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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.

Best and worst of the Emmys

Photo: Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum and William Shatner in an opening Emmy skit

by Jennifer Squires Biller

It was a big night for Tina Fey and 30 Rock and a night that the world realized that Howie Mandel should never host an awards show.

This year’s Emmys showed lots of love to basic cable shows and the actors on them (Mad Men, Damages, Breaking Bad) and the NBC comedy 30 Rock (scoring wins for Best Comedy, Lead Actress Tina Fey, Lead Actor Alec Baldwin and Writer Tina Fey.) The show also wasn’t short on political statements in this presidential election year, from actors urging viewers to vote, to swipes at the current administration

As a longtime Emmy viewer and fan, I have to say that this year’s show was one of the worst in Emmy history. No, I didn’t take my bitter pills this morning. It’s the sad truth. Here’s a rundown of my choice of highlights and lowlights, including best lines.

Best Ad-lib: “She’s bald, too.” ---The follicular challenged Bryan Cranston, looking down at his new gold Emmy for lead actor in a drama.

Biggest Hollywood diss: "At this point I was planning on doing a few more jokes, but Katherine Heigl told me my material wasn't Emmy worthy." – Conan O'Brien, ripping on Heigl, who withdrew her name from Emmy consideration, stating that she didn’t have Emmy material this year on Grey’s Anatomy.

Biggest disappointment: The Emmy opening usually sets the tone for the entire show. And what started out as a fun bit, with actors quoting famous TV lines, quickly gave way to the most awkward show opening ever, as the five show hosts (Howie Mandel, Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Jeff Probst, and Ryan Seacrest) stumbled through a “we’ve got nothing” comedy attempt. It proved that indeed, they had nothing. They talked over one another, rambled, and it ended with Heidi Klum stripped down to a revealing outfit. If the Emmys want to hire five hosts, instead of one, I suggest Ricky Gervais, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. They are comediennes, and frankly, the show could have used some comedy, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the tried-and-true song and dance number.

Best skit: Josh Groban’s musical medley of 30 legendary TV theme songs. Groban started out with a spot-on version of the Friends theme song, before launching into songs from The Love Boat, The Addams Family, The Brady Bunch and many more, sounding just like every one of the famous tunes. His version of Eric Cartman’s line in South Park had me howling, as well as his COPS rendition and the theme from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Who knew Groban could rap? The guy should have received a standing ovation, but the lazy attendees stayed planted. What does it take to get these people on their feet, Oprah?

Worst skit: The Laugh-In bit. Maybe it’s a generation gap, but I don’t get it. A pie in the face as someone says “Sock it to me?” Really, that’s funny? The entire skit with actors opening and closing doors just left me confused. I know the show is a comedy legend, but if that skit is a reflection, I’m baffled as to why.

Strangest skit: Martin Sheen on the set of The West Wing, urging everyone to vote. As great as it was to see Sheen again, why is this material on the Emmys? I’d rather the time be spent to show us some actual clips of the actors and shows that were nominated. This political announcement would have been better served as a commercial or an after-school special.

Best jab at show hosts: Jeremy Piven, during his acceptance speech. " What if I just kept talking for 12 minutes? That was the opening."

Second best jab at show hosts: “Thanks to Howie Mandel's prattling, our bit has been cut."— Neil Patrick Harris, echoing everyone’s thoughts when viewers realized they wouldn’t get to hear Harris’ bit.

Best banter: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who stated at the onset of their presentation that they would not get political, as Colbert broke out a bag of prunes and began eating them. “I think right now America needs a prune. It may not be a young sexy plum. Granted, it is shriveled and sometimes hard to swallow, but this dried-up old fruit has the experience we need.” Stewart countered with, “After eight years of prunes, you would think that’s enough.” Colbert shot back, while still chewing, “Never enough. What could possibly go wrong?”

Biggest surprise: The theme song to M*A*S*H has words. Ditto for the theme to The Andy Griffith Show. Who knew? Josh Groban, apparently, when he belted out the ditties during his TV-theme-song medley.

