News Bits: 'Narnia' Recaptures Box Office Crown
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe reclaimed the number one spot at the box office over the four day holiday weekend. [AP]
- The television mid-season doesn't look to promising. Although, I will give Campus Ladies, Love Monkey and Skating With Celebrities one shot. [TV Squad]
- The Grey's Anatomy writers have a blog. [Grey Matter]
- Nielsen will finally include the DVR in it's rating tally's. It's about time - I finally matter. [ABC News]
- It looks as if Mariah Carey has the biggest selling album of the year. She has surpassed 50 Cent in sales cialis pills. [AP]
- The American Family Association (AFA), a leading group in the Christian right movement, has called for a boycott of the series Book of Daniel, about a self-medicating Episcopalian priest whose son is gay, whose daughter deals pot and whose wife is a midday martini-lover viagra pills online. I'm so there. [FOXNews]
- America's Next Muppet. I'm so there. [TV Squad]
"Kalends"? Isn't Kalends one of Kevin Federline's kids with erstwhile paramour Shar Jackson? He's not? Oh. Okay.
Rome: Kalends of February
We know that, going into this episode, Caesar is going to get shived like a prison bitch on Oz. We also know that the true parentage of Vorenus's "grandson" will finally get its day as a MAJOR PLOT POINT, and that things will most likely not end well for anybody whose name ends with an "a" or an "us". Or an "e".
I feel compelled to avoid a longish blow-by-blow in favor of bullet points. Which, for those of you who work in an office and have seen more than your fair share of PowerPoint presentations, should find familiar (if not particularly satisfying).
- The Julii
- Caesar: After the execution that wasn't, Pullo and Vorenus are heroes to the people. Well, shit, I'd think anybody who could kill three men while sitting on the ground, or basically split a giant in two with his own mace, was pretty fucking superhuman, too. This presents a problem for Caesar, as his dead critic's killer goes unpunished, and he can't punish the magistrate who helped the killer escape execution. So Caesar, whilst appointing various Gauls and Celts and non-Romans to the Senate (thereby shoring support for himself), makes Vorenus a senator/bodyguard: "Who will raise a hand to me with the ferocious Lucius Vorenus at my side?"
But where was Vorenus when Caesar found himself the bull in the middle of what was probably the world's first human bullfight? We'll get to that in a bit. True to the character of the show, Caesar's death was shown in exquisite, bloody detail -- Caesar trying to fight the senators whose knives are too fast and too plentiful. If you've ever seen, like, the last 20 minutes of Suddenly, Last Summer, then you know what I'm talking about. Brutus, as we all know, delivers the final blow, but not without the flashes of anguish that seemed to have plagued him ever since the plot to kill Caesar was first conceived.
- Calpurnia: Girl, I know you tried to warn him, what with your creepy-ass dream and all. Still, though, way to get your husband killed.
- Atia: Atia visits Servilia, taking Octavian along (no doubt for his superior glowering capabilities). They have a nice sit while Servilia informs Servilia of Caesar's assassination as they sit in her house. For once, Atia is struck dumb while Servilia promises that "[she] will make [Atia] suffer slowly and deeply." No matter where Atia runs and hides, Servilia will find her. I wonder if this is how Servilia got Caesar to get together with her in the first place? In any case, point, set, and match, Servilia. Atia can do nothing but thank her for the visit and leave as quickly and as quietly as possible.
- Posca and Mark Antony: Way to not be there, guys. To be fair, they were prevented from helping Caesar not get shanked by the throngs of panicking senators, Cicero among them, as they ran away from killing. But Mark, aren't you a famous, particularly savvy soldier? You couldn't MacGyver your way into the building by making a human slingshot out of your toga to catapult you in? By the time Mark Antony made it in, the deed was done: bloody senators, some still slipping on the blood on the floor, and Caesar twitching against a wall. At that point, there was nothing for him to do but slowly and quietly back out.
- Caesar: After the execution that wasn't, Pullo and Vorenus are heroes to the people. Well, shit, I'd think anybody who could kill three men while sitting on the ground, or basically split a giant in two with his own mace, was pretty fucking superhuman, too. This presents a problem for Caesar, as his dead critic's killer goes unpunished, and he can't punish the magistrate who helped the killer escape execution. So Caesar, whilst appointing various Gauls and Celts and non-Romans to the Senate (thereby shoring support for himself), makes Vorenus a senator/bodyguard: "Who will raise a hand to me with the ferocious Lucius Vorenus at my side?"
- The Junii
- Servilia: Well, you know what she's been up to. It was she who figured out how to get Vorenus away from Caesar, ordering her servant to tell Vorenus the truth about baby Lucius. Also, she prayed to the Junii ancestors for Brutus's success in his mission: "let his heart be filled with sacred rage." Very poetic, but kinda scary. I wonder if the degree to which you want to see your former lover die horribly is related to the amount of time you spent waiting for his ass to come back from eight years conquering Gaul.
- Brutus: He did it. But not without a lot of tears and gnashing of teeth and wracking of brain and oh yeah, Cassius totally picking his knife up off the Senate floor and pressing it into his hand. And of course the wailed "NO!" after the whole thing is over.
- Cassius & Quintus Pompey: They were nothing less than gleeful
- The Vorenii
- Lucius: Fearing for his life after stopping Pullo's execution, Vorenus took Niobe and the children to the country so that a priest could bless the farmland to which they would retreat should they be sent into exile by Caesar. According to custom, he and Niobe totally do it in the dirt in front of everybody -- children, servants, priest even. I'm sure that, if he had known that this was the last time (as far as we know) he'd be making with the sex with his wife, he'd have done it somewhere else. I'm just saying. Then of course, he is made a senator, with no apparent clue that perhaps Caesar was relying upon him for protection as opposed to real political savvy. And he had to fuck that up, too. Just because your wife had a baby with your former brother-in-law, you had to run off and leave your boss unprotected while you went back and had a tantrum. I love that, as he's learning this informatiom Servilia's trusty servant, that scenes from previous episodes relating to the Lyde-Evander-Niobe triangle flash before his eyes. I guess that, taken together, it was pretty obvious to him then, but why couldn't he have figured it out sooner? Oh, right -- it's a DEVICE! Sweet.
- Niobe: Niobe held up pretty well in her confrontation with Vorenus. It's not that I totally agree with having a baby with your sister's ex because you think your husband is dead while he's actually off kicking Gallic ass and being totally faithful to you, but I still felt bad for her as she inched away from Vorenus, knife gleaming in his unsure hands, and threw herself off the balcony. So if they hadn't lived in a second-floor flat, how would she have offed herelf? My guess would have been that kitchen knife, or maybe drowning herself in the river.
- Vorena the Younger: Dude, good luck.
- The Pulii
- Pullo: Immortalized in a mural commissioned by the merchants of the Aventine -- check. Escaped from hospital, thereby reopening wounds -- check. Getting shanked by Eirene -- not check. Making Eirene kinda jealous by almost pulling a sympathetic bird back to his cot -- check. Making amends with Eirene after a sincere prayer to the goddess Rusina -- check. Congratulations, Pullo, you're my pick for Rome character with the least psychological damage at the end of season 1. Here's hoping you fare as well in season 2.
- Eirene: All I have to say is that if Eirene ever makes dinner plans with me, we're going out to eat instead of going to her place.
So that's it for the first season of Rome: less sex than
The Golden Girls Sex and the City, more gore than Oz. In other words, a perfect 40-ish hour of television.
Rome: To the Pullo Go "The Spoils"
Only one episode remains of this season, and I can't imagine how the finale can possibly top events such as Caesar and Brutus finally having it out over Brutus's supposed betrayal and subsequent banishment to Macedonia; Pullo doing his first job for Erastes and getting sentenced to death after he is caught; Lucius making an old army friend an offer he cannot refuse, Niobe in a hideous frock, and Atia and Marc Antony getting back together (I think), Rome's worst lawyer, and all sorts of inventive ways you can kill people with nothing more than a shield and that certain something we call pluck.
If this recap is missing, well, a recap of what actually happened, I believe I can be forgiven. HBO will be showing a marathon of the entire season this Friday night before Sunday's finale, so you can see for yourselves all the bull-killing, the fighting, and the fucking you missed the first time around. Below, a few key highlights:
- Cassius confronts Brutus with his family's legacy and obligation to save the Republic from itself. The writing is, quite literally, on the fucking wall. What do the people want? They want Caesar dead. And who do they want to do it? Brutus! Go Brutus! Despite this, Brutus ain't buying. And he totally bitch slaps Cassius. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
- Pullo gets jacked (in every sense of the word, I'm sure) by some hookers. In what would appear to be an opium-induced stupor, he appears to give not a shit. Under orders from his new boss Erastes Fullmen, PUllo shanks a guy, enjoys hallucinations of the old weaver lady who chastised him the streets after the crime, and gets hauled off to the pokey.
- Vorenus offers his first bribe ever! The lucky recipient? Mascius, a veteran of the 13th searching for land grants for himself and others like him who are finding that cash gotten from Caesar does not last long enough to keep one in hookers and opium.
- Vorenus and Niobe hit Atia's for a symposium. Niobe, beautiful though she is, looks uncomfortable in a homemade dress. At same party, Caesar brushes off concerns about his safety with regards to Brutus, and Atia and Marc Antony totally get back together.
- Octavian hires Timon to get Pullo a decent lawyer. Considering the excess of public sentiment against Pullo (if not actual proof), Timon big bag of money gets him very little for his money. Not surprisingly, Pullo is quickly condemned to death. Vorenus keeps a lurking Mascius from rescuing Pullo, pleading that the Republic might not recover from such an incident.
- Caesar offers Brutus the governorship of Macedonia, which is totally him just trying to rid himself of the threat of death promised in the graffiti blanketing the city. There are tears, stern pronouncements, and invocations of authority on Caesar's side, blah blah blah. Needless to say, what threads of a father-son relationship between the two are slashed to bits. I half-expected to see Servilia hiding in the shadows, cackling and drumming her fingers against each other like one C. Montgomery Burns, but alas, no.
- Pullo goes into the ring, refusing to fight for his life. Refusing until one of the ginormous gladiators in the ring starts talking shit about the 13th Legion. "The 13th Legion isn't fit to pack my opium pipe. The 13th Legion consists entirely of fancy lads. The 13th Legion totally didn't ask me to the Triumph like they promised they would, and I am sooooo mad." Of course, this does on for about three seconds at which point The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" blares (okay, so it didn't, but it could have and I don't think it wouldn't have been totally inappropriate) as Pullo butchers, crushes, decimates, defeats, destroys, exterminates, mutilates, routs, wastes, and massacres every gladiator who lurches into his path. Gladiator with a big nunchuck type thingie and a shield? Use the guy's own shield to behead him! Gladiator with a vicious right hook? Just slice off his arm! Pullo continues through this, all beautifully shot in slow-motion, until the last gladiator enters the ring to find Pullo, wounded and exhausted, on the ground. Before he can make Pullo into the hero he's pretty much dying to be all season long, Vorenus cannot take the tension any longer, leaps in, kills the gladiator, and drags Pullo out to the shock and admiration of the cheering bloodthirsty crowd.
- Posca, of course, turns up at the bitter end to give Erastes a bag of gold, warning him not to use veterans for future assignments. Also, to stop wearing so much damn jewelry.
News Bits: Katie Holmes Doesn't Listen To Gossip
- Katie Holmes pays no attention to gossip. She just wishes people would be happy for them. Whatever. [Teen Hollywood]
- Chicken Little couldn't keep the box office from falling. The box office numbers were down 15 percent from this same weekend last year. Ouch. [AP]
- Madonna has the number one song on the UK singles chart this week. Look for her new album to be released this Tuesday. [NME]
- Scarlett Johansson is in talks to star in the film adaption of "The Nanny Diaries." [Reuters]
- Attending a 50 Cent film can be hazardous to your health. [Perez Hilton]
- Say hello to the adorable anti-semetic girls of the band Prussian Blue. Just sick. [WOW Report]
- The Terminator is coming to the small screen as The Sarah Connor Chronicles. [Moviehole]
Triumph the Insult Comic Imperator; or, Just Another Week on Rome
Caesar has finally moved on from playing a god to thinking he is a god. This week on Rome finds him planning a triumph, a parade to celebrate his elevation to Imperator by the Senate. He tells his senators that they can build "a new Rome, a Rome that offers justice, peace, and land to all its citizens, not just the priveleged few." He is quick to point out, though, should anyone not join him, "Rome will not forgive you a second time." Somewhere in the shadows, Brutus and Cicero mutter "That's for damn sure."
Atia visits a still-shaken Servilia, rocking an Erykah Badu-like headwrap since the attack on her in the street. While their
bitches servants totally give each other the hairy eyeball, Atia asks Servilia to be her date to the prom triumph. So what -- now that Servilia and Octavia are over, Atia and Servilia are gonna go at it? Sorry, I guess my overactive imagination is running wild at the total lack of fucking lurve in this week's episode. Servilia declines the invite, pleading illness, though I think we can safely say that it won't be long before she starts stewing again. A quick aside: is it any accident that Atia's woman (whose name I have not bothered to memorize, obviously) looks like the Devil as depicted in The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre* The Passion of The Christ? I'm just saying.
While Atia tries to draw Servilia out, Octavian retrieves Octavia, who has run away to sit in a tent with what would appear to be a bunch of hippies. She cuts her arms, pays homage to an earth mother, and generally goes about her business. Octavian literally drags her back to Rome, and Octavia is pretty much powerless to resist. What good is Octavia's forgiveness of her mother and brother when, as Octavian pointed out (and I have to admit I agreed with him), it's totally irrelevant? Ooh, those sound like fighting words to me.
Lucius Vorenus hits the campaign trail with Posca and Niobe. The trail, being just the Aventine, is not long, but it's a start. From what I could glean, Vorenus is in fact the human equivalent of that dang bread from a few episodes back: a true Roman magistrate for true Roman citizens. Let's hear it for the boy! I'm sorry to say, though, that the regal white gown washed him out almost as much as his smack habit when he was in Trainspotting.
Caesar's check-list for the triumph:
- Vercingetorix or other defeated Gallic king to tart up for float
- Ginormous banners to unfurl
- Doves to release
- Legions to suit up and march (NB: do not let Titus Pullo march, as he is now a civilian, and he needs somethig else to make him all disgruntled)
- A toga that merely suggests purple (for the emperor that's just a little queen?)
As the triumph begins, Quintus Pompey turns up at Servilia's doorstep to, well, be a little nutsy, call Brutus out. Oooh, another guy for the away team. And by away team I mean those folks who have been betrayed, defeated, or fucked over by Caesar. Servilia takes him in, and so the plot, it does thicken some more.
Caesar gets a lovely new makeover from his nephew the pontiff -- who knew bull's blood could be so good for your complexion? Then a lovely little ride in a chariot while thousands of Roman citizens cheer. Taking his place on the dais with the rest of Team Caesar, he quiets the crowd, gives the signal, and Vercingetorix is choked to death on his wee float. And then they go back to their revelry. Or so I imagine. For a show that's rumored to have an insane budget, I would have expected some crowd scenes of gorgeous people wearing gorgeous clothes. But what do I get instead? The news reader voguing the particulars of Caesar's plans for the Republic. Bo-ring!
Post-triumph, Brutus is way p.o'd to see his name on "A Call to Virtue", an anti-Caesar pamphlet written, of course, by the old comedy writing team of his mother (who tells Brutus he failed the Republic), Quintus (who smirks almost as well as Mark Antony), and Cassius. Brutus doesn't seem to do an especially good job of convincing Caesar that he didn't write it, though Caesar assures him that he never doubted his friendship or his fidelity, "even when [they] were enemies." Whatevs, dude. Brutus is still gonna shank you like you were the special guest convict of the week on Oz.
Back to the poor folks for a second: Lucius Vorenus is surprised to hear that the other candidates are not legitimate and pose no threat to him. Well, duh. Pullo decides he's down in the dumps because he loves Eirene but can't marry her because she is a slave. So he borrows money from Vorenus, buys her freedom, and what does she do? She squeals to her slave boyfriend, who reveals that they had been saving to buy their freedom so that they could marry for real. So what does Pullo do? He takes the groom and bashes his head into a pillar, killing him on thespot.. How do you like that for a wedding present. Dude, you couldn't take him for a lap dance? Sheesh. Pullo is banished from the neighborhood, though not before he calls Vorenus on his Caesar-loving ass. Snap! Pullo slinks right into the arms (and pockets) of one Erastes. Uh oh, me no likey.
I wouldn't have been totally surprised if R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" played as Vercingetorix's body is swept out with the trash, then kidnapped (by slaves, maybe?) and burned in a funeral pyre in the forest; Atia crawls into Octavia's bed to sleep with her (no, not like that), and Pullo makes a deal with Erastes that, to me, spells nothing but trouble. But if it wasn't for the trouble and the drama, would I continue to watch this show? Well, as long as the producers can promise me the occasional full frontal of Ray Stevenson or James Purefoy, then yes.
* Props to Fark for such an excellent title.
Image via HBO.com.
News Bits: Kate Moss Is Ready For Her Comeback
- Kate Moss tries to do some damage control with Vanity Fair cover story. [The Mercury]
- Being a member of the Real World Key West crew can be dangerous. A man punched a Real World Key West crew member on Saturday evening—and the assaulted man kept filming. [reality blurred]
- How has Lil' Kim been spending her time behind bars? She's been writing songs like crazy. [Martinis, Persistence and a Smile]
- The Requiem for a Dream director Darren Aronofsky is set to direct an episode of Lost, that will most likely air in May. [popwatch]
- Madonna's butt is featured prominently in her "Hung Up" video. [iseemonsters]
- How is the Paolos family still a contender on The Amazing Race. And why does everyone hate the Weaver family? [Whine & Cheese]
- Kid Rock is set to appear on Pamela Anderson's sitcom Stacked. Let the comedy begin. [ABC News]
- Arrested Development Star Jason Bateman is recovering from throat surgery in which a benign polyp was removed. Lets here it for a quick recovery. [E Online
- The producers of ABC's mega-hit castaway thriller Lost plan to introduce a new storyline centering on the discovery of a fictitious manuscript that will become the basis for a real-life novel that Hyperion will publish this spring. [Reuters]
- Mel Gibson looks scary. [overeducated and underemployed]
- Andrian Adams, the London-based record producer/manager has taken to eBay to auction off his share of the Britney Spears single “Everytime.” And we would want to own the rights because? [Defamer]
Pharsalus, schmarsalus! Octavia and Servilia totally do it
Yeah, so I know I shouldn't be surprised that this week's episode of Rome had Caesar winning at Pharsalus even though he was profoundly outnumbered by Pompey's armies. Also, no shock in Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus surviving the storm to return to Caesar's loving bosom, but only after sailing the seas in the grossest raft ever and finding Pompey, only to allow him to continue to flee. Of course Papa Julius was majorly PO'd that Lucius permitted Pompey to scamper off to Egypt. And Pompey's unfortunate demise on North African shores? Big whoop, I say sarcastically.
What I wanna know is, since when did "weaving" become a euphemism for "Come on over for some hot sapphic May-December ack-shun?!" I mean, I thought something was going on when Octavia, at the behest of Atia and her superior sense of preservation, asks Servilia for men to protect them after the battle was over. They have a little drink, Servilia dispenses her men (she is nothing if not civil and gracious -- that is, when she's not cursing the fuck out of the Julii), and I believe the two ladies have a "moment". I didn't think too much of it at the time. I'm thinking "Oh, she's still sad because Glabius is dead." But what's that -- is that Octavia in bed, sugaring her own churro? First refusing Servilia's invitation to weave, then primping nervously like she's going to prom? Servilia and Octavia are thrown by the news of Caesar's victory, and the lack of news concerning Brutus's whereabouts. Naturally, Servilia gets emotional, breaks down, either because she doesn't know if her son is dead or living, or if because Caesar has prevailed despite the curse she laid upon his head. Fortunately for Servilia, Octavia is there to comfort her with a caring touch, an empathetic sigh, and some totally hot making out and sexing. It was like "Girls Gone Wild", only instead of Mardi Gras beads they had togas. Those Julii certainly have a way with the ladies.
Oh, and I guess some other stuff -- Niobe and Lyde reconciling, Pompey assassinated upon his arrival in Egypt, Caesar greeting the defeated Brutus and Cicero as though they had done nothing worse than shit in his apple pie -- happened, too. In case you cared.
Bulls, Blood, and Bribery (or just another day in Rome)
The last time I paid any mind to matters regarding ancient Rome I was fourteen and conjugating Latin verbs for the meanest woman ever to teach the Cambridge Latin Course. Though I loved the language, the lives of Caecilius and his family (wife Metella, son Quintus, and everybody's favorite volcano Vesuvius) bored me nearly to tears. If the most excitement these old Italians could muster was, well, not
getting burnt to a crisp bythe nearest lava floe getting buried in a torrent of flaming cinder and ash, then I'd have to take my foreign language needs elsewhere.
But then HBO had to keep up a tradition of excellence in acting and full frontal male nudity with Rome, and suck me back into a world of togas, litters, and all manner of betrayal. HBO hasn't this much blood and sex since Oz went off the air. I know this seems like a strange time to start recapping, considering the series started six weeks ago, but Rome wasn't built in a day. And neither was this recap.
