Tag Archive | Joshua Malina


scandal season 1

 April 5, 2012 was the night that Shonda Rhimes premiered her newest creation. It was a show that took place in the nation’s Capitol about a DC fixer who fixed everyone but herself.  It gave us the terms “gladiator” and “it’s handled.” It brought the phrase OMG tv to the masses and it embraced a romance between a married President and his campaign manager . Kerry Washington became a television star and it revived a long dead  career of an actor who was most known for his role as the killer in “Ghost.” “Scandal” made Jeff Perry and many others household names, as well as making Tony Goldwyn a sex symbol in his fifties. Fitz and Olivia made Ross and Rachel seem like horny teenagers. Their chemistry burned up the screen with their torrid love scenes.

In honor of the fifth anniversary and the 100 th episode, we will be spotlighting this show and its actors. First up, is Jen and my picks for our fifteen characters. Hey gladiators! who are your picks?



Olivia Pope- Kerry Washington  Olivia is a person who lives to fix people and candidates. Unfortunately, she can fix everyone but herself. Her father sent her away to boarding school and told her she needed to be twice as good. He never taught her to love, unfortunately that is one of her problems. She never thought she was worthy enough to have a great man or that love had to hurt. She has a man waiting for her now, let’s hope she can get fixed.


fitz-salutes. President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III – Tony Goldwyn – Fitz was born for the White House according to his father. He was rich, entitled, and sent to the best schools. He lost his mother, and his father was a politician who never quite made it to 1600 Penn. As a result, he pushed his son to get him there at all costs. He found a girl whom he thought was the perfect, trophy wife. He also hired a political animal to help him along. But Fitz, just wanted to help people and serve his country.  He enlisted in the Navy, where he became a Seal and flew  fighter missions. Some of those were black ops and dangerous. Courtesy of his father, he flew a mission that killed 329 people and would haunt him. Fitz is an idealist and romantic , that is why he never could say he loved his “political” wife. He finally found love when he found his soul mate, Olivia. The two of them just keep missing each other or letting things or people get in the way. Let’s hope the two of them finally come to their senses and head to Vermont.



Cyrus Beene -Jeff Perry- Cyrus has spent most of his life in the closet. His dream is the White House as President. There has never been a gay President, so he has spent his life as a law school professor and political advisor. In one of those classes, he found his best student and trained her to be an animal like him. He also found his dream candidate  in Fitz and with his team took him to the Oval. He just never counted on Fitz to fall for Liv or for him to find love as well. Cyrus found the love of his life in the person of one James Novak, a reporter that came along to cover the Grant campaign. They were married , adopted a baby girl, and then James tried to dig too much. Unfortunately, curiosity killed the cat and James was murdered. He was fired as Fitz’s advisor and then went on to find his new dream boy in one Frankie Vargas. He was forced into a political marriage by one Lizzie Bear . She blackmailed him with a male prostitute . Vargas has been killed, and as his Vice Presidential candidate is slated to get his dream, the first gay President.


vintage mellie

Senator Mellie Grant- Bellamy Young – For the first time in her life, Mellie is her own woman. She has spent most of it in the shadow of her husband as the two took it all the way to the White House. But while she was watching her hubby climb, she was losing herself . Mellie graduated from Harvard with honors , but she gave up her brilliant career to be a smiling political wife. She also never wanted children, but had three. Her own father abandoned her and her mother for another family. He also sold her to Big Jerry to insure her future.  He wanted her to have the best , so he married her off to Fitz. But she was ruined when her father in law saw that his son hadn’t knocked her up yet and took it upon himself to do it. But he raped her and she never wanted to be touched by her husband again. She was never really sure if her late son, Jerry was her husband’s son or brother.  Mellie has been unlucky in love, her lover Andrew became a traitor and power hungry and she was relieved when her hubby found his own lover. It relieved her of her duties because frankly she couldn’t stand the man. Everything with Mellie was optics, for the good of the country. Now she is posed to be the Vice President after running for President. Will she realise her dream and resume her true love affair with Marcus. She deserves to be happy as well.


cyrus and james scandal

James  Novak – Dan Bucatinsky – For a character who has been presumed dead for almost two years, James still has made an impression in the lives of the people he loved. This includes the fans. (James is one of Jen’s faves and she refuses to believe he is dead. Well anything is possible in Shondaland) Cyrus was impacted by this man the most. He still refers to him as the love of his life. James kept Cyrus on the straight and narrow. He got him to bring Ella into his life. James also convinced Cyrus to come out . He and Cyrus met while on the Trail , along with that other couple. Cyrus sees Michael as a political marriage, not a real one. Michael may have Cyrus as a hubby, but James will forever have his heart. He would have made one hell of a First Lady too.



