Sunday, February 28, 2010

Casting News: Hawaii Five-O

When the remake of Hawaii Five-O was first announced, I predicted a sad attempt at recreating a quasi-classic show. I've barely seen more than an episode of the original police drama due to lack of interest and overall boredom with the plot. Needless to say, the prospects of this new reboot were less than thrilling.

But after two pivotal casting decisions, I'm starting to jump on board and anticipate this series. First, Daniel Dae Kim (of Lost and Angel fame) was cast as Chin Ho Kelly and now the role of his niece has been filled by Grace Park. Fans will recognize Park as Lieutenant Sharon "Boomer" Valerii from Battlestar Galactica. In my opinion, Park was the most underrated of the actresses on the series and her portrayal of Boomer/Sharon will remain one of the best female performances on television. No other actress could have made that role so lovable yet played off the loose morality of the cylons. It's great to see this amazing actress finding a high-profile show post-BSG fame.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Evil Is So Much More Fun

Surprise! This episode of Survivor was so much more enjoyable because it focused almost entirely on the Villains and their awesomeness.

The episode begins with Tom telling James to be nice. After James' rude remarks to Stephenie, it was nice to hear someone stick up for her. Shortly after, Colby and Tom discuss playing the game fairly and how they both ideally would love to do that. Ladies and gentleman this is why Colby and Tom are designated as Heroes. Fair game play never wins anyone a million dollars but when you have a tribe named "Heroes" it's nice to actually have at least two genuine men. Go Colby and Tom: the only two actual heroes in the tribe.

The rest of the episode basically focused on Parvati. My initial thoughts were that she needs to calm it down. Can someone please tell these people that laughing loudly at night is never a good sign especially when you are spending the nights with the same people? Like Rob says, watch how they sleep at night! You can tell who is aligned with who. Rob is smart not to trust Russell and Parvati since she is clearly his new Natalie (just not as nice)! But as the episode progressed I became less and less frustrated with Parvati. She has developed into this strong player who knows she's a threat, acknowledges that, and thus has fun on the island. More importantly, the fun keeps her around! Now, I'm sure the producers did a good deal of editing, but I would bet that many people actually love Parvati's company. Sure she's hot. Sure she is a good physical competitor but she also seems like a blast to be around! And that really will keep you around in this game.

So the strategy continues before we even have an immunity challenge (and since 80% of the strategy was on the Villains tribe it was a dead giveaway that they would be losing). Coach makes it obvious that Parvati is his target so he basically corners Russel and tells him to stay away from her. And for the first time in Survivor history, Russel actually looks considered. Regardless of what he says in the solo interviews, it was so apparent that Russel was worried about the possibility of Parvati leaving. Even Rob tried to convince him to give her up. Flash forward to Russel getting back into his old tricks and hiding the machete from his tribe. Then he goes ahead and threatens to destroy Rob's hat. He further upsets me and all Bostonians everywhere when he claims to hate the Red Sox. FLAW!

Back to the game. The show gives us yet another immunity/reward challenge combination, much to my disdain, and the Heroes finally kicked some serious ass....complete with James' enormous ego ruining their much deserved celebration. James is my new least favorite castaway ever. Someone please take the stick out of his ass.

So after much strategy it comes down to Parvati versus Randy as the two potential losers. This seems like a similar decision that the Heroes tribe made last week when they got rid of Stephenie. Oddly enough, in the beginning, the most strategic move is to put strategy aside and keep a strong team. Randy is the least in shape of his tribe and he was one of the quickest out in his challenge (granted all the Villains sucked this time around). I was worried for a moment that the Villains would make the same stupid mistake but luckily they all banded together and got rid of Randy. So that leaves the Heroes voting out two of my favorites and the Villains voting out my least favorite...clearly I'm 100% Team Villains (minus Colby and Tom...and Cirie cause I still love that girl). All in all, this was yet another amazing episode and it's so nice to finally have a smart team who gets rid of a weak and undeserving player.

Side notes:

1/ While I entirely love the decision to get rid of Randy, the players are totally right in their fear of Parvati. And that's right, it's fear. Parvati has played this game twice already and she has won once. This girl knows how to manipulate. I believe she's aware of her sexuality but it pisses me off when everyone claims her flirtation is all she has going for her. The girl won a million dollars after aligning with two females...SHE DID NOT FLIRT WITH THOSE TWO FEMALES! While I think Parvati is a huge threat, and thus probably won't last too long in this game, she remains the most entertaining female in the game and I'm just glad we get at least one work week with her.

2/ Why are there so many chickens? It makes the whole survival aspect of this game far too easy. I've never seen so many edible animals in one of these locations. Watching the men bond over catching the chicken was kind of sickening and a grotesque display of machismo...or maybe it's just me.

3/ Coach's speech about MLK made no sense. Was that just me ignoring him or was it really ridiculous?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stupid Strategies

Tonight's Survivor reminded me of why I want to play this game. Strategy really is the key to success. There are several strategies which work: whether you form a tight alliance and sail through with ease, take on the role of powerhouse and dominate the game, play the good guy and make multiple friends, or play the villainous manipulator.

