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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'Downton Abbey' is Americanized

American TV critics and industry professionals liked 'Downton Abbey'. In fact, based on how well it did during awards season, I'd go as far as to say that they like liked it.

But did you know that what we saw on PBS was the Americanized version?

Because apparently American viewers can't deal with slightly slow plots, or historical terms. Because in America we're all about speed and stupidity.

This obviously isn't true, and it may not be the only reason 'Downton Abbey' got "Americanized".

Regardless, when 'Downton Abbey' aired in the US it was only six-hours long, as opposed to the eight hours that were aired in the UK. A lot of what was cut was related to the inheritance plot, because apparently "entail" is a concept that is too complicated for the average American (it's not like most of PBS' viewers are highly-educated or anything). Also, Americans don't own dictionaries (or computers, or have access to Wikipedia).

Not only did we get the dumbed down version, but we also got an intro, provided by the lovely Laura Linney. Her opener gave us a quick synopsis of the plot. When 'Downton Abbey' aired in the UK it did not have any kind of explanation; it just started, like almost every drama. I suppose I can't complain too much about that part though, because 'Downton Abbey' was presented as a Masterpiece Theatre Production, and they often have such introductions. Who can forget Alistair Cook or Russell Baker? Still, I'm not sure I need Linney to explain relatively basic concepts to me.

Also, 'entail' doesn't exist in the UK anymore, so it's not as though the Brits know way more than the average American. More likely than not, unless they're in their sixties, they won't have any more idea than we do.

According to the MailOnline, when 'Downton Abbey' is released on DVD, Americans will have the option of buying the British original. The biggest question is, why didn't we have the option of watching it that way on television?

Maybe we'll get Season 2 uncut, if we're lucky.

Chris Hastings provides more information about 'Downton Abbey' and PBS' decision HERE.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rizzoli & Isles: the 2nd Season finale

"Burning Down the House" (S2Ep15) was the final episode of the second season of 'Rizzoli & Isles'. More often than not, 'R&I' is a light-hearted mystery romp. Sure, there have been occasional dark episodes, like this year's "Brown Eyed Girl", but those episodes have always been an oddity. Tonight's episode added one more to the collection.

The episode featured some regular guest starts; Jacqueline Bisset reprieved her role as Maura's mother, and Agent Dean (Billy Burke) returned as a love interest for Jane. 

"Burning Down the House" had an uneven tone. The episode tried to keep some of it's usual bantering humor, while dealing with extremely serious themes. This was problematic to say the least. The multiple storylines didn't help with the flow much either.

One side-story dealt with Jane and Agent Dean's romance and, I have to say, they really don't have great chemistry. Also, I'm sure there were plenty of moments that pleased Maura/Jane shippers (every time Jane and Dean had a second alone Jane cut it short to rush off and see Maura).

Another storyline briefly examined Maura's budding relationship with her mother. It seemed as though they were finally on their way to a true mother-daughter reconciliation (and just how true was brought to light at the end of the episode). Unfortunately, this was cut short because Maura's mother was seriously injured in a hit and run incident where Maura was the actual target.

And on to side-story number three: Maura was the target of said hit and run because of the arson fire/ mysterious firefighter death scenario that she was investigating. Because apparently Medical Examiners are really good at arson work, and know the inner workings of a space heater. Who knew?

Opps, I almost forgot side-story number four: Maura's biological father, Patty Doyle, who also happens to be a mobster, turned up in her mother's hospital room. He promised to protect Maura, and to tell her who her biological mother was, but instead they fought and he left.

Side-story number five: Except he didn't really leave, because when Maura gets back from seeing Jane she finds her biological father at her adoptive mother's bedside. Ostensibly because he is protecting her. But right after he leaves (for real this time) her mother wakes up and says that someone was telling her to hold on "for her daughter", and then asks Maura, "was it Patrick?". Which leads us to the first question that doesn't get answered (there have to be some, this is a finale!): is Maura's adoptive mother actually her biological mother? Did she have an affair with a mobster? And how will this impact the 'true' part of their mother-daughter reconciliation?

At the end of the episode, the detectives decide to set a trap to figure out which firefighter set the arson fire, and murdered his colleague. Maura makes a big fuss in front of the firefighters about collecting data at the burnt building. She's followed by the guilty firefighter, but luckily she is wire-tapped, and has numerous people backing her up...including Frost, Korsak, Jane, Agent Dean, and (unknown to everyone involved) her biological father. It's lucky that Patty Doyle is there, because the law enforcement would have been too late, the firefighter almost shots Maura, but Doyle takes him out just in time. Of course, this means that when the police do enter the room they're faced by a wanted mobster holding a gun. Someone fires at him, and he fires back. He refuses to put the gun down. He gets shot in the shoulder (definitely not a fatal wound), but then fires again and Jane steps up and shoots him in the chest. He falls backwards, potentially fatally wounded. Jane seems shocks at what she has done, but Maura responds instantly, rushing to her father's aid. Jane finally reacts and runs over, yelling Maura's name. She tries to bunch up a coat as a pillow for Patty's head, but Maura swats her away. The look that Maura and Jane exchange shows that Maura is deeply hurt by the fact that her best friend shot her father. And then the credits roll.

So, the questions for next season:
1. Does Patty Doyle survive? this one could go either way
2. Does Maura's mother survive? i think probably yes
3. Is Maura's adoptive mother really her biological mother? i'm guessing yes
4. Will Agent Dean stick around? please no, if there has to be a guy I'd prefer the far-away one who's in Afghanistan, anyone closer ruins the chemistry that Maura and Jane have (regardless of how you choose to interpret that chemistry)
4. How long will it take Maura to forgive Jane? not too long (they won't want to alienate viewers)

Dean: Maybe I'll be gone in Season 3. Or at least I'll get a hair cut.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The LA Complex (coming soon?)

Jewel Staite has a new show! And it may, possibly, hopefully soon, be coming to a TV near you.

'The LA Complex' is a show by Canadians, starring Canadians, but it's not set in Canada. Instead, as the title suggests, it's set in LA. It's all about Canadians who move to LA to help their acting careers. Since this really happens, and is a topic that hasn't been explored before, I have high hopes that the show will be good.

Plus, you know, it has Jewel Staite in it.

The LA Complex has a release date in Canada: January 10th on MuchMusic and CTV. So far there's no set air date for the U.S.

Deschanel and Boreanaz talk babies (pre-pregnancy)

This is fun to watch in the context of the current season:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why I love 'HIMYM' (hint: slap bet)

Why I love the slap bet episodes of 'How I Met Your Mother':  Because my friends and I may give each other a lot of crap, but we’d never actively slap each other on the face. For fun. At least, I don’t think we would. (Let’s not try it).

In all honesty, the parts of ‘HIMYM’ that I like the least are the ‘realistic’ parts.

Robin having a crappy job, and then having to move around the world for a job that seemed better, only to find out it was even crappier…did anyone enjoy that?

Ted pursuing Robin endlessly, while we’re forced to watch, despite the fact that we knew all along that their relationship would fail because after all she’s not the mother…that’s no fun.