Stephen Finch – Henry Ian Cusick- Stephen was one of the OG gang, (Original Gladiators) . He was a lawyer who had a nervous breakdown and then Olivia saved him like she had saved so many people. He had one problem, he liked to get laid and went to Washington’s madam for his needs as well. He also felt the need to be a normal , so he started a relationship with a sweet school teacher named Georgia. He advised Olivia to end it with Fitz and she took his advice. Abby even had a thing for him and then she settled on just being a friend. But Stephen earned his gladiator stripes, when he came to Olivia’s rescue when she was kidnapped. Abby called him to help and he enlisted his friends , a bunch of Russian terrorists to make the winning bid of the deadly auction. It was the nicest surprise when all of us either thought her rescuer would either be Jake or Fitz. Instead it was one of her oldest friends and as Abby said, Once a gladiator, always a gladiator. Here’s hoping we see him again.



Guillermo Diaz as Diego Munoz or Huck- He is Olivia’s watchdog. He is the one who is her own Secret Service. He makes sure that she is safe, and if someone hurts her watch out! (Yes that means you , Mr President) Huck is also a trained killer and a member of B613. He also has a problem with women, he picks psychos who want to kill him or frame him. But there is a woman who does have feelings for him and that is Quinn. Quinn is his Robin and he makes peace of the life he left behind . But will Huck make it through this time?


sally langston

Kate Burton as Vice President Sally Langston- Kate has a few things that she will be known for, being the daughter of Richard Burton, playing the absentee mother of Meredith Grey, and this role. (Gladiators also can thank her for stripping her future POTUS cast mate on stage ) Kate started out as a right wing Jesus freak who rode Fitz’s coat tails all the way to the White House. She could taste the power and took advantage of the fact that as VP she could run the country and try to keep the fallen President out of the Oval following his shooting. She also had a terrible secret, her loyal hubby was in the closet and came out just long enough with one James Novak. Shamed by the immortal behavior of the President, she broke away from him and then decided to run as an independent . But Daniel pushed and pushed, so she murdered him. Cyrus kept her secret and his husband died trying to find it. Now she gets her kicks and brings the laughs as she hosts her morality fest , “The Liberty Report.” It’s mission? To bring down tyranny and immorality , especially in the Grant administration



Joshua Malina as Attorney David Rosen- David wears the white hat and is all for justice. That is something that is pretty hard in the corrupt world of politics. But David, fights on . He was edged on to his current position by his then girlfriend Abby  who pulled herself into a sweet gig as Press Secretary.  David has always been the one who wanted to bring the evil to justice.  He has also been a friend and an enemy to Olivia and the gladiators. With a father who is also a judge , he may go all the way to the Supreme Court. And then wouldn’t dad be proud?



Scott Foley as  Pete Harris or Jacob Hamilton Ballard- One of the hardest roles is the third wheel in a love triangle, and Jake has definitely had it rough. Abused as a child and witness to the suicide of his sister, he joined the Navy where he got his lifelong pal, Fitz. Seeing his talent, Rowan recruited him for B613 and gave him the most important jobs that he could have. He had been given the job of keeping Olivia and Fitz apart. She was a threat to the republic. At the time, he was brought into Olivia’s life with the guise of spying on her for Fitz. (They were on the outs) Liv found out who he was and then Capt Ballard turned on the charm. Olivia had a choice, Jake or Fitz. Jake went away with her after the murder of Fitz’s son. But then he came back to the accusation that he was command and gave Tom Larsen the order to kill. He also got beat up by the President. Jake has certainly made his way in the world going to the head of the NSA to Vice Presidential candidate for Mellie Grant. But can Jake exist in this world when all he wants is a normal life. But in Scandal world, what is normal?



Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan – No one character has gone through so many changes as Abby. She has acted as Liv’s best friend and the gals have each other’s backs, sometimes. She was an abused trophy wife who was rescued by Liv. But then Abby wanted to be an equal to her friend. She had a taste for power and that taste led her all the way to the White House. This worked out because if Liv was having problems, she could be the voice to Fitz and let him know how she was coping. She developed a boys club feeling with Fitz and Cyrus took her under his wing. Her relationship with David was now in the toilet and she was involved with Leo Bergen. Abby redeemed herself when she called Stephen to rescue Liv. But now , Abby has sold her soul to the devil and the gladiators want her to pay. Can Abby forgive herself?


quinn perkins

Katie Lowes as Lindsay Dwyer/ Quinn Perkins- Defiance changed a lot of people’s lives. But this girl’s changed the most. Lindsay loved Jesse (he was actually played by Katie’s real life hubby, Adam Shapiro) and then she was forced to take the fall so that Hollis Doyle could hide the evidence by blowing up Cytron. Lindsay was then spirited away to DC , courtesy of Olivia and given the identity of Quinn. Quinn now had a new job , new friends and learned a new skill , killing and torture. Her mentor was Huck and soon the twosome became Quinn and Huck, defacing furniture with their bodies. Now Quinn is back to psuedo normal with Charlie as they prepare for their wedding. But Charlie was a witness to seeing Quinn showing her affection for Huck when he woke up. Will Charlie get his bride or will Robin return to Huckleberry Quinn?


