March 30, 2010

lost: the package

Like many, I have very mixed feelings about The Package being Desmond. On one hand, I'm glad to see him and see how he fits into the final chapter as well as how he fits into sideways world. It's always been clear that Desmond plays a critical role in the mystery and history of the island. But on the other hand, I'm sad for Penny and Charlie left behind on that houseboat! I hope I'm not wrong in assuming Widmore's people didn't hurt them in the process.

So why is it that Widmore brought Desmond back to the island? Is he one of the candidates? (I'm sure I should know that by now) Is Widmore even concerned with/aware of this concept of candidates? If UnLocke is trying to get all of them off the island, is Widmore trying to keep them on?

The kidnapping of Jin brought him even further away from Sun (on the island, although he was kidnapped in both worlds) Reunite these two already! So frustrating! However, the geophysicist's interest in his mapping of the magnetic fields on the island makes me think that we'll be looking further into this aspect of the island, which I like. Moving away from the heaven/hell mythology into the scientific mystery of the island continues to peel the onion giving us more answers (hopefully).

As for the sideways story, Jin and Sun not being married and dating in secret certainly presented a very different reality for them. How Juliet setting off the bomb made that happen, along with Jack having a son, Sayid's girl marrying his brother, Sawyer becoming a cop, etc. is really fascinating. With six (SIX!) episodes left, I'm ready to start learning what this alternate universe is intended to teach us.

So, we know Kate and Claire are not candidates. I'm not surprised about Claire seeing as she's taken quite a different path from her friends. But why not Kate? What's different about Kate? She never died and came back to life, she came returned to the island with the others, she's been with the gang all along. What's the deal?

Just a few observations from a devoted, but a relatively clueless Lost viewer.

Note to ABC: Get rid of that stupid V countdown clock. So distracting and annoying.

March 29, 2010

really, i couldn't love this more

Mayim Bialik as a "potential love interest" for Sheldon Cooper? The confusing and troubling idea that Sheldon Cooper is something other than asexual? Possible recurring role?

March 28, 2010

much delayed thoughts on richard alpert

The long awaited Richard Alpert back story! I have to say, immediately following episode, I was a little disappointed. But as I've thought about about it, there's more to like than I initially realized. Some of my disappointment was probably due to the high expectations. I really wanted this episode to bring a lot of answers, but it ended up confirming a lot of what we already know. Regardless, Nestor Carbonell had a performance of a lifetime.

Here's what we learned:
  • The island is essentially a Hellmouth. Or is it? This theory of the island as a gateway to hell or some kind of purgatory has been floating around since season one. I like that we got more clarity from Jacob and his wine bottle metaphor, but I'm still hoping the root of Lost isn't only in this heaven/hell concept. There's a lot of science there - between the Dharma project and Widmore's obsession - not to mention time travel and Daniel Farraday. That needs to be factored in
  • Given the physical prowess he displayed fighting Richard, it's pretty clear that Jacob probably let Ben kill him. Did he decide it was time for the candidates to figure it out in a Jacob-less island?
Here's what I'mstill wondering:
  • Richard was not forgiven for his sins by that priest and ended up on the island. I think we can find examples of the theme forgiveness of sins (on different levels) for all of the Losties. Is their behavior on the island supposed to earn them this forgiveness?

  • If this is a Hellmouth, why can people be killed? Does this mean they pass on to whichever afterlife awaits them? Is that why women can't have babies?

  • Again, if this is a Hellmouth, where did the Oceanic 6 go when the returned home? Was that some kind of test for the candidates? If so, did they pass by coming back? I guess we still don't know if Kate is a candidate.

  • Has Ben grown up in a Hellmouth? That certainly explains a lot. What about others who lived in the Hellmouth, but grew up and moved on like Eloise Hawking and Widmore?

  • What about Desmond punching in the code in the hatch? Was that also come kind of test?

  • At the end, was Isabelle telling Richard to let go and die? I didn't understand what she was releasing him from, but I sort of think it's time for Richard to take a good long nap.

  • Perhaps most importantly, can we trust Jacob's explanation of things? Richard certainly doesn't seem to anymore.
A few other bits to note:
  • Are we supposed to believe that, after 150 years, Richard can dig up that necklace on the first try? I can't even remember which underpants I'm currently wearing.

  • The actor playing the original Man in Black definitely appeared to be a doing a Terry O'Quinn impersonation this time, right? I'm sure that was an intentional direction, and I liked it.

  • Cheesey as it was, I definitely cried during the Ghost moment between Richard, Isabelle, and Hurley.

  • Per the opening scenes, we now know Sun is the Kwon on the candidate list.

