Movable Type 3.2
September 30, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: "Bad Moon Rising"
Katie: Okay, the Lockwoods said the word "liable" several times. I know you're just chomping at the bit here. Go ahead.
Christine: Mason and Mrs. Lockwood are right. If someone were to get hurt at Tyler's party, the Lockwoods would be liable as long as the injury was reasonably foreseeable - which, as I think the kids were probably drinking, it would have been. Booze and swimming don't mix. This is complicated by the fact that I think the swimming hole is not man-made, which means it might have crevices or underwater caves or similar that the Lockwoods would have reason to know about but their guests wouldn't. If one of the kids were to get stuck underwater and drown because the Lockwoods hadn't warned them of the danger, that would be bad. Of course, this is all civil liability - the Lockwoods wouldn't be criminally liable for injuries on their land unless they actually caused them. So Mrs. Lockwood won't go to jail, at least. I could go on for pages about this, but I like you, so I won't. I know you were really curious about Alaric's responsibilities when he takes Elena on their road trip.
Katie: What exactly was Alaric thinking? Are there any legal issues with teachers transporting their minor students across state lines without written permission and for non-school-related activities? Is Alaric always acting in loco parentis, or just when they're physically in the school building? How about in the school building after school hours?
Christine: Teachers are only in loco parentis in limited circumstances - basically when acting in the course of their professional duties, or for furthering educational purposes, which this trip was not at all. Going to Duke was completely extracurricular; Alaric wasn't acting as Elena's teacher, he was acting as a family friend. There's no issue there either, because to be in loco parentis you have to act as the parent - financially, emotionally, etc. A day trip just isn't going to be enough. I don't see how they'd run into legal issues unless Jenna complained, because Elena's a minor and Jenna is the only adult who'd have the right to bring suit in her name. Since Alaric is taking Elena on the trip with Jenna's permission, he's good.
Katie: Oh, yes, I wasn't concerned about the family friend part, just the teacher part.
Christine: Oh, OK. Basically, Alaric won't get in any trouble for taking Elena across state lines in the company of a homicidal psychopath. Though if said psychopath hurt Elena, I suppose he might be an accessory. That's criminal, though. Nothing to do with parental anything. Oh, and disclaimer here: I should point out that I'm just looking at common law - I haven't bothered going into the Virginia statutes, because the issues we're looking at are fairly vague and also I like the common law better. Laws vary from state to state, but are usually broadly similar.
Katie: Okay! Are there any other topics? Hmmm.
Christine: I don't think so, though I vaguely wondered whether, were she charged with attempted murder, Vanessa the grad student could use insanity as a defense if she convinced the court she truly believed that Elena was an eeeevil vampire. Clearly self-defense wouldn't work because the danger wasn't imminent, though you could argue that with the vampire the danger is always imminent. Hmm. I have no solution to this and it's totally pointless, but it's legal, so here it is.
Katie: Would insanity only work if the court didn't believe there were in fact vampires? Hmmm.
Christine: Vanessa would have to show that a mental disease or defect either prevented her from understanding that her actions were criminal or made it impossible for her to conform to the law. I suppose her insistence on the existence of vampires would help, unless the judge and jury were in on the secret. Insanity's a pretty high bar, though.
Katie: It is, but perhaps the fact that we spend so much time figuring this stuff out just proves that we're insane. Ah well. Until next week, when flashbacks will allow me to demand you research 1864 law!
Morning Coffee (9/30/10)
Current GMA headline: "Tourist Scorched by Heat Ray: Windows That Burn." I was hoping to see one of their Facebook movie interview, but apparently I am getting burning windows instead.
Sorry, John Stephen, but I don't believe that John Lynch is trying to send sex predators after me. But points for trying! (No, not really. That's an awful ad.) In other news, the park Kelly Ayotte is in in her "two paths" looks really familiar but I can't quite place it. Anyone?
Breaking: George Stephanopoulos does not have a pre-nup. Robin is a little too happy to hear this. Also, sentences poor George never thought he'd say: "Later, we're going to catch up with Lorena Bobbit." And something about a movie about the pastry Olympics? What?
My new favorite Web site: Is This a Word?
September 29, 2010
Morning Coffee (9/29/10)
Oh, hi! Sorry, we might just have to call this week a loss, blogging-wise. I was away doing family stuff all weekend, and home sick yesterday, and generally feeling overwhelmed, and . . . yeah, really no good excuse. I'll try to be completely back soon. In the meantime:
One Oprah episode I will actually watch: a Sound of Music cast reunion!!!
September 28, 2010
Glee 2.1: "Audition"
Honestly, I wasn't wild about this season premiere, but it felt very transitional, so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and see if the rest of the season improves once it gets going. I did like the way Will and Rachel acted similarly when they felt threatened. As far as the new characters, I liked the football coach and the new boy, but I wasn't wild about Sunshine. I know Charice has lots of fans, but this seemed like one of those stunt casting things where the guests fans like it and everyone else doesn't get it. That said, the Sunshine/Rachel duet of "Telephone" was clearly the song of the night:
Other thoughts: "Empire State of Mind" worked better in context than I thought it would. I'm sorry to say that I barely missed Emma. I love the way they're writing Finn and Rachel as a couple, so I hope that lasts for a while. And, as always, Will did not sing enough.
September 27, 2010
Save Lone Star!
I usually avoid the "Save Show xyz!" campaigns, but seriously, folks, Lone Start was SO good, and you should give it a chance. Check out Zap2it's "Save Lone Star" campaign here and the Facebook page for the campaign here. And watch Lone Star tonight on Fox at 9 p.m. Eastern. Please.
September 24, 2010
Vampire Diaries Promo and Web Clip!
Want a peek at next week's episode of The Vampire Diaries? Here you go. (As always, check out Vampire-Diaries.net for the best clips, pictures, news, etc.)
Pilot Review: The Defenders
Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell are ethically ambiguous defense attorneys with hearts of gold. In Las Vegas. That's . . . pretty much the premise here. And you know what? It was fine. And fun. Except there's not a lot to make it stand out from all the other legal shows. I have no particular love of Las Vegas, but O'Connell's character is charming, and I really liked two of the supporting characters: Jurnee Smollett as a young idealistic lawyer with a sketchy past, and Teddy Sears as the opposing ADA. Teddy Sears was made to play a lawyer, really. (See also: Raising the Bar.) I'll give this one another episode or two to see if it grabs me.
Katy Perry and Elmo
Here's the Katy Perry video that was too hot for Sesame Street. You're welcome, Dad.
1. A few thoughts: It's cute! I like it.
Morning Coffee (9/24/10)
Happy Friday! You can stop panicking: Facebook is back up. I know, I mock, but I totally freak out when Twitter is down, so. Did everyone survive crazy Thursday premiere night? As usual, Vampire Diaries was amazing and ruined me for all other shows.
The first woman in five years was executed in the U.S. yesterday, and while that's very sad, I'm uncomfortable with the way the stories are all about her gender. Why are we implying that it's worse to execute women than men?
Singer Eddie Fisher has died. We'll have a tribute in Song of the Day. So has Jackie Burroughs, also known as Aunt Hetty on Avonlea. Sad. Also, did you know she was married to one of the founders of the Lovin' Spoonful? I did not.
A campaign finance reform bill failed again, and the local NPR station correctly surmised that this is of interest to people in New Hampshire mostly in that it means we will get YET MORE political ads leading up to our early primary. In other news vital to the Granite State, Log Cabin is marketing a fake maple syrup as "all-natural" and selling it in beige jugs like the real stuff, and We Are Not Amused.
(It is not a good year for shows starting with "Out.")
Kristen Bell would finance a Veronica Mars movie herself. Still: Don't get your hopes up, kids.
The English language is dead, and here's a moving obituary.
September 23, 2010
Pilot Review: Hawaii Five-0
Alex O'Laughlin: Pretty.
Okay, okay, fine. This was pretty good! The action was slick, there was just enough character development to keep me intrigued, and as I've mentioned, it's really really pretty. But I'll admit that what really hooked me was the developing bromance between O'Laughlin's and Caan's characters. They had me at "Let's just not talk." "You mean right now, or ever again?" And then they sealed the deal with "Your brain must be a miserable place. I need a beer." Of course, looking at that now, I'm not sure it makes much sense out of context. So, clearly, you must see the context. Watch the premiere online if you missed it, and join in the fun next week.
Castle Recap: "A Deadly Affair"
My first Castle recap is up at TheTelevixen! I have fun analyzing Beckett:
When Castle insists that his presence at the murder scenes is a sign from the universe that they're supposed to work together, Beckett asks the million dollar question: "You're not going to go away no matter what I do, are you?" She says this in exasperation, but it's clear that she wants the answer to be no: he won't go away. Given the tragedy and trauma in her past, Beckett is reluctant to trust, and she will only believe that Castle will stick around after he resists everything she can do to push him away.Go read the whole thing!
Morning Coffee (9/23/10)
Happy Thursday! Tonight: premieres of Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Community, Fringe, The Mentalist, The Office . . . um, and other stuff. Notably, this is the first week of the dreaded "Thursday at 8" issue, with Bones, Vampire Diaries, My Generation, The Big Bang Theory, and Community all up against each other. Which are YOU watching?
Fans of vampires, pretty men, and/or energy policy: Ian Somerhalder is participating in the Washington Post's Energy is Urgent conference today. You can watch live at that link.
Breaking Dawn will not be in 3-D. Thank heaven for small favors.
Here's a Vampire Diaries drinking game.
Is Muse's "Feeling Good" the best cover ever? I am skeptical.
September 22, 2010
Pilot Review: The Event
I'm working on a full recap of The Event for The Televixen, but a few quick thoughts in the meantime:
Will The Event be the next Lost or the next FlashForward? That's pretty much what people are asking. Personally, I'm wondering whether the mysteries will be interesting and satisfying, or just weird and mysterious for the sake of being weird and mysterious. It's too soon to tell after just one episode, but I think The Event is off to a decent start. The cast is great - especially lead Jason Ritter - and the plot was easier to follow than I expected, and opened up questions to which I actually want answers.
How about you? Are you going to hang around to find out what The Event is?
Pilot Review: Running Wilde
Running Wilde is a sitcom about a rich, obnoxious, self-involved playboy (Will Arnett) who's carrying a torch for his childhood sweetheart, now an obnoxious do-gooder (Keri Russell) living in the Amazon with her obnoxious environmentalist boyfriend and her obnoxiously-named daughter Puddle. He gets them to move back to the States so he can try to make her a worse woman before she makes him a better man, or something. Yes, completely unrealistic. Completely silly. And yet oddly watchable!
Okay, it wasn't a coincidence that I used the word "obnoxious" four times in that first sentence. The two main characters both have a long way to go to make me care about them. But the show as a whole was better than I expected! And I don't even have the fond associations that many people have with Arnett and Russell, as I didn't watch their previous shows. I expected to hate the little girl narrator, but she was actually rather delightful. And the set-up is quite like a romance novel, and that could be good or bad. But I'm willing to hang around for a little while to find out.
IKEA + Cats = Cute
Someone sent me this link yesterday, and I thought we could all use a little cuteness break in the madness of premiere week:
And here's how they did it:
Man, England is AWESOME.
Haven 1.10: "The Hand You're Dealt"
There's a little too much pyrokinesis going on on my favorite shows recently. Read on and I promise not to set you on fire . . .
Mystery of the Week: There were actually two unconnected supernatural things here: A woman who had visions of the way people died and a boy who could set fires with his mind. I kind of like having these two different elements, because in a town with so much supernatural stuff going on, it only makes sense that different phenomena would intersect by coincidence. Neither of these elements were particularly mindblowing, but it was a solid episode.
Audrey's past: I was considering being annoyed that now ten episodes in people are suddenly telling Audrey things about Lucy, but now that I think about it, that's totally how old-school New Englanders are.
Audrey: I like how she can tell something's up with Nathan but doesn't know what. She's new at this whole "friend" thing.
