Entertainment News and Views
Judge Cynthia Boris's Blog
• Location: Aliso Viejo, CA
Sitcoms go to the Dogs, Aliens and Cavemen
With the new season fast approaching, the major networks are getting ready for Upfronts where they'll announce their fall slate of TV shows.
Even though sitcoms have been on the outs, there are plenty in development and several that should have been left on the drawing board.
ABC has Cavemen - based on the Geico ads, (yes really) and they swear it won't just be for laughs. Apparently cavemen have their sensitive side, too.
NBC has Area 57 - a comedy about the team assigned to guard a crude manipulative alien (aren't they all?).
The CW has M.I.L.F and Cookies - about four single moms who band together to raise their kids. Nice show idea, but how long will it take the censors to realize that MILF is a dirty word?
And in the "this has to be a joke" category,
Fox's Me & Lee?
Suffering from back pain and a disapointing life, Joel gets more than he bargained for when he undergoes bionic surgery in Lee Majors' secret basement lab.
This is either a joke or a really brilliant Seth Green series.
Add to this a vet who hates animals but loves his job because of the women he meets, a romantic comedy set at a funeral, two shows about people rejected from hell and forced to live "hell on earth" and a couple of series that might actually make it. We shall see.
Raines Slips and Numb3rs Delivers
Sometimes, when I have a chance to do something really spectacular, I hesitate about doing it because I know that life afterward will suck in comparison. I thought I was alone in this but apparently Larry Flienhart feels the same way. Yep, Larry returned from outer space on tonight's episode of Numb3rs and after chasing his dream for so long, he's finding out that living life after the dream is difficult.
The main storyline involved a death row inmate who wants to trade the location of his victim's bodies for a meeting with the daughter he's never met. Don thought the guy was up to no good, but in an interesting twist - he wasn't! Way to go out on a limb, Numb3rs and actually make me feel sorry for a hired hitman. As always, this show managed to have me holding my breath as I watched and that actually perplexes me. This episode wasn't particularly suspenseful and yet I found myself on the edge of my seat most of the time. My conclusion is that it's the way the show is directed and edited. Everyone in the show speaks with a slow, soft voice and it moves in sort of a lazy ambling manner until BAM - voices raised, bodies in motion and Don's looking like he's going to put his fist through the wall. Gets me every time.
My one complaint - awful use of Jeremy Sisto who I just adored as loose cannon Knapp in Kidnapped. I expected him to play a similar character here but he was actually kind of a wet noodle in a suit. Well, I still love listening to his voice so I'll let them have the rest.
Friday night is also Raines night and in this case it was the uninspired season finale of the series. Raines' ex-wife asks him to investigate the airplane crash that killed her husband and if you think you have trouble dealing with your ex's spouse, imagine his dead carcass riding around in the car with you! Sadly, this episode moved too slow and the ending was fairly cliché but there's always a spark about Raines and you usually find it in his opening monologue. Those Sam Spade soliloquies slay me. This time he made a very poignant point. When other people die along side of a famous person, the non-famous people are often ignored. It's as if their life didn't mean as much. Look at the case Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. Goldman's family lost just as much that night but the news was always about Nicole. But at the end of the episode, Raines, in his crazy, noir style, set it all right. Brilliant tag to a so-so episode.
What are the chances of Raines getting another season?
Stargate Atlantis is on the DIVO - can't wait to watch for the return of Kolya. And has anyone else noticed how much they've lightened up the character of Ronon. It's a nice touch - makes me feel like he's finally learned to trust.
On a final note, I see that Supernatural's Jensen Ackles is going to perform on stage in A Few Good Men in Dallas, TX in June. Hmm….what I wouldn't give to see him performing live but after working on Ten Inch Hero and seeing him at the premiere Wednesday night, I fear I'd look a bit like a stalker if I ran into him in another state. "What? Dallas? I was on my way to Vegas and I must have taken a wrong turn."
That's it for TV at my house.
In Need a (Ten Inch) Hero
Almost a year ago, I worked on Ten Inch Hero as a PA. Since then, I’ve worked on a few more films, crewed and acted in several TV shows, commericals and worked as an AD on a cool documentary. But Ten Inch Hero (like all first borns) holds a special place in my heart as it’s my FIRST big screen credit.
