May 30, 2009

final days of daisies


ABC will be showing the final three episodes of Pushing Daisies on Saturday nights at 10pm ET starting TONIGHT. Don't miss these final chances to shake your fist at the network television gods for cancelling this lovely show.

If you need a refresher, season 2 episodes are still up on If you don't have time for that, here are the basics (spoiler warning if you haven't watched this season yet):
  • Ned brought Chuck's dad back to life to find out the truth about shady Dwight Dixon, and Chuck sneakily kept him alive. Can't blame the girl. But then dad skipped town with a mummy-wrapped face and Ned's car.
  • Consequently, Dwight Dixon died from the proximity curse associated with Ned's powers, as he was spying on them in the graveyard. Chuck and Emerson promptly bury him in Chuck's dad's grave.
  • Ned and Olive's lives are saved by a mysterious hand as they were hanging off a cliff (just after Ned told Olive he had feelings for her in the past). Everyone thinks Chuck's dad saved the day.
  • Ned's dad is George Hamilton. And he actually saved Ned and Olive's lives. But no one (except us) knows either of these things.
  • Ned has decided to stop using his powers because bad stuff keeps happening.
  • Vivian was head over heels for Dwight Dixon. Poor dear. He's dead as a door nail. But someone moved him from Chuck's dad's grave to a motel room where he was pronounced dead of natural causes. My money is on Ned's dad.
Phew. That was exhausting.

In tonight's episode - "Window Dressed to Kill" - Emerson enlists Chuck's help to investigate the murder of a window dresser when Ned declares he's no longer using his "gift" to solve crimes.

May 27, 2009

upfront thoughts: fox

Oh Fox. We have a love/hate relationship. Sometimes your reality show attempts make me crazy. Like this ridiculousness. But I have to hand it to you, the stuff usually sells. And I do love my Idol. This summer, I'm also hoping to get into So You Think You Can Dance, which will also be a featured on the fall lineup for the first time this year.

So far, I've heard wondrous things about the new show Glee - a sneak preview of which aired after Idol earlier this month, but the show won't run until the fall. I'll try to catch it online and write a preliminary review in the next few weeks. I am expecting a love affair.

I've never gotten into the longstanding animated comedies - the legend that is The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. But I don't live in a hole, so I know how popular they are.

On the drama end of the spectrum, I was a late bloomer on House and Bones - only started in on these two seasons ago, but caught up on DVD and now I'm a diehard fan of both. I also ended up loving Fringe this year, so glad it will be back. Watch online if you can.

I've dabbled in 24 and Prison Break - both great shows that I intend to watch in full, but just got pushed to the back burner. I've heard mixed things about Dollhouse and Lie to Me - two mideason newbies picked up for next year - so I'll try to check them out this summer.

Overall, glad to see my favorites staying and the network branching out a little with Glee, but nothing too groundbreaking coming up for the fall.

What's Staying
24 (midseason)
Lie To Me
So You Think You Can Dance
Bones (renewed for two seasons!)
Fringe (moved to Thursday after Bones)
'Til Death (seriously?)
American Idol
American Dad
Family Guy
Hell's Kitchen
Kitchen Nightmares
The Simpsons

What's Going
Do Not Disturb
Hole in the Wall
Osbournes: Reloaded
Prison Break
Secret Millionaire
Sit Down, Shut Up
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

What's New
Glee: An hour-long comedy following an optimistic high school teacher who attempts to restore McKinley High's fading glee club to its former glory, while helping a group of underdogs realize their full potential. Ads for the series have been hilarious. Check out the pilot on hulu. Notables include: Jane Lynch (from 40 Year Old Virgin, Role Models and many other hilarious films) and a bunch of young theatre imports. Expect great guest stars this fall, including Kristin Chenowith and Victor Garber.

Brothers: Half-hour comedy about a former NFL hot shot who winds up back home in Houston living with his mother. Notables include Michael Staham from Fox's NFL Sunday and Daryl "Chill" Mitchell (Ed and Veronica's Closet) - who will play the NFL star and his brother.
The Cleveland Show: Family Guy spinoff featuring neighbor Cleveland Brown, who moves with his son back to his hometown in Virginia and settles down with his high school sweetheart and her unruly kids.

Human Target (midseason): This drama is based on a DC Comics graphic novel and comic book about a private contractor/security guard hired to protect clients by integrating himself into their lives to become the human target. Notables include: star Mark Valley (Fringe, Days of Our Lives), the great Chi McBride (Boston Public, Pushing Daisies), and Jackie Earle Haley who played creapy, annoying Rorschach in Watchmen.

Past Life (midseason): Inspired by a novel called "The Reincarnationist" by M.J. Rose - a drama about an unlikely pair of past-life detectives who investigate whether what is happening to you today is the result of who you were before. The "team" is played by Kelli Giddish and Nicholas Bishop, who are familiar, but not immediately recognizable. BUT the man Richard Schiff (Toby! Toby! Toby!) will play the team's mentor who is a legend in the field of cognitive research. I may just check this one out.

Sons of Tucson (midseason): Half hour comedy about three brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when the real one goes to prison. Dad-for-hire is Ron Snuffkin, who was in Reaper but I recognize him from Breaker High - yup, I said it.

The Wanda Sykes Show: Looks like this is the working title for a new one-hour comedy talk show hosted by Wanda Sykes (I'm a genius). The description is a "biting commentary on topical issues and heated panel discussions with recurring personalities". Chelsea Handler meets Bill Maher?

A couple summer premieres worth (or not worth) mentioning:

More to Love: Another lovely from the Fox reality factory. A dating competition series follows a single, average guy with a "big waist and even bigger heart" as he romances several "confident and secure plus-size women". I'll stop there. The term "husky hunk" is used.

Mental: This drama premiered last night, but I forgot to watch. Dr. Jack Gallagher is an unorthodox psychiatrist named the director of Mental Health Services as an LA hospital. Seems like House for mental health. Stars Chris Vance (Prison Break) and Annabella Sciorra (The Sopranos).

May 26, 2009

upfront thoughts: cbs

I don't watch a ton of CBS programming. I've never gotten into the CSI conglomerate or the ever popular NCIS, but I'm a huge fan of Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. Old Christine is pretty good too, though I don't watch regularly. Not so much for the other reigning comedy, Two and Half Men. I just don't see the appeal. Sorry Ducky.