Duke: Aw, he's still all traumatized by high school. What's with his Buddha thing recently? I did like seeing him go after someone other than Audrey, and I love the way he and Nathan work together almost automatically when it comes down to it. How will knowing how he's going to die affect him? Will this become a running subplot? Hmm.
Nathan: He's so adorable, looking for excuses to touch Audrey. Oh, and it's SO cute the way he starts to tell Duke about feeling Audrey, saying it's fate, and Duke totally thinks he's talking about Jess. Awwww.
Morning Coffee (9/22/10)
It's Wednesday. Yesterday, the Senate dashed all our hopes and dreams (heh) by voting down the DREAM Act and not repealing DADT. Sigh. Also, Larry Summers is leaving.
In TV land, premiere week continues, and it's looking like the first fatality may be Lone Star, which was very, very good, but which no one watched. Why, Nielson families, why???
The SEO issue with $#*! My Dad Says had occurred to me, but I hadn't even thought about not being able to type the name on a DVR remote. Heeeeee.
That Stewart/Colbert rally is, um, maybe not such a great idea after all. It's more important to actually vote, folks!
Alyssa makes actual good points about my vague "the rapping doesn't really work" comment on Glee. I completely agree that "the songs work better when there's some tangential connection between the characters and the material," and this, by the way, is my main issue with the musical theme episodes - I'd rather have songs that actually relate to the plot than a bunch of Lady GaGa for no particular reason.
Bening and Moore are competing against each other for Best Actress nominations for The Kids Are All Right. Really brings home how heteronormative the standard awards categories are . . .
The Gossip Girl Superfan Quiz I got 39/50. You?
September 21, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: "Brave New World"
Katie: Okay, first things first: How the heck did Caroline get into her house? This has been bothering me. I want answers.
Christine: I don't know! She can't just have invited herself in, because she's dead and therefore no longer has the right to reside there, or something like that, right? Maybe her mom was home and let her in and then left? This is really bothering me too, because with Vicki and Logan Fell it was very clear that once you've vamped you need an invite into your own house.
Katie: She said her mother wasn't home yet. My completely crazy theory is that her mother IS NOT HUMAN EITHER, so no one needs to be invited in now that Caroline's dead. I don't think her mom's a vampire, but she could be . . . something else?
Christine: Oooh! That IS completely crazy, but I like it! I can't think of how she'd have gotten in - she lives alone with her mother, right? Anyone other than her mother being able to let her in would come in from left field. Unless her mother left her a "welcome home, honey, come on in" note on the door?
Katie: They've certainly never mentioned anyone else being there. I'm going to assume that Sheriff Mom isn't human, just because it amuses me.
Christine: I haven't got a lot from this week, other than that. But I was thinking about the Gilberts' Magical Life-Protecting Rings some more, because I don't get the supernatural death thing. I mean, having your neck snapped isn't supernatural, unless, apparently, Damon does it. So then I thought - aha! This is all but-for causation!
Katie: And what's that?
Christine: It's criminal law. Before you can convict someone of murder, for example, you need to establish that they caused the death. So say I push you into a pool and you drown.
Katie: Um, okay.
Christine: This is hypothetical, of course. But HYPOTHETICALLY, you wouldn't have drowned BUT FOR my action in pushing you into the pool. I pushed you, so I caused your death. Ergo, if your death is caused by a supernatural being, even in a non-supernatural way, the Gilberts' Magical Life-Protecting Rings will save you. The supernatural being must be a but-for cause of your death for the rings to work. QED.
Katie: I had assumed that about the rings as a matter of common sense, but it's good to know there's actually a legal basis! Next week, Alaric's taking Damon and Elena on a road trip, so I'm going to be asking you all sorts of stuff about in loco parentis. Not that any of the actual parents act parental on this show, but whatever. Get researching!
Hike for Tikes 2010
On Sunday, I will be participating in Hike for Tikes:
Hike For Tikes 2010: A Hike-A-Thon benefit for babies in Intensive Care at Connecticut Children's Medical Center is a 2.5 mile round trip hike up moderately steep terrain along the Tower Trail at Talcott Mountain State Park. Hikers will also have the opportunity to climb the Heublein Tower to get an estimated 1,200 square mile view on a clear day.My cousins are organizing this hike, because both of their sons spent time in this NICU. And hey, I have some "very sick baby" experience myself. Would you like to help? You can sponsor me here, or come join us for hiking and/or the bake sale and related festivities. Thanks!
Haven 1.9: "As You Were"
I LOVE this show. Ahem. Read on for this episode, which was very Agatha Christie . . .
Mystery of the week: Ooh, chameleon! Creepy. Those "could be anyone" monsters are the scariest. It makes sense that they suspected Audrey because they don't know her as well - that's only reasonable - but I liked that they suspected others too. And it was really quite fun as a traditional country house mystery with supernatural elements. And the villain wound up being Audrey! You know, sort of. That was all nicely constructed. I'm surprised they killed off Eleanor, but I wasn't particularly attached to her. Her daughter seems creepy in a way I can't quite pin down, though.
Audrey's past: The chameleon knows Lucy Ripley! And so did the newspaper guy. And Duke! Oh my gosh! That I did not expect! And now Audrey has Lucy's necklace. Interesting.
Audrey: No one's ever thrown her a party before. So cute. Her middle name choice of Prudence rather reminds me of Temperance Brennan.
Duke: Cute, planning the party. But he reacted a little strongly about Audrey's gift. And he was kind of irritating through this episode. Maybe I like him better in small doses.
Nathan: Aww, going to the party even though he's not in a party mood. He's so grudgingly opening up to Audrey and it's great. I loved their "That's what partners do." "That's what friends do." exchange. Also: "This is why you don't throw people birthday parties." I'm on your side with that one, Nathan.
Audrey and Nathan: I liked how they used the "Nathan can feel Audrey's touch" thing to figure out she was the chameleon, and that was an interesting first kiss that wasn't. It's interesting that Nathan didn't tell Audrey that's how he figured it out, though. I wonder how long he will keep that secret? Overall, this episode made very clear how much he cares about her, even if he's a little messed up by Jess.
Morning Coffee (9/21/10)
ALERT! ALERT! DO NOT use Twitter.com this morning! There's a security issue and it's all messed up. Third party apps are fine. If you need a browser-based app, I recommend Brizzly.com.
Okay! That out of the way - welcome to Tuesday! Did everyone enjoy Monday evening of premiere week? What are your favorites so far? Was that scene on Gossip Girl the best scene on this show, or just the best scene ever? What did you think of The Event? No, I basically have nothing else to say because I was up late trying to watch stuff, so I slept late and didn't want GMA this morning, so I have nothing to comment upon. To the links!
Here's Carina MacKenzie's recap of last week's Vampire Diaries.
Here's the cover of Mariah Carey's new Christmas album.
Necessary Roughness is a weird name for a show, but the premise of a football psychologist is interesting. And hey, it's USA, so I'll give it a try.
The good news: Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna are making another movie together. The bad news: It's a Will Ferrell comedy.
I may be more excited about Jacob's recaps being back than I am about Gossip Girl itself.
Joe Trippi's going to be on The Good Wife.
September 20, 2010
Parenthood 2.1: "I Hear You, I See You"
Those wacky Bravermans are back! Yay! Read on for a breakdown of the premiere by character . . .
The parents: Marriage counseling! Hmm. I still kind of hate the dad.
Adam: Don't steal your sister's idea! He does do everything for everyone, all the time. And he stays quite attractive while doing it. I am rather enjoying the addition of Billy Baldwin and his iPad. Makes Adam's work life much more interesting.
Kristina: I was really annoyed at her about the whole driving thing, until that end scene when she talked about how afraid she was, and that did a good deal to redeem her.
Haddie: Poor thing. I don't think her mother is the right person to teach her to drive here. I loved her interaction with Max in this episode. She's becoming one of my favorite characters.
Max: He's hugging people! He wants to have a sleepover! Remarkable progress. And yay, Minka Kelly is back!
Sarah: I'd been thinking for a while that the obvious thing would be to have Adam give her a job, but I'm really glad that they waited until she did something concrete to earn it, so it wouldn't seem like charity.
Sarah's kids: Mysteriously absent for most of the episode!
Julia: Did they really not discuss how they were going to handle talking about sex with Sydney? You'd think someone like Julia would have a big plan for that well in advance, but maybe this was supposed to show how oblivious she is. And now she suddenly wants a new baby! Hmmm.
Joel: Poor thing, having to help the crazy dad. But he finally stood up for himself! Yay! This baby plotline should be interesting for him.
Crosby: So he didn't move to New York. Okay. Jabar and Jasmine are visiting! Yay! Wait, no, they're not. I'm suspecting that something is going on that Jasmine isn't telling him, but maybe not. It seems like they're setting something up with Crosby and Gaby. That might be interesting.
Gossip Girl 4.1: "Belles de Jour"
Apparently I have more Gossip Girl thoughts to add to the liveblog. Read on!
First, a shallow observation: Was it just me or were all the guys looking really hot this episode? Nate, Dan, even Rufus. The hiatus was good to them. I mean, not that they're usually ugly or anything, but they seemed even more attractive than normal.
Let's go plot line by plot line here . . .
Georgina: what is she UP to? I'm assuming Dan's not really the father, of course. (And I loved that Rufus is suspicious of doctors in the paternity test thing. Continuity from last season's fake illness plot! Overall, I liked how Rufus and Lily were responding to this, although Lily was slightly quick to embrace Georgina.) Did Georgina just not want the baby but not want to give it up for adoption, so she decided Dan was the best of her options for where to leave him? Since it's her, I'm assuming there are some sort of evil machinations going on, not just cold feet about the baby. Who was she speaking to in Russian?
Nate: he's so adorable and means so well, but I wish they would give him some plots that didn't revolve around his cluelessness. For one thing, anyone who spent his whole childhood and early adolescence in such close proximity to Blair should be used to watching for signs of extreme drama and diabolical plots. I like how it seems that he was the one person Dan was talking to, though. I love their bromance, especially since Nate and Chuck are kind of over for the moment.
Juliet: Mystery! What is she up to? They were obviously trying to make us think she was Gossip Girl, but that's way too obvious. She was clearly researching the group and trying to infiltrate it. Was she trying to get to Nate for some reason, or was she using him to get to someone else? Nate would be the obvious pick in a quest to get access to Chuck or Serena, say. Maybe even Blair. The book Juliet was reading when she met Nate was The House of Mirth, and the main character is named Lily Bart - that CAN'T be a coincidence, what with Lily and Bart Bass. The book is about Lily's downward spiral as she makes choices that strip her of her money and social status, so that could easily be an analogy for whatever Juliet's plot turns out to be.
Blair and the prince: such an interesting echo of the Marcus situation. At first I was annoyed that she seemed to be regressing and worse than ever with her snobby class issues, but the more I think about it, the more I think that is in fact how she would respond to the loss of Chuck. She let down a lot of her defenses in order to love him, and now that he's gone she's desperately clinging to all her rules of how things are supposed to work because that's the only way she can continue to function.
Blair and Serena: At heart, this is the relationship that the show is really about. But I thought they made that a little too explicit in this episode, with them actually talking about their rivalry, etc. I find it more believable when they can't really acknowledge that, because they know they need each other so much.
Chuck: I love love love the "Henry Prince" thing, on two levels at least. One is that the play he was looking at was Henry V, which is about the debauched prince growing up and becoming a real leader, and that's so perfect for both what Chuck was trying to do most of last season and what his story will probably be this season. The other is that I love that Chuck starts calling himself Prince right when Blair is literally looking for a prince. This is how they work: Blair is a dreamer but she gets paralyzed by trying to make things play out the way they do in her fantasies. Chuck sees a lot of the same dreams, but he's willing to just do what it takes to make them happen regardless of how things are "supposed" to work. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it ends up being bad. But in this case - Blair wants a prince? Chuck IS a prince, just through the power of his mind. And it doesn't matter that he isn't actually, because what Blair can't admit to herself is that she doesn't actually need a prince - she just needs
And non-plot lines: Has Eric dropped off the face of the earth? At least they mentioned Jenny. I don't really miss Jenny, but I miss Eric. And I thought even parents as oblivious as Rufus and Lily should have noticed that Dan and Chuck were MISSING FOR MONTHS. For one thing, you'd think Dan would have called one of his parents the first time he was alone with a crying baby. Oh, and Vanessa! She was being all reasonable and had some good lines and I do not like this. If I can't hate Vanessa, my worldview is shaken.