Robin and Barney finally, finally getting together, only to realize that they’re not right for each other, causing a break-up filled with emotional pain, causing them to enter into other relationships, causing them to cheat on their new significant others with each other, leading Robin to reject Barney, leading to a potential reunification via baby, leading to a devastating reveal about baby…really, really not fun.

Also, evidently I like Robin (or maybe just Cobie Smulders) way too much, since the parts that annoy me the most are those where she’s put in bad situations.

Anyway, my point (if I ever get there!) is that the slap bet episodes of ‘HIMYM’ are some of the strongest aspects of the show. They’re completely ridiculous, of course, but in the context of the characters they’re somehow believable. Plus, watching people slap each other is just funny. Don’t judge me, you know it’s true.

Slap Bet Episodes (in order of appearance):
as an added bonus, a lot of these episodes also have Robin Sparkles, my other favorite part of 'HIMYM', but that's a story for another day
“Slap Bet” (S2Ep9)
“Stuff” (S2Ep16)
“Slapsgiving” (S3Ep9)
“Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap” (S5Ep9)
“Disaster Averted” (S7Ep9)

All of ‘HIMYM’ is currently on Netflix Instant, so go and watch some slapping!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What to Watch on Netflix Instant: 'My Boys'

I planned on giving this post the title 'Why 'My Boys' Should Be Your Boys', or something else that seemed sort of clever. But then I realized that would make this post next to impossible to find online. Also, it may not be as clever as I  initially thought. Regardless, you all should be watching 'My Boys'. And, luckily, the complete series is available on Netflix Instant.

When I recently hung out with a large group of friends, I realized that lots of the things we were talking about directly related to plot points from the marathon of 'My Boys' that I had just seen. When real-life imitates television writing you know those writers were headed in the right direction.

'My Boys' ran for four season (49 episodes) on TBS, but it was in no way a hit show. It's ratings fluctuated as wildly as its time slot. I vaguely remember watching it when it first came out (in 2006) and deciding that it was "okay, but not great". I think I only watched one or two episodes before I moved on to things I liked more. But now that I've seen every single episode, I can honestly say that it is worth watching. You just need to get past the first season, which is particularly weak in parts, but necessary to watch to understand the characters.

The show centers around P.J., a sportswriters for the Cubs (it's set in Chicago!). She's the linchpin in a group of friends that also consist of her college guy friend (Brendan), her brother (Andy), her work friend (Mike), her new colleague (Bobby), and her awkward friend (Kenny). That's right, there's a ratio of 1 woman to 5 men in this show, although P.J.'s friend Stephanie does make an occasional appearance.

P.J. and her guy friends get together at least once a week to play poker, and they discuss various (often hilarious) aspects of their lives. They also hang out away from the poker table, going to bars, eating dinner, and just generally doing life-outside-of-work stuff. The show is so perfect because watching it can easily remind you of your own friends. There's nothing wildly improbable, though sometimes their adventures are a little absurd.

 'My Boys' presents P.J. as a woman who has lots of successful male friendships, has a good job, and understands sports. Quick, try to name the last time a character like that was on TV!

Tricky, isn't it? Now, go watch 'My Boys' on Netflix Instant.

Friday, December 16, 2011

'Rizzoli and Isles', Lesbian Subtext, and TNT Ratings

 'Rizzoli and Isles' (airing Monday nights 10/9C on TNT) is full of lesbian subtext. There's no way around it, you watch an episode and it's just there. I watched a single episode with my mother, with no conversations about what the show entailed ahead of time, and by the time we were halfway through she had already asked me if Jane and Maura were together.

And the answer is no, no they're not. And they probably never will be. The characters are both straight women--Janet Tamaro (the creater) has said this, Sasha Alexander and Angie Harmon have said this, and Tess Gerritsen (who wrote the books upon which the characters are based) has said this. But, despite the fact that the characters are (apparently, definitively, 100%)  straight, the show is full of lesbian subtext. And some of it is so obvious it's maintext (if you don't believe me watch the most recent episode, "Seventeen Ain't So Sweet"-S2Ep14).

There is no way that all of that is accidental; everyone involved with the show knows about its large lesbian following. Janet Tamaro has commented on it in interviews, and Sasha Alexander acknowledged the Lesbian 'Rizzoli and Isles' Drinking Game on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (see the clip below).  I imagine that in the writers room they have fun throwing in situations where Maura and Jane could be construed as being a couple, and I imagine Sasha Alexander and Angie Harmon occasionally throw a few meaningful glances in amongst their acting for the same reason.

After all, lets be honest, if they show wasn't acquiring a lesbian following it wouldn't be doing half as well. It's just not that good. The writing isn't any more brilliant than half a dozen other crime shows on the air right now (and no where near as good as 'Castle' or 'Bones'), but it has something those shows don't have. Two incredibly attractive female leads. My guess is that at the very least the executives at TNT try to continue to appeal to their lesbian following--the infamous speed dating promo suggests that's the case.

And if TNT wasn't aware of the true importance of their lesbian viewers before this week's episode, maybe they will be now.  Neither #RizzoliandIsles nor #RandI trended during the most recent episode, but you know what did trend? #gayzzoli. Hopefully TNT, and 'Rizzoli and Isles', will take a hint and keep up the subtext.

Sasha Alexander talks about how gay her show is, plus the drinking game:
TNT's speed dating promo:

I found the great screen shot at RizzleGirls

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Screen Actors Guild Nominations Announced!

Let's take a look at the TV nominations...
Who was nominated for a SAG award? Which shows are doing the best? And which networks have the most nominations? (Scroll down to see a list of all nominees)

'Modern Family' has the most nominations (5 total), but of those five, two pairs of them are competing against each other, so the most awards the show could win would be three. '30 Rock' also has the chance to win three awards...we'll just have to wait and see whether having actors from the same show competing against each other in the same category splits the vote.

NBC is the network with the most nominated actors/shows (a total of 6), followed closely by ABC (5) and HBO (5). However, all of ABC's nominations are for 'Modern Family', and 60% of HBO's nominations are for Stunt Ensemble Performances, while NBC has nominations for both '30 Rock' and 'The Office'. CBS has only three nominations, as does Showtime. The fourth network, FOX, has the fewest nominations: 1. And that one nod is for 'Glee', a show which frankly does not deserve a win.

