Saturday, October 31, 2009

Busy Bell

PTR Fave Kristen Bell is a very busy actress these days.  She's currently starring on the big screen in Couples Retreat, she got animated in the newly-released Astro Boy, she has When in Rome and You Again coming out next year and she just signed on to join Christina Aguilera on the big screen in Burlesque.  And if you've been to your local newsstand recently, you've probably seen that she's lighting up the covers of several magazines.  One of them, Women's Health, interviewed Kristen for its November issue while she and her four-legged friends went on a hike outside Los Angeles.  The magazine discovered something that we long-time fans have known for a long time...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Lights' Rises From the Ashes

I am so thrilled to have my Friday Night Lights back (and I'm so happy to be a DirecTV subscriber!)!! Having said that, I was very nervous going into this week's premiere. How would the show go on with Coach Taylor at East Dillon instead of on the Panthers' sideline? And how would the show fill the enormous void left by the departure of several key characters (who left for college)? Turns out, the Coach Taylor story line is off to a great start. But, I really miss the other characters. Out of all of them, I feel Tyra's absence the most. I so miss her. I really hope she comes back for a few episodes later in the season. I mean, the University of Texas gets a fall and Thanksgiving break, right? Please come back, Tyra!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Roundup: 'Dollhouse' Delivers; 'Dexter's' Better Half

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

After taking a second second job (got to love this economy, eh?), I have to apologize to regular readers of PTR for getting my Dexter and Dollhouse write-ups posted a wee bit tardier than usual.

'Dollhouse' Airs on FOX


Let me sum up last week's episode of Dollhouse this way: Dichen Lachman rocks.


Her portrayal of Sierra stole several episodes away from Eliza Dushku's Echo last season.

As in, Echo who?

There is something about her ability to assume all the different doll personalities that seems so incredibly natural - almost instinctive. So any episode that is going to feature her backstory coming full circle is good by me.

Particularly since when I last left the dolls, I was ... well, let's just say somewhat concerned that the action and suspense of the first season had all but disappeared this season.

Alas, I spoke too soon.

Last week's ep counts as a wow ep for me.

Learning that Sierra came from a mental institution whereby she was deliberately being made coo coo for cocoa puffs by the doctor who turns out to be one of Rossum's biggest clients AND obsessed with her after the fact?


And Topher's emotional decision to have to let Sierra go (per demented doc's request), only to one up the dollhouse, imprint Sierra with her "clean" (as in, NOT coo coo) master imprint to get revenge on dearly demented doc?


We recall Topher has a particular fondness for Sierra. Once a year, he imprints her with "his" perfect geek girl personality to play video games, eat pizza, hang out. It's his reward, as it were, for what he does. Playing on that theme - and giving us the full story that it was, in fact, Topher who saved Sierra from the mental institution - was tight writing. I like it when writers fill in the blanks for us and loop it back to what we already know in such a seamless way that it's as if we already feel as if we knew that element of the story.

Now the love story with Victor ... hmmm. Cute, but I don't get it. Can a doll - in their wiped clean state - really fall for another doll? I guess so.

In any event, this ep was all about Dichen for me. She delivered another powerhouse performance (the mental institution scenes alone were just fantastic) that did not have me missing Echo, Ballard or anyone else for that matter.

THAT is how much of an asset she - and her character - are to this show.

New episodes of Dollhouse air Fridays at 9 p.m. on FOX. For the scoop on the series, head on over to the show's official site.


Keeping to the co-stars-sometimes-rock-it-better-than-the-leads theme, can I get another amen for JC?

That would be Jennifer Carpenter.


The woman continues to impress me season in, season out.

We already know I wouldn't have gotten through last season's doldrums without her. But this past week's episode of Dexter had me watching her take the character of Debra Morgan to a whole new level of mess.

In a good way.

I confess I knew it was probably too good to be true for her to stay in her happy-go-lucky state of grace with Anton. Although the character deserved to at least experience some sort of happiness, you are much more engaged as the viewer when Deb Morgan is struggling with herself.

On all levels.

Emotionally. Mentally. Physically.

And boy did we get it all once again in this ep.

Torturing herself by not taking the pain medication to heal up the bullet wounds.

Breaking down to her brother, feeling as if she is a black mark of doom on everything she touches.

Beside herself on the loss of Lundy.

The wounds of Debra Morgan run ever so deep. Just when we think they might be healing, something tears them open once again. But what convinces us, the viewer, of just how real and painful those wounds are is JC's portrayal. She has an emotional depth that, for me, just pulls one through the screen.


It is intense. I don't care if she's hyperventilating as she confesses to Dex over the spot where Lundy was shot, or running for her life in the film Quarantine, her intensity is palpable. And much like with Dichen Lachman over on Dollhouse, Dexter would not be the same with out Jennifer Carpenter.

In the words of Dexter: "If Deb dies, I'd be lost."

So would we.

Thankfully, she didn't.

But her survival dredged up a whole lotta not-so-goodness.

In other news ... so Dexter's lying finally caught up with him, and Rita is instantly going for ... divorce? Or suggesting the marriage is on the rocks?

Did I miss something, or does this seem a little quick off the draw? I guess we, the viewer, are supposed to understand that there's been "other" stuff going on in the Morgan household contributing to this uncertainty, but I'm not sure I'm buying it on screen. That said, I actually LIKE the conflict and/or the challenge to the relationship (since happy-go-lucky Dexter did NOT work for me). It just seems a little quick. But hey, this is TV.

