Monday, July 31, 2006

PTR Abridged: 'Everwood' Flashback! Plus TV on DVD Monday!

And… We’re back! Sort of. You see, in addition to having no Internet at my new place, I also have no TV!! Sure, I get the major networks off of my HD antenna, but they’re not doing me a whole lotta good right now because it’s reality/rerun season. Let me just tell you, though, I have become the biggest So You Think You Can Dance fan! I’m still steaming over Allison’s departure the other night. The girl was destined to be in the finals, and then bam she’s gone. I guess I can’t complain, though, because as Kat loves to remind us, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. Anyway, all this is to say that I haven’t been able to watch any of my favorite cable summer shows the past couple of weeks. No Brenda Leigh Johnson southern speak, no crazy Psych-ed out antics and no new answers from The 4400! But, hopefully, the [sarcasm] completely competent folks[/sarcasm] at the DirecTV contractor’s office will have me up and running in no time. Yeah, I’m not holding my breath either! I do have all of the missed episodes coming my way courtesy of a fellow TV fan, so the situation could be much worse. In any event, I promised you reaction to last night’s The 4400, but since I still don’t have my DirecTV, I didn’t see it and therefore, can’t comment on it. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense. So instead of 4400 reaction, we’re going to take a look at another classic episode of the dearly departed Everwood. Today, we’re sticking with the first season (the show’s best IMO), and the second episode of the series. Really, I could feature each episode of the show’s first season, it’s that good. Since I have little access to the Internet, this will be a shorter look than I would like and it will be low-tech (little to no pictures), but it is something to tied us over until Pass the Remote is back in its usual form.

“The Great Doctor Brown” contains one of the show’s best scenes ever. It’s the scene that brought us full circle in the show’s wonderful series finale last month. It all started with a Ferris wheel and a story about Grover. Ephram had been beginning to think that Amy’s friendship came with a price tag. He knew that she was hopelessly devoted to Colin, and therefore, not interested in dating him, but was there something else that Amy wanted from Ephram? Turns out that the answer to that question was yes, and the foundation that built the entire first season. Amy wanted Ephram to ask his father to take on Colin’s case. Ephram knew it, but he didn’t understand it until that fateful Ferris wheel ride. Amy told Epkram the story about how she got the nickname “Grover.” Besides the fact that she was always a big Grover fan, Amy recounted to Ephram why the name had a deeper meaning. Colin used it to cover for her when she did something wrong. He simply said, “Grover did it.” From that point on, Colin called Amy “Grover”. After Amy’s story, Ephram does the most selfless thing of his young life; he agrees to talk to his dad about Colin’s case. Of course, he decides not to later, but for one shining moment, your heart melts and your eyes well up because you know that Ephram cares so much about Amy that he’s willing to sacrifice his feelings for her in order to make her happy. I’m pretty sure this was the moment when I decided that I wasn’t going to stand for anything other than Amy and Ephram finding their own happy ending in the long run.

This episode also brings us one of the show’s more heart-wrenching scenes. Nothing was more touching on Everwood than watching Andy’s undying devotion and love for his late wife, Julia. This is another storyline that comes full circle in the show’s ender with a cemetery conversation, but before that conversation took place, many others unfolded that led Delia to the conclusion that her father was suffering from a broken heart. Andy’s out loud talks with his dead wife culminated in an embarrassing public spectacle at the annual Fall Thaw Festival right along with Amy and Ephram’s Ferris wheel heart-to-heart. With the entire town looking on, Andy began talking to Julia and the town began deciding that their new doctor was as loony as his no-charge policy. Delia slowly took her father’s hand and led him away from the glaring onlookers. As awesome as the pilot was, I’m pretty sure this was the moment when I decided that this show was an absolute can’t miss affair each week. How much heart can a show squeeze into an hour? I’m not sure, but Everwood managed to squeeze in plenty without making it seem forced. Along with the more heart-wrenching moments, there was the usual dose of funny in this episode as well. Everything from Dr. Abbott’s hilarious ice cream order and subsequent run-in with his mother to his reaction the next day when all of his patients returned after witnessing Andy’s emotional breakdown at the festival provided some much needed comic relief. And that’s what was brilliant about Everwood - its ability to blend the tears with the laughter without skipping a beat. If you would like to see this episode, click on over to to order your copy of the show’s first season on DVD or Netflix to rent one. Fans are working on campaigns to get subsequent seasons released and ABC Family will begin airing the entire show sometime soon.


*And finally, it’s TV on DVD Monday! Look for the complete series of the Lisa Kudrow comedy The Comeback to hit store shelves tomorrow along with Blue Collar TV (season 2), Curb Your Enthusiasm (season 5) and Dallas (season 5). For a full list of all of tomorrow’s releases, visit

Since I have such limited access to the Internet, I won’t be covering all of the day’s top television news stories until I get my Internet hooked up. Be sure to click over to to get all of the latest news.

That’s all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another Flashback Edition featuring the always amazing Veronica Mars and a secret discovery that leads to a great showdown between the teen detective and Sheriff Lamb!

To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to

Friday, July 28, 2006

Stay Tuned....

Hello faithful readers! Fear not, I have not abandoned you. I'm still awaiting Internet connection at my new place, and the new provider is telling me that it won't happen now until August 8th! But, since you can't keep a true TV fan down for long, I will begin updating Pass the Remote everyday starting Monday! It will be a low-tech version with little to no pictures because I'm having to use a community computer, but it will be something until the Internet is up and running again. So, tune in this Monday to Pass the Remote for thoughts on Sunday's The 4400. Once my Internet is up, I will bring you the regular edition again in all its glory!! In the meantime, check out for all the latest television news! We'll talk soon. Happy viewing!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Flashback Edition on the 'Case!' Plus Press Tour, a Grand Gesture for 'Everwood' and NBC Pilot Sneak Peeks

Perhaps the greatest Lilly-centric episode to come out of Cold Case was the ninth episode of the series. It was back when Lil often worked cases solo and was very often in every scene sans the flashbacks. Ahh... the good old days! No, out of fairness to the other actors and Kathryn Morris herself, who I can only imagine would have undoubtedly worn herself out if she had kept up the pace of the first season, I suppose the show's shift to a more ensemble feel was inevitable and necessary (as much as I may be against it). Today's Flashback Edition features an episode that was all about keeping Lilly front and center as a confessed killer began keeping his eye on her investigation. The beauty of "Sherry Darlin'" is the fact that it doesn't follow the usual stalker rules. In fact, I wouldn't call James Hogan (the brilliant Silas Weir Mitchell) a stalker at all, just someone who reached out, hoping a helping hand would grab his and keep him holding on. That other hand turned out to be Lilly, and the help that she gave him came in the form of a deeply emotional relationship for both of them. As usual, all of the screencaps in today's edition are from the wonderful fan-run sites Kathryn Morris Online and Cold Case Source #1.

