Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hallmark Channel's Second 'Note'

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

If it weren't for the Hallmark Channel, I think I'd go bonkers.

Seriously, their programming gives me a much needed break from my usual coverings of homicide detectives, serial killers, conniving high-powered attorneys conjuring up murder plots, Bering Sea fishermen dancing with death and Skynet machines out to destroy mankind.

And did we mention they air some show called ... wait, hold on ... it's coming to me ... Touched By An Angel?



Tonight is the premiere of Hallmark Channel Original Movie The Note 2: Taking a Chance on Love, the sequel to last year's highly-rated The Note, starring Genie Francis and Ted McGinley.

Sooo, what's it about?


"Having been reunited with Christine, the daughter she gave up for adoption 18 years earlier, Peyton MacGruder (Genie Francis) is still learning the ropes of parenting. She’s also busy writing her “Heart Healer” column, as well as managing a relationship with coworker and boyfriend King Danville (Ted McGinley). But when King asks Peyton to marry him, she’s too afraid to take a chance at a life she deserves. A note to Peyton from a loyal reader of her column leads to a new friendship, one that will teach Peyton that when it comes to making decisions, there’s a time to be cautious and a time to follow your heart."

If you're looking for a feel-gooder in advance of Super Bowl Mania (and quite frankly I am), tune in tonight for a double-airing of The Note at 7 p.m. followed by the premiere of The Note 2: Taking a Chance on Love at 9 p.m. Visit for the scoop on the movie.

Photo Courtesy: Hallmark Channel Publicity

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Payback is a ... on 'Damages'

Watch 'Damages' Second Season on FXBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Payback is a b*tch.

Patty Hewes know this.

She's normally giving it, not receiving it.

But not this week.

Welcome once again to Damages, folks - the show that keeps you deliciously guessing at every turn while consistently giving you that OMFG moment.

The latest turn of events had me speaking OUT LOUD to the television screen (and the cat - who, naturally, could care less), "How do these guys do it?"

Daniel Purcell.

On the stand.

Totally fraking up Patty's attempt at filing a motion against UNR (read: evil energy company killing everyone with their polluted water in West Virginia) to start a class-action lawsuit AFTER he told her a) he'd run the test on the water that was snuck out of town by his on-the-down-low reporter, compliments of the Ellen and Tom Traveling Road Show; and, b) go on the record UNR doctored his original toxicity reports.




Did Patty's seething, silent rage just come blazing through the screen at the moment Purcell screwed her? There is nothing like Glenn Close and THAT look. You know the old saying: If looks could kill, we'd all have been dead a long time ago (at about the time Fatal Attraction came out).

Seriously, how rare is it to one up Patty Hewes?

I thought Ellen was the only one capable of this, but Daniel is fast becoming one slippery mo'fo'. Yet, the way William Hurt is playing Purcell ... I swear, I'm duped. He is just so good. Kind of sweet, then conniving, then silent raging, then pitiable.

Oh, and did we mention Purcell flipped on Patty AFTER she agreed to let her son Michael know Purcell is his father?

So much for kissing and making up.

Or playing nice.

Yet, his screwing over of Patty's case wasn't the only OMFG moment.

It was followed shortly thereafter (er, kinda simultaneously) by the reveal that he was IN on the murder of his wife. Perhaps not as much of a shocker, but I didn't expect that confirm to come so quickly. (Side note: how weird was it to see Saturday Night Live's Darrell Hammond as UNR thugbeat coordinating the whole murder-for-hire thing? I half expected him to break into his Bill Clinton impersonation.)

We still don't know (and won't know for a LONG time) who Ellen is killing in the flash forward sequence.

I'm now starting to think it might be Purcell.

Then again, I know better than to try and figure out the brilliantly tangled web that is Damages.

New episodes of Damages air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. To catch up on the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the show, head on over to the official Damages Web site.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Fringe's' No-Brainer

You now hold all of the government's most valuable secrets inside your head in the form of an Intersect. Whoops! Wrong show. If you thought the opening of this week's episode of Fringe looked more like Chuck than The X-Files, you're not alone. That was until the hand came through the computer screen and melted the kid's brain. At that point, we were definitely back to The X-Files and very, very far from Chuck. This was a pretty intense episode of Fringe. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was literally sweating during that scene with Olivia's niece. At one point, I was convinced that the computer virus thing was going to kill her. I kept thinking, "They wouldn't kill a child, right? I mean she's Olivia's niece for crying out loud! They wouldn't, right? RIGHT??!!!" Things got intense again at the end when Liv went after the killer in the warehouse. I heard the gunshot, but figured someone shot the computer. So, I was as shocked as Peter when he got back there and found the killer on the floor -- a victim of his own gun.

I like this show. I like its quasi-X-Files feel and close-ended mysteries-of-the-week, but I'm wondering when it's going to explore more of "The Pattern." We haven't seen much of it in a while, and that has struck me as odd considering the entire first half of the season centered around it. I'm afraid I'm going to forget the few details that we've learned! I'm also not lovin' this bizarre political crusade against Olivia. I'm not sure why the suit has it out for her, but he is watching her every move and gunning for her job. I wish someone would take his so the story and the show can move on. This story line is dragging the series down.

Fringe airs Tuesday nights on Fox. If you missed last night's episode, watch it for free at Photo courtesy Fox.

Birthday Wishes

Cold Case's Kathryn Morris celebrates a birthday today.

Happy Birthday Kathryn!!
Your Friends at PTR
(photo courtesy Kathryn Morris Online)

DID YOU KNOW? Kathryn plays a school nurse on the big screen in the upcoming dark comedy Assassination of a High School President.  It's slated to hit theaters late next month.  For more on the film, check out its official Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

'Trust Me' ... It's Good

'Trust Me' on TNTBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

When I first saw the promos running for TNT's new don't call it a dramedy series, Trust Me, I thought: that's going to be good.


Aside from Eric McCormack being front and center once again (thank you, there is a TV Goddess), all of the cop and lawyer shows that are EVERYWHERE on the tube these days get a little a) boring; b) repetitive; c) predictable; and, d) border on burn out. (Like, is no one coming up with anything else?!?! Do we really need another CSI?!?! What the hell happened to the sitcom?!?! Why is no one watching 30 Rock?!?!)

Anyhooo, it's refreshing when something light, bright and airy comes along. That, or at least something that doesn't take itself too seriously à la In Plain Sight (which proves cop shows CAN be funny).

Enter Trust Me.

Humor. Wit. Dialogue written at the speed of light. Sarcasm. Irony. Poignant moments. Clever inter-personal struggles. Perfect chemistry.

I'm not sure what this show DOESN'T have (And, for the record, can we please stop saying it's a present-day Mad Men? It's not. Mad Men is way too mental and/or serious and/or 50s and/or drama and/or heavy and/or ... fill in your own blank).

Last night, we were introduced to Mason (McCormack) and Connor (Tom Cavanagh), two guys who have worked for an umpteen number of years at a high-powered ad agency in Chicago.

Mason, the art director, is the serious, focused, dutiful, hard working, lives-and-breathes advertising, doesn't-think-you-need-to-be-an-a-hole-to-climb-the-latter kind of guy.

