Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'Grace's' Nice New Twist

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Whew, that's better.

We returned to the good stuff this week on Saving Grace.

The really good stuff.

And I can now stop lamenting the loss of Christina Ricci to the cast because we've added Kathy Baker (er, at least for a few eps).

I've said from Day 1 some of the strongest eps of this show are when Grace deals with her nephew, Clay. I'm going to have to add to that when she is genuinely concerned for her family on the whole, it also makes for excellent viewing.

It shows us the evolution and maturing of the character.

It gives us the it's-not-all-about-Grace sobering moment.

Like her unsolved case that we'll call The Katherine Rose - and the father that sends her a rose each month to remind her.

Or her revelation that the new bar maid, Maggie (played fantastically by Kathy Baker), is also her brother-in-law's new main squeeze.

Much to her chagrin. And suspicion.

Sure, she acts like she's happy for Doug; that she digs he's finally found someone. Meanwhile Grace is running Maggie through Interpol given the first run through of her record came up clean.

Suspect much, Grace?

And yet, there is something quite genuine in what she's doing. Sure, she might be taking things a bit TOO far. Or abusing her authority as a detective.
But this IS Grace Hanadarko - when does she ... uh, not do that?

And this is, after all, the side of her family she has the most guilt for given Doug is the husband of her sister who died in the Oklahoma City bombing - which as we know Grace feels responsible. Clay is her guilty conscience. Anything that ties back to Clay is in her crosshairs. She is determined not to let anything happen to her family ever again. I kind of dig that about her.

I also suspect we aren't getting the full story with Maggie. Something seems ... fishy? Maybe I'm buying into Grace's paranoia, or maybe it's just the previews for NEXT week's ep.

In any event, I like the side of Grace we're seeing in this second half of the season - save for last week's return to ... ahem, the old days.

I also really, really, really, really want Leon to get off Death Row. The visit from his high school gal pal, and the video message from his high school reunion saying they love him ... awww!

C'mon, Leon. Fight for yourself, will you?

New episodes air Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can watch full episodes of the show anytime over on the show’s official Web site. You can also visit EmbraceYourGrace.com to share your stories of how you embrace your inner-Grace.

'My Boys' Returns with Love & Laughs

When My Boys kicks off its third season tonight, things are going to be a little different for PJ. Let's just say, her Facebook status is about to change. Recently, star Jordana Spiro spoke with bloggers about the change during a conference call, and PTR's own LillyKat took part. "When you get into a healthy, stable relationship some people say that that’s the kiss of death for comedy, but I sort of feel like it – it just opened it up to all the different issues that come into play in a relationship," Spiro said during the call. But don't expect PJ's new-found relationship to look like a typical TV romance. "They’re not a couple that displays public affection constantly, and they don’t like to rub it in their single friends’ faces that they’re a couple, and they’re not always sitting on each other’s laps, or fawning at each other, and I think that that’s kind of a fun way to be on a TV relationship." She also hinted that all of the characters will have some "pretty big changes" this season. But, she was quick to point out that while some things change, others stay the same. "I think you’ll wait and see, but as far as like the friendships go and the dynamic between the friends that does stay the same."

The first couple of seasons of the TBS comedy have seen PJ go through a few ups and downs on the dating front. Spiro says that she can relate to this -- and many other aspects -- of her character. "Everything about PJ is very similar to myself, and in fact when I initially read this script, one of the things that I loved about it so much and responded to so strongly was the fact that she just felt so close to me, and not only to me but to my other girlfriends," she recalled. Spiro also believes that her 30-something alter ego is maturing as the show goes along. "It was always [creator Betsy Thomas's] goal to watch PJ become more of a woman, and sort of try to [grow out of] this extended adolescence that PJ finds herself in, and I think we see that happening, but I think that happens in a very realistic pace." And with this gradual maturity comes this new-found relationship, but expect a few normal bumps along the way. "I think that the challenges that are indicative to any relationship, which is, you know, what is the speed with which you go – with which you progress a relationship, and when is it time to move in, when is it time to say I love you, when is it time to move to the next steps."

To find out who PJ is embarking on a stable relationship with (will it be Bobby, his brother or someone else entirely?), check out the My Boys 3rd season premiere tonight (Tuesday, 3/31) on TBS. For a recap of the show thus far, click HERE. Want more info on My Boys? Click on over to the official web site and the fan Facebook page.


'Chuck' Breaks Hearts

Photo: NBC

Sometimes, bad things happen to good shows (and conversely, good things happen to bad shows). This week's heavy-handed "48B" was a bad case of the former. We all knew that Sarah wasn't going to be replaced by the chick from Battlestar Galactica, so pretending like she was served as a minor distraction and a major annoyance. And why would a general at the NSA who was dead-set on separating Sarah and Chuck (even though just last week, everything seemed fine and dandy) change her mind with little more than a shoulder shrug and a simple "OK, you're right" after Chuck pointed out the relationship he has with Sarah made her better suited for her role as his protector? It just seemed way too simple even for this show. I can't say I'm complaining about the outcome, though; just the method in which we got there this week.

One thing is certain -- someone at Team Chuck better make things right between Devon and Ellie, STAT! He did nothing wrong at that bachelor party (in fact, he did everything right), but thanks to a bad run-in with a tranq gun and Lester's bachelor party virgin mishap with the camera, Ellie thinks differently. I haven't quite decided how they can fix this one, but that's why I don't get paid the big bucks. I just hope they write themselves out of this one ASAP and this doesn't turn into some sort of long, drawn-out Ellie/Awesome drama. Not cool.

And then there's the little matter of Chuck's dad. Obviously, something is about to go down there (and you didn't need the ohso revealing preview to tell you that). Poor Chuck -- he can't catch a break!

If you missed this week's episode ("Chuck Versus the Broken Heart"), you can watch it for free at Hulu.com.

Monday, March 30, 2009

'Friday Night Lights' Stay On for Two More Seasons

Yes, Virginia there is a TV god! Mike Ausiello at EW.com is reporting that his sources at NBC are confirming that PTR fave Friday Night Lights has been renewed for not one, but TWO more seasons (insert happy dance here). Special thanks to LillyKat for the heads up. Here's the full story from Ausiello:

It's official: 'Friday Night Lights' renewed for two more seasons
Mar 30, 2009, 06:58 PM | by Michael Ausiello
Categories: Friday Night Lights

Sources at NBC are now confirming what I first reported earlier this month: DirecTV and NBC have come to terms on a deal that ensures Friday Night Lights will stick around for not one but two more seasons!
And I repeat: Touch-freaking-down!
Although NBC declined to comment, my Peacock insider says the pact guarantees that FNL will see a fourth and fifth season of 13 episodes each. Similar to this season's shared-window experiment, DirecTV will get first crack at the episodes followed by an encore run on NBC.
Let's get a chant going in the comments section! And while you're at it, pray that the show's creative mastermind, Jason Katims, finds a way to juggle both FNL and that prospective Parenthood series he's producing for NBC. Ditto director Jeffrey Reiner, who's attached to NBC's Trauma pilot. Losing one would be devastating; losing both would be a catastrophe. So how about we lose neither? You with me?

Now, we just have to keep our collective fingers crossed that Cold Case, which seems to be experiencing a sort of rebirth as of late, gets the same glorious news.

Lilly's Checkmate

Remember the whole "possible versus probable" discussion when you were in school? Well, this week's episode of Cold Case was a textbook example of that classroom lesson. Is it possible that shards of glass from 50 years ago were hanging around in the vent next to the glass cabinet (No one cleaned or replaced the vent in 50 years?) and that one of those shards just happened to contain enough blood evidence that yielded DNA? Sure, it's possible. But, really, do we think it's very probable? I have to confess that this one part of the story (which turned out to be nothing more than a red herring anyway) really kinda irked me throughout the hour. Unfortunately for CC, this wasn't the only detail that irked me, so overall, I found the case to be pretty blah and forgettable. Fortunately for CC, they threw in a couple of stellar Lilly/Paul Cooper scenes that literally saved the episode.