March 15, 2010

a tale of two brunettes

Sarah Shahi, formerly of one of my favorite shows - Life (RIP), will star in yet another new USA drama called Facing Kate. The show has been picked up for 11 episodes in a addition to a 90-minute pilot scheduled to air sometime in summer or fall. The show is paired with USA's other new female-led show Covert Affairs staring Piper Perabo.

Facing Kate features a top litigator (Shahi), who's frustrated with bureaucracy and decides to become a mediator. Other cast members listed on IMDB include Ethan Embry (so good in his recent House guest role) and Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica).

I really liked Shahi as Dani Reese in Life, but I worry that she really relied on Damian Lewis for chemistry in that role. It will be interesting to see how she fairs as the lead. (THR)

Speaking of chemistry, People is reporting that Mr. George Clooney's lady friend Elisabetta Canalis will have a 5-episode role in season five of Leverage, scheduled to begin this summer. If you don't watch this little heist show, you should. I swear, it's the best kept secret.

I'm not too familiar with Canalis' background, but she'll be joining a very talented bunch, so I have high hopes for her. Hopefully, this role will do more for her than that unfortunate red satin situation from Oscar night.

There's a joke about heists and Ocean's 11 and Clooney and girlfriends somewhere in there. I don't have the brain power.

March 14, 2010

parks and rec casting news

Thursday nights have become such a happy time. For three reasons: Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office. As much as I love the ABC comedies this season, NBC's nose dive into the abyss is greatly helped by these three comedies (30 Rock also great, but I don't watch as religiously).

The Office has been a favorite for a long time. Though I'm starting to see the end of the road for Dunder Mifflin, this season (especially with the addition of Kathy Bates!) has been great. And Community gets funnier every week - Abed and Troy are particular favorites.

But the point of this post is to update you on some cast shake-ups at Parks and Rec. While the show struggled a little bit during the first season, they have really hit their stride this year (the show has already been renewed for a third season). I'm loving Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, and Aubrey Plaza's work. Amy Poehler is a given - her scenes with Nick Offerman's Ron Swanson have been great lately.

A few weeks ago, you may have heard that Rob Lowe will be joining the cast later this season and will stay on at least into the beginning of next season. I love this. Personally, I think Rob Lowe is at his (non-Sam Seaborn) best in comedy, especially this dry style of awkward humor. I can't wait to see him in Pawnee.

Lowe will also be joined by Adam Scott, another addition to the cast beginning later this season. You'll recognize Scott from many roles in movies like Step Brothers, Knocked Up, Leap Year, and most recently in HBO's Party Down. He's hilarious. Supposedly, the two will play a pair of government specialists sent to Pawnee to help the town through some tough times.

Unfortunately, these two new additions come with the news that Paul Schneider will be leaving his role as Mark Brandanawicz. Mixed feelings here. During the first season, it seemed like Mark would serve as Leslie's unrequited love. I was glad they moved away from that, but as Ann's boyfriend this season, there hasn't been much for him to do (not very much for Ann either come to think of it). I like Schneider as an actor, but it seems like a good idea for him to move on. Apparently, all partings are amicable, and we probably have not seen the last of Brandanawicz.

March 13, 2010

glee news

On Saturday, Paley Fest featured a Glee panel (for the non-geeks among us, this is the annual television festival put on by the Paley Center).

As excited as I am for the return of Glee, I've really tried to stay spoiler-free during this hiatus. Not that Glee is particularly plot heavy, but I love experiencing the music and guest star surprises during each episode, so I'm trying to steer clear of casting news, etc.

But of course, we need a few tidbits to hold us over until the show's return on Tuesday, April 13. Here are a few fun moments and very light spoilers from the panel:

  • Unlike some of the other panels, almost the entire cast (I think Lea was missing?) and all three co-creators were on the panel, garnering the festival's largest audience to date.

  • There will be an episode in season two with original music.

  • The role of Sue Sylvester was specially written for Jane Lynch. Best decision ever made in the history of pilot writing.

  • Kurt will have a boyfriend in this coming spring season.

  • Amber Riley (Mercedes) tried out for American Idol and didn't even make it to the judges.

  • Two words: Joss Whedon

  • Four letters: AC/DC
If you want all the dirty detailers, a few bloggers came through with really comprehensive reports:

The Futon Critic

Watch with Kristin

Ausiello Files

March 2, 2010

coming up in march

March is a welcome friend for those of us who have fallen victim to an ungodly amount of snow this winter. But March also means some new television and the return of some favorites (and not so favorites).

Here's what's new this month. Anything look interesting to you?