Song of the Day: "Hawaii Five-O"
Since the new version is premiering tonight . . .
Pilot Review: Lone Star
Lone Star premieres tonight on FOX. Should you tune in? I'm going to slightly surprise myself by saying yes. It's the story of a con man living a double life in the world of Texas oil. My main question going in to the pilot was pretty obvious: Could they make this guy doing all this horrible stuff into a sympathetic character about whom I wanted to watch a whole show?
Well . . . yes and no. I'm not entirely sold on Bob, the main character, although he's certainly charming - that's his whole game, really - and he does seem genuinely conflicted about his actions. He was basically forced into the life by his father, which seems like it's somewhat of a too easy out the show is trying to give him and the audience. "It's okay to like him! It's not his fault he's a horrible person!" I'm unconvinced, but he's interesting enough to make me want to see if and how he resolves these aspects of himself. And regardless of whether he winds up being a good guy, the mechanics of his double life make compelling television.
Aside from that main issue, the show it's solid: it's beautifully filmed, well-written at least most of the time (with a touch of heavy-handedness, but I'll forgive that in a pilot), and full of good performances. (Adrianne Palicki shines, as always.) The setting is very Texas, but manages not to seem fake. (So far as I know, it's all filmed in Texas, although not necessarily in the towns it says it's in.) And the music really stood out to me, which I didn't expect, but which is always a delightful characteristic of a show. Overall, I'll be watching this one, at least for a while.
Morning Coffee (9/20/10)
Happy Monday, and welcome to premiere week! Are we all rested and ready? Tonight's returning favorites: HIMYM! Chuck! House! Dancing with the Stars! Castle! And new shows: Lone Star (watch it, trust me), Chase (meh), Hawaii Five-O (looks fun), The Event (I'm intrigued). More about, well, some of those shows as the week progresses. (I don't watch all of them.)
I don't understand all these War of the Roses references in this divorce story on GMA. The Wars of the Roses weren't actually about divorce, folks.
Tomorrow on GMA: The Breakfast Club cast reunion. You've been warned.
Fiona Apple is supposedly releasing a new album in the spring. Has it really been five years since Extraordinary Machine? Wow. I feel like I have a vaguely fraught relationship with her music, but I don't even remember why.
There might be a Cher musical, although now that I think about it, I'm just surprised there hasn't been one already.
An early review of Mr. Sunshine is . . . not great, but not awful either.
I thought Russell Brand was going to be on the kids' show Arthur, and I was really confused, but then I realized it was actually this.
Vulture overthinks the Love and Other Drugs poster. Not that I'm one to criticize people for overthinking things.
"Kyle Chandler mixed with Zac Efron" is a perfect description of James Wolk in Lone Star.
September 19, 2010
Other Stuff I Watched This Week
(This is a weekly roundup of quick thoughts on shows that aren't getting their own posts this week.)
Nikita, "2.0" - Overall, this show still feels disjointed, and like they're doing somewhat random and coincidental things with the plot in order to get us to the slick action sequences. I did like the explication of the history between Nikita and Alex, though, and by the end of the episode at least that plotline seemed less random than it did at first. I suppose I'll keep watching, but I'm still not sold.
Terriers, "Dog and Pony" - I really like the relationship plots on this show so far, but the actual job in this episode was kind of boring. I did like the continuity from last week's job, though. And I thought there were some instances of "shocking" lines or scenes that were there just to shock, not for any good plot reason.
September 17, 2010
Pilot Review: Outlaw
Outlaw, the new Jimmy Smits legal show, officially premieres tonight, but NBC aired a preview of the whole pilot earlier in the week, and I was kind enough to watch it so you don't have to. Really. DON'T.
June Thomas watched it the night before I did, and she warned me that it was "worse than The Deep End." Now, this might not mean much to you, because no one watched The Deep End. Except me. And June. You know why? Because it was awful. And yes, Outlaw is worse. The premise is kind of dumb. The writing is abysmal. The characterization is heavy-handed. Most of the acting is laughable. And it goes without saying that all the legal stuff is completely unrealistic.
One good note: I don't think Jimmy Smits is capable of being anything but charming. His acting range runs from "sincere awkwardly charming" to "smarmy and fake-ly charming," and he's definitely on the smarm end of the spectrum here, but still. Even this show can't really make him hard to watch, and he's doing pretty well given the material thrust upon him.
Honestly? I'll probably watch a few more episodes, out of loyalty to Smits (and director Marcos Siega), and to see if it continues to be this awful or somehow manages to get even worse. But if you don't have any ridiculous TV loyalties or need to see complete trainwrecks, I'd pass on this one.
Trailer: The Nutcracker in 3D
I . . . I honestly have no idea what to make of this.
On the one hand, there is no ballet. There is no Baryshnikov. What is the point?
On the other hand, I'm actually not opposed to a Nutcracker movie based on the original Hoffman story rather than on the ballet. That could be interesting. But did you notice how it said "Based on story and music by Tchaikovsky"? What? Are they that oblivious to their source material? Do they just assume using that name will draw a bigger audience? Because it does not look like it's based on the ballet, with all its candy and romance. It looks like it's based on the original story, which is weird and kind of scary and about a kid, not a teenager falling in love. (Also, in the movie the main character seems to be named Mary, which is closer to Hoffman's Marie than to the "Clara" usually used in the ballet.)
On the other other hand, it's 3-D, and therefore I am skeptical.
On the other other other hand, it's the freaking Nutcracker, so of course I will go see it opening weekend.
Morning Coffee (9/17/10)
Happy Friday! I'm very ready for a weekend, and I'm going to see Easy A tonight, so I'm excited.
GMA had an interview with the Discovery Channel hostages, and they seem like really nice guys. I hadn't realized they'd escaped themselves. Wow. In other news, the girl in the acid attack was lying and did it herself, but didn't we know that already?
This article about My Generation really made me much LESS excited about the show. I don't think that was the intended effect.
Dating writers: Not all it's cracked up to be.
It seems that Jamie Oliver named his new son Buddy Bear. Nooooo.
This interview with the executive producers of The Vampire Diaries is a little spoilery and verrry interesting.
Is Bridalplasty the worst TV show concept ever? Possibly!
Elizabeth Reaser and some other chick I don't care about are joining The Good Wife. Reaser will be playing a new love interest for Josh Charles, and will be - get this - a sportswriter. (Sports Night fans understand why this is funny.)
This looks unconfirmed, but the Black Eyed Peas may be the Super Bowl halftime show. You could go with one friend of mine and say "Yay! Someone not old!" or you could go with everyone else on the Internet and say "OF COURSE THEY ARE." Up to you.
I really, really want to see The King's Speech.
September 16, 2010
Pilot Review: Nikita
Nikita was one of the most-hyped new shows this season, but honestly, I was pretty underwhelmed by the pilot. And thinking back, the fact that the main message of the marketing was "Look how beautiful our cast is!" should have been a sign. And they're right! They're very pretty! And there isn't any one thing I can put my finger on as being wrong with this show. It was just kind of boring. The first half kept me interested, with the explanation of the whole program that really seems like something out of Joss Whedon, but then my attention started drifting. But I'll give it another episode or two to see if it finds its footing and hooks me.
A few things I did like:
1) Lyndsy Fonseca, all grown up!Did any of you watch it? Will you be tuning in again tonight?
Pilot Review: Terriers
I'll admit that Terriers wasn't a show that really jumped out at me when I read about it, but enough critics were raving that I decided to give it a try. And it was pretty good! The premise: A blue collar ex-cop and his pal do unlicensed PI-type stuff in San Diego. In this first episode, at least, the mystery itself wasn't particularly surprising or compelling, but the tone of the show was what grabbed me. It was very slow, but by the end of the episode I decided that was actually a plus. The relaxed pacing fit perfectly with the somewhat aimless characters, and I liked those characters more than I expected. This is obviously something of a buddy show, but the female supporting characters - a girlfriend, an ex-wife - were a lot stronger and more interesting than they often are in guy shows. There have been a lot of Veronica Mars comparisons being thrown around, but other than the obvious similarity of PIs in San Diego, I really didn't see the similarity. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Terriers is its own show, and after the pilot, I'm intrigued in spite of myself. I'll be tuning in.
Morning Coffee (9/16/10)
Good morning, and happy Thursday. And that, of course, means that it's Vampire Diaries day! Whee. Anyone else feeling really ready for a weekend? Yeah. Kelly Ayotte won her primary, by the way, so I can stop trying to remember how to pronounce "Ovide" now.
Wait, I was just looking at movie times for tomorrow and saw there are currently two movies out starring Justin Long. That seems a little random. And I haven't even heard of Alpha and Omega. I suppose it's probably less Greek than it sounds. (What I'm actually going to see: Easy A.)
Nancy Grace was just on GMA, and I realized that I always think of Sarah Paulson's impression of her as the real thing, and the real thing as some sort of parody. Huh.
Random GMA question: Their huge wide mugs are really cute, but do they actually drink out of them? On TV? While wearing nice clothes? If I tried to drink out of a mug that wide, I'd had coffee all over myself every morning.
ABC is making a new drama about a fictional vice president. It won't be The West Wing, so we'll all be disappointed, but we can at least pretend enthusiasm for the moment.
Here's some guest star news about The Good Guys.
TV's Hottest Teachers Max Medina! Will Schuester! Ezra Fitz! Alaric Saltzman at #1! I approve. And man, I had managed to totally forget about that Gossip Girl plot. But no Giles???
Here's an interview with Ian Somerhalder in which the interviewer somewhat inexplicably doesn't understand why Somerhalder cares about the oil spill. Huh.
September 15, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: "The Return"
Welcome to the second edition of Vampire Legal Issues! Wondering how vamping will affect your ability to take advantage of the Lockwoods' open bar? Read on.
Christine: What a delightful episode! Is it wrong that I now sort of love Katherine’s fraudulent little self? Sort of like I love Scarlett O’Hara, which you might too, if you’d ever read Gone with the Wind? *cough* Also, I CAN’T BELIEVE DAMON DID THAT.
Katie: *ignoring that* This episode had a lot of new invite stuff. I was wondering how things work as far as intention? Tyler invited Katherine in thinking she was Elena, but apparently that doesn’t matter.
Christine: I wondered the same thing. He said “Elena, come in” and clearly did not intend to invite Elena’s Evil Doppelganger into the family manse. The same with Aunt Jenna, in last season’s finale. Does mistaken identity not matter? Why can Invite Magic not suss out the intent of the person doing the inviting? I was thinking vaguely of mortgages, and how you can't use false statements to induce someone to sign a mortgage or other contract, but Katherine was just coming in for Hey-the-Mayor's-Dead! Cocktail Hour, not buying property or otherwise entering into a contract with Tyler. Certainly if Katherine fraudulently induced Tyler to sign a contract by telling him she was Elena, the contract would be voidable. Or void. (It depends on jurisdiction and type of contract.)
Katie: Do written invitations ever work? What if you get an invitation to a birthday party? What if you tack a note to your door that says "Damon, please come in"?
Christine: I would never tack a note inviting Damon in to my door. You never know what the moody little beast will be up to, do you? When Tyler invited Katherine-as-Elena into the Lockwood house, he was standing outside (also, he said “come in,” not “go in,” which means either that vampire law is highly formalistic or that the accident has induced predicate confusion on his part). So clearly you don’t need to be in the house to invite someone in, as long as you have the right to issue an invite. I suppose written notes would work as well, or phone calls.
