Monday, March 31, 2008

Ullman Shows Us the 'State' of Things

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

She’s ba-aaaack.

As if there were any doubt.

You cannot keep Tracey Ullman under wraps for long - even if she is now a United States citizen.

It is an undeniable fact: Ullman is flipping hysterical.

Anyone who doesn’t know this has been living under a rock for the last three decades. Her impersonations and skits are Just. Plain. Brilliant.

It takes a lot for me to laugh so hard at the television screen I cry. Sure, I can yell, stare, curse, talk to, scream at and generally ignore the television screen pretty much on cue. But you have to be pretty gosh darn funny to get me to laugh ‘til I cry.

Ullman can do just that.

Her new original series, Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union, debuted last night on Showtime. All I can say is: when’s the next episode?

The Emmy® Award-winner brings her signature brand of spot-on impersonation and comic timing to her new sketch comedy series, which takes a satirical look at a day in the life of America. The show features a wide smattering of original characters and impersonations in a collection laugh-'til-it-hurts skits that range from sardonic parody and social satire to Bollywood musicals.

And about the Bollywood musical thing ... Oh. My. God. The whole singing pharmacist number ... can you imagine if we really had pharmacists sing you the side effects of the drugs you’re about to take? Trust me, having been to the pharmacist one too many times this week, I would kill for a musical number. Or maybe just Ullman as my pharmacist. Hard to say.

Everyone is fair game in the show - especially our country's celebrity-obsessed, 24-hour news culture. We will get to see Ullman's impersantions of celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Renée Zellweger, Dina Lohan and David Beckham as well as politicians and pundits like Nancy Pelosi and Arianna Huffington. Ullman also has her own slew of original characters that are set to reflect a cross-section of American society, from an Indian pharmacist (already mentioned) to a homeless woman without health insurance to a soldier on temporary leave from Iraq.

Ullman's state of things looks pretty darn funny.

New episodes of Tracey Ullman's State of the Union air Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime. Even if you don't get Showtime, you can catch up on all the goods over at the show's official Web site.

'Dexter's' Been There, Done That

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

So, here I am this week. Still doped up on antibiotics. Still trying to escape the throws of this combination sinus/bronchial infection. And yet, even I could tell that Miami Metro Homicide was just a little too anxious to get the Icetruck Killer.


Oy vey. Have we not heard this one before?

In watching last night's episode of Dexter, am I the only one thinking it was just overly convenient the now supposed IK suspect (Neil Perry) stuffed road kill as a hobby and had a dead body buried under his double-wide with a perfectly severed leg? Even with my memory haze at the moment thanks to my cold medicine, hasn’t the IK’s MO been pristinely-perfect-neat-and-tidy? Since when did he become a hack job slob that lives in a dump? This obviously cannot be the same dude who expertly sliced up Tony Tucci whilst sucking on cough drop lozenges. From the looks of that trailer last night, a sterile environment is the last thing on Neil Perry’s mind. As is any sort of medical expertise.

Poor Miami Metro. You’d think they’d have learned their lesson with Tucci.

Speaking of lessons … Jeremy Downs didn’t exactly learn his, did he? I mean, when Dex lets you off the hook, you are supposed to take the hint. Still, I’m not sure I was terribly convinced Jeremy was such a tortured soul – in either episode in which he appeared. Suffice it to say I’ve seen more disturbed teenagers on Cold Case, and thus, his whole I’m-empty-on-the-inside thing didn’t quite seem as convincing as Dex’s I’m-empty-on-the-inside-thing. Then again, Dex is the master, so perhaps everyone would pale by comparison.

As expected, thugbeat ex-husband Paul made his long awaited appearance, complete with kidnapping – er, I mean, picking up – Rita's kids from school without telling anyone. And as expected, he proceeded to try and weasel his way back into the lives of Rita, Cody and Astor. Ugh. I’m sorry, but didn’t we just want Dex to skip the niceties and start slicing and dicing Paul at first sight?

Of course, if he had done that, we wouldn’t have gotten to see Rita tell off Paul.

Two words: GO RITA!

I haven’t mentioned as yet how much I love Julie Benz’s wounded bird portrayal of Rita. There is something truly captivating about the sweet, genuine vulnerability that is always brimming just beneath her surface. It’s never too much, and it’s never too little. So often, she seems to only be holding it all together by a thread, yet she can become so instantly insightful, almost like a therapist, in talking directly as to the horrors of her previous life with Paul. She doesn’t shy away from talking about it. If anything, the brutal honesty with which she does discuss it reveals the quiet strength within her – the one that has allowed her to survive.

A strength that got even stronger this week.


Interesting other notes this week:

- Deb and Doc Rudy: could she have finally found a decent guy? (See Cold Case, miracles do happen, and you can give a homicide detective a decent bloke every once in a while; try it some time).

- Dex v. Paul: okay, how many of you want to bet Paul is not long for this world? As in, that whole make-him-go-away-forever thing is imminent?

- Laguerta: How does this woman still have a job? Shouldn't she be sigining a MAC cosmetics deal or something? Does she actually do anything other than look good for the cameras? Suffice it to say I liked the fact Captain Matthews completely stole her thunder this week. Too bad so sad for you, Laguerta.

- We are going to get the real IK next week, eh? Well, even if that is a deceptive promo, we clearly now know Neil Perry is a fraud.

Let the chess match continue.

The first season of Dexter airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS. Check out Showtime's official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series.

Lil's Back and Better Than Ever

Remember how I just wrote this in my "Cold Case Returns" piece?
Mixed with all of this excitement comes a little bit of that same anxiety that I felt ahead of "Boppie's" return from the dryer -- will these new rushed-into-production episodes be the same as the earlier ones?

WHY WAS I WORRIED???!! If tonight's outing was "rushed into production," it certainly didn't come across that way. On the contrary, it was a polished, stellar hour of television. And just for good measure, they brought back Lilly's ponytail! Confession: I seriously (heart) the ponytail. It's professional, yet fun and it alludes to that less serious side of her character that we haven't seen in a while. They also picked right up where we left off with Kat's story. I get that she doesn't want to open the over-sized can of worms that comes along with Veronica meeting her father, but there are age-appropriate and mother/daughter appropriate ways of explaining the situation while omitting the less savory tidbits. In true Cold Case fashion, this story seems to have been wrapped up a tad prematurely as we saw Kat give in during the closing scenes and introduce her daughter to her father, but seeing how the case was all about letting others live their lives and letting go, it kinda worked. And it's not like I wanted them to drag this out forever, so I guess tonight's conclusion to the Kat drama worked just fine.