The 1989 case gets started when an unknown caller rings the Philly police department and winds up with Lilly Rush on the other end. The caller tells her that there is a body of an elderly woman buried in the basement of a house. He gives the address, but Lilly wonders how the caller knows this sensitive information. He replies, "Because I'm the one who put her there." The caller hangs up and Lilly and co. are off and running, trying to track down the box on a murdered older woman named Crystal Hogan. After searching fruitlessly, the caller is back on the line and tells Lil that there's no box because she was listed as a missing person. Lilly tracks down the house that the caller named, and makes a chilling discovery - skeletal remains of an elderly lady buried under a concrete structure in the basement. It seems her caller was telling the truth, and Lilly has another cold case to solve. Through pounding the pavement, Lil learns that the caller is most likely the victim's grandson, James Hogan, who was charged with caring for the older woman when both of his parents died in a car accident. James lived with her and his girlfriend Sherry. Things take a dark turn when Lilly confronts James, who confirms his identity during the next phone call, about his former girlfriend. It seems that she's off-limits because James still carries a torch for her, despite the fact that she is married to a doctor and living on the wealthy Main Line. This is a problem because Sherry is a real piece of work. She grew up in foster homes, but managed to claw her way all the way up to the lifestyle of the rich and richer by using people and disposing of them when they were no longer useful. There's no doubt that she latched onto James because he had a steady cash flow from grandma, who continued to receive social security checks after her death - checks that Sherry signed for. Lil's past experience working in Question Documents comes into play as she picks up on the differences between the signatures.

Lilly begins to believe that Sherry killed Crystal for the checks, or Sherry manipulated James to do it. Either way, Lil begins to feel sorry for James and the unfortunate manipulative powers that Sherry held over him (and seems to continue to hold). One of the most powerful and moving scenes of the episode transpires as James' continued affection for Sherry culminates in his first face-to-face meeting with Lilly. After the detectives track his call to a local train station, they race to take him into custody. They search the station, but James seems to be gone. Lilly's cell phone suddenly rings, and she answers it to find James on the other end. He's angry about Lilly's continued assumptions about Sherry, so she concedes and pretends to believe his impassioned pleas about his former love. James tells her that she's lying, and he knows because he can see it all over her face. The detectives frantically search the pay phones at the station, but still no James. Later that evening, James' half-brother tells Lil that he saw James and got him to agree to meet with Lilly face-to-face at a less-crowded train station the next day. Lilly goes to the station and waits for James. He finally appears, and she explains that he needs to go with her down to PPD and give his statement. James says he'll go only if Lilly leaves Sherry out of the murder. Lilly says that she'll leave Sherry out as long as she's innocent, but James gets upset because he believes that certain facts will look bad for Sherry. Lilly wants to know why James is so hung up on this girl, and he explains that Sherry was his "girl" and she believed in him. When Lilly suggests that Sherry was using him since she never discussed marriage, James gets angry again. Lilly grows more impatient. She wants him to see Sherry for what she really is/was, so she keeps talking. Finally, she emotionally tells James, "And I'm your girl now." There was nothing more than compassion and an emotional connection behind the statement, but it was moving and it spoke to Lilly's character.

The final collection of scenes before the closing montage are still some of my favorites of the series. James, after realizing the truth about Sherry, holed himself up in his old house with a shotgun. Lilly convinces Stillman to let her go in and talk with James. When she gets inside, she gets James to move the gun away from his head and talk to her about what happened to his grandmother. James tells her that Sherry wanted him to smother his grandma with a pillow. He tried to do it, but couldn't. He walked away from her, and Sherry suddenly appeared and took the pillow out of his hands. She smothered Crystal without batting an eye. James helped conceal the body in the basement and kept the secret for 14 years, but decided that he couldn't live with himself anymore after he saw Crystal's concrete grave surrounded by party paraphernalia. Lilly takes James down to the basement where he calls himself a "disgrace" and insists that he isn't getting over things "like you're supposed to." James grows more upset and puts the gun back to his head. Lilly grows more desperate and attempts to talk him out of killing himself. It seems to work as James lowers the gun once again. Lilly tells him that he's taking charge of his life by coming forward and confessing to his role in Crystal's death. James wonders if that counts for anything, and a tearful Lilly tells him that that's up to him, but it counts to her. The scene ends with the beautifully poignant "End of the Innocence" by Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby as Lilly, with a changed look on her face, escorts James outside to police custody and later takes his statement. The final scene of the closing montage takes place at Crystal's funeral with a handcuffed James and a mournful Lilly attending. "Sherry Darlin'" is an emotional episode that explores a different type of human relationship - the type where one person's simple gesture can save another person from sinking further into the black abyss. If you would like to see the episode for yourself or take a second look, cable channel TNT reruns the older episodes every Tuesday night at 11 p.m. Can't wait for it to cycle around again? Then join the Cold Case DVD Campaign. Help the show land on DVD by letting Warner Bros. know how much you want to see it on store shelves. Click on over to to learn how to help. You check out other Cold Case Flashback Editions HERE.


*PRESS TOUR DIARY:'s Mike Ausiello brings us all the scoop from day 2 of the ABC presentation at the TCA Summer Press Tour. He learned that actress Patricia Wettig will not be returning to Fox's Prison Break next season. She is starring in the new ABC drama Brothers & Sisters along with Sally Field and Calista Flockhart. New comedy The Knights of Prosperity may undergo another name change (it would be the show's fourth), actress Anne Heche keeps the critics and television media rolling with some of her answers at the session for her new Northern Exposure-like drama Men in Trees and Ausiello gets to the bottom of the rumors behind actor Tom Skerritt's role on the aforementioned Brothers & Sisters. Click HERE to read today's entry to catch up on all the happenings at the Summer Press Tour.

*Project Ferris Wheel will take off tomorrow in support of the cancelled Everwood. Fans of the critically acclaimed show will erect a Ferris wheel in the parking lot of Robert Lewis Stevenson Elementary School in Burbank, California Friday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. The campaign is designed to grab the attention of the visiting media, in town for this week's TCA Summer Press Tour sessions. The cast, crew and executive producers Greg Berlanti and Rina Mimoun are invited to take part as well as network executives from WB, CW and UPN. Of course, the event is open to the public. For more on the event, dubbed "A Grand Gesture to Help Everwood," click HERE.

*And finally, NBC is teaming up with Netflix to hook viewers for its new fall line-up. The online movie rental company will begin renting out pilot episodes of NBC's new dramas Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Kidnapped. Studio 60 centers around the behind-the-scenes happenings at a sketch comedy show. It stars Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, D.L. Hughley, Steven Webber and Timothy Busfield and it's from hitmaker Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing). Kidnapped is a serialized thriller about the kidnapping of a wealthy Upper East Side family's son and everyone is a suspect. It stars Timothy Hutton and Dana Delaney. Both pilots will be available through Netflix beginning August 5th.

