Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pick of the Week: For My Fiance

There are a lot of choices this week—part one of the “Top Chef” finale, the annual airing of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and a “Desperate Housewives” disaster.

But this week my fiance’s favorite show comes to an end. So I feel that I really have no choice…

My Pick of the Week is the series finale of “Monk.”

After eight seasons and a boatload of awards for star Tony Shalhoub, Adrian Monk is solving his final case and it’s a doozy. Monk will finally put the pieces together about who killed his beloved wife Trudy.

Of course if you saw last week’s part one, you know there’s an added twist…

[Spoiler Alert!] Monk is dying himself.

I can’t believe that such a beloved character would say goodbye by dying, but stranger things have happened. I guess all we can do is tune in and find out…

The final episode of “Monk” airs Friday, December 4th at 9 p.m. on USA…

Photo Credit: USA

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

So what do you guys think of at Thanksgiving?

Since you know I always go for the “Friends” reference first. I always think of the annual Thanksgiving episodes. Why somebody doesn’t marathon them one year I will never understand…

My favorite is “The One Where Ross Got High.” That’s the one where Chandler finds out that Monica and Ross’ parents don’t like him because Ross told them Chandler got high and ruined all of his dad’s records.

That’s also the one where Rachel screws up and puts beef in the dessert and they all pretend to like it to not hurt her feelings.

When everything comes out, it’s a classic scene that still cracks me up…

But Thanksgiving is also a time to say what we’re thankful for. So I hope you guys will indulge me for a second as I share what I’m thankful for…

I’m thankful for all of my contacts in the TV/music world that keep me connected so I can keep you informed…

I’m thankful for Facebook which has allowed me to stay connected with family and friends in a way I couldn’t be before…

I’m thankful for all of my family and friends—old and new—who I could not have moved into my new home without…

I’m thankful for my fiancé. Even though I rarely mention him in this blog since he doesn’t watch any of the same shows as me and he never reads this, as Kelly Clarkson would say, my life would suck without him…

I’m thankful for my editors, Andrea and Robyn. Andrea is the reason you get to read my stuff in the first place and Robyn is the reason even more people get to read it through the print version…

I’m thankful for my dad. To say that he’s a huge help to me would be a huge understatement. And he’s even suggested some things for me to write in my blog. I just haven’t had the chance to share them with you yet (Sorry Dad)…

And last but not least I am thankful for all of you, my loyal readers. At the risk of getting too sentimental, I would be nothing without you. So thanks to you all…

I wish you all a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. I’ll be back in a few days…

Congratulations to the Mirror Ball Champion!

Congratulations to Donny Osmond and his partner Kym Johnson for taking the mirror ball trophy on “Dancing With the Stars” last night…

You’d think as much of a Donny fan as I am that I would have checked out at least one episode this season, but I didn’t. I just can’t get into that show for some reason…

But I know many of you are into it, so feel free to sound off on the results here by leaving a comment…

A lot of people are calling his win an upset. Personally I don’t think it was a surprise—even though I gave the early edge to Mya back in August. I understand that Mya was good, but we’re talking about Donny Osmond here.

It’s obvious he’s still got it…

Photo Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pick of the Week: A Promising Newcomer Says Goodbye Until Spring

It’s not unusual for shows to take a little break around this time to make room for the holidays. “24” used to do it all the time.

With a serialized show, it’s a bit of a risk because the show can lose momentum and people might forget when it returns. That’s why you keep it as short of a hiatus as possible.

So in my opinion, taking one of the highest rated new shows off the air until March is a little nuts. But we are talking about ABC here.

Fans had better hope for one heck of a cliffhanger…

My Pick of the Week is the fall finale of “V.”

Yes, that’s right, “V” fans. This week’s episode is the last new one until March and there is a major cliffhanger planned as Chad starts to come to terms with some of the things he learns at a visitors healing center. Plus, Erica and her newfound allies continue to try to get information on what the visitors are actually up to.

I think “V” has a lot of promise so I hope that we do get a big cliffhanger that will make people come back in March. Otherwise ABC will have killed another one…

“V” airs Tuesday, November 24th at 8 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachkalov/ABC

This Weeks's Sweeps Schedule

November sweeps ends Wednesday, so here’s a look at what you can see these final three days…

Monday, November 23rd
How I Met Your Mother—8 PM—CBS
**Chris Elliot guests as Lilly’s father.
Dancing With the Stars—8 PM—ABC
**The final performance show of the season
The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination—9 PM—National Geographic Channel
The Big Bang Theory—9:30 PM—CBS
**Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica,” “24”) guests.

Tuesday, November 24th
**Last episode until March
The Biggest Loser—8 PM—NBC
**Suze Orman guests.
NCIS: Los Angeles—9 PM—CBS
**Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”) guests as Abby comes to Los Angeles.
Dancing With the Stars—9:01 PM—ABC
**Season Finale. Whitney Houston performs.

Wednesday, November 25th
The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now?—8 PM—NBC
**40 former contestants return for an update on their status.
Glee—9 PM—FOX
**Eve guest stars.
Criminal Minds—9 PM—CBS
**C. Thomas Howell guests in the 100th episode.

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daryl Hall: "I think I've been totally miscast as the angel"

Tomorrow night Daryl Hall and John Oates will make their first of what could be many guest appearances on “The Cleveland Show.” The duo will be playing the angel and the devil on Cleveland’s shoulder as he struggles with a personal dilemma.

This week members of the media had a chance to chat with Daryl and the voice of Cleveland himself, Mike Henry (who is also the co-creator of the show), about Sunday’s episode and the show.

But before we get to that, I want to share with you Daryl’s answer to my question about whether it bothered him that people keep talking about Hall and Oates making a comeback when fans like me know they never went anywhere. After Henry offered an amen and Daryl asked me to clarify the question a little bit, here was the response:

"Yes of course. Well, it doesn’t bother me, but you said it yourself. We never went anywhere. This sort of concept of mass popularity in our careers has come and gone more than once, and we take the ups and downs of the masses in stride. That’s not what we’re really all about. We’re musicians. We’ve always been musicians. We always will be musicians, and we just do good work or do the best work we can. If a lot of people like it, that’s good, and I’m glad. I think circumstances have come our way and a lot of old battles that we’ve fought, we’ve long won, and we’re just happy to be intergenerational."

I then asked Henry if he would like to add anything since he said amen when I said they never went anywhere which spurred a pretty interesting exchange that left me so mesmerized I stopped writing. You’re getting this courtesy of the FOX transcript:

Mike: Yes, I mean, as an artist, Daryl and John obviously experienced success relatively early on. Would you say that, Daryl?

Daryl: Yes, well, I mean we were recording together about five years before we really had success as far as commerciality….

Mike: Right, so that’s some chops right there, but then once you hit it, then everyone is expecting something – I mean, I don’t even know what people are expecting, but I think just – and you can speak to this much better than I. You hit the mainstream, and then….

Daryl: Every artist has to hit the mainstream. That’s part of a career.

Mike: Right.

Daryl: We did it a number of times. You know, I don’t care what kind of music you make. You

have to be a pop star at some point, whether you’re Bob Dylan or Daryl Hall. So, I mean, that’s just all part of it. But we’re not really attached to any era. People try and tag us in the ‘80s because we had success in the ‘80s. We had success in the ‘70s. We had success in, you know, more recent times. You know, it’s hard to put us in any kind of place.

Mike: I think you can, too, as an artist, you can only control what you put out.

Daryl: Sure.

Mike: And whether it’s received by a relatively small, enthusiastic group, or the whole country or the world, it’s really, it’s a fickle thing, but I’ve always loved your guys’ music. Individual songs take you back to a certain time, and I wonder if that’s why people are feeling or are expressing what you’re saying, which I actually haven’t really heard.

Henry may have not heard what I was talking about, but I think it was clear that Daryl had. I'm glad he got the chance to set some things straight...

Since I know you’re wondering, Daryl will be playing the angel and John the devil in the episode that Henry calls his “favorite so far.” Daryl joked, “I think I’ve been totally miscast as the angel. It’s a little stretch for me to be an angel.”

When Henry told him that it was because of his “blonde flowing locks,” Daryl responded, “I look angelic. That’s it.” Daryl and John actually recorded their parts separately with Daryl recording his in his studio with Henry directing him over the phone.

“We just wanted them to be themselves,” Henry said. The duo, of course, argues about what Cleveland should do. “We’re good at having an argument,” Daryl said. “That was not a stretch.”

Henry said the scene only lasts about a minute, but from time to time the angel/devil duo will pop up during the season. “It’s been a great experience and I hope we can get to do more of them. John and I are having a lot of fun doing this,” Daryl said.

“They’re real good at it too,” Henry said. “They know how to deliver.”

When someone asked Daryl whether it was hard to separate acting from his musical stage act, Daryl responded, “I’ve been trying to figure out what my act is for a long time…I love doing comedy…John and I are just ourselves.”

So what exactly is the difference between “The Cleveland Show” and “Family Guy”? Henry said, “It’s a little bit sweeter of a show. We won’t do the kind of things that ‘Family Guy’ will do.” Henry explained that Cleveland is not a bumbling character like Peter Griffin, but instead he gets into sticky situations because he is trying to do the right thing.

Of course, someone asked Daryl about the changing face of music. “What I’m doing musically right now is actually easier. The way the world [of music] has gone is very much in tune with the way my brain works…If there’s a challenge I take it in stride. I love challenges.”

And of course someone had to ask Daryl if he would be making any cameos on “J-Stache,” which is the cartoon starring John Oates’ mustache. Daryl responded, “I think I’ll let John’s moustache speak for itself.”

“The Cleveland Show” airs Sunday, November 22nd at 8:30 p.m. on FOX…

Photo Credit: FOX

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Surreal Conference Call With Daryl Hall

If I were to make a soundtrack of my life, one voice would be all over it—Daryl Hall.

He is without a doubt my favorite singer of all time. And his music (along with his musical partner John Oates) has been a huge part of my life.

So today, when I had the opportunity to join a conference call with Daryl and Mike Henry (aka the voice of Cleveland) to talk up his and John’s appearance on “The Cleveland Show” I was all over it.

You’d think that I would have been nervous. However when it came time to ask my question I was pretty calm and managed to get it out without stuttering too badly. And then Daryl unleashed a lengthy and pretty passionate answer that led to a fairly lengthy discussion between he and Mike about how people view Hall and Oates today.

It was more than a little surreal…

You see, back when “(500) Days of Summer” came out and reintroduced everyone to “You Make My Dreams,” people started saying Hall and Oates were cool again. And then a few weeks ago, Roger Friedman of “The Hollywood Reporter” (which “Idol Chit-Chat” fans know I am not a fan of) wrote a scathing blog post about how the duo was making a comeback after committing “career suicide” in the 80s.

So without mentioning the movie or Friedman, I had to ask Daryl how he felt about people saying they were making a comeback when they had never went anywhere. And boy did he ever tell me…

I have to admit it was so surreal--and exciting--that I didn’t get most of it written down. Thank goodness for transcripts…

I’ll have Daryl’s answer to my question and much more about his appearance on “The Cleveland Show” later this week.

So Stay Tuned…

Monday, November 16, 2009

Help for the Holidays: Can You Be Top Chef?

I didn’t watch the first two seasons of “Top Chef” but I’ve seen every episode of the last three seasons multiple times.

So I thought I’d do decently with the “Top Chef Quickfire Challenge Game.” But boy was I wrong. This game is hard!

But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun…

The object of the game is to answer more questions correctly than the other chefs. There are five different categories of questions: The Chefs, The Challenges, The Food, Culinary 101 and Tools and Techniques.

I didn’t do half-bad with the questions about the seasons I know but since I don’t cook I did pretty bad with the rest of them. But I have to admit I learned a few things.

I love trivia games so having one for “Top Chef” is very cool. Even if I will probably never be Top Chef.

Excuse me while I pack my knives and go…

“Top Chef Quickfire Challenge Game” will be available next month. You can pre-order it now at and…

Photo Credit:

Help for the Holidays: Celebrating SpongeBob

If you’re a “SpongeBob Squarepants” fan, you no doubt know that he’s celebrating his 10th anniversary this year.

So I’m almost embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen an entire episode of the show. But I have to admit it to explain why I would do so badly at “Kid Cranium: Spongebob Squarepants Edition,” which includes trivia questions about SpongeBob and his friends.

That’s not the only thing you have to know to play. But unfortunately I know nothing about sea creatures either and I have no skills with clay.

But for kids and families who love SpongeBob this is the perfect game to learn more about their favorite character and the real-life world that inspired him. Kids will use their brains, their hands, their arms and legs and much more as they answer questions, draw, sculpt and crack the code to win.

The SpongeBob edition of “Sorry!” is much more my speed as the game follows the “Sorry!” tradition but with SpongeBob twists. You swim, flip, flop and jump around the gameboard but just as the win is in sight you can get bumped all the way back to Start.

It can be very frustrating. Not that I have any experience with that or anything…

“Kid Cranium: SpongeBob Squarepants Edition” (Ages 7+, 2+ players, SRP $24.99) and “Sorry! Spongebob Squarepants Edition” (Ages 7+, 2-4 players, SRP $19.99) are available now…

Photos Credit:

DVD Review: "How I Met Your Mother" Season 4

The cover declares it “the awesome” season four and in all honesty it really was…

This was the season where “How I Met Your Mother” matured into one of TV’s best comedies.

A lot of stuff happened as Ted got engaged (and dumped), Robin moved in with Ted, Barney tried to hide his growing feelings for Robin, Marshall found the best burger in New York and Lily was revealed to be the destroyer of Ted’s relationships. Plus we finally got the story behind that crazy goat.

You can relive all of that on the DVD plus some special features including a hilarious gag reel. There’s also the Academy of Arts and Sciences panel discussion which is way too short but does include a hysterical moment with Neil Patrick Harris who leaves the panel early to go to the bathroom with his mic still on. The panel is also interesting for the discussion of Robin and Barney which goes a great deal to explain the mess that has been season five.

There’s also commentary on four episodes with the writers and producers. Some of them are a little boring but the commentary on “The Naked Man” is pretty funny as we get the real-life stories behind it.

If you want to see an original funny sitcom in its prime you should pick this one up. But be warned. It will make what we’ve seen so far in this season a lot tougher to swallow.

“How I Met Your Mother: The Awesome Season 4” is available now…

Photo Credit: FOX Home Entertainment

Help for the Holidays: Utensils Down Hands Up!

You would think that with all the “Top Chef” I watch I would’ve picked up some kind of cooking skills. But sadly that’s not the case.

But I have lots of pretty cookbooks to make it look like I know something about cooking. And I have just added a great new one to my collection—“Top Chef The Quickfire Cookbook.”

The book has recipes from five seasons of quickfire challenges including Carla’s Green Eggs and Ham (Season 5), Spike’s Sensual Beef Salad (Season 4) and Michael’s Carrot Chips (Season 2).

Now I have to admit most of these recipes are way over my head. But thankfully there’s plenty of other stuff in this book for me. There’s cheftestant bios, quotes, fun facts and more from the show’s first five seasons. Plus there are plenty of tips and a glossary to help explain things to those of us who don’t speak chef.

And did I mention it looks really pretty?

This book is the perfect gift for the “Top Chef” super fan—whether they can cook or not.

And believe it or not there are a few recipes I might actually attempt. But the challenge will probably be finding someone to eat them…

“Top Chef The Quickfire Cookbook (SRP $29.95) is available now…

Photo Credit: Chronicle Books

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pick of the Week: "Cleveland" Adds Some Rock and Soul

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the comeback of Daryl Hall and John Oates. But longtime fans like me know they never went away.

But you have to admit that a guest spot on a Seth MacFarlane show is a great way to get back on the map. And it’s a great way to be my Pick…

My Pick of the Week is “The Cleveland Show.”

Somehow the guys end up a part of Cleveland’s first Thanksgiving with his new family. And since it’s Seth MacFarlane you know it’s going to be a little twisted. Funny, But twisted…

I hope to have much more on this later in the week including comments from Daryl Hall himself…

“The Cleveland Show” airs Sunday, November 22nd at 8:30 p.m. on FOX…

Photo Credit: FOX

"Chef Academy" Review: One Cooking Show Too Many?

You guys know I have nothing but love for everything Bravo. But even my beloved network can occasionally bring us a dud…

“Chef Academy” follows Jean Cristophe Novelli as he brings his chef academy to the US. The first half-hour or so of the show focuses on his tough interview process to find his students. It’s interesting to watch the group get put through their paces. And Novelli is just as charming as his press suggests.

But then the academy begins and things start to fall apart a little as we have to sit through each student making their dish individually. And after dish three it starts to get old…

And without an element of competition you just don’t feel the need to care what they’re putting in their dish.

It looks like future episodes will turn up the heat and I hope that’s the case. But for now I can’t help but wonder if this is just one cooking show too many…

“Chef Academy” premieres Monday, November 16th at 11 p.m. on Bravo…

This Week's November Sweeps Schedule

Here’s a look at what you’re scheduled to see during this week of November sweeps…

Monday, November 16th
Gossip Girl—9 PM—CW
**Lady Gaga guests.
Two and a Half Men—9 PM—CBS
**Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”) guests.
“Chef Academy”—11 PM—Bravo
**Series Premiere

Tuesday, November 17th
Merry Madagascar—8 PM—NBC
**A brand new Christmas special featuring the characters from the “Madagascar” movies
The Biggest Loser—8:30 PM—NBC
**Tim Gunn and Tabatha Coffey guest for contestant makeovers.
Melrose Place—9 PM—CW
**Heather Locklear returns to try to save the show again.

Wednesday, November 18th
The Bold and the Beautiful—1:30 PM—CBS
**Betty White returns for a four-day guest stint. Her November 20th and 23rd episodes will feature an all female cast.
America’s Next Top Model—8 PM—CW
**Season Finale
The New Adventures of Old Christine—8 PM—CBS
**Jennifer Grey guests to work opposite her real-life husband Clark Gregg (Richard).
Modern Family—9 PM—ABC
**Ed Norton and Elizabeth Banks guest.
**Skeet Ulrich returns as the Compass Killer.
In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts—10:01 PM—ABC
**Roberts interviews Janet Jackson.

Thursday, November 19th
The Mentalist—10 PM—CBS
**Red John returns.
Project Runway—10 PM—Lifetime
**Season Finale
Private Practice—10:01 PM—ABC
**Stephen Collins guests.

Friday, November 20th
Larry the Cable Guy’s Hula-Palooza Christmas Luau—9 PM—CMT
**Larry celebrates the holidays with Kenan Thompson and Tony Orlando (?!)

Sunday, November 22nd
NASCAR Sprint Cup Ford 400—3:15 PM—ABC
**Watch Jimmy Johnson win the title for a record fourth consecutive time.
The Simpsons—8 PM—FOX
**Jonah Hill guests.
2009 American Music Awards—8 PM—ABC
The Cleveland Show—8:30 PM—FOX
**Daryl Hall and John Oates guest.
Curb Your Enthusiasm—9 PM—HBO
**Season Finale

Photo Credit: Patrick Wymore/CW

Thursday, November 12, 2009

James Franco Comes to Port Charles

I don’t usually get a lot of press releases about daytime shows, but this is something that ABC has been shouting from the rooftops so I figured I’d pass it on…

James Franco will begin a guest stint on “General Hospital” November 20th. He’ll play the mysterious Franco.

People all over the entertainment industry are a little confused by the two-month stint, especially since Franco approached the soap himself. Some reports say it’s part of an art documentary project he’s doing with a friend…

The picture gives you your first look. I’m sure there’s a reason for Franco to be put in big letters on the wall, but I have to admit that it cracks me up…

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/ABC

TNT Knows "Southland"

So while I was in my Twitter fog, I forgot to post a congratulatory pat-on-the-back to myself for correctly predicting that TNT would pick up “Southland” from NBC.

Can’t believe I’d forget something like that…

TNT will begin airing the show Tuesdays at 10 p.m. in January. They’ll air all 13 episodes, including the six that NBC never aired.

According to Michael Ausiello of, the actors will remain under contract until TNT makes a final decision about ordering more episodes.

But if I had to make another prediction, I say they will because I think the show is a perfect fit for TNT and their marketing machine is second-to-none…

Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Goodbye to "Dollhouse" and "Eastwick"

FOX made it official yesterday and closed the “Dollhouse” for good.

All of this season’s 13 episodes are expected to still air.

Meanwhile, ABC has chosen not to order additional episodes of “Eastwick,” effectively cancelling it.

All 13 episodes ordered are expected to air, however this is ABC so I wouldn’t hold my breath. And because the producers were given little warning, fans will not receive any closure and could possibly be left with lots of cliffhangers.

You know I wasn’t a fan of the show, but that’s still a big bummer…

Especially since ABC did order five more episodes of “The Forgotten.” That’s a headscratcher if I’ve ever seen one, but again, this is ABC. They don’t do anything logical…

Photo Credit: Bob D'Amico/ABC

"V" Takes a Bit of a Tumble

There’s an old saying that you should never count your chickens before they hatch.

Clearly no network publicist ever heard that saying…

One week after declaring “V” the year’s #1 new show, ABC is no doubt eating a little bit of crow this week after the second episode of the show suffered the year’s biggest decline from a premiere.

Still, 10.6 million viewers are nothing to sneeze at and are certainly enough for the publicists to call the show a hit. But it is nowhere near the #1 new show. That honor would go to “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

I admit I was among the viewers of the second episode and I thought it was pretty good. I don’t know how long it will keep me hooked—especially with “American Idol” returning in January—but I’ll most likely give it a try until its planned hiatus in at the end of November.

“V” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC…
Photo Credit: Bob D'Amico/ABC

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Confession...

Because I feel like we’re all friends here, I have a confession to make.

My name is Angela and I am addicted to Twitter…

You may recall some time ago I told you that I was participating in a Twitter role-playing game as part of the resurrection of “Another World” called “Another World Today.” It started out very slow at first as I got my feet wet and then as other characters started pulling me in it started to pick up.

And now it is an all-out obsession…

I’m telling you guys this because in being so obsessed with that, I have been neglecting you my faithful readers. And that’s just not right.

So I am vowing here and now to be much more regular with my posts as I try to get back to reality a little more often. I’m not going to desert Bay City entirely, because I can’t. Not when my sister just told me she gave a baby up for adoption I didn’t know about. But I promise to spend a little less time there.

But if you’re interested in seeing what I’m so into, just go to and check it out…

"Daddy's Home" And I Couldn't Be Happier

As the late great Jerry Orbach says in “Dirty Dancing,” “When I’m wrong I say I’m wrong” and I couldn’t have been more wrong about this season of “How I Met Your Mother.”

You may recall that after reviewing the premiere I said that the Barney-Robin coupling was not going to hurt the show. But I think I was letting my excitement over the pairing cloud my judgment because clearly it did hurt the show. In fact, it nearly killed it as the last few weeks became almost unwatchable…

It turns out that Barney is not nearly as awesome when he’s not out chasing everything in a skirt that moves. And if we can’t watch NPH be awesome, then what really is the point?

Thankfully, the show did the right thing last night and killed the relationship—at least for now. At the end of the episode, Barney suited up, walked into the bar, checked out some chicks and said “Daddy’s home.” I was so happy I almost squealed. Actually, I think I did…

Future Ted told us that Barney and Robin really did need things to run their course. So maybe that means they eventually get back together. But I hope when they do the show actually does something with them instead of making them completely pathetic like they did this season. It was like the writers had written themselves into a corner and then didn’t know what to do.

But to prove to us that the show is getting back to normal, we got the promise of a Robin Sparkles-Alan Thicke variety show. You just know that is going to be legen—wait for it—DARY!

Daddy’s home and I couldn’t be happier about it…

“How I Met Your Mother” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS…
Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/FOX

Monday, November 09, 2009

Remembering the Fall of the Wall

There’s been a lot of talk today about the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

I remember watching my rock Tom Brokaw bring it into my living room. I was only in high school, but I still knew what an awesome moment it truly was.

But when I think of the wall’s collapse, my thoughts don’t immediately go to Tom Brokaw. My first thought is of a cartoon—“Alvin & the Chipmunks.”

In an episode called “The Wall” which premiered nine months before the wall’s collapse, Alvin, Simon and Theodore were invited to play at the wall. But the boys got themselves into trouble and ended up on the East German side. Just when they thought they were going to be severely punished for playing rock and roll, they discovered that the East Germans were actually fans. And The Chipmunks’ music actually helped the wall collapse.

You can see their song here. What you won’t see is the end of the episode when it was revealed that Alvin was dreaming. As he looks down on the wall from his plane window he says “It was only a dream. But it doesn’t have to be.”

I know it sounds corny, but to me it was pretty heady stuff for a Saturday morning cartoon. And even after over 20 years, I still remember most of that song.

Thank goodness for YouTube, which allows us to enjoy it now…

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Pick of the Week: Big Wheels Keep On Turning...

You would think that since it’s sweeps that I would have all kinds of shows to choose from for my Pick, but this week I really struggled.

The natural choice would be to pick the “CSI Trilogy,” but I’m not a big fan of Laurence Fishburne’s character so I can’t see following him through three shows. Now if it was David Caruso’s Horatio, I would absolutely tune in. And if I can’t see myself watching then I am certainly not going to tell you guys to watch…

So again, I asked myself. What is the show I would absolutely not miss? And that question produced one immediate answer—the Steelers-Bengals game on Sunday.

But since I usually don’t pick sports events, I’m going with another choice…

My Pick of the Week is “Glee.”

I have to confess that even though I declared my love for “Glee” at the beginning of the season, I haven’t seen a single episode since the premiere. Blame it on my “Top Chef” obsession.

But this week sounds like a good one as the gang takes on “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked.” The club will also take on “Proud Mary” in wheelchairs as they try to better understand what Artie (Kevin McHale) goes through on a daily basis.

It’s still so hard for me to believe that this show comes from the same mind that gives us the sick and twisted “Nip/Tuck”…

“Glee” airs Wednesday, November 11th at 9 p.m. on FOX…
Photo Credit: Carin Baer/FOX

This Week's November Sweeps Schedule

Here are some of the things you can expect for this week of November sweeps…

Monday, November 9th
Lincoln Heights—8 PM (2 hrs.)—ABC Family
**Season Finale
One Tree Hill—8 PM—CW
**Sophia Bush (Brooke) directed this episode.
CSI: Miami—10 PM—CBS
**The crossover between all three “CSI” shows begins here, continues into “CSI: NY” Wednesday at 10 p.m. and concludes on “CSI” Thursday at 9 p.m.
Lopez Tonight—11 PM—TBS
*George Lopez debuts a new late night talk/variety show.

Tuesday, November 10th
In the Spotlight With Robin Roberts—10 PM—ABC
**Roberts interviews country music stars, including Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride

Wednesday, November 11th
43rd Annual CMA Awards—8 PM—ABC
**Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley host the annual salute to the best in country music.
Criminal Minds—9 PM—CBS
**Gavin Rossdale guests.

Thursday, November 12th
Grey’s Anatomy—9 PM—ABC
**The always fabulous Kim Raver begins her guest stint.

Friday, November 13th
Smallville—8 PM—CW
**Wonder Twins activate as Zan and Jayna (David Gallagher and Allison Scagliotti) hit town.
Ugly Betty—9 PM—ABC
**Adam Rodriguez (Delko, “CSI: Miami”) begins his guest stint.

Saturday, November 14th
True Jackson VP—8:30 PM—Nickelodeon
**Justin Bieber guests.

Sunday, November 15th
The Prisoner—8 PM (2 hrs.)—AMC
**Jim Caviezel and Sir Ian McKellen star in this mini-series remaking the 60s classic. Parts two and three air Monday and Tuesday.
Curb Your Enthusiasm—9 PM—HBO
**The “Seinfeld” cast comes together to read through Larry’s script for their reunion.
Three Rivers—9 PM—CBS
**Mandy Patinkin returns to CBS to guest star.

Photo Credits: Sonja Flemming/CBS and Doug Hyun/HBO

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

"The Real Housewives of Orange County" Review: Plenty of Drama to Go Around

After the over-the-top antics of the “Housewives” from New Jersey and Atlanta, you may be concerned that the originals from Orange County might be boring.

But if the season premiere is any indication, there will be more than enough drama to keep that from happening…

When we left the ladies last season, Lynne was struggling to fit in. Vicki and her husband Donn were having issues and Jeana was experiencing professional and personal changes. But the most memorable story from last season was the feud between Tamra and Gretchen that ignited over Tamra’s skepticism about Gretchen’s relationship with her fiancé Jeff, heated up through Gretchen’s flirtation with Tamra’s son and then boiled over during the reunion when Tamra revealed she had gotten phone calls from a man claiming to be Gretchen’s boyfriend while she was still with Jeff.

And in the season premiere that feud shows no signs of cooling down as the two have a blowout in front of all of the ladies. Plus, Gretchen has a new boyfriend who’s familiar to everyone (including us viewers) that does not sit well with the others. But Tamra has relationship drama of her own as her marriage to Simon is completely coming apart.

Meanwhile Lynne is fitting in much better and becoming quite successful and Vicki and Donn are working things out. But Jeana is struggling due to the economy which separates her from the other ladies. Before the season ends we’ll say goodbye to one of the original ladies and welcome a new one to the fold.

But regardless of who the players are, it’s the drama we want to see. And as long as the season sustains the drama we get in the premiere, the original ladies of Bravo will be just fine…

“The Real Housewives of Orange County” premieres Thursday, November 5th at 10 p.m. after part two of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” reunion at 9 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credit: Bravo

"24" Season 8: Your First Look

Would you believe that I am SO behind that I hadn't even watched the new "24" promo?

That's behind, kids...

If you haven't seen it. Take a look. That opening stuff with Jack and his granddaughter makes you want to cry, doesn't it?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

"V" Review: An Idea Whose Time Has Come Again?

Kids always play pretend on the playground at recess. But instead of princesses or something like that, me and my friends played “V.”

I was always one of the visitors and I would bring gummy worms for us to eat so we could be just like them (We weren’t dedicated enough to our roles to eat the real thing.).

When the series was on I gave up most of a season of “Dallas” to watch (This was before the VCR.). Plus I had the “V” trading cards.

So as a clearly hardcore fan I was a little nervous about ABC reimagining “V” as a new series. But based on the pilot it looks like I didn’t have anything to worry about…

When the pilot begins, everyone is living their normal lives. FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) is looking for her rebellious teenage son Tyler (Logan Huffman). Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut) is picking out a ring for his fiancé Valerie (Lourdes Benedicto). Father Jack Landry (Joel Gretsch) is ministering to his very small flock. And news anchor Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) is watching another of his story ideas get handed to another reporter.

But the normal day quickly changes as spaceships suddenly arrive all over the planet. As one of the characters says, “It’s ‘Independence Day.’” And the pilot’s special effects and suspenseful direction certainly give “Independence” a run for its money.

But unlike “Independence” when these aliens reveal themselves it is not as destroyers but as a peace-loving people that only want some of the Earth’s water and promise to share medical and technological breakthroughs in exchange.

However if you’re familiar with the original you know that the aliens have a hidden agenda. And although that agenda is not revealed in the pilot we still know there is one as the visitor leader Anna (Morena Baccarin) uses Chad to paint her people in the best light.

And by the end of the hour a resistance movement emerges as secrets are revealed and battle lines are drawn. Also two major twists are revealed. You’ll see at least one of them coming although I was surprised by which one I actually predicted because it was the least obvious. But I was able to predict it because of my familiarity with the original story.

Which leads me to the biggest problem with this new version. Most of the surprises are gone so some of the things that should be cool to see have no impact because we’ve already seen them. I remember the first time the visitors revealed their true selves as being a major moment in the original mini-series. In this, it’s not so much (although I still jumped).

The best reason to watch is Elizabeth Mitchell who is just as solid as you’d expect her to be. She was totally meant to be the lead of a show, but you can’t help but shed a tear over her departure from “Lost.”

Although I’m not a fan of reusing old ideas I can’t help but think that maybe “V” is an idea whose time has come again. By updating the story with shades of terrorism and new advances like the Internet, the idea does seem new again. And the opening hour is a solid introduction to what lies ahead.

I guess I just can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for those old red and black uniforms and cheesy special effects.

Somebody pass me the gummy worms…

“V” premieres Tuesday, November 3rd at 8 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

Pick of the Week: The B***h is Back!

The purpose of my Pick of the Week is to spotlight the one show of the week I think you shouldn’t miss. It’s the show I would tell all my friends about and absolutely would not miss myself.

I promised myself that because I had picked a Bravo show two weeks in a row I would not do it again this week. But if I’m going to stay true to my purpose then I’m afraid I have no choice…

My Pick of the Week is the season premiere of “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.”

If you’ve never seen it, “Takeover” follows hair stylist Tabatha Coffey as she takes over struggling salons and tries to turn them around. In the premiere she takes over a Chicago salon whose own owner refers to it as “a dump.” Tabatha uses some extremely tough love that is actually a valuable lesson for all of us about taking responsibility, overspending and keeping things we don’t need.

I was a big fan of “Takeover” last season and there’s nothing in the premiere to change my mind. In fact there have been some small tweaks to the formula that have actually made the show even better.

But the real reason to watch is Tabatha herself. And the you-know-what is back and she is you-know-what-ier than ever. And that’s a really good thing—for us, that is…

“Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” premieres Tuesday, November 3rd at 10 p.m. after the brand new “Kathy Griffin: Balls of Steel” at 9 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credit: Brian Kersey/Bravo

This Week's November Sweeps Schedule

So even though I’m still trying to catch up from Premiere Week, November sweeps is upon us. A time of specials, special guests and big moments.

Here’s a look at some of what you’re scheduled to see this week…

Monday, November 2nd
Greek—9 PM—ABC Family
**Mid-Season Finale

Tuesday, November 3rd
90210—8 PM—CW
**Samantha Ronson, who is best known as Lindsay Lohan’s on-again/off-again girlfriend, guest stars.
**Series Premiere
The Biggest Loser—8 PM—NBC
**The show travels to Washington, D.C.
By the People—9 PM—HBO
**Ed Norton produced this documentary that goes behind the scenes of President Obama’s campaign.
Kathy Griffin: Balls of Steel—9 PM—Bravo
Tabatha’s Salon Takeover—10 PM—Bravo

Wednesday, November 4th
Bill Cosby: The Mark Twain Prize—8 PM (Check your local listings)—PBS
**Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and others honor Bill Cosby.
Top Chef All-Stars Dinner—10 PM—Bravo

Thursday, November 5th
Parks and Recreation—8:30 PM—NBC
**Megan Mullally guests.
The Real Housewives of Orange County—10 PM—Bravo
**Season Premiere. Look for my review later in the week.

Friday, November 6th
Spongebob Squarepants: Truth or Square—8 PM—Nickelodeon
**The show celebrates its 10th anniversary. Look for my review later in the week.
Fanboy and Chum Chum—9 PM—Nickelodeon
**Series Premiere. Look for my review later in the week.

Saturday, November 7th
The Wanda Sykes Show—11 PM—FOX
**Series Premiere
Saturday Night Live—11:30 PM—NBC
**Taylor Swift is both host and musical guest.

Sunday, November 8th
Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show—8:30 PM—FOX
**”Family Guy” stars Seth MacFarlane and Alex Boorstein host their own variety special.

Photo Credit: Jamie Youngblood/ABC Family