First, a little housekeeping. I apologize for the lack of a new edition yesterday. A stomach virus got the best of me and I was down for the count. Anyway, things are better today and I'm back with your regularly scheduled edition with thoughts on this past Sunday's (better late than never) Cold Case. Now, you guys know that this show, along with Veronica Mars, can really not have a bad episode as far as I'm concerned (weaker ones, sure), so I might sound a little biased when I say that this episode was awesome! It really combined a lot of strong points and turned them into a fabulous outing. The case involving the 2001 murder of a popular local deli owner was gripping, all the characters had something to do, the Vera storyline was one of my all-time favorites, and the new girl was A-OK. Frank was one of those characters that is hard not to like. Sure, he turned a blind eye to his son's meltdown after losing his mother, but he tried to set it right, albeit a little too late. The case gave us plenty of viable suspects, so the resolution was both surprising and plausible. That "Stump" character was so despicable, especially when you thought he beat the poor dog, but he managed to have a few redeemable qualities. I like the way this show tends to make their characters, even those that are just guests, more dimensional and less flat like so many other crime shows. People aren't just good or bad, and Cold Case is the master at presenting the gray areas of human nature. Characters like the other night's Stump and Tommy are perfect examples. I found myself hating Tommy for what he did to King and his father, but at the same time, I wanted to hug him and make him better. I really felt bad for this kid. He had been through a lot with his mother and never really resolved all that grief that Lilly mentioned. It was just a very tragic case all around.
Writer Andrea Newman did a nice job of giving each of the detectives plenty to do without making it feel like a crowded house. This was especially impressive given the addition of the sixth detective, Kat Miller. You know I'm never going to be down with having six detectives on this show, but I do think that the show has done a much better job introducing her to us than they did with the Josie Sutton character. They sort of shoved her down our throats, but things have been much more gradual with Kat. From what we saw the other night, Kat has a lot of potential. She might actually add something to the show like Elena Delgado on Without A Trace instead of just clogging up the time for the other detectives like we saw in the past. She's smart, sassy, tough, and she has some mystery thing to go to on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. And since I'm such a sucker, I'm dying to know what it is!
Scotty had the obvious connection to the case, but Lilly had a more subtle one. It seems both she and Tommy had lost parents, only Tommy's mother died and Lilly's father apparently walked out on his family, leaving Lilly with plenty of grief and hate toward her mother. You know, I kind of expected this was the case all along, but having it confirmed explains a lot about Lilly and her relationship trust issues. Her father walks out on her when she's a child, her fiance/love of her life sleeps with her sister, and ADA Kite (remember him?), the next significant man to enter her life and convince her to trust him, drops her like a hot cake the second she puts her job before him. No wonder this chick has so many issues! Because I love my Lilly, I really want to see her find someone nice and wonderful who teaches her that not all men are out to steal your trust and then run off with it while sleeping with your sister! Staying on the personal front, how sweet was the Vera-finds-a-baby storyline? I knew that big lug was a huge softie deep down! He really fell for that little baby, and the experience made him realize that adopting was a viable option. If you remember from last season, he and his wife weren't able to have children and it has caused a huge rift in their relationship. The ending shot with him filling out the adoption application really gave me some hope. I'm looking forward to watching this storyline develop. Overall, an excellent episode that managed to fire on all cylinders to produce a first rate outing.
Sticking with Cold Case for just a minute, I just found some new scoop on the next new episode. The show will once again experiment with using one artist for its musical flashbacks. This time, it's Bruce Springsteen. Creator Meredith Stiehm wrote the upcoming episode that borrows a page from the canceled Reunion's playbook. In the episode, four friends graduate from high school in 1980, but one turns up murdered in 1988. Lilly and co work to uncover what went wrong in each of the four friends' lives after high school and how it all led to one of their deaths. The episode is scheduled to air [EDIT: JANUARY] 8th on CBS. And luckily, there's no Scroogey Fox executive to cut off the episode before we learn the identity of the killer (I'm looking at you Fox and your mistreatment of Reunion)!
About Last Night... NBC captured the first hour of the night with game show Deal or No Deal, followed by NCIS(r) on CBS and ABC comedies According to Jim and Rodney. At 9, ABC snatched the top spot with its Barbara Walters special Heaven: Where is it? How Do We Get There?, followed by a second hour of NCIS(r) and Fox's House. The final hour of the night went to ABC's Heaven, followed by Law & Order: SVU (r) on NBC and a special 48 Hours on CBS. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.
@8 p.m. - It's night 3 of NBC's Deal or No Deal.
@9 p.m. - Martha Stewart chooses her apprentice on NBC's The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.
A Home for the Holidays - Jamie Lee Curtis and George Lopez are featured on this annual special to highlight the importance of adoption. Sheryl Crow, the Goo Goo Dolls and Mary J. Blige perform. 8 p.m. CBS
A Very Brady Christmas - The Brady family, now grown with families of their own, attempts to get together for the holidays. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ABC Family
*Fans of Fox's The O.C. will have to stay up a little later to catch the teen soap starting in January. The network is moving the show from 8 p.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST. Two back-to-back episodes of That 70s Show will fill the 8-9 p.m. slot. This puts the show up against ratings powerhouse CSI, but help will arrive in February in the form of Fox's own ratings powerhouse American Idol. The network announced yesterday that it will air the semifinal-round results show on Thursdays at 8 p.m. before moving it back to Wednesday nights. The O.C returns January 12th on Fox.
*ABC's Commander In Chief is now available for download on Apple's iTunes music store. Just as with the current shows available, each episode will set you back $1.99. The political show about the first female president broke out as the most watched new series on network television this season. Past episodes are available now, and new ones will be added after they air on ABC.
*Looking for some exclusive scoop on Veronica Mars straight from creator Rob Thomas's mouth? Well, click on over to TVGuide.com for an interview with the show's mastermind. Did Duncan sleep with Kendall? Why wasn't Meg questioned about the bus crash before she died? And what happens when a fan discovers an inconsistency? Get the answers to these questions and plenty more from the link above. The article is mildly spoilerish, with some small general upcoming plot points, but nothing major. After you're finished reading the interview, visit TV Guide columnist Michael Ausiello's column "Ask Ausiello" for information on how to help Thomas cast a role on the show.
*And finally, it's Nielsen Wednesday! Once again, CBS captured the week in total viewers and the younger demographic. The eye network had 9 of the top 10 shows last week with CSI (r) (#1), NCIS (r) (#2), CSI: NY (#3), Without a Trace (r) (#4), Criminal Minds (tie #5), Cold Case (tie #5), Two and a Half Men (r) (#8), CBS Sunday Movie The Christmas Blessing (tie #9), and CSI: Miami (r) (tie #9). Fox's House (#7) rounded out the top 10. To see the complete top 20 shows, visit USA Today.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a preview of the midseason offerings including all the new dramas and comedies about to debut on a TV near you. And be sure to tune in Friday for the last edition of the year! I'll have a wrap-up of the best of the season so far. That's Friday on Pass the Remote!