Connor, on the other hand, is the fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants copywriter genius who would rather be downing a few beers at the local pub than concentrating on the campaign at hand.

Their yin and yang make a pretty good team. When Mason unexpectedly becomes Connor's boss (thanks to the dropping dead of the former Creative Director - who was played ingeniously strung out by the always good Jason O'Mara) ... well, things get interesting.

And they get why they can't live without each other.

The show is just fun to watch. It's sort of this mixture of serious and funny, and I've have to agree with McCormack when he told us here at PTR that it's like a cross between thirtysomething and Boston Legal.

Ahem ... for those of you NOT old enough to have watched thirtysomething, suffice it to say there's enough comedic stuff going on, but it's tempered by the struggle of what most of face in life - balancing work, life and friendship.

McCormack and Cavanagh work an amazing chemistry together. For anyone typecasting either actor from any of their previous roles, you will be nicely surprised at how well each fits into these new molds.

And on a purely shallow note: can I just say I love the set decoration? Can I work in an office like that some day?

Make a note: my Mondays are now split between BJ and Co and the Mason/Connor Chronicles.

Trust Me airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can learn more about the series by visiting the Trust Me Official Web site.

'The Closer's' Curious Case

Kyra Sedgwick is 'The Closer'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Every time we welcome Brenda Leigh Johnson back to our screens, it seems as if an eternity has elapsed.

Okay, not really.

In actual fact, it's only been a few months since we were left breathless by the shootout of all shootouts (Wyatt Earp has nothing on Priority Homicide - wait, I mean Major Crimes), which saw Detective Sanchez take three bullets to save Lieutenant Provenza and then be whisked off in a helicopter to the nearest trauma ward with a very nervous BJ thinking he might not make it.

I confess I kinda knew he WOULD be just fine, but that didn't take anything away from the summer finale.


That said, I think I was expecting more of a Sanchez-on-his-deathbed (or in recovery) storyline pick-up as opposed to having him nicely healed up and ready to get back to action.

Call me pleasantly surprised.

I suppose had they lamented the whole Sanchez-gets-shot thing, it might've been way too heavy and/or dwelled on something that, while fantastically action-packed to watch, wasn't necessarily keyed to a huge plot development (as far as I know). Besides, who wants another Lilly Rush-esque shot-but-I-can't-deal-with-my-issues thing?

No thanks.

However, Sanchez isn't quite right in the head so as to be sent back onto the streets. Hmmm ... now where have I heard that before?

Darn behavioral specialists and their recommendations.

The Case

I don't know what to call this one: The Curious Case of a Girl Who Didn't Have Cancer, Fooled The Victim Into Taking Care of Her Anyway, Then Offed Him in the End When He Figured Out She Was a Scam?

Something like that.

Let's just say our victim was searching for some divine intervention after living the hard drug life (and burning a number of bridges trying to support his habit). To his credit, he was trying to straighten out his life with the help of ... how should I say ... a rather progressive, hippy-esque church - complete with its congregation meeting in a newly purchased roller rink.

Hey, whatever works.

Too bad Cancer Girl had other plans.

The Return of Parents

Oh yes.

They're back.

Staying with BJ and Fritzy for a few days on their way to a Hawaiian cruise ... until Daddy has heart attack.

Another one.

Cue BJ learning of his first one two years ago (at which time Mama and Papa chose deliberately NOT to tell her so as NOT to bother her).


But BEFORE that ... did we mention the sampling of wedding dresses Mama has brought along for BJ to try on? Or the let's-find-a-church scavenger hunt?

The Impending Wedding

With the dresses on display, the failed church hunt and the heart attack, we now know that a) Mama and Daddy are now in the house for a month as Daddy recuperates; b) the wedding is scheduled to be in a month (hmmm ... season finale, anyone?); c) the wedding isn't going to be in a church thanks to Mama figuring out BJ wants something low key - a hotel room, overlooking the beach with just a handful in attendance (party at BJ's house later, though).

And yet, does anyone sense some irony when Fritzy says now that it seems everything is to BJ's liking, the wedding just MIGHT happen?


The season just started up again, and I already want to get to the finale.

So good to have The Closer back.

New episodes of The Closer air Mondays at 9 p.m. on TNT. Visit The Closer official Web site for the scoop on all-things BJ and Co.

'Crusoe' Coming Full Circle

NBC's New Action Adventure Series 'Crusoe'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

"It's an island that cannot be found EXCEPT by those who already know where it is.

I've resisted saying this, but I can't help it, now.


Crusoe's island is supposedly in the middle of no where and/or so off course that the only map to it is tattooed on the back of scallywag, yet an awful lot of people seem to drop in for a visit, eh? Makes me think our Crusoe folk have access to Captain Jack Sparrow's compass.

But aside from that, it would seem the other shoe has dropped.

Or sandal.

Or boot.

Blackthorn is a fraud, and it is Crusoe who is entitled to his fortune.

After weeks of wondering what the heck is up between the two of them, we finally got our answer this past weekend. And Blackthorn is apparently so desperate to preserve his fraudulent take on the high life that he indeed sails himself to the island.

Have to say this surprised me.

Like, he just washed up.

Didn't we only JUST have the whole trick-Susannah-into-signing-over-the-kids thing? (I kinda thought he wasn't really going to sail to find Crusoe.)

But alas, desperate men do desperate things.

And yet, I felt so sorry for Crusoe the whole time he was proudly showing Blackthorn around the island. I just wanted to reach through the screen and shake him into reality: "Don't you know the dude is going to stab you in the back the first chance he gets!!!"


Poor Crusoe. He has no reason to suspect. But Friday does - even if it's only in a very generic sense.

How many times has Friday saved the day? Love. Him.

But can I just say: Olivia, Olivia, Olivia. UGH! You get points for freeing Susannah from the mad house AND getting her the truth about Crusoe's rightful claim to the Blackthorn fortune, but you BURN the letter he wrote for her and/or are scheming to get back with him?!?!?!

Say it ain't so!

New episodes of Crusoe air Saturdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Visit NBC's Official Crusoe Web site for the inside scoop on the series. The site is awfully cool - and that's not just the Pirates fangirl in me talking.

