Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Claire's Killer Cheerleading Tryout

Oh my gosh! We were this close to no longer having Claire as the infamous cheerleader! Boy, that lie she told her father would have been a lot bigger. If she hadn't made the squad, the guilt would have been too much. Truth is, snotty head cheerleader didn't put her on the squad because she wasn't "extra ordinary" enough. Well, she showed her! Claire and West came up with a plan to publicly humiliate her using their respective powers. I have to admit, it was pretty funny and it wasn't like snotty head cheerleader didn't deserve her suspension. While Claire's busy giving cheerleaders their due, her father's busy in Russia getting a former business associate to spill the location of Isaac's other foreboding paintings. I never thought about using The Haitian's memory-killing power as an interrogation tool, but it worked! And just in case we were getting a little too used to HRG's softer side, the writers were sure to remind us that he has an evil one as well. After getting the location, he shot his former associate point blank and made it look like a botched robbery. Apparently, erasing the man's memories wasn't enough because The Company could trace it back to him. When they finally got to the paintings, they weren't able to make much sense of them -- yet. Stay tuned...

Elsewhere, Hiro made a huge wrinkle in time that may not be easily fixed. He gave in to his feelings for the swordsman's daughter and kissed her. Even worse, she figured out that it was he who she had originally fell for under those cherry blossoms. Turns out, Kenzai is definitely the jealous type! He enlisted the help of Whitebeard's army to capture the princess and her father. Hiro, you're supposed to be ensuring that history happens as planned, not rewriting it! Meanwhile, Maya refuses to listen to her brother's advice regarding Sylar (BAD idea, Maya!!) and Mohinder just got a new research partner: Nicki (or is it Jessica? Hard to tell). And then there's Peter's bizarre discovery in Montreal. Who's Adam? Is he the same Adam that Bob had a folder on and warned Mohinder about? Interesting...

Photos courtesy nbc.com.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lil's Therapy + Moving 'Case' = Strong Outing

Lilly Rush may now be certified (as in certified NOT insane and mentally fit to do her job -- somebody alert Scotty!), BUT I'm not so sure that she's mentally fit to do her life. We know she puts up a brave front to protect herself, but could it be that brave front that is holding her back? Imagine if you will, a Lilly who used her counseling sessions wisely and got a lot off of her chest. She'd be dealing with what happened to her instead of pretending it never occurred. At the end of her mandatory sessions, she'd be a mentally healthier person. BUT admitting to her emotional difficulties exposes her vulnerability, trust issues and everything else that she despises with the very fabric of her being. Pretend as she may, this isn't going anywhere, especially since, as the therapist pointed out, she doesn't have anyone in her life to turn to for help. That nightmare we witnessed last week focused on one central question; "Is there anyone we can contact for you?" Truth is, there isn't. Her mother's dead, her sister's on the run, her father left when she was just a child, and she manages to sabotage any semblance of a romantic relationship that comes her way (using work as an excuse to avoid intimacy with Kite and kissing a childhood sweetheart to escape from Joseph's impromptu "I love you"). And then there's Ray -- the live-in-the-moment aforementioned childhood sweetheart who blows into town providing companionship, but negates the commitment that makes it all too real for her. But that doesn't work either because he ALWAYS wants her to run off somewhere with him and she wants to hide behind the protective arms of her J-O-B. Yes, Lilly needs a support system and she needs to stop protecting herself because in the process, she's ultimately doing more damage. Poor Lil.

This week's counseling session was an interesting case study on the character of Lilly Rush. She started out as her usual cool, calm and collected self, but the moment the therapist suggested that Lilly take stock of her life, she began to get fidgety. She became nervous, unsettled and visibly upset. So, what does she do? She quickly shifts to "detective mode." She begins questioning her therapist about that "15-year old" picture of her daughter and accuses her of fixing others' problems because she can't fix her own as if she's accusing a suspect of murdering a victim. It was Lilly 101 - deflect and then turn to what keeps you emotionally grounded. Lilly's detective act is her emotional center; it's where she draws her confidence and strength. This was a brilliant scene for so many reasons, but the biggest is Kathryn Morris' performance: Her subtle shifts between these emotions, the fidgeting, the tears that began to swell but quickly retracted, and the final reflective glance as she turned to walk out that office for the last time. It was all too brilliant for words.

Interesting and moving case this week (and it had a lot of competition from the Lil stuff). There were shades of Finding Forrester and Akeelah and the Bee (both excellent movies) in Terrance's story. Instead of a genius knack for literature and writing or spelling, Terrance was a math genius. The problem was, in his neighborhood, that talent is easily exploited for gambling, cracking safes and robberies. Terrance may not have wanted to get involved in that life, but half-brother Mike and his low-life father kept sucking him back in. Chances are, if it weren't for "The Bird Man," Terrance may not have seen the good that his talent could do in the world. Augustine took him under his wing (no pun intended) and taught him about math and its ties to flight and engineering, but he also presented the choice that Terrance ultimately had to make. In the end, he made the right one. It's too bad that half-brother Mike didn't. It all led to a believable, albeit sad, murder. Combine that with the Lil stuff and Cold Case moves to 6-0 on the season.

Friday, October 26, 2007

'Friday Night' Fever

That's what I'm calling my "condition." You see, this "fever" began last season with the pilot episode of Friday Night Lights, but it has swelled immensely with the advent of the second season. I'll admit, I griped when I heard that Coach Taylor had taken the TMU job, but I did make a point to reserve final judgment until I had actually seen the story play out. Now that I have, I can say that I didn't like Coach Taylor taking the TMU job, BUT (and this is a huge but) the story was VERY well done and it created intriguing dynamics for the rest of the season (please god let there be a rest of the season). As soon as Buddy hinted that he could get Eric his job back, I started cheering. I began yelling, "Good riddance, Tennessee Hillbilly!" But when it came down to it tonight, I thought Coach McGregor got a raw deal. I don't feel right about the whole thing, even though I'm pleased with the outcome. And just in case I was feeling totally fine about it, he was sure to include the bit about his family. Coach Taylor is a good guy, and he may not have been directly responsible for McGregor's ouster, but he's responsible enough to feel guilty about the way it went down. It was sooo nice to see him back in the blue polo, though! Back in charge of the Dillon Panthers and back where he belongs with his family.

Speaking of his family, Julie is slowly going back to being likable. I've despised her for most of this season thus far, but she's beginning to get it. And it's not like I don't feel Julie. It's tough going from being an only child (for 15 years!) to being a big sister overnight, but her jealous routine was wearing thin. And I get her thing with the Swede, but her mom is right (which, I've found, tends to be the case 95% of the time) and she may not have wanted to listen to her, but she heard what she needed to hear. Meanwhile, Jason is banking his $10,000 on a pipe dream miracle cure in Mexico (injecting shark stem cells into his spine) that has scam/danger written all over it. He's desperate to walk again and desperate people can make all sorts of horrible decisions. Hopefully, Riggins was able to get that point through to Lyla. And then there's this season's most intriguing story line -- Tyra and Landry and their secret. Like the Coach Taylor story line (and all other amazing story lines on this show), I'm split on what they should do right along with Landry. Obviously, turning themselves in is the right thing to do and it's what they should have done the moment the guy died. On the other hand, I'm not sure they deserve to rot in jail for it and I KNOW I don't want them to. My heart skipped a few beats every time someone brought up the body from the river tonight.

To quote one of my faves Kathryn Morris, "You can't make people watch." But if I could, I would make them watch Friday Night Lights. It's one of those rare shows that transports you to another place, inside another character's story, and makes you feel the real emotions they are feeling. When I'm watching, I lose track of time because I'm completely lost inside the world of Dillon, Texas and all of the wonderful folks who live there. It's the closest thing to curling up with a good book and discovering a different world. I only wish everyone would curl up and get lost with the people of Dillon every Friday night.

Catch up with Friday Night Lights for free! Episodes now streaming at nbc.com.

Revisiting ‘Case’: Sherry Darlin’ 1x9

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

There is a phrase that I have grown particularly fond when describing certain episodes of Cold Case.