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Drama Series
Kathy Bates for 'Harry's Law' (NBC)
Glenn Close for 'Damages' (FX)
Jessica Lange for 'American Horror Story' (FX)
Julianna Margules for 'The Good Wife' (CBS)
Kyra Sedgwick for 'The Closer' (TNT)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Comedy Series
Julie Bowen for 'Modern Family' (ABC)
Edie Falco for 'Nurse Jackie' (Showtime)
Tina Fey for '30 Rock' (NBC)
Sofia Vergara for 'Modern Family' (ABC)
Betty White for 'Hot In Cleveland' (TV Land)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series
Patrick J. Adams for 'Suits' (USA)
Steve Buscemi for 'Boardwalk Empire' (HBO)
Kyle Chandler for 'Friday Night Lights' (DirecTV/The 101 Network)
Bryan Cranston for 'Breaking Bad' (AMC)
Michael C. Hall for 'Dexter' (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin for '30 Rock' (NBC)
Ty Burrell for 'Modern Family' (ABC)
Steve Carell for 'The Office' (NBC)
Jon Cryer for 'Two and a Half Men' (CBS)
Eric Stonestreet for 'Modern Family' (ABC)

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series
'Boardwalk Empire' (HBO)

'Breaking Bad' (AMC)
'Dexter' (Showtime)
'Game of Thrones' (HBO)
'The Good Wife' (CBS)

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series
'30 Rock' (NBC)
'The Big Bang Theory' (CBS)
'Glee' (FOX)
'Modern Family' (ABC)
'The Office' (NBC)

Outstanding Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Television Series
'Dexter' (HBO)
'Game of Thrones' (HBO)
'Southland' (TNT)
'Spartacus' (STARZ)
'True Blood' (HBO)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'New Girl' Christmas Episode ('The 23rd') Recap

"Why are you guys hugging?"-Jess
"Just guy talking."-Nick 
"About, moved we are by jazz music"-Paul
"That's a lie. I told him you didn't love him, Jess."-Nick
"But he said it nicely!"-Paul

The episode began with a cute roommate moment minus Jess (unfortunately these Jess-less/bro-time moments are a rarity). The guys are all wearing roller skates that Jess has given them for Christmas, and Schmidt starts a bro-fight (how many times can I use 'bro' in this post?) because he is apparently the best skater since he had figure skating lessons till he was thirteen.

Jess realizes that she needs to buy Paul a gift, but they've only been dating for about a month, and so she is clueless about what's appropriate. She takes Nick shopping with her, solidifying the fact that he is the guy she trusts the most (can they please hook up already). Apparently she was going to give Paul a homemade nerdy sex gift certificate, but decided it was too ridiculous. She shows it to Nick and he snatches it from her, stating he'll keep it for the future (yeahhh, he'll use that in the future).

Schmidt reminds the group they all have to come to his office Christmas party. He then goes and visits Cece and presents her with a homemade perfume (which apparently smells horrible). He also gets to watch her make out with her hot boyfriend (equally horrible).

Paul gives Jess a super expensive presents (tickets to Vienna etc.), plus the gift of an "I love you". Jess gives him a plush beating heart, and says "Thank you". Equivalent gifts? I think not.

She admits to Nick that she doesn't love Paul, and asks his advice. Nick, unfortunately, runs into Paul on the office party's balcony and lets Jess' secret slip. Jess walks into the middle of the conversation, and awkwardness ensues. Further awkwardness? Nick, Paul, and Jess all get locked on the balcony. This gives us some comedic gems, including Nick answering a phone call from his mom while Jess and Paul discuss breaking up:  "Hey Mom! I can't talk right now, I'm in a real awkward situation".

Jess and Paul break up, and Nick feels bad. He misses his flight home so that he can take Jess and the gang to see a row of Christmas-decorated houses (gee Nick, just ask her out already!). Unfortuantely, by the time they get there all of the lights are off. Nick starts yelling at them to "turn on the lights!", and soon Schmidt, Winston, and Cece join in. Eventually Jess perks up a little and joins in too, and the lights get turned on. As this happens we get to hear Zooey Deschanel as She of 'She and Him' sing a Christmas song in the background, while we watch Zooey Deschanel playing Jess on screen. It's very...meta.

Maybe we'll hook up when 'New Girl' is back in January

'30 Rock' promo for Season 6

I want '30 Rock' now!

But, I suppose I can settle for the teaser for Season Six (maybe):

Start counting down the days until January 12th, because that's when all new episodes start airing on NBC (8/7C).

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Competition Time...

How is this in any way a fair competition, TVLine?

 TVLine is now running their 'Law-Enforcement Crushes' Tournament.

After an intense Twitter battle between Michael Weatherly ('NCIS') and Nathan Fillion ('Castle'), Weatherly was crowned the winner in the male competition.

'Rizzoli & Isles', 'Bones', & High School Reunions

Tonight on 'Rizzoli & Isles' there's a dead classmate at Rizzoli's high school reunion.

Sound familiar to anyone?

Think 'Bones'--"The Death of the Queen bee" (S5Ep17).

How much do you want to bet that Isles will end up attending Rizzoli's reunion with her, reminiscent of how Booth attended Brennan's?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

'Bones' vs. 'Castle': What is Better?

Before this year I was a major 'Bones' fan. I completely adored the show. Even with my intense hatred of Hannah I kept watching. I trusted the writers, and I trusted Hart Hanson, and I figured that they must have some kind of end goal in sight. Now I'm losing confidence in them. 

Personally I think the quality of the episodes have been weak so far. Why?
  • slightly boring cases
  • no major villain introduced
  • limited quality Bones/Booth interaction (all they seem to do is argue!)
  • loss in dynamic between main characters (not because they're together in a relationship, but because they're not together enough on screen--hopefully this will improve when she's back in the field)
  • forcing us to invest in Cam last season, while giving her no interaction with her new Doctor boyfriend or Michelle at all this season
  • weird scenes with Hodgins/Angela and their baby without enough input from other cast members, making it seem like they're in their own mini-show
Before this year I hadn't seen a single episode of 'Castle'. I barely knew it existed. But this year a friend of mine told me to watch it, and I was hooked. I loved it as much as I loved 'Bones'. Plus, while 'Bones' is very weak this season, 'Castle' is only growing stronger.

How is 'Castle' particularly strong?
  •  interesting underlying storylines (what will happen when Beckett realizes that Castle is trying to stop her from investigating her mother's case? And that he hid a potential lead--the phone call from the man threatening them--from her?)
  • cases with twists (the creepy old woman locked in the cage is actually a villain!)
  • good interactions between Castle and Beckett, with alone time on screen that includes banter and normal conversation
  • quality storylines for the supporting characters that don't separate too much from the main plot (Esposito and Lanie, Ryan and his impending marriage, Alexis and college)
What do you think? Do you watch both shows? Do you think one is stronger than the other?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

'Bones' Schedule Gets Reorganized

The networks giveth and the networks taketh away.

I'm talking (of course!) about the fact that while ABC is giving us an extra episode of 'Castle', FOX is reorganizing it's already shortened season of 'Bones'.

We were originally supposed to see the sixth episode of 'Bones' 7th season this Thursday (December 12th). Unfortunately, it occurred to the network that 'The Finder' (Hart Hanson's new show) would probably do better if it had a 'Bones' lead in so no new episode this Thursday. While this may be true, it doesn't make me happy.

'Bones' won't return until January 12th, and after that episode the show will be on hiatus until the spring.

There's not a new episode of 'Bones' on Dec 12th, it's a rerun!

Friday, December 9, 2011

'Castle' gets an extended season

What's that, ABC? You're giving us an extra episode of 'Castle' this season? I'll take what I can get!

EW announced last night that ABC ordered one more episode this season. That means a grand total of 23 episodes of the show's current (4th) season.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'New Girl' Gets Naked (and Awkward)

'New Girl': "Bad in Bed" (S1Ep9)

I'm not sure that a half-hour comedy has ever made me feel so...awkward. Assuming that was what the writers/actors of 'New Girl' were going for in last night's episode (and I'm pretty sure it was) they definitely hit the nail on the head. "Awkwardly Adorable" has become something of a Zooey Deschanel/'New Girl' tag-line on Twitter and blogs everywhere. And, lets face it, she does kind of have that down pat.