joe morton as poppa pope

Joe Morton as Eli/Rowan Pope- What kind of a man sends away his daughter to fancy boarding schools after her mother supposedly dies in a plane crash? Eli Pope that’s who. Actually he knew his wife knew too much and he was trying to stop her from telling about his real job.  Eli wanted power and he saw one way to get it and that was through his daughter. She has spent an entire lifetime seeking his approval and having serious daddy issues. This has allowed her to try to find father figures in her own life. But her father had his own issues , he had been the command of a super secret organization that was a front for the CIA. He had soldiers to do his killing. The one person that he hates just happens to be the man Olivia loves. He also values Jake as the son he should have had. Now he is edging him on as he watches him just steps from the Oval. But evil has a time limit and we all wonder, when does Rowan’s clock run out.



Brian Lechter as Tom Larson- Tom had a great cover as a B613 agent, Secret Service for the newly elected President. He would run behind him and run interference so he could go visit his girlfriend. But he also had to report back to command at the same time. The real game changer for this agent was when he was recruited by command to inject the President’s son with a deadly strain of meningitis. He was jailed and then told to tell POTUS that he was given the order by Jake. But then we find out that all those times that he was watching the WH tapes, he wasn’t looking at Liv, but Fitz. He then became embroiled in a torrid affair with Cyrus. But when Cyrus made his bid for the Oval, out went Tom and he was out for blood.



Jon Tenney as Vice President Andrew Nichols – Andrew was Fitz’s brother in government. He trusted him implicitly enough to make him his Lt. Governor when he was in California. But Andrew kept a secret , he saw Mellie take pills and he took the blame to save her reputation. But the secret lead to a passionate love affair years before Fitz bedded Liv. When she left, it broke his heart. When Fitz needed a running mate, Andrew was vetted and he and Mellie heated up once again. But Fitz found out , and he went ballistic. Apparently the POTUS can fool around , but FLOTUS can’t and so the VEEP got a sock in the eye from his boss. But then sweet Andrew turned evil with the help of Lizzie Bear who wanted to show Grant that he needed to get back in the good graces of the GOP . The two cooked up a plot to kidnap Liv and then real terrorists got a hold of her. Fitz made him resign and then Lizzie Bear recruited Huck to murder him because she couldn’t afford to have her name on a foiled kidnapping plot. Huck gave him a drug that made it seem like he suffered a stroke. But Andrew returned and threatened everyone. He had it out for Olivia and called her every dirty name in the book. You don’t mess with a woman with PTSD. Liv took care of him with a chair. RIP Andrew.

A Sky Full of Stars – From the Earth to the Moon


So many movies today were made a while ago. These include movies like “Almost Famous” and “Dazed and Confused.” Both of these movies have people that were unknowns that went on to become famous. In 1998,  Tom Hanks produced a mini series that told the saga of the “space race of the sixties.” called “From the Earth to the Moon” . The mini series contained a very large cast of well known stars like Dan Lauria from “The Wonder Years.” Most of the cast would go on to more known roles. Here are some of the stars of this dynamic mini series. If you want to learn more about the Apollo / Mercury programs, you should definitely watch this box set from HBO.

buzz aldrin

Here is Bryan Cranston when he played Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Cranston has made quite a name for himself in the past few years. He was the harried father on “Malcolm in the Middle” and the villainous Walter White on “Breaking Bad.” This year Cranston was nominated for an Oscar for his role in “Trumbo”

bryan cranston in trumbo

tim daly as jim lovell

Tim Daly showed his bravery by playing the astronaut Jim Lovell. Daly has had a lucrative career since the ending of “Wings” He appeared on Broadway in “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial” and also a regular on the ABC series “Private Practice.” Currently Tim plays Henry McCord, the husband of Tea Leoni’s character on “Madam Secretary”

tim daly on madam president

tony in moon

Tony Goldwyn has had a long and illustrious career as well. Starting with the movie “Ghost’ and also including  movies like “Last House on the Left”, The Last Samurai’ and many others. His role in the movie was a serious Neil Armstrong. Goldwyn’s career has taken off and he is one of the most known alums from “Moon” Today Goldwyn has done Broadway, directed movies and television , and made quite a name for himself. Currently he is the charming, romantic President  Fitzgerald Grant on “Scandal”, wooer of Olivia Pope.

