Thursday, January 31, 2008

'Pysch' Goes Hollywood

Few things in life are funnier than Shawn speaking with a Spanish accent in English on a Spanish telenovela! I wasn't sure that I would ever stop laughing at last week's episode of Psych. From the moment Gus admitted to watching the Spanish soaps (and to obsessing over the identity of the father of Serena's baby), I knew this was going to be a good episode. But, was it good enough to rival season one's spelling bee outing ("The word is... BANANA")? Between Shawn's leading role as the deliveryman, the final reveal complete with Shawn's accent, and Gus's excitement over learning that Shawn was the father of Serena's baby -- I think it may have accomplished the impossible and rose to the top of the list with that hilarious outing. In the middle of all of this soap drama, Shawn had a murder to solve, and it was made harder by the fact that the murder took place on camera. Que?! you say? Well, Shawn had to prove that the person on camera murdering the soap star wasn't the real killer. Nope, that fell to an obsessed fan/food services worker who couldn't separate the characters from the actors who play them. Which, of course, is totally unrealistic. I mean, there is NO DOUBT in my mind that James Roday really has the uncanny ability to see almost undetectable details in real-life as well as on the show. Wouldn't you agree?

Kidding aside, this was another classic episode of one of TV's funniest shows. It was made even funnier by a clever series of scenes involving the producer and Shawn conspiring through the glass both at the fake jail and the real one (paraphrasing here -- "This place was written up in Forbes as a nice alternative to the pricier spa hotels"). Funny stuff! But, that's what we've come to expect from this entertaining little gem of a show.

Psych airs Friday nights at 10 pm on USA Network. Photos courtesy

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What's on?

With the strike-induced reruns beginning to permeate the airwaves, PTR will occasionally bring your attention to some cool original programming that you can tune into instead. Tonight, you can check out Discovery Channel's new series Smash Lab. The show features a team of maverick engineers as they take on everyday technology and apply it in revolutionary new ways. In tonight's episode, the team will be testing an idea to use giant airbags on the front of a train to push cars safely out of the way. Here's a preview courtesy of the folks at 360i and Discovery Channel:

Smash Lab airs tonight at 10 pm on cable's Discovery Channel.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Casting Call and a Cable Alternative

Discovery Health is looking for people to star in the 2009 National Body Challenge. Hopefuls should fall into one of the following categories:
* Mother/Daughter
* Father/Son
* Coworkers
* Or, people who need to lose over 100 pounds

Each person or team will be provided with a professional weight loss program, gym membership and personalized one-on-one instruction with physicians, nutritionists and fitness experts -- and then they'll be able to share their inspiring story with the world. To apply, visit Discovery Health's official site.

This year, the week-long TV special followed overweight twins on their quest to lose the extra poundage. And thanks to the good folks at 360i and Discovery Health, you can check out this heartbreaking clip from this season:

Since the writers strike hasn't been resolved yet, now is a great time to check out some of cable's offerings. With that in mind, DIY Network is inveiling its new Nailed at 9 primetime line-up featuring home improvement programming. One of the shows, Inside Job, goes behind-the-scenes of a home makeover series with Trading Spaces' Carter Oosterhouse. Click over to DIY's official site for more.

Monday, January 28, 2008

SAG Awards Bring Back Red Carpet

By LillyKat / PTR Staff Writer

The red carpet is back.

Sort of.

The 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards went on as planned Sunday - complete with star-studded presenters, winners and attendees (thank goodness, too, because I'm not sure I could really bring myself to watch another strange, awkward press conference á la the Golden Globes thing-a-ma-jig). We remeber that SAG was given a waiver by the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) to have writers script the show given the solidarity SAG has shown to the WGA during the ongoing writer's strike. Hence actors were able to attend the ceremony without feeling as if they had to cross the strike picket line.

The Academy Awards® show, however, remains in question. Stay tuned.

Below is a list of this year's SAG winners:


- Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood."

- Actress: Julie Christie, "Away From Her."

- Supporting actor: Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men."

- Supporting actress: Ruby Dee, "American Gangster."

- Cast: "No Country for Old Men."

- Stunt ensemble: "The Bourne Ultimatum."


- Actor in a movie or miniseries: Kevin Kline, "As You Like It."

- Actress in a movie or miniseries: Queen Latifah, "Life Support."

- Actor in a drama series: James Gandolfini, "The Sopranos."

- Actress in a drama series: Edie Falco, "The Sopranos."

- Actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock."

- Actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey, "30 Rock."

- Drama series cast: "The Sopranos."

- Comedy series cast: "The Office."

- Stunt ensemble: "24."

Sources: AP; SAG


Author's Note: Pass the Remote is one of many blogs participating in Adopt A Writer - a project organized by TV bloggers in support of the WGA, in association with Fans4Writers and United Hollywood. For more, visit the project's official site.

Kate Purdy didn't always want to be a writer. "In elementary school I wanted to be a teacher. In junior high I wanted to be an astronaut. In high school I wanted to be [the] first lady president. It wasn't until college that I realized I wanted to tell stories," she explains. And telling stories is what she was doing for CBS's top-20 hit Cold Case. That is, until this past November when the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the big studios (known collectively as the AMPTP) hit an impasse on the issue of fair compensation for new media.

Suddenly, Purdy's world went from sitting around a writer's table and collaborating on the next episode of the hit crime drama to collaborating with her fellow writers on the picket lines where she serves as a Strike Captain and regular contributor at United Hollywood. With the strike closely approaching its third month, Purdy says she might be dividing her time even further.

"I've started looking for part-time work," she admits. Something that many other writers may be doing as well, but their choices are restricted. "We dedicate several hours a day to picketing or other strike activities, so our options for jobs are mostly limited to part-time work," Purdy explains.

At issue: who should be compensated and how much when episodes of television shows stream on the web and get downloaded on sites such as iTunes. Under the current system, the writers get nothing. The WGA wants to change that by adding a 2.5 cents-on-the-dollar residual into the Guild's new contract with the AMPTP. In other words, for every dollar the big studios make on new media, the writers get 2.5 cents.

But what about shows such as Cold Case that aren't available online or on sites such as iTunes? For Purdy, it's about ensuring fair compensation for the future as well as the present. "Believe it or not, we're striking not only for workers in the industry today, but for future generations of workers," she says.

It was only this past fall that Purdy earned her full-fledged WGA membership around the same time that she was promoted from a researcher to a staff writer on Cold Case. "Researching for the show was a terrific experience, and allowed me to know the show in and out before being promoted," she explains.

Now that she knows the ins and outs, she says that one of her favorite things about Cold Case is its use of different time periods and the challenge of making the characters relevant today. "Delving into the past allows the character to move against obstacles that might not exist in the same way they do today. But, the central concept of a character moving against obstacles, in any time period, is universal."

One thing that Purdy is quick to point out, working as a television writer is not as glamorous as it has been portrayed in recent media reports. "I have a 10 year old car that I hope can make it a few more years. I watch a lot of TV. Every time it rains my bathroom floods. You know - glamorous."

The writers and the studios aren't the only ones affected by the strike. Crew members on many series have had to find other work in order to make ends meet. When the strike ends and production resumes, some or all of them may not be able to return. Purdy says that she empathizes with the dedicated folks who work behind the camera. "I hope that when the strike ends we'll be able to go back to working on Cold Case with our crew. We love our crew and hope they are available - if not - we'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it."