And I have to say ... did we really think Laguerta's decision to disclose her relationship with Batista WASN'T going to result in brass asking her to transfer Batista out of her squad?

Um, yeah. Even I knew that was coming. Yet, she seemed blissfully ignorant that consequence would ever occur.

Um, duh?

It's decisions like this that still make me wonder how Laguerta ever got to be a Lieutenant in the first place. The woman is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

No pun intended.

And while Dex comes ever so close to the Trinity Killer this week, Jennifer Carpenter rocked this episode.


And P.S. ... how much do I love having James Remar in nearly every episode? Love.It.

New episodes of Dexter air Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Check out the official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series. You can follow the show on Twitter:; or, become a fan on Facebook:

Monday, October 26, 2009

'Case' Does Some Soul Searching

After a rude interruption by the NFL in our regularly scheduled Cold Case viewing (which was made even worse by the fact that our friends in Canada got to see the episode last week as scheduled), Lilly and co. were back to work this week. Of course, as previously discussed, the "co." in "Lilly and co." is a bit thin these days. I still haven't made up my mind about this Lilly/other family story line. I was all about it when it was strictly Lil and her father trying to find their way back to each other. I was somewhat onboard when he wanted her to meet his new family, but I'm just not sure about the teenage half-brother twist. I find myself scratching my head at this turn of events. It feels so far removed from what I thought Lilly's path would be (based on her beginning at the start of the show). Maybe I don't need to meet anymore of her family or maybe I want those I do meet to be a little closer to her age, I don't know. I will say, though, I thought her scenes with Finn were good and I liked the way the writers and Kathryn played it.

I'm going to sound like a broken record, but I once again had a hard time with the killer. It still feels like the show is trying to make the least likely person the guilty party, which is great for a surprise (although, that doesn't even work anymore because we know it's going to be the least likely suspect), but seriously short changes the story. This show used to be a wonderful psychological whydunnit. It delved into the very core of human nature. It was fascinating! Now, not so much. Instead of being wrapped up in the story, I'm concentrating on which random person killed the victim-of-the-week. This time, it was the goody-two-shoes church choir girl who dreamed of a music career outside the church walls. Even writing it here it seems unbelievable and that's exactly how it felt.

[rant] One of my long-standing pet peeves with Cold Case (and kinda Hollywood in general) is its tendency to always make those with strong faith and solid church ties into hypocrites. This week was no exception. There was the aforementioned church- choir- girl-turned-murderer and then there was Billy's minister father. This character, despite being a man of the church, was full of hatred. He hated the music his son wanted to play, he hated the fact that Billy wasn't like his brother, and he expressed both of these sentiments in full fury in the middle of the church the last time he saw his son. Furthermore, he was sleeping with a church member. Ugh! Could the show go any more out of its way to paint people of faith in a less flattering light?! MAJOR PET PEEVE. [/rant]

Overall, though, I did like this episode. I enjoyed the trip through the 70s soul music of Philadelphia, seeing Will get wrapped up in the case (even if I wasn't) and the music. It was a fun trip through time. If only the doer and the hypocrisy missteps hadn't occurred, then I would have probably loved this one. Still, good enough to move the show to 4-0 on the season. Screencap courtesy of RichE at Kathryn Morris UK.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekend Watch: Hallmark's 'Always and Forever'

Hallmark Channel Original Movie 'Always and Forever'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

The Hallmark Channel is awfully busy cranking out original movies these days.

Good ones, too.

Not to mention they've taken on the admirable task of cleaning up and getting rid of the overabundance of redonkulous, useless and/or gossipy humiliation of famous folk by focusing on the GOOD and DECENT stuff (yes, there is some) that goes on in the world of celebrity over at

And, because of all this, I'm going to forgive them for continuing to throw me for a loop switching around their daytime scheduling. Like, every other week. (Seriously, my Hallmark friends, can we stop the flip flopping? Or just promise me Touched By An Angel STAYS on the schedule?)

Alas, I digress.

And I interrupt the digression to give you a feel good movie alert for the weekend - especially for those of you who enjoy high school sweetheart stories.

Dean McDermott (yes, Tori Spelling's Dean), Rena Sofer (of that little ol' show called 24), and legendary TV favorite Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie, anyone?) star in the Hallmark Channel Original Movie Always & Forever, which premieres Saturday, October 24th at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central).

20 years after their fairy tale relationship ended, former high school sweethearts Grace (Sofer) and Michael (McDermott) rediscover a surprising - and possibly enduring - connection at their high school reunion. Of course, there are complications - namely Grace’s pushy mom (Eden) who is convinced that Michael is not going to stick around, and thus, tries to push her daughter in the opposite direction.

The premiere of the movie is aptly timed, given October is generally the month high schools across the country put the final touches on Homecoming floats and dust off the crowns for the soon-to-be-appointed King & Queen. So, after you finish watching college football this weekend, check out the story of a ‘Most Likely to Live Happily Ever After’ couple who didn't get it the first go around, but may be given a second chance.

Me thinks we could all use some happily-ever-afterness these days.

Vicariously, anyway.

Always & Forever premieres Saturday, October 24th at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central) on the Hallmark Channel. Head on over to for the full scoop on the movie.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

'Bones' News: Keepin' it in the Family

BIG BONES NEWS!! According to E! Online's Watch with Kristin, star Emily Deschanel's real-life little sis Zooey will be making a long-awaited guest appearance this season. The site caught up with co-star David Boreanez at Cirque du Soleil's Kooza Santa Monica premiere on Friday night and he gave them the official word.
'I do know that Emily's sister is going to be on the next episode, which is exciting,' he told us exclusively. 'I think she's going to play Emily's cousin. It's a whole relationship thing that's going on now with us and it continues to grow and grow and get crazy.'