Understatement of the night: “We’re like on the Sarah Palin bridge to nowhere, that's where we are right now…. The government can't even bail us out of this.” -- Emmy co-host Howie Mandel, who noted the lack of audience laughter during he and his co-stars’ opening monologue.

Best acceptance speech: Tina Fey, (I guess.) No one truly stood out with a fantastic speech, as opposed to years past. (Remember Steve Carell’s speech that his wife “wrote” and Greg Garcia’s people he didn’t want to thank?) At least Fey had one funny line: “I want to thank my parents for somehow raising me to somehow have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well, done. That is what all parents should do.”

Worst acceptance speech: Any and all that broke out a list of names. These are award-winning entertainers, who should be giving us an entertaining speech, not rattling items off a piece of paper like a grocery list. Glenn Close, I’m talking to you.
Best politically scripted line: Kathy Griffin, as she and Don Rickles took the stage. “The world hasn’t seen a pairing like this since John McCain and Sarah Palin.”

Best unintentional laugh: Heidi Klum’s broken English, when introducing presenter David Boreanaz. Here’s how Heidi said it with her charming accent: “David Boreanaz of THE Bones.” Adorable, right?

Short but sweet: Kathryn Joosten and Tom Selleck appeared for a blink-and-you-missed it-moment. They both were presenting, but both were limited to about 20 seconds of simply announcing the awards, due to time constraints. Note to producers: If you’re going to give us the delectable Selleck, give him more airtime than a sneeze. And how dare you cut Mrs. Landingham’s bit. She’s funnier than Mandel!

Best reunion: Sally Field and Tom Hanks, former mother-son costars on Forrest Gump.. As Fields presented Hanks with his award for Outstanding Miniseries, she asked how her “boy” was and Hanks, without missing a beat, called her “mom” and replied he was fine, before launching into his famous Forrest line “You know, momma always said…”

Sharpest political jab: Kirk Ellis, winner of the writing award for miniseries for the show John Adams. “Thank you for giving me this amazing opportunity to talk about a period in our history when articulate men articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences.”

Best advice for giving good acceptance speeches: Ricky Gervais. “Keep it short, particularly if you’re not onscreen talent. No one wants to hear from a producer.”

Biggest repeat offender: Jeremy Piven wins AGAIN for best supporting actor in a comedy. I get it. He’s talented; you like him. But, can we please make room for someone else in this category? Someone like Neil Patrick Harris or Rain Wilson?

You should have listened to Kimmel: Jeff Probst accepted his award for best reality host and gave Kimmel his “told ya so” moment. “Jimmy Kimmel, you told us the ‘nothing’ bit may not work, but we stuck to our guns.”

Biggest oversight: Friday Night Lights wasn’t nominated, nor were its stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. Great show, great performances, great disappointment that the show and its actors were snubbed. Shame on you, voters.

Harshest Bush bash: "I'm living proof, kids at home watching, that anybody can play the president."--- Paul Giamatti, accepting the award for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie for President John Adams.

Biggest reality check: It’s been a decade since The West Wing began. A decade? Wow. The President himself, Martin Sheen said it, so it must be true, but it does not seem like a decade has passed since this wonderful show graced the airwaves.
Clips please!: I’m not sure how the show producers could fit this in, but if they had time for that lame opening and the lengthy presentation of the reality host award, why didn’t they give us some clips from the shows the actors are nominated for in the lead categories or clips of the nominated shows. Perhaps the Emmys need to expand an extra hour, to truly pay tribute to TV and its stars. Hey, it works for the Oscars.

Best heckling: Don Rickles rips on the writers of the Emmys for the forced banter: “Let’s read the funny lines they wrote for us.” --- (rolling his eyes.)