There's an episode of an old cheestastic show called Poltergeist: The Legacy that features one Kathryn Morris as a deaf psychic. Through the wonders the of the internet, I was able to catch a few scenes of her in said episode. As I mentioned, her character is psychic, and this spirit possesses her from time to time in the episode to seek revenge on the people who killed her. She's constantly switching between the deaf psychic and the spirit complete with special effects that make her eyes pretty scary (It's so awesome!). Anyway, she uses sign language throughout the episode, which brings me back to tonight's episode of the superior Cold Case. All of this was in the back of my mind while I was watching Lilly do that seriously kick-ass interrogation with Carlos at the end. I just wanted her to break out the signing because I'd seen her do it in that episode. And then I reminded myself that Lilly wasn't in Poltergeist: The Legacy, so how the hell would she know sign language?! I swear, I watch too much television. More to the point, though, I felt that the story tonight was very strong. I loved the relationship between Emma and Andy, and how she helped him remember a talent that he thought he lost. My heart broke a little for Carlos. He just wanted to fit in, and he felt that Andy's cochlear implant left him all alone.

Other things I liked: Vera learning sign language, Kat realizing Vera has a point, Vera's insecurities at the school for the deaf, and Lilly's ponytail (I know I already mentioned it, but it bares repeating). Oh, and Lilly looked GORGEOUS tonight (especially towards the beginning when her make-up was toned down a bit)! In fact, she looked like a much happier character this week in general. All of this leads to CC moving to 14-0 on the season.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

'Cold Case' Returns Tonight

Lilly (Kathryn Morris) and Lt. Stillman (John Finn) try to find the body of a missing boy on tonight's new episode of COLD CASE (PHOTO: Mitch Haddad/Warner Bros. ©2008 Warner Bros. Television)

When I was a little kid, I had a favorite blanket that I called "Boppie" (don't ask because I don't have a clue). My Mom would rudely snatch "Boppie" away from me from time to time in order to throw him (yes, he had a gender) in the wash and I would miss him terribly, anxiously await his return, and worry that he might not be the same when he came back (the spin cycle can do horrible, unspeakable things to a raggedy old favorite blanket). I'm all grown up now and of course, still keep "Boppie" close no longer have "Boppie," but those old feelings of excitement and worry seem to be plaguing me on the day of my favorite show's return: Cold Case. Just mere months ago, I was convinced that new episodes wouldn't see the light of day until the fall. After all, the strike was lasting 3 months and no new scripts had been started let alone put into production. How would the creative force behind TV's best crime drama ever pull it together in time? I underestimated their magic because 5 brand-spankin'-new episodes begin their run tonight on CBS. And, they come packed with some interesting cases and a provocative personal story line for my dear Lilly (for specific spoilers, click over to PTR's Spoiler Post or check out TV Guide's article HERE).

Mixed with all of this excitement comes a little bit of that same anxiety that I felt ahead of "Boppie's" return from the dryer -- will these new rushed-into-production episodes be the same as the earlier ones? When we last left off, CC was having a frickin' awesome season complete with plenty of post-shooting drama, intricate cases, relatable victims, HILARIOUS moments between the CC detectives, and Lilly in therapy and having nightmares! Let's hope the strike didn't thwart the momentum that was building during the first half of the season. For the record, "Boppie" always returned in the same, albeit cleaner, condition that he was in when he left me. He just didn't smell like himself anymore. I'm going to trust this childhood lesson to mean that CC will return the same as well (minus the not-smelling-the-same issue). Here's a rundown of tonight's *ALL NEW* episode from the CBS press release (WARNING: Link contains some mild spoilers):

"Andy in C Minor"

USA Today's Robert Bianco calls tonight's new outing a "strong episode." Be sure to find out for yourself tonight on CBS at 9 p.m. (DVR ALERT: May be delayed due to NCAA Tournament action earlier in the evening)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Promoting 'Sarah Marshall'

With PTR fave Kristen Bell's new movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, about a man (How I Met Your Mother's Jason Segel) trying to get over his TV star ex-girlfriend (Bell), set to hit theaters in a few weeks, you've probably noticed the publicity for the film shifting into high gear in the form of TV previews. It turns out that there are some awesome web promotions taking place as well. Here are list of some must-see sites.

I Hate Sarah Marshall - This one is hilarious! The jilted ex, Peter Bretter, has is own blog and it's written as if the man and his story of love gone wrong are real. Check out "Sarah's Truth versus The Real Truth," video posts, and some snarky insight into the fictional famous TV star Sarah Marshall.

Sarah Marshall Fan - Check out the other side of the story from Sarah's biggest fan. It's pure fangirl fun, but it includes some facts about Sarah, pictures of her at events (obviously, they're recent pictures of Kristen at events), and get the scoop on Sarah's rumored new beau.

Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime - The official NBC site for Sarah's fictional hit crime drama. Includes behind-the-scenes photos of the show's cast, videos, and information about the show. According to the hilarious slogan, "Sex crimes just got a little sexier," which is emphasized by Sarah's low cut shirts.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall hits the big screen April 18th. For more on the film, visit the official site.

Top photo courtesy Kristen Bell Online. You can see more photos from Forgetting Sarah Marshall HERE.

Friday, March 28, 2008

'How I Met' CBS's Funniest Comedy

I know I'm late to this "Britney on How I Met Your Mother" party. In fact, I'm late to the entire How I Met Your Mother party. I started watching it during the strike, and fell in love with this charming little comedy. Since the characters are around my age, I find myself relating to most of the stories and antics. I enjoyed watching the strike-induced reruns so much; I decided that this show would be my first DVD-only series (Dexter has recently become the second since I don't get Showtime). I know other people have been watching comedies and dramas exclusively on DVD for several years, but I'm officially throwing my hat into that ring. I just rented the first season, and I plan to rent the second over the summer when the TV pickings are slim (save for the excellent Closer, Psych, My Boys, So You Think You Can Dance and a few others). There are a lot of things that make this comedy stand out. First, it's funny -- very funny. Second, it manages to use the traditional sitcom format and make it work, which has become an increasingly difficult thing to do with the modern television landscape. It's like Friends, but more relatable and, in my opinion, better (I enjoyed Friends, but I was never a die-hard). Most of all, though, this show has heart. You can't help but fall in love with these characters or to get wrapped up in their lives. In fact, the show is as adorable as they are.