Seriously, how awesome is it that the Deschanel sisters are going to share the screen on Bones?! Can't wait for this episode later this season.

Meanwhile, the older Deschanel was out in Hollywood over the weekend for a cause near and dear to her heart (she's a huge animal lover). She attended the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ship unveiling. Here are a few photos courtesy of Emily Deschanel Fan:

More photos HERE. Bones returns next month with all new episodes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

'Dexter's' Revenge ... On Me

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

It really is true: revenge is a b**ch.

And, in my head (shout-out Wendy Williams), the Dexter writers are getting some serious revenge on me this season for my less-than-stellar support of their efforts last season.


Are they ever.

Remember when the first season finale of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles left me staring at the screen, eyes wide open, mouth agape for 10 minutes AFTER the episode ended whereby we saw dearest Cameron blown to judgment day in the Jeep ...?

Cue this week's episode of Dexter

Deb and Lundy.

Gunned down in the parking lot.

AFTER rekindling their romance.

JUST as I was thinking "Awe, yes! Long live the Deb and Lundy Shippers!" JUST as I was thinking, "It's OK Deb. The best thing to happen to you was/is/and always will be Lundy." JUST as I was thinking "Man, I so love this show. Again."


Those plot twists are the best kind - something the show seemed to drift away from last season but has rebounded with aplomb this season.

Not to mention it all comes right on the heels of Lundy thinking he might - just might - have brushed shoulders with the Trinity Killer. Which begs the question: did TK (we can call him that, right?) shoot Lundy and Deb so as to deter Lundy from pursuing the case? The previews for next week certainly want us to think this, but I confess my first thought was Anton (though I actually didn't WANT to think this).

In other news .... wait, was there any?


Everything else in the episode paled in comparison to the last five minutes. Yeah, okay, so Dexter took down psycho cop chick, who killer her own family for freedom. Yeah, okay, so Laguerta and Batista are in a do we/don't we disclose our relationship conundrum. Yeah, okay, so Rita and the kids took a vay-kay, which gave Dex some much needed alone pondering the status of my life at the moment time.

Um, yeah, sorry, but this week was all about the Deb/Lundy plot twist. Like, serious-A-game-Dexter-writers-have-got-their-creative-genius-back plot twist.

Not only am I having my heart broken AGAIN with the idea that Deb and Lundy aren't going to be together, if Deb is once AGAIN the target of yet ANOTHER serial killer's revenge ... egads, folks. We'll need to commit her to an asylum, like, yesterday.

I don't know how she's going to survive that AGAIN.

But watch the writers surprise me.


New episodes of Dexter air Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Check out the official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series. You can follow the show on Twitter:; or, become a fan on Facebook:

O Canada!

There are no words to express how much I enjoy the "Robin Goes Canadian" episodes of How I Met Your Mother. I love the jokes, the accent, the excitement over hockey (which, I don't get, but it's funny), and Robin's strong pull to the mother country. There are so many good things about these episodes. This one was HILARIOUS! LOVED the way Robin committed herself to becoming an American citizen, studied for the test (both the official and Barney's version) and even started "acting American" until she spotted her favorite Canadian bar. Suddenly, she was having a relapse and when she woke up, she was in a Toronto hotel room after the Brian Adams concert! Luckily, Barney was there to help her sort through every humorous detail. And to defend her Canadian-to-American honor at Tim Hortons (where he was promptly beaten up).

Meanwhile, Marshall and Ted were reliving a tiny piece of their youth: making the 22-hour drive to Chicago for their favorite pizza. But there was a slight problem -- Marshall brought Lily. This was bad from the get-go since Ted was looking forward to a boys' road trip. Then, it became painfully obvious that Lily was a frequent pee-er. This meant lots of stops along the already long drive. But no problem because Marshall had booked them in a quaint little B&B along the way (for couples) meaning no "drive all night" road trip this time around (much to Ted's chagrin). Ted wasn't too keen on staying at the B&B, so he kidnapped Marshall and the two finished the road trip alone. In the end, Lily got the last laugh, though. Both Marshall and Ted wound up with severe stomach pains courtesy of their favorite pizza place.

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays on CBS. If you missed last night's episode, watch it for free at

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shawn Gets Taken for a Ride

This week's fall finale was all over the map as Gus, Jules, Lassie and Henry searched for an injured Shawn. The story switched between young Shawn (1989), shot/kidnapped Shawn, Shawn and Gus working the ice cream truck case and Gus and co. searching for shot Shawn. Needless to say, this one required extra attention to keep everything straight. Luckily, there was much funny mixed in to keep the story moving along smoothly. Here's a look at the rest of the best in this week's edition of "The Funny, The Funnier and OK, For Real, My Side Just Split."