My picks: Everyone has someone they’re rooting for and in my opinion, Vanessa Williams and Kristin Chenoweth should have both taken home statues for their supporting comedy performances. Aliens in America’s Adhir Kalyan should have been nominated in the supporting comedy category, and Chandra Wilson should have claimed the supporting actress in a drama award for her work on Grey’s Anatomy. And the fact that Tichina Arnold, of Everybody Hates Chris, wasn’t even nominated for supporting comedy actress makes me want to scream.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Josh Groban sings TV theme songs at the Emmys

This was the highlight of the Emmys for me, and apparently you, from the hordes of e-mails I’ve received about it.

Click play below and enjoy the enormously talented Josh Groban, as he sings 30 beloved TV theme songs in this hilarious medley. You have not lived until you’ve heard Groban rapping The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.

Seriously, Josh Groban, if the singing thing doesn’t work out, I think you’ve got a career as an impressionist. You do Eric Cartman as good as Eric Cartman.

Emmy winners 2008

Read ‘em and weep. (Or do the happy dance if you’re one of the legions of Tina Fey/30 Rock fans out there.) Stay tuned for my take on the big night.

"Boston Legal," ABC
"Damages," FX
"Dexter," Showtime
"House," Fox
"Lost," ABC
"Mad Men," AMC (Winner)

"Curb Your Enthusiasm," HBO
"Entourage," HBO
"The Office," NBC
"30 Rock," NBC (Winner)
"Two and a Half Men," CBS

Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" (Winner)
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House"
James Spader, "Boston Legal"

Glenn Close, "Damages" (Winner)
Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit"
Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" (Winner)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine"
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" (Winner)
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies"
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men"

Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"
Kevin Dillon, "Entourage"
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage" (Winner)
Rainn Wilson, "The Office"

Ted Danson, "Damages"
Michael Emerson, "Lost"
Zeljko Ivanek, "Damages" (Winner)
William Shatner, "Boston Legal"
John Slattery, "Mad Men"

Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal"
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers and Sisters"
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment" (Winner)
Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy"

Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies"
Amy Poehler, "Saturday Night Live"
Jean Smart, "Samantha Who?" (Winner)
Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men"
Vanessa Williams, "Ugly Betty"

Tom Bergeron, 'Dancing With The Stars'
Heidi Klum, 'Project Runway'
Howie Mandel, 'Deal Or No Deal'
Jeff Probst, 'Survivor' (Winner)
Ryan Seacrest, 'American Idol'

"The Amazing Race," CBS (Winner)
"American Idol," FOX
"Dancing With The Stars," ABC
"Project Runway," Bravo
"Top Chef," Bravo

"Antiques Roadshow," PBS
"Dirty Jobs," Discovery Channel
"Extreme Makeover Home Edition," ABC
"Intervention," A&E
"Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List," Bravo (Winner)

"The Andromeda Strain," A&E
"Cranford," (Masterpiece Theatre), PBS
"John Adams," HBO (Winner)
"Tin Man," Sci Fi Channel

Ralph Fiennes, "Bernard And Doris"
Ricky Gervais, "Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale"
Paul Giamatti, "John Adams" (Winner)
Kevin Spacey, "Recount"
Tom Wilkinson, "Recount"

Catherine Keener, "An American Crime"
Susan Sarandon, "Bernard And Doris"
Dame Judi Dench, "Cranford"
Laura Linney, "John Adams"(Winner)
Phylicia Rashad, "A Raisin in the Sun"

Eileen Atkins, "Cranford" (Winner)
Ashley Jensen, "Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale"
Alfre Woodard, "Pictures Of Hollis Woods"
Audra McDonald, "A Raisin In The Sun"
Laura Dern, "Recount"

David Morse, "John Adams"
Stephen Dillane, "John Adams"
Tom Wilkinson, "John Adams" (Winner)
Denis Leary, "Recount"
Bob Balaban, "Recount"

Shelley Berman, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Rip Torn, "30 Rock"
Will Arnett, "30 Rock"
Steve Buscemi, "30 Rock"
Tim Conway, "30 Rock" (Winner)