fitz declares war

walter mondale  john slattery

John Slattery played the young senator Walter Mondale who tried to shut down the space program following an accident. Slattery has made his mark on a few shows, a scorned lover on “Desperate Housewives”, Will’s brother on “Will and Grace.” and as a politician on “Sex and the City.” Slattery will be forever known as dapper Roger Sterling on “Mad Men.”

john slattery as roger on mm

josh maliina in from the earth to the moon

Joshua Malina was data entry specialist Tim Messick. Joshua was the mastermind behind Celebrity Poker Showdown in the nineties. Joshua has made his name in such series as “Sports Night” and “The West Wing’ . Today Joshua plays political once again as Attory. General of the US , David Rosen on “Scandal” .


mark harmon in moon

Mark Harmon charmed viewers as jokester Wally Schirra. Harmon has also had a long career playing such roles as a doctor, cop, politician, and astronaut Sam on “Moonlighitng” . Sam came between Maddie and Dave as her mature boyfriend that competes with Dave for Maddie. Today Harmon fights for the law on “NCIS” as Leroy Jetho Tubbs



tom verica in moon

Tom Verica was Astronaut Dick Gordon. Tom has also come along through the years as well. He has played the ex of Grace , Danny, on “Will and Grace.” Tom currently is one of the producers of “Scandal” and is a frequent director of the show as well. He also was the late Sam Keating on another Shondaland show “How to Get Away With Murder”



george newbern moon

George Newbern is another veteran actor known for roles on series. He played Payne , Dixie Carter’s son on “Designing Women” , in the movie “Father of the Bride” and most notably another guy who Rachel dated to get over Ross on “Friends”Currently George also joins his fellow alums from “Scandal” as Charlie, Huck’s mentor from B613.

george as charlie scandal

Adam in fron the earth

Adam Baldwin was another of those brave men who touched the stars as Fred Haise in the miniseries. It wouldn’t be the first time he would fly into space. Adam was the beloved Jayne in the sci fi classic “Firefly.” He would reunite with his Capt Reynolds in the future on his show “Castle”. Both Fillion and Baldwin would be on the Comic-Con circuit for years. Baldwin has also appeared in many shows including “Chuck” CSI Miami ” and Law and Order SVU” Currently he is Mike Slattery on “The Last Ship”

adam baldwin in last ship

kevin from the earth to the moon

Kevin Pollak must have made quite an impression as NASA head Joe Shea. He was actually nominated for a Satellite award for his portrayal of the executive responsible for the early part of the space program. Kevin has also done a lot of roles to show his versatility. He has played a gangster in “The Whole Nine Yards” and its sequel as well. Recently he played the lover of Allison Janney on “Mom”. Currently Kevin can be seen on the new CBS series “Angel from Hell” as Dr Marv Fuller.

kevin pollak angel from hell

dann florek

We end our tribute to this dynamic series with Dann Florek as Robert Seamans. Today he is the force behind the unit on the hit series , “Law and Order, SVU” . Dann plays Captain Donald Cragen on the show.

It only goes to show you that when a project is made, years later the actors have made such an impression on you, you never know where you will see them again. By the way , the mini series won many awards that year including Golden Globes, Emmy’s and many awards for its casting. With this stellar cast,it is no wonder.

Mazel to you Joshua!!! You are Golden!!!


This is a golden year for some of television’s favorite actors. Many of your faves hit the big 50 this year. Sixty six seemed to be the year that a bunch of actors made their debut. Last week, was Patrick Dempsey. Today we are celebrating the life and career of one Joshua Charles Malina. Josh has been a television and movie fixtures for many years. Currently, he is the Attorney General with the White Hat on ABC’s “Scandal”  , David Rosen. Join with us as we walk down memory lane of the life of this beloved actor.



Joshua was born on January 17, 1966 in New York City to Fran and Robert Malina . Show business seemed to be in his blood since his father was an investment banker/ Broadway producer. Malina grew up in Scarsdale . He made a comment that people usually didn’t know that his name was Jewish, they usually thought he was Latino with his name. Malina in polish means “Raspberry.” He graduated from Yale University with a BFA in Theatre.


Joshua ‘s first acting role was in “A Few Good Men ” on Broadway. The play was written by prolific writer , Aaron Sorkin. Josh’s parents made the suggestion that Malina look up Sorkin since he was a high school classmate of one of his cousins. The cousin has spoken to Sorkin about Josh and he was encouraged to audition. Joshua was cast in the play and here is in the motion picture. Joshua went to appear in several of Sorkin’s projects in his career.


Joshua was Jeremy Goodwin on “Sports Night” He appeared with “Good Wife’s” Josh Charles


Joshua also was on Stargate as “Cicero”


Joshua also appeared in the HBO’s mini series “From the Earth to the Moon” . He would work with a lot of the talented actors in the show like George Newbern, Tom Verica, and Tony Goldwyn.


Josh also showed his comic side as he played the gay flight attendant , Randy Jones  Gweneth Paltrow in “View from the Top”.


