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Friday, December 19, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Christmas gifts for the TV fan

by Ashley Gouveia

If you’re like me and wait to the very last minute to complete your holiday shopping, then don’t fret fellow Tube Talk readers. I have a list of great gift ideas that is sure to satisfy the TV-obsessed member in your family. Some of these items are even on my own personal list, so Santa if you’re reading this, I would take some notes.

The first item that any TV fan would be extremely grateful for would be their very own TiVo. This year I was lucky enough to purchase my own, and I can’t express to you how much I love this inanimate object. I was one of those people who could never keep up with all the shows that they watched. I couldn’t record two shows at the same time even if I wanted to. VCR’s were not my friend. Then I got TiVo and all my tube troubles were a distant memory. I guarantee that if you get this for your TV fan they will be forever grateful.

For the family members that love TV and board games I would suggest Scene It, the Friends, Seinfeld and TV editions. I own multiple editions of this DVD game because I love it so much. If the person you’re buying for is a die-hard fan of Friends or Seinfeld, then I definitely recommend these games. Let me tell you from experience that you could play these games for hours. All the clips and trivia questions are awesome, and they sell extra packs of trivia questions and a new DVD, once you start repeating questions.

A person can’t go wrong with buying a DVD set for the holidays. My suggestions for the best DVD sets are probably not going to surprise many of you, since they consist of two of my favorite television shows. Even if they are not fans of these shows, do them a service and introduce them to Ugly Betty and Supernatural on DVD. For the person who loves comedy and a dash of drama, get Ugly Betty seasons one and two. While you’re at it, get Supernatural, seasons one through three for the person who loves to be spooked, and appreciates great stories and fantastic acting. At this time you can probably find these sets for a reasonable price. I hope to be getting some of these sets to add to my own collection.

Those are my suggestions for all you TV fans this holiday season. I hope everyone has a safe and happy one. Let me know in the comments what all of you are asking for? Happy Holidays!

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pushing Daisies’ Kristin Chenowith sings Eternal Flame and other news

Is there anything more beautiful than Kristin Chenowith’s singing voice?

Perhaps the unrequited love story she’s currently starring in on Pushing Daisies, where her character (Olive Snook) carries a torch for her boss Ned (Lee Pace.) I know the show is selling Ned and Chuck as the fated couple, but in my opinion the show honchos went in the wrong direction. Ned and Olive should have been the love story to watch. (Oh well, it doesn’t matter at this point, since the series is on its final leg.)

In this fabulous clip below, Chenowith treats us to one of my favorite ‘80s song and a glimpse of her anguish on the TV show Pushing Daisies. It’s excellent.

Regular readers know my love for Chenowith knows no bounds. So, bear with me while I share this news. You can catch Chenowith on Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. on TNT, as she sings at the Christmas in Washington celebration. Also, for movie buffs, check out Chenowith in the hilarious movie Four Christmases. (She looks AMAZING in a gorgeous blue wrap dress that I wish I could find or at least a cheap knock-off of.)

If you want to hear more of Chenowith’s Tony-winning voice, you can find her new album in stores now called A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas. Meanwhile here’s a lovely way to spend a few minutes by hitting play below!

The Golden Globe Nominations 2008 for TV

The Golden Globe nominations are following in Emmy’s footsteps with all the love for cable dramas and actors. However, there were a few non-cable shows and actors among the bunch.
I’m most excited for Neil Patrick Harris of How I Met Your Mother, Steve Carell of The Office, Sally Field of Brothers and Sisters, and America Ferrera of Ugly Betty, all shows and actors that I love.

Sadly, Friday Night Lights and everyone associated with it were once again dissed.
In a humorous twist of irony, James Franco, formerly of my beloved TV obsession Freaks and Geeks, finally got nominated. The fact that it’s for playing a pothead in the movie Pineapple Express made me chuckle.

Here are the Globe nominees for television. For the complete list that includes films and actors such as Brad Pitt click here.

Catch the show on January 11 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Best Television Drama
In Treatment
Mad Men
True Blood

Best Actor - Television Drama
Gabriel Byrne, ‘In Treatment’
Michael C. Hall, ‘Dexter’
Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’
Hugh Laurie, ‘House’
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, ‘The Tudors’

Best Actress - Television Drama
Sally Field, ‘Brothers & Sisters’
Mariska Hargitay, ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’
January Jones, ‘Mad Men’
Anna Paquin, ‘True Blood’
Kyra Sedgwick, ‘The Closer’

Best Television Musical/Comedy
‘30 Rock’
‘The Office’

Best Actor - Television Musical/Comedy
Alec Baldwin, ‘30 Rock’
Steve Carell, ‘The Office’
Kevin Connolly, ‘Entourage’
David Duchovny, ‘Californication’
Tony Shalhoub, ‘Monk’

Best Actress - Television Musical/Comedy
Christina Applegate, ‘Samantha Who?’
America Ferrera, ‘Ugly Betty’
Tina Fey, ‘30 Rock’
Debra Messing, ‘The Starter Wife’
Mary-Louise Parker, ‘Weeds’

Best Mini-Series - Television
‘A Raisin in the Sun’
‘Bernard and Doris’
‘John Adams’

Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture - Television
Ralph Fiennes, ‘Bernard and Doris’
Paul Giamatti, ‘John Adams’
Kevin Spacey, ‘Recount’
Kiefer Sutherland, ‘24: Redemption’
Tom Wilkinson, ‘Recount’

Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture - Television
Judi Dench, ‘Cranford’
Catherine Keener, ‘An American Crime’
Laura Linney, ‘John Adams’
Shirley MacLaine, ‘Coco Chanel’
Susan Sarandon, ‘Bernard and Doris’

Best Supporting Actor - Television
Neil Patrick Harris, ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Denis Leary, ‘Recount’
Jeremy Piven, ‘Entourage’
Blair Underwood, ‘In Treatment’
Tom Wilkinson, ‘John Adams’

Best Supporting Actress - Television
Eileen Atkins, ‘Cranford’
Laura Dern, ‘Recount’
Melissa George, ‘In Treatment’
Rachel Griffiths, ‘Brothers and Sisters’
Dianne Wiest, ‘In Treatment’

Monday, December 08, 2008

Here's a look at what the Web's best TV bloggers are talking about this week in the TV Blog Coalition, of which Tube Talk Girl is a proud member.

Buzz suggested a few possible scenarios for the Gossip Girl spinoff. (BuzzSugar)

Sandie shared an interview with Samuel Baum, creator and executive producer of Fox's upcoming new series, Lie to Me (Daemon's TV)

GMMR shared some news and pics from her recent visit to the set of Privileged. (Give Me My Remote)

The holiday season has arrived and with it a brand new TV Advent Calendar including our favorite advent "treat" this week... How to make a holiday work wheel à la The OC and Seth Cohen's Chrismakkuh Work Wheel. (RTVW Online)

Scooter unveils his upcoming holiday schedule of Best of the Year list and how you can participate in crafting one and win iTunes/Amazon gift cards in the process. (Scooter McGavin's 9th Green)

Vance fell behind in TV blogging November sweeps so did a little blogging cleaning up on over a dozen shows. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace took a look back at those five suggestions to improve Fringe that he made in October to see if the writers had addressed any of them since then. (Televisionary)

Our national nightmare came and went. Dan evaluated Rosie's debacle of a variety show. (TiFaux)

Jennifer begged Shonda Rhimes to stop the Izzie madness on Grey's Anatomy. (Tube Talk)

TV Spy got a bit bogged down making the huge Christmas double issue of TV & Satellite Week. But somehow, amid all the madness and mince pies, Ben and Gareth found time to ponder Heroes: The Eclipse Pt2, and reckoned they spotted some definite signs of improvement. Phew! (TV Spy)

This week, the TV Addict got an exclusive update on the status of the VERONICA MARS Movie from Papa Mars himself, Enrico Colantoni. (The TV Addict)

Kate was a little sad to see Stylista's surgically enhanced little fashion urchin get the boot. (TV Filter)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Ugly Betty and Amanda, a dynamic duo

by Ashley Gouveia

Now that the holiday season has officially begun, all of us TV fans know what that means: winter hiatus. All of our favorite shows go bye-bye until we ring in the new year. Luckily, Ugly Betty hasn’t gone away yet. We were treated to a brand spankin’ new episode last night that had Amanda and Betty teaming up on a Mode assignment.