Charles Durning, "Rescue Me"
Robert Morse, "Mad Men"
Oliver Platt, "Nip-Tuck"
Stanley Tucci, "E.R."
Glynn Turman, "In Treatment" (Winner)
Robin Williams, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Polly Bergen, "Desperate Housewives"
Edie Falco, "30 Rock"
Kathryn Joosten, "Desperate Housewives" (Winner)
Carrie Fisher, "30 Rock"
Sarah Silverman, "Monk"
Elaine Stritch, "30 Rock"

Ellen Burstyn, "Big Love"
Diahann Carroll, "Grey's Anatomy"
Cynthia Nixon, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Winner)
Anjelica Huston, "Medium"
Sharon Gless, "Nip/Tuck"

For a complete list of all the winners in every category, click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Supernatural is Super Good

Photo: Courtesy of the CW; Do not duplicate.

by Ashley Gouveia

After watching the season four premiere of Supernatural last night, it confirmed two things for me. First, Eric Kripke, the creative mastermind behind this show, is a genius. Two, I love this show! I didn’t think it was possible to love it anymore, but it just keeps on surprising me.

My Winchester boys are back. Even Dean, who definitely doesn’t look like a “Thriller video reject” after escaping from the depths of Hell. He was actually looking good for a guy who’s been dead for four months. How did he make his resurrection? My first guess was that Sam must have done something. From the looks of all the dead trees next to his grave, someone was working some serious mojo.

I laughed out loud at Dean and Bobby’s reunion. Hey, I don’t blame Bobby for wanting to be too careful. In the world they live in, Dean could have been anything, like a shape shifter or some kind of demon. But I wasn’t counting on the face full of holy water. That was awesome, and Dean’s reaction was priceless.

The moment that I was looking forward to the most was, of course, the brothers’ reunion. It was hard to guess what Sam’s reaction was going to be to his newly undead brother. Much like Bobby, he didn’t believe it was really him either. There was shock and then relief, when he realized he had his brother back. Plus, Sam had Dean’s necklace with him. Oh, the brotherly love! So there goes my prediction that Sam pulled a Willow; kudos if you get the reference.

So at this point, I’m thinking that some nasty demon must have dragged Dean out. Especially after Pamela the psychic got her eyes burned out trying to see it. That was extremely creepy and gross. The fact that other demons were incredibly scared of whatever it was made me think twice. What were your thoughts?

It was an interesting twist that Sam knew that Ruby was still alive but in another form. It turned out that she was the girl from the motel. Dean’s not back for a whole day and Sam is already keeping secrets. Not only is he in contact with Ruby, but he has a hold on his psychic mind abilities, enough to get a demon out of a person’s body. I’m not too crazy about this new actress playing Ruby. If Sam hadn’t said her name, I wouldn’t have thought it was her. The way the actress played her, it seemed like Ruby got a personality transplant along with the new skin.

The most shocking reveal of them all came in the last fifteen minutes. The audience learned what exactly pulled Dean out. First off, thank you Eric Kripke for not dragging that out for more than one episode. When Bobby and Dean were preparing to fight the demon head on, it turned out to be not a demon at all; It was Castiel, an angel of the Lord. Whoa!

The last scene with Dean and Castiel was one of my favorites. The music, the dialogue, the performances were all fantastic. Can I just say that Castiel is one good lookin’ angel? So God demanded that Dean be released from the fiery pit. I didn’t see that one coming at all.

This is going to be an interesting season. Sam working with a demon, while Dean is making plans with God. This had to have been my second favorite season premiere after “In My Time of Dying.” I can’t wait to see what happens next with the Winchester brothers.

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

Grey's Anatomy Sneak Peek

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Smallville is back on track: Don’t miss the premiere

Photo copyright: Courtesy of the CW. Do not duplicate.

by Jennifer Squires Biller

I got an early look at the Smallville premiere this week, and I’m so excited about what I watched that it warranted a blog post. (And a cartwheel, but I won’t subject you to video of that embarrassing effort.)