11 'Amazing' New Teams

The Amazing Race is gearing up to kick off its new season next month with the first deaf contestant.  The twenty-two year old recent college grad teamed up with his mother for the Emmy-winning reality series' 14th season, and he told The AP that the show was more difficult than he had thought.  "I thought it would be easy because my mother and I have always communicated really well," the longtime Amazing Race fan, who doesn't speak or read lips, said through an interpreter. "In the airports, my mom had to do all of the work because she had to do all of the talking. It was kind of hard for me to depend on her to do all of that." Also onboard for the trip are stuntmen, Southwest Airlines flight attendants, former NFL cheerleaders, and college athletes. The new season of The Amazing Race will take teams over 40,000 miles in 22 days to nine countries, including — for the first time — Romania as well as Switzerland, India and Russia when it premieres February 15th on CBS.  Here's a closer look at the 11 teams:

Name: Mark Munoz
Hometown: Los Angeles
Age: 48
Occupation: Stuntman
Name: Michael Munoz
Hometown: Maui, Hawaii
Age: 51
Occupation: Stuntman
Relationship: Brothers
Name: Tammy Jih
Hometown: San Francisco
Age: 26
Occupation: Lawyer
Name: Victor Jih
Hometown: Los Angeles
Age: 35
Occupation: Lawyer
Relationship: Siblings
Name: LaKisha Hoffman
Hometown: New York
Age: 28
Occupation: Program Coordinator
Name: Jennifer Hoffman
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
Age: 24
Occupation: Marketing Assistant
Relationship: Sisters
Name: Christie Volkmer
Hometown: Choctaw, Okla.
Age: 37
Occupation: Flight Attendant
Name: Jodi Wincheski
Hometown: Houston
Age: 40
Occupation: Flight Attendant
Relationship: Flight Attendants
Name: Cara Rosenthal
Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.
Age: 26
Occupation: Law Student
Name: Jaime Edmondson
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Age: 29
Occupation: Former Police Officer
Relationship: Former NFL Cheerleaders
Name: Brad Hunt
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Age: 52
Occupation: Distribution Dispatcher
Name: Victoria Hunt
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Age: 47
Occupation: Tax Manager
Relationship: Married
Name: Mel White
Hometown: Lynchburg, Va.
Age: 68
Occupation: Clergyman
Name: Mike White
Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.
Age: 38
Occupation: Actor-Writer
Relationship: Father and Son
Name: Linda Cole
Hometown: Martinsville, Va.
Age: 52
Occupation: Customer Service Supervisor
Name: Steve Cole
Hometown: Martinsville, Va.
Age: 43
Occupation: Carpenter
Relationship: Married
Name: Jennifer Hopka
Hometown: Columbia, S.C.
Age: 26
Occupation: Student
Name: Preston McCamy
Hometown: Columbia, S.C.
Age: 28
Occupation: Software Engineer
Relationship: Dating
Name: Amanda Blackledge
Hometown: San Diego
Age: 23
Occupation: Student
Name: Kris Klicka
Hometown: San Diego
Age: 24
Occupation: Sales Representative
Relationship: Dating
Name: Margie Adams
Hometown: Denver
Age: 51
Occupation: Clinical Research Associate
Name: Luke Adams
Hometown: Denver
Age: 23
Occupation: College Graduate
Relationship: Mother and Son

For more on the new season, visit

Monday, January 26, 2009

'Cold Case' Goes Door to Door

You know that moment when you were a child and you realized your parents were just as human as anyone else and not some sort of superhero capable of answering any question, healing any boo-boo and helping with any homework problem?  I feel kinda stuck in the aftermath of that moment with Cold Case.  I used to think that it was, hands-down, the best show on television, but then I discovered Veronica Mars and Friday Night Lights and now Damages.  So OK, it wasn't the best show on TV anymore, but it was certainly the best crime drama.  Except, then I discovered The Closer and Dexter and CC began to pale in comparison.  That was OK, though, because despite its slide from best quality show to best quality crime show to 3rd best crime show, I still considered it to be my favorite show on TV.  Now, quite frankly, I don't.  It's like all those other shows showed me CC's shortcomings.  The problem with this is, I'm not sure how to write about CC anymore.  It just isn't the show it used to be (back when it could hold its own with those better shows on a good week and fight for the top quality spot on an excellent week), but I do still enjoy it.  I watch it differently now, but I tend to be a little too critical because I'm used to a different style of storytelling.  Take this week's episode (which, had it not been for my DVR, I would have missed because I didn't realize that the show was on, which, BTW, should be an indicator right there because I used to always know when CC was on):  it was good, it was, but it wasn't great.  I enjoyed it, but I wasn't riveted like I used to be with this show.

I think my biggest problem with the story was the fact that a brush salesman who spent his afternoons going door-to-door in this perfectly manicured neighborhood got himself completely wrapped up in the personal lives of his customers.  So caught up, it cost him his life.  I had a hard time swallowing this plot point and without it, there was no motive, so you had to be onboard with the character and his connection to the families in order to be onboard with the episode.  Yup, this is where I went wrong.  As usual with this show, though, I enjoyed the jaunt through history and all of the sets, costumes, hair, lingo, etc. was done perfectly (again, as usual).  It was a visual feast for the eyes if nothing else.

I also enjoyed the continuation of Lilly's story.  Her scene with her father in the car is further proof that if given the right material, Kathryn Morris really shines.  They haven't done much with her character this season (other than this daddy story line and a brief romance with guest star Bobby Cannavale).  I'd like to see them write some cases that affect her emotionally like they used to during the show's first and second seasons.  CC is missing these sorts of scenes and it's hurting my connection to the character and thus, the show.  So, Cold Case may have lost its magical luster over the past few seasons, but it's still strong enough to keep me watching.  This episode gets a solid "good," so CC moves to 13-0-1 on the season.

Screencaps courtesy RichE

'Psych' is on Fire

What do you get when you cross an arsonist and a murderer?  For most of us, you just get an arsonist.  But for Shawn and Gus, you get an "ar-ssassin" or a "furderer."  And that was just one of many hilarious moments from this week's episode of Psych.  We learned in the opening flashback that Shawn had wanted to be a fire fighter when he was a kid, so working a case with the fire department that required him to spend a lot of time at the fire house was a pretty nice slice of heaven for him.  He even got to don the attire, slide down the poll, and rush to the scene of a real fire (and another case of arson).  Unfortunately, he didn't get the full training so rushing into the first floor of a burning building with Gus in toe wasn't exactly the duo's smartest move.  Although, it did lead to one of their funniest.  Shawn was walking through the first floor when he realized he couldn't find Gus.  So, where was his faithful sidekick?  Crawling along the floor and telling Shawn that the key is to stay low.  And he's right of course.  We've all heard the whole "Stop, drop and roll" instruction, but unfortunately, it doesn't provide much help when the ceiling above you collapses and brings skeletal remains with it!  Cut to Shawn and Gus sitting on a gurney holding oxygen masks to their faces.  

In the end, Shawn discovered that the ar-ssassin/furderer was setting the fires to cover up bodies that he hid in the walls of the buildings back in 1998.  Why?  Because these buildings were scheduled for retro-fitting to bring them come up to code for earthquake safety.  The retro-fitting would expose the bodies and the killer would be discovered.  What he didn't count on, however, was having his fires reveal the bodies stuffed into the walls 10 years earlier.  So in the end, the former fireman/current fire prevention specialist (yes, I too enjoyed the irony) wound up divulging his own dirty deeds and landing himself a cushy cell in the local jail.

Psych airs Friday nights on USA Network. Catch up on this episode and others at

Saturday, January 24, 2009

In McCormack and Cavanagh, We 'Trust'

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Trust me.

When you have actors Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh on the phone at the same time, getting a word in edgewise is a challenge. You just want to try and keep up as they riff off one another, finish each others' sentences and let the one-liners fly.

Just don’t call their new show Trust Me a dramedy (you know, that combination of "drama" and "comedy").

“We don’t like saying ‘dramedy.’ Will one of you [bloggers] please coin a new phrase?” jokes Eric.