Back to the aforementioned Britney episode, which for the record, was something that I wasn't too thrilled about watching and planned to see when it landed on the season 3 DVD (but the damn hype surrounding it drew me in). Two things surprised me about this episode: 1) It was excellent (one of my favorites so far) and 2) Britney was funny! I think we all remember her dreadful appearance on Will & Grace a few years back, but this guest spot was actually good. Her acting was decent! I swear, I'm not making this up. She had some great lines, she sold the character, and I found myself enjoying her presence and the way her character related to Ted's plight to win his dermatologist's heart (played adorably by Scrubs' Sarah Chalke). Even if the pop star had sunk the episode, I would still have enjoyed it because the Ted story was too charming to hate. I just loved the "2-minute date" at the end, and it caused me to wish that this dermatologist was the woman Ted ended up marrying. And that's saying a lot for a viewer who had her heart set on Robin.

How I Met Your Mother airs Monday nights on CBS. You can watch this hilarious outing for free at

Photos courtesy

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Joe Has a Dream

I can't believe this was another 2-parter from Medium!! I was watching last night's episode on my DVR, so I was completely unaware of the time and then it just ended. Just like that! We see the "missing Joanna" laughing at Susie, admitting her role in the kidnapping scheme, and suddenly killing her with a sharp blow to the head and then Allison wakes up! She gets up and the credits role!! I couldn't believe it. I guess I should have paid more attention to all of the advance warning we received about this episode being a 2-parter, huh? And it isn't just the mystery that has me intrigued for Part 2. I'm curious to see how this Joe invention story line pans out. Obviously, his idea is brilliant. No doubt. But, if someone beats him to it, he's totally screwed and his kids don't get to go to college. I guess what I'm saying is, I see both sides. Gambling with your kids college fund = never a good idea. But, sitting at home collecting a measly unemployment check each week isn't either. If this continues much longer, they may have to dip into that fund anyway. At least with Joe's idea there's a decent chance that they'll get it back and then some. It's risky, though, either way.

I was really happy to see Hannah again (for some inexplicable reason, everyone from Everwood will always be known as their character from that show. Take Amy (Emily Van Camp), for instance, she's on Brothers & Sisters now, but whenever I catch a glimpse of her on there I immediately think, "Hey, there's Amy!" And for the record, I had no idea Sarah Drew was going to be on this show last night, so my selection of an Everwood clip as Video of the Week was a sheer coincidence. Or maybe I'm psychic like Allison). We saw her on Cold Case last season, and now as Cynthia's missing daughter. Her abduction was so freaky because it could happen to anyone. I was utterly baffled the entire hour, and it only seemed to increase as the story progressed. So, I was so excited to finally have a grip on the story (Joanna isn't a victim, she's an accomplice!) and then it was gone. You know, this show pulls the switcheroo so much that you'd think I'd see it coming, and yet I keep taking the cheese and getting shocked. Or perhaps, I'm just defining the word "Crazy" as Joe pointed out to his unemployment counselor last night, and I just keep expecting a different result. Either way, I'm happy that this show still manages to shock and surprise me since so few do anymore.

Photos courtesy

Monday, March 24, 2008

Desperately Seeking 'Dexter'

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

WARNING: I’m currently suffering from the mother of all sinus and bronchial infections. Having spent most of the day visiting the doctor’s office and wandering the aisles of Rite Aid, I am – at the time of this writing – significantly doped up on a seriously powerful dosage of antibiotics. So, apologies to our faithful PTR readers if this post is more loopy than usual. Suffice it to say, though, I’ve had enough of this sniffling - sneezing - coughing - aching - stuffy - head - sinus - pressure - is - killing - me thing, especially since I never get sick and, as such, hardly ever have to go to the doctor. Ah, but never say never.

There’s no telling what one will do when one gets desperate.

And boy, we got to see Dex get desperate this week.

Desperate to take care of himself – protect his neat little world of lies, keep to the code, ensure his survival.

OMG! moment of the series thus far: Dex rolling up to the crime scene of his last kill, complete with Valerie Castillo’s body miraculously recovered from Davy Jones’ Locker. If only Dex had just been a little neater and tidier with the Castillos last week, eh? That break from plan was looking less and less like the right thing to do. And yet, we knew dumping Valerie’s entire body (not the neatly sliced Dex special) was going to come back and haunt him.

But by the Icetruck Killer?

So. Clever.

The next move in this ultimate serial killer chess match.

It was interesting to watch Dex squirm this week.

“I don’t have bad dreams. Nothing ever goes ‘bump’ in Dexter’s night.”

And yet, even in his squirminess, he was still so calm, cool and collected. Watching him methodically think through how he was going to survive, still being two or three steps ahead of the gang even when he himself felt like he was losing it was brilliant.

But poor Deb. She was so genius at working up the profile that linked the Dex killing to the IK. So spot on that only Dex himself could shoot her down.


We learned in the flashbacks this week that Deb was always the “outsider” to Dex and Harry’s activities. Rightfully so, of course (hey, who wants to learn their bro' is a serial killer anyways). And yet, we feel for her, don’t we? She was always trying to be the apple of Harry’s eye, and Dex seemingly took that from her without really wanting to do so.

Then and now. As we said, desperate times call for desperate measures.

We also learned that Rita’s ex-husband is more of a thug than we can possibly imagine at this point. Poor little Astor had to be the one to have her birthday almost ruined because deadbeat dad of the year wants to see “his” kids. What is it with deadbeat fathers pulling the whole “they’re my kids, too” thing? Something tells me we’re going to have a visit from thugbeat Paul in the not-too-distant future.

Is it bad to want Dex to … um, make Paul go away?

Stay tuned.