To get more of today's biggest TV news and headlines, visit the TV News section at PassTheRemote.Net.

That's all for today. I'm moving this weekend, so there won't be a new edition until next week. I'm hoping to have one up on Monday, but it all depends on my new internet service in my brand new city. I'm off on a new adventure, 10-hours and 4 states away, but Pass the Remote will continue as soon as I have internet again. So, be sure to check back next week for plenty of TV coverage and all the latest news! In the meantime, you can stay abreast of all the crazy antics at this year's TCA Summer Press Tour by checking out's Ausiello Report. Today, he's visiting the sets of Grey's Anatomy and The Shield and he'll have all the scoop later today!

To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Countdown Rolls On! Plus Press Tour and More 'Law' Cast Changes

Pass the Remote's
Best Episodes of the Season

We're up to week 5 of Pass the Remote's Best Episodes of the Season Countdown. The weeks are just rolling by, which means we'll be at number in no time! Which episode will top the list? Stay tuned each week as we get closer to that answer. For those who are new to the countdown, here's a refresher on the rules I employed for selecting the 31 episodes that make up this list. All of the shows and their episodes are from NETWORK television only, meaning that I did not take any cable series into consideration (since I only watch a few and felt that it would be unfair). All episodes aired between September 2005 and June 2006. Each episode that made the final list moved me in some way; either by making me laugh out loud, cry my eyes out or just left me with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! This is a summer-long countdown, so I will reveal a few episodes each week all summer until we reach the #1 episode of the past season. Be sure to tune in each Wednesday to see the next set of episodes to make the list. Today, we're going to look at #19-17.

19: "911" - Law & Order: SVU
This is SVU's second entry on the list so far, and it's another episode that had viewers talking. This edge-of-your-seat outing featured a race against time as Olivia and her fellow detectives worked to discover whether a young 911 caller was telling the truth. The girl claimed to be a prisoner held captive by a dangerous child molester, but she was missing just enough facts to make her story questionable. Once detectives were able to get more information about the supposed victim's identity, they were able to locate a picture of her from a birthday party. Olivia asked the caller to tell her what she wore to that birthday party. The caller answered correctly, and the race was on to find her before her kidnapper returned. Olivia found the pedophile and gave him a nice beat down, but the little girl was nowhere to be found. Olivia was able to find out that the kidnapper had buried her, so she and Finn desperately searched until they found her grave. They began digging until they found her lifeless body. Olivia performed CPR and the young girl suddenly began breathing again. What made this episode work so well was the fact that it was difficult to know whether the caller was who she claimed to be, or just someone messing with the police. It was an emotional rollercoaster that we didn't get off of until after the closing credits. Written by Patrick Harbinson and directed by Ted Kotcheff.

18: "My Transition" - Scrubs
This season finale packed plenty of surprises, laughs and tender moments just as we've come to expect from every episode of Scrubs. Carla's baby shower was one of the funniest scenes of any comedy this year. Elliot, being Elliot, went way overboard with the shower to make sure every detail was perfect. She even set up a baby games station that no one seemed interested in other than her and poor Keith (whom she forced into playing the games). There was also a hilarious discussion about whether or not Carla and Turk's baby could "grab [him] down there" in utero. And then there were the shocking pregnancy revelations: one really surprising and the other not as much. Jordan and Perry are expecting their second child and JD's latest girlfriend is also pregnant. Is the baby JD's? Is New Girlfriend telling the truth? We'll have to wait until next season to know for sure, but we do know that this show knows how to end a season in style. Written by Kevin Biegel and Aseem Batra and directed by Bill Lawrence.

17: "Donut Run" - Veronica Mars
We're finally up to an episode of Veronica Mars, and the timing couldn't be better because this one just reran last night on UPN. This episode made the list over some other excellent Mars outings because of its shocking outcome. I remember sitting on the couch in shock after it aired over the events that had just transpired. First, I bought the Duncan/Veronica split hook, line and sinker. I loved the way they had Veronica dealing with the "breakup" by listening to the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides. I also bought that Veronica knew nothing about Duncan's whereabouts, so imagine my shock when both points turned out to be false. But this episode saved its most shocking moment for the end. Duncan used Sheriff Lamb to transport him across the Mexican border without Lamb knowing! Once in Mexico, he reunited with his baby daughter and the two set off together on a journey that we later learned took them all the way to Australia. I couldn't believe that Duncan was gone and Veronica managed to pull the wool not only over Keith's eyes, but ours as well. Written and directed by Rob Thomas.

So, there's a closer look at #19-17. What did you think about them? Do you agree? Disagree? Drop me a comment with your thoughts. If you missed #31-20 or just want to revisit them, click HERE. Next week, we'll crack the Top 15 with science versus faith, the cons of playing the lottery and a budding relationship.


*PRESS TOUR DIARY: Today,'s Mike Ausiello takes us through the ABC session at the TCA Summer Press Tour. Entertainment President Stephen McPhearson says that replacing Commander In Chief's showrunner Rod Lurie was a mistake, Desperate Housewives suffered a bit creatively last season, but it will be back in season 1 form with showrunner Marc Cherry being 100% involved and last season's executive producer no longer with the show, Lost will air 6 consecutive episodes in the fall before it's temporarily replaced by a new show until the spring when it will return with 16 consecutive episodes, he believes that it's Grey's Anatomy that's the Thursday underdog not CBS' CSI, and J.J. Abrams will direct some episodes of his hit show Lost this season. During the individual show sessions, Ausiello learned that John Billingsley's Terrence Steadman character on Prison Break will be recast because Billingsley is now starring in the new show The Nine. America Ferrera (right), star of the new sitcom Ugly Betty, told reporters that she "didn't know how fat and ugly [she] was until [she] started going on auditions." To read about all of the antics from ABC's session, click on over to Ausiello's Press Tour Diaries.

*And finally, Law & Order: Criminal Intent is making more cast changes. Actor Eric Bogosian is replacing Jamey Sheridan as the new head of the major case squad. Sheridan left the show earlier this year after five seasons. Meanwhile, actress Julianne Nicholson is replacing Annabelle Sciora. Nicholson was last seen in NBC's now cancelled/fellow Dick Wolf drama Conviction. These latest changes follow Monday's news that actress Nona Gaye will replace Courtney B. Vance as the show's assistant district attorney. Vance had been with the show since its inception.

To get more of today's biggest TV news and headlines, visit the TV News section at PassTheRemote.Net.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another Cold Case Flashback Edition. This week, we'll revisit an episode that strayed from the stalker norm. Plus, all the latest television news!