Some shows were able to crank out a few extra episodes to carry their crews through a little longer, Cold Case however, was only able to produce 13. But Purdy insists it was just a matter of too little time on a show this intricate. "There are several approval steps to prepping a script for shooting - each of them is essential on a show like Cold Case where each word could and might be a clue. The puzzle aspect of the show does not allow for hurried writing - it's detrimental to the final product," she explains.

It's a process that she hopes she can get back to doing very soon, but both sides will have to reach a fair deal first. "The emotionally draining part is feeling like the media moguls are happy to see the town burn rather than give an inch. It's hard for us to not work, to not write scripts for the shows we love. We just want a fair deal and know that what we're asking for is reasonable," Purdy says.

One thing that has kept the writers going, according to Purdy, is all of the support from the fans. "The fans have been TREMENDOUS!!! We could not have done it without their continued support, organizing, and outreach! Thank you!!!"

PHOTO CREDITS: Adopt a Writer banner (Ramblings of a TV Whore), Cold Case courtesy CBS (screencap: RichE at Look Again), and writers picketing on the first day of the strike 11/5/07 (Hector Mata/Reuters)

Get to know Kate's story better through my complete Q&A with her:

How long have you been a member of the WGA? Did you always want to be a writer?
KP: I've been a full fledged member of the WGA for three months - the length of the strike. Before that I was an associate member for a year - meaning I was working my way into becoming a full member. So, three months.

No. In elementary school I wanted to be a teacher. In junior high I wanted to be an astronaut. In high school I wanted to be first lady president. It wasn't until college that I realized I wanted to tell stories.

You were promoted to staff writer this season on Cold Case. How did you get the job writing for a hit series?
KP: I was the researcher on Cold Case for two seasons before being promoted to staff. Researching for the show was a terrific experience, and allowed me to know the show in and out before being promoted.

You made your debut on Cold Case in the episode, coincidentally titled, "Debut" back in season 3 and you also wrote this season's "Devil Music." Do you enjoy writing about a different time in history?
KP: It's one of the greatest aspects about writing on the show for me. I love researching different periods in American history.

What sorts of challenges do you face when writing a story that takes place 40-50 years ago while still making it relevant today?
KP: Delving into the past allows the character to move against obstacles that might not exist in the same way they do today. But, the central concept of a character moving against obstacles, in any time period, is universal.

The challenge of writing a story that takes place 40-50 years ago is - as a writer - internalizing those obstacles so they feel real to you, your character, and hopefully the audience.

What are some of your favorite shows (from Cold Case) past and present?
KP: It's so hard to choose, but off the top of my head - some of my favorites are:
Sleepover, Best Friends, Saving Sammy, Static, Creatures of the Night, The Woods, The Goodbye Room, Dog Day Afternoons, A Dollar, A Dream, Offender, Mind Hunters, Thick as Thieves, Boy Crazy, Family 8108, The Letter, The Plan, and Factory Girls...

What is a typical day like for you when you are working on Cold Case?
KP: Typically, we meet in the writers' room all day at a big table, facing a giant white-board where we figure out the details of the episode together.

What is it like now with the ongoing strike?
KP: We strike. We picket. We volunteer at the guild.

In the San Antonio Express-News article from November, you mentioned that if the strike lingered into the New Year you would have to find a part-time job. Have you reached that point?
KP: I am quickly reaching that point. I've started looking for part-time work.

Explain to people who may not understand how difficult the strike is financially on the writers.
KP: We've been going without income since the strike began. We dedicate several hours a day to picketing or other strike activities, so our options for jobs are mostly limited to part-time work.

What is something you think people might be surprised by in terms of your lifestyle in Hollywood and your life as a working writer?
KP: I have a 10 year old car that I hope can make it a few more years. I watch a lot of TV. Every time it rains my bathroom floods. You know - glamorous.

How did you become a strike captain? Do you find it emotionally draining to stay upbeat for all of the writers fighting on the line beside you?
KP: The other writers on the line have been amazing - no need to keep their spirits up. The emotionally draining part is feeling like the media moguls are happy to see the town burn rather than give an inch. It's hard for us to not work, to not write scripts for the shows we love. We just want a fair deal and know that what we're asking for is reasonable.

For the critics out there, explain why the issues surrounding the strike are important to you even though you work for a show that isn't available on the Internet, pay-for-play formats such as iTunes, or DVD.
KP: Believe it or not, we're striking not only for workers in the industry today, but for future generations of workers.

There is the concern that the strike has broken up the staff on some shows because the crewmembers have had to take other jobs, and therefore, won't be able to return when production resumes. What sort of impact does that have on you guys?
KP: I hope that when the strike ends we'll be able to go back to working on Cold Case with our crew. We love our crew and hope they are available - if not - we'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

Some other shows had stocked up on episodes to carry their crew through the holiday season, but Cold Case seemed to stick with its typical schedule. Was it just a matter of time running out before there was an opportunity to get more episodes completed prior to the strike?
KP: We ran out of time and did not want to push through scripts that weren't finished. There are several approval steps to prepping a script for shooting - each of them is essential on a show like Cold Case where each word could and might be a clue. The puzzle aspect of the show does not allow for hurried writing - it's detrimental to the final product.

How has the ongoing support from the fans via the Internet, on the picket lines, and the Pencils2MediaMoguls campaign affected the striking writers? What else can fans do to help?
KP: The fans have been TREMENDOUS!!! We could not have done it without their continued support, organizing, and outreach! Thank you!!!

Anything else you want to talk about that I missed?
KP: I think that covers quite a bit. Thanks for having me!

You can read more writers' stories at the Adopt a Writer official site.

Birthday Wishes

Cold Case's Kathryn Morris celebrates a birthday today.

Happy Birthday Kathryn!!
Your Friends at PTR

DID YOU KNOW? Kathryn's latest project, Assassination of a High School President, premiered this past week at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, about the popular girl teaming up with a sophomore newspaper reporter to investigate a case of stolen SAT exams, finds Kathryn taking a comic turn as a spacey school nurse. It stars Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, and Reece Thompson. Look for it in theaters this August.

Friday, January 25, 2008

'Chuck' Plays a Very Good Spy Game

I have a confession: I love Chuck! Just don't tell Mr. TVFan. You see, I was destined to fall in love with this charming show. I grew up watching James Bond marathons and Charlie's Angels reruns on cable. The secret world of spies has always intrigued me, which is why I tuned in to Chuck in the first place. But this show isn't just another entry into the spy genre; it's a marvelously crafted exaggeration of it with plenty of big stunts, beautiful women, jewel heists, and undercover assignments. There is one thing that separates Chuck from every other spy show and movie: Chuck. The accidental spy went from zero to hero overnight thanks to an email containing the all-important Intersect. Now, he has to juggle his spy duties with his job at the Buy More and his time with family and friends (who know nothing about his secret life). And then there's his raging crush on CIA spy Sarah. It's a huge balancing act, but watching Chuck figure it all out and struggle to be there for his sister is what gives this show its heart and soul. Last night, we were treated to 2 episodes (the last two completed before the strike) that reinforced what makes this series so good.