Josh made quite a name for himself as Will Bailey in “The West Wing” Here he is with Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford)


Josh was also the President of Cal Tech on “The Big Bang Theory” . Here he is so rudely interrupted by Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Kripke (John Ross Barie)

Law and Order SVU Episode Thought Criminal 15023 12

He embraced his creepy side as a child pornographer on “Law and Order SVU”

joshua malina on grey's

Joshua’s first visit to Shondaland was on “Grey’s Anatomy”. Here he is with Alex Karev  (Justin Chambers) as he helps his wife with an unusual request for transplant. Josh also appeared on “Private Practice”




Currently Josh is appearing as David Rosen, Attorney General on “Scandal” Here he is with President Grant (Tony Goldwyn) when he was appointed for the office.



David may currently be with Lizzie Bear and have the Veep Susan Ross crushing on him but the love of his life is clearly Abby, (Darby Stanchfield)


Joshua is an animal lover and family man in real life. He has two children , Avi and Isabelle. Here he is with his lovely wife, Melissa who is the owner of Isarose, a flower shop in Pacific Palisades. You might even see Josh there in the shop on one of his days off.


From putting Vaseline on Martin Sheen’s phone to pranking Jimmy Kimmel on his birthday, Joshua is the jokester of his set. He sent flowers to Jimmy Smits and signed them from Bradley Whitford and put fake names on his “Scandal” castmates trailers. Here he is last Halloween as Olivia Pope.



Joshua is a great guy . How do we know this? I was fortunate to chat with him on the phone and interview this talented and fun guy. So on your golden birthday, Joshua, Chitownstarconnections wishes you Mazel and Happy Birthday.

Jewish Television Characters



Every year at this time, we salute our Jewish friends at Hanukkah. This year we are doing a revised list of television’s most beloved Jewish characters.

We will start with one of the most iconic Jewish television characters, Jerry Seinfeld. star of the classic “show about nothing” Jerry is neurotic and sarcastic which are traits of what the network at the time of the show said were “New York” Jewish.  People wonder if George Costanza was Jewish as well. With the parents that he had, it is possible that he was as well.

george and his parentsgeorge and jerry

Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander were Jerry and George on “Seinfeld.” Estelle Harris and legendary comic Jerry Stiller were George’s parents Estelle and Frank Costanza

Everyone’s favorite “Friends” had Jewish characters as well. Monica and Ross were both Jewish . Actor Elliot Gould made quite an impression as Jack Geller, their father. Courteney Cox was not really Jewish , but David Schwimmer is .

geller family

Another television show that featured a Jewish character was “Will and Grace”. Debra Messing embraced her Jewish roots as neurotic Grace Adler. Movie legend  Debbie Reynolds was her mother show biz crazy Bobbi Adler. Grace made every JAP dream come true by marrying a Jewish doctor , Leo Marcus played by Harry Connick Jr.

grace and leo

 Fran Drescher’s show “The Nanny” featured television’s funniest Jewish women. Drescher portrayed Fran , who became a nanny to the very wealthy and handsome widower Max Sheffield. Max was a Broadway producer who eventually in storybook fashion falls in love and marries Fran. Viewers also enjoyed the exploits of Fran’s mother and grandmother, Yetta.

fine family

Fran is pictured here with her mother, Sylvia played by Renee Taylor and Yetta played by Ann Morgan Guilbert

Larry David was the everyman on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Larry shows his funny and cynical side in Hollywood. Here is one of the most memorable moments when Larry gathers his stars together from the mega hit Seinfeld that Larry created.

curb your enthusiasm

On “Entourage” , Vinnie wouldn’t gotten where he was without this man. Chicago’s own Jeremy Piven was super agent Ari Gold. Piven embraced his own Jewish roots as the harried agent and family man.

ari gold

Simon Helberg plays the Jewish member of the nerd gang on “The Big Bang Theory” Howard has accomplished quite a bit for being the least educated of the group . He has gone to space and was the first to get married.  He had a sad occasion when he lost his mother this year. (The actress who voiced his mother passed away in real life and the producers decided to let the character die as well.)

howard and bernadette

Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch are Mr and Mrs Wolowicz

Bebe Neuwirth entertained audiences in two series as the droning Dr Lilith Stern Crane. She was also the Jewish mother to her and Frasier’s son, Fredrick .

lilith and frasier

For ten years, Sandra Oh portrayed Jewish cardio goddess Cristina Yang on “Grey’s Anatomy” . She was every body’s person and a bad ass surgeon.

meredith and cristina

ABC takes viewers back to those great eighties with the latest Jewish family “The Goldbergs” .This includes another Chicago actor, the very funny Jeff Garlinard


Before there was a “House of Cards” or an adulterous President on “Scandal”, there was Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing”. Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff were Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler, the two member’s of the Bartlett White House who were Jewish.

west wing

Mandy Patinkin has made quite a name for himself as a Broadway star and movie star. He embraces his Jewish roots as Saul Berenson , a CIA operative on “Homeland”.

