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Monday, April 27, 2009

Don’t miss the TV Land Awards

by Jennifer Squires Biller

What could be better than a room full of celebrities celebrating classic television that includes Tom Selleck, Matthew McConaughey, Neil Patrick Harris and the casts of Knots Landing, Home Improvement, M*A*S*H, Murphy Brown, Married With Children and many more classic TV shows?

Not much, if you ask me.

Each year the TV Land Awards make me smile, and this year is no exception. If you missed Sunday’s show, check out the replay Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on TV Land. It’s a treat, I promise.

Neil Patrick Harris proved he’s a Hugh Jackman in waiting, with his hosting style and hilarious musical number. Doogie Howser can sing! And I couldn’t help but get a little giddy when I saw the cast of Magnum P.I. all together again along with Tim the “toolman” Taylor, Sam from Cheers, Ted Bundy, Hot Lips from M*A*S*H, and Murphy Brown.

I grew up watching many of these shows, and I’m so thrilled that TV Land produces this show every year to pay tribute to these classics. You know TV shows are good when 25 years later you can still watch them and be entertained. That’s the case for so many of the shows honored at this year’s TV Land Awards.

I’m sure many of you will probably tune in just to see how the celebrities have aged — (Selleck looks good!) — and that’s fine. But please take a moment to consider that shows like All in the Family, Happy Days, Magnum P.I. and Seinfeld don’t come along every day. If you don’t believe me, take a spin through the channels and see how few sitcoms and truly wonderful shows exist today. It will probably send you rushing to TV Land to catch an old episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

Here’s a look at Harris’ hysterical opening number. For other behind-the-scenes videos, visit the TV Land Web site where there are plenty of videos from the TV Land Awards.

Remembering Bea Arthur

by Jennifer Squires Biller

TV funny lady Bea Arthur passed away Saturday at age 86, after battling cancer. Our thoughts are with her family, colleagues and fans.

Arthur was famous for several roles, including the ‘70s groundbreaking show, Maude, a spin-off of All in the Family. Arthur played the strong title character, and the show addressed many political and women’s issues, including abortion. She later went on to play one of the beloved Golden Girls, Dorothy.

Arthur was also an acclaimed stage and film actress. She won a Tony for her role in Mame, with Angela Lansbury.

Maude and Golden Girl costar Rue McClanahan told TV Guide that Arthur was a trailblazer for women’s comedy. "She showed me how to be very brave in playing comedy," McClanahan said. "I'll miss that courage. And I'll miss that voice."

I wasn’t very old when Maude was popular. I have faint memories of it being on in the background in my family room as a kid, but I truly didn’t connect with Arthur until her sarcastic run as Dorothy on the Golden Girls. My college roommate and I would watch the episodes during weekdays, in between classes, and despite the fact that the four ladies were senior citizens and we weren’t even 20, we could always find some parallel to our current lives.

The Golden Girls made me laugh, especially Dorothy’s quick tongue and dry wit. “Thank you for being a friend,” Bea Arthur, during those college years. There is no question you were a golden girl.

To honor Arthur, the Hallmark Channel is running a Golden Girls Memorial Day marathon, featuring Dorothy-centered episodes on Monday, May 25, starting at 6:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. ET.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Supernatural recap

Photo: courtesy of the CW

by Ashley Gouveia

When I first heard rumblings about a possible third Winchester brother on Supernatural, I immediately thought that it couldn’t be true. There was no way that the writers would introduce another brother on an already established show. It had Cousin Oliver potential written all over it. However, this show has never let me down, so I just waited to see how this was all going to unfold. I have to say, I am a little confused.

I really enjoyed the episode. I loved that it brought up a lot of stuff from the past seasons, like John and his relationship with Sam. But I guess it’s just a hard pill to swallow that John Winchester had another kid out there. Not only that, but that he was able to spend quality time with him and actually be a normal father. There are a lot of fans who dislike John Winchester because of the way he raised and treated his boys. I was always part of the group who believed that he did the best he could. Plus, who couldn’t love Jeffrey Dean Morgan? This episode changed how I see John Winchester.

In the beginning of the episode, a random kid called John’s phone and told Dean that he was John’s son. Much like Dean, I was already thinking that this was some sort of trap. Maybe it was a trickster or some kind of angel test that they wanted to put the brothers through. When it was revealed that Adam, the new Winchester brother, didn’t have a negative reaction to silver or holy water, it wasn’t looking good for any of my theories. It seemed as if the boy was legit.

