Wednesday, May 31

An Inconvenient Truth


I will go more into depth, but for the first time in quite a while, I felt hopeful. I think everyone in the audience agreed. This is a scary movie, for sure. But it isn't about creating fear, a la Bush regime. It's about pin-pointing a problem, proving that it actually exists, and then showing normal everyday people how they can make a change. Brilliant stuff.

Oh, and Al Gore is totally running for President. And if he doesn't, shame on him.


My cousin, Susan, recommended Wolfmother. She was right. They are rad! Check em out. Also, check out Wolf Parade. I just love bands with "wolf" in their names.

What happened to my TiVo?

I think it's bored. It hasn't recorded much since last week's Lost. Oh yeah, it's SUMMER!

Rolling Stone

First they asked if Bush is the worst president ever?

The next issue will make the case that Bush stole the Ohio election. Not even joking. Kids, this is going to get huge from what I hear.


Tuesday, May 30

LOST: Season 3 (yes, really!)

Summary of spoilers given by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse:
Next season, we will understand the real ramifications of Desmond activating the failsafe and what that did. The central issue of season three will be what did happen. It sounds like Desmond's coming back. They said they want him back, we want to know why he was in prison, we want to know what happened when he turned that key that affected the entire island. That will become very important. The island was visible but only for an instant. It was also visible for an instant on 9/22/04 when the plane crashed. The foot statue represents the history and archeology of the island. Season three will explore what happened on the island before Dharma arrived in the late 70's and who was there. The smoke monster will definitely be back in Season three. There is a good chance we saw the monster this year and didn't realize we were looking at it. By the end of next year we will realize what it was and when we saw it. Why did the Others take Jack, Kate and Sawyer? Where is their home? That will be the story told over the first six episodes. Season 3 will also be about the main characters and their relationships. They want to service the relationships next year more than the mythology. How Locke got in the wheelchair, how Jack got his tattoos will be revealed in Season three.

Exclusive intel on the new characters joining Lost: In addition to the two female roles, the show is also adding a new hunk. Descriptions are: Female, 30s, with leadership qualities. Female, early 20s, very attractive. Male, Latino, early 20s, handsome, mysterious quality. My guess? These are some of the "background" survivors that Carlton Cuse told me would emerge next season.

How 'Bout That Sam!!!!!

Whoo Hoo!!! We love our Indy 500 winner!

Sam Wins Indy!

Friday, May 26

Summer Reality 2006

Here's the schedule. As always, check local listings as information can change.

So You Think You Can Dance 2 [FOX, May 25, Thursdays at 8]
My Fair Brady [VH1, May 28, Sundays at 9]
Fresh Meat Challenge [MTV, May 29, Mondays at 10]
Last Comic Standing 4 [NBC, May 30 at 8, Tuesdays at 9]
Criss Angel: Mindfreak [A&E, May 31, Wednesdays at 10]
Fear Factor [NBC, June 6, Tuesdays at 8]
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List [Bravo, June 6, Tuesdays at 9]
Hell’s Kitchen 2 [FOX, June 12, Mondays at 9]
How to Get the Guy [ABC, June 12, Mondays at 10]
Tuesday Night Book Club [CBS, June 13, Tuesdays at 10]
Three of Hearts [Bravo, June 16 at 9]
Treasure Hunters [NBC, June 18]
America’s Got Talent [NBC, June 21, Wednesdays at 8]
Rock Star 2 [CBS, July 5, Tuesdays at 9 and Wednesdays at 8]
Big Brother 7: All-Stars [CBS, July 6, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8, Saturdays at 9; voting special June 21 at 8]
Work Out [Bravo, July 12]
Work Out [Bravo, July 19 at 11, Tuesdays at 10]
The Contender 2 [ESPN, July]
The One: Making a Music Star [ABC, July]
Buy It Now [ABC]
One Ocean View [ABC]

Thursday, May 25

Interesting Lost Theory

From ChunkeeMonkee at TWP:

After reading all of your musings (there went my morning!) I'll add my two cents:

I thought the four-toed statue was there to clue us in to the fact that there was an ancient civilization on the island that was far advanced or evolved than the rest of the world (no fifth toe=evolution) that was kept separated from the rest of the world because of the giant magnet. (Giant magnet = black hole.)

The people of the island (the "real" others) had advanced technology, but was based on the power of the mind. Sort of like an advanced alien race, but living on our own planet. For me, this explains Lostzilla, the voices, the bird, the smoke. yadda yadda yadda.

Then, Dharma/Whitmore/Hanso whatever (haven't delved into this yet. Guess I have to start playing the game) stumbles onto the island somehow.

Some sort of mass genocide happens, and Dharma takes over the island.

A small number of "the others" remained.

