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Showing posts from September, 2008

"You're Lucky I'm Bored": Catwalks, Catfights, and Catty Behavior on "Gossip Girl"

I was really looking forward to last night's episode of Gossip Girl ("The Serena Also Rises") as it promised not only a potential showdown in the escalating war between former BFFs Serena and Blair, with the backdrop of New York Fashion Week, but also because it promised to finally bring together bitter enemies Chuck and Dan for a night on the town. Right? Not quite. While I was riveted by the Serena/Blair/Jenny drama (though, honestly, Laurel should be fired for leaving an intern in charge of readying the models and did no one check any of the models' ensembles before they went out on the runway?), I found the Dan storyline to once again be a leaden mess and a complete misuse of what could have been a hilarious and fun storyline that had the two of them hitting the town, Chuck Bass style. Instead, we're force-fed another plot about what a fantastic writer Dan is but how Yale's admission office won't be impressed with any of his recent writings (despite,

Talk Back: "Chuck" Season Premiere

How thrilled are you that NBC's Chuck is finally back on the airwaves? It's been nine months since we caught up with the gang at Buy More (and superspies Sarah and Casey) and what a painful nine month wait it's been. I had the opportunity to watch the first three episodes of Season Two of Chuck a few weeks back and enjoyed every single second of them. But I cannot describe the pure pleasure I got from watching the season opener ("Chuck Versus the First Date"), from the opening scene of Michael Clarke Duncan dangling our beloved Chuck Bartowski out of a window by his ankles to Sarah and Chuck's putative first date... which, not unsurprisingly, goes horribly, horribly wrong. To have Chuck 's winning blend of action, comedy, and romance back on the air makes me almost feel like all's right with the world. Or television, anyway. What did you think of the season opener? Were you as disturbed by Chuck walking in on Devon and Ellie in the shower as he was?

Channel Surfing: "Pushing Daisies" Gets Dopplegangers, "90210," AMC Looks West, Denman in "Office," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Hopefully all of you managed to catch a superlative season opener to NBC's Chuck and a slightly-less-than-stellar episode of CW's Gossip Girl . Orlando Jones ( Drumline ), Michael Weaver ( Notes from the Underbelly ), and Ivana Milicevic ( Casino Royale ) have been cast in guest roles for a November episodes of ABC's Pushing Daisies entitled "The Norwegians," where they will play Norwegian detectives resembling our favorite troika of gumshoes Emerson, Ned, and Chuck, who leave Scandinavia in search of bigger and better mysteries to solve. Let's just hope these dopplegangers don't try to solve the mystery of how Emerson and Ned, er, solve their mysteries. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Don't hold your breath waiting for an Arrested Development feature film, fans of the Bluth clan. Michael Cera says that he's heard nothing about plans for a feature film based on the short-lived F

Televisionary 2.0 Launches

Welcome to Televisionary Version 2.0! After two and a half years and nearly 1500 posts (yes, you read that correctly: 1500 posts!), I figured that Televisionary was definitely in need of a nice fresh coat of paint. While the bones of the site remain intact, I hope that the new layout and navigation tools allow an ease of use that may have been missing from the site's last version. An embedded search box to the right will sort through all posts from the last two and a half years, an email subscription link (along with the site's feed) can be found just below the masthead, tabs make navigating the site's pages even easier, and the daily features What's On Tonight and What I'm Watching can now be found--rather than at the bottom of the first post of the day--in the sidebar at the right. I'd love to hear what you think of the new layout and design, so talk back here and let me know your thoughts.