When 'New Girl' first premiered I had very mixed reactions. I wanted to like it a lot, mainly because Liz Meriwether created it, and there are far too few television shows on the air that are created by women. But, in all honesty, wanting to like it wasn't enough. The pilot episode just felt incredibly awkward to me...and no, I don't mean that in the awkwardly adorable sense. I fount Jess jarring, and the guys irritating. If I didn't write this blog, I probably wouldn't have stuck with the show. But I did, and I'm actually glad.

I still don't think that 'New Girl' is the best half-hour comedy on television. Not by a long shot. But, every couple of episodes I see one I really like, and that motivates me to keep watching. I laughed out loud during both the wedding episode (S1Ep3) and the Thanksgiving episode (S1Ep6).

I had mixed-feelings about last night's episode. For those of you who'd like a little recap: Jess and her new boyfriend, Paul (played by Justin Long) decide to have sex for the first time. But Jess hasn't had sex with anyone except her now ex-boyfriend in over six years. She stumbles across Schmidt's porn stash, and starts to worry that she isn't good at sex. Of course, she decides it's a good idea to ask the guys for advice. She gets more and more worried (and awkward!) and ultimately has a cringe-worthy almost-sex interaction with Paul. Which involves weird fake voices, some very light unintentional S&M, and awkward (!) lingerie. Literally, the whole scene made me cringe to the extent that I wasn't even sure I wanted to watch the episode. I talked with my roommates about it afterwards (weirdly, we were all watching the show in separate rooms) and they had similar reactions. Do you think that was what the writers were going for? Because while I know that awkwardly-adorable is 'New Girl's' middle name, I think that scene was just plain awkward.

I did think the last scene in the elevator was pretty funny, as were the earlier scenes where Jess confronts the guys (and later Paul) about their porn habits.

And, despite their awkward almost-sex scene in last night's episode, I'm pleasantly surprised by the chemistry that Justin Long and Zooey Deschanel have. It's almost believable that they could date despite all their...awkwardness.


Monday, December 5, 2011

"Castle" 'Cuffed' Recap

In tonight's episode of "Castle" (the last before the winter break!) Beckett and Castle woke up handcuffed to each other in a dark room. It was kind of adorable watching them wake up next to each other--when Kate first woke up she smiled at Castle, and didn't have an immediate negative reaction. It wasn't until she was fully awake, a few moments later, that she was suddenly concerned about how they had ended up in bed together. When Castle was woken up by Beckett he seemed pleased, and unsurprised. It was pretty adorable to see them together as a 'couple', if only for a split second.

The episode continued with a series of flashbacks, which gradually explained to viewers how Beckett and Castle had ended up locked in the room. They had been called to a motel because a body had been discovered. It was a middle-aged man, and his fingertips were burned off. They began investigating separately from Esposito and Ryan. While the others are off investigating an address written on a scrap of paper, Castle realizes that it is written on the back of a ripped off envelope. On the back of the paper is a postage bar code. Without reporting their discovery to anyone, Castle and Beckett head off to investigate. Meanwhile, Ryan and Esposito find out that the man went to the address written on the envelope, a cafe, and met with a random man. A waitress helps a sketch artist come up with an image of that man, which they then tape on the murder board.

Meanwhile, Beckett and Castle remember how they followed the postage code to an abandoned house, and discovered an old woman locked in a cave. They also find out that they were definitely drugged (Castle sees needle marks on Beckett's back). They can't remember anything else. Kate discovers a light switch and a big freezer in the middle of the room. They try to move the freezer into the middle of the room so that they can climb on top and access a hatch door in the ceiling, but it's too heavy. Eventually Castle uses his author-learned locksmith skills to get through the combination lock. Inside they discover a ton of different chains, and a variety of knives covered with dried blood. They're worried that they have been trapped by some sort of serial killer, and hurridly push the freezer into the middle of the room. But they're not tall enough to reach the hatch--even when Beckett climbs on Castle's shoulders. When they do eventually almost open it, a man opens it instead, and they fall backwards onto the mattress. They realize that is not a way of escape.

Esposito and Lanie, who have been bickering throughout the episode, continue to argue. When Ryan and Esposito go down to the morgue they do manage to persuade her to try to retrieve the fingerprints, even though the fingers have not been soaking for long enough. They get partial prints, but when they are combined with partial prints they found on the scrap of letter they are able to identify the man as a trucker.

Ryan realizes what the back of the scrap of letter means, and they go to the house where Castle and Beckett found the old woman locked in the cave. Unfortunately, no one is there--but they do find a hatch in the floor leading to an abandoned holding cell.

Esposito, Ryan, and Sir (aka the new Chief of Police) try to figure out where Beckett and Castle went. They are interrupted by the man that the waitress saw, and he explains that he works for the DEA and that they have been tracking the trucker for some time because they suspect he is trafficking drugs from Mexico through Texas and into New York. He agrees to help them search, and gives them his files.

At this point Beckett and Castle have been trapped together for a while, and they hear an argument in a foreign language through the walls. They hear the word "trafficking" and are worried they're caught up in a human trafficking operation. Beckett hears a whimpering noise through the wall, and thinks it is a girl crying. She wants to break through a weak part of the wall to help whoever is on the other end. At first Castle disagrees, but she mentions Alexis to get him on board. Once they break through the wall they find themselves face to face with a tiger.

Back in the precinct Ryan realizes that the first abandoned house they discovered had been foreclosed by a bank, and that the other houses they have found in the DEA agent's files were also foreclosed and owned by banks. He realizes that they are using a foreclosure list to find safe houses, and uses it find houses where Castle and Beckett may be.

Meanwhile, Castle and Beckett quickly put the metal freezer on its side, and stand precariously on the top. They climb up right before the tiger breaks into the room, and he circles the freezer trying to attack them. At this point Castle could have started blaming Beckett for persuading him to break through the wall (the old Castle probably would have), but he doesn't, and I think that shows how much their friendship has grown. Eventually they realize there is nothing they can do, and start screaming for help.

Ryan and Esposito arrive at the house as the screaming begins, and reach the hatch, opening it just before the tiger attacks. But then they are suddenly surrounded by the smugglers, which include the old woman who apparently was only pretending to be locked in the cage to get the drop on Beckett and Castle. The other smugglers are her sons. Ryan and Esposito can choose going after the smugglers or saving Beckett and Castle, and I think it's pretty obvious which one they choose. But don't worry, the smugglers all get caught. And Beckett and Castle are rescued.

A side story had to deal with Ryan and his fiance driving from New York to Florida. Esposito explains to him that it's a relationship test to see if they can stand each other for such a long period of time in one space. Of course, this directly relates to the fact that Castle and Beckett are trapped together this episode, and serves to highlight the fact that they have a secure enough relationship that they can spend a lot of time together in a stressful situation and not attack each other. In fact, they both admit at the end that if they had to choose one person to be trapped with, they would choose each other. Hopefully this suggests that they can get together soon and be a real couple. Also, at the very end of the episode Castle says "If there's one person I'd choose to be hitched to, it would be you". He grows awkward as he and Kate both realize that 'hitched' is a colloquialism for 'married'. Kate laughs it off, and adds that he is the only person that she would want to be handcuffed to. As she is leaving she flirts with Castle by saying, "the next time we're handcuffed together all night, lets do it without the tiger". Castle perks up at the 'next time', and yells after her "next time? next time?". Beckett just smiles and walks off.

