Friday, April 29

Survive This

From EW:

Whoa... What the hell is going on here? This is the weirdest Survivor episode ever! What's with that podium? And all those reporters in suits and ties? Is Mark Burnett gonna come out and make some sort of statement defending Jeff Probst against allegations that he forced Janu to quit last week? Wait... Who's that? It's the President! What's he doing here? Shouldn't he be off watching a baseball game or something? Ohhhh, I get it. He's addressing the nation about important issues like Social Security and asbestos reform. (What is asbestos reform, anyway?)

I guess that means I'll return in an hour when the really important matters begin.... Okay, I'm back. And seeing how that creepy night vision is consuming my TV screen, so is Survivor. Was it worth the wait? Yes, and no. Yes, because we had a strategy-filled episode with players seemingly realigning every 30 seconds. And no, for a few reasons. First off, we had to endure another one of those ''Let's give the contestants letters from home so we can watch them cry on camera!'' segments. Been there, slept through that. Let's just hope they don't double-dip and also do one of those ''Here are your relatives to compete in a reward challenge!'' spots too. I can't take that — unless phony dead grandmothers are involved, of course.

Another bad thing about this episode was the elimination of one of this season's fiercest competitors, Stephenie. In fact, I've been trying to think if there's ever been a better player on a bad tribe. Andrew Savage from Pearl Islands comes to mind, but that's about it. (If you can think of any, call in on Survivor: Live Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern and let me know. I'm sure I'm spacing on a few.)

Even though Ulong lost every single Immunity challenge, more often than not, Steph (or ''Jersey,'' which is apparently what Probst calls her whether she likes it or not) either held her own or dominated her portion of the competition. And she also showed some strategy savvy along the way, although her proposed women-versus-men alliance was simply a case of too little, too late. (It also may have been a case of too much Caryn using too much of her mouth.)

What to make of Caryn's double dipping? Well, it would have been smart for her to align with the three other women, especially when the other person (Tom) is only promising to let you join his ''strong five'' to make it a ''strong six.'' Gee, where do you think that puts you, Caryn? Umm, maybe sixth?!? (Dude, Tom, I know you're trying not to piss off possible future jury members by lying to their faces, but you can sell yourself a little better than that.) As for catty Katie, she's starting to become pretty damn annoying. True, it was funny when she mentioned that ''We can't get a female alliance because Caryn sucks,'' but her gossipy playground tone is really wearing thin. (Speaking of which, Jenna Morasca is convinced Katie is the first Survivor contestant ever to actually gain weight playing the game. Just wanted to throw that out there. Feel free to discuss among yourselves.)

What else did we learn this episode? Well, we learned that the folks on Koror weren't lying when they said how nasty Ian's hygiene is, with Probst calling out, ''Wow, you smell, Ian. You reek!'' We learned that Tom doesn't want to be penalized for being a strong player. (Sure, Tom, strong players are never, ever voted out because they are simply too good. Don't sweat it, my man.) And we learned that spaghetti dinners in Palau go for approximately 300 bucks a plate — and I thought New York was expensive!

Okay, so it wasn't the most enthralling of episodes (in a season of strong challenges, these two were among the weakest), but as Probst pointed out, now the going should get good. With only six tribe members left (remember, ''The Big Six!''), now people are gonna have to start turning on each other. Who knows — maybe the President will even tune in. Once he handles that whole asbestos situation.

What do you think? Is Tom in trouble? Did Caryn blow it by not siding with the women? And where does Stephenie stack up in the list of great Survivor players from horrible tribes?

Idol Mad Lib

No matter how excited you are by the competitors in the fourth season of American Idol, don't even try to pretend that you find anything fresh in the vocabulary of judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. The Dawg's unintelligible rambling, Paula's giddy compliments (will she utter one — just one! — honest opinion?), and Simon's recycled metaphors have all become embarrassingly stale. So that's why you're needed — to raise, or at least play with, the level of discussion.

Click the following link and pick from a variety of salutations, metaphors, and emotional states — some of which are new to the judges and some of which they use 5 or 10 times per night. Then see if the speech you generate is any better, or at least funnier, than the usual banter. To paraphrase Paula, do your best, and we'll be so proud of you.

Critique Generator

Bo Knows Drugs

Move over, Scott Savol. There's another American Idol finalist with a rap sheet. It's rocker Bo Bice, who has busts for cocaine and marijuana possession in his past, according to court papers unearthed by The Smoking Gun.

According to the documents, the Alabama native was arrested on a felony cocaine possession charge in June 2001 at a strip club in Madison County, Ala., and released from the county jail on $1,000 bond. At a preliminary hearing, when a Huntsville, Ala., police investigator failed to appear, a judge initially dismissed the case. Two years later, Bice was arrested near Birmingham and charged with pot possession, public intoxication, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Local prosecutors, however, prepared to refile the felony cocaine charge, so Bice, who could have faced up to 10 years in prison, copped a plea. A spokesperson for the county's district attorney's office told The Smoking Gun that Bice agreed to enter a drug diversion program in 2003, following his pot arrest. In late 2004, he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor intoxication and paraphernalia charges in the pot case (the marijuana possession charge was dismissed), and the drug diversion program he'd already completed was allowed to cover those charges. Having successfully completed the program, Bice had his record wiped clean in 2004.

Bice's past is unlikely to affect his status as one of the five remaining Idol finalists, as Fox says he let producers know about his history early on. In a statement released Wednesday, the network said, ''The information disclosed on various salacious gossip websites regarding Bo Bice's past was already well-known to Fox and the producers of American Idol. From the beginning, Bo was honest and forthcoming in revealing his previous indiscretions and their outcome.'' After all, as they say in Washington, D.C., the cover-up is always worse than the crime.

In the past, producers have allowed those contestants who told them in advance of the skeletons in their closet (like Savol, who was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct after a 2001 altercation with the mother of his child) to stay on the show, while those who kept mum (Corey Clark, Frenchie Davis) have been booted. In any case, Bice certainly didn't offer fans any hints of past transgressions. On his Idol bio page, the 29-year-old listed as his most embarrassing moment the time he ''fell off stage during a show.''

Thursday, April 28

Idol Recaps

Read on and enjoy!

Go to TVGasm

Go to EW

I'm sure there will be recaps on Television Without Pity but they aren't up yet.

Wednesday, April 27

OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Constantine got booted off Idol. Scott survived another week.

Pick me up off the floor! Get out! No way! You've got to be kidding me! Did anyone check... is hell freezing over?

Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes


Idol Expose

ABC announced it will air "Fallen Idol", a special standalone Primetime Live "expose" about Fox's smash hit American Idol phenomenon, on Wednesday, May 4 at 10PM ET/PT

Bravo TV Show News

First, the network announced airdates for expected reality shows: Sports Kids Moms & Dads (June 1 at 10), Being Bobby Brown (June 30 at 10 p.m. ET), Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (June 27 at 10), Situation: Comedy (August 2 at 8), and Blow Out season two (June 7 at 9).

They've also announced a number of new series, most of which aren't all that gay, surprisingly enough. The four new series:

Battle of the Network Stars
Instead of washed-up sitcom and drama stars, Bravo will use "today's biggest stars - the leading men and women of reality TV" for this six-hour reincarnation of the 1970s series. [2006]
Top Chef
"the search for the world's next top chef." [2006]
The Real Housewives
A reality version of Desperate Housewives, of course, which will be a "larger-than-life look within one of the most affluent gated communities in America." [2006]
The Daily News: A look inside the New York Daily News
Each of the six one-hour episodes "follows 4 - 5 characters" from the newsroom. [2006]

Amazing Race

From EW:

The good thing about passing judgment on Gretchen and Meredith from home is that you never have to worry about getting your karmic comeuppance on national TV. If I make a smug joke like, ''Shouldn't these people be home complaining to their canasta club that the Price Is Right girls are getting too trampy instead of running all over the world?'', and the next day a 70-year-old beats me senseless with a cane etched with the words ''PLINKO 4-EVA,'' then yes, I deserve it, but most of the world will never know of my humiliation. But when Rob smugly snickered that ''You'd think at 65, 70 years old, they'd have a clue,'' all while not realizing that Gretchen and Meredith, the Masters of Maalox, were actually on a flight ahead of him — because of his own cockiness, no less — that had to hurt. Not even the mighty guiding skills of Sanju could navigate him out of this embarrassment. (Jen here: I must say I saw this coming... shame on Rob!!!)

All those people who post on this board how much they hate Rob and Amber must have been tossing confetti and popping champagne to see the duo's hubris backfire so magestically. Rob had asked Gretchen if she and Meredith got the earlier flight just to mess with her mind, but it motivated her to actually find an earlier flight, while he obliviously stayed on the later plane. This humbling moment must be like porn to Survivor: All-Stars' Lex. I picture him sitting at home, piercings glistening romantically in the candlelight, rewinding this moment over and over on TiVo while seductively whispering to himself, ''Where's his alliance now?''

Now, many people have chastised me for what they perceive as an anti-old-age bias. ''Good luck escaping senior citizenship yourself!'' they snipe. I'd like to set this straight: I don't have anything against older people. After all, they are just like you and me, only with wrinklier butts. And I have rooted for many older couples on the race in the past. I want to root for Gretchedith, I really do. The fact that they're now in second place, right behind the unassailable Uchenna and Joyce, is fantastic. And there was something undeniably inspiring about seeing the 66-year-old Gretchen scale that rope ladder... BUT THEN SHE WOULDN'T SHUT UP. She has no inner monologue at all, just an unending series, of, ''Ohhhh, look out! Mama mia, this is a tough one! Oh, lordypants gosheroo, I'd better not puncture the ol' bladderino!'' If a 20-year-old Olympian had that voice I'd want her out of the race. Hell, if a kid stuck in a well nattered on like that I'd dump some more water down on top of her.

And why do Gretchedith have so much trouble spotting landmarks? They went up the tower twice looking for the clue box. How did they even find their way to the starting line of The Amazing Race itself? I picture them showing up to four other reality-TV shows before finally finding Phil and the other racers: ''Darn it, Meredith, this is Fear Factor, and I'm not eating any bugs, nosiree!'' ''Wait, maybe it's in this house, Gretchen, and... Darn it all, this is Trading Spaces! Where is that goshdarn Phil?'' Then they couldn't find the guy with the scales. It's a good thing Christopher Columbus was proven right, or these two would have wandered off the edge of the world by the race's third leg.

Speaking of the scales, I wish Phil had given a little more information on why weighing people in the streets was a local custom. Is finding out you're grossly overweight a good-luck charm in Istanbul? If a stranger grabs your testicles and asks you to cough, is that a great honor? Perhaps if someone bends you over for a prostate exam at the local mall, it means you've been elected king.

By this point in the article, you're impatiently muttering, ''Yeah, yeah, get to Ron and Kelly, already!'' It's likely you don't even remember any of the other goings-on because you didn't hear any of the show after her infamous comment: Once you hear a woman accuse her boyfriend of becoming a POW as an easy way to get out of the Army, you likely spend the rest of the hour jamming Q-tips into your ear, thinking, ''I can NOT have heard that right.''