I digress. Historically, CBS has skewed to an older audience and takes fewer chances with plots. Basically, they stick with what works for their audience. This upfront season, CBS has very few programs in their cancellation list and a few intriguing new show announcements.

What's Staying
How I Met Your Mother
Two and a Half Men
The Big Bang Theory
CSI Miami
New Adventures of Old Christine
Gary Unmarried
Criminal Minds
The Mentalist
The Ghost Whisperer
The Amazing Race
Cold Case
Rules of Engagement (midseason)
Big Brother
Flashpoint (midseason)

What's Going
Eleventh Hour
The Ex List
The Unit
Without a Trace
Worst Week

What's New

Medium: CBS snatched this up after an NBC cancellation. They're pairing it with Ghost Whisperer on a historically successful Friday night CBS lineup.

Accidentally on Purpose: This new comedy has the best seat in the house on CBS Monday comedy night between HIMYM and Two and Half Men, followed by Big Bang Theory. Can keep up with the pack? A single woman finds herself accidentally pregnant after a one-night stand with a younger guy, and decides to keep the baby and live with the guy platonically. Notables includes Jenna Elfman (I have a love/hate relationship with her), Ashley Jensen (played the lovely Christina on Ugly Betty) and the young guy is played by Jon Foster, who's familiar from a few things.

The Bridge (midseason): Police drama about a cop who is elected as the police union leader where he takes on corruption in the ranks as well as Joe Criminal on the street. The one name I recognize is the star - Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica).

The Good Wife: Julianna Margulies' new drama about a wife and mother who assumes full-time responsibility for her family and re-enters the workforce after her husband's very public sex and political scandal lands him in jail. Tough break. This is actually quite a leap for CBS. I think I will check it out. Other notables: Chris Noth (Mr. Big will play her husband), Josh Charles (an old favorite from Sports Night and Dead Poet Society), the lovely Christine Baranski, and Matt Czuchry, who Gilmore Girls fans may recognize as Logan Huntzberger.

Three Rivers: The network's first attempt at a medical drama in a while. This one focuses on organ donors, the recipients and the surgeons in a top transplant hospital - city is unclear at this point. Notables include: Alex O'Loughlin (The Shield and August Rush), Katherine Moennig (The L Word), and Julia Ormond - a bit of a surprise to see her doing television, but I've always liked her.

Miami Trauma (midseason): Yet another medical drama - this one a Jerry Bruckheimer production about a team of trauma surgeons focusing on the "golden hour" or 60 minutes after being critically injured when a patient's life hangs in the balance. Notables include Jeremy Northam - a classic British actor who was most recently in The Tudors - I loved him in Emma, and Omar Gooding (Cuba's brother from Barbershop and Hangin' With Mr. Cooper).

NCIS: Los Angeles: Another CBS spinoff with a creative name. NCIS is hugely popular - I've seen an episode or two but never really got into it. The spinoff will focus on the Office of Special Projects division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous elusive criminals that pose a threat to the nation's security. Notables include: Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J.

And two new reality series from the network that historically leads in this category (i.e. Survivor and Amazing Race):

Undercover Boss (midseason): High level corporate executives slip anonymously into low level jobs within their companies, where they get their hands dirty, find out what employees really think of them and how the company really runs. Of all the "financial crisis" themed reality shows on the docket for the fall, this looks the most interesting.

Arranged Marriage (midseason): Three adults who are anxious to get married rely on their closest family and friends to choose someone for them to marry based on shared goals, values, etc. The series documents these three arranged marriages. This could be a train wreck, but I'm sort of fascinated with the premise.

May 23, 2009

guest roundtable: changes on the hills

You may have heard there are big changes afoot on The Hills. LC is taking her leave to be replaced by none other than Kristin Cavallari, her Laguna Beach rival. I was a big Laguna fan, but have to admit never getting into The Hills, so this development hasn't exactly rocked my universe.

However, two guy friends saw this as an opportunity to examine the ramifications for the future of The Hills and Kristin herself. So, I'll let them do the talking.

Guest roundable: Egan and Rob

EGAN: I'm assuming you heard the news about K Cavs' replacing LC on The Hills. My mind is racing with the possibilities: more awkward stepfather Dennis moments, more car breakdowns when she fails to put gas in the car, a triumphant return to Cabo, and--dare I mention it--the return of Stephen? This could turn out to be the best decision Liz Gately ever made.

Let's face it, The Hills is/was starting to get a little stale: There's not even a pretense of friendship among the characters; the show has lost all the spontaneity that came with being a fake reality show; and LC is just plain boring. Yeah, I said it. She spends at least 60% of her time on the couch drinking wine and rolling her eyes. Not to mention working, which is *not* why I tuned in to watch the sequel to Laguna Beach. And let's not forget that the LC-Kristin switch is exactly what they did between season 1 and season 2 of 'Guna, and that resulted in the greatest season vs. season debate of all time.

My thoughts are jumbled. I need to sleep on this, dreaming of Kelly Clarkson montages to come. Welcome back Kristin: Our lives sucked without you.

ROB: Kristin Rulz. On the surface, it sounds like some "out of the box" thinking by the MTV brass. In reality, I think it's a smart, conservative move. Too many MTV shows have been plagued by overproducing good looking people who have the personalities of piles of dirt. If you don't believe me, look no further than The City. That show is unwatchable, this from a person who has the DVD box set of There and Back: Ashley Parker Angel.

Kristin is a proven commodity in the reality TV world - a saucy girl who has a natural gift for drama. SHE DATED MATT LEINART WHEN HE WAS A NOBODY!!! More importantly, this could be the greatest story of redemption since Valerie Bertinelli's return to her bikini weight.

Kristin's had some major flops recently, most notably her unwatchable UPN reality show Get This Party Started. I think it was cancelled after two episodes. To put this in context, more episodes of the XFL ran on the UPN than Get This Party Started.

The obvious snub in all of this is Audrina Patridge. Would've liked to be a fly on the wall when she broke the news to Justin Bobby. I'd imagine his response was probably to laugh in her face and then leave to bone some girls.

EGAN: Agreed on all accounts. I was trying to think about the sports equivalent of this. The best hypothetical I could come up with would be if Kobe left the Lakers and then they brought back Shaq. In both cases its a calculated move to bring back someone with proven entertainment potential rather than try a new direction. And in both cases the protagonists wear thongs. Elephant stripe.