Can they get together now? Please?

'Castle' returns to ABC Mondays (9/10C) in January.

"HIMYM": Symphony of Illumination Summary

I feel like this entire episode built my hopes up only to rip my heart out. First, 'Rebound Girl' gave us hope that Robin and Barney might get back together, or at the very least that Barney might be the baby's father. After which we discovered that if Robin is pregnant Barney is definitely the baby's father. Plus, we learn via apparent flash-forward that even if Robin is not pregnant now, she and Barney have not one, but two children someday. At which point we unfortunately reach the downward spiral half of the episode. We learn that Robin is not pregnant. She and Barney show no signs of getting back together. And if that isn't bad enough we get to watch Robin being told that she can never have a baby. She tells no one, so we watch her suffer alone. We still hold onto the hope that she has children someday with Barney, because we have seen the flash-forward scenes.  But no, finally, at the end of the episode we discover that all of the flash-forward scenes are figments of present day Robin's imagination. And not only that, we hear from future Ted's voiceover that Robin never has children. So, basically, this episode initially gave us a future with a happy Robin and Barney with two children, and then snatched it all back and left us exactly where we were before. Robin is with Kevin, and Barney is single (for now).

The other side-story, which involved Marshall and Lily, really wasn't much better. It certainly wasn't less depressing. Unless you think that a cruel teenage boy trapping Marshall on a roof and trashing the new Long Island house is funny. Or that pregnant Lily repeatedly talking about all the gross side-effects of pregnancy (while a depressed Robin hovered nearby) is funny. Yeah, me either.

Did you like the episode? Persuade me that I'm wrong!

"HIMYM": Rip My Heart Out, Why Don't You?

I just finished this week's episode of "How I Met Your Mother" ('Symphony of Illumination') and I was less than impressed. Most of the time, "HIMYM" does a really good job of making me laugh. Even on the not so stellar episodes I normally laugh once or twice. During 'Symphony of Illumination' not only did I not laugh, I was actually unhappy. This is a feeling that "HIMYM" has been evoking more and more, and I truly hope they stop doing it before I stop watching.

spoilers from episode airing 12/5/11

For one thing, it was clear from that very first scene in the bathroom, when Robin told Barney that her period was one week late, that she was probably not pregnant. However, the episode continued to string us along with a voice-over from grown-up Robin talking to her future children which replaced the normal clips of Ted's future children. During these voice-overs she also insinuated that Barney was the father of her children, something which lots of pro-Barney/Robin viewers were probably ecstatic about--until the end of the episode. By the end of the episode, we learned three things:
1) Not only was Robin not pregnant, but she is apparently unable to ever have children
2) According to future Ted's voice-over at the end, she doesn't ever have children
3) The future of Robin and Barney is still just as up in the air as it was before this episode. In fact, if anything it's less likely because Robin now knows that Barney likes the idea of children, and that she can never have any. Great.

The only truly exciting thing that happened between Robin and Barney was the fact that Barney did what Robin asked and kept her potential pregnancy a secret--proving that he has grown.

The writers' of "HIMYM" are about to introduce a new love interest for Barney, Quinn (played by Becki Newton). Starting in January, she is going to be a recurring character throughout the rest of this season. My one hope is that she doesn't last must longer than Kevin (Kal Penn) does. Honestly, I just want Barney and Robin back together again. I know that many people thought that a non-playboy Barney hurt the show, but I think that if they played a little more with the sneaking around aspect, and didn't have them discovered too quickly that would help (last time they got together they weren't even secret for a whole episode).

Anyway, I'm a little concerned that not only will Barney date Quinn, but that Robin will date Ted again too. He was just a little too traditionally-Ted at the end of this episode? Hugging a vulnerable girl? Check. Big romantic gesture with Christmas tree lights and sacrifice (Ted gave up a Christmas visit with his parents/cousins to hang out with Robin)? Check.

'How I Met Your Mother': "Symphony of Illumination". Season 7, Episode 12.

"HIMYM": Who is the Father of Robin's Baby?

 minor spoilers

Who's the father of Robin's baby? And what's the bad thing that's happening to her that "How I Met Your Mother" co-creator Craig Thomas dropped hints about? I know the answer to at least one of those questions, and I'll speculate on the other.

Craig Thomas (co-creator of "HIMYM") has dropped hints about the episode, including the fact that Robin gets bad news. I'm concerned that she'll have a miscarriage, and think it's a possibility that the writers might have decided to go that direction because: a) Lily is also trying to have a baby, and having two characters pregnant at the same time can really complicate story-lines b) "HIMYM" seems to be way more of a drama-comedy recently (the horrendous Barney/Nora break-up, Barney/Robin will-they-won't they, no she'll choose Kevin scenario comes to mind) then a true comedy. But I really, truly hope that that doesn't happen.

Other 'bad things' that could happen? Robin clearly has a lot of unresolved issues with her father, so perhaps she has to deal with him having an illness, or even dying (although that seems unlikely since we already dealt with the death of a parent last season). Or, Kevin could break-up with Robin right when she's about to tell him she's pregnant (or worse, after she tells him she's pregnant). Or, Barney could say something horrible to Robin about her pregnancy (this seems highly unlikely, but you never know). Craig Thomas has promised that the show won't deal with abortion (at least in this particular situation), so at least we know it's not going that route.

The episode will pick-up exactly where the last episode left off, and the father of the baby will be revealed very early. Want to know who it is? Watch the clip:

if you watch this it's a major spoiler

"HIMYM" and "Castle" Are All New

The hiatus is over! Tonight both "HIMYM" and "Castle" are all new, and both shows are much anticipated; "HIMYM" because of Robin's surprise announcement at the end of the last episode ("Barney, I'm pregnant"!), and "Castle" because we've been promised an hour of Castle and Beckett trapped in a room together, handcuffed.

I've dealt with "HIMYM" here (the post even includes a clip that reveals who the baby's father is!), so now it's time to talk about "Castle".

What we know for sure is that Beckett and Castle are going to wake up together in an empty room, and they're going the be handcuffed. The whole episode will revolve around them trying to escape the room, the rest of the precinct trying to find them, and presumably some sort of relationship discussion. I mean, they're literally trapped together, so there's no way for them to run away from any conversations (or fights!) that might start.

Thanks to TV Guide for the following clip:

"How I Met Your Mother" airs on Mondays on CBS at 7/8C.
This is the last "Castle" episode until January, so hopefully it will be a good one!
Watch "Castle" on ABC at 9/10C.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tina Fey/Liz Lemon's Hair

Since apparently I'm on a roll (hair-wise), I've also been thinking about the evolution of Tina Fey's hair. Actually, no, let me rephrase: I've been thinking about the evolution of Liz Lemon's hair (Fey's character on '30 Rock').

Fey's hairstyle has also gone through some pretty major changes (if you need confirmation of this, just check out her first appearance on Weekend Update on 'SNL'), but that's an issue for another day.