Her remark was insane, and when it was isolated in last week's coming attraction, it made it seem like she was the only thing standing between them and a healthy relationship. But when the conversation was shown in its entirety (or at least, its edited entirety, which isn't necessarily any more accurate), we heard Ron's destructive lead-up comment: He mused aloud that he had lots more of the world to see before he'd ever get married or have kids. Which is an extremely cowardly and passive-aggressive way of saying, ''When this race is over, I think I'm going to keep racing... away from you and your needy womb!''

Then again, after her POW comment, it seemed like a fine statement retroactively. Was she kidding? It's so hard to tell because neither of them have evinced much hint of a personality. They seem less like actual people than the result of an experiment by a White House scientist who is trying to start a master race of unassailably patriotic progeny. ''I have done it! I have built a pageant winner and a decorated veteran! Now mate, my pets, and you will create a superspecies that will never, ever question the government again!'' Neither of them ever really smile or change their voice inflections. Even when they're in an argument, they don't wince or sneer. It's like they've been emotionally Botoxed.

All the bland looks and repeated calling each other ''Babe'' won't save this relationship, but the romantic nonstarter was allowed to drag on thanks to it being a nonelimination round. And now they've won a trip (thanks to Travelocity product placement so blatant it made Mark Burnett look like a communist), so they can count on another few weeks of awkward silences and crazy remarks. Who knows, perhaps in their luxury Four Seasons suite, Kelly can berate him, using the fact that he inhales and exhales when he breathes as further proof that he can't commit. ''Which will it be? Air in the lungs or air out of the lungs? Typical!''

What do you think? Did you cheer when Rob's ploy backfired? Do Gretchen and Meredith stand a chance? And whose comment was worse — Ron's or Kelly's?

---Hysterical stuff!

Idol Chatter


Listening to Scott Savol butcher yet another song this week on American Idol, one question kept popping into my brain: Who on earth keeps voting for this guy?

Sure, Scott's got the support of his mom, who declared in that strange pre-performance video that he's ''the heart and soul of America.'' But her son's lethargic, off-key rendition of Luther Vandross' sap-tastic ''Dance With My Father'' once again proved he shouldn't be called the voice of America — and it's time for the viewing public to finally put an end to that possibility. Otherwise, the name Scott Savol is destined to wind up alongside Nikki McKibbin, Josh Gracin, and Jasmine Trias in the Idol history-book chapter about contestants who marched into the series' final four despite a lack of vocal power, charisma, fashion sense, and rhythm.

Of course, maybe it's me who's missing something. After all, doesn't the act of picking up one's phone and placing a vote for an Idol contestant indicate a desire to turn on one's TV the following Tuesday and see said contestant perform again? Could Scott fans actually fit this description? Perhaps I need to reopen my ears to the excruciatingly strained falsetto Scott displayed on ''One Last Cry'' several weeks back. Or maybe a second viewing of his futile attempts to get jiggy on ''I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)'' will reveal a magnetism that I've somehow missed over the last seven weeks.

Whether or not I ever gain a deeper appreciation of the Ohio native's mysterious appeal, however, I must at the very least brace myself for the possibility that Scott could survive another week in this competition. Which leaves a more chilling question: If Scott lives to trot out another untucked-shirt-under-sportscoat combo, which of the other five contestants will feel the swing of the ax? Conventional wisdom would say Anthony Fedorov, Vonzell Solomon, or Bo Bice, since all of them have landed in the bottom three at some point this season. But on the flip side, the two worst performances from last night's ''2000 and later'' theme (not counting Scott) came from perceived frontrunners Constantine Maroulis and Carrie Underwood.

Indeed, two weeks ago, coming off sizzling renditions of ''My Funny Valentine'' and ''Bohemian Rhapsody,'' The Artist Formerly Known as Sméagol was looking like the contestant to beat, but his hellacious rendition of Nickelback's ''How You Remind Me'' changed all that. While Paula made a good point — did I just start a sentence with that phrase? — that a performer like Constantine doesn't have to hit all the right notes, it would've been nice if he'd hit at least, say, one in 10. Kicking at the camera, boogying down with his backup singers, and mugging for the viewers at home (though a tad less shamefully than usual), Constantine gave new meaning to the song's lyrics: He reminded me of something, all right — what a silly poseur and terrible singer he can be at his worst. For no other reason, Constantine deserves a bottom-three scare to shake him out of his two-week stupor and create some genuine suspense about who'll be the last two standing.

I'd say the same thing about Carrie, but can a fembot experience fear? Sure, she wasn't nearly as ear-shredding as Constantine (maybe all the backing vocal support helped?), but Randy was correct in saying she sounded under the melody for almost the entire length of Martina McBride's ''When God Fearin' Women Get the Blues.'' (I'd have added ''out of breath,'' ''emotionless,'' and ''oddly like she was holding a big burp in her throat,'' too.) And as for her bulky black cowgirl top, it ought to go back in a locked closet with last week's cotton-candy disco frock.

Considering Carrie gave the worst performance of her Idol run, it was infuriating that Simon refused to criticize her. Mind you, he didn't actually compliment her, but if Vonzell had sung that poorly, you can bet Simon would've told her to pack her bags. Instead, he told Carrie that her core audience would love her rendition. Huh? It's one thing to have a favorite, but Simon's competition-long attempt to steer the malleable, marketable blonde into the final two — regardless of the quality of her singing — is an affront to the spirit of the show, not to mention a slap in the face to every Idol fan.

The situation is even more intolerable when you consider that for every instance Simon uses his kid gloves to handle Carrie, he trades them in for boxing gloves to pummel Anthony and Vonzell, no matter how sensational those two sound. I can sometimes imagine the crusty British judge channeling Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon: ''When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it!''

Granted, I winced when Ryan Seacrest announced Anthony was about to tackle a Celine Dion number (and when Heather Locklear acted mortified by her own child's inability to read off a cue card, but I digress). But the boy from Eastern Europe (nattily attired in a pinstripe suit and baby-blue shirt) surprised me by choosing ''I Surrender,'' one of Dion's few ballads that doesn't seem entirely played out. Yes, Anthony is Velveeta personified, but his performance was so unabashed, so passionate, and so on-key that it made a believer of me. With three consecutive stellar efforts, A-Fed may be earning the title of Comeback Kid, even if Simon refuses to acknowledge it.

Ditto for Vonzell, who is clearly the woman to beat in the competition, after out-singing (and out-dressing) Carrie on Broadway night, on disco night, and again on this week's show. She may have wobbled early on in her version of Christina Aguilera's ''I Turn to You,'' but by the end, Baby V had done something she hasn't all season: She made me forget the original version of the song, and added her own unique artistry and depth to the proceedings. In other words, Vonzell did exactly what she needed to do to turn herself into a serious contender for the crown — even if Simon somehow gave a better critique to his pet fembot.

Speaking of adding one's own twist on a tune, I can't help but wish Bo Bice had gone beyond offering a highly competent imitation of Gavin DeGraw's super-catchy current hit ''I Don't Want to Be,'' but it almost didn't matter: The silky-maned Alabamian is in a complete zone right now. The more confident he gets, the better his growly vocals sound, the more daring he gets with his clothing choices, and the more he transforms from laid-back dude-next-door into budding superstar. Bo may be the one contestant remaining who doesn't need to win this thing to become a household name, and at its heart, isn't that what American Idol is really all about?

Which finalists do you think will make up this week's bottom three, and which one will be eliminated? Is Simon actually showing a bias toward Carrie? Do Vonzell and Anthony have a shot at the final two? And has the momentum shifted from Constantine and back to Bo?

Tuesday, April 26

Sandcastles = True Love

NEW YORK — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ... in Africa ... playing with her son at a romantic resort. Enough reason to believe they're a couple? Despite denials of a romance between the two gorgeous stars, Us Weekly magazine has new photographs that show the two in Africa, playing in the sand with Jolie's 3-year-old son Maddox and strolling on the beach.

Pitt, 41, and Jolie, 29, aren't shown being affectionate with each other.

"They are in our magazine. We have 13 pages of pictures documenting their relationship. Pretty much pictures of Brad and Angelina and her son on the beach. Very intimate moments making sand castles. Very loving," Us Weekly senior editor Caroline Schaefer told "FOX & Friends" Tuesday morning.

As for whether the two were kissing and hugging, "it did happen at the villa they were staying at," Schaefer said.

"We had witnesses at the villa," she explained. "A $4,000 a night villa together. One villa, the three of them. It's named one of the five top romantic places, $4,000 a night? You don't go there if you're just friends."

--Well this does it. If they are in Africa, making sandcastles AND strolling on the beach, then they must be in love and planning a life together.

Monday, April 25

Constantine Follows In Hung's Footsteps

In what must be the ultimate compliment to William Hung, Constantine Maroulis' band, "Pray for the Soul of Betty", has been signed by the same label that released William Hung's CD. They'll release their self-titled debut album on May 10.

Wow... that bangs!

Constantine Follows In Hung's Footsteps

In what must be the ultimate compliment to William Hung, Constantine Maroulis' band, "Pray for the Soul of Betty", has been signed by the same label that released William Hung's CD. They'll release their self-titled debut album on May 10.

Wow... that bangs!

Sucky Weather

On Tuesday I wore sandals. On Sunday I wore snow boots. What the hell is wrong with the damn weather? I don't have room in my closet for my entire shoe collection, for heaven's sake!! Doesn't the weather know this? Doesn't it know it's the end of April and long past the time I need to be wearing any of my cold-weather footwear?

All right, now! Straighten up and get back to that 70 & 80 degree weather... or else!!!! Geesh!

Friday, April 22

Simpson & Knoxville Hook-Up?

The idea of Jessica Simpson and Johnny Knoxville screwing around makes me want to vomit but yet at the same time, I can't keep from wanting to know more.....

Idol Scandal?

From Defamer:

Did Paula Abdul Make Beautiful Sex Music With An Idol Contestant?

The little egg-timer next to our computer just sounded, letting us know it’s been fifteen minutes since the last American Idol scandal and that it’s time for a fresh one. The AI scandal-du-afternoon, according to Globe magazine (these glossies all seem to drop the definite articles when they’re seeking legitimacy, don’t they?), is that heavily-medicated Idol judge Paula Abdula had an affair with a former contestant while he was still on the show.

The dirt:
Corey Clarke reportedly is claiming that he had sex with Abdul in the guest room of her house, that she paid some of his expenses and promised to fund his career to the tune of $2 million, and that she made him vow to keep their relationship a secret. The allegations are reportedly from a book proposal that Clark has been shopping to publishers. “[Abdul] told [Clark] she wanted to look out for him and be his ‘special friend,’” according to the Globe article. “But he claims she warned him that he couldn’t tell anyone or she’d make things very hard for him, cautioning, ‘Don’t screw me or you’ll be sorry.’”

