Fox days on the TCA press tour are the best. Not only does the network provide scrambled egg whites, turkey bacon and cleanse juices during their breakfast buffet, but they like to keep journos snacking all day by supplying each and every seat with four different boxes of goodies. This time around, we were treated to peanut butter pretzels, chocolate malt balls, hickory smoked almonds and Jelly Bellys. That’s in addition to a gourmet grilled cheese takeaway lunch and 3 p.m. brownies.
I’d love to say I avoided everything again, but I succumbed to the peanut butter pretzels, malt balls and almonds as soon as lunch rolled around. For some reason, I thought fruit and almonds made a better lunch than a brie-and-pear grilled cheese and creamy soup. But the way I ate through those snacks, I’ve still got a bit of a tummy ache today. Not to mention the fact that the top layer of my tongue burned off from all the salt. Delicious.
I’m going to say that’s why I (over)consumed about four glasses of white wine at the Fox party that night, but it was also to manage through the extreme loudness of the whole thing. The network hired a band with a ukulele and various speakers (and they were excellent), but it wasn’t exactly conducive to interviews. Neither were the large tables of oysters and shrimp in the middle of the room, or the steak or pizza bars. Food is always appreciated, but as you can imagine, people were way more interested in that than chatting about their shows.
It was a shame, because the majority of the cast from The Following, Glee, Bones and New Girl were there, but it was impossible hear anything. Although, maybe that was the point. The trick I’ve learned over the years, though, is that if you stay until the end, you can always at least chat with some of the people who have stuck around, even if it’s not an official interview. Plus, after all of my sick nights earlier in the Tour, I was determined to be the last one at the party. I think at one point I even told someone that, like it was a source of pride or something.
Anyhow, once again I proved myself right when I wound up doing a shot alongside Jake Johnson and Lamorne Morris from New Girl, and Echo Kellum from Ben and Kate. I guess I should clarify that when I say “I did a shot” what I really mean is that I was beside them at the bar when they did it. And if you want to be technical, I did have an awkward moment with Johnson that resulted in Morris explaining to me who he is. I didn’t want to fangirl out and tell him that Nick and his turtle face is my favourite of all the housemates, since that would just knock Winston down even further, so I took it. At least, Echo and I had a half-decent chat, and when he circled back twice on the way out, I even showed him how to get to the elevator. Considering the way this week has been going, I’m just going to chalk that up as a success.
At the very least, it gave me the courage to ask James Purefoy, a.k.a. the creepiest serial killer ever from The Following, if that was indeed him at the gym next to me earlier that morning. I was saved from utter and total awkwardness when he recognized me too and we made fun of each other’s lazy workouts.
I also had a brief chat with Bones creator Hart Hanson and congratulated him on the show’s renewal, which was announced earlier that morning. He seemed pretty hopped up and excited, although he had nothing to say about the show that he hasn’t told every other person who already asked. He did share that he owns a very old Toyota and that he still changes the oil himself, old school style. He was wearing a bright blue Band-Aid on his finger as proof that fame hasn’t changed him one bit.
Next up, I was invited to sit with The Cleveland Show’s Kevin Michael Richardson and his wife Monica, and we chatted a bit about how many jobs Seth MacFarlane creates for people in Hollywood — especially in the music industry. But everyone, including myself, scattered when they heard that Mr. Trouble himself, Charlie Sheen, had entered the party — late as always.
Although I tried to get close enough to ask him some Anger Management questions, he was immediately surrounded by the remaining journalists. Seeing the crowd made me understand exactly why he had opted to bring his own private security guard to the event, but unlike Nicki Minaj’s bouncers from earlier in the night, he didn’t shove reporters aside. Unfortunately, just as I got close enough to Sheen to ask a question, he announced that he needed some air, escaped to the patio and never returned.
I licked my wounds by having a discussion with his publicist (things I don’t think I should print here), and eventually I got my wish: myself and a couple of other people were the last ones at the party. Of course, rather than head to our rooms we decided to sneak some of the remaining desserts and go to the bar next door, where I once again ran into Richardson and his wife, and sat down with them and former Jack Bauer portrayer Kiefer Sutherland.
Being Canadian, it was only natural that myself, Brad Oswald of the Winnipeg Free Press and Sutherland immediately launched into a heated discussion over the now-over NHL lockout and what a shortened season means for the sport. Sutherland had quite a few opinions, but misunderstood something I said and wouldn’t let me defend it until it dawned on him that we were actually saying the same thing. He then told me he felt stupid, so of course I apologized, and a semi-love fest, the kind that can only be achieved in an environment like the press tour, ensued. Sutherland poured himself another Diet Coke and showed me his very own sign language for “You effing rock!” and that’s when I knew we were cool.
With that, one of the highest compliments I think I’ve ever received at TCA, I figured that was my moment to exit. I bid adieu to the crowd and shuffled back to my room, where I was greeted by six large chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk, courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel and his show’s shift to 11:35 p.m. Life’s so hard for a TV critic, isn’t it?
Up next: a night off and dinner with CTV peeps. Watch for another blog on Friday.
Follow Amber on Twitter as she covers the 2013 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena.
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