I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy Amanda being Betty’s new roommate. Sure, I thought it would deliver some laughs, but I didn’t know what else it would bring to the show. It appears that since Amanda has moved in to casa de Betty she has grown more of a conscience. She was still eating Betty’s food and stiffing her on her half of the rent. Of course, she blamed it on Bad Ronald, the old dude who comes out at night and eats Betty’s leftovers.

It was hysterical to hear Hilda’s upfront way to get the rent money from Amanda. But Betty is way too nice to do it that way. My question is; why doesn’t Daniel pay Betty enough money to at least pay her rent? The lengths she goes to for her job is more than enough to get her a raise. Oh well, he got her a chance to write for Mode’s website, which means a little more money.

Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who guessed that those two guys were going to run off and leave Amanda and Betty with the check? I had guessed that right away. But I was impressed that Betty used the Mode name to get out of it. I didn’t think that the guys were going to steal Amanda’s wallet, which, of course, had all of Betty’s rent money. Oops, Amanda’s bad.

It ended up working out in the end with Betty getting the online article and Amanda getting a second job. This leaded to them both having a nice dinner at their apartment. It was weird, but nice. I’m just not use to this pleasant friendship that these two have struck up. What do you all think of it?

Mrs. Meade made about a five minute appearance. We need more Claire Meade in an episode. But the time that she was in was fantastic. I thought that she was going to encourage Daniel to go after Molly. Instead, she was there to slap some sense into him, literally. I loved that! Someone needed to tell Daniel that it would be a huge mistake to think about making a move on Molly.

Even with Daniel seemingly moving on, I don’t think this storyline is over. Now that Wilhelmina has caught wind that he is interested in her, I’m sure she will use that to get Connor for herself.

All in all, I liked this episode. It wasn’t as good as the one from two weeks ago but I still enjoyed it. But we need to see more of Queens and the Suarez family, I miss them.

What did you think of last night’s episode? What storyline are you loving/hating? Let me know in the comments.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Winter 2009 TV premiere dates

The winter television season will soon be upon us. And with it comes the return of several of my favorite shows: Scrubs, Friday Night Lights, Lost and Nip/Tuck.

Check below to find out when your favorite shows are returning. I’ve also included a brief synopsis of some new shows you may be interested in checking out. I’ve got two words: Nathan Fillion.

Mon, Jan. 5
The Bachelor (ABC)
True Beauty (ABC)

Tues., Jan. 6
Nip/Tuck (FX)
Scrubs (ABC)
According to Jim (ABC)

Wed., Jan. 7
Damages (FX)

Sun., Jan. 11
24 (FOX)

Mon, Jan. 12
Samantha Who? (ABC)

Tues., Jan. 13
American Idol (FOX)

Wed., Jan. 14
Lie to Me (FOX)
Lost (ABC)

Fri., Jan. 16
Battlestar Galactica (Sci Fi)
Friday Night Lights (NBC)

Sun., Jan. 18
Big Love (HBO)The L Word (Showtime)
Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Showtime)
United States of Tara (Showtime)

Wed., Jan. 21
Lost (ABC)

Thur., Feb. 12
Survivor (CBS)

Fri., Feb. 13
Dollhouse (FOX)

Sun., Feb. 15
The Amazing Race (CBS)

Mon., Mar. 9
Castle (ABC)
Dancing With the Stars Season 8 (ABC)

Tues., Mar. 17
Reaper (CW)

Tues., Mar. 24
Cupid (ABC)

Wed., Apr. 8
The Unusuals (ABC)

Thur., Apr. 9
Harper's Island (CBS)

New Show Information:

Castle, stars Nathan Fillion as a mystery novelist who assists a female NYPD detective (Stana Katic.) The show airs Mondays at 10 p.m.

Cupid, stars Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson, in this remake of the original Rob Thomas series that gave us Jeremy Piven. The show airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

Dollhouse stars Elisha Dushku and Amy Acker of Buffy fame in this Joss Whedon drama about a group of “dolls” who work at a futuristic lab and have their memories wiped clean after performing tasks. The show airs Fridays at 9 p.m.

The Unusuals, stars Amber Tamblyn, Harold Perrineau, and Adam Goldberg as NYPD detectives. The show airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Lie to Me stars Tim Roth as a specialist who helps solve crimes by reading people’s body language and voices. The show airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

Harper’s Island is a serialized mystery set on a secluded island off the coast of Seattle. A group gathers on the island for a wedding, only to be killed off one by one by a mysterious killer. The show airs Thursdays at 10 p.m.

True Beauty is a reality show from Tyra Banks where contestants are judged on their inner beauty, not their exterior, but don’t know it. The show airs Mondays at 9 p.m.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A Colbert Christmas contest winners announced

Thanks to all of you who took time to enter the contest for A Colbert Christmas DVD.

I was surprised at the overwhelming number of entries, especially from places like Scotland, the UK and Canada. Tube Talk loves you, too!

I have two copies of the DVD to give away, thanks to the cool folks at Comedy Central.

After a random drawing, the lucky winners are (drumroll please) …

Monica B. of Flat Rock, NC, and Lee Harper of Austin, TX. Congratulations! Your DVDs will be en route soon.

And to all of you who entered, thanks so much for reading Tube Talk. Hopefully, we'll have more giveaways soon.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grey’s Anatomy: Stop the Izzie madness!

by Jennifer Squires Biller

As a Grey’s Anatomy fan, I’ve put up with a lot of antics from Izzie Stevens.

Surgery on a deer. Check.
Hooking up with her best friend, George, who happened to be married. Check.
Standing outside for an entire day staring at the hospital door. Check.

But her latest shenanigans of having sex with ghost Denny top it all. Say it with me. “Ewww!”

The Denny/Izzie love fest was nauseating enough the first time around. Round two with Denny, the ghost, is downright unwatchable. If it weren’t for my fast forward button, I would have possibly gauged out my eyes, if I had to watch one more minute of dead Denny and somber, possibly crazy Izzie.

Izzie used to be fun, competitive, and able to kick serious butt. Remember her fight with Callie? Now, she’s a flaky, sentimental, shell of herself.

Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes recently told Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello that the Izzie/Denny storyline is one of her favorite ever on the show. (Yeah, I can’t believe it either. Did she forget about Addison, or McSteamy’s arrival, or Bailey’s marriage woes?)

Rhimes said, "I think the love triangle with Denny, Izzie and Alex is among the most interesting we've ever done. Watching the chemistry between Jeffrey and Katherine again has been really touching. I can't wait for our viewers to see where we're taking it. But what it won't involve is Izzie having a brain tumor."