This week on
Dynasty Rome, Mark Antony gets some laws passed and teaches some young ladies the art of swordplay. But a night of passion with Atia gone wrong, and an offer to betray Caesar to Pompey, whose armies now outnumber Caesar's, drive Mark Antony to Greece to make a stand by his man. Never mind that the only thing standing between him and Caesar are a violent storm at sea and a ship that makes the S.S. Minnow look like the QE2.
Julii-wise, Atia sends daughter Octavia to make amends with Servilia. Nothing says "Sorry I ruined your life by hiring goons to decorate Rome with graffiti of you and my uncle doing it" with a gold, jewel-encrusted tortoise . . . borne in the hands of a man whose penis should have gotten its own screen credit. Oh, Atia, you shouldn't have! At first, Servilia is less than receptive but softens when she sees how upset Octavia is. Servilia reaffirms her amity for Octavia, then the two of them get hot and heavy with the man with the golden turtle. Okay, no, but wouldn't that have been something? And those two need to get laid, like, yesterday.
In the continuing adventures of
Batman Titus Pullo and Robin Octavian, the dynamic duo travel to the city's finest brothel to make a man of Octavian. Penetrate lest ye be penetrated, that's what I always say. The prostitute was appropriately winsome and tragic as she recalled her own murdered family . . . and unflappable when Octavian ordered her to shut her pie hole and assume the position. What a cad! Octavian is last seen leaving the city, as mother Atia has declared the city to be dangerous for a man of the Julii.
Titus Pullo, when not shepherding young men into adulthood, can be found putting Lyde and Niobe off Evander's scent (which I imagine must be pretty rank, considering he is lying dead, rotten and thumbless, somewhere in the sewers). Niobe's all "Girl, please forgive me!" and Lyde's all "Whatever, bitch!" and curses her and swears she will never speak to Lyde again, though she will keep the secret of Lucius's parentage for his sake if for nobody else.
As for everybody's favorite soldier duo, Vorenus and Pullo are last seen at the bottom of the aforesaid ship in the aforesaid storm. Will they live to see Greece? Will Caesar surrender to Pompey? Will Servilia get it on with the "cockswain" in her atrium? Will I recap next week's episode in a timely fashion? Only the ancient oracles know for sure.
Rome airs Sundays at 9PM Eastern on HBO.
News Bits: Paris Hilton Ends Engagement
- In a surprise to no one, Paris Hilton has ended her engagement to Paris Latsis. I'm sad to announce that I've called off my engagement. Over the last couple months I've realized that this is the right decision for me. We remain best of friends, and I'll always love him. I hope people will respect my privacy during this emotional time." Uh-huh. [CBS]
- What do the Lost numbers mean? Possible spoilers. [ericd.net]
- Prison Break gets a full season pick-up. [Reuters]
- Showgirls can now boast the worst filmed sex scene ever. [popwatch]
- Chris Noth will be returning to Law and Order Sunday night - the Criminal Intent version it is. [Zap2it]
TV Flashback: Family Matters
Many people believe that African Americans are both under-represented and misrepresented in the entertainment industry. I, for one, wholeheartedly concur. Of the few sitcoms that actually focus on black families, they all seem to go in one of two directions. On such shows as "The Cosby Show," "The Jeffersons," and "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," the families are filthy rich. With these kinds of shows, it is very hard for viewers of all ethnicities to relate, let alone African Americans. At the other end of the spectrum, we find the multitude of black sitcoms on either the WB or UPN, which throw together almost every black stereotype and pass it off as comedy. But there was one show that was different. It was a show that people from all walks of life could relate to. It revolved around a police officer and his family, in their middle class Chicago home. This show went by the name of "Family Matters," and it touched the hearts of all who watched it.
Meet Carl and Harriette Winslow, your average couple. They're living the American dream: They have decent jobs, their own house, a couple cars, and 2.1 kids (this 2.1 kids thing is quite literal, but I'll get back to that in a moment or two). You may be thinking to yourself, what makes the Winslows so special then? How could you make their lives into a half-hour sitcom once a week for nine years? The answer to those questions is simply the fact that they were so average. They dealt with every day problems just like the rest of us. Unlike the blaxploitation that we find on the shows on the other networks, "Family Matters" defied those old stereotypes by showcasing a hardworking, loving family. At the same time, it was not afraid to be proud of its African American ties, unlike those rich snobby Huxtable and Banks families. These folks were black and proud of it, without relying on clichés to get laughs.
I would now like to introduce the family to you. First there is Police Officer Carl, the jovial, sometimes angry, father. His wife Harriette is a strong black woman, but I don't think they ever mention what her job is. The matriarch of the family is Carl's mother, Mother Winslow. Like a few other sitcom grandparents, she seems to get more action than anyone else. Then there is Eddie, the oldest child. Sometimes he comes off as a slacker or a goofball, but he really is a good kid. Laura is the daughter, smart and determined. Also residing in the house is Harriette's sister Rachel, and her little son, Richie. Rachel is a wonderful role model for single mothers, having the time to simultaneously raise a child and own and operate her own restaurant, aptly named Rachel's Place. Remember the comment about 2.1 kids? Well as some may remember, the Winslows had a third child, a daughter named Judy, who suddenly disappeared. After the third or fourth season, she was written off the show. My mistake, she wasn't written off the show. If she was written off, there would be some explanation as to what happened to her. But no. She just vanished. One day she's playing with her doll house in the opening credits, the next day there is no record of her ever existing. Today, and I am not making this up, the actress who played Judy is a porn star. Oh well, that's show biz.
Of course, it is impossible for me to mention "Family Matters" without discussing an aspect of the show that became a pop cultural icon. I am talking about Urkel. Steve Urkel. Adorned with pants up to his nipples, suspenders to keep them that way, and glasses so big that they even surpass those worn by the Old Navy Lady, Steve Urkel is the definition of a nerd. He has a nasally voice, does experiments in his basement, and even plays the accordion. While the writers of the show always avoided black stereotypes, they seemed to enjoy playing around with the nerd stereotype. And let me tell you, the results were hilarious. Honestly, he made the show a hit. Ever bashful, I'm sure he would respond to that statement with a meek "Did I do that?" Why yes, Steven Q. Urkel, you did. And the world will always love you for it.
Throughout most of its run, "Family Matters" prided itself in being relevant to society. No matter who you are, there was sure to be an episode that hit close to home. If you have ever been offered drugs, cheated on a test, or had the N-word spray painted on your locker, there was an episode that dealt with the same thing. Unfortunately, this winning formula seemed to dissipate in the final years of the show. Crazy, nonsensical plots became par for the course, while the tender, bittersweet, and humorous moments of familial life became few and far in between. In the latter seasons, Steve Urkel built this device which would transform his nerdy self into the suave Stephan Urquelle. Finally, he could get with Laura, but at the cost of the show losing its grasp on reality. Steve also built a matter transporter, allowing him and Carl to beam themselves to Paris, in order to stop some jewel thieves. Also in the final seasons, the family adopted a little boy named 3J (what kind of name is that?!), Harriette was replaced with a different actress, and Laura got a really bad haircut. It just wasn't the same show after all of that.
These attempts at drawing in a larger audience only drew away its core audience that was there from the beginning, as is the case with most shows that have passed their prime. It's such a shame and it fills me with anger that "Family Matters" had to resort to those means. It is so sad to think that a show with so much dignity attempted to go out with a bang, as opposed to bowing out gracefully, like a show of its standards should. It probably would have been better had it just disappeared without explanation, much like Judy did after the third season. Yet we can't hold the last two seasons against a show that did so much in its earlier ones. So the next time you put on TBS or whatever channel is playing the reruns now, and you hear that jazzy piano intro to the theme song, you might just rediscover the joys and laughs that reside in this half-hour of pleasure. Unless its one of the episodes with Stephan Urquelle. If that's the case, turn off the TV and reenact one of you favorite earlier episodes with your stuffed animals. That’s what I always do.
News Bits: Veronica Mars Returns
- You better be watching Veronica Mars tomorrow evening. 8 p.m. Central Time on UPN.
- Do you want The Comeback to come back. Sign the online petition.
- If you missed the hysterical premiere of Everybody Hates Chris, you can watch it on Google Video. [popwatch]
- Get Smart's Don Adams has passed away at the age of 82. [AP]
- In case you haven't heard by now, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have gotten hitched, or maybe not. [Jossip]
News Bits: FOX Makes First Cut Of Season
- The ax fell quickly on Fox's "Head Cases," the first series of the new TV season to be canceled. The legal comedy-drama starring Chris O'Donnell and Adam Goldberg was yanked after its second airing Wednesday, in which its audience dropped by about half from the first episode. [AP]
- A male spoof of the Paris Hilton Carls Jr. commercial. [Towleroad]
- Destiny's Child is set to release a greatest hits CD on October 25. The set will include the new songs "Stand Up for Love" and "Feel the Same Way I Do," as well as a Beyonce Knowles/Slim Thug track, "Check on It," which is earmarked for the upcoming "Pink Panther" remake in which Knowles co-stars. [Reuters]
- There is a similarity between Kate Moss and a certain corpse. [Defamer]
- Everybody Loves Chris. The show produced the highest opening-night numbers for a comedy in UPN's 10-year history, and beat out Joey and The O.C. in the ratings. [Reuters]
- It looks as if Nelly is joining the reality show movement. That's just great. [Reality TV World]
- Did current America's Next Top Model contestant Coryn, have or has a dick? [kenneth in the (212)]
Where are the transvestite midget eskimos?
With my sister in town visiting, I thought I’d take her to experience the television taping of a Chicago institution. No…not Oprah. I’m not a miracle worker. Nope – I took my sister to a taping of “The Jerry Springer Show” and I may have forever damaged our relationship. No, I didn’t get a free car out of it – but I may have taken home a rare strain of Lyme disease, hepatitis, and head lice. That’s better than Oprah, right?
This was my first time being in a television audience of any kind and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was mostly interested in seeing how the live taping translated into what ends up on the air…oh, and also - the nudity. When I excitedly told people about my plan to go, I got the same reaction from each of them: “That show’s still on? I thought it got cancelled years ago.” Yes, it’s still on the air – just starting it’s fifteenth season, actually. To paraphrase Jerry’s comments to us before the taping, that’s a lot of dysfunction.
“Scary” is the word I’d use to describe the people I saw. That and maybe “Get-Er-done.” I saw people with no teeth, bad hair, bad clothes, and bad attitudes. And this was just in the line waiting to get in. I’m pretty sure there are Jerry Springer tour groups operating out of Gary or something. $20 gets you a trip to the show and some beef jerky. One guy in line struck up a conversation with my sister and I about how hard it is to drive in Chicago. “I just take the bus or train,” I said. “You’d have to have a pretty well paying job to park in this city,” he proclaimed. It was a pretty valid point except that he looked exactly like Randy Quaid in Vacation and all I could think of was, “I don’t know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper…it does just fine by itself!”
The entire audience was first escorted to a “holding room” where we were told to wait in our seats until they were ready to take us into the studio. There was also a couple of vending machines with drinks and snacks which we were told to use at our own risk, and that they were not liable for lost money. I learned two things in this room. One – nothing excites your typical Jerry Springer audience member like a well-stocked vending machine (though I heard several complaints that it was missing “Hot Cheetos”) and Two – these same people get really cranky when they lose sixty-five cents. I have a theory that they rig the machine to steal money from every sixth or seventh person just to help get them riled up before the taping.
Soon we were all filed into the studio, which was tiny and freezing. I’ve heard that they pump them full of A/C so that when the bright lights turn on later, it’ll be more comfortable, but I think they keep it cold for another purpose, which I needn’t fully explain here. The cold air was a blessing, though, since I’m pretty sure my fellow audience members don’t keep real well in the heat. We were ushered to some great seats in the second row, mere feet from the stage. While we were waiting in the studio, different television monitors played “Too Hot to Handle” clips from past episodes. It was good fun, and since it’s been a good couple of years since I last watched an episode of Springer, it got me up to speed on the current quality of the show. Yes, I just used the Q-word to describe Springer. It is the apocalypse.
Eventually a guy named Todd came out and went over some ground rules with us. We were to pretty much just cheer and boo at the proper times and he’d direct us on the rest. No cameras, no heckling, no swearing…that was about it. The whole atmosphere was pretty relaxed, really. They tape about 200 shows a year, so I guess it’d have to be. After everything was explained to us, he introduced the man, the legend, the former mayor of Cincinnati himself –Jerry Springer. Jerry came out and warmed up the crowd with a pretty little standup routine that got a lot of groans from the audience. He took a few questions from the crowd and then it was time to get the taping started.
I should mention here that I did exactly as I was told the entire taping. If the show makes it on the air, and you see me in the audience standing and hollering and chanting “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!”, know that I was owning my role as an audience member.
I’m not sure how to describe the show itself. It really defies any logical attempt to tell a coherent story about what I saw. First was a guy who said he was tired of his girlfriend wearing the pants in the relationship and controlling everything he did, down to his haircut and how he kept his facial hair. He was going to finally tell her it was over, and also tell her that he’s been cheating on her with a neighbor. The guy, honestly, didn’t really come across very well…and by that, he didn’t seem to have a good grip on his “story”. The whole thing seemed awkward and rehearsed. More so than most episodes even. We were taken to a commercial break and after awhile Todd came out and said that the girl was hyperventilating backstage and wouldn’t come out, so we were going to move on to a different story and try to come back to this one later on.
So they brought out a different guy. This guy says he caught his girlfriend of three years having “porn chat” on the computer with a friend of his. He confronted her and the next day she left him for the friend, who drag races. Ok, so the idea was he was going to beg her back and find out what happened and why she left him. We find out later, when the girl comes out, that he’s very controlling and doesn’t let her do anything without his permission. Are you following me still? Good. The girl was young… kind of cute, in a trashy way. The guy was also pretty young and looked like he managed a DQ or something (which we find out later, he does). The friend that she left him for was also there of course, and when he came out, the two guys immediately fought. They fought several times actually, but here’s the funny thing. They’d only fight when they were prompted by a bell. Seriously. They’d just stand there all non-chalant, and when the bell rang, they’d immediately attach each other. The fighting was real, no doubt, but they could care less about each other. I’m pretty sure that none of these people even knew each other before the show. They each seemed to have a basic storyline that they were given, and from that they just sort of improvise confrontation. Basically, what I’m saying, is that I’ve seen pro-wrestling matches that were more real than what happens on Jerry Springer’s stage.
One of the more interesting things I noticed during the show, is that the security guy, Steve, is really the ringmaster of the show. He tells the guests what to do, where to stand, and even what to say. If they don’t do what he tells them to, he gets really intimidating and demands that they comply – which they always do. I felt a little bad for the guests actually…it was obvious that they were the puppets of the show and had to do whatever was asked of them at all times.
We were told that the first story wasn’t going to happen because the girl refused to come out. So if we wanted our episode to air, we’d have to be a really good audience and they would have to fill the time with any kind of stuff they could think of. This devolved into Todd leading us to chant “Naked fight! Naked fight!” to which the two guys on stage spontaneously stripped down to their boxers and fought some more. Because this is something that would really happen. From here it just sunk further and further in taste with audience members showing their breasts, a guy from the audience coming up on stage and also stripping down to his boxers, and various other acts of debauchery. The experience, as a “story” was completely incoherent and ridiculous. Which of course it was, but I don’t know how on earth they’d edit this to make it into something that would even halfway make sense.
To cap the whole experience off, a couple of the less savory members of the audience snuck out early and apparently took another person’s new cell phone with them. Security was able to hold them outside and I think it all got resolved, but it just made me more happy that they made us all go through a metal detector on the way in.
Final thought? If you ever feel like your life isn't going so great, that you don't know how to get out of that rut you're stuck in. Maybe a good dose of Springer will help solve your doldroms. If not, maybe you belong up on stage with the rest of them.
Here Comes The Fall TV Season
What a happy time of year it is for me; it's the arrival of the Fall TV Season issue of Entertainment Weekly. My addiction to television will be fulfilled once again. Here are the new shows that I'm most anticipating this fall. I'm not including Prison Break, since that had it's debut already (if you are able suspend logic, you'll enjoy this show).
Everybody Hates Chris
Yes, the show that's inspired by Chris Rock's life as a kid. All the critics are calling this the best new comedy show of the season. The previews that UPN has been showing all summer long have been hilarious. It's about time Chris Rock came to television, even if it is in narration only.
(UPN - Thursday, September 22, 8pm et/pt)
One big reason I'm waiting with anticipation for this show is Carla Gugino, of the late, great Karen Sisco. Reportedly it's the best of the Lost inspired new shows of this fall. Another reason for the show's hype are the supporting cast members - Charles S. Dutton, Peter Dinklage and Brent Spiner. The premise: In the middle of the ocean, a naval cargo freighter makes a chilling discovery: an extraterrestrial craft has landed on earth.
(CBS - Friday, September 16, 9pm et/pt)
Two reasons for tuning in are Bradley Cooper (Will from Alias) and Nicholas Brendan (Xander from Buffy). It's been getting some good early reviews. My hope is that it's a great companion for Arrested Development. It's also time for the workplace comedy to make a comeback.
(FOX - Monday, September 19, 8:30 et/pt)
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
The reason this show is on the list, is just because of the fact that I'm so curious as to what the show will be like. Plus, it seems that the tasks are going to be much different than that of the Donald Trump version. I'm thinking campy fun. Plus there has to be at least a few gay contestants.
(NBC - Wednesday, September 21, 8pm et/pt)
Battlestar Galactica bullet wound to the stomach
The best show on television is Battlestar Galactica. Sci-fi fans are not the only ones addicted to the drama and twists and turns of this show and no self-respecting gay man would admit to liking a Friday night show; yet here I am.
Episodes air on Friday nights at 10/9 central. Great — now I've got to get TiVo 'cause I ain't staying home on a Friday night.
PS My birthday is on Thursday, August 4. The eight days and eight nights of celebrating me has already begun! I feel like myself again — self-centered and shallow — no more of that nerdy sci-fi crap. Until 10pm tonight of course.
'The Closer' Is Some Fantastic Television
I used to dread the arrival of summer. There used to be nothing good worth watching on TV, sans HBO programming. I even saved up some shows (House and Veronica Mars) so I could have some quality summer viewing. Then TNT blessed the TV viewing public with The Closer. Kyra Sedgwick stars as an Atlanta detective transferred to Los Angeles to head the Priority Murder Squad, who ruffles man feathers in her squad by doing things her way.
First off, Kyra Sedgwick is amazing in the role of Brenda Johnson. She completely becomes Brenda Johnson. Her character has an offbeat personality, a tough-as-nails approach and a track record as one of the country's leading investigators. Brenda's quirks are brought front and center - her fashion sense and a possible eating disorder. She has mischievous ways of getting exactly what she want from her suspects, and that usually leads to a confession.
One of my favorite lines from the show is when a colleague says to her, "you don't have to be a bitch about it." Her response, "If I'd like being called a bitch to my face I'd still be married."
Brenda definitely has the smarts, but without being geeky, and is bit cocky. She's also a fish out of water. She's a Southern lady, who is unaccustomed to the rudeness and pace of the L.A.P.D. To make things even a tad more uncomfortable for Brenda, she had an affair with her married boss a year or two ago, and now she must report to him.
The writing is stellar, and the supporting cast (J. K. Simmons, Jon Tenney, Robert Gossett, G. W. Bailey and Tony Denison) is wonderful. The whole package keeps me coming back with anticipation each week.
Now Here's Something We Hope You Don't Really Like
I suppose this is my equivalent of a Public Service Message. Below you'll find a couple of articles how some television programs have taken Jerry Springer style tactics to a new low.
It involves beating up gay folks while the audience cheers.
El Show de María Laria and José Luis Sin Censura, both on Los Angeles-based Liberman Broadcasting, regularly show audience members physically attacking gay and lesbian panelists while audiences cheer. Derogatory terms such as "puñal" [faggot], "joto" [faggot], "maricón" [faggot] and "marimacha" are common. Both hosts are shown laughing when audience members say things like "Todos estos bueyes tienen Sida" ["All gays have AIDS"].
In one episode, María Laria asked a transgender panelist if she'd had sexual reassignment surgery and then pressed her to lift up her skirt to show the audience her genitalia. Moments later, the panelist was beaten by audience members, her wig landing on the floor and her blouse ripped apart.
The Summer TV Season
The Summer television season never really used to exist, but now with year round programming your viewing options can be quite fun. Some of my favorites have returned; Entourage, Six Feet Under, Blow Out, The 4400, Rescue Me, and yes I'll admit it, Big Brother.
While reality television makes up a good portion of the programming, there are other new shows that sound intriguing as well. I have to admit I'm a Lisa Kudrow fan. The debut episode of her HBO series, The Comeback, was pretty uneven. Although, I love the usage of uncomfortable comedy (the show has The Office feel to it).
One of the best debut episodes of a show to come out in a long time was that of The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick. I really enjoyed her character portrayal of the no nonsense detective that her male counterparts don't know quite what to think of. The show also stars J.K. Simmons of Oz, who is always solid in anything he does.
Yes I've been sucked into the reality TV vortex. Some of the new summer shows that have caught my attention are The Beauty and the Geek, Hit Me Baby One More Time, and The Cut.