---I'm thinking there will be much more to this before it's over. Verrrrrryy intriguing!

For Everything Else...There's Claystercard

Books senior year in college - $534
A night out on the town with friends in college - $123
Pizza 9 times a week senior year of college - $3,600
Neglecting to pay my first Capitol One card and having no choice but to buy Clay Aiken's ReChargable MasterCard debit card and use it in public - PRICELESS

In a move to get into as many young boys pants as possible, Claiken has pimped out his image to Master Card. The new rechargable debit card, is the hip new way to curb your childs spending to a predetermined amount at the mall, and ensure a sufficient beating when they bust out their Claiken Card to pay for their Orange Julius.

--What the hell will they think of next?

Thursday, April 21

Idol Ramblings

Anwar went home. Spanky is still a contender, although we still don't know who the hell is voting for him. At least the 3 bottom dwellers were the ones who deserved to be there. I did like Anwar but he wasn't final 3 material.

I predict Bo to be the winner with either Carrie or Vonzell and Constantine making up the final 3. I can't decide between Carrie and Vonzell right now. They both blow me away. I hate Constantine and he totally creeps me out with those nasty eyes and ugly double chin and now weirdly hi-lited hair. However, many others like Big C, so it stands to reason he'll hang around 'til the end. Sucks, but that's how it will go.

And in other news.....

Just in time for May sweeps, ABC News' "Primetime Live" is working on a potentially explosive expose on the Fox phenom "American Idol." Exact details of the report are still in flux, since Alphabet staffers are still in the process of reporting the story and vetting details. It's believed, however, that the report -- in the works for several months now -- will take a hard look at the relationship between "Idol" judges and contestants.

Insiders confirm that Fox and "Idol's" producers have been contacted by ABC News reps, who've said the net is working on a story about the show. ABC hasn't asked Fox or the producers to respond to any allegations, the insiders said. Though it may seem odd that an ABC newsmag would devote serious resources to a competing net's crown jewel, the huge ratings for "Idol" have made it fodder for numerous newsmag stories on other nets over the years. Indeed, in past seasons, "Primetime" has devoted entire hours to very flattering portraits of "Idol" contestants.

Wednesday, April 20

I Laughed. I Cried. I Wore Ear Plugs.

This week's EW take on Amazing Race......

Go to EW

Idol Chatter

See this..... too funny!!

Go to TVgasm

And was Constantine really wearing eyeliner?

Tuesday, April 19

Funniest Damn Story Of The Day

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - The Mesa Police Department is looking to add some primal instinct to its SWAT team. And to do that, it's looking to a monkey.

"Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it," said Mesa Officer Sean Truelove, who builds and operates tactical robots for the suburban Phoenix SWAT team. "It would change the way we do business." Truelove is spearheading the department's request to purchase and train a capuchin monkey, considered the second smartest primate to the chimpanzee. The department is seeking about $100,000 in federal grant money to put the idea to use in Mesa SWAT operations. The monkey, which costs $15,000, is what Truelove envisions as the ultimate SWAT reconnaissance tool.

Since 1979, capuchin monkeys have been trained to be companions for people who are quadriplegics by performing daily tasks, such as serving food, opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, retrieving objects and brushing hair. Truelove hopes the same training could prepare a monkey for special-ops intelligence. Weighing only 3 to 8 pounds with tiny humanlike hands and puzzle-solving skills, Truelove said it could unlock doors, search buildings and find suicide victims on command. Dressed in a Kevlar vest, video camera and two-way radio, the small monkey would be able to get into places no officer or robot could go.

It has been a little over a year since Truelove filed a grant proposal with the U.S. Department of Defense under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and he is still waiting for word. If the grant goes through, Truelove plans on learning how to train the monkey himself and keeping the sociable monkey at home, just like a K-9 officer would. He projects that $85,000 in grant money would outfit the monkey with gear and pay for veterinarian care, food and habitat for three years.

---'cuz as we all know, it's important for our men in blue to have properly brushed hair and food served to them.

She's As Nuts as Jacko!

The mother of Michael Jackson's young molestation accuser claimed that she feared her children would be spirited away from the star's Neverland Ranch in a hot air balloon.

--Is that for real?

Nadia & Scott?

Nadia Turner has been doing the usual rounds with the media, answering the usual questions. But somewhat hysterically, she's been spending most of her time talking not about her song choice but about rumors that she's dating Scott Savol. Most recently, she tells, that, hell no, they're not dating. Nadia was a little more polite, although insistent: "It's not true in any way, shape or form. That's definitely a rumor." She says rumors started when they were shopping together, along with a bodyguard, and a photographer started taking pictures. "Scott was totally just trying to veer me away from it and he put his arm around me, just to say, 'Let's get into this cab and get out of here.'"

Hmmmm..... this is most interesting.

Surprise! Surprise

Romber will be getting married!

And, get this...... A two-hour prime-time special on the wedding of Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich, who were cast members on CBS' "Survivor All-Stars," will air May 24 (9 p.m. ET), the network announced Tuesday. "Rob and Amber Get Married" will document the planning, the bachelor and bachelorette parties, and the wedding ceremony, which was held Saturday in the Bahamas.

I never saw this coming, did you?


There have been so many interesting rumors (Jen is gay and dating a woman, Jen slept with Matt LeBlanc), but here's the best one:
jen went down with courtney and david for some of yall know since they were spotted at the highlands. but here is the juicy part...they had some people over for dinner and after a couple glasses of wine jen started to lose it! she was saying that she didnt' want to divorce brad but didn't have a choice because he had slept with jolie (that is what she calls her). anyways she kept having crying spouts and courtney finally turned to her and said "i thought you promised you weren't going to do this"!

Sunday, April 17


I'm not Catholic, but I have been paying attention to the recent events occuring after Pope John Paul II's death. Today I was reading the paper and I see that they actually had a chart of "probable contenders", along with odds on each of them.

Completely disgusting! This is not a democratic process involving a public vote or having any sort of say in the matter. It's of no importance who the media thinks is in the running or who isn't. It isn't going to make a bit of difference and I really don't understand why the media is doing it. They even have reported that when Pope John Paul II was elected, it came as a surprise. Why would they think it would be any different today? All the conjecture by the press is just that – meaningless talk.

It's nice to be informed of and educated about the nomination/voting process but I really don't need to hear about probabilities and frankly, they don't matter anyhow.

Friday, April 15

Lots o' Lost

Okay, as promised, here's a collection of Lost tidbits from here and there.

From Watch With Kristin:
So, is Boone really it? Or will there be more casualties this season? Now, you know I don't want to give away too much--especially not here, since I normally deliver such things in the chat--but let's just say I heard a rather disturbing rumor about another castmember leaving the show this season. And that rumor comes from someone in the know. I'm losing sleep. Between that rumor, a rumor about yet another death next season, and what I'm hearing about that godforsaken boat they're building, I'm getting a little concerned that our favorite Lord of the Flies castaways will be dropping like flies. Quick, Sawyer, hold me.

April 27, Lost: The Journey
ABC has approved a one-hour "Lost" special to air on April 27 in the series' regular Wednesday time slot. Sources said the program, produced by the network's marketing and programming departments, will be an introductory guide to the series, offering more than just unused clips. The "Lost" special will include tidbits of information about six of the main characters that have already been revealed since the series began airing in September. The characters will retell their stories "in a linear fashion" -- an idea by Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof -- to show how their stories are interwoven, a source said. The special will focus on the characters of Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Locke (Terry O'Quinn), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) and Sayid (Naveen Andrews). Flashbacks of the core characters illustrating who they were and what they were doing before the crash, and a look at the island itself; and a preview of the big season finale.

May 4: The Greater Good
After burying one of their own, tempers flare as the castaways' suspicions of each other grow -- and an unlikely survivor vows revenge. Meanwhile, Claire and Charlie struggle to calm her newborn. Jack goes after Locke believing he had caused Boone's death.
NOTE: A Sayid-centric episode.
This episodes' original working title was Sides, but later changed to The Greater Good.

May 11: Born To Run
NOTE: A Kate-centric episode.
This episode shares it's title with a classic Bruce Springsteen album and song.

May 18: Exodus (1)
NOTE: Exodus is the second book of the Torah (the five books of Moses. The Exodus refers to the departure of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt and its Pharoh under the leadership of Moses. As a result of this meaning the term "an exodus" has come to mean a departure of a great number of people.

May 25: Exodus (2) (3)
NOTE: The season finale originally scheduled for May 25, 2005 was only supposed to be 90 minutes long, but due to story changes and last minute filming, the series was upgraded to a 2-hour season finale, hence the 3rd episode Exodus(3).

Spoiler-ific Stuff
Go to this dude's webpage and scroll to the bottom. Is it possible he's from the tail section of the plane or is he just another beach dweller we haven't really seen before?????

And, if you find you have a lot of time on your hands and really want to read some good stuff, see the first and second postings on this webpage. Amazing stuff and definitely spoilerific!


I had a whole bunch of Lost information and great links and tidbits and then my stupid computer crapped out. I PROMISE-PROMISE-PROMISE to get that info posted later today or this evening.

Coby: An Idiot

From EW:

Coby succeeded in annoying his entire tribe

Coby, Coby, Coby — I don't like repeating people's names three times in a row (especially yours, because it reminds me of that lame R&B act Tony Toni Toné). But, oh, did you let me down. You kicked James' ass in the sumo challenge — I sang your praises. You outwitted Ulong time and time again at all the puzzles — I sang your praises. Well, my man, I sing no more (and as anyone who's heard my voice can tell you, that is a good thing).

That whole bit where you got voted out and told your tribe how ''that was a great compliment''? Well, I'm sorry to break this to you, but . . . it wasn't. And then in your post-vote-off confession where you talked about how ''every single one of you said you got rid of me because I was a threat''? Well, they didn't. I thought you were a threat when the game started. You seemed like a cunning strategist. But instead you turned into a loose cannon. Now, I can overlook your getting all fussy at Tom for taking charge in the fishing department, even if you were acting a little divalicious, but then calling Stephenie into an obvious strategy session right in front of the rest of the tribe? Dude, every heard of subtlety? Ever consider that the biggest threat in Survivor is the one who doesn't make himself so freakin' obvious? (And no, Janu, that does not mean I consider you a threat — unless we're talking about a threat to wither up and die in a hammock.)

Okay, I'm off that. Especially when there's so much else to talk about — like Tom getting wasted! Now look, I don't have a problem with that. This here column is practically sponsored by Milwaukee's Best — or at least it would be if I could get some damn money out of them for drinking their swill. But it was pretty funny seeing Robosurvivor falling down drunk repeatedly. Naturally, it didn't stop him from getting up at the crack of dawn to go fishing the next morning. Nor did it stop him from dominating the immunity challenge, but we'll get to more of that later.