The first season of Dexter airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS. Check out Showtime's official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Michael Feels 'Lost'

I feel Michael in some ways. I mean, how are you supposed to know who's good and who's bad on this show?? It would be easy to dismiss Ben as the bad guy, but he's on the opposite side of Charles Whidmore -- a man that we know to be dangerous. Perhaps, there is no good side. Maybe there are just two sides, each with their own agenda, who will stop at nothing to accomplish that agenda. They're both equally as ruthless and they both plan to use the survivors as collateral. It's beginning to sound more and more like that war Ben keeps talking about, doesn't it? So, the best that Michael can do is to try to align himself with the side that he thinks matches his own agenda (get Walt back) and hope it works. Speaking of Walt, it seems that he isn't giving Locke orders and hiding in a secret cabin on the island because he's back in New York hating his father for what he did to Ana Lucia and Libby. Michael is trying to play the hero so his son will restore his faith in him, but he doesn't feel too certain that it will work, so he has come to the ship to die. And for some reason, he keeps seeing Libby. Call it guilt. Call it the island's mysterious powers (the island won't let him die?!). Something has Michael seeing a special visitor.

While all of this Michael post-island, pre-Oceanic 6 drama was going on, Ben convinced Alex, Carl and Rousseau to leave the compound and head to safer ground at the Temple. He gave them a map, but he failed to tell them that he was also sending sharp shooters. In the episode's closing moments, those sharp shooters killed Carl and then Rousseau, leaving Alex completely dependent on Ben and free of any outside influence. Oh, and he also has his daughter believing that the bad guys did it. If we did have a good side and a bad side, Ben would be firmly planted on the bad after that scene. But, it's not that simple on Lost.

Screen caps courtesy

New 'Case' Photos

With new episodes of Cold Case just a little over a week away, PTR has a special treat to tied you over until then: Photos from the first brand-spanking-new episode of the season!! In the episode, entitled "Andy in C Minor," Lilly and the team search for a missing boy's body after his blood is found at the school he attended. Here are some photos from the episode:
Lilly (Kathryn Morris) in "Andy in C Minor" (PHOTO: Joel Warren/Warner Bros. ©2008 Warner Bros. Television)

Lilly (Morris) and Lt. Stillman (John Finn) try to find the body of a boy missing since 2006 (PHOTO: Mitch Haddad/Warner Bros. ©2008 Warner Bros. Television)

Lilly in "Andy in C Minor" (PHOTO: Joel Warren/Warner Bros. ©2008 Warner Bros. Television)

Cold Case returns March 30th on CBS with 5 all-new episodes. To learn more about some of these outings, check out PTR's CC Spoilers Post.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jin 'Lost'

I'm getting frustrated trying to figure out who counts as one of the Oceanic 6 and who doesn't. Not that Lost and frustration are anything new, but I think I thought this little mystery was going to be more cut and dry. I guess I should have known better. We're still debating whether or not Aaron counts, and then the show throws this Jin wrench into the mix! I mean, did he die on the island (and Sun brought his remains home) or does he die after he gets off the island (making him one of the Oceanic 6)?? This is about as far from cut and dry as you can get. And how much does it suck that Jin dies??!! He doesn't even get to meet his daughter! I have to admit, though, this show never fails to pull the wool over our eyes. I knew something was up with Jin, but I didn't know that we were watching a flashback and a flashforward all within the confines of a single episode. Very clever.

While the Oceanic 6 answers became a little murkier, the identity of Ben's spy on the ship became crystal clear: Michael. No surprises here, however. I pegged him as the spy from the beginning. We've been hearing rumors of his return to the show for months, so linking him as Ben's spy only made sense. Where's Walt?? I'm guessing it will take another couple of seasons before we get the answer to that question. Or perhaps, Locke really does take his orders from him. You never know on this show.

Screen caps courtesy

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Devalos Gets it Right

The DA sure bungled the case in this 2-part episode of Medium! And then he was publicly humiliated in the court room when Devalos revealed that the murder "victim" was alive and well and had been living in Barcelona since she and her partner faked her murder and framed her husband (so they could get her $7 million life insurance policy). Of course, both of them face a host of charges, including the murder of the real victim, and they won't be enjoying any of that $7 million either. So in the end, justice was served, but it was Manny who was serving it. Perhaps, the wheels have just been set into motion that will take the current DA out of office and replace him with our Manny! Scanlon is temporarily re-assigned, which means that he and Manny won't being going toe-to-toe anymore (thankfully). Now, we just have to get that DA out of office so Manny can get back to putting the bad guys away and Scanlon and Allison can complete the kickass bad-guy-putting-away tri-fecta.

I'm trying to decide whether or not I agree with Allison's decision to lie to her mother-in-law about her dream. The power of positive thinking and all aside, I just don't know if it was the right thing to do since Joe's mom firmly believes anything Allison tells her. What if she's wrong? On the positive side, at least the lie avoided that big fight I predicted last week between Joe and Allison.

A big PTR kudos to reader John for correctly predicting the mystery to this 2-part episode. In the comments to last week's post, he wrote:

My guess (and it is just a guess - I have seen no spoilers) is that the woman who was supposedly murdered actually murdered the hooker with the help of the dentist. He removed the teeth to make it impossible to identify the victim. She was framing her soon to be ex-husband at the same time.

Looks like he had it figured out before Allison!

Photos courtesy

Monday, March 17, 2008

Playing in the Human League on ‘Dexter’

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Last week, we learned the Icetruck Killer doesn’t know Dex as well as he thinks.

This week, we learned he’s a lozenge eater.

As Dex said: “How human of him.”

Yes, it was all about humanness this week on Dexter.

As Dex woefully tried to figure out the nuances of being with Rita post-consummation their relationship, we got flashbacks of prom night Dex being given serious pointers from Harry on the science of emotionally connecting with a woman.

Harry: “This is going to be a tough one for you.”
Dex: “I can fake it.”
Harry: “You can learn to fake a lot of things … this one will be tough.”

There was something poignant about prom night Dex returning home, with all seemingly having gone well, yet posing the question: would he ever be able to really feel it for real? That, matched with present day Dex pondering with Rita what they want out of life – contentment, comfort and … wait for it … normalcy.

We sometimes get so caught up in the genius of Dex – how he can anticipate, blend, perfect, outsmart, outmaneuver – that we forget it is a chore for him to just exist amongst the rest of us on a daily basis. Yes, we have the internal dialogue to remind us. Yes, we have those strangely absent gazes, those awkward moments of what-do-I-say-now. Yet, somewhere inside is this guy just wondering how it all works in the big league game of life – which, ironically, many of us non-serial killer types also spend time pondering.

But it wasn’t just Dex pausing for human reflection this week.

