McShane Tells It Like It Is
July 21, 2008 6:44 PM
The nation's TV critics are running on fumes right now, two weeks into the TCA. But Ian McShane? Well, he came to press tour ready to rumble.
During a session to promote his new show, NBC's "Kings," Mr. McShane proved to be unlike most actors who appear on stage here—specifically, he answered questions with complete honesty rather than with the restraint that comes from being overhandled by publicists.
Mr. McShane's first spark came in response to a critic who didn't like the answer producers gave to a question about the setting of the show. The critic was befuddled by producers' admittedly vague explanation that the show is set in the present time—but in a place unfamiliar and unknown to viewers.
"Now you're not making any sense at all," the critic said. Mr. McShane immediately took issue with that comment.
"Excuse me for your ignorant remark," he said. "What do you expect—that it's all spelled out for you now?"
Mr. McShane and the critic exchanged a few more angry words. Creator Michael Green added a bit more fuel to the fire when he jokingly asked the critic something to the effect of, "Do you want to attack us anymore?"
Things cooled down for a while, until someone asked Mr. McShane about HBO's handling of "Deadwood." Here's how he described HBO's response to producer David Milch's request to do a limited number of episodes to wrap up the show:
"They said, 'How 'bout we do fuckin' none?'" Mr. McShane recalled, prompting waves of laughter in the room.
He then described the talk of "Deadwood" movies a few years ago as "a smokescreen." But he was quick to add, "God bless HBO for doing it in the first place."
Meanwhile, "Kings" will be a quality series. How do we know this? NBC just showed a trailer for the show and used the latest single from Coldplay as background. You can't use Coldplay unless the show is good. It's the law.