“Nobody likes to say ‘dramedy,’” adds Tom. “Come up with a new thing. That’s your single mission.”

The new TNT series, which premieres Monday at 10 p.m., centers on two best friends working as creative partners at a top-ranked Chicago ad agency. The series also co-stars Monica Potter (Boston Legal), Griffin Dunne (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Sarah Clarke (24), Mike Damus (Lost in Yonkers) and Geoffrey Arend (Garden State).

In between both laughing AT and WITH Eric and Tom, we learn this was the right script at the right time for both actors to draw them back into series television.

Says Eric: “I missed being on a series. I wanted something smart that was about grown ups but was also funny. I didn’t want to be a cop or a lawyer. And the authenticity of this script – both the advertising part and the friendship part - really spoke to me. It was exactly what I wanted to do, and I just prayed to get paired up with somebody great.”

He pauses for a moment.

Cue the punch line.

“Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. But, I do get Tom Cavanagh, which is just fine. It’ll do.”

Tom laughs and says: “I’m [always] looking for anything that’s well written, and this was one of those instances. There is no good show without good writing, and in this instance, I like playing the guy who is a little darker [and] different from some of the other stuff I’ve done. [My] character walks a line, and the show [itself] walks a line between funny and serious. As an actor, [being a part of a show like this] is just a boon to play.”

Set against the backdrop of the high-pressure world of advertising (no, this is NOT a present-day Mad Men), the show focuses on Eric’s character of Mason and Tom’s character of Conner as a pair of ad men who have enjoyed a successful creative partnership for a number of years – albeit a yin-yang relationship.

Art director Mason is the responsible, workaholic family man with a wife, two children and a loyalty to the brands he helps sell. Copywriter Conner is single, impulsive and has the attention span of a teenager. Their relationship is put to the test when Mason is named a creative director of the agency, making him Conner’s boss, and the series follows the changing dynamics between the two friends.

On playing Connor, Tom says: “I like everything about it. I like the fact he’s irresponsible, petty, shallow, immature and brilliant. He can skate on a lot of things simply because he’s decent at what he does [work-wise], but he [is also] actually a decent friend. There’s goodness in spite of all [his] womanizing and drinking. And he feels very real – like a lot of the guys I know. So, it’s enjoyable playing him. And he’s exceptionally well written. Any time you’re doing episodic [television], and you’re going to see and play the [same character] every day, you want it to be something that you like to do and [also have it be] a character that is well written.”

On playing Mason, Eric agrees and says: “For me, as much as it’s fun to play characters that are a complete 180 degrees from your own personality, there’s a part of me that really likes bringing my own sensibility and sense of humor to [a role]. I had eight years [on Will & Grace] of [portraying a gay man], so it’s nice to now be able to play [husband and wife] stuff. And some of what has been written for Sarah Clarke’s character and I - as husband and wife - has mirrored my life in terms of some of the arguments I’ve had and some of the situations I’ve had with my own wife. So, that is fun – to be able to bring your real life [into] those [fictional] situations. And, I like Mason’s central dilemma; the idea of a guy that didn’t really think he wanted any power suddenly having power and trying to figure out how to use it. As an actor who has been a producer, I’ve had that exact dilemma where one day I’m happy to be the boss and happy to be in control, and the next day I just want nothing to do with it. I just want to play like actors play and let somebody else make the decisions. So I think I relate to [his dilemma].”

Inevitably, one wonders how audiences will take to Eric’s new role after having adored him for so long as the incomparable, Emmy® award winning Will Truman on Will & Grace. That is, does he fear audiences have typecast him as being an actor only known for playing gay-centric roles on sitcoms?

“I guess we’ll find out,” says Eric. “But, I don’t think so. What I found when I started to shop around again and meet with some of the people at the networks to see what the next step might be [to get back on a series], they weren’t only presenting sitcoms to me, and they weren’t only presenting gay roles. There was a lot of leading man stuff. So, I think I managed to play [Will] and circumvent that [kind of typecasting]. I’m very proud of Will and of [Will & Grace], but I think people know that was just a role I was playing, and they will hopefully give me a chance to be Mason.”

When I specifically asked both actors what they found most challenging about being on the new show, it actually turned into what they’ve found most rewarding: the writing. Seeing as this show is being brought to us by Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny, c0-executive producers of TNT’s hit series (and PTR Fave) The Closer, we’re not surprised.

Says Eric: “Both of us have worked on hour or half hour [shows] where half of your energy is spent looking at the dialogue going, man, how do we fix this? How do we make this work? But here, we’ve just found [script after script] arrive, and we don’t want to fix anything. It’s all just really working. Every script has been really great.”

So what does the duo think will compel people to want to watch the new show?

“If you can get in on Trust Me from the beginning,” says Eric, “you’re going to love these characters and the fresh setting. This show doesn’t feel like any other show that I’ve seen in the last few years. I’ve been saying it’s kind of thirtysomething, but it has almost a Boston Legal kind of madness to it as well. I think it’s a real mix for people looking for a smart funny hour.”

But leave the type casting at the door.

“Don’t judge us,” says Tom.

“I think both of us have shows behind us that we are really proud of, but we are exceptionally proud of this [show]. We hope people that watch television understand that we’re actors, and we have to move from thing to thing. But, at the same time, if you’re a big fan of a certain show, certain characters get burned into your minds. Just give us a chance to be these [new] guys and not the guys we used to be. I think you’re going to love these characters.”

And tell your friends and family to watch.

“And their friends’ families and their families’ friends,” says Tom.

Trust Me premieres Monday, January 26th at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can learn more about the series by visiting the Trust Me Official Web site.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Closing Out with 'The Closer's' James Duff

PTR is on Set with 'The Closer'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

We miss Brenda Leigh Johnson when she’s on hiatus.

Even if it’s only for a handful of months.

Thankfully, she’s back beginning January 26th, bringing us the final five episodes of the fourth season.

So what does series creator and executive producer James Duff have in store for us?

PTR recently had the chance to catch up with the brainchild of The Closer, and he let us know how the final batch of episodes for this season will tie nicely into what he’s already thinking of for NEXT season. What can we say … James has definitely got a clear creative vision for BJ and Co. (And we do love him for that vision - now four years strong).

“There are going to be some surprises both in form and in function as the show goes on,” says James. “And the characters change. I mean, that's the great thing about being on cable television – the characters get to evolve the way human beings evolve [and in the way] people tend to reveal themselves. So, I think the stories are going to get more suspenseful. And, we're going to have a little bit more humor.”

And how does James think the major themes of power and control have manifested themselves this season (‘cause we remember he told us about this when we visited with cast and crew on set last summer)?

“I’m not very good at self-grading,” he says with a laugh. “So, I don’t know how to quantify what we’ve done except to say I’ve learned a great deal about how I felt about power, and what I felt power means in our every day lives. The power of relationships honestly seems to have the most impact in our daily lives. It’s not money or ambition or anything else, it’s the power of our personal relationships that seems to dictate [what we do].