Smallville fans, if the rest of the season lives up to the fantastic premiere, then the show we love is back on track. It’s no secret that last season I was sorely disappointed with the direction Smallville had taken. There was too little Clark, too much Kara and Lana, and too many comic-book villains of the week. The sweet simplicity of the show seemed to have vanished along with Clark’s family, as he left the innocence of high school. Even the small-town charm that had defined the series and prompted the moniker seemed to have disappeared. If you gave up last season, and I can’t blame you if you did, I’m telling you – begging really – come back.

The premiere is injected with a new energy that I haven’t felt in Smallville since the early years. From the new opening credits (which by the way feature a shot of Clark in the glasses that will make all Superman fans sequel with delight) to the cast additions of Justin Hartley and Cassidy Freeman, the show feels different from the start. In fact, it all feels fresh again. It’s clear that the writers have a plan for the season, and they laid it out brilliantly in the first hour, with Clark basically verbalizing that he’s been stuck in limbo, attached to the farm and the past, and that it’s time to move on toward his destiny.

With the change in leadership behind the scenes and the absence of Michael Rosenbaum’s enigmatic Lex Luthor, I was a bit worried about this year. But after seeing the new direction the show is headed, I’m happier than Chloe Sullivan in a room full of super computers.

I won’t spoil you with plot details, other than Tom Welling, dripping wet, is a site that should not be missed. For all of you Chlark fans getting ready to bombard me with e-mail wanting to know if Chloe and Chlark have any “good” scenes, save your keystrokes. They do have a nice scene, but it looks like Chloe and Jimmy are still an item. Sorry. Don’t kill the messenger.

Lois fans, you’ll be thrilled to see your gal back in action, tossing out one-liners with gusto, while fighting the bad guys and looking fabulous doing it.

Catch the Smallville premiere Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Office sneak peek and bloopers too!

It’s almost time for the return of The Office, Tubers. And to whet your appetite, I’ve got some goodies to share.

When we left our beloved pals at The Office last season, Jim awkwardly didn’t propose, Andy did awkwardly propose, and Michael was about to become a daddy (sort of) to Jan’s baby, despite the fact that the new HR gal could potentially be his soul mate. And then there was that nasty mess with Ryan being arrested and our sweet little Pam heading off to art school. Ah, memories!

The Dunder Mifflin gang isn’t back to work until next week - Thursday Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. ET to be specific - but in the meantime, enjoy this behind-the-scenes clip and promo.

Adventures with Angela: Angela's First Day back: http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/video/clips/angelas-first-day-back/651081/


Also, for those who want to overdose on the Scranton gang, check out the season four DVD set. It’s a must for any Office fan, with more than two hours of deleted scenes, bloopers, and more. Here’s a sample of some of the fun extras on the DVD.

The Office Bloopers:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smMlC-78m1w
Fun Run: Deleted Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGINB2WnxdY
Dunder Mifflin Infinity: Deleted Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uShy7gCEzkY

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Smallville premiere: First look

Copyright: All photos courtesy of the CW 2008. Do not duplicate.

It’s Christmas in September, as far as I’m concerned. You see, Smallville returns Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the new season, a season that looks like it may make up for my discontent of last season.

The Justice League, i.e. Oliver Queen, is front and center. And this season, diehard fans of the Superman mythos will be happy, as Clark moves closer to fulfilling his destiny.

Here are some yummy photos from the upcoming show. Tom Welling looks spectacular and well, that other guy, he ain’t too shabby either. (Justin Hartley, I’m kidding.) These photos have upped my excitement level by about 1000 percent.

Let’s hope this season we get a little more of Clark Kent.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Terminator surprises

by Ashley Gouveia

The season two premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles began right where it left off with Cameron inside the Jeep as it exploded. We learned in the finale that Sarkissian, the holder of the Turk, wasn’t dead after all. He’s the one who put the bomb to make Cameron go boom. But she was back. However, she wasn’t exactly all in one piece.

