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If you have been following the filming of "The Bachelorette" this season, then you will already know that Emily Maynard has already held a number of Rose Ceremonies and sent plenty of men home.So where is the...
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I'm no longer busy and I'm beginning to catch up on all the shows I've missed. There are still a lot of episodes I need to watch, but I'm getting there.
True story: I haven't watched a complete episode of Mad Men since the season four finale on October 17 of 2010--a year and a half ago--so my memory was a little hazy on what happened back then. Luckily, Matthew Weiner eases viewers into the new season. We get a glimpse of each character at the beginning of the season premiere, they're living situation, what they're up to, and a hint of the conflicts. The biggest change, of course, is Megan. The decision to have Don propose to her was really abrupt during the end of the last season, especially with all the other things that were going on. But I'm happy with how they deal with her character in the first two hours. There's nothing immediately obvious about her character--unlike season four Betty who's just a pain--but there are indications at the beginning of the episode of how opportunistic she is, how she doesn't really know Don. Her enthusiasm about Don's party soon devolves and as the premiere heads into the second hour, it's clear that neither Don nor Megan is having an easy time. The episode ends with the two together, but sex is what's holding them together. Without Betty in the episode, it's impossible to say that Don has other options, but his marriage with Megan will surely not be smooth.
While introducing Megan was a big part of the premiere, there were several other interesting stories. Pete and Sterling are doing battle, the young guy with the accounts versus the old guy with nothing left. Pete's always been ambitious and Roger represents the next obstacle in his way. Joan eventually made it into the office, after mistaking a personal ad towards a rival firm for the firm looking to replace her. She wasn't the only one to mistake the ads, as the episode ends with blacks in the lobby with job applications. Kind of out of nowhere is Lane's story. He's unhappy with his marriage and while returning a wallet, gets a bit too friendly with the "girl" of the man's wallet. There really is not indication whether this will be an ongoing thing or just a deeper illustration of a marriage on the rocks like Roger's.
I'm not sure if I'm going to watch the third season of Shameless. The show is a lot like Karen--it can turn on a dime. All the money was stolen last week, but that doesn't seem to be a problem, and this week pretty much a potpourri of people being ridiculous.
The Good Wife has been drilling in this idea the whole season that it's better not to know the truth--or at least let it out into the public. Alicia begins her role on the panel seriously questioning the veracity of the witnesses, and uncovers some serious injustices. The others on the panel don't want this to escalate, but she keeps pushing and pushing. She is Alicia, after all. But then the uncomfortable truth comes out--that not only was her husband involved but also Eli Gold. To her, some things are better left hidden--even if there will always be a wronged victim.
Considering how great Supernatural just two seasons ago, it's really disappointing to see what's happening now. No Cas? No problem. He's reintroduced, without memories, then swapped with Sam. Now he's the one with Lucifer in the head and in the mental ward. What a cheap, easy way to wrap up two stories.
Fringe is supposed to be a science show. Not really hard science fiction, but a show where people on the show, namely Walter, did real science with chemicals and whatnot. The villain of last week's episode was a science guy, trying to find the right blend of pheromones and ultimately failing. This was supposed to parallel Peter and Olivia, two people undeniably attracted by something unseen by the eye. But if the plot was about pheromones--a scientific concept--why would the Observer talk about love--an abstract concept which is being used as an easy fall back? Is there something scientific about love which brings Peter and Olivia together regardless of other circumstances and Lincoln forever relegated to unrequited feelings? And what about the memories?
At this point, it feels like The Vampire Diaries is just spinning around in circles. The ring stuff is okay, but it's obviously was inserted to finally get rid of the most egregious plot device. Bonnie's plot was stale once again, although the acting contributed to that. And the supposed main story--the Originals--was pretty tepid until the end. Without Klaus or his hybrids menacing the town, there really doesn't seem to be much urgency.
Behind Community's outright cartoonishness during the impersonations episode, Abed and Troy's friendship is going through some problems. Yes, Abed is really cool and knowledgeable, but Troy is beginning to realize that Abed he wants is someone who can also come back to the real world. That's not the Abed in the present.