“And yet,” he continues. “I feel like we came no where near exhausting that theme, and we’re only leaving it because we shouldn’t do two years in a row revolving around the same [thing]. And yet, in writing about power, I’ve discovered it really is an illusion. We don’t really have so much power in our ordinary lives. The only thing that we really can count on in everyday life is change – that’s the only constant in our lives. Our ability to adapt is what makes human beings sort of the king of this planet – our ability to roll with the punches. And, as my father used to say, it’s what keeps us interesting and alive. But [the theme of] change – changes in relationships, changes in the squad, changes in how investigations are conducted – is set up by the way [our team has] dealt with power [this season].”

So pay attention folks.

‘Cause we’re in for some good times.

“Each season, we want to be better than the season before. And I think because you get to know the characters better on the show, you get a chance – you get an opportunity – to swing for the bleachers [each year]. You may not hit it into the bleachers, but you [at least] get a chance. And we [like to] keep trying.”

Sounds good to us (especially since we here at PTR feel as if the gang over at The Closer hit it into the bleachers EVERY season).

New episodes of The Closer begin Monday, January 26th at 9 p.m. on TNT. Visit The Closer official Web site for the scoop on all-things BJ and Co.

A Double Set of 'Bones'

Last night's Bones was a 2fer, which means we'll look at each hour individually for this week's breakdown. Our favorite crime fighting duo went from under the big top to on ice through the course of the double feature. For a closer look, here's this week's breakdown:

UNDER THE BIG TOP: Booth and Bones joining the circus and all of the hilarity that ensued pretty much wrote itself. And I'm not afraid to admit that I was on the edge of my seat during that knife routine! Booth was very impressive! Of course, the two of them pretending to be Russian was pretty hilarious as well.

ON ICE: Booth confronting a huge skeleton from his past (thanks to Sweets) roped me in right away. He had been struggling with his abusive father's problems with alcohol and whether or not the rage inside of his father lived inside of him as well. It was nice to see it come to a head here as he took some of it out on the ice and got a little inspiration from a hockey star. And of course, I loved the ice skating scene at the end with Booth and Bones. Too cute.

UNDER THE BIG TOP: The return of way-too-much-information intern. While I do find some of his anecdotes interesting, he takes too long to get to the point costing the team precious time when solving cases. And this one is completely superficial, but I wasn't a fan of Bones's circus wig.

ON ICE: Ice fishing in DC?? I live in the DC area and there is no way these two were ice fishing anywhere around here. I guess we were to assume that the lake where Booth's rival on the ice was found was somewhere other than the greater DC area. Still, it was a bit of a stretch for me. I also wasn't digging the FBI agent sent in to replace Booth (seeing as he was the prime suspect and all) nor was I liking the attraction between her and Booth.

UNDER THE BIG TOP: That ambulance-chaser stepfather whose constant need to sue led to the circus covering up the twins' accidental death and disposing of the remains on the Texas/Oklahoma border. And just for Booth, I'll throw the clowns into this category as well.

ON ICE: Pretty much all of the hockey scenes. There was more blood on that ice than a typical Bones murder scene! The one that stands out the most for me, though, has to be the face into the wall right in front of Bones and co. and the blood that ran down aforementioned wall during the rest of the scene. Yup, that one takes the cake.

If you missed last night's episodes ("Double Trouble in the Panhandle" & "Fire in the Ice"), check them out for free at

Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Damages' Changes Its Pace (for the better)

Watch 'Damages' Second Season on FXBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

It's hard to think that Damages could improve upon its humdinger of a first season.

After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

But tinkering can be OK.

We recall the first season was one giant jigsaw puzzle, with both past and present needing to be decoded and put back into place by the viewer in order to to figure out who was what, where, when and why. Die hards like yours truly loved this and couldn't get enough. But if you were a casual viewer and missed an episode (or two), you were in a world of hurt trying to catch up.

This season, the Damages folks have made the show much easier for all of us to follow WITHOUT sacrificing the intricacy of its ingenious storytelling.


By placing more emphasis on the present day whilst having the flashbacks be shorter snapshots that tie directly into the middle of the present day scene. Soooo, the "past" flashback plays more like a supplement - you don't actually need it, but it's really super helpful that it's there.

Case in point: this week's reveal that Patty had a son with Daniel Purcell, who also happened to have been a key witness in her first gi-normous case when she stepped out on her own.


Yes, that's right: Patty and Daniel = Michael.

And yet, had this been the first season, the reveal might have been more cryptic, involve more guess-work and head-scratching. I'm not sure the flashback sequences would've been placed so nicely in the middle of Ellen's confrontation of Patty (where she fesses up as to why she's just a little obsessed defending Purcell; after all, criminal law is not her thing).

Suffice it to say the slight modification in the way the show reveals its story is giving this season a very cohesive feel whilst maintaining the show's penchant for dealing us surprises and left curves.

And Daniel Purcell is just one surprise after another: he's the father of Patty's child; former key witness of Patty's first major case; out to possibly nail the energy company for whom he supposedly worked on contract running toxicity tests; might have murdered his wife (yes, no, maybe so, I don't know); having an affair with head counsel of aforementioned energy company ... did we forget anything?

And we thought we only needed to watch out for Ellen this season.


New episodes of Damages air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. To catch up on the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the show, head on over to the official Damages Web site.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Not So Common Cold

If there was ever a show that needed a brief "Previously on...," it's this week's return of Fringe.  I spent the first 15-20 minutes completely confused and distracted by the various faces and the cursory check I was running through my memory as I was trying to figure out whether I was supposed to recognize them or not.  To make matters worse, I knew I had seen the actors before, but I wasn't sure if it was on this show or others.  Needless to say, I was ready to throw in the proverbial towel and forget the show entirely when finally, the epidemiologist died while giving a lecture to his class at Boston University, and the "spikey slug thing" climbed out of his mouth.  Suddenly, the episode transformed from random stuff that I was maybe supposed to remember to a typical freaky tale of the week.  Everything else seemed to fall into place and I was good to go for the remainder of the hour.  

So, someone found a way to take one cell of the virus that produces the common cold (which, I can only surmise from those commercials with the rhinoceros in them that it must have been the Rhino Virus) and blow it up -- as in, made it bigger.  Much bigger.  We're talking pet rabbit bigger.  Then, they cultivated the "eggs" for the virus making it so one only needs to drop a few "eggs" in a glass of water, give said glass of water to the individual for whom they wish to kill, wait for the impending victim to drink the glass of water and watch as the "egg" turn into a living viral organism that crawls (?) its way out of the victim's GI tract through the throat (essentially suffocating the victim) and out the mouth.  I know what you're thinking: Why not find an easier way to kill someone?  Either the group behind this little project is extremely bored or they are in love with irony (since the victims were epidemiologists who had both been hired by the CDC to head a special task force on outbreaks).  We never really found out which, but the dirty FBI agent who told his wife to kill Olivia (and was also behind her "kidnapping" in the beginning) seemed to indicate that this project has something to do with saving people (obviously, not the victims in this story).  But, you never know whether you can believe a double agent, so I guess we'll have to stay tuned on this one.

Fringe airs Tuesday nights on Fox. If you missed last night's episode, watch it for free at Photo courtesy Fox.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

'Crusoe's' Survivor Impression - Redux

NBC's New Action Adventure Series 'Crusoe'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Clearly, I spoke too soon.