Katie: I think you're reading too much into "come in" vs. "go in." Tyler is standing outside his house welcoming people, so I think it's natural to say "come in." Also, I'm not convinced that linguistic precision is one of Tyler's strong suits even on his best days. Anything else?
Christine: The other thing I was wondering- Katherine told Snark, in the kitchen, that Jenna had to go talk to the firemen about the fire in the office building. But we know that John is trustee of the estate, because Pearl would have needed his permission to purchase the building. So what does Jenna have to do with it? What is the division of control of property and kids? Is Jenna guardian of the kids, and both Jenna and John are trustees of the estate? I suppose that's possible, though John made it seem like he was the only trustee. And of course the Gilberts' property could have been broken down into more than one separately controlled trust. Inquiring minds want to know, Show.
Katie: Yup, THAT's the mystery that fans are just clamoring to have cleared up, Christine. Hey, are we assuming that Elena's not 18 yet? (I think she's 16, but I'm not positive.) If she were, she'd have to be consulted about the buildings and such, right? Does John have some diabolical plan he's trying to carry out before she comes of age? Anyway, the promos for the next episode suggest that we will see Damon and Stefan at home, and I'm looking forward to it, because their house is pretty. Well, and also because I can use it as an excuse to ask about vampire property ownership and drive Christine back into the arms of her property law textbooks. See you then!
A new song from Glee...
Here's "Empire State of Mind:"
Now, I don't always jump on the "Glee should never rap" bandwagon. I kind of love "Gold Digger." But this? This is . . . pretty bad. A friend said it was "awkward," and she's so right. The kids just can't quite get all the words to come out of their mouths correctly. Sigh.
Morning Coffee (9/15/10)
Happy Wednesday morning! I'm glad I gave up on staying up until the NH Republican Senate primary had a winner, because they're still counting. You can see New Hampshire results at NHPR.org. Annie Kuster beat Katrina Swett, though, so yay. Elsewhere, Christine O'Donnell shockingly beat Mike Castle in Delaware, which means that that seat might stay Democratic after all.
I liked this story about a female sports reporter in a locker room MUCH better when it was a plot on Sports Night. GMA is being completely ridiculous about the whole thing at the moment. Not that I'm surprised. It doesn't matter what a woman is wearing, people! Harrassing her isn't okay! Oh, Cokie Roberts, I expected better from you.
What TV show represents your home state? Yes, I am more than happy to claim Gilmore Girls.
NYMag's Gossip Girl reality index is back!
Would you like to see a preview for season six of Supernatural that includes shirtless Sam Winchester? Of course you would. Here you go.
September 14, 2010
My Boys 4.9: "My Men"
Season finale time! And this one felt very . . . final, so I think they're at least setting themselves up for the possibility that the show won't come back. And honestly? I'm not that sad. More after the jump.
Mike marries Marcia, Brendan buys Crowley's, Kenny decides to go to London with Steph, PJ decides her friends are more important than her career . . . and I don't care that much about any of it. Sad. I don't know what the issue was, but this season just never grabbed me. The obvious difference was the lack of Andy, but I was never a huge Andy fan, so I don't think that's it. I think I wanted more of PJ and Bobby and less of everyone else. I don't know. Meh. If it comes back, I'll keep watching, but I'm just not that into it anymore.
My Boys 4.8: "Extreme Mike-Over"
The use of the word "extreme" in the title implies that something exciting happens. It doesn't. More after the jump.
This was the second-to-last episode of the season, and it felt very transitional. In the supposed A plot, Mike has to come clean to Marcia about the house he's living in really being Andy's, so he has to clean and redecorate his gross apartment. Really, that's it. In the B plot, college kids start hanging out at Crowley's so the gang acts obnoxious for a while to drive them away. Meh. I think in a sitcom with a longer season, this wouldn't feel so plot-deficient, but for one of nine episodes? I was disappointed.
Morning Coffee (9/14/10)
Happy Tuesday! That means primary day here in New Hampshire and in a few other states. There's not really much for Democrats to vote on where I live, though. The only seriously contested race on my ballot is for county register of deeds (why not registrar? I have no idea), and I've been unable to find anything online about either candidate. My big question: Will I ever consistently remember how to pronounce the "Ovide" in "Ovide Lamontagne"? Probably not.
In TV news, tonight we have the premieres of One Tree Hill, Life Unexpected, and Parenthood, and the season finale of Covert Affairs. Wheee.
I have a work-related luncheon today, but it's from one to 5:30. So what will we be doing besides lunching? I'm so curious. I'll let you know tomorrow.
Are you in New Hampshire and need to know where and when to vote or how to register? WMUR has you covered.
September 13, 2010
Gossip Girl Season Four Premiere Liveblog!
My cousin Liz is joining me to liveblog tonight. Please feel free to join in and add comments!
Guest Post: A Defense of Vanessa Abrams
In celebration of the premiere tonight, I'm turning the blog over to my cousin Liz, also known as the one Vanessa Abrams fan on the planet. Note: Please do not take this as an endorsement of her ideas. I still hate Vanessa, don't worry.
This post came about after I answered affirmatively to an on-line poll that 'Hey! I like Vanessa!' and the results still showed 0% for that option. "Statistics don't lie," I thought. "I literally am the only one." I mentioned it to Katie, and she invited me to explain. At her request, here are the reasons I really like Vanessa.
She encourages her friends to do what they want to do. Not what she wants them to do, and definitely not what their creepily controlling relatives want them to do - what they want to do, and what's in their best interests.
She's the only one of the Brooklyn kids who's remained unimpressed by the Upper East Siders' money and status. I think it's pretty fair to say that Dan drank the Kool-Aid, and Jenny's just run completely off the rails. They all started the show as misfit outsiders, but Vanessa's the only one who's held onto her initial skepticism and stayed level-headed.
She became friends - real friends - with Serena. Jump on into my way-back machine, if you will, to recall the very beginnings of DAN + SERENA 4-EVA <3 <3 <3 ZOMG. Vanessa's BFF, with whom she was completely smitten, started dating a ditzy, leggy blonde Amazon who'd run around acting cutely confused about how often she managed to completely screw things up for other people. At Dan's request, and for the sake of their shared history, Vanessa genuinely befriended that chick. If that's not completely amazing friend love, I don't know what is.
The way she slept with Chuck. I admit, maybe this isn't about my fondness for Vanessa so much as it's about my happiness that a female character on television was shown to have gotten what she wanted out of a one-night stand (wasn't it her, rather than Chuck, who stipulated that they never talk about it again?) and then gotten on with her life, with no lovesick mooning about and no all-encompassing regret.
I'll admit to feeling a little nervous about the coming season. I know Vanessa's not the most popular character, and I hope it won't affect the plotlines the writers come up with. I was super disappointed that she initially wanted to turn down the CNN offer for Haiti in favor of staying with Dan, and I'm still figuring out what to make of this.
In case you haven't heard, polygamy is in, and the part of me that loves crazy drama AND religious studies is so excited.
Premiering tonight on Lifetime, The 19th Wife:
The book on which it's based is supposed to be good, so I'm looking forward to it. And it stars Matt Czuchry (Gilmore Girls, The Good Wife)! And Chyler Leigh (Grey's Anatomy)! And the annoying lady from Brothers and Sisters, but I'm choosing to focus on the other two!
And honestly? I will totally break my "no reality TV" rule for Sister Wives, starting later this month on TLC:
Morning Coffee (9/13/10)
Happy Monday! It's Gossip Girl premiere day! (It's also 90210 premiere day, if you'd into that sort of thing.) My cousin Liz and I will be liveblogging the premiere at 9:00 p.m. Eastern tonight, so make sure you come by and watch with us!
GMA is taunting me with the Letters to Juliet DVD ads. WANT. Speaking of movies, Easy A and The Town are both opening this weekend. Can't wait.
At least the DVD ads are a nice change from all the political ads. Our primaries here are tomorrow, and I'm fairly ready for them to be over with. I will vote, of course, but there's practically nothing for me to vote on in my particular primary. Oh well. Oh God, apparently Joe Arpaio was in the state yesterday. JUST what we need.
GMA just told me that the Olive Garden deliberately overcooks their pasta. That explains so much.
YA author Sarah Rees Brennan recaps the first two episodes of Vampire Diaries season one. Hilariously.
Here's a little info on Matt Morrison's solo album. I wish he'd do Broadway stuff or standards instead, but I'll take what I can get.
A little more on Ron Moore's new show - it's not just magic, it's a magical police procedural. Hmmm. Were Moore not involved, I'd be reasonably enthusiastic about that idea.
September 10, 2010
I am so done with this week.
I have some stuff to deal with, and then I'm going away for the weekend, so I think I'm going just sign off until Monday, folks. Have a great weekend. If you want to talk about the epic Vampire Diaries premiere in the meantime, leave a comment and I'll e-mail you. Vampire Legal Issues for the first episode will appear early next week.
September 09, 2010
Vampire Legal Issues: First in a continuing series
Instead of writing episode recaps like every other blog out there, I decided to take a slightly different slant for my Vampire Diaries posts this season. I'll be examining the TVD world's vampire rules and the various legal issues the show brings up, and I'm even bringing in a legal consultant! My law student friend Christine will be with me each week. So if YOU have lingering Vampire Legal Questions, please let me know in the comments. And now I'll let Christine explain what we're doing:
We talk about The Vampire Diaries. A LOT. And our conversations generally go something like this:
What's wrong with a Salvatore on each arm?
The lovely folks at Vampire-Diaries.net asked me to write a guest post for them in the lead-up to the season to premiere, and I totally forgot to link to it. So in case anyone is interested and hasn't seen yet, click on over for my argument for why Elena needs both Salvatore brothers.
Pilot Review: Hellcats
They had me at "I don't trust any culture that builds pyramids." More after the jump . . .
I was really quite skeptical about Hellcats. But it's on the CW, and I have learned to just watch whatever new shows they put out, because otherwise I will be sucked in and decide I want to catch up 100 episodes later and it will take me forever. (Hello, Supernatural and One Tree Hill!) It's generally safer to give them the benefit of the doubt. In this case, I'm glad I did, as I spent much of the episode grinning, and already can't wait for next week. Hellcats isn't going to be the next great drama or anything, but the pilot was a solid hour of ridiculously fun escapism.
The premise: This is one of those shows where the premise is slightly ridiculous, so it's best to just accept it and move on. Marti (Aly Michalka of AJ and Aly) is a serious, sarcastic, vaguely rebellious college student who takes up cheerleading because her academic scholarship was cut. She used to be a gymnast, so at least it makes sense that she's good. And the team needs her, because the athletics director (played by a very yummy Aaron Douglas) is threatening to cut the program if they don't place at Nationals. How Glee! That similarity annoyed me slightly, but it's a useful device for explaining why Marti is given any chance at all. She is thrown into the simulanteously uber-peppy and super-competitive cheerleading world, and there's the expected culture clash, bonding, and learning from each other.
I actually wasn't all that wild about Marti - I'm hoping I like her better in future episodes - but I LOVED the head cheerleader, Savannah (Ashley Tisdale). They start out as adversaries and end up as roommates, of course, but I was very glad that the show didn't go the easy route of making them hate each other. They're very different, but some affection and loyalty is springing up already. Savannah plays by the rules, and her world is shaken when these rules are disrupted. Her line that completely won me over? "Well, if we're going to improvise, shouldn't we make some kind of plan?" It was obvious at that point that we were kindred souls.
The supporting characters are fine, so far. Marti has a rather Dawson-like best friend, and a somewhat annoying mother, and then there are all the other cheerleaders, coaches, etc. They all clearly have a convoluted back story that I'm looking forward to learning about in future episodes. The music is fun, and so are the cheerleading routines, of course. I'm a sucker for anything set on a campus. And the ending, with a montage of famous cheerleaders (Ruth Bader Ginsburg!) leading into the new team walking into a competition together - set to a song with the lyrics "We are not what you think we are" - gave me goosebumps. Yup. The CW has hooked me again.