Beauty and the Geek, is a nice twist on the Average Joe concept. It's not a dating show, it's a beauty helping geek/geek helping beauty show. The beauties are mainly pretty dumb, while the majority of the geeks lack major social skills. Somehow I've found the show to be very endearing to watch.
If you want to watch a train wreck happening right before your eyes, Hit Me Baby One More Time is the show for you. Time shows how awful bands can be - A Flock of Seagulls was horrible. Time shows how cruel time can be - Mike Reno has not aged well. The show can actually make you feel embarrassed for the artists performing as well. I cringed when Haddaway was crawling on the ground at the start of his rendition of Britney Spears' "Toxic."
The Cut, is Tommy Hilfiger's response to Project Runway. I must confess, I've never been a Tommy Hilfiger fan at all (never owned on piece of his clothing either). This holds true to the team he chose as the winner for the billboard contest as well (the cheesy billboard won over the creative one?). The elimination part of the show is a joke. However, the task part of show was greatly entertaining. What is it about comepetion reality shows that bring out the worst in people. Also what makes a great reality competiion show are the contestants. There are two that I can't stand already. Chicago's own Jeff - what a self-important ass. An the slut of the show, Vlada. Yes we get it, you use your sexuality to get what you want.
Today, the once venerable news program, featured their version of an in-depth report about paparazzi this morning.
Following the footsteps of the goons who stalk celebrities at airports, they painted a picture of ordinary millionaire superstars looking like shit and being stalked by land-shark photographers.
Poor Drew Barrymore.
The segment ended and Katie and Matt making their usual and proverbial idiotic commentary:
Maybe there should be a law or something...Next up: meet the surfer dude bitten by a different type of shark, altogether. One that lives in the ocean and bites young, helpless teens. It’s a Today show exclusive, no less! Back in a moment...
So the segment starts with Matt, surfer dude and his mom and when the camera pans back, there’s something on the bottom of surfer dude’s mangled, bandaged foot.
It’s a Today Show sticker.
Stuck on the bottom of a mangled shark-bitten foot. Talk about exclusive!
So must I ask Katie and Matt which is worse: following celebrities who engage publicists to promote their crappy movies and then insist that their privacy is a contractual condition -- or should shameless self promotion be left to heavily contrived interviews and controlled press junkets?
Or is it worse to market your crappy show with shameless product placement on a virtually severed limb?
Next up, Back Street Boys...only on Today.
Alias Season 4 Finale
LOST, By The Numbers
What are your guesses at the Lost numbers? 4815162342. There's a website devoted to the numbers, and the possible meaning behind them (and the show references). Hopefully in two more days we'll have a few more clues as to why the survivors are on the island. Although, I have a feeling that not a whole lot will actually be revealed.
- # OF YEARS LOCKE WAS IN HIS WHEELCHAIR.
- # OF GUNS IN THE MARSHAL'S CASE.
- # OF ACES ON BOONE'S T-SHIRT.
- # of months Claire was pregnant when they crashed.
- # of kilometers the hitman tells Jin to drive.
- # of people that die in Hurley's shoe factory fire.
- # of members on Danielle's research team.
- # on whiskey bottle that Sawyer and Christian drink from.
- # of hours Boone flew to rescue his sister "15 hours, I just spent 15 hours on a plane".
- # of years Danielle's distress signal has been looping.
- # of weeks since someone won the lottery before Hurley.
- # of years since Sam and Lenny heard the numbers.
- # of times Jack hits Charlie on the chest while performing CPR before Kate tells him to stop.
- # of times we hear Jin hit the axe on the raft.
- # that appears on the waist measure that the tuxedo guy has around his neck.
- # of spaces on a game of Connect 4.
- # of numbers on the papers from Danielle. There were 7 rows of 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42.
- # that appears on the waist measure that the tuxedo guy has around his neck.
- # of the safety deposit box that Kate wanted to get into.
- # of the issue for Entertainment Weekly that LOST is on the cover of.
- Oceanic flight # 815.
- The copier's Charlie was trying to sell were model # C-815.
- When Claire had her dream about the baby being taken, the flight number of the plane hanging from the mobile was 815.
CSI: The Season Finale
I knew when I heard that the season finale of CSI was going to be directed by Quentin Tarantino that the episode would be good. It exceeded all expectations up until the last minute.
The actors were at their best. What the actors said with their faces, was at times much more powerful than the dialogue. George Eads as Nick Stokes, who was buried alive in a Plexiglas coffin with a gun, was incredible. I was feeling the panic right with him.
I won't give too much away for those who haven't seen the episode yet. Here are the highlights. The black and white filmed autopsy - brutally gruesome yet hilarious. When the team discovers that Nick has been buried alive. The twist that the CSI team was draining the fan battery, while keeping the light on in the coffin.
And the low-lights. Tony Curtis' hair. Seriously, what's up with that. The last scene was way to contrived. No one would ever do that.
All said, let's hope that Mr. Tarantino will be back to direct again next season.
Irinia Derevko/Laura Bristow
Dearest Spy Mommy,
I am so glad that you are alive and were saved last night. What do you think of both your daughters working together now? Kinda weird, huh? It is good that you semi-dealt with Spy Daddy trying to kill you by punching Jack in the face. Hugs and kisses all around.
What do we do now though? I know you are back for the finale and all, but I would like you to become a regular again for next season as well. Maybe you could at least be a reoccuring role? I don't think you understand that Alias hasn't been the same since Season 2 when you left. I cried myself to sleep every Sunday night last season in your absense. Please stick around for a while. Please, please, please.
PS - Sydney's response to Vaughn's proposal was a lil too "Anya and Xander" for me.
my half-week in television
The week started off strong with the Sunday night debut of CBS' Elvis, starring the always luscious Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as "The King". An inspired choice in casting, I say. When he isn't starring in my dreams as my #1 lover man, Jonathan can be found in my DVD rental queue in films as diverse as Vanity Fair, Bend It Like Beckham, and (my personal favorite) Velvet Goldmine.
Trending upwards, I believe this week's most perfect hour of television was the season finale of Veronica Mars. This is going into my list of top five episodes of anything ever, along with the Thanksgiving episode from the second season of the The West Wing, that time on Roseanne when Becky cut the cheese, the water bed and Anthony pretending to be Suzanne's maid for the INS on Designing Women, and Sunnydale going mute in the face of fairy tale monsters in the fourth season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Sadly, my television high was brought low today when, after days of rumors and speculation, it was confirmed that Dave Chappelle has checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa. The much-anticipated season 3 debut of Chappelle's Show on May 31 is postponed, and production on the hit show has stopped. I think that I can sympathize with Dave, but on behalf of myself and other fans who bought the season one DVD boxset in droves and antagonized our friends with our Chappelle-as-Lil'-Jon impersonations, come on. Dave, if you don't get well and come back to us soon, I will be forced to devote future posts to Brit-Brit and K-Fed's contribution to the world of reality television. And Brit? You keep asking in those choppy promos on UPN if I can 'handle your truth'. Well, if Chappelle makes a miraculous recovery in time, I may never have to find out.
Chloe Will Be Back For Day 5
Nuclear warheads going off... bah! Some good news to report for Chloe fans! Next week's issue of TV Guide reports that Mary Lynn Rajskub has been re-signed for the next season of 24. Exec producer Joel Surnow says "She's the only stripe of humor on the show" (editorial note: perhaps they meant intentional humor?!) and added "because we shift personnel at CTU, we needed to [have at least one] familiar character."
That said, Surnow remained mum on the characters who may not be back next season... only leaving this tidbit... "because of how we end this season, it's going to be a little tricky to come up with next season's story lines." Stay tuned!
But, will 24 be back on Fox?
Zap2It recently reported NBC Makes Play for '24'... Fox is currently negotiating a license fee for renewal and NBC is hoping to swoop in. Chances seems slim that this would actually happen... but just like the show itself, it is never easy to predict what will happen next.
One of my favorite new shows of the "second season" has to be Grey's Anatomy (my other favorite is Eyes, that is currently not on the ABC schedule). The majority for my liking of Grey's Anatomy has to do with the fact that I love Sandra Oh, and she's as the brazen Christina Yang. Thankfully, I never was influenced by ever viewing an episode of Arli$$, her career remains untainted for me.
The cast is extremely likable. Stand outs being Patrick Dempsey (who I still think should have got an Emmy for his work on Once & Again), T.R. Knight as the goofy George, Katherine Heigl is very understated as Izzie, Isaiah Washington as the esteemed Dr. Preston Burke, and Ellen Pompeo in the lead role, Meredith Grey. The ensemble drama works so well, because of the cast. Plus the casting of African-Americans in major roles and storylines (as well as hispanics and asians) is also a welcome change.
I finally gave up watching ER this year. I was sick and tired of having each episode be "the most amazing ER ever." Except for my love of Maura Tierney, and the Ray Liotta episode which was amazing, I grew tired. While there are similarities between the two shows, Grey's focuses on the personal lives of the doctor's in a much more subtle way than ER does.
The quite focuses on each of the character's personal struggles, is a pleasure to watch. How Ellen Pompeo's character Meredith Grey, handles her mother's Alzheimer's is done so well, that you want to slap her and hug her at times. It's nice to be able to watch a show, and not be told that you will be "blown away" by this weeks episode. When it happens on it's own is much more satisfying.
Only Three More Hours Left Of '24'
What a fantastic ride the first 21 hours have been. We haven't had the typical mid-season lull of previous seasons. This is primarily due to getting rid of Kim. This way the focus is on CTU and the mission. Last week's episode with a gun-toting Chloe (the character you love to hate) was awesome. So this week CTU has managed to piss off the Chinese government, and Jack managed to finally kill of Paul.
The big question that is lingering is are they going to kill of Jack? There is suppose to be a "big death" at the end of the season. While it would be a great twist; what other TV show has killed off the main character? I just don't think that will happen. They brought David Palmer back, so he could be the death. Or what about Tony or Michelle? None of those three are returning next season so that would be more probable. There is a tidbit in this weeks Ask Kristen that two male cast members are going to die.
I'm waiting for this season finale with anticipation.
La La La Lemon
Every once in awhile, a program will show up on my TV that just hooks me and never lets go. It consumes you. It enslaves you. It dictates your social calendar. It can have my babies. I'm talking about shows like “Six Feet Under”, "Project Greenlight," “The Amazing Race”, and even Thursday nights on NBC back in the day when it was still “Must See TV”. These shows work because they’re well written, well acted, and just well put together.
“The L Word” is not one of these shows.
After hearing friends rave about this Showtime drama for the last million or so years, Jo and I decided to add it to our Netflix queue. I, personally, was quite anxious. What was this “L Word” that was coyly alluded to in the show’s title? Linoleum? Logarithms? Lorax? Really any other “L Word” that you can think of to fit the show’s storyline at any given moment. The title is purposefully vague, and I can dig that. That part works for me. I think they‘re really trying to go with Love or Lesbian, but really – Long, Laborious, and Laughable would fit just as well.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show – it follows several friends living in West Hollywood. Most are lesbians, with one bi-sexual thrown in for good measure. There’s Tina and Bette, a committed couple trying to have a baby while not really liking each other all that much, Alice, the bi-sexual who’s supposed to be the comic relief, Shane, a kind of crazy slut girl that’s getting her life in order after what seems to be a lot of time spent doing bad things for money, there’s also Tim and Jenny, an engaged couple who can barely stand each other. Tim coaches a college swim team and Jenny is a “writer” who’s lauded work seems more likely to be found in a 15 year old’s diary. There are some other characters that I just don’t have time to talk about here. Rest assured, they all fit into some cliché mold or another.
So after writing all of this, I’ve spent way more time discussing this show than I’d really like. All I can say is that the acting is horrible. The directing is amateurish. The writing is bad. Really bad. Admittedly, some of the storylines are engaging and keep me a bit interested, but for the most part it just makes me want to shoot myself in the face while bathing with a toaster.
I’m told it gets better in the second season…but that's a dubious claim.
Ryan Carnes + Eva Longoria
Just Jared's got exclusive photographic proof that Ryan Carnes's character Justin, the "other hot gardener" is back! And gets some hanky panky with Latin sexpot Gabrielle Solis played by Eva Longoria. Check out the other pictures.
Vice-President of Obviousity
It wasn't bad enough that broadcast media so-skewed the Terry Schiavo coverage,
but today's shocking revelation, courtesy of the
Basketball Attracts More Viewers Than Pope's Death is being presented as
some sort of unimaginable news story.
Um.....hello? The U.S. population is only 24% Catholic. And of those folks, how many of them really gave a shit about a conservative, misogynistic, homophobic asshole?
The way I look at it, even most Catholic priests were tuning in to watch sweaty athletic men young men running around, jumping up and down -- tight sinewy muscles flexing and throbbing, slick with sweat...ready for action.
*ahem* need a moment.....alone....
With all these missteps in TV programming, I'd like to apply for the soon-to-be posted job opportunity: Vice-President of Obviousity! I know that's not a real word - but, hell...today's television is so detached from the reality of what people want to watch that making up a word is no way nearly as offensive as the totally unimaginable: Britney's home videos. My first task, once I take the reigns of VPO: FIRE EVERYONE and hire all my friends, who like I, would rather sit at home and eat chipped lead paint than turn on the crap that broadcast TV is showing nowadays (except for Desperate Housewives and West Wing).
It's fair to say that I'm a bit of a Wonder Woman fan:
The view from my desk.
And this is no passing fancy, this obsession has been with me since I was a wee lil' drag queen in rural Kentucky, playing dress up and making up stories:
At six, I was crafty with elastic and tobacco twine.
While others seem elated that Buffy creator Joss Whedon has taken the realms of Wonder Woman - The Movie(!), it seems to me that we're headed into another pop culture regurgitation that is not only unnecessary, but will also be creatively and artistically bankrupt -- think Hulk, Spiderman 2, Catwoman, Elektra, Daredevil.
In his excellent review of the second season DVD release, Gil Jawetz, explains the magic that infused the 1977 televised incarnation of Wonder Woman:
A large reason for the show being so watchable is its leading lady, the incredible Lynda Carter. She imbues the show with wit, sweetness, and sincerity. I don't know if it's Diana Prince's confidence knowing that she can turn into Wonder Woman anytime she needs but Carter smiles through nearly every scene, no matter how deep the peril. It's not bad acting, however, but something very winning: She's charming every second she's on screen.
In today's immediate, Access Hollywood culture, is there any star today that can bring such freshness to the role? I doubt it. More importantly: is the current state of our pop culture so vacuous that there are no new stories to be told? Have we creatively exhausted and explored every fictional avenue? Is there not one person, one writer, one director with an original idea left and a studio or producer that is willing to offer us something new to consider and admire?
Listen, I am clearly a fan of nostalgia. But nostalgia exists because we have a point of reference to a time that was different and unique and special. We compare then and now and those differences add nuance, charm, irony, and joy to our lives (and chocks up a whole lotta time at e-Bay and thrift stores). If all we ever do is recreate the past, how can we ever imagine the future?
I'm pissed that the nit wits in Hollywood are afraid to offer today's budding drag queens a new, inspirational heroine. Today's young people, already strung out on sugar and Ritalin, should have something of their own to emulate and adore. A re-branded, re-marketed vision from a 30 year old television show is still that: a re-creation.
My fear is that Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman will be nothing more than a CGI bloated nightmare.
Pic via Buzzed Boy.
It might be kinda pretty to look at, but I imagine it will offer little to the imagination.
Ashton Kutcher's Federline Underwear
Asthon Kutcher reigns supreme! He really made SNL enjoyable to watch this past weekend. This sketch, specifically, where he spoofed Kevin Federline by donning "Federline underwear" was HILARIOUS. Did anyone else see it or have the video online? Somebody please capture it! 27 more screencaps.
Josh Duhamel Groped
If a girl ever wanted to know how painful it is to have your balls knocked in, Josh Duhamel does a great job showing this unpleasant feeling in the Feb. 14th episode ("Tainted Love") of Las Vegas. Looks like it hurts, huh? IT DOES. More screencaps here.
'Popular' Is As 'Popular' Was
I admit it. I have a girl crush on Mary Cherry.
As portrayed by Leslie Grossman, Mary Cherry was the id personified on The WB's late lamented teen comedy Popular. Whether channeling Barbra Streisand during a crucial bowling competition or shooting a poisoned dart into a lobster before devouring it, Mary Cherry was unrestrained and unwound. She provided comic relief when the main storylines would go all Dawson's (read: mushy and melodramatic) on me. And her manicures were always flawless -- pretty good for a girl who used to have webbed hands! Mary Cherry is my favorite "psycotic multi-millionaire Texan girl", and she should be yours too.
Don't believe me? Check out Popular: The Complete Second Season when it's released on Tuesday, March 8. If you can't wait that long, spend the weekend watching Popular: The Complete First Season and getting fitted for that hot pink "Chola 3" leather jacket I know you've just been dying to get.
Not So Desperate Casting
If you weren't already convinced that casting director of ABC's Desperate Housewives is already a genius - you only have to look at the guest stars. Unlike some other shows (cough...cough.. Will & Grace... cough), DH is showing no signs of stunt-casting. First, we had Ryan O'Neal playing the perfectly believable father of Tom Scavo (Doug Savant) - now we can look forward to Lesley Ann Warren playing Susan's mom Sophie. The resemblance between the 58-year old Warren and 40-year old Teri Hatcher is quite striking.
As an extra bonus, the legendary Bob Newhart will also be appearing as Warren's ex. In hopes of sabotaging her mother's attempt to move in with her, Susan will call in Newhart in hopes of luring her out of the house.
Screen Actors Guild Award Winners
I for one, was thrilled that Sideways won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award. This was the picture that really deserved this award. It's looking more and more like Jamie Foxx and Hilary Swank will be taking home the Oscar's this year.
The list of winners:
Actor - Jamie Foxx, "Ray"
Actress - Hilary Swank, "Million Dollar Baby"
Supporting Actor - Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby"
Supporting Actress - Cate Blanchett, "The Aviator"
Cast - "Sideways"
Actor in a Movie or Miniseries - Geoffrey Rush, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers"
Actress in a Movie or Miniseries - Glenn Close, "The Lion in Winter"
Actor in a Drama Series - Jerry Orbach, "Law & Order"
Actress in a Drama Series - Jennifer Garner, "Alias"
Actor in a Comedy Series - Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
Actress in a Comedy Series - Teri Hatcher, "Desperate Housewives"
Drama Series Cast - "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
Comedy Series Cast - "Desperate Housewives"
You can read all the winners acceptance speeches on the SAG website.
Will & Grace has tapped former 90210 pinup Luke Perry to guest-star as a potential love interest for Jack. In the episode, airing Feb. 17, Karen hatches a wild plan to get Jack a date with a bird enthusiast, played by Perry. Suffice it to say, feathers are ruffled. [ via ]
This could be lead to some very interesting things. Very interesting.
Paris Hilton SNL Part Deux
Paris is going to make her return to Saturday Night Live this Saturday (as host this time) with musical guest Keane. If her third season of The Simple Life :: Interns is any indication, you can bet SNL will be a snore. ZZZ.
For The Love Of Scrubs
Why isn’t this show a hit? Is the absence of a laugh track on a network sitcom a turn off for Americans? Does a laugh track help people know when to laugh?
How can anyone not love Sarah Chalke? The physical humor in this show is just amazing. How could anyone not find Zach running his moped into the hospital wall not funny?
It has some of the best sitcom actors working today. Zach Braff is priceless in the lead role; he’s a perfect every man’s man. I can’t believe John McGinley has not been nominated for an Emmy yet.
On top of that, the guest stars are usually top notch (although I was kind of underwhelmed by the Colin Farrell guest spot). Molly Shannon’s turn was both hilarious and touching. And last season, why wasn’t Bredan Fraser nominated for the last episode he appeared on? It was one of the best half hours of TV last season.
This has been a public service announcement urging you to watch quality television.
"Six Feet" Prepares For Its Funeral
The good news is that production is already underway on the 5th season of HBO's Six Feet Under, the bad news it will be the series final season.
All the main cast is back for the 12-episode season that will begin airing in June - along with a many of the popular recurring characters including those played by Kathy Bates, Joanna Cassidy, Patricia Clarkson, and Jeremy Sisto.
No word yet on any plot points. But Entertainment Weekly reports that Rachel Griffiths is pregnant with her 2nd child due this summer. Will that mean a baby for dysfunctional couple Nate & Brenda?
Don't plan for any happy endings or reunions, creator Alan Ball told Variety that the already written final episode of the series "effectively kills any possibility for the series to go on."
Turning The Paige
One of the original home makeover shows, Trading Spaces, is doing some renovations of its own. But sadly, according to this Zap2it article, that means the loveable and eternally perky host Paige Davis is out of a job. The show is going host-less to "focus more on the homeowners and designers." Davis' last appearance is scheduled to air in March.
There has been a lot of TS turnover in the last few years. Carpenter Ty Pennington has hit it even bigger on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition while designers Genevieve Gorder and Doug Wilson are involved in new designing shows on TLC (Town Haul and Moving Up, respectively). The ever popular Vern Yip was set to star in an NBC makeover show, but that has yet to hit the air.
Zap2It mentions some tawdry details of a Davis strip tease and alleged sex tape as potential reasons for Davis' departure, but perhaps Paige just has another gig in the works. Rumor has it that she would be involved in an Oprah spin-off show (ala Dr. Phil) involving O's superstar designer and recent tsunami survivor, Nate Berkus. Berkus re-did Davis' NYC apartment for the Oprah show in the past year or so.