It was only a matter of time before someone figured out who had the Intersect, so Chuck's life is always in danger. But last night, we learned how much he stands to lose if the government learns that he is in immediate danger. That sort of threat gets him a free move to a government facility and 24-hour security where he'll have to live without his family. Anyone who knows the Bartowskis knows that this would devastate both Chuck and his sister (especially since she wouldn't be privy to his location and would likely be told that he was dead). Plus, can you imagine Ellie and Capt. Awesome's wedding without the best man?? Speaking of their proposal, how sure were you that Chuck would manage to lose that ring? I was nervous from the moment Capt. Awesome gave it to him to hold. Thankfully, he got it back (albeit, a little dirtier). Meanwhile, Casey struggled with discovering an old flame was still alive (and a French spy!) and Sarah made her repressed feelings for Chuck a little more apparent (to herself mostly) when she broke orders and went after him before the CIA could put him in that secret government facility. I'm glad she did for Chuck's sake, but it looks like things are even more complicated now for Sarah. Let's hope we get those new episodes soon.

Photos courtesy

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shawn 'Psychs' Out a Retirement Community

Few shows on television are as funny at USA Network's Psych and thanks to the ongoing writers strike, I finally have an excuse to add it to the weekly line-up here at PTR! I ran out of time last week to write about it, but I wasn't going to let another week pass without adding it (NOTE: it will serve as a "fill-in" show here at PTR, meaning that the write-up will pop up on the slower days of the week and thus, you won't see it right after it airs). Anyway, this week's outing was its usual hilarious self. Shawn and Gus and their antics are Just. Too. Funny! It's a good thing, too, because they're going to have to fill in for my other fave buddy duo JD and Turk while Scrubs is on hiatus. Shawn's plan to get his "Grand Pa-Pa" father into that retirement community was great and the ensuing competition between the two had me cracking up. It was almost funny enough to make me overlook the lack of Shawn and "Lassie" interaction (one of my favorite things on this show), which was noticeably missing this week. Although, I did enjoy Lassie's scenes with Jules and the deputy mayor's delinquent son (though, the previous week's police academy score created competition was the best).

This show is sorta a grown-up live-action version of one of my favorite cartoons as a child: Scooby Doo (minus the crime-solving dog, of course). At the end of every episode, I half expect the bad guy to yell out, "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you kids and your psychic ability!" This episode was no exception as Shawn and Gus revealed the culprit (a seemingly sweet and innocent dietician who just wanted her own family member to secure a spot at the top-notch retirement facility at which she worked) in front of a room full of residents and quickly dashed out before the real Talmadge checked in. Going back to the cartoon equivalent, this team of accidental detectives reveals the killer by pulling off the mask too, but this mask is the one that allows the bad guy to come off looking innocent until Shawn discovers otherwise. It's just another successful day at the Psych office.

Photos courtesy

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sarah Gets to Work on 'Chronicles'

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

It’s tough being Sarah Connor.

So many Skynet people to find, so little time.

Plus people keep thinking she’s dead.

Or a ghost.

Did we mention there is no Skynet, yet?

But there is TURK.

Last night, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles gave us our first glimpse at what was apparently supposed to become Skynet – you know, that all-knowing, superbad, self-aware supercomputer that’s going to destroy mankind in a couple of years?

Yeah, um ... well ... as of this moment in time, it’s basically three XBoxes and four PlayStations wired together in the closet of a one-bedroom apartment engineered to play a pretty wicked game of chess opposite its human creator, one by the name of Andrew Goode. Andy, we thinks (as does Sarah), is supposed to be the one to take TURK to that next man-annihilating level.
Sarah: “You talk about it like its human.”
Andy: “You never know. Someday.”

Suffice it to say he really is a Cal Tech Advanced Dork of whom now finds himself on Sarah’s radar. Did we mention he’s also cell phone salesman?

You know that saying: Got to start somewhere.

Or that other saying: Every big idea was at first small.

Or ... well, you get the idea.

Meanwhile, on the evil Terminator front ... we remember from last week’s premiere when Sarah, John, and Cameron blasted forward from 1999 into the present day right before the evil Terminator was going to … well, terminate them? It seems the little time traveling explosion that leapfrogged the good guys forward also snared the evil Terminator’s skull.

Now in 2007, it still ain’t dead.

The skull alone has served as its own magnet of sorts, which has attracted the other fragments of itself back together. But more than that, once assembled (and doing its best homeless-person-don’t-look-at-my-face impression), it finds a super-genome-blood-mega-scientist-whiz-bang doctor to concoct the blood potion that allows a full on terminator machine to dunk itself and emerge with a layer of human skin – albeit kind of old and crinkly (but hey, it’s only 2007; there’s only so much futuristic magic blood potion for machines that can be conjured up in one’s bathtub).



But oh so cool.

I am still loving Summer Glau’s good Terminator, Cameron, and her efforts to blend into high school life alongside John.
John: “I went. I learned. I didn’t get killed. And she didn’t kill anybody, so all in all it was a pretty good first day.”

The humorous moments of this series are so much more rich than the film given they have the time to explore the whole man/machine awkwardness in a much slower way. The brutal honesty in which she answers questions can, at times, be just too darn funny given she doesn’t know she’s being brutally honest.
Girl: “Does this skirt make me look fat?”
Cameron: “Yes.”

We should note that FBI Agent James Ellison, who was on Sarah’s trail back in 1999 is still on Sarah’s trail. The whole fake identity thing might be coming into play given the “safehouse” of resistance fighters the team had to break into last week to get themselves set-up with some cash flow left the odd finger print or two.


Not to mention Enrique (we remember him as Sarah’s source for all things illegal back in the film?) was shot dead by Cameron in last week’s ep given he seems to have knarcked on Sarah’s “re-emergence” to old Agent Ellison.

Double uh-oh.

The fight to save the world continues ...

New episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles air Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX. You can also watch full episodes online. Just visit the Official Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Web site to catch up (or re-watch!)

** Programming Note: The next new episode will air in two weeks on Monday, February 4th.

'Medium' Will Always Have Paris

"Dream the dream, find the girl, get the job." If only it were that simple. Well truth be told, it would have been had the father of the missing girl not sold the company to which Joe was applying to Joe's former employer. Talk about your bad luck. Looks like Joe will be standing in the unemployment line for a little longer (at least four more weeks thanks to a network hiatus). Anyone who has gone through the job search process knows how grueling it is, so I feel for Joe. The good thing about being an aerospace engineer, though: it's so specialized that there aren't a lot out there. The bad thing: there also aren't a lot of jobs. Oregon, anyone? In the meantime, Allison kept having those pesky, confusing dreams about an American couple in Paris. It sounds like a bad knock off of a 50s film, and in reality, it wasn't too far off. When the episode first began, I thought that the Paris set looked really fake. I chocked it up to HD until we met the diorama-making ex-husband. Then, I began to wonder if he created Paris hoping to recapture that "we'll always have Paris" feeling between him and his ex-wife. Allison began to get the same notion, but she was sidelined by a lack of evidence and a now uncooperative family.

Just when I thought all hope was lost in a warrant technicality, my Det. Hottie Scanlon came in and saved the day (as usual). It's just too bad that he didn't have a big role this week. When is Devalos coming back?? I want the old gang back together and this new DA wants nothing to do with Allison. His loss (and mine since No Allison = No Det. Scanlon). Damn you new DA! Medium (apparently) will return in 4 weeks with all-new episodes.

