Friday, August 31, 2012

From LA Examiner: 'Castle' Season Premiere Scoop; 'American Horror Story' Fan Experience + S2 Scoop...

We know what's on your minds, Castle fans: after last season's sorry cut-away right when things were finally heating up between Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic), you want to know where they stand-- and how much more sexy time comes-- when the season five premiere starts... [MORE]

"American Horror Story: Asylum spoilers; enter to "win" a commitment there"

The second run of the FX and Ryan Murphy mini-series American Horror Story is being dubbed AHS: Asylum. Set in a haunted insane asylum, the show, which returns this fall, will flit back and forth between the present day, run-down tourist and horror enthusiast attraction, and the 1960s, still in-use "hospital." According to Murphy, per Entertainment Weekly, he wanted to tell the story of what is sanity, really and play with ideas of perception and reality, while still showcasing some true genre tropes and the things that scare him... [MORE]

From The Completely Gratuitous Files: Hot Leading Actors of Fall 2012 TV...

New fall shows are just around the corner-- in fact, some have already started premiering online, and you know what that means...

New eye candy!

Just in time for your long weekend viewing pleasure, I have assembled photo galleries of the Hot (New) Leading Men of Fall 2012 TV as well as the Lovely (New) Leading Ladies of Fall 2012 TV

Check out the pretty, pretty pictures in the links, and let me know who you're most excited to see on TV week after week, starting, well, in just a few weeks!

What DanielleTBD Is Watching on CBS for Fall 2012...

The Amazing Race (Sundays, 8 p.m.) - Though as the seasons have gone on this show has been less about seeing the world and more about the crazy fights the teams get into when asked to do equally crazy things, I'm addicted to it nonetheless. Plus, this season has Chippendales with the same name (though one chooses to spell it ridiculously), and Amy Purdy, who you might know as a professional athlete. She may have an advantage but as a double amputee she also has a fascinating story that I can't wait to watch unfold on-screen. (starting September 30th)

The Good Wife (Sundays, 9 p.m.) - Though I didn't particularly agree with Alicia Florrick's decisions at the end of the last season, I'm thrilled to see the consequences they have when this new season starts. The drama continuously gets stepped up year after year, both in the individual cases the law firm takes on and in the personal situations the characters get themselves in that pull at their attention. Kalinda's husband may not also be as I pictured, but that story still should provide a couple more twists and turns. And of course, the extended guest cast is just getting better and better, too. (starting September 30th)

Hawaii Five-0 (Mondays, 10 p.m.) - McGarrett has been through the ringer, but learning his mother was actually alive at the very end of last season may change everything. He has always been such a tough guy in control, and I can't help but wonder if-- and perhaps hope that-- we will see a softer, more sensitive side to him emerge. Of course, if he folds into a childish state, it may spell doom for his task force, let alone the show itself, but the perspective will provide interesting color to his actions as the season unfolds, even if he just rails harder, hiding his hurt behind strength, nonetheless. (starting September 24th)

The Big Bang Theory (Thursdays, 8 p.m.) - I keep waiting for that moment when something changes on this show. I don't mean majorly changes, because then it would be an entirely new show, but I need something to show growth and development from the characters in order to stay invested in them. Wolowitz' marriage certainly helped that, but then they shot him into space, which seemed to halt his maturity once again. Amy slowly getting under Sheldon's skin is another, and yes, Penny and Leonard trying their relationship again counts, too. The only one left is Raj. This season says they will expand on all of these things (except, again, maybe Raj), so it may have been too long a time coming, but this sitcom might finally be evolving. Last minute growth still counts, as long as it's earned. (starting September 27th)

Person of Interest (Thursdays, 9 p.m.) - The first season was much more procedural heavy than I wanted, but now that we are coming into season two, they should be able to expand the mythology and the darkness behind the machine a bit more. Understanding Reese and Finch's motivations is one thing, but seeing the potentially destructive uses for this type of technology on a larger scale is another. When more and more people learn this technology is out there, these men are at a greater risk of exposure, and those kind of heightened stakes should increase in every new episode. (starting September 27th)

Elementary (Thursdays, 10 p.m.) - Though this is another crime procedural, it's full of quirk and history past being ripped from any headlines. Reimagining Sherlock Holmes in modern day New York allows for this show to explore eccentricities and mental illness in a way that the character actually makes work for him. Though he is self-destructive in a way that calls for him to have a sober companion, shadowing his very real genius by her authority, when he can get his act together and focus his energy, he has a knack for observation that would benefit any line of work. To me, this has shades of Homeland's own Carrie. After all, when she was "in" her mania, it was the only time her mind pushed through the clutter and distractions and saw the truth about Brody. It's a fascinating study and statement, though an internal one. I can't wait to see what Jonny Lee Miller can do with that kind of subtext, adding a deeper layer than any other procedural today can offer. (starting September 27th)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

From LA Examiner: 'Up All Night' Premiere Photos; 'Revolution' Advance Screening(s); 'The L.A. Complex' Photos...

We already told you that when Up All Night returns to NBC, things are getting shaken up in the Brinkley household, but now NBC shows you just how the tide is turning with these season premiere photos... [MORE]

"Revolution screening to be held in L.A. powered by the people"

Did you miss out on Comic Con's early screening of J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke's new NBC drama, Revolution? That's okay, the network has you covered! ... [MORE]

"The L.A. Complex's Nick gets back to his roots"

Though last week's The L.A. Complex saw Nick (Joe Dinicol) actually winning the writer's room gig over his gal pal Sabrina (Georgina Reilly), he came thisclose to trading it in just so he could keep sleeping with her. With that kind of poor decision making in his corner, should we worry that he's not long for that job? After all, the head writer may love going to brothels with him, but having a demanding job and an increasingly more serious girlfriend may put a stop to those trips. And the next we see him, he's back on the stand-up stage, presumably bombing once again. Is it just for fun, to keep his skills fresh, or is there something else going on? ... [MORE]

What DanielleTBD Is Watching on ABC for Fall 2012...

Growing up, this time of year was always a bittersweet, confusing time for me. On the one hand, I absolutely hated going back to school. On the other, I loved being able to go back-to-school shopping first. And as I got older, I also began to look forward to the new television shows that would be waiting for me when I finally got home from school. These days, I live in Los Angeles and work from home so I don't even bother to go "back to work" shopping for new seasonal clothing. The only thing I quote-unquote shop for are these new television shows. So starting today I will be taking a look, major network by major network, at the offerings I will add to my schedule for Fall 2012.

First up is ABC (I am doing the networks alphabetically and the shows based on day and time just to avoid accusations of any additional biases).

