September 11th, 2007 at 1:13 pm
Posted by admin in Pasadena

Oxygen will show all 13 episodes of Pasadena on September 3 starting at 8am Pacific.

November 30th, 2006 at 12:06 pm
Posted by admin in Pasadena

Links for Pasadena:

November 7th, 2006 at 12:17 pm
Posted by admin in Pasadena

Will Pasadena Be Put Back on the Map?
August 12, 2002Now that Fox has officially pulled the plug on Pasadena, series creator Mike White is determined to find a home for the show’s remaining nine hour-long episodes. “We are looking to get it on FX or some kind of cable outlet,” he tells TV Guide Online, adding that releasing all 13 installments on DVD is another option being considered. “I’m really proud of the rest of the episodes. It’s a mystery and it all gets resolved [in the end].”

Despite talk that White might edit the show’s entire run into a Mulholland Dr.-esque feature film, the acclaimed scribe behind Chuck & Buck and The Good Girl says that idea is pretty much dead. “Unlike Mulholland Dr., this [would have to be] a 13-hour movie,” he points out. “So, it’s hard to see how that would work.” Well, it’s not like David Lynch‘s two-hour mind-bender made any sense, right? “[But] mine does make sense,” protests White, laughing. “It all pays off. That’s really frustrating for me.”

Another source of frustration for White were the constant mixed messages Fox kept sending him about the fate of his low-rated but creatively-promising drama. Essentially, what was supposed to be a temporary hiatus turned into a permanent one. “It was the never-ending drama,” he sighs. “I think the network really liked the show… [but] from a business point of view, I understand why they just couldn’t take another risk of launching it again.”

Responds Fox entertainment president Gail Berman: “Pasadena is one of the painful experiences we had last year. We took it off the air with the full intent of trying to find a place for it, because it was an excellent show, and Mike White is a great creator. Someday, we hope to be in business with him again.”

That’s an offer White may just have to refuse ? for now, anyway. “I would like to do [TV] again in a way where [the network] actually makes a poster and puts us on the air,” he sneers. “As somebody who likes to write, it’s really an ideal job to have. I just kind of have to work up my energy again to fight those battles ? because it’s a lot of battles.” ? Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge

November 7th, 2006 at 12:17 pm
Posted by admin in Pasadena

Best & Worst 2001
By Hal Hinson
Time MagazineBest #7 – Pasadena (Fox) – Underpromoted and endlessly pre-empted, Fox’s twisted rich-family saga is harder to find than Dick Cheney’s secret secure location. But intrepid viewers are rewarded with a great cast (including Dana Delany, Martin Donovan and Philip Baker Hall) in a darkly funny story of a powerful media clan with a skeleton?perhaps literally?in its walk-in closet. Not everything in Pasadena, we learned, smells like roses.

November 7th, 2006 at 12:16 pm
Posted by admin in Pasadena

‘Pasadena’: Sunny California With Southern Gothic Shadows
By Hal Hinson
New York Times
November 2, 2001LOS ANGELES — The setting for “Pasadena,” the new Friday night soap on Fox, may be Southern California with its perpetual sunshine, its towering palms, its Spanish colonial estates and luxuriant bougainvillea, but the atmosphere is something else, something more mysterious and harder to put your finger on. Something more Flannery O’Connor than “Beverly Hills 90210.”

If “Pasadena” cuts against the grain of what we expect from network television, and from a prime-time soap on Fox, it should come as no surprise. The show’s creator is Mike White, who as the writer and star of the instant indie classic “Chuck and Buck” established himself as the poet laureate of arrested development and mapped the limits of creepiness and dysfunction.

Prime-time soaps, from “Dallas” to “Dynasty” to “Twin Peaks,” have not only ventured into the dysfunctional before; they have gone a long way toward establishing the realm of dysfunction as command central for the genre. However, based on “Chuck and Buck,” and on his promises that “Pasadena” would be loosely based on the Chandlers, the powerful dynasty that founded The Los Angeles Times, and that it would be a kind of psychotic combination of “Knots Landing” and “American Beauty,” the mind reeled with the possibilities.

When the show appeared in late September, most of those possibilities went unrealized. “Pasadena” may be many things, but psychotic is not one of them. What it is, though, at this early point, is a stylish, uncommonly literate, sometimes perplexing and occasionally brilliant work in progress.

From the first shot, it was obvious that “Pasadena” was a quality piece of work. This is true especially for the show’s pilot, directed by Diane Keaton, who also serves as an executive producer. But while much of the show is first-rate and at times even inspired, it has also been tasteful in a way that is on some level numbing. Missing are some of the low comedy and standard sexual high jinks ? the cheap soapy thrills ? that we associate with the genre, and which we might get from a show crafted by less gifted people.

From Mr. White on down, the creative people associated with the show are top drawer. And the cast, led by Dana Delany, Martin Donovan and Philip Baker Hall, is as talented as any in recent memory. When the show is good, it is very good indeed ? good enough to stand beside the best of what is currently on television. But it needs something. In a nutshell, it needs more Mike White. The good news is that with each subsequent episode, more of him is in evidence.