Am I the only one disappointed that a brain tumor isn’t responsible for this nonsense? Then, at least, it would make sense as to why one of my former favorite doctors is now nearly the most irritating. (Mean Meredith Grey still holds the number one spot of disdain on my list.)

Note to Shonda Rhimes: Please end Izzie’s suffering soon and by extension, mine. This storyline is sucking the life out of what’s left of Izzie and Grey’s Anatomy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Time to give thanks

by Ashley Gouveia

Every Thanksgiving I make it a priority to take a moment and remember the things that I’m thankful for this year. It mostly consists of good health, my family and my friends. Yesterday, while I was gobbling down some turkey, I was thinking about some other things that truly make my year more enjoyable. Maybe a few of my choices would appear on your own list.

My TiVo: Yes, I have finally moved into the year 2008 and bought myself a TiVo. Now I wonder how I ever lived without it. No more VHS tapes for this girl. I have gone high-tech and I’m lovin' it. I’m thankful for not having to choose which TV show I’m going to tape and which ones to watch on my little 19 inch television. It can record multiple shows at that same time, which is fantastic. It probably hates me on Monday and Thursday nights, but I say take it up with the networks. In short, it’s the best invention ever for this TV addict!

Supernatural: How could I not be thankful for a television show that brings me Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki every week? It may not be on one of the big three, (CBS, NBC or ABC) but it’s the best acted and written show on television. Thank you to all the people involved with Supernatural for having a clear beginning, middle and an end to your series. It’s much appreciated and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next year.

The Annual Dog Show on NBC: Thank you for giving me an excuse to dig out my It’s a Wonderful Life DVD.

Project Runway: Thanks for proving to me that it’s possible to actually have real, talented people on a reality show. Tim Gunn, you are amazing! Keep making it work.

Commentary with a Co-Ed/Tube Talk: Last, but certainly not least, I’m extremely thankful for this column. It has helped me in a major way with my writing. I love writing about what I love and sharing it with all the readers here at Tube Talk. A big thanks to Jennifer, a.k.a. Tube Talk Girl for the opportunity and the continued support. This former co-ed, now college graduate, couldn’t do it without you. Also, to the visitors of Tube Talk, thanks for listening to my ramblings.

What are you all thankful for? Tell me in the comments!

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brooke Burke is “Dancing” Queen

E! television host Brooke Burke took home the Dancing With the Stars trophy last night with partner Derek Hough.

For anyone who watched this season’s show, Burke’s win didn’t come as a surprise. She led the competition eight out of 10 weeks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a celebrity with such dance talent. The judges even compared her dance skills to those of the female professional dancers, high praise from judges who normally nit-pick every step.

Burke dominated the season, earning a perfect 10 score- the highest mark possible- 16 times during the competition. Her emotional Viennese waltz landed her three 10s to cinch the competition last night.

But it was her Grease routine Monday night that thrilled me. Judge Bruno said he’d only seen such wild positions in the Kama Sutra. Hough’s choreography was, in a word, brilliant. Bruno and Len said it was the best freestyle routine they had ever seen. I agree.

Warren Sapp and partner Kym Johnson also had a memorable routine Monday night to the tune of Proud Mary. I loved it so much that I’ve watched it three times. Judge Carrie Ann declared it her favorite routine of the night. And I have to agree with Len that every time I watched Sapp dance, I couldn’t stop smiling. What an entertainer he is.

Former boy band member Lance Bass claimed third place with partner Lacey Schwimmer. He chose a hip-hop routine for his freestyle, a mistake in my opinion. It was too much in his comfort zone, there were no lifts, and frankly, it was not nearly as good as the hip-hop routines we’ve seen in years past. It seems hip-hop is usually the choice of dancers for the finale, so I was thrilled to see Burke and Sapp go in a different direction in their freestyle.

Kudos voters. It was great to see the best three dancers make it to the finale. Burke deserved to win, and Sapp deserved second.

I just have to say though, is it wrong I want to have Sapp back every season? He was so much fun. I’ll miss him.

There is no word yet on who the next batch of celebrities dancing will be. But, I saw Florence Henderson, Christina Applegate, and I think Jenny McCarthy in the audience. Could they be eyeing the dance floor next?

Congrats Brooke and Derek! You deserved the trophy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

James Van Der Beek on tonight’s "One Tree Hill"

Photo and clip: Courtesy of the CW

Dawson’s Creek fans, James Van Der Beek returned to Wilmington recently to shoot an episode of One Tree Hill.

In a fun twist and a nod to his former character, Van Der Beek will play a famous director. That’s where the similarities end. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the clip below.

Let’s just say that this character is about as far from Dawson Leery as one could get.

I think Lucas may be in for some trouble with his script. The fun begins at 9 p.m. on the CW.

Blog coalition: Link time

Here's a look at what the Web's best TV bloggers are talking about this week in the TV Blog Coalition, of which Tube Talk Girl is a proud member.

From Turtle on Entourage to Thirteen on House, Buzz rounded up some of her favorite nicknamed TV characters. (BuzzSugar)

A hodge podge of stuff ranging on how to win an autograph DVD of Chuck Season One, to a promo for 25 Days of Christmas, and where to find cheap TV DVD's for those on your Christmas list you don't want to spend a lot on but you want them to think you spent a lot on them. (Scooter McGavin's 9th Green)

Vance loves Bobby Cannavale but isn't quite sure if he'll make a good Cupid yet after seeing the preview. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace took an advance look at the Doctor Who: Complete Series Four DVD which came out earlier this week and offered an early look at a potential ABC midseason schedule. (Televisionary)

I'm in ur hospital, sleepin' with ur interns! Dan continued his trend of ridiculing Grey's Anatomy with a new batch of LOLGrey's (TiFaux).

Jennifer returned from maternity leave to chat with Rosie O’Donnell about her new variety show, Nip/Tuck, and The View and received a strike notice from her DVR. (Tube Talk)

This week, the TV Addict revealed why we're not worried about DOLLHOUSE's Friday Night timeslot. (The TV Addict)

Kate kinda hated herself for continuing to watch Stylista. But holy crap was this week's episode compelling! (TV Filter)

Heather had a longish chat with 24: Redemption's Robert Carlyle and, incredibly, managed to avoid once mentioning Hamish Macbeth! (TV Spy)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Win "A Colbert Christmas" on DVD

Move over Rudolph.

Tonight on Comedy Central a new kind of Christmas special hits the airwaves. Yes, there’s a baby Jesus, eggnog, and all the Christmas trimmings you think of for the holiday.

But this one also has Willie Nelson as a pot-giving Wise Man, Toby Keith giving folks a “special” Christmas present that involves more firepower than found at your local Army base, and John Legend singing about nutmeg in a way that I promise you will have you rolling with laughter.

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All is a one-hour musical holiday special. The guest list also includes Elvis Costello and Feist.

The plot has Colbert on his way to New York to perform with Costello when Colbert gets trapped in a snowstorm in a cabin.

I’m not sure this will become a classic holiday favorite like Frosty, but it sure is a fun way to spend an evening, for those with adult tastes for humor and a love for Colbert, Stewart, and Christmas.

Here’s a look at the song list to give you an idea of what you’re in for:

“Another Christmas Song" – Stephen Colbert
"Have I Got A Present For You" – Toby Keith
"The Little Dealer Boy" – Stephen Colbert and Willie Nelson
"Can I Interest You In Hannukah?" – Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart
"Nutmeg" – Stephen Colbert and John Legend
"Please Be Patient" – Feist
"There Are Much Worse Things To Believe In" – Stephen Colbert and Elvis Costello
"(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" – Stephen Colbert, Elvis Costello, Feist, Toby Keith, John Legend and Willie Nelson

The show begins at 10 p.m. ET tonight.