Once Upon A Time (Sundays, 8 p.m.) - The first season ended with magic being restored to Storybrooke, but the breaking of the curse was not quite what Henry expected. Instead of all of the fairytale characters going back to their original world, they remained in this modern day one, just with all of their memories returned. Season two proves to be a different kind of power struggle, then, as they all know just what Regina is capable of, and many of them try (hopefully not still in vain) to find lost loved ones. The addition of new characters like Mulan and the Giant will expand the world, while there is still the question of Emma. She now has the opportunity to get to know her birth parents-- people who didn't give her up because they didn't love her, but thanks to the curse, are still of her same age. It's bound to be a bit of an adjustment! I'm still holding out to meet Henry's father and see if my Gold's son theory pans out, but I'm most intrigued to see what happens when people can use magic for good or for evil, and the lowly lay person Sheriff may not be powerful enough to stop anything. (starting September 30th) 

Revenge (Sundays, 9 p.m.) - After Victoria Grayson's plane went down in the first season finale, it seemed like Emily Thorne had succeeded in her revenge plot better than perhaps she could even have imagined it. Yet, she wasn't packing up and leaving the Hamptons; she still felt she had work to do. How much her real emotions are causing her to stay for emotional reasons that may get her in trouble should be discovered pretty early on in season two. But what's even more intriguing about the season is what life for Emily will look like when she thinks the problem of Victoria is behind her. Because you know Victoria will swoop back onto her radar at the worst possible time, then! Additionally, I have long since believed her father might not really be dead in order to give Emily new accountability and conflict just when she is succeeding the most, but seeing her mother in season two may be able to provide that for me in a place I way I didn't even know I wanted. Plus, Nolan's looking good with his new haircut! (starting September 30th) 

666 Park Avenue (Sundays, 10 p.m.) - Though this is a little like American Horror Story lite because it's on a major network, I'm fascinated by the seeming Supernatural-esque concept that the residents of this posh Manhattan building are making soul deals. Many of the residents are at a crossroads in their lives, namely the two newbs who move in in the pilot, and the building provides in ways they could have only dreamed, but it certainly comes with a price. Terry O'Quinn is the best bad guy on television, but there's a little part of me that plans to watch and look for clues that it is actually his wife who may be pulling more strings than we realize. There needs to be some kind of twist on the formula pretty early on to keep me invested. After all, American Horror Story will return only a few weeks after this one premieres, and considering they did the whole "house wants the baby" thing last year, I much prefer to watch a show that is pushing boundaries, rather than playing catch-up. (starting September 30th) 

Castle (Mondays, 10 p.m.) - I have always been a completionist, and though I really disliked the majority of the last season, I am planning to tune back in, at least in the beginning, to see where things go now that Castle and Beckett are together. Will there be nothing holding it together if the sexy tension is gone? We'll see. And hopefully we'll see an actual story (more than one episode thrown to them here or there) for Ryan and Esposito, too. (starting September 24th) 

Happy Endings (Tuesdays, 9 p.m.) - This is the gang of people I want in my own peer circle. They make me laugh, but they have their shit together, too, so they inspire me to do better for myself. Since Dave and Alex decided to give it another go at the end of last season, this year proves to be about relationships within the friendship circle in a way that should affect everyone but probably won't since so many of them are so self-absorbed. Additionally, they were all used to Dave and Alex together from years back, so this should be them settling into an old pattern or comfort zone that we as the audience has yet to see which may show off new sides to people, too. And then of course there is the Penny of it all-- she dates a lot, but this season we have been promised we will see more of these men on screen! Eye candy casting, anyone? (starting October 24th)

Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 (Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.) - I wasn't as in love with the first season as many of my fellow writers, but what sold me on the show was James Van Der Beek poking fun at himself and all things Hollywood, past and present. I could be content to watch a half-hour of just him doing that, and I hope that this season they give him some more room to shine on webisodes or something. I'm intrigued by the idea that Chloe is gradually coming into her own, and I hope we start to see her make some actual, outside the apartment friends in order to get a balance of personality. But let's face it, the thing I'm mostly tuning in for is Mark-Paul Gosselaar's own guest spot as himself, with the Dawson's Creek reunion following a close second. (starting October 24th) 

Modern Family (Wednesdays, 9 p.m.) - I'm going to be really honest: I hate the idea of Gloria spending the season pregnant, even if I'm excited to see her get to do something different for a change. Last year really proved just how much the kids could handle, comedy and storyline wise, and this season I'm hoping their roles get expanded even more. As some of the adults (Claire's flaily arms, I'm looking at you!) get more and more cartoonish, the kids are proving subtler and slier with their own comedic timing and styles. (starting September 26th) 

Suburgatory (Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m.) - There is so much plot happening this season that I feel like this show needs to come with therapy. Or maybe it will prove to be its own kind of therapy. In any case, last year, this was the breakout comedy for me because it just took me completely by surprise and surpassed any expectations I had for it or its creator Emily Kapnek. In a TV world that is continuously honoring shows about nothing or traditional sitcoms filled with tropes with little to no character development, this packs an even bigger punch. I can't wait to see what Tessa's life looks like when she starts spending time with her absentee mom; I can't wait to see what happens to the picture perfect Shays when the adoption admission comes out; I can't wait to see if George and Dallas finally hook up and what animal Dalia makes her mother get her to cushion that blow... There are so many things I love about this show, I think I'm going to move to Chatswin! (starting October 17th) 

Nashville (Wednesdays, 10 p.m.) - This was, hands down, my favorite new pilot of the year, and that includes those programs held for mid-season. Now the last two years, the shows I said this about didn't fair so well. One teetered in its content while the other just flatlined in the ratings and was canned quickly. But I have high hopes for this one because of the smart team of writers and the cast assembled. There may be many people who tune into this simply for Connie Britton (that's why I watched American Horror Story at first), but I know why I'll stay past that: I'll stay because this is finally a smart, adult relationship drama. It's one part behind-the-scenes entertainment industry tale, focusing heavily on what the industry does to women as they reach a certain age, and one part romance saga-- the what could have been, maybe even what should have been, as we look back over our lives. There are elements of politics and addiction to round it out, two of my favorite topics to be explored on TV. And of course there is the music, much of which acts as a metaphor. There is just so much to love here! (starting October 10th) 

Last Resort (Thursdays, 8 p.m.) - I'll be really honest, this is one show I'm interested to get to know (because right now I don't really feel like I know the characters, though I do know a lot about their world), but I fear getting too attached if it's only going to catch on with critics and the network will can it. Let's face it, Paul Lee shoots wildly with some of his pick-ups, but he's the kind of TV President who doesn't hold onto something just because he loves it. When things don't work, he scraps them and moves on, perhaps a bit more coldly than even I could. This show is a high concept drama that asks its audience to really question right wrong, governmental authority, willingness to be a soldier versus stand up for one's self and ask questions, and choosing professional over personal lives. There is a lot going on, even just within the pilot, and the fragmented worlds and stories are a lot to take in. I deeply love and respect Shawn Ryan for not underestimating the audience, but coupled with this notoriously tough time slot, I fear it may be doomed. It's the kind of show you need to really sit down and pay attention to, and what that will most likely result in is people leaving it on their DVRs until the weekend-- or perhaps until one specific weekend, planning to marathon a couple of episodes in a row. (starting September 27th) 

Scandal (Thursdays, 10 p.m.) - Though the first season was short, it was so very sweet! Between the rapid-fire dialogue and the cliffhangers at the end of every episode, the first season left me wanting so much more-- namely answers on just who Quinn is and how much Olivia knows about her true self. This second season promises to provide those answers, probably setting up all kinds of new complications for the firm. And the reveal of just how bad Cyrus really is will mostly likely come back to bite them, too. I can't tell you how happy I am this show is not just your average "case of the week" procedural! (starting September 27th) 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From LA Examiner: TV Relationship Talk from Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Katie Cassidy, and Jay Ryan; Plus Paley Center Fall Preview Panelists...

