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Showing posts from March, 2010

Some People Are Not Meant to Be Together: The Great Divide on "Lost"

"A wise man once said that war is coming to this island. I think it just got here." - The Man in Black One of the central relationships on Lost since the very beginning of the series has been the often turbulent (and sometimes tender) marriage between Sun and Jin. It's no surprise then that the duo--linked by bonds of affection and fate--would be the focus of this week's episode, one that offers another facet of their relationship to explore. A what-if, in the Lost -X world, that dives into an examination of what might have been had Sun and Jin made different choices. This week's episode of Lost ("The Package"), written by Paul Zbyszewski and Graham Roland and directed by Paul Edwards, offered one of the strongest "sideways" installments to date, focusing on the very different circumstances in which Sun and Jin find themselves in the Lost -X timeline... while, back on the island, the duo attempts to reunite themselves but are once again thwar

Los Angeles Times:"V: Deliver a Villain and a Hero Will Present Itself"

Looking to discuss last night's episode of ABC's V ? Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site, where you can read my take on last night's episode ("Welcome to the War"), entitled " V : Deliver a Villain and a Hero Will Present Itself." I'm curious to know: Did you tune in? Were you turned off by ABC's on-screen bug during Lost ? What did you think of the episode? And will you be back next week? Head to the comments section to discuss. Next week on V ("Pound of Flesh"), Anna introduces her pilot program to invite select groups of humans to stay on each of the 29 space ships; Ryan must deal with the fact that Valerie's pregnancy is wildly accelerated; Tyler learns a secret about his mom; and one of the resistance members makes a sacrifice to save Ryan.

Channel Surfing: ABC Renews "Castle," "Fringe" Producers Talk Parallel Universe, "30 Rock" Lands Matt Damon, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Nathan Fillion fans, rejoice! ABC yesterday announced that it had ordered a full third season for procedural drama Castle , picking up the Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic-led series for a full season of 22 episodes. The pickup came a day after Castle hit a ratings high (14.5 million total viewers and 3.7/10 in the key demo) and as well as broke a record for scripted series at ABC on Mondays at 10 pm ET/PT and its best key demo ratings in the timeslot since 2001. (via press release) Meanwhile, The Wrap's Josef Adalian has a quick Q&A with ABC chief Steve McPherson about Castle 's renewal. "We all believed, on both the production side and the network side, we believed in the creative on this show from the get-go," McPherson told Adalian. "We loved the casting, we loved Andrew (Marlowe, executive producer) and the work he was doing on the story-telling. It's a great story of patience. It's good to se

Los Angeles Times: "V: Previewing The Sci-Fi Series' Return"

Excited for the return of ABC's V tonight? Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site, where you can read my latest piece , where I offer a preview for tonight's episode of V ("Welcome to the War") and offer five reasons why you should tune in, even if you haven't ever watched the series before. While you're there, you can check out my one-on-one interviews with V showrunner/executive producer Scott Rosenbaum and star Morena Baccarin , where they tease just what's coming up on the sci-fi drama for the remainder of the season. Who is excited for the Visitors to return? Discuss. V returns tonight at 10 pm ET/PT on ABC.

Old Scores: Love is a Battlefield on "Chuck"

"You are a Bartowski, Chuck. Start acting like one." - Ellie After the darkness of last week's episode of Chuck , last night's installment ("Chuck Versus The American Hero"), written by Matt Miller and Phil Klemmer and directed by Jeremiah Chechik, brought back a lot of the humor and lightness that had been missing, with the action spinning out to include Casey, Morgan, and Devon's task force, the Picasso-like stalking skills of Jeff and Lester, and a nice callback to Ellie's belief that Casey is a degenerate lowlife. But it also offered a major revelation in the second half of the episode, one that will likely shape next week's installment, originally designed to be the season finale. Yes, NBC has initially ordered thirteen episodes for Chuck's third season and "Chuck Versus The American Hero" was designed to be the penultimate episode of the season. That's abundantly clear from the aura of change drifting over the characters,

The Photograph: Repressed Memories on "Damages"

"Ellen, my husband is gone and my unemployed teenage son is about to be a father. I think you might want to ask someone else for family advice." - Patty I don't know about you but I screamed aloud at my television when the screen faded to black at the end of this week's cliffhanger-laden episodes of Damages ("Tell Me I'm Not Racist"), written by Todd A. Kessler and directed by David Tuttman. It was a scream derived not from frustration but from an excruciating anticipation for the next installment of this quicksand-like legal thriller. Over three seasons, we've come to know these characters intimately, but this week's episode seemingly pulled the rug out from right underneath us, revealing that we'd been standing over a bottomless pit all along. In an episode that was seemingly devoid of the future timeframe or flashbacks (or was it?), this week's installment marked a major turning point for Damages as a series, as we may have learned a

Channel Surfing: AMC Orders "The Walking Dead," Elizabeth Mitchell Talks "V" Return, Big Bucks for "Lost" Finale Ads, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. AMC has ordered six episodes of zombie drama series The Walking Dead , based on the Robert Kirkman comic book series of the same name. Production on the six-episode first season of The Walking Dead is set to begin in June in Atlanta, with Kirkman serving as executive producer alongside writer/director Frank Darabont, Gale Ann Hurd, David Alpert, and Charles "Chic" Eglee. News comes as cabler AMC begins to cast the production, with Jon Bernthal ( The Pacific ) attached to star as Shane; the cabler has targeted an October 2010 launch date for The Walking Dead . "AMC strives to make original shows that play like movies and The Walking Dead is a perfect complement to the network's celebrated movie franchise, Fearfest, which has always been an important destination for our audience," said Charlie Collier, AMC President, in a statement. "With its depth of story and the remarkable talent attached, The Walking D