Two other quotes I liked well enough to write down:
The Gates 1.8: "Dog Eat Dog"
I'm finally giving up on this show, so this my last recap for it.
Nick finally finds out about the werewolves, and more, after the jump.
Vampires vs. werewolves: I love how on this show their big conflicts are sparked by things like sprinkler timers. Hee. And I love the vampire disdain for how uncivilized the wolves are. It turned out that instead of some big vampire vs. werewolf feud, or even internal werewolf political issues, the attack Nick was investigating was a teenage boy defending himself against his abusive father. Interesting. I liked how Nick took the werewolf thing in stride, and really listening to representatives of the vampire and werewolf communities before deciding how to deal with things.
Dylan and Nick: At the beginning of the episode, we saw the bromance was continuing, but they weren't together enough in this one for my taste.
Claire and Christian: We got some interesting background here - apparently Christian hesitated to turn Claire, so Dylan did it. Interesting. I'm a little unclear on how the bonding works. Christian drinking from Claire broke her bond with Dylan, somehow. And hey, Christian better not actually be dead. I like him.
Sarah: SERIOUSLY, why does she seem convinced that cliques are unique to The Gates? That said, it should be interesting to see how much can happen - and how involved her husband can get - before she finds out about the supernatural stuff all around her.
Devon: What is she UP to? Hmm.
Andie: Brett seems better now than he did in the first few episodes, but I feel bad for Charlie. Are there any other succubi in the Gates? With the whole communities of wolves and vamps, it seems weird that it's just her.
Song of the Day: "Cosmic Love"
In honor of tonight's premiere of The Vampire Diaries, here's yet another great song they used in the first season . . .
Rubicon 1.7: "The Truth Will Out"
Note: I really thought I published this on Tuesday, but apparently not! That's what I get for being all on top of things!
Everyone gets polygraphed, but no one has any idea what's going on. Still. More after the jump . . .
After the previouslies, Will sleeps . . . no, he's not even sleeping. He's staring into space, and then staring at the places where he found the various bugs in his apartment. He heads into work - is it the middle of the night? - and begins to examine that owl figurine. Yup, he finds a bug in there too. Credits!
Katherine sits on the floor of one of her beautiful homes, and now it's her turn to look distressed while she's surrounded by papers and notes. At least she has a glass of wine. She hears weird noises and whispering and is utterly freaked out and . . . locks herself in a closet, so we don't find out what's actually going on. The police come but aren't convinced that anyone was there, and won't follow a report because there's nothing missing.
Grant walks down the street and is yelling on his cell phone about how his job is important. Who's he talking to? Girlfriend? Wife? Someone named Lisa, anyway. He heads in to work and is immediately ambushed by Miles, who is looking for "856." That seems to be a classified file. Tanya comes in looking hungover or something. Will gives them a five-minute warning. Do they not have a schedule time for their meetings? Hmm. Miles is dumping out his briefcase and looking all over for the file, and it seems pretty obvious that the translator from last week took it, no?
Team Meeting! Grant starts updating Will on what they found out about the wedding guests. Miles comes in late, clearly distressed, and tries to interrupt but Grant won't let him. As they meet, the FBI comes in and puts the building on lockdown. Part of that is "all work must cease," which seems a little odd. Maggie comes in and retrives Will for Spangler, but the FBI won't let anyone else leave the conference room.
Spangler tells Will and the other team leaders and various other people that the FBI thinks there's a leak, but he doesn't believe it. He then tells them all not to be distracted from their Very Important Work. And not to make him look bad. For some reason, we get a close-up on his paperweight, which says "Happy Holidays 2007."
Will and Kale are in an elevator and Will tells Kale about the bug in his office. Kale reasonably tells him that today is not the day for his extracurricular activities. Oh, apparently the paperweight was from Atlas McDowell, and that's why we were supposed to notice it. Will: "Who are WE working for?" Kale gets off the elevator without answering.
The team is still in the conference room, being supervised by an FBI agent. Another comes in and takes all their papers. They're not allowed to use any phones or computers or communicate with anyone for any reason, even about their kids' school plays.
Polygraphs for all! Kale is annoyed by the whole thing. Meanwhile, the team continues to snap at each other, then start discussing who's behind the leak. Tanya: "Iran? That would not be awesome." Hah. Then Miles snaps and says "anyone" is scarier than an actual country, because random guys with bombs are more dangerous than actual governments. Tanya jokes that Miles is the leak. Stop it, Tanya! Maggie is called in for a polygraph and looks concerned.
Kale continues to be delightfully snarky to the polygrapher. I love him. "Are there analysts you manage here who are capable of running a covert operation?" "No." We cut to Will. Harsh! Will is in with the team, where Grant is still going on about how his wife is going to kill him for missing the play, and Miles looks extremely nervous and distressed. Tanya thinks they can figure out what the wedding guest was up to without documents, but the rest are skeptical. Then she and Grant get called in.
Tanya's polygraph is making it look like she's lying about everything, including her name. Grant still wants to call his wife. He seems to be doing okay on the polygraph, though, until he's asked if he's ever cheated on his wife. He is upset by this question. He says he hasn't, but it claims he's lying. The polygrapher seems to think this means he will cheat in the future. Heh.
Back to Tanya! She claims that she's just nervous because of the situation. The polygraph says she's lying about everything, except whether she's used illegal drugs, as she says yes to that. "Have you ever removed a whitepaper from the building?" "No." Polygraph says otherwise. Commercial!
Miles and Will are still in the conference room. Miles thinks he might be the leak! He took a classified file home and . . . left it in a cab? Will and I are both skeptical. It's the German intelligence file on Beck. Will tells him to stop talking in there. Miles thinks "they" can't bug restricted areas. Oh, Miles, so naive.
An FBI guy is sweeping for bugs, and then lets Will back into his office. Ooh, his turn for a polygraph. The polygrapher starts talking about David, but then won't answer Will's questions. Will gets a question about friends and seems surprised at the implication that he has any.
Tanya joins Grant in the cafeteria, makes a Boyz II Men joke, then says "Sorry, I forgot you're old. Cat Stevens?" Hee. She then accuses Grant of being the leak, and I can't tell whether she's serious. He goes to try to make a call, again.
Back to Katherine! Guess what she's doing? Wandering around her house! She starts examining something on a fireplace, and . . . is it a bug? Hm. I can't tell, and she just looks off into space, so she's no help. Cut to Katherine standing outside a different house. Or maybe the same house? I don't know. Anyway, she stares at it and then gets in her car and drives off.
Time for Spangler's polygraph! "If I'm your leak, this country implodes. Crumbles. In its entirety. From the inside out." Modest! He refuses to take the polygraph. They have a staring contest and he gives in really quickly.
Will goes back to that darn owl and takes it apart again. The bug is gone. An FBI guy comes and tells him he can't be in there. He literally collides with Spangler in the hallway. "Wish me luck, Will." Will heads upstairs and lets himself into an office. Spangler's. Man, these FBI guys aren't very good babysitters. Will examines the paperweight and then starts looking at files on Spangler's desk.
Time for Spangler's polygraph. He looks bored. Oh, back to Will going through Spangler's office. And then to Miles's polygraph. He says he's shaky because he needs a cigarette, so the polygrapher tells him to smoke because she won't get clean results if he's in nicotine withdrawal. Shockingly, he continues to be distressed as he smokes.
The polygrapher brings Spangler a cup of something. Water? Kale walks down a hallway. Will goes through Spangler's files and finds a picture of himself and David at a ball game. Back to Miles - he's getting the routine questions and then starts blurting all about the file he took from API. Not the most stable guy, Miles.
Spangler is done with his test. Boo. I was hoping we'd see some of it. Will keeps going through files and takes a CD out of one as Spangler, in the hallway, asks an FBI agent how much longer the whole thing will take. Kale finds Will in Spangler's office and is Not Amused, even when Will claims to have found something. Kale: "You're going to go back to that cafeteria, and you're going to PRETEND that you're not the stupidest son of a bitch in this place. Or I'm going to open a window and throw you out of it." I LOVE HIM. Will starts to leave, then hesitates. "Who do we work for?" "We work for the United States government." "How do you know?" They stare at each other. Will leaves.
Miles is being yelled at. He might get a week's suspension. That's all? He and I are both confused. "I'm . . . not the leak?" "You're not the leak we're looking for." Heh.
Back to the cafeteria. Tanya is babbling and Grant is ignoring her. "Grant, whatever happened to you in there, snap out of it." Heh. Will comes in and Maggie asks if he's okay. He thinks about it and then says yes, and asks about her. She's a little scared. "You have nothing to worry about." "Everyone has secrets, Will." He walks off, so I guess that was our Maggie/Will scene for the episode. Miles joins them at the table and Tanya immediately asks him his opinion of the wedding guest. "Nice to see you." "I'm glad they didn't hang you. Now help us." Heh. Miles FINALLY brings up that mystery third person from the picture. Ooh, the translator from last time is there! They have a cute little moment but I still don't trust her. The FBI comes in and handcuffs a "Mr. Porter" who we really don't care about at all anyway.
The team leaders are back in Spangler's office. He's giving out cigars. Obviously the correct reaction! He tells a guy named Jerry to take two, and then fires him. Huh. Apparently Jerry's employee was the leak, and team leaders get fired if someone on their team leaks. Spangler cuts off in mid-sentence and looks at a file on his desk. Is it one of the ones Will was messing with? Unclear. Spangler syas they've made it through "relatively unscathed" and sends them home for the day.
Tanya, Grant, and Miles are still in the cafeteria working. Dedicated! They decide that the mystery third person was actually this (female) wedding guest, not a guy. They are proud of themselves.
Will is taking apart the freaking owl yet again. The bug is back! He looks extremely alarmed and confused, but that's basically how he always looks. The music is rather dire and more electronic than usual. At home, Will listens to the CD he took. (And watches that neighbor again, through the window. Wait, is she Miles's translator? I'm not sure.) It's a conversation between . . . David and Ed, I think, about Spangler running an unsanctioned op using the crossword code. David tells Ed to tell Will to leave it alone. David says someone is following him. "Oh God . . . there's someone . . ." Cut to black.
Next week: Will confronts David about the tapes. Maggie: "I should never have agreed to work for you." Will: "I want to know what it all means." So say we all.
Morning Coffee (9/9/10)
Good morning, and welcome to Thursday! More importantly, welcome to Vampire Diaries premiere day! If you've somehow missed the news, the season two premiere will be airing on the CW at 8 Eastern tonight, and I'm hearing that it's COMPLETELY AWESOME.
Now back to our regularly scheduled links:
Google's new search may be killing SEO. Yes PLEASE.
I was actually something of a Frasier fan, but this sounds like the worst idea ever.
TBS and TNT picked up some pilots. A Dallas remake? Really?
September 08, 2010
My Ten Favorite Returning Shows
This top ten was much easier to decide! Also, the letter G is making a surprisingly strong showing:
Ten, er, Twelve New Shows to Check Out
Here are the new shows I'm most optimistic about, based on previews, published reviews, tweets from critics, and conversations with people who have seen screeners. I was going to do a top ten list, but I realized there are seven shows I'm actually excited about, and five others that look promising, so! The first tier:
Blue BloodsAnd the second tier: Shows about which I am cautiously optimistic:
HellcatsWhich new shows are you planning to try?
My 5 Favorite New Summer Shows
In alphabetical order:
The BridgeAgree? Disagree? Which were your favorites?
How do the Bones folks get back together?
I have a post at TheTelevixen about this very question.
Morning Coffee (9/8/10)
Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the fall TV season! Hellcats, America's Next Top Model, and Terriers start tonight, and I'll have reviews of two of those for you tomorrow or Friday. In honor of this momentous occasion (ha!), it's going to be a list sort of day around here. First I'll round up my five favorite new summer shows, now that the seasons are winding down. Then this afternoon I'll give you the top ten returning shows I'm most excited about and ten new shows I'm looking forward to checking out.