Episode 507

John Munch is one of television’ s longest running characters. Richard Belzer brings his personality and Jewish background to the homicide detective on “Law and Order SVU”

munch on law and order


Paulo Costanza has Italian roots but brother Hank aka Mark Feurstein is every mother’s dream a Jewish doctor on USA’s hit “Royal Pains”

hank and evan lawson

 Even in a small little town in Colorado, there is a Jewish family . Kyle is the little Jewish boy on “South Park”

kyle on south park

Lea Michele of “Scream Queens” made her mark  as the Kosher Diva , Rachel Berry on “Glee” Her idol was , of course, Barbra Streisand

rachel berry glee

 Peter and his friends always make sure to shop at Goldman’s Drugstore, owned by the very geeky Mort Goldman on “Family Guy”

mort goldman

It isn’t well known if Attorney General , David Rosen of “Scandal” is really Jewish, but his portrayer the awesome Joshua Malina is. Fun fact: David went to Dartmouth just like Shonda Rhimes, and Meredith Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy”

david rosen

The Simpsons’ contribution to Jewish culture is none other than Krusty the Clown, his father was a rabbi

krusty the clown

The Puckerman brothers on “Glee” love to sing and they especially love to sing about Hanukkah like in this song. Here we have Mark Salling and Jacob Artist .

puck and his brother glee

Finally we end with two people from the show destined to be a classic “Mad Men”

Ben Feldman started out as an angel on “Drop Dead Diva” till he went back to heaven. He really made a mark as Mark Ginsberg , adman at Sterling and Cooper

ben feldman michael ginsberg

Maggie Siff made such an impression as JAP Rachel Menken that they brought her back again in the final season as a similiar character. Rachel was a love interest of the infamous Don Draper

rachel menken

Once again Chitownstarconnections wishes everyone a Happy Hanukkah!!!

Be Careful What You Wish For…Olivia Finds A New Kind of Crazy

header gladiator report

This has got to be the best season of “Scandal” yet. It has that OMG element , the gladiators back at work, and best of all the romance of the century has prime time burning up. Tonight we all thought that Livvy would be gulping wine and crying over Dad’s old school R and B records. Boy was I shocked. It seems that Miss Olivia Carolyn Pope has a new address and that is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s right kiddies!! Olivia now lives in the White House. But before you start looking up the name of Grant and Pope for the wedding, know this, it wasn’t her idea.

Olivia seems to be settling in at her new job as First Lady. She dresses up and then translates for her boyfriend . (Fitz doesn’t have proficient language skills. Rosetta Stone might be a good gift for Christmas Liv) Fitz continues to try to negotiate a peace treaty with a country that hasn’t been friendly in the past. The ruler seems very eager to sign the peace treaty , but Fitz has his doubts. Hey! if you need to have someone vetted fast, use your girlfriend’s connections. Olivia tells him that the one guy is lying and not to do anything until he tells more. While all this is going on , Olivia gets a phone call. It’s the former First Lady. and she wants to call in her markers. If Olivia welches on her favor, Mellie threatens to go to Fitz and tell him everything. It also seems like everyone is ganging up on Liv at once. Her father shows up and for once , he is terrified. He informs her that his sons are after him. The tide is turning on Command.

potus swag

There is nothing sexier than that Grant swag , especially when he is on a mission. Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) demands to find out what is going on with Rowan.

christmas at the white houseYou can’t help but admire the great job that the set decorator has done decorating the White House


Abby( Darby Stanchfield) seems to be happy that her relationship with Olivia has been repaired while Cyrus (Jeff Perry) is jealous of the state of the new White House.

There is no question who is the MVP or MVG tonight and that is Fitzgerald Grant. For five years, critics have panned Goldwyn for playing the emotional POTUS as weak. Not true. Tony Goldwyn’s Fitz has been one of the most tortured characters on television. He has been manipulated by his former wife and Chief of Staff, he has survived an assassination attempt, election tampering, and the kidnapping of his mistress. He just recently escaped impeachment and ended his twenty year sham of a marriage. There is a question of parentage with all of his children, including the dead son who is quite possibly the result of his father raping his wife. He has been betrayed by both of the men who have claimed to be his friend. Mostly he has been played. Tonight he used those Presidential balls that he told Cy he had and played those who had played him.When we last saw Olivia , she was telling him how to run the country and standing on the Presidential seal for symbolism. It was obvious who was running the country. This week, Fitz found out that it was Olivia who was responsible for the release of Poppa Pope. He came to visit her in prison and listened as she begged for forgiveness. Even though Cyrus protested, (Since he was the one who had her arrested) he shut him up by saying “I forgave you too.” But then an interesting turn of events came about. Shonda Rhimes took her audience on one of those famous roller coaster rides. Olivia sat in the WH closet and watched as her clothes were being moved into it. She was puzzled by this turn of events and then Fitz came in and informed her that she was being moved in and given her own detail.He also told her that he had given up on finding Rowan. At the same time, he tells Jake to take care of Rowan. At this point, Fitz becomes the master.  Instead of the look of relief on her face, Olivia had the look of terror. And Fitz, he had the same kind of look that Tony had in every horror role he has done. No one can master the emotions like Mr. Goldwyn and he has went the gamut of emotions this season from being a man in love to his sad face when he has been hurt. He knows how to act to the camera and for an actor who has done character roles for most of his career, he has risen to the challenge and initiated in the new era of the mature romantic lead. Bravo Mr. President!!!