This week the Heroes once again proved their lack of solidarity and individually they proved their lack of strategy. The only strategic players were Colby, Tom, and Stephenie who saw themselves as the outcasts and banded together to try and take out a power-alliance of James and Amanda. Their biggest problem? Choosing Amanda over James as the one to go. Why are all these scared castaways so afraid of getting rid of the men? Obviously the females on this tribe are a thousand times more strategic, but you do not need to the strength of the men. James' perfect physique did nothing for the challenge. Don't keep him around simply because he's stronger than his ally. Get rid of the person who is campaigning for your exit. It's so simple it's ridiculous.

But before I get even more into the ins and outs of this episode, let me say that the Villains are amazing. More specifically Rob is amazing. There was a moment early on in the episode where Rob collapses and the medical team is brought it. He may have been dehydrated or simply over worked but the prospect of Rob possibly leaving this early would have ruined this season. Rob is oddly enough the most mature member of his team. He takes on the leader role immediately and continues to take charge of his camp when most of his tribe mates have given up. Rob has thoroughly impressed me this season and I'm oddly jealous of Amber. Why you ask? Because of this Rob is any indication of father Rob, she's got herself an amazing baby-daddy.

Flash forward one immunity challenge (PS can we please have separate immunity and reward challenges? Also, how about exile island? I want it back!) and the Heroes once again lose their ridiculously grand lead due to a puzzle. Rob was clearly the reason for this win for a second week in a row.

Shortly after the challenge James begins attacking his tribe mates for not listening to J.T. Sure J.T. was picked as the leader of the tribe, but clearly he wasn't doing a good job so you cannot blame the ladies for trying to take control. James, in a clearly masochistic manner, berated Stepehenie in front of the entire tribe and spent the rest of the day campaigning for her exit. It's so apparent that James and Amanda still have a tight alliance that I cannot believe the other survivors are actually trusting them. The major problem with the Heroes team is that they aren't a team...they are playing as individuals and poor sports at that. Getting rid of James would have upped the moral in the tribe and broken off his alliance with Amanda. Moreover, for such a well-built strong man, James has never proven to be a strong competitor. So the episode continues and the vote is essentially between Stephenie and Amanda. Amanda because she's the weakest of the alliance (yet I bet she's won more challenges overall than James) and Stephenie because she supposedly tried to take charge of the challenge. What's the real reason Stephenie was targeted? She's a likable girl and a strong competitor. The vote came down to Cirie and Candace deciding whom to align with. Do they choose the Tom-Stephenie-Colby alliance or side with everyone else. This early in the game, it's tempting to go with the majority but if they had aligned with the minority a majority would have been formed. Furthermore, when this game is so preoccupied with past alliances, the best bet for Cirie would have been axing Amanda and proving her own independence. So in one of the worst strategic moves in Survivor history, Cirie stuck with her old allies and voted out Stephenie, and Candace apparently turned on her original ally Colby by voting out Stephenie as well.

For the second week, one of my favorite returning all-stars left. Even more disappointing is that for the first time I hate an entire tribe minus two. Tom and Colby are the clear underdogs now and after James' horrible actions I want nothing more than to see him leave next week. I still have faith that Cirie is a wonderfully strategic player and that she may come back and destroy James....but until that time happens I'm routing for the Villains (especially Rob) all the way.

Sorry, Did I Fall Asleep?

Hell has frozen over. Pigs are flying. The world has gone topsy-turvy.

For the first time in my life, a Joss Whedon series has fallen short of brilliance.

I've been a die-hard fan of Dollhouse since it's premiere last year. I've watched every episode and when I found some of them boring. I stuck through some mediocre acting and confusing plot structure simply because I had faith. I had faith in Whedon and his genius. Now, there were plenty of ground-breaking moments throughout the series which really hooked me (everything about Mellie's storyline, the revelation that Dr. Saunders is Whiskey, Boyd is the head honcho, etc.), and these moments really did make the show so enjoyable. It had the potential to be another home run from the Whedon camp, but it suffered some horrible viewing numbers and as a result the ending was rushed. Up until "Epitaph 2" the series remained enjoyable albeit rushed. Audiences finally got to see more screen time for Victor and Sienna, Mellie came back for a tragic ending, Amy Acker once again proved why she is the best actress on television, DeWitt made audiences hate her but lover her all over again, Summer Glau had a killer guest spot, and Caroline finally came into her own.

But then something terrible happened. Echo and the gang destroyed Rossum and saved the world...only they didn't. Turns out we flash forward and find the characters right where we left off in "Epitaph One" (not that this came as a surprise at all). So the major problem with "Epitaph Two" was how, once again, horribly rushed it felt. Never mind the fact that it took me two weeks to get through this boring episode, it still manages to confuse me. Our new characters from the first go around made a return to find sanctuary after being led by the Echo-imprinted little girl. They finally arrive only to find out they need to go back to the original Dollhouse. Why? Something about Topher discovering a way to save the world with confusing. Meanwhile, Sienna and Victor have a child but are no longer together because he has turned into some other group of "tech-heads." This was a bit of a stretch since I don't believe Victor ever would leave her. Wasn't that the whole point? These two were destined to stay together even in perpetual doll mode. Moving on. After countless gun shots and fight scenes the episode neared an end, but right around the half way point Ballard runs to help an injured Mag and is shot straight in the head. There was no time for grief. Barely even time for shock. In one of Whedon's worst deaths to date, Ballard was never given the emotional goodbye he deserved (don't even get me started on Dushku's lackluster crying performance when she yells at Sienna).