Here Comes Nicole Richie Rippa
Make sure you tune into to MadTV tomorrow, 01.22.05, to see Nicole Richie guest star:
Looks like she does a killer Kelly Rippa impersonation.
Coming Soon: Paris Hilton guests as Regis Philbin.
'24' Season Premiere Tonight
This evening on FOX, 8/7c, 24 returns with it's two hour season premiere. Plus another two hour episode Monday evening.
The fourth season springs out of the gate like the mountain lion that once cornered -- but, alas, failed to kill -- dear, sweet daughter Kim. This time around, Jack is no longer a CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) agent; he works for Secretary of Defense James Heller (William Devane) and is happily dating his daughter Audrey (Kim Raver). But when the Hellers are kidnapped after a suspicious train wreck, Jack jumps back into action despite attempts by CTU head Erin Driscoll (Alberta Watson) to stop him. And that means lots of running from, chasing after, sneaking up on, pointing guns at, and barely escaping from, and it all happens repeatedly in a few digitally counted minutes. [Boston.com]
I'm ready, are you?
Check out the some of the primary cast members after the jump.
Jack Bauer - Kiefer Sutherland
Dina Araz - Shohreh Aghdashloo
Secretary of Defense Warren Heller - Philip Baker Hall
Colonel Ryan Reporte - Martin Kove
Jason Loceff - Johnny Messner
Audrey Raines - Kim Raver
Kalil Hasan - Anil Kumar (5)
Alias Returns Wednesday
And it finally has the lead in (Lost) it deserves.
(photo via ABC)
Happy New Year!
The Golden Globe Nominations 2005
Well, the Hollywood Foreign Press loves them some Sideways, The Aviator, Desperate Housewives, and The Life And Death of Peter Sellers. The nominations aren't that awful this year. Props to the HFPA for giving Hotel Rwanda a Best Picture nom.
Up for Best Picture Drama:
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy:
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Television Series - Drama:
THE SOPRANOS (HBO)
Television Series - Musical or Comedy:
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (FOX)
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
SEX AND THE CITY (HBO)
WILL & GRACE (NBC)
The acting nominations after the jump:
It seems that Jamie Foxx can do no wrong with three acting nominations for his acting in "Ray," pictured, "Collateral" and the telefilm "Redemption."
In the film drama categories, the "they got it right nominations" were Imelda Staunton for "Vera Drake," and Don Cheadle for "Hotel Rwanda."
In the film musical categories, the "they got it right nominations" were Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."
In the film supporting role categories, the "they got it right nominations" were Virginia Madsen and Thomas Haden Church for "Sideways."
In the TV drama categories, the "they got it right nominations" were Denis Leary for "Rescue Me" and Joely Richardson for "Nip/Tuck."
In the TV musical or comedy categories, the "they got it right nominations" were Marcia Cross for "Desperate Housewives," Jason Bateman for "Arrested Development" and Zach Braff for "Scrubs."
In the TV supporting role categories, the "they got it right nominations" were Drea De Matteo for "The Sopranos" and Jeremy Piven for "Entourage."
Check out all the nominations here.
Ken Jennings Jeopardy Loss Audio
It looks as if the loss will air on November 30th. It all came down to Final Jeopardy.
The Kids Stays in the Picture
The Futon Critic says:
UPN has given a full season order to its two critically acclaimed new dramas VERONICA MARS, featuring this Fall's breakout new star Kristen Bell, and KEVIN HILL, starring the talented and charming Taye Diggs, it was announced today by Dawn Ostroff, President, Entertainment, UPN.
"We've been thrilled with the creative auspices for VERONICA MARS with its terrific ensemble cast, sharp writing and high production quality. Every episode that comes in keeps getting better and better," said Ostroff. "And our critically acclaimed drama KEVIN HILL has helped strengthen our performance on Wednesday night with double- and triple-digit time period gains in our core demographics."
VERONICA MARS (Tuesdays, 9:00-10:00PM, ET/PT) has steadily gained viewers in key demos since premiering on UPN's Tuesday night, including growth of 17% adults 18-34, 40% adults 18-49, 31% women 18-49 and 27% total viewers. This week's episode matched the series best among adults 18-49 and women 18-49. VERONICA MARS has also improved the time period in key demos versus a year ago.
Yay! But a question: Do people watch Kevin Hill? Do you know anyone who has seen a single minute of the show? Taye Diggs is cool and all but if I didn't watch Veronica Mars, I wouldn't even know the show exists.
Do you think the Kevin Hill audience is thinking the exact same thing about me?
DVR Surprise of the Week: Bands Reunited
Was I the only one that didn't know that Bands Reunited was back on VH1 this week? Settling in to watch Pardon the Interruption and the rest of my Sunday night TV cache (Crossing Jordan and a Law & Order:SVU replay on USA), I was surprised to see that there was a Bands Reunited episode at the top of the list.
Thank you, DVR gods!
This particular episode featured Scandal - the Patty Smyth vehicle best known for the infectious eighties diddy "Warrior." It's an especially interesting and poignant hour as one of the band members, Ivan, has passed from lung cancer and the band's demise is full of the classic pitfalls of rock music. Oh, and Patty Smyth who is electric and bombastic on screen.
No wonder she's married to John McEnroe.
The rest of the week features the big haired ladies of Vixen and the absolutely techno-dance awesomeness of Information Society.
Set your TIVOs now.
I'm Begging You! Please Watch Arrested Development
It's the funniest, wittiest, most clever sitcom on television. I don't want this one to be cancelled.
It's on FOX tonight, right after The Simpsons.
I'm with Andy Towle in my push for tonight's Manhunt on Bravo (Televison for Gays). Make sure you watch or Tivo or have blow-by-blow smoke signals sent to your reservation...it should be genius eye candy.
Life as Someone Knows It
A little while ago, I was pining for My So-Called Life. Or at least, the heir to My So-Called Life. Thinking about it more, Degrassi might be both the precursor and the heir, with it's Junior High, High, and Next Generation series. But they're Canadian, and a little more earnest, so I thought I'd give Life as We Know It a shot at the throne. A few thoughts:
3. The "nerdy arty kid" is too pretty. I don't believe him in the role. They need to muss up his hair and tone down the blush big time.
4. Kelly Osbourne, not just bearable, but kinda good.
5. Addressing the camera. I think it's a bit played out (I mean, Zack Morris perfected this technique 15 years ago). Specifically in this show, it looks neat, but the things they say are so awkwardly honest (and sometimes cliched) that it's kinda jarring. It might take a while to adjust to it, or they might have to scale it back.
6. What is with all these female tv teachers doing their students? Does this really happen that much?
Overall, I'm curious. I'll watch it again, at least once. Those of you who can tivo/tape The Apprentice, I'd say check it out. At the very least, out of pity, because ABC schedulers have really thrown it to the wolves.
CSI: The Franchise
A show by show comparison.
This is the original, and the best of the CSI franchise. There are a number of reasons that make this show the best. First of all, all the actors are believable in their roles and are excellent. The larger cast, and the number of recurring characters, really gives the show a good balance. Second, the writing seems to be superior on this version of CSI than it does on the others. Third, the characters interactions are just more believable than the other shows.
I just love Jorja Fox. She is her character. I also like how the relationship, between Gil and Catherine. Despite Gil being the boss, they are shown as equals in respect and attitude. Something that I would like to see happen between the two leads on CSI: NY.
You may love or hate David Caruso, but CSI: Miami is still growing in popularity. The actors are all appealing; I've always loved Emily Proctor and Khandi Alexander. The problem I have with CSI: Miami is the credibility factor. I just don't believe some of the actors "are" their roles. While Adam Rodriguez is pretty to look at, I have a hard to believing he's a CSI. Khandi Alexander, is a fantastic actress, however, making her character slightly bizarre is a mistake. Give Khandi more to do!
The show needs more recurring characters: CSI lab people. The knowledge, which the lead characters spout off, is just not believable. I think a big clue to how I felt about the show occurred on this season's premiere, when Rory Cochrane was killed off. I could have cared less. Not a good sign.
After only two episodes, it's a little hard to compare the shows, but despite some cheesy dialogue, CSI: NY is a pretty decent show. The only other complaint that I have would be use of the lighting effects: the blue hues and browns that are used. This is being used as a device to set the mood, and set the show apart from it's other counterparts - the superior original CSI, and the sophomoric CSI: Miami.
Gary Sinese is a wonderful actor; and I love Vanessa Fertilo. I'm having a tough time with Melina Kanakaredes as a New York City cop, but I'm thinking she'll be more comfortable with the role.
Gay Simpson's Character Revealed
The long awaited gay character in hit animated show The Simpsons has been revealed, to the shock of long-term fans.
Debate over which character is set to come out of the closet has been raging since the announcement was made earlier this year, with the smart money on Mr Burns' faithful assistant Waylon Smithers. - That would have been too obvious.
Find out who it is after the jump.
UPDATE: Sorry, if you tried to find out who the character was before. The link has now been corrected.
The character who comes out - and walks down the aisle - will be Marge Simpsons' sister Patty.
[via gay.com UK]
New Season Death Watch
Jack & Bobby has gone from a promising pilot to absolute hell on earth in three episodes. Outside of the constantly put upon Jack, the toothy Courtney and the lovable black guy, Marcus, none of the characters are at all likeable and those three are only mildly so. In this teen drama somehow the mom is the focus and Christine Lahti's Professor Talksalot is jut horrible. Bradley Cooper, who joins the cast this weekend, can't save it. It's been bumped off the subscription schedule for Criminal Intent and a nice open space for Alias come January. The ratings suggest that you aren't watching either. I'm not betting on it to last the season...although The WB has thrown a lot of money at this show.
Bye Bye Jack & Bobby
It's not that LAX is a bad show, it's just not very engaging. Blair Underwood and Heather Locklear are enjoyable as the stars and the situations are sort of interesting every week but it feels more like Hotel or Love Boat than Fantasy Island or even Las Vegas. The stories just aren't compelling enough to make it appointment television. The episodes are disposable with faux emergencies and pseudo comedy. I need more to sink my teeth into. It's losing large chunks of it's Las Vegas intro. It's going to be out the door and soon. Watch for bonus episodes of The Biggest Loser of Sports Illustrated's Fresh Faces to fill the void before November Sweeps.
Bye Bye LAX
Now, we're going to have to fight. Veronica Mars is my favorite new show of the season and nobody's watching. Now, I know UPN sucks and they have nothing to pair it with and that they don't know how to launch a show that doesn't feature "black people!" "wrestlers!" or "models!" but, come on, Kristen Bell is really good as the title character, the underlying mystery arc is slow burning to perfection, and the characters in this town continue to be surprising and unpredictable. And Paris Hilton guest starred as a bitch who got her just desserts in the second episode all while still looking cute as can be on a pink vespa scooter.
What's not to love?
If I lose Veronica Mars, I'm holding you responsible.
And you won't like me when I'm angry. I'll so put you on block on my sidekick and never instant message you on the go again.
Mini-Reviews of Lost, Joey and Jack & Bobby
I really enjoyed the first episode. It was actually scary at times, and quite suspenseful throughout. The fear of the unknown worked on a number of levels. Where the hell are they, and what type of creature is on that island? The two leads, Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly, fit the bill quite well. Dominic Monaghan, from The Lord of the Rings, provides some needed comic relief.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. This season spans over about a months time, which was a smart move. Also, the number of survivors left, provide the creature food for the rest of the season. I'm curious as to how the show will play out if it last beyond one season. It can't last as a creature fighting show. Knowing J.J. Abrams, I'm sure he'll figure out a way to reinvent the show ala the way he does with Alias each season.
Not great, not awful. I think that the show is going through a few growing pains. One drawback to the show is the fact that there are only four cast members. Give Joey a friend. Another thing that Joey could use is more Jennifer Coolidge. She's only been in one of the first three episodes. Why have her on the show if she's not being used.
It's a really solid show. Christine Lahti is always solid, and the other actors are up to par; it's an interesting strategy to reveal the twist in the first episode of the show. I won't give it away if you haven't seen it, but the show reveals which brother becomes President. The show has a tough time slot. It's up against the CBS Sunday Movie, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Desperate Housewives. The WB has fewer time slots than the other major networks accept for FOX. So there aren't really any other time slots for the show. Ideally, I think that the show should be paired up with Everwood.
Mission to Mars
So, I couldn't figure out who Kristen Bell was for the entire episode of Veronica Mars tonight until it hit me. Deadwood. She played the con artist trollop that sadly got the holy living hell beat out of her by the so much awfuller than Swearengen, Cy Tolliver.
I feel so much better about figuring that out. Now if only her deadbeat mom was being played by Kim Dickens instead of that one actress, who will always be the lead on that weird sitcom based around Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming getting married or something, to me.
Anyway, while Lost (i'm not linking to ABC's pitiful website. I don't know what they did in their redesign but they screwed up) was the show you had to watch tonight, Veronica Mars had a much stronger narrative going and was all the more engaging. Like a Twin Peaks for the post-Buffy teen set (without all the lynchian imagery but tons of harsh teenage reality), Veronica Mars is immediately engaging, constantly surprising, and fresh with dialogue that slides ably between smartass wit and dumbass young confusion. And finally I have a reason to turn to UPN again.
Lost felt like the beginning to a really good movie or mini-series but I'm not sure how it can be turned into a longform series. I know JJ will be doing the slowburn here with each episode maybe only being a day or a few hours and with such a large cast there are lots of stories and angles to cover but I'm not sure. The giant monster feels a little gimmicky to me and there was a lot of "suspense and mystery" for suspense and mystery's sake rather than to really get the story moving. I felt like I was bait and switched several times tonight and I don't think I'm going to enjoy that over the long haul.
But Charlie Salinger roolz d00d and I love seeing hobbits not play hobbits so Lost is now subscribed to as well. Yay for having Wednesday tv again. There was a gaping hole there with Angel gone.
Really though, I'm pushing Veronica Mars on ya. Tuesdays at 9. I know Gilmore Girls is on or some other nonsense but you need Veronica in your life. Paris Hilton guests next week. How can that not be the awesome?
Popular Comes To DVD
It's finally here! Pick up your copy of Popular: The Complete First Season NOW!
Who's hot? Who's not? The popular ones, the unpopular ones, the geeks. Kennedy High is the set for a big war: the popular against the unpopular. On the popular side: Brooke McQueen, a Barbie doll prototype, the head cheerleader with Nicole, her best friend and the Devil in person. Her boyfriend, Josh Ford, star of the football team; Mary Cherry, the psycotic multi-millionaire Texan girl and Sugar Daddy. On the unpopular side: Sam McPherson, the girl who is always looking for justice; Harrison, the not-so-hot boy; Carmen Ferrara, the fat girl with the warm heart and Lily, the confused girl with the boyish look. Brooke and Sam, enemies by nature, have to deal with their parents' marriage and school problems. A drama? A comedy? A dramedy? You tell! [via TV Tome]
A helpful Mantra for Enduring the Non-Stop Drama that is Everwood
There is no way Madison's pregnancy is revealed pre-sweeps.
So. Treat Williams, do your worst. Walk into as many rooms with a look of sadness, terror, or remorse as you'd like. Tell Dr. Abbott that you're coming clean over and over again, you're not fooling us. And Ephram. Please feel free to clutch all the mysterious letters you can find. Throw unreasonable tantrums even! We know better.
There is no way Madison's pregnancy is revealed pre-sweeps.
The Key Moment: Parking Lot
While everyone's watching the Emmy Awards, I have my television turned off and I'm considering what was the singular most significant moment on my tv this week.
It could've been Colin's complete meltdown on The Amazing Race 5 culminating with his uttering "Ohmigod, I hate you" in the high pitched squeal of defeat. And I rather enjoyed the discussion of economic class and social graces that took place between Alfred Pennyworth and The Penguin on The Batman this week. And as I had never seen the episode, catching Lindsay Lohan's SNL appearance featuring the very funny Harry Potter bit and the exceptional Debbie Downer bit (you know the one where everyone breaks) which actually was quite funny even without the breakdown, was well worth it (and don't think I wasn't in my apartment attempting to learn Usher's dance routine this morning because I so was.)
But no. The Key Moment on TV this week was on my beloved TRIO and their show Parking Lot. Parking Lot goes to events where fans congregate, be it concert, convention, or court house, to basically find out "What's their crazy?". This week's very special episode featured a half hour of Michael Jackson worshippers and their following of him from Neverland Ranch to the courthouse to his visit to First AME Church in Los Angeles with Steve Harvey in order to get some true black support but as the smartest person on the entire show said, "Has he ever been to AME Church before? I don't know why he's coming now...and isn't he Jehovah's Witness?"
In Santa Maria, California, Parking Lot meets a woman who claims to be 7 and a half years celibate for Michael. She hasn't had any sexual relations with anyone but she reveals...
"I kiss Michael's pictures almost...well, every day, aHahaha. In fact, one has a hole in the neck where my chin rubs because I was kissing it so much."
And that, my friends, is quality television.
Nip/Tuck and 8 bottles of wine
During a wine tasting party tonight, the topic of amazing television programming came up (as it tends to do around me). The two unanimous favorites of night were Nip/Tuck for favorite TV show and mystery bottle number 5 for best red wine. God only knows what the vintage was, and I'm too drunk to even remember it's name.
I was also happy to hear that lesbians, gay men and straight women all loved Julian McMahon's performance on Nip/Tuck. He's superficial, he's sleeps with everyone, he's so fucked up, and yet somehow, very lovable. I've adored him since his stint as a sexy demon named Cole on the WB's Charmed. Everyone had to, which probably explained how he managed to return to the show every season after the Power of Three killed him.
And of course we talked about sex. How can you not when you've had wine and a discussion around Nip/Tuck? I've always been a fast learner. I didn't have sex until I was 22 and by 24 I had finished my whore phase. Most people do it in six years and I did it in two!
I was a nerd as a kid � still am. Praise the Lord and the Lady! Happy Maybon everyone.
2004 Emmy Predictions
The Emmy's are almost upon us. Coming this Sunday night on ABC, at 7 p.m.
Here are my predictions of who and what will win, and who and what I would like to win (in parentheses) the 56th annual Primetime Emmy awards:
Series: The Sopranos, (The Sopranos)
Actor: Anthony LaPaglia, (Kiefer Sutherland)
Actress: Edie Falco, (Edie Falco)
S. Actor: Steve Buscemi, (Brad Dourif)
S. Actress: Drea de Matteo (Drea de Matteo)
Series: Arrested Development, (Arrested Development)
Actor: John Ritter, (Larry David)
Actress: Sarah Jessica Parker, (Bonnie Hunt)
S. Actor: Jeffrey Tambor, (Jeffrey Tambor)
S. Actress: Doris Roberts, (Cynthia Nixon)
All the miniseries wins will go to Angels in America (which they should), and The Amazing Race will be and should be the Reality Show Winner.
Live From NY, It's Ben Affleck. Again.
Saturday Night Live announces that Ben Affleck will host this season's premiere. Oh, Affleck. You can keep his square mug off a poster, but darned if that guy won't find a way into your home anyhow. He's tenacious.
Frankly, I'm disappointed in you, Lorne Michaels. How do you go from Bill Clinton to Ben Affleck? I mean, there's really only so many times I can marvel at his wicked Bahstahn accent, or notice how well-adjusted and over J.Lo he is. And I refuse to get excited about a Matt Damon cameo. Wow. They're friends, we get it.
Oh heck. Who am I kidding, I'll be watching. Maybe he'll convince Jennifer Garner to come on and then they can self-deprecatingly joke about being Bennifer Part Deux, and they'll be so cute and famous and interesting and oh God, here we go again....
Last night's episode of Nip/Tuck: possibly the most outrageous ever? Well, maybe not more outrageous than the threesome episode, but with an aborted FACE TRANSPLANT and some hot Adrian/"Mommy" (played by Famke Janssen) action, it's still quite high on the titillate-o-meter.
The only thing that would make this show better is if Matt (John Hensley) took his shirt off when he got angry. (And before you get all bothered, he's 27 in real life, not 17!) Also, I would love to see him in a historical drama. I'm picturing him in a tricorn hat or possibly fencing a la Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice. Swoon.
I wouldn't kick his non-biological dad Sean (played by Dylan Walsh) out of bed for eating crackers, either and after some IMDB sleuthing, I found out he was in the adorable, undervalued Molly Ringwald vehicle Betsy's Wedding ('90) and Loverboy ('89, starring Patrick Dempsey as a pizza boy turned gigolo).
Nothing says Fall like Fresh on the Frog
Much like school in the past, television marks the beginning of fall (isn't that a vaguely disturbing parallel), and in the Megan household, the season switch is now official. With the return of Everwood last night, I have begun the yearly surrender to my Tivo. What better way to start than with the angstiest show around?
As you may recall, Ephram has been in NYC, honing his piano skills, developing new ways to brood, and growing his hair into a respectable Braff-like style. He and Amy Abbott have finally started dating, putting smiles on both of their generally scowly teenaged faces. All this happiness, however, has come at a cost; Dr. Brown has sent away Ephram's ex-girlfriend Madison (who fell victim to last TV season's fondness for teen pregnancy) and is keeping her condition a secret from his son.
