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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: Our Top 10 Interviews of the Year

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Our interview with Jonathan Ames in Venice was one of our Ten Best Interviews of 2010 [Photo by Thomas Attila Lewis]

Our interview with Jonathan Ames in Venice was one of our Ten Best Interviews of 2010 [Photo by Thomas Attila Lewis]
We did dozens of interviews this year so it was difficult to narrow them down to the 10 "best" but we tried. We also tried to keep this list to sit-down and/or in-depth interviews vs. the quickie ones we get at events we cover.Jonathan Ames - We got to speak with the award winning author and creator/showrunner of HBO's "Bored To Death" near his summer place in Venice. It was great to interview him although he thought he was boring, which he most certainly wasn't. I was also contacted by the restaurant's PR agency after my description of the service wasn't 100% positive.

Donal Logue - While we had a chance to speak with Donal Logue at the "Sons of Anarchy" premiere that was nothing compared to the in-depth interview we had with him a couple months later. Logue voiced some concerns about low ratings for his FX show, "Terriers," and unfortunately the show was cancelled after one season. Still, "Terriers" made our Top Ten of 2010 List and it's a show that will live on long after many of the "successful" shows finally flop after a few more seasons.

Bob Saget - I had interviewed Bob Saget a couple years ago, doing a phoner while he walked through a Las Vegas casino, but this time we had the chance to have a more measured discussion, this time about his new show "Strange Days With Bob Saget" on A&E. In a calmer setting Saget revealed himself to be someone genuinely humbled and appreciative of his good fortune while still retaining the complete weirdness that makes him one of the funniest guys in comedy.

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Bob Odenkirk - Bob Odenkirk has been fantastic as the greasy lawyer Saul Goodman on "Breaking Bad" but we've loved his work as an "SNL" writer and then co-creator and host of "Mr. Show With Bob and Dave" which will be rebroadcast on IFC starting on January 7 at 11pm. Also, Odenkirk is again producing his charitable kids New Years Eve comedy show at the UCB Theatre this weekend. For kids 8 and up, check out The Not Inappropriate Show this Friday and Sunday.

Ben McKenzie - "SouthLAnd" survived its move from NBC to TNT and premieres next Tuesday, January 4, at 10pm. McKenzie plays the superintense Patrol Officer Ben Sherman with a realism that makes him a primary reason to watch the show. He kindly gave us several minutes earlier this year to find out how he prepared for this role.

Betty White - We got to experience what it would be like to meet our idealized grandma and she was everything we thought she would be. The laurels keep rolling in for White as she's up for 2 People's Choice Awards and 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Tom Green - Comedy on TV today owes a lot to the guerilla style that Green refined and popularized - 1/2 the stuff on "The Daily Show" is derivative of Green's work. It was really amazing for Green to bring us into his home-based studio and riff on/with us to do this interview. Definitely check out Tom Green at the Comedy Store tomorrow night where he will be doing a full set.

Len Lesser - Perhaps best known as Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld," Lesser has been a pioneer in television, film, and stage. It couldn't have been a greater privilege to talk to a legend like Lesser who is still very active in theater and hopes to make it back onto TV sometime soon.

Betsy Brandt - Betsy Brandt plays Marie Schrader on AMC's "Breaking Bad" (whoops - 2 great interviewees from that show?). Brandt does an admirable job on the show, we can't wait to see her in the upcoming season which begins filming at the end of January but she really made the list because of how well we got along. Sometimes you just click with someone when you talk to them and this was one of those occasions. A great actor who is also an incredibly nice person.

Jesse Ventura - That voice on the phone! A lot of people don't think much of Jesse Ventura's "Conspiracy Theory" show on truTV but no one can deny that the man is passionate about his country and that came through on every second of our conversation.

I talk more about these interviews in the most recent (#5) edition of the Channel Zero podcast.
It's Monday at that means, like a beacon in the storm, there's a new episode of "Men of a Certain Age" on TNT at 10pm. If you haven't given this show a chance yet, tonight is the night as there is virtually no other new programming on tonight - check it out!
The TV Junkie Must-Watch Plan: Blake Edwards Marathon, "Men of a Certain Age", "Chelsea Lately" (Natasha Bedingfield), Blake Edwards Marathon

5:00pm Blake Edwards Marathon TCM - TCM pays tribute to the recently deceased Blake Edwards with: Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Pink Panther (1964), Victor/Victoria (1982), Operation Petticoat (1959)

9:00pm The Closer TNT - A refugee family's blood feud results in another victim; Brenda and her team must continue their investigation on Christmas day

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9:00pm American Masters PBS/KCET - Glenn Gould: Genius Within Classical pianist Glenn Gould was renowned as an intrepreter of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

10:00pm Men of a Certain Age TNT - Joe makes a surprising discovery about his daughter; Owen attends a car convention; Terry is approached about a commercial.

11:00pm Chelsea Lately E! - Musician Natasha Bedingfield.

11:30pm Charlie Rose PBS/KCET - Rap artist Jay-Z.