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Showing posts from May, 2010

Tooth and Nail: An Advance Review of Season Three of HBO's True Blood

It's time once again to invite HBO's gloriously addictive vampire drama True Blood , returning in just a few weeks' time with its third season, back into our homes. Based on the strength of the first three episodes of the season, there's no need for it to use a glamour, as viewers will only be too willing to let it in without a struggle. When we last saw the inhabitants of Louisiana bayou town Bon Temps, they were recovering after their brush with the immortal maenad Maryann (Michelle Forbes) and tensions were running high. When poor, doomed Eggs (Mehcad Brooks) finally remembered the actions he had taken while in her thrall, he sought to make a confession to Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer), only to be shot to death by Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten). Elsewhere, Sookie (Anna Paquin) considered a marriage proposal from Bill (Stephen Moyer), only to discover that he had been kidnapped. I had the opportunity to watch the first three episodes of Season Three of True Blood an

The Daily Beast: "Bill & Hillary & Tony & Cherie"

Over at The Daily Beast, I talk to Michael Sheen, Dennis Quaid, Hope Davis, Helen McCrory, and Richard Loncraine about HBO's upcoming biopic, The Special Relationship , which airs Saturday evening on the pay cabler. You can read my article, entitled, "Bill & Hillary & Tony & Cherie," which features the cast and crew of the telepic--the third offering in Peter Morgan's so-called Blair Trilogy (after The Deal and The Queen )--talking about Clinton and Blair's legacy, the bedroom confession between Bill and Hillary, and the nature of political friendships. The Special Relationship airs Saturday at 9 pm ET/PT on HBO.

Channel Surfing: ABC Circles Alias Reboot, True Blood Werewolves, ABC Passes on Ghost Whisperer, Chuck, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Could ABC be dipping its toes back in the Alias well? According to a story by E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos, ABC Studios is said to be considering a reboot of J.J. Abrams' Alias , which starred Jennifer Garner as superspy Sydney Bristow. "It's only very initial talk at this point, but I'm told that the development folks over at the Alphabet network are considering doing a new version of Alias that would borrow some elements of the original series," writes Dos Santos. "But the series would most likely not include any sort of complex mythological throughline such as the Rambaldi prophecy (a storyline that lost some of the fans). According to this source, ABC is hoping to hold onto its lost Lost audience with a re-envisioned J.J. Abrams series, in light of FlashForward not working out so well. (It was canceled last week.)" [Editor: Interestingly, ABC seems slow to get back into the superspy game,

All of This Matters: Lost Questions, More on "The End"

Welcome to this week's second look at Lost , in what will be my final column on Lost for some time to come now that the series has wrapped, amid some controversy (those ABC-inserted final shots!) and viewer polarization over the reveal of just what the Sideways/ Lost -X storyline was really about. As I have throughout this season, I'll be taking a second look at this week's episode of Lost ("The End") by responding to reader questions and comments submitted via comments, Twitter, and email. While I discussed "The End" in full over here (as well as a shorter piece over at The Daily Beast ), it's time to dive deeper and get to some further theories, doubts, and questions. (You can also catch me on this week's Instant Dharma critics roundup as well.) So, without further ado, let's pull the cork from the bottle, lay down in the bamboo grove, and discuss "The End." As I stated in my 4500-word review of the Lost series finale (which

The Daily Beast: "TV's Winners and Losers"

Where did the broadcasters go wrong this season, and what did they do right? Good question. Head over to The Daily Beast, where you can read my latest piece, "TV's Winners and Losers," as I break down the network's performance in the 2009-10 season and (via a nifty gallery) take a look at the season's winners--including Modern Family, Chuck, Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Bones, Parenthood, NCIS (and NCIS: Los Angeles), The Good Wife , and others--and the losers (such as FlashForward, Heroes, Melrose Place and medical dramas in general, as well as the draws. Where did your favorite series end up on the list? And what's your take on the 2009-10 season? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Channel Surfing: Lost DVD Epilogue, Diane Keaton and Ellen Page Land Tilda, Julia Stiles in Talks to Join Dexter, Skins, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. (Is it just me or does it feel like this week will never end?) E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos is reporting that there's still more Lost to come, including an epilogue that depicts the time that Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Ben (Michael Emerson) spent on the island after the events of the series finale. Emerson spilled the dirt on the sequence on G4's Attack of the Show , where told Kevin Pereira about the bonus footage on the complete series DVD. "For those people that want to pony up and buy the complete Lost series, there is a bonus feature," said Emerson. "Which is um, you could call it an epilogue. A lost scene. It's a lot; it's 12 or 14 minutes that opens a window onto that gap of unknown time between Hurley (Jorge Garcia) becoming number one and the end of the series... It's self-contained. Although, it's a rich period in the show's mythology that‘s never been explored, so who know