Did you read K Cavs quotes about coming on the show? She reminds us multiple times that it's "just a TV show" and even speculates about what setups the MTV producers might be planning for her character. On one hand, I'm thankful she blew the lid on The Hills "reality" status. On the other hand, I think she's being modest about her undisputed talent for making well-produced TV programming seem real. I'll go to my grave believing Laguna was at least 80% real, and Kristin's believable stupidity was a major part of that. The girl is magic infront of (well-placed, hidden) cameras and (high-powered, ultra-receptive distance) microphones.

Need proof? The "handoff" of the Hills supposedly occurs at Heidi's wedding to Spencer. KRISTIN CATCHES THE BOUQUET!!!! Explain that.

ROB: I'll counter Kobe-Shaq with this: Ken Griffey Jr. "Mr. Reliable" (reliable for chronic hamstring injuries) comes back to Seattle to finish his career. The Mariner's front office can't expect great things out of him, but if nothing else he's guaranteed to fill seats and sell some jerseys (both current and retro).

But I digress, because this is a TV blog about The Hills. Based on my experience, we're talking 85/15 female-male. It'll be an interesting season finale, that's for sure. Are viewers expected to believe that Kristin would actually be invited to Speidi's wedding? I mean, unless somehow the redheaded kid with the mohawk from Laguna Beach that invited KC to the prom somehow remained friends with Heidi (or maybe his parents are friends of the family's) AND he was still in contact with Kristin AND he had the courage to ask her to a formal event again, it's unbelievable to think that she should be at that wedding.

Has MTV taken this "reality" show to unreal lengths? Will viewers finally tune out? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on any potential Laguna Beach characters returning to The Hills, ala Lo Bosworth. Something tells me Trey, what with his liberal arts degree from Bard College in the depths of a global recession, might just have some extra time on his hands.

EGAN: You read my mind. I think if Kristin has anything to say about it, LC's friends in LaLa land are in for a rude awakening. Sure they'll keep Brody Jenner around for 2 episodes so Kristin can perform her seduce/hook up/dump ritual a la Species. From a literary standpoint, this will serve as the passing of the venerial torch from LC to Kristin. After that, I bet Liz Gately green-lights a full housecleaning.

Lo was always a personal favorite and the perfect foil to LC, but let's face it: there's no need for such plot nuances in K-Cav's Hills. Bosworth doesn't stand a chance. I think the producers will keep Audrina around based on her fan appeal (she posed nude), but by the end of the season she'll have been edged out and they'll be running a separate story-line about her on-again/off-again relationship with Shannon Leto. Other than that, anything's fair game. Which is exactly what's getting me through the day.

In no particular order, here are my top 5 Laguna Alums that I expect/want to make appearances on The Hills now that Kristin's running the show:
  1. Stephen - one of the greatest reality show leads of our time
  2. Alex H. (NOT Alex M.)
  3. Polster - famously yelled "this is the biggest thing since Women's liberation!!!" at one of Trey's ambiguous cause fundraiser concerts. This guy has major untapped reality show potential
  4. Talan Torriero- if his budding music career permits
  5. The Mormon girl from first season who applies to only one college (BYU) and is crushed when she finds out, on national TV, that she didn't get in. The world's been waiting for an update on that one. Et tu?
ROB: If I could:
  1. Stephen - Agreed. My judgement on his true character might be clouded by his performance in Laguna, but the guy's a class act. And by that, I mean that he will toy with any girl's emotions for the sake of the TV show.
  2. The Mormon Sisters - Always thought this family would make an interesting reality show.
  3. Talan Torriero - The only reason I'm not putting him higher on this list is because he's already made a bit of a name for himself on the pages of gossip rags. I'm afraid of what his presence on the show could bring, notably, Nicole Sherzinger. Once we get a member of the Pussycat Dolls as a recurring character, it completely changes the dynamics of the show. On a side note, I'm pretty sure they broke up three years ago.
  4. The New Girl - Remember the new girl in season three who lived in that ridiculously nice house? There was something a little off about her. During the graduation ceremony they briefly showed her parents. Her mom was pushing 40 (with a lot of work done) and her dad was a ghostly 95 years young. At the time I did some research into them and it was an odd story, yet one that I don't remember. Point is, I'd like some follow up.
  5. Alex H. - I always thought she was one of the hotter girls on Laguna Beach, although is probably about 7 inches taller than me in real life.
And now we wait.

May 22, 2009

upfront thoughts: abc

It's been sad to see a lot of quality programming sink on ABC this year. I've commended the network in the past for taking chances on noncop/nonmedical shows. Unfortunately, the effort hasn't reaped many rewards. I can't shed another tear for Daisies or Eli Stone, but I will say I'm a little sad about Samantha Who, which was a cute show and The Unusuals, which had some potential. ABC has the largest contingent of news shows premiering in 2009/2010. Here's hoping for some victories this time around.

No huge surprises here, except the unfortunate news that Ugly Betty will be relegated to the dreaded Friday timeslot. It's a shame because Betty had found a good home on Thursday night preceding Grey's. Seems like ABC is going for the Friday audience that CBS's Ghost Whisperer brings in - sorry, not the same audience. At all. A small surprise was the renewal of Scrubs. Most major characters have left at this point, and I'm hearing they're essentially creating Scrubs 2.0 with new characters. Does it really do that well in the ratings?

What's Staying
America's Funniest Home Videos (phew)
The Bachelor
Better Of Ted (midseason)
Brothers & Sisters
Dancing with the Stars
Desperate Housewives
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Grey's Anatomy
Lost (midseason)
Private Practice
Scrubs (midseason)
True Beauty
Ugly Betty
Wife Swap

What's Going
According to Jim (finally)
Samantha Who?
The Unusuals
In the Motherhood
Dirty Sexy Money
Eli Stone
Pushing Daisies
Surviving Suburbia

What's New
The following 4 new half-hour comedies represent ABC's first attempt at a comedy night (Wednesdays). Probably their biggest risk in the lineup, but smart not to compete with CBS Monday or NBC Thursday:

Hank: Kelsey Grammer is giving it the old college try once again with this comedy about a titan of industry who suddenly finds himself unemployed and nearly broke with a family who barely knows him - sounds hilarious. Other notables: Melinda McGraw who recently played Bobbie Barrett in Mad Men, and David Koechner - hilarious in films like Anchorman and Talladega Nights.