There was Deb, earning yet another gold star for breaking through Tony Tucci’s mental block and having him remember some key details on being held captive by the Icetruck Killer. Something chilling about Tucci's reenactment of being blindfolded and mentally having to relive the horror of being … well, cut up into small portions. Score one for the rookie on the homicide squad. Lilly Rush would be proud. (And no, Deb, let’s not sacrifice our personal life for work. We already have one PTR favorite homicide detective who has gone over the edge and of whom we’re trying to rally back from the depths of two-plus seasons of despair; you, Deb, are forbidden from going down that route and succumbing to the Lilly Rush Syndrome).

There was Detective Batista, still trying to pretend he’s happily married only to have the truth be revealed to Dex as he tries to unload Batista at home to an unsuspecting wife after a night out of drinking. Appearances really can be deceiving, eh? Dex isn’t the only one pretending to be something he’s not.

And then there were Dex’s victim(s) this week – the made-for-each pair of Jorge and Valerie Castillo, lowlife human traffickers (gee, aren't they all?) who specialize in screwing over the families of unsuspecting Cuban immigrants who have paid a hefty fee to get the rest of their family members out of Cuba. Seems Jorge and Valerie have this habit of asking for even more money once said family members arrive, which, of course, is more than can be paid. Thus, the recently arrived family immigrants tend to disappear and wash up on South Beach looking as though they just served 100 years before the mast on the Flying Dutchman.

Can I just say I was counting down the minutes until Dex sliced and diced this pair? Is that bad? And yet, how oddball clever was it to have Dex asking these two for relationship advice given his own conundrum of all-things Rita. Too. Darn. Funny.

But cutting (sorry, no pun intended) the kill session short? Leaving Valerie to be dumped into the ocean in full body form? And who exactly was watching Dex load the bodies into the trunk of his car in the first place?!?!?!

“Deviating from the plan may have been ill-advised. But sometimes you just have to take a risk. After all, isn’t that what relationships are all about.”

Oy. What would Harry say.

The first season of Dexter airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS. Check out Showtime's official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Win a Trip to Meet the Cast of 'My Boys'

From Sony Pictures Television:

Sony Electronics Inc. and its Card Marketing & Services Company in cooperation with Sony Pictures Television Inc. have developed the following "Monthly Dream Prize" Sweepstakes for MY BOYS which is going on now and will run through Sunday, March 16 at To kick off the enhanced SonyRewards "Monthly Dream Prize" Sweepstakes, the promotion is offering a super prize package including: first class airfare for two, 5 days / 4 nights at a luxury hotel, two tickets to L.A. Dodger baseball game on May 6 PLUS a Sony BRAVIA(R) LCD TV, BRAVIA Theatre System, Cyber-shot(R) Digital Camera and much more.

Here's a complete list of what the lucky winner will receive, followed by directions on how to enter in the sweepstakes:

* Meet the cast of "My Boys" on set at the Paramount Studios lot
* Tour of Sony Studios lot
* Roundtrip airline tickets for two (2) originating within the continental U.S.
* 5 days/4 nights at a luxury hotel
* Two (2) tickets to L.A. Dodgers baseball game on May 6
* $2,000 spending money
* Sony electronics prize package including:

46" BRAVIA® XBR® series LCD Flat Panel HDTV
BRAVIA Theater System TV Stand
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To enter the sweepstakes, visit If you're not a Sony Rewards member, go to to sign up. See Official Rules for more details.

Meanwhile, My Boys is set to return with all new episodes this June on TBS.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bloggers Choose TV's Best Characters

Scooter from Scooter McGavin's 9th Green asked his fellow bloggers, including yours truly, to name their favorite characters on television. After much tabulating (he assures us there were no hanging chads), the results are in. Here are the 25 Best Characters on TV according to your favorite TV bloggers (the starred ones were on PTR's ballot):

1. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace (Battlestar Galactica)
2. *Tami Taylor (Friday Night Lights)
3. Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)
4. Benjamin Linus (Lost)
5. *Dexter Morgan (Dexter)
6. *Coach Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights)
7. Landry Clarke (Friday Night Lights)
8. Dwight Schrute (The Office)
9. *Lilly Rush (Cold Case)
10. Omar Little (The Wire)
11. Gaius Baltar (Battlestar Galactica)
12. Olive Snook (Pushing Daisies)
13. *Shawn Spencer (Psych)
14. Sheldon Cooper PhD (The Big Bang Theory)
15. Dr. Juliet Burke (Lost)
16. Michael Weston (Burn Notice)
17. Captain Jack Harkness (Torchwood)
18. Dr. Miranda Bailey (Grey’s Anatomy)
19. *Chuck Bartowski (Chuck)
20. *Brenda Leigh Johnson (The Closer)
21. Emerson Cod (Pushing Daisies)
22. Ned “The Piemaker” (Pushing Daisies)
23. Liz Lemon (30 Rock)
24. Stephanie Lane (My Boys)
25. Stewie Griffin (Family Guy)

Also receiving multiple votes: Desmond Hume (Lost), Major John Casey (Chuck), Jack Donaghy (30 Rock)
Voters: Dan, Ducky, Jo, Kate, Sandie, , TVFan, Vance

For more on the list, visit Scooter McGavin's 9th Green.

'Medium' in the Middle

Interesting... they pitted Devalos against Det. Scanlon in this 2-part episode of Medium. On the one hand, I'm just glad to have the gang back together, but on the other, I'm having a hard time rooting against Manny (because, clearly, if you put Scanlon against him, I'm going to choose my Det. Hottie no matter how much I like Manny). I guess that was kinda the beauty about the end of last night's outing -- things were beginning to look like Devalos was right about his client and the gang was about to be on the same page. We're this close to getting our old Medium back and I couldn't be happier about these latest developments. Yes, they're only baby steps, but at least they're baby steps in the right direction.

You just know that Allison's dreams about the dentist with a it-takes-all-kinds fetish are somehow connected to this burned woman crime (and Ariel's dream). My favorite theory right now -- the dentist was the woman's first husband. Of course, I'm never very good with interpreting Allison's dreams (or my own for that matter), so we'll just have to wait until next week to find out how it all relates. And then there's Joe's mother. I knew something was up, but I wasn't quite expecting that something to be a possibly terminal illness. And Allison has to keep it from Joe! This has "HUGE explosive fight" written all over it!

Photos courtesy

Monday, March 10, 2008

Giving ‘Dexter’ A Hand (and a foot and leg, too)

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

“Dexter Morgan: This is your life.”

Cue theme music.

And body parts.

Just another day in Miami Metro Homicide.