Given NBC's treatment of Bent, burning it off in a competitive timeslot during the spring, it's clear the show won't last. Indeed, the ratings sucked, and less than three million people watched it. But given NBC's treatment of Whitney at the beginning of the TV year, it is a bit confusing. Bent is not bad at all, featuring a good cast and an overall pleasantness. It's never particularly funny, but definitely not cringe-worthy like ABC's Tuesday crop of comedies or Whitney.
Justified: Quarles completely unhinged is truly a sight to behold. I wouldn't say he's better than Mags--yet--but he's one of the most exciting villains on television right now.
Well, that's the end of The River. I'd be very, very, very, very surprised if Netflix somehow scrounged up enough money for it. The end of the season/series was a wild mess, with some really crazy scenes. In the end, not much was explained except that the Bouina doesn't want them to leave. In an age where most science fiction on television is shoehorned into a procedural format (Alcatraz, Warehouse 13, etc), I appreciate what The River brought. It wasn't always coherent and the characters were boring, but it wasn't afraid to be crazy and unconventional.
Alcatraz ends its first season tonight and the show likely won't be returning. The good thing is, the last episode ended with Lucy waking up, hopefully a development which spurs the show ahead. Maybe the mythology will actually be expanded.
House had yet another good episode this season, pulling back the layers on House's parentage, before ending it right there. There are always going to be things about House we don't know about and why he ended up the way he is. Park's hallucinations were pretty fun and Michael B. Jordan really sold his lines, as cheesy as the story was.
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Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe are getting into character on the London set of Les Misérables, with Jackman sporting the threadbare look of Jean Valjean from the earlier part of the story, while Crowe's Inspector Javert looks ready to get down to some police business. We have some of the first photos from the set, and though the movie-musical also stars Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, we'll have to wait to get a glimpse of the rest of the cast. The pictures are only piquing my intrigue in this movie, which we'll have to wait for until December. What do you think of these first photos from the set?View Slideshow ?
Dominating discussion of the Season 5 premiere with her rendition of French pop confection "Zou Bisou Bisou," the actress talks about the elaborate musical number -- and what that last scene means for the new Mrs. Draper.
The tragic death of 17-year-old Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has sparked waves of public outrage and re-opened the long-dormant discourse about race in America. On Monday, talk show host Wendy Williams spoke about her family's experience as African-Americans, and described the stress and worry that she said black men live with every day.
"I'm sure we're not the only black family that extra took time to talk to our son about being racially profiled," Williams said. "For me, as a black woman, I worry about my black father, my brother-in-law, my nephew who leaves for college in the fall, my husband, who I don't sleep until I hear the garage door go up and go down."
Williams told a story about dropping her 11-year-old son, who was wearing a hoodie, off at a party, and making a point to go inside to introduce herself to the parents "just so they would understand ... there's always some sort of underlying thought when you're raising a black son."
The talk show host took a serious turn when explaining that the experience of being a black man in America is one that comes with constant anxiety, even for the women who are close to them. "Even when justice is served, we as black people, for our boys and our fathers and our uncles, this is a day-to-day worry and occurrence, whether they graduated from Harvard or are digging ditches or anything in between," Williams said. "It's just a thing of being a black male in America."
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Despite airing a documentary about her struggles in treatment on MTV, E! is going to have the first televised look at Demi Lovato's "Give Yout Heart a Break" music video.As a part of her new...
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Fans of "The Good Wife," you've been warned: There are spoilers ahead.
In the next new episode of "The Good Wife," titled "No Ordinary Lie," (Sun., April 15, 9 p.m. ET on CBS), Alicia and Jackie will go toe-to-toe. You may remember Alicia's quest to buy her old home was thwarted when Jackie made the purchase instead. The most recent episode, "Blue Ribbon Panel," ended with Alicia confronting Jackie, asking for some face time.