The slow, but steady unfolding of the story between Lilly and her father has been nothing short of brilliant. It has showcased the immense talent of Kathryn Morris and recurring guest star Raymond J. Barry. It has stayed true to the character of Lilly -- the one we fell in love with way back in season one (you know, the confident, but cautious; fun, but sensible Lilly Rush who had a healthy devotion to her work). It has revealed more about the character in a few short meetings than a season did with the predictable, overdone story line between Lilly and her alcoholic mother. I see a beautiful, meaningful relationship between Lil and her dad blooming and if this trend continues, it will only strengthen the show. Perhaps the best piece of history between Lil and her dad was that little Christmas anecdote about Lilly taking her mom home after another bender and finding the bike on her front steps. Now, we all know it didn't come from mom. This little story was the missing piece in the history of Lilly and Paul Cooper. He hadn't abandoned her. He still cared about her through the years and he seems to want nothing more now than to reclaim the gap between Ellen's drunken stupors and his daughter's career as an esteemed cold case detective. Finally, someone in Lilly's life who is good for her -- who can ground her and hopefully, teach her how to trust again. This is the story line I have been waiting for.

Once again, HUGE standing ovation to the amazing Kathryn Morris for her quiet, yet spot-on performance. She alone could put this one in the "win" column, but her scenes with Raymond J. Barry were enough this week. CC moves to 18-0-1 on the season. Screencaps courtesy of RichE.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

'Chronicles' Ode to Charley

'Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles' Returns for Season 2By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Charley Dixon: R.I.P.

Thank you, Dean Winters.

The real Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles has finally stood up.

Bummer that we now have only two more eps in which to wonder: a) if season two is the last we'll see of the series; or, b) if we will be set-up for a third season. After lamenting the show's demise into mediocrity for several several mid-season eps, it's given us four solid episodes in a row. With Charley's return this week, it got even better.

Even if he didn't make it out alive.

Strangely, I was okay with that - which is a rarity given I genuinely DISlike when my fave characters meet their maker.

But Charley died protecting John - another sign of his devotion to the Connors.

And why he has always been one my favorite characters in the series.

He was the best thing to ever happen to Sarah and John. He believed in them wholeheartedly, cared for them genuinely, even bought the whole end of the world ticket - give or take a tense confusing moment or two, which included the death of his wife. To me, it was like having Kyle Reese around - a reminder of what is good and right with both Sarah and John, but also a reminder of the curse of their fate.

But Charley disappeared for most of this season.

And that was a mistake.

As we saw with this episode, it would've been better had he stuck around. We might have been spared the drippy dopey Sarah John Riley Jesse Tangentland route.

Charley wasn't a tangent.

He wasn't an unnecessary character.

He wasn't out of place.

He challenged Sarah.

He understood John.

He had depth.

He suffered.

He remained loyal, understanding and dedicated to the Connors.

He was, indeed, one of the very few people they could truly count on - and he didn't even come from the future.

I'm sorry that he won't be around anymore, but given the show's questionable status about being renewed, I find it fitting he was given a honorable death.

Now, there were other key elements in this week's ep that are setting up the finale quite nicely: John Henry went a little haywire after being hacked into from an outside source (read: there's another JH out there thanks to good ol' Myles Dyson's work); Derek and Cam having a heart to heart (okay, not really) about the fact Jesse was pregnant with Derek's baby in the future and miscarried upon her return from the doomed voyage of the Jimmy Carter; Cam going to rescue Derek after being tracked down by thugs working for the second JH (we think); Sarah realizing that whilst she doesn't have breast cancer as yet, she was implanted with a transmitter back during her kidnapping (you know, the confusing ep about what was real and what wasn't)

But really, this ep was about Charley for me.

And putting a great character to rest.

New episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles air Fridays at 8 p.m. on FOX. You can also watch full episodes online. Visit the Official Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Web site to catch up (or re-watch!)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

'Damages' Still Has Damage to Be Done

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

So, I have this problem.

I actually don't want to write about this week's ep of Damages until I see how it ends NEXT week.

It's a strange dilemma because I once again found myself completely in awe of the creative genius that IS this show. I have said it for two straight seasons: I just don't know how they do it.

How they manage to take all these threads and weave them so brilliantly into one complete tapestry in half the time it takes for a network show to even start to get interesting just amazes me.


Thank the TV gods FX renewed the show for seasons two AND three last year, otherwise I'd already be begging that it should come back for a third season.

Thankfully, we already know it will.

And you can bet that however this ends next week - Ellen shooting Patty; Tom having been fired/now in cahoots with Ellen to take out Patty; Walt Kendrick meeting his match in Patty with her proof he's manipulating the energy market AND poisoning the state of West Virgina; Daniel Purcell finally doing the right thing and having to live with his decision in the nine circles of hell; Phil and Patty starting the divorce of all divorces that is going to get even uglier than the UNR case - you KNOW we are going to be set-up for the third season.

And we will be kept waiting in grand anticipation.

Just like I am - right now - for the finale next week.

Which will be a special 90 minute whopper.


We've reached the penthouse floor of our second season elevator ride of suspense.

Step off. Stand in. Hang on. Watch out.

The special 90-minute second season finale of Damages airs next 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. You can also download full episodes of the show over at iTunes.

Win 'My Boys' Swag

We are less than a week away from the season premiere of My Boys. To celebrate this exciting occasion, PTR is giving you an opportunity to win a fabulous My Boys-related prize: this poster (left) of the cast signed by the cast courtesy of the awesome folks at Turner. So how do you get the chance to win the autographed poster, you ask? By determining which characters said what from a collection of quotes from the show.


To submit your entry, please send an email with your answers to: TVFan08@yahoo.com (that's a "zero" 8 before the "@" sign) with "My Boys Sweepstakes" as the subject.



And now, PTR proudly presents (with a special thanks to the folks at Turner)...

How well do you know your My Boys crew? PJ, Stephanie, Bobby, Kenny, Mike, Andy and Brendan all have their unique take on things. See if you can determine which of the seven friends said the quotes below.

1. “This job is horrible, but it is making me dumber at a rate that in a few weeks, I will be too dumb to notice.”

2. “You don’t share meals with someone you are not sleeping with. Except fries. Dudes share fries.”

3. “You know in your heart when it's the right person… but, what the hell do I know, I'm not the one getting married.”

4. “If you wouldn't mind marrying my dad, I think that would take a lot of the pressure off.”

5. “A British accent could make Jim Belushi sound cool.”

Send your guesses to TVFan08@yahoo.com and you could be the recipient of your very own autographed My Boys poster.

And, don't forget to tune in to the 3rd season premiere this Tuesday, March 31st on TBS. For more info on the new season, check out the official web site and the fan Facebook page.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

'Grace' Back to Her Old Tricks

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

All good things must come to an end.

Like detectives Grace Hanadarko and Ham Dewey remaining thankfully wonderfully blissfully apart.


Did I mention I miss Christina Ricci?

Like, a lot?

Abbey, come back!!!!!!

This week's episode of Saving Grace are the kinds I can do without.

Or, perhaps I should say the return to the smothering, over-the-top, obsessive compulsive codependent mess that is the relationship between Grace and Ham is something I can do without.

It was so refreshing NOT having them together, seeing both characters grow beyond each other's mess. Now that they're back, it's kind of making my skin crawl. Something about Holly Hunter and Kenny Johnson is just becoming too much. Is it possible to have too much chemistry? I dunno. If it is, they are guilty of it. This is no disrespect to either actor, but at some point, I just roll my eyes with their characters' constant drooling over each other with every look, every sentence, every head nod, every laugh, every glance ... just.stop.it. In fact, I'm now wanting IA to find a reason to send both Ham and Grace to opposite ends of the earth.

'Cause then we could bring back Abbey.

But seriously, since Ham and Grace were jonesing for each other from the get-go, what do we think the case about?


Lots of sex.

The 5-6-7-hour Tantra version(s) between a sex god and all of his goddesses - one of whom ends up dead in his pool ('cause when you're gettin' your freak on with everyone in the neighborhood - single, married or otherwise - they can just pop over whenever they feel like it). And since the show has a history of being in your face with and about every sexual encounter Grace has ever had, I found this episode one big let's-talk-about-sex-baby excuse.

And really, that premise got old after season one.

Plus, I had a hard time believing any police department in the nation would allow its detective to practically HAVE sex whilst questioning a suspect.

Or be taught the finer point Tantra.