Yep, for the first time, I got to see my name on the big screen and it was attached to a wonderful movie made by some terrific people. Ten Inch Hero made its SoCal debut (even to the cast and crew) at the Newport Beach Film Festival and I couldn’t be prouder.
The audience laughed where they were supposed to and in the sad spots you could actually feel the change in the room. They “awwed”, they applauded and they appreciated every minute.
Being my first time seeing this flick, I was blown away by the gorgeous colors particularly in the beach scenes. The music was wonderful and the actors. . . well.. . Danneel was flirty and sexy. Elisabeth was heartwrenching in her need. Clea - oh, when she talks about what it’s like to live life as a plain Jane the audience wept!
Jensen was a riot and got more laughs with his silent expressions than with his lines. Sean Wing and Sean Patrick were scotching hot in different ways, and the change in Sean later in the movie blew me away. John Doe and Alice Krige were a match made in heaven and Jordan’s big moment brought tears to my eyes.
I want to see it again! I know I missed stuff and I need to see it again and soon.
Okay, so I’m not known for my lack of enthusiasm, but that’s me!
The biggest surprise of the festival was finding out that we were not alone! Sneaky devils, Jensen, Elisabeth and Danneel snuck in to the theater and watched from the back row and boy was the audience surprised when Producer Mark Witsken introduced them during the Q & A.
The film will be playing next in Santa Cruz, which is the setting for the movie and after that, who knows.
Real Pussycats Don't Cry
Wait, listen. . . hear that soft sobbing sound? That's Chelsea and Melissa crying over having lost out to Asia on the Search for the Next Pussycat Doll. Yep, it's all over except for the crying and tough, in your face, "I'd slap you as soon as look at you", Asia is the winner.
Personally, I don't care how good she is, I have a problem with awarding a major talent contract to a girl who has anger management problems. Come on, fighting with Melissa until 4 in the morning. Saying that if they were outside of the competition, she'd slap her down?
And if one more reality show contestant whines about being away from her baby. . . . !!! Enough with the, "I'm doing this for my child", routine. And then Asia goes and uses the fact that she's a mother and Melissa isn't as some sort of gauge of who is the better person.
I was rooting for Chelsea. . .alas. But tis not the end. The CW announced a second season of Pussycat Dolls is underway. So get down, get funky and get to an audition.
Dancing with the Stars was as I predicted. Heather Mills heads home and Billy Ray avoids the bottom two! The Dreamgirls piece was good but I hoped to be thrilled and I wasn't. Second look at the swing dance was nice (and was it Ian who got kicked in the head?) and I enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the pre-show antics.
Dancing in Over Drive
Fun night on television. I kicked off the evening with another episode of Dancing with the Stars. Joey Fatone is still wowing me every week with his sexy style but Laila Ali is growing on me big time. I wasn't a fan of hers in the early weeks but she's really got it going on. Billy Ray Cyrus gets my A for effort award. No, he's not the best dancer in the bunch but he really pours his heart and soul into his routines and I love that he involves the crowd by offering up pieces of his clothing! Sounds like a throw back to his Achy Breaky Heart days.
The big highlight this week was the full cast swing dance routine. The choreographers were smart enough to build a story into the dance so it didn't have to live or die on the ability of the dancers. With the men decked out in WWII uniforms and the girls in red, white and blue, it was a truly patriotic number and lots of fun to watch. Not precision movements, but again, a lot of heart.
My bet? Heather Mills is going home tomorrow.
After Dancing with the Stars, I put on the Tivo'd Drive. (Why are all my favorites on at the same time?) I was totally captivated by the first three hours of this series broadcast last week but this installment left me fast forwarding time and time again. Face it, there are only two, okay, maybe three interesting couples in the show; Nathan Fillion and his tag-a-long, the brothers and maybe the AWOL Riley Smith. I have no interest in the girl who talks to God or the dad and daughter or the woman who misses her baby. Even the bank robbery storyline fell flat. Sadly, it's as I suspected, great start, but maintaining the momentum in this series is going to be harder than speeding down the 5 Freeway in LA at 5:00 on a Tuesday.
Networks Pull Out the Stops for Audience Involvement
On May 14th, ABC Family will launch it's own "facebook" style social site to promote its new series Greek. (College. What a rush.) While many networks are "rush"ing to put together companion websites for their shows, this one is interesting in that it's a potential community and not just a game you play online.