To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Flashback to 'Mars!' Plus Another 'One' Premieres, Press Tour and Birthday Wishes

Let me just say, I loved Meg Manning. She was an awesome character, and I was so bummed when things went sour between her and Veronica over Duncan. I was even more bummed when they killed her off this past season. But, I digress. Today's flashback edition features the episode of Veronica Mars where we first met Meg and Mac, so that fact alone makes it an instant classic. It's also the episode that had one of the show's best endings to date. We're going back to the 8th episode of the series - "Like A Virgin" - to discover the importance of your reputation and the possibility that the man who raised you may not be your father. As usual, all of the screencaps in today's edition are from the extremely comprehensive

The episode unravels over the results of one of those Internet purity tests. At first, the students of Neptune High think it's fun to take the test to determine their level of purity, but the fun soon turns to mayhem when the students begin buying the results of their fellow classmates' tests. This leads to some students putting other students' names on the test and then purposely making those students seem a lot less than pure. The entire ordeal goes all Mean Girls as students continue to perpetuate their classmates' soiled reputations. Veronica chooses to take the high road, but that doesn't make her immune to the purity test's wrath. As expected, one of the other students fills it out for her, and she doesn't come out smelling like a rose. Still, Veronica continues to steer clear of all the fuss until Meg asks for her help. Even though Meg is a part of the popular 09er crowd, she has always been nice to everyone, including Veronica. She even lent Veronica her cheerleading uniform after gym class when some other students threw Veronica's clothes into the toilet. Veronica agrees to help Meg, and she learns that someone must be hacking into the students' login password in order to take the test as someone else. Since she isn't a hacker whiz, she enlists the help of the school's resident hacker aficionado, Mac. The two try to decipher who has been hacking whom, but the web is quite tangled. Veronica finds that she's signed onto another computer at the school, which means that someone is hacking into her login right now. She tries to find out whom, but she's too late. The hacker is gone. She does discover that they sent an email to Duncan from her account claiming that she still loves him and has a VD. Veronica notes that the hacker was talking to someone named "Froggy." She sends a message to "Froggy" asking for a password.

The investigation continues, but now, Veronica has a solid lead. She knows that the only person who has everyone's passwords is the school's IT guy. She follows him and finds him in a car with a student, so she pulls out her camera and begins taking pictures. Later at school, she watches all of the suspects meander through the halls, but she suddenly stops on Meg's good friend, Kimmy. It seems Kimmy was tired of Meg getting everything that Kimmy coveted - the anchor job at the school's daily newscast, the lead in the musical and cheerleader - so she hacked into her account to knock her down a few pegs. The author of the email was Duncan's current girl, who believed that he still had feelings for Veronica, but the creator of the purity test was Miss Hacker herself, Mac. She cooked up the test to make a few extra bucks, and she ended up earning enough to buy herself a brand new Beetle. And what of that amazing ending that I alluded to at the beginning of this post? Veronica had been looking into getting a pass to meet face-to-face with Lilly's convicted killer - Able Koontz. She created an alias for herself and pretended to be from Able's hometown newspaper, but she wasn't fooling Able. He knew who she was right away, and he told her something so upsetting that even the emotionally tough Veronica began to sob as she sat in her car alone in the parking lot of the state prison. He tells her that her mother used to visit Jake Kane in his office frequently because Jake Kane is her father. This classic episode, along with all of the first season outings, is available on the season 1 DVD set. To check it out for yourself, pick up your copy today. Or rent one through Netflix, or check your local library for a free borrowed copy. Veronica's second season is currently airing in reruns on UPN every Tuesday night. Tonight, you can catch another week of back-to-back episodes. In the first hour (one of the show's BEST this season), the FBI comes to Neptune after Duncan steals his and Meg's baby and makes a run for the border. Check out the opening scene HERE. In the second hour, Wallace enlists Veronica's help after he is involved in a tragic hit-and-run.

Discretion is not Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson's strong suit. In fact, she likes to conduct her investigations in a completely opposite manor. Celebrities and their private lives are all about discretion, especially when it comes to the invasive paparazzi. So, if I remember by SAT study course as well as I probably should, then we can deduct from these two statements that Brenda should never investigate a celebrity-involved homicide case. Oh boy! These two worlds collided during last night's episode of The Closer, and let's just say that everyone was left picking up the pieces. A dead member of the paparazzi isn't exactly a headline-grabber, unless he dies in a hotel full of the celebrities that he was there to cover. One of those celebrities has a huge bounty over his own head for one incriminating photo. Enter the incriminating photo of the married and presumed straight celebrity in a "compromising" position with another man. Rinse, lather and repeat, and you have a deadly recipe for murder. The only problem for Brenda and co. was the fact that the death appeared to be a suicide. That was until Brenda had her detectives throw a dummy off the hotel balcony her way. The dummy landed in the exact same location as their dead paparazzo (Apparently, this is the correct singular form of the word. Who knew? See, TV is educational!). So the question is, who killed the photographer? Was it his ex-wife who's still in love with him (unlikely), a celebrity who is about to be outed (seems likely), the hotel's night manager who tipped off the photographer (motive??) or the celebrity's favorite stalker who would do anything to protect his idol (guy is crazy is all I'm saying!)? Would you believe it was the ex-wife??!! I should have known because these crime shows love to throw us off certain people's scents just to get us in the end. Apparently the ex-wife had a beef with her former husband because she wanted to get back together and he didn't. She held his beloved camera over the balcony and the two struggled until he fell over. Accident, right? Not so much. He was clinging for life on the bottom wrung of the balcony, so she stomped on his hand until he let go and fell to his death. And that is why you never mess with a woman scorned! I found myself laughing out loud at the murder reenactment scene with Brenda and co. The fact that she was shouting up to them instead of just using her cell phone was hilarious! Like I said, discrete isn't Brenda's middle name.


*TV TONIGHT: If it seems like everyone has a talent show these days, then it should be no surprise to hear that ABC rolls out another one tonight. The One: Making a Music Star (9-11 p.m.) blends singing talent and drama as the contestants share a house Last Comic Standing style.

*PRESS TOUR DIARY CONTINUES:'s Mike Ausiello is on the scene of the TCA Summer Press Tour, and he's keeping us informed with his hilarious diary. Today, he talks about the full CW presentation yesterday including the net's brand new shows Runaway (which contains some of his funniest material ever!) and The Game as well as returning favorites Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls. He also has an exclusive interview with new GG showrunner David Rosenthal who says that Logan will remain in London, Christopher will be a bigger presence this season and Luke will deepen his relationship with April and Anna. Click HERE for all the scoop from Rosenthal. On the Veronica front, Tina Majorino (Mac) is now a full-fledged regular cast member (Yay!!), expect to see Logan, Wallace and Dick going to Hearst with Veronica, the show will air uninterrupted for 9 episodes with the first mystery of the season (the second mystery will run 7 episodes and the third will run 6), Charisma Carpenter (Kendall) will make an appearance and Stephen King may show up in a future episode if his schedule permits (Executive producer Rob Thomas asked him to play a college professor in an episode, but he was booked. The best-selling author asked Thomas to keep him in mind for a future appearance). Click HERE to read Ausiello's scoop from the CW presentation yesterday.