Can we have a moment of silence for Ballard please?.......thank you.

The action continues in the dollhouse with Alpha (surprise!) returning as a good guy this time. Do we need an explanation? No. Of course not. Add it to the list of random plot devices that are confusing as hell. So Topher saves the world by sacrificing himself and all the dolls/insane humans are returned to normal. We end with Echo imprinting herself with Ballard which is supposed to be a heart wrenching uplifting resolution to her loneliness. Now Ballard will always be inside her mind, the one place she never let him in. Excuse me I just vomited. How is this a happy ending? Sure, Caroline has a part of him with her always but it really isn't satisfying and it should not be enough for Ballard either.

I must say one thing about this finale. It was great to see Topher and DeWitt back to stealing the show. Season one found these two to be the most intriguing characters and season two wrapped up in much the same way. The mother-son relationship developed in the final few episodes really felt emotionally significant. After all these characters have been through and the guilt they feel, it only made sense for them to band together. Topher's self-sacrifice after his subsequent insanity really was the stand alone gem in this episode. Fran Kranz and Olivia Williams deserve the utmost credit for a job done exceedingly well.

Well Joss, you had me there for a while. I truly believe you would have had me even longer had this series been given more time. But I still love you and I'll be waiting patiently for your next television endeavor (soon please?!?!).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Exclusive Interview: Reid Rosenthal

The My TV Nominee Interview Series continues with another 2009 nominee. This time, I spoke with Best Male Reality Star Nominee Reid Rosenthal from The Bachelorette. My favourite bachelor of the season and an incredibly sweet person offscreen, Reid candidly answered all my questions about the show, the girl, the guys and how it really all went down.

What made you decide to go on The Bachelorette?

Good question. I didn’t sign up. A friend of mine from my office saw me dating a bunch of girls, not finding the right one. She signed me up on the website. And a year goes by, felt like a year and I get a call, I thought it was a joke, I hung up on them the first time. I was working on a real estate TV show at the time and told them about it everyone said I should do it, they said “everyone will love you”. And the real estate market was dead, so when’s a better time?

What would you say is the biggest difference between what we see on the show and what really happened while filming?

It’s a lot more entertaining to see the whole thing edited together. The relationships between the guys, was probably the biggest thing that got left out. I feel like if they showed all of that people would feel differently about those people. Overall, it’s pretty accurate. The show gets a bad rap for making things up, but they’re really good about showing what really happened. They just make some things into bigger deals than the really were, but it all happened.

Do you have any regrets from the show?

No, none.

You turned out to be the favourite Bachelor of almost my entire writing staff but didn’t come onto our radar until close to the end of the season, do you feel like you got your fair share of airtime or that the early episodes were more devoted to the guys who caused drama in the house rather than the real contenders for Jillian’s heart?

I kind of like that they built me up in a certain way with my, I guess you can say, “character”. Too much airtime can be a bad thing.

Your decision to come back in the finale to propose, my writers and I saw it coming from the moment Jillian let you go, was it your idea or the producers?

The minute I got kicked off I was like “what the hell just happened?”. I asked them the second I got in the limo, and a couple days later they said they had pulled some strings to get me back on. There are things the world never sees of why I wanted to come back, a complex set of reasoning was there.

How much producer involvement was there in the drama of the show: ed’s leaving and coming back, no one revealing the truth about wes, the attacks on juan, jake’s big announcement, your proposal?

Ed was a surprise to me, he’d been talking about leaving but no one thought he actually would. I didn’t think he liked her as much as it came off in the end, but maybe he was just playing us guys. My game play was either I’m going to like the girl and she likes me, or not. I’m not going to play games with the guys in the house. Ed just seemed like he had more of a strategy. When he left I though I had it made, I was going to the end. I didn’t feel at ease opening up that quickly, but I thought that when the show ended it could have worked out. It was all really just weird.

Was the Juan controversy really that big a deal in the house? And why didn’t anyone seem to stand up for him?

Dave is a confrontational guy, they just butted heads, it was a funny thing.

What are some of your favourite and least favourite moments from your time on the show?

My favourite moments were all part of the Canada trip. I was left alone on the train and I was hanging with the producers, we had to keep ourselves busy. And my date that night, there was this whole magnificent ice sculpture, it was unbelievable.

My least favourite… a lot of the guys didn’t understand the way I thought, so they would kind of gang up on me. They called me “inspeculator gadget” cause I was always trying to figure out what was going on, what we were doing, what the producers were up to. They got annoyed by me. And I think she liked me more than some of the others, she gave me more attention and they didn’t like that. And, obviously, when I got kicked off, I thought I would have one last chance to explain to her my thought process and what the other guys thought of her, I was really surprised.

Who were your favourite guys in the house? Do you keep in touch with any of them?

I still keep in touch with Mark, Tanner P, Simon, both Mikes, and Wes occasionally over Facebook or something, I hung out with Dave once since the show ended, Kiptyn, obviously, and Jesse. That’s it. That’s the weird part, we were pretty close on the show but Ed and I don’t talk anymore, I guess that makes sense.