A few weeks back, I joked that super-duper-uber-producer Mark Burnett surely served as a consultant ('kay, not really) on an episode of Crusoe given it seemed to be some sort of cross between the Survivor and American Gladiators reality shows. (For the record, Mr. MB produces only ONE of those ... and if I have to tell you which one, I guess you don't really watch much TV, do ya'?).

This week, we again seemed to take a page out of the Survivor playbook - complete with some sort of timed series of go-go-get Crusoe challenges, and a tribal council delivering a final verdict of who gets what fate.

And, truth be told, there wasn't a whole lot else to this episode. Most of the action centered on a thought to be long lost tribe called the Caciques, who pull into port ('kay, not really) on the island in search of Crusoe to hunt him down purely for the sport.

Sooooo, we have three warriors racing against the makeshift sand hour glass trying to bring Crusoe back to the warrior king. Eventually one does, and Crusoe is pinned up like some sort of crucifix, read the riot act by said warrior king and held responsible for just about every horrible thing the European white man is guilty of in the 1600s.

Namely: slavery.

Not surprisingly, Crusoe and Friday eventually get the better of the king and the tribe, yet are still left to their own devices. As in, no brokered deal to have the warriors boat them away.

But ... tune in next week to see whether Friday votes Crusoe of the island!

No, seriously ... I wasn't feeling this episode much from the Crusoe side of things.

BUT ... HUGE development on the Susannah side of things.

We remember Captain Santana's promise to come back for Crusoe? Well, he has arrived back in England, though not fit for a return voyage to our island in the sun (bummer). But, he does meet Susannah to offer proof Crusoe is alive (namely his knowledge of Crusoe's time as a planter in Brazil). He also meets Blackthorn, who is still looking for any conceivable way to prevent Susannah from learning Crusoe is alive. Blackthorn agrees ('kay, not really) to prepare a ship to go after Crusoe only so that he can trick her into signing the kids away!


But never fear. Remember Olivia? She's on the lookout for Susannah now, too. The fact she's got to go to the mad house to find her, well ... not so good.

But hey, wouldn't it be funny to have two women set out to rescue our castaways?

Not going to happen, I know.

I'd settle for the two of them getting the better of Blackthorn, though.

New episodes of Crusoe air Saturdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Visit NBC's Official Crusoe Web site for the inside scoop on the series. The site is awfully cool - and that's not just the Pirates fangirl in me talking.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lassie Gets the 'Psych' Treatment

Is there a more perfect scenario than Lassie having to ask Shawn and Gus for help?!  Needless to say, this episode had me at the set-up and it kept me throughout the hilarious hour.  Of course, Lassie being Lassie, he wasn't able to come out and say that he needed their help or officially hire them to help exonerate him from a murder rap.  No, instead he told them that he was giving them the opportunity to work with him to clear his name.  Riiight.  And Shawn doesn't have feelings for Jules either.  Although, this episode and the premiere last week focused a bit more on the feelings that she has for him.  I like these two and I want them to end up together, but much like another fave law enforcement non-couple/couple Booth and Bones, I'm not ready for them to get together.  This show does a nice job with the chase and the whole "I totally have feelings for him/her, but am completely unaware" concept.  It works so well that I think they could milk it for several seasons (and I hope they do).  Meanwhile, Lassie was stuck sitting in the back seat of Gus's compact company car while at the mercy of a duo too obsessed with Kenny (nay Kenneth) Loggins and "stealth mode."  It all became too much for Lassie when he saw Jules with a new partner.  Suddenly, he's wearing Shawn's clothes instead of his usual suit (does anyone else think that he and How I Met Your Mother's Barney would be total BFFs united in their common love for suits??  Suit up!) and sitting at Shawn's dad's house watching Cops reruns!  Luckily, Shawn stumbled upon Jules's new partner and cracked the case just before said new partner knocked him out.

I was laughing during this entire hour (the check/cable debacle, Shawn's Funyuns discussion, Gus being 75% sure that Lassie is innocent -- "What, that's up from yesterday!" and the two of them presenting their "preliminary questions" to Lassie), but the funniest part of the whole darn episode was the Kenny Loggins bit.  They certainly milked that for most of the hour and it was HILARIOUS!  I almost fell off my couch when Gus asked (very shocked), "Kenny Loggins is in jail???"  And then Shawn started on his diatribe about "The House at Pooh Corner" and "This is it" and it just got funnier and funnier.  Just a classic example how this show can make anything funny! 

Psych airs Friday nights on USA Network. Catch up on this episode and others at

Friday, January 16, 2009

'Damages' Lays the Groundwork

Watch 'Damages' Second Season on FXBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Apologies, again, on being late with this post. I would never intentionally slight my beloved Damages unless I had a really good reason ... like surgery recovery. Ugh. Vicodin, anyone?

PTR's editor-in-chief, TVFan, is right: it does no good to try and guess what is going to happen on Damages.

Too many rabbits get pulled out of the hat so that even when you start to think you might have two cents of half a millimeter of a clue as to what might possibly come next, you're thrown a left curve.

A loop.

Usually a big one.

Case in point this week: Daniel Purcell is NOT going to be Patty's cause célèbre sans strings attached.

And I like this.

I didn't want this character to become ... how should I say ... that clichéd "guy from Patty's past" type of character who, inevitably, has some sort of secret thing for her and/or some sort of secret to hold over her head to get who knows what out of her. Thus far, the genius scribes have thankfully not gone down that path (as if they even COULD - there is nothing clichéd about this show).

That said, Purcell looks as though he's going to play both ends to the middle - whatever that middle may be. And it's I find myself wanting to like the guy even if I sense he's got more up his sleeve than Richard Nixon. Not to mention the guy has some gall to think he can actually NOT tell Patty Hewes the truth.

But the BIG kicker: he's having an affair with Marcia Gay Harden's Claire Maddox - the legal eagle of the energy company that wants to mess with Purcell's toxicity findings so as to make it seem as if they really aren't the big, bad evil energy company making all of their employees sick.

And did we notice how that last little tidbit was left until the last shot of the episode?

Got to love this show.

Speaking of MGH, could she be any more perfect to play the new legal nemesis of Patty Hewes?

Just. Plain. Genius.

I'm counting the minutes until we have our first Patty v. Claire showdown (which MGH has called the "battle of the Manolos" - that would Manolo Blahniks shoes for those just tuning in and NOT necessarily obsessed with Sex and the City).

On the Ellen front this week ... let's just say Frobie has a big bullseye on his back for which Ellen is aiming. However, being in cahoots with the FBI to take down Patty goes somewhat array seeing as Patty decides to start meddling handling Purcell's case, and thus, drops the infant mortality FBI set-up case in Tom's lap. But even with the Feds re-focusing on Tom, they can't quite get him to take the bait, be on the take and break the law by paying the "pretend" Plantiff up front. Thus, it's back to square one for the FBI.

Bummer for Ellen.

But hey, there's still her new grief group buddy Wes (played nicely by the always good Timothy Olyphant), who seems to have an arsenal of weapons secretly stashed in an armoire whilst simultaneously having some sort of Frobie voodoo shrine.