When the fateful day finally came and Shawn found himself trapped in the trunk of a car, he remember his father's advice and kicked out the tail light. He even made sure to check the scenery around him for landmarks. The only problem: he was in the middle of nowhere and had very few options for alerting someone about aforementioned landmarks. So, with his hands duct tapped behind his back, he fumbled with his iPhone (complete with the Psych cover!) and tried to dial Gus. He made it to the "Gs," but he called the wrong "G." Instead of Gus, he got Gina. This was a bit problematic since Gina was a girl he went out with 3 years ago and never called again. While Gina and her friend deliberated about answering the call, Shawn's life was in serious danger. She finally picked up, but she quickly got angry with him and hung up before he could tell her why he was calling. He freed his hands and tried to call Gus, but by that time he had very low signal. He was left with one option: send a very fast text message that gets the point across in as few letters as possible (sorta like Twitter). So he did, but no one knew what it said and Lassie called it gibberish. Things weren't looking too good for Shawn.

As usual, there was a spattering of funny references, but this week they just seemed even funnier. Everything from the iPhone App. Yelp! to The Mentalist and The Fast and the Furious was fair game. Yelp! got blamed for Shawn winding up in the right place at the wrong time. He tried to blame the app. by claiming that it had told him that a Starbucks was right where he was standing when he got caught snooping around the ice cream truck. Later, Gus and Jules were searching Shawn's apartment for clues to his disappearance when Gus decided to search Shawn's browser history on his computer. He read off the web sites that Shawn had visited recently and one of them was (another funny reference to the CBS show that shares a similar theme to Psych). And finally, Shawn found himself in the precarious position of being in the bed of a speeding pick up truck with Jules and Gus driving alongside of him. While the trio tried to decide what to do, Shawn started drawing parallels between his situation and The Fast and the Furious. Oh, how I love the way this show references everything!

While he was in that aforementioned precarious position, he realized that he needed to jump from the bed of the pick up to one of the moving cars on either side of him. One of those cars was Gus's company car. Shawn prepared himself to jump when Gus suddenly put the kibosh on the idea. Gus, with complete seriousness said, "You must be out of your damn mind, Shawn. It's a company car!" Don't mess with the company car! So, Shawn turned to his other side and found Lassie and his dad driving alongside him in Lassie's new police cruiser. He went to jump, but Lassie stopped him this time. Finally, he took charge and told Lassie, "Look, I have been shot. I am jumping on somebody's car!" Let the bad guy keep Shawn, let Shawn bleed out from that flesh wound, but whatever you do, don't put a dent in your (or the company's) car! HILAROUS!

Psych returns with all new episodes this January on USA Network. Catch up on this episode ("Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark") and others at And learn more about the awesome-ness that is Shawn and Gus at USA's official site or friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dream Catcher

As a viewer who doesn't get overly excited about the episodes that deal solely with the mythology of Fringe (with the exception of last week's answer-fest), I'm always happy to see an outing that takes a break from it and presents a stand-alone story. I like a balance and I think this show strikes a nice one. Some shows (*cough* Lost *cough*) begin to drown in their own mythology as time goes on and leave viewers feeling frustrated and confused. Once again we got a concept that sounds ridiculous on paper, but this show (thanks to the always entertaining Walter) managed to make it seem possible. It's not that I think that there is a sleep disorder doctor running around implanting chips so he can steal his subjects' dreams and feed his own bizarre addiction, but by the end of the explanation, the idea didn't sound so far-fetched. And I'm once again amazed at this show's ability to pull this off week after week.

Olivia's business card scavenger hunt was fun. I loved that the message ended up being "You're gonna be fine." Definitely exactly what she needed to hear after some pretty trying times. Speaking of which, nice continuity this week with Liv dealing with Charlie's death (and feeling like she killed him even though she killed Not-Charlie). This is really eating at her, but it was good to hear her talking about and smiling over Charlie memories. More weirdness this week with Peter. He revealed that he stopped having bad dreams at the age of eight thanks to his father. Then at the end, he had a nightmare of himself as a child being snatched and his father seemed to be the one endangering him. Could this "dream" have been a repressed memory from when Walter traveled to the alternate universe and took the Peter we now know and love? If Peter's on a path that's about to lead him to the truth about his identity, then I wouldn't want to be Walter right about now.

Fringe airs Thursday nights on Fox. If you missed this week's episode, you can watch it for free at

Mummy Dearest

Progress was the buzz word this week. When it comes to Booth and Brennan's relationship, it always feels like one step forward and two steps back. Someone is never on the same page as the other, so any sort of feelings get suppressed and the duo moves on and continues to solve crimes and pretend that there is nothing between them other than a professional relationship. I thought the same was going to hold true this week when Booth refused to admit that he did, in fact, have a problem with Bones dating his boss's boss (and not the "because you'll talk about me" variety). He insisted that there was nothing between him and Bones even though his feelings for her were eating away at him as he counseled his boss's boss on dating her. And then he learned that Brennan had shared his egg story. Somehow that tiny egg managed to change everything because it led to a pivotal scene that led to the first real progress of the series (it was the kind that the show cannot ignore going forward without it sticking out like a sore thumb).

Brennan had thought that Booth's egg story was something he had shared with many people. As it turns out, he had only shared it with her and the fact that she shared it with someone else, kinda crushed him. And seeing him crushed, kinda crushed her. I think she realized for the first time that Booth has genuine feelings for her, and this realization allowed her to be a tad bit more free with her own feelings. In the final scene, she gave Booth a first look at her history-making discovery. Even more important, she didn't gloat about her accomplishment and was insistent that Booth is the one who changes history all of the time. She also agreed that things between them should stay between them.

But, the most telling moment of all involved no dialogue. It was just the two of them standing much closer than partners with a strictly professional relationship should be looking like one or both of them might lean in and kiss the other if the rest of the gang hadn't entered at that kismet moment. And then she straightened his bow tie and he brushed her hair off her shoulder and I swear the two of them were both completely aware of their feelings for each other for that one fleeting moment. I was so excited to see the promises of the premiere finally getting on a roll and then we got the bad news that the show is on hiatus until November (due to MLB playoff coverage). Let's hope the show picks up right where it left off.