Liz Lemon's hair in the pilot episode

By the 3rd episode of Season 1 someone decided to style her hair

By Season 2 they were placing far more effort into her hair than Liz Lemon ever would

By Season 3 someone was going a little crazy with a curling iron

By Season 5 the curls were far far less

Liz Lemon's hair = major evolution. I would say that this evolution is about character development ("Liz is becoming more comfortable in her career/life and her own personality is shining through, as evidenced by her suddenly luxurious locks!"), but I think it's more likely that the network told their hair stylists that Liz needed to be more attractive so that people would "like looking at her more" or something. Ugh. I would argue with them on this point, except that I think in many ways they are right. Americans are not used to watching 'normal looking' people on television (and by that I mean people who look like us). British television is much more grounded in reality, their ordinary characters look like ordinary people, and even their scenes are less strategically lit, and the footage is less edited (more on that next time). And every time I try to get my friends to watch a British television show with me they scoff at the 'ugly people'.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Hair Trend

Has anyone else noticed the new trend among 'hot' women'* on television?

They all have long, wavy hair. And it's rarely natural.

Case in point:

1. Sasha Alexander (Maura Isles), 'Rizzoli & Isles'

2. Angie Harmon (Jane Rizzoli), 'Rizzoli & Isles'
3. Zooey Deschanel (Jess), 'New Girl'

*I'm not contesting the fact that they are hot, but rather the fact that 'hot' is the main descriptive word we use to explain who we're talking about, which I find a little sad.

Zooey Deschanel on 'Conan'!

Zooey Deschanel appeared on 'Conan' yesterday. They barely talked about her show ('New Girl') at all, but they did touch on her recent party at the American Girl Store, childhood memories, eating raw hot dogs, and her Grammy nomination.

In related news, apparently Deschanel had at least two American Girl dolls growing up; Molly and Samantha. She doesn't mention Samantha by name, but sadly I immediately knew which doll she was referencing.

Watch her appearance on 'Conan':

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Music!

I typically hum Christmas music year round, which rather obviously annoys a lot of people. Luckily, it's December 1st today, which means that Christmas music is once again appropriate! Apparently the media agrees with me. Ellen's 12 days of giveaways started today (if you were in the audience, I'm jealous!) and She & Him performed a song from their new-ish Christmas album.
There is a video, just give it a minute and it will appear.
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They're back!

I hate mid-season hiatuses. Really, truly hate them. Mainly because each network seems to abide by a slightly different schedule, and that makes it almost impossible to keep track of when new episodes are airing.

Luckily, I know one thing:

Tonight there are all new episodes of 'Community', 'Parks and Rec', 'The Office', and 'Bones' (and 'Whitney' too, but that's barely worth mentioning). Thank you NBC and FOX! Other channels are airing repeats.

On 'Community' (NBC, 8/7C) it's an episode that's all about Foosball and lying. Sounds like a great combination to me.

Next is 'Parks and Rec' (NBC, 8:30/7:30C) where Leslie goes on trial--my guess is it has something to do with that kissing that happened with Ben last week.

Wrapping up Thursday's comedy line-up is 'The Office' (NBC, 9/8C) which is introducing Maura Tierney as a minor supporting character, in the role of Robert California's wife. I've loved Tierney ever since I first saw 'NewsRadio' so I'm super excited about her return to comedy.

Since I think 'Bones' works best when as little is known about the episode as possible (and I haven't seen it, so I don't want to ruin it for myself by reading an episode description or spoilers) suffice to say that it will probably deal more with Brennan's pregnancy, that pesky house Booth and Brennan are trying to agree on, and a murder. Definitely a murder.
please, please watch this show

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nathan Fillion on 'Conan'

I know what you crazy kids like: Nathan Fillion.

If you don't know who I'm talking about (or you don't agree) you don't know what you're missing (a soul?).

He was brilliant in 'Firefly', but personally I enjoy 'Castle' even more (I'll probably get hate mail now. I said I like 'Firefly', okay?).

Anyway, 'Castle' was a repeat this week (see my rant about midseason hiatus if you're unsure how I felt about that), but Nathan Fillion did make an appearance on 'Conan' and 'Good Morning America'. For those of you who missed it, enjoy:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Live! with Kelly, Saturday Night Live, and Seinfeld

Is 'Live!' missing Regis?

Personally, I found Regis Philbin a little irritating, and his banter with Kelly more obnoxious than cute. The running gag that he was the old guy who wasn't technologically savvy was getting a little tired.

Because of that, I'm not sad to see him go. I find Kelly Ripa less annoying, and better versed in popular culture. Since 'Live!' is really a pop culture, celebrity-obsessed show that's what is really important. Regis just didn't have that knowledge.

On a recent 'Saturday Night Live' they performed a skit that does an excellent job of highlighting the current issue that 'Live!' does have--who is going to replace Regis? While Kelly could probably do an excellent job by herself, the show's dynamic has always been based on the quirky relationship between its hosts. And the show has always been relatively successful. I doubt they have any desire to test the rocky waters of a single-host talk show (Ellen Degeneres kind of has that market covered). So, who will become Kelly's new co-host? Some of the recent temporary celebrity co-hosts have been better than others, but none of them are going to abandon their acting jobs to take a permanent position.

What do you think will happen? Who should become Kelly Ripa's new co-host?

 Evidence of a bad celebrity co-host? Jerry Seinfeld. I appreciate his comedy but he made the interviews all about himself, and didn't give the guests they were actually interviewing a chance to contribute.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nathan Fillion on 'Live! with Kelly' 11/25/11

On Friday, November 25th Nathan Fillion of 'Castle' appeared on 'Live! with Kelly' (the new version of 'Live! with Regis and Kelly). He was interviewed by Kelly and Jerry O'Connell. Watch the interview here:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Great Thanksgiving-themed Episodes

This post should really be entitled, "Great 'Friends' Thanksgiving-themed Episodes" because, in all honesty, that's what it is.

Watching the 'Friends' Thanksgiving day episodes always get me in the perfect mood for the holidays, so I recommend you watch each one of them. In order. Come on, you have an entire night before it's time to start frantically preparing turkey, right?

Season 1: "The One Where Underdog Got Away" (S1Ep9)

Season 2: "The One with the List" (S2Ep8)
Season 3: "The One with the Football (S3Ep9)
Season 4: "The One with Chandler in a Box" (S4Ep8)
Season 5: "The One with All the Thanksgivings" (S5Ep8)
Season 6: "The One Where Ross Got High" (S6Ep8)
Season 7: "The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs" (S7Ep8)
Season 8: "The One with the Rumor" (S8Ep9)
Season 9: "The One with Rachel's Other Sister" (S9Ep8)

Season 10: "The One with the Late Thanksgiving" (S10Ep8)

'Rizzoli & Isles' Returns!

As a Thanksgiving gift for you all, 'Rizzoli & Isles' is returning this coming Monday (11/28).

How excited are you? This excited?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

HIMYM: Will Robin and Kevin break up? When?

Will Robin and Kevin break up? Yes. Mainly because they have to. In a contractually obligated sort of way.