So you watched The Mindy Project, and now you must have a few additional questions, right? For starters, just how much of the series as a whole will deal with Mindy (Mindy Kaling)'s dating life versus work life? ... [MORE]

"Arrow’s Katie Cassidy: Oliver was Laurel’s “first everything"

Katie Cassidy has some big shoes to fill on The CW’s new superhero drama, Arrow. As Dinah “Laurel” Lance, she is not only the long-lost true love to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), but she is also a pretty iconic superhero in her own right, alias the Black Canary. The pilot episode of Arrow does not explore Laurel’s own vigilante side (though we imagine the season will get to that sooner rather than later), it does set up the Oliver/Laurel relationship as the heart of the show.... [MORE]

"Jay Ryan on the "darkness that will surface" on Beauty and the Beast"

Beauty and the Beast, traditionally, is a very romantic tale about a young woman who sees the good in a man who looks quite scary. But The CW’s retelling is not nearly as straightforward as that. For one thing, the Beast (Jay Ryan) doesn’t look scary 90% of the time. It is only when he is “triggered” that he transforms into a violent creature. For another, in the original, there was a good heart lying with the man, but Ryan’s Beast may start out well-intentioned but may find that regardless of how good he wants to be—or how good he once was before—he is losing more and more control of that part of him everyday. And honestly, diving into that kind of dark and complex role is what appealed most to Ryan... [MORE]

"Paley Center to live-stream Fall Preview panels; Find out who will be on them"

As we previously announced, the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles will once again be hosting a week of Fall TV Preview screenings and panel events. Today, though, they announced the specific stars and panelists who would be in attendance on behalf of ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, and NBC... [MORE]

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From LA Examiner: The 'Dexter' Web Series Returns, 'The Voice' Adam Levine Exclusive; 'Switched at Birth' Book and 'Two and a Half Men' DVD Reviews; Callie Thorne Teases 'Necessary Roughness' Mid-Season Finale...

"Dexter launches new episodes of Early Cuts"

Though Dexter doesn't return to Showtime with season seven until the end of next month, today the network has launched the new season of its animated webisode version, Dexter Early Cuts... [MORE]

"The Voice Exclusive: Adam Levine on effective coaching and Tony Lucca’s future"

“I want to be an effective coach. How do I do that?” Adam Levine asks himself in an exclusive The Voice clip LA TV Insider Examiner has obtained... [MORE]

Shows—especially traditional sitcoms—that manage to hit almost a decade worth of seasons usually have their formula pretty down pat and don’t go for drastic changes so late in their lives. But Chuck Lorre’s Two and a Half Men didn’t really have a choice at the end of their eighth season, when Charlie Sheen’s personal troubles bled over to affect his working relationship with the creative team behind the show for its fatal time... [MORE

"Switched at Birth: The True Story of a Mother's Journey," the character memoir by the fictional Kathryn Kennish (Lea Thompson) from ABC Family’s drama of the same name, is in every sense of the term, a companion book to the series. Many passages and recollected conversations are lifted verbatim from first season scenes and episodes as the characters began to navigate the waters of this new kind of blended family after learning that the two teenage girls had been titularly switched at birth... [MORE

"Callie Thorne teases the Necessary Roughness mid-season finale"

Necessary Roughness started out with Dani Santino (Callie Thorne) and T.K. (Mehcad Brooks) first coming into each others' lives and connecting in a way that ended up helping both of them, even if they’re still both works in progress. However, of late the series has diverged a bit, distracting Dani with other issues she must attend to—including a pregnant friend to help take care of, a son heading off to college and probably about to get in some legal trouble first, and the fact that her confidential therapy sessions may be leaked more publicly. Dani is certainly being pulled from many different angles, so will she be able to focus enough on even one thing to get it under control before the end of the mid-season finale? ... [MORE]

Monday, August 27, 2012

Live-Blogging 'The L.A. Complex's' "Half Way"...

Tonight's TV Talk: The L.A. Complex's "Half Way"

- I'll take nekkid Kal (Andra Fuller) any way, but it bums me out he's trying with a woman. He knows he's not attracted to women. I know he's not past lying to others, but I thought he was at least well past lying to himself. It seems he has to take a few steps backwards before he's going to move forward even a little bit.

- Muppet Pancake Nick (Joe Dinicol) is adorable. But Sabrina's (Georgina Reilly) moxie is even more adorable. I love that just when Nick starts to soften around her, assuming she has done the same with him, she pulls another punch.

- God, I want Jennifer's (Krista Allen) house. Only second to Kal's house. But I do not want her disposition. Wanting to be there for a friend is one thing, but having a savior complex that takes over someone else's life? Too detrimental to everyone involved. She can't be there for every second of every day with these guys; eventually they have to learn to cope on their own.

- I'm really impressed that Raquel (Jewel Staite) is being the supportive, nice girl without the cameras rolling. ...Oh wait, never mind. Can't have too much growth from these narcissists! After all, Hollywood would collapse.

- I completely respect The L.A. Complex for having Sabrina rant about being a female writer in Hollywood the way they have, but I hate that she implies she's relying on getting the gig simply to fill a quota. It's not enough to be a diversity hire; you have to prove you actually deserve the spot because you're talented, too. There's enough crap floating around this town; we really don't need new kinds of people to add to it.

- I have to admit, I'm shocked to see Abby (Cassie Steele) floating around on set right now. I was convinced she would have showed up, only be to whisked into Donald's (Alan Thicke) office and told she was already fired, the threesome spun into some kind of seduction/corruption on her part. But maybe Laura (Megan Hutchings) is more bark than bite, and I overestimated her at the end of last week's "push her in the pool" rage. Bummer.

- I'm shocked this rehab reality show doesn't have cameras in the bathroom...or does it? Why else would they shoot from the side, wide like that? Just to exploit Aaron Abrams' nakedness a bit more? That's probably the case, but film school teaches you never to use an angle like that unless you want to indicate another presence in the scene, like someone spying on the people having the conversation, which in this case would be the producers and the public through the lens of another camera. Could you imagine if Raquel was caught trying to manipulate the show on the show? That's perfectly meta and exploitative in a way that reality TV has managed to never do yet.

- This punk lawsuit should actually go to trial. Regardless of Kal's actual innocence, if he's worried about his reputation as a rapper, this is the way to do it. I really, really, really hate this kid Infinite Jest (Stephan James) in a way I probably shouldn't considering I usually admire those who are trying to make their own way in this industry and "do it themselves" through independent production and distribution and stuff. But this kid is trying to capitalize off someone else's fame. He claims he doesn't care what anyone thinks of him, but it's a front or his simple stupidity because he's literally banking on the fact that Kal will be pissed off enough at his GarageBand mixtapes dissing him to come back on his own EPs and therefore make this kid a household name overnight. It's weak.

- Connor (Jonathan Patrick Moore) is such a little kid, probably willing to take the blame for his pseudo-big brother, but it only means his heart will be broken harder when Eric disappoints him for the first time the way he has to Jennifer so many times she knows what to expect and is seemingly numb to it today. As much as I find myself cocking my head and pitying Connor right now, though, I am kind of judging Jennifer for still letting Eric in. If she knows he's not really trying to get help, she's not being clever or respectable or the "nice, sensitive one" for letting him crash there; she's enabling him and his bad behavior. She may not think she's hurting herself by doing it, but I'd beg to differ. And she's certainly hurting him, too. In part because if he misreads her obligation or sense of loyalty or generosity as something greater, he's being unintentionally led on. But also because she's teaching him that he doesn't have to take responsibility or accountability for his actions because he has a place to lie low, to feel good about himself in the times when that's what he wants out of life. It's a destructive cycle all the way around. Because whens he eventually puts him out, he returns to his self-destructive ways, spurred on further by fresher, deeper wounds.