Or whatever.

I usually am one for lending shows a lot of creative license, but this was just absurd. Again, was this an excuse to allow for more HHWMs? (Holly Hunter Wardrobe Malfunctions; read: have her wander around naked for half the ep?)

Just. Stop. It.

Seriously, we had excellent back-to-back-to-back eps that didn't focus on the Ham and Grace obsession or figuring out how they were going to bang each other in a new fashion.

That included the Bobby storyline, whereby he is continuing to recover from his deep cover assignment as part of a child sex ring. THIS kept me intrigued this week, and it was the highlight of the ep - including his release at the end to Grace (the only good thing she seemed to do for me this week).

I feel for Bobby. I really do. I also feel for Butch, who is stuck in the middle of his partner's delusions as a result of the horrors he encountered WHILST undercover. While I do hope their partnership survives, I confess I wouldn't be sorry if we found another reason to separate Ham and Grace.

Even without Abbey.

New episodes air Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can watch full episodes of the show anytime over on the show’s official Web site. You can also visit EmbraceYourGrace.com to share your stories of how you embrace your inner-Grace.

'Chuck' Searches for Orion

When the General stated that there is a secret war going on between the NSA/CIA and Fulcrum, I couldn't help but to have some flashes of my own: to Get Smart and the war between Chaos and Control. This of course, got me thinking about all of the parallels between Get Smart and Chuck. Chuck Bartowski, himself, is a modern-day Maxwell Smart and Sarah could certainly pass for Agent 99. OK, so there's no shoe to talk into, but there is a secret underground lair beneath the Orange Orange and this episode had a computer that you could talk into and it would talk back (sort of). And we can't forget all of Chuck's bloopers on the job that have almost cost him the mission over and over again ala Maxwell Smart. Of course, Chuck is playing off of many spy classics (James Bond, Get Smart, Charlie's Angels -- just to name a few), but this is why I enjoy it so much.

Is anyone else kinda miffed that we didn't get to learn Orion's true identity? I'm still holding out for a surprise ending where Orion wasn't in that helicopter, whereby, he's still alive and he and Chuck can still have that face-to-face meeting at long last. Yeah, I know. Highly unlikely, but a TV fan can dream, right? In any event, the secret to getting the Intersect out of Chuck's head did not blow up in that helicopter with Orion. Thankfully, the allusive spy planned ahead and left some clues under Chuck's pillow. There's only one little hitch: Chuck can't share them with anyone -- not even Sarah. And this is after she got all upset when he didn't trust her enough to tell her about his private search for Orion. It's never an easy road, I'm afraid. Then again, where would the fun be in that?

And speaking of fun, how clever was that Beverly Hills "Buy More" sign? It read:

Beverly Hills
Because you can

Obviously, it's supposed to be read as: Beverly Hills, buy more because you can! Too funny.

If you missed this week's episode ("Chuck Versus the Predator"), you can watch it for free at Hulu.com.

Monday, March 23, 2009

'Case' Plays Mind Games

There must be some sort of unwritten law of television that a show starts to get awesome again just as talk about its not so promising future arises. Clearly, this recent spat of Cold Case episodes were written and filmed before the "possible cancellation" talk started, so it's not like they stepped up their game just to prove a point. But somehow, by chance, the show has done just that and it has made the dreary news, well, even dreary-er. This week's excellent episode was an exercise in good story telling, lots of Lilly involvement, Scotty adding his own personal experience with schizophrenia without hitting us over the head with it, and so many good scenes that it would take me several posts to discuss all of them in detail. I honestly haven't been this excited about the show since season 2. Three weeks in a row of stellar outings -- perhaps, CC should take random hiatuses more often (totally kidding, CBS).

It's hard to put my finger on what it was about this story that made it so special. Maybe it was the "prove that the schizophrenic kid didn't do it" aspect (as opposed to the show's usual prove who did it formula) or the clever manner in which the story unfolded via typical flashbacks as well as a look inside Pete's convoluted mind. I LOVED the way Mr. Exley was a combination of Pete's deceased brother and the manufacturer of the playground equipment they used to play on together. And I LOVED the way the "inner plane" was really just a map of the same playground equipment. It was just so well done. And can you believe how fabulous Lilly looked through Pete's eyes??!! So, the folks at CC do know how to make her look as beautiful as she is! Who'd have thunk it? Actually, she looked great throughout the episode this week (aside from the ridiculous clown make-up they had on her during that court scene and the ensuing one in the hallway). I'm not one to discuss the superficial, but I thought I'd give the CC crew props because they always get criticized for the way they have Lil looking.

Is anyone starting to think that Lil and ADA Curtis Bell are hitting it off really well? I can't figure out if the show is trying to hook them up or not. Although, they do seem to have him in the show for random reasons and those reasons always lead to scenes with Lil, so going off of past experience, all signs are pointing that way. I like him. I just hope he doesn't "Kite her" because I'm still not over that relationship.

CC easily jumps to 17-0-1 on the season. Screencaps courtesy of RichE.

BTW, series star Kathryn Morris appeared on Regis & Kelly this morning where she revealed that the 2-part season finale will use songs from the band Pearl Jam and will reveal secrets from Lilly's past. She also teased that Lil will show up in a flashback. She promised that it's an intense race to solve the murder of a female cadet at a military academy whose journey parallels that of Lilly's. Let's hope it's as stellar as this recent run of episodes!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

'Chronicles' Strong Again

'Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer


John Connor finally grew a pair.

As I said last night, Twitter-ing through the latest offering from Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Why oh why did it take almost the entire second season to get to this point?

I have no idea.

But this is now, by my count, the third strong episode in a row whereby the show seems to have: a) righted itself; b) stopped dwelling in its own emo-ness; c) quit exploring Sarah and Derek Tangentland; and d) finally gotten back to its core fundamentals with regards to the fight to save mankind.

And did we mention John finally grew a pair?

With both FOX and the show's own writers having told creator Josh Friedman that his mid-season Sarah eps were a snore to watch, and thus, NOT the strongest offerings ... well, they were right. I finally feel as if I'm back to watching the T:SCC I started watching LAST season, yet couldn't figure out where it went THIS season.


- John being on to the Jesse and Riley chronicles: FINALLY, he shows us once again why he becomes the leader of mankind.

- Jesse offed by Derek: Amen to that. I've long wanted her out of the picture simply because she took the focus off our core characters and/or seemed to have such a flimsy connection to past, present and future. Plus, she served as Derek's booty call, which I could've done without. Kudos to Derek for manning up and knowing she needed to go even if John agreed to spare her life AFTER he confronted her on Riley's death.

- Jesse's sub mission in the future: There have been too few of these future sequences to remind us of what it is at stake. Not to mention they give us additional context of how the resistance uses the "good" terminators, and the varying degrees in which they get along - or not - WITH the "skins." Ironically, as annoying as the Jesse character has been for me in the PRESENT timeline, I actually came to like her a ton in the FUTURE timeline.

- Cam v. Jesse (future): Any time we see Cameron in the future is a highlight. Actually, any time we see Cameron being Cameron is a highlight.

- T-1000 Magic: I dig every time they throwback to the T2 film and give us some liquid metal.

- John Henry's Toy Shop: He continues to evolve in a way that seems to suggest he's going to get up out of that chair. Even the Shirleymeister seems to be wondering whether she can contain his ever growing appetite to investigate - which naturally exposes some of her ... well, let's just say tricks of the Skynet make-humans-disappear trade. Plus, I just enjoy watching Garret Dillahunt give us the gentle, kind, boyish JH, then switch to the inquisitive, investigative, ominious JH. It's like you want to hug him, but you fear him at the same time. Er, at least I do.

It's episodes like this that make me want to see the show make it to a third season.

New episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles air Fridays at 8 p.m. on FOX. You can also watch full episodes online. Visit the Official Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Web site to catch up (or re-watch!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

The 'Bones' in the Salt

It's bad enough waking up to ice on the roads, but getting out to the truck only to find a dried-out body in the salt that's suppose to be melting that ice is a whole new definition of a rough morning. Fortunately for us, it did make for an interesting case. Here's a look at this week's best and worst.