“It has taken me a while to really get in a groove with the show,” Mr. White confessed recently over hamburgers and Cokes in a West Hollywood restaurant. “But finally I feel I’ve gotten there.”

Initially, he said, he had no idea what to do with the program. Beyond the central figure ? a 15-year-old girl from a powerful media family ? he didn’t know how to proceed. “When I eventually sat down to write, I was in a complete state of panic,” he said. “In a way, I felt like it was all one big lie. Not only did I have no idea what kind of show it would be, I had no idea if I could actually write it. Ultimately, I felt that I had perpetrated this massive fraud.”

Mr. White had achieved considerable success as a television writer on shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and “Freaks and Geeks” before “Chuck and Buck,” a tragi- comic love story involving a stalker and the unwilling object of his psycho-sexual obsession, sparked fascination and controversy at the 2000 Sundance Festival. In fact, “Chuck and Buck” was a direct reaction to his increasing exasperation with network television.

On “Dawson’s Creek,” he says, “everything had to be crystal clear and explicit, and every episode had to be wrapped up neatly with a big hug at the end.” While his experience on “Freaks and Geeks” was more positive, he still had his favorite episode shelved by NBC. “To this day, I don’t know exactly what their reasons were,” he says. “The tone was too stark or too rowdy or something, but it was a major disappointment. When you feel that you’ve really written something good that expresses who you are and it gets rejected, you begin to wonder if you are in the right business.”

Ultimately, Mr. White’s attraction to “Pasadena” had almost nothing to do with his love of prime-time soaps and everything to do with outsmarting the networks.

“What attracted me to soap operas,” he says, “is that they are, by their very nature, the exact opposite of the kind of shows I have had problems with in the past. What’s great about them is that their story lines are required to be open-ended and ambiguous.”

He added: “People can be nasty, and I would be able to deal with the issues that I am interested in, which are, you know, obsession, and unwanted sexual advances, and people acting out in outrageous and bizarre ways. And do it all in a way that Fox could understand and be able to market.”

For inspiration, Mr. White did not turn to earlier soaps or movies. “The effect that I was going for was that of a Southern Gothic novel, but in a modern-day Southern California landscape,” he said. To that end, he dove headlong into classic American literature, reading Leslie Fiedler’s “Love and Death in the American Novel” and rereading a lot of Faulkner. His intention wasn’t to create some sort of equivalent to those books on network TV, but to borrow from their spirit. “I wanted to get at that feeling of incest and mystery,” he said, “of overwrought emotion and whisperings behind the door and the decaying mansion as the symbol of the corrupted soul.”

His favorite moments in the show have nothing to do with Faulkner, though. They’re strange, tossed-off jokes and quirky scenes like the one in the second episode when the family wrestles not with an invading psychopath but with a large and very unwelcome rat.

Mr. White’s writing is “so much more meaningful than most of what you usually see with this sort of show, the so-called soaps, which are just a grotesque parade of insane characters,” Ms. Keaton says. “That sort of thing can be fun for a quick laugh, but Mike gives you more.”

In its own subterranean way, “Pasadena” appears to be a very strange creature indeed ? a prime- time soap that’s also a not-so-veiled critique of capitalism and the atrocities of wealth.

When this is suggested to Mr. White, he casts a conspiratorial glance at nearby tables. “Don’t tell anyone,” he says. “Let’s just say that this is the rich person’s wish- fulfillment soap opera.”

At times, it seems that the show’s guiding principle is Balzac’s tenet that behind every great fortune there is a crime. The fortune belongs to the Greeley family, standing in for the Chandlers, who founded The Los Angeles Times if not most of Los Angeles itself. The Times has been transformed into The Los Angeles Sun, which the Greeleys have used, as all evil dynasties must, to further their own financial and political interests. In addition to making themselves filthy rich, these include keeping all Jews and Catholics from joining their exclusive country clubs.

We are enlightened about their nefarious wheelings and dealings by a buff young prepster named Henry (Alan Simpson), who’s been hard at work compiling a record of their sins on the Internet. He’s doing this, we assume, to awaken his classmate, the lissome Lily Greeley McAllister (Alison Lohman) ? who functions as the show’s narrator and moral conscience ? from her pampered innocence. “There’s a lot of dirt in here,” he tells her. “Your family is like the WASP Corleones.”

Mr. White grew up in the world of the show, he says ? the “polite, homogenized, ultraconservative, ultra-WASPy world of Pasadena.” Much of what he has written into the series he has experienced, like the scene in which the Greeley family sits around the dinner table telling anti-Semitic jokes, not realizing that one of their guests is Jewish. “I know these people,” he says.

Mike White’s subject ? families and their secrets ? links “Pasadena” to the other shows that seem to resonate at this moment in our culture: “The Sopranos,” “The West Wing,” “E.R.,” “Six Feet Under.” That Mr. White taps into this with sensitivity and originality, and in a voice that is at once tender and ineffably dark and disquieting, is what makes the show deserving of attention.