Monday, January 21, 2008

'Case' Gets GLAAD Nom

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) announced its nominees for the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Sunday (Jan. 20th) and PTR fave Cold Case was among the honored series. The crime drama is nominated for this season's "Boy Crazy" for its sensitive portrayal of transgender issues. The episode, which aired earlier this season, had the CC team investigating the 1963 murder of a gender-confused teen. This is Cold Case's 5th nomination. The series won in 2006 for the season two episode "Best Friends" (which dealt with a lesbian relationship in the 1920s). Other nominated series this year include: Dirty Sexy Money, My Name is Earl, Boston Legal, Project Runway, Ugly Betty, The L Word, and Brothers and Sisters. Overall, ABC garnered the most nominations with nine.

From the Press Release:
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives.

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 17th; in South Florida on April 12th; in Los Angeles on April 26th; and in San Francisco on May 10th. GLAAD will provide details about upcoming broadcast dates in the near future.

For more on the awards, visit GLAAD's official site.

Interracial Controversy on 'Friday Night'

Friday Night Lights has never been the type of show to shy away from controversial issues. It tends to hit them head on like its football players crushing the opposing team on the field every Friday night. This week, they took on the emotional issue of interracial relationships. Smash's invitation to girlfriend Noel's house for dinner wasn't just an opportunity to meet the parents. Nor was it intended as a meet and greet between the two families. It was more of an intervention. Noel's parents spoke first about their concerns about this relationship and how difficult it will make things for both Noel and Smash. Then, Smash's mom chimed in agreeing and creating quite the rift between the star running back and his mom. Both sides, while OK with the relationship just worried about society's reaction to it, must be confused about the year, right? I mean, this is 2008! If only that were true. After an innocent trip to the movie theater, it appeared that the road is much bumpier than either Smash or Noel realized. Sadly, Smash's little sister got caught in the cross fire leaving her a little scared. Even if the confrontation in the theater hadn't happened, the looks on people's faces were enough to convey just how uncomfortable some people are when it comes to interracial dating.

Elsewhere, Tim just can't catch a break. He finally decides that he's ready to treat Lyla right and he walks in on her kissing her new Christian radio co-host (Gilmore Girls Matt Czuchry). I'm not so sure Lyla and Tim are a good idea, but it doesn't make me feel any less sorry for him. I'm still catching up on Gilmore Girls (sadly, I'm almost done), so it's nice to see "Logan" in a different role. Meanwhile, Tami had trouble dropping Gracie off at daycare and it even had her questioning her decision to go back to work. As usual, Connie Britton did a fabulous job making me feel torn right along with Tami. Easily one of the most underrated actresses on TV. And then there was Buddy Garrity. I wonder if he's having second thoughts on his decision to take in a troubled teen. It seems you can keep the teen out of trouble, but you can't keep the troubled friends out of the teen's life. Oh boy. New episodes continue (for now) Fridays on NBC.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Teams Claw their Way to the Finish Line

We painfully watched Nate & Jen self distruct and eliminate themselves from the race last week. Tonight, Ron/Christina, Nick/Don, and TK/Rachel will complete the final leg and compete to cross the finish line in first place for $1 million. CBS promises "a photo finish," so buckle up, sit back and enjoy the ride. Here are this week's "live" thoughts.

Psych-out! Ron and Christina had the other teams all worried that they had caught another flight when they failed to appear at the gate with the rest of them. Turns out, they were doing a little internet research about their next destination - 6th Avenue Outfitters in Anchorage. When is that race karma going to kick in?? They totally screwed over Nate and Jen last week and have never had to pay for it. Maybe it will kick in right at the end when they're suppose to cross the finish line. Fingers crossed!

Apparently, the race karma is a little confused. It just struck Nick & Don instead! They got their clue, but forgot their bag of goodies. This means they'll be going back to the store as soon as they realize what they've done. Bummer!

Is it just me or does this leg's Detour really bite??!! Filleting a HUGE fish or diving into a tank full of snapping crabs. Neither sounds too appetizing to me. Why do Ron and Christina have all the luck??!! They just found the dang clue inside the fish. How are they this far ahead of the other teams already? Soooo frustrating!

Yes!! The other teams finally caught up with Ron & Chris. Ron made that ice wall look pretty easy, but Chris is really struggling (allowing the others to catch up). Unfortunately, it was short lived and now Ron and Chris are already on their way. Race karma, where are you??

Most. Impossible. Roadblock. Ever!!! There's only one correct way to assemble the 10 items, but several ways to do it wrong??!! I think we're going to be here a while. These are my favorite ending Roadblocks, though. I still vividly remember the map challenge from the family edition and the flag challenge when the hippies won a few seasons back. It's all about the brains and nothing about the brawn. Let's see who has the brains to do it and win the $1 million.

I really can't handle the suspense and stress! I'm at the edge of my seat. I mean, how hard is this Roadblock?? There's no way I'd be able to remember all of these details. Christina just made hers worse! YES!!! Rachel just did it! She solved the impossible! Now, quick like bunny and finish the race in first because Ron & Chris are hot on your tail.

You just can't beat a neck-and-neck finish of The Amazing Race. And the winner is... TK and RACHEL!! Ron and Chris finished in second with Don and Nick taking third. So, maybe that karma did come in at the end. As usual with TAR, the amazing part comes with the bonds that develop between the 2 people in the teams. Ron and Chris may not have won the million, but they walked away happier than when they started.

What did you think of the finale? Were you happy to see TK and Rachel win? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

AMPTP and WGA to Meet Again

Some encouraging news on the ongoing writers strike from United Hollywood:

UH has learned that as of yesterday, the WGA began an informal dialogue with one of the conglom bosses. The conversations were cordial and respectful on both sides. This is the way that the DGA talks began -- with informal consultations at a high level between leaders on both sides. It is not negotiation, it's the precursor to negotiation, but the good news is that what Patric Verrone, David Young and John Bowman said at the captain's meeting yesterday appears to be very true: we are finally at a moment where the companies are ready to start seriously bargaining. A letter was sent to membership last night, asking everyone to be patient and calm as we move forward. As frustrating as it is to wait, it's the best way to get the best deal possible.

Full story at UH.

Now's the time to cross those fingers, dig out those lucky charms, and say your prayers to the TV gods because we need a fair resolution ASAP!

Friday, January 18, 2008

'Dexter' Comes to CBS

By LillyKat / PTR Staff Writer

There's soon to be no more Lil' on Sundays.

But alas, we will have Dex.

CBS will be bringing Showtime's critically acclaimed original series, Dexter, to its Sunday night lineup beginning February 17th at 10 p.m.

For those not in the know, Michael C. Hall plays the amazingly charming, ingeniously clever and incredibly moral Dexter Morgan - a forensic investigator specializing in blood spatter (gee, ya' think?) for the Miami Metro Police Department and who also just so happens to be a serial killer.

Having watched the show from its inception on Showtime, I. Am. Hooked. It should be interesting to see the edits CBS decides to make given the show is a premium cable series (and those f-bombs reign regulalry over on Showtime not to mention there is the whole blood thing). I doubt, however, the edits will detract from the overall brillance of the show.