*And finally, very special birthday wishes go out to Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell. The actress turns 26 today.
Happy Birthday Kristen!!

To get more of today's biggest TV news and headlines, visit the TV News section at PassTheRemote.Net.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as the countdown continues! We've made our way all the way down to the teens in the summer-long countdown of PTR's Best Episodes of the Season. Tomorrow's picks include a deadly 911 call, a hilarious baby shower and the consequences of taking it on the lam. Plus, all the latest television news!

To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to

Monday, July 17, 2006

Breakin' Up is Hard to do on 'The 4400!' Plus Press Tour, Cast Additions and 'Amazing' Contestants

First Lily, now Alana! Why does The 4400 insist on eliminating all of my favorite characters??!! OK, OK, so maybe we haven't seen the last of Alana and I'm just getting a little ahead of myself, but the ending of last night's episode left me a little blue. Before Lily died in the premiere, I used to root for her and Richard. They were my favorite couple, but I had to move on and choose a new one to champion. Enter Alana and Thomas (don't you love the fact that she calls him this?), who were a very close second in the favorite 4400 couple race after that magnificent episode last season where the two met. So, things have been moving along smoothly so far this season, and I've been on the sidelines cheering them on just as strongly as I did Richard and Lily. And then, the writers go and take them away too! I really hope that we follow Alana in Canada (if that's where she really goes) because I'm going to sorely miss her character if we don't. It bugged a little bit that they decided to "write her out" with that weird storyline. Alana decided to tip off Gary Navarro because she wanted to help Thomas? Either she's lying or the writers couldn't come up with something better because that plot device wreaks of suspicion.

In other 4400 happenings, Isabelle is beginning to full-fledge freak me out! I used to think she was cute in a totally naive, innocent way. Then, she turned a little freaky with her "I can't die" status. Freaky soon turned to scary as she used her powers against her own father, but I relented a bit because she seemed to genuinely feel bad for doing so. I cut the kid a break, figuring that she didn't fully understand her abilities yet. But that all changed the following week when she turned into a homicidal maniac! OK, so she technically didn't kill all those people (she used their powers against them), but it became apparent that Isabelle wasn't playing around anymore. Now, she has gone all Fatal Attraction on Shawn! Glenn Close has nothing on Isabelle, though, because she didn't have any special powers or the inability to die. I was so afraid that Is (can I call her that without experiencing her wrath? Guess we'll find out!) was going to do something horrible to Nicki (whom by the way, it was nice to see back on the show). Shawn did the smart thing, but really, did he have any other option?? And this is random, but does anyone else think that Tom and Diana have the best partner/BFF relationship ever? They have each other's backs no matter what goes down, and I love that about them. Tom "killed himself" just so he could go to the future to bring back Maia for Diana, and he made a deal with the Future to kill Isabelle in order to save Maia! What a guy! Now Diana, who is unaware of Tom's Kill Isabelle deal, voluntarily goes along with his crazy plot to spring Alana and capture Gary Navarro. It gets better because she also participates in his plan to get Gary back from Dennis Ryland, who has become all sorts of crazy and is now working in the private sector. In any event, I seriously (heart) these two and their awesome partnership. Best line of the night: "Nice workin' with you again, Dennis." You go Tom! As usual, all of the pictures in this edition are from the show's official site, which includes blogs, character profiles and much, much more!


*It's time for that annual tradition that has become a staple of our summer: Press Tour Diaries!!! That's right,'s Mike Ausiello (of "Ask Ausiello" fame) is at it again with his hilarious diary entries on the Television Critics Association's Summer Press Tour. What is the TCA Summer Press Tour? It's an annual event that allows the nets to formally introduce you to their new shows and stars as well as reacquaint you with their older ones. Basically, it's a TV fan's biggest dream come true, and Ausiello allows us all to live vicariously through his daily experiences at the tour in Los Angeles. Today, he shares his experience at today's highly anticipated CW session (President Dawn Ostroff continues to defend her decision to cancel Everwood, Ausiello brings up the Ferris wheel campaign, we learn that Gilmore Girls will premiere September 26th and Veronica Mars will begin its third season on October 3rd plus much more) as well as this weekend's 2-day CBS event (The net is worried about megahit CSI facing off with Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights, a CSI cast member gets snarky about another CSI, James Woods spreads his knowledge and a whole lot more. Read about each session HERE and HERE). There's more scoop in those diaries than I have room to print, so click on over to Ausiello's main page and read the latest from the Summer Press Tour!

*Actress Camryn Manheim is joining the cast of CBS' Ghost Whisperer. She'll play Melinda's (Jennifer Love Hewitt) new sidekick, since she lost her original one (Aisha Tyler) last season. In other casting news, actress Nona Gaye will replace the departing Courtney B. Vance as the A.D.A. on NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Vance had been with CI since its inception in 2001.

*CBS is releasing the identities of the contestants for the upcoming 10th edition of The Amazing Race. This season marks the first time that the show is including 12 teams instead of the usual 11. Among the teams in this edition is the first Indian-American team (husband and wife from Windermere, FL), former co-captains of the University of South Carolina cheerleading squad/best friends (from Columbia, SC), two best friends who also happen to be Muslims (from Cleveland, OH), two Iron Man competitors (Laguna Beach and Trabuco Canyon, CA) and two Miss USA contestants/best friends (from Riverside, CA and New York, NY). This season the teams will visit Kuwait, Mongolia and Hanoi, Vietnam along their 30-day, 40,000 mile journey. The Amazing Race will air on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. this fall.

*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! Look for the second season of HBO's Carnivale to land on store shelves tomorrow along with The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (complete series), The Incredible Hulk (season 1), The Pretender (season 4) and That's So Raven (vol. 4). To see a list of all of tomorrow's releases, visit

To get more of today's biggest TV news and headlines, visit the TV News section at PassTheRemote.Net.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another Veronica Mars Flashback Edition. We'll take a look at an episode that told us which Neptune High students were pure and which were not that innocent. Plus, The Closer and all the latest television news!