As the show began, we got our usual “In the future…” intro, but this season it’s not Lena Headey’s voice doing it. Instead, it’s a promo guy’s voice and new images of the characters with Brian Austin Green’s Derek added to the cast. I actually like this intro a lot. But it seems like the opening credits for shows are becoming a dying trend. That’s a shame.

I think all of you know how much I enjoy a good ol’ musical montage. So when I saw that the episode was starting out with one I was excited. The song was appropriately titled “Samson and Delilah,” which was also the title of the episode. Shirley Manson, the new addition to the cast, actually sings that version. I thought the montage was great. It really set the tone of the episode.

Sarah and John struggled to get free from Sarkissian and his lackey, while Cameron came wobbling into the house and turned a gun on John. Luckily, the house went up in flames and knocked her target off. From that point on, we got a cat and mouse game with Cameron trying to track down the Connors.

Another big question that the finale left us with was; “Why did Cromartie leave Agent Ellison alive?” We finally got an answer to that one. It turned out that Cromartie believes that Ellison will lead him to Sarah. Although he denies that he would ever do the “devil’s work” Cromartie thinks otherwise. It’s interesting to see a Terminator choose not to do something. That lead me to another question I had later on in the episode.

John and Sarah tried to get Cameron’s chip out once but failed. So Sarah thought it would be a good idea to pin her in between two huge trucks. This had to have been my favorite scene of the entire episode. Cameron begged John not to deactivate her, pleading that she was good now, and she ran a test. John was having second thoughts, but Sarah was yelling for him to do it. Then Cameron screamed that she loved him, and that he loved her. I think that was about the time that my jaw hit the floor. After some hesitation John pulled the chip out. Amazing acting by both Summer Glau and Thomas Dekker. I had to immediately rewind my TiVo and watch it again.

The scene after that with John and Derek was great, too. I loved how John was taking a stand. It was also visible that his relationship with his mother has changed. He doesn’t look at her the same way, after they had to kill Sarkissian. I knew that John wasn’t going to be able to burn Cameron. He went against his family and did what he believed was right. He truly believes that Cameron is different than the other Terminators. Is she? She seemed to decide not to kill John, even though her programming initially told her to. We really need an episode about Cameron’s back story, pronto.

The whole hour was action packed, and I can’t wait until next week. It appears that John’s going through a rebellious stage. I don’t think that’s going to sit too well with Mama, since he’s supposed to be the future leader of the resistance and all. Also, how crazy was it that Shirley Manson’s character turned out to be a T-1000? I knew she was too scary to be human.

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

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Review: Do Not Disturb misses the mark

Do Not Disturb
Premiere Date: September 10, 2008
Airs: Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on FOX

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Each season, I fear the traditional sitcom is growing closer to extinction. If Do Not Disturb is the best FOX has, then my fear is coming true. It makes last season’s decent Back to You look like a work of Mensa, by comparison.

The show has a talented cast headed by Jerry O’Connell and Niecy Nash, but the pilot barely held my attention. It’s a workplace comedy set in one of New York’s City’s top hotels, where predictable workplace hijinks ensue. I’ve only seen one episode, but that was enough to tell me that this show isn’t for me, especially with such a crowded TV schedule this year.

If you’re a fan of Nash and O’Connell you may want to watch for them, but little else is memorable. I doubt Do Not Disturb will last long. It’s this season’s Cavemen.

Review: Fringe questions strange phenomena


Premiere Date: September 9, 2008
Airs: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Sci-fi seekers, the new fall show Fringe may be the one show you’ll want to catch this season.

It’s a little bit X-Files, but with the trademark J.J. Abrams stamp planted firmly all over it. Fringe offers suspense, drama, and mystery, with plenty of unanswered questions, reminiscent of Alias and Lost.

I didn’t fall in love with Fringe immediately after watching the pilot, like I did other Abrams' shows Felicity and Lost. But, Fringe is definitely worth investing in for a second look. The cast alone packs a mighty punch.