As usual, there were many elements that could fit this bill, but Angela and Sweets pretending to be married in order to nail the chiropractor for the murder of a young pregnant teen was the best part of this episode. I laughed at their banter-filled exchange in the waiting room, but it was their scene inside the examine room that stood out. I loved Angela's "He spends a lot of time on the net -- if you know what I mean" and Sweets's painful adjustments all in the name of justice. Good stuff. Honorable mention goes to Bones for thinking that Clinton was former President Clinton. Hi-Larious!! Second honorable mention goes to Booth's excellent scene at the end with the younger Clinton.

This one is easy -- Angela refusing to confront her hurt feelings and turning to a romp with Hudgins instead. Now normally, I would applaud any effort to put these two back together (I'm still not happy with the show's decision to break them up during the season premiere), but this was all moment and no future. It works for Angela, but not so much for Hodgins. So, he's back to pining over her and holding onto an earring that his heart just can't allow him to give back to her. And just when he was starting to get over her.

Something about that "re-hydrating the flesh" scene just didn't sit well with me. Thankfully, I wasn't eating dinner while watching this time (I know, it sounds like I'm making progress, but it's merely a coincidence). Blame that body- in- the- fish- tank shot about midway through. Overall, though, this outing was a bit lower on the "Ugly" scale than previous ones.

If you missed last night's episode ("The Salt in the Wounds"), check it out for free at Hulu.com.

PTR Exclusive: It's Me and Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet's 'It's Me or the Dog'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Confession: I'm now following AP.

No, not the Associated Press.

Animal Planet.

True, Damages and The Closer it is not.

But Victoria Stilwell and It's Me or the Dog it is.

And I'm hooked.

It 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 (yes, I've said this before, but it's worth saying again).

It's Me or the Dog just wrapped up airing its first full season here in the US and has begun filming its second season. If you haven't watched the show, you should - and this is coming from a cat person. I confess Victoria makes me feel as if I could become a dog person, and she recently took time out of her rather busy schedule to chat with me about the show, the differences in training methods available to dog owners today, and what she hopes viewers are able to get from the program.

How’s the show going for you thus far? You’re now filming the second season, correct?

Yes. What’s happened in the last two years [on Animal Planet] is you've actually seen four seasons of programs that were filmed in England [and were the English versions of the show]. Now, we’ve finished the first season here in the United States and just started filming the second season. There’s going to be 25 episodes in the second season, with five clip shows that are sort of the “Best Of.” I think it’s going to be a very exciting season. We’ve got some great families lined up, some great dogs, some very interesting problems. We’re filming pretty much until the new year, but the new season should start airing in June.

Do you have additional celebrities coming in for this season, or do you know as yet?

Yeah, we might have. I’m not allowed to say at the moment who they are, though.

Ah, got it. And you film the show in both Los Angeles and Atlanta?

Yes. So we film, like, 10 episodes in LA and 10 in Atlanta. And if there is a third series, we might travel a bit. But with family commitments, it’s sort of important to keep it simple.

Do you get back to England much these days?

I used to. This year I haven’t; last year I didn’t. But we are going in a couple of week’s time. It's pretty tough being away from mum, my sister and my family over there. So when we do go, it’s extra special.

What’s the biggest difference between the US and UK versions – or is there a difference? Is it the people? The pets?

The British programs were half an hour, and the American programs are an hour long. So, you see more of the training process. And, some of the comments I’ve received is that the British program seemed to be a bit edgier. I think the only real reason for that is because things had to be crammed into a shorter amount of time.

With regards to dog owners in both places, there are very few differences, more similarities. Both Britain and the United States are passionate, dog-loving nations, but I think dog owners in Britain enjoy a big freedom with their dogs because most parks and green spaces in Britain are “off leash.” So, you don’t have to take your dog to a dog park, for example, like you have to do here in the States. So, in a way, there’s less leash aggression. Dogs are able to greet each other under their own terms, and have the space to increase distance if they want to while not being tied to their owner at the other end of the leash – which can cause problems, especially if the dog is uncomfortable in another dog’s presence. The leash laws are tough here [in the States]. I'd say that is probably one of the [biggest] differences.

Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet's 'It's Me or the Dog'I would also say that in Britain, British dog owners have embraced the positive reward training methods more than American dog owners have, and I think that is because the information has been available for longer [in Britain]. They seem to understand that the positive, reward-based training is the better way, now. I was actually quite shocked when I first came over to the states to see how traditional the training still was. And, unfortunately, the dominance-based training is based on highly flawed research that was done in the 1970s and has now been debunked by not just the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) but also top behaviorists and methodologists in the world. So, we’re moving into a new era of training our dogs.

What do find the most challenging aspect of what you do – both as a trainer and what you do on the show?

I would say motivating owners to work at the training after I've left is the biggest wall I have to climb.

The follow-up visits always show us how the owners are doing after you’ve left. You can see whether they’ve stuck with what you’ve told them to do, or gone back to their old habits. Are you disappointed when they do take a few steps backwards?

Yes, of course. But, as soon as I go into a house that very first time – within the first hour – I know whether these people are going to work at it or not.

Is it just a vibe – a feeling that you sense?

Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet's 'It's Me or the Dog'Absolutely. It’s a feeling. When you train to become a trainer, you have to be a really keen observer of human behavior, and I don’t believe you can be a good trainer without loving people as well. So, I’m a keen observer, and I’ve studied human behavior. I feel like a detective when I go in [to some of the homes] because I pickup clues from the environment at all times. On the show, it might just look like I come in and chat [with the family], but I’m actually scanning [the environment]. I get a lot of information very quickly from people’s body language, what they tell me, their attitude, so I pretty much know who is going to work and who is not.

At the same time, I always try to work so hard to motivate people, and it is disheartening when I do go back and some people haven’t tried. Sometimes, I’ll be a little tough on them. Other times, I’ll be like, ‘Alright. Let’s do it again. Let’s try it again.’ At the end of the day, it’s up to owners whether they want to continue. I just don’t ever like leaving knowing somebody is just not going to do the work because their animals are really worth it - and they’re going to have an easier life because of it.

Do you find that some of your celebrity clients, like actors, are more suited to work at the training – given that in their profession they are used to being directed on what to do – as compared to the regular family off the street? Or is there much of a difference?

I really don’t see too much of a difference. It comes down to personality. Now, the differences that I have seen are, for example, when I was training in Manhattan, and I would go to the Upper East Side into these incredibly wealthy family homes where the maid [or housekeeper] was in charge of the dog, not the owner. Even though my consultation was with the owner, I would always say that we need to have the housekeeper or whomever [is going to handle the dog] along [for the training]. In those circumstances, I would get less success than going to the Bronx or Harlem or the Lower East side with people who were working with the dogs themselves. In that respect, I did see a difference.

But every problem is unique, and there are totally different techniques within one behavior methodology. It’s not just about rewarding with treats, for example. There’s so much [to explore] with the reward-based training methods, so many different techniques people can use. That’s why I like it. Every single consult is tailored differently so that every single dog is successful. That’s why I think it’s a really great [method] for people because there are so many different things they can try. And it's all positive.

Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet's 'It's Me or the Dog'What has been the most rewarding or favorite part of doing the show?

It really is seeing the dogs and the owners blossom, and the massive improvement in behavior problems. The success of that is fantastic for me – not just on television but in my private consultations as well. The biggest success is keeping the dogs in their homes, and improving the lives of the dogs and their families. That’s why I do this job. I believe we have domesticated these animals, and we have a responsibility to treat them with dignity and respect and do what we can as owners to keep them in our homes rather than see them as disposable property to chuck into a shelter if things go wrong. That’s what I like about my program – it’s information that anybody can use with their dog. It’s like people training for dogs. Anybody can watch the show, pick up a technique, go back to their dog and use it. It’s great take home information.

What are your inspirations – either in your work or in life in general?

My inspirations … I just want to provide people with the right kind of education so that there’s less animals given up to shelters. I want there to be a resource that can help people. I think that’s a massive inspiration for me.

But I suppose personally-wise, I’m a mother, and the biggest thing in my life is to make my child’s life the best it can possibly be. My daughter is my true inspiration. My husband as well is the most amazing man – we’ve been together now for 12 years. I think [my inspiration] is my family – there’s nothing better than family.

I know the show keeps you awfully busy, but is there anything else you’re working on?