Love seems to be in the air at the White House. Vice President , Susan Ross has a cute little crush on one David Rosen. David seems to prefer the hot lips of former Chief of Staff, Elizabeth North. Olivia seemed to have problems coming from all angles. First of all, Jake has decided to go to battle with her about their relationship and then Mellie threatens to tell Fitz about the forging. She can’t do it yet, but will. In a tender scene with Abby , she admits that she is happy and now is scared that he will find out the truth. When he does find out, they will be done. She likes being with Fitz and she isn’t ready to lose that yet.Maybe Olivia is really ready to be in a mature relationship.

. Tonight did have those special moments that are accompanied by music that defined the series. Rhimes once again used a R and B soundtrack with Roberta Flack singing the classic Carole King song “Will You Still Love me Tomorrow?” What made this unique was as the soundtrack was playing , we could see Fitz and Olivia fighting to save everything. You could see the pain in Fitz’s eyes of betrayal and the tears as Olivia begged for forgiveness. The audience couldn’t hear the fight, but the emotions were clear. And now we are headed into the finale. . .

Be careful what you wish for Olivia!!!

RosenSusanSusan Ross (                             ) seems to have a crush on David Rosen while he makes out with Elizabeth North. Will he realize she is using him.

naked olitzBut after a traumatic experience , Olivia returns to the arms of her lover. She is safe… or is she?


Murder and Mayhem Can Be Fun!!!


Yesterday, ABC unveiled their newest promo. It involved the stars of TGIT!!! Stars dancing and having fun? The whole idea took me back to the seventies which was the last time that these kind of promos were used. ABC seems to be in love with Shonda Rhimes and Thursday night. The last time a network owned a night was in the late nineties when NBC ruled the roost for almost twenty years with “Must See TV”. Now ABC seems to be proud as a peacock that they have taken over the crown. Shonda has prided herself on being water cooler worthy.  Seemingly though, fans of other ABC shows are not happy with these promos. They want the same treatment for their heroes and haven’t been shy about mentioning it on social media.

For three shows that are traditionally known for death, murder, and heartbreak, this promo seems to be out of character for the heroines of TGIT. Meredith Grey is a widow, Analise Keating still doesn’t know who murdered her husband, and Mellie Grant has been thrown out of the White House. This would be the last thing that they would be doing except for getting drunk. ABC has three shows on this night, yet it seems that only certain members of the other two shows are featured in the promo. The tent pole show of the night seems to be “Scandal”. “Scandal” is the show that seems to have the most loyal audience. They would have to be to put up with the crazy plots and evil alliances that the show promotes as OMG. Cast members delight in tweeting to their fans while they view the show. Sometimes they will even tweet while they are on set working between scenes. Cast members like Kerry Washington and Bellamy Young have turned up in popular magazines lately to quench fans desire for anything “Scandalous.” When “President” Tony Goldwyn was off of Twitter, fans clamored and panicked until he returned. Gladiators are a loyal bunch.

Obviously , the highlight of the video is the sweethearts of “TGIT”. Last Spring, Shonda shocked everyone by shaking up the world of Washington. Fitz had grown tired of their antics and decided as Cyrus had said before to “grow some Presidential balls.” First he threw out Mellie (Bellamy Young) and then fired “the queen of me, himself. (Jeff Perry) . Finally he could have the one thing that everyone (including Rhimes) kept away from him. The last scene that gladiators saw was the lovers in each others arms on the Truman balcony. What made the video fun to watch was the actors dancing , throwing popcorn, and tossing wine playfully. The actors seem to take on their on screen personas personalities. Mellie and Jake (Scott Foley) seem to be looking at their exes with disgust. Former lovers are reunited when Abby and David play games (Darby Stanchfield and Joshua Malina) and gladiators known for torture are having a good time. (Katie Lowes and Guillermo Diaz) Gladiators even get their first look at new cast member, Cornelius Smith Jr. Enemies are joined together as Portia Di Rossi and Jeff Perry throw popcorn instead of threats at each other. (DiRossi’s character took over as Grant COS when Cyrus was let go from his position.) Perhaps the most obvious sign that this is truly a new day in Shondaland , is when on screen lovers Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn flirt shamelessly and Olivia leads Fitz around by his tie. The relationship has traditionally been hidden and now it is brought into the fray. This might also be a new day since traditionally Fitz has been the chaser in the relationship. Now Olivia can call her lover boy.