Whether “Pasadena” will find an audience ? which would require achieving the proper balance between its lighter and darker elements ? is anybody’s guess. Gail Berman, president of Fox Entertainment, admits that the show has struggled so far. One reason, she suggests, is that both audiences and critics made some premature assumptions. “They saw the one-word title and saw that it was on Fox and immediately assumed that it was going to be another one of `those’ shows,” she says. “But then, once people saw the pilot and then saw the second episode and the third episode and began to think about the show and began to see it for what it is, they began to realize that we were in entirely new territory.”

The bottom line, she says, is that the tone of the show is exactly where she would like it to be, but just how long Fox is willing to wait for it to find an audience “isn’t a question that can be answered right now.”

While producing two scripts every three weeks for “Pasadena,” Mr. White has also been on call for reshoots of the feature “Orange County,” a comedy starring Jack Black and directed by Jake Kasdan, and has been tinkering with the Jennifer Aniston film “The Good Girl,” directed by Miguel Arteta, the director of “Chuck and Buck.”

“I’m in awe of the David Kelleys and the Aaron Sorkins and those people who are able on a continuing basis to execute these gargantuan feats of production,” he said. “I don’t think I have the drive to sustain it.

“I’ve always been somebody who likes to sit, and reflect, and stare at the wall. So as much as I would like the show to survive, because I do love the actors and with each episode I grow to love these characters more and more, it is almost my biggest nightmare that the show will be picked up for nine more episodes. It’s just so brutal that, for me to feel like I’ve done my best and given it 100 percent, it means crying myself to sleep at night.”

November 7th, 2006 at 12:15 pm
Posted by admin in Pasadena

Plastic people plot in “Pasadena”
By Michael Speier

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) – The most shallow family on TV lives in “Pasadena.” Fox’s soap opera-mystery hybrid is full of backstabbers, liars and fakes … and everyone looks like a catalog model.

Doing their best to make the Ewings and Carringtons proud, the people residing here spend their days throwing parties, cheating on spouses and stealing from one another. But considering “Dallas” and “Dynasty” already set the gold standard for primetime, wealth-fueled dysfunction — 20 years ago — this successor’s love affair with upper-class warfare is hardly original. The idea of snooty jerks screwing around just isn’t what it used to be.

Created by “Chuck & Buck” actor/writer Mike White, “Pasadena” has a creative mind behind it, but his warped sense of storytelling only sporadically pays off. The debut, directed by Diane Keaton (also an exec producer), hits the right notes when it avoids cliches and zeroes in on the “whodunit” question that makes this slightly different from the usual profile of boring billionaires. Like last season’s “Titans,” however, the money-means-power theme is too prevalent, so the project comes off more like a parody of hits from the 1980s.

Show centers around Lily McAllister (Alison Lohman), a precocious teen who witnesses a stranger’s suicide at her mansion one night while babysitting her younger brother. At first, everyone disassociates themselves from the man — identified as Philip Parker — but it’s soon evident that he definitely has something to do with their past.

Lily’s decision to pursue his history, with the help of hunky classmate Henry (Alan Simpson), doesn’t sit well with her parents. Mom Catherine (Dana Delany) refuses to talk about anything negative and just wants to focus on home improvements, while dad Will (Martin Donovan) is a bit more sensitive to Lily’s interest but too busy sleeping around to care.

The McAllisters’ communication problems should come as no surprise. Catherine is a Greeley, a muted, waspy clan that has run L.A.’s major newspaper (the fictitious Los Angeles Sun) for decades and whose investments in downtown real estate have translated into fame and fortune.

Patriarch George (Philip Baker Hall) presides over Catherine’s flighty sister (Natasha Gregson Wagner) and two brothers on opposite ends of the social spectrum. Robert (Mark Valley) is a cutthroat business man who revels in cruelty, while Nate (Balthazar Getty) is the black sheep, the younger sibling who can’t hold a job and whose addiction to drugs has forced everyone to “cut him off.” While everybody is busy hating everybody else, Lily’s resolve to uncover the secrets of the corpse is strengthened.

Following the hows and whys of the death is a substantive and intriguing way to make “Pasadena” more meaningful than its flock of predecessors. White, who wrote the debut’s teleplay, and Keaton are on to something with the combination of creepiness and suburban wealth. It’s a fusion of “Flamingo Road,” “American Beauty” and “The X-Files.”

But it’s the “rich” factor that causes the problems, narratively speaking. The Armani mentality, complete with tantrums, maids and overt jealousy, makes for nothing more than a glossy B serial full of impropriety and nastiness.

Lohman does a solid job with her role as series protag, while Donovan is well cast as a detached father whose domestic boredom leads him into serious trouble (though he does seem a bit young for the part). On the flip side, Delany looks oddly out of place; the two-time Emmy winner (“China Beach”) doesn’t quite fit in as the matriarch cursed with mental instability. None of the supporting players stands out as a terrific baddie.

Tech credits are sharp, led by Tatiana Riegel’s methodical and patient editing and Roy H. Wagner’s glossy lensing.