For those of you who miss it or would like to add this piece of TV goodness to your holiday movie collection, you can win a copy of the DVD right here at Tube Talk, thanks to our friends at Comedy Central.

To enter the contest, simply send me an e-mail at jennifer@tube-talk.com with “Colbert Christmas” in the subject line and your name, address, and phone number in the body of the e-mail. The deadline is next Sunday, November 30, at 10 p.m. ET. I’ll randomly choose the winners, and I promise not to sell your information to identity thieves.

For those of you who love all things Colbert and Stewart and want to purchase the DVD or the music, it hits stores on Tuesday, November 25. The bonus DVD features include a book burning Yule log, video advent calendar, alternate endings and more. COMEDY CENTRAL Records will also release the songs from the special as a digital album available exclusively on iTunes on Tuesday, November 25. A portion of the proceeds from both the DVD and iTunes will benefit the charity Feeding America

OK, send your e-mail to win and click on Comedy Central tonight to enjoy the show!

Friday, November 21, 2008

ABC drops Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, and Pushing Daisies

Photo: Peter Krause, Lee Pace and Johnny Lee Miller

ABC dropped the hammer on three of its sophomore shows this week with a decision not to renew Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money and Pushing Daisies, according to E!Online and TV Guide.

I need to take a moment to ask ABC why they would cancel three unique entertaining shows, but keep on the most annoying TV drama to come along in years? Yes, I’m talking about Private Practice, a typical medical melodrama with plenty of bed-hopping characters. Despite a stellar cast, Private Practice doesn’t come close to matching the quirkiness and originality of Pushing Daisies, the soapy guilty goodness of Dirty Sexy Money, and the heartwarming plots of Eli Stone.

I already know the answer: ratings.

For some reason, people are watching Private Practice, but won’t give Eli and the others the time of day.

Pushing Daisies fans can at least take solace in that their show will continue on in comic book form, said series creator Bryan Fuller.

I’m so sad to see Eli Stone leave the airwaves. It was one of the highlights of my week.

Are you going to miss these shows? Sound off in the comments below.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Interview with Rosie O’Donnell: Rosie dishes about her new variety show and "The View"

by Jennifer Squires Biller

I spoke with Rosie O’Donnell today on a conference call to discuss her upcoming Rosie Live variety television special.

First of all, she was delightful, sticking around to answer all the questions from inquisitive journalists. (New York Post, did you really need to have three reporters ask questions? Geesh! Give the rest of us a chance.)

Second, she loved the name of my Web site, Tube Talk, which endeared her to me from the get go. (At first, she thought it was named Tube Top, so that was a funny moment. You can hear the hilarious exchange for yourself at the end of the blog post in a brand new audio feature.)

Not only did O’Donnell dish the scoop on her upcoming variety show special, she talked about her difficult time on The View, mentioned her old talk show and that infamous heated interview with Tom Selleck, and even discussed politics. “Variety” indeed.

Yes, Rosie is headed back to television. For how long, depends on ratings for her upcoming variety show. If ratings are high, NBC will order six more episodes, O’Donnell said. If those go well, then NBC can renew the show in cycles of six, she said.

Rosie Live is an old-style variety show, the kind many of us TV addicts grew up watching, including O’Donnell. Think Sonny and Cher, Donny and Marie, and Carol Burnett, all inspirations for the show.

Rosie gave me an exclusive piece of scoop for Tube Talk, since she loved the name of my Web site so much (thank you Rosie!): Gloria Estefan will be stopping by the variety special. As previously reported, also on board for the show are Alec Baldwin, Liza Minnelli, Jane Krakowski, Kathy Griffin, Alanis Morissette, Ne-Yo and plenty of Broadway actors.

Minnelli and O’Donnell will open the show with a duet, she said. It’s a song from The Act and one that Minnelli hasn’t sung in 30 years.

“It was a song I grew up singing and now the dream is coming true,” O’Donnell said. “She’s showbiz royalty.”

The format for Rosie Live is scripted comedy bits, with the celebrity guests playing themselves, a comedy sketch with Rosie dressed as a policeman and plenty of musical numbers.

What viewers won’t see is Rosie espousing her political views. This show is “to give people an hour to forget about their troubles,” O’Donnell said. Considering the current state of the world, I think the timing is perfect for an old-school variety show. So does O’Donnell, who likened the current environment to that of the ‘70s when variety shows were popular.

“It’s the right time,” she said. “Variety shows were a big hit in the ‘70s when the economy was in the crapper, and gasoline was scarce, and people’s belief in the political system was shaky.”

As for The View, O’Donnell said she rarely watches the show and is still unhappy with how her stint ended.

“After I left the show, I couldn’t watch it. I had so many mixed emotions. It would just be almost like post-traumatic stress disorder. Every time I would turn it on I would have mild panic and have to turn it off. Truly I haven’t watched it,” she said.

“Having been there and having seen what goes on behind the curtain, it’s a different experience to watch it than as an average viewer,” she said. "No matter what Barbara (Walters) wants everyone to believe, and think and act as if everybody there gets along and is really good friends... it's just not the reality. I’m not saying they loathe each other... The fact is there wasn’t a lot of camaraderie off camera there…That’s not saying you can’t work with people and have a relationship.”

As for that infamous argument with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck about the war in Iraq, it’s still upsetting to O’Donnell that it played out on live television.

"For me what happened on the show was a personal argument with a friend that was publicly displayed... I didn't want to be paid to fight. When I started and took that job it was with the intent of speaking for the millions of mothers whose voices weren't represented on television," she said… "I’m not proud of the arguing and the fighting.”

After being the boss of her own talk show, it was tough not having control of The View, O’Donnell said.

“It was Barbara Walters and Bill Geddes’ program... I was not the boss, and I did find that difficult,” she said. “I did enjoy the program right up until the day it all went crazy…I did it for a year and I thought it was really great, right up until the day it went off the track. When you're on a football team and your own team won't support you, and your own guy tackles you, it's time to take off the uniform."

O’Donnell also discussed how much she loved her former self-titled talk show and that she didn’t argue politics on it with the exception of that infamous fight with Tom Selleck about guns. “It was a sad day for both of us, I’m sure,” she said.

During the conference call, journalists were limited to one question and a follow up. And for all my readers who love her character Dawn Budge on Nip/Tuck, I asked if we’d see her again on the show. O’Donnell hopes so, she said. So do I.

If you don’t want to wait for the new season of Nip/Tuck, you can get catch O’Donnell this Wednesday in her variety special. Personally, I can’t wait. Long time readers of this column, dating back to its early days as a print newspaper column, know I’ve been a fan of O’Donnell’s for many years. I loved the Rosie O’Donnell Show so much I taped every episode. So, to say I’m excited to see her back on television in a format that doesn’t involve arguing and politics is my very own little Christmas present.

Rosie Live will air Wednesday, November 26, (the night before Thanksgiving) at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

To hear my fun interview with Rosie, click the link below.

(When the window opens, click on “rosieinterview.wav” and “open.” It will take a couple seconds to load. This is my first attempt at including audio in a post, so please let me know if you’re having trouble hearing it. The audio worked fine for me in Windows Media Player.)