But first, how about that Stephenie spending a night all alone by herself, eh? After being hit hard by promos for it all week, we ended up with about 15 seconds of night-vision footage. Scintillating. I called out that she would only be left alone for a day before joining Koror, but since my Survivor prediction record is so utterly pathetic, I wasn't completely positive. But sure enough, after a few tears and a few more comical attempts to corral coconuts, she was finally dragging her Home Depot toolbox to go join her former tormentors. By the way, what the hell is it with Home Depot and Mark Burnett shows? I've counted over-the-top HD product placement in Survivor, The Apprentice, and The Contender. (Yes, I watch The Contender, but let's keep that on the down low, shall we?) Anyway, I hope they are at least getting some sort of package deal for all this ad time. Heck, maybe I can even get them to replace Mil's Best as my official sponsor. I sure could use a power drill. (Hint, hint.)

I figured Stephenie would be easily picked off once she joined Koror (remember what I said about my horrible prognosticating skills?). I wasn't buying the whole Tom-Ian-Katie-Steph alliance, and I'm still not, especially after Tom's pathetic pep talk when he told Stephenie that they would take her ''as far down the road as we can.'' Dude! As far as you can? What the hell is that? You don't tell her that! You lie! You say, ''Final four, baby! All the way!'' You don't say ''as far as we can.'' That could come back to burn the firefighter.

Of course, it didn't matter for this week because it was an endurance immunity challenge and there was little doubt that Tom, the self-proclaimed stubborn Irishman, would be walking away with the really, really ugly shark-teeth-adorned immunity necklace. (Oh, memo to Coby: A real ''threat'' doesn't bail after one hour to go eat a doughnut with a showgirl, unless she's a super hot showgirl.) I was actually shocked that everyone jumped off their poles so quickly for food (well, everyone but Janu). I guess I'll give Ian a pass, though, for making a most excellent peanut-butter-and-chocolate-nudity reference to my ''Survivor: Live'' cohost, Jenna Morasca, who no doubt was on her Sidekick within seconds text-messaging God knows who in sheer ecstasy. But Stephenie disappointed me in jumping in to scarf down that pizza. Hey, I love pizza. It goes great with the Beast. But when you are a new face in a tribe, you should take nothing for granted. Everyone on these message boards keeps talking about what a fierce competitor Stephenie is, but this didn't seem so hardcore to me.

Thursday, April 14


Why is Scott Savol still on American Idol? He makes my skin crawl and I totally don't understand his appeal. He's not cute, he's not sexy (puke!), no stage presence, no showmanship abilities, bad song choices, can't sing in tune. The list goes on and on.....

All I know is that Bo was nearly booted and that would be SO WRONG. Nadia didn't deserve to go home, either. Such a sad state of affairs. All I can say is that no matter what happens next week, all of us better vote repeatedly for those we like so Scott can finally go home and disappear. Who, in their right mind, would even *think* of voting for him? Damn!!!

Wednesday, April 13

My iPod Playlist

The Arcade Fire. U2 played one of their songs immediately before coming onto the stage last week, which is about as good of an endorsement as you can get. The Arcade Fire... check 'em out.

Amazing Race Recap

From EW:

A day without end on ''The Amazing Race'': After two boring challenges in India, the show cheats viewers by having no finish line by Josh Wolk

SIKH, AND YOU SHAN'T FIND Meredith and Gretchen have run out of Lucknow

What's the opposite of adrenaline? Because that's exactly what was pumping through me (or sludgily oozing through me, more like it) as I watched tonight's two utterly noncompelling challenges: opening boxes and serving tea. Good Lord, what's less enthralling than that? I hope this does not signal a new, mundanity-oriented direction for the show. Next week I do not want to see Phil introduce a detour as ''Surf . . . or Turf. In Surf, teams will have to sit in front of a television set and change channels until they find a rerun of Home Improvement. In Turf, they will mow producer Bertram Van Munster's lawn. Those who pick Surf will get a comfy chair, but this is digital cable, so there are a lot of channels to get through. Mowing the lawn is strenuous work, but as long as they don't run over a squirrel and jam the blades, they could finish quickly.''

With five teams left, things should be getting more tense, not less. The producers are desperately trying to work up some false drama with Ron and Kelly, otherwise known as the least demonstrative couple since Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe. (The one shot of physical contact we saw of them was Kelly trying to extricate herself from Ron's hug as if he had just proposed a wife swap with Gretchen and Meredith.) With Ray and Deana gone, the editors need bickerers, and so they've accentuated every disagreement between these two with ominous music and zooms in to Kelly's vaguely furrowed brow. I'm not buying it at all. Kelly has said that she reads the Bible for guidance on her relationship: If you're looking for volatility, you are definitely barking up the wrong tree with her, unless you're willing to count a tense citation from the Book of Ecclesiastes as a lovers' brawl.

Kelly did show a hint — just a hint — of competitiveness when Ron worried aloud about allying with the hated Rob and Amber: ''Keep your enemies closer,'' she said sneakily, as if she had studied The Art of War back in her pageant days — although I suspect she probably quickly tossed it away in frustration when she realized Sun Tzu was not specific enough about whether she should use double-sided tape to keep the bottom of her bathing suit in place. And all of her attempts at devious strategizing fell apart when she and Ron didn't yield Rob and Amber. She actually looked to Rob for advice. Someone should have told her that there are certain times when it's permissible to let the enemies get a little farther away.

Getting back to the challenges, I suppose the producers might have convinced themselves they had a difficult task in the metal-box search because it befuddled Gretchen so, but she's a horrible test case. You could play ''Which hand is the penny in?'' and stymie her. Hell, you could play it with palms open and she'd still be going, ''Ohhhhh, Meredith! Both the hands look so alike!'' I feel like this entire season has been one young producer's rebuttal of this couple's initial statement that age and experience would always triumph over youth and inexperience. ''So they think age is only a state of mind, eh? Ha! By the time I get through with them, they'll be begging for a condo in Boca Raton and a coupon for a 4:30 dinner.''

I've seen seasons of Survivor where contestants don't look as bad as Gretchen does now, and they have no food or shelter. This week she was dashing around with a scraped-up face, carrying all her belongings in a yellow shopping bag until she could finally get a pity knapsack. When will the degradation stop? I'm waiting for them to come in last for the next nonelimination round, when Phil says they can continue, but they will be trailed by a small bully who will yank their pants down every time they stop to read a map on a busy street. (''Ohhhh, for gosh sakes, Meredith, there they go again, down to my shoes!'' ''I know, honey, mine are down there too, let's just hoist 'em up and move on.'') Their one uplifting moment came when throngs of Indian people spontaneously cheered them on, which was either a case of mistaken identity or, judging from the way the locals crowded them, an unfortunate meeting with the Indian Pickpocketers Collective.

And then there was the tea challenge, which was nothing more than turning confused deliverymen with language barriers into a sport. Gee, maybe when my Chinese food arrived 45 minutes late last week and I couldn't get a decent explanation, I was part of a reality show and just didn't realize it. In that case, go, Team Cold Chicken with Cashews!

And here's another question: What exactly does the company that had the racers sicced on them do? Whatever it is, it isn't done efficiently if they can spare a day to have American game-show contestants pester them with drink orders all day. I sure would be annoyed if my boss allowed players on the Indian Amazing Race to dash around my office trying to give me a latte in exchange for a business card. ''It's like I told the last guy, Ramesh: I'm under deadline, I'm lactose intolerant, and Jim from accounting is down the hall!''

And all of this ended with a resounding thud as Rob and Amber arrived at Phil's mat first, only to be told that it was not in fact a pit stop but rather a handoff of another clue. Who are they trying to kid? A cliff-hanger is just a fancy way of disguising a non-elimination round — much like climactic music and slowed-down grimaces are just a fancy way of disguising a bland couple.

What do you think? Are the challenges getting tired? Are you praying for Gretchen to sent home for a rest? And are the show's previews too misleading, even by reality-TV standards?

-------I am pissing my pants with laughter!!!!!!!!

Idol Chatter


Nadia sings Crystal Gayle's "When I Dream" (Mac Davis, 1977), a light breeze away from a wardrobe malfunction, not to mention stunning, in basically a drawstring bag. The judges uniformly believe she invented the song her damn self, but she was lovely, as usual, and sang it strongly and well. She will be in the bottom three.

Bo (1975) sings "Free Bird" (duh), a song I adore, and is awesome and with his mojo fully back. I think Bo's grandma is Jay Alexander. The judges uniformly fit him for a huge Julius Caesar fall, like, a big old song-appropriate bird flies into the studio and buzzes some people, but that's a ways off. He's great at being Bo and nothing but.

Anwar (1978) sings Dionne Warwick's "I'll Never Love This Way Again," a song so boring you don't recognize it until the chorus, and even then only barely. He's natural and more commanding than previously, but way flat. The judges praise his technique and ignore the flatness; then Ryan kisses him on the lips and they get gay married.

A-Fed sings "Every Time You Go Away" (Paul Young, 1985, which: yikes!), utterly rocking my life, and I mean he thoroughly fucking sings it. This was his best performance, going right to the cheesy heart of what I love about him: we are brothers in Journey, and shouty singing. It's awesome, and the judges and Ryan totally dug it too.

Vonzell sings "Let's Hear It For The Boy" (1984, Deniece Williams) really well, with the energy high, the crowd insane, and the judges happy she chose a well-known song and sang it well, the two halves of what will keep her around, Nadia Turner, and it was so fantastic and so Vonzell and I might just remember her in five minutes.

Scott (1976) sings "She's Gone," by Hall & Oates, who are here tonight, and who have become indistinguishable from the equally confused-looking and leather-like Siegfried & Roy. History repeats itself as Ryan, heedless of my warnings, makes a sudden movement and is mauled by Scott Savol, who then drags him partially off-stage and beats him with a telephone. And still people vote for him.

Seriously, though: His intro is all about how he likes to beat on things and people and has ever since he was little, which bugs me on a PR level, because how fucking dense do you have to be? Then, the song itself was shit, frankly, so I spent the whole time figuring out that my favorite song in the entire world, "Magnet and Steel" by Walter Egan, is actually from the year of my birth, and is clearly what I would sing if I were on this show. I also learned there were some bomb-ass songs in 1978, to wit:

"You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth," "Come Sail Away" which is like the best song ever, "Hot Blooded" if I were A-Fed, "We're All Alone" if I were Anwar, and "Hollywood Nights," if I were Julie Cooper. Not to mention songs I wouldn't actually choose, but rule: "Baby Come Back," "Wonderful Tonight," "Wuthering Heights," "Just The Way You Are" or "She's Always A Woman," or "Lovely Day," by Bill Withers. All of which I'd laugh my ass off like Jimmy Fallon if I tried to actually do, but not as much as the C group: "Sometimes When We Touch," "Thank You For Being A Friend" (seriously), "Werewolves Of London," "Take A Chance On Me," and of course, "MacArthur Park." Impossible to choose, so I've learned I clearly don't belong on this show. Guess that worked out. Finally, I learned that: I am cheesy.