Because you were returning in the finale, you didn’t get to participate in the Men Tell All episode, are there some things about the season that you would have liked to get off your chest and tell the audience, Chris and the other guys?

Not really. They knew me pretty well and I got portrayed accurately.

How uncomfortable was the After The Final Rose episode and seeing Jillian for the first time?

It wasn’t really that strange actually. It was a little weird at first, I was still confused about her decision. The weird part was being in front of the studio audience, some girl asked me out.

Speaking of that proposition, did you jump right back into the dating pool after the show?

I took a little bit of time after the show. I don’t like to stew on things, it just didn’t work out. So, I took a couple weeks but that was all.

Are you dating someone now?

Let’s just say I’m dating.

Do you think your time on the show changed your outlook on romance and relationships or just your outlook on reality TV?

It definitely helped my outlook on relationships because you spend so much time analyzing one relationship. You talk about it, do interviews, spend the whole time on it. Chris [Harrison] said recently that it’s kind of like therapy, and it really is. I definitely learned something and am a better person.

Do you get recognized now for the show? How has the exposure effected your everyday life?

It’s been a positive thing, I’m meeting with producers in NY, it seems like there are some TV opportunities coming to me. I have a few ideas to meet with people about.


Are you watching the new season?

I’ve seen a few episodes, it’s fine. The show’s never been for me anyway, it’s just not my kind of TV. I’m a big nerd, I watch the discovery channel, Curb your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld and Entourage, that’s about it. From what I’ve heard, though, the girls are crazy, my mom tells me they’re incredibly dramatic.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Castaways, Racers, and Hamsters from the Past...Oh My

There's no doubt in my mind that CBS is the number one station for reality television. This past week the network premiered it's twentieth season of Survivor and it's sixteenth season of The Amazing Race. Now, these numbers a bit less impressive when you consider the fact that each series airs about 2 season per year, but still impressive nonetheless. Not only did these two amazing series return, but viewers were also treated with a little dose of Big Brother to remind us of yet another reality TV success story.

When CBS announced the theme behind Survivor 20 Heroes vs. Villains there was never much of a doubt that this would be anything short of spectacular. I'm happy to say the premiere lived up to all the expectations. Jeff Probst begins by announcing that this season is the "biggest showdown yet" and for once I actually agree with him. We're quickly introduced to the top 20 contestants who were selected out of the near 300 cast members from the past 19 season (a ridiculously impressive number).

Some initial impressions of a few returning castaways:

Rupert: He may be a fan favorite but he is extremely overrated and the martyr complex needs to stop. Example: "In my world I've always tried to show that good will will"...seriously, get over yourself.

Tom: Much less attractive than he was years ago. Hopefully will still be a powerhouse in challenges.

Rob: A bit less cocky but still has some of that self-centeredness. Oddly enough, he is my clear favor tie at this point. This is a man who's here to play the game but also is such an entertainer.

Colby: He still does have it. Nice to see him immediately connect with Candace. I predict these two will go far together. Especially since they have no predetermined alliances.

Sandra: Initially I thought, who are you? And then I absolutely adored her connection with Rob. I wouldn't find if Sandra stuck around for a bit.

Cirie: Direct quote, "I'm a gansta in an Oprah suit"...need I say more?

Danielle: Is she already the new Natalie?

Parvati: Still a threat. Sill using her looks. Still probably going to make it far.

Sugar: She was one of my most anticipated returns, but she came across as whinny and annoying (poor editing? or just who she is?)

Now let's take a moment to discuss the Jerri/Coach romance. I've never liked either of these two, and while you obviously cannot have a villains team without them, I really wanted them gone immediately. But then they had this whole awkward flirtation thing and suddenly I see them both in a whole new light. The best part? They both acknowledge how horrible the situation is for their game play and thus immediately plan to keep their private conversations few and far between. I actually am looking forward to them.

Jeff promised audiences some intense challenges this season and the premiere certainly did not disappoint. The first challenge was a free-for all physical combat...some of my favorites in Survivor and it perfectly created even more hostility between the tribes right off the bat. Stephenie dislocated her shoulder, Rupert broke his toe, and Cirie was a scary linebacker. Colby getting owned by Couch was hard to watch but even worse was Tyson's comments about Colby's masculinity. The Villain tribe should be made up up people who back stab infamously and occasionally say witty, yet mean, interviews. This is not a place for lackluster assholes who demean others. Tyson congratulations, you are still my least favorite Survivor ever. Also, side note about the challenge: why did Sandra think taking off a pin-up models bra would actually prevent her from finishing the game?

After the Heroes epic win at the reward challenge and pathetic lost at the immunity challenge, the plotting began. There were at least 4 names being thrown around for elimination. First off was Sugar strictly because her tribe mates found her annoying. Second, there was Amanda who was briefly discussed as a threat but later switched out in favor of ousting Cirie. Meanwhile, Cirie lead a group of individuals to seek out Stephenie as the number one target. Anyone noticing a pattern? All the females on the tribe were the first ones suggested. Even when there was a debate between Tom or Stephenie, the latter quickly was deemed the stronger of the two. Now the feminist in me initially was furious that the tribe actually wanted a stronger team by getting rid of girls, but this wasn't the case at all. These three women (minus Sugar) are the most strategic players in the game. Amanda and Stephenie are huge physical threats and Cirie is the most threatening mental player. In the end, the rallying to get rid of them is really the highest form of flattery. But in a stupid move, the entire tried joined forces and ousted Sugar.