- I can't with this 7th Heaven "Grace" show anymore. The Sister Wives clothes, the pecks on the cheek, the weird accent director, Abby's terrible emoting that still no one calls out or corrects. And what's worse? The way everyone is so afraid of Donald like he beats them when they don't make their days.

- Watching Simon (Michael Levinson) be unwilling to perform because he's mad at his sister is the first time we've seen him be a kid all season. It's jarring to realize that and refreshing, too, at the same time, even though he goes from mumbly to tantrum in two seconds flat. 

- I hate to say I told you so about Eric, but it looks like he's proving my point already, and he's still in  the house. Connor being willing to cover for him is a bummer, but his willingness to help Eric at any cost, like taking his keys, shows he could have made a good dad if Raquel hadn't lost the baby. Maybe having to take responsibility for someone else will be enough to straighten himself out. He's doing better lately.

- Oh Raquel, you know you'll still look like the bitch when the show airs, right? There is no footage of Ricky (Abrams) saying any of these things about this kid. You're so desperate, you're not even seeing the easiest trappings.

- I like the idea of Kal as a mentor. I'm just not convinced Infinite Jest is deserving of his talent.

- Oh Simon, you don't want to live with dad. The grass is just greener somewhere you don't know and have never seen. And what happened to your so-called "dream" of acting? Is it just a phase? I don't want to see a kid forced into this business because there are no other options. It's too much on his little shoulders. Hell, living in one room with his big sister is too much on his little shoulders. I'm kind of sick of being around Beth (Dayle McLeod) and her terrible decisions, too, and I'm able to turn her off after an hour. Poor Simon. Maybe he can be adopted by Jennifer. That would get her back in headlines-- and it would be a positive, mutually beneficial, and not creepy way to channel her maternal energy.

- Ricky, read the room! When this kid kills himself in this house, they might be able to come after you for...well, it's the equivalent of selling the drug addict the pills he overdosed with, right? However, I love how Raquel completely catches Ricky off-guard, even if she can't quite say "we're here to build each other up" without rolling her eyes.

- I don't know what to do with Nick and Sabrina either right now. I don't want Nick to turn down the job because Sabrina is the one who really deserves it because he needs to have some balls and do what he needs to do to get ahead in this town just like the next guy. Or you know, like Sabrina. Yet, I kind of do want something to happen so that she ends up with it, even if it means she realizes how little she wants to be in a room that rewards such misogyny. You can only fight the system from within it. She could use it as a stepping stone to something better, whereas Nick would be stuck in that job forever because he'd get comfort there and nest. And because he isn't good enough to advance to anything else yet. Or maybe for a while.

- Never mind, I take what I said about Connor back. He's not maturing; he's not taking steps forward. He's more f*cked up than I realized if he's using Eric as his new father figure. Yikes. I thought most kids who grew up with crappy parents just learned to rely on themselves, even if it left them a little bitter and jaded and unable to trust or be appropriately intimate. This one just reaches out for anyone to care for him the way he was deprived of as a boy, though.

- Kristopher Turner, you are too good for Beth!

- Wow, it took awhile to see Donald on-screen. I thought he was just going to be a disembodied voice over a speaker, you know, like the God mic in a control room. But kudos to Laura for covering her own ass by pointing out Abby's very real screw ups. She's a better actor than I thought. Abby, on the other hand, is even worse than I thought. Who thinks it's a good idea to say you're not unprofessional because of your threesome and then you go through your boss' desk!? I'm sure he has skeletons in his closet, too, but he's smart enough not to hide them at work-- where he built an empire. Talent aside, it's getting harder and harder to root for Abby to succeed when she keeps screwing things up so royally for herself. Everyone self-sabotages on this show, but hers may be the worst.

- Oh yeah, by all means, Kal should mentor the dumb piss-ant who torched his car and was stupid enough to stick around so Kal knew it was him. I wouldn't be surprised if he FlipCamed it and used it in his next YouTube music video, too. At least now I have a more legitimate reason to dislike this kid: he's hurting my boy Kal's pretty, pretty things!

- Aw, Nick, you were going to drink the fat! ...Again, this is not a cute look on you or any guy. I do not condone it. But I could see why Sabrina is endeared by it.

- Connor's sick little pseudo family is making me uncomfortable.

- It occurs to me that if this is the bulk of the lawsuit Kal was said to be dealing with this season, it's really a nothing part of the story line, simply a plot point to introduce him to this lawyer guy, which I guess I'm willing to forgive the thinness of simply because this lawyer guy is way hotter than Tariq (sorry, Benjamin Charles Watson). But it still leaves me to wonder what that weird mouth on the cell phone call in last week's episode with the matchbook guy was about. It seems even less relevant now.

- Zack's dead, Raquel. Clearly this rehab isn't a good enough one to keep the substances out entirely. Good job, kiddo. Maybe Eric should check in, too. Then we're taking care of a bunch of characters' problems in one place/big swoop. If and when he and Jennifer go south again, he's going to end up convulsing on the floor, too. It's a sad state of things this season. Lots of lonely people taking things way too far.

- I love the parallel of Abby trying to call Connor the way he was trying to call just about anyone last season. It's that "Pinwheel of the Gods" thing-- when one is up, another is down, but the wheel, and luck in Hollywood, will never be consistently one or the other. Everyone just takes turns.

- How far can Simon really get on what appeared to only be ten dollars and change? I can barely buy lunch for that these days!

From LA Examiner: 'New Girl' Relationship Talk; Advance Reviews of 'Switched at Birth', 'Ben and Kate', and 'The Mindy Project'...

"Jake Johnson talks Nick and Jess for New Girl season two"

The first season on New Girl, every character had their own amount of learning, growing, and maturing to do, but arguably it was Nick (Jake Johnson) who had the farthest to go. He was struggling in just about every aspect of life in which one can have a tough time-- from his romantic to professional endeavors and even his ability to keep himself clean (remember when he imparted the wisdom that he does not need to wash his towel because "the towel washes me?"). Through comedy, though, it was easy to be endeared to Nick-- because you just wanted to pick him as your project. And if that's the Nick you fell in love with, you will be happy to learn that it's still the Nick you will get in season two, despite an attempt to do some very adult things at the end of last year... [MORE]

The FOX family is trying their hand at a new kind of family this fall with their half-hour comedy, Ben and Kate, starring Oscar winner Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson as a brother and sister against the world. But while the show sets up quirky and unique characters, the pilot episode had us waiting for one more punchline: that the two weren’t really biologically brother and sister at all-- because their chemistry was just crossing over the line of playful when you took their bloodline into consideration. We’re all for exploring different kinds of relationships on television, but this one, thus far, exhibits so much of the traditional “will they/won’t they” tension it’s unintentionally awkward... [MORE

If you follow Mindy Kaling on Twitter or have read her book, you know the kind of smart, observational commentary she makes on everything from ethnicity to relationships to women’s “issues.” But she often does it with such a layer of cuteness covering it that you don’t realize the profound statement she is making right away, allowing it to go down a bit easier. Her new FOX half-hour comedy pilot, aptly titled The Mindy Project, feels like the perfect set-up for a series of similar statements. She's just easing her audience in... [MORE

"Switched at Birth return sees new characters, new careers, and deeper relationships"

Switched at Birth returns this September after a long hiatus for its fans and a long time away from each other for at least a few of the characters. “This is the Color of My Dreams” rejoins the Kennish and Vasquez families after a summer of change. What’s different when Switched at Birth returns? We have compiled a couple of important spoilers for you to note here... [MORE

Guest Blog: Adam Stovall Believes in 'Supernatural'...

