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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: Interview with Regina King & Ben McKenzie from 'SouthLAnd'; Golden Globe TV Noms

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Golden Globe nominations went live early this morning. Of course we focused on the TV categories (available here in full) and there are few surprises. While it was great to finally see "Sons of Anarchy" appear with a nomination for Katey Sagal, it was kind of disappointing to see Hugh Laurie and Steve Carell again receive nominations - they are great actors but what did they do with their characters in this last year that was so incredibly special that it knocked another contender our of a nomination? We wondered earlier this year about the validity of the Golden Globes in these categories: foreign journalists deciding what the best in US television. Last Thursday's post included very colorful quotes about the Golden Blobes from "Rescue Me" showrunner Peter Tolan, evidently those within the industry have a circumspect attitude about the dubious honor. But I think we can overlook these issues and just regard the whole affair as a chance to party, because that is what happens at the Golden Globes, it's a chance for Hollywood to dress up, throw back some drinks, and not really give a crap as this award show is probably the most relaxed of the entire season. We'll be there: The Golden Globes, hosted by Ricky Gervais, will air Sunday, January 16 live at 5:00pm Pacific on NBC.


Regina King as Detective Lydia Adams in "SouthLAnd" which will make its season premiere on TNT on January 4th.
We were big fans of "SouthLAnd" when it first premiered on NBC and were very pleased when the show was picked up by TNT after a badly handled dumping by the Peacock. "SouthLAnd" returns on January 4th with all new episodes premiering on TNT. This is a great show focusing on patrol cops and detectives shooting on location on the very real streets of Los Angeles. The energetic and masterful season premiere picks up right where we left off with key storylines led by Regina King and Ben McKenzie as Detective Lydia Adams and Patrol Officer Ben Sherman (respectively). We had a chance to ask the pair a few questions on a conference call late last week. Fore more detail, check out our in-depth interview with Ben McKenzie from earlier this year.Thomas Attila Lewis: Regina, as Detective Lydia Adams, the physicality that you're bringing to that role is pretty amazing. It looks like we're going to get more of that this season. What I'm wondering is if we're going to see traits of her that are maybe a little less perfect because she seems so perfect. She's super fit, she is chasing people down, she's always trying to do the good thing but it seems like compared to the other characters she's so perfect. Are we going to see some chinks in that armor?

Regina King: [Laughs] I think you're definitely going to see a less-perfect side of Lydia but I think what's interesting about how the writers have - how they're playing it is that you see a less perfect side as she discovers the less-perfect side of herself.

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Thomas Attila Lewis: Okay, great. And as I was saying, we're seeing you doing these amazing stunts this season, which was what you were doing in all of last season, just really getting this kind of physical perspective of doing the job. Was this part of your training, the cop boot camp that you have talked about?

Regina King: No, that part of it - the boot camp, most of the training that we were doing - that was gun handling, handcuffing, and just the overall command presence that law enforcement has. I think - what's been kind of like the added plus, I think where the studio got more bang for their buck is that they got an entire cast that is pretty frickin' fit.

We kind of, like, I'm making a joke here, if there was a competition of us against another show we'd take anybody down. You know, we've got a really, conscious group of people. Like, we're always on the set, like, looking at the treats. Like, I'm going to walk away from that cupcake. Somebody pull me away. But I think that's just, like, an added benefit.

Thomas Attila Lewis: Ben, we saw a little hint you made in the season opener, a little allusion to the past season I think with a sister getting married. Are we going to continue to see Ben Sherman try to bury his privileged past this season or are we going to have it encroach on his police work?

Ben McKenzie: You'll see his past but only really - in terms of what we've already shot, what I know. In Episode 3, the guy who raped my mom gets out of prison and that affects me pretty severely and I go a little haywire because of it. But in general, no. In general we're not really going to dig.

I think the producers made sort of a collective decision that what's most interesting - the original intention of the show was to talk about cops on the job and have a little bit of their personal lives sprinkled throughout but to be very focused on the cops, what they see on the job, and how it affects them and only them in their personalized.

And not focus too much on sort of secondary, kind of more atmospheric stuff about, you know, for my character, you know, my sister who's getting married and, you know, my father who's a jerk and all this - high-profile defense attorney, all this stuff that's a little secondary to the specific focus of the show, which is cops and what they see on the job and how it affects them. So I don't think we're going to get at too much of the kind of Brentwood-cocktail party circuit. I thinking we're going to stick to boots on the ground and police work.
The TV Junkie Must-Watch Plan: "Dirty Jobs," "Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Christmas," "Conan" (Tim Meadows, Broken Bells), Ferguson (Kirsten Dunst, Greg Proops)

9:00pm Dirty Jobs Discovery - Mike revisits jobs he has worked related to the holiday season.

9:00pm NCIS: Los Angeles CBS - While investigating a deadly dispute, Kensi connects with a discharged Navy intelligence officer who has post-traumatic stress disorder.

10:00pm Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Christmas BBC America - Ramsay presents his recipes for turkey, stuffing, vegetables and a dessert.

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10:00pm The Good Wife CBS - Alicia receives a cryptic tip about an inmate on death row; Peter prepares for a debate with Glenn Childs and Wendy Scott-Carr.

11:00pm Conan TBS - Actor Seth Green; actor Tim Meadows; Broken Bells performs.

11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Actor Paul Rudd; Joanna Newsom performs.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Actor Jack Black; Michael Buble performs.

12:00am Lopez Tonight TBS - Olympic gold medalist Apolo Anton Ohno; actress Anna Faris.

12:05am Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC - Actor Kevin Spacey; actor Beau Garrett; Goo Goo Dolls perform.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actress Kirsten Dunst; comic Greg Proops.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actress Bette Midler; journalist Rula Jebreal; Pegi Young performs.