The Middle: The Hecks are a middle class family living in the middle of Indiana trying to keep their heads above water. Notables: Patricia Heaton of Everybody Loves Raymond (might be time to try a different role) and Neil Flynn (Janitor from Scrubs).

Modern Family: Shot from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker (copy cats) taking a modern look at American families coming in all shapes and sizes. This will either be really bad or really goof. Notables: Ed O'Neill (Al Bundy), Julie Bowen (Ed), and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who I actually really like but keeps being cast in failing comedies (The Class, Do Not Disturb).

Cougar Town: I know it's part of the vernacular now, but why can't I get behind the term cougar? This is the new Courtney Cox comedy about a recently divorced single mom. I really want this to work for Courtney like it has for Julia Dreyfus, but I'm skeptical. Other notables: Christa Miller (Scrubs, Drew Carey), Busy Phillips who I love (Freaks & Geeks, Dawson's Creek), and Ian Gomez (the fabulous Javier in Felicity).

Eastwick: Based "The Witches of Eastwick" novel by John Updike. Three women in a small New England town find themselves drawn together by a mysterious man who grants unique powers to each of them. I'm a little skeptical, but the cast is promising. Three witches: Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price (Janet from 90210), Jamie Ray Newman (Veronica Mars, also Kristina Cassidine in General Hospital for soap fans) - also Sara Rue, who I love, and Matt Dallas from Kyle XY.

Flash Forward: A mysterious event causes the world to black out giving everyone a glimpse of their near future. I'm left wondering how this works as a series premise, but the EP was responsible for "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" so that's promising. Notables: Joseph Fiennes, John Cho (of Harold and Kumar fame), and Sonya Walger who is none other than Penny (Lost)!

The Forgotten: A Jerry Bruckheimer creation about a team of amateur crime investigators working on cases involving unidentified victims after the police have given up. Sounds a little stale to me - Cold Case? Notables: Reiko Aylesworth (Amy from Lost) and Bob Stephenson (Jericho).

Happy Town (midseason): This one may have my strongest curiosity. ABC is billing this "from the network that brought you Twin Peaks". Bold statement from the network that cancelled this show after 2 seasons nearly 20 years ago. Haplin, Minnesota is approaching a decade of peace after being riddled for years by unsolved kidnappings. The first crime in years reveals some dark truths about familiar faces. Notables: Geoff Stults (of October Road, 7th Heaven, and just plain handsomeness), Dean Winters (Rescue Me and Oz), Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under), and a bunch of other familiar faces.

The Deep End (midseason): Legal drama about new recruits at a prestigious LA law firm. Sounds a little like Grey's for lawyers. Notables: Billy Zane, Matt Long (played Jack in Jack & Bobby), and Tina Majorino, who I love (played Deb in Napoleon Dynamite among many other things).

V (midseason): Based on a 1980s miniseries of the same name about the world's fist encounter with an alien race calling themselves The Visitors. Notables: Elizabeth Mitchell (the doomed Juliet of Lost), Morris Chesnut, and Scott Wolf.

...and of course a reality attempt (but just one!)

Shark Tank: Gives budding entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to convince five tough multi-millionaires to invest in their ideas.

Sadly missing among the new lineup are Lauren Graham's dark comedy pilot, which was apparently dead in the water, and David E. Kelly's pilot Legal Matters, which featured Kristin Chenowith. Oh well.

May 21, 2009

upfront thoughts: nbc

Over the past week, we've heard "upfront" announcements from the major networks. Upfronts are meant to announce the fall/spring lineup to advertisers, so they can begin planning for the following year. It's also when we learn which shows will return next season, which have seen their last days, and also get a preview of new pilots that made it to pick up.

By now, it's no secret that NBC is taking a huge leap next year with Jay Leno taking the 10pm ET timeslot 5 nights a week. Honestly, I haven't been overly impressed with NBC programming for a season or two now (save for a few strong favorites), so I don't have high hopes for Ben Silverman's decisions. Creatively, it's a shame to miss out on 5 timeslots that could go to some new, original programming - but it just doesn't seem like that's a priority for the network at this point, in large part due to financial constraints.

Here's a rundown of the 2009/2010 NBC schedule.

What's Staying
30 Rock
The Biggest Loser
Celebrity Apprentice
Friday Night Lights (I'm hearing this will be delayed to Summer 2010)
Law & Order
Law & Order: SVU
The Office
Parks & Recreation
Southland (13 episodes)

And most importantly...Chuck! For only 13 episodes in 2010, but I will take it!

What's Going
Kath & Kim
Knight Rider
Lipstick Jungle
Medium (CBS may pick it up)
My Name is Earl (Fox or ABC may pick it up)
My Own Worst Enemy
America's Toughest Jobs
Chopping Block
Momma's Boys (does anyone know what this is?)

I'm not sad about any of those except for Life. I really enjoyed that show. With more support from the network, it could have done really well. Good news is, they were able to wrap up the finale really well. I would recommend watching the 2 seasons on DVD - well worth it.

What's New

The Jay Leno Show: Self-explanatory.

Parenthood: From the producers of the 1990s movie - Ron Howard and Brian Grazer - billed as an hour-long drama. Wasn't the movie a comedy? Four grown siblings sharing the joys of parenthood. Big names lined up for this one, including Peter Krause, Maura Tierney, Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard and Monica Potter.

Trauma: A medical drama (shock) from the producers of FNL about first-responder paramedics in San Francisco. Hey, at least it's a new city. Notables are...ok I don't know any of these names, though I'm sure I should - Derek Luke, Cliff Curtis, Anastasia Griffith, Aimee Garcia, Kevin Rankin, and Jamey Sheridan.

Community: From the directors of Arrested Development - a comedy about a community college student misfits, including high school losers, newly divorced housewives, and old people who want to keep their minds active. Notables include: Joel McHale of The Soup, Chevy Chase, and Alison Brie, who plays Pete Campbell's wife on Mad Men.

100 Questions (after Biggest Loser ends): Sitcom about Charlotte, a girl looking for Mr. Right, whose dating counselor forces her to answer an 100-question compatibility test for an online dating site. Bored yet? Charlotte will be played by Sophie Winkleman. I don't recognize anything from her IMDB profile except for The Chronicles of Narnia.