Now this was kind of upsetting to me, especially since these four women were my favorites to arrive back in the heroes camp; however, if one of them had to leave I'm happy with Sugar. In a strategic sense, it was a stupid move since at worse she would slide by under the radar. But therein lies the difference between the all-stars and new contestants: if there's any discrepancy on voting they are likely to leave the better players.

I could write for years about the premiere, but suffice it to say these were two of the best hours in Survivor history and if they were any indication of what's to come we are in for an amazing season.

Sunday The Amazing Race premiered. While still an enjoyable hour, it's harder to make concrete opinions about any of the teams since we barely know them. I always believed that the first episode should constantly be a non-elimination round simply because it gives the audience more time to make connections with the players, and because a lot of luck is involved in this game. The only exception would be if a team doesn't finish a task, which happened this time around. Sorry Dana and Adrian, we barely knew you but if you had at least finished this leg you would have deserved a second chance.

So here are some first opinions regarding the more noticeable teams:

Jet and Cord: Went from last to third place in what seemed to be an impossible jump forward. These incredibly likable cowboys are sure to be a fan favorite and a definite threat (just forget about that whole money situation).

Steve and Allie: Came across as fools when Steve had them painting inside some random guy's house. We all make mistakes I guess.

Jody and Shannon: Grandma scares me a bit and I'm not sure how well a 70 year old can do in this race regardless of her ability to run marathons and lift weights. I predict an early exit.

Brent and Caite: Caite flew through that first road block and any team with a strong male and female is always a threat. If they had just read the clue more carefully this team would have had a solid second place finish. Watch for them to stick around a long time.

Monique and Shawne: The self proclaimed momtrepreneurs are probably my second favorite team. There is something so genuine about their relationship and whether or not they perform well I'm hoping the positive attitude will stay in tact.

Louie and Michael: These cocky undercover agents kind of make me sick already. Never start of the race by saying you will always finish first, cause karma clearly listens and that's why you came near last place. Please leave soon.

Dana and Adrian: He was too weak. She was too indifferent. Won't miss you.

Dan and Jordan: They have the spirit to stick around for a while but I predict some annoying bickering in the future. The paint brush incident is clearly a taste of future strife.

Jordan and Jeff: Favorite team ever...but I'm biased. This Big Brother duo was full of surprises: first Jordan offered to complete the physically draining Road Block because Jeff is more afraid of heights, they remained around 2nd place the entire leg, Jeff didn't yell at her once but rather encouraged her the whole time, they were the first team to use their brains and assume the houses needing painting were probably up the huge flight of stairs, and then they finished in 1st! Kind of makes you ignore Jordan's stupidity: "We need two tickets to China"....when they were really going to Chile.

Joe and Heidi: Who now? This is what I mean by needed more than one episode to make connections with the teams.

Carol and Brandy: Ritzy lesbians. Stop talking about designer clothing and valet parking. No body cares.

Quote of the episode:
"I have the balance of a drunkenly elder person on stilts"-Jody

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Things That Need To Be Said

Rabbits are, in fact, much better than Ducks. Unless those Ducks be Mighty.
(How I Met Your Mother)

Naomi Bennett is a TERRIBLE mother.
(Private Practice)

Violet Turner is a TERRIBLE therapist.
(Private Practice)

I will never tire of Never Been Kissed.

Jake Pavelka has terrible taste in women.
(The Bachelor)

Margene Henrikson might just be the most sympathetic character in the world.
(Big Love)

John Krasinski and Luke MacFarlane were both in Kinsey? Weird.

Lee Pace and Ginnifer Goodwin are both in A Single Man. Amazing.

The Piemaker, GOB and Veronica Mars slum it in When In Rome. Danny DeVito right at home.

Derek did the right thing.
(Grey's Anatomy)

A Single Man should have been nominated for an Oscar for best picture and best director.

Thank God Matt's gone. Bring back Henry.
(Ugly Betty)

Long live Michael Urie, Marc Indelicato, Becki Newton and their fictional counterparts.
(Ugly Betty)

This week's One Tree Hill was very, VERY badly written.

Community remains one of the best half hours of my week.

Leonard Hofstadter is a selfish friend.
(Big Bang Theory)

Penny is not.
(Big Bang Theory)

Vanessa Lengies on TV again!
(Accidentally on Purpose)

Farrell, a surprise delight in Crazy Heart. Gyllenhaal and Bridges, predictable delights.

I am Ellie. Tim is Jules. Show is fantastic.

Seth Aaron for the win!
(Project Runway)

I am very, very tired of vampires and wish they would just go away.

I am very pro Ella, very anti Riley and hoping Lauren gets killed off.
(Melrose Place)

Allison Janney and Matthew Perry to co-star in an upcoming ABC show. WIN.


Alternate realities? WTF?!?!? Darlton I love/hate you.