The show stars Joshua Jackson as a genius and a civilian consultant for the FBI. Jackson plays the son of a brilliant mad scientist (actor John Noble) whose experiments may unlock the mystery of strange phenomena occurring all over the world. Anna Torv is brilliant as the tough FBI agent. As happy as I am to see Jackson back on television, I’m equally thrilled that Mark Valley is front and center in this drama as an FBI agent, too. He was woefully underused on Boston Legal and has been deserving of airtime on a quality show for years.

Fringe starts slow, but has so many twists and turns that you’ll probably be hitting the rewind button a couple times. Check it out, especially if you like sci-fi with a healthy dose of mystery.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Review: 90210 still charms


Premiere Date: September 2, 2008
Airs: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW

by Jennifer Squires Biller

There sideburns are gone and so is the brooding antihero. But, the typical teen crises facing a bevy of beautiful people in the infamous zip code remains. Cheating at school, silly jock pranks, and dating are still central themes in the do-over 90210 version of the beloved ‘90s TV show. If you like soapy teen dramas, then this is the new fall show for you.

It doesn’t have the slick dialogue and fast-witted humor reminiscent of The O.C.’s Seth , Gossip Girl’s entire cast, or Veronica Mars, but what it lacks in intelligence, it makes up for with nostalgia and simple story telling that should resonate with teens and young adults.

The show debuted with record ratings for the CW, and it’s likely it will continue to attract eyeballs, if the plots remain strong and the show execs rely on the former 90210 veterans for a significant portion of story. For me, one of the most compelling parts of the pilot was the mystery of Kelly’s son’s paternity. Is it Dylan, Brandon or Steve? I don’t think I’m alone in my sentiment for the vets, if the amount of press Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty have been getting is any indication. (Seriously, they look better now than ever.) And seeing Nat still toiling away at the Peach Pit, albeit a modernized version with a fancy cappuccino machine, warmed my heart.

I also loved Lori Loughlin and Rob Estes as the modern-day Cindy and Jim Walsh. I hope we see plenty of plots for these TV vets, too. (The O.C. didn’t relegate the adults to backburner status and it made that show all the richer.)

In this version of 90210, the Wilson family moves from Kansas to Beverly Hills, and just as the Walsh siblings did, Annie and Dixon work to fit in. It doesn’t take long, as Dixon finds his niche in the sports world and Annie befriends the popular girls. It doesn’t hurt that their father is the new principal at West Beverly.

Garth still shines as Kelly Taylor, but it’s Jessica Walter who steals the show, as Tabitha, the alcoholic grandmother of the Wilson kids. (And Linda Gray was a stroke of casting genius as Tabitha’s pal.)

Sure, the show had its unbelievable moments. Annie scoring a date with a guy who looks like Superman (Tom Welling), who flew her to a different city for dinner comes to mind. But, all in all, 90210 was a fun ride. It offers new life to the zip code and is a treat for those of us who grew up addicted to the original. Now, if we can just get Steve Sanders back, it would be almost perfect.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Commentary with a Co-Ed: One Tree Hill's Lucas makes his choice

by Ashley Gouveia

Monday night we all got the answer to who Lucas called on the season finale of One Tree Hill. It was Peyton, no shocker there. Everyone who guessed right last week can congratulate themselves, as I give myself a pat on the back. Was anyone surprised by that reveal? I was expecting it.

The episode starts off with Lucas daydreaming about a one-year anniversary with each of the three girls. It seemed to me that the dreams were used to show the audience what kind of choice each of the girls would be if Lucas married them. Brooke would be the hard choice, with their careers keeping them away from each other most of the time. Lindsay would be the easiest and most assumed choice. Peyton would be the “dream” choice. Everything that they ever wished for would be granted if they were together. It would be close to the perfect life. Did he make the right decision?