It’s called “CC goodness.”

As in, “There is/was so much CC goodness in this episode …” or “There was so much CC goodness going on …” To the best of my knowledge, this phrase has been coined by PTR Editor TVFan, and in getting the opportunity to re-watch first season’s "Sherry Darlin'" this past week, there is no better way to describe the episode.

So. Much. CC. Goodness.

Can we bring James Hogan back every season just for the heck of it?

Talk about a great character who gets great things out of Detective Lilly Rush.

This episode is generally held in pretty high regard amongst CC faithful, and it definitely ranks in my Top 5 of all time.

And not just for the story.

But for the exceptional performances of both Kathryn Morris and Silas Weir Mitchell.

You often hear actors talk about that all important element of chemistry. Without it, scenes fall flat, characters seem out of sync, and entire films have been known to fail because the audience just does not buy into anything that is transpiring between the two actors they are watching on the screen.

We’ve also heard John Billingsley (who portrayed the legendary George Marks in the all important second season episodes of “Mind Hunters” and “The Woods”) discuss the challenges of being a guest actor. That is, coming into a foreign environment without really knowing anyone and having to work ever so hard to deliver a great performance on a very short (and tight) time table.

Well, Silas Weir Mitchell did just that.

And Kathryn Morris reaffirmed why the role of Lilly Rush was made for her.

There was an amazing chemistry between both actors, which made the Lilly/James dynamic indeed just that - dynamic. Whatever James conjured up and fired at Lilly, she handled and fired right back. I loved the persistent back and forth coupled with this unique delicacy to their interaction.

It was almost like a tenderness.

The episode was so well-paced, and there was such rich – and likable – characterization on the part of James that you couldn’t help but not want the guy to end up being sent to jail by the end of the episode.

We also got some seriously awesome Lilly.

A lot of Lilly.

The amount of Lilly we do not generally get nowadays.

But more than that, we were reminded once again just how different Lilly is today.

The whole old Lilly vs. new Lilly debate that I used to not understand but now seem to be an advocate of.

I cannot help but continue to observe the noticeable change in the character when watching these early episodes. And although I stand by what I have said previously (that the character has to have changed given all she's been through over the past five seasons), there is, for lack of a better word, a certain spunk to her in these early episodes that we rarely see now.

She jokes, she laughs, her sarcasm seems more playful whilst still being clever and stinging. She has that lively personality, she’s not as reserved or tempered. It is perhaps unfair that I have the benefit of being able to watch past and present episodes simultaneously, or that I did not watch this show in its real-time evolution. Thus, perhaps my critique is too biased. But, while I can talk myself into understanding the reasons for "new" Lilly, I really would not mind seeing a touch back to some of what made her so spunky in these older episodes.

The girl was just fun to watch.

And there was so much Lilly goodness in this episode to watch it makes you want to call up executive producer Veena Sud and say, "Have you set your Tivo to re-record the older episodes? There are definitely a couple of things worth revisiting."

Ironically, this reminds me of the great debate during the last two seasons of The X-Files whereby so many longtime followers thought Gillian Anderson's portrayal of Special Agent Dana Scully had become a shell of its former self. That is, she was still Scully, but she wasn't the Scully they had been so accustomed to. The argument was that she seemed to have become "something else" (and not a popular "something else"), with flashes of the "old" Scully popping up every so often. Again, this can be debated until the day is long, and I am not opposed to characters changing over time due to the circumstances that affect their lives, and thus, are the catalyst for the change.

But I am not sure abandoning what made them so endearing in the first place is a good idea, either.

I think there can be a balance.

And should be.

Bring back spunky ol’ Lilly.

She's Just. Too. Good.

New episodes of Cold Case air Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS. Mini-marathons of older episodes air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on TNT. You can also check your local listings of your CBS affiliate for additional late night weekend airings.

Morris Hits the Town

Cold Case star Kathryn Morris was out in Los Angeles Wednesday (10/24) for the 17th Annual Environmental Media Awards honoring Trudie Styler.

And she made an entrance on a Vespa along with her real-life leading man David Barrett, a supervising producer on her hit CBS drama.

Earlier this week, the PTR fave and Barrett were spotted outside Mr. Chow, a popular restaurant in Beverly Hills (photos courtesy Mavrix Online).

You can catch an all-new episode of Cold Case this Sunday on CBS. This week, the CC gang tackle the 1992 case of a 14-year old math genuis whose brother exploited his abilities to count cards and crack safes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

‘Damages’ Final Verdict

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Arthur Frobisher – Game over.

Patty Hewes – Insert more coins to continue.

Ellen Parsons – High score winner!

Rarely have I ever watched a television show’s finale thinking I could also be watching the end to a mini-series. It is that good, and it ties up that many loose ends whilst leaving the door open for more.

Another series.

Another season.

I’ll take either.

For over three months, I have sounded like a broken record singing the praises of Damages – its writing, its acting, its production value. And in ending this first season (or perhaps for good), we were not disappointed.

I will confess that because it was the finale, there was a certain sense of “knowing” that I had not previously experienced whilst watching the show. That is, I knew we were going to get closure, thus the recaps of most of how we ended up at the finale were things I had already seen. And since there were quite a few do-overs of key flashback scenes, it seemed to me that even if you might have missed an episode or two, you could – for the most part – get the gist of the finale without feeling too lost.

But without a doubt, Tate Donovan was right: we did get major closure with the major issues whilst setting the table for allowing the series to continue should it be renewed by FX for a second season.

Frobie ends up settling for 93% of his net worth.

Read: $2 billion.

Yes, $2 freakin’ billion.


The Enron folks should have been so lucky, eh?

Thank you notes should be sent to Gregory Malina, Ray Fiske and George Moore.

Too bad none of them are still alive.

Ah well. Their dirty work paved the way for an air tight case on Frobie - mostly Malina and Fiske’s damning in-cahoot-ness on insider trading and Moore’s secret quarterbacking to Frobie about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s report.

Frobisher: “I made a big mistake that I’m going to be paying for the rest of my life … I trusted too many people.”

Yes, but lest we never forget the whole creative accounting thing that Enron made world famous – using shell corporations to hide losses, reporting potential earnings as current earnings, thinking no one would ever a) notice or b) get caught.

So, it was kind of fitting to see disgruntled Frobie employee Larry (you know, the snitch who was working both ends to the middle) having to forfeit his right to the settlement whilst also being cut loose by Frobie.

As in, no pay for his snitching, either.

So, Larry goes postal.

Game over for Frobie.

Dead in the field of where he was already planning to build his next company.

As for Patty, she does get Ellen off fiancé doc David's murder charges, and so she gets the all important Gregory Malina videotaped testimony (which was poignantly hidden in the bottom of the Statue of Liberty bookend that was the murder weapon used to kill David. Awww, so sad.)

The tape ends up in the hands of the District Attorney, who is chomping at the bit to once again go after Frobie on 84,000 other charges of who knows what.

No body puts Frobie in a corner.

Except Patty Hewes.

And yet, in all of this, the one who comes out on top is Ellen.

Despite being in an almost-killed-by-your-boss-fiancé-is-dead-have-been-accused-of-murder-now-exonerated hangover.

She remains remarkably detached in this wrap-up, which makes her that much more interesting to watch. I am not sure I have sung enough praise for Rose Byrne, but she has more than held her own opposite Glenn Close (amongst the other fabulous cast members). There’s been a certain simple directness to her throughout this entire season. She has maintained a dignity, an ethicalness, a likeability. And even in the end, seemingly stripped to nothing, she still maintains a poise that you can’t help but think admirable.

So it is also rather fitting that, after everything, Patty is desperate to get Ellen to come back to work for her.

Patty: “I lied. I hired you to get to Katie … I’m ashamed of what I did. I hope you can forgive me some day … I have a lot of flaws. Come back Ellen. Give me second chance.”
Ellen: “I don’t believe in the law anymore. But I believe in justice. So I’ll come work for you again. On one condition: Let me use the firm’s resources to prove that Frobisher had David killed.”

