Tag Archive | Tom Verica

Nightmares Do Come True

header gladiator report

Okay gladiators! it’s time to put down those Angela voo doo dolls and also remind our selves its only a show. My late father said that if you hated an actor then they are doing their job. So  Miss Saycon Sengbloh. is definitely doing her job. Every Olitzer hates her guts and wishes that Olivia would find the nearest chair and use it. It is definitely dividing the fandoms. Some people feel that Fitz has suffered enough and he is a big boy so he can pick who he wants to move on with and then there are others who don’t want to see Olivia hoppin on Joke and Fitz with a skank in his bed. These people  hold in their hearts the hope that the two will walk hand and hand into the sunset to  Vermont. But I digress. . . Next week, there is no “Scandal” but don’t be sad for there is two hours of “How to Get Away With Murder” instead.

 America’s most wanted man is one Cyrus Rutherford Beene. He has been arrested for the assassination of President elect Francisco Vargas. David was the arresting officer as Attorney General . (Hey did David learn all about this when he was watching Huck get beat up when he was arrested for shooting Fitz?) Bravo to Director Tom for the realistic scenes when Cyrus is going through intake at the prison. This must be quite a shock to Cyrus for someone of privilege like the hanger on to Fitz for the past twenty years. He is not the former Chief of Staff, he is a condemned felon. At OPA  its time to celebrate, Mellie twerks for her victory. She is going to have her dream come true, she is going to be sworn in as President of the United States. But something isn’t right and Olivia tells the gladiators until she has her hand on the bible,  to make sure she is POTUS.

Meanwhile the current POTUS, is in his bed with FBI Whore! (Sorry, they have been together not that long and she is in the bed with Fitz! Something ain’t right) Abby has been trying to save Cyrus and take the death penalty off the table. She takes a cue from Liv and bullies Rosen to fix things. But Miss FBI Whore tattles to her boyfriend and he goes off on Abby. Meanwhile, Cyrus is in a living hell . He can’t even go outside for a walk. Tom is also in prison and then Cyrus gets an idea. He asks for a pen and paper then finds out he can’t get things in the slammer.  By talking with another death row cellmate, he finds out he can get things . He uses his Cyrus manipulations to get a pad and paper and then gets Lizzie Bear to take the letter to Tom. All of this is because of a scorned lover. Tom did not appreciate being used like that. He truly loved Cyrus. Cyrus apologizes to Tom and tells how he truly loves him. Lizzie Bear hates Cyrus and wants to see him fry. She takes the letter and shows it to Michael who is furious. He wants a divorce. Cyrus also encounters a group of Vargas lovers who beat the shit out of him. While he is unconscious , he has a dream. Olivia believes him and then he is being sworn in as President . He walks into the Oval and it is a new Oval. Mellie enters and he looks around . The pictures are Mellie’s and she reminds him that he is not the President. Fitz makes the final announcement , he is seeking the death penalty. Cyrus has one last resort, he calls Olivia and tells her to trust her gut. Mellie wouldn’t be President, so she ignores him. He and the dangerous guy hatch a plan that involves the guard and Tom. Cyrus cons the guard to give him a belt. His partner uses it and gets Tom to confess. Huck finds out that is true. The other prisoner kills the guard. Cyrus and Tom are free as they are beat up by the guards. Most valuable gladiator? No question it is the raw and uncut acting of Jeff Perry. We have seen him go from the halls of power to prison. He made Cyrus Beene human and vulnerable . The performance tonight had me in tears. But in a typical Cyrus twist he uses manipulation and deceit to get out. Only a great actor can make you sad and then disgusted in just a few minutes.

Who killed Frankie if it wasn’t Tom or Cyrus? …….next ep its Jake’s women go to war. Vanessa and Olivia.


“Scandal’s ” actors are directed by the best directors in television. Each of them have  loads of experience and have also taken their turn in front of the camera as well. Tom Verica is also the late Dr Sam Keating on “HTGWM” . Here he is directing Jeff in tonight’s episode.


Cyrus are you finally paying for all of your crimes? Jeff Perry puts on a bravura performance that had me in tears. I couldn’t be prouder to say I am a Chicago actor.


Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Mellie (Bellamy Young) dance it out because Mellie thinks she is going to be the next President. It’s a “Scandal” 30 second dance party.


There is a reason why I am using this version of the bedroom scene. I felt that the only woman who belongs in this bed is this one… olivia and fitz


Will we get to see this? Is it a dream or a nightmare? President Beene


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.

Drama Is Part of Their Lives . . . TV Actors Who Direct TVs Best Dramas

drama-masksPreviously , we talked about the actors who made us laugh and then directed. Now with brilliant shows like “Mad Men” “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” , many of the actors who play on television currently on dramatic shows have been on  the other side of the camera as director .

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERABesides being married to TV’s Laura , Jonathan Frakes has directed many episodes from the “Star Trek” franchise. Currently he has directed an episode from the ABC hit “Castle” and also the TNT show “Falling Skies.”

eric-mccormack-perceptionEric McCormack earned his tv fame for playing Will Truman on “Will and Grace” , now he continues on as the brilliant Daniel Pierce on TNTs “Perception” Using his mind to solve crimes, McCormack has joined the fraternity of actors who have directed their own series. Eric also had a reunion with his former “Will and Grace”  co star, Debra Messing on “The Mysteries of Laura”

kevin-mckiddKevin McKidd has been a part of the Grey’s family for quite a few years now. He has a fantastic singing voice that he got to use  in the musical episode. He has also directed at least seven episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” where he portrays Dr. Owen Hunt.

chandra-wilsonAs Bailey on “Grey’s Anatomy”, Chandra Wilson  knew how to control her interns. She has taken that knowledge to heart by directing at least ten episodes of GA.

debie allen

Debbie Allen is no stranger to either side of the camera. She has directed from “A Different World” to her own show “Fame” Currently she appears as Catherine Avery on “Grey’s Anatomy” . She has directed GA as well as sister show “Scandal” and most recently “Empire”

tom vericaTom Verica has acted in movies and television for years. He is currently one of the producers of “Scandal” and has also directed the hit series. Tom spent this past season as Sam Keating on “How to Get Away With Murder.”

roger-and-don-mad-menAs Roger and the infamous Don Draper, Jon Hamm and John Slattery are partners in directing as well. They have both taken turns directing the AMC soon to be classic “Mad Men.” The show is in its final season.

laura-innesLaura Innes is really true to her Chicago roots. She graduated from Northwestern University, went on to star as Dr. Kerry Weaver on “ER” and also directed the series. I had the pleasure of being directed by this all business girl. She has also directed “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” “The West Wing” and most recently “How to Get Away With Murder”

On Location For "Law & Order SVU" - December 15, 2011Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order SVU is truly a power woman. As well as playing the tough but tender detective Olivia Benson , she has been at the director’s helm at least twice on her series.

eriq-la-salleEric LaSalle has proven himself as a director as well as an actor. As well as “ER” he has directed “The Night Shift” , CSI Cyber” , and “The Night Shift” most recently.

"Insomnia" Premiere

Paul McCrane began his career with the song he sang in the movie “Fame” But then his career took him to the classic series “ER” as Dr Rocket Romano pursuing the beautiful Dr Elizabeth Corday. Following his demise, he has directed for ‘ER” “The West Wing” “Scandal” “Glee” and “Nashville” as well “The Closer” and “Major Crimes”


Anthony Edwards was the pal to Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” lead the “Revenge of the Nerds” and cemented his place in television history pre Greys as the “hospital” show as Dr Mark Greene on “ER” . His television death brought tears to my eyes. He directed four episodes of the series that lasted a record fifteen seasons.

paul_adelstein_2007_05_15 When the show “Private Practice” ended, Paul Adelstein had another job at Shondaland . He became Leo Bergen , Sally’s henchman during the election on “Scandal” Paul directed an episode of his series “Private Practice.” Didn’t know Paul was a Chicago boy.