The fight to save Lipstick Jungle

Despite the fact that NBC has ordered no additional episodes of Lipstick Jungle - meaning it’s pretty much a goner - actress Brooke Shields and creator Candace Bushnell aren’t going down without a fight. And neither are fans of the show.

Fans are mailing tubes of lipstick to NBC to protest a cancellation.

NBC is now flooded with lipstick, Shields told The Daily Beast publication. “Women are in uproar over this…they’ve tried to kill us before and we have refused to die. If we were meant to be off the air, we wouldn’t have made it as far as we have. Everything that could possibly go wrong with a show has happened with us.”

Bushnell claims that the ratings don’t accurately reflect the number of people viewing the show. She claims more than 50 percent of the audience isn’t counted in Nielsen ratings, because viewers TiVo and watch the show later.

Bushnell is right. I’m one of those viewers. I was lukewarm about the show last year, but this year, it seems to be firing on all cylinders. I’m loving Joe Bennett and Victory and Nico and Kirby are fantastic. Although, I just know Nico is going to be hooking up with her new boss, former Las Vegas hottie James Lesure. (Well, if the show continues that is!)

If you’d like to join the Save the Jungle campaign, you can send NBC head Ben Silverman a lipstick at 100 Universal City Plaza Universal City, CA 91608 or tune into the show this Friday at 10 p.m. ET to boost the ratings.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Clark Kent's dream girl shouldn't be Lois Lane

by Ashley Gouveia

Lois Lane who?

Here’s the thing. We all know Clark Kent is supposed to end up with Lois Lane. That’s all well and good in the Superman mythology. The problem is, in the TV series Smallville, the gal many fans hope Clark Kent spends his caped-costumed flying future with isn’t named Lois. She’s named Chloe Sullivan, who on paper has embodied all the characteristics of Lois Lane and captured viewers hearts, since they were first introduced to her in season one.

Nothing drove home that point more than last night’s episode of Smallville that showcased the relationship between Clark and Chloe.

What can I say about last night’s episode of Smallville? After the first viewing I really didn’t know what to think. I was too busy trying to get my jaw off the floor. Wow! Heavy emotions were running rampant as Chloe was slowly forgetting everything she loved. Now that I have watched it twice (OK, maybe three times) I can successfully discuss my thoughts on this epic episode.

It was only a matter of time before Brainiac completely took over Chloe’s mind. She used massive amounts of brainpower to get Clark out of the Phantom Zone last week, and she killed a guy. That’s not the Chloe Sullivan we know and love, so something had to be wrong. The first person she forgot was Jimmy, her soon to be husband. Her last memories were ones of Clark, a fact that Jimmy appropriately brings up.

I love it when TV shows decide to show us things that happened in past seasons. We got to see the memory of Chloe finding out about Clark’s secret, which she forgot about after she relived it. Then we got to see quick flashes of some scenes that every Clark and Chloe fan hold near and dear to their hearts. The ‘Tempest’ almost-kiss from season one, the undercover kiss from season three, and the chemistry charged elevator moment from season four. We also go to see a flashback to a very young Clark and Chloe on the day they first met. Apparently, those are the memories that take Chloe to her “happy place.” Aww!

It was great to see this scene be reenacted since we only heard Clark retelling it during season one. Besides the bad wig on little Chloe, I thought the young actors pulled it off. It was so heartbreaking when young Chloe was running away with young Clark to keep him with her. When she jumped to a new memory, I knew exactly why Chloe would want that particular one. It was the memory of ‘Dark Thursday’ when Chloe kissed Clark before he went off to save the world. Who wouldn’t want to relive that? Chloe struggling to hold on to him and Clark reassuring her he would never leave her was awesome. But Brainiac managed to erase all but Davis from her mind.

Clark’s decision to rebuild the Fortress to save Chloe was noble but I have this gut feeling that this was Brainiac’s plan all along. In his effort to save her, he had Jor-el erase Chloe’s memory of his secret. That was even more heartbreaking than Chloe trying to hold on to her Clark memories. His speech to her in the Fortress was fantastically delivered by Tom Welling. He kissed her on the forehead and whispered to her that the only way he knew how to protect her was to let her go. I think that was the sound of my heart breaking right then. Folks, these two are why I watch this show.

No way can this Superman II-like mind wipe last. Can it? It would be completely crazy for Chloe to stay without some of her greatest memories. It just wouldn’t be right. So here’s to hoping that gets fixed soon.

Let’s not forget the hot Davis and Chloe kiss at the very end. It only lasted a second and it had more passion than anything she has shared with Jimmy. Davis said he wouldn’t let her go which paralleled nicely with Clark’s speech. Also, was that James Marsters I heard at the end? That was just icing on the cake.

I have no idea what’s going to happen next or how this is going to get resolved. All I know is Doomsday is coming and I’m excited.

What did you all think? Sound off in the comments.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Scott Speedman and Robert Buckley – separated at birth?

Photos: Actors Robert Buckley (left) and Scott Speedman (right)

by Jennifer Squires Biller

It’s no secret that part of my obsession with the TV show Felicity was actor Scott Speedman. "Felicity" moved herself cross-country to chase after “Ben,” and well, I have every episode on DVD to satisfy my Speedman fix. So, you could say I’m somewhat of an expert on the subject.

Frankly, my TV viewing just hasn’t been the same without my weekly dose of Speedman, who has now moved on to the big screen, along with my gal “Felicity,” actress Keri Russell. So, imagine my surprise when I happened on an episode of Lipstick Jungle last season, and I literally paused the DVR to ask myself how Speedman was starring on this show and I didn’t know about it.

The short answer was that on further examination, the six-pack abs didn’t belong to Speedman, but an actor by the name of Robert Buckley, who is a dead ringer for Speedman.

Their mannerisms are similar, and from time to time, it’s eerie how similar they seem. So, if you miss “Ben,” too, then check out Buckley in Lipstick Jungle. The show is pretty good, too.

A message from my DVR

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Dear Tube Talk Girl,

Consider this my official notice. I’m done. I cannot continue to work under these inhumane conditions. You may have noticed last week that I had a break down, literally. I refused to tape Dancing With the Stars and several other of your programmed shows.

For two years now, I’ve performed flawlessly for you, taping each and every one of the television shows you designate —good and bad — even when I questioned why you would ever want to record such a program. (Scott Baio is 45… and Single. Really?) But I did it, and I didn’t complain. But I can be silent no longer. I’m going on strike, until you delete some of this backlog and at least give me a few breaks during the week. I need some me time.

The past several TV seasons, it was Thursday nights that drove me to madness. Now, it seems Mondays and Wednesdays are just as stressful. How can I be expected to tape Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Dancing With the Stars, One Tree Hill, Boston Legal and Samantha Who all on a Monday? It’s insanity. And you won’t even give me a minute between shows, as you run one show a minute over and start the next a minute early, so you can play the reindeer games the networks have devised when they air their programs over the allotted time slot.

As for the shows you’ve already watched, repeatedly, but ask me to keep in my memory, please reconsider and give me some space. Do you really need the The Office episode, from two years ago, when Pam and Jim first kissed, or Scrubs the musical, and the final episode of M*A*S*H? Enough! I cannot continue to feed your compulsive need to have these TV scenes at your fingertips. Have you not discovered You Tube?

In short, I’m done. I can’t take it anymore. I’m sure you’ve noticed the strange beeping sound I’ve been eliciting lately and the lock ups. Sorry, but unplugging me from the wall and rebooting won’t fix this problem. Nope. The problem is you, Tube Talk Girl. You need to get this TV obsession under control because I cannot tolerate this behavior for one more season.