Careful what you wish for.

Along with all that poise, dignity and good conscience, Ellen has learned way too many things in her tenure as Patty’s protégé-turned-prized-bait-turned-attempted-murder-victim-turned-potential-murder-suspect-turned-gutsy-we-will-do-this-my-way gal.

Bummer for Patty.

It seems the FBI has been investigating ol’ Patty on fraud, obstruction of justice and a whole lotta other stuff.

So, Ellen … do you want to fool Patty into thinking you will come back to work for her only to be spying for the Feds?

You know what they say: payback is a ...

See ya’ Monday, Patty.

And next season (we hope).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

'Heroes' Tolls its Bell

The most highly anticipated moment of the new season (according to PTR, of course) finally happened this week: Kristen Bell is officially a hero! Only, she's not exactly what I would call a hero. Sure, she has an awesome power (she's electrifying!), but she's not exactly using it for good. As she put it on the phone to her "daddy," "Ok, I killed him. So what?" Looks like someone missed the whole "right from wrong" lesson as a child. Bad girl or not, I like Kristen in this role. She's wicked in a fun way (blame her unmistakable charm) and I think she's really going to stir the pot a bit. Contrast her to Matt's horrible father. Clearly, he's not using his power for good either, but he's also not making any exceptions for family. Seems daddy dearest can read minds too, but he's honed his power enough to actually control others' dreams or rather, nightmares. Molly's "Nightmare Man" has lived up to his name. It also looks like he may be the murderer Matt and Nathan are after.

How cute was the Micah/Monica story line?! It seems that her power to master whatever she sees isn't limited to television. She played the piano like a pro after watching Micah do it and then jumped rope like a champ after watching some neighborhood girls. Monica may be hesitant to accept her new ability, but Micah's calming nature and history with various powers are helping her adjust. Of course, that dynamic may be interrupted with Mohinder knocking on her door.

Elsewhere, Peter's about to go on the run with or without Caitlin, Nicki resurfaced at The Company, Hiro's trying to NOT re-write history, and a murderer is still on the loose. Things keep heating up on Heroes!

Photos courtesy nbc.com.

'Viva' Out, 'Race' In

From CBS:

ON SUNDAY, NOV. 4, 8:00-9:00 PM

"The Amazing Race 12" Spans 50,000 Miles Including First Time Visits to Ireland , Lithuania and Croatia
THE AMAZING RACE, winner of five consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Competition Series, returns for its 12th edition on the CBS Television Network, Sunday, Nov. 4 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT).

Editors Note: THE AMAZING RACE replaces "Viva Laughlin" which has been pulled from the schedule. A rebroadcast of CSI will air in the Sunday (8:00-9:00 PM) time period on Oct. 28.

"If there ever was a season that I consider one of the best, it's this one," said Bertram van Munster," executive producer, director and co-creator of THE AMAZING RACE. "It's insanely funny, fast-paced and dramatic all at once. Teams are in hot pursuit of one another at every location and its reality television at its nail-biting best."

This season, teams will travel approximately 50,000 miles, covering five new countries including Ireland , Lithuania and Croatia .
In its 11 previous editions, broadcast in several time periods, THE AMAZING RACE has averaged more than 10 million viewers and a 4.1/10 in adults 18-49.

Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster, Jonathan Littman and Hayma Screech Washington are the executive producers for Bruckheimer Television and Earthview Inc. in association with ABC Television Studio and Amazing Race Productions. THE AMAZING RACE was created by Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri. Phil Keoghan hosts.

Mark your calendars Race fans because the fun begins November 4th on CBS!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lilly Con-jures Up an Awesome 'Case'

Excuse me a moment while I scrape my jaw off the floor!! All right, so maybe the fact that Margot and Spencer were grifters working together wasn't the biggest surprise (thanks to numerous episode descriptions), BUT there was no way I was seeing the mother/son twist coming!!! When Margie's errr, Margot's childhood neighbor said that she and Spencer weren't lovers, I was sure he was going to say that they were siblings. I even said it aloud to sound all smart. Then, my brain processed the real connection and my jaw hit the floor where it remains. This was one of the best outings that Cold Case has ever had in the twists and turns department. Later, we learn from a witness that Spencer shot the Margot look-alike (yet, we knew she survived) and then we hear a gun shot coming from Margot's room. At that point, I had given up on the being all smart thing and just gave in to the "What the flips??" that were occupying my thoughts. Amazingly, it all worked out in the end and it all made perfect sense. This case was a work of brilliance and it had me hanging on every moment. The actress who played Margot was soooo 80s! If I didn't know any better, I would swear she was straight off of Dallas or Dynasty, so major props to the hair, make-up and wardrobe folks at CC. And how fabulously 80s was this entire episode??!! Oh my god -- I LOVED it. That pool boy flashback with the martinis around the pool was so awesome. I was crossing my fingers that Margot ended up in the pool Dynasty-style, but sadly, she remained high and dry.

Well, it was only a matter of time. Lilly is beginning to have nightmares. This is what she gets for wasting her therapy sessions with huffs, sighs, and eye rolls. On the plus side, it's making for some pretty great television! Fingers crossed that they show us more of Lil's counseling sessions now that the nightmares have begun. Hopefully, she's rethinking her silence-is-the-best-policy idea.

I don't know why, but I frickin' loved that cemetery stake-out. Vera and Kat -- a.k.a. TV's funniest non-couple -- in the car, Scotty digging graves and Jeffries claiming he had court in order to get out of it had me rolling. I was a little perturbed that Lil wasn't present for all of the fun, but then she appeared. See, Spencer sent a decoy to "Margot's" grave and Scotty, Kat and Vera ran after him. This allowed the real Spencer to come out and pay his respects. EXCEPT, Lil had her own decoy trick up her sleeve. She pretended to be a grieving widow.

Spencer: You like older men, detective? 'Cause your husband died in 1942!

Touche! Never con a con man, Lil. Classic scene. So much other goodness in this one: Spencer calling Lil's cell (reminiscent of season one's James Hogan) and telling her that her boss should have sent her to tail him, Stillman and Lilly teasing Scotty about his banter with ADA Thomas ("Only thing you didn't do was pull her pigtails"), Vera teaching Stillman his uncle's conman tricks, and Lilly solving the name mystery and finding Spencer/Linus by realizing it came down to Sabrina. Loved, loved, loved this episode. Even the Scotty/ADA scene was pretty hot, of course, that could be because he's pretty hot. Either way, Cold Case easily moves to 5-0 on the season.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Glenn Close Talks All-Things ‘Damages’

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Two words: Glenn Close

Need we say more?

Can we say more?

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to speak with one of the legendary actresses of our generation. Then again, it’s not every television season you have the opportunity to experience a show the caliber of Damages.

So it’s fitting both go hand in hand.

PTR was invited to speak with the immensely talented Glenn Close about her role as Patty Hewes on FX's (and PTR fave) Damages. The first season will wrap up Tuesday (October 23rd), and with a second season not yet firmly decided, we had a wonderful opportunity to hear Glenn’s insight into not only what makes Patty tick, but also what she has gotten out of the role and how the overall experience ranks in her very illustrious career.

In thinking back on all the great characters she’s had the opportunity to portray, PTR specifically asked Glenn where does Patty Hewes rank on the list – could she be considered a favorite, most unpredictable, most challenging?

"I think she’s remaining one of the most challenging for the very fact that I don’t know everything about her yet," says Glenn. "As an actor, I find that to be very challenging. I’ve kind of gotten used to [not knowing her entirely]. I cling to the knowledge that most of us cover up 99.9% of what’s really going on all the time. I think human beings are masters at not showing what’s in their head or in their heart [whilst at the same time being able to] show the opposite of what’s really going on. So I think up until now, my behavior as Patty has been pretty valid. And I really look forward [to more] – I think it’s just going to get more and more emotionally complex for me, and that’s a thrilling proposition."

On preparing for her role, Glenn spent time with another Patricia – Patricia Hines, a real-life top woman litigator in New York City. The challenge, Glenn says, was figuring out how to play a man’s game in a man’s world as a woman.