To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to

Friday, July 14, 2006

Two Shows with lots in Common! Plus Innertube goes 'InTurn' and Bravo and TNT 'Runway' with 'Dream' Ratings

In case you haven't figured it out by now, PTR's two favorite shows are Veronica Mars and Cold Case. Neither show can really do any wrong with me, and even if they did, PTR would still watch. In fact, I'd watch both even if they "jumped the shark!" So, as long as these two shows are on the air, I'll be tuning in. How can two shows that seem to be on the opposite end of the spectrum jointly monopolize the top spot on my list of favorite shows? Maybe they're not as different as it seems. Sure, Case is a crime procedural with very little character development and Veronica is all about the character development with a little bit of solving cases on the side, but these shows have a lot in common beyond the two blonde leads and the whole crime fighting thing. I'm sure you've heard about the Grey's Anatomy/Veronica thing, where many members of the young cast of the latter have guest starred on the former, but did you know that Cold Case and Veronica Mars seem to be holding a cast swap as well? Jason Dohring, who plays Logan on Veronica, guest starred in an emotional season one episode of Case, playing a troubled teen suspected of killing his former swimming coach at a military academy. When I asked Dohring about the experience during the Bloggers Media Day, he said, "I had a great time on that show. It was so cool." But Dohring isn't the only VM cast member to turn up in an episode of CC. Tessa Thompson (Jackie on VM) guest starred in CC's GLAAD Award-winning "Best Friends" back in season two. Just this past season, James Jordan (Lucky on VM) guest starred as a suspect in the murder of a beloved deli owner and Alona Tal (Meg Manning on VM) guest starred in the all-Bruce Springsteen episode playing a young woman whose life didn't turn out as she planned. But it isn't just the guest stars that tie these shows so closely together, there are a lot of similarities between the two. Today, we're going to take a closer look at the two shows and the common ground they share, despite their structural differences.

The biggest tie that binds these two shows is their respective main characters. I've often felt that Lilly Rush is an adult version of Veronica Mars. They're both smart, savvy, resourceful, independent and masters of the fine art of interrogations. Lilly grew up with an alcoholic mother and no father, and Veronica had an alcoholic mother who ran off with her college money, but a wonderful father who filled both roles. So, they both have "mommy issues" that neither has fully resolved. Veronica was raped after she passed out at a party when she unwittingly drank from a cup containing a date rape drug. Lilly was attacked as a young girl while she went to the store late at night to buy alcohol for her mother. We don't know the full extent of what happened other than the fact that she walked away with a broken jaw and kicked in teeth, but serial killer George Marks, who read the report on the incident, alluded to some sort of sexual attack when he asked, "Did he touch you in your secret place?" Of course, Veronica is more resilient than Lilly. She has been able to bounce back from the tragedies in her life, including her best friend's murder, without a lot of emotional damage. Lilly is still trying to sort it all out in order to find and maintain a healthy, stable relationship. Back on the similarity side, both characters use their smarts and compassion over their sexuality to open the proper channels to solve their respective cases, although, both know how to use the power of their sexuality when it's necessary. Neither likes to give up, and both characters are well-developed, multi-layered treats that continue to fascinate us each week (and don't you get the sense that if these two ever met, they'd totally be BFFs for life?).

In addition to the similarities with the lead characters of each show, both shows share a common style and look. They love to play with the film noir genre, which is defined as:

A movie characterized by low-key lighting, a bleak urban setting, and corrupt, cynical characters.

In fact, the very definition seems to describe each show perfectly. The low-key lighting is probably the most evident whenever I'm choosing screen caps for PTR. I have a difficult time finding good shots that are light enough to post here, but that same dark undertone to each shot enhances the mood and feel. Cold Case is certainly rockin' the "bleak urban setting" with the usually gray and blue shots of Philadelphia. If you visualize an outside shot on CC, do you picture a cloudy day, colder temperatures and an overall depressing-like feel? Meanwhile, Mars is busy rockin' the "corrupt, cynical characters" with everyone from Woody Goodman to Kendall Casablancas. In fact, the overarching theme of the show is how the wealthy 09ers use their money to corrupt those in positions of power in order to keep those without the wealth down. Meanwhile on CC, many of the cases that the detectives deal with carry the same theme. The pilot episode was about a wealthy family throwing its clout around to cover up a 26 year old murder. Lilly even tells a suspect that "People shouldn't be forgotten," even if they are her kind of people. The show very often deals with powerful people such as doctors, lawyers and politicians who commit murder or use their power for corruption rather than good. And then there's both shows' tendency to dwell in the gray area of human nature. Neither show gives us "bad" and "good" people, but reveals how each person has both inside of them. Two of the biggest elements of storytelling - character and theme - are remarkably parallel between the two shows. When you add the uniform use of flashbacks, crime solving, common actors and good storytelling, the result is two seemingly dissimilar shows that have more in common than first thought.

What do you think about these similarities? Do you watch one and not the other? Leave me a comment with your thoughts on these two shows.

After a several week absence, Friday Fun: Summer Style is back!! This week, it's Fun Fact time.

FF: Keeping with today's theme, this week's Fun Fact is a bit of trivia about the season finale of Cold Case. In the episode, Lilly finds herself drawn to a murder victim after viewing his photograph. During the investigation, she accidentally stumbles upon the revelation that the man she had been enthralled with while investigating his murder, is actually alive. The plot is similar to the 1944 film noir movie Laura starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews and Vincent Price. In the film, "A detective investigating a murder falls in love with the dead girl's portrait only to find out that it wasn't her that was murdered." Sounds familiar, right? Well, the CC writers even paid homage to the classic film by naming Joseph's injured cat - yes - LAURA. [Source: Look Again]


*CBS' internet channel, Innertube, is launching a new internet-only series. The reality competition, dubbed InTurn, will follow 8 contestants as they battle it out for a 13-week contract role on daytime drama As the World Turns. The contestants include a recent college grad from South Carolina, a bar tender from Kentucky and a host of students from all over the U.S. InTurn premieres Monday exclusively on the net at Innertube.

*And finally, it's good news all around for the premieres of TNT's Nightmares and Dreamscapes and Bravo's third season of Project Runway. TNT pulled in 5.2 million viewers for the first hour of Dreamscapes and 4.8 million for the second. Meanwhile, Bravo's Runway brought in the most viewers ever for a season premiere on that network. More than 2.4 million viewers tuned into the Heidi Klum design competition.

To get more of today's biggest TV news and headlines, visit the TV News section at PassTheRemote.Net.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in Monday for thoughts on this weekend's The 4400. Plus, all the latest television news!