"I Believe In Supernatural"

I keep hearing that Season Three is where the series turns toward being very mythology-heavy. As this may be my last chance to talk about maintaining balance on a television series, let’s talk about maintaining balance on a television series.

I’m going to begin with a very obvious statement, so bear with me: For the most part, we watch television in our homes. We begin here, because this is the most fundamental and essential truth that must be understood when taking into account the myriad obstacles in place for a television series to be successful. When we watch TV, we are in our home, our comfort zone, our kingdom. When we invite others into our home, it is either out of a sense of obligation or because we genuinely enjoy their company– with the latter being far more common, in most cases. We dictate the terms of our home, or share that duty with the person with whom we share our home. We choose color scheme we want for our walls, the way we want our furniture arranged, the least obnoxious place to put the litter box. Our homes are ourselves, our happy places. Home is where we go when we have traversed the numerous compromises that every day in the outside world requires of us. It is where we put on our comfy pants, our zombie slippers, and collapse onto the couch to wind down with our old friend, the television. And what do we watch on said television? Well, if you’ll forgive another obvious statement, we watch what we want to watch.

Some shows seek to service this by offering up familiar storylines and punchlines. They (looking at you, CBS) want to reassure the audience that while the world may be going to hell outside, but that everything will be okay if you just hang with them for a few hours every night. Mark Harmon, who reminds you of your attractive neighbor, will take care of everything, and The Who will soundtrack it, to remind you of a time when you had sex just because. Other shows seek to provoke, or prompt a discussion. The expansion (some might even say explosion) of original programming on cable channels has led to many, many essays on how we’re living in a Golden Age of TV. These arguments, however, tend to forget the importance of the former group. Just as you can’t have Lars von Trier without Steven Spielberg, you can’t have Vince Gilligan without Chuck Lorre. And if you think I’m kidding, listen to interviews where filmmakers talk about their influences– filmmakers are constantly watching everything, taking cues from the unlikeliest of places.

Supernatural belongs to a cadre of shows which exist between these two groups. It’s no surprise that so many X-Files veterans have worked on the show, both shows try to maintain a balance between episodes that service the larger mythology of the series, and episodes that are more “monster of the week” in nature. It is also not surprising, given the X-Files veterans on staff, that this show would tilt towards the mythology so heavily and so early.

I was fourteen years old when The X-Files premiered on Fox. I was instantly smitten. As a little boy, I would stay up late Friday nights and watch Monsters and Tales From The Darkside and Nightmare CafĂ© (during its brief but memorable run). I loved stories of things that go bump in the night, and given their minimal budgets, these shows often specialized in catering to the fear of the unknown. Also, they tended to have beautiful women in their episodes…which mattered a great deal to me. When The X-Files happened, it was revelatory. Here were those same stories that I watched every Friday, only this time we followed two smart, capable, flawed people as they investigated each case. It was funny, it was terrifying, and most importantly– after a life of moving and changing schools– it was consistent. It was my new best friend.

Of course, I was not the only person to feel this way. The X-Phile movement was not an insignificant one. Because of this, most major magazines and entertainment shows featured it regularly. It was the job of the X-Phile to consume every bit of this, and I did my job with aplomb. As the show went on, and its rich, dynamic mythology was developed further, camps started to emerge in the X-Phile movement. Some people loved the show without reservation. Others were fascinated by the mythology, and had little patience for the “Monster of the Week” episodes. If the opening credits didn’t include William B. Davis (the Cigarette Smoking Man), they said they would turn it off. They said this in magazines. They said this in newspaper. They said this on TV. As you might imagine, in a world where ratings directly effect earnings, this was not music to the ears of the network, the creator, etc. What do you suppose they did? They sacrificed balance.

They were not alone. Just as every network had tried to create their own X-Files, they were now trying to create such a thing using the new mythology-heavy mold. This is how you get shows like Lost, which was either compelling or confounding, and often times both at once. This happens because most (I am being generous and not saying all) networks are more concerned with satiating the masses in pursuit of the almighty dollar, than in taking a chance on something truly groundbreaking and original. This is not meant as an insult, but rather a statement of fact concerning the marketplace. In fact, it is a compliment to those who navigate these waters that they are able to do so. I would point to another JJ Abrams pilot, that for Alias, as one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on television. It was smart, thrilling, and demanding of its audience. It refused to slow down in service of the cheap seats, and I firmly believe that had it stopped for a single commercial break, it would have lost half its audience. I was fortunate enough to speak with JJ Abrams once, and he said that it was pure luck that they were able to go commercial-free that night. They knew they had something special, and the network helped them by going out and finding a sponsor for the entire hour-plus. He worked with the Money People, not against them. And now…well, you may be aware of his resume since then.

Supernatural is clearly a show with something on its mind. I will not beg indulgence for another obvious statement, as I’m not sure that’s an obvious statement to most people. They see two hunks, they hear it’s about hunting ghosts, and they check right out. It’s similar to explaining Game of Thrones to someone who thinks “There are dragons? I’m not watching that.” You can tell them about how the show is more preoccupied with the balance and pursuit of power. How it is actually grounded in the interactions between people who are, for the most part, only talking to others instead of killing them because etiquette deems it so. But, for a large swath of the potential audience, words like “dragons” and “evil shadow baby” will serve as an automatic deterrent. Again, people want to watch something that they want to watch, and certain buzzwords are just not their cup of tea.

Yet, here’s the thing: You cannot just ask people what they want to see, because people simply do not know. Henry Ford has this great quote, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Truly great storytelling lies in the ability to tell a story that is uniquely your own, but in a language that everyone speaks. Supernatural resonates so greatly with people because it understands how to take a formula with which everyone is comfortable, and use it to tell a story that is utterly and completely its own. Dean and Sam are not Mulder and Scully, but Kripke and Co. are more than happy to use The X-Files as a means of explaining to people what they’re trying to do. Because they’re smart, and they realize that audiences may immediately enjoy the spoonful of sugar, but they will later appreciate the work that went in to making the medicine.

Let us now appreciate that work.

Season One saw the estranged brothers Winchester joining forces to find their Dad. It was a simple mission, and from what I saw of the season, it was executed well. They found him, and the family was reunited…only to then be torn asunder in a vicious car wreck. Fans were left wondering just how severe the damage was, and how each character would be effected by it. Which, yes, is me going out of my way to avoid saying that it left the audience wondering if they had survived or not. I don’t want to say that, because frankly, WHAT SHOW KILLS ITS LEADS? There is marketing. There are contracts. There a million reasons why the faces of your show cannot be killed. This is a device often trotted out on dramatic series, and it bothers me pretty much every single time. And beyond the fact that most shows contrive this cliffhanger, only to back their way out of it, your damn show is called SUPERNATURAL. Most weeks are spent with someone who is dead, so stakes– which drama is somewhat dependent on – are rather difficult to establish.  

