes schedule a longer period of previews than regular perfomances. [The New York Times]

I admit it's a bold statement, suggesting that the most glamorous and prestigious awards ceremony Americans watch all year could learn something from an event that once had a category called "Biggest Badass Star." Certainly, I wouldn't want to see the Oscars replaced with the MTV Movie Awards, given that the first Twilight movie won five of them.

Jim Meskimen is the only person I've ever heard open an interview with NPR's Scott Simon in the voice of NPR's Robert Siegel.

In fairness, he's the one most likely to do so, since he is a noted impressionist. He acknowledges "you don't see people doing their Robert Siegel in nightclubs much," though he's noted what he calls Siegel's "bemused kind of delivery."

Yesterday, after being acquitted of one of six campaign finance fraud charges against him and seeing the jury deadlock on the other five, John Edwards held a brief press conference in which he said this:

On this week's episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, our pop-culture roundtable podcast, I administered to my co-podcasters a quiz about summer television that explores not only how weird summer television is, but — arguably — how weird my brain is, since it required me to make up a lot of imaginary summer television that was designed to seem like it might be real.

Well, this is certainly not a timid way to put out your first trailer.

One of the most interesting reads of the day is about a rather upsetting event: a "midnight raid" that removed the books from the Kensal Rise Library in London during a dispute over its closing. Joan Bakewell's essay concludes, "the Kensal Rise story stands witness to our loss of values and our slow drift to being an uncaring and ignorant country." [The Telegraph]

What Charlize Theron does for Snow White and The Huntsman in her role as the Wicked Queen is a bit like what Godzilla does for a Godzilla movie: She gives you something big and distracting to look at while a lot of thinly defined victims run around frantically trying to avoid a grisly death at her hand.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. Today at 10:00 Eastern, they'll compete in the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN2), and then tonight at 8:00, they'll hold the finals (broadcast on ESPN). You can also follow an online streaming version at ESPN online, but to be honest, it's an extremely cumbersome process that I haven't yet gotten to work for me.

It probably speaks to the complexity of Mad Men that the same episode can be a highlight of the series for some and a lowlight for others. Sunday night's episode, "The Other Woman," instantly became a favorite of a lot of observers and writers, but for me, it was a rarity on Mad Men: a serious and profound misstep.

I would hope it's obvious that if you haven't seen Sunday's episode and plan to watch it, you should stop reading.

When you've seen a lot of movies where Toronto plays the part of New York, you come to appreciate location shooting. And on today's All Things Considered, you'll hear from the star of one of television's more ambitious series when it comes to location shooting: Route 66, which followed two guys around the country in a cool Corvette as they looked for a place to settle.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus knows it must seem like she's "arrived," as NPR's Rachel Martin says during their discussion on Sunday's Weekend Edition. She's well-known from Seinfeld, of course, but she's also been on Saturday Night Live, and for five seasons held down her own CBS sitcom, The New Adventures Of Old Christine. Her new HBO comedy, Veep, in which she plays the vice president to an unseen and unknown president, premieres Sunday night.

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