We have a glorious ten minutes of peace before this secret begins to rear its ugly head. Madison writes the good Doctor a letter, announcing that the deal is off. She's a loose cannon, and the only thing preventing her from unleashing the truth on this picturesque mountain town is a commitment to CBS's Dr. Vegas. Still, the fictional Doc doesn't know that and he begins to interpret Ephram's behavior as proof that he has been told about the love-child.
In reality, Ephram is mooning over something entirely different. He's been notified by Juilliard that his piano-playing (while very dramatic and well-shot) is just average. For him to improve he must give up everything, including time with Amy. Fie upon Berlanti/Liddell! We get but one episode of Amy and Ephram dating before they need to "take time off"? Can't anyone be loved in this quaint Colorado burg?
Yet, before I condemn all as clouds and rain, this episode provided the silver lining of Bright (whose down times are even up, thank God) as well as new addition Scott Wolf. Party of Five's lovable drunk has joined the show as a Los Angeles transplant with an apparently never ending supply of smiles and springy steps. One can only hope that his position as yet another Dr. (how many physicians can this place require?) in the town stays humorous and light, though the outlook is not terribly good.
Stay tuned next week for further mood swings and mayhem, as Amy and Ephram give their love another go, and Dr. Brown struggles with his secret.
Pull out your sweaters- there's a new TV nip in the air.
Jack and Bobby
Actor Matt Long of Jack and Bobby has officially stole my heart away from Chad Michael Murray.
Jack and Bobby premiered tonight. The story is of two brothers raised by a single authoritative woman. One boy will become the 51 President of the United States, but which one?
At first I thought it would be Jack (played by Matt Long). He's the popular cute older jock brother. Bobby's the weirdo misfit controlled by his mother. The trailer gave away the ending as to whom would become the President. Bobby asked Jack "Will I ever be cool ... Will I be cool if I hang out with you?" No, Jack replied.
But I changed my mind after seeing that trailer. I was right with my new theory, but saddened with the other surprise. We learned tonight that Jack will die before Bobby becomes our 51 President.
I love the characters already. I know what it's like to be Bobby, I grew up as a geek motived by my father to remain that way and proud of it. But I also know what it's like to be Jack. Jack's the guy I've always wanted to date and so he's the guy I've tried to become. (And on a less serious note: black hair, sideburns, and a square jaw line always made me weak. It's a flaw in me, and I'm ashamed to admit it. Those blue eyes of his aren't to shabby either.)
But perhaps it's because I'm not Jack that I really like him so much. I know it's soon, maybe too soon to feel so connected to both characters. But exactly 30 minutes into the show I felt the beginnings of a tear forming. So, yeah I'm hooked. I hate you WB.
Watch Jack and Bobby (and the whore) on the WB at 8/9pm.
Jennifer Coolidge on Joey
The best thing about the Friend's spin-off show Joey will be: Jennifer. Mega blond Jennifer Coolidge appears as Joey's agent. Rejoice!
MTV Video Music Awards' Winners
While the VMA's were Britney Spears free, rappers Jay-Z and OutKast walked away with the most MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday with four "Moon men" each.
And the winners were:
Video of the year: OutKast, "Hey Ya!"
Best pop video: No Doubt, "It's My Life"
Best rap video: Jay-Z, "99 Problems"
Best female video: Beyonce, "Naughty Girl"
Best male video: Usher featuring Lil' Jon & Ludacris, "Yeah!"
Best R&B video: Alicia Keys, "If I Ain't Got You"
Best rock video: Jet, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"
Breakthrough video: Franz Ferdinand, "Take Me Out"
Best director: Mark Romanek, "99 Problems"
Best special Effects: OutKast, "Hey Ya!"
Best art direction: OutKast, Hey Ya!"
Best editing: Jay-Z, "99 Problems"
Best cinematography: Jay-Z, "99 Problems"
Best choreography: Black Eyed Peas, "Hey Mama"
Best dance video: Usher, featuring Lil' Jon & Ludacris, "Yeah!"
Best hip-hop video: OutKast, "Hey Ya!"
Best group video: No Doubt, "It's My Life"
Best new artist in a video: Maroon 5, "This Love"
MTV2 award: Yellowcard, "Ocean Avenue"
Viewer's Choice: Linkin Park, "Breaking the Habit"
Check out Arjanwrites for photos and behind the scenes info from the awards.
Athlete of the Day: Elizabeth Callahan
She's a crazy woman � at age 52 � she's the oldest athlete in any sport at the Olympics. This is her third Olympics but she's been on the national shooting team for 16 years. Currently, she trains at a corrections facility in Washington, D.C.
But she's not today's Athlete of the Day because of her accomplishments � oh, no. She's today's athlete because of her choice painfully cookie tossing yet oddly inspiring choice in music. Rhapsody lists athletes favorite songs (or radio stations) on the NBC Olympic website. Here are her favorite songs, which truth be told, are as bad as her hair. Good luck, Elizabeth!
Olympic Torch Blows Out
It's raining here in Arizona which happens every year albeit infrequently, so of course the reporters are all over that shit.
"Hello Kim, this is Alfred reporting live from the Arizona Mills mall where there is rain coming down on cars. Some rain even drained off the side of the road and into a ditch."
Okay. Duh. Idiot. Rain isn't new.
But every now and then there's a pretty cool story. I was tired (or maybe drunk) but I swear I head them talking about the Olympic Torch burning out. Ha, ha. Has that ever happened? I thought the whole point of it is that it doesn't extinguish.
Can anyone corroborate this?
(Oh yeah, and it looks like a big 'ol blunt ... or a Bic pen.)
Janet Jackson To Guest Star on Will & Grace
The big Will & Grace news is that Janet Jackson will do a cameo on the second episode of the season, as herself. She's following in the footsteps of Cher, Sandra Bernhard, and Jennifer Lopez who all played themselves on the sitcom. Speaking of Jennifer Lopez, she's looking to guest star on another episode of Will & Grace to help her image, and promote her upcoming film Shall We Dance.
The DVD's for Season One, Season Two (guest stars: Molly Shannon, Sydney Pollack, Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins, and Neil Patrick Harris) and Season Three (guest stars: Woody Harrelson, Gregory Hines, Patrick Dempsey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Sandra Bernhard, and Molly Shannon) are now all out on DVD.
Do any of you out there in cyberspace (does anyone still call it that?) have one of those jackass friends who does something really mean just to be funny, but only ends up laughing by themselves while everyone else awkwardly stares at the sheer asshole-ishness of what they just did, and you just think in your mind how much you want to tackle them and scream in their face "Why in God's name would you do something like that, you insensitive motherf---er!?!"?
Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but I'm sure some of you have a friend who just acts like a jerk sometimes...
Anyway, my point is, I just saw The Village, and we all know that with M. Night Shyamalan, the Big Twist is what makes his movies kick-ass. But of course, that bastard friend of mine sees it before me.
We can all see where this is going. To make a long story short, I was pissed and praying to God that he was lying through his teeth. And I was really looking forward to this movie.
I may forgive, but I never forget...so beware Dave! You're next! I will exact my revenge upon your wretched soul someday! If I had completely understood The Manchurian Candidate, it would be the perfect vehicle for my dish that some say is best served cold, but I'm not paying another eight damn dollars to catch a few plot points I might have missed. Man...movies are expensive...
Moral of the rant: Don't be stingy and try to wait for a cheap matinee or the dollar theater. Just see the freakin' movie with everyone else so no one can ruin your weekend.
Wait a minute...what the hell does rant mean?
For those who enjoyed my Family Guy reference, be sure to check out the six minute pilot for Seth MacFarlane's new show American Dad, or as my good buddy Drew likes to call it, the bizarro world version of Family Guy.
I'm extremely excited about the news that Angela Bassett is joining the cast of Alias (no word on for how long). She's going to be the new director of the CIA, in a role that was originally written for a man. If anyone can take over that type of a role, it's Angela Bassett.
Six Feet Under is slowing getting better. Two weeks after the series low (David's torture episode), it has finally seemed to find some of it's missing humor. Much of this was due to the guest stars. Patricia Clarkson is always fantastic as Ruth's sister, Kathy Bates was in her prime, and I like Lisa's character dead.
I'm on the fence regarding Entourage. Some moments are quite funny, and some are just way off. Jeremy Piven is fantastic in the role of agent; he is scathing in the role. Kevin Dillon is a great parody of full of themselves up and coming actors. I think my big problem with the show is the Adrian Grenier, who plays Vince. I just don't see him suited for the hot actor; he just comes off as very annoying.
Playing It Straight's Jackie Picked a Straight One
The finale of Playing It Straight may never see the light of day, but FOX decided that we American's needed to know who Jackie picked.
Well, she ended up picking up Banks who happened to be straight. Which is good for the both of them, because they ended up splitting $1 million. The road was a tough one for Jackie, she constantly was breaking down, because it was too hard to determine who was gay and who wasn't. Kind of like in real life huh?
Here's the breakdown of who was gay and who was straight:
Alex -- Law student, Washington, DC
Bill -- Event promoter, Valley Glen, CA
Bradley -- Bartender, Pflugerville, PA
Chad -- Corporate communications, Austin, TX
Chris -- Retired entrepreneur, Atlanta, GA
Eddie -- School teacher, Miami, FL
John -- Bartender, Atlanta, GA
Lee -- Financial consultant, N. Huntington, PA
Luciano -- Personal trainer, Miami Beach, FL
Banks -- Software consultant, San Diego, CA
Gust -- Real estate agent, Chicago, IL
Louis -- Manager, brokerage firm, Fort Worth, TX
Ryan -- Waiter, Santa Monica, CA
Sharif -- Musician, Arlington, VA
Thanks to Arjan for the tip.
Big Brother 5's Scott, Jase, & Holly
Three of the most idiotic people on this earth are invading our living rooms three evenings a week. These three people deserve each other. Scott and Jase with their flat-ironed, t-shirt sleeve head-banded selves, and Holly - well she's just plain old stupid. This trio makes for some of the most amusing and, at the same time, most appalling television. Plus the inevitable mystery of what Julie Chen will be wearing during her sporadic appearances, makes this train wreck television.
Watch out Mensa. Three candidates are coming your way: Scott, Jase, and Holly. Sure, they may not be - what's the word? Oh yes - smart, but they THINK they're smart, and isn't that what really matters?
Okay, maybe Scott, Jase, and Holly are more likely to join a gym than an intellectual society, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching our trio of great thinkers plot and scheme their way through the veritable anti-Mensa that is Big Brother. Last night's episode featured some wonderfully inane babbling from the Ambiguously Gay Duo and their pet bubble, Holly, and while their brain cells squeezed out words, sentences and occasionally concepts, other members of the house descended on pliable Drew in an effort to change the course of the game. Amazingly, it worked. Sort of. [via TVGASM]
Fired CSI Actors, May Not Be Fired After All
Well, it does look like the network brass at CBS could be bumbling idiots.
Are C.S.I.'s casualties about to return from the dead?
Jorja Fox, axed last week from TV's top-rated drama, will return to the scene of the crime and rejoin the show, sources tell E! News Live. Fellow fired costar George Eads will stage a similar comeback--or so he hopes. Speaking to TV critics in Los Angeles Wednesday, Eads called his dismissal "a big misunderstanding," the Associated Press reported.
Fox was let go last Wednesday, it was said, because she had not met a CBS-imposed deadline pledging, in writing, to continue to report for work, ongoing contract hassles or no. The actress was said to be "mystified" by her firing, Variety said, because she believed she'd sent in her letter in time. E! News Live sources said the Fox matter was ruled a misunderstanding, clearing the way for her return.
Per various reports, Eads was fired last Thursday after failing to show up for work, or failing to show up to work on time. While CBS interpreted his tardiness as a negotiating tactic, Eads said it was simply a matter of missed alarm. "I overslept...I woke up white as a sheet three-and-a-half hours after I was supposed to be on the set," Eads said, per the Associated Press. [via E Online]
What's Happening To Six Feet Under?
While on his way home from retrieving a dead body David stops to help an attractive man, who claims that his car has run out of gas. Things turn suddenly ugly, when the man brutally attacks David outside of a convenient store and threatens to shoot him if he doesn't comply with his demands. The man makes David withdraw all of his money from an ATM, then has David help him buy crack and forces him to take it with him. The frightening ordeal lasts hours and ends with David alone in a deserted alley, lucky to be alive.
Does any of that not sound absurd. Just when we were finally done with Nate getting over his miserable self, we'll have David moaning about his miserable self for the rest of the season. What happened to the humor that was supposed to resurface this season. What's up with Rico and the stripper? Why won't Claire just shut up and get a life? When will Ruth finally find out her husbands a psycho?
I never thought I would say this, but Brenda is turning out to be the sanest character on the show. She's at least the most fun to watch.
It is clear that HBO produces the best shows on TV and they were acknowledged this morning during the Emmy nominations. Congrats to The Sopranos' James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Steve Buscemi, and Drea de Matteo; Sex In The City's Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, and Kristin Davis; Deadwood's Brad Dourif and Robin Weigert (but where's Ian McShane's nomination?); Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David; Something the Lord Made's Alan Rickman and Mos Def; ...Pancho Villa's Antonio Banderas; and Angels in America's Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk, Patrick Wilson, Ben Shenkman, and Jeffrey Wright.
Apparently Six Feet Under was ineligible this past year. Dunno why, but...
Queer Eye - Blimey Version
I saw the pilot of the UK show at Bravo last night, and I must say that they're more flamboyant than their US counterparts. Fashion-wise, the Wardrobe expert did a so-so job, but I wouldn't replace Carson for anything. The Interior designer is nowhere near close to the expertise of Mr. Thom Filicia. The Culture guy, I really don't know exactly his role there. But then again, I don't know what Jai's role either, so it's pretty much even. The culinary expert made tea for the guy. YUP! That really requires a culinary degree. Other than that, I think they can pull it off with a little bit of advice from the American queers. Believe me, I like everything European. They have the best fashion sense and an accent to die for! But, I believe they could've spiced it up a bit and not a copy-cat version of the US show. Well, I hope to see more episodes, but I think that will be the first and the last.
"Weezie's" Got a Better View
Isabel Sanford has died of natural causes at the age of 88. As 1981's Emmy winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for The Jeffersons, Sanford was the first--and, to date, only--black actress to be so honored.
Isabel Sanford was a Broadway actress for over thirty years before moving to Hollywood. She made numerous guest appearances in various to include recurring member on "The Carol Burnett Show." Isabel continues to act frequently, most recently in a series of commercials for Old Navy stores with "Jeffersons" co-star, Sherman Hemsley. She made several commercials for Nick-at-Nite as well when the cable channel premiered The Jeffersons. [via imdb]
Heaven On Earth
For me, it's no contest, but for those who don't particularly enjoy their local fireworks extravaganza, an excellent alternative tonight on ESPN at 7:00 p.m, Central Standard Time. The cross-town series finale, South Siders @ North Siders, Chicago White Sox @ Chicago Cubs. Anyone who likes a good baseball rivalry shouldn't miss it.
All I need tonight is a pool, a radio, and a tall frosty glass of whatever the hell I want.
Joan and Melissa Rivers Exit E!
And can now be found on the TV Guide Channel? I'm not exactly sure if this is good or bad news for the pair. Does anyone actually watch the TV Guide Channel? Who will replace the twosome? Surely, it can't be anyone currently at E!, a network with a great lack of exciting personalities. My suggestion would be, the train wreck that is Anna Nicole Smith. She would fuck up on air ten times as often as Joan would. That would be riveting TV.
Melissa Rivers made her final E! appearance Monday during a tearful Trendspotting segment for E! News Live. Joan Rivers' final appearance came post-Oscars (news - web sites) in March. E! described the Riverses' joint decision to leave as an amicable one.
"We will miss their humor and spirited outlook on the worlds of entertainment and fashion, and wish them all the best of luck and success in their new endeavors," Mark Sonnenberg, executive vice president of entertainment for E! Networks, said in a statement. (E! Online is a division of E! Networks.) [via E! Online]
Thanks for the tip Arjan!
The Return of Graham Norton
If you're not familiar with Graham Norton, make yourself familiar. He's one of the most hilarious people on the planet. His previous talk show was shown on BBC America here in the US. It will be interesting to see how his new show, The Graham Norton Effect differs from it's British counterpart.
The show debuts this Thursday, June 24 at 9 p.m. central time, on Comedy Central.
An unabashed queer eye for haute couture, Norton has been named GQ's "worst-dressed man" for two consecutive years. "Isn't it just wrong?" he says, pointing to an ad with a long-haired Adonis in a dizzyingly colorful sports coat.
"I really think it's the gay thing," Norton snickers. "All of these supposedly heterosexual fashion editors at GQ and Esquire say Orlando Bloom or David Beckham is the best-dressed man. "But what they're really saying is that they fancy them, because all they're wearing is jeans and a T-shirt. I don't think they hate me because I'm gay. I think they hate me because I'm not beautiful." [via CNN]
This show will be a much needed boost to the summer view doldrums.
Nip/Tuck Premiere, Season Two
�The world is our oyster and we�re going to chase the bitch with a champagne chaser.� Playboy Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) says in tonight�s season premiere of Nip/Tuck. Full of gore and violence, the episode also features Aisha Tyler from Friends who seems to be unhappy with her clitoris. But that�s not what got me interested. I�m happy to find that Nip/Tuck will be shown without any commercials thanks to XM Satellite Radio. FX is trying so hard to be in the prime time spotlight. Here�s to a good show that pushes the boundaries of acceptance free from FCC fines. Cheers!
Season one is now available on DVD. Enter to win $10,000, a home makeover, a Hawaii spa retreat for two, or a New York trip for two with shopping money included at the official Nip/Tuck website. Good luck.
Now tell me, what is it that you don�t like about yourself?
THE LOVE BELOW
Wallowing Widowers! Scheming Strippers! Pissed-off Performance Artists! Banal Bodyguards! Naked Neighbors! Blood-filled Basements! Pacifying Plumbers! Fed Ex-ed Feces!
Episode 2 in the fourth season of Six Feet Under proved that we're in for an interesting summer, kids... Mayhaps I'll strap a water cooler to my side and walk around the city talking to any and everyone who watches HBO.
Mayhaps I will.
Which Simple Life Girl Are You?
Figuring out if you're the Nicole Richie or Paris Hilton of your friends can be difficult. This quiz will help you find out which one you truly are. Keep track of how many first (A) or second (B) answers you have, this will determine if you're the whore or the instigator.
- Your daily hour of shopping ends with a credit card bill sent to
daddy for the following amount:
- When giving fashion advice to a friend you say:
- Those would be great to hitchhike in if we run out of gas!
- Will you please model your chaps for us? Just the chaps, with nothing under them.
- How would your humble group of millionaire friends describe you?
- The narcissistic pretty one.
- The fun one with the amazing personality.
- Your fashion faux-paux for the week is wearing:
- Mermaid regalia. The bra makes your boobs look big.
- A Juicy couture track suit. It's super comfortable.
- Just before going to bed you say this to your best friend:
- Good night, bitch.
- Good night, bitch.
- You're already famous for being famous. Which of the following
best describes your current career track?
- Most censored butt crack on television and avid poop scooper.
- Professional fundraiser through street walking/grass-roots organizing
- Your phrase of the day is:
- That's hot.
- That's sexy.
- What's your dog's name?
Mostly (A) first answers: You're hot, you know it and you flaunt it. Daddy has tons of money, you don't worry about much except how people will react to your new outfit. It's a good thing you capitalize on your outer beauty now, it might not last forever. Plus, your friends look to you to find a place to hang out at night. You're fashion addicted personality is the perfect Paris Hilton match.
Mostly (B) second answers: Your friends rely on your smarts to get them through tough times. The only downside is that you need a pretty friend to put you in the spotlight. Your outgoing personality and seemingly endless supply of catch phrases makes you the Nicole Richie of your group.
Blow Out is going to be quite entertaining. Jonathan, the owner of the salon, is quite full of himself. Big egos seem to be all around in the salon, which looks as if it is going to lead to major tensions.
While Jonathan is quite full of himself, he doesn’t come off as a slime ball, like Rocco from The Restaurant did. It’s understandable that he’s demanding of the people who work for him, because it’s his name and money on the line. The only issue seems to be that he’s seems to be alienating his employees because he can’t handle the pressure of opening a new business.
Alicia seems like a spoiled bitchy brat.
Tish is the evil one.
Brandon is the biker self-involved idiot. He really should listen to himself to hear how ridiculous he sounds.
Jason is the peace keeper.
Michael is the quite one, and a queen who thinks he's superior to everyone else.
Jenn is my favorite. Seemingly has it together. She says it like it is, but not too quick to judge.
Kimberly is the sweet one, but I have a feeling she's not one to be messed with.
Bring on the drama.
The Simple Life: Road Trip
The girls are back. After viewing the first two episodes, they obviously haven’t learned anything from their first outing. They are still vapid, rude, ignorant, and as irresponsible as ever. Apparently, everything is “hot” according to Nicole and Paris.
Many of the incidents are obviously staged. First off why did the producers take away all of their money? They new the girls would be going through the toll way. It was proven that Nicole would do okay as a homeless person; she was able to get enough money for the tolls and gas.
The show did prove one thing. Paris and Nicole are perfection when it comes to taking advantage of people. Don’t waste your time. The novelty has worn off.