Kal Penn, who plays Kevin on 'How I Met Your Mother', signed on for an eight-episode arc. That's not to say he won't be invited back in the future, but it seems unlikely that he'll commit to another long arc.

Remember when Penn first appeared on 'HIMYM'? It was in the fourth episode of the current season, "The Stinson Missile Crisis" (S7Ep4). He has appeared in almost every single episode since then*, for a total of six episodes. So, by the power of math (and Penn's contract) that means Kevin will only be sticking around for two more episodes.

So, does it matter if Kevin is the baby's father? Okay. Yes. It matters a little bit. But will potential parenthood mean that Kevin will be sticking around? I doubt it. Especially since Penn is currently developing a new workplace comedy for NBC. Why settle for guest starring roles when you can be the next Tina Fey?

*Kal Penn did not appear in "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns" (S7Ep8) or "The Rebound Girl" (S7Ep11)

Lets Talk About: Zooey Deschanel

Okay, as many of you know I have been annoyed by Zooey Deschanel in the past. And no, I'm not talking about her as a person. I don't know her, and I'm not about to trash someone I've never met. I've been annoyed by many of the characters she plays, and by aspects of her celebrity persona.

Despite what I once said about 'New Girl', I have to admit that the show is improving. I still don't think it's comedic genius, but when you hold it up next to other new shows it looks pretty darn good. Jess is still a little bit too doe-eyed, little-girl attired, cutesy hipster for me but she's starting to have an actual personality, so I'm more okay with it. Plus, I actually laughed out loud during parts of "Thanksgiving" (S1Ep6) so I have to concede something.

Jake Johnson is the real reason why I'm enjoying the show more. He does a great job of making the character of Nick seem like a real guy. While Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) are more caricatures (and no, I'm not blaming the actors, but the writing, and maybe even the necessity of plot), Nick is like a real guy who could be hanging around in an apartment. Also, Johnson and Deschanel have great chemistry, which I'm sure will eventually be used by the showrunners in some sort of plot twist. Whether it is a Ross/Rachel scenario, or an actual long-term relationship remains to be seen (though my best guess is they'll use the 'Friends' trope).

My admiration for Zooey Deschanel has also increased because I'm secretly (Guess it's out of the bag now, huh?) obsessed with her band, 'She and Him'. Plus, I think the way that she dealt with Abby Elliott's impression of her on 'Saturday Night Live' was classy.
Plus, I finally get how to defrost a turkey

Monday, November 21, 2011

'HIMYM': "Tick Tick Tick" and "The Rebound Girl" reviewed

'How I Met Your Mother' has really been pulling on our heart strings recently. It's almost as though they've decided to switch genres.

Spoilers from episode airing Nov. 21st, 2011 

Last week's episode "Tick Tick Tick..." (S7Ep10) was the most depressing episode of 'HIMYM' that I have ever seen. It opened with Barney and Robin in bed together, both grappling with the fact that they'd cheated on their significant others. Throughout the episode they discussed what this meant to them: Were they destined to be together? Was it all a big mistake? By the end of the episode Barney had ended his first ever serious relationship (on the very day he was supposed to meet her parents!) and wanted to get together with Robin. Robin, despite initially agreeing, had a change of heart when her boyfriend said "I love you" for the first time. The episode ended with the series' saddest scene ever: Barney removing rose petals from Robin's bed, and blowing out candles that he had set up all over her room, before she came home. The other story line, featuring Ted and Marshall high at a concert and a pregnant Lily craving nachos was not enough to distract from the pain.

It's unclear how much time in the 'HIMYM' world passed between last week's episode and the one that aired tonight...but I'm hoping for a couple of weeks at least. If you saw it you'll probably guess why.

"The Rebound Girl" (S7Ep11) featured a lonely Ted and a still emotionally distraught Barney. They drunkenly decided that it would be a good idea to adopt a baby and raise her together. This storyline continued throughout the episode--with Barney being the one to insist that it really was a good idea, and that he really did want a baby. Robin, meanwhile, was the center of the other storyline. She was devastated when Lily and Marshall told her that they were going to move to Long Island to the house that Lily's grandparents had given them. Her anxiety was present throughout the episode, and I think most viewers assumed it was because she felt that everything was changing...including her friendship with Barney, which had presumably been damaged when she rejected him and stayed with her boyfriend. Despite Robin's anxiety and Barney's obsessive behavior  this was a much, much funnier episode than last week's. The jokes about Lily and Marshall's tiny apartment, the running gag that Robin couldn't turn around without breaking a lamp, and the appearance of a real-live baby helped to liven the mood.

Midway though the episode a distraught Robin locked herself into the bathroom at the Long Island house, declaring that she would not come out until Marshall and Lily promised not to move. Although she refused to open the door, she did end up opening the bathroom window numerous times to receive a cheese plate, have a conversation through the window with Marshall, and finally to let Barney climb through. He cautiously asked her if they could still be friends (leaving us to wonder, how much time had passed since last week's episode? Was this the first time they had seen each other since she chose her boyfriend over him?), and then proceed to tell her about the baby plan, leaving out the part where it was all his idea, and placing the 'blame' on Ted. Robin finally said something that explained her odd behavior throughout the episode: "I'm pregnant".

So, seriously, how much time has passed? Is it possible that Barney is the father? And if he isn't the father will Robin's current boyfriend want a baby? Based on Barney's behavior throughout the episode it's pretty clear that he would have no problem raising another man's child as his own and that he is still in love with Robin.

And, finally, was anyone else bothered by the similarities between Brennan's declaration to Booth at the end of last season of 'Bones' and this episode's ending?
On 'Bones': Brennan, "I'm pregnant. And you're the father." Cut to black.
On 'HIMYM': Robin, "I'm pregnant." Cut to black.

Ahh mid-season hiatus, you will be the death of me. Hopefully we'll find out what happens when new episodes start airing on December 5th. But, knowing how much 'HIMYM' likes to drag out storylines (who is the mother? And who is Barney marrying?) I'm wondering how long it will take before the writers choose to tell us anything about Robin's pregnancy.

Back when Hannigan & Smulders were really pregnant. Boy, this storyline would been easier then...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nathan Fillion: Twitter, New York, & Interviews

Apparently Nathan Fillion's twitter is useful!

Fillion announced yesterday that he was traveling to New York to attend premieres and promote his show ('Castle') on morning shows:

Nathan Fillion

What's that, NY? You miss me? You wanna do what? Premieres and morning shows? I'm in!

Unfortunately Fillion didn't announce which morning shows...but that's okay, because I did the research for you.

On Friday (11/25), otherwise known as the day after Thanksgiving, Fillion will be making an appearance on 'Live with Regis and Kelly!'. Which, weirdly, will no longer have Regis (his final show is 11/18).

Thanks to the commenter who pointed out that Fillion will also be appearing on 'Good Morning America' on Monday (Nov. 21st). The show airs on ABC  and begins at 7 am.

I'm not sure what else he's appearing on, since he doesn't appear to be on any late night show schedules. If you have an idea, be sure to let me know!