dan-bucatinsky-400x600Dan Bukatinsky was well known as a producer, writer, and director even before his Emmy winning role as “James” on “Scandal” He has served with the consulting  producer title on “Grey’s Anatomy” for many years. He has also directed the Showtime series of pal Lisa Kudrow’s “Web Therapy” .He will also be a part of Lisa’s show “The Comeback.” on and off camera as well. The HBO show that was unjustly cancelled will be returning in November. Dan is also on “Marry Me”

scott-foley-felcity-and-monkScott’s character may have spirited away the fair Olivia from Washington and her true love, but Scott Foley’ doesn’t have anything less than his competition. Scott has actually taken the lead in the upcoming movie “Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife” . He stars, directs, and has written the movie in post production. Scott has directed “Felicity” and “Monk”

AndrewNichols1VP Elect Andrew Nichols, on “Scandal”  has captured the First Lady’s heart , but Jon Tenney has also helmed behind the camera on his two former series . They are the TNT hits “Major Crimes” and “The Closer” .

jeff-perry-adAs the right hand man to the President , Cyrus Beane , Jeff has a finger in every body’s pie. It should come to no one ‘s surprise that he has directed as well . He directed the late great series “My So Called Life” and is also one of the founders of the world famous Steppenwolf Theatre here in Chicago.

TonyLast but certainly not least, we come to the consummate director and actor. Tony Goldwyn has proven himself on and behind the camera. From the bad guy in ” Ghost” to his current role as President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant on “Scandal” Tony has played a variety of roles , directed many movies and series as well as his own ,with his favorite leading lady.Tony has also excelled in theatre and sang on Broadway in the musical “Promises, Promises”

Report Card for How to Get Away With Murder

how-to-get-away-w-murder-castOkay! the first season of HTGWM has just ended. Wow ! what a ride. We all have been accustomed to Ms Shonda Rhimes way of keeping you guessing. She moves her shows with such a fast pace that true fans of her shows have to watch the show twice just to catch up with the plots. You try to figure out the plot and then she does something to completely blow your mind. HTGWM is a show that follows the SR formula.

What a sad ending to Annalise’s husband. It was the fuel of the first season . I never realized that Sam was such a rat and how much he used women . He took advantage of every woman he was with. Annalise came to him while he was still married and they begun an affair. She came out of need after being raped by a member of her own family. Lila was the same way . She ended up falling in love with the professor and then pregnant with his child. Sam proved to be a dangerous man.It’s a shame she had to be hurt by men again.

Never in a million years did I guess it was Frank. Yes , he did seem creepy. But I had no idea that he would prove to be the one who did murder Lila. Now I wonder what is it that Sam held over his head to make him do the deed. Frank and Bonnie seem to have problems.Maybe next season, we will find out what history that Frank and Sam have together. I have to admit that I kind of had a bias against Bonnie from the former role she played. Liza Keil was introduced on “Scandal” as Amanda Tanner, the woman who slept with the President. I figured if she did that , then her character on this show probably wasn’t that innocent either.

The most integral part of the show is the “kids” Like the “gladiators” or the staff on “Grey’s Anatomy” , they work together as a team. The difference with these kids is that Annalise pitted them against each other in a contest, yet they still functioned as a unit. Each of these young kids were changed by this whole internship. Some lost loves and others gained loves. Connor and his lover became another Shondaland gay couple. It was heartbreaking when he found out that about his HIV status and the two men held each other. Ultimately though, the “interns” were bounded together as they covered up the accidental death of Sam.

Viola Davis obviously wins the “A’ for her portrayal of the tough, tortured law professor. She has spent most of award season taking the laurels for the gritty show. Others who should be lauded for their performances include Tom Verica.  Just like another Shondaland fixture, Tom has spent a career doing various roles , directed, and now has become a household name for his role. I certainly hope that we haven’t seen the last of Sam. The saga is far from over. Cicely Tyson should also be noted for her performance as Annalise’s mother. One of the best lines from the season was “I am a VP. She came from my V and her father’s P”. It was truly memorable.

 Maybe now that the season has ended for this Freshman hit. Shonda can turn her attention back to her other shows. I know myself and a lot of fans are waiting for that.