And now, here's this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

THE GOOD: No surprise here: that ending scene between Booth and Bones at her exhibit. By far, the closest they've purposely come.

THE BAD: Sweets asking Brennan to give Daisy another chance while she was at a crime scene trying to get to the mummified body. Baaaad timing!

THE UGLY: Wow! So many things to choose from this week, but I'm going to settle on the sawed off, exposed cranial cavity of the deceased doctor. This wasn't going to be this week's winner, but then they threw in that one little drop of gooey blood. Instant winner!

If you missed last night's episode ("A Night at the Bones Museum"), check it out for free at

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Marshall & Lily 'Met' the Perfect Couple

Barney's "Sexless Innkeeper" poem was So. Freakin. AWESOME!!! Seriously, the rest of the episode could have sucked and I still would have loved it because of that poem. Luckily, the rest of the episode was sheer awesomeness as well. Everything from Marshall's photo/music montage to Barney and Robin trying to woo back Marshall and Lily had me laughing out loud throughout the episode. Let's start with that poem, though. Ted thought that chicks were digging his new professor attire: tweed jackets with the elbow covers. He seemed to be the right -- at first -- when a cute girl asked him to take her upstairs to his apartment. The next morning, we learned that nothing happened because she "fell asleep on the couch." Barney jumped in to explain that Ted had become a "sexless innkeeper." This is when the poem commenced and it took place in the time of Oliver Twist (even though it was supposed to be 2008), making it even funnier. Apparently, Ted was the victim of being taken advantage of by girls who live outside the city and need a place to crash after partying. In the end, Ted got the last laugh as he wrote the final chapter by finding a girl who was interested in sleeping with him and not just at his place. Then, Barney started to have second thoughts about his decision to date Robin and ended the episode with a "What have I done??!!" Uh-Oh!

Elsewhere, Marshall and Lily were on an endless quest to find another couple to hang out with, play charades with and take a trip with to Vermont during maple syrup season. They came on too strong (as usual) with Robin and Barney and ruined the Vermont trip with gouda, a broken egg timer and Marshall's photo/musical montage tribute to the night. But things took a different turn later when Marshall and Lily found a new couple who was just as into them as they were them. Suddenly, Robin and Barney got incredibly jealous, then depressed, and finally desperate. In a hilarious ending bit, the duo wooed Marshall and Lily back with a series of egg timers and a rain-soaked reunion that culminated in a group hug. HI-LAR-IOUS!!!

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays on CBS. If you missed last night's episode, watch it for free at

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cases Stay 'Cold,' But Personal Developments Heat Up

It used to be that the cases on Cold Case were strong enough to overcome the lack of character development. But now, it seems that the cases have gotten weaker and even a bit sloppy at times making it so the personal stuff has to do the heavy lifting. This is problematic for a show that has always been procedural first and (very little) character development a very distant second. Last week, things felt more balanced (I was even getting season one vibes), but this week things slipped back into that mode where I found myself more interested in those text pictures and how many times Lilly and Saccardo had been secretly "meeting like that" over the course of the last year. And while this was intriguing, it's not enough to carry an entire episode. It's weird because I was interested in what happened to Alex, but the story felt disjointed and forced (again). And maybe it's just me, but flashbacks drive me nuts when the person who's recalling what happened wasn't in the room for the events they're re-telling (see Laticia's first flashback).

Last week, I hypothesized that Lil's stalker texts were either from her new nemesis Moe or her undercover "boyfriend" Saccardo. I went with Moe, but as it turns out, Saccardo is the stalker. Lil has to be breathing a sigh of relief after she traced that cell and it led back to him instead of Moe. I still don't know how I feel about this relationship. In some respects it demonstrates how far Lil has strayed from her former self (both good and bad) and in others, it shows her lighter side which may come in handy to balance out her new, darker one this season. Whatever the case, she seems happy and that's always a good thing.

No Vera this week (thanks to network/studio budget cuts, which I'm not going to complain about because the alternative would have been to cancel the show) and no surprise, but the humor was missing. Not having him on the show made me realize how much I enjoy his character. And then at the end, we saw Kat packing her things and relocating to another department thanks to PPD budget cuts. And I know what you're thinking: Is she gone for good? The short answer: No. Actress Tracie Thoms blogged about her pending hiatus this summer and explained that she would only be in 16 of the 22 episodes this season (along with two other cast members) and that the break would give her time to work on other projects. So, look for Kat to return at some point this season. Like Jeremy Ratchford (Vera), she will be missed.

Budget cuts aside, this was another mixed episode for me. It was good, but not great. Good enough to move CC to 3-0 this season, though. Screencap courtesy of RichE at Kathryn Morris UK.

Roundup: 'Dollhouse' Putzing Along; 'Dexter' Hitting His Stride

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Regular readers of PTR may have noticed that my Dexter and Dollhouse write-ups skipped a week. Apologies as I've been out on the road a bit of late and am only just now getting caught up with the DVR. Yikes! Soooo, rather than try and go back and recap two weeks worth of episodes, I thought I'd give more of an evaluative write-up at how the shows seem to be doing as they progress into their seasons.

'Dollhouse' Airs on FOX


Well, I've been here before.