Anyway, he's awful and pulls a Justin Guarini on Simon and acts once more the total asshat. The other judges heap on praise but only Simon tells the truth: that there were more bad notes than good ones. Hall & Oates just look anxious the whole time.

Carrie (1983) is looking all kinds of Kelly but sounds amazing on "Love Is A Battlefield" by Pat freakin' Benatar, which…that's Anna's favorite person on this planet and I was like, "Oh yeah?" But she was great, and suddenly sexy as hell. The judges adore it (though Randy and Simon have some Teflon-coated non-lethal bullets loaded). I don't know what happened, if there's a new chip in her brain or something where she's awesome, but DAMN. All she's missing are the hos with their shoulder-menacing dances.

Then after an unending intro, effing Constantine sings "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975). And heard without looking, first, there are pitch problems but he's -- the sounds he emits, the spitty mushmouth and all, bug me, but like, it's fucking good. I knew the bitch could suddenly sing, but that was only ever like one third of the issue, so with my glasses on, I'm relieved to find that he's horrible again. Those are some magic glasses.

Review: Nadia being all chanteuse and doomed. Bo Bice being awesome and way accessorized. Anwar being forgettable but comfortable for the first time. A-Fed singing the best song of the night, and not too shabbily either. Vonzell redefining the concept of "Vonzell is adorable." Scott being dead to me. Carrie being fucking awesome, which ugh, and then Constantine singing about suicide while emoting that he wants to take me behind a shed somewhere. Great show all around, actually; maybe the best of the finals. I'm really scared because the people I want gone did really great, while the people I love are too "artsy-farsty" to sing songs anyone has ever heard.

So. Tonight's gonna suck. See you there

Celebrity Rehab Equilibrium Maintained

(Okay, I admit it.... I'm not that clever.... yes, I lifted the title from

Billy Joel exits rehab while Joaquin Phoenix enters.

Tuesday, April 12

Lost Stuff

Take the quiz:,6115,1046153_3_0_,00.html

Read the news:
''Lost'' season finale will be three hours long. It'll be spread over two nights, with the last two hours airing opposite the ''American Idol'' finale.

New episodes of Lost have been few and far between lately, but ABC will make up for it with the season finale, which will last three hours, and which the network hopes will give the season finale of Fox's American Idol a run for its money. Part 1 of the finale, called ''Exodus,'' will air May 18, and the two-hour ''Exodus Part 2'' will air May 25, opposite the deciding episode of Idol. ''The final two hours is so full of incident and character and shocks and scares and drama, all the things that people love about Lost, that it would have been silly to cut things out,'' Javier Grillo-Marxuach, a Lost writer and supervising producer, tells Sci-Fi Wire. ''So we've got a 25-hour first season! We busted our butts on it, but it's not going to feel like it's been padded. We are very proud of it.''

Grillo-Marxuach says that the original plan was for a two-hour finale, to be split over two weeks, ''and then ABC asked if we could do 90 minutes [the second week] so they could schedule it against American Idol. Carlton [Cuse] and Damon [Lindelof, who co-created the show with J.J. Abrams] did an amazing job on the finale script, and their first draft came in a little long anyway.''

Early rumors about ''Exodus'' had it that one of the castaways would die during the finale. No word on whether these rumors were misdirection meant to leave viewers unprepared for the shocking death of Boone (Ian Somerhalder) on last week's episode, or if the islanders really will have to face another death on May 25.

It's Official: They've Spawned

Yup. K-Fed and Brit-Brit are expecting. Really could care less about this subject but the blogs that make fun of Brit & Kev are a riot to read.

Friday, April 8

My friend Laura and her in-flight entertainment

From Laura:

I apologize for not bringing this story to your attention earlier, but it didn't cross my mind until Bridget suggested that I email it to the listserve.
So, last Wed. evening I headed to the Dayton Airport to catch a flight to Siesta Key, Florida (to visit my family). My first flight, to Atlanta, was delayed for an hour so I had a beer at the bar. My flight to Atlanta was fine, but my stomach was kind of queasy. Anyhow, since the flight was originally delayed, I had to run from one gate to the next to make my connecting flight, which sucked in the big ass Atlanta airport. I just made my connecting flight and settled into my seat by the window.

Well, throughout the flight my stomach wasn't feeling too great, but I knew it was a short flight and would be in florida in about an hour and a half. I looked in the pouch in the seat in front of me to see if they had a barf bag, just in case, but there wasn't one. I was confident that I would make it though. The plane was in its descent into Sarasota/Bradenton Airport, so I was confident I would make it off the plane and to a bathroom. Well, after some cold sweats and wanting to rip my clothes off because I was so hot, I started to vomit. I had my jean jacket on my lap, so I brought that up to my mouth to help catch my vomit. Instead, it acting like a shield and sprayed the vomit everywhere... including down my shirt, on the window, all over my carry-on bag and purse below, on my gym shoes and even on the arm rest on the seat in front of me. Some jackass sitting in front of me (who I DID NOT vomit on by the way) turns around and says, "Do you realize that you just barfed all over the seat in front of you?" Okay, jackass... like I did that on purpose. Luckily the plane was landing, so I waited for everyone to get off the plane, the stewardess helped me and then I went and found my dad and told him to get my bag while I sat outside because I smelled so bad. I was definitely in tears when it happened, but now I can laugh at it. I turns out that I had the flu, so my first days of my vacation were spent the floor of the condo bathroom, but I got better and eventually made it to the Daiquiri Deck. I hope my story brought some humor to your Friday afternoon.

Lots o' Lost Goodies

From EW:

Jack Shepard
Casting backstory: He clearly impressed J.J. Abrams at his audition, because the Lost cocreator let Fox read the entire top-secret pilot script. ''He kept running in and out of the room every 20 minutes going, 'Do you like it, do you like it?' I said, 'I'm loving it, but you have to let me finish it!''' says Fox.

Our favorite moment: Hard to pick one, but we'll say Jack's calm command in the postcrash maelstrom.

His favorite moment: When Sawyer realizes he'd met Jack's father. ''I love that there's all these very subtle interminglings even before they got on the plane — and it has so much to do with destiny and fate and why these people ended up on this particular flight and why it was doomed to go down.''

Least favorite conspiracy theory: That it's purgatory. ''[The show] has a lot of redemptive themes which could be metaphorical for purgatory. But them actually not being living, breathing human beings? It takes away the stakes of life and death.''

Burning question: Early on, Jack found some skeletons and a pouch containing black-and-white rocks. Explain. ''The black-and-white stones have been a recurring theme in the show,'' says executive producer Damon Lindelof (e.g., Locke's favorite board game, backgammon, and the mysterious Black Rock). ''We know who those skeletons are, what their story was, and what they were doing with those stones. But that's a question we won't be answering this season.''

Casting backstory: The drawling Georgia native had only 12 hours to prep an audition for the role of Sawyer, then written as a fast-talking upstate New York con man. ''I just threw the [Buffalo] accent out the window — I knew they'd laugh at me if I tried it. I think that's what they were looking for, someone who was like, 'Oh, f--- it.'''

Our favorite moment: Staring down the boar with the same bloodthirsty passion that led him to shoot the man he thought was responsible for his parents' murder-suicide...only to put his gun away.

His favorite moment: ''Right before the kiss [with Kate]. The buildup to that — the excitement, the tension, the sex between them — is cool.''

If he could change one thing about Sawyer... ''I'd make his hair less frickin' annoying. I mean, it looks cool, but it's constantly in my way.''

On keeping TV's biggest secrets: ''No one ever cared about anything I was in before, so when everyone started asking me things, I was like, 'Blah blah blah.' The best way for me not to do that is for [the writers] not to tell me s---.''

Burning question: Sawyer's backstory intersects with the Jack and Shannon/Boone histories. Does his pre-island life converge with any or all of the others? ''No comment,'' says Lindelof. ''But we'll see, before the end of the season, why he popped up in Boone's flashback.''

Sayid Jarrah
Casting backstory: ''I thought [Sayid] was intriguing in the sense that you don't get a main character on prime-time American TV who's Iraqi. That was exciting enough for me to want to be involved.''

Our favorite moment: When he sets off alone to map the island, full of self-loathing (for wrongly torturing Sawyer) and self-confidence: ''I can't think of a better person to do it than the only one I trust.''

His favorite moment: ''The scene where [Shannon] sings in French. When people are in panic mode, to have those moments of quiet and connection — it's good to play that.''

Castaway he'd most like to be stranded with: ''That's obvious, isn't it? Shannon.''

Isn't it about time for some island romance? ''I think there would be a hell of a lot more shagging going on than lingering looks across campsites.''

Least favorite conspiracy theory: ''The most idiotic one to me is that it's a dream.''

How much is he like Sayid? ''In real life, I'm less than heroic. There's no way that I would be capable in the way Sayid is. I'd just cave in and give up.''

Burning question: Earlier this season, someone knocked out Sayid while he was trying to operate the plane's radio. Who did it, and why? ''You will find out within the next three original episodes, definitively,'' Lindelof says. ''They will find the person, and that person will confess to having done it.''

John Locke
Casting backstory: O'Quinn received a call from Abrams (who had previously cast him as FBI honcho Kendall on Alias). ''He said he was going to do a show and was I interested in being involved and I said yes,'' O'Quinn told EW in November 2004. ''And he said, 'It's going to shoot in Hawaii, which might be a drawback,' and I said, 'That's not a drawback.' Then he said, 'Well, the character isn't going to be too involved in the first episode or two,' and I said, 'I'll take it.'''

Our favorite moment: The creepy and poignant flashback scene in the travel agency revealing that Locke was paralyzed from the waist down before the plane crash.

When he looked into the eye of the island, what did he see? ''I talked to Damon and he said, 'All I want to tell you is that you saw the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.' I said, 'I can work with that.'''

Burning question: What's Locke's motive for keeping the hatch secret from the other castaways? ''His motive is revealed soon,'' says Lindelof. ''Everything Locke does he believes is in the best interest of everybody. That's all I'll say.''

Michael Dawson
Casting backstory: He initially turned down an audition, not wanting to drop out of the L.A. production of Topdog/Underdog. But when Lost's pilot shoot was delayed (and word got to him that he was the only actor Abrams wanted for the role of Michael), the ex-Oz con read for the part, but still was wary: After all, he'd just lost out on a role in Grey's Anatomy. It was only during Lost's final callback that he became optimistic: ''There are usually three or four people that meet the studio and the network,'' he says. ''For my character there was just me.''

Our favorite moment: When Michael's ex-wife dies and he goes to fetch his long-separated son, Walt. His stilted hesitation shows his difficulty in reuniting with a boy he knows only as a hypothetical.

His favorite moment: The flashback episode, which altered his view of Michael. The writers had initially framed him as ''a white-collar guy. But instead of making him a guy who had made it, they changed him to a guy who was still making it.''

Favorite conspiracy theory: ''That it's some weird government experiment. That seems to be the most feasible.''