Channel Surfing: ABC Clarifies Lost Wreckage Shots, Julie Benz to Return to Dexter, Friday Night Lights Heads to ABC Family and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. The Los Angeles Times 's Maria Elena Fernandez is reporting that the final shots of the Oceanic Flight 815 wreckage that accompanied the closing credits of the series finale of Lost were not placed there by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, but rather by ABC executives who wanted to "soften the transition from the moving ending of the series to the 11 p.m. news and never considered that it would confuse viewers about the actual ending of the show," according to Fernandez. ABC went on to release a statement to confirm this fact. "The images shown during the end credits of the Lost finale, which included shots of Oceanic 815 on a deserted beach, were not part of the final story but were a visual aid to allow the viewer to decompress before heading into the news," said an ABC spokesperson in a statement. [Editor: I am hoping this finally puts an end to the misread of the series' ending, as some have taken

Family Legacy: Secrets and Lies on the Season Finale of Chuck

"Maybe being a spy is in our blood." Season Three of Chuck came to a close last night, with a fantastic two-hour installment that shook up the status quo of the NBC action-comedy in so many ways, introducing a number of possible new directions for Chuck and Company and tying up some of the dangling story threads from the third season. For once, we're going into the long hiatus knowing that Chuck will be returning next season, which placed my mind at ease watching the two-part season finale ("Chuck Versus the Subway" and "Chuck Versus the Ring, Part II," written respectively by Ali Adler and Phil Klemmer and Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak (and directed by Matt Shakman and Robert Duncan McNeill), which offered the opportunity to clear the decks and go into the summer with a feeling of unpredictability about just what the future holds for Team Bartowski. (You can read what Fedak had to say about the finale in an interview he did with Hitfix's Alan Se

Trailer Park: Season Three of HBO's True Blood

With all of the focus placed on Sunday evening's series finale of Lost , I don't want you to think that I've forgotten about some of the exciting offerings coming up this summer, not least of which is Season Three of HBO's addictive vampire drama series True Blood . [Editor: I've already seen the first two fantastic and gripping episodes of Season Three of True Blood --and am watching the third tonight--and am beyond hooked once again.] HBO has release an official Season Three trailer for True Blood , which you'll find below. And which, I dare say, you'll want to sink your teeth into straightaway... Season Three of True Blood begins Sunday, June 13th at 9 pm ET/PT on HBO.

Channel Surfing: White Collar Nabs Hilarie Burton, Natasha Henstridge Gets Drop Dead Role, Jim Parsons on Big Bang Move, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Fancast's Matt Mitovich is reporting that former One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton has signed on to appear in a six-episode story arc on Season Two of USA's White Collar , where she'll play Sarah Ellis, a new love interest for Matthew Bomer's Neal Caffrey, who is described as "an insurance investigator-slash-white collar bounty hunter who has a bit of a score to settle with Neal." Bomer's Neal will quickly find himself enmeshed in a game of cat and mouse with Sarah. Season Two of White Collar is set to launch Tuesday, July 13th at 9 pm ET/PT. ( Fancast ) Former Eli Stone star Natasha Henstridge is heading back to the courtroom, according to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello, who reports that Henstridge has signed on to a multiple-episode story arc on Season Two of Lifetime's legal dramedy Drop Dead Diva , which returns June 6th. She'll play the "heretofore-unseen partner at Har

See You in Another Life: Thoughts on The Series Finale of Lost

"No one can tell you why you're here." I'm of two minds (and two hearts) about the two-and-a-half hour series finale of Lost ("The End"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Jack Bender, which brought a finality to the story of the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 and the characters with which we've spent six years. At its heart, Lost has been about the two bookends of the human existence, birth and death, and the choices we make in between. Do we choose to live together or die alone? Can we let go of our past traumas to become better people? When we have nothing else left to give, can we make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good? In that sense, the series finale of Lost brought to a close the stories of the crash survivors and those who joined them among the wreckage over the course of more than 100 days on the island (and their return), offering up a coda to their lives and their deaths, a sort of purgatory for found, r