Fashion Victims and Victors: An Advance Look at CW's "Stylista"

I wasn't going to write about Stylista today but I couldn't resist. After all, it's Monday morning so it's likely than many of us are undercaffeinated and in dire need of cheering up. I'll admit that my expectations for Stylista , the CW's new fashion-focused reality competition series from executive producers Tyra Banks, Ken Mok, Jane Cha, Desiree Gruber, and Eli Holzman, were slightly low. While I thought that, if done right the series could be a fun popcorn diversion from the stress of Amazing Race and the high-stakes runway risk of Project Runway , it could also turn out to be nothing more than a hastily clothed reality remake of The Devil Wears Prada . It's turns out that I was kind of right on both counts. While Stylista definitely takes the majority of its cues from The Devil Wears Prada (hell, Anne Slowey breezes in with nary a smile or greeting for the receptionist at Elle as she tosses her her coat), I do have to say that it is pretty damn fun

Talk Back: "The Amazing Race" Season Premiere

Road blocks. Detours. Phil Keoghan saucily raising one eyebrow. The season premiere of CBS' reality series The Amazing Race ("Bees are Much Calmer than All This!") had it all, including some particularly memorable teams, even this early in the race. Now that you've read my advance review of the season premiere and--after last night's airing--seen the episode for yourself, I'm curious to see if you're rooting for Bill and Mark as much as I am and if you're as taken with sibs Starr and Nick (despite their ill-advised alliance)... and if abrasive couple Terence and Sarah rubbed you the wrong way too. Do you think alliances are always a bad idea on TAR ? (After all, it's not Survivor .) Were the beekeepers cast for their wacky sense of style almost as much as their advanced age? Who do you think are the strongest teams so far? And which ones will get left by the side of the road as the race progresses? Talk back here.

Channel Surfing: "Project Runway" Injunction, "Fringe" Science,

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. I'm still in telly overload mode, having watched the first three episodes of Season Two of Pushing Daisies , the first two episodes of the CW's Stylista , and the shocking new installments of Skins and Mad Men this weekend. Whew. The big news over the weekend was that a New York judge has handed out a preliminary injunction on Friday, which has temporarily barred the Weinstein Company from moving Project Runway from Bravo to new home Lifetime. The move casts some shadow on the future of the series--which is meant to launch its sixth season in January on the women's cabler--though production will continue in Los Angeles. If the case goes to trial, it's likely that it would delay the launch of Season Six, which could put Weinstein in a sticky place with Lifetime; not unexpectedly, Weinstein Company is expected to appeal the injunction. ( Variety ) Could the science in FOX's Fringe be fictional? Um, the series dea

Link Tank: TV Blog Coalition Roundup for Sept. 26-28

Televisionary is proud to be a member of the TV Blog Coalition. At the end of each week, we'll feature a roundup of content from our sister sites for your delectation. This week, I took an advance look at HBO's pond-skipping new comedy Little Britain USA , from the warped minds of David Walliams and Matt Lucas. (Yes, you'll be talking about Mr. Doggy come Monday.) I also took an early look at the season premiere of CBS' The Amazing Race , offered an online look at the entire Season Two premiere of NBC's Chuck (the first three episodes of which I had reviewed the week before), berated the judges on Project Runway for keeping Kenley around, even after her latest tantrum , and again offered up by thoughts on this week's episode of FOX's Fringe and the season premiere of NBC's The Office . Elsewhere in the sophisticated TV-obsessed section of the blogosphere, members of the TV Blog Coalition were discussing the following items... After one of the more fru

"Bees Are Much Calmer Than All This": An Advance Look at the Season Premiere of "The Amazing Race"

I'm already rooting for comic book geeks Mark and Bill. It seems like a lifetime since we last had an installment of reality series The Amazing Race and, after an interminable wait, the series finally returns this Sunday night at 8 pm. I had the opportunity to watch the season premiere a few days ago (that thing was burning a hole on my coffee table until I sat down to watch it) and was immediately sucked back into the addictive world of road blocks, detours, and Phil Keoghan. While it's a little too early to tell which teams are stronger than others and which ones are worth rooting for, I already do have two favorite teams... and one team I already cannot stand. Making the top of my list are the aforementioned goateed geeks Mark and Bill, who are instantly likable as they race around with their minds overflowing with Watchmen trivia; the duo--friends for over 23 years--are attempting to be the first team to ever run the race strategically (but didn't Rob and Amber attemp