In Defense of 'Accidentally on Purpose'

For some reason, everyone seems to agree: the CBS sitcom Accidentally on Purpose is not funny. The cable-loving, "high art consumers" that dictate to us what counts as "good" have all banded together to label the Jenna Elfman charmer as "pedestrian" and "broad". And sure, me and my inner snob are completely willing to admit that the series has its flaws. But I honestly believe that it's about time the critics backed off and took another look at Accidentally on Purpose.

Maybe don't invest in Ashley Jensen, whom every critic worth their salt knows has been slumming it since she crossed over into the American market. Instead, focus on Jon Foster and his unparalleled charm. Look to Lennon Parham and her amazing comic timing as Billy's quirky sister. Think about the Nicolas Wright's gutsy performance, laugh out loud lines like "our black guy wasn't named Ryan" and "Yeah, you tell me every year on Jewish Forgive-Me Day", the oddball games the guys invent to amuse their 22-year-old brains, the awkward sweetness of Billie and Zack's relationship, memorable moments like Pooch Hall faking a prosthetic arm in order to crash a high school reunion.

Ok, maybe I'm not making the most convincing of arguments that's going to sway the opinions of the "high art consumers" who made their minds up long ago. But it's decently difficult to make me laugh with anything that deserves to be called "pedestrian", for crying out loud, I'm the girl who decided that Act V of Midsummer Night's Dream was too "broad". But I like Accidentally on Purpose. I like it a lot in fact. I certainly laughed harder at this most recent episode than I've laughed at The Office in quite some time. I enjoyed it far more than most 30 Rock this season and, as sad as this makes me to report, sometimes I've even preferred it to How I Met Your Mother (though, let it be known, this week's HIMYM was fantastic in my opinion).

Accidentally on Purpose may not be ground breaking or important or even all that clever sometimes, but it's sweet. It's charming and endearing, reassuring and old-school and, sometimes, it can be REALLY funny. And it's about time some of the high-minders stepped down off their pedestals and laughed alongside the rest of us.

Monday, February 08, 2010


In the first interview of our 2009 "My TV Nominee Series", I had the amazing opportunity to speak one on one with one of My TV's favourite actresses. The lovely and talented Ms. Amy Acker (of Angel and Alias fame) was gracious enough to take a few minutes of her time to talk about her My TV nomination (best female guest star, Dollhouse), her favourite roles, reading Shakespeare, working with Whedon and how badly she wants to join the cast of Big Love.

My questions are in blue and Amy's answers in italics.

You’ve played geniuses, goddesses, a doll and even a man, what presented the greatest acting challenge? Do any of them stick out as the most fun?

[laughs] I’m too embarrassed to watch the episode where I played a man.

That’s the great thing about working with Joss [Whedon] and on 'Alias'. I’m just so lucky, I get to do so many things, you never know what you’re going to play. The man was out of my comfort zone, and Whiskey being so sexy, that is not me at all, that was probably the one that I was most scared of.

Do you have a favourite role, series or episode you’ve worked on?

Maybe Fred. Maybe because it was my first real job and getting to do the show for so long. And just the way she started out and changed and became Illyria at the end, I would say Fred.

What would you say is the one thing you think fans would be surprised to learn about working with Joss Whedon?

Hmmm… I feel like he’s very much how he writes, funny and smart and everything you’d want him to be. He’s one of my best friends in the world, I’m just glad to have the opportunity to get to work with him. He never tries to be anything other than who he is. He’s such a nice and caring director who always wants to push everybody out of their comfort zone, so its always exciting. There’s always something you feel you can’t do and Joss has this ability to bring it out of you.

One of my favourite stories from the TV industry is the idea for Illyria coming from a Shakespeare reading at Joss’ house. I’m a Shakespeare nut myself, are these readings a regular occurrence? Who is the usual crowd who participates? And What are some of your favourite roles to read?

Joss’ wife built the most amazing house in the world, they have this amphitheatre in the backyard. The readings used to be a lot more common during Angel, like once a month. (The 'Angel' group was really into it, Alexis [Denisof], J [August Richards] and all those guys really loved doing it). We did one that I was a part of during 'Dollhouse', we did 'Hamlet'. Olivia [Williams] was amazing; it’s always so fun to see these people you associate with their characters doing the Shakespeare reading. A while ago, one of the first ones was 'Midsummer [Night’s Dream]', I was Helena, which I’ve always wanted to play. I’m not going to say there isn’t champagne and wine, its like a casual party, there just happens to be Shakespeare.

Do you have any plans to do theatre now that you’re in New York? Maybe finally get to play


I haven’t been here long enough, but I have the spring off so I’m hoping to do some theatre. I haven’t done it since college. My husband’s in 'Rock of Ages' on Broadway right now, it’s his dream job.

Do you watch a lot of TV? What are some of your favourite series?

My favourite show right now is 'Big Love', I’d love to be on that show. I would go to Utah, I don’t care, I love that show.

Dollhouse is a confusing show even for a viewing audience. Bouncing from scene to scene and only seeing part of the picture can you, the actors, make sense of the series as you’re going along? Do you watch the show when it airs?

Yeah, kind of, I would say. It sometimes felt like if we started to figure it out too much we’d just have more questions. I think we understood what we were trying to do with our characters. I found that I really had to watch it because I wasn’t in all the episodes so if I didn’t watch I’d be really lost. But the writers do a really good job of answering any questions we have.