Of course, as I’ve previously said, creating a TV series is to create a world – and part of creating a world is creating the stakes of that world. Yes, we see dead people all the time. But it’s largely with goal of either helping them move on or compelling them to move on. We salt and burn bones, why? Because stakes. We have a gun that kills that which is already dead, why? Because stakes. So as Season Two begins, we see that Dean is…not dead. But he’s also not up and walking around like Sam and Dad. He’s in purgatory– which looks a lot like a coma, but is purgatory, because we’re told that it’s purgatory. There’s a story here, about a Reaper and whatnot, but it doesn’t really matter. The point of “In My Time of Dying” is to execute the task of a season premiere. It provides closure to the story of last season– Dad Is Dead, Demon Has The Colt– while setting us up with a “where do we go from here” for this season– We Must Avenge Dad And Retrieve The Colt– in a tight forty-two minutes. Which it does, swimmingly.

From there, we’re thrust into Episode Two, “Everybody Loves A Clown” and begin to glimpse the story of Season Two. Where Season One was basically Find Dad, it would seem that Season Two is more along the lines of Become Dad. As the sibling dynamic was established so thoroughly in the previous season, this one shows them building a support network– a new family, if you will. We see what life must have been like for John as he began hunting, the way that tragedies build a cadre of like-minded people. In this case, we revisit Ellen and Jo and Ash in their roadhouse. I mean, yes, there’s an evil clown-thing in this episode, but that’s pretty beside-the-point. The point, it seems to me, is the idea that John had built himself a life that he loved, and in one moment it was burned down by the Yellow-Eyed Demon (seriously, I want so badly to call him That Yellow-Eyed Bastard). After that moment, his boys were a reminder of what he so briefly had, and he built a new life out on the road, on the hunt. This became more real to him than anything back home, which is why the boys were largely denied anything resembling a normal childhood. Of course, as we get older, we come to understand our parents more and more. So it is that Sam and Dean, as they meet Ellen and Jo and Bobby, et al, begin to understand the life their Father lived. Season Two, it would seem, is to be a coming-of-age tale for both Sam and Dean.

Episode Three, “Bloodlust,” furthers this theory. As the old sage Jerry Maguire once said, “This is the world and there are five billion people on it. When I was born, there were three.” One of the most fundamental parts of growing up is learning empathy and perspective, that every coin has two sides. In this episode, we meet Gordon, the hunter, who sees the world in very black-and-white terms, much like Dean. Which, when your life is spent fighting, makes sense. Fighting and hunting are very simple things which leave little room for nuance. They are missions that must be executed, nothing more. Years of evolution have not relieved us of the impulse to assert dominance, but they have made us feel bad about it. When one defines themselves by a single label– be it fighter, hunter, lover, disciple– they remove the need, or even desire, for nuance or doubt. This is the story of Lenore, the reason for doubt. She, too, has gained perspective on her plight, and wishes to do as little harm as possible. Dean doesn’t see this, because it conflicts with his mission. But he loves Sam, and Sam, ever the doubter, sees her predicament, and conveys this insight to Dean. It’s pretty much the core of dramatic writing, to externalize the internal, and having Dean literally tie Gordon down does that nicely.

Conversely, I had major issues with Episode Four, “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.” This was the one about the beautiful girl whose friend loved her and brought her back from the grave. First of all, this story has been done eleventy billion times before, and I didn’t see anything new in this treatment. Secondly, Dean makes a big deal out of her being “a little too good” in both the accounts of her friends and her journal…and then that is just dropped completely. I realize this sets up the question of how bringing someone back from the grave might change them a bit, a theme this season will explore much, much further. When it is explored further, however, it this episode isn’t echoed at all. This felt like introducing the gun in Act One and then forgetting about it. To the show’s credit, moments of seemingly lazy writing stand out, because of the overall high quality of the rest of the episodes.

We’re damn near 2500 words now, so I’m not going into detailed paragraphs for every episode. Episode Five, “Simon Said,” builds the world further by introducing more of the Psychic Kids Club – most notably Andy, who we will discuss later. Episode Six, “No Exit,” was a lot of fun, and it was nice to have Jo around for a little while to shake up the brothers’ dynamic. Episode Seven, “The Usual Suspects” was the one with Linda Blair, who puts on a clinic for why stunt-casting is not always a good idea. Seriously, every time she spoke, it took me out of the show. Next up is Episode Eight, “Crossroads Blues.” It should be noted that I am a big Robert Johnson fan, so as soon as this episode started, it had my rapt attention. The story was good, the stakes understandable, and obviously it’s an essential episode for the story of the season– but mostly I remember Robert Johnson music playing throughout the episode, making me OH SO HAPPY.

Episode Nine, “Croatoan,” was fine. Frankly, the story of Roanoake annoys me, as it’s a pat mystery that people drag out in an effort to sound smart (because history) and deep (because abstract). There’s a virus, Sam’s immune. That’ll be important, I’m sure. Moving on. Episode Ten, “Hunted,” brings Gordon back for an hour before sending him to jail. A black guy, in Indiana, with a trunk full of guns. Yeah, that’ll go well for him. At this point, they have to be setting Gordon up as a Massive Big Bad for some future season, because there are DEMONS who have more fondness towards the Brothers Winchester. Though, I do think it’d be interesting if his story played out that the fraternity of hunters actually trumps the desire for vengeance, and Gordon ends up sacrificing himself for them. Just a thought. Episode Eleven, “Playthings,” is fun, and typically the type of story you see on Doctor Who. Which reminds me, there are a few references to Doctor Who this season, was there something going on back in 2007, between the shows? Because, if so, AWESOME. (Yes, I’m a Whovian.) Episode Twelve, “Nightshifter,” was a cool heist film of an episode. Obviously they’ve established they can play with tone on the show, so it was nice to see them playing with genre as well. Episode Thirteen, “Houses of the Holy,” happened. 

There are two things about Episode Fourteen, “Born Under a Bad Sign”, that intrigue me. One, Evil Sam comes damn close to raping Jo. Seeing as how the CW audience is known to be largely young and female, I’m curious what the effect this had on them. Was this a major event back then? Was there a bumper or anything around the episode prompting people to call a hotline or something if they or someone they know has been through something similar? The other thing that intrigues me is the character of Bobby. Bobby, with his beer treated with holy water and doorways lined with salt and demon holding circles drawn all over his house, is that guy who comes back from Vietnam and can no longer hold down a normal job. He spends his time at either the VFW or the VA hospital, because he can’t even relate to people who haven’t seen the terrible things of which this world is capable. Which is awesome! A show about two good-looking brothers fighting demons needs precisely this kind of character. Their Dad was, well, their DAD. He’s a mythological being, someone they’ve romanticized heavily in their minds. Bobby is the face of what this life actually does to you. Bobby is the best case scenario, because he’s alive.

Great googily-moogily, I loved Episode Fifteen, “Tall Tales.” The trickster. The “he said, he said” structure. Bobby, again. LOVE.