To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Flashback Edition on the 'Case!' Plus FX to the 'Rescue' and Bell Gets in 'Shape' and 'InStyle'

Remember when Lilly and the gang used to eat on the job? Not only did it bring an extra dose of reality to the show (after all, I'm sure real detectives rarely have the time to stop and take a nice lunch), but it also led to some humorous scenes. There's the classic "fry scene" from season one's "Glued" (which we'll explore in a future Flashback Edition) and then there was this one pictured above from today's classic episode, "Fly Away." Lilly and Stillman had stopped to get a hotdog from a street vendor when Scotty walked up and told Lilly that A.D.A. Kite asked about her. She was a little caught off guard, but it became apparent that she was interested in knowing the details. Take a long, hard look at the picture because it is the only funny scene in this three-hanky affair. "Fly Away" is one of those rare episodes where absolutely everything just clicks: the case is so emotional without being over-the-top, Lilly carries the episode and we even learn a little bit more about her, the ending song strengthens the poignant closing scenes and the writing just blows you away. That last point shouldn't be a surprise, though, since the episode's writer, Veena Sud, is in my opinion, the show's best. Today, we're going to explore an episode that is still in my top 3 list of all-time best episodes of this series or any other - it's that good! As usual, all of the wonderful screencaps are from Kathryn Morris Online, which houses the most comprehensive Kathryn Morris photo gallery on the net, and Cold Case Source #1, a complete fan-run site on the hit crime show.

The case de jour involved the unsolved death of a 6-year old girl, Toya Miles, after she and her mother, Rosie, fell through an apartment window, landing on the road below. Lilly and co. reopen the case after Rosie wakes up from a 2-year coma, but she doesn't remember anything other than "bruises and butterflies." As Lil and Scotty dig deeper into the case, they learn that Rosie was on welfare and had gotten a DUI with Toya in the car. Child services assigned a case worker, Mr. Freely, to check on Rosie and Toya regularly. All of this becomes familiar territory for Lilly, who grew up in the child services system. This is the first time that we learn that her mother had a drinking problem, which meant meals were few and far between for the Rush children. Learning about Rosie's DUI doesn't land her in Lil's good graces, and things turn even worse when the team visits Rosie's old apartment. From the looks of things, it seems that she had a video camera trained on the one bedroom, and her former landlord does her no favors by suggesting that Rosie had men over a lot and made Toya sleep on the couch. With these new revelations, Lilly is done feeling any sorrow for Rosie. The entire story is far too close to her own and Rosie's behavior, too close to her own mother's. From that point on, Lilly is harsh and cold with Rosie, but she saves her best stuff for her interrogations.

Two of the interrogations are still among the series' best, and they are huge contributors to the overall quality of this episode. The first one takes place between Lilly and Rosie's absent father. Turns out, he set up an account with a lot of money in it for Rosie the day she woke up. The gang figures he felt guilty either for causing Toya's death and Rosie's coma or for possibly abusing Toya. They learned through people who knew Rosie and Toya that Rosie was concerned that someone was abusing her daughter. When Lil and Scotty revisit child services, they find that Rosie was abused as a child (complete with pictures of her bruises), but nothing on Toya. Lilly confronts Rosie's father in the interrogation room about what he did to Rosie. She challenges him to hit her saying, "Hit me. You like hitting girls, so hit me." The second interrogation contains one of the episode's chills-inducing moments as Lilly and Scotty take on Rosie's case worker, Mr. Freely, whom they learned from Rosie's videotape, was trying to sexually abuse Toya. Lilly is sick with rage as she tells Freely that he was "like God to these women." He tries to deny any wrong doing, but Lilly reminds him that she has a tape, so "back the hell off!" Enter the chills-inducing moment of the interrogation as Lilly tells Freely that all of the mothers of the daughters that he abused are standing on the other side of the interrogation room's window waiting to tell their stories. She walks over to the window and the camera pans to reveal that the room is empty. Freely finally comes clean, but says, "Like you care. Like anyone cares." He goes on to say that these women were all just trailer trash, so no one cares if he abused their daughters. Perhaps the saddest part of this story (I know, as if it hasn't been sad enough) comes with the revelation about how Toya died. When Rosie caught Freely trying to hurt Toya, she confronted him. He instantly threatened to report her by inventing things that she was doing wrong. He told her that he would be coming for Toya when she least expected it and to just wait for the knock on the door. That night, Rosie and Toya were in bed when Rosie heard the apartment door open and then footsteps coming toward her closed bedroom door. She began to panic, thinking it was Freely, so she got Toya out of bed and began to weigh her options. The best one seemed to be the window with the butterfly charms hanging in it. As the footsteps stopped outside the bedroom door, she panicked and jumped through the window with Toya in her arms. It wasn't Freely at the door, but rather a local pizza delivery boy who used to bring the leftovers to Rosie and Toya, and who just happened to be the one who made the charms hanging in the very window that took Toya's life.

Now, if you're not a bumbling mess by this point in the episode, then the closing scenes will definitely put you over the top. The ending song, the slow-paced version of DJ Sammy & Yanou featuring Do's cover of Brian Adams' "Heaven," poignantly sets the stage as Lilly painfully tells Rosie the truth and then gets her the help she needs. It was a spectacular moment of character growth as Lilly realized how wrong she had been and atoned for it. We then see Lilly walking past a line of little girls at PPD to give their statements about Mr. Freely. Later in the montage, we see Lilly at home watching home movies of herself as a child making snow angels with her mother. It's a contrast to what she told Scotty during an earlier rant about her mother saying, "Scotty, there were no good times." Clearly there were, and learning that she was too harsh on Rosie made her rethink her stance on her mother as well. If you would like to see the episode for yourself or take a second look, cable channel TNT reruns the older episodes every Tuesday night at 11 p.m. Can't wait for it to cycle around again? Then join the Cold Case DVD Campaign. Help the show land on DVD by letting Warner Bros. know how much you want to see it on store shelves. Click on over to to learn how to help.


*FX is ordering another season of its controversial Rescue Me. The show, starring Denis Leary, is up 10 percent in the ratings this season. The 13-episode 4th season is expected to begin shooting early next year with episodes airing sometime in the spring or summer. You can catch new episodes of the show's 3rd season every Tuesday night on FX. In other show news, HBO plans to make the upcoming second season of its critically acclaimed Rome, its last. The network says that the show was originally planned as a miniseries, but changed to a regular series after the network saw the scripts and the production companies involved. The high cost and logistics of shooting overseas caused HBO to decide to end the show after two seasons. Filming on the second season is underway, and the network plans to roll it out January 7th, 2007.

*And finally, actress Kristen Bell is Shape magazine's August cover girl. The Veronica Mars star shares her secrets for keeping her rockin' body despite having little time to work out. She's also featured in this month's issue (July) of InStyle magazine. And don't forget that you can catch Kristen every Tuesday night on Veronica Mars on UPN. The 3rd season starts this September on the new CW network. To see more pictures from the magazines, click on over to GMMR (photos courtesy Kristen Bell Online).

To get more of today's biggest TV news and headlines, visit the TV News section at PassTheRemote.Net.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a look at two PTR favorite shows that may seem on opposite ends of the television spectrum, but actually have more in common than you think. Plus, another edition of Friday Fun: Summer Style and all the latest television news!