But wait a second: Dexter on the soccer team? Dexter at the beach? Dexter at the pumpkin patch? (And no, this wasn’t Saturday out with Rita and the kids.)

No, it was Dex’s upbringing, and the Icetruck Killer shared it with all of us last night – including Dex.

Total side note: Is it bad that I enjoyed watching Lieutenant Laguerta fall flat on her face when it gets revealed the hot-to-trot suspect for which she launched a statewide manhunt (Tony Tucci) turns out to actually to be this week’s victim of the IK?

Fact check much, Laguerta?

But aside from her getting burned, last night’s episode was really kind of interesting for all the other stuff that was going on simultaneously whilst the gang was trying to track down the IK – who broke pattern this week by keeping Tucci alive only to cut off his foot, leg and hand to leave an assorted trail of breadcrumbs for Dexter and Co. to follow complete with postcard pictures to commemorate each “crumb” (as it were).

No one ever said serial killers weren't clever.

So, how clever was it to have:

- the breadcrumb trail serve as the most complete look into Dexter’s past – flashbacks to particular moments in his childhood; shadowed by the code of Harry even at a young age; trying to awkwardly figure out why one should be pretend to be happy when there is no conceivable reason to do so; trying to always blend in.

- Detective Batista desperately tried to figure out what to get his wife for their 10th anniversary only to have it be revealed he’d been separated for three months, and troubles seem to be aplenty in his former household.

- Doakes getting duped into being set-up to trap that nasty drug lord who killed the cop (and his wife) a few episodes back; as they say, payback is beyotch.

- Rita stealing the spotlight with her Lara Croft Tomb Raider routine not only with that annoying neighbor’s dog, but with Dex alone in his apartment

All of this brings me to yet another aspect of genius this show does so well: there’s a lot more going on than simply the case at hand.

And it is always so clever.

The characters carry on aplenty outside the walls of Miami Metro Homicide, and their personalities are not checked at the door when they come to work. This is why we can have Dex preoccupied with the blood pattern of Tucci’s severed foot and still have him tell Batista his OX pendant may not be the coolest anniversary gift (classic).

Cold Case are you paying attention? Why are you the only show on the tube void of giving your characters something other than a case to work on?

Alas, I digress (again … to lament the zombie-like character development these days on CC), but Dexter never disappoints in this area. Ever. I love the peculiarities of the entire gang that are always on display and woven so cleverly into the existing story arc. They are funny, conflicted, curious, corny, sincere, serious, focused, clever and, most of all, real.

And devoted to the task at hand.

No pun intended.

And even when we think we know what Dex will do, he surprises us once again. He doesn’t finish off Tucci (as the IK had intended, leaving him “gift wrapped, begging for death”). It wouldn’t fit with the Code of Harry.

And so, it appears Dex’s new friend doesn’t know Dex as well as he thinks.

But we’re just getting warmed up.

The first season of Dexter airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS. Check out Showtime's official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series.

Bobby Cannavale On the 'Case'


OK, you have been warned. TV Guide's Mike Ausiello is reporting that Third Watch alum Bobby Cannavale is joining CBS's Cold Case in a recurring role. He'll play Eddie Faccardo, Lilly's Rush's (Kathryn Morris) latest love interest on the PTR fave. Look for Cannavale to begin his role when CC kicks off its second batch of episodes beginning March 30th.

And thanks to the good folks at Look Again, PTR has a few details on some of those new episodes set to premiere later this month. Here's a quick rundown of the first few *NEW* episodes (NOTE: As usual, information including episode order is subject to change):

"Andy in C Minor" (scheduled as the 14th episode of the season) - Lilly and the gang reopen the 2006 missing person/murder case of a 16-year old piano player who attended the Philadelphia School of the Deaf. This episode is rumored to be using classical music from the likes of Bach and Chopin instead of the usual pop music fare. Meanwhile, Kat receives some unwanted phone calls.

"The Road" (scheduled as the 15th episode of the season) - Lilly and Scotty match wits with a murder suspect while they escort him back to Philly. He is accused of killing a young woman the night of her engagement party in 2007. Early reports have the interaction between this suspect and Lilly/Scotty as very creepy (reminiscent of season 2's serial killer George Marks), and there is a mention of Lil's shooting in last season's finale. This one has my interest piqued!

"Bad Reputation" (scheduled as the 16th episode of the season) - The gang reopens the 1997 murder of a man just released after spending 12 years in prison. This is also the episode where we're supposed to meet Cannavale's Det. Eddie Faccardo. According to early reports, he's a narcotics cop who likes to bend the rules in order to put the bad guys away. He has a strong sense of justice (like Lil) and he grew up in a tough neighborhood with a bad boy chip on his shoulder.

Again, this is all subject to change. Thanks again to the spoiler queens at Look Again for hunting down and sharing all of this information. The new episodes are set to begin in three weeks! Set your DVRs!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

'Lost' Takes One Step Back

I've waited to write something about this week's episode of Lost for two reasons: I've been very busy and I felt very blah about the entire hour. It felt more like an older episode (blame the flashbacks) and that caused the show to take a small, minor step back for me, especially since it was coming off of last week's tremendous outing. As I watched Ben manipulate Locke this week, a strange and uneasy thought entered my mind -- the Lost producers are kinda like Ben! They manipulate us to keep watching because we know they hold all of the answers and they dole out pieces of those answers each week. Not enough to satisfy us, but certainly enough to keep us coming back. Ben does the same thing to us (and this week, Locke). He holds the answers, but he knows he can't show all of his cards because then he won't have anything to bargain. So, he gives Locke just enough to receive his "Get Out of Jail Free" card. Ben, however, actually shared the name of his man on the boat with Locke unlike the mean producers who cut out of the scene before showing us what Ben told Locke. My money's on Michael, but I (obviously) don't know for sure. At least we now know that Charles Whidmore is the man who owns the boat, not that it was any surprise.

We also had a flashback, and it was Juliet's turn. It seems she belongs to Ben, and he doesn't like it when someone tries to win her heart. The last guy ended up dead after an encounter with Ana Lucia (something Ben most certainly knew would occur). This isn't boding well for Jack, who appears to be getting closer and closer to her. Meanwhile, we can now safely conclude that the parachuters from the boat are not there to harm any of the survivors. In fact, they are armed with enough knowledge about the island to hopefully thwart any of Ben's plans for mass genocide. Of course, things are only beginning to boil, and you just can never be too sure of the outcome on Lost.