Here, we arrive at a couple of episodes where I will go into detail. Episode Sixteen, “Roadkill,” presents us with an interesting idea. Sam and Dean are our leads. They are the first two names in the credits. They are who we follow in every episode. So I really dug seeing them presented as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern here. But you see, this is also where watching a lot of TV and writing about TV and keeping a critical eye to things becomes a burden, because I knew IMMEDIATELY that Molly, this episode’s main character, was dead. I mean, it’s a testament to how well the writers have built the infrastructure of this show, that I can immediately recognize what’s happening because of context. Also, I really liked the concept of doing a short story of an episode. This wasn’t just a self-contained episode, though, this was essentially a short film. And because of that, because of the repeated motifs and ideas from earlier in the series, I never connected to it. So I don’t know, it was a well-built episode, and I have no idea whether the execution was right or not. It probably was, and I’m just nit-picking. So I will move on to another episode I loved: Episode Seventeen, “Heart.” At first, I thought this was going to be a repeat of my “Roadkill” experience. As soon as the episode started, I guessed that she was the werewolf, and her neighbor was the one who’d turned her. I had settled in for another hour of “Yep, that’s what you do. Pass the M&Ms, please.” But then sex happened. The sex itself is not what made me love the episode, but rather what came next. Sam had to make a choice, and in an instant became the man Dean has spent a season trying to not become. Sam loves someone, and because the good of the many outweigh the good of the few, he has to shoot her dead. At first, I kind of chuckled when “Silent Lucidity” started playing as Sam walked down the hall, but then the camera stayed on Dean. And the episode brought it all home. And I had to step away and take a break.
But only just a break, because up next was Episode Eighteen, “Hollywood Babylon.” Because THAT is how you end a day-long Supernatural marathon, with Ben Edlund being meta and awesome.

Obviously, Episode Nineteen, “Folsom Prison Blues,” plays a large part in the story of the season, bringing back the agent from “Nightshifter” and continuing that plotline, but I would offer that this episode better serves as a reminder of the theme of community that this season has been building. When it’s revealed that the guard is Deacon, an old family friend, we are reminded that there is this whole world of hunters and those familiar with the hunt, and they are to be found in the darnedest of places. Had this not been established so well early on, the Deacon reveal would have felt like a cheap deus ex machina. As it is, however, it’s an awesome moment where the awesome Winchesters get to be awesome again. And with us about to plunge into a three-episode stretch that goes to some mighty dark places, it’s kind of exactly what we need at this point in the season. Get your smiles where you can, kids, because they’re about to go out-of-season.

Episode Twenty, “What Is And What Should Never Be.” Dean gets what he wants. Dad is dead (because nothing is free), but Mom is alive, Sam is in law school and still has Jess, and even he is very respectably dating a nurse. It’s a beautiful notion, and one that puts us in Dean’s head as well and as extensively as we have been this season. Dean wants with all of his heart for everyone to be happy, but he cannot shake the idea that something is wrong. On a personal note, the idea of never trusting a good thing rings much, much closer to home than I would like. So yeah, I get it when Dean gives up the semblance of a happy life for the reality of his calling. Oh Dean, things are not going to go well for you.

Like, not well at all. Like, “sell your soul to a demon” not well. Because that happens. Not in Episode Twenty-One, “All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One”, mind you. No, first Sam has to be abducted by That Yellow-Eyed Bastard and taken to Old Wild West Town with the rest of the Psychic Kids Club. I know I haven’t really talked about them yet, but I really liked the Psychic Kids Club. Bunch of kids in their early twenties, trying to figure out what the hell is going on in their heads, that sounds familiar. Especially Andy, of “Simon Said”, who realizes he can control people with his mind, and tries to do no harm with it. Sure, he satisfies some of his more base instincts, but his evil twin used the same power to kill people, so relatively speaking I’d say Andy was a good guy. So yeah, he dies. As does every other damn member of the Psychic Kids Club, except for an Army dude named Jake, who ends up killing Sam. Which brings us to Episode Twenty-Two, “All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two.” In this episode, well, all hell breaks loose. Dean sells his soul and gets a year to live, in return for Sam being brought back to life. Ellen’s roadhouse is burned to the ground, killing Ash, the mulleted computer genius. That Yellow-Eyed Bastard now has a human agent, and the Colt that kills everything and can apparently open a door to Hell (Why do we even HAVE a door to Hell???) in Wyoming, because that’s where Samuel Colt built it. Again, it’s a credit to how well they’ve built the world of this show, that I can type all of that out, realize how ridiculous it all sounds, and think “Yeah, but it’s flippin’ awesome onscreen!” The door opens, some demons escape Hell, and John Winchester walks out long enough to grab the Colt and kill the Yellow-Eyed Bastard. So…closure.

Except that not. Now there’s a bunch of demons running around, and Dean only has a year to live. The finale brought the story of Season Two to a close, while also providing a good pivot to the next season. I really hope this is how the series is run in coming seasons, with finales containing resolution and pivots, rather than cliffhangers. Again, maybe I know too much about writing for television, but rarely does a successful show end a season with a cliffhanger; that is usually deployed by shows trying to convince executives to bring them back for another year.

Obviously, because I am writing this in the lull between Seasons Seven and Eight, they got that next year. It is my hope that my earlier point that death on this show is not a hindrance from appearing again, because I refuse to believe that Andy and Ash are truly dead. This is a show that knows it’s best to keep some light around when trafficking in darkness, and both Ash and Andy were excellent sources of light. Here’s hoping those troublesome stakes I mentioned earlier become part of Supernatural’s milieu, as there’s little I enjoy more in film and TV than having my expectations proven wrong in ways of which I could not conceive. Please, Kripke & Co, show me that I’m thinking of a faster horse, and you have a car in mind.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Drunk Leslie Knope...

Having a bad day or just simply need a little push to get you through the last work day before the weekend? I find Drunk Leslie Knope works every time!

Enjoy :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

From LA Examiner: 'Suburgatory' Gets Tessa's Mom; ABC Family Orders 'Socio' and 'The Fosters'...

“She needs to be a sort of artsy, kind of inconsistent woman who is a little bit of a narcissist who couldn’t see herself in the role of mom,” Suburgatory showrunner Emily Kapnek told LA TV Insider Examiner about Tessa's mother, a woman who chose to let her daughter be raised in the sole custody of her father while she...well, we're not quite sure what she has been up to. But we will be soon enough! ... [MORE]

ABC Family has announced the expansion of their original scripted drama programming once again today by green lighting two new pilots, The Fosters (working title) from executive producer Jennifer Lopez, and Socio from executive producer Gavin Polone... [MORE]

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From LA Examiner: 'House's' Final DVD Set Review; Stand Up 2 Cancer's 2012 Telethon Line-Up...

Your prescription has been filled: "House Season Eight: The Final Season" is now on DVD & Blu-Ray! It was a tumultuous road at best for House, M.D. and Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) himself as the medical drama series maxed out at eight years on FOX. But in its final season, it seemed to be reinvigorated in a deeper way than just the new blood that made up his new team. There was no Senioritis setting in here; what House delivered in its eighth and final season was a creative shake-up to a long-seen formula. And now, you can relive it as often as you want with "House Season Eight: The Final Season" on DVD and Blu-Ray... [MORE]

"Stand Up 2 Cancer's 2012 telethon line-up announced"

Get ready for a star-studded telethon coming to every major network (and many cable ones) this fall. Stand Up 2 Cancer is returning, and it's bigger than ever... [MORE]

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Live-Blogging 'The L.A. Complex's' "Rule of Thirds"...

Tonight's TV Talk: The L.A. Complex's "Rule of Thirds"

- Does Raquel (Jewel Staite) really not have any family or "real" friends-- not even one!?-- who could knock some sense into her? Or at least talk at her, since she's not really the type to actually listen to anyone else? I'm sad for her. She clearly doesn't have a real drinking problem (which is good for many reasons because these rehab shows never solve anyone's problems), but she has a list of other terrible problems. And it looks like Ricky (Aaron Abrams) may be another one. Can I just say how much I love that this show brings characters in and out the way it does? It mimics the way the industry itself reuses familiar faces...just when you had almost forgotten about them. It's poetic. And a little sad.