Day One (spring premiere): From EP/writer Jason Alexander from the likes of Heroes, Lost and Alias (promising), a drama about teh story of life on earth following a global catastrophe that has devastated the world's infrastructures. Notable among the band of survivors: Catherine Dent from The Shield and Julie Gonzalo, who played Maggie on Eli Stone, and Carly Pope, who was on 24, but I remember her from Popular.

Mercy (spring premiere): Another medical drama (seriously?), but this one comes to us from a "unique" point of view - from that of the nurses at Mercy Hospital, city is unclear. Notables are Michelle Trachtenberg and James Tupper from Men in Trees.

... Last and least, the new reality riff raff

The Marriage Ref (spring premiere): At first, I didn't even want to read about this one, but then I saw Jerry Seinfeld's name. Must be worth a skim, right? Seinfeld produces this show where celebrities, comedians, and sports stars judge who's right and who's wrong in real-life disputes between real-life couples. I take that back. Unskim.

Breakthrough with Tony Robbins: He is that scary promotional speaker guy, right? I don't want to know.

Who Do You Think You Are?: Each episode will consist of a celebrity unearthing the history of his or her family tree tying the story into major moments in history. Cheesey or possibly interesting? Celebs lining up included Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon and Lisa Kudrow. How long before they're left with the actor who played Ugly Naked Guy?

The Sing Off: No word on this one yet.

Overall, nothing has me reeling with excitment. I think the play to watch at NBC next season is Jay Leno - sink or swim?

May 20, 2009

idol finale

Well, it's the finale. Is it me or did this season fly by? Not the most exciting season, most eliminations were pretty predictable from week to week, and no overly eccentric or endearing personalities. I don't want to use the word bland, because I've certainly had my favorites and talent is in abundance, but I don't think this will go down as one of the most memorable seasons.

I'm watching the performance and results shows consecutively again tonight. I find this enjoyable. There are all kinds of celebrities in the audience tonight. I'll try to keep an "I spy" tally as I go along.

Order was determined by a coin toss, and Kris chose to perform second. I miss Danny.

Adam 1: Singing "Mad World" again - one of his best performances. Excuse the cheese, but he was really born to sing this song. He's wearing a long coat. I can't get behind long coats on men. Unless you're Christopher Walkin. I'm not sure why. God, I'm just now realizing how glaringly different Adam and Kris are. It's kind of funny how Idol finals always end up that way - remember Carrie and Bo? Taylor and Katherine? Anyway, back to Adam. He rocked it of course. It's a mellow, intense song. Frankly, he scared me. In a good way. Judges all love it, but Simon called it a bit melodramatic. What were you expecting?

I spy: Anthony Hopkins

Kris 1: During his family video, Kris' mom said he gave her "music coupons" for her birthday, which she could redeem for a song performances. Aww what a cute little boy. Then she said it was a few years ago. Not as cute. Singing "Ain't No Sunshine" at the piano. I can't remember if he sang this before. I think so. Sounds good. Kris, I dare you to get up on the piano and take off your pants. No? Boring. Judges all love it. Kara says he has the ability to create a unique bond with everyone in the audience. Maybe it's just me then.

I spy: Randy's sharp outfit

Adam 2: Singing "Change is Gonna Come" chosen by Simon Fuller. Adam changed into a really handsome light grey suit. He cleans up well. I wish his second song was more of a rocking out song though. I would have liked to see him jumping around a little, although the vocals were excellent. Kara called it possibly his best performance ever, and Paula agreed with enthusiasm that almost threw her off her own chair.

I spy: Katie and Suri!

Kris 2: Singing "What's Goin' on?" by the late, great Marvin Gaye chosen by Simon Fuller. This is Kris at his best - this kind of song with the acoustic guitar is his bread and butter. John Mayer minus the scary faces. Gotta hand it to him, Kris is throwing his best at Adam tonight. Just when I start handing out compliments, Randy disagrees calling it "too light" for this point in the competition. Kara tries to redeem by praising him up and down. I think she might be a little drunk. Simon likened it to "three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gay." OUCH.

For the third round, each boy will sing a new song written by Kara called "No Boundaries". This will be the winner's song that becomes his first single.

Adam 3: He's singing his heart out. Sounds a little like late Bon Jovi, but more cheesey inspirational. Adam is making me believe that he's known this song for years when he probably learned it last week. Goosebumps. The boy is a pro. Probably not a song I would download, but these songs never are. Always a little cheesey. Randy didn't love the performance - a little pitchy. Kara is moved and proud. Paula is oozing love tonight. This isn't Simon's kind of song - no surprise - but great things to say about Adam.

Kris 3: Performing without an instrument, Kris' interpretation is similar. Not belting out the notes in the same way, but that's not his style. He sounds good, but nothing special. I'm sure this would not be his first choice for a single. Judges all bathed him with compliments, but admitted the song was too high for his register.


And now it's time for the results show....and the BIG boy stage.

I spy: a giant velour bow tie.

The opening montages making fun of the judges are pretty funny, especially the one highlighting Paula's colorful and sophisticated vocabulary.

The finalists are wearing all white. Again? Let's try something new next year, ok? The boys are joined by the top 13 to perform Pink's "So What". Oh god, please don't butcher this song. Too late. Scott, I almost forgot about you. How about Jorge? At least Allison is redeeming the group a little.

Last year's winner is up. David Cook is singing his new song called "Permanent". I'm reminded about how crazy I was for David last year. Maybe I'm becoming an old lady, but I just didn't find my inner teenager this season. Still love this guy though. This song was written for his brother who recently passed away. It's a beautiful song, and I'm sure not easy for him to sing. I will be downloading this tomorrow. He's just a class act.

Ryan is at the podium, which has me reaching for my clicker. Really? The Golden Idol awards again? It's so painful and awkward. What are the chances these people won hundreds of free beers from their friends for pulling pranks on Idol producers? I'm going to hope for that.

Except of course for Norman Gentle! I almost forgot about him! I have to admit, I love the guy. So glad he won this prestigious award. I hope there's a place for him in show biz.