Screencaps courtesy

Friday, March 07, 2008

Morris Celebrates Getting Back on the 'Case'

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go.

Cold Case star (and PTR fave) Kathryn Morris happily returned to work last week as the series resumed production after 22 weeks off - a result of the strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

"We all got held back from talking to each other for so long. Then the gates were open, and people were like, 'I love you!'" Morris says with a laugh. "It was like a great family reunion, a celebration. We're getting back to doing what everyone came out to Hollywood to do in the first place."

PTR readers will recall that things weren't quite so rosy for Team CC when they broke off due to the strike; Morris feared her crew would be torn apart. Thankfully, that hasn't happened, and everyone has gotten back to work just at the right time.

"People had personal things occur in their lives where if the strike had gone on any longer, there would have been very serious financial damage," Morris says.

Morris spoke to syndicated columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel on the family-like reunion as Team CC returned to work to crank it up for a slate of five new episodes, which will begin airing March 30th.


Return to Work "A Celebration" for Kathryn Morris and "Cold Case" Team

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
Mar 6, 2008

"Cold Case" star Kathryn Morris reports that with the series having returned to production last week, "everyone is under the gun -- the writers, the cast, the crew – but it's an excitement everyone welcomes." Exemplifying the experiences of many actors and others whose lives were disrupted by the 22-week-long Writers Guild of America strike, she says.

"We all got held back from talking to each other for so long. Then the gates were open, and people were like, 'I love you!'" she says with a laugh. "It was like a great family reunion, a celebration. We're getting back to doing what everyone came out to Hollywood to do in the first place."

The show returns to the air with five new episodes, beginning March 30 with a story involving the murder of a deaf teenage boy. To make airdate deadlines, "We're doing a set of double-up episodes -- shooting four in the time we normally would do three. We can do it -- our crew is amazing," adds the actress.

When "Cold Case" was shuttered last fall due to the strike, Morris feared that the crew of the 5-year-old series would be broken up. But now she tells us, "Fortunately, we were able to maintain the core. Merri Howard, our incredible line producer, was like a mother hen and kept in contact with all the department heads of the crew."

Morris notes, "People had personal things occur in their lives where if the strike had gone on any longer, there would have been very serious financial damage. However, people also had more time to spend with their kids, with a dying parent -- to attend to family matters in this window of time. So there was some good in it."

Morris herself went on an international promotional trip for "Cold Case." "That was a nice journey and fun. And I got to spend time with my family and do normal things."

Source: National Ledger

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

'Medium' Rare

Hannibal Lecter, party of one? How creepy was Allison's opening dream this week on Medium?? In fact, I'm pretty sure this one falls into the nightmare category. This episode felt more like a classic outing because we had Devalos back (not in his old DA role - yet), more Scanlon involvement, and dreams that Allison had to put together like scattered pieces of a puzzle in order to ascertain what happened in that POW camp and how it related to this most recent murder. It was a case of "things aren't always what they seem, and yet, they aren't that far off either." As in, cannibalism was alive and well, but not in the way Allison's first dream implied. So it seems, Mr. Lecter would not be invited to this dinner party.

The central question in the episode was whether or not the Senator should be held responsible for his role in the death of two men. The first one in the POW camp (as icky as it was) -- not so much. Those men were in unimaginable conditions and they were all going to starve to death. I can't condemn them for what they did to survive. The second one -- well, this one is a little trickier. Technically, he should be sitting in a jail cell next to his other POW buddy, but I'm not so sure that I disagree with what he said to Allison at the end. That man was doing nothing to honor the life and memory of his fallen comrade and to make it worse, he was exploiting those who were still suffering from the repercussions of what they did in that camp. It was just a yucky case all around and I ended the episode feeling bad for the doctor who honorably took the fall for the rest of his soldiers. In other words, I felt as confused and torn as Allison.

Photos courtesy

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

‘Chronicles’ Closes Out with a Bang - Literally

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

"9-1-1. What is your emergency?"

"Cameron’s gone! Just, like, gone! Blown up in the jeep!!!"

"Ma’am, please remain calm. Can you tell me –"

"Did you hear me?!?! Cameron’s gone! She was going to get John’s birthday cake! She went to start up the jeep, and it exploded right there on the street!! Cripes, she’s gone!! THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!!!"

"Ma’am, there was an explosion, and someone was in the car? Is it - "


"Yes, ma’am. We’ve been receiving several calls regarding this today. Please try and remain calm. We’ve been instructed to remind you that Fox would never kill off its star terminator, but it did do one heck of a job ending its first season finale making you think they had. They have set you up nicely for what could be a world of potential with the second season."

Oh. My. God.

My poor Cam.

I don’t often stare at my television screen, mouth agape, for a full 10 minutes after a show has aired its season finale.

I just don’t.

You really have to wow me for that to happen.

You really have to suck me into the show’s entire storyline, create some amazingly original dynamics and intricacies, and get me so attached to the characters that I stop anticipating left curves and twists.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles has wowed me.

As in, w-o-w-e-d me with their first season finale, which aired in two successive episodes last night on Fox. I swear, Fox had better renew this show for a second season or else I’m going to go … well, bonkers.

I don’t even know where to begin.

Forget that the TURK is still out there.

Forget that Sarah, John, Cam and Derek creepily tap into the now-terminated T888’s CPU (which Cam rightfully kept as an important resource, remember?) to “watch” footage of its mission through its eyes … ewww!

Forget that Agent Ellison is now completely aware the machines are here, and therefore, foolishly tries to storm Cromartie’s apartment only to see his entire FBI team annihilated.

Forget that Derek (in a rather touching moment) takes John for an ice cream to celebrate his birthday (aww, isn't that what uncles do?) at the park where he, Derek, is watching a younger version of himself play catch with his little bro’ Kyle – John's dad. As John gets up to return the baseball that has rolled over to the bench on which he and older Derek are sitting, he looks into the eyes of his father – a toddler – for the first time.

Just. Freakin. Awesome.

And yet, forget all that because this one was about Cam.

They saved the best stuff for last. She and John seriously bonded in this finale, which made it so much harder to have her … well, you know, get blown up.