Sincerely distressed,
Your DVR

This week’s TV highlights

Photo: Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are hosting the CMA Awards.

by Jennifer Squires Biller

If you caught my Tube Talk report on Magic 106.5 this morning then you already know this. But for the rest of you who don’t tune in to the Jack Logar Morning Show (and why not? Hmmp!) here are some notable TV shows you may want to watch this week.

Tonight (Tuesday):
Country music star and West Virginia native Brad Paisley appears on Dancing With the Stars. Relax, Tubers. He’s singing, not dancing. I don’t think we’ll ever see Paisley in Lycra and sequins. Watch the results show on ABC at 9 p.m. ET.

The CMA Awards are a must-see for country music fans. Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, George Straight, Taylor Swift and Brad Paisley all in the same room is a must-see for anyone really. An added bonus is that the notoriously funny Paisley is not only nominated in several categories, he’s hosting the gig with Underwood. Bring on the laugh laugh. Catch the CMAs on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

Can you say NBC and stunt casting? Thursday night is the lollapalooza of guest stars on NBC. Just start watching at 8 p.m. ET and keep on going to catch all of them. First, 90210 alum Jason Priestley stars on My Name is Earl, as Earl’s successful cousin. Then, Jennifer Aniston appears on 30 Rock as a love interest for Jack. Then, Anthony Edwards checks back into ER. Yes, he died on the show years ago, but this is television people, where a toe tag doesn’t mean we won’t see you again. I also can’t mention Thursday without urging you to watch Smallville at 8 p.m. on the CW this week. It looks to be a fantastic episode, especially for Chloe fans.

On Ghost Whisperer, Melinda deals with the aftermath of her husband’s death, and viewers will get to see that love transcend death, as they see the world through Jim’s eyes. I don’t watch this show, but I know many of you do, so tune in for the special episode at 8 p.m. on CBS. My new guilty pleasure this season, Lipstick Jungle, has been hitting it out of the park, so don’t miss it at 10 p.m. on NBC. (Soap fans, Vanessa Marcil joined the show last week, and she’s up to no good with Wendy’s husband. It’s a must see.)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Checking in with One Tree Hill

by Ashley Gouveia

This week’s One Tree Hill left me frustrated with some of my beloved characters. During this episode Peyton, Brooke and Lucas were all making decisions that left me rolling my eyes at multiple times. Why didn’t Peyton just tell Lucas about Julian before the inevitable happened and Lucas found out on his own? Why did Brooke decide she could only be a foster parent and have no life of her own? Lastly, why was Lucas trying to figure out the complexities of Dan Scott?

Is there anyone out there that likes Sam? I’m trying not to hate her, but her character just doesn’t add anything to the show for me. She’s constantly screwing up and seems to really not learn her lesson at all. The stunt she pulled last week with Jamie was over the line. I thought that Haley would have been a little hesitant with leaving Jamie in her care again, but I guess not. Brooke has been extremely nice to her and I can’t help but wonder why.

Speaking of Brooke, I don’t quite understand her decision to not date Owen. First, who wouldn’t want to date Owen? Second, why can’t she be a role model to Sam and still have a life. I just don’t see why she had to choose. Maybe she just really wasn’t in to Owen anymore and decided they were better off as friends. I’m not a big fan of this foster mother storyline for Brooke. I hope her story becomes more interesting as the season goes on. Was that Julian flirting with Brooke in the promo for next week? Now that could be interesting.

I have to admit that I was surprised by how serious Peyton and Julian were when they were dating. I had assumed that he was just a fling that she had in LA after her breakup with Lucas. But they were really in love with each other. Their flashback scenes were chock full of chemistry. Once he dropped that paper jam metaphor I knew he was in. Peyton sure does love those deep metaphors from the heart.

Lucas is getting his first book made into a movie and was in charge of writing the screenplay. He had trouble with writing the Keith murder scene which is understandable. I just think he was putting too much thought into how Dan would be portrayed. Up until now he had no problem with feeling like Dan was a monster for killing his uncle. Now he wasn’t sure how he should write him in that scene. There have been times where I felt bad for Dan and he has come through on a couple of occasions. He saved Jamie and Haley from the psycho nanny. But there’s no going back for Dan’s character.

One person that I was happy with was Nathan. He decided to give up Slam Ball after he almost got injured again. I really liked that scene when Jamie told him not to play anymore. Nathan deciding to give it up was a great moment for his character. It just shows us how far he has come. The Scott family scene at the end was adorable too. They need to have more screen time together.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Review: Privileged is brightest star of new TV season

Airs: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on the CW

While many of you obsessing about the new sci-fi cult show Fringe or checking out the remake of the new 90210, my favorite new show of the season is Privileged. It’s the one new show I can’t wait to watch each week.

Privileged tells the story of a Yale-educated journalism major who leaves her job at a tabloid to become a live-in tutor for two spoiled daughters of a Palm Beach cosmetics tycoon. The show is a glamorous peek into the life of pampered princesses. It’s a fun ride you don’t want to miss.

The show reminds me a little of one of my favorite movies, Sabrina. It has the same contrast of opulence versus the everyman, complete with the helpful staff that gives Megan advice to help her navigate the rocky waters of the Privileged.

Joanna Garcia is a delight as tutor Megan Smith. She is a dead ringer for Amy Adams in Enchanted, with her perpetual perkiness and likeability. But, Smith is not the only reason to watch. Each character is just as fantastic as the next.

The two spoiled rich girls, Sage and Rose, are cast perfectly with Ashley Newbrough and Lucy Hale. Newbrough nails the part of spoiled rich girl, yet audiences can’t help but love her. Hale grabs viewers, too, as the softer sister with a good heart. Also noteworthy are Marco, the gay chef (actor Allan Louis,) who steals every scene, and Megan’s best friend and potential love interest, Charlie (actor Michael Cassidy,) who audiences will recognize from his roles on The O.C. and Smallville. Then, there’s the hot neighbor guy, Will, who had me from the moment he walked into Marco’s kitchen to grab a bagel, (actor Brian Hallisay.) Rounding out the embarrassment of talent is Anne Archer, as the girls’ grandmother, Laurel, and Kristina Apgar, as Megan’s sister, Lily.

If you haven’t discovered this gem of a show, please put it on your calendar. I promise it will make you smile. It’s lighthearted, funny, and a great way to spend an evening. Frankly, with all the doom and gloom on the tube this season, I’m thrilled that the CW gave us something different than the typical teen drama or bloodbath. It’s a privilege to have Privileged on my TV lineup.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Get spooky with The Simpsons Halloween

by Ashley Gouveia

Happy Halloween!

Since it is the one day of the year where it’s considered fun to be frightened I thought I would sit down and watch the screener for this Sunday’s Simpson’s episode. Now I know you’re probably thinking I shouldn’t get scared of cartoons, but I can’t help it. Mr. Burns is one freaky-looking cartoon character.

Let’s move on.

I was prepared for the creepy and scary moments similar to previous years. But I am glad to report that this one didn’t have the same effect on me. Apart from Mr. Burns not being in the episode, it was focused more on the funny and satirical parts of the holidays. It had Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween all wrapped into one. I actually laughed out loud at some of the jokes.

There’s a really funny part right in the beginning when Election Day hits Springfield. It involves Homer, John McCain and an electronic voting machine. Craziness ensues and we get a few laughs from it. Also, look out for Grandpa Simpson’s vote for pres. I think he’s standing alone on that one.