Parenthood (NBC, March 2)
Unless you live in a hole, you've seen the promos for NBC's new family dramedy Parenthood. I've read some very mixed reviews from the critics, but I'm definitely keeping an open mind. Lauren Graham and Coach back in my life is nothing to complain about. Although, I'd prefer this show at 9:00 - up against The Good Wife and White Collar at 10:00 is tough for me.

Marriage Ref (NBC, March 4)
There was a preview premiere after the closing ceremonies, but I missed it because I was in Olympic mourning. Anyone watch? This isn't typically my kind of show, but looks kind of entertaining. I may tune in this week.

Players (Spike, March 2)
Half hour comedy about two brothers who run a sports bar. One brother (Matt Walsh of Daily Show fame) is a free-spirited guy who is living out his fantasy of owning a bar. The other brother (Ian Roberts) is more uptight trying to keep the focus on the bar turning a profit. Probably won't make my schedule, but I'm intrigued after reading that the script is mostly improvised (the first of many Curb copies, I'm sure).

The Pacific (HBO, March 14)
One of those times when I really wish I would buck up and pay for premium channels. I've heard really good things about this one. Produced by Hanks, Spielberg, and Goetzman, you really can't go wrong. It's a 10-part miniseries about the Pacific Theater of WWII. I'm already adding it to the Netflix queue.

Sons of Tucson (Fox, March 14)
I feel like this show has been "coming soon" forever. Three young boys hire a conman to act as their father when real dad goes to prison. This show has the potential to be darkly hilarious - similar to Malcolm in the Middle - but a lot is riding on the writing, since the plot is so twisted.

Justified (FX, March 16)
Just learned about this one, and I'm pretty intrigued. An hour-long procedural drama about a US Marshall with a cowboy complex (played by the great Timothy Olyphant from Deadwood). He's reason enough to check this out.

Ugly Americans (Comedy Central, March 17)
If any network can make this work, it's Comedy Central. An animated comedy about a social worker who helps creatures like vampires, mermaids, and zombies adjust to normal life in New York City. I'm sensing all kinds of double entendre.

Returning in March:

Gossip Girl (March 8) - Billy Baldwin comes in as Serena and Eric's daddy!

90210 (March 9) - I never watched the first half, but this will be summer trash for me.

Melrose Place (March 9) - A lot hinges on the ratings for the second half of the season.

Celebrity Apprentice (March 14) - A small part of my really wants to see Cyndi take on Sharon.

Nurse Jackie (March 22) - I really need to catch the first season on DVD.

United States of Tara (March 22) - Here's hoping more viewers tune in to this award winner.

10 Things I Hate About You (March 30) - I'm just going to say it. I loved this show.

V (March 30) - They REALLY need to bring it for me to care about this show's return.

FlashForward (March 30) - Ugh, I just don't know.

March 1, 2010

some casting news

A few casting bits from the past few weeks that seemed worth mentioning...

I'm still only one season two of my way-overdue ride on the Gossip Girl train, but I loved the news that Billy Baldwin was cast as Serena's estranged daddy. (Ausiello)

NBC has decided to push back its remake of the legendary British series Prime Suspect. Apparently, they have yet to find a star to match the perfection of Helen Mirren. Hmm... Debra Winger looks interesting in her upcoming Law & Order guest spot. Too young? (TV Guide)

The Office's Craig Robinson (Daryl) will be the new host of Last Comic Standing on NBC. I keep forgetting about this show, but usually find it to be fun summer entertainment. Congrats Craig! (THR)

Really looking forward to seeing Cynthia Watros (Libby from Lost) in her upcoming arc as Wilson's first wife on House. (Ausiello)

ABC's pilot Freshmen about three first-year Members of Congress who share a DC rowhouse has a new addition: Ben Lawson from The Deep End. He showed some promise in the short-lived series. Assume the Aussie will plan an American here? (THR)

William Shatner has been cast in the Shit My Dad Says pilot. I had wanted a no-name actor in this role, but it should be pretty hilarious to see Shatner spew out those lines. (THR)

Durmot Mulroney has been cast in the aforementioned Rockford Files pilot for NBC. Hmmm... I was looking for someone a little more...butch? Quirky? He may surprise us. (Variety)

One of my very favorites, Becki Newton (Amanda from Ugly Betty) was cast in a fall pilot called Love Bites for NBC. Fingers crossed the role is worthy of her awesomeness. Becki will be joined by Jordana Spiro (another favorite from My Boys on TBS) as the only other series regular - not sure what that means, but I certainly hope it doesn't mean the end of My Boys! (THR)