To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Best Episodes Breaks the Top 20! Plus King's 'Dreamscapes,' CBS' Switch and Field's Move to TV

Pass the Remote's
Best Episodes of '05/'06

After a week off from the countdown (thanks to Emmy coverage), we're back and we're up to week 4 of Pass the Remote's Best Episodes of the '05/'06 TV Season Countdown. For those who are new to the countdown, here's a refresher on the rules I employed for selecting the 31 episodes that make up this list. All of the shows and their episodes are from NETWORK television only, meaning that I did not take any cable series into consideration (since I only watch a few and felt that it would be unfair). All episodes aired between September 2005 and June 2006. Each episode that made the final list moved me in some way; either by making me laugh out loud, cry my eyes out or just left me with that "wow" feeling that stays with you for a few days. So basically, it's completely subjective! This is a summer-long countdown, so I will reveal a few episodes each week all summer until we reach the #1 episode of the past season. Be sure to tune in each Wednesday to see the next set of episodes to make the list. Today, we're going to look at #22-20.

22: "Everybody Hates Food Stamps" - Everybody Hates Chris
One of the best new comedies to emerge from the 2005 crop of fall shows was this delightful treat based on comedian Chris Rock's upbringing. What makes Chris so great is the fact that it's funny - something that other comedies seem to be missing. One of the season's funniest outings was this one featuring the world of food stamps. Julius, who's never eager to part with a dollar, finds unused food stamps and gives them to Rochelle to use the next time she grocery shops. Rochelle, who Chris refers to as a "Ghetto Snob," isn't too fond of the idea because she doesn't want her neighbors thinking that they're poor. She finally agrees to use them, so the kids pile all sorts of goodies into the shopping cart. At the checkout counter, Rochelle is about to pay when she sees her friend Sheila. Instead of using the food stamps in front of Sheila, she decides to dip into the family savings. She doesn't tell Julius, so he begins to make plans on what the family can spend with the extra cash they saved using food stamps. When Rochelle finally comes clean, Julius makes her sell the food stamps to get the cash back. In a hilarious scene at the same grocery store, she discretely attempts to sell them on the black market, while in disguise, until some friends recognize her. The episode shows how far Rochelle is willing to go to protect her image and it has hilarious results. Written by Ali LeRoi and directed by Jerry Levine.

21: "The 23rd Psalm" - Lost
Delving into the mysterious Mr. Eko proved to be one of this show's finest hours this season (but not its only as you'll see as the countdown progresses). The entire episode set up an interesting dichotomy of the character of Eko. There was the kind, gentle Eko that we knew from his time on the island and then there was this gun-touting, drug cartel-ing Eko from a different life. It all began back in Nigeria when Eko was very young. He spared his brother from the horrible fate of shooting a man for the militia. His brother went on to be a priest and Eko, a drug trafficker. All of that changed, though, when Eko's involvement got his brother killed and his body sent on a plane filled with the Virgin Mary statues with drugs inside. The plane, of course, is the same one that Locke and Boone found on the island. Eko found his brother's body in the plane wreckage, and finally got the chance to say goodbye. The episode explains the more faith-inspired side of Eko as he assumed his brother's identity as a priest after his death. Written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Matt Earl Beesley.

20: "Lucky in Love" - Medium
This was an episode that just caught you off guard, Sixth Sense style. After Allison dreams that her brother, Michael, is involved in a bank robbery, he makes an unexpected visit to Phoenix. Allison grows more concerned when he brings with him a shady woman (Emilia) that he just met in a bar along the way. After a little digging, she finds that Emilia is involved in a con ring, but the most surprising discovery is still yet to be revealed. Emilia is dead! One of her fellow con artists murdered her and dumped her body along an interstate. The only problem is, she doesn't know it and neither does Michael (who has similar psychic abilities). Allison has to talk Emilia through the ordeal because Michael is unwittingly involved in a plot to get Emilia's things back from the man that murdered her (unbeknownest to him). In the end, a bummed Michael makes a little peace with his ability as Emilia finally moves on. It was a moving and shocking episode that brought a completely different element to the table. Written by Robert Doherty and directed by David Jones. **PROGRAMMING NOTE: You can catch this episode of Medium this Monday, July 17th on NBC.

So, there's a closer look at #22-20. What did you think about them? Do you agree? Disagree? Drop me a comment with your thoughts. If you missed #31-23 or just want to revisit them, click HERE. Next week, we'll reveal the next three episodes on the list including a deadly 911 call, a hilarious baby shower and the consequences of taking it on the lam.


*TV TONIGHT: TNT kicks off its 4-week event Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (9-11 p.m.) with a commercial-free premiere. The miniseries will tell 8 chilling King stories over the course of its 4-week run. Bravo rolls out the 3rd season of Project Runway (9-11 p.m.).

*CBS will air the pilot episode of sister network Showtime's new drama Brotherhood. The episode will air with little commercial interruption and will carry a TV-14 rating, but will be a network modified version of the original Showtime presentation. The critically acclaimed new drama centers around two Irish-American brothers fighting for control of the area of Providence, Rhode Island known as "The Hill." One brother is a politician and the other is on the wrong side of the law. The show premiered on Showtime on July 9th, but you can catch a special encore presentation of the first episode this Saturday night at 10 p.m. on CBS. In other CBS news, the network is switching timeslots for two comedies on its Fall 2006 line-up. Last year's freshman success How I Met Your Mother will now air at 8:30 p.m. on Monday nights instead of 8 p.m., and new comedy The Class will run at 8 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m.

*Actress Sally Field is joining the cast of the new ABC series Brother & Sisters. She replaces Becky Buckley as the mother of the five Walker siblings. The series also stars Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin and Patricia Wettig. Brothers & Sisters will air Sundays this fall on ABC.

*And finally, actor Kenny Johnson will return to CBS' Cold Case next season according to a posting on his message board. He first appeared in last season's finale as a victim who turned up alive and caused some sparks between his Joseph character and detective Lilly Rush. Johnson writes on his message board, "Cold Case starts this month I shoot 4 out of the 1st 5 ...Maybe that's it, I don't know .. But write to the Cold Case folks for some ideas .... Thank you all for support." Cold Case is scheduled to kick off its 4th season this September on CBS with a move to 9 p.m. on Sundays. (Right: Kathryn Morris and Kenny Johnson from this season's finale. Photo courtesy Kathryn Morris Online.)

To get more of today's biggest TV news and headlines, visit the TV News section at PassTheRemote.Net.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for another Cold Case flashback edition that features an episode with "butterflies and bruises" and a whole lotta hankies! Plus, all the latest television news.

To get more television coverage, including the network's new fall schedules and a complete archive of the best of Pass the Remote with a photo gallery featuring pictures from the set of Veronica Mars, click on over to