In the world of real news: Daley is retiring! Will Rahm run for mayor? We'll see! I'm trying to ignore all the September 11 anniversay/Koran burning nonsense because it just makes me crazy. Also, Texas is very wet. Stay safe, everyone in hurricane-prone locations!
And on a personal note, my computer is headed in for surgery again - and it's staying a few days for observation this time - so posting may be somewhat erratic. Please think happy motherboard thoughts.
If you like pretty boys, check out Vampire Diaries.net where there are, and I quote, "more white tank tops on [the] front page right now than a high school gym class."
The Times takes on Shatner.
I'm not wild about Google's Schmidt's vision of the future of search.
September 07, 2010
Promos for The Vampire Diaries
A few people have asked to see all the available promos for the Vampire Diaries premiere. Here's what I've found. The premiere is Thursday at 8 Eastern!
My Boys 4.7: "Puss 'N' Glutes"
I have to say, I'm still pretty lukewarm about this season. More after the jump . . .
I don't know. This episode was fine, and it is what it is, but nothing particularly interesting or surprising happened and I don't have much to say about it. Brendan's dating adventures are always fun, and Mike was somehow less annoying than usual in this episode focusing on him. It will be interesting to see if Marcia sticks around and what happens when she realizes he's been lying about where he lives. The Bobby/Kenny workout plot was fine, but I like to see more Bobby/PJ interaction than we got here.
Next week is the season finale - two episodes, I think - and I hope they do something to tie together this somewhat meandering season. Will it also be the series finale? We shall see . . .
Best line of the episode: Brendan on vampires: "Ugh, I've dated like three of those."
No Morning Coffee (9/7/10)
You know that cliche about setting your alarm clock for p.m. instead of a.m. and waking up hours late? Yeah. Morning Coffee will return tomorrow.
September 05, 2010
Fall TV Handbook: Fridays at 10
The shows: Blue Bloods, Outlaw
What I'm doing: DVRing both, at least for a few episodes.
*Blue Bloods, CBS, Fridays at 10, 9/24
*Outlaw, NBC, Fridays at 10, 9/17
Fall TV Handbook: Fridays at 9
The shows: Body of Proof, CSI: NY, The Good Guys, Supernatural
What I'm doing: DVRing The Good Guys and Supernatural. Trying Body of Proof online.
*Body of Proof, ABC, Fridays at 9, possibly 9/24?
CSI: NY, CBS, Fridays at 9, 9/24
Good Guys, The, FOX, Fridays at 9, 9/24
Supernatural, CW, Fridays at 9, 9/24
Fall TV Handbook: Fridays at 8
The shows: Human Target, Medium, School Pride, Secret Millionaire, Smallville
What I'm doing: Nothing! How delightful.
Human Target, FOX, Fridays at 8, 10/1
Medium, CBS, Fridays at 8, 9/24
*School Pride, NBC, Fridays at 8, possibly 9/24
Secret Millionaire, ABC, Fridays at 8, no date yet
Smallville, CW, Fridays at 8, 9/24
Fall TV Handbook: Thursdays at 10
The shows: The Apprentice, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, The Mentalist, Private Practice
What I'm doing: DVRing The Mentalist and Private Practice.
Apprentice, The, NBC, Thursdays at 10, 9/16
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX, Thursdays at 10, 9/16
League, The, FX, Thursdays at 10:30, 9/16
Mentalist, The, CBS, Thursdays at 10, 9/23
Private Practice, ABC, Thursdays at 10, 9/23
Fall TV Handbook: Thursdays at 9
The shows: Burn Notice, CSI, Fringe, Grey's Anatomy, Nikita, The Office, Outsourced
What I'm doing: DVRing Fringe and Nikita, then when Burn Notice starts up again I'll DVR that and watch one of the others online, unless I've given up on Nikita. Watching Grey's online.
Burn Notice, USA, Thursdays at 9, 11/11
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, Thursdays at 9, 9/23
Fringe, FOX, Thursdays at 9, 9/23
Grey's Anatomy, ABC, Thursdays at 9, 9/23
*Nikita, CW, Thursdays at 9, 9/9
Office, The, NBC, Thursdays at 9, 9/23
*Outsourced, NBC, Thursdays at 9:30, 9/23
Fall TV Handbook: Thursdays at 8
This is the hour that is giving TV fans nightmares. Why, networks, why?
The shows: $#*! My Dad Says, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, Bones, Community, My Generation, The Vampire Diaries
What I'm doing: DVRing Bones and The Vampire Diaries. Watching Community online. I'll try My Generation online, too. I'd watch Big Bang Theory if CBS would put it online, but they don't.
*$#*! My Dad Says, CBS, Thursdays at 8:30, 9/23
30 Rock, NBC, Thursdays at 8:30, 9/23
Big Bang Theory, The, CBS, Thursdays at 8, 9/23
Bones, FOX, Thursdays at 8, 9/23
Community, NBC, Thursdays at 8, 9/23
*My Generation, ABC, Thursdays at 8, 9/23
Vampire Diaries, The, CW, Thursdays at 8, 9/9
Fall TV Handbook: Wednesdays at 10
The shows: The Defenders, Law & Order: Los Angeles, Psych, Terriers, The Whole Truth
What I'm doing: DVRing Psych. Trying . . . gosh, trying all the others, I guess. Let's hope I don't like them all.
*Defenders, The, CBS, Wednesdays at 10, 9/22
*Law & Order: Los Angeles, NBC, Wednesdays at 10, 9/29
Psych, USA, Wednesdays at 10, 11/10
*Terriers, FX, Wednesdays at 10, 9/8
*Whole Truth, The, ABC, Wednesdays at 10, 9/22
Fall TV Handbook: Wednesdays at 9
The shows: Cougar Town, Criminal Minds, Hell's Kitchen, Hellcats, Law & Order: SVU, Modern Family
What I'm doing: DVRing Hellcats and Modern Family
Cougar Town, ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30, 9/22
Criminal Minds, CBS, Wednesdays at 9, 9/22
Hell's Kitchen, FOX, Wednesdays at 9, 9/22
*Hellcats, CW, Wednesdays at 9, 9/8
Law & Order: SVU, NBC, Wednesdays at 9, 9/22
Modern Family, ABC, Wednesdays at 9, 9/22
Fall TV Handbook: Wednesdays at 8
The shows: America's Next Top Model, Better With You, Lie to Me, The Middle, Survivor: Nicaragua, Undercovers
What I'm doing: DVRing Undercovers. DVRing Lie to Me if I can catch up, since it doesn't come back until November. Maybe trying an episode or two of Better With You.
America's Next Top Model, CW, Wednesdays at 8, 9/8
*Better With You, ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30, 9/22
Lie to Me, FOX, Wednesdays at 8, 11/10
Middle, The, ABC, Wednesday at 8, 9/22
Survivor: Nicaragua, CBS, Wednesdays at 8, 9/15
*Undercovers, NBC, Wednesdays at 8, 9/22
Fall TV Handbook: Tuesdays at 10
The shows: Detroit 1-8-7, The Good Wife, Parenthood, Sons of Anarchy
What I'm doing: DVRing The Good Wife and Parenthood - hey, it's Sports Night alumni hour! I'll try an episode of Detroit 1-8-7 if they put it online.
*Detroit 1-8-7, ABC, Tuesdays at 10, 9/21
Good Wife, The, CBS, Tuesdays at 10, 9/28
Parenthood, NBC, Tuesdays at 10, 9/14
Sons of Anarchy, FX, Tuesdays at 10, 9/7
Fall TV Handbook: Tuesdays at 9
The shows: Dancing with the Stars, Life Unexpected, NCIS: Los Angeles, Raising Hope, Running Wilde
What I'm doing: DVRing Life Unexpected. DVRing Running Wilde for an episode or two to see if it's worth it.
Dancing with the Stars, ABC, Mondays at 8, Tuesdays at 9, 9/20
Life Unexpected, CW, Tuesdays at 9, 9/14
NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, Tuesdays at 9, 9/21
*Raising Hope, FOX, Tuesdays at 9, 9/21
*Running Wilde, FOX, Tuesdays at 9:30, 9/21
September 04, 2010
Fall TV Handbook: Tuesdays at 8
The shows: The Biggest Loser, Glee, NCIS, No Ordinary Family, One Tree Hill
What I'm doing: DVRing Glee and actually watching it. DVRing One Tree Hill because I have the crazy idea that I might someday watch the previous 5000 seasons. I'll try No Ordinary Family online.
Biggest Loser, The, NBC, Tuesdays at 8, 9/21
Glee, FOX, Tuesdays at 8, 9/21
NCIS, CBS, Tuesdays at 8, 9/21
*No Ordinary Family, ABC, Tuesdays at 8, 9/28
One Tree Hill, CW, Tuesdays at 8, 9/14
Fall TV Handbook: Mondays at 10
The shows: The Big C, Castle, Chase, Hawaii Five-0, Men of a Certain Age, Weeds
What I'm doing: DVRing Castle and Hawaii Five-0. If the network puts Chase online, I'll try an episode, but I'm not hopeful.
*Big C, The, Showtime, Mondays at 10:30, 8/16
Castle, ABC, Mondays at 10, 9/20
*Chase, NBC, Mondays at 10, 9/20
*Hawaii Five-0, CBS, Mondays at 10, 9/20
Men of a Certain Age, TNT, Mondays at 10, 11/29
Weeds, Showtime, Mondays at 10, 8/16
Fall TV Handbook: Mondays at 9
The shows: The Event, Gossip Girl, Lone Star, Mike and Molly, Two and a Half Men
What I'm doing: DVRing The Event and Gossip Girl. I'll give Lone Star a try, assuming Fox puts full episodes online.
*Event, The, NBC, Mondays at 9, 9/20
Gossip Girl, CW, Mondays at 9, 9/13
*Lone Star, FOX, Mondays at 9, 9/20
*Mike and Molly, CBS, Mondays at 9:30, 9/20
Two and a Half Men, CBS, Mondays at 9, 9/20
Fall TV Handbook: Mondays at 8
The shows: 90210, Chuck, Dancing with the Stars, House, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement
What I'm doing: DVRing Chuck and House because I remain perpetually convinced that I might watch them some day. Watching How I Met Your Mother online because I am actually caught up on that.
90210, CW, Mondays at 8, 9/13
Chuck, NBC, Mondays at 8, 9/20
Dancing with the Stars, ABC, Mondays at 8, Tuesdays at 9, 9/20
House, FOX, Mondays at 8, 9/20
How I Met Your Mother, CBS, Mondays at 8, 9/20
Rules of Engagement, CBS, Mondays at 8:30, 9/20
Fall TV Handbook: Sundays at 10
The shows: Bored to Death, Brothers and Sisters, CSI: Miami, Eastbound and Down, The Walking Dead
What I'm doing: DVRing Brothers and Sisters, trying The Walking Dead.
Bored to Death, HBO, Sundays at 10, 9/26
Brothers and Sisters, ABC, Sundays at 10, 9/26
CSI: Miami, CBS, Sundays at 10, 10/3
Eastbound and Down, HBO, Sundays at 10:30, 9/26
*Walking Dead, The, AMC, Sundays at 10, 10/31
Fall TV Handbook: Sundays at 9
The shows: American Dad, Boardwalk Empire, Desperate Housewives, Family Guy, Undercover Boss
What I'm doing: Hey, another hour when there are no shows I want to watch! This is kind of reassuring.
American Dad, FOX, Sundays at 9:30, 10/3
*Boardwalk Empire, HBO, Sundays at 9, 9/19
Desperate Housewives, ABC, Sundays at 9, 9/26
Dexter, Showtime, Sundays at 9, 9/26
Family Guy, FOX, Sundays at 9, 9/26
Undercover Boss, CBS, Sundays at 9, 9/26 at 10
Fall TV Handbook: Sundays at 8
The shows: The Amazing Race, The Cleveland Show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Simpsons
What I'm doing: Nothing! Whoa. This might be the only hour when I have no interest in any of the shows.