The Surreal Life 3 - Return of the D-List
Just when you thought the madness was over, it returns. The show will be debuting this fall on VH1, as opposed to it's old home The WB.
It's cast is compromised of seven wonderous D-List celebrities. We've got former New Kid on the Block, Jordan Knight, rapper Flavor Flav, ex-Full House-er Dave Coulier, former American Idol contestant Ryan Starr, one of Sylvester Stallone's ex-wives, Brigitte Nielsen and Charo.
The Surreal Life is scheduled to premiere on VH1 Sunday, Sept. 5.
Six Feet Under Season Premiere
The season debut of Six Feet Under picked up exactly where the finale of last season ended. Which is a good and a bad thing. It was quite a heavy episode due to the fact that it finally wrapped up Lisa’s death. Which is a good thing, because Nate was beginning to become quite unlikable, despite the fact that you felt for him in his grieving process. I perceived the trouble he was having with Lisa dying, was due to the fact that he really felt guilty, because he really didn’t love her (or felt as if he didn’t love her as much as he should have).
My hopes for the season are that Ruth acts sane this season (she was pretty out of it all last season), Claire should not date this season and find herself, Keith should pick a personality and go with it, David should be guilt free, Frederico should keep being Frederico, and Brenda should date Justin Theroux’s character.
2004 MTV Movie Awards
One of PCJ's favorite writers, Arjan, has all the details, gossip and photos from the 2004 MTV Movie Awards. You can catch the ceremony on MTV during any of the 60 times it will be airing the show in the next week.
I love Ellen. We used to watch reruns in the evening of Will & Grace and Everybody Loves Raymond. It was getting to the point that they were getting old real fast. So we decided to Tivo Ellen in the morning and watch the episodes at night.
Her humor is just very light, smart and to the point. She just makes me giggle. I’m not real enthused about the dancing segments, but the rest of the show is just enjoyable. She says things to her guest that no one else could really get away with. Like calling Brittany Murphy a liar for saying she could speak at six months.
You can tell that she completely loves what she’s doing, and the audience loves her as well. The only criticism about the show is that it has had way too many small segments lately, which leaves little time for her interviews with her guests. Although, certain segments like the Riff Raff Raffle, and the time in which she announced this kids name seven times throughout the show, are just plain funny.
Welcome back Ellen.
Season Finale Sunday
Despite the actual television season being over, a few series have their finale's this coming Sunday. First off is Arrested Development. Now FOX had originally aired the second to last episode as the finale, but it's actually wasn't the finale. Hence, the airing of the actual episode this Sunday.
Crossing Jordan also finally revisits the season cliffhanger from last season: who killed Jordan's mother? I don't watch the show, so I have no clue.
Finally, The Sopranos end their next to last season at 8 p.m. Who will get whacked?
I've actually stopped watching a TV show. This rarely happens. The only time in recent memory was when Lindsey committed murder on The Practice and Bobby was yelling every week.
The Restaurant has become unbearable, and there is only one episode left. I could only bear to watch the first out of the two episodes that aired this past Saturday night (I Tivoed them and watched last night). Rocco is probably one of the slimiest people on earth. Why he ever agreed to do this second season is beyond me. I actually was beginning to root for Jeffrey, who while doesn't come off quite as badly as Rocco does, he doesn't fare much better.
Yuck. Shut the place down and move on people.
I'm happy that early buzz on Desperate Housewives is good, mainly because of the fact that ABC is denying me my Alias until January.
Here's a teaser from ABC's site:
Looking down on her friends and family isn't a way of life for Mary Alice Scott. It's a way of death. One day, in her perfect house, in the loveliest of suburbs, Mary Alice ended it all. Now she's taking us into the lives of her family, friends and neighbors, commenting from her elevated POV. Her husband's acting suspicious, the neighbors are talking, and her girlfriends are wondering why one of their own would do something so rash… and so messy.Ain't It Cool News Review excerpt:
The pilot reminds me of a mix between something in the vein of American Beauty and Twin Peaks minus the midgets, giants and other oddities. The pilot begins with Sheryl Lee killing herself (again, Sheryl is dead in the first episode just like Twin Peaks), she narrates the rest of the episode which follows the other "Housewives" around the town during her funeral and the week or so afterwards. The wives are stereotypical; one is a single mother, one married for money and cheating with the gardener, another wants to be Donna Reed and thinks she has the perfect marriage and one had a high profile job and quit to have a never ending stream of kids (which she seems to regret). At face value I would have blown this show off and never given it the chance, but it truly is the gem of ABC's fall lineup. One would think a show surrounding a funeral would be quite morose, but the cast and writers bring an air of quirkiness that I haven't seen in a long time.
24 Cast Member Changes
It will be interesting to see how the finale plays out, in terms of giving us clues as to what will happen to the characters who are being bumped to recurring status.
Several series regulars were recently informed that their options would not be picked up for next season, a publicist for the Fox show confirmed Monday.
Among the outgoing: Reiko Aylesworth (Michelle Dessler) and James Badge Dale (Chase Edmunds), who got the bad news before attending a Fox party after the network's upfront presentation to advertisers last Thursday, according the Hollywood Reporter.
Joining them on the unemployment line will be 24 vet Carlos Bernard (news) (Tony Almeida), last seen about to face treason charges and a possible death sentence for breaking protocol to save his kidnapped wife, played by Aylesworth.
Elisha Cuthbert is expected to be downgraded to recurring cast member next season to concentrate on her burgeoning film career. Most recently, she played a former porn star in The Girl Next Door.
Read the full article.
Alias Season Finale Semi-Let Down
While it wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst ever. However, if ABC is making us wait until 2005 for new episodes, we should have been given a better sendoff.
How is this project that Sydney wasn't supposed to ever know about going to be any different than Project Christmas? The writers didn't give us quite enough to make the last scene that dramatic. I know J.J. Abrams said that he wants to take the show to back what it was this next season, a just really hope this doesn't alter the great dynamic that Sydney and Jack have now.
What was up with the prosthetic masks? Did that reek of a cheap TV Movie or what? I've read posting from other people who liked them, but to me it just seemed so cheesy.
We didn't have enough Sloane. I thought the finale would be a set up for next season of good dad and daughter against possibly evil dad and daughter. I did enjoy the twist that Nadia altered the drawings.
Vaughn did have some great lines with Lauren. Loved "Hi, honey," after he knocked her out. Lauren's not dead. She fell into the hole after being shot five times, but you know she's not dead. Katya Derevko probably pulled her out of the hole and saved her. This can only mean good things for next year, a pissed off Lauren means a interesting Lauren.
One last bitch about it. There is no way that Vaughn could have gone after Sydney after being stabbed by that. He would haven't even made it to the bottom of the hospital stairs, let alone down a mountain.
The Fall TV Season: Part Two
FOX programming executives are either brilliant, or the have no idea what the fuck they are doing. I'm all for having original programming year round, but releasing three schedules is just plain confusing. Knowing it's FOX, the actual schedules don't mean a thing. Also, fall programming, means programming beginning in the fall, so what's with the June to October schedule. Isn't that really FOX's summer programming (and the summer schedule is pilfered with "encore episodes" of all the new shows). At least they're bringing back Arrested Development. Let's break it down to the three schedules.
June to October 2004
Strongest Hit Contender: The Casino (conceived by Mark Burnett of Survivor and The Apprentice fame)
Strongest Bomb Contender: North Shore (this summers' The OC)
Possible Cult Hit: Method & Red (Method Man and Redman play fictional versions of themselves)
November 2004 to January 2005
Strongest Hit Contender: House (a bitter doctor and his hand-picked team do whatever it takes to diagnose vicious medical conditions)
Strongest Bomb Contender: Billionaire (FOX's The Apprentice rip off)
Possible Cult Hit: The Next Great Champ (boxing is back)
January to June 2005
Strongest Hit Contender: Athens (from the creator ot the OC)
Strongest Bomb Contender: Jonny Zero (come on, for the title alone)
Possible Cult Hit: The Inside (22-year-old federal agent has to balance her career with high school when she goes undercover as a teenager)
Not much to say about UPN. The only thing to watch on that network is America's Next Top Model (we'll get two chances to do that this fall. They have only three new shows for the fall, so the following choices should be easy.
Strongest Hit Contender: The Second Time Around (A comedy with very a attractive African American cast)
Strongest Bomb Contender: Veronica Mars (she leads a double life as a 17-year-old high school student leads a double life as an apprentice to the town private investigator)
Possible Cult Hit: Kevin Hill (Taye Diggs plays and entertainment lawyer)
Six Feet Under Returns
. . . and not soon enough.
(Via LA Confidential)
24 Killed Off Sherry
I'm semi-shocked. She was the perfect villian. 24 has killed off both female uber-villians. First Nina and now Sherry. Story wise, the writers kind of boxed themselves into a corner with Sherry. Her whole storyline this season was quite far fetched. I never quite understood how her fingerprints on a bottle of medicine would prove that she was responsible for someone's death.
The show has been otherwise great since the virus was released in the hotel. I've thoroughly enjoyed the evolution of Michelle's character from drone to a woman who you wouldn't want to mess with. The usage of Kim has been kept to a minimum which is always a good thing. Loving the bad guy Saunders.
I'm very interested to see what they do next fall for the fourth season. We'll have to wait until January 2005 to find out though.
The Fall TV Season Part One
I will only comment on the networks which have release their fall schedules: ABC, NBC, CBS, and The WB.
First and foremost we must address the Alias issue.
The most surprising move in new ABC Primetime Entertainment President Stephen McPherson's fall schedule, which was unveiled Monday at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York during the network's annual upfront presentation: no Alias. The butt-kickin' spy drama starring Jennifer Garner (news) will instead stay off the air until January, when its fourth season will unspool, sans reruns.
In Alias' Sunday night time slot this fall: Desperate Housewives, a soapy drama about a suburban wife (Twin Peaks' Sheryl Lee (news)) who kills herself, but continues to watch over the Knots Landing-ish shenanigans of her cul-de-sac neighbors. Melrose Place and General Hospital writer Charles Pratt Jr. produces the show, which also stars former Melrose baddie Marcia Cross (news), Lois & Clark's Teri Hatcher (news), Sports Night's Felicity Huffman (news) and Eva Longoria (Dragnet and The Young and the Restless). [E Online]
While a full uninterrupted season of Alias is wonderful; I disagree with holding the show off until January. As a network, wouldn't you want an established cult hit to debut as part of your regular season. To me it seems as if the network, while giving the show a full season pick up, doesn't have much faith in it.
Strongest Hit Contender: The Practice: Fleet Street (Get rid of The Practice from the title though) and Lost (by J.J. Abrams - Creator of Alias)
Strongest Bomb Contender: Life As We Know It (Three boys learn how to become men.)
Possible Cult Hit: Desperate Housewives (It stars Sheryl Lee, Teri Hatcher, and Marcia Cross.)
I have to say that the seven new shows that NBC announced really don't excite me. I think Joey will end up doing okay, but they don't have a buzz show.
Strongest Hit Contender: LAX (I'm going out on a limb here, but Heather Locklear's in it.)
Strongest Bomb Contender: Revelations (A nun and a scientist try and stop the coming Armageddon.)
Possible Cult Hit: Father of the Pride (CGI effects meld with celebrity vocal talent for this comedy about a pride of Las Vegas lions and their animal friends.)
CBS only has five new shows debuting, while playing it very safe.
Strongest Hit Contender: CSI:NY (Da. And CBS puts it up against Law and Order on Wednesday nights.)
Strongest Bomb Contender: Clubhouse (It just sounds plain boring.)
Possible Cult Hit: Dr. Vegas (Rob Lowe as a gambling, womanizing, casino doctor.)
It brings to the slate six new shows, and probably the weakest new line up so far.
Strongest Hit Contender: Jack & Bobby (It's getting good pre-buzz. One of the two kids grows up to be President.)
Strongest Bomb Contender: Studio 7 (A pop culture quiz shows in which the contestants are also roommates in a deluxe New York apartment. So what.)
Possible Cult Hit: There's really nothing there.
No New Alias Until 2005
That's right. So savor the season finale this coming Sunday the 23rd.
Sunday will open with "America's Funniest Home Videos" at 7 p.m., followed by "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m., freshman drama "Desperate Housewives" -- one of this year's most talked-about new shows -- will move into the slot previously reserved for "Alias," which will return to that slot some point at midseason. At 10 p.m., David E. Kelley's "Practice" spinoff, "The Practice: Fleet Street," moves in to its progenitor's old time slot.All I have to say is that Desperate Housewives better be damn good.
Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay
FOX once again sinks to another low. Hasn't the network learned anything from Playing It Straight? Just because America seems to embrace the Queer Eye guys and Will & Grace, that doesn't mean that any thing with Gay in the title will work. What demographic is this show appealing to? Somehow I don't think that straight guys will want to watch this show, and there's too much cringe factor for gay people to watch it.
Let the high jinxs begin.
Reality TV Heaven
Get ready for a great big dose of cheesy reality fun tonight. Over at American Idol we finally have disco night, this will give the remaining women a chance to belt out to their hearts content. Simon will consider most of the performances kareokee, Paula will love them all, and Randy just won't feel some of them. We know were gonna hear "I Will Survive" and I'm betting on "Last Dance" since Donna Summer is the guest judge.
Over at UPN, we've got an update of America's Next Top Model: The Runway Ahead. We get to catch up with Yoanna, see if Shandi's back at Walgreens, find out how Mercedes' battle with Lupus, see what trouble Camille has gotten herself into, will Catie still be crying, and so much more. Also, there will be a heavy dose on what Tyra's been up to. Although it would be more interesting to find out what Janice Dickison's been up to.
TV Free Sunday!
Yes I did it. I actually made an entire day without watching television program. How did I spend my day you ask? Other than running a few errands, and going to a restaurant for dinner, my day was spent on the computer (my other obsession). That will all change tonight, because we get to witness the sad decline of Rocco DiSpirito on an all new episode of The Restaurant.
The Friends Finale
I don't think I've written about Friends before, so I'm not going to start now. USA Today summed it up pretty well.
The Friends finale averaged 29.2/42, with about 51 million total viewers, at 9 p.m. (By comparison, about 76 million people watched the last Seinfeld in 1998).
What's much more interesting is what the writers had to say about some of the Friends cast members. This is taken from the lawsuit that has been filed against the writers (courtesy of The Smoking Gun).
A Pissed Off Vaughn
Alias had another great episode, yes it was the buildup to the finale, but great nonetheless. There was one strange moment in the episode. Vaughn came up to Sydney at the beginning of the episode and asked her if they can start over, and Sydney said, “I don’t know.” Was the acting in that scene extremely wooden or what.
Anyway, seeing Vaughn pissed off was kind of fun, and it looks like he’s going to go to the extreme in the season finale. Wouldn’t there be some type of internal investigation once it was found out that Lauren was a spy? Obviously Lauren is not going to die, but it looks like Vaughn is going to get some serious revenge. Sark needs Lauren as a sidekick; they’re perfect together.
I was happy to see Isabella Rosallini back. She’s got the bad/naughty thing down well. A must give Alias kudos for bringing back characters. Seeing evil Dr. Lee, not being really so evil was a treat. Vivica Fox was great in her scene with Marshall, but then underused for the rest of the episode.
So Sloane really does care for his daughter. Now that Sloane is on the run and the CIA has Nadia aka The Passenger, I’m curious as to where things are going to go from here. There has to be a big twist that we aren’t expecting. I’m hoping Irina shows up, that would make the episode for me.
SNL Giggle Fit
The Debbie Downer Sketch was probably the funniest thing that SNL has done all season, and only because of the fact that all the actors in the scene lost it to the giggles.
Arrested Development Finale
It could be the end of the series. Please please watch. I want at least one of my favorite new shows to come back next year. Tonight on FOX at 8:30 Central Time.
Alias & 24
As the season is winding down, these shows are getting damn good.
On Alias, it looks like Vaughn is going to get his ass whipped by Lauren, now that she knows he knows. Questions abound over Sydney's sister - The Passenger. Will she be evil? With Sloane and Irina as parents my guess would be she's going to be very evil. Loved the Sloane execution scene. Well done and convincing, but I thought he wouldn't die due to the stuff he's been injecting himself with, not because Jack spiked the wine. So many good things to come.
24 is over it's awkward period, the middle of the season, and is now picking up steam. I have not seen last nights episode yet (still Tivoed), so these comments are related to the Sunday night episode. Michele has become a great character since she's has been in the hotel. She was too wimpy back at CTU. It looks like the writer's are giving Kim a story line. Brace yourself, it could go either way. Saunders is the perfect evil Bond. What was the most disturbing about the whole episode was Jack's execution of Chappelle. That was really a creepy last scene. Semi Spoiler Alert - Don't read the next line if you don't want to know. There's supposedly one more mole in CTU. I'm hoping it's Chloe (please get rid of her), but I'm thinking it may turn out to be Michele (she hasn't shown any symptoms yet).
Bill Rancic Wins The Apprentice
The outcome wasn't surprising after watching what unfolded amongst the two final contestants. Although I do think that Bill had the easier of the two jobs. Anytime an entertainer is the focus of an event, things are bound two go wrong.
Kwame's downfall was Omarosa (for the most part). She lied about things that happened twice, she wasn't communicating with the other team members at all, and she apparently doesn't really know what is appropriate and non-appropriate behavior. Kwame's management style is laid back, and hands off; the type I prefer. Bill would drive me crazy with his micromanaging. Although I think Kwame may have been a little too soft on his staff. A few people needed to be put in place after their screw ups.
Bill's coming back to Chicago to oversee the Trump Tower here. I'm assuming his role will be more micromanaged than Bill could ever imagine. Kwame won't be hurting for job prospects. As scary as this seems Omarosa may be back for the next installment of The Apprentice. Let's actually hope not. I don't think viewers need a planted villain; let one emerge on it's own.
Does anyone really understand what the Passenger is? I’m assuming it will be either Sydney’s mother or sister, but what is the purpose of the Passenger? What is Lauren’s Mom’s role in all this? Why did the doctor want to kill Sydney? Is Sydney in danger from the Passenger? If the doctor had a panic room, why was there another way in and out (the vent)?
A few Alias comments. An evil Lauren is a good Lauren. Do not mess with Jack Bristow. Vaughn is going to be PISSED when he finds about Lauren and Sark. Vaughn looked hot in the punker outfit.
Wonderfalls DVD Petition
Let's at least get the episodes released on DVD folks.
Thanks to 6togo for making me aware of this.
I can't believe it (actually I can - FOX has never done well on Friday nights, and then it put it on the ultra competative Thursday nights). After four episodes and two time periods it's gone. How does FOX expect a show to gain a following in such a short amount of time? Producer Tim Minear posted the announcement on his sight.
In an article on the cancellation with Zap2it, he even goes as far to tell fans not to bother with writing to FOX about saving the show (it will never happen). He says fans should concentrate on the studio where it's produced, 20th Century FOX.
So let the campaining begin. Here's who you've got to contact:
Mr. Gary Newman and Ms. Dana Walden
Twentieth Century Fox Television
10201 West Pico Blvd
Building 88, Room 29
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Here's and online petition to save the show.
Karen Sisco Alert!
If you liked Karen Sisco, or never got to see Karen Sisco, get your butt on over to the USA Network, and see three unaired episodes of the series. This excellent cancelled ABC series (they gave us the shitty Kingdom Hospital instead), gets a new life thanks to USA.
Take a look. You'll thank me for it.
Tues. April 6 12:30 AM "Justice"
Wed. April 7 10:00 PM "No One's Girl" (Never Aired)
Tues. April 13 12:30 AM "Nostalgia"
Wed. April 14 10:00 PM "He Was A Friend Of Mine" (Never Aired)
Tues. April 20 12:00 AM "Dear Derwood"
Tues. April 27 1:00 AM "Nobody's Perfect"
Jay Leno: The $100 Million Man
I have one thing to ask. Why? Who finds him funny? Five more years of Jay polluting the airwaves.
Alias Is Back on Track
Last night’s episode of Alias was amazing. There were a few questionable things this episode, such as Sark escaping from the plane. There seemed to be no concern to catch his accomplice. I also, want to know why they introduced Lauren Reed’s father? Hopefully there will be a point for the introduction of this character. One other quibble; I find it hard to believe that Lauren could process the framing of Sloane from her computer in the CIA which is stationed out in the open.
Regardless, it was a fantastic episode. Dixon finally had something to do! This was basically another one of those set up episodes. First of all, the Rimbaldi box with Irina’s name engraved. With the rumor of Lena Olin coming back for one episode – this makes this revelation very exciting. Also, Jack putting together the fact that Sark and Lauren both uttered, “Not if I see you first my love” (or something to that effect).
The setup to the downfall of Lauren is finally in place. It will be interesting to see what the buildup will be to the season’s finale. Will it have something to do with who Sydney’s father is? Rimbaldi? Lauren? Sloane’s serum that he was injecting?
Wonderfalls Is Wonderful
Wonderfalls is like a hipper Joan of Arcadia (I’ve never seen Joan of Arcadia – so I’m guessing). Our heroine, Jaye Tyler played effectively by Carolne Dhavernas, is an unmotivated college graduate who works as a cashier in a Niagra Falls gift shop. Instead of being talked to by God, Jaye is spoken to by objects such as a wax lion. These objects give her hints to do things that in turn end up helping other people (which tend to have a comical subtext to them). She is obviously bothered by the fact that she’s hearing inanimate objects speak to her. It will be interesting to see how this aspect is handled throughout the unfolding of the episodes. There will have to be some acceptance of this phenomenon; otherwise she may end up just accepting the fact that she’s possibly crazy.
