Tag: television

Baltimore Shines at the Emmys

Baltimore’s own Julie Bowen with the Emmy she won for her role in “Modern Family”

If Baltimore’s recent ranking as third “dirtiest” city in America has got you down (which it shouldn’t; New York City ranked first and people can’t shut up about how much they love that place), you can take some consolation in Baltimore’s showing at the Emmys last night.

An Interview with Baltimore’s Nat’l Aquarium Shark Week Consultant


When Discovery Channel’s Shark Week debuted in 1987 it was little more than straightforward educational cable TV, designed to increase understanding about sharks.  Now it draws 30 million viewers and has become a pop cultural phenomenon, inspiring nail art, shoes and cupcakes! There’s even talk of getting our own Michael Phelps on Shark Week 2013. (“We’d love to get the two most powerful water superstars together,” Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC, told Entertainment Weekly.) But the city already has a connection to Shark Week: Andy Dehart of Baltimore’s National Aquarium has served for years as a consultant on the popular week-long series. Last year, Sr. Editor B. Boyd caught up with Dehart. We’re re-running the interview below, in honor of the “second holiest national holiday next to the week after Christmas,” as Stephen Colbert calls it. – The Eds.

Discovery Channel Shark Advisor Andy Dehart met his first shark up close at age five, while snorkeling in the Florida Keys with his father.

“Having it swim by without being aggressive changed my life,” Dehart says.

Johns Hopkins Produces Soap Operas, Too?!


In Intersexions — yep, that X is intentional — a South African soap opera, a popular radio DJ admits on-air that he’s HIV positive… causing his ex-lover, who’s just about to get married, to freak out. So what, exactly, does this have to do with public health, and why is Johns Hopkins producing it?

House of Cards in Bolton Hill


I walked out of my house the other day and saw a couple cop cars parked in the street. At first I just thought, “Ah, Baltimore,” and focused on a kid running down the concrete, but then I noticed caution tape, and several big black vans, and… stage lights?

Baltimore’s Newest Reality TV Hopeful Defies Death


Part of the appeal of Illusions, the magic bar in South Baltimore, is that something might go wrong — like in 2010, when the bar’s co-owner, Spencer Horsman, fell on his face while escaping from a straightjacket and hanging from a crane, and wound up with sixteen stitches. But if something had gone wrong for Horsman last night, things would’ve probably gotten even gorier:  the 26 year old was strapped in a straightjacket, hung upside down over a set of metal jaws featuring some extremely pointy looking spikes. And he was on national TV.

Yes, the latest Baltimorean making a bid for reality television fame might remind you of Gob Bluth. And yes, he insists on referring to himself as “the world’s youngest escape artist.” Sometimes he says things like “Entertainment isn’t a 9-to-5 job. It’s a lifestyle.” But he’s also a bona fide heir to Baltimore’s storied tradition of magic performance. His parents were both circus clowns and his father, who co-owns Illusions, used to run Ken-zo’s Yogi Magic Mart on South Charles Street.

So far, Horsman has had a good run on America’s Got Talent, appearing to wow judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern. The judges unanimously agreed to send Horsman along to the show’s next round, which takes place in Las Vegas — a good spot as any for an aspiring magician-slash-reality-TV-celeb. Mr. Horsman, we wish you luck.

Made-in-Maryland, “VEEP” Preview


Everyone is raving about VEEP, the HBO comedy series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and shot in Baltimore and other parts of Maryland. Our own David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun called it “brilliant” and the Washington Post liked it too.  If the trailer, above, is any indication, the show is sure to be a winner.


Things David Simon Doesn’t Like


Last week, David Simon gave an interview to Jeremy Egner of the New York Times in which he discussed bloggers, Wire fans, and the problems of advertising-based TV. When the interview was published, it caused a minor Twitter-storm; Simon comes off as grouchy and resentful of all the attention The Wire is getting at this late date. He went on to give another interview to clarify his thoughts a bit. After reading both, we’re still pretty sure that Simon is the smartest grouch in America. (There’s nothing wrong with being a pessimist, Dave! Don’t apologize! Keep it up!) In case you’re keeping track, we made a list of things that David Simon does and doesn’t like. In true Simonian fashion, we’ll start with the negatives.

Things David Simon Doesn’t Like:

Mad Men Mania!


The premiere of Mad Men, Season 5 is Sunday night at 9 and to get you in the mood for your viewing party, we have a few videos to share.  First, above, our favorite, the classic “Don Says, ‘What?'”


Next, at trailer, of sorts, from the AMC website. It gives away nothing, but whets the appetite.

Lastly, a silly game that was released a few days ago.

Be sure to read Baltimore Sun TV Critic David Zurawik’s review of the season five opener.

Are you throwing a viewing party in Baltimore? Where?



Cafe Hon’s "Kitchen Nightmares" Episode Airs Tonight!


The long-awaited episode of Kitchen Nightmares featuring Hampden eatery Cafe Hon, airs tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox.  The episode, which taped last November, revisits the controversial “Hon” trademark issue that made owner Denise Whiting the object of scorn.

The show’s episode description from the Kitchen Nightmares’ website:

“Chef Ramsay heads to Baltimore, MD, and immediately has his hands full when he visits Cafe Hon, a Southern Comfort eatery in need not only of a restaurant renovation but also a public image makeover. The owner of Cafe Hon has come under fire from the city of Baltimore for trademarking the word “Hon” – a term of endearment for Baltimore culture. Find out if the restaurant revamp and renewed public image will be enough to win back the city of Baltimore and revive its tradition of southern comfort cooking.”

Will you watch?