Amazing Race, The, CBS, Sundays at 8, 9/26 at 8:30
Cleveland Show, The, FOX, Sundays at 8:30, 9/26
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC, Sundays at 8, 9/26
Simpsons, The, FOX, Sundays at 8, 9/26
Fall TV Handbook
Over the next few days, we'll have a series of posts looking at the fall TV schedule hour by hour. I'll let you know which shows are up against each other, who the stars are, what sort of buzz I'm hearing about each show, and what sort of audience might like each show. I'll also tell you my plans for the hour, and then you can all start worrying about how much TV I'm trying to watch. (Hi Mom!) Rest assured that a) I'll give up on most of the new shows after an episode or two and b) just being I'm DVRing something doesn't mean I'm actually watching it. (I still have stuff from last season on the TiVo.)
As in the index, I'll link you to each show's official page, give you scheduling and premiere info, and put a star before the new shows. I know titles should be italicized, but when I'm naming so many titles over and over I'm just not going to risk the coding errors. All times are Eastern. Any questions? Let me know. Enjoy!
September 03, 2010
Fall TV Premiere Date Index
A bunch of people have asked me for a list of when TV shows are coming back. Here you go! This list is alphabetical by show name; if you want to see a listing by date, try here. If I'm missing a show you're looking for, let me know in the comments and I'll look it up for you. Over the next few days, I'll have a series of posts looking at each prime time hour and giving my impressions on the various shows.
Notes: A star before a show means that it's new; the rest are returning. Click on the name of a show to visit the official site. If a premiere is on a different day or time than the normal show, that information will follow the regular scheduling info. Let me know if you have any questions!
*Better With You, ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30, 9/22
Castle, ABC, Mondays at 10, 9/20
Dancing with the Stars, ABC, Mondays at 8, Tuesdays at 9, 9/20
*Hawaii Five-0, CBS, Mondays at 10, 9/20
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX, Thursdays at 10, 9/16
*Law & Order: Los Angeles, NBC, Wednesdays at 10, 9/29
Medium, CBS, Fridays at 8, 9/24
*School Pride, NBC, Fridays at 8, possibly 9/24
Vampire Diaries, The, CW, Thursdays at 8, 9/9
Bonus Song of the Day: "Last Night"
"Bonus" as in "This week killed me and I got behind on writing actual posts." Also as in "I heard this on the radio last night and realized I'd completely forgotten it existed, but I love it." Also as in "My dad will probably appreciate this."
Haven 1.8: "Ain't No Sunshine"
Eeeeee! Eeeeee! The end of this episode was so exciting! Okay, keep reading . . .
Mystery of the week: The Dark Man is killing people. He seems to be invisible. Or something. No, he's a shadow! Okay, it seems that people at the hospital were keeping medicine from patients so they could resell it, and the widower of one of the patients who died as a result of this gets so upset that his shadow sort of detaches and starts killing people. Because this is Haven.
Mystery of Audrey's background: This didn't come up much this week, although I'm suspicious about whether the pictures the brothers were insisting on taking of Audrey actually had something to do with this.
Audrey: Aww, poor thing has no friends. Except Nate. Really, who else would you need? Her "You should see him around babies" line about Nate was brilliant.
Nate: Even though he knows everyone in town - and he's certainly not an outsider like Audrey - he doesn't exactly have tons of friends either. And, hilariously, Audrey has no issue with pointing this out. I was pretty surprised that Nate opened up so much to Audrey about his "issues," but it shows how connected he feels with her already - and he also might be less embarrassed to talk to her than to a Haven resident he's known all his life.
Duke: Not in this episode. Boo.
Nate and Jess: I did NOT approve of them together, so I'm glad she's gone. But in retrospect, I guess this plotline was useful, because it got Nate thinking about relationships, and also made Audrey - I hope - start to realize that she might have feelings for Nate. More importantly, the fact that Jess left because of the weird things that Nate has to deal with sets things up for him to have to be with someone who is okay with that. So, you know, Audrey.
Nate and Audrey: Okay, they're officially my OTP here. "Hey, you're kinda smart." "Kinda?" So cute. And OMG, that moment at the end. She kissed his cheek, AND HE FELT IT. What does it all MEAN?
Morning Coffee (9/3/10)
Happy Friday! And really, thank goodness. I am very ready for this three-day weekend. I am hoping to actually have time to clean my house, and also to catch up on a few fall TV shows. Whee. Or maybe I'll just sleep to try to recover from the way it seems every at my company has gone nuts this week.
As far as actual news . . . well, there's really nothing good. Hurricane. Another oil rig exploded. Unemployment numbers coming out. I'm seeing pictures of North Carolina or somewhere on GMA, and oooh, the waves are so pretty! But seriously, people, evacuate if you're supposed to. Watch the waves from TV instead.
Non-spoilery photos from the second episode of The Vampire Diaries season two are here. Pretty boys arm wrestling? Yes please!
Wondering about Markos Moulitsas's new book? Jamelle Bouie read it so you don't have to.
Twitter has a new iPad app. I like Twittelator, as I've said, but I'll check this new one out and let you know how it is. Honestly, if it loads more tweets than Twittelator (which stops at 200), I might switch.
The Preppy Handbook changed June Thomas's life.
September 02, 2010
Alexa Ray Joel really wants you to notice her.
She is NOT subtle about it. Also, it seems she is currently enamored of big words:
The video is most notable for the Blake Lively and Leighton Meester lookalikes, I think. Well, and it's always nice to see a young woman who's not a size zero who is (or acts like she is) confident in her sexuality. Joel has had a very public battle with depression, so it's interesting to see that she is promoting such a bouncy and upbeat single. (I hope this means she's actually doing better.) And her stylist has done a good job of making her look lovely and glamorous but not trashy through most of the video.
But the actual song? Enh. Sure, it's catchy, in a Lily Allen sort of way, and I don't turn it off when it comes on the radio. But it goes out of its way to reinforce all sorts of traditional gender roles and sexual politics. The line that bothered me most in the radio version - "Why you being such a chick about it?" - is apparently the edited clean version, and I find the line in the official video above - "Why you being such a dick about it?" - actually rather less offensive. Some of the lyrics seem weirdly young for an almost-25-year-old - although the "Make my dad want to ground me, honey" line is a cute throwaway reference to her famous father.
Regardless, though, it seems Joel has succeeded in her mission: we've noticed her. Now let's see what she does next.
In search of the perfect travel mug
I love coffee and tea, and I have never, ever found a travel mug that meets all my specifications:
1. Seals completely.So. Anyone have one that fits the bill?
Haven 1.7: "Sketchy"
I haven't mentioned it in a few episodes, so let me take this opportunity to mention how much I love the New Englandy-ness of this show. So much I feel compelled to make up words, apparently. Anyway, continue...
Mystery of the Week: People are dying in weird ways - a guy on a boat has his legs broken oddly, and a real estate broker is sliced up. There's charcoal residue in both places. A guy's facial features disappear. It turns out that an art teacher is making this happen by drawing voodoo pictures, and someone to whom her father owes money is blackmailing her into hurting people. There's a drawing of the whole town that might make the town go poof at any moment. Scary!
Lucy mystery: Not much. Are you as shocked as I am? Hah.
Audrey: At this point, she's even more eager than Nathan to attribute stuff to The Troubles, which is interesting. And it's cute how obviously jealous she is of Nathan and Jess.
Duke: He's back! He makes a big deal out of hiding stuff behind a tarp, but it turns out to be preparations for the 80-year-old librarian's birthday party. Of course. And then he's all nice and helpful. Aww.
Nathan: I am not amused by this nonsense with Jess. Well, except that Audrey teasing him is fun, I guess. Still.
The triangle: I can't believe I'm saying this, but between Nathan being interested in Jess and Duke being all sweet and helpful, I'm almost wanting Audrey to pick Duke this week. I'm sure that'll pass, though.
Morning Coffee (9/2/10)
Happy Thursday! I spent this morning rearranging my storage room, so I have no idea what they were saying on GMA for once. I do know that today is supposed to be the last day of this heat wave, thank goodness.
Here's a tantalizing review of the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries.
Mo Ryan's new blog at AOL TV is up: Stay Tuned!
Ron Moore of BSG is making an adult Harry Potter-like show. Feel free to run away in horror now.
Lizzie Skurnick on the Franzen hubbub.
September 01, 2010
Trailer: Fair Game
I suppose after all my Rubicon posts, it won't surprise anyone that I love possibly-boring spy things, but I honestly have no idea why everyone is being so negative about the trailer for Fair Game, the Valerie Plame movie:
From that little bit, at least, it looks like it's staying faithful to her book while including the action that audiences demand from spy movies. I can't wait!
Rubicon 1.6: "Look to the Ant"
It looks like TWoP has stopped covering Rubicon, so apparently I think this means I should write even more ridiculously long recaps. Does anyone want to read that? Probably not. But I find it comforting to know I have sent them out into the ether. Continue after the jump . . .
The Previouslies guy sounds sooo smug. Anyway. Are we convinced that David's dead? I wonder that each time they show the train crash but not his face.
We start with . . . someone breaking in somewhere! I think it's Will's apartment. Ah, it's Kale. He takes off his evil black trenchcoat, so apparently he's planning to stay a while. And that was the shortest opener ever. Credits! I haven't mentioned the opening credit sequence, but i really like it. It's very puzzly. Which makes sense, of course. Hey, this episode was written by Zack Whedon, brother of Joss!
In the API offices, we're following Maggie down the hallway, and - you know what this is like? This is like all those long tracking shots Tommy Schlamme is so famous for, but in slow motion. That might be a decent metaphor for the show, actually. Okay, Maggie is bringing a piece of paper to an office and then is NOT SNEAKY AT ALL as she starts snooping around. You work with SPIES, Maggie. They would be on to you, if they weren't the slowest spies ever. Have we discussed how Maggie looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal? She really does. Will catches her, believes her "just straightening up" lie, and then they have their mandatory awkward flirting moment. Her actual news for him: Kale is summoning him to dinner at his apartment.
Will just sits there looking confused for a while - literally - and we jump to Team Meeting! Grant wants deference because of his seniority. Tanya is unimpressed. Miles looks at pictures of Beck's house. Will comes in, gives them info about the surveillance of the Beck wedding, and leaves the moment Miles offers to stay and deal with it. You're really not a very good boss, Will. After they leave Miles alone, he hears something that sounds like a gunshot, or maybe just a door slamming, and looks up. Was that supposed to be . . . something? I don't even know.
Katherine shows up at the home of someone named Alice Bradley, looking to talk to her about her late husband Gerald. Oh, he's the guy from that newspaper clipping from last episode. Alice has never heard of Tom Rhumor and seems bemused. And that's all that happens.
Maggie is sending Sophie off for a weekend with her dad! But not before threatening him with calling the cops if Sophie's late to school or if Maggie can't get in touch with him.
Will shows up at Kale's and is met by a young guy named Walter. Apparently Kale is in the shower. Is this his boyfriend? Hm. There's music playing and the apartment is huge and gorgeous. Please tell me they invited Will over for a threesome. Walter thinks he doesn't get to meet Kale's coworkers because Kale's ashamed of him, and Will is actually charming for a moment as he assures Walter that it's the API folks Kale is ashamed of. Probably true! Kale very seriously says he wants to ask Will something, and my dirty mind is back to the threesome thing, but it's actually whether Will has ever had white bean salad. Will and I are both confused.
At the table, Will is going on about . . . slime mold? Pleasant dinner conversation! Walter runs off as quickly as he can, and I don't blame him. Will then starts to actually make sense about how our enemies are no longer hierarchical and are now more like a web, or slime mold, and Kale responds with a hearty "God, I miss the Cold War." So say we all, Kale, so say we all. Then Kale tells Will that Bloom and Edward Roy were in a car accident last night, and that Roy is the person of interest for Will. Who is he working for? (I just looked it up - Edward Roy is NOT the Ed who has been a main character so far. I think he's the laundromat guy. Really, show? Two characters with the same name? The two African-American characters? REALLY?)