"I was very impressed by Patricia Hines, and [I] sat down with her to learn some extraordinary things about what it means to take on a huge case that might go on for five years. She reads over 10,000 documents. And when she gives her opening and closing statement, it’s all extemporaneous, which I find mind-boggling. I said, ‘I want to be like that.’ I also read certain things written by [other] women litigators, [and what I determined was] there [was and is] always a gender issue - that it’s problematic to be a woman and go into a courtroom against very, very aggressive males.

Of all the characters I’ve played, Patty is probably most like Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons in that she is playing a man’s game in a man’s world, and she ultimately gets censured for it. There are times when she’s feminine and there are times when she’s aggressive. But [either way], she’s going for it. I think there’s a certain anger in her, which I sensed in some of these women [given] that what it took [for them] to get to where they are [forced them to go through] some unpleasant things. [So] once you have a character like this and [of whom is a] woman, everything changes. That was one of the really fascinating aspects of this character that pulled me in – what does it mean to be in power, ahead of your game, the top of your game and be a woman?"

On the back-and-forth debate about whether Patty Hewes is a free and loose, morally inept, inherently evil individual hell bent on having only the worst of intentions, Glenn disagrees.

"I have the belief that truly evil people [are genetically] evil," says Glenn. "I only have the experience of exploring the landscape of some of the characters I’ve played that people have labeled as evil; [but] I don’t think they’re evil. [Only] Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmations) is evil, because she’s the devil. [In] all the other characters, I [have been] able to find a common humanity with them somewhere, knowing where they’re most fragile, where they’re most vulnerable, knowing some of the things that happened to them might have formed this kind of behavior. As an actor, I really feel you cannot judge a character. You have to totally commit to that character. And for me to totally commit to the character, I have to find those places where I understand the sequence of behavior. So, I do not think Patty [is evil]. I don’t think she’s even a hero in her own mind. I think she’s very vulnerable, as far as her son is concerned. I think she realizes that she truly is not a great mother. I think she has regrets. I don’t think she’s a settled soul, and I don’t know if she ever would be a settled soul. I think she’s very conflicted, and I really like that about her."

On her influences and inspirations, Glenn says it’s simply all about good work.

And good writing (score one for us writers).

"Good work – work that moves me, that I connect with – always inspires me, no matter where I see it," says Glenn. "Whether it’s some little tiny Off-Broadway thing or some actor that does something surprising, I’m always inspired by my fellow actors. That’s a constant for me. I have huge respect for our profession and our craft. In my work, I seek to create connections first for me with the character, and then the character with the other actors, and then ultimately, all of us together connecting with the audience in a way that sometimes is subliminal. I think everybody wants to connect. There is nothing worse than feeling disconnected. And stories that really move people and make people care are the ones where they feel some sort of connection.

Good writing [also] inspires me. And [I try to stick to the] decision to only do something that I think will challenge me and that I, personally and very subjectively, think is good. [I don’t want to] do something because I think it will bring me a lot of money or bring me a lot of awards. I’ve tried to very, very rigorously be highly subjective about what I do."

As more and more renowned actresses make the jump to television, and specifically ones that are at home on the cable networks (e.g., Kyra Sedgwick/The Closer; Holly Hunter/Saving Grace), Glenn believes the reason for the shift is simple: it’s the opportunity to take on a great role.

"There used to be a huge snobbism between the film industry and the television industry," says Glenn. "The first thing I produced and acted in was Sarah, Plain and Tall, and the only place to go at the time for really quality television was Hallmark Hall of Fame. Television has changed much since then. I also personally have always thought, ‘Well if the English can do it all, why can’t we?’ What should make someone decide whether they want to do something or not is the quality of the writing and the people involved, not whether it’s a film or television. I also have always felt that television has a huge potential for the kinds of audiences that some films would never dream of or ever be able to have. That is very exciting to me.

As far as the difference for me between television and movies, I really thrill to the pace of television. As exhausting as it can be, it’s an incredible mind exercise. You have to have stamina, but you really feel like you’re feeding your mind. I love the rhythm of it. And when you’re with a great crew like we had, it becomes a thrilling collaboration, which is to me one of the great aspects of the process that you go through. I find myself at this point in my career, getting potentially, incredibly bored if I stand around a lot, so that’s why I really like the pace of television."

As this first season of Damages is now wrapped up from a production perspective, and as we viewers await the first season finale, PTR specifically asked Glenn what has been the best part of her experience working on the show – did she feel as if she’s grown, learned something new, or been challenged in a particular way?

For her, it was still all about the challenges.

"I feel I’ve been very challenged. That was fun. It’s been so complex, and the writers have been really writing [almost] up until the last minute [at times]. For example, the deposition scene between Ted Danson and myself we got [about] 11:00 p.m. the night before. There were a lot of words [for the scene], [so] you kind of sit back, separate yourself from your brain, [and say] let me see if [I] can do this. That’s the kind of challenge I like.

The writers are [so] good in that [what they write] is easy to memorize. Good writing has an innate rhythm to it, and I’ve always felt that [good writing with an innate rhythm] is easier to get in your head than writing that has mind busting moments. Moments that I find mind busting [are like] when there’s a word that I find in a weird place. I love the process of going to the writer [to] work that out. [It’s] the challenge of not only learning the lines but [also] learning them to the extent that you assimilate them so that you’re not worried about what the next word is coming out of your mouth when it comes to doing [the] scene. Also, [being] in the trenches with the writers – just in the wonderful kind of back and forth of how is it best to say something, even if it involves four or five words. I love that kind of thing.”

And so do we.

PTR would like to thank FX Network, Sony Pictures and especially Glenn Close for her time and thoughtful responses to questions.

If you have missed any of the first season of Damages, tune into the marathon this Saturday (October 20th) on FX beginning at 8 a.m. The first season finale will air next Tuesday (October 23rd) at 10 p.m.

Revisiting ‘Case’: One Night 3x16

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

James Hogan. George Marks. John Doe.

Silas Weir Mitchell. John Billingsley. Željko Ivanek.

Solo antagonists on which the story centers and of whom are wickedly clever, mysterious and inexplicably likable in their struggle.

Brilliant guest actors who portray these antagonists with such ease and conviction that their stand-out performances ultimately challenge Detective Lilly Rush (and push Kathryn Morris) to bring their A games to the table.

For me, this is Cold Case at its finest.

And one of those finest is the third season episode, “One Night.”

It ranks as one of my absolute favorite episodes of all the seasons for two simple reasons: 1) Lilly vs. one cryptic antagonist; 2) That antagonist forces Lilly to reveal or face something about herself in the process of trying to get her case solved.

Something she doesn’t see coming.

Something she doesn’t want to let get to her.

But it does.

And what we get is a phenomenal performance from Kathryn that coincides with the always welcome revelation of more character growth for Lilly.

Now, on a total side note, re-watching this episode during this week’s TNT mini-marathon found me even further appreciating the John Doe character as portrayed by Željko Ivanek as I have been enjoying his talents over on Damages since July. He is a great character actor and perfect opposite Kathryn in this episode.

I am of the opinion that you do not always need an over-the-top, evil, crazy, psychotic bad guy in a story. True, those types are handy, and a chase with a chainsaw wielding numb nut is good every once in a while. However, the average guy down the street can be just as compelling with the right set of circumstances. After all, 9 out of 10 times, serial killers are the guys who don't stand out, who don't draw attention, who actually are likable.

Dexter anyone?

Thus, this episode’s subtle villain, crippled and damaged in his own sympathetic way, worked ever so well. I know that multiple sclerosis is not a fatal disease (as I have a neighbor who lives with it). But, it can be destructive and debilitating nonetheless. And what was showcased in this episode was that, eventually, you have to face, cope and deal with that thing you never thought you would have to handle again.

Which is something Lilly Rush doesn’t like to do.

She deflects.

She denies.

She doesn’t deal with her personal stuff.

It simmers just beneath the cool calm exterior that makes her ace homicide cop, but grade-D personal life expert.