Burning question: Will Michael's raft set sail by season's end — and who will be on it? ''All I can say is, how much would it suck if it didn't set sail?'' asks Lindelof. ''Wouldn't you feel ripped off? I sure would! As to who is on it? Well, the roster ain't set. Yet.''

Charlie Pace
Casting backstory: ''I came in for a generic meeting. At that point, Charlie was a 45-year-old rocker, but they didn't have an actor who was working, so they were quick to tell me they would work around things. After receiving nods and winks and comments from J.J. Abrams, it felt like it was being laid out for me.''

Our (and his) favorite moment: Charlie's hilarious fight against his urge to sneak a peek at Claire's mysterious diary. ''I like the scene where he's struggling. I didn't know if the powers-that-be were going to allow a moment of slightly surreal comedy in the show, and they went for it.''

Castaway he'd most like to be stranded with: ''Locke. He seems to have his s--- together.''

Favorite conspiracy theory: ''I've always liked the idea of them being stuck in a Truman Show-type experiment. The government purposely crashed an airplane, and now Big Brother is watching and seeing how human beings act in environments of tragedy and adventure.''

Burning question: Charlie was hooked on heroin. Recently, Locke and Boone found heroin on a plane. Discuss. ''One of the things that has made Charlie's ability to kick the habit so easy is that he hasn't had any temptation,'' says Lindelof. ''Reintroducing temptation is part of our intent. The good news, for now, is that he doesn't know that the plane is out there.''

Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes
Casting backstory: Garcia earned an audition after Abrams saw him as a scene-stealing drug dealer on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and he was the first one cast. ''J.J. Abrams and Hawaii were all I needed to sign on,'' says Garcia.

Our favorite moment: Net worth of Hurley after winning the lottery: $156 million. Look on this fast-food employee's face when he realizes he's hit it big: Priceless.

His favorite moment: ''The scene with me and [Matthew Fox] — we're walking carrying torches and I say, 'My name isn't Hurley. It's Hugo Reyes. Hurley's just a nickname.' We were thrilled, like 'Look at how fun this is! We get to carry torches through the jungle!'''

Favorite conspiracy theory: ''That we're an ant farm — where you can shake it and mess them up. It just makes me laugh.''

If he could change one thing about Hurley... ''Give him a little romance — even if it's very innocent, junior-high style.''

Burning question: The lotto numbers: What the hell? ''Trying to find greater meaning in the numbers is the direction we are going to continue in for the rest of season 1,'' says Lindelof. ''Hurley doesn't know that the numbers are on the hatch — what happens when he finds out that the numbers are on the hatch should be interesting. Wouldn't you think?''

Jin Kwon
Casting backstory: ''My character only exists because they liked Yunjin [Kim, who plays his wife, Sun] so much,'' says Kim. ''I wish I could say that they were looking for me all over the globe, but my agent got the call that they needed a Korean who could speak Korean, and I got the part.''

Our favorite moment: Forced to work for his father-in-law, a corrupt businessman, Jin savagely beats a politician. The mix of shock and shame that crosses his face as he washes his bloodied hands is wrenching.

His favorite moment: ''When I apologize to my father for lying [about his death]. You really see [Jin's] humanity — which, until then, had been far from apparent.''

If he could change one thing about Jin... ''I can't wait for Jin to learn English!''

Favorite conspiracy theory: ''Purgatory. I don't think it's correct, but we are all searching for redemption on the island.''

Burning question: Jin worked for his brutish father-in-law; what exactly was his job title? ''He was the executive assistant in charge of finger breaking,'' jokes Lindelof. ''People always ask, 'What's Jin's problem?' There are a few missing pieces that will make it even clearer by season's end why he's acted the way he's acted.''

Bah-Bye, Bobby Jon!

From EW:

WANNA BITE A DUCK? Bobby Jon choked on the unborn ducklings

Oh, hey — how's it going? Sorry I filed this week's column a little late, but I had to run out to the store to go buy a few gallons of mouthwash. I don't quite know what inspired me. Could it be the garlic pasta sauce I chowed down on at dinner? Could it be a desire to put a little spice back into my suburban love life? Or could it be the fact that I just sat through an hour-long Scope advertisement masked as a popular reality show? Hell, I've never seen people so excited to be spitting out orange fluid in my entire life! I just had to get in on it!

Speaking of getting spit out, let's say goodbye to Bobby Jon. Goodbye, Bobby Jon! As I wrote in the magazine, I make it my habit to root for anyone with two first names, and especially anyone who beats himself up and blows snot all over the sleeping area. But let's be honest — homey wasn't cutting it in the challenges. I mean, he wasn't as useless as James or Ibrehem, but he certainly blew that one as floating puzzle caller . . . Actually he didn't really excel at anything involving puzzles, as we saw last night. It also would have helped if he hadn't gotten his ass kicked by Tom in every other matchup.

Okay, crap — I guess that means we have to talk about the reward challenge. Truth be told, this was so freakin' disgusting I was hoping to just gloss over it. I mean, I'm sorry, but eating fertilized eggs with 20-day-old partially formed ducklings? To quote the great Moon Zappa, gag me with a spoon. (And I thought I might indeed gag watching B.J. stuff his cheeks to maximum capacity.) At least Tom was around to provide a little comic relief along the way. I seriously think ''Watch the beak'' may be the funniest three words I've ever heard in any Survivor episode. But wait, he wasn't done! He then proceeded to tell us how he got ''a chirp out of that one'' and how he could feel the feet scratch his throat on the way down. Move over Carrot Top — there's a new king of the funny. (Not that you ever were the king of the funny, but if you could move over anyway, that would be just swell.)

I'm gonna stop talking about the partially formed ducklings now before I barf. (But hey, if I do, at least I have all that Scope on hand!) But hold the phone, what's this? A little drama over at Koror! It appears Jenn really, really wanted a shower and Tom wouldn't let her have one. It all seemed pretty silly, but I enjoyed it for the mere fact that it is the first time all season we heard more than three words in a row from Jenn. I also enjoyed hearing Coby call Tom a ''sourpuss.'' Not that I agree with it, but it's just not a word you hear thrown about enough these days.

But if Coby talked the talk, he walked the walk as well, helping Koror win again in the immunity challenge. And that meant that Ulong would go down to just one member. The ensuing individual fire-building immunity challenge was relatively anticlimactic: Basically, Stephenie blew on hers and built it up and B.J. just sat there and watched. Personally, I would have preferred some sort of endurance test, but they are no doubt saving that one for later on. You had to love the Probst ad lib at the end, though: ''Bobby Jon, the tribe definitely did not speak tonight. Nonetheless, it's time for you to go.''

Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to savor it because of my confusion after the commercial break when B.J. — in his parting comments — informed us that Stephenie ''is almost invincible.'' Excuse me? Doesn't invincible mean you, like, can't be beat? Not quite sure that's the way things have been going so far. Look, Stephenie has definitely been the best of the Ulong bunch, but that reminds me of Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles where he describes himself as the ''king of the dips---s.'' I mean, that honor only gets you so much respect.

If she can somehow crack the Koror crowd (I'm not necessarily buying that whole Tom-Ian-Katie-Steph alliance thing), then respect will be due. But right now I'm keeping my eye on Coby. I get the sense he's just itching to shake things up. Sourpusses, beware!

What do you think? Does Stephenie stand a chance? Is Tom a sourpuss? And where do the ducklings rank in the history of disgusting Survivor food challenges?

Thursday, April 7

Too Funny!

Stank, and Other Proposed Titles For Britney Spears's UPN Reality Show

The Osbournes did it. Anna Nicole Smith did it. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey just cannot stop doing it -- starring in a "celebrity" reality show, that is! Back when one-time pop star Britney Spears married deadbeat dad/background dancer Kevin Federline, there was talk that his baby mama, Shar Jackson, might get her own reality vehicle, but we all knew which show we really wanted to see: the one where the girl Shar lost Kevin to obliviously embarrasses herself for our viewing pleasure. And now the gods of schadenfreude have heard our prayers, and UPN is readying a reality show about Spears and Federline -- largely made up of their own home videos, but including their present-day commentary on same -- to debut as early as next month. Y''s going to be a brilliant train wreck, and nobody had better pull the emergency brake.

But what on earth will UPN call it? Executives recently held a brainstorming session, and we've obtained the minutes:

G-String Diva
Dancing Barefoot
Fed X
Suck On This, False Tabloids!
America's Next Top Mouth-breather
Marries Spears
Spears In Heaven
Spears In Kevin
Spears Of A Clown
96 Spears
Spears On My Pillow, Pain In My Ass
Spears For Fears
Fears For Spears
Don't You Know That Spears Are Not Enough?
Even Newerlyweds
Red Bullspit
Mr. And Mrs. Smith
Trailer Park Confessions
Suck On This, Pepsi!
I'll Love Honor And Obey 4 You
Us Against The Pre-Nup
I've Just Begun (Spending Her Money)
Control Your Woman
Suck On This, Shar!
ProTool My Marriage
Cheetos And Chafing
Look How Much Money We Have
Married...With Another Woman's Children
Drunk About You
Kevinly Father
Offensive Federlineman
Private Dancer
The Next Great Chump
Lynne's Complaint


At 3:30 yesterday, I got a call from Entertainment Weekly. They had an extra ticket to see U2 and thought of me (of course). So I trekked downtown to the Staples Center, made it to the private suite, had a few drinks, watched Kings of Leon (I didn't think they were particularly great, and neither did anyone else in the audience - I actually felt bad for them), and prepared to see a good rock 'n roll show.

U2 doesn't disappoint. Opening with City of Blinding Lights, closing with 40 (!!!) and everything in between... it was all amazing. This band is so tight, I'm not sure they even need to rehearse anymore. It's like instinct. And the sounds they make... just the four of them. It's huge! And I always forget how political their concerts are. They played just about all of their anti-war songs, they played a video with a woman reading the United Nations Human Rights, African flags were displayed in lights during Where the Streets Have No Name, they asked the audience to text message the campaign to end world poverty, he made a statement about the Pope and ended the show by placing a rosary he recieved from the Pope on the mic stand. No other band that I know of has the ability to be so outspoken and so touching and so fucking rocking. Here's the set list:

Main Set: City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo - Stories for Boys, Elevation, Cry - The Electric Co., The Ocean, New Year's Day, Beautiful Day, Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Love and Peace or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet the Blue Sky - Hands That Built America, Running to Stand Still, Zoo Station, The Fly, Mysterious Ways

Encore(s): Pride, Where the Streets Have No Name, One - Unchained Melody, All Because of You, Yahweh, 40

I don't know if this is the coolest thing I've ever heard, or the scariest thing I've ever heard

Sony got a patent for a device that transmits sensory data, including images, tastes and sounds, directly to the brain.

This is like, Matrix shit.

Idol Chatter

Okay, how the hell did Scott survive another week? Someone needs to come up with something worse from his past to get this guy out of this competition. Ugh.... I can hardly stand to look at him, let alone hear him speak. His mumbling and weird accent (um... he's from Cleveland, he shouldn't have any weird accent) drives me insane.