What was the most interesting was how Dean and Sam reacted to this news. Dean was completely against letting Adam into the fold of hunting, while Sam was rolling out the welcome mat. Sam’s reasoning was that he believed Adam would be better off if they taught him how to defend himself. I felt like Sam was really dark in this episode. His motivations and his reasoning are a little off. I guess that’s all the demon blood that he’s been slurping on.

Why didn’t Dean push the issue further about how easily swayed Adam was to the whole “demons are real” story? That moment had me thinking again that there was something weird about this kid. As it turns out, I was right. It was revealed that Adam was a ghoul, playing them the whole time. The ghoul killed the real Adam and his mother. The twist was that Adam really was John’s son. I think that was when my jaw dropped to the floor.

What does this say about Papa Winchester? Has this episode forever tainted the way you look at his character? Did it reaffirm your hatred?

Sound off in the comments.

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

Monday, April 20, 2009

Susan Boyle: I Dreamed a Dream

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Confession: I rarely watch reality TV.

OK, so that’s not exactly news to loyal followers of Tube Talk. But when I see clips like the one below, I think I may be missing some incredible entertainment by avoiding the dream-crushing reality shows, where normal folks go to find stardom.

Meet Susan Boyle, a sassy Brit with a singing voice so sweet it could make a grown man cry. She doesn’t look like a “star,” and when she took the stage on Britain's Got Talent for her audition, it was clear the cynical audience and judges were ready to spew their venom in Susan’s direction. Then, she opened her mouth and hit her first note.

I’ll let you watch to see what happens. Be warned, it may give you chills.

The entire world is cheering for Susan to make it, not despite her frumpy appearance, but because of it. I think the masses may finally have had enough of the ubiquitous Barbie-doll-looking singers that keep emerging year after year, with their size two waists, perfect hair, makeup, spray tans, and arched eyebrows. The world is rebelling and embracing Susan Boyle.

I’m pretty sure Boyle doesn’t wax her brows, have hair extensions, or wear Spanx. She’s refreshingly un-Hollywood, and the world is happy to see it. Go Susan, go! I hope she doesn’t cave to the pressures of Hollywood and straighten that curly hair, join Nutrisystem and shrink to half her size, and alter her face with plastic surgery. Here’s hoping that Susan stays just as she is and proves that talent is what makes people love her, not her appearance.

Hit play below or click here to check out Susan's audition.

The Office’s Andy and Dwight sing Country Roads

by Jennifer Squires Biller

As a West Virginian, the song Country Roads always makes me smile. It’s an anthem, of sorts, for natives, that no matter where we are in the world when we hear those first few notes of the song, we’re suddenly transported home again.

Whether you’re standing in a packed West Virginia University football stadium after a game, amid a sea of blue and gold, singing along to Country Roads with the players and coaches as the song blasts through the loud speakers, or driving on a winding two-lane road listening to it on the radio, it’s futile to resist the lure of that simple but uplifting and contagious ditty.

I’ve seen Country Roads transform quiet hotel bars into spirited crowds who can’t resist the urge to sing along. I’ve seen country music acts Brad Paisley and Alabama do the song in concert and bring down the house. I’ve even seen the song performed Calypso style in the Caribbean with a strange Jamaican accent, all the while holding its charm. I guess you could say Country Roads unites us. It has the ability to bring us together, even when our common differences divide us.

Such was the case with “frenemies” (friends and enemies) Dwight and Andy on a recent episode of The Office. It’s a clip I had to share here. Trust me, you’ll be tapping your foot along with Andy’s superb banjo stylings and Dwight’s passionate guitar strumming.

Thank you Office show runners for showcasing this song so humorously. Dwight singing a verse in German is priceless. Hit play below or click here and enjoy!

ABC to air final episodes of canceled shows

Photo: ABC, Eli Stone

ABC is still on my list – yes, I have one – for killing my beloved Eli Stone. From its musical numbers to its charming cast, it was a highlight in a dreary television week.

The good news is that this summer the network will air the final four episodes of the show, along with the final episodes of two other ABC canceled shows: Dirty, Sexy, Money and Pushing Daisies.

All three ABC shows were canned back in November, leaving fans clamoring for some finality to wrap up storylines. I guess I should be thanking ABC for at least giving fans some closure. But, for me, it is bittersweet. Having four more episodes of Eli and a singing Olive on Pushing Daisies may leave me longing for more, when I had just started to forget about them.

The shows will air this summer on Saturdays at 10 p.m., a time when the network assumes no one is watching television anyway. Here is the schedule.