Soooo, is he Ellen's soul mate on the let's-kill-Frobie tip? Or a plant to get close to Ellen for some other sinister reason?

As if I could guess.

New episodes of Damages air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. To catch up on the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the show, head on over to the official Damages Web site.

'Friday Night' Finale

Well, I really hope this was the season finale and not the series finale.  It felt an awful lot like the latter, though, didn't it?  I'm not sure how I'd feel about a fourth season minus Lyla, Tyra, Riggins and all of the others who have already left Dillon.  And then there's the whole Coach Taylor debacle.  It won't be the same if he's not wearing the blue Dillon Panthers jacket on the sidelines.  He's not meant to be an East Dillon Lion!  My ire toward Joe McCoy grows with each passing episode.  This man is despicable and he has the board wrapped around his gold-plated finger.  You know who has to be pi$$ed about this -- Buddy Garrity!  Remember the good ole days when Buddy's influence carried all of the weight?  Whatever he wanted, he got.  Now, he can't even keep the coach of the Dillon Panthers in his position and the man took them to state!  How far the mighty hath fallen!  I guess this is what happens when you make a bad real estate gamble, beat up the guy responsible in a strip club and destroy said strip club in the process.  I'm just glad Lyla saw the light, found the money and hightailed her butt to Vanderbilt (and not just because it's an SEC school)!  I feel much better knowing that she's where she needs to be.

My favorite story line of the night was, by far, Tyra's moving waiting-game plight.  I could so relate.  I wasn't wait listed at my dream school, but I was checking the mail scared to death to get that letter and yet, dying to know if I got in.  I did, and that's why I know what that feeling feels like.  I rejoiced along with Tyra and felt so proud for her.  All of her hard work paid off (no thanks to that kickass essay, I'm sure).  What a moving moment!

I don't want this to be the last season of Friday Night Lights.  I want to continue to follow the joys, triumphs, tears, disappointments, achievements and failures of the residents of Dillon, Texas.  But if this is the end, I will take comfort in the fact that this show ended on a high note -- as high as the note it hit when it premiered 2 years ago.  This is a show that never sold out for a bigger audience or flashier coverage.  It stayed true to itself much like the folks of Dillon.  Now, it's NBC's turn to air the brilliant 3rd season.  The rest of us will have to play a waiting game of our own.  Will it sink or will it swim?  Like Tyra, I'll be waiting with nervous apprehension.   

Friday Night Lights returns to NBC TONIGHT!!!  Get caught up at and then watch the brilliant 3rd season each Friday on NBC.  You'll thank me later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

'Crusoe's' Oh Susannah-esque Leap of Faith

NBC's New Action Adventure Series 'Crusoe'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Apologies for the lateness of this post. After being sidelined by a minor surgery last week, I am just now catching up on all-things PTR. Let's just say I didn't really need ANOTHER reason to dislike needles. Ugh. And my DVR did me no favors, either. The genius cable company channel guide programmers FORGOT to mark Saturday's ep as "new." Thus, no record-o work-o. Thank you, NBC, for putting all the eps online.

We know I love Crusoe.

The show is fun.

It's not overly complicated.

It's not a formula.

The acting is solid.

The stories resonate.

The relationship between Crusoe and Friday is one we should all aspire to have - that is, be THAT good of a friend to those closest to us.

But we slipped up this past weekend.

As in, the ep required me to suspend belief just a wee bit too much (which is saying something seeing as I'm usually game for the whole it's-a-TV-show-just-go-with-it thing).

Captain Neugent - the captain Crusoe persuaded to sail him back to England and of whom helmed the doomed ship - has been hiding out on the island ... a SURVIVOR of the SAME shipwreck for the SAME six year stretch as Crusoe.

Seriously? And he's just now bumping into our castaways? And vice versa?


Crusoe and Friday know every single inch of that island. If Captain Neugent was only a "day's journey" away from our castaway's camp (which, apparently, is to be thought of as an eternity - or inaccessible - on a deserted island), how in Davy Jones Locker have they all NEVER crossed paths hunting for food? Water? Sanity? Whatever?

In six years???

Couldn't go there, folks.

But where I could go was wholeheartedly into the reunification of Crusoe and his beloved Susannah.

Even if it was only in a hallucinatory state.


I DID know from the get-go that Crusoe was only imagining her no matter how real she seemed. Truth is, I didn't care. It was the first full-length ep that featured her so prominently (NOT just in the flashback sequences). And, I really enjoyed seeing the two of them together in the pseudo present day, particularly with Susannah serving as Crusoe's conscience - his sanity - as he struggled to sort through Captain Neugent's attack on the treehouse and subsequent capture of both he and Friday.

Awww, just makes me want Crusoe to get back to England.

And to Susannah.

New episodes of Crusoe air Saturdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Visit NBC's Official Crusoe Web site for the inside scoop on the series. The site is awfully cool - and that's not just the Pirates fangirl in me talking.

'Dexter's' Real Life Nuptials

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

File this under: I had no idea.

The dynamic brother sister duo of Dexter are now husband and wife in the ol' real life.

Dex (Michael C. Hall) and Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) wed on New Year's Eve, according to Hall's rep, Craig Bankey. The outdoor ceremony was held in Big Sur. Hall, 37, and Carpenter, 29, appeared together for the first time publicly at this past weekend's Golden Globes Awards ceremony after quietly dating for the past year and a half.

It's refreshing that not every relationship in Hollyweird has to be of the gag-me-with-a-spoon-over-the-top-just-go-away Bradgelina variety. There are those who know how to keep to themselves and their privacy.

Right on!

Congrats to the newlyweds!

Source: People

Monday, January 12, 2009

'Cold' News

I majored in Broadcast News in college.  I have a degree in journalism.  I interned at a local TV news station for two summers and my husband makes a living working in local news.  Thus, I have been waiting for a TV news episode of Cold Case forever.  So, I was excited to sit down and watch this week's outing, but it came off a little too contrived and too cliche to make me happy.  I did find the the whole "news is changing" theme to be timely given the recent downward trend in news and those who deliver it.  And I liked the pseudo Erin Brockavich turn of events 3/4 of the way through the hour, but overall, this one didn't thrill or excite.  It did, however, have a bit more Lilly than last week's episode, so I suppose I should just be thankful for small favors.  First, I really feel that the "PR hack" would have made a better killer given the fact that he wanted to kill the story.  He was experiencing a serious case of buyer's remorse, and I had a hard time swallowing the part where he agreed to move forward with it after calling Jane to kill it.  Kill the story or kill the girl just set itself up nicely, but it felt like the writers decided to go in the other direction to bring in an element of surprise.  I've always felt that CC's biggest storytelling strength is its "whydunnit" approach, but lately, the show has been more "whodunnit" and I think the cases have suffered as a result.