But what also stuck me about this episode was pace.

Sense of urgency.

You wanted to find the second missing boy as much as the detectives did (and you could almost find yourself looking at the clock as much as they were). Everyone being rushed, knowing time was against them, feeling desperate to save a life – this was all so incredibly tangible, and it added yet another layer to this already packed episode.

And though the performances of the entire cast were fantastic, credit must go once again to Kathryn for an absolutely brilliant final interrogation with John Doe. I have asked the question multiple times, "Why has this woman not been nominated for an Emmy, yet?"

I was again so impressed by her subtleties, her delicate strength, how she chose to deliver that very powerful exchange ... it almost seemed to me as if Lilly was reborn in that scene. As much as second season nemesis George Marks tortured her with his insistence on getting her to fess up to the horror(s) of her childhood, and first season good-guy-bad-guy James Hogan seemed to have a thing for her that left her awkwardly flattered and uncomfortable, with John Doe she fessed up one of what seemed to be her most cherished childhood memories.

Perhaps her only one.

It was the total opposite.

She wasn't being forced to relive the horror of her past in this moment.

She was reliving something good for a change, and she chose to offer it up and be proud of one of the few moments in her childhood that didn't leave a painful scar.


This episode was written by now executive producer Veena Sud. To date, Veena has written some of the best episodes in the series, notably “Mind Hunters” and “The Woods.” She has an undeniable ability to tap into the emotions of the characters in her episodes that are just so layered and gripping, and she always tackles Lilly’s back-story in a clever way, further rounding out an already complex and intriguing character.

And for whatever reason, Lilly’s physical appearance in this episode was something that also stood out to me.

Absolutely flawless.

Almost angelic.

Now, I rarely comment on her appearance (given the whole hair up/down/around issue and the how-much-paler-can-they-make-Lilly jokes that abound). But in this episode, there was a certain coloring in her face, and a softness in the blonde of her hair that, when lit with what seemed to be more soft light than not, showcased almost an angelic side to her that we perhaps hadn’t seen for a while.

And perhaps, in this episode, she was an angel in her own right.

One who saved a young boy from almost certain death whilst healing a bit of herself in the process.

New episodes of Cold Case air Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS. Mini-marathons of older episodes air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on TNT. You can also check your local listings of your CBS affiliate for additional late night weekend airings.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Means to an End on ‘Damages’

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Okay, so let me just begin this week’s review of Damages with an ultimatum.

If you have not watched this genius show as yet, you must tune in this Saturday (October 20th) to FX (or clear out some space on your Tivo) for the Damages marathon. They will be airing all 12 episodes beginning at 8:00 a.m. and concluding at 8:00 p.m.. The first season finale is scheduled to air next Tuesday (October 23rd).

If you are still a newbie to the Damages phenomenon, tuning into the marathon will allow you to truly enjoy next week’s finale given there are no footnotes to this show (but there is the aforementioned marathon), and you’ll likely be a little lost if you tune in on a whim given they’ll wrap up a whole lotta stuff that won’t make much sense to you unless you’ve been watching since the beginning (note to self: I have been watching since the beginning and I still have to pay close attention – LOL!). Also, as Tate Donovan (who plays Tom Shayes) explained to us here at PTR this week, what happens in the finale will set the premise for the second season.


However, since the verdict is still out on whether Damages will get picked up for a second season (please, please, pretty please FX! Cripes, please don’t make me ask the question, “Why is there a second season of Saving Grace but Glenn Close is out of a job?!”), this might be one of your last chances to see the fabulous Glenn and Co. do what they’ve done all season long: thrill, captivate, intrigue, amaze and just plain deliver one of the best scripted, best acted and best produced shows currently on the tube (DVD release not withstanding).

Do we love this show, or do we love this show?

I think we love this show.

Catch up this Saturday (if you haven’t been watching; and even if you have, heck, watch it again!).

Now that that is out of the way, wow … so, it all came together last night didn’t it?

Patty finally gets her rear back into town (thanks to Ellen’s clever she-tried-to-kill-me routine she planted a couple episodes back with right-hand-man Tom), and she posts Ellen’s bail. They discuss just how in the heck all this craziness went down.

Patty: “Ellen, no matter what you think, I had nothing to do with any of this.”
Ellen: “I know.”
Patty: “You accused me of trying to kill you.”
Ellen: “How else was I supposed to get you back here?”
Score Ellen!

But not before we flashback once last time to Arthur Frobisher’s lawyer, Ray, and his brains splattered all over Patty’s office (the suicide shocker from last week, remember?), and Patty’s call to Ellen (before she calls the authorities) asking Ellen to help her: a) hide the file that she was blackmailing ol’ Ray with – the one showing him in cahoots with Gregory Malina and guilty of insider trading; and, b) swearing that no one can know that is why Ray was in her office at zero-dark-hundred hours.

Patty: “No one can ever know what he was doing here. Not even David.”
That can’t be good.

And it isn’t.

Poor Ellen was trying to be helpful to Patty (why, I don’t know, but alas, Ellen still rocks), so she lies to fiancé doc David about her late night dead man walking (er, sitting) rendezvous in Patty’s office.

Only to have David find out.

Game over. Engagement off. David is done playing second fiddle to Patty, even with Ellen’s rather valiant argument of wanting to take down the Frobies of the world.

Ellen: “David, this is the kind of work I want to do.”
David: “A man’s dead, now. Is that part of the plan?”
So as Ellen bails in a huff given she doesn’t choose David over her job, sister Katie reappears to deliver Gregory Malina’s last gasped video taped confession that explains how Frobie was in cahoots with the Securities and Exchange Commission investigator George Moore.

Gregory Malina: “If anything happens to me, Arthur Frobisher and George Moore are responsible.”

So it’s all about the tape. Frobie’s life depends on it. And as we know, desperate times call for desperate measures. So, he sends out the kill squad (the man will stop at nothing, eh?).

First to Ellen’s apartment, where David hid it and won’t give up the locale to the Frobie thugs.

Game over for David.

Then onto Patty’s apartment, where Ellen had gone in refuge after their break-up fight.

Almost game over for Ellen. But we know how that works out.

The good news, though, is now that we’re all caught up with past and present, and with Ellen now out on bail, she goes back to her apartment and does end up with the tape.

But not before she visualizes the final moments of David’s life.

This was a fabulous sequence. It was so powerful having Ellen standing alone in the still ransacked apartment – David’s blood still on the floor and in the bathtub – while the sounds of the struggle play out for us, the audience, as she goes from room to room envisioning David’s final moments. Even though we do get to see quick cuts of the struggle, it’s the sound of these moments against the isolation and helplessness of Ellen that makes this sequence so compelling.

But she isn’t helpless for long.

She has the all-important tape.

For which she now uses to blackmail Patty into being her lawyer to get her exonerated of the murder charge.

Ellen: “You did teach me one thing. Trust no one. And so I don’t anymore. Not even you. … Do this for me and then I’ll give you the tape.”

What’s that sound?

We’ve arrived at the penthouse level of this elevator ride of suspense.

Next Tuesday at 10 p.m.

Be there or be square.

Tune into the Damages marathon this Saturday (October 20th) on FX beginning at 8:00 a.m. The first season finale will air next Tuesday (October 23rd) at 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Talking Tom’s World w/ ‘Damages’ Tate Donovan

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Tom’s World!

Tom’s World!

Party Time!


(Ahem, and now back to our regularly scheduled non-Wayne’s World homage programming).

PTR was invited to participate on a conference call last week with actor Tate Donovan who plays Patty Hewes’ right-hand loyalist, Tom Shayes, on PTR fave Damages.

It’s been an interesting journey this season for Tom. He’s gone from being Patty’s right-hand, to almost-kinda-sorta-stepping out on his own, back to Patty’s right-hand whilst being made partner in the Hewes and Associates firm to now seemingly being the only bridge between what has cryptically transpired between Patty and Ellen (which saw one bail out of town and the other sit in jail on attempted murder).