*SPOILER ALERT* Did you have any idea your character was a doll? Was that all in Joss’ master plan or was it like Illyria, a sudden series-changing idea?

He actually had said that if it works out he wanted to make that happen. I knew from the beginning that that was his ideal plan.

You’ve got a new series for ABC [Happy Town] coming down the pike, how’s that shaping up and how does it compare to what you’ve done before?

I think its gonna be really exciting. It has a lot of the same qualities as 'Dollhouse' and 'Alias'; a lot of interesting characters. Everybody changes a lot throughout the story. It’s set in a small town. I think its gonna be really good. Everybody keeps saying “There’s really nothing like this”, those are the fun shows to be on. It’s a real mystery, you don’t really know if there’s going to become a magical element or what. [Happy Town, which shoots in Ontario, premieres on ABC in April].

Have you and Joss ever considered teaming up to do a show with you at the center?

Anything Joss is doing I’m excited to try to work on and make him want to cast me in. He has so many ideas and things he’s always working on. But that would be so great.

and now for the goofy questions...

Who do you choose to help you fight off the zombies in the apocalypse, Buffy or Echo?

I’ll go with Echo because I know her better

Who’s smarter, Fred or Topher?

I think Fred could easily take Topher.

Who would you rather meet in a dark alley, Alpha or the Wolfram & Hart senior partners?

I think I’d go with the Wolfram & Hart guys.

If you could co-star with anyone in the world who would it be?

Ginnifer Goodwin, so I could be on 'Big Love'.

How about someone you’ve already worked with? Anyone you’d love to work with again?

I would say Alexis [Denisof]. He’s such a great actor to work with, I miss doing scenes with him.

If you could be imprinted, doll-style with anyone at all, who would you choose and why?

I don’t know! [frets for a good long while over this one].

Settle one of my favourite TV love triangles of all time: Wes or Gunn?

Ohhh, Wes. It was ultimately supposed to be Wes.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I don’t think so. Thanks for talking to me and thanks so much for the nomination!

Thanks a lot Amy! My TV Award Winners will be announced in March.

Oh, and because I jokingly promised her I'd add this:

Dear Big Love Showrunners,


The My TV Team

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Top 20 Lost Deaths

LOST 's Most Painful Deaths

20/ Nikki and Paulo- They may have been throw away characters who added just about nothing to the show, but this pair had one stand out episode. While the episode itself was nothing too exciting, the final few minutes still resonate. When Nikki and Paulo let their greed become the best of them, they turned on one another and used some sort of weird bug poison causing them to become paralyzed. When the losties found the two, they presumed death and buried Nikki and Paulo alive. Of all the people on the following list, only Nikki and Paula impacted the audience solely because of their deaths.

19/ Mr. Eko- He may have attempted to build a church, he may have had a seemingly important prayer stick, and he may have been one of the final surviving tailies, but once Eko died I felt nothing but satisfaction. Throughout his flashbacks it became apparent that Eko is in every way a terrible man with a severe need for repentance. His time on the island became a time to atone for his sins, which is why his death at the hands of the smoke monster was fitting. Eko became the epitome of faith on the island and thus he greeted death in a fulfilling manner. There may have been some fear, but Eko looked into the eye of the smoke monster and never once ran.

18/ Artz- When this teacher was introduced, you knew that he probably wouldn’t last very long. Artz stepped up after being annoyed by the constant dominion of Jack and his crew. He joined the group on their quest for dynamite at the black rock and was the only one who knew how to correctly handle it. Ironically, he was the only one to die because of it. When the unstable dynamite went off, little pieces of Artz landed on some of our favorite losties and that’s one image which is hard to forget.

17/ Naomi- As one of the more annoying characters introduced in later seasons, Naomi’s death wasn’t all that sad but it was the person who killed her that really rocked the boat. Naomi landed on the island after her helicopter crashed down, and she quickly pretended to be the rescue crew when in reality she was there to harm Ben. After helping the losties signal to her friends on the freighter, she was literally stabbed in the back by none other than John Locke. While the stabbing didn’t immediately kill her, Locke’s desire to stay on the island once again outranked his morality.

16/ Colleen- This bitchy Other is probably one of the least likable characters on the list, but what makes her death so great was, once again, the person who killed her. Colleen was part of the crew sent to check on Jin, Sun, and Sayid who were sent out to rescue the kidnapped losties. Colleen entered their boat and easily found Sun hiding out. When Colleen attempted to reason with her, Sun pulled out a gun. After a short interchange in which Colleen told Sun she was simply too nice to pull the trigger, Sun proved her wrong and killed Colleen proving that she would do anything for the safety of her husband.

15/ Goodwin- The bulk of Goodwin’s story wasn’t told until after his death, seasons later when it was revealed he had a love affair with Juliet. But before that ever happened, Goodwin was the nice tailie who attempted to help Ana Lucia find the traitor in their midst. In typical Lost fashion, it turned out that Goodwin was the actual traitor. Luckily, Ana Lucia was quick to pick up on his lies and after a small battle between the two, he was impaled by a pointy stick. Dramatic and amazing.

14/ Karl- Oh Karl, we barely knew you. As the adorable young love of Alex, Karl was tortured by the Others and sent back toward the island with Kate and Sawyer. Things, of course, never go as planned and after months being apart, Karl was finally reunited with Alex and her mother, only to be shot by the evil freighter people.