Pushing Daisies – May 30-June 13 (final three episodes Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET)
Eli Stone – June 20-July 11 (final four episodes Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET)
Dirty Sexy Money – July 18-Aug. 8 (final four episodes Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET)

Friday, April 17, 2009

How I Met Your Mother: Robin and Barney BRo Love video

by Jennifer Squires Biller


That high-pitched squeal you just heard (OK read) was the sound I made after watching the How I Met Your Mother Robin and Barney-centric video from CBS. It’s titled BRo Love, “B” for Barney and “Ro” for Robin. Get it?

The video has many of Barney and Robin’s best scenes and heavily implies that a romance is brewing. Sure, some of the scenes are taken out of context and set to romantic music, but hey, isn’t that what a great “shipper” video - as their known on the ‘net - is all about?

I’m not sure which makes me happier: that it looks like the show listened to me — and a zillion other fans — and is pursuing a Barney/Robin coupling or that CBS took time to make a “shipper” video.

Fans of TV couples have been making these videos for years and promoting the networks’ shows for free. (For proof, check out this and more at You Tube.) It’s about time the networks tapped in to this popular form of fandom. Honestly, I’m shocked that it’s CBS who took the plunge first. I would have thought the CW would have been the first to do a shipper video. But kudos to CBS for this piece of brilliance, rewarding longtime fans. This is one of the best I’ve seen. And I’m betting it may even pull in a few folks who’ve never watched the show.

Hit play below and enjoy!

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Save the Sarah Connor Chronicles

by Ashley Gouveia

It’s around that time of year when all of us TV fanatics worry about our favorite shows getting the ax and being prematurely cancelled. Of course, the television shows that have 10 or 20 million viewers each week don’t have to panic. Instead, it’s the shows that have a strong following, but the numbers don’t display that loyalty.

My favorite “on the bubble” television show is Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles. I thought this week would be a good time to beg, I mean, give my well-thought-out reasons, as to why this show has to have a third season. These all came to me while watching the season, now possibly, series finale. Are you listening Fox?

Reason #1: Who’s John Connor?
How could the show possibly end without us seeing what happens after John is transported to the future, post Judgment Day? Apparently, nobody has heard of him, and he is completely alone. Sarah decided to stay behind and let her son go without her to chase after John Henry. This plot could easily give the show runners material for a third season. What does John do now? Is he going to get back? Will he repeat the decisions that he knows his future self made?

Reason #2: OMG! BAG is back!
We had to watch Brian Austin Green’s Derek get blown away by a single shot to the head from a terminator and then his ashes being lowered into a grave. I thought the character I had grown to love was gone for good. But then in the last five minutes of the finale, Derek showed up alive and well in the future. Okay, we just got Derek back and they’re thinking of canceling the show. It can’t happen. We, the fans, need to see why Derek doesn’t know John. We also need to see how John is going to handle being around his dead uncle and father. That’s right! Kyle Reese is alive too. This is all just too good to pass up.

Reason #3: Is that Allison from Palmdale?
Not only were Derek and Kyle there to meet John in the future, but a girl who John assumed to be Cameron was there. I think we can confirm that the smiling girl who was pet friendly was not Cameron but Allison, the human who Cameron was created after. Oh, the possibilities. The fans need to see John’s interaction with Allison. This could be an amazing storyline that many John and Cameron fans have waited to see for some time now. Thomas Dekker and Summer Glau have amazing chemistry; it would just be a complete waste to miss the opportunity to explore this relationship.

Reason #4: Where is John Henry?
The last time we saw the oddly lovable and yet creepy terminator he was in a room alone with a knife-wielding Cameron. She gave him her chip and he teleported into the future. Why did Cameron give her chip? Will John Henry now have Cameron’s personality when John finds him? Is John Henry part of the resistance?

Reason #5: It’s one of the best written and acted shows on television.
If not because of all the amazing cliffhangers that need to be answered this show is one of the best out there. The whole cast always brings their A game and the writing is top notch. If any show deserves a second chance it’s this one. Plus, from a marketing standpoint the network would be foolish not to work the new Terminator movie angle. I’m sure the film will bring in new viewers. I think moving the show back to Monday night or another slot would bring up the ratings.

Those are only a few reasons why this show deserves a third season. Please FOX, don’t let another great show slip into the proverbial abyss of television shows that ended way before their time.