- Oh Beth (Dayle McLeod), I feel your pain. I've been waiting for my July and August checks from one Hollywood company since, well, July. Being a free agent in this town is not easy.

- Oh Abby (Cassie Steele), are you really that self-involved that you have yet to even meet your new neighbors!? You should live in New York; you'd fit right in there.

- Kal's (Andra Fuller) preppy sweater makes me uncomfortable. So does the idea that he may have two beards now. He's clearly not okay with who he is, but if he's never fake-dated a woman before, is he only going to attempt it now to make his dad happy? His dad never did sh*t for him; Kal doesn't owe him sh*t.

- If Ricky is being honest right now, he and Raquel may have more in common than you might imagine. But if he is just creating a story for the cameras, he's an even bigger douche than the guy who made a sex tape with Alicia (Chelan Simmons).

- Oh, there's my answer. At least the douche understands continuity. Although, doesn't it look like there are "extras" in that room that actually do need the help this show will not provide? 

- I wouldn't trust Connor (Jonathan Patrick Moore) to make you coffee, Jennifer (Krista Allen). You already caught him scalding himself with your teapot. What you don't know is he also sets kitchens on fire.

- I have no words for Eric. I just...ridiculous.

- This commercial break has allowed me to realize I completely missed commenting on Nick (Joe Dinicol) being set up to be late and nekkid for work! This show moves too fast sometimes. Sabrina (Georgina Reilly) is one twisted lady, but I kind of like it. I like that she gets a sick pleasure out of screwing and then screwing with Nick. I like that she's strong enough not to fold, even when it seems like she's losing steam in the race. And honestly, how the hell could she (legitimately) lose in the race? He's a terrible writer; remember his stand-up about bags? I like that she's so much clevver than him when she has a moment to think about things. She raises his game and actually makes him clever every now and then, too.

- A method actor should never play a pedophile. I fear there may be a van with "Free Puppies!" painted on the side in the parking lot right now.

- Kal's playing this very smart. He shouldn't give his dad any cash-- whether he asks for it or not-- but using his wealth for good is a nice look for the guy. Even if I still can't believe that he's hanging out at this shelter without the paparazzi catching him doing it. Forget coming out, how would that look for his image? You'd think someone as insecure as him would worry about that-- about all of it.

- Um, crazy producer lady, Raquel will cut a bitch. But if she doesn't want to play the reality TV game, she's not going to end up getting paid. And then she's back to square one. In season one, she was told she couldn't play "soft" and it ended up with her putting on a blonde wig and trying to play against type. What will happen this time? It seems like the consequences could be much worse.

- Ouch, Ricky needed three takes? He's not so good after all.

- Here's why I said the whole Eric thing is ridiculous-- or maybe not him in general, but Connor's reaction to him. If Jennifer was so famous, he should already know she was married. This makes him look even more ignorant for jumping into this "relationship" without truly knowing what he was getting into. The way his feelings change and develop as time spent alone with this woman is one thing-- you can't always anticipate those specifics or how it will then affect and change the other relationships in your life (all fascinating things I want to see explored in depth, by the way), but he wasn't even smart enough to Google the woman he was metaphorically jumping into bed with? What is wrong with kids today!? And then he actually jumped into bed with her-- which was clearly a terrible decision because she obviously has a savior complex, and that just makes their relationship ride the line between intimate and maternal (which is really just a different kind of intimate), and that's...icky.

- Kal's dad, that is not slick. Not at all.

- Now, if Sabrina was really smart, she'd shove Nick out into the writer's room while he was butt nekkid. It might be a cheap laugh, but she'd still get it.

- I don't care what Brandon (Brett Dier) is saying as he once again gets Abby in bed; I still don't buy that he's fallen for her fully and that he's only still with the other Christian because she's a delicate flower, and he wants to keep his job or whatever.

- The waiter is not cute, Kal. Choose the "direction" of this girl, let her be your new single gal pal, and she can help you be comfortable with yourself and maybe even help you try to woo Tariq (Benjamin Charles Watson) back. Not that I think you two should get back together, but I want to see you try.

- Okay, Beth is back to being the worst. It's called acting. So unless something terrible happened to her as a child, which we really have no reason to believe, she needs to ease up a lot.

- Watching Raquel try to be nice is like watching these fake doctors try to help on these rehab shows.

- Well played, Nick. It looks like all those nights at the whorehouse with your new boss man paid off ten-fold. And the respect you're earning from Sabrina? Adorable. You guys are my favorite new couple.

- I said in season one that Raquel should be a producer. She was admittedly trying with those kids in her building's script, but that didn't quite pan out. She's doing wonders with Ricky. Her simple "no bullshit" attitude is also perfect and oddly refreshing.

- I honestly was not expecting Eric to be sympathetic, but he totally is. I'm not saying he's not a mess, and I'm not saying he's probably terrible for Jennifer, but I have no reason to believe he's playing Connor when he says his relationship with Jennifer was the best thing he ever had. I even believe he wanted her wedding ring for memories and not just to pawn. It's a simple gold band; you would only get like $20 from Cash4Gold melting that down anyway.

- As much as I admire that Beth sticks up for her brother and won't allow Hollywood to piss on her, the role they changed was actually giving her brother a bigger, better part. And she really should know better than to storm on the set because she doesn't know there are air holes in the prop bag. She's so green, it hurts me. It's hard to see her point-- for me, or those on the production-- when she does such a dumb thing one moment and then wants you to respect her as a peer the next.

- Aw, now Jennifer has two children.

- This Christian girl's cat-eye glasses are the funniest thing about this show. I know the writers are playing with little bits of comedy and lightness with almost every storyline, I don't actually find Abby's story light or funny at all. Sure, she finds herself in ridiculous situations, and she makes even more ridiculous faces that make me wonder how she could be an actor if she can't hide her emotions from those she's supposed to be hiding secrets, but the core of it is just another girl whose life is on a terrible track. And she either can't see it-- or doesn't want to. And that makes me sadder than almost everything else. Because she has so much going for her, but she's so easily screwing things up for herself.

- Oh, here's the part of the story where Kal gets outed to the press. But I really like that his father phrased it as being proud of the man his son is, rather than trying to take credit for it. Maybe he really is a changed man.

- Ricky and Raquel deserve their own talk show. They should be the new co-hosts of News Night where they don't let their guests finish their answers before they bombard them with a new, aggressive question. I would watch the sh*t out of that. And Raquel's wink to the producer? The best TV-safe way to flip the bird. I'm going to write that into my own scripts.

- Any L.A. Complex fans watch Will & Grace? I'm doing Debbie Reynolds' "told ya so" dance with this Brandon scene right now. No one got hurt? You don't think these bitches will get you fired? And if you had such real feelings for him, isn't the emotionality of the situation enough to consider yourself a little hurt? HAVE SOME SELF-RESPECT!

- Simon (Michael Levinson) is the smartest character on this show. Boom.

- It's a shame it took this long but I finally respect and want to keep watching Laura (Megan Hutchings). It's also a shame it took so long for someone to get pushed in the pool, Melrose style, but I'm glad it happened eventually. And I'm glad it was Abby when it happened. Since the show initially started by following her journey (as she climbed into and then out of a crappy apartment to steal her own stuff), I assumed way-back-then that she was supposed to be the central and most sympathetic character. But oh, how so much can change in one short summer!