Whatever is the purpose of the promos , viewers can satisfy their love for their show by watching dvds, social media, and just being patient. Either way , this gladiator will be sitting in front of the television in twenty one days with her glass of wine. Let the games begin.

TGIT returns on September 24.

shonda land familyThe Shondaland family with Mama Shonda in red

He Always Wears the White Hat- Scandal’s Joshua Malina

SCANDAL - ABC's "Scandal" stars Joshua Malina as David Rosen. (ABC/CRAIG SJODIN)

Fall is the season for football, back to school, and returning series. One of those returning series is the ABC hit series “Scandal” . Entering the fifth season, Washington has been blown apart and nothing is the same for the characters in Olivia Pope’s world. One of those characters is Attorney General , David Rosen, played by Joshua Malina. Taking some time away from the set, I chatted on the phone today with Joshua about his career, his family, and of course “Scandal.”

Joshua has been in the business for about twenty five years .This isn’t his first time in the White House though, before “Scandal”, Joshua was known as Will Bailey on “The West Wing.” His association with Aaron Sorkin goes way back and when asked what were the similiarities between Sorkin and Shonda Rhimes, he told me that each of them write for the characters and these included long pages of dialogue. He proudly proclaimed he was a student of the “School of Sorkin”. Yale trained, he said that the role is all about the text.” The writer should tell the story, , not the actor. ” Joshua also had some interesting insights about his character as well. “David seems to be the odd man out. He is the character that is the closest to wearing the white hat. It seems more like a grey hat since he has also done questionable things like the other characters. He is also the odd man out since David is a democrat in a Republican White House.”

I asked about the other members of the cast and reminded Joshua that he was the lead name going into the series. The others were relatively unknown except for him. He told me that he was originally a fan of Tony Goldwyn’s theater work. Joshua also told me about a pre -Scandal project that he did “From the Earth to the Moon.” Along with Joshua, others who appeared in the prestigious mini series were George Newbern (Charlie), Tom Verika, (producer and director) and Tony Goldwyn (Fitz and also sometimes director) . Surprisingly enough, none of the actors worked in the same scenes but discussed this when they were cast in the show. “People would like to think that we are these back stabbing actors who vie for scenes and larger dressing rooms. Nothing could be further than the truth. We all have been around this business long enough to know when we have got a sweet ride. We sickingly get along with each other and support each other in all of our outside endeavors.”

Joshua also has a bit of a reputation of being a practical joker. He has always fancied himself as more of a comical actor than a dramatic one. It surprises him that at this stage of the game he is on a dramatic show. Another of his passions is music. He has loved participating with the Harrisburg Symphony in several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. if he could do a dream role in a musical he said he would love to play Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls.” Since Rhimes had pushed the envelope with a musical episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”, I asked him if there would be a musical “Scandal” , he thought it would be a great idea since there are so many talented singers on the show. He also said that he might just bring that up to Shonda. He laughed as he told me about one of his greatest jokes that he played on the cast of “West Wing”  He sent roses to Jimmy Smits and signed Bradley Whitford’s name to the note on his own stationary. The note was of a suggestive nature and Josh told me that Jimmy was quite pissed.

Along with his career, Joshua values his family. When I asked him if he would encourage his children if they wanted to follow in Dad’s footsteps , he emphatically said no. His latest project includes working at his wife’s store “Isarose.” which is located in Pacific Palisades. The store sells flowers and gifts and is quite popular due to Josh’s activity on social media. He is delighted in wife , Melissa’s opening her store. “She supported me in my dream for twenty five years, I am more than happy to support hers. ”

Joshua said that he is excited about Season Five and couldn’t say much, he did say that gladiators are going to be happy with the show. He also urged gladiators to watch the show live . I know I will. “Scandal” returns to TGIT on September 24.

SCANDAL - ABC's "Scandal" stars Bellamy Young as First Lady Mellie Grant, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Jeff Perry as Cyrus, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant, Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Scott Foley as Jake Ballard, Joshua Malina as David Rosen, Guillermo Diaz as Huck  and Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins.  (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Here is Joshua with the other members of the cast . He assures gladiators that they will be pleased with Season Five

Joshua and Meli

Joshua  fully supports his wife , Melissa in her new endeavor , Isarose. She is the proprietor of a gift /flower shoppe located in Pacific Palisades