Is it just me or are you completely confused by Scotty's whole "I think I'll hit on the news chick, but wait there's the girl I was seeing until her crazy ex/non-ex husband tried to assault me so maybe I should talk to her.  No, that's a bad idea -- better leave, but wait, I still want her.  Just one kiss, now two, now we're so leaving this bar and pi$$ on the news chick!"  Huh??!!  That story line was so random!  If they wanted to put Scotty and Frankie back together, then why not just have him see her in the bar and forget the whole news chick angle?  Or better yet, why not just avoid the silly ex/non-ex husband plot all together?  This show has changed over the seasons, but one thing remains the same -- it doesn't know how to write relationships.  I really wish it would learn.

Crazy relationship subplot aside (because the handcuff bit at the end did make me chuckle), this episode was a solid OK, so I guess I'll put it in the win column.  CC moves to 12-0-1 on the season.  

Screencaps courtesy Longislanditalian2 at Look Again.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

'Damages' Delivers Again

Watch 'Damages' Second Season on FXBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

This is television, folks.

At its best.

Having been thoroughly disappointed with this season's offerings on Dexter, lost interest in Cold Case, been on again/off again with Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles and still on the fence about the rest of this season's Saving Grace (which returns in the Spring), I was wondering if I was getting my hopes up too high with the return of Damages.

Like, did the success or failure of my entire television viewing season hang in the balance on this one show?!

We recall it just WOWED with its first season - so much so that neither I nor PTR's Editor-in-Chief TVFan could stop talking about it. And, I do vaguely recall saying I was going to have to take a contract out on the heads at FX had they NOT renewed it for a second season.

Problem is, when you like a show THIS much, your expectations can get the better of you. And, should the show not deliver, well ... let's just not go there.

Thankfully, Patty and Co. did not let me down.

As if she could.

So, how good was the second season premiere?

Let's just say it didn't feel as if it had been over a year since the last time we checked in; they brilliantly recapped key points of the first season for everyone WITHOUT running the flashback-this-is-what-we-did routine into the ground; and, they set the table once again for an even more complex web of manipulation, betrayal and Lord knows what, with Ellen set to take down Patty once and for all if she can get past her own revenge issues.

And that was all laid out for us in just ONE hour, folks.


Vengeful Ellen working for the Feds is just a brilliant storyline. She is SO different from the wide-eyed, fresh-out-of-law-school Bambi that was presented to us last year. Hardened by Patty's betrayal (uh, you know ... the whole tried to kill her thing), grieving over the murder of fiancé doc David that has her simultaneously wanting to disembowel Frobie (can we blame her?), and having this veil of icy calm whilst seething on the inside as she agrees to play nice with Patty only to eventually be able to destroy her in the end ... GENIUS.


Rose Byrne has got the simmering with rage thing down pat. Her therapy sessions with her revenge dreams on Frobie are telling, eh? And the flash forward has her killing "someone" point blank. I'm taking bets right now on whether it's going to end up being Patty or Frobie.

Speaking of Frobie (that's Arthur Frobisher to those just tuning in), you just can't keep a corrupt corporate executive down. I will confess there is something satisfying in seeing him reduced to an invalid state as he recovers from being left for dead by one of his former workers. I'm definitely glad to have Ted Danson back in the fold given he was just SO good at being the man everyone loves to hate.

Patty is still Patty. She seems a little more mellow, but haunted by her sins of the first season. She's preoccupied trying to set up a charity foundation, which really serves as an outlet to try and clear her conscience. How good is that? Glenn Close is still fabulous. This role is hers and hers alone. I swear, it's like an honor to get to watch her week in, week out.

And I just loved - loved, loved, loved - the introduction of William Hurt's character, Daniel Purcell. Even if the storyline did seem a little tobacco industry-esque given he supposedly has smoking gun data to bring down an entire "industry," he's mysterious in a sympathetic way. There is a history between he and Patty that is alluded to just enough to make you want to know more. And that, my friends, is great writing.

Don't give the story away all at once; give us enough to want to come back for more.

Which is exactly what Damages does best.

(And to think we haven't even SEEN Marcia Gay Harden, yet!)

New episodes of Damages air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. To catch up on the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the show, head on over to the official Damages Web site.

Monday, January 05, 2009

'Damages' Returns for Season 2

'Damages' Returns for Season 2 on FXBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

It's here.


And it's the best part about emerging from my holiday hangover this week.

Damages returns for its second season this Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX.


If you recall, it's been about three lifetimes or so since we last left the trials and tribulations (and backstabbing and manipulation and murder attempts) of Patty, Ellen, Tom, Frobie and the rest of the gang. Thankfully, all good things must come to an end - which in this case, is the year-long hiatus between seasons that allowed this show to avoid last year's dreaded writer's strike.

All I can say is if the previews hold up, watch out for Ellen. And did we mention that William Hurt AND Marcia Gay Harden have joined the cast this season?

Welcome back, Damages.

Be sure to tune into the second season premiere Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX. If you missed any of the first season, or just want a refresher on the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the show, head on over to the official Damages Web site.

The Detectives Play the Numbers

(photo courtesy

And... welcome back! After a prolonged holiday-induced break, PTR is back and we're covering all your faves once again (and this season is about to get more exciting with a lot of faves returning at midseason over the course of the next few weeks). First up, this week's brand-spankin'-new episode of Cold Case...

The first new outing of the new year committed quite the crime: NLI = No Lilly Involvement. Sure, they threw in a few key Lilly interrogations at the end to leave you with the impression that she had a big role in this week's case, but seriously, she was barely a background player in this one. I had actually forgotten all about her until she popped up (briefly) to put her money into the lotto pot. That's when it dawned on me that she wasn't really a part of solving the murder of the young lotto winner. NLI aside, I thought that this week's cautionary tale about how life changes for good and bad when you win the lottery was pretty well played. I didn't buy the sister's involvement in Ed's murder, but I thought that the brother-in-law was a very believable "doer." He was giving off bad vibes from the beginning and he was slimy and smarmy enough to make a good suspect. Add in the notion that everybody wants a piece of you when you win millions, and it spells out a conceivable murder. I just wish that they had left out the bit about the sister. She didn't seem that heartless or that detached from her brother (whom she raised) to help her slimy, smarmy husband kill him over money.

Nothing is ever easy on Cold Case, but I'm pretty sure that nothing is more difficult than relationships on this show. Scotty and Frankie were going along just fine and then bam! An angry, jealous (sorta) ex-husband jumps into the picture with some harassing phone calls, a smashed window, and attempted assault of a police officer. Frankie claims they're separated, but Scotty wasn't buying it. I'm not sure what to believe.

I don't know, it just feels like CC has lost its emotional punch. Sure, there are episodes from time to time that move me, but overall, the show is lacking the emotional depth that made it stand out. I think back on seasons 1 & 2, and I remember being moved (sometimes to tears) almost every week. Now, it's a rarety and I miss it. The cases aren't as strong, the characters not as rich so I'm left with nothing but a shrug at the end of each episode. I know shows lose something with age, but I hope CC finds its emotion once again. Without it, the show simply blends into the overcrowded fabric of crime shows.

Despite the missteps in this one, I didn't dislike it. In fact, I thought it was a solid "good," so CC moves to 11-0-1 on the season.

Note to Cold Case: You don't need to flash between the current character and the younger character when the younger character is only 1 year younger! It just looks silly.