Look for Dexter at PTR come this February. You can check out Showtime's official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Take Flight with John Legend

From CBS:


Delta, the Official Airline of the GRAMMY Awards, Hosts Performance at 30,000 Feet Onboard Special GRAMMY Aircraft to Celebrate The GRAMMY Awards' 50th Anniversary

Fans in Select CBS Markets Can Enter Sweepstakes Starting Today

Five-time GRAMMY® winner John Legend will perform an acoustic in-flight concert on board Delta Air Lines' new GRAMMY aircraft for the winners of a special sweepstakes that begins today, sponsored by CBS, The Recording Academy® and Delta Air Lines. Contest winners, who will fly from New York to Los Angeles , will also attend GRAMMY rehearsals and THE 50TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS, scheduled to be broadcast live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles , Sunday, Feb. 10 (8:00-11:30 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

CBS is partnering with The Recording Academy and Delta, the Official Airline of the GRAMMY Awards, to host this unique performance at 30,000 feet that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the music industry's most coveted honor.

Winning music fans, along with one guest each, will receive boarding passes for Delta's "GRAMMY Flight," which departs New York 's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Feb. 7 en route to Los Angeles International Airport . Before the flight departs, John Legend and GRAMMY officials will join Delta to unveil a specially-designed new livery that commemorates the GRAMMY Awards' 50th Anniversary. Delta's Boeing 757 "GRAMMY plane" will be branded with the GRAMMY Awards' iconic gramophone symbol adjacent to the front boarding door and, on a larger scale, on the front left side of the aircraft. During the flight, winners will be treated to a special acoustic performance by John Legend, who won the GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist in 2005. Last year, he won the GRAMMY for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his recording titled "Heaven."

CBS Stations and Affiliates participating in the sweepstakes are New York (WCBS,, Los Angeles (KCBS,, Chicago (WBBM,, Philadelphia (KYW,, Boston (WBZ,, San Francisco (KPIX,, Dallas (KTVT,, Baltimore (WJZ,, Miami (WFOR,, Denver (KCNC,, Sacramento (KOVR,, Pittsburgh (KDKA,, Atlanta (WGCL,, Washington D.C. (WUSA,, Raleigh (WRAL, and Houston (KHOU, (More stations may be added.). The sweepstakes period begins at 12:00 PM (ET) on Jan. 17 and will end at 12:00 PM (ET) on Jan. 29, 2008 (may vary by market).

For more information on the sweepstakes, visit a participating station's web site. The Grammys air February 10th on CBS.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

'Medium' Pulls the Old Switcheroo

Things are beginning to get back to normal on Medium, and I couldn't be happier. Now, all we need is DA Devalos and Allison working with his office with Scanlon by her side. This week's outing, the second of the season, explored one of my favorite dynamics on this series: Allison working with Ariel. The family stuff is always the best on this show, and I LOVE the mother/daughter relationship because it feels so real. After watching Ariel's role increase last season, I am glad to see that trend continue this season. Sofia Vassilieva (Ariel) has developed into quite the actress. She amazes me with the depth she brings to her emotions and the character of Ariel. She had to play 2 different characters this week, and she completely sold me. When we were watching those awesomely rad 80s flashbacks, I kept forgetting that the same actress was playing Allison's high school BFF. And speaking of the same actress playing two roles, it was nice to see Jennifer Lawrence again. She played a murder victim in one of my favorite episodes from last season, "Mother's Little Helper" (the one where the mother-daughter team owned a dress shop and Ariel and Allison dreamt about their murders from 2 different perspectives). This week, though, she was playing young Allison.

This episode had me right back in full Medium mode where I can't fathom what Allison's dreams have to do with the case. I was wracking my brain trying to tie them together and then they added in Ariel's dreams and I was totally lost. As usual, it all made sense in the end with the cop from the '87 dream being involved in both the past and present. Those Medium writers are so clever!

Photos courtesy

Monday, January 14, 2008

'Friday Night' Consequences

Tim Riggins must be bent on making a liar out of me. I was just writing about how I felt that he was a good kid deep down and then he has to go and steal his former roommate's three grand! I know, he needed to make a mortgage payment, but it doesn't justify his risky (at best) decision to swipe the money while he was getting his stuff back. And yet, I'm still poised to declare him a good kid. There in lies the excellent dichotomy of this intricate show. All of the characters have positive and negative traits that make them more complex and more human. No one is good or bad because everyone has both in them. Tim is a classic example because no matter how badly he screws up, you can't hate him. In fact, I find myself feeling sorry for him. Disappointed, but sorry too. He just needs someone to guide him, and that someone was supposed to be Coach Taylor until Julie had to go and spoil that plan (things do look to be back on track after this week's outing, though).

I read a recent letter in TV Guide from a viewer complaining about all of the "sex" and "drinking" in this season of Friday Night Lights. But, what this viewer failed to recognize was that the heart of this show rests on its ability to demonstrate that all actions have consequences. These kids don't get away with the "sex" and "drinking" like the kids on One Tree Hill or The O.C. and to simply lump it together with those shows or to wave it off as "another teen drama" is vastly unfair. Thus, Julie's drunken night out will not go unpunished now that her father knows the truth (the guilt is already setting in as she reads the disappointment on his face) and Tim's theft will come back to bite him as well. For his sake, I hope it's the police who come knocking on his door and not his meth addict ex-roomie! Elsewhere, my faves Tyra and Landry were MIA this week, but I did enjoy the increased Tami and Eric time. And boy did that mean coach's revelation about his dying wife take the wind out of my sails. I was all fired up about him tackling Tim on the field. No one touches one of Coach Taylor's players!

Photos courtesy

Sarah Terminates Doubts, Rocks 'Chronicles'

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

One movie.

Nine times.

I saw Terminator 2: Judgment Day nine times in the theatre when it was released in 1991 (and when it still only cost us about 5-ish or so bucks to attend a matinee) .

I was T2 obsessed.

I was in awe of Robert Patrick’s T-1000.

I thought Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor was the badest badass woman my young 16-year-old self had ever seen. And let’s just say that, a couple of years later, when Demi Moore tried to do her own badass woman impersonation in the over-the-top-we-don't-want-to-see-a-woman-become-a-man G.I. Jane, I left that film going, “Sorry, Demi, but you’ve got nothing on Linda Hamilton. Or Sarah Connor.”

And so, if there is a savior of a television show for me during this writer’s strike shortened primetime season, it is Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on FOX.

Oh. My. God. I think I have died and gone to Terminator heaven.

My absolute favorite of the Terminator films has been turned into a full-fledged television series, complete with all of the best elements of the film - including the score, the action, the special effects, the backstory and the awesome T on T sequences.

Now, if there is a caveat in all of this, it is that the more working knowledge you have of the film series (and specifically T2), the better. As I was watching the pilot last night (which continues tonight at 9 p.m. on FOX), I was trying to figure out how hard it might be for non-Terminator fans to follow given the pilot picks up exactly where the end of T2 left off. We remember that Sarah and her son, John (future leader of the resistance against the mean ol' machines), had successfully toppled the big bad Skynet corporation. As we recall, Skynet was supposed to build the horrible supercomputer that eventually becomes self aware, takes over itself and allow machines (read: terminators) to wipeout mankind in the not too distant future. Well, with Skynet toppled, Sarah and John are still living on the run (given they blew up lots of stuff and killed a good number of people trying to save the world in T2).