Finding myself missing the way a show was done in its first season. Not sure I'm following where it is intending to go during its second season. Still liking it enough to hang in there and see what happens.

It's my Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles complex reincarnated through Dollhouse.

And that is to say that Dollhouse seems much slower this year, and a little melodramatic at times. While I do appreciate trying to explore the deeper echelons of Echo's memory recall and/or the fact that wiping one's entire neurological sense of self WILL have residual consequences, we seem to be getting long, drawn out sequences of backstory of either the assignment itself or her IN the assignment. And that has, at least for me, removed the sense of adventure, excitement and urgency that was present in the episodes last season.

I also didn't realize how much the absence of Special Agent's Paul Ballard's pursuit to bring down the dollhouse would create such a bland void and/or remove that sense of uncertainty and intrigue that got me so interested last year. Don't get me wrong: I love, love, love the fact that Tahmoh Penikett is getting a huge uptick in screen time this season. But not having a true nemesis - either on the inside (Alpha) or outside (Ballard) of the dollhouse - has slowed the show way down.

And I don't know if that is a good thing - especially given ratings are still seemingly anemic even WITH DVR viewings.

I had this issue with the second season of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. It decided to go ... well, let's just say philosophical and melodramatic. It stopped its fight to save the world, took a back seat on the action and had us wandering through episode after episode of tangent material that seemed completely unrelated to what the show's essence was supposed to be about.

I don't believe Dollhouse is quite at that point. But removing two very central conflicts - one being of the pursuit to bring it down, and the second being one of its own attempting to sabotage its very existence - has left me feeling a bit Vanilla when I watch it.

I hope that's temporary.

New episodes of Dollhouse air Fridays at 9 p.m. on FOX. For the scoop on the series, head on over to the show's official site.


For all the issues I seem to be having with Dollhouse, I'm having absolutely zero-zilch-none with good ol' Dex. That is a HUGE improvement over last year at this time when I thought the show had fallen and couldn't get up. This year, through its third episode, I'm loving just about everything the show has on offer:

- John Lithgow manages to do more in a handful of short and sweet scenes as The Trinity Killer than Jimmy Smits ever did as Miguel Prado in his ungodly number of BFF episodes.

- Jennifer Carpenter's Deb is so conflicted about having Special Agent Frank Lundy back in town pursuing The Trinity Killer that I just can't help but want it to work out given they seem so suited for each other - age issue aside. And to have this all happen JUST as she was finally getting her stuff together and/or in a solid relationship for the first time in her life is some excellent conflict characterization that is moving her story along beautifully.

- Dexter is back to being uncomfortable and unsettled in his new suburbanite existence that it's making me wonder what exactly WAS the third season about? I love, love, love Harry being back, front and center, as Dex's conscience and code handler. And as Dex seems to be so thoroughly impressed by the Trinity Killer's ability to NOT get caught, it puts him once again in the uncomfortable position of being Lundy's go-to guy.

- The Laguerta and Batista relationship is one I find myself actually routing for. I've never been a fan of Laguerta, but she seems to have mellowed in her old age. However, I have always loved Batista, so providing she doesn't hurt him royally, I'd kind of like to see this work out. Yet, I can't escape the feeling it won't.

New episodes of Dexter air Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Check out the official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series. You can follow the show on Twitter:; or, become a fan on Facebook:

Werewolves in Santa Barbara

Putting Shawn and Gus in charge of protecting the population (both human and animal) from a werewolf on the evening of a full moon is probably not going to top anybody's list of good ideas. But hey, neither actually believed that Stuart was a werewolf, so what's the harm? Oh, there was plenty! And, Shawn's awesome Psych iPhone cover was back! Here's a look at the rest of the best in this week's edition of "The Funny, The Funnier and OK, For Real, My Side Just Split."

After meeting Stuart's younger sister Willow (guest star Larisa Oleynik a.k.a. Alex Mack), Gus became fascinated with her goth side. He found her mysteriously appealing and his attraction to her was no secret. When she joined Shawn and Gus on the hunt for her brother, Gus quickly called "shotgun" on her behalf. During the drive, he purposely drove like a crazy man so he could put his arm across her to prevent her from flying forward. And in the end, he got himself a date with her (thanks to Shawn's sarcastic suggestion). He chalked up his attraction to her as his need to save her from her "emotional peril," but I think Gus wanted to take a little ride on the dark side.

When one wakes up in the wilderness wearing nothing but his birthday suite and manages to get back to civilization, it stands to reason that a bundle of balloons may not be the best form of cover. Because one, they pop; and two, they make you look like even more of a creep. But Stuart isn't exactly your average Joe, so he went with the balloons and Shawn and Gus cringed as they began to pop one by one. It was HILARIOUS! The look on Gus's face was priceless! And with each successive pop, his face cringed even further until he finally decided that they could not keep conversing until the wardrobe situation was resolved. Luckily, Gus had an old Halloween costume in the back, so we were all subjected to a very funny version of Dwayne Cleophus Wayne from A Different World.

Not exactly side-splitting, but Shawn and Gus's wrestling dolls were dang-near close. The boys were going "old school" with their wrestling mock-up baby dolls and that included a furry beard on Shawn's female doll and a spiked collar and "THUMP" lettering on Gus's male doll. The pair get very excited for their "Rumble" telecast and the dolls were/are an important part of the experience. After a minute or two, though, they both decided that they were a bit creepy, so they decided to cover them -- QUICKLY! This reminded me of that E*Trade commercial with the talking baby who rents a clown and then decides that he "really underestimated the creepiness." LOVED in that ad and LOVED it in this week's episode. Plus, we got another one of Shawn's "I've heard it both ways" and a "Wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit," so overall, lots of funny.