Yes, I am actually working on another book. I’m very excited about it because you basically follow me through a whole bunch of case studies. It's my experience, and you can get a lot of great information about how to tackle a particular behavior problem. So, that’s in the works. It’s tentatively called “Positively" and should be out next year.

We're also starting the Victoria Stilwell Think Dog Foundation in June. We want to raise money for the smaller rescue shelters. The larger rescues always get considerable funding, and it's always the smaller shelters that [tend to] lose out. But, not only that, we [also] want to raise money for various foundations that work with dogs and disabled children, for example, or hearing dogs for hearing-impaired people – that kind of thing. So, we're going to be raising money for assistance dogs and their organizations as well as the rescues.

We here at PTR look forward to the second season of It's Me or the Dog and thank Victoria for taking the time to chat. Tune in Saturdays at 9 p.m. to Animal Planet for It's Me or the Dog. And be sure to visit Victoria's official Web site, VictoriaStilwell.com to catch up on all-things Victoria. For more of Victoria's insights from this Q&A, you can also visit BlogTails by Love Da Pawz.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

'Damages' Juicy Bits

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

Wait. Time out. Flag on the play.

So, Ellen DOES shoot Patty?!?!?!??!?! There isn't someone else in the room and/or Patty doesn't stumble into the elevator in shock from being a witness to Ellen's vengeful side?!?!?!??!

Egads, folks.

How the frick did I miss THAT?

I thought she was just ... that there wasn't ... that she had only ... oh, ne'er mind.


This would again be why I love this show: just when I think I've got something sorted out, it turns me around and throws me for a loop.

We only have TWO episodes left.

And they're being set-up to be another pair of humdingers given: a) Claire Maddox is now ousted as head legal counsel UNR after trying to pull off her own coup to take over the corporation given her recent discovery that Walter Kendrick is an arse; and, b) Phil's affair is headline news, thanks to Ellen's PI photos of Phil smooching his Londong Love ending up on Patty's desk.

Yes, this week was juicy.

But I fear we might be done with Marcia Gay Harden.

Total speculation on my part, but her going to Patty to tell her to nail Kendrick seemed to suggest her time was done - sort of a graceful exit stage left.

And that's a bummer.

If she does pop up again, that will be fine by me. MGH was a pleasure to watch, and I confess I liked they brought her around to be one of the good guys in the end (give or take one's definition of "good").

And the tension between Patty and Ellen almost boiled over this week, eh? We obviously know it will, but the final pieces of Ellen's rage seem to be falling into place.


Under the surface.

Hardly containable.

And now quite obvious to Patty.

Glenn Close and Rose Byrne have manifested their tit-for-tat this season even better than they did the first season. The two confrontations this week - in the office, after Patty pulls the investigator off the Frobisher investigation much to Ellen's ire; and, Patty at home, in a subdued drunken stupor, having torn her closet apart after the blowup with Phil's affair, having called Ellen to tell her she knows she's the one who sent the affair photos to her in the first place - were so perfectly done. There is - as always - a certain controlled stillness to their scenes together that makes one's skin crawl; the tension just burns through the screen. This really is the consummate lesson in the less-is-more approach.

And that's just what we have left: less.

Only two episodes to wrap up this second season.

It's going to get ugly.

And that is always a good thing on 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. You can also download full episodes of the show over at iTunes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'Trust Me's' Double Whammy

'Trust Me' on TNTBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

So, it's taken me most of the day to figure out what I wanted to say with regards to the two new episodes of Trust Me that aired back-to-back this week.

And, I'm still not sure.

The show has slipped into being too predictable for me, and I'm afraid the scenarios in this week's eps weren't much of an exception.

First episode: Conner bonking the marketing director of a big time account the team needs to secure in order to survive ('cause we recall they lost Arc Mobile). Turns out she dumped the last agency because ... uh, the relationship didn't work out.

Gee, we couldn't see that coming, could we?

No offense on Amy Pietz's portrayal of Diane the Dish, but the minute she slithers in and starts flirting with everybody, I'm like, "So, this is going to end with her sleeping with Conner, then dumping Conner, then ruining the account for Mason."

And for the most part, I was right.

Except in the end, when the boys actually stick it to Diane and turn one of Conner's midnight romps with her IN to the actual advertising campaign - which she fumes over but is outvoted by HER boss.

I swear, she was even more paranoid schizophrenic than Sarah.

And annoying.

Seriously, does Conner actually think anything through?

Second episode: Conner and Mason - whilst on assignment in the middle of Nowhere Nebraska studying focus groups for aforementioned Diane's account - run into Conner's former art director partner.

You know, the one before Mason.

Whom he apparently ditched some years back when he realized the guy had zilch-o talent but didn't have the cajones to actually own up and say it to his face.

And Stu (remember Stu?) fired him.

Well, fast forward to Conner feeling all guilty for how it all went down, and thus, gee we couldn't see that coming conning Mason into hiring him onto the team only to have his work be just as bad as it was a decade ago, and Conner still not having the cajones to man up to get rid of him.

Now there were a couple of charmers in these episodes - mostly concerning Sarah Clarke's Erin (again). Seriously, I really can't get enough of the scenes between her and Eric McCormack. They have got some true husband-wife chemistry if I've ever seen it.

And Sarah's attempt to get Rolling Rock (yes, the beer) to become one of Mason's accounts was funny - especially in her attempts to keep it secret and/or speak in the-crow-is-in-the-barn code.

And Conner's former partner really WAS a decent guy. Kinda made you feel bad he had been lead to believe he really had talent to work in the advertising industry. He almost seemed TOO decent to be part of the insanity.

And the first episode finally gave us (er, me) the magic Mason/Conner moment showing why they should even BE together: they are a really good team when they want to be.

But really, I was left mostly underwhelmed again by what was on display. It continues to be a shame, too, because I think the cast gels really well together. All the actors get that rapid fire delivery of lines, the quick pacing of the scenes, the never-ending source of energy required to work in advertising.

Unfortunately, the show is just stuck on the Mason has problem/Conner tries to fix problem/Conner makes problem worse/ya-da, ya-da formula that plays too much like a one-trick pony.

**PROGRAMMING NOTE: Next new episode of Trust Me airs on March 31st, with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 9 p.m. You can learn more about the series by visiting the Trust Me Official Web site.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

'Deadliest' Boys are Back

Discovery Channel's 'Deadliest Catch'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Does anyone else find it a little bad omen-ish that the new season of Deadliest Catch premieres on Tuesday, April 14th - the 97th anniversary of when Titanic struck an iceburg and ...uh, sunk?


So, just me then (and my obsession with the REAL Titanic, not the Leonardo DiCaprio/Kate Winslet version).

Anyhooooo, I'm thrilled the boys are back. There's a new boat this year: Lisa Marie.

Now, I don't know how I feel about having another "Marie" boat in the lineup. The Cornelia Marie is my favorite, and this just seems like encroachment.

Speaking of the CM, what is going to be up with Phil, eh? Will he be back? Will it be senior deckhand Murray in charge once again?

In any event, mark your calendars to tune in for the fifth season premiere Deadliest Catch Tuesday, April 14th at 9 p.m. on Discovery Channel. Visit the official Deadliest Catch Web site for the latest on the captains and crews of the Northwestern, Cornelia Marie, Time Bandit, Wizard, Early Dawn and North American and the new boat, Lisa Marie.

A 'Grace'ful Turn of Events

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

So, Abbey was IA?

And Captain Perry is still involved WITH Mr. Boss IA?

And now Bobby's cover is blown? (And given he's in a pretty a bad way, tweaked out from his deep cover gig running a sex salve operation, he thinks Butch has stepped out on him with his family???)

And Leon Cooley would rather stay on death row than be granted clemency?

This week's ep of Saving Grace was awfully good.

Like, wow good.

Seriously, I have not enjoyed the show this much in consecutive viewings EV-ER.

I so did not see the Abbey IA thing coming nor did I think Captain Perry was still dating Mr. Boss IA. Since we hadn't seen much of that story since the very beginning of the season, I confess I thought they dropped it ('cause, hey, Cold Case wrote the book on that approach).

Thankfully, that would be a big no.