But of course, as optimistically hunky dory as the T2 film ended, the television series reintroduces the immediate threat on John’s life, whereby terminators are sent back in time once again to try and kill him given he is to be the future leader of the resistance against said terminators. Additionally, it looks as though Skynet will eventually get rebuilt. As will that nasty ol' supercomputer.

So Sarah has to stop Skynet.


And John has to be kept alive.


And how awesome is that?

There are some seriously nice new twists the television series brings to the table – particularly when it comes to the terminator sent back to protect young John. This time, it is in the shape of a younger teenage girl (played brilliantly by Summer Glau and of whom is named "Cameron" - a nice homage to original Terminator creator, James Cameron, who outdid himself bringing us the T2 sequel). This girl can throw her terminator weight around with the best of 'em, stopping the Robert Patrick-esque T-1000 with surgical precision and ease.

Arnold who?

Schwarzenegger is not missed in this.

Nor is his Cyberdyne Systems beefcake terminator model.

Also not missed is Edward Furlong's John Connor. I only ever liked him so-so in the film version. He was a little too Guns n’ Roses for me at the time, and his squeaky, puberty-plagued voice got on my nerves given it could’ve broken some china plates (I think). Thus, Thomas Dekker is a welcome upgrade as a more mature John. He’s still trying to figure out how in the world he’s ever going to run the resistance whilst simultaneously trying to remember all of the rules to stay alive in our time today.

Rules set down my mom, of course.

Robert Patrick’s brilliant precedent as the menacing, never blink, never breathe, never break a sweat, hardly-seem-out-of-step perfection as the T-1000 machine is emulated pretty darn well by Owain Yeoman. Owain is not Robert, of course, and Robert's meditative preparation for T2 is now the stuff of legend. But, you can tell just how much of a mark Robert made on the series as Owain tries to replicate Robert's flawless portrayal.

And then there is Sarah.

Still passionate. Still relentless in her own right. Still protective. Still no nonsense. She’s trying to find a way to live the most normal of abnormal lives, with John (and his welfare) still the center of her world.

But for the television series, she’s tempered a bit. We see more of the mother, and we have the soldier aspect dialed down a couple of notches.

And that is a good thing.

I like it.

There is a certain sensitivity that is being introduced into the overall Sarah/John dynamic, and that wasn’t necessarily prevalent in the film (save for a scene or two). The dynamic between mother and son is the foundation on which the telvision series is being built. And that is a strong premise. It’s also evident in Summer Glau's potrayal of the Cameron terminator. The film had its sensitive moments that didn’t detract from the action, the pace or the overall premise. I'd have to say the television series is doing the exact same thing - possibly better, given the medium allows for a fuller expansion of the family backstory.

That said, the biggest shoes to fill are Linda Hamilton’s, and her unforgettable turn as Sarah Connor. We remember when Jodie Foster said no to playing Special Agent Clarice Starling for the third time, and it fell upon Julianne Moore to maintain the brilliance of the legacy in Hannibal. As brilliant of an actor as Juilanne Moore is, it didn’t really work. It was like Darren being swapped out on Bewitched.

There was/is only one Clarice Starling: Jodie’s.

The same could be said for Sarah Connor. She’s always going to be Linda's.

Yet, this 2008. Linda isn't exactly the mid-30-something badass she once was. As such, Lena Headey's Sarah Connor is a good one. There is a certain weariness to her, an exhaustion of maintaining years worth of rules to ensure her and John’s survival. Yet, the mother in her is equally strong – we never forget how overly-protective, dutifully devoted and worrisome she is nor how much she feels she has cursed John’s very existence.

That said, I know there are entire Terminator related fandoms devoted to the legacy of Sarah, and as such, view Lena’s performance as not paying enough homage to Linda’s kick-arse version. But, I think it’s just that feeling of the whole Jodie/Juilanne / Darren on Bewitched / swap-actor-but-keep character thing we all have to endure at one point or another when our favorites get modified. It can be a hard pill to swallow. I know. I’ve been there.

But when it's done pretty darn well, those favorite characters get to live on.

And that is a great reward.

As such, I’ve got to give the whole package the show is offering a complete thumbs up. Never mind that the T2 film broke my sequel-can't-ever-be-better-than-the-original rule, the television series could actually make me end up wishing the film gave me more.

Imagine that.

A good deal all the way around.

New episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles air Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX. Tonight's episode is the second part of the premiere/pilot, so be sure to tune in!

Photos: FOX; IMDb.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The 'Globes' Announced

Mary Hart announces Daniel Day-Lewis as the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his role in ' There Will Be Blood' Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, in Beverly Hills, Calif. during the 65th annual golden Globe Awards. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Here's a rundown of tonight's Golden Globe Award winners from the AP:


_Picture, Drama: "Atonement."

_Actress, Drama: Julie Christie, "Away From Her."

_Actor, Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood."

_Picture, Musical or Comedy: "Sweeney Todd."

_Actress, Musical or Comedy: Marion Cotillard, "La Vie En Rose."

_Actor, Musical or Comedy: Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd."

_Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There."

_Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men."

_Director: Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."

_Screenplay: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, "No Country for Old Men."

_Foreign Language: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," France and U.S.

_Animated Film: "Ratatouille."

_Original Score: Dario Marianelli, "Atonement."

_Original Song: "Guaranteed" from "Into the Wild."


_Series, Drama: "Mad Men," AMC.

_Actress, Drama: Glenn Close, "Damages."

_Actor, Drama: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men."

_Series, Musical or Comedy: "Extras," HBO.

_Actress, Musical or Comedy: Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

_Actor, Musical or Comedy: David Duchovny, "Californication."

_Miniseries or Movie: "Longford," HBO.

_Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Queen Latifah, "Life Support."

_Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Jim Broadbent, "Longford."

_Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Samantha Morton, "Longford."

_Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jeremy Piven, "Entourage."

Teams Have it Made in Taiwan

Last week, TK and Rachel were granted a reprieve with the last non-elimination round of the season. BUT, it came with something more than a Speed Bump - a 3-HOUR deficit to overcome! Can they do it and earn a place in the final 3?? And can Jen and Nathan keep it together under the increasing pressure to secure their place? Let's find out with this week's "live" thoughts.

Jen, let's be honest here, have you ever been "Mr. Nice Jen and Nate??" I suppose it's hard to tell when you're both too occupied with fighting among yourselves to even think about fighting with other teams. How 'bout you concentrate on being "Mr. Nice Jen and Nate" with each other? That worked really well last week.

Prepare to be shocked because there's a, gasp!, catch-up point! Wow, that three-hour deficit is melting away quicker than even I expected. You have to admit; it does make things a lot more interesting, though. Of course, TK and Rachel's terrible sense of direction could make things a little less interesting.

I really hope that Nate doesn't have his heart set on getting some authentic Panang Curry or Pad Thai or meeting up with his "Thai friends" when he arrives in Taiwan because if so, he's going to be very disappointed. You see Nate, Taiwan and Thailand are NOT the same country. Who knew (other than the millions of people who do, in fact, know the difference)? This moment of television was made even funnier by Ron's comment that Nate and Jen are "smart."

I used to only dislike Ron of Ron and Chris, but now, my dislike is spreading to Chris as well. That move at the airline desk was sooo dirty! Race karma better come back and bite them. And now Jen and Nate are fighting on her birthday!! Guys, what happened to working together? United you stand (and stay in the race), divided you fall!