"No Ordinary Lie," which features appearances from Parker Posey and Matthew Perry, will also include a "Good Wife" game-changer: Peter's announcing his run for governor. Will Alicia stick around and play the doting wife?
Here's how CBS describes the episode:
"No Ordinary Lie" -- As Alicia counsels a client whether to accept a strict plea deal, she's distracted by Peter's newest political rival, whose actions force her back into the public spotlight.
Check out the preview photos below!
On April 5, "Grey's Anatomy" is finally set to return from its lengthy hiatus with a new episode entitled "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," but following that we will have another installment entitled "Support...
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Every year, the five major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX and NBC) order pilots to be considered for the fall season. A pilot, as you may know, is the first episode of a TV series and the final step in a long development process from idea to screen.
From the 87 drama and comedy pilots ordered this year, a new crop of television shows will be selected -- and I read the scripts for each and every one of them. Over the course of this week, I'll walk you through the network's pilot slates, offer a bit of analysis on their present schedules and provide you with a rundown of the drama contenders. (Plus, a little bit of info about the comedies, too.) Of course, not all of these shows will find their way to your TV set -- in fact, most of them you may never hear of again.
[NOTE: The versions of the scripts that I am commenting on were not necessarily final drafts and therefore could have changed in both content or title between my having read them and production -- though, drastic changes are unlikely.]
ABC did fairly well this past year, having the only two new broadcast dramas that could be considered success stories -- "Revenge" and "Once Upon A Time." Based on the scripts that they picked up to pilot, it seems they want more of what's already working.
Three of their projects hew very close to the ensemble soapiness of "Revenge": "Americana," about a New York fashion dynasty (a secret illegitimate daughter! attempted murder! bitchy ex-mistresses!); "Nashville," basically "Country Strong: The Series," except this time the ingĂ©nue is the one coming unglued (a scheming up-and-comer! a fading star! daddy issues!); and "Scruples," another fashion-based soap, set in '70s Beverly Hills and centered around what was to become the famed Rodeo Drive (underage models! celebrity journalism! secret gays!). Of these, "Scruples" has the most compelling plot and, despite it's period trappings, feels the freshest -- but given ABC's disappointing experience with "Pan-Am," it still feels like a gamble.
This may explain why another attempt set in less-than-modern times seems to be cobbled together from other successful projects. "Gilded Lilys," produced by "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes, focuses on a grand hotel in the late 1800s, and appears to have lifted elements directly from a certain popular British soap: a prickly matriarch, a ladies' maid BFF, a gotta-find-a-husband plot line, and even a hotel guest turning up dead. "Lilys" draws not only on "Downton Abbey," but also "Titanic" (a third of the pilot takes place on a steamship bound for New York): The main character's chief love interest is a "lower class" "adventurous romantic" who rides steerage. Derivative, yes, but provided ABC has learned from other networks' similar attempts -- such as last fall's "Mad Men"-aping "The Playboy Club" -- it could prove to be a success.
Perhaps the most obvious move to capitalize on past success comes in the form of "Devious Maids," from king of "Adjective Plural-Noun" television Marc Cherry. Very similar to the his last series with ABC, "Devious Maids" asks "what if the 'Desperate Housewives' were richer and had hired help?" It's a modern twist on an upstairs/downstairs story, but the "big mystery" element -- a murder -- feels tacked-on, and Cherry's track record in that department isn't very good.
Then there's "666 Park Ave," based on the book series of the same name. This marks Alloy Entertainment's first project on broadcast television outside of The CW, for whom they produce "The Secret Circle," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Gossip Girl." The otherworldly soap centers on a young couple who become the managers for an apartment building in New York that just might be owned by Satan. It's compelling enough, but ABC's previous forays into the supernatural ("The Gates," a forgettable summer series, and, more recently, "The River") haven't had much in the way of staying power.