Not only that, tying the Perry/IA story to the Abbey Charles character was brilliant. I feel like Creator Nancy Miller gave us more with Christina Ricci in three episodes than we got with Grace in the entire first season.


Given the choice to go the IA route with Abbey, I now have no idea how they would bring her back without having it be confrontational bad juju vibe given she IS Internal Affairs.

But I still hope they do.

I just loved what she brought to the show. She held her own in the best possible way. And she made Grace better - even though Grace now wants to wash herself off in a saline solution for having been THAT close to a rat.

And how about Bobby? During our visit to the Saving Grace set last summer, Gregory Cruz told us he wouldn't been seen a whole lot until the second part of the season - but he didn't tell us how or why.

Boy, now do I get it.

Not only does he seem creepily disturbed from his deep cover assignment whereby he set up meetings in an underage boys/sex slave operation, he is peeved (or perhaps delusional) that his ol' partner Butch - whom he asked wholeheartedly to keep an eye on his family whilst he was undercover - took it a little too far.

As in, started having an affair with Bobby's wife.

Now, I think Bobby is suffering from some post-traumatic stuff, and thus, is making a whole lot of assumptions that are not valid. Butch has never struck me as that kind of guy nor would he ever step out on his partner in that way. If anything, Butch is the guy you can count on (give or take his past romps with Grace, which are probably more Grace's fault than his).

Still, Bobby has always been the calm, cool collected presence in the squad. It was a nice turn of events to see the character go a little dark, a little uncertain, a little tweaked. Good for Gregory Cruz.

And Leon ... Leon, Leon, Leon.

Now we know for sure why he's ended up on death row - and, more importantly, why he should NOT be there.

In jail for killing a girl with his car but of whom actually stepped out in front of the car - on purpose. Mom just didn't want to admit that on the stand, and instead, wanted Leon to pay for her own denial.

Okay, bad enough.

But had he not been in prison for that charge, he would've never killed a prison guard WHILST inside - which is the kicker in the case.

I love that Rhetta is taking the bull by the horn, trying to help Leon (alongside Grace's brother, Father John), whilst Grace just remains steadfast in denial. Rhetta has always been such a strong character for me, and any time she gets to hold Grace accountable is a pleasure to watch.

I half think she should get to meet Angel Earl just for being such a good sport.

All in all, this was a great episode. I may even consider it for our PTR Best Ep countdown in the summer - and THAT would be a first.

New episodes air Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can watch full episodes of the show anytime over on the show’s official Web site. You can also visit EmbraceYourGrace.com to share your stories of how you embrace your inner-Grace.

Monday, March 16, 2009

'Case' Goes from 'Cold' to Hot

Sqeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! OK fangirl moment over, but you can't say you weren't warned. This is the Cold Case that made me proclaim it the best crime show on TV. This is the Cold Case that made me fall in love with it seasons ago. And this is the Cold Case that I will dearly miss should CBS decide to cancel it in a cost-cutting measure. This is, hands down, my favorite episode of the season thus far (and when it's all said and done, I have a strong feeling that it will end up being my absolute favorite of the entire season). Hmmm... my favorite last season was a departure from the usual formula. In fact, looking back, I always enjoy the episodes that think outside the box and deliver a fresh, emotional look at the CC world.

There were so many good things about this outing. I learned that Cold Case is clever -- really clever. I had completely forgotten about the mystery woman last week who showed up at PPD looking for Will. She specifically asked Lilly where she could find him and Lil even gave a "that's odd" look. I figured we wouldn't get the full story by the end of that hour, but I never imagined that it would tie in to this week's excellent outing. I love the thinking ahead and laying the groundwork for Jeffries's shooting. But this wasn't the only clever element to the episode -- I liked the "March 15, 2009... 5 minutes ago." What a great way to bring in the usual CC fare without being boxed in by the formula.

I never thought this was the end for Jeffries. I always thought that he would pull through. But, the show did find other ways to surprise me: the connection between Pops's and Jeffries, Lilly's father and her emotional response to his gift, Scotty and Frankie continuing to test the waters, and Lilly shooting the younger brother. I think the best part of this episode, though, was the emotion. There was emotion from the characters for their fallen comrade, emotion from Lilly for that gift, emotion for the loss of Pops, and emotion from every single character in the episode (even the ADA). I have been lamenting the lack of emotion in this show for the last few seasons (with the exception of a couple of episodes), so it was nice to have it back this week. CC can rip your heart out and then break it in a million pieces when it wants to and that is what makes it So. Damn. Good!

This pretty much goes without saying, but this episode lands squarely in the "win" column pushing CC to 16-0-1. Screencaps courtesy of RichE.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

'Case' Going Cold?

Kathryn Morris of 'Cold Case'
By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Die-hard Cold Case viewers should prepare themselves: there is a very real possibility the show will not be renewed for a seventh season.

And really, I can't say I'm all that surprised.

I have long lamented here at PTR the show is not what it once was, has slipped into predictable procedural mediocrity and is showing its age. Given the new, fresh and far more intriguing dramas that are abundantly popping up on cable these days, Cold Case seems like a relic. Even editor-in-chief TVFan is watching and/or reviewing out of loyalty these days, NOT because the show is doing anything spectacular.

And while the show does seem somewhat reinvigorated this season, and thus, may still be pulling in respectable ratings, the show costs a freakin' fortune to produce. Not to mention series lead Kathryn Morris pulls down almost $200k an episode nowadays (a raise she got last year in the strike-shortened fifth season).

Deserving? Yes.

In times like these, not good thing.

Let me put it this way: if Mark Burnett can give Les Moonves another Survivor, or something that is faster-cheaper-more-popular, he'll take it over trying to justify keeping a costly procedural that isn't doing anything for anyone outside of their die-hard audience. Les has a history of not being afraid to cancel shows. That is a hard pill to swallow, but that is the reality of NETWORK television these days.

Thank goodness for cable.

So, in reading this article by the scooper of the century Micahel Ausiello, I can't say I'm all that surprised that Cold Case is potentially - emphasizing potentially - facing cancellation.

The good news is this frees Morris to go on to bigger and better things that utilize her talent far more extensively than what has been on display in these last few seasons.

THAT, as far as we're concerned, is not a bad thing.

Cold Case airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS.

'Chronicles' Gets Back to Business

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Two in a row.

Wonder if we can make it three?

With the news that the ratings for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles actually inched upwards this week, it seems as if the show is finally pulling out of its steep nosedive into mediocre boredom.

That is not to say it's safe from cancellation, or it will make it to a third season. But what it does confirm is the show does its best work when there is: a) some action; b) some suspense; c) tying the future to the immediate present (as in, flashforward sequences); d) Cameron plays an integral role to the storyline at hand; e) there is a sense of urgency to the mission; and f) NO ONE - Sarah, John, whomever - is moping around, trying to play Jedi mind games with one another.

All of which we got once again in this past week's episode.

Aside from Derek still being off on his own, doing his own thing with the ever-annoying-needs-to-go-back-to-the-future Jesse, we got a key flashforward sequence as to a mission Jesse undertook in the future on a submarine ride into Skynet territory. This is going to prove integral to NEXT week's episode given the "package" the team was to retrieve is set to have all heck break loose.

(Creepy, too, that yet another "good" terminator was helming the sub - to precision. Couldn't help but think of the film U571 when he took it to within 10 cm of hull crush depth to avoid Skynet detection.)

I personally find these flashforward sequences fascinating, fun to watch and critical to reminding us all of what the overarching theme of the show is supposed to be about: the fight to save mankind.

We also had a really intriguing sequence with John Henry, the Shirleymeister ('cause I just still can't bring myself to call her Catherine Weaver ... ugh), and Agent Ellison whereby John Henry playfully tricks Shirley's daughter into coming down into the basement for a game of hide and seek, then wouldn't give up the locale of where she was hiding when confronted by Ellison. The Shirleymeister, being a machine herself, was completely fascinated and/or game to play along with John Henry to find Savannah, whilst Ellison was about ready to Chernobyl on both of them.

Machine v. Machine = calm, methodical, precise.

Machine v. Human = emotional, irritated, desperate.

We have had far too FEW of these sequences in recent episodes, and not enough of a reminder of what in the flippin' heck Sarah and Co. are fighting to protect, and how dangerous the world is set to become when the machines take over.