While Peyton and Lucas fly off to Vegas to get married, Brooke is fending off the “Botox vampiress,” a.k.a. Victoria, from taking her company away. We haven’t seen Mommy Dearest in a while so it was good to see she is still as evil as ever. I love how Brooke is standing up for herself and fighting for what is hers. It’s a big change from the beginning of season five.

Then we got some really cute Nathan, Haley and Jamie scenes. I love them! Any time that we get these three in a scene with a mention of furry Chester is made of win for me. Nathan is slowly getting back to his former basketball glory and Haley is singing again. Although I’m worried that Nathan’s back injury may further delay the process. Also, Nathan is becoming the funniest character on the show. His one-liners with Deb, Quentin and Skillz delivered some of the funniest moments in the episode.

Jamie and Q’s growing friendship has really made Q an enjoyable character to watch. If you remember, I couldn’t stand him. But it seems like little Jamie brings out the best in him. He even taught Jamie those dance moves that were adorable.

Mouth and Millie left Tree Hill together so Mouth can start a new job in Omaha. I’m not going to lie, I did tear up when he said goodbye to Brooke and Skillz. Hey, that was a rough moment.

Now let’s get to the disturbing parts of the episode. Dan survived only to wake up with Psycho Nanny Carrie as his nurse. That’s right, she’s back! Don’t ask me why but she has returned. After the first torture scene I was hoping that would have been the end of it. But we were given much more after that. She tied him to a hospital bed and continued to burn him and stick him with needles. She’s slowly planning to make her move to get Jamie and she wants Dan to help her. Is it wrong to root for Dan in this situation? I really can’t stand Nanny Carrie.

In the last five minutes of the episode, we see Brooke closing up her store when someone comes in and starts beating her up. I didn’t see that coming. That was more disturbing for me than the Carrie scenes, even though it was only a minute long. Poor Brooke.

As far as season premieres go I enjoyed this one. I can’t say that it was my favorite because I’d be lying. But there were some moments that were really enjoyable and some that were difficult to watch. I’m looking at you Carrie.

So who do you think broke into Brooke’s store? Did Victoria hire someone? That would make her rival Dan as being the worst parent ever. Or could it be Psycho Derek back for revenge? Weigh in with your predictions and thoughts on the season six premiere.

Favorite Moments:

“Is this some kind of grandmother midlife crisis?” –Nathan to Deb.

“Put some clothes on Jamie’s home. If he sees you topless he’s going to be scarred for life. I know I am.” –Nathan to Deb.

Q teaches Jamie some cool moves.

Haley and Jamie dance in the living room.

“Are you leaving me Marvin McFadden?” –Brooke.

“You turned my son into a goof, Q.” –Nathan.

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

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bones returns tonight as David Boreanaz spills new season secrets

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Bones returns to FOX tonight at 8 p.m. ET for its two-hour season premiere. I’ve seen the episode and you don’t want to miss it. Angela’s husband returns! (Hello, hottie!) And Booth and Brennan head across the pond to London to solve a case. It’s a good start to kick off the new season.

There are some hilarious moments involving Booth and a rental car that made me laugh out loud. And as always, the chemistry between Booth and Brennan is overflowing. My only complaint, and I know it will be yours, too, so I’m trying to head it off before the onslaught of e-mails start, is the lack of Zack follow up. I know you’re still ticked, Tubers, about how it all played out last season, if the comments and e-mails I’ve received are any indication. I’m sorry. Hopefully, as the season progresses we’ll see more of the Zack fallout.

Yesterday, I had the chance to join in a conference call with “Booth” himself, David Boreanaz, as he talked about the new season and the premiere. Here are some minor spoilers, so stop reading now if you want to remain blissfully spoiler free.

Those of you clamoring for the romance between Booth and Brennan to kick up a notch, you’re going to get your wish. It appears the two will be in bed together, however, it will be a fantasy sequence, Boreanaz said. Zack will also get out of prison, temporarily, to help solve a case, and Booth will be getting more action sequences, much to Boreanaz’ liking.

OK, that’s it. I’ve teased you enough. Go. Watch. Enjoy!

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