Then we have this brilliant bit of dialogue: "You're not saying anything, Will." "I don't know what to say. What are YOU saying?" Man, I love these wacky non-spies. Kale is saying that he wants to help Will. He knows all about what Will's up to, and points out that Will is not being stealthy at ALL. "Are you saying my home is bugged?" Yes, yes he is. I bet API bugs everyone's homes, anyway. "How I know is inconsequential. That I know is significant." How does Kale know his home is not also bugged? "Oh, I sweep this place twice a week. Sometimes more, if I'm bored." I'm starting to love Kale. He's too high-profile to participate directly, but he'll help where he can, so stop asking dumb questions about his change of heart, Will! Will looks unconvinced. "Thank you for dinner." He leaves, to some rather fetching music.
Miles is bored and punchy while on Beck wedding duty, and he starts taking wheeled desk chair rides around the office and I think he's going to bang into something and make all the expensive equipment fall down, but no, that would be too much action for this show. Then there's something about guests entering the facility and Miles starts yelling "No" and running around looking for someone. Everyone else has gone home. "Urdu, seriously, Urdu?" Finally he finds someone named Julia, and she speaks Urdu, of course, so he drags her off to translate as she points out how dumb it was for him to expect the wedding guests to be speaking German. She doesn't want to help because their teams are segregated for a reason. Hmmm. But it looks like Miles convinces her.
Will goes home to his apartment full of index cards, and starts looking for bugs. He finds one in the thermostat and stares at it for a really long time, although I really don't know why he's at all surprised at this point.
Maggie, lonely without Sophie, is watching an old horror movie. That'll make you feel better! She turns it off and listens to the various sounds of her neighbors. She chews her thumbnail. Seriously, that's all that happens in this scene.
And we're back to Will, still searching for - and finding - bugs in various places in his apartment. And his cell phone! He sighs a lot, and then the phone rings and he jumps and I laugh uncharitably. It's Maggie! He assumes it's an emergency, but she was just calling. "About what?" Oh, Will, you're really bad at this. She asks him out and I'm not sure he even realizes because he's so freaked out about all the bugs. Oh, poor Maggie. Will sits in a corner of his apartment, looking defeated and paranoid. Then he sees people! Through the window! In other buildings! He panics and slams the blinds shut, Then he takes a piece of paper out of his bag, considers calling a number on it, crumples it, uncrumples it, etc. The music is very intense. Finally he stuffs all his notes in his messenger bag and is about to run out the door, but goes back at the last moment for David's gun. THEN he leaves adn we finally get a commercial.
Will gets out of a taxi on a busy street and wanders to . . . an Internet cafe? REALLY? (Someone is following him, of course. Badly. Of course.) I'm not sure this is what Kale meant by "under the radar." He . . . searches for Edward Roy? SERIOUSLY? And of course he's convinced that the various people in the place are looking at him. Are they? I don't know.
Back to Miles and Julia watching the Beck hijinks! Miles lectures her and then is all "They have so much money blah" and she's all "you're jealous blah" and I'm not even going to bother. Then the phone rings and it's his mom! Really?
Cut to Maggie in her apartment wearing a bra and pants. There's a knock at the door and she yells "Coming!" as she hurries to put on a shirt. Do people really wander around without their shirts like that? I don't get it. She checks the mirror, opens the door, and it's . . . some guy with a vague maybe-British accent. Irish? He brought Scrabble! He missed her in class on Tuesday! She claims that Sophie is at a friend's, and that she works for Unicef. Apparently she is taking classes to become a translator. She gets munchies and wine and looks at him expectantly. And . . . he has no accent. Never mind. He starts telling her about widows in India being burned at their husbands' funerals and then realizes that that's not very sexy. "Should I open the wine?" "Sure!"
Back to Will. He gets up to print something and the guy behind him reaches for his bag - it looks like to take it, but maybe just to pick it up off the floor. Will freaks out and leaves. Someone is, of course, unsubtly following him. He goes to the subway, I think.
Julia is back to criticizing Miles for not knowing Urdu, and refusing to tell him what the people are saying. He insists. "The bride looks beautiful. They grow up so fast." Heh. Of course, then something interesting happens. They're being cryptic! Talking about "The Foundation!"
Maggie and her boy are practicing languages. He's cute. She's worried about Sophie but trying to relax, and drinking lots of wine. I don't entirely trust this boy, and I'm also expecting Will to show up all crazy-like just when Maggie starts to hook up with the guy. Oh, and as I typed that, they started making out. Hurry up before Will gets there!
Will walks along a deserted street. Someone follows him. Do I even need to bother to say this? Will gets behind the guy and pulls his gun. "Who do you work for?" "They don't want to tell me. And I don't want to know." Well, that's rather incurious of him. Will then brags about how he has access to all information ever, which doesn't really seem like the safest thing to do. But then he takes the guy's picture, which is clever. and he runs off. Shockingly, the guy doesn't shot him as soon as he turns his back.
Katherine is home watching infomercials, because the people on this show can't even watch anything interesting on TV. She looks at that newspaper clipping again and then starts wandering around, as is her wont. She grabs a small clock from a bookcase and stares at it. Commercial!
Maggie and the guy are in bed. Maggie, I really think if you're going to sleep with him, you should at least tell us his name. He says "That was nice." Uh, high praise? "I didn't even realize you were interested in me. You're quiet. I like that." I still say he's creepy. He's all snuggly and she looks sort of uncomfortable. And then - knock on the door! She looks more terrified than you'd expect, really. She throws on a robe, and - it's Will! I told you this would happen! He's clearly in distress and asks if he woke Sophie, which proves that he DIDN'T really hear anything Maggie said on the phone earlier. He asks to come in and she hedges. He says "This isn't anything" and asks if he can crash on her couch. He just doesn't want to be by himself right now. Finally, the guy says "Is everything all right?" and Will realizes what's going on, apologizes, and leaves. And . . . Maggie immediately throws the guy out! Because seeing Will made her realize that's who she really liked? Just because she's freaked out? Hmm.
Miles recognizes an Iranian intelligence guy on the feeds and Julia can't hear what they're saying. He finally thanks her for totally interrupting her night to help, and she says she's enjoying the distraction from some sewage-related research she was doing just for fun. Okay! They both get a little teary as she translates an emotional speech about love. There are Significant Looks and I assume Miles has a new crush. Julia asks if Miles is married and he hesitates before saying he is. And then asks about her Zelda tattoo. Hee. Suddenly it's time to leave, although I don't know why they've decided nothing else interesting will happen.
The next morning, Will and Maggie look at each other awkwardly through a weird open window thing in the office. He keeps apologizing. She keeps insisting it's fine. He goes to see Ingram and she looks after him and sighs. I am suddenly seeing shades of Josh and Donna.
Will starts to tell Kale that he looked into Edward Roy, but Kale pantomimes something that I assume is about the office being bugged. Get with the picture, Will! Kale takes him onto the roof, which actually looks a lot like the roof on Gossip Girl, plus or minus some barbed wire. Edward Roy is ex-CIA, retired ten years ago, started a security firm that was bought by Atlas MacDowell. And Atlas MacDowell, friends, is a company on whose board sat Gerald Bradley, the CCNY prof whose suicide was the subject of the clipping Katherine found in Tom's locked files. But of course, Will doesn't know any of this, because when he met Katherine all they talked about was vodka. "So what do you imagine Atlas is up to?" "I don't know." "Well, perhaps you'd best find out." Yes, Will, perhaps you'd best.
As Kale walks away, Will asks AGAIN why Kale's helping him, and Kale says "I support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." This is part of the oath taken by new senators, new citizens, and new military officers, so take your pick. Also new CIA agents? Perhaps. As he leaves, Kale says that it's not just Will's home - he's being monitored at the office too. Had Will not guessed this? Sigh.
Katherine is back at Alice Bradley's house, asking about Atlas MacDowell! Go Katherine! Ooh. After Gerald died, Tom took his place on the board. Alice immediately picks up on the fact that it's weird that both men committed suicide. Katherine asks if Alice knew anything about the company, but Alice starts talking about how it's impossible to figure out why their husbands killed themselves except for the simple, sad fact that "You gave him years, and he walked away." She has a box of stuff that she thought might have "meant something" after Gerald's death. Katherine immediately finds a four-leaf clover that Alice found on Gerald's desk and preserved in a frame. Katherine is visibly shaken but won't tell Alice why. She rushes out. Then Alice takes a photograph out of the box, and it's that same one of boys on a beach!
Will enters what I think is Kale's office, looks around, and very slowly sits down at the desk chair. He stares at an owl figurine in apparent horror. The end!
Haven 1.6: "Fur"
Getting shot at is always a big deal, as Audrey explains after the jump . . .
Mystery of the Week: The animals are attacking the hunters! There's all sorts of intrigue among the guys at the hunting club, but maybe it's all about a witch. Except she's not really a witch (and her name is Jess, by the way). It turns out that the dead, stuffed animals are coming to life and attacking the hunters who killed them. It turns out that the taxidermist was himself stuffed by his mother after he died in a fire. Apparently the mother stuffing people or animals makes them come to life. She ends up sacrificing herself to the animals to save her son. Creeeeepy. Ooh, and at the end, it turns out that the woman was stuffed herself.
Lucy mystery: It wasn't mentioned much until the end, when Eleanor promises to help Audrey figure it out.
Audrey: I think she probably thinks Eleanor's joking when she says it will take ten or fifteen years for Audrey to fit in, but she's totally not. Welcome to New England, Audrey. She's a very good shot, but that's not surprising for an FBI agent.
Duke: He was absent from this episode. Sad.
Nathan: Not a hunter. Good to know. And he makes a werewolf joke! Aww. Jess tells him that his inability to feel pain is magic, not a medical condition. We'd rather guessed that, hadn't we? It's always fun when he and his father butt heads, and it's nice to see Audrey sticking up for him. His little "We're all different together" speech was cute, and quite a lot of talking! I mean, for him! But then he asks Jess out at the end of the episode. Boo.
Morning Coffee (9/1/10)
Happy September! I am THRILLED that it is September, because I hate summer (have you noticed?) but I am also extremely bitter because it's going to be 98 today and that is NOT proper September weather. Also, my laptop is going in for surgery today, so please think happy motherboard-replacing thoughts.
Last night, the President gave an Oval Office address about the end of combat operations in Iraq, but OBVIOUSLY the big story is that he redecorated the Oval Office. (I like the new look well enough, for the record.) Murkowski has officially conceded to Miller in Alaska. And people on Cape Cod are being dumb talking about how much they love hurricanes and how they won't evacuate. Good luck with that! And - oh, fine. Entertainment Tonight is doing a behind the scenes thing of the Emmy opener, so I will give in and TiVo it.
Oh! Vanity Fair has a Sarah Palin profile out. It just came out so I haven't read it yet, but Roger Ebert tweeted that it's "devastating," so there you go.
I'm assuming that anyone who wants Grey's Anatomy spoilers heard the big news yesterday, but if you somehow missed it, click here.
I hate to say it, but I agree with every bit of this post about Emily Deschanel's look at the Emmys.
There's going to be some sort of 3D Nutcracker movie. With Elle Fanning and Nathan Lane? And new songs by Tim Rice? Is it not a ballet? Wait, is it a musical? What on earth is going on? I can't decide whether I'm excited or terrified.
Wait, haven't we read this John Le Carre story about assassinations in the Cold War about three times already? Why does it continue to be news?
Chad Lowe got married. Brother Rob Lowe was the best man. Aww.
The creators of Gossip Girl are making a show about twentysomethings in DC. I am cautiously optimistic.
The new Preppy Handbook sounds rather disappointing.
Gmail's Priority Inbox sounds nifty. Can't wait to try it out!
TV Squad agrees with me: Rubicon is not boring.