Grade A.

viola-davis-how-to-get-away-with-murderAnnalise Keating addresses her class before she chooses her firm’s interns. Viola Davis is intense as the lawyer professor


sam and annaliseHere is the stellar adult cast of HTGWM  featuring Davis , Tom Verica, Liza Weil , and Charlie Weber.Weil  formerly played Amanda Tanner on “Scandal” and her real life husband, Paul Adelstein plays Leo Bergen on the Shondaland show.

penis on a dead girls phoneWe were treated to a lot of great quotes this season. One of the most shocking ones was when Annalise picked up Sam’s phone and uttered “What is your penis doing on a dead girl’s phone”

natural hairOne of the trademark scenes was when Annalise took off her make up and ripped off her wig showing her character’s real self .

KARLA SOUZA, AJA NAOMI KING, ALFRED ENOCH, JACK FALAHEEThese four students were part of the cover up of Sam’s death. Who knows what trouble they will get into in Season 2?

Up Until This Point…. Shonda Dominates Thursdays!!!!


 It has been two weeks and TGIT is a smash !! People have been getting their fill of roller coaster drama, possibly the best acting on television, and the return of old friends and new acquaintances. Here is my take on TGIT as a longtime Grey’s viewer , a gladiator, and getting comfy with the gang at Middleton.

Grey’s Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey and  Kelly McCkeary as  Maggie Pierce clash over the treatment of a patient

Maggie has been having trouble being the new kid on the block. It is also especially hard to fill the shoes of Cristina Yang. At least , Derek and Meredith won’t be heading out to DC soon. (Does that mean no scotch with Fitz?) Derek will be staying in Seattle. Richard spilled the beans at an AA meeting that Amelia was attending about his daughter. It’s Evil Spawn vs the Nazi as Bailey and Karev compete for the shares and board position that was left by Yang. Callie and Arizona have been seriously considering having another baby. Is Sandra Oh’s exit being felt by the show? The answer is definitely YES…. Meredith ‘s “person” is now Karev… and Jo doesn’t like it  a bit….


mellie and fitz

Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant sees over his “wife” Mellie (Bellamy Young) as she grieves for their dead son

It has been almost a new show since we premiered two weeks ago. Olivia has returned to DC for the funeral of Harrison Wright. She has been a naughty girl and not in a good way. I have a feeling that Jake knows she has just been using him and that will be addressed soon. The White House remains a mess with Fitz trying to hold himself together. (He tried to kill himself) but it seems that Mellie is the one that is losing it . She is not the designer wearing First Lady anymore. She strolls the Residence in Uggs and a bathrobe eating fried chicken and chewing on Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato chips. With losing his son, the love of his life, and everything , he still must be Commander in Chief. Cyrus is trying to move on but he may be in for a surprise when he finds out he is being set up.  The acting on this show in the past few weeks has been at Emmy capacity. Bellamy Young has turned the evil “my husband and his whore” Mellie to one who spouts the best lines on the show. We all know she is grieving, but you just can’t help but laugh at the line about her unshaven area described as 1976 down there. Tonys’ facial expressions still tell the story of the pain this man is going through, staying with his wife and still pining for his Livvy. Right now you could freeze ice cubes in the scenes between Fitz and Liv, let’s hope the fire returns soon. Add to the mix , Rosen as Attorney General and Abby working as Press Secretary, and its a totally different “Scandal” Portia Di Rossi sporting a new do has evil in mind for the WH.

How to Get Away With Murder

how to get away with murder 2

Viola Davis as Analise Keating teaches future lawyers how to try cases and look for evidence

This show is tearing up ratings and setting records. Davis’ teaching methods prove to be on the unorthodox side and pits students against each other. Sometimes the competition gets just plain cutthroat and sex is in the mix whether it the one future lawyer seducing a guy for information or Keating’s affair .Keating’s husband is played by Tom Verica who is another Shondaland actor who has taken up the directing chores for such shows as GA, Scandal, and the late lamented Private Practice. He seems to be no angel as well. The last time we saw Analise’s assistant , Bonnie (Liza Weil) was on a slab in the morgue on “Scandal” Weil’s claim to fame was playing troublemaker and Presidential play thing Amanda Tanner . Surrounded by a young cast and some of the most gruesome scenes on tv , this show promises drama and mystery. I might have to watch a few more episodes before I can make a better judgement call.