Psych airs Friday nights on USA Network. Catch up on this episode ("Let's Get Hairy") and others at And learn more about the awesome-ness that is Shawn and Gus at USA's official site or friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to Bones star Emily Deschanel.

Happy Birthday Emily!!

Your Friends at PTR

DID YOU KNOW? Emily recently joined fellow actresses Alyson Hannigan, Jaime King, Minka Kelly, and Kat McPhee for a breast cancer awareness PSA posted at You can see the funny ad HERE. And you can see Emily every Thursday as Dr. Brennan on Fox's Bones.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sorry Charlie

Things are beginning to make sense on Fringe, which means that in a little over a season, I understand a lot more about this show than I do after 5 seasons of Lost! Things were all coming back to Olivia this week and that means a lot of blanks were filled in for us as well. When she traveled to the alternate universe (or rather, when she was yanked into the alternative universe), she met with William Bell. This much we knew, but what we didn't know was what they discussed. He explained A LOT! Like, 10x more than Lost has explained in 5 seasons! When Olivia was a child, Dr. Bell and Walter experimented on children and one of those children was her. They were looking for a saviour -- someone who was strong enough to survive the transition between the universes and could, therefore, counteract the coming storm that Bell predicted. He knew that one day, those from our universe would cross over to the other and build an army of human/machine hybrids who would wage a war with our universe. And according to the Pauli Exclusion Principle, no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time, so one of those universes is going to lose.

Those aforementioned human/machine hybrids are what Olivia and co. have been calling the Shape Shifters (a.k.a. Charlie) and they're on a mission to find their leader. Apparently, their leader's head was being kept on ice in a cryogenics lab in our universe. Olivia knew where, but she couldn't remember. She finally recalled the location, but received a sudden text from Charlie telling her that Nina (whom she was in the middle of conversing with) was the Shape Shifter. She excused herself and met Charlie outside. She, unfortunately, filled him in on the location before she got the text from Massive Dynamic that showed Charlie was the true Shape Shifter. After she killed Not-Charlie, she was racked with guilt. Even worse, the human/machine hybrids got the head and were in the process of re-attaching it to the body. Looks like there's about to be an inter-universe showdown.

Huh? Moment of the Hour: Walter's former test subject reactivated her ability to spot the Shape Shifters (they appear with a light around them) and suddenly discovered that Peter had that same light around him. Walter had mentioned earlier that her ability simply allows her to spot those who don't belong and we know that Peter is really Alternate Universe Peter. Could this be why he was giving off the outsider glow?

Fringe airs Thursday nights on Fox. If you missed this week's episode, you can watch it for free at

There Goes the Neighborhood

In this week's episode of "When Shows Collide:" Bones and Desperate Housewives. Fitting since both shows tend to be more of a satire of their respective genres rather than traditional examples. So, what happens when a show pokes fun of another show that pokes fun of its genre? Lots of funny parallels and a lot, and I mean A LOT, of dirty laundry. And of course, Booth and Bones were right there in the middle of it trying not to get dirty. As you would suspect, most of the residents of this little chunk of suburban bliss had motive to kill their green-conscious neighbor. Thus, more than one of them was on the hook for murder by the end of the hour. One was angry over an unfortunate incident involving his dog and a laxative, one was fed up with a $5000 phone line scheme and another was upset about a series of unfortunate affairs that truly kept things in the family. All of them were pushed to the brink over the hideous windmill in the victim's yard that drove down the property values. Just another beautiful day in the neighborhood.

The bigger part of this episode, though, had nothing to do with the dark side of suburbia. It was the little things in this one that added up to one big awesome-fest. It turns out, Arastoo (this week's featured intern in the revolving door position vacated by Zach a couple of seasons back) doesn't really have an Iranian accent. He was faking it to justify his devotion to Islam and to avoid the usual questions he faces as a Muslim. Once the cat was out of the bag, the questions commenced, but they quickly ceased and the Jeffersonian crew went back to business as usual. I LOVED the reaction from each of them when they discovered the truth.

Meanwhile, Parker got to spend some quality time with Angela, which led to an awkward conversation about his father's lack of a sex life. Booth became concerned about Parker's preoccupation with finding him a girlfriend, so Sweets suggested that he show Parker that he has healthy, normal relationships with women. Of course, he chose Brennan and she accepted. Over dinner at their diner, Parker managed to get a little truth out of Brennan and to reveal his true motive: he wants a pool (his friend's father started dating and that led to access to his new girlfriend's pool). Before that revelation, he asked Brennan why she doesn't date his father. Booth seemed just as eager as Parker to hear the answer. She replied that it would be "inappropriate" because they work together. Huh, so if they didn't work together, she'd give it a whirl? I'll take it. It's progress.

And now, here's this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

THE GOOD: Sometimes it takes a child's perspective to inject a little honesty into the situation. It was nice to have Parker around in this one.

THE BAD: The victim! He was overly neighborly with too many of the women on his street, but the worst was learning that he was double dipping in the Sayles house!

THE UGLY: The body in the BBQ pit. Yum! Now that will ruin an appetite!

If you missed last night's episode ("The Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"), check it out for free at

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Music in the 'Bones'

PLEASE NOTE: I'm playing catch-up after a weekend with family, so this 'Bones' post is a wee-bit on the late side. But hey, better late than never, right?