The supporting characters in this show are great. Diana Scarwid is hilarious as the uptight and wired mother. The actor who plays the EPS Delivery man, (I haven’t been able to find out who plays him) is perfect in his role as the slightly over-sensitive, kind of clueless, everyday All-American Man. He finds out in the debut episode that his wife left him for another woman. His scene after the pen-induced tracheotomy was hilarious. Jaye’s sister, played by Katie Finneran , is played effectively as a wound up and sexually frustrated lesbian (we find this out in the first episode also – with no judging by our title character – just acceptance of the fact that she’s a lesbian). Her father and brother are only in one short scene, albeit a hilarious one (her father asks her if she’s had an orgasm lately).
There’s the obligatory best friend, aka token non-white character, as well as the love interest that was hinted at in this debut episode. Tyron Leitso who plays the potential new boyfriend is like every other boyfriend on FOX – slightly scruffy & burned by a previous relationship. He reminds me of David Conrad, who plays Michael on Miss Match (when is that coming back).
FOX has been promoting the show pretty extensively, but it’s in a time of death time slot: 7 p.m. Friday nights. FOX has never had a hit in this time slot. Once again, despite great critical reviews, the show received meager ratings (just like FOX’s own Arrested Development). I can never understand how crap like Hope & Faith can get buffo ratings and the good stuff flounders.
Projects In the Works
From the Pages of Variety & Hollywood Reporter
Michelle Williams is being lassoed to star in Ang Lee's cowboy love story "Brokeback Mountain" for Focus Features. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are starring, while James Schamus, Michael Costigan, Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry are producing. Adapted by McMurtry and Ossana from a short story by "The Shipping News" scribe E. Annie Proulx, the story centers on two men (Ledger and Gyllenhaal) who meet one summer as sheepherders in Wyoming and form a bond and love that spans 20 years. The film tracks that time period and their evolving relationship. Williams would play Ledger's wife, Alma, who has to deal with her husband's secret love. "Brokeback" is slated to shoot in May.
Law & Order
Gotham Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrapped shooting Wednesday for his network primetime debut: playing himself for an upcoming episode of "Law & Order" set in City Hall.
Gary Oldman has inked to play Lt. James Gordon in "Batman Begins," director Christopher Nolan's take on the Caped Crusader, which has now started production in Iceland for Warner Bros. Pictures.
Bryan Singer is ready to run. The filmmaker is in negotiations to develop and direct "Logan's Run" for Warner Bros. Pictures. Singer is producing the project with Joel Silver. Originally a book by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, the novel takes place in a youth-obsessed future society where residents are euthanized as soon as they turn 21. The story centers on Logan, a police officer whose job it is to track down those who run from their fate. But with his 21st birthday fast approaching, he decides to run as well and search for Sanctuary, a fabled place where older folks live.
George Clooney HBO Project
Section Eight partners George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh have begun work on their next series for HBO. Pay cabler has ordered five half-hours of an untitled improv comedy revolving around a trio of struggling actors trying to make it big in Hollywood.
Lifetime has renewed "1-800 Missing" for a second season of 13 episodes, but the network is replacing lead actor Gloria Reuben with Vivica A. Fox ("Kill Bill,""Soul Food").
Average Joe Isn't Chosen Again
This looks like it will be the last of the Average Joe shows, because the girl has picked hot guy and not the average joe both times now. On both series, the hot guy is pretty, but oh so so so bland. Gil had no personality whatsoever, He barely talked, and when he did, it wasn't ever anything of substance.
I would have thought that when he answered her question of "what do you expect to happen from all of this," he answered that he wants to be an actor. Red flag. It should have been over right then and there. On both shows, the beautiful woman talks about the connection that she has with the hot guy. The connection is that they are both hot.
Brian had it all. He was open and honest with his feelings, he showed Marissa things that he really cared about (Fenway Park). Did you notice that on both shows, the average joe is the only one to introduce the girl to his friends?
What was up with the ending of the show? The big secret was that Larissa dated Fabio. Okay yes, it does go to show why she picked Gil over Brian, looks over substance, but I have no idea of why Gil was so upset over this. They showed him leaving his winning three day vacation with Larissa, and her in tears. Then, this morning of the Today show, we find out that Gil and Larissa are still together.
One last thing. They should have filmed the last elimination ceremony differently. Why show who wins first, and let us all feel crappy for Brian the last 15 minutes of the show. Why not intersperse, the two together, where she's going back and forth between the two, so we don't know until the very end who she picks.
It just made for a bad, bad finale.
This posting can also be read at Blogcritics.org.
Sex and the City: The Finale
The pre-show was actually very well done. I thought that the women, as well as the major supporting players, except for Stanford, were represented quite well. It was fun seeing the memorable moments and highlights from the first six seasons. I have to say that I shed more tears during that than I did during the finale.
That said on to Part Deux.
Overall the episode was actually quite mediocre, and quite a heavy episode at that, sans the great ending. We all knew from what had transpired in Part Une, that Carrie was not going to end up with the Russian. That point was cemented during Carrie’s dinner with the Russian’s ex-wife. He will never be what Carrie wants him to be. Career for him is first, and love is comes in second. In the scene that Carrie comments on how fantastic the restaurant was, the Russian’s ex-wife commenting that it used to be. This was meant to show how out of place Carrie was in Paris. If Carrie had been in New York City, she would have known the current “status” of the restaurant.
Then there were the three unnecessary things that happened to Carrie in this episode – her stepping in shit, the French girl hitting her on the head, and the Russian accidentally slapping her. The shit scene was just plain low. Being hit on the head by the little girl was more unneeded imagery (not even a knock on the head can "knock" some sense into Carrie). Showing Carrie get slapped, even if accidental, was just wrong. The connotations of a slap, accidental or not, are just so negative that it ruined the scene. We knew how Carrie felt because of how she expressed her feelings to the Russian; we didn’t need a slap to seal the deal. Even if the slap was an excuse for the necklace, that she got from the Russian, to break (i.e. Paris is over), it was not needed.
Then there were the obvious moments that turned out almost too corny. Carrie finding her “Carrie” necklace (i.e. New York City is where she belongs). Also, the scene in which big is sitting in his limo, and Carrie is facing the other way trying to hail a cab – please. It was enough that he walked into the hotel, when she was trying to switch rooms or check out (I was a little confused).
Moving onto the other characters.
We knew that Charlotte would somehow end up with a baby. I predicted wrongly that she would become pregnant. It was nice to see her husband worried about it more that Charlotte for a change. Major detriment to the storyline was the couple whom they were trying to get a baby from. Why make them be backwoods Southerners? It could have been anyone who backed out of deciding not wanting to give up their baby, why make the couple cartoon characters?
Over the last few episodes we’ve seen Miranda soften somewhat. We know that she really does love Steve and the baby. The abundance of Anne Meara in Miranda’s scenes was a bit jarring. The fact that she told Steve that his mother could live with them was huge enough – showing her capacity too love and be caring – that we didn’t need the rest of the Anne Meara storyline. I was happy to see Magda in the picture though – she was a great-underused asset to the show. I really wish they had shown more of Miranda and Steve.
I predicted a wrong storyline ending here also; I thought there would be an engagement. The relationship between Samantha and Smith, has given the show some of its most romantic gestures (Smith shaving his head with Samantha). We knew that Samantha couldn’t be a slut forever, and her transformation has been probably the best written of the storylines this season. Samantha’s all ready to let Smith go on location, and have as much sex as he wants, because Samantha has no sex drive do to the chemo. Smith is devoted to Samantha – he sees her potential for loving more than she does. The scene in which she receives the flowers from Smith was extremely touching (I’m welling up as I’m typing this). Samantha ending up in love, and the writer’s ability to make it not seem contrived, was a perfect ending.
The last couple of scenes were my favorite part of the episode. Carrie writing on her computer, her surprising the girls at the restaurant, the women walking down the street, finding out that Big’s name was John, and Carrie walking away down the streets of New York City was perfect. Carrie's fitting last words were: "Well, that's just fabulous."
One quick comment in regards to finding out Big’s name being John. I’ve spoken to quite a few people about that moment – and everyone had the same reaction. For two seconds you’re wondering if Carrie has a new man, but then you realize it’s Big. Genius.
This posting can also be read at Blogcritics.org.
A Big Kiss Goodbye For 'Sex and the City'
Thanks to all for the women, the catch phrases, the clothes, the skin, the cocktails, the men, the laughter, the tears, and the city. It was a great ride.
Fingers crossed for a finale that doesn't suck.
The Super Bowl Boob-o-Rama
The dust is still flying over the Super Bowl Boob-o-Rama. Garment malfunction seems to be to blame for this one. Supposedly, the outer layer of the outfit was supposed to come off, revealing Janet's red bra. It's known that Ms. Jackson does wear nipple rings. However, the sunburst looked quite bulky to be wearing under her garment for her just to be wearing it.
While Janet Jackson gave a full apology for the incident, Justin Timberlake just seemed happy to have been involved in some sort of controversy. Take that Britney.
I think the whole episode has just been blown out of proportion. Europe is laughing their asses off at the prudes of the United States. It's not as if Justin tore off Janet's thong.
CBS is claiming that it didn't have any idea that this was going to happen [NYT]. Maybe they didn't, but please give the executives some balls to accept and move on.
Even PepsiCo. is "shocked over the incident."
Executives at PepsiCo, historically one of the largest and most successful Super Bowl advertisers, are threatening to pull out of next year's Super Bowl if they're not given clear assurances that such an incident won't happen again. "We're very serious about this," PepsiCo spokesman Mark Dollins said.
Somehow I don't think that the company will lose many Pepsi drinkers due to the fact that they saw Janet's Jackson's breast, and then a Pepsi commercial in the same four hour time frame.
I just can't believe that this is stirring up an indecency on television debate [USA Today]. The FCC, NFL, and CBS aren't just talking about the breast incident. It's the whole production. First of all, all three knew who were going to be performers ahead of time, and were aware of the material that was going to be performed. You've got Kid Rock (why do people think that wearing the American Flag makes them seem patriotic), Nelly (enough with that song), and P Diddy just to name a few.
As FOX News pointed out, I'd have been a little more concerned about the lyric content of P Diddy's song, than the flash of a breast. Drugs, guns, and drinking Cognac with Jews - yeah that says football to me.
In case you’re interested, the lyrics to the number include these salient lines, some by P. Diddy and others by other rappers on the song: “I’m the definition of, half man, half drugs/Ask the clubs, Bad Boy - that's whassup.” Also: “We still here, you rockin wit the best/Don't worry if I write rhymes, I write checks (ahh!)” and “Hand 'em a jock, hold 'em a glock (hahaha)/ Money to get (yeah), cars to flip (uhh)/ Bars to sit at and sip Cognac wit Jews that drink (c'mon).”
It's not exactly “Blowin’ in the Wind.” But a lot worse than a quick flash of flesh, I’d say.
Let's all embrace the fact that we saw Janet Jackson's boob, and quietly move on.
This posting can also be read at Blogcritics.org.
"Karen Sisco" Is Dead
It is with great sadness that I inform you that "Karen Sisco", will not be coming back to ABC. I've always had a love-hate relationship with ABC. They've taken away "Once & Again", "Relativity", "My So-Called Life" , and now "Karen Sisco" while giving us sludge like "Hope & Faith", "Married To the Kelly's", "Threat Matrix", and "10-8".
"Karen Sisco" would have been a perfect lead in show for "Alias". Anyone, anyone. It failed because of the lack of promotion on ABC's part, as well as a bad time slot.
Shame on you ABC. Read more about ABC's bad decision [Reuters].
Shame on you ABC. Read more about ABC's bad decsion [Reuters].
This posting can also be read at Blogcritics.org.
Golden Globe Thoughts
The Golden Globes Awards are obviously to be taken with a grain of salt. The majority of the people, films and shows that I wanted to win did win.
Bravo for all the awards for "Angels In America". I think the proper people won for that. Jeffrey Wright and Mary Louise Parker were fantastic. However, I hate how the Globes lump together all TV supporting performances into one category. It's really not fair to the series television actors.
So so happy that Frances Conroy won for "Six Feet Under". She's makes that character so incredibly unique and believable. I would have like to see someone other than Sarah Jessica Parker win for Best Actress Comedy. Love Sarah, but had won it three times prior. It's great that "24" won Best TV Drama. It's a truly original series.
"The Office's" wins were a big surprise for winning comedic actor and comedy series, but not really. The Globes tend to give awards to those shows or people with buzz. For instance - it gives out awards to actors on show for the debut season (Jennifer Garner winning for "Alias" two years ago, and the annoying guy from "The Shield" winning that shows first season).
It was great to see Peter Jackson winning best director for "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King". Sophia Coppola deserved the Best Screenplay award for "Lost in Translation". And fittingly so, their films won Best Comedy and Drama respectively.
Meryl had a fantastic speech. Bill Murray was perfectly dry and sarcastic. I loved that Mary Louise Parker mentioned the $1000 bet about her boobs. Al Pacino was annoying. I thought it was odd that Diane Keaton read her written speech.
Most awkward moment was when Nicole Kidman had to read off Tom Cruise's name when she presented the nominations for Best Actor.
Until next year.
This posting can also be read at Blogcritics.org.
The Women of 24
First off, 24 is one of my favorite shows on television (if you’re a regular reader you know this already). Secondly, I love the women of 24, except for Chloe (what is the point of her annoying character). Yes even Kim. I do find the character annoying. However, I love to see how the writers seem to make Kim screw up everything she’s involved with. The character of Michelle, Tony’s wife, is a pretty standard part. What makes the part unique is the acting of Reiko Aylesworth. She’s a very solid actress; and she does uncomfortable very well.
What ever happened to Lynn, who fell in that stairwell last season? She survived the fall, so you would assume that she would be back with President Palmer’s staff. However, no mention of her has ever been made.
Last night one of my favorites returned. Nina. Although, if she were supposed to be a traitor to the United States, I would have thought the government would be keeping better tabs on her. I find it hard to believe that she would be able to be working for another terrorist who wants to buy the virus. Belief being suspended, I was thrilled when she appeared in last nights episode. It looks as if we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the next episode too. Nina is the kind of villain that the show is missing right now. Yes we have the Salazar’s, but they’re just a little to one note and predictable. Nina throws everything out of whack.
Supposedly Sherry will be returning next week. I’m sure it has something to do with the trouble the President’s brother has gotten himself into. Once again, we have a character that is unpredictable. Although, I do believe that she does everything she does, out of her love for her husband, President Palmer. I’m wondering if, it will be President Palmer calling her for help this time. I believe I saw something in the previews for next week’s episode, in which President Palmer says that he’ll have to play at his former friends low level. Let’s hope Sherry sticks around for a while.
Brace yourself. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
The Return of Regular Programming
I've been going through television withdrawl for the last couple of weeks. No new TV. Not even a sub par reality show to watch.
That all ends tonight with the final eight episode's of Sex and the City. It's the only TV show that I own on DVD. It will be sad to see this show end it's run (but a smart move creatively). The cast has probalby the most well written character's on television. We really know what makes each of these women tick.
Can there be any other way to end the show than having Carrie hook up again with Big. I don't want the whole wedding thing. That would be way to predictable. I just want them to be together again.
Happy TV viewing!
Media Whore's Best In Television 2003
1. Angels In America – An amazing journey.
2. Alias – Started out shaky; it’s now full throttle.
3. MI-5 – The British are back.
4. Arrested Development – Comeback of the year – Jason Bateman.
5. Gilmore Girls – Emily & Lorelei Gilmore’s relationship is done perfectly.
6. 24 – It’s still got it. Watch it get even better when Sherry & Nina return.
7. The Office – Subtle is perfect.
8. Will & Grace – As long as there is a Karen, it will make my Top 10.
9. Sex and the City – So sad to see the girls go.
10. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Murder done well.
Honorable Mention: Miss Match, Everwood, Without a Trace, Nip/Tuck, Everybody Loves Raymond, Wanda At Large
This posting may also be read at Blogcritics.org.
Angels In America
What a powerful movie. I’ve got it to hand it to Mike Nichols, for directing a real masterpiece. Also, kudos go to a magnificent screenplay from Tony Kushner. I laughed, I cried, I stared in awe. I had never seen the play before, and had only read a few articles before viewing the movie. I was not prepared for what transpired on screen. What a brutally honest portrayal of the early AIDS era, “Angels in America�? is.
The acting was phenomenal. Most of the actors took on multiple roles. Jeffrey Wright gave a performance of epic proportions. I was completely mesmerized whenever he was on screen. What I enjoyed most from Jeffery Wright, was that his tone that he used with each of his characters, was always right on.
Meryl Streep was solid as usual. She does bitter and humor very well. I could not believe she played the Rabbi; I had no idea. As Mother Pitt, she became the heart of the movie – a mother figure too the characters.
Mary Louise Parker really blew me away. The scene in which she’s totally naked, and says goodbye to Joe was amazing. Her character Harper lives in a über-reality world, where everyone is knowing and honest. She wants to see the goodness in everyone, despite the fact in doing this, she’s miserable. I’ve always liked her as an actress, except for when she’s on The West Wing.
Emma Thompson as the angel was perfect. She gave the angel grace, humor, power, and heart, while not turning it into what could have been a cheesy performance.
Al Pacino was so uncomfortable to watch and listen to. It’s as if he embodied the evil in Roy Cohn to the tee. The scenes in which Cohn is visited by Ethel Rosenberg, are and obvious reminder of what goes around comes around.
Given the most difficult role, Justin Kirk is really what held this movie together. He was heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. Although I thought his voice at times sounded exactly like Tom Hanks, which was a little unsettling.
Patrick Wilson was utterly convincing as the sexually confused Republican Mormon.
Ben Shenkmen made his character almost too unlikable. Although you see how Louis and Joe Pitt are attracted to one another, because they are both so self-loathing.
Reagan supporters should not have worried about the CBS movie, and worried more about “Angels in America.�? Scathing.
If this movie (or mini-series, I’m not sure how it’s classified) does not win major awards next year, there is something wrong with the Emmy’s.
This posting may also be read at Blogcritics.org.
Big Sreen TV
We bought a 42-inch projection HDTV last weekend. Today is the day I try and hook up all of my equipment to it. I do not follow/understand technical directions at all. I have to hook up a receiver, CD player, DVD player, VCR, Tivo, and cable box – the idea is that they will all work properly after I hook up everything. This will not be easy. Wish me luck. By the end of the day I want to be watching heavily bearded pictures of Saddam on my big screen TV.
Boomtown Fans Get Closure - Sort Of
No, NBC has not changed it's mind. "Boomtown" is still cancelled, but at least it's going to air all the episodes that it had filmed.
The critically admired, but ratings starved drama "Boomtown" is set to make a fleeting return to NBC's schedule at the end of December. The network will air all four remaining new episodes of the drama in a two-night marathon on Saturday, Dec. 27 and Sunday, Dec. 28.
The "Average Joe" Isn't Chosen
I was extremely disappointed by Melena’s choice of who she picked on the finale of “Average Joe.�? I was not surprised that she chose pretty boy Jason over Average Joe Adam. Driving home the stereotype that the show has been exploiting; that the Average Joe can’t get the pretty girl. The finale was of course painfully expanded to a full two hours, of which one hour was spent on recapping what happened over the course of the show.
A little recap of the two individuals:
Jason: A 26-year-old waiter/model, who is finishing up college and lives with his parents in Irvine, California. Melena asked him if he only liked girls on their first date (he’s kind of girly). His personality was very vanilla. He never really expressed how he felt, except for saying that he cared about her without any explanation as to why.
Adam: A 27-year-old day trader, who owns his own firm, bar owner, millionaire, who lives with a roommate in New York City. His personality was very outgoing and gregarious. He made her laugh; he purchased gifts for her, and expressed how he really felt.
I almost burst out laughing when Melena said that she and Jason connected on so many levels. When and how this happened did not happen, was not shown on screen. They just stared at each other a lot, and made out. She admired him so much for going after his goals (I guess that would be his wanting to graduate college), and the way that they complimented each other.
Basically, Melena picked the wrong guy. The finale of the show, when she chose Jason over Adam, was a huge downer. She dumps the guy who you’ve been rooting for all along. The cheerleader picks the model. There was no way for you too feel happy for her, because you know she made the wrong decision. It also looked as if Adam had to sit on the bus until Melena and Jason’s plane left. I’m not sure if that’s how it was just filmed or what, but that was just plain cruel. Adam was a class act through the whole thing.
It will be interesting to see what the next segment of “Average Joe�? brings. NBC is quite liberal in terms of what the Average Joe is. They threw a bunch of geeks in with a few average looking guys. From the previews, the next season looks like it could be a little more intense than this season was.
The Following is via Reality TV World.
However, the "romance" between Jason and Melana appears to have ended when the couple left the resort after the show. In a joint appearance on NBC's Today Show on December 9, Jason and Melana said that they had been in contact only three times since the show ended, and they left the distinct impression that a Bachelorette -style wedding was not in their future. Meanwhile, Adam, who was interviewed by telephone, said that he had a new girlfriend and was very happy -- leading show host Katie Couric to note that he may have been that happy because Melana didn't pick him.