Special Duet 1: Lil Rounds sings with Queen Latifah. Glad she got the chance to do this. Now that the pressure is off, Lil actually sounds and looks great. This is what we were waiting for during the competition. Oh well, at least she got to do this fun duet with Queen. I'm sure it was a thrill for her. However, WHO told Queen to wear a onesie?

Special Duet 2: Alexis and Anoop singing "I'm Yours" with Jason Mraz. A popular song during this year's competition, so no surprise they would ask him to perform. They are joined by a chorus of other contestants. It's a group-friendly song, so I'm sure it will be a fixture on the tour.
Special Duet 3: Kris singing with Keith Urban. I missed the title of the song, but it's fun. This is actually the first time I've seen Keith Urban perform. I think you need to always say (or type) his full name. Keith Urban. Kris is basically singing back up for Keith Urban. It's making Kris seem much cooler.

Top 5 girls perform "Glamorous". Ugh. It's like they're all on the stage separately without acknowledging each other. Painful...and then Fergie came out. Unfortunately, this doesn't improve things. Now the Black Eyed Peas come out for a performance. Someone must have cursed because we had a small break with an Idol logo graphic. This is all over the place. Move on please.

Bikini Girl is back to collect the Golden Idol award for attitude. I'm pretty sure she has new boobs. She starts performing "Vision of Love" - her showdown song with Kara during auditions - and she is soon joined on the stage by the judge. And Kara flashes her bikini! I love it! Kara just won me over for the season.

I spy: Priscilla Presley

Special Duet 4: CYNDI LAUPER. I'm a happy girl. My all time favorite singing with my favorite contestant. Cyndi on American Idol? I don't even care, I love it. And I love that Allison got to sing "Time After Time" with her. The thrill of a lifetime - I practice for a moment like that in the shower every day.

Mr. Danny Gokey: Disappointed he's singing a boring song, but I'm glad we get to hear Danny one last time. He really is a class act, and some day I'll get over Kris beating him out. Probably tomorrow. Ok, this just got much cooler with Lionel Richie on the stage. Say what you will, the guy is a legend. An odd pairing, but fun.

Special Duet 5: Don't think I ever could have predicted Adam singing with KISS. Pretty badass. Watching a "reunion" performance for a band like this always waks a fine line between awesome and sad. Thankfully, they stayed on the better side of awesome for most of the time. Adam must be dying inside. He's totally holding his own. Look at their SHOES.

Carlos Santana. Don't care...let's get to the winner already!

Special Duet 6: Megan, Michael....and Steve Martin? Who knew Steve Martin was into...what is this? Bluegrass? Country? I don't quite know what to say about this. Michael and Megan do sound nice though.

Top 8 boys singing Rod Stewart's "If You Want My Body". Will Rod Stewart seriously take the stage? Indeed he does. Need to hand it to Idol this year, it's a quite a lineup. Rod sounds as timeless as ever. The top boys' performance knocked the girls out of the park.

I spy: Kate Walsh dancing to Rod Stewart

I spy: Joel Madden and Nicole Richie

Another Golden Idol award...for crazypants Tatiana. Fastforward Fastforward.

Final Duet: Adam and Kris singing "We Are the Champions" with Queen... or at least part of it. Miss you, Freddie. Another pinch-me moment for these guys I'm sure.

And now for the moment of truth....


I'm done.

May 15, 2009

finale superlatives (part 1)

Rather than go on and on about what I loved and hated about this finale season, I'm handing out superlatives. It is graduation season after all. There are still many finales to come (and a few crying out from my DVR), so this is just part 1.

Most Likely to Succeed: Big Bang Theory
I'm going with the big guns first. This show completely aced the often cursed sophomore season. It keeps getting funnier. The finale was hilarious with the boys ending up on the North Pole for the summer. What I would give to be a frozen fly on that wall for the next three months. And I liked how the Leonard/Penny story was sweet, but didn't hit you over the head.

Favorite line: “I’m a Hindu. My religion teaches that if we suffer in this life we are rewarded in the next. Three months in the North Pole with Sheldon and I'm reborn as a well hung billionaire with wings.” (Raj)

Most Athletic: Chuck
My affection for Chuck is no secret, so this finale was in the running for many categories. I went with Most Athletic for Chuck's surprise ninja skills at the end - the highlight of the finale for me, which set up some really cool possibilities for next season (please). Let's not forget Casey and his boys careening in through the glass roof, and Sarah kicking ass in a bridesmaid dress. They are the ultimate varsity team. Someone make them matching jackets.

School Spirit Award: The Office
There were some up and down moments for the Scranton branch this season. A scary new boss, competition from Michael Scott Paper Company, and an inappropriate bubble dress brought dissention in the ranks. All was forgiven at the company picnic though when they rallied together to beat corporate in a vicious volleyball tournament - that was some serious Scranton pride. And how about Michael and Holly's skit? They are the same person - too cute. Don't even get me started on baby Jim.

Class Couple: Izzie and George, Grey's Anatomy
Ok, don't hate me for this, but George just seemed like a better choice than Alex for this award. I hope Alex will still sign my yearbook. I don't want them to be together, but the finale (though tragically awful for both) was a nice nod to these two characters, whose bond (sorely ignored as of late) has been central to this show from the beginning. The scene with George showing Izzie that deep down, she had already chosen to have the surgery - that was the T.R. we all know and love. This is one of those times when I wish the Internet wasn't around so I didn't already know about the rumors of Katherine and T.R. leaving the show. But that final scene with the prom dress and the army uniform was a great tribute to Izzie and George.

Best Dressed: Bones
I'm still digesting the Bones finale. For those of you who don't watch it (and you should), the finale was a dream sequence/mystery novel plot where all the characters played other versions of themselves. At first I was annoyed we weren't seeing the "real" crew in the finale. But the more I think about it, the more I realize how much was revealed about the characters through this alternate universe. The Best Dressed award is because the "alternate reality" wardrobes were all really cool, especially Brennan's yellow skirt and Nigel's ensemble. They all just looked more vibrant (like a dream, I guess), and it was nice to see them out of the Jeffersonian smocks.

May 14, 2009

lost finale

As I've said before, I'm in no way qualified to properly analyze Lost, but can we talk about the finale for just a minute? Mainly, what the heck? I have to say I was a little disappointed.

