Another weekend, another fully-loaded edition filled with the weekend's best shows (and Thursday's Without A Trace). Speaking of Trace, you all know I had my doubts because of the cliche previews for this episode, but CBS definitely sold this one short (or cheap for that matter). I'm probably going to get ostracized by the Trace fans, but I really like the new agent (Roselyn Sanchez). She made her rookie mistakes, but it seemed that she was eager to learn after doing so. The only thing I didn't like was the way they gave her a past with Danny. I always felt like Danny and Viv (my personal favs) were the only characters left who didn't have the interoffice romance drama, but now Danny had fallen as well. I thought that their conversation about their "past" was really forced and definitely out of left field. I'm hoping it goes back to left field and we don't hear from it again, but this is Without A Trace. Anyway, I thought the case was very strong, and I found myself very invested in whether they found that girl dead or alive. The writers did a nice job of allowing us to see her full story and why she did what she did. I really liked Sam's moment with her at the end while they were watching her daughter. The ending left me with a sense of hope. This was much closer to the Trace that I used to know and love. I can only hope the trend continues.
If you keep up with critical chatter about the new season, then you know that many critics are not happy with this season's Desperate Housewives. Some would argue that it had such a fabulous first season that it would be almost impossible to top (the same could be argued for Lost as well, but that show seems to have out done itself). Others believe it's just off to a slow start, and the absence of a script by creator Marc Cherry is the problem. I thought the premiere was excellent and the subsequent episodes not as much, but I still wasn't seeing all the negativity that surrounded the show. That was until last night. I was actually bored during the episode. The writers have to do something with Susan. She just goes around acting like an idiot, and her actions last night really bothered me. First she ran into Zach, but didn't tell Mike. Then, she went back and found Zach, but told him to go look for his father and not to return to Wisteria Lane first. Does she even love Mike? I know she wants to protect Julie, but Julie is a smart girl. Mike is never going to forgive Susan when he finds out what she has done (and you just know he will). The only bright spot with Susan is her interaction with Edie. I love those scenes, and there are far too few of them. I don't think there are enough words in the English language to express my complete hatred for George the pharmacist. I wish the character would go away for good. His scene at the swim meet was so despicable and psychotic that it kept the scene from being funny for me (and I think it was supposed to be funny). Seriously, I really wish they would write the character out. I'm also starting to get a little tired of the Lynette-feels-guilty-about-going-back-to-work storyline. Felicity Huffman is such a talented actress and I really wish they'd give her more than the same tired storyline every week. The only bright spot on the show for me is Carlos and Gabby. Their antics are hysterical and original. Gabby's prison riot and her never-ending quest for conjugal visits (so they would have something to look forward to after their arguments) kept me involved in this otherwise snoozer of an episode.
You have to give it to CBS for their forethought and planning with last night's Cold Case episode going up against MLB coverage on Fox. The episode had a baseball theme and it was chock full of nostaglia. Unfortunately, they didn't hit this one out of the park. I enjoy the old cases thrown in with the more modern ones because Cold Case does an excellent job of tying the cases in with the historical relevance of the year. Last night was no exception as the team investigated the murder of a Negro League player. The episode had MLB color lines, an assumed interracial and forbidden romance, and even Jackie Robinson. But all of this was not enough to save the episode. I think the writers were trying to too hard to surprise us with the killer and ended up leaving us scratching our heads instead. Why would Clyde Taylor's best friend kill him just because he was leaving the league to be with the woman he loved? And to kill him so violently by bashing his head in with his own bat. And if that man did do that, then wouldn't he still suffer the effects of what he had done? I know people kill people for all sorts of stupid and unbelievable reasons, but this one still seemed far fetched to me. Crumbs just didn't seem like the murdering type. Despite the weak motive and killer, the rest of the episode was well done. This show does an excellent job with flashbacks and their use of costumes, hair, casting, sets and the overall look. Lilly was once again front and center, and the case took a lot of twists that kept me involved. I'm guessing that the revelation that Esther was black was meant to mean that she was mixed because, otherwise, it really didn't work. Overall, a weaker outing for a show that is usually at the top of its game and easily one of television's brightest hours.
About Last Night... Due to football coverage on CBS, the network's entire line-up ran almost an hour late (except on the West Coast), so the numbers may seem a little off. CBS won the 8 p.m. hour with 60 Minutes, followed by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC, and MLB coverage on Fox. NBC's The West Wing landed in fourth. At 9, ABC scored the night's biggest numbers with Desperate Housewives, followed by the delayed Cold Case on CBS, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent on NBC. The final hour of the night went to ABC's Grey's Anatomy, followed by Crossing Jordan on NBC and the CBS movie. For more information on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.
Friday night sang a familiar tune at 8 p.m. as CBS once again won the hour with Ghost Whisperer. At 9, NBC's Three Wishes landed on top. The final hour of the night went to CBS with Numb3rs. For more on Friday's ratings, visit Zap2it.
@8 p.m. - Laura and Richard get hot on the trail of the mysterious species through the GPS tracking system she implanted last week while Animal Control confront Miles and Phil about Nimrod on NBC's Surface. Fox's MLB coverage continues with the Astros taking on the Cardinals in game 5 of the NLCS.
@9 p.m. - Ed finds out that he is the victim of identity fraud, Sam gets an unexpected visitor, and Mike borrows Ed's car and gets an unexpected result on Las Vegas on NBC. The Rams take on the Colts on ABC's Monday Night Football.
@10 p.m. - Allison travels back to her 17 year old self in order to find a connection to a current case on Medium on NBC.
*Michael J. Fox is set to guest star in a three-episode stint on ABC's Boston Legal. He'll play a wealthy businessman suffering from lung cancer who ensures that he does not get the placebo in a study. Another participant finds out and sues him, and thus Fox's character turns to Crane, Poole and Schmidt. His first episode is scheduled to air December 13th on ABC.
*In other guest appearance news, actress Kathy Baker is signed on for two-episode arc of FX's Nip/Tuck. She'll play the biological mother of Julian McMahon's character, and she'll reveal the truth behind his birth. Her first episode airs tomorrow night and the second airs November 8th.
*NBC is giving a full season order to Surface. The sci-fi drama has garnered respectable ratings for the Peacock network on Monday nights. No word yet on how many episodes the net will order since the show will be preempted for most of February (along with the rest of NBC's schedule) for coverage of the Winter Olympic Games.
*Want to know more about your favorite CBS shows? The network is adding new blogs to its site that feature perspectives from writers, stars, and producers of some of the network's biggest shows. Currently, you can read blogs from CSI: Miami, Survivor, How I Met Your Mother, and Ghost Whisperer. And coming soon, you'll be able to read some from NCIS, Threshold, and The Amazing Race. For details on each blog, click on over to The Futon Critic. Now, if they would just add one for Cold Case I would almost be willing to forgive the network's football scheduling debacle every Sunday night! Almost!
*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! CSI: NY's first season hits shelves tomorrow along with Saved By the Bell: The New Class (season 5) and The Twilight Zone (season 4). For a look at all of tomorrow's releases, visit tvshowsondvd.com.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as we look at how your favorite comedies are faring. Plus, Medium and all the latest television news!