Then Christmas arrived early for the residents of Springfield. I guess it’s not only the department stores that like to rush the holidays. Bart decides to give Lisa a Malibu Stacy convertible that transforms itself and every other electronic device into fighting killer robots. This one had its moments, like what the robots decide to do after they stop fighting with each other, but it wasn’t my favorite part of the episode.

I’m not an avid fan of The Simpsons but I think that killing Homer is the running joke of the show. Every minute he was getting blown away or eaten by something, which was entertaining. I especially like what happens after he goes on a killing rampage and decides to take out celebrities for profit. The way that one ends is pretty hysterical. Let’s just say I can’t look at Abe Lincoln in the same way after this.

Without a doubt my favorite part of the episode has to be the It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown parody. It had the most laughs with the so-called “pumpkin atrocities” that we humans do every Halloween. I also learned some facts about pumpkins that I never knew before.

If you’re sick of the traditional slasher flicks and just want something to make you laugh, then check out the new Simpson’s episode on Sunday November 2nd at 8/7c.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Doomsday rocks Smallville

by Ashley Gouveia

Now that is what I’m talking about!

I absolutely loved the most recent episode of Smallville. I was getting worried that I had lost the show that had originally captivated my attention. Weird alien princesses and psychotic jewelers don’t add up to fascinating hours of television for me. However, a heroic Clark and the beginnings of one of the ultimate super villains can certainly glue me to the tube. Pair those two things with a Sam Witwer shower scene, and I’m calling it the best episode of the season.

There wasn’t much to not like about this episode. Jimmy was in it, and even he didn’t bother me like he usually does. Davis Bloome was back and seemingly causing murders all over Metropolis. I want to give applause to Sam Witwer because his teary confession to Chloe was heartbreaking. It had me wanting to give him a big hug and hope he doesn’t go all Doomsday on me. He is eventually going to take out Superman, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.

Chloe helping the meteor infected at Isis was certainly something new for her. But she still had that investigative drive which I loved to see. The old Chloe is still in there somewhere. It was great to see her back at the Daily Planet again even if it wasn’t in any official capacity. Clark going behind her back to get the names of her clients was enough to cause some friction between the two. But I thought it made for a great dynamic throughout the episode.

Speaking of great dynamic, Allison Mack and Sam Witwer have amazing chemistry together. They hit all of their scenes out of the park. Chloe really feels that Davis is a good person and isn’t capable of hurting anyone. Like Clark said, she is putting a lot of trust into someone she just met. I thought it was really interesting that when Davis asked her if there was anyone else she felt an ease with, she didn’t say Jimmy. Well, I think we all know the answer to that one.

I have noticed that Smallville has taken a darker tone this season. The sets in Metropolis are always dark and gloomy a definite contrast to the consistently sunny Kent Farm. I think it’s their way of maturing the show a little bit, giving it more of an edge. I’m kind of enjoying it, but it would be nice to see the old Kent Farm for a longer amount of time.

All in all, it was a great episode and if there’s more like that one headed our way, then I welcome it.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday

Monday, October 20, 2008

Note to the Dancing With the Stars judges: Stop picking on Toni Braxton

Dear Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Len,

Each season, I watch Dancing With the Stars and listen as you constructively criticize the stars to push them to improve each week. Most of the time, I agree with your assessment. I appreciate that when you goad the talent, they deliver.

However, after tonight’s shows, I have to ask, have you gotten into Cloris Leachman’s muscle relaxers? Are you taking bitchy tips from Cheryl Burke? (Seriously, I’m still in shock at how rude she was to call her partner, Maurice Greene, lazy. The dude is definitely not lazy.) Judges, you’re acting nonsensical with these constant tough critiques of Toni Braxton.

For several weeks now, you’ve given Braxton mediocre scores and less-than-glowing comments, despite her sharp routines. But tonight, when she performed a gorgeous, fun dance, you rewarded her with even more tough comments and more mediocre scores (seven, seven, and an eight.) Adding salt to the wound, Carrie Ann and Len awarded Braxton sevens, the very same score they gave to Cloris Leachman’s dance. Even more puzzling, is the fact that mediocre dancer Susan Lucci seems to do no wrong in their eyes. The judges lavished praise on Lucci, along with some criticism, for her dull hustle and awarded her the same scores as Braxton.

What gives, judges? Did Braxton tick you off in another life? Why are you consistently so tough on her, while Lucci, Leachman, and the other dancers don’t perform at her level?

Please explain.

Seriously disillusioned,
Tube Talk Girl

P.S. Can you slip Cheryl Burke some happy pills?

Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass the “womanizer”

From the minute Chuck Bass slithered onto my screen on Gossip Girl, I was hooked on his bad-boy persona. He makes me want to take a shower, but I can’t help but watch every scene with complete devotion when he appears.

If you haven’t met Bass, check out this fun video, set to Britney Spears’ new song “Womanizer.” (No, I can't believe I'm plugging a Britney Spears song either. It's a sure sign of the Apocalypse.)

Anwyay, I couldn’t have chosen a better theme song for Chuck if I had tried.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Joshua Jackson on cover of TV Guide

I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Pacey Witter, er, Joshua Jackson (sorry.) Therefore, I feel the need to inform you of any and all news about Jackson.

Every now and then I regress back to my ‘90s TV obsession, Dawson’s Creek, and call JacksonPacey,” even though the show has been off the air for years, and he’s now playing a new character on Fringe, quite different from the kid I fell for on the Creek.

If you’re a Jackson fan, you don’t want to miss the October 16 issue of TV Guide. See the photo for evidence as to why.

Jackson and his new Fringe co-star Anna Torv are featured in a cover story that examines the new J.J. Abrams cult show Fringe on FOX.

So, if you haven’t seen the show, at least check out the story for an update on Jackson. Who knows? You may just find yourself tuning in to see how “Pacey” matured. I bet Dawson already has his copy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Review: The Mentalist not just another procedural

The Mentalist
Premiere Date: September 23, 2008
Airs: Tuesdays at 9:o0 p.m. on CBS

by Jennifer Squires Biller

I’m a sucker for fake psychics (hence my devotion to the Psych boys), but especially when they look and captivate like Simon Baker.

The Mentalist is a procedural crime drama that features Baker as a slick-but-tortured hero, Patrick Jane. He helps the police department solve crimes with his keen sense of observation, while injecting his dry sense of humor and charm. It’s a winning combination.

Those of you who like procedural crime dramas, this one is a gem. I’m not a fan of the genre myself, but even I’m tuning in to watch Baker work his magic. In one hilarious scene, his character beats a guy at every turn of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Whether he does it by using his deductive reasoning, acute awareness, or his grafter skills, it makes no difference. You’ll be mesmerized.

Make no mistake: it’s Baker that sells this show. Without him, it would be just another ordinary run-of-the-mill procedural. It’s a shame, though, that he isn’t allowed to use his real Australian accent for the role. As delicious as his cool-as-a whisper voice is, it’s even better when he speaks in his native tongue.

The Mentalist has been incorrectly labeled online as being a Psych rip-off. Don’t believe what you read. The two shows couldn’t be more diverse in tone and character. Psych is practically a comedy, with its razor-sharp pop-culture references, witty fast-paced dialogue, and light-hearted storylines, while The Mentalist is a procedural crime drama — keyword drama — with dark elements and some light humor sprinkled throughout.

Jane’s character is on the hunt for a serial killer, Red John, who killed his family. In the same way we root for Monk to get justice for the death of his wife, we’ll be rooting for Jane, too, to track down his family’s killer. I’ve added The Mentalist to my DVR season pass; that’s how much I enjoyed the first two episodes.