Anyone who has ever traveled out of the country knows that immigration lines suck. Everyone (including TK and Rachel, but excluding Ron and Chris who caught that early flight) is stuck in them. Wow, this really is the worst. Birthday. Ever for Jen!!

What??!! Phil used a stunt double to demonstrate the Roadblock??!! Was he worried about messing up that hair? Or was it the shirt? Either way, I am very disappointed in my Phil. But wait, he just stood in front of exploding fireworks to explain the Speed Bump! So, he'll put his life in danger, but not his hair? I don't get it.

Who thinks TK and Rachel are going to get on that train? Me too. Oh look, we're right! But, it was close. Wow, this is really going to be a mad dash to the Pit Stop this week. That is, if Jen's stress level can make it. Maybe Jen should try some of that "mellow" that she's complaining about in TK and Rachel. It might do her some good. She should be mad about Ron and Chris constantly being ahead of them this leg. I am!

Jen should totally do that Earth Detour. If anyone needs to relieve stress, it's her! Apparently, she agrees because she just decided to do it. Of course, she and Nate are in the middle of another meltdown. This time over subway or taxi. I guess they're not capable of going two legs in a row without a meltdown. And on her birthday, too! All she wanted was for her and Nate not fight, but as Nate said, that may be impossible.

Ron and Chris just landed in first (where is that Race karma when you need it??) and secured their place in the final three. TK and Rachel overcame a Speed Bump, bad sense of direction and a 3-hour deficit to land in second and secure their spot. Nick and Don just grabbed the last place, meaning that Nate and Jen are eliminated and not competing for the million. And now I feel really bad because they're both upset about their relationship and yes I know, I wanted them to break up because I thought Jen deserved better, but damn it, this is bumming me out! These two crazy kids need to work this out. And now I'm TiVo-ing The Early Show tomorrow to find out what happened to them after the race.

Were you bummed to see Nate and Jen eliminated? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

CATCH-UP EDITION: 'Lights,' Camera, Murder!

Please forgive me while I play a little game of catch-up. All of the college Bowl games had me TiVo-ing like crazy last week and Monday and now I'm busting at the seams with things to say about 3 exciting episodes of 3 excellent shows. First up, Friday Night Lights...

Friday Night Lights
Poor Tim Riggins. The boy just can't catch a break. He's trying to get his alcohol-filled, brother-hating, school work cheating, loser-ish life on track. He moved in (temporarily) with Coach Taylor and his family and started to rebuild the shattered relationship with his coach and then something like Julie getting drunk- at- a- party- and- him- putting- her- to- bed- while- her- father- walks- in happens, and he's right back where he started from: sleeping in his car. Coach Taylor got the wrong impression and jumped to conclusions based on Tim's history and Tami's worries. Too bad he didn't see what happened at the party when Tim saved Julie from being taken advantage of by a classmate. I'm so bummed for Tim. Despite everything, I really believe that he's a good kid. A little messed up and misguided, but a good kid all the same. Elsewhere, Landry made a gutsy move with Tyra and it paid off - well, sorta. He got her to admit that she has feelings for him (in fact, she's never felt this way about anyone), but she isn't ready to embrace those feelings yet. Landry did the right thing - he told her that he wasn't going to wait around for her anymore. Maybe this will kick things into high gear for these two. They're so the new Amy & Ephram (sniffle, sniffle Everwood).

At a time when all of my favorite shows are running out of new episodes (The Strike Effect), it's good to see some old favorites return. Even if when those old favorites return they're merely a shell of the show I used to know. Yes, I was mourning the old Medium this week and keeping my fingers crossed that it will come back and kidnap this evil twin that has Allison blacklisted, Devalos on a plane contemplating starting his own practice and my main man Scanlon preaching safety to elementary school kids. The end of the episode gave me hope for a return to normalcy, but I don't think the writers are in any hurry since they're introducing us to this Allison-for-hire plot next week. Moving on because if- I- have- to- be- truthful- I- sorta- enjoyed- the- fact- that- Allison- had- to- prove- herself- to- Anjelica- Huston (who is always fabulous and I LOVED that she paid Allison out of her own pocket - well, not Anjelica herself but her character, but you get the point). Anyway, the case was pretty straightforward as were Allison's visions and all of it definitely took a backseat to the upheaval taking place. BUT, I can't get that image of the little boy in the doll box in the storage warehouse out of my mind. It was so disturbing and they sorta just threw it out there and now I'm stuck seeing it when I close my eyes. I'm glad they caught the b*stard responsible, but I have to wonder if this wasn't his first murder considering the thought he put into it. Yuck!

Law & Order: SVU
You guys know that I think these so-called "tandem episodes" are the red-headed stepchild of SVU's otherwise impressive run, but this week's Olivia-centered outing actually worked without Elliot (I mustn't be feeling well this week because I also thought that a barely-there-Lilly episode of Cold Case was good -- maybe it's another strike effect). Curse NBC, though, for their over-hyped previews. I spent the entire episode waiting for the other shoe to drop because of that damn ubiquitous ad ("You know the SVU episodes..."). Consequently, nothing really shocked me in this one (not that it was predictable - I was just extra aware). When this thing first started, I thought that Erika Christensen was horribly miscast, and she was as an FBI agent. BUT then, she turned it on when Olivia hauled her into the interrogation room and she never turned it off all the way up into the character's disturbing suicide. She really brought the crazy, sympathy, depression, and compassion. I'm not sure if Olivia is going to be the same after witnessing that tragedy. Forget her, between the boy-in-the-doll-box on Medium and the suicide in this episode, I think my quota of disturbing images has been reached for the year already.

All photos courtesy

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

No Show for 'Globes'

By LillyKat / PTR Staff Writer

Roll up that red carpet, folks.

It's a no go for the Globes show.

Due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards telecast has been officially cancelled after a significant show of support by both movie and television talent who vowed not to cross strike picket lines to appear on the show.

In a statement last week, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) said its members would honor the WGA picket lines, and the WGA had vowed to picket the ceremony if the Hollywood Foregin Press Association (HFPA) chose to go ahead with the show.

Instead, all of this year's winners in all 25 categories will be revealed during an hour-long HFPA press conference at The Beverly Hilton to be covered live by NBC News beginning at 6:00 pm PST on January 13th.

Sources:; HFPA/; United Hollywood

Monday, January 07, 2008

One Cool 'Chef' to Go

By LillyKat / PTR Staff Writer

I have a new favorite channel: TLC.

I have a new favorite show: Take Home Chef.

And it is completely my mom’s fault.

She decided to whip up some sort of fabulous chocolate soufflé over the holidays (something she never does), so I wondered what prompted her to do so. She told me she downloaded the recipe from “Curtis.”

Moonlighting online are we mom?

Knowing that was not the case, curiosity got the better of me.

“Curtis” is Curtis Stone. The show is TLC’s Take Home Chef.

Whilst the show is “new” to me, it has been on the air since 2006. Thus, it's technically not new. And even though I just got done saying I don’t watch reality television, I’m not sure I can count this as a “reality” show given it’s more of a “cooking” show (shocking I'm even watching something in that category). But since the writer’s strike has put an abrupt end to much of our primetime television season, and I can’t just fill up the Tivo with re-runs of Cold Case given that when I watch the older episodes, I get increasingly bummed out that Detective Lilly Rush is no longer as sassy and hip and funny as she was … well, Curtis as the Take Home Chef is proving to be very entertaining (I’m wondering if he could perhaps pick up Lil’ in the supermarket?).