On the fantasy front, ABC picked up two projects that would pair very well with "Once Upon A Time." The first is a "Beauty & The Beast" adaptation (one of two this development cycle, the other being at The CW), which is a twist on the original fairy tale with a dash of "Game Of Thrones." The script is strong, but the key will be making this fantasy world (which relies heavily on otherworldly creatures, beast included) feel realistic on a non-premium-cable budget. The other project, "Gotham," doesn't rely as heavily on special effects, which could give it a slight edge on Beauty if it comes down to one over the other. It's a combo of "Once Upon A Time" and NBC's "Grimm," wherein an NYPD detective discovers that what makes New York City feel like a "magical" place is -- quite literally -- magic, and that it's up to her to keep it safe.
ABC's programming tends to typically skew towards soaps or family programming; but this year, it looks as though they want to expand into the kind of programming that might be at home on a more action-oriented network like Fox. Up first is "Zero Hour," a fictionalized biblical-end times thriller on the same wavelength as "The Da Vinci Code" and "Indiana Jones" -- no joke: the bad guys are Nazis. It's not particularly substantive, but it could turn out to be a fun, "National Treasure"-esque adventure romp.
In a similar vein, but neither as effective or as fun, is Roland Emmerich's "Antichrist." I'm sad to say, given how mindlessly enjoyable his movies can be (like "Independence Day," "2012"), this turned out to be a pseudo-religious mess. The log line bills it as an apocalyptic political thriller, but the few political elements are completely overshadowed by murky mythology and out-of-left-field plot points. (A chauffeur who also moonlights as a leather 'n whips go-go dancer? I mean...)
At the other end of the spectrum is "Last Resort," by Shawn Ryan ("The Shield"). It's a tense action-adventure that involves a renegade nuclear sub, a possible American coup, and violent mobsters on an island in the South Pacific. It's a page turner absolutely fraught with tension and certain elements remind me of what I loved about the early seasons of "24."If ABC is looking to pull in more of a male demographic, this one is sure to do it.
As for comedy, ABC is again playing to its strengths by picking up 13 scripts that are, at their cores, family-centric -- whether they're about the workplace, a group of friends, or an actual family. As a matter of pure coincidence, the best of the crop were all purchased with their lead actresses attached: "American Judy," about a new stepmother (Judy Greer) who has to put up with a withholding mother-in-law, the town sheriff -- who happens to be her husband's hot ex-wife -- and step kids she's trying too hard to connect with; "Malibu Country," about the wife (Reba McEntire) of a country superstar who discovers her husband has cheated on her and moves her kids and mother from Nashville to Malibu, where she tries to get her life (and her own music career) back on track; "The Family Trap," about a young woman (Mandy Moore) who moves, along with her husband, closer to her insane family; and "The Smart One,: about an overachieving, type-A woman (Portia De Rossi) who winds up working for her less impressive, but more popular sister.
Looking at the state of ABC's present schedule, the network could pick up two to five hours of new programming, depending on how many current shows don't come back next year. Right now, things aren't looking good for "The River" or "Body of Proof." Plus, "Desperate Housewives" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" have already been served their pink slips, and things are too early to tell for "GCB" or "Missing." Even the fantastic, but low-rated "Cougar Town" could wind up getting the axe in favor of another project that looks like it could bring in a larger audience.
Unfortunately, sometimes a better script can be passed over in favor of another that seems like it might have broader appeal -- TV is a business and as much as we'd love to put or keep certain projects on the air, there is a bottom line to consider. That said, a good script does not always guarantee a good pilot; plenty can change in the translation from page to screen. At the same time, it's also possible for a mediocre script to be elevated by a great director or a fantastic cast (as I expect "Gilded Lilys" will be).
Taking all variables into account, below are my predictions for ABC's fall schedule, 2012.
In the last decade, ABC has been the home of family comedies, light procedurals and ensemble soaps. These series candidates -- the most of any network -- continue to build upon that brand, while expanding into a potential new wheelhouse of fantasy-tinged programming and the realm of action/adventure. If things go according to plan, next season could be very good for ABC.
Coming up tomorrow: A look at CBS -- home of the law enforcement procedural.