We only have two episodes left to this brilliantly crafted show's first season, and in catching up with Tate, he was equally enthusiastic about his character and time working on the show:

PTR: The storylines have just been so intricately woven throughout this first season. It’s really been an amazing thing to watch. One of your co-stars, Peter Facinelli, spoke to the fact that, as an actor, it’s as exciting to read the script as it has been for us the viewers to watch given you never really know what’s coming. Do you agree? What has that experience been like for you?

Tate Donovan: It’s been kind of a very freeing experience. We have no idea what our characters are going to be doing next. And [the writers and producers] don’t talk [about it much], so it is secretive. [But] these guys are really super bright and really good at what they do. So, there is a tremendous trust in them. They [can] literally come up with stuff [at the last minute]. Sometimes the morning we’re going to shoot something, they’ll literally e-mail [those] pages [of the script] to the set. So, we get them, memorize and shoot it right there [on the spot]. It’s an amazing experience. You really let go of thinking you’re in control of your character. You just react, do the best you can [and] give it up. [Once you do that], it’s actually kind of fun.

PTR: When you were on The OC, you had an opportunity to direct an episode, and you’re hoping to be able to direct an episode of Damages should it get renewed for a second season. What is the experience like directing a show on which you are also the star? Does it make it easier? Is it harder? What’s kind of the most challenging aspect of wearing both those hats?

Tate Donovan: It’s surprising [how much] directing really helps your acting, and [how much] acting really helps your directing. For me, the more you know as an actor the better. People behind the monitor sort of [inherently] trust you. It’s not as difficult as one would imagine.

PTR: As you look back on this first season, what are you going take away with you the most? Is there anything in particular that you’re really going to remember, either personally or professionally? Maybe a certain experience or one particular episode you really enjoyed?

Tate Donovan: Well, I had a great episode (“A Regular Earl Anthony”) that was a lot about Tom. That was a great experience …

PTR: … that was a great episode because it really showed a very different side to Tom.

Tate Donovan: Yeah. You sort of got under his skin and thought [about] what he was going through. And I really loved shooting that. I hope there are more episodes like that. [It] was sort of my favorite episode. And, just working with such a good group of people. I’ve never really worked with procedures like this [who] are so bright and inclusive. They just work so hard. You just admire them so much. I think that’s what I walk away with the most - just admiring the producers so much.

PTR: If you could have a conversation with Tom or tell him one particular thing what would that be – would it be advice or would you just shoot the breeze with him?

Tate Donovan: That’s a good question. You know, this may sound kind of odd but I don’t really feel [there is] a huge difference between Tom and I. So I guess I [would] try to be a little bit more honest and more upfront than Tom. But then again, I’m not in [the corporate lawyer] world where this kind of [underhanded] stuff is going on. I just make films and television and theater, and I try to have a descent nice relationship every once in a while. He’s in an entirely different world. I think I’m far more naïve than Tom. I think Tom is far more jaded [given he's] in a tougher world than me. So I think he’d probably have some advice for me. Like, "Hey Tate, why don’t you talk to the producers and get your own show ..."

PTR: … that’s good. Why not have Tom give you some advice. That’s all right.

Tate Donovan: Yeah. I think Tom would have far more advice for me than I would for Tom.

As for his thoughts on a second season (which FX has yet to announce but of which we here at PTR are very much hoping will materialize), Tate had this to say:

"I read this great book called Letters to a Young Lawyer. [The book talks about the fact] there are two kinds of lawyers: ones who want everyone to like them, and the others [who don’t] care at all and maybe even prefer to be disliked. Tom is definitely a guy who wants to be liked. So, I think it would be fun to take Tom into maybe the realm of politics where being liked is super important. But it’s really up to [the writers and producers]. As long as I have lots to do, I’m a happy camper. If they want to make me the mass murderer, that’s fine with me. If they want to make me a hero that saves people in the end, I’ll take it. I just like to be in the mix. [As for the show], what’s pretty cool is [this season’s finale] really answers a lot of the major questions. You find out who kills David. You find out what happens in the Arthur Frobisher case. The big central sorts of mysteries are solved. But what they’ve done is set up a dynamic for next year that is fantastic. I finished reading it and thought, "That is so good." It makes you go "Oh, my God. I’ve got to check out next season because that’s going to be amazing." Currently the word is that FX doesn’t [let you know about renewing for another season] until after all of the episodes have aired. But we’re hoping. We’re definitely hoping. Say a prayer!"

PTR would like to thank FX Network, Sony Pictures and Tate Donovan for his time and thoughtful responses to questions. New episodes of Damages air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. You can also have fun visiting the Hewes and Associates Official Web Site.

**Special Programming Note: FX will be airing another Damages marathon Saturday, October 20th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check your local listings to be sure of the time in your area. The first season finale will air Tuesday, October 23rd at 10 p.m. Be sure to catch up on the show before the finale!

'Heroes' Soars to New Heights

Now this is the Heroes that I know and love! Finally, an episode that just blows me away completely from start to finish. And next week, KRISTEN BELL IS COMING!! I am so psyched for her arrival. But first, we have to discuss the awesome-ness that is this week's outing. As usual, Claire's story was my fave, but the others gave this one a run for its money. I'm such a sap, but I love all of her scenes with West and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we really can trust him. If anything happens to our little Claire Bear, well Daddy Dearest isn't going to take it sitting down. I'm not even sure that he's buying the cheerleading lie. Of course, it isn't like he's not harboring his own secret life: the paintings, the Haitian, Mohinder and on and on. He didn't leave his past life behind -- why should Claire?

And then there's everyone's favorite villain Sylar who somehow turned up in Mexico. Problem number one - he's a homicidal maniac; problem number two - he knows about Maya and Alejandro's powers. Of all of the hero powers, I'm pretty sure that this one is the worst for him to "steal." It's sorta a toss up between this one and all the others, though. I can only imagine what he has planned for our favorite fugitives.

Micah is "re-wiring" cable systems in New Orleans so his cousin can watch the latest wrestling match on PPV while his other cousin is deciphering her ability to absorb whatever she sees on television. BTW, how awesome would that ability be??!! By my count, I'd be able to interrogate intimidating suspects ala Lilly Rush, make clever, witty comments ala Veronica Mars, hide my repressed sexual tension for my FBI partner ala Bones, coach a high school football team to a state championship ala Coach Eric Taylor, and burst out in song about "Guy Love" and "Everything Comes Down to Poo" ala JD and Turk. How awesome would my life be??!!

Finally, Matt and Nathan are working together to solve the recent murders of the founding fathers/mothers of the hero powers. Turns out, Matt's dad is one of them. This means he could be in danger, but in his case, it's more likely that he's the one creating the danger. According to Molly, Matt's dad is the "nightmare man" - the one that she feared last season because he can see her when she's honing in on his location. Matt couldn't let it go, Molly used her power to locate his father, and now she's in grave danger. Nice one, Matt!

Photos courtesy nbc.com.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lilly Investigates the Murder of a Music Man

Since the dawn of Cold Case 5 fabulous seasons ago, I have wanted them to do an "American Bandstand" episode. It's just too perfect -- Bandstand was shot in Philly, CC takes place in Philly; Bandstand is a part of American pop culture history, CC revolves its episodes around the past -- seriously, this was a match made-in-heaven begging to happen. It hasn't happened yet (my guess: the rights aren't cheap or easy to come by for Bandstand), BUT this week's episode was probably as close as we're going to get and I'm OK with that because it totally worked as a fill-in. In fact, we even got an important AB reference. BUT, this episode wasn't just about the music. At its core, it was about racial tensions in the 50s and we all know that CC is da bomb! when it comes to racially charged episodes. Anyone who knows anything about music knows that Elvis took traditionally "black music" (a.k.a. "devil music") and turned it into a phenomenon known as rock 'n roll. Both sides loved him and hated him for different reasons, but there's no denying that his music transcends time and generations, making this week's outing of CC pretty fascinating. The victim was a sorta precursor to Elvis -- a white kid singing blues and gyrating his hips and "privates" on stage in front of screaming, adoring girls while the grown-ups protested on the sidelines. As Bingo put it, things were changing. Unfortunately for Bingo, not everyone was onboard with the change. Sure, there was his strict, racist uncle, but he was too busy stepping out with his girl on the side. No, this one fell to Bingo's distraught cousin who blamed all of the bad changes in his life on Bingo. When will these kids learn that "just bringing a gun along to scare him" almost always leads to murder?