Tapeworms, Cayenne Pepper, and Cheesecake: Weight Loss on the Season Premiere of "The Office"

I was extremely nervous to watch last night's season premiere of The Office ("Weight Loss") for a number of reasons. First, the series had burned me badly by last year's seriously uneven episodes, lackluster humor, and bizarro writing that had Michael acting far too improbably rather than just being an obnoxiously over-the-top employer who seemed somewhat rooted in reality. And, second, it was another one-hour installment, which to me, meant that the Peacock had not learned its lesson from last season, which proved that the one-hour format rarely works for a comedy like this. In fact, what kept me watching the NBC series was last season's superlative season finale ("Goodbye, Toby"), which--while an hour in length--managed to keep the action moving swiftly and kept the humor grounded and realistic. (No pizza boys were harmed in the making of that installment.) And it introduced one of the single best characters in the history of The Office : Holly Flax,

Talk Back: "Grey's Anatomy" Season Premiere

I don't normally watch Grey's Anatomy... unlike some of you out there who happen to be rabid devotees of Shonda Rhimes' ABC drama. But I did watch the entire two-hour season premiere of Grey's ("Dream A Little Dream of Me") yesterday afternoon, ahead of the on-air launch, just so I could be up on all the Derek death, icicles, and assorted other shenanigans at Seattle Grace, which had its trauma center downgraded to number twelve. (Shock, horror!) All that and Kevin McKidd ( Rome, Journeyman ) joined the cast as a military doctor. But rather than review the season opener, I'm going to turn matters over to the Grey's fans in the audience. What did you think of the episode? Did you gasp when Derek flatlined in the first two minutes? (Of course it was a dream!) Were you thrilled that Erica and Callie seem to be moving towards couplehood? Did you wonder what it would be like to have your memory reset every thirty seconds? Did you freak when Cristina got i

Channel Surfing: "Do Not Disturb" Checks Out Early, Sarah Michelle Returns to TV, "Boston Legal," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Last night was quite a busy telly-viewing evening here in the Televisionary household, with brand-new episodes of Ugly Betty, The Office , and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia , which once again managed to make me laugh until it hurt. Green man! We may have our very first cancellation of the season on our hands with FOX's comedy Do Not Disturb . Series, which starred Jerry O'Connell and Niecy Nash and struggled in the ratings since its launch three weeks ago, has been preempted next week and will be replaced with a repeat of 'Til Death . (Ouch.) There was no official announcement as of press time from studio 20th Century Fox Television or the network about the fate of Do Not Disturb , but Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello claims that inside sources at the network have confirmed that the series has been cancelled. Let the guessing games about what the second cancelled series of the year will be begin! ( Holl

Sound of Music: Designers Rock the Runway on "Project Runway"

I feel like the judges really let Kenley off the hook far too easily. On this week's episode of Project Runway ("Rock n' Runway"), the designer who has arguably become one of my least favorite people ever to appear on this series not only insulted mentor Tim Gunn with her childish and disrespectful attitude but also (A) blamed Leanne for not selling her ghastly garment on the runway and (B) argued with the judges--including LL Cool J--about what was "hip-hop" style and then denigrated the entire fashion influence by saying that she refused to put Leanne in baggy jeans and a backwards baseball cap. Um, wow. It always amazes me when reality series contestants talk back to the judges or go so far as to cross a line into outright insulting them. Once again, Kenley has proven that she cannot get any criticism of any kind, can't listen to constructive feedback (a la Tim), and cannot step outside of her narrowly rigid design aesthetic (1950s dresses). Yes, I do

Channel Surfing: "Grey's Anatomy," "Partridge Family" Redux, Tom Wolfe, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. USA Today 's Robert Bianco reviews tonight's season premiere of ABC's Grey's Anatomy , saying that the two-hour launch "completes the task begun last spring, clearing away dead plots and setting this massively entertaining series back on track." And fans will be happy to know that it seems like--for now anyway--Mer and Der and united. Time will tell... ( USA Today ) Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes, meanwhile, told the Associated Press that the end of last season was about the end of the fairy tale but that this season "was all about what happens after the 'happily ever after,' for all our characters. For some, it's about jumping off into something new. It feels like a very fresh start for everybody." And for Katherine Heigl getting a fresh start away from Grey's , don't count her out just yet. "We have every intention of seeing Katherine for the entire season," said