This starts a "Science vs. Faith" thing on the island, because the giant magnet is controlled by the mind power of the natives. Dharma has to come up with some way to manually control the magnet that mimics the mind-power of the natives. Building the hatch and sealing in someone to push the button is how Dharma contols the island. If the natives get control of the magnet again, they will once again take control of the island.

Dharma then sets up experiments all over the island to see if they can figure out/mimic the powers of "the others".

So it seems to me the "good" others are the remaining Dharma researchers.

So what about flight 815?

I think all the people on the flight were lured by the "real" others by their powers of telepathy/technology, whatever. They NEEDED Walt, because their numbers are dwindling, and their abilities are weakening because of intermarriage or whatever.

815 was lured off-course by the "real" others (and then brought down by chance? Haven't come up with an idea for that yet.)

But now everyone on the island is screwed because the hatch is gone, and the magnet is back in control of the "real" others.

So how will we know if we encounter a "real" other?

It will only have 4 toes!


From Gizmodo:

We can't hardly wait. The PS3 is coming. The Wii is coming. And maybe there'll be some cool XBox games with HD-DVD support. Best of all? Buying a Wii will leave us plenty of Bar Mitvah money in order to invest in a partial ownership/timesharing plan on the super 'spensive PS3!

The Wii will ship March 31, 2007Q4/October and sell for less than 25,000 yen in Japan and $250 in the States. They will ship six million systems and 17 million games during this period by March 31, 2007. The resulting Cabbage-Patch-Kid-Tickle-Me-Elmo-Holiday-Mob-Rule will slaughter hundreds of innocent Best Buy employees as parents purchase sniper rifles and pick off lucky Wii purchasers in line. All will be right with the world.


He's now involved in the CIA leak case. Big suprise, right?

Superman and X-Men

Okay, I eat my words. Both look totally awesome.

What is wrong with this sentence?

"Morgan Freeman will star in Gone, Baby, Gone for director Ben Affleck."

Real World

I can't watch anymore. Too annoying. Is it because I'm too old now? Or is the cast just too much?


More votes for the Idol finale than for any Presidential election. Pathetic.

Also, did anyone see Clay's hair? My God boy.


Someone post the winner in the comments section.


Now that I have no regular shows to watch (kind of a relief, actually), I'm going to begin watching the network pilots. First up, NBC. Maybe this weekend. But if the weather's nice, I'm going to go to the beach instead. All four days.


Well, they didn't like this at Cannes too much. Even Sofia Coppola called the response "disappointing." Bummer, the trailer made it look so good!

Back to Lost

My intital thought: "What the fuck."

Then I started thinking about it, and my next thought was: "What the fuck." But in a good way. Isn't it obvious that the electromagneticism was shielding the island from the rest of the world's view? So what was it? One of George W.'s secret prisons? Here's Television Without Pity's analysis:

Desmond's back, on the sailboat. Not intentionally, mind you; turns out "Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, take one down and pass it around" is great as a song to pass the time, but not so much as strategy for winning a ‘round-the-world sailing race. In Lost's continuing game of One Degree of Separation, he got the boat from a pre-crazy Libby, because she meets him in a coffee shop, and decides that what her late husband would have wanted would be for her to give the boat he named after her to a stranger while his body isn't even cold in the grave yet. You know, I hoped that when I typed that out, it would make more sense? It doesn't. He's competing in that race to prove to his girlfriend's evil-tycoon-type daddy that he's worthy, or whatever.
Anyway, the boat helps Sayid and Jack make a plan re: Michael being compromised. Sayid sails ahead, with the help of Jin and Sun, to scout out the Others' camp. And then he's going to alert Jack via signal fire when the coast is clear. Sayid finds the camp abandoned (and that the hatch door is just a façade). So, as per this retarded "plan," Sayid signals Jack. But of course the camp is empty, you nimrods. That's because the Others are all out AMBUSHING YOU.

Because, you see, after Kate and Sawyer notice a couple of Others tailing them, they open fire, killing one, and Jack confronts Michael about his lies, and Michael admits everything. And says he's sorry. And then Jack makes everyone continue on with the expedition because they don't want to tip off to the Others that they know Michael's compromised. So great, they go and get captured. Now that's commitment to a plan. As promised, the Others -- led by, not the biggest surprise ever, Henry Gale -- give him the boat, with Walt aboard, and compass directions Henry claims will lead them to rescue. Michael and Walt go putt-putting away from the pier, leaving behind the bound and gagged Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley. Except Hurley's let go, because the main reason the Others wanted him was so that he could then go back to camp and tell the rest of the idiot Lostaways not to come after them. How rough is that: they didn't even actually want Hurley.

Meanwhile, the season-long button-pushing debate continues, with Locke enlisting Desmond's help in lowering the blast doors in Swan station, shutting Eko out of the computer room, so the timer can finally run