Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so about 'Closer,' 'Mad Men'

CELEBRITY NEWS

July 22, 2008|By LIZ SMITH | LIZ SMITH,TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

Sure is fun to see two of the TV shows this column pushed from the beginning now getting their due. I mean those cable miracles The Closer on TNT (the most successful show in cable history) and the AMC hit Mad Men, now hotter than the cigarettes its stars are smoking. (It's winning Emmy nominations and everything else in sight.)

When I started writing about Mad Men, a lot of people said I was crazy to push it. Who cared about the '50s-'60s advertising world, they asked? When I began touting the gifted Kyra Sedgwick and her daffy Closer detective, this divine creature was being largely ignored, despite the success of the show. Then, Kyra's nervous cop really caught on, and now she's a huge star.

It has been fun to watch Jon Hamm of Mad Men become an overnight heartthrob success. I am waiting to see his perennial real-life girlfriend, the talented Jennifer Westfeldt, become the big star she deserves to be.

Texas talk

Happy to report our pal Evan Smith has now been named president and editor-in-chief of the very good Texas Monthly magazine.

Evan was front and center covering last weekend's Austin Convention Center for Netroots Nation (liberals uniting) and the RightOnline Convention held in the picturesque Hill Country for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

Both happened at about the same time, showing the world that most of Texas is a little to the right, while Austin remains a little to the left. The twain met! Evans says: "It was like a Star Trek convention, and Austin is still the center of the universe."

Oh, those Britons

The Brits were invited by the Daily Telegraph last week to vote for their "national treasures" and the list is pretty much as expected with Helen Mirren leading big names in the arts. And in the same week, Helen was seen in a brief two-piece as she emerged from the waves off Italy. (This caused people to crow that she is "like a real woman - curvy, voluptuous and proud of it" at age 62.)

I see also in the suggested list the name of Stephen Hawking, also 62, the genius in a wheelchair who can't speak but manages to write and explore the universe. Do Brits know he is about to leave Cambridge University after 50 years and move to Ontario, Canada? That's how furious he is at his government for "dangerous cuts" to science funding.

Be the first

Tonight! A film for people who can read and think without moving their lips. Brideshead Revisited bows in New York. This great Evelyn Waugh classic has been remade into a normal movie length. Older fans recall the fabled 1982 version, which ran on PBS for 11 weeks. But great properties are always up for remake for new generations, and this one is first rate. Catch the fabulous Emma Thompson who plays the elegant Lady Marchmain. One supposes the enterprising Emma will be on Britain's "National Treasures" list.

This and that

Vanessa Redgrave confesses she wants to play mad Queen Margaret in Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3 ... A disillusioned Julia Roberts opines: "I've actually gone on a pop culture fast. The TV shows and gossip magazines seem so polluting and toxic now. It's exhausting just looking at a newsstand these days."

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