The Ghost Network: Communication and Corpses on "Fringe"

I enjoyed last night's Fringe ("The Ghost Network") but I didn't think it was quite as good as the series's second episode , though it did advance the twin plots of The Pattern and the mystery surrounding Agent John Scott (Mark Valley), whose involvement with The Pattern and Massive Dynamic took a turn for the weird at the end of last night's installment. I'm seriously intrigued why Olivia Dunham is so important both to Broyles and to Massive's Nina Sharp, when she only has three Pattern-related cases under her belt and doesn't even have the clearance to know half of what either of them already knows about the strange global phenomena that they are tracking. Could it be that Olivia herself is connected to the Pattern in some way, more than just her relationship with John? We know next to nothing about her past, save that she wanted to go into law enforcement since she was nine years old. But who are her parents? What experiences shaped her past? A

Channel Surfing: "Heroes" Suffers, Lifetime Nabs "Mother" Reruns, "Knight Rider" Reviews, "Doctor Who," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I spent last night watching Fringe (more on that in a bit), catching up on Gossip Girl , and sitting through another dull installment of 90210 . At least it took the bad taste out of my mouth from Knight Rider . (Shudder.) The Season Three premiere of NBC's Heroes (9.9 million viewers, 4.9/12 in adults 18-49) was down 25 percent from its sophomore launch , landing it second in the hour behind ABC's Dancing with the Stars . The slide for Heroes was not unexpected, coming as it did after a season that many fans found creatively lacking and middling and a curtailed season due to the writers strike. ( Hollywood Reporter ) CBS will air the original pilot of new drama Eleventh Hour , starring Rufus Sewell and Marley Shelton, as its opening installment, after all. The Eye had previously announced that it would wait to air the original pilot of Eleventh Hour ("Resurrection")until later in the season but the network h

Lemons and Limeys: HBO's "Little Britain USA" Celebrates Two Countries Divided by a Common Language

There are few things that are certain in this life: death, taxes, and the fact that that I will laugh uncontrollably whenever I watch David Walliams and Matt Lucas. I speak, of course, of the creators and stars of BBC's Little Britain , who have taken their subversive sketch comedy act on the road, partnering with pay cabler HBO to develop an American-centric take on their comedy of the absurd with Little Britain USA , which launches on HBO on September 28th. I was extremely curious (not to mention concerned) to see just how well Walliams and Lucas' bizarro characters would translate across the pond. It turns out that I needn't have worried, as the three episodes of Little Britain USA provided for review prove that the dynamic duo's keenly wicked sense of humor is still sharpened like a rapier. If you have no familiarity with Little Britain , fret not: there's none needed (though shame on you for missing what is arguably one of the very wackiest comedies of the las

Channel Surfing: CW to Stay in "90210," HBO Renews "Entourage," Producers of "Do Not Disturb" Ask for Second Chance, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I caught up on television-watching last night and finally got to watch Sunday's episode of Skins (Tony really is a manipulative sociopath, isn't he?) and watched some Season Two episodes of 30 Rock but, sigh, will have to wait to watch last night's Gossip Girl until tonight. Netlet the CW has given a full season order to freshman drama 90210 , with 22 episodes slated to air this season. “The successful addition of 90210 has taken The CW another step forward in building a cohesive schedule that defines this network as a destination for young women with shows that get our audience talking—and watching,” said president of entertainment Dawn Ostroff. "We're very excited about the chance to watch this ensemble of newcomers and familiar faces coalesce and grow together as we move forward." (Hmmm, methinks Ostroff may have just saved her job with this one.) ( Variety ) In other 90210 -related news, the drama ha