We also got to see lots of Cameron who, again, was forced to defend herself against accusations that, while seeming to be the obvious conclusion in which to make regarding the death of Riley, were in fact untrue. We remember the skepticism with which Cameron has always been viewed - by Sarah, by Derek, by whomever. John is always her fiercest defender - and that was the case once again in this ep. The CPC: Cameron Persecution Complex the team has always gets my dander up, and it keeps me on edge and engaged - something I have NOT been in several eps.

And for all of us who feel there is some sort of strangelove between Cameron and John, her impersonation of calling into Riley's foster dad to deflect the fact she is missing, with the "I love you, John" line thrown in at the end ... awww!

Yes, I still am a Cam/John shipper.

Yes, I LIKE those sequences.

And whenever we can tap into the very unique bond they share (as was done LAST week as well) ... whether you are a shipper or not, THAT is a good thing.

New episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles air Fridays at 8 p.m. on FOX. You can also watch full episodes online. Visit the Official Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Web site to catch up (or re-watch!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Foaming at the 'Bones'

Is it just me, or does this show take the longest in-season hiatuses?? The last time we had a new episode was February 19th. Before that it was January 22nd and before that, November! Fox has promised a long run from here on out, so let's hope there aren't any more interruptions. This week's outing, directed by series star David Boreanaz, had a little bit of everything, so here's a look at what worked, what didn't and what had me reaching for the Pepto.

Simply having the show back would have been good enough for me, but thankfully for the rest of you, they threw in some funny scenes, an intriguing case and a really sweet car (which, incidentally, led to a great closing scene with Booth and Bones acting more married than partnered). Overall, I think I enjoyed the fact that Bones finally acknowledged that Booth is better at something. She's so focused on book smarts and her research/academic accomplishments that she fails to give Booth credit where credit's due. He has a set of skills that no book or recognition is going to give her. Period. Now that she realizes this, she might begin to appreciate what he does a bit more.

Ever since TV Guide (WARNING: Links to major spoiler!!) spilled the beans about the season finale, I feel like we're watching a countdown to the big reveal. Thus, I found myself seeing meaning in all sorts of things that I would have dismissed as benign conversation in the past. For instance, I spent so much time analyzing Bones's obsession with learning how to read and relate to people the way Booth does. I'm telling you, I tried to forget that spoiler. I really did. But TV Guide wasn't content to simply spill the beans in a column in the print edition. They dedicated an entire cover and story on the spoiler a couple of weeks later (not that I'm complaining because it was great to open my mailbox and find Booth and Bones inside). Now, it's all I can think about when I'm watching the build-up. Ugh.

Call it bad timing, kismet or the TV gods' sense of humor, but I always seem to be eating dinner when I watch this show! Why??!! Actually, this one wasn't too bad in the stomach turning department despite that morbid plunge and the ensuing green foaming bones. Neither got me this week (maybe I'm getting a tougher stomach?). I didn't even flinch when the disintegrating bones turned into hard shell candy. The thing that got me this week was that horrible broken tibia in the beginning of the episode. It creeped me out so badly, I'm still nursing a nauseous stomach. I think it's the pain element to it rather than the gross-out factor.

If you missed last night's episode ("The Bones that Foams"), check it out for free at Hulu.com.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

'Damages' Begins the Countdown

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


How can that be? Have we zoomed through this second season of Damages THAT quickly?

We must have.

But you know that ol' saying: time flies when you're having fun.

Since I keep saying I want to get to the end, I should be happy that we're on the home stretch - especially after seeing Patty walk out of the now infamous flash-forward Showdown at the OK Hotel Room sequence this week ... splattered in blood, speechless and practically feinting into the elevator.


Who the in the heck does Ellen shoot NOW that we know it's NOT Patty?!?!?!?

I know: I'll just have to wait and see.

But aside from that humdinger of a reveal, we had a whole bunch of delicious goodies this week - not all of which were related to the ongoing war between Patty Hewes and UNR. Props to Tate Donovan for directing another fantastic episode.

Good News: Looks as though Claire Maddox is finally seeing the light that her UNR boss, Walter Kendrick, is ... uh, let's just call him an evil destroyer of mankind, shall we? He might as well be. Poisoning people. Causing energy shortages for profit. Having people killed. Seriously, does he work for Skynet?

Bad News: Claire realizes this thanks to hooking back up with Daniel Purcell, who I believe we can't trust further than we can throw.

Good News: Ellen finally has a breakdown, which releases so much of that pent up emotion that has been eating her alive since: a) going back to work undercover for the FBI to nail Patty; and, b) the death of fiancé doc David.

Bad News: She has this breakdown with Wes. He then tells creepy detective dude (who I finally learned is named Rick) that he should back off of Ellen and quit thinking she knows he's involved in the death of David (among other things). Naturally, Rick isn't buying it and now appears to hold Wes ransom with some sort of something or other from his own cop past, and thus, will not let the kill-Ellen-now thing go. I'm thinking, "Hey Wes, why don't you just do us all a favor and off Rick, eh?"

More Bad News: Wes was already spying on Ellen from the time of her first "meet" with the FBI guys in the limo at the end of the first season.

But perhaps what was most interesting this week was the storyline about Patty's son, Michael, having an older woman as his girlfriend.

As in, he's 18 and she's ... let's call it 40.

That dinner scene was priceless. I think you could actually see some steam coming out of Patty's ears. Or how about Patty's confrontation of Ms. 40-Year-Old in the art gallery: "You will break his heart. And when you do, I'll tear your face off."

Only Patty Hewes could get away with saying that - or perhaps I should say even think she COULD say something like that.

We recall last season Michael was a bit of a problem child. Lots of rebellion. And we know Patty took some drastic actions to try and get him under control (remember the intentional kidapping?). However, the fact he's been such a goody-two-shoes this season has made me a bit suspicious. Like, there's a whole lot that's not being said, and for some reason, I get the sense he's hiding something from her.

A 40-year-old girlfriend is a start.

And did we mention that one of the FBI agents is on the take by the SAME guy who is trying to put Patty's husband Phil on the energy commission - that is, one of Kendrick's slithering minions? And said Kendrick minion is in cahoots with the Deputy Director on the whole investigation?!?!?!?

Yes, I think we do need to get to the end of season two.

I'm not sure I can take the waiting anymore.


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. You can also download full episodes of the show over at iTunes.

Garret Dillahunt Takes a 'Left' Turn

Actor Garret Dillahunt of FOX's 'Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

I know this is a television blog.

BUT ... we like to show our support for our PTR faves.

Since we recently inducted Garret Dillahunt into our PTR Fave Hall of Fame, we'd like to remind everyone that Last House on the Left hits theaters Friday (yes, that would be Friday the 13th).

Now, if you're not a horror film fan, this is NOT for you. Consider yourself warned. We recall this is a remake of the Wes Craven classic, which disturbed plenty of people in 1972.

However, since I am a horror fangirl, I've got an interest in seeing how this plays out. I have confidence from what I've seen of the trailer, and we recall what Garret told us when we spoke with him last Fall about his experience on the film, whether he considers himself a genre fan and the skepticism that usually accompanies remakes from the die-hards who stay loyal to the original:

Actor Garret Dillahunt as Krug in 'Last House on the Left'Says Garret: “I’m not a hardcore fan – I know they’re out there, and they’re much more knowledgeable than I am about it. But, I am a fan. I enjoy going to [see horror films] - being scared, being surprised. I thought as far as remakes go, this wasn't the worst candidate only because it’s not something like 'The Wizard of Oz', where everyone knows it and loves it. This one is known and loved by certain people, yet there are others who have never heard of the original. So, I thought, well … [original director] Wes [Craven] is producing it himself, so there’s obviously things he wanted to do differently, or get another crack at. He chose a director very carefully, who has a real sensitive bullsh*t meter, and I trusted him immensely. And, we all worked so hard on it. It was a great group of actors that all had that thing that I was talking about before – where we all wanted to tell the same story the best that we could. There was no battle of egos on set, or one-upsmanship. So, I’m actually quite proud of the movie, and I think we’re very respectful of the original.”

The Last House on the Left opens in theaters this Friday, March 13th. You can view the trailer here - but remember, you've been warned.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

'Trust Me' Is Running on Empty

'Trust Me' on TNTBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Well, that was quick.