13/ Danny- As the least likable character on this list, there were certainly no tears shed for Danny’s death. Sure he was distraught over the death of his wife, but that doesn’t excuse his torture of Sawyer. When Skate finally broke free from the cages, it seemed as though they were set to return to their camp until Danny appeared. The notorious Other got what he deserved when in a shocking turn of events, Juliet shot him to death and subsequently earned Jack’s trust.

12/ Tom- The beloved Tom was always a fun Other to watch. He also was one of the only original Others around, so it wasn’t easy letting go. When Tom and his folk bombarded Bernard, Jin, and Sawyer most of them didn’t make it out alive. But the only significant death was Tom at the hands of Sawyer.

11/ Sawyer aka. Mr. Locke- Nothing was more epic than the realization that Mr. Sawyer was Locke’s daddy. And after years of emotional turmoil, nothing was more satisfying than seeing Sawyer finally deliver the letter to the man who killed his parents…and end his life.

10/ Daniel Farraday- Arguably, the only likeable helicopter-crasher, Farraday’s time traveling ways brought a whole lot of intrigue to the island. When he showed up in the 70s Dharma Initiative he quickly found his own mother. Before he had time to warn her, Ms. Farraday took matters into her own hand as she killed her only son. Even more heartbreaking was her realization immediately after.

9/ Jacob- After seasons of intrigue, and assumptions that he was possibly a made-up being, Jacob finally appears at the end of season five. When the Man in Black also makes his appearance in the body of Locke, he convinces Ben to do his dirty work and kill Jacob. A dramatic scene if there ever was one, but it’s safe to say this is probably not the last we’ll see of Jacob.

8/ Ana Lucia- After only being around for half a season or so, Ana Lucia’s tragic death was one of the biggest surprises in Lost history. Even more shocking was the fact that Michael pulled the trigger.

7/ Libby- As if Ana Lucia’s death was not enough, seconds later Libby arrives and is presumably killed by a panicked Michael. Libby hung on a bit longer as the audience got to see her pain and slow death. She tried to warn them about Michael but her last words accomplished nothing.

6/ Rousseau- The writers on this show can be far too cruel sometimes. It’s one thing to kill off the relative newcomer Karl, but it’s another thing to kill of Rousseau in the same scene without any build-up. As a character whose been with the show since season one, the most tragic aspect of Rousseau’s death was the little screen time it was given. Rousseau you are missed.

5/ Boone- This strapping young man was one of the first characters audiences fell in love with. Because of that, the wonderful writers of Lost saw an opportunity to make a strong statement: no one is safe. After blindly following Locke, Boone enters the yellow plane and is severely injured when it falls to the ground. Jack, with the help of Sun, fought hard to save Boone, even by giving his own blood, but all was for naught as the first major castaway was killed.

4/ Shannon- Lost has a tendency to kill characters once they’ve come full circle. Shannon was never really understood until she was killed. Throughout the episode, her flashbacks shed light on her negative attitude and pessimistic outlook. For someone who had such a shitty life, it was nice to see Shannon finally happy on the island in the arms of Sayid. Her love was cut short when Ana Lucia mistook her for an Other and shot Shannon.

3/ Alex- In one of the hardest death scenes to watch, Alex was killed not by her father but because of her father. The Alex/Ben relationship was one that never fully became developed until the later seasons, but it was apparent that Ben cared for her. When the big bad freighter men of season four attempt to kill Ben, they take Alex as a hostage. In a stupid ploy to save her, Ben lies and claims no allegiance to his daughter. But, for once, Ben is outsmarted and his assailant isn’t fooling around. In a quick moment, Alex is shot and Michael Emerson once again proves he deserves those Emmys with a complete and udder look of horror and disbelief.

2/ Charlie- We knew it was coming. But then again, the thing about Charlie’s death that made it so amazing was twofold. First, he did it for Claire. Charlie knew that jamming the signal would bring a ship to the island and result in Claire’s eventual rescue. In a complete selfless act he sacrifices himself for his love’s safety. Which brings us to the second reason his death was so powerful: he was wrong. Right before Charlie drowns, he reaches communication with Penny and discovers that the rescue boat is not hers. In a last minute attempt to warn Desmond, Charlie’s parting words are, appropriately, scribbled on his hands: “not Penny’s boat.” We only hope that Charlie’s death will gain meaning after this final season and that Claire will, in fact, be rescued.

1/ Juliet- Say what you will about Juliet, but she brought a whole new life to the series. And say what you will about the relationship between Juliet and Sawyer, but it became quickly clear that she loved him. As a character who struggled with acceptance, Juliet never became part of the group fully until she was transported to the 1970s Dharma Initiative. Here she fell for Sawyer and was quickly reunited with half of the Ocean 6. When Jack attempts to set off the nuclear bomb and alter the future, a faulty explosive device thwarts his plans. The magnetic force of the island begins to pull objects into the ground and Juliet is entwined in the mix. Both Kate and Sawyer begin to help her, two individuals who she realizes will always love one another, and Juliet gives up: “it’s okay. I love you James. I love you so much.” Juliet is presumed dead, until the last minutes of the finale when she uses her final strength to slam the bomb to the ground and it detonates.