Nikko would have left eventually, so no big deal there. Not sure why Vonzell was in the bottom three, but there you go.

Totally boring and useless week. Nothing accomplished. They better improve for next week. NO MORE FREAKING SHOW TUNES!

Lost Recap

From EW:

''Lost'' makes a life and takes a life: In two medical emergencies, Boone dies from his injuries while Claire gives birth to her mystery baby by Jeff Jensen

TRAUMATIC IRONY The first crash should have taught Boone not to get back on a plane. Dim the houselights. Cue the backing band. Let's bring him out:

Ladies and gentlemen . . . Mr. Elton John!
It's the circle of life,
And it moves us all,
Whether you're Claire giving birth
Or you're Boone napping in dirt
Of you're Jack getting hitched
To Ed's hot chick (Carol Vessey, baby!),
In the circle! The circle of life!


Sorry, folks. Couldn't resist. My kids were watching The Lion King before I sent them off to bed, so maybe I have too much ''Hakuna Matata'' on the brain. Then again, this episode of Lost pretty much rounded the circle-of-life bases, didn't it? Birth. Death. Marriage. And that sweet nectar of existence, sex on the beach. Or near sex on the beach. Okay, noncommittal make-out on the beach.

Anyway: great episode. I mean, aside from some of the corniest lines ever uttered on this otherwise exquisitely scripted drama. Like this one — Kate to Claire: ''This baby is all of us.'' Ugh. I'm still trying to unravel the symbolic sociological significance of that one. And the whole ''Babies know this, babies know that'' debate between Kate and Claire. Look: I have two kids. They knew zip out of the womb, apart from (a) It was much warmer and cozier inside the womb than outside, and (b) I am freaking hungry. The whole Claire-Kate ''They know they are wanted/don't know they are wanted'' stuff — I'm throwing a flag on that. Illegal use of poetic license and psychobabble. People just don't talk that way during labor. No, the typical conversation goes like this:

Mom: ''Ggggggrrrggggggggg!''
Birthing Partner: ''You're doing great — ''
Mom: ''Shut the hell up, you patronizing ass!''
Birthing Partner: ''Okay. Sorry.''
Mom: ''Don't be sorry. Just pass me an ice chip to suck on, you useless — ''
Birthing Partner: ''Doctor? Another epidural, please.''

By the way, that just may have been the cleanest baby ever born in the history of mankind. No blood. No gray gunk. What, was the womb packed with Styrofoam bits? And how about Claire up and walking around the next morning, no worse for wear, as if the only thing that kicked her butt the night before was a bad burrito or something?

Look, I'm taking the realism of the labor scenes to task because the Jack-trying-to-save-Boone scenes were just so painstakingly detailed. I commend the writers for investing a lot of time in researching how to handle blood transfusions and collapsed lungs when all you've got to work with is some plane-crash leftovers and spiny sea urchins. But they couldn't have spent 20 minutes more chatting with a delivery-room nurse? Surfing the net? Talking with their own mothers?

Regardless: Congratulations, Claire. You did not give birth to a lizardy green alien thing. (Remember that moment on that so-bad-it-was-awesome show V? They don't make TV like that anymore, do they?) Just a healthy baby boy. Gotta say, I wasn't really surprised by that. I figured after all the weirdo build-up — the pre-island prophecy by the psychic; Tom Cruise's cousin's people's apparent interest in Claire — the show was going to zag (for now) and give us some normalcy and poignancy before putting her through the creepy wringer again.

As for Boone's death, it was compelling and poignant, though I'm not sure I totally bought the hero moment they gave him — i.e., letting Jack ''off the hook'' and making the choice to die. Even though I've praised the realism of these scenes, I didn't necessarily trust the bits where Boone became lucid enough to communicate information and his final wishes, if only because I just don't know what is plausible and implausible in situations like those. I guess if I were a doctor, I could better judge what's dramatically contrived and what's not.

Will I miss Boone? Honestly, I don't think so. The incest thing had no legs, and Boone's too young to support season after season of flashbacks. The significance of his death is tempered by his expendability. That said, it is a meaningful death for the show, as its repercussions will be felt for a good long time among many characters, none more than his stepsister, Shannon, who during all the birth-and-death drama was enjoying a nice night of beach blanket bingo (if you know what I mean) with Sayid. They're taking it slow. I guess if you've been boinking your brother, relationships are tricky, loaded things.

I loved the Jack stuff. His bitchy, cranky bedside manner when he was in issue-wracked savior mode, his drunken weaving from blood loss. My favorite scene of the night was the one where Jin came running in with the alcohol bottles and had to explain to Jack and Charlie through his wife, Sun, with whom he's estranged, the situation with Claire. The emotional dynamics of the moment were so varied and rich: Jin's wounded pride; Sun's yearning; Jack's stress; Charlie's my-girlfriend's-in-labor/Boone-is-dying discombobulation. Great writing, acting, directing, editing; great scene.

Jack's flashback: Okay, so he was married once, to a woman named Sarah (Ed's Julie Bowen). Seems she got in a bad car wreck and he saved her life on the operating table. Toasting him at their wedding rehearsal dinner, Sarah told Jack that he was her hero and ''You are the most committed man I know'' and ''You fixed me.'' (All of which adds up to ''This marriage is doomed,'' if you ask me.) As he took in her praise, Jack squirmed like a four-year-old that needs to pee super-bad. Jack's dad showed up, and the two spent time dipping their feet in the pool and discussing Jack's jitters. (Feet in the pool? ''Cold feet''? Get it?) ''Commitment is what you're good at, Jack,'' Dad says. ''Your problem is letting go.'' Of course, Jack's dad isn't exactly Father Knows Best, and I was kinda surprised there was no verbalized acknowledgement by Jack that all of his anxieties over being a good husband and good father are most likely a direct consequence of his honked-up upbringing. Regardless, I don't think we've seen the last of Sarah, and I'm cool with that. Three words: Carol Vessey. Sigh.

About the previews for upcoming episodes. Looks like the long-simmering tension between Jack and Locke is going to explode. Can't wait. But wait, we must: Lost won't return until May. Which means I won't return until May. But before I go, a correction/clarification:

As many of you pointed out, I was wrong last week about the voice on the radio on the plane: Boone didn't hear, as I thought, ''We are the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.'' Upon further review, it does sound a lot more like ''There were no survivors of blah blah blah . . .'' But my question to you is this: How would that voice know? Could it be that said voice would know because said voice is also a survivor, currently somewhere else on the island, who has wrongfully assumed that no one else survived?

What do you think? What did the voice mean? What do Boone's death and Claire's baby's birth mean for the other characters? And is an obsessed Tom Cavanagh going to start stalking Jack?

Wednesday, April 6

Holy Shit

There's nothing like getting a last minute U2 ticket!!!! Thanks, EW!

Tonight's Lost

Email me if you want to know what happens to Boone.

American Idol Sucked

Yeah, it sucked. Apparently all musicals are from the 1940s. Apparently Paula Abdul is sleeping with 50 Cent's drug dealer. (Did I ever mention my friend saw her at a spa and she was crying naked in the hot tub for at least an hour?) You know it was a bad night when my favorite performer was Constantine.

I recommend TWP's review, brilliantly summed up by Jacob:
Altogether: the Carrie song threw off my circadian rhythms for good so now I'll be sleeping every third hour for seventeen minutes at a time, Bo Bice is unmistakably Bo, Simon thinks calling somebody queer is a put-down instead of a total compliment, and I will one day wed Nadia Turner and we will live in a huge house and Constantine will clean our pool and I will train our children to wait until he's balanced at the edge of the pool and then hurl insults and tuna salad at him from the second story. And when he cries, we will point and laugh, because pouting is for suckers.

Who wants to shower with Michael Jackson?

Apparently Wade Robson when he was a boy. You might remember his 15 minutes of fame a year or two ago when he was Britney's choreographer and had a short-lived MTV show.

Best News of the Day

Lost, Desperate Housewives and ALIAS have been renewed for next season! I'm especially excited about Alias, of course!

Tuesday, April 5

I'm Holding My Breath In Anticipation

From Defamer:

Brit-Brit And K-Fed Finally Get Their Own Reality Show

It’s finally happened: After nearly a year of denying the public an officially sanctioned, televised document of their love, pop star Britney Spears and the man she’s chosen to spend at least a portion of the immediate future with, spottily-employed, background-dancing bastard-factory Kevin Federline, are staging their own reality show on UPN. The still-untitled show (working title: Brit-Brit and K-Fed Are In Love For Now ) “will document the story of the Spears-Federline courtship, engagement and wedding,” and, presumably, ear-splitting fights over skanks Federline consorts with on solo trips to Las Vegas which end with Spears’ inevitable threats to “take back every motherchuckin’ piece a’ bling I gave you and send you back to delivering Papa John’s, you ho-banging deadbeat!”

UPN plans to rush the series to air by the end of next month; there’s nothing to do but wait and hope the marriage doesn’t disintegrate before it can be captured by television cameras for the world’s amusement.

They're Droppin' Like Flies!

First Brokaw, then Rather, now Jennings announces he has lung cancer. For those who watch (or even give a shit), things could get interesting in the network news world.

Lost Goodies

From ashantai: Lost scoop? We're all on the edge of our seats!
Kristin: The finale is now three hours--can you stand it?--broken down into one hour the first week, May 18 and two hours the second week, May 25. And here is the only thing I can tell you: I hear we see flashbacks of every one of the main characters, in the only place they've ever been together all at the same time. Cryptic enough for ya? Actually, it's not that hard if you do the math.

From jaime302: Okay, can you answer this: Everyone is assuming that someone dies this week onLost. Does the death happen this week, or do we have to wait after another three-week break?
Kristin: Pay no mind to what they say, doesn't matter anyway, hey hey hey. My lips are sealed. Sorry.

From mr_mike25: Please give us something on Lost. Is the monster coming back? You said Sun would go missing a while back.
Kristin: I did? Honestly, that's the first I've heard of that, unless Alzheimer's is setting in. We have not seen the last of the monster. Though it's not returning this week, as far as I know.
From bruno: Lost blew me away this past week. Tell me something, or I'll die. I so feel you. Right as that episode ended and that freaking light came on in the hatch (so good!), I emailed Damon Lindelof (executive producer and show creator who cowrote the episode with Carlton Cuse and who is, in general, the nicest producer you will ever meet, honest to TiVo), gushing as I've never gushed before, begging: "What's in the hatch? Who's controlling Locke? Why are you torturing us?" His reply: "You are the sweetest of the sweet. And you're controlling Locke. You just don't realize it yet." Priceless.

From benny: Since Damon says you're controlling Locke, can you make him not die?
Kristin: Done! And for the record, while I'm thinking of it, it was Jack who's going to set off to kill someone, not Sayid. I was wrong. I apologize. I ask you to slap me now.

The Office vs. Rodney

So The Office premiered to great numbers on Thursday. So of course, NBC moves it to Tuesday. And it gets beat in the ratings by Rodney. Rodney? I don't even know what that show is!