Does anyone else think that Scotty is in need of some serious anger management?? Guy is going to explode someday! Hopefully, Jeffries was able to get through to him about the rest of his team having his back and not selling him out. Why would they rat on him? Oh Scotty, this is not the time to be turning on your friends. Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying CC's funny side this season? Last week, it was Vera in Amish Country and Lilly in counseling and this week, Vera at the health food store and then offering up some of those berries at the end. This show is cracking me up lately. I'm glad they found that sense of humor they seem to have lost sometime during season 2. Next week, it looks like Scotty and the ADA swap briefs. Yawn. And for the record, this is NOT the type of anger management to which I was referring. Cold Case moves to 4-0 on the season (for now).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Weekend Primetime Pass

Here's a look at what PTR is watching this weekend:

Friday Night Lights (9 p.m. NBC) - "Bad Ideas." It's the first day of school at Dillon High and with new beginnings comes a lot of changes. Tami's (Connie Britton) new life as a mother of a newborn and a teenager proves to be very tough, especially with the separation from Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) who continues his coaching job at TMU. Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) is slowly watching his perfect life slip away, while best friend Landry (Jesse Plemons) tries to embrace his newer, better lifestyle despite a recent event that really changed his life.

Men in Trees (10 p.m. ABC) - SEASON PREMIERE! "A Tree Goes in Elmo." To help Marin get rid of issues that weigh her down, Cash takes her to visit a guru. On the way back down the mountain trail, an arctic cyclone erupts. Jack goes out to look for them and a pregnant Lynn can't do anything to stop him. Everyone hunkers down at the Chieftain to wait out the storm, and they learn some surprising things about each other.

Cold Case (9 p.m. CBS) - "Devil Music." The team re-opens a 1953 murder case of a 19-year-old aspiring rock 'n roll star when new evidence suggests that he was killed in his uncle's five & dime shop and not behind the blues club where his body was found. MAY BE DELAYED DUE TO NFL COVERAGE

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Revisiting ‘Case’: The Runner 1x5

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

We know people are never forgotten with Detective Lilly Rush.

But what happens when people want to forget?

It’s an interesting challenge in the handling of cold cases. Not everyone is always ready, willing and able to look back into the past for what it actually was; they prefer to hang on to what they have perceived it to be for so many years.

That includes fellow cops.

And even members of a victim’s immediate family.

“The Runner,” one of the early episodes of Cold Case’s first season, highlighted what I think is the truest reality in dealing with a cold case: looking back can bring closure and justice, but it can also sting in the process.

This wasn’t the first episode to deal with this dilemma nor would it be the last. Many followed. Some good, others not so much. But it gave us yet another important glimpse into Lilly Rush’s choices as they pertain to the handling of a case.

In the infamous words of Captain Kirk: sometimes ol’ Lil’ boldly goes where no one has gone before.

We already know she has a knack for getting the bad guy. And when she’s hot on the trail, rarely does she let up. But what deserves equal mention, and one that requires far more sensitivity, is her handling of a victim’s family and/or immediate circle.

We recall this case revolved around a cop’s death that was never solved. The case file – box and all – had been in homicide for 30+ years. It was a strong reminder of how serious cops take the killing of one of their own; the file would not get relegated to the box room until it could be truly written off as closed. When longtime detective Will Jefferies volunteers – for the first time – to work with Lilly on this case, you started to sense something was running pretty deep on this one.

Going off little more than what appears to be a homeless dope head woman dropping of a tape recorder circa 1970s that held a recording of a shooting, Lilly and Will discover a complex tale of a good cop trying to protect his childhood friend from the dark side of thug life and addiction.

Which the cop’s best friend at the time was well immersed.

It’s one of those classic stories with a stand-up guy trying to do the stand-up thing, even if his own path to being on the right side of law wasn’t as smooth as he let others believe.

But given some early suspicions of why the good cop was found dead in a pretty shady part of town where his best friend was known to hold court on the wrong side of the law, it falls on Lilly to ask some tough questions of the cop’s former partner.

Not surprisingly, this doesn’t sit too well with the partner, and it gets Lil’ kicked out of First Thursday (the monthly tradition of the Philly homicide detectives – both current and retired – to gather round, have a few drinks, talk the job). How funny is it to go back and watch Lil’ try to fit in at her first First Thursday?

Turns out she’s also got to ask some sensitive questions of the good cop’s former wife, who had suspected he was having an affair but, as it turns out, was really just a case of him playing big brother to his young childhood friend.

The one who initially turned in the tape recorder to Lilly.

All these years later.

Present catching up with past.

It is this brilliant balance that was repeatedly struck so early on in this series and of which continues to set the precedent for the show today.

But we also saw a true balance in Lilly being both the crusader and the compassionate woman. She could ask the questions nobody wanted to ask, and yet she could bring together two paths that would otherwise never cross. In this case, it was the former wife and the former childhood friend – both united in the tragedy, but now healed in its closure.

It is through Lilly’s eyes that we walk this walk. And it is through her commitment and drive that even when getting the bad guy, she understands the need for redemption and forgiveness.

She was so fascinating to watch in these early episodes – seeming to know exactly what to say, how to say it, but never letting us think she was on auto-pilot at any time. Today’s Lilly isn’t always as convincing as she was back then. Perhaps she has been hardened by the job, by her personal circumstances, by the complications of her real-life creators seemingly having derailed her from her truest essence.

But it is still there.

She is still there.

And we see that in an episode like “The Runner,” where she has the unenviable task of walking that fine line between getting justice served and healing the past.

Not an easy job.

But one on which Detective Lilly Rush stakes her livelihood.

Then and now.

New episodes of Cold Case air Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS. Mini-marathons of older episodes air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on TNT. You can also check your local listings of your CBS affiliate for additional late night weekend airings.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

'Damages' Getting Deadlier by the Minute

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Oh. My. God.

Or, OMG! (as is the preferred abbreviation in the online world these days).

You know when a television show has been so good that you run out of words to describe what you’re watching? Instead, you end up just staring at your television screen, mouth agape, blinking repeatedly, murmuring to yourself, “Oh. My. God.”

Damages continues to thrill like no show I’ve watched in recent years. I just cannot believe what they come up with each week, or how brilliantly intricate all the storylines have been interwoven and revealed these past three months. And, just when I think I have started to piece together the who-what-where-when-why-how, it throws the left curve of all left curves.

With Lawyer Ray blowing his brains out in Patty’s office.

And Patty trying to get her stuff together to do the right thing with Ellen.

Who knew?

Turns out underhanded Securities and Exchange investigator George Moore sold out Arthur Frobisher to save his own skin (seeing as Moore was going to be linked to giving Frobie the heads up about the government’s intention to come after his company, and as we speculated last week, Moore had a serious bone to pick with Frobie anyways). So, he gives up damning evidence of Frobie lawyer Ray’s indiscretions with Gregory Malina and records to prove Ray told Greg to sell off his Frobie stock before it was to tank in July 2002 as a result of the government investigation.

Insider trading anyone?

Of course Moore gets a bullet to his head for this sellout.

And Ellen has to get the last bit of evidence off Moore’s dead body as he lay slumped over in his car – an hour after he was supposed to meet Ellen for their “last” meeting.

"Last" ... boy, that’s an understatement.

Kicker number one: Patty kinda-sorta-almost graveling to get Ellen to help her get that last piece of evidence from Moore.

We remember Patty wasn’t too thrilled with Ellen’s instinct last week to go back and chat with Moore. Hence the whole Ellen saying yuck foo to Patty thing. It should come as no surprise that Patty doesn’t gravel too well, but lucky for her Ellen actually wants justice served for the former Frobie workers, and thus, wants Patty to win the case irregardless of whether she’s still with the firm. Ellen has indeed come to hate the Frobie camp (haven’t we all?), so she has no problems going back to Moore – off the clock.