I always thought Jacob would be this mystical force. He's just Rita's drunk husband from Dexter with superior weaving skills. This seems like a bit of a Wizard of Oz man behind the curtain scenario. Sure, he's been living forever and could summon people to the island just by touching them. (did you notice he had to make physical contact with each of them?) Did he intend for all of them to arrive at the same time? Why did he visit them at all different parts of their lives? Maybe he chose them at different times and then they just happened to hitch the same ride to the island? Why did he not visit Hurley until way later? Or had he before and we just didnt' see it? Did he chose all of those Others? What about the Dharma folks? Franky, I'm disappointed Ben just stabbed him in a heart, and that was it. Or is it?

I blame Kate for everything else. Jack is just a lovesick puppy by this point. He's given up hope for a relationship with Kate, so he's throwing in the towel, or the hyrdogen bomb as the case may be. And if it weren't for Kate, Sawyer and Blondie would be living large off of Super Bowl gambling earnings. I was sad about falling Juliet, but not as sad as I thought I would be.

In all the confusion, there were two very key moments for Miles. He saved his father. That was a big moment for that character, although I'm not sure it made much of a difference. Also, when he said, what if Jack isn't preventing the "incident" - what if he's causing it? What if this is all part of history and Jack isn't changing a thing? We'll see.

I'm all over the place as usual, but a few things to mention:
  • Sun and Jin's wedding. Awwwww. If we don't get a reunion next season, Damon Lindelof has a heart of stone.
  • I want to live with Rose and Bernard. How great were they? I loved Rose "Who cares? It's always something with you people." Makes you wonder what if they had all just stayed on the beach and not interfered with the rest of the island? Would they have found piece? Was that Jacob's intention?
  • Kate stole a New Kids on the Block lunch box.
  • What's in that darn guitar case?

Don't even get me started about FauxLocke.

May 13, 2009

idol top 3

Can you believe it's the top three already? Are you sick of my Idol posts yet? Seeing as this is all I've written about for the past week, I can't say I blame you. There are a million things I want to write about, but Idol seems to be the only thing that forces me to sit and type. I promise that will soon change...after the finale of course.

Once again, I'm watching both the performance and results show on Wednesday night. So, if my tenses seem odd, I am watching this in my present but your past (Lost?). Let's get to it.

I was really sad to see Allison leave last week, but she went out with a great performance. She has been my favorite, but in my heart, I knew she wasn't headed for the finals. I'm glad we'll get to see a showdown between Danny and Kris.

The boys will each perform twice tonight - singing one personal choice and one judge's choice. I always like this round.

Danny 1: Singing Paula's song choice "Dance Little Sister" by Terrence Trent D'Arby. He's never heard the song, so that must by tough. Sounds like a good choice for his voice. He looks a litttle serious again this week. I liked him from the beginning because he always looked like he was having fun. He's lost a little of that in the higher pressure weeks. Ok, now he's getting into it and dancing around. The band sounds amazing, and I usually don't notice that. Randy called it dope. Kara didn't like the dancing, but Paula strongly disagreed. She is a choreographer afterall. Simon liked it vocally, but didn't love the saxophone solo. Who cares?

Kris 1: Singing Kara and Randy's choice "Apologize" by One Republic. I like this song for five minutes until it was on the radio every five minutes, but it's a good choice for Kris because this is the kind of song you would find on Kris' album. He seems happy with the happy as Kris ever appears. He's playing the piano. Has Kris done this before? I can't remember. Damnit, he sounds really good. Wait...I'm bored again. Randy liked it. Kara wished he had taken more chances and changed it up. Paula picked up on a "bum" note. Simon called it a competent version of the original, but not quite as good. Again, Kris says two words in response. BORE.
Adam 1: Singing Simon's choice "One" by U2. Yay! Call it cliche, but this is one of my favorite songs of all time. Leave it to Simon to pick a popular, moneymaker of a song. But I do think there are all kinds of things Adam could do with it. He's singing alone with a pianist at the beginning. No arguments, this guy has an amazing voice. He brings it into a sort of show-tuney, soul arrangement going off the melody. I don't love it, but that might be my U2 loyalty talking. His voice is flawless. Randy liked but didn't love, Kara and Paula can't get enough, and Simon called it brilliant. Adam might be "playing the game" but he seems outwardly friendly and nice.

Danny 2: Singing "You are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker. This personal choice from Danny doesn't surprise me a bit. It's sweet with some soul (sorry if I just made you throw up). He's singing with a small ensemble of strings. I worry Simon will be bored, but I liked it. Pretty and showed off his voice. Randy liked the mad vocals, Kara called it stunning, Paula was left breathless, Simon called it a vocal master class. Danny definitely brought it tonight.

Kris 2: Singing "Heartless" by Kanye West and The Fray. If Ryan called Kris "humble" one more time, I'm going to puke. Kris has the guitar again, and I have to give him props. He took a big chance putting a completely new spin on this song. I actually like it better than the other versions. He essentially rewrote the song. Randy and Kara loved it, Paula bravoed, Simon is counting him back in after not loving the first performance.

Adam 2: Singing "Crying" by Aerosmith. Great song. Awesome performance. Just awesome. This will be my first iTunes download of the season. Judges all obviously loved him. I don't think there's any doubt that we'll see him in the finals. But as Simon says, we shouldn't assume, we should vote.

It could definitely go either way, but my pick for final two: Adam and Danny


And it's Adam and Kris. Boo. Adam for the win!

May 6, 2009

idol top 4

Coming in late again this week just before the elimination show. It's rock week - no doubt Allison and Adam have been waiting for this one. Oddly enough, Slash is the mentor. God, I used to love him. But I don't know if I've actually ever heard him speak. Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen his face.

He's changing it up and mentoring on stage at a club. You know Slash wasn't going to stand next to the piano. Tonight, there will be 6 performances - 4 regular solos plus 2 duets. I'm not sure how the duets will play into voting, if at all.

Adam: Singing "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin. Perhaps the first time Adam has gone first. I like that he chose an iconic rock song and not something obscure. This is Adam's chance to prove that he is a rock star. He's definitely proving it. It's possible Adam was born in the wrong generation. He would have been an amazing hair band frontman. I'm slightly frightened of him. In a good way. Kara called him a rock god, and I think she broke a few blood vessels. Paula called him a "whole lotta perfect". Simon called it one of his favorite Adam performances. Danny and Kris are backstage weeping.