This posting may also be read at Blogcritics.org.
Angels In America Tonight
Do not miss the first part of "Angels In America" tonight on HBO.
Memorable TV Moments of the Week
- Sydney kissing Vaughn.
- David Cronenberg was perfect.
- Liza should do comedy much more often.
- Jason Bateman's actually kind of cute.
- Bye bye Zach. I'll loose my respectability for Melana if she picks the vapid waiter over Adam.
The Simple Life
- Walmart sells wall stuff.
- What's a soup kitchen?
- Kathy Hilton's incredibly awful outfit.
- Summer in the Wonder Woman outfit.
The Real World Finally Gets Real
Finally something that happens in the real world happened on “The Real World” (not that what took place you would want to take place). While shooting the latest edition of The Real World in San Diego, a sexual assault in the Real World house occurred. The assault did not involve a cast member. It possibly took place in a bathroom stall, between two guests, male and female, who were at a party in the Real World house.
The alleged victim reported the assault to the police. However none of “The Real World” cast members, producers of the series, or MTV notified the authorities of the purported sexual assault. Did the producers not want this kind of publicity for the show? Why not take this issue head on; it would have been interesting to see how the different cast members all reacted to the assault. Make a few episodes be “A Very Special Series of Real World Episodes.”
But no. “The Real World” will once again, put seven strangers in a house, throw them all in a work setting where they all have a chance to work together and argue. We’ll see the bitch, the stud, the outsider, the gay guy, the average girl, the slut, and the asshole all cohabitate, sleep with one another (or want to sleep with one another), piss each other off, and whine for another season.
The producers blew the chance for everything to get real.
This posting may also be read at Blogcritics.org.
The Queer Eye Season Premiere
The premiere of Queer Eye For the Straight Guy lived up to quality of the shows of last season. They stuck with the formula of what they went with last season; the only change being they have a new loft space in which the boys watch the outcome of what they've done.
Jeff T. was the victim. He was a former model turned Grizzly Adams (He had a full beard and long hair). The Fab 5 brought Jeff's teenage daughter along with them on some of the excursions. She was loving it! It seems as if she was greatly appreciating fun cultured people.
They cut Jeff's hair and shaved off the beard and mustache. It's revealed that he has no lips. His wife is thrilled with the transformation, she got her old hot husband back.
The boys were as witty as usual - Carson of course being the wittiest. While some of the barbs can be a little on the cruel side, you know what you're in for if you've signed up to be on the show. Kyan seemed a little dull this episode (other people pointed out that he's cute, but he doesn't seem to be that bright). Ted was hilarious trying to do some actual fishing. Thom, who is my least favorite personality wise, was actually funny at times in this episode. I must give Thom props though for the rooms he creates; he hasn't had an ugly one yet. Carson does know his fashion, but unfortunately doesn't know how to dress himself tastefully. His humor makes up for his own lack of fashion sense. I loved that he dubbed Jeff's daughter Christina as an official C.I.T. (for "Carson In Training"). Poor Jai. Once again he had nothing to do in this episode other than give Jeff a picture frame,
What I admire most about the show, is the fact that the makeovers always keep the individual's own lifestyle, taste, and budget in mind. The dressed Jeff in Orvitz as opposed to Prada. They also purchase items that the person would be able to purchase themselves. This is very important, especially in the wardrobe area. It has to be affordable for the person who is being made over, in order for them to keep up the new look. They also kept the style, feel and personality of the homes or apartments intact, as opposed to doing something like Hildy or Doug would do on Trading Spaces.
Looking forward to the next 39 episodes of the new season.
Quality Television In Trouble
Karen Sisco goes on hiatus. Alias’ ratings are down from last year. Arrested Development is struggling. Skin is cancelled.
In regards to Karen Sisco, ABC does say that they will re-launch the show in March on another night. The question is how long will they stick with it, and will they finally start promoting the damn show. It’s the best new drama this season. I know that’s not saying much, but it’s stands out as a fantastic show. It's got great acting, excellent chemistry between the three lead characters (especially between Karen and her father), a fantastic choice of guest actors, wonderful soundtrack, and quality writing.
Arrested Development is the best comedy of the season. Once again that’s not saying much (Hope and Faith is the biggest hit and it’s awful). I can’t believe the struggling ratings are due to the fact that the shows brand of humor is too sophisticated for the average viewer. Then again, why is Hope and Faith such a big hit? Jason Bateman is fantastic as the “straight man�? on the show. David Cross, Tony Hale, and Jeffrey Tambor are all hilarious. I love the fact they the creator’s and writer’s aren’t afraid of using some stupid humor every now and then. The characters actually making cornballs, the character’s names of Maeby and George Michael, the great use of slapstick, and the technique of funny things happening off camera.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why Alias isn’t a gigantic hit? It has everything for everyone. Action, the hot chick, romance, and twist up the wazoo. Once again, we’ve got all the qualities for a superb show: great writing, acting (even in the most ridiculous situations, Jennifer Garner is totally believable), wonderful actors (the casting director should be cloned, and hired on every TV show), and visually a blast to watch. The twists could actually be the issue. People find it hard to start watching show that have ongoing storylines; they aren’t willing to invest the time in watching a few episodes to try and catch up to the current plot line.
Skin. There are a few reasons’ why this show didn’t last, despite the fact that once again it had all the qualities of a phenomenal show. First of all, FOX over hyped the show. People were sick of it before it aired. Second, it was a tough time slot. Third, I’m not sure how many people were actually interested in watching a show about the porn industry? It’s a shame.
Tony Danza: Daytime Talk Show Host
What is this world coming to? Why would anyone want to watch a daytime talk show featuring Tony Danza? Please, someone give me a reason. Why is it that when celebrities careers are heading south, they decide it's time to do a talk show? We've got Kirstie Alley looking to do one too.
Danza will be joining a crowded field that includes newcomers Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne and veterans like Maury Povich, Jerry Springer and Montel Williams. Danza could be posed to replace Wayne Brady's show, which isn't doing much in the ratings. The other new talk shows that are struggling are "The John Walsh Show," "Crossing Over With John Edward" and "Living It Up! With Ali & Jack."
You need personality, and some wit, to succeed as a talk show host. Two things which Tony Danza does not possess. Maybe he'll brush up on his skills by watching a little Oprah or Ellen; they're the best out there right now. Danza is quoted as saying, "I am humbled and excited that Buena Vista believes I can do it -- and I can't wait to spend an hour a day with America,"
I'll give it three months.
It Pays To Be a Dumb Blonde
Jessica Simpson has really parlayed her dumb blonde personality into a huge jumpstart in her career. Will this increase in her career cache be doomsday for the Newlyweds as a real life couple. She's got the MTV show, possible lead role in the film remake of "I Dream of Jeannie", she's writing a book, doing endorsments for Nokia and Tommy Hilfiger, and now an ABC sitcom.
With another questionably talented blond getting her own show, Hilary Duff, we may be plagued wtih a season of Suzannne Sommers clones.
The only worthwhile sitcom of the new season is FOX's Arrested Development. It's original, funny, intelligent, well acted and scathing. Check it out before it's cancelled.
A Frustrating 24 Hours
I'm still loving the show, but I've got a few pet peeves.
- Kim the computer expert.
- Jack is suppose to function on the job while being a heroin addict.
- The ethnic sterotypes. Last year those of Middle Eastern decent, this year it's the Latino's.
- Doesn't CTU do background checks on it's employees. We've got another mole.
- The fact that they give away key plot points in the "scenes from the next episode of".
Check out this great article on the new season of 24 from the Chicago Tribune.
psionic shares two of my peeves.
I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of interested in watching Average Joe. CSI Miami isn't doing it for me. While I love Emily Proctor, and Adam Rodriguez is pretty too look at, the show's just a poor man's CSI.
Finally American's show some taste in their television viewing habits. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" had it's best ratings in years.
Another 24 Hours
A quick reminder that the best show on Television returns tonight.
USA Today outlined the new season's plot line.
Told, once again, in real time over the course of a single day, the story takes place three years after the attack on President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert (news), as perfectly presidential as ever). Palmer is up for re-election, which brings him and his brother (Buffy's D.B. Woodside) back to Los Angeles.
As for Jack, he has a new, young hottie partner, Chase (James Badge Dale); a new job at CTU; and a new mission. Having infiltrated a drug cartel run by Ramon Salazar (Joaquim de Almeida), Jack now wants the imprisoned Ramon to reveal the cartel's terrorist links.
Check out these three 24 sites to keep you occupied in the meantime.
ER - The Decline
I have remained a loyal fan of ER since episode one. Cast changes have been made to the extent of that, there are only two remaining original cast members left, Noah Wylie and Sherry Stringfield. The show remains very well acted, but at this point in the show’s life, things are bound to unravel. This is the first season that I’m not feeling a great sense of excitement, for the next episode.
The network must realize that the show it isn’t what it was, because even the promos for the show are trying to sell us on the quality. The promos mention something like “ER has never been better�?, with no critics quotes or evidence to back up that assertion. I feel like something’s missing.
What’s going on with ER?
-Give Sherry Stringfield a storyline. The woman has nothing to do on the show. Also, Dr. Gallant has had nothing to do this season either, and has had very little screen time.
-Maura Tierney is my favorite actress on the series, but they keep regurgitating her bad luck storylines. -Nothing ever goes right for Abby; she’s also becoming a somewhat unlikable character.
-Dr. Corday and the “hot doctor�?. She has showed more passion with him than she ever showed Mark Greene, “the love of her life.�?
-When did Dr. Chen turn into such a bitch?
-I’m sure Luka will have another breakdown from his African experience; we don’t need to see another one.
-Why is Dr. Carter’s character so erratic? He’s turning into a different character.
-There are just too many characters on the show right now. It’s hard to keep up with who is who in the supporting character staff.
-What happened to Dr. Weaver’s partner?
Could this happen in a real hospital?
-No hospital would keep Dr. Romano on staff (although he won’t be for long.)
-No hospital would just let doctors (Carter and Luka) just up and leave for extended periods of time on a whim.
-I understand this is a teaching and a community hospital, but do that many mistakes happen in actual hospitals?
-Is there really that much yelling between staff members in front of patients?
-Can residents really barge into surgeries; take over for doctors, if they feel like their patient in the Emergency Room takes precedence over the surgery that doctor is performing?
Tina Fey & Much More
Missed the third episode of "Cold Case", the second was kind of annoying. I hope they are not going to keep up that music video-esque slow-mo montage at the end of each episode. It really cheapens the show.
Loving the new season of "Gilmore Girls", but I wish they would come up with some sort of plot for the season.
Watched three episodes of "We Built This City" on the Discovery Channel over the weekend. Viewed New York, Paris, and London. Fascinating actually.
Carlos Ponce is guest starring on Tonight's Episode of Karen Sisco.
Tina Fey is the best thing about "Saturday Night Live". Tina rightfully made fun of Pamela Mackey, Kobe Bryant's attorney.
"The preliminary hearing in Kobe Bryant's rape trial turned ugly on Thursday when Pamela Mackey, Bryant's lawyer, accidentally said his accuser's name in court, violating Colorado privacy laws," Fey said.
"And after being admonished by the judge," Fey continued, "Mackey went on to repeat the woman's name five times. Which is really bad, 'cause what lawyer Pamela Mackey did by mentioning the woman's name, is to put her at risk of further harassment. A lawyer - like Pamela Mackey of the Colorado firm Haddon, Morgan, Mueller, Jordan, Mackey and Foreman, which is probably in the 303 area code - should know that people can look up a name, like Joe Smith or Pamela Mackey, on the Internet and learn everything about them."
The Television page has been updated, with ratings for most of the new fall shows.
Karen Sisco Gets and A Plus
My favorite new show of the season is Karen Sisco. The small screen adapation of the Jennifer Lopez/George Clooney film Out of Sight. Carla Gugino is smoldering as Karen Sisco. She has the right amount of toughness, vulnerability and sex appeal to pull this character off. Stylistically the show is very hip, with a retro funk soundtrack. Robert Forster, as Karen's father Marshall (a little confusing, since she plays a Marshall), is terrific. He has a great blend of coolness and roughness which makes his character so appealing. It's great to see a father/daughter relationship like this on TV. It works. ABC needs to stand by this well recieved show by the critics. Either move it to a less competative time slot, or give it your support like you have Alias.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hope and Faith is probably the most God awful show of the new season. Kelly Ripa way overacts her part, and is just plain annoying when she's on screen. The show also has one of the worst opening themes and introdutions that I've ever seen. It's amaturish, and has extremely low prodution values. It's actually doing pretty well in the ratings; I can't believe people are watching this crap.
The Lyon's Den, show's some promise. Rob Lowe was solid, but the supporting cast was kind of weak. Frances Fisher and Kyle Chandler were trying too hard to be sly and evil, yet likable. I don't understand what their relationship is at all?
I'm giving Miss Match a few weeks to prove to be something really enjoyable. Alicia Silverstone is very cute, and fits the role well. Once again, we have a supporting cast issue. Ryan O'Neal just is not convincing as her hard ass lawyer father, and Lake Bell who plays her best friend is just plain bland. It will be interesting to see what they do with the yummy David Conrad, who plays a love interest. I'm rooting for the show, but it needs improvement.
I'm still waiting for the premiere's of Arrested Development and Skin. Overall, a very week start to the new season. The show's I've given Season Passes to on the Tivo - Karen Sisco, Cold Case, The O.C., and Miss Match.
Alias Season Premiere & Cold Case
The Alias Season Premiere blew me away as expected. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
1 - I want a gun like the one she had to blow up the car.
2 - I cried.
3 - Her I would have waited speech blew me away (hence the crying).
4 - Gay men shouldn't have beards.
5 - I'm in love with Michael Vartan.
6 - It warms my heart knowing that there were three characters from Felicity on screen at one time.
7 - Jennifer Garner is hot.
8 - I want to learn how to kick ass.
9 - Happy they found a way to give Dixon some screen time again.
10 - Waiting for Evil Francie's return with a hunger.
I watched Cold Case. I really liked it quite a bit, despite Kathryn Morris being a grittier Meg Ryan, whom I'm not a big fan of. One annyoing camera thing though; quit all the closeups of the characters faces. At one point I could see some very disturbing pores on Kathryn Morris's face. I'm giving it a Season Pass.
Tues. & Wed. TV
One Tree Hill establishes the WB as the White Brooding network. How many characters on WB shows can be that self or life loathing? On the upside, it's great to see Craig Sheffer working again.
Still haven't gotten to watch The Gilmore Girls season premiere; it's Tivo'ed though. The West Wing premiere wasn't half bad. You could notice some of John Wells influence in the filming style at the start of the show with the sweeping camera shots. Overall the acting was first rate as usual. Always good to see John Goodman as a Southern hard ass.
Queer Eye was great Tuesday night. This probably was their biggest overall failure in terms of the outcome of the show. Precious moments were the dishes breaking and the extreme long awkward silence when both sets of parents were sitting down.
On a different topic all together, I'm strangely addicted to the Elvis Presley song Rubberneckin'. Just can't get enough of it.
The Emmy Awards
What makes the Emmy's the lesser of the major award shows is that the same damn people win every year. There's no suspense. Not that some of them didn't deserve to win, but it just reduces the excitement of the show. About half of the 10 co-hosts were funny. They were really glorified presenters and not hosts. Jon Stewart was the funniest and he was robbed by no one other than Wayne Brady.
Here's what I thought of the major category wins.
- Best Comedy - Everybody Loves Raymond (Good call. Many people have a bias towards this show as a blue-collar comedy - but they obviously haven't watched the show. It's damn funny!)
- Oustanding Actor - Tony Shalhoub (Yeah, I guess. I really wasn't rooting for any of the nominees. Monk is a B- show).
- Outstanding Actress - Debra Messing (Long overdue. It think Sarah Jessica Parker will take home the award next year.)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor - Brad Garrett (Good call. Sean Hayes played Jack a little too childlike this season.)
- Outstanding Supporting Actress - Doris Roberts (While I love Doris Roberts as Marie, as my friend Scott emailed me, Cynthia Nixon was robbed! She is the most underrated of the Sex and the City cast. She has made Miranda probably the most well rounded character on the show.
- Best Drama - The West Wing (What??????? The show is well acted, but come on, this last season was rather uneven. Should have been The Sopranos or 24. CSI isn't that dramatic, and Six Feet Under was uneven also.)
- Outstanding Actor - James Gandolfini (I may be one of the few who think that James Gandolfini is overrated as an actor. My pick would have been Peter Krause. He had some tough material to work with, and made Nate seem utterly believable.
- Outstanding Actress - Edie Falco (While I would have loved it, if Jennifer Garner won, Edie Falco nailed the award with her performance in the last episode of the season. The award was hers.
- Outstanding Supporting Actor - Joe Pantoliano (My pick would have been Victor Garber or Bradley Whitford. Just personal preference).
- Outstanding Supporting Actress - Tyne Daly (Once again, what??????? This one makes you wonder if the members of the academy even watch television. While there is no question Ms. Daly can act, it happens to be on the shlockfest of Judging Amy. Lauren Ambrose was my pick, with Lena Olin in a close second.)
Another pet peeve about the ceremony this year. Didn't it seem as if they were prostituting the tribute to John Ritter to keep people watching the show. The showed the clip of coming up the tribute to John Ritter three times in the upcoming teasers. What happened to the rumored Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt tribute to John Ritter?
Fall TV Comedies
The following are the comedies that I Tivo or view live each week: Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs, Friends and Wanda at Large. Those are the shows I won't miss. Okay maybe Friends - I tape that for the boyfriend. Will & Grace - no explanation needed except for the fact that I love Karen. Everybody Loves Raymond - I came into this show relatively late in the game. I've only been watching it for about a year, so there are reruns that I still haven't seen. I wonderfully disfunctional family. Marie and Debra are my favorites. Scrubs - this show could really be cheesy is the actors and writing weren't so sharp. Wanda at Large - Wanda, Wanda, Wanda. The woman makes me laugh. The rest of the cast may not be anything to write home about, but I watch it for Wanda. Friends - Phoebe is my favorite. I'll watch it because it's the last season. I still don't find it that funny though.
The comedies that I'll watch if there's nothing else on. Life With Bonnie, Less Than Perfect, The Simpsons, and Fraiser (although it's getting more and more painful to watch).
My Returning TV Favorites
Drama wise, these are the shows I"m looking forward to their return. 24, Alias, ER, and Gilmore Girls. (Without a Trace and CSI are my backup or Summer viewing shows). Very excited to find out what the next case is for 24. The series always is full of suprises. It looks as if Kim will finally have something to actually do on the show other than cry. Alias. I just want to find out what the fuck happened to Sydney over the last two years, and see which direction each of the characters went. The series reinvents itself once a year, which really keeps it fresh.
ER. I know it's an aging show, and it seems to be spinning it's wheels, but I've seen every episode since the first and I'm not going to stop watching now. Plus, Maura Tiernney is an amazingly natural actress. Gilmore Girls. Yes, I love the Gilmore Girls. The three core women characters - Lorelei, Emily and are fantastic. Plus I've got a little crush on Luke.
Hopefully the returing shows won't turn into last season's The Practice, or the last season of Ally McBeal. I need my dramas.
Mary Cherry & More
Wanted to give props to the Psonic weblog for his open letter to Harrison, along with his mention of my beloved Mary Cherry. You must check this letter out. My sentiments exactly.
In the News
The Fall 2003 TV Season
Welcome to Media Whore. This is obviously my first posting. You will see improvements and additions to the blog over the next few weeks. This blog was inspired by my love of tv, film and music. Due to the fact that the new tv season is upon us, the majority of the postings over the next few weeks will be focusing on the new tv season. On the Television page you will see my reviews of the new TV shows over the coming weeks.
The following example kind of shows how into television I am. Upon hearing the death of John Ritter, my first thought was what will happen to the show, it just started back up in production. I personally don't watch his show, but the point is I looked at the situation from a industry viewpoint. Condolences to his family none the less.
Only a few shows have debuted so far, and there batting about 50/50. My favorite of the shows so far would have to be the extremely guilty pleasure of The O.C. It's Beverly Hills 90210 taken to a higher level. The majority of the actors are pretty good. However, the actor who plays Luke is just awful. Watching him onscreen makes for much mockery. He doesn't emote very well. The best part of the show is Adam Brody who plays Seth. A great actor who makes his character really stand out.
Otherwise, the only other shows I've seen so far are Whoopi, Happy Family, and Jake 2.0. The best of the three is Jake 2.0. It's a unique concept, but it's showing in a tough timeslot and had low debut numbers.
The shows I'm looking forward to, and I hope will live up to their promise - Karen Sisco, Arrested Development, Cold Case, and Miss Match. Yes I'm actually looking forward to seeing the Alicia Silverstone show.
MI-5 on A&E is not a new show for the fall, it debut over the summer. I'm addicted. It's kind of a cross between Alias and 24. It's a spy show from Britian. It has a certain class to it (maybe it just seems like it since the show is British). It's filmed very well though. While there is violence, it never seems like it could just be there for shock value. The gory stuff primarily happens off camera, but you know it's going on. American TV could learn from this.
Next up, the returining Dramas I'm most looking foward to.