The premise: Curtis goes to a regular supermarket; finds a shopper who is just doing their regular market routine but is scheduled to cook for someone later on that day; surprises said shopper with an offer to help he/she cook a special meal for said someone; comes up with a pretty darn appetizing menu right there on the spot; buys the groceries; rides back to the house (or condo, or apartment) with the shopper; cooks the meal; serves it, and voilá … Bon Appétit (he even stops off on the way to buy the shopper a gift – usually a cooking gizmo that will be used in the meal preparation and of which the lucky shopper gets to keep).

Now, we have Rachael Ray (who actually is not a chef but fun anyways), Emeril Lagasse (kick it up a notch and BAM!), and Martha Stewart (where exactly does all her gadget and gizmo free time come from?).

But Curtis is pretty darn cool in his own right.

He’s my kind of chef given that he has a knack for making all of us non-cook-really-don’t-have-a-clue-about-food people feel as if they don’t need a degree from the Culinary Institute of Super Chefdom to understand what is going on.

I don’t cook.

I’m a Lean Cuisine gal.

Or packaged salad gal.

If Curtis picked me out in the grocery store, he’d probably be terribly disappointed.

And yet, the show totally entertains me.

Most people don’t ever get to have a famous chef come into their home kitchen and make a beautifully prepared meal on the spot, with regular groceries from the store, with no special kitchen hoopla and absolutely no snooty chef attitude (since I have a chef in the family, alas, I can say it is a bit of drag to have a meal critiqued for all its flaws whilst you’re trying to eat it).

Alas, even though I could probably never replicate any one of Curtis’ recipes, I do feel as if I’m learning something about that which I know very little about, yet not being made to feel like a moron in the process.

Needless to say, I'm now a little more alert when I’m at the supermarket.

Watch Take Home Chef on TLC. Newer-ish repeat episodes air Fridays at 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Semi-olderish repeat episodes air weekly Monday – Thursday at 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. For more info on the show, check out TLC’s Take Home Chef official Web site. You can also check out Curtis Stone's official site.

Miss America Gets a 'Reality Check'

By LillyKat / PTR Staff Writer

"This is not your mother’s Miss America."

Thank God.

It’s about time.

Given we’ve entered our writer-strike-shortened, going-going-gone phase of most of this season’s regular primetime favorites, I tuned into the premiere of TLC’s Miss America: Reality Check hosted by Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie this past Friday … and, I have to say, it’s worth a second look.

Now, I have to preface ALL of this by saying: I’m not a big fan of “reality” television.

In fact, if PTR Fave Kathryn Morris and I were sharing a Tivo, we’d likely fight over its programming given her appreciation for certain reality series and my … well, dislike for them. What can I say … something about the absurd voyeurism of certain shows that shall not be named just doesn’t do it for me.

That said, I occasionally tune into a reality series when it a) strikes me as different; b) seems to be not necessarily poking fun at every nuance of human behavior; c) seems to be making a constructive rather than destructive statement; d) seems to offer a challenge to not only the people on the show but the people watching the show.

Miss America: Reality Check does just that.

The basic premise: All 52 contestants of this year’s Miss America Pageant live in a house together for four weeks to essentially forget everything they’ve ever learned about being “pageant” girls, and instead get a huge makeover of not only themselves but of their understanding and perception of how the general public perceives the long-dated pageant.

And boy, a lot of us see the darn thing as dated.

I confess I’m not all that keen looking to a beauty pageant to give us the vision of the quintessential American woman, especially given this particular pageant seems a relic of its former glory days.

But interestingly, it’s those glory days that are being called into question and challenged on the show. That is, many average Americans feel the pageants of yesteryear actually stood for something. More importantly, the women stood for something. As such, families sat down to watch the pageant not to mock or make fun of the girls, but to admire those participating as some of the best America had to offer.

Now, I’m not saying we all need to run out and watch the pageant, or that Miss America is the only version of an American woman. But the show’s challenge to the relic the pageant has become – with women wandering around looking unlike anything resembling a human, and instead, resembling robots complete with equally robotic intelligence – is an interesting premise.

The truth is, these girls are not robotic, they are not shells of personality, they are not just Vaseline and hairspray and make-up and ball gowns and swimsuits. Some are pretty darn sharp. Pretty darn funny. Pretty darn interesting.

And there may, in fact, still truly be something to being Miss America.

New episodes of Miss America: Reality Check air Fridays at 10 p.m. on TLC, with repeats scheduled throughout the week. It is only a four-part series scheduled to wrap up on January 25th right before the actual pageant (scheduled for January 26th, whereby for the first time ever, the American public will vote for the winner). You can visit the official site for all the additional info.


Lilly Uncovers a Serial Bomber

I was so glad to have my Cold Case back that this week's episode could have sucked and I still would have loved it (luckily for the rest of you, it didn't). Couple that with the fact that this ongoing writers strike leaves us with only one more episode (by my count - let's hope I'm wrong), and you get the perfect situation for the crime drama because they can do no wrong this week or in two weeks. Seriously, I'm holding on so tightly to these final new episodes that the heaping dose of strike reality we're about to get is going to have to pry my fingers off of them. Oh, I'm going to miss my Lilly and co. Reruns on TNT (and most likely CBS as well), are going to be lifesavers during these troubling times, but it won't be the same. Anyway, this week's outing was one of those episodes that focuses on the killer rather than the victim (or in this case, victims). I always like these sorts of stories because they're more psychological than the typical whodunit formula. When Psych's Lassie (Timothy Omundson) popped up on screen, my antenna was raised and I tried to do my best Shawn and Gus observation skills, but it turned out that he was innocent. His brother -- not so much.

Speaking of Alessandro, his own tragic story caused me to feel very torn about this case. I was horrified for the victims of the music box bombings (the poor soldier who can't wear his new wedding ring because the lower part of his arm is now blown off and the young Big Box employee both broke my heart), but Alessandro's story left me with such a feeling of deep sadness. He had everything and lost it all: his job, his house, his wife and worst of all, his young daughter to cancer. And while none of it is the fault of his victims, it's easy to see where all of these events collectively could warp someone's mind to believe that others were to blame. The loss of his daughter was devastating and it left a void so big that he wanted his own brother to feel the same emptiness. My heart was in my throat during those final minutes when we weren't sure where the bomb was, then it was with Luke's daughter and THEN it went off!! My stomach was in knots as we watched Lilly pull up to that home not knowing what she'd find. Thankfully, Vera and Kat got to Luke's family before the bomb went off, but it had to be close. Too close.

LOVED: Stillman's conversation with Alessandro at the 20th Street Station, the heart-pounding sense of urgency, going inside Alessandro's head, seeing Lilly panic as she frantically called Vera to get Luke's family out of the house, the ending song "Apologize" by One Republic, and the acting on behalf of the entire cast (regular and guest).

Finally, am I the only one who doesn't like ADA Thomas?? She's always screwing over the CC detectives (not sure why Scotty likes her considering that he seems to be her favorite target). ADA Thomas aside, I LOVED this one, so CC moves to 12-0 on the season.