Allison: Singing "Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin. I love her choice - it's essentially the girl version of Adam's choice. I know I've talked about my love for Allison from the start, but this little girl is just so damn talented. I'm unsure about her chances for the finals, but she is really putting it all out there this week. She rocked this song. Darn, Randy didn't like it. Kara didn't like the song choice. Simon complimented her vocals and confidence saying she's really come a long way, but also didn't love her song choice. I think Allison fans are loyal, but I don't know if she converted anyone this week.

First Duet - Danny and Kris: Singing "Renegade" by The Styx. Ehh they sound fine, but I'm bored. Encouraging reviews from the judges, but nothing stellar. Simon said Danny way better than Kris, which earned him a snarky look from Kris. He looks less than thrilled to be up there. I don't care if that stage fell down during rehearsals, I have no room for your attitude Kris.

Kris: Singing "Come Together" by The Beatles with the guitar. This choice feels a little stale since many other Idols have performed it. Slash tells him to be a little more animated - haha. I still can't put my finger on it, but Kris still hasn't won me over. He's marketable and cute, and I have no doubt that he'll put out successful records. His fans seem to love him. Sorry Kris, I'm just not on board. Randy just "liked" the vocals, but loved his guitar skills. Kara didn't like it - felt that he was trying too hard. Paula is confusing. Simon said it was like "eating ice for lunch because it will leave you with nothing to remember afterwards". Simon, you are a genius with words. Kris, PLEASE SHOW SOME EMOTION! Why hasn't anyone pointed this out?

Danny: Singing "Dream On" by Aerosmith. Slash recognizes what a tough song it is, and I have to agree. This choice makes me a little nervous. It's definitely iconic, I'm just not sure it will resonate with the younger viewers. He's pulling it off. My only problem is he looks pissed. Danny's generally a happy, animated singer. He's trying to look like a rocker with edge, but he just seems unhappy. I have a feeling Danny and Kris suffered the most from the interrupted rehearsal earlier in the night. They just seem uneasy. Mixed reviews from the judges, but still positive because they all like him and recognize this isn't his genre. Simon compared his final note to a horror movie.

Second Duet - Adam and Allison: Singing "Slow Ride" by Fog hat. I love that they were paired up. These two definitely ruled this night. We also found out that Allison visited Adam's stylist this week. Matching punk hair. How cute. Their duet is much more fluid and fun than Danny/Kris. Their powerful voices compliment each other well too. They seem like they genuinely had fun - as opposed to the other two who looked like they wanted to kill each other. Judges all loved it.

Who I think will go home: Allison (boo)
Who I think should go home: Kris
Who got my vote: Adam

May 1, 2009

tgif top 10

I've recently started to get more into podcasts. I know, I'm way late to the party. There are a few that I've been following for a long time, but I'm starting to look for more - especially television themed podcasts. I think this has something to do with boredom with my iTunes, so I've started to listen to more podcasts while I'm walking/training to work.

Anyway, there are about nine TV podcasts that I listen to regularly now. This gives me a top nine list for the week, which is not sufficient. So, if you have a favorite podcast, please fill in my number 10 in the comment section.

Some are official show podcasts, but most are independent. They're all really well done and entertaining - check them out on iTunes.

Top 10 (almost) TV-themed Podcasts
  1. The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack: This one is super popular, and I can see why. These two literally keep my Lost education afloat. I don't think I would be able to comprehend the show without this podcast. They usually record twice a week - just after the show and then again before the next new episode. I especially love the theme songs that introduce different segments of the podcast - they get stuck in my head all day. It's a really funny, well-produced operation.
  2. TV Talk with GMMR and Ducky: This was my first podcast, and I think I've been listening from the start. Produced by two of my favorite TV bloggers - both of whom are listed on the right - they frequently have me laughing out loud, which can be embarrassing on the subway. I've even been known to accidentally respond to them out loud without realizing it, which makes me looks all kinds of crazy. They talk about lots of different shows, so this is a really fun one if you're not a super fan of one particular show.
  3. That's What She Said: An Office podcast by two very opinionated fans. These two don't let the writers get away with any slacking off. They are sticklers for continuity, but always provide really good analysis of all aspects of the show...acting, writing, directing, editing, etc. They also play clips from the show during the discussion, which I particularly enjoy.
  4. The Official Ugly Betty Podcast: I was afraid the "official" podcasts would be too promotional, but this one is SO fun. Hosted by Michael Urie (Mark) and Becki Newton (Amanda), who let's face it, are the best part of Ugly Betty. They are hilarious and genuinely seem to love what they do. The podcast is a good balance of answering listener questions (usually having nothing to do with the show) and fun guests, including stars like America Ferrara, wardrobe people, and guest stars like Bernadette Peters. Go back and download all of them - it's worth it.
  5. Fringe Dwellers: I was happy to find this podcast back in the fall when Fringe first premiered. Knowing it would be a complicated and warped show, I was anxious to hear theories, etc. right from the start. I've continued to like the show more and more as the season progresses, and this podcast is great for fans. Adele, the main host who watches from Australia, always provides detailed analysis and never fails to put her honest opinion out there. She's struggled to hold onto a co-host, but I hope she can find one for the (fingers crossed) second season.
  6. Chuck vs. the Podcast: I'm new to this one and really liking it so far. I think this will become my official Chuck podcast for the many, many seasons to come (she knocks rapidly on wood).
  7. The Official Grey's Anatomy Podcast: This one's a little more sporadic because the main hosts are Creator/Writer/EP Shonda Rhimes and EP Betsy Beers, who are obviously quite busy. I like the insight into the writing and the motivation behind different plot decisions. They don't give any spoilers - Shonda is fiercely anti-spoiler - but do tell some fun behind-the-scenes stories about filming and writing.
  8. Squint Squad: A Bones podcast hosted by two super fans who do a great job putting this together every week. I like to just watch Bones for Bones and not over-analyze, but I'm happy to let these two do it for me.
  9. The Official Lost Podcast: A combo audio/video podcast, which switches off between Q&A sessions with Writer-Producers Damon Lindelof and Cartlon Cuse and video clips featuring cast and crew interviews. You can tell Lindelof and Cuse enjoy the questions and the fan theories. Sometimes I skip the behind-the-scenes stuff because I like to pretend the island is real. Don't judge me.
  10. [please fill in the blank]