I loved that Ellen managed to take the high road in all of this, and she didn’t fall for any of Patty’s attempts to get her back under her control – saying no to taking her job back, turning down Patty’s offering of money for getting the evidence, not really being overly angry about their blow-up. She was as surgical and clinical as Patty. Nice one, Ellen.

Kicker number two: Ray.

This poor guy.

Perhaps I should’ve sensed something was going to happen to him. He was so stressed out. He had already been having nightmares, and he was responsible for ordering the (successful) hit on Gregory Malina. Perhaps to top it all off, he got the news this week he was about ready to be bumped from the case seeing as the senior partners had lost faith in his ability to handle the Frobie case.

And a letter from beyond the grave from Greg didn’t help, either. I assumed this made mention of Greg’s videotaped statement before being splattered all over the street. Hence Ray’s “it’s over” cryptic phone call to Frobie.


But, I honestly did not expect the twist to now have the case hinge on Ray’s indiscretions nor did I anticipate Patty insistence she’d overlook the whole thing so long as Ray threw the case in court (since she had no intention of settling when she now could truly shoot for the moon and get it). Or how about Patty offering him a job at Hewes and Associates after the trial?

Just. Plain. Intense.

And so, past now becomes present.

The blood on Patty’s shoe? Ray’s.

Patty bailing out of town? Because she was trying to recover from watching this man’s brains be splattered all over her office.

The 1900 messages Tom left for Patty on her cell phone (ok, it was actually 57)? She’s not answering because she’s in shock from Ray’s suicide.

What we still don’t know: 1) who is going to end up killing fiancé doc David? 2) What the heck did Patty and Ellen “do” together that is so flippin’ cryptic? 3) When is Ellen going to be set free? 4) What the heck is going to happen to Frobie now that Ray is dead and gone? 5) Is Gregory Malina’s videotaped confession going to be the end or the beginning of something?

And yet, even if I think these are the only things left to figure out, I can almost guarantee the show will throw us another brilliant left curve next week.

Things are never what they seem with the Damages gang.

Two episodes left.

Bring it!

New episodes air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. You can also have fun visiting the Hewes and Associates Official Web Site.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Powerless Sylar Returns

I have to say, I wasn't too thrilled to see Sylar alive last night, albeit stripped of all of the powers that he collected last season. And I kinda cheered when he tried to take his hostess' power and it didn't work. Sylar is SO last season! Actually, he's such an incredibly horrifying villain that I was very content to assume he was dead and gone forever. And can you believe he's on the Lost island??!! I know I'm not the only one who thought of Lost when they zoomed out on Sylar's new "home." We can only be so lucky to have his location as remote and undetectable as the gang's on Lost. Oooh, do you think Molly will be able to locate Sylar with her power? As if that poor girl doesn't have enough to worry about already. And then there's her caretaker, Mohinder's, discovery of the 8th painting. Looks like HRG isn't long for this world if the future goes as planned. Not surprising since the hooded figure seems to be eliminating all of the original members of the company.

Elsewhere, things just got a little easier (and a little more complicated) for Claire. In an impressive display, West finally revealed his power to her. Now, Claire has someone she can be herself with and share her secrets, BUT she also learned one of her father's. He kidnapped West awhile back. Of course, we already knew that HRG was in the abduction business because we saw him take Matt Parkman last season. No worries, Claire -- that's in HRG's past. The new HRG works at the copy store and leads a boring life, except for that little espionage project he's working on with Mohinder. Meanwhile, Hiro's still somewhere in time ensuring that history isn't rewritten and falling in love in the process and Peter is a full-fledged member of an Irish band of thieves and falling in love with their sister. Oh, and Nicki and Micah finally resurfaced in New Orleans! Unfortunately, DL wasn't quite as lucky. It's just another day in the life of our favorite heroes.

Photos courtesy nbc.com.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Lilly Goes to Amish Country, Counseling Session

When I was just a TV fan in training, we took a family vacation to Hershey Park with a stopover in the Amish Country. I remember being captivated by their way of life and yet, completely confused that these people actually live this way and this wasn't one of those reenactment tourist traps ala Colonial Williamsburg (which, BTW, I secretly love - especially at Christmas!). So, I was a little concerned (and so psyched) about this week's episode of Cold Case. Well, like that childhood family vacation, the story held me captive the entire hour. It was one of those that I: a) didn't want to end and b) wanted to somehow intervene and make Anna's murder not happen. She was one of those awesome characters that you can't help but fall in love with from the moment the episode starts all the way through the closing credits. Jennifer Johnson wrote this outing and she also wrote one of my faves from last season - "The Goodbye Room" (the one with the teenage pregnant girl whose parents sent her away to a home where she would have her baby and they would adopt it out for her). Ms. Johnson has a gift for creating strong, independent, fearless young woman that you can't help but find yourself fully invested in along with their stories. The mere fact that the opening segment of this post is focused on the case when this episode included one of the best Lilly scenes ever is a testament to her writing. As mush as I wanted Anna to be not-murdered, my heart also broke for her killer Jakob. He was so desperate to go back to the world he thought he hated that he killed Anna in a fit of rage over her decision not to go back. And then there was poor Rachel and her lovely introduction to the "English World." No wonder she couldn't get back fast enough! Perhaps the night's most moving moment, though, came at the very end when Anna's little sister "saw" her as she headed out for her own Rumspringa. It was one of those teary-eyed moments that only this show can create.

I'll admit, when I heard that Lilly was attending a counseling session in this episode, I was expecting some deep ridden angst. Now, that's not what we got, but I LOVED this scene. It was frickin' genius!! Truth is, Lil's not going to talk until she's ready. In true Lilly Rush style, she sat in silence for the entire session. Sighing, huffing, redirecting the attention to idle talk about the picture of her therapist's daughter until she finally whipped out the paperwork and requested the signature. Looks like round one goes to Lil, but I'm willing to bet the farm that the therapist gets the better of her in the end. It seemed that she was up for a battle of wills and I don't think that she usually loses. We all know -- hell, Lil knows, she needs to talk about this before it overcomes her, but she's just Not. There. Yet. No problem, it's fun to watch the fireworks in the meantime. How delightful was it to see a nervous side to Lilly? She's always in charge, so when the tables are turned; she's not sure how to react. And I'm not sure it's possible to love Kathryn Morris more, but she was so fabulous in this scene. Her facial expressions -- hell, just the simple shift of her eyes -- told us everything that Lilly was feeling in those awkward, frustrating moments.

Highlight of the night (this was soooo hard to pick with this episode): Vera in Amish Country. I haven't laughed like that in a long time. Plus in the end, he came around and decided that maybe the Amish have it right. No surprise here, but Cold Case moves to a very strong 3-0 on the season.

In Cold Case related news, the lovely Kathryn graces the cover of the back-to-school edition of Canada's Viva magazine. In the 6-page article, the actress discusses how she keeps a healthy balance in her life and why she never shies away from a challenge. "I wouldn't say I'm an adrenalin junkie," she explains to the magazine, "but I definitely feel like every once in awhile, I have to try something that's not necessarily inside the box. For me, it's an important secret to having a happier life and asking a little bit more of myself." And she credits her sunny outlook and happy disposition to a healthy dose of laughter. "I think laughing and hanging out with people where we can act silly is a great way to relieve stress," she tells Viva. "I don't drink, I don't do drugs and never have, but I do like to surround myself with laughter." Morris also addresses Hollywood's unhealthy obsession with weight. "I think a lot of girls in Hollywood get into trouble with the whole eating and depriving thing. It's very unhealthy to get into a funky head space about food because it can screw up your system forever," she explains in the article. "If you don't put a little butter on some warm bread, you're not going to be a happy person."

Thanks to Rabi at Look Again for the scans. You can read the entire article and see all of the pictures at Kathryn Morris Online.