The Open Window: An Advance Review of This Week's "Fringe"

There are some lines, which once crossed, cannot be uncrossed. FOX's sci-fi series Fringe returns later this week with a phenomenal episode ("Peter") that offers a look into the secret history of Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson). Airing Thursday evening, this episode might just be the very best of the season, if not the entire series, and should--if there was any justice in the world--net John Noble a well-deserved Emmy nomination. After the winter finale found Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) learning of Peter's true identity, this week's episode of Fringe ("Peter"), written by Jeff Pinkner, J.H. Wyman, and Josh Singer and directed by David Straiton, offers viewers a look back into the distant past as Walter (Noble) confesses to Olivia the reasons behind his actions. While Walter's words to Olivia comprise a narrative framework for the episode, the majority of the action takes place in the 1980s as Walter spins a tale of a father's loss and a fateful ac

Do Not Miss Tonight's Episode of "Damages"

Not that you would, but if you were even thinking of waiting to watch this week's episode of Damages ("Tell Me I'm Not Racist") later this week, think again. Seriously. This is one episode that you will definitely want to watch as live as possible, as there will be any number of outlandish, bizarre, and possibly correct theories swirling around the internet by the time the credits roll at the end of tonight's gripping and suspenseful episode. As they should be, really. Secrets are revealed, alliances sorely tested, and some rather tantalizing new subplots introduced, as tonight's episode of Damages offers some enticing callbacks to previous seasons and potentially sheds some light on a dangling story thread that many viewers have wondered about for quite some time. In other words: do not, under any circumstances, miss tonight's episode. You've been warned. On tonight's episode ("Tell Me I'm Not Racist"), Patty's clients want her

End of the Line: Thoughts on the "Caprica" Mid-Season Finale

I'm curious to know what people thought of Friday evening's spring finale of Syfy's Caprica , the last episode that will air until the series returns this fall. While the episode ("End of the Line"), written by Michael Taylor, offered some closure to several storylines (at least for now, anyway) and contained the series' most exciting sequence to date (as armed forces attempted to stop a runaway Cylon prototype), it also was structured around a number of cliffhangers, each designed to hold our interest--or at least our curiosity--until the series returns. But the problem was that I didn't really care which of the characters lived or died. And that's a major problem for a series that itself lives or dies based on the strength of its characters and the audience's innate connection with them. Caprica has been a mixed bag so far this season: a heady brew of ideas and themes that are, at times, executed with the awkwardness of a robot taking its first

Los Angeles Times: "The Amazing Race: Leave No Coconut Behind"

Looking to discuss the latest episode of CBS' fantastic reality series The Amazing Race ? Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker to read my latest piece, entitled "The Amazing Race: Leave No Coconut Behind," where you can read my take on the latest episode, errant coconuts, the difference between "anonymous" and "unanimous," why Caite acts like a bratty six-year-old, the correct way to pronounce Seychelles, and much more. Sound off in the comments section and be sure to come back next week as I'll be discussing each episode of The Amazing Race all season long. Next week on The Amazing Race ("You're Like Jason Bourne, Right?"), the six remaining teams depart the Pit Stop on the Seychellian island of Praslin and head to Malaysia, where the cowboys must overcome a speed bump and the lack of available taxis if they hope to remain in the race.

Channel Surfing: "24" to End, Kiefer Sutherland Speaks, ChloeGate at "Big Love," Elizabeth Mitchell Talks "V" Return, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. It's official: the clock has run out on FOX's serialized drama series 24 . On Friday, FOX announced that Day Eight of 24 would be the series' last, with a two-hour series finale planned for Monday, May 24th. "This has been the role of a lifetime, and I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to everyone who made it possible," said Kiefer Sutherland in a statement. "While the end of the series is bittersweet, we always wanted 24 to finish on a high note, so the decision to make the eighth season our last was one we all agreed upon. This feels like the culmination of all our efforts from the writers to the actors to our fantastic crew and everyone at Fox. Looking ahead to the future, Howard Gordon and I are excited about the opportunity to create the feature film version of 24 . But when all is said and done, it is the loyal worldwide fan base that made it possible for me to have the experience o

Los Angeles Times: "V: Morena Baccarin Talks about Anna, the Visitors’ Plan and Lizard Anatomy"

They return. ABC's sci-fi drama series V returns on Tuesday but if you're looking to get a little more dirt on what happens when the series comes back for its back eight episodes, head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker, where you can read my interview with Morena Baccarin . In a one-on-one interview, Baccarin and I discuss her take on Anna, the Visitors' plan, lizard anatomy, why she doesn't want to get her shoes dirty, and much more. V returns Tuesday at 10 pm ET/PT on ABC.

Channel Surfing: Showtime Renews "Jackie" and "Tara," MTV Axes "The Hills," Ricky Gervais to "Curb," Mary McDonnell Returns to "The Closer," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Huzzah! Just a few days after returning Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara to the lineup, pay cabler Showtime has handed out series renewals to both comedies, ordering twelve-episode third seasons for both, which will begin production later this year. "Showtime is enormously proud of these two series starring two of the best actresses working today," said Showtime President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt. "Both are iconic shows for our brand and our thanks to the dedicated producers, cast, and crews who work so hard to make them so great. Edie Falco's portrayal of the fierce Jackie is another extraordinary example of her range and brilliance, and recent Emmy and Golden Globe wins for Toni Collette in her tour de force role as a woman with multiple personalities put her in a class by herself. Strong women will continue to rule on this network for a long time to come." (via press release) Sayonara Heidi