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

Monday, April 06, 2009

TV Link Time

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

As ER said its goodbye, Buzz thought back over her favorite memories of the show and asked you to share your own. (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie took a look at American Idol's Adam Lambert back when he was in the Los Angeles production of "Wicked." (Daemon's TV)

Are you ready to laugh even more on Thursday nights? Check out my review of the new NBC comedy Parks and Recreation starring Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones. (Give Me My Remote)

In the latest round of Playing the Percentages, Scooter puts a number on the chances of Chuck ever hooking up with Sarah, if Cupid will be any good. And just hours after he accessed the chances of another season of Friday Night Lights, it was announced we’d get two. (Scooter McGavin's 9th Green)

Rae's sad to say goodbye to ER but she didn't think the finale was quite as perfect as others did. (RTVW)

Vance thinks the producers and judges are trying way too hard to fix the competition on American Idol, especially when it's so obvious that Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta are far better than Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey and Lil Rounds. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace took an early look at next week's episode of Chuck ("Chuck Versus the Dream Job"), which features guest stars Scott Bakula and Chevy Chase. (Televisionary)

Marisa participated in a chat with SNL's Will Forte and Arrested Development's Mitch Hurwitz on their new animated project Sit Down Shut Up. (TiFaux)

Jennifer pondered whether a Saved by the Bell 20-year cast reunion is a good idea or if Jimmy Fallon was simply drunk when he began his campaign for the event. (Tube Talk)

Matt is glad ER has ended. Because he's seen Southland, and it's great. (TV Fanatic)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Smallville recap

by Ashley Gouveia

See how good an episode of Smallville can be when it deals with things that actually matter? Last night’s episode was so awesome. Every actor was at the top of their game. This storyline about Davis has really amped up these last couple of episodes. Sam Witwer has really done a phenomenal job with this character. He has given a human side to one of the comic’s most dangerous villains.

The first five minutes I thought I was watching the pilot episode. The meteor shower, the Kents, Lionel and little Lex were all part of a flashback to how Davis came to Earth. It was so great to see Martha and Jonathan again. I didn’t realize how much I had missed them. Even the sight of Lionel got me all nostalgic. It broke my heart to see a young Davis abandoned in the field, while the Kents walked off with Clark.

Another person who certainly deserves recognition is Cassidy Freeman who plays Tess. That girl can pull off being evil one minute and sympathetic in another. Those scenes with her and Davis in the mansion were chilling. It could have been really boring with all that exposition that she had to get through about Davis’ past, but it wasn’t. I still don’t know what her game is. She knows about Clark and how Davis is meant to destroy him. Clark is aware of that too. So is Clark still going to work for her? Those are going to be some awkward days in the office.

Speaking of awkward, how awkward was that when Clark walked in on Davis and Chloe having dinner? Chloe didn’t let her slight frustration with Clark subside. She told him how she felt like he wasn’t really being there for her as a friend. I say it is about time. Plus, Jimmy is being a complete jerk. I could understand him being angry with her for not trusting him, but those mean emails he apparently sent her were uncalled for.

Allison Mack and Sam Witwer have such amazing chemistry. I always find their scenes to be so intense. When he came to Isis and tried to get her to listen to him was phenomenal. Then when he said he loved her I couldn’t help but feel bad for him. I knew Chloe wouldn’t be able to just kill Davis with the kryptonite. But it just goes to show that when it came to protecting Clark she would have. Having Clark watch as Chloe put her hand up to Davis on the glass was heartbreaking. Well acted from everyone in that scene.

Of course we knew that Davis/Doomsday wasn’t going to get killed off just like that. It would have been ant-climatic since this whole season has been building to a Davis and Clark battle. Can Chloe help Davis control Doomsday? I think she believes she can and if it’s the only way to save Clark, she is surely going to try her hardest. I can’t wait to see how this story arc turns out. So far I’m enjoying it so much I think I’ll have to rewatch the episode again.

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

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Should Saved by the Bell have a 20-year-reunion?

If Jimmy Fallon has his way, the teens of Saved by the Bell will be reuniting for their 20-year-reunion?

Friday night on Fallon’s show, he brought out “Mr. Belding” (Dennis Haskins) and the two pleaded with the former cast to do the reunion on Fallon’s show. Frankly, I’m betting “Screech” could use the work.

Fallon created an online petition at his website to champion his cause, which he labeled “the impossible dream.” Already, hundreds of fans have signed the petition.

Fallon begged the cast “to put their petty differences aside” and reunite to bring fans a little glimmer of happiness. (Apparently, Fallon watched the Saved by the Bell E! True Hollywood Story that detailed the romantic off-screen entanglements between the cast members.

So what do you think? Would you like to see the cast all together again and find out what they’re doing these days? Or would you rather leave the show a fond memory and not find out if Zach is balding and Kelly has wrinkles?

Check out Fallon’s tribute to Saved by the Bell and his petition to reunite the cast.

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