And speaking of game, in June, Court TV will be running a project called the "8 Day Mystery Challenge". This combined, TV, web and mobile event surrounds the disappearance of a woman's husband. Viewers will be given clues to help find the man with the winner getting a $25,000 reward.
The clues will actually be hidden IN the plots of Court TV shows, or offered up in a box on the TV screen during programs and even commercials and all of this information will be gathered at a central game website.
While I applaud the inventive use of the combined technologies, I have a bit of a problem with the fact that it's Court TV running the game. I know that the network has expanded to include more than just court trials, but isn't it slightly gruesome to run a kidnapped husband game while some real woman is crying on the stand during a murder trial? It's kind of like running a "Save Yourself from the Storm" game during Katrina coverage, isn't it?
Or am I the only person who thinks this is weird?
TV Verdict: The Donald, The Doctor and Mr. Death
Last night, The Donald took over The Hollywood Bowl to announce the winner of this year's Apprentice. Though it was suggested that all four finalists be jettisoned in favor of Sanjaya, Stefani came out on top. It's possible she didn't get the best deal of the day. Fired contestant Kristin Lefebvre signed a nice little deal to pose nude for Playboy. Now that's something to get FIRED- up about.
Dr. Who fans will be pleased to know that David Tennant will soon return to the US airwaves in season three of the series debuting on SCI FI in July 2007. The series will kick off with the Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Runaway Bride, guest-starring award-winning comedy actress Catherine Tate. We'll also get to meet a new sidekick this season, Martha Jones played by Freema Agyeman.
TV Week is predicting that head's will roll (possibly literally) on several popular TV series this May sweeps. They say it's partially about shocking the audience and creating buzz but it's also to help pair down the dead weight on ensemble series' that are carrying too many actors. Lost is expected to take down a few, Heroes will lose a brave soul and rumors have it that one beloved character on Smallville will have her swan song and my insider info voice says I know who. It will be a sad day indeed.
Jared Padalecki Goes All In
Last week, Jared Padalecki of Supernatural was invited to a Bodog celebrity poker tournament in Vancouver. Thanks to the lovely folks over at Bodog, we have some fun footage to view.
See Jared jump, smile, sneak a peek, cheer, bump and go "all in" at the BodogFight pre-fight poker tourny.
I do love the boys of Supernatural.
New Fall Season - Vanished
I've decided it's my duty as a TV reporter to watch at least one episode of every new show on TV this fall. I've already seen Stand-off, Justice and now Vanished.
Vanished was the Fox show I was least interested in seeing and it's the one that grabbed me the most! It's a convoluted tale that seems to be about the kidnapping of a Senator's wife but it turns out to be so much more. Conspiracies and layers and layers of lies, old murders, new murders, who's involved and who's not? The show has a cool style - a bit of high tech on-screen graphics (CSI Style) with rich movie colors. The characters are many so you may need a score card to keep up. It's highly serialized so if you miss the first few episodes you're doomed and it's one of several TV shows (Kidnapped) this year to deal with the one season, one quest (crime) theme.
Gale Harold (Wyatt Earp of Deadwood) is very interesting as special agent in charge Kelton. If you love complicated mysteries, this is the show for you.
New on Fox: Standoff and Justice
TV Guide was kind enough to send me a box of Fox Premiere DVDs (having nothing at all to do with my job here) and I'm finally getting through them. So here's my quick take on two of their new shows for the season.
Standoff is about a pair (man and woman) of hostage negotiators who happen to be lovers. I gotta say, I like the show without the romance plot line - leaving sexual tension would have been more like Bones or Moonlighting but no - these two try to go at it when and where ever. The drama part of the plot I liked. Tom Wopat is the first hostage taker and the cute teen from Invasion is up next. Both guest stars do great jobs and the scenes are quite tense. I think this will be one of those shows I can watch and enjoy or miss and it won't matter, either way.
Justice really grabbed me. Interesting spin on the usual legal show - it's about how high profile lawyers spin a case. It's incredibly fast and it made me go oh...that's how OJ got off. Seriously, on one hand it's very insulting to the legal system, but oh so very true I imagine on how things work. The show stars Kerr Smith, Jack from Dawson's Creek and he rocks as does Victor Garber. Highly stylized and each week, after seeing the out come of the court case, the audience gets to see how the crime really happened - which means that sometimes the innocent will be found guilty and vice versa. Cool show. Hits my cynical side.
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