Now, I assumed that since 'Castle' wasn't filming (how ever would they film without Fillion?!) that meant that Stana Katic would also be doing interviews. And I was right. Here's Katic on 'The Talk' (first airing 11/17):

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FOX shows on Hulu: Questionable Marketing

Hulu is many things: a way to watch free shows, an introduction to plot-points you may have missed during your busy week, and a marketing tool for TV networks and cable companies.

Hulu allows viewers to experience television's newest shows even if they missed them the first time. It's a way to suck in new viewers, or maintain current viewers, by allowing them to catch-up. It's also a way to reduce illegal downloads of shows, while still retaining some financial advantage (after all, we all know Hulu advertises).

Several of the networks are using Hulu in the best way possible: they are releasing shows within 24-hours of their air date. This allows those of us with work, with children, with busy lives, to catch-up when we miss an episode. Many of us would like to watch our favorite shows live but we can't, and Hulu is a legal alternative. Releasing a new episode within 24 (or even 48) hours gives viewers an opportunity to find time in their lives to watch the episode they missed before it is time for the next new episode to air. This increases the likelihood that they will watch the next episode live. Which is, presumably, the ultimate goal of the networks: to have the maximum number of viewers.

FOX is currently making a big mistake. While their new episodes do appear on Hulu almost immediately after airing, they are only available to Hulu Plus members (those people who pay a fee to access Hulu content). These episodes do eventually appear for free, but not until after the next new episode has aired. For many of FOX's shows this is doing more harm than good.

For instance, last week I missed an episode of 'House', a show that I often choose to watch live. I knew that 'House' aired on Mondays on FOX, so I went on Hulu Sunday night to catch-up. Because 'House' is largely plot-driven, missing an episode can be confusing. The previous week's episode of 'House' was still only available to Hulu Plus members--a full six days after airing. Guess when it did become free and available? This morning. After the newest episode of 'House' had aired. Guess who didn't watch 'House' live last night?

Sure I could continue to watch things a week behind, and as a viewer I wouldn't be too upset. But as a network FOX should be. I could easily become one less viewer who's watching their TV show live. And of course there's the separate issue: if content isn't available for free on Hulu there are plenty of other sites where a viewer can easily watch a show they missed. Everyone knows that. And using those sites is definitely not financially beneficial to the networks.

I just double-checked to make sure this wasn't a flux. It isn't. New Girl aired last Tuesday and it still isn't available for free on Hulu Plus. There's a new episode premiering tonight.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tina Fey of '30 Rock' on Brian Williams' 'Rock Center'

I've seen Tina Fey give some pretty spectacular/hilarious interviews which is why I was quite surprised by her recent turn on 'Rock Center'.

'Rock Center' is Brian Williams' new show, and Fey was interviewed by him during the second episode.

To be honest, I think that the real problem was the chemistry between Fey and Williams.

Fey has a dry, sardonic wit and Williams was unable to verbally spar with her. Despite the fact that Fey seemed a little awkward, Williams was the one who seemed to be just sitting there, changing the topic often instead of helping Fey support her jokes. Williams is well suited for the world of serious journalism  but I'm not sure he can compete in the talk show world .


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

'Covert Affairs' is back!

Apparently summer television isn't just for summer anymore.

Both USA and TNT have decided to release new episodes of their hit summer shows starting this month.

'Covert Affairs' returned to our TVs on Tuesday (11/7), and I'm pleased to say that Annie Walker is as interesting as ever. In case you missed it you can catch up on Hulu. All new episodes will continue to air this month: Tuesdays at 10/9c on USA.

'Rizzoli and Isles' is also returning starting on November 28th at 10/9c. That's a Monday, which is unfortunate because it will conflict with 'Castle'. Time to prepare your DVRs!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The People' Choice Awards--will one show dominate?

When the People's Choice Award nominations were released this morning many of you may have noticed the obvious--several shows have the chance to win multiple awards. Now, I cannot be the only one who was completely bored at the Emmy's when 'Modern Family' won the first four awards. However, when looking at the shows nominated for People's Choice Awards there are some that really deserve to win, and some that really, really don't. Because of that, a show having total domination at this awards show may not be a bad thing.

Here are some possible domination scenarios:

'Bones' could win TV Drama Actor (David Boreanaz), TV Drama Actress (Emily Deschanel), and Best TV Crime Drama.
(To make it a family affair Zooey Deschanel's show 'New Girl' could also win for Best New Comedy)

'Grey's Anatomy' could win TV Drama Actor (Patrick Dempsey), TV Drama Actress (Ellen Pompeo), and Best TV Drama.

'Supernatural' could win Best TV Drama and Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show. 'True Blood' and 'The Vampire Diaries' could have similar sweeps.

'House' could win Best TV Drama and TV Drama Actor (Hugh Laurie).

'Glee' could win Best TV Comedy, TV Comedy Actor (Chris Colfer or Cory Monteith) and TV Comedy Actress (Lea Michele or Jane Lynch)
'Castle' could win Best TV Crime Drama and TV Drama Actor (Nathan Fillion).

'30 Rock' could win TV Comedy Actor (Alec Baldwin) and TV Comedy Actress (Tina Fey).

'How I Met Your Mother' could win Best TV Comedy and TV Comedy Actor (Neil Patrick Harris).

And, oh, look what can't possibly dominate: 'Modern Family' (nominated only in Best TV Comedy).

The most impressive sweep would clearly be 'Bones', since they could take away a total of 3 awards. Too bad they weren't cross listed in both Best TV Crime Drama and Best TV Drama ...then they could have gone for four! Guess they might have to settle for Emily Deschanel's little sister winning Best New Comedy. That counts, right?

The show with the best shot at sweeping categories is 'Glee'. Having multiple nominees in the same category decreases competition and should work to their advantage. The only way this might not be a good thing is if fans feel divided about which cast member they should vote for, and split the vote.

People's Choice Awards

It's that time of year time! And while (hopefully) many of you are heading to the polls today, you can also vote online for the People's Choice Awards.

Click on me to vote!
The People's Choice Awards airs on Wednesday, January 11th (that's 2012!).

 Nominees were announced this morning, and television nominations include:

Favorite Network TV Comedy:
*Modern Family
*How I Met Your Mother
*2 and a Half Men
*The Big Bang Theory

Favorite TV Comedy Actor:
*Jim Parsons
*Alec Baldwin
*Neil Patrick Harris
*Cory Monteith
*Chris Colfer

Favorite TV Comedy Actress:
*Kaley Cuoco
*Jane Lynch
*Lea Michele
*Courtney Cox
*Tina Fey

Favorite Cable TV Comedy:
*Hot in Cleveland
*It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
*Royal Pains
*Nurse Jackie

Favorite Network TV Drama:
*The Vampire Diaries
*The Good Wife
*Grey's Anatomy

Favorite TV Drama Actor:
*Nathan Fillion
*David Boreanaz
*Ian Somerhalder
*Hugh Laurie
*Patrick Dempsey

Favorite TV Drama Actress:
*Blake Lively
*Emily Deschanel
*Nina Dobrev
*Eva Longoria
*Ellen Pompeo

Favorite Cable TV Drama:
*Game of Thrones
*Pretty Little Liars
*White Collar
*True Blood

Favorite TV Crime Drama:
*Criminal Minds

Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show
*True Blood
*The Walking Dead
*The Vampire Diaries