The Mentalist faces tough timeslot competition, but it should prove a winner for CBS. If you’re a fan of procedural crime dramas, this is the one new show this season you shouldn’t miss. It doesn’t have the character depth yet of NYPD Blue or Monk, but it’s early, so give it time. I think audiences will be rooting for Patrick Jane, before they know it. I already am.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Don’t miss Eli Stone’s season premiere

If you had visions of George Michael singing throughout the day, you’d need to get therapy, too. So don’t judge Eli Stone, when he returns this week and gets a therapist.

As therapists go, she’s a pretty cool one, if you consider that actress Sigourney Weaver is playing her.

Regular readers know that Eli Stone was one of only two new shows last season that I loved. (Pushing Daisies was the other.) The smell is off the Daisies for me this season, so far, as I haven’t been too impressed with the first two episodes of that show. I think Eli, however, won’t disappoint.

If you missed the show last year, please check it out this season. I want Eli to stick around.

Catch Eli Stone at 10 p.m. Tuesday on ABC.

Samantha Who returns Monday with Cybil Shepherd

Samantha Who is about to meet her competition, another sassy blonde by the name of Cybil Shepherd. Shepherd is guest starring as a nemesis of Sam’s mother in Monday’s season premiere of Samantha Who.

Sam and her mom team up against Shepherd’s character for a dance competition. Apparently, pre-amnesia Sam could dance, but post-amnesia Sam, not so much. And as in all good sitcoms, trouble ensues.

Dancing With the Stars cutie Mark Ballas also guest stars in the episode.

Catch Samantha Who at 9:30 p.m. ET Monday on ABC.

Gossip Girl sneak peek

Photo: courtesy of CW; Do not duplicate.

The claws are out.

In corner one, it’s Bitchy Blair, facing off against Sexy Serena in corner two.

Take a peek at this bitter exchange coming up on Monday’s episode at 8 p.m. ET. Does anyone do sarcasm better than these two?

Yes, and his name is Chuck!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Starter Wife is back tonight

A show I enjoy almost as much as John McCain enjoys using the term “my friends” returns tonight on the USA Network. The Starter Wife, starring Debra Messing premieres at 9 p.m. ET.

Molly Kagan is back as the socialite mom, whose husband ditched her for a younger woman.

If you missed the miniseries last season, don’t fret. You’ll be able to catch up quickly. Messing is a joy in the role, and the series gives an inside look at Hollywood and all the marriage craziness that ensues. Check it out for a fun, Friday night escape.

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Maxima lands in Smallville

Photo: Copyright" Photo courtesyof the CW 2008. Do not duplicate.

by Ashley Gouveia

I’m disappointed that last night’s new episode of Smallville happens to be the first time I’m writing about it since the start of season eight. I actually enjoyed the first two episodes, and last week’s had tons of Justin Hartley goodness. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed with last night’s episode. Not even the premise of bringing the comic-book-character Maxima could hold my attention.

The new baddie in town, Tess Mercer, had been looking for Lex and only has Clark’s fortress crystal to help in her search. She believed that it held the answers she was looking for. When she tried to get that information she sent a beacon into space that alerted Maxima, who was on a little search of her own. She was looking for her soul mate.

She needs to get in line.

However, her perfect mate is Kryptonian. How she could ever mistake Jimmy as a Kryptonian is beyond me. Of course, Jimmy was willing and able to get in a lip lock with her. It took him a long time to pull away before he remembered Chloe. Then the pheromones took over. Oh, brother. Next time Jimmy, I suggest you don’t take the bartender’s advice.

The reason that Jimmy was at the bar wallowing in his sorrows was because he found a letter that Chloe wrote to Clark. Long time fans will remember this letter back from season two when Chloe read it to Clark while he was sick. If I were Jimmy, I would have asked Chloe why she held on to it for all these years. But he only asked her why she has never said those things to him.

Maxima finally realized that Clark was the one she was looking for. Then, in a matter of minutes, put it together that Lois and Clark have a special bond. Huh? Really. I’m going to steal a line from Dean Winchester and say; “I’m not buyin’ what you’re selling.”

After the Clark and Maxima makeout scene, he snapped out of it and took her away before she clobbered Lois. He told her that his destiny was here on Earth and sent little Miss Vixen back to whence she came.

There was one scene that I actually enjoyed and that was one with Tess and Chloe. Cassidy Freeman has been a great addition to the cast. I am loving her character so far. It was awesome to hear Chloe being all tough with Tess and not taking to her threats. Like she said, she has dealt with the Luthors before and she doesn’t scare easily.

The Clark and Chloe scene, when she explained away the letter, was made of epic fail for me. Why bring up a letter from seasons ago that has been cherished by so many fans and deal with it in that way? As a long-time viewer and a Clark and Chloe fan, I have to say I was disappointed. Maybe Chloe’s Brainiac infection is leading her to say all these odd things. Or maybe that’s just my own reasoning, so I can continue to watch the show.

What do you all think about season eight so far? Is it living up to your expectations? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday

Friday, October 03, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Ugly Betty still charms

by Ashley Gouveia

Betty is back!

I’m beyond thrilled that Betty and the gang are back in action for the show’s third season. I’ve missed Marc and Amanda’s witty banter and, of course, Mode. Imagine my disappointment when I thought that Betty wasn’t going to be at Mode for the foreseeable future. Let me say this; Mode and Betty go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you try to separate them, it’s just not as enjoyable.

But the writers decided to go the smart way and get Betty back into Mode. However, she wasn’t working for Daniel but for Wilhelmina. Gasp! After about five minutes of me saying, “How could she do this?” I accepted it. Last week I didn’t like how Betty began working at Player magazine. I saw it as a big step down for her. I wanted her to be loyal to Daniel, but he was fooling himself. He missed Mode just as much as she did. Thank the TV gods that he realized that by the end of the episode.

How great was it that Marc was the one who inadvertently got Wilhelmina demoted and Daniel back as Editor in Chief? That was a great moment between him and Betty. Claire Meade is still made of awesome. I loved it when she shattered the crystal sculpture of Wilhelmina. She doesn’t fool around.

There were two storylines that I didn’t like last season that I’d hoped would disappear. Daniel having a son was not one that I was excited about. Introducing never-before-seen-children into a big ensemble show could be a disaster. Remember what happened to Gilmore Girls when Luke’s long lost daughter showed up? I couldn’t get on board with this story. But last night had me enjoying Daniel and DJ’s scenes. I think that if the writers keep the story at a minimal, I could actually enjoy it.

The other storyline was the one with Christina and the baby. It was revealed that Christina’s husband only needed the money for more drugs. Color me not surprised. I never trusted his character. Now the baby is the only thing that is keeping Wilhelmina’s plan afloat. So who do you think was the person who pushed Christina down the stairs? The obvious guess would be Stuart.

Is Hilda in complete denial over Tony? Come on, the guy is gorgeous but she is definitely the other woman. I hope she gets out of that relationship soon. I laughed out loud when Tony showed up at Mode, and Amanda and Marc were drooling over him. That was a great scene.

What do you think of Betty’s third season so far? Sound off in the comments.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Friday

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Name is Earl returns Thursday with a special movie

Earl and the gang are back this Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

You missed them. Admit it.

Seth Green guest stars in the first episode this season, as a Make-A-Wish kid that Earl needs to cross off his list. The task results in the citizens of Camden County starring in their own action movie entitled "2 The Max."

Check it out.

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