Is it bad that I’m starting to wish she and John were together? Yes, I know it is. I actually don't need them to be together, and I confess I never expected to get so attached to either of them. But they are cute. And after last night’s ep, whereby we see that the nasty ol’ T888 was an advanced prototype infiltrator who could be happily married yet-not-quite-with children, I’m afraid I’ve become somewhat of John/Cam shipper. Maybe I just keep having visions of Edward Furlong’s John wanting Arnold’s T101 to stay with them at the end of T2. I still cry at that scene. I guess I'm a sucker for the good terminators.

Like Cam.

Seriously, there is just something beautifully simple about her devotion to John, and to the mission as a whole, that it makes it strangely touching (how cute was that scene in the bedroom where she’s trying to “make conversation”? or when John has to remove her CPU? Awww!)

Of course, we have Derek constantly reminding us Cam is a machine, and thus, can’t trust her (if it weren’t for his take-John-to-the-park moment in this finale, I was about ready to ask someone to smack him). But for me, Cam is going to have to turn seriously left (in which case I’m going to throw things at the screen) for me not to be in her camp and/or wonder how she is going to have to escape that burning jeep next season.

Not to mention there were too many things left on the table for this show not to come back.

Aside from Cam, why didn’t Cromartie kill Agent Ellison?

Who really has the TURK?

Does Derek have some sort of ulterior motive for being sent to the present?

Is Charley going to become part of the team?

Can they really save the world?

T:SCC surely saved the 2007-2008 strike-shortened television season for this viewer. Please, please, pretty please, Fox, renew this for a second season. Don’t make me have to beg you like I had to beg FX with Damages. Hmmmm, now that I think about it, I begged for more of Damages and it got picked up for two more seasons. Coincidence?

Yeah, sure. As if I really had that much influence.

The fight to save the world (will hopefully) continue …

You can catch up on the first season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles over at the Official Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Web site.

Monday, March 03, 2008

‘Dexter’ Does It All

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

There’s something ingenious about a serial killer who could also be nominated for the Super-Best-Boyfriend-Almost-Dad of the Year Award.

Okay, so he is slightly dysfunctional (he has this little killing problem thing); somewhat unsure on knowing what to say at times with his girlfriend (buy, hey who isn’t); tends to have a little too much fascination with blood spatter and donuts (not exactly everyone’s cup of sunshine); but heck, no one notices, right?

Enter last night’s episode of Dexter, where Miami’s original serial killer (not that Icetruck hack ... kidding) does just about everything: takes care of Astor’s tiny little splinter; stands in for running-late Rita on meeting the social worker; makes sure a certain 15-year-old delinquent kid doesn’t become … well, another version of himself.
“All I had to do was drive home, have a taco, prepare my attack. Instead, I tried to act human.”
Is there anything Dex can’t do?

Oh, right. Tell everyone who he really is.


There isn’t anything I don't like about this show (no, really, LillyKat? Gee, we couldn’t tell). But one of things that I really do like is the Dex/Rita relationship. Although Rita is severely damaged emotionally from the thug of an ex-husband to whom she was previously married, there is this sense of normalcy about her - single working mom with two kids, trying to keep peace in her world whilst making ends meet. That, juxtaposed against Dexter’s comfortable awkwardness in being a part of the family, is truly one of the most endearing elements of this show and of which is a gem to watch each week.

Also endearing are the flashbacks of younger Dex with foster dad Harry. We had some this week – back when Harry was in the hospital and … how should we say … being taken care of too overzealously by a certain delusional nurse (nicely played by Denise Crosby).

Read: drugging her patients to death.

Turns out she was Dex’s first human victim – the first human to become part of the Code of Harry, where Dex controls his urges whilst taking care of some of the world’s seriously messed up people who otherwise would go unpunished.

And yet, we also got a glimpse of just how strict that Code is when someone doesn't fit the bill - like the 15-year-old Dex had targeted this week as his next victim. Turns out that kid was a victim himself, and his killing of a man was only in self-defense. And so, we see Dex exercise a certain restraint to stop himself, walk away and keep to the both ends of the Code.

Those who go. Those who stay.


Meanwhile, we remember last week, where Sgt. Doakes and Lt. Laguerta were trying to find the cop killer of an undercover officer who’s wife also happens to have been having an affair with Doakes? Turns out Doakes is a little more peeved about the death of her than the cop, so he confronts the drug lord who ordered the hit. Problem is: the entire Miami Metro Police Department seems to have known he was banging a cop’s wife (big no-no), and decides to set him up with the whole we’ll-take-things-into-our-own-hands thing, arranging a storm-the-Alamo moment to try and beat the heck out of one of the drug lord’s top lieutenants. Of course it’s going to look like Doakes arranged this, right? Right!

The Icetruck Killer chopped up his next victim and left her gift wrapped at center ice (er, okay in one goal) of the Miami Blades arena (who knew Miami had a hockey team?). Seems like everyone thinks the IK is the security guard who is on the surveillance tape placing the body in the goal.

Duh. As if the IK would be so careless.

Last week, I talked about how much I love Deb (and Jennifer Carpenter’s portrayal of her). Well, this week, let me talk about why I don't like Lt. Laguerta or Lauren Velez’s portrayal of her (at least at this point in the series).

Having said that, it probably seems contradictory to say I like Lauren Velez. I was a big New York Undercover fan back in the day (yes, I can remember that show; can anyone else?). But this whole Laguerta - stiffer - than - carboard - so - power - hungry - only - promoted - to - be - in - charge - because - I - look - good - in - front - of - the - cameras thing just isn’t working for me.

She doesn’t even seem real at times – as in, not human. And believe you-me, we here at PTR are experts in humans pretending to be machines (ahem, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles). Velez’s screen presence is often distracting and predictable. You start to expect the smug looks, the long pauses of disgust, the snobbery. It is way too forced, and as such, makes it hard for me to believe.

However, what is working is the young up-and-comer, Deb, being smarter-faster-quicker-better than her boss lady Lieutenant. That whole keep the new kid down kind of thing that women, particularly, seem to enjoy doing to each other is very tangible. I will give Velez and Carpenter a lot of credit for creating this dynamic, but there are moments where Velez's Laguerta is just a little too much of a beyotch whereas Carpenter's Deb never comes off as being “too” much of anything. Thus, it’s a little unbalanced. And given Laguerta walks around in a luke-warm state of mind most of the time, it’s hard for me to buy this gal really is that vicious.

But I have been fooled before, and that can be the sign of a great show.

The first season of Dexter airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS. Check out Showtime's official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series.