Sometimes, a show can surprise you by taking a conventional route. We've become so accustomed to crime shows presenting us with suspects, giving them valid motives and then shocking us with some revelation that clearly points to one of them. Case closed, suspect behind bars and justice once again served. But sometimes in real life, the bad guy isn't the victim's spouse, roommate, business partner, or rival. Sometimes, the bad guy is just a kid who breaks into your house looking for something to steal to support whatever habit he can't afford. This week's episode of Bones took that more conventional, less crime show route and I liked it. I didn't want the killer to be one of the piano prodigy's fellow music students or someone from his Amish community. I was happy to see the break in the usual crime show format even if it meant that the killer wasn't someone previously introduced.

There were a lot of funny scenes this week between Booth and Bones. LOVED how Brennan called his "Cocky" belt buckle "Booth-y" after she expressed her happiness for its return. Then there was their hilarious discussion about Rumspringa with Booth taking the more fatherly stand and Brennan defending another religion's traditions. Later, the two (kinda accidentally) disclosed the age at which they each lost their virginity while discussing how Cam should handle Michelle and her boyfriend. I loved the surprise in Booth's face when he found out that Brennan was 22 years old. And watching Brennan defend her decision by explaining it as if she had been selecting a house was pure comic gold. Funny all around!

And now, here's this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

THE GOOD: Booth meeting Michelle's boyfriend. He played the scary dad card by making sure that Perry knew that he was an FBI agent, a former sniper and, most importantly, that he would find him if he hurt Michelle. Classic!

THE BAD: Poor Clarke having to search every inch of those train tracks to find any piece of human remains. It's times like these that make me glad I'm not a forensic anthropologist.

THE UGLY: No visual ugly this week, but just imagining the train running over that poor kid was enough ugly to fill the entire episode.

If you missed last week's episode ("The Plain in the Prodigy"), check it out for free at

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

'How' to Keep a Girl Like Robin

Remember in the season premiere when Lily made Robin and Barney define their relationship and they thought they got the better of Lily because they "lied" and said that they were boyfriend and girlfriend? And remember how Lily knew they were lying, but said it was to themselves and not to her? Well, this week's episode kinda proved her right. Either that, or Barney was going to an awful lot of trouble trying to keep up that lie for Lily's sake! It's not that I think Ted teaching a class on Robin (with Barney as the sole true student -- auditing doesn't count) was a good idea, but I'm both surprised and touched by the fact that Barney cares so much about Robin that he's going out of his way to keep her from dumping him. It's sweet! And here I was thinking that putting Robin and Barney together could potentially ruin the dynamics on this show! Everything is moving right along without skipping a beat!

Meanwhile, Marshall was concerned about finding a good home for his barrel nightstand "Mabel." He couldn't keep it because Lily hates it is "allergic to barrel resin." He decided to put it into "The Bermuda Triangle." Not the freaky stretch of ocean located between Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, but the slab of concrete outside their building better known as a sidewalk. In the past, the gang has put objects there and turned back around to find them mysteriously gone. Marshall placed his barrel in the Triangle and watched from his window with his binoculars. He caught a dog urinating on it, but no takers. By the end of the episode, no one had taken "Mabel," but knowing his show, I have a feeling this story isn't over yet.

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays on CBS. If you missed last night's episode, watch it for free at

Monday, October 05, 2009

'Case' Skates through a Stronger Episode

From the moment this week's episode started, something felt like season one. Maybe it was the look of the flashbacks or the familiar way that Lilly and Scotty worked together (with her taking lead), but something kept that feeling alive throughout the hour. And, this will come as no surprise, I liked it. A lot! This outing managed to capture the essence of the first season that makes you feel emotionally involved in the case even when you're not interested in the subject matter. I'm no skateboarding aficionado, but I found myself wrapped up in this one. Normally, I would have disconnected from the first spin of those skateboard wheels (and believe me, I started to), but the story and the characters fought that inclination and kept me involved. I'm really glad they did. I kinda fell in like with Cold Case again this week. The show reminded me why I (hearted) it so much originally. It's funny, too, because this wasn't a stand-out episode, but it was a return to what made this show so great.

Thankfully, there was no "least likely suspect" this week, so the writers weren't tempted to pin the murder on him/her. Everyone made for a viable suspect, which allowed me to just follow the story and not worry about a let down at the end. My heart went out to Nash. He wanted to rescue his little brother, so he took the first good opportunity that came around. Unfortunately, this alienated him from the one person who had given him a place to stay. Even more unfortunate, it also led to his drugged-up friend taking a skateboard to his head. Now that's just wrong!

Two intriguing developments on the personal front this week: Scotty's mom has a secret and Lil has a secret admirer. We got to meet Scotty's parents for the first time because his dad is worried about his mom's sudden change in behavior. She swore everything was fine, but at the end, Scotty saw her crying in her car. Is she dealing with a health scare? A new love? Or something else? Meanwhile, Lil was dealing with her own mystery. She received a text on her phone from a blocked number. The text was a picture of her taken without her knowledge while she walked down the street. My guess: it was either from her new nemesis Moe Kitchener (whom we saw her stalking last week -- maybe he was returning the favor) or her undercover beau Eddie Saccardo (who texted her a picture of herself last season when they were dating and he wasn't undercover). Place your bets now. I'm putting mine on Moe.

A much better outing than last week, so CC moves to 2-0 on the season. Screencap courtesy of RichE at Kathryn Morris UK.