Last week, Trust Me reminded me of why the show has promise.

This week, not so much.

In fact, at the end of this week's episode, we were given the heads-up that we'll have two back-to-back eps NEXT week starting at 9 p.m.

This, I fear, can't be good.


It seems to suggest TNT is trying to get rid of the show's new eps as fast as possible because ... well, it just isn't doing all that well.

And herein lies the problem once again with the show: it just isn't grabbing people.

For as much promise as the show seemed to have in its premiere, it has dropped off considerably in terms of having that wow-must-watch factor - even though Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh can riff off one another like the day is long.

Even I found myself yawning through this week's ep which, again, seemed to focus on the same things as all the previous eps (give or take): Mason has problem. Conner wants to fix problem. Meanwhile, Conner has his own problem that somehow becomes Mason's problem. Mason doesn't want Conner to fix problem or take his advice. He does so anyway and gets into some sort of conundrum over it. Something happens to bring it to resolution. Next ep.

For as much as I lament the formula of procedurals, THIS formula is old after only a handful of eps.

And how much longer can we go with Sarah Krajicek-Hunter thinking she just doesn't fit in? Isn't doing well? Still needs a partner? I think this oddball out concept with the character is beginning to wear very thin. Yes, I think Monica Potter is doing a wonderful job in her portrayal, and I think this week's ep finally showed the character turning a bit of a corner. However, for the most part, her I-don't-fit-in routine has been beaten into our heads way too much. We need to move on.

I still do think some of the best aspects of the show are Mason's homelife sequences - and that McCormack and Sarah Clarke gel wonderfully as hubby and wife. Yet, that can't be the show's focus because ... well, it's supposed to be about two ad guys with yin-yang chemistry.

But there doesn't seem to be one compelling theme to the show, or one super motivating factor to want to watch.

Two great comedic actors isn't enough.

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Summer Glau's 'Big Bang'

Summer Glau Guests on 'The Big Bang Theory'
"It's hot in here. It must be Summer."
- Rajesh, The Big Bang Theory

So, yes, I tuned into last night's The Big Bang Theory JUST to see my beloved Summer Glau.


The gist of the ep was that Sheldon, Leonard and Co. were taking the train to San Francisco for a nerdball conference, and Summer happened to be on the train, too (to Santa Barbara). So, Rajesh, Howard and Leonard debate how to go over and talk to her - thinking they have a chance to ... uh, ask her out. That is, except for Sheldon, who was too worried about having left his flash drive back in the apartment, which held his super-duper genius paper to show super-duper genius astrophysicist/cosmologist/Nobel Prize in Physics laureate George Smoot (who also appeared in the ep).

Perhaps Josh Friedman should talk to the TBBT folks for story ideas - 'cause they had some awfully funny ones on how if machines were already here AND Skynet really existed, the most successsful way to disguise them would be as the actors who play the terminators in all of the Terminator films.

Thank you, Sheldon!

Seriously, it's sad when THAT is a more intersting story concept to me at this point than what is going on over on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

And can I just say Summer Glau is too cool for stopping by the show.

But then again, we already knew that.

'Grace's' Balanced Approach

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Remind me to send Christina Ricci a thank you note.

Or flowers.

Or an IOU for lunch on me.

Or something to show my appreciation for her turn on Saving Grace.

The woman has single-handedly made the show's return so enjoyable for me to watch. As in, I'm already depressed we've seen two of her three eps, and thus, there is only one more to go.

(Maybe if we ask creator Nancy Miller and Holly Hunter REALLY nicely, they'll find a way to make her a regular?!?!?!)

I seriously cannot get enough of the new dynamic between young officer Abbey Charles and the hardened veteran hellraiser that is Detective Grace Hanadarko. The inclusion of Ricci's character in the cast is giving us the side of Grace we don't always get to see - her good side.

Her focused side.

Her caretaker side.

Her wise side.

Her seasoned cop side.

And yet, we still see her flaws without having to have them jammed down our throat so outrageously that we just could care less whether she's saved or not.

Her wild side has been placed in check.

As such, I am finding I enjoy the show a whole lot more when Grace isn't setting all of Oklahoma on fire in a blaze of her rebellious glory. She still remains interesting, strong, free-spirited and a one-of-a-kind character, but she isn't so out of control that it becomes farcical or beyond believability.

Holly Hunter told us at the beginning of the season the show really seemed to find its groove this season - with cast, with crew, with storylines. I'd have to say, I agree. It seems to have matured - in a good way.

Angel Earl seems to be more of a "friend" or partner to Grace instead of her punching bag. Yes, she still tries to ignore his advice, but it seems less adversarial.

Connecting everything back to Leon Cooley has been quite clever this season. It doesn't seem as heavy-handed as it was the first go around.

There's humor (how funny was last night's meeting between at the bar between Grace's brother and Rhetta whereby he comes to realize Angel Earl's existence AND Grace's chosenwoman role??)

And quite honestly, putting the Ham/Grace dynamic on ice is a GOOD thing. It was just becoming too much of a codependent mess. Like, smothering. They were always so into EACH OTHER that nothing else seemed to matter. At some point, I just didn't want to watch any more of their romps, their wildness, their whatever. It became repetitive and boring. Thus, pulling those two characters away from each other has been refreshing.

I only hope it can continue, but seeing as Ricci's departure is imminent (she only signed on for a three-ep arc), and with Ham already saying he wants to get back with Grace - on the partnership level, that is - I'm not feeling all that optimistic.

Nonetheless, I hope they leave the door open for Ricci to return, and I hope they keep the toned-down relationship with Ham and Grace consistent for a while.

And can I just give props to Nancy Miller for writing this part for Christina Ricci. When an actor and role meld so well, it's an awesome thing to watch.

And when a guest actor can come into an already established show, instantly blend in with the existing chemistry whilst bringing her own unique energy into the mix, it's an even more awesome thing to watch.

Like I said, remind me to thank Christina Ricci one of these days.

New episodes air Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can watch full episodes of the show anytime over on the show’s official Web site. You can also visit EmbraceYourGrace.com to share your stories of how you embrace your inner-Grace.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Lilly Finds The Leader of the Pack

About a minute and a half into this week's return of Cold Case I thought, "Uh-oh. Prepare thyself for an anvil-fest involving Lilly and her motorcycle-riding former love." I mean, the parallels were a little too obvious to ignore. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Lil has a similar picture of herself and McRay on a similar bike. So, I braced myself for the anvils to begin thunking me on the head for the next hour. Thankfully, not a single one fell from the CC sky. The writers made a short, funny reference to Lil's badboy-biker past and then moved on. I can't tell you how happy this made me (it's the little things). Next I thought, "Oh know. Preppy ex-boyfriend is so going to be the doer. It can't possibly be the creepy badass leader of the Jackals because that makes too much sense and this is CC and they love to try to surprise us." Well, well, well -- it seems Occam's razor won out this time because "Shameless" did, indeed, do the deed. Again, I was so happy (the little things, remember?).

Actually, this episode was pretty strong from top to bottom, and quite frankly, it needed to be. We have gotten so many ho-hum outings lately that I was beginning to lose interest in this show -- FAST! If something didn't change, I was going to be stuck watching this show out of loyalty alone. Never a good position to be in because before you know it, you're letting multiple episodes pile up on your DVR and the dread that you feel about watching the lot of them begins to take over. This is what happened to me with Heroes, and I can't even tell you how relieved I am to be free of that show. Anyway, another "little thing" that made me happy this week was lots of Lilly. I swear, people, there is a correlation between quality of episode and Lilly's involvement in the case. It's like the Lilly:Quality ratio or something. She had not one, but two awesome, awe-inspiring interrogations this week. First she told Libby what's what and then she exposed Darren for the coward that he was/is all while looking fab. Her interrogation with Darren had serious shades of seasons 1 & 2, and I was on the verge of squeeing like a fangirl. It has been a while since I have felt that way about this show, so CC easily moves to 15-0-1 on the season.

Screencap courtesy of RichE.

Did you catch the previews for next week's episode??!! OMG, it looks awesome. I might have to throw caution to the wind and let out a full-blown fangirl squee in next week's write-up, so allow me to apologize in advance.