Hire me as a programmer for the networks. I could do so much better than the monkeys that currently run the show.

Last Week's Lost

Did anyone else catch what the person at the other end of the radio said back to Boone?

According to Kristin over at E!: "There were no survivors of Oceanic Flight 815." I originally thought it was more like, "We are survivors of Oceanic Flight 815." Either way - very interesting.

April Fools

TV producers have a sense of humor, too.

Survivor announced that Boston would be the next location. And The Family Guy announced that it was re-cancelled.

Funny stuff.

Say Goodbye to JAG

After 10 years, it's off the air. To be honest, I never really knew it was ON the air.

Tired of CNN?

And I won't even mention Fox News (I pretend it doesn't exist). Al Gore is launching Current on August 1, a new cable TV network that will target the youth market with a mix of news, culture and viewer-produced video. Sounds pretty intriguing.

Lots O' Updates!

Thanks to the NY Post for this.....

April 5, 2005 -- Has "Lost" got you lost? Is "Deadwood" just a dead zone?

So far, it's been a super-juicy year for TV addicts. Desperate housewives are out for blood, a tiny tribe of two is attempting to survive Palau and formerly frisky couples are seeing their amazing race devolve to the brink of domestic violence. But unless you're an advanced TiVo programmer or professional couch potato, you're probably falling behind in your pop-culture studies. Which means you're clueless when water-cooler talk turns to the latest bizarre plot twist on "Lost" or which top model wannabe can best handle a fuzzy-spider facial.

Even as we turn into prime-time network TV's home stretch, it's not too late to catch up on the season's finest entertainment - most of which, suprisingly, isn't on cable. We've assembled an instant-expert guide that'll get you right back in on the gossip and ready to call in your vote for America's next "Idol."

Deadwood Sundays at 9 p.m. (HBO)
Leave it to HBO, home of "The Sopranos" and "Oz," to turn the Old West into a place where every cowboy swears like a sailor and the best possible death is being shot in the back and fed to a Chinese mobster's pigs. This season, Sheriff Seth Bullock and rival "businessmen" Al Swearengen and Cy Tolliver (they run the mining town's booze, dope, gambling and women) have been jockeying for power as Deadwood prepares to be annexed into the Dakota Territory.

What's next: Swearengen, finally recovered from the severe beating Bullock gave him, is back in charge at the Gem Saloon. He's trying to outwit Tolliver, who's been scheming with Dakota politician and mining magnate George Hurst to cheat local prospectors out of their claims. Meanwhile, Alma Garret, who owns the town's richest gold mine, is pregnant and deciding whether she'll have the sheriff's love child.

LOST Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (ABC)
Though the most cynical fans continue to gripe that the show's multiple mysteries will amount to naught, this series about a group of plane-crash survivors has provided some of the best TV thrills this season, mostly due to its maddening inexplicability. What are polar bears doing on a tropical island? What's up with the crazy Frenchwoman hiding in the jungle? And could someone please connect all those odd little coincidences in various characters' back stories?

All the survivors, we've found, have serious issues. Jack (Matthew Fox from "Party of Five") has his dead dad. Kate is an ex-bank robber who may have murdered her boyfriend. Sawyer has a botched revenge killing. Charlie ("Lord of the Rings" hobbit Dominic Monaghan) has a heroin addiction. Sun and Jin have their failing marriage. Walt has his psychic powers. Most tellingly, Hurley has the winning lottery ticket numbers, which brought him nothing but bad luck and just happen to be inscribed on the outside of the downed plane. Last week, we left Locke - who had miraculously gained the ability to walk again after the crash, only to begin losing it again recently - pounding on the hatch of a locked metal bunker deep in the jungle, while his cohort Boone lingered at death's door.

What's next: Claire, who was previously kidnapped by the island's mysterious natives, has her baby. If fans' wishes come true, Kate and Sawyer will finally hook up.

AMERICAN IDOL Tuesdays at 8 p.m.;Wednesday at 9 p.m. (Fox)
Learn how to use the "text message" feature on your phone to vote for your favorite, because with only nine remaining contestants, the competition is about to get fierce. This is the year of the rock star. Now that Latin crooner Mario Vasquez has dropped out of the competition, the strongest males are country rock performer Bo Bice (think Axl Rose) and New Yorker Constantine Maroulis (think Eddie Vedder), both 29. Simon Cowell's favorite is 21-year-old blond country singer Carrie Underwood, who "would sell more records than any other American Idol so far," according to the cranky Brit. Ukrainian-born teen Anthony Fedorov is the "Clay Aiken" of the competition, but not as convincing. And 25-year-old teacher Anwar Robinson hits the high notes, but has dry performances.

What's next: Soulful singer Scott Savol, 28, will probably be the next to go - and it doesn't help that the Smoking Gun Web site reported he was arrested for a domestic violence rap. Things don't look much better for 22-year-old Nikko Smith, who was booted, then voted back into the competition when Vasquez dropped out.

America's favorite Sunday-night guilty pleasure started off with a bang (literally - the series' narrator, Mary Alice, put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger) and continues to revel in a blend of sex, lies and camp. Sexy-yet-clumsy Susan (Teri Hatcher) was in a relationship with mysterious, hunky neighbor Mike - who may or may not be scheming to kill a Wisteria Lane resident - but it went south when she discovered he'd previously been convicted of murder. Gossip hound Mrs. Huber was snuffed by her next-door neighbor Paul because she sent a blackmail letter that led to his wife Mary Alice's alleged suicide. Town bitch Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) bawled out Susan last week for not resisting the new guy on the block (she claimed him first). Mother-of-three Lynette (Felicity Huffman), who recently kicked her Ritalin addiction, can't stop prying into other people's lives. Last week, she broke up a marriage by telling the husband's deaf wife that he was talking behind her back. And redhead perfectionist Bree Van de Camp (Marcia Cross) is finally getting the respect she deserves. Her cheating husband, Rex, came to her rescue after their pot-smoking son got physical with her last week, and now they're sending him to a correctional facility. (After sleeping with the town slut, it was the least Rex could do.) Rex could be next on the hit list, though, as Bree's pharmacist stalker has tampered with his heart medicine. Lucky for stuck-up snob Gabrielle (Eva Longoria), her annoying mother-in-law is dead, and she can cheat all she wants with the gorgeous lawn boy (Jesse Metcalfe). Better yet, her husband is going to the slammer for eight months and she's got the house all to herself.

Next week: Will Gabrielle cheat again? Is Bree's son gay? Will Rex be the next to die? Will the ladies of Wisteria Lane ever figure out why Mary Alice committed suicide?

SURVIVOR: PALAU Thursdays at 8 p.m. (CBS)
From capturing sharks to building bathrooms, contestants face the most physically grueling season ever. This year's Rob and Amber are Ulong teammates Greg and Jennifer, who've been smooching on the hammock while hatching schemes. The nine-member Ulong tribe is on a roll, thanks to show-stealing players like Tom, a New York firefighter. He's this year's Rupert, but his strength could be his undoing. Ian, the dolphin trainer, is a goofy riot. And the most calculating is Colby, the gay hairdresser (this year's nice Richard Hatch), who's everyone's friend. The losing Koror team has only two members left: Steph and Bobby John. Gorgeous Steph, a pharmaceutical rep, could be the coolest "Survivor" player ever, with her smoking body and amazing strength.

What's next: Anything can happen. Forget the phrase "Jump the Shark." The producers of this show are getting better and more surprising every season.

AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (UPN)
In this highly addictive show, Tyra Banks presides over a bevy of beauties clamoring to become America's "Next Top Model." This lofty honor involves - as Tyra mentions repeatedly - a contract with the Ford agency and a spread in Elle shot by Giles Bensimon. Each girl is judged by how well she performs a number of tasks - from runway strutting to makeup application to keeping her cool during a photo shoot while a tarantula crawls across her face. This season, much of the tension has revolved around Michelle, an awkward wrestler from Indiana prone to crying jags. This week, she developed a skin condition that covered her face with raw, quarter-size splotches. Pretty soon, the entire house was in hysterics, convinced that the condition - which turned out to be impetigo - was a flesh-eating, potentially fatal and highly contagious bacterial disease.

What's next: Will Michelle's skin clear up? And can the confrontational Tiffany stop dealing serious beat-downs to everyone in the house?

24 Mondays at 9 p.m. (Fox)
The uninitiated are often loathe to jump into "24" midseason, given the show's framework - 24 hours in which the nation is under attack by terrorists, each hour-long episode unfolding in real time. But waiting for the DVD is depriving yourself of the most propulsively exciting show on television. In the 16 hours that have elapsed so far, a Middle Eastern terrorist cell operating on U.S. soil has already derailed a train, kidnapped the secretary of defense, attempted a meltdown of all nuclear power plants (succeeding with one), blacked out eight square miles of Los Angeles and attempted to kill the president while he's on Air Force One (that episode, which aired last night, will re-run this Friday). Newcomers include the secretary of defense (played by a statesmanlike William Devane) and his daughter, Audrey (Kim Raver); Behrooz, an Americanized teen whose now-dead parents were members of a terrorist cell; and terror mastermind Habib Marwan, still at large. Back on board are Michelle Dessler, who was just brought on as head of Counterterrorism Unit (CTU); her estranged husband and reinstated operative, Tony Almeida; and IT geek Chloe. But they are all mere satellites revolving around star Kiefer Sutherland, as counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer, the man saving the nation by any means necessary (torture, blackmail, etc.). Sutherland is the only person viewers really need to follow. And, equally as important, there's the "24" drinking game: Raise a glass every time a character yells, "We're running out of time!" and a shot when Sutherland employs his dulcet tones on some variation thereof.

What's next: The genius of "24" lies in its ability to tap into the country's worst fears imaginable - then come up with even worse doomsday scenarios on an hourly basis.

At the beginning of this season, no one could've anticipated the attempted assassination of the airborne president - and we still have eight hours of terrorist attacks to go.

THE O.C. Thursdays at 8 p.m. (Fox)
The teen soap got off to a slow start this season, but has been building up steam. Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) , who used to be the series' endearing nerd, this year turned into a stunningly self-absorbed whiner who somehow snagged the hottest girl in town. Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie), formerly the brawny thug with a heart of gold, has turned into a bookish nerd. So-called adult couple Sandy and Kirsten Cohen (Peter Gallagher and Kelly Rowan) saw their marriage tested by Sandy's old flame, who has since moved on, and now by a new man in town. Kirsten's father, Caleb, is also the father of Lindsay, Ryan's Lindsay Lohan-esque love interest, who found the whole thing too weird and fled to Chicago. Spoiled-brat Marissa (Mischa Barton) flirted with lesbianism only to flee back to straightville (in the form of Ryan). And Seth isn't whining so much now that he's finally reunited with Summer (Rachel Bilson), his longtime love.

Next week: Will Ryan's wayward brother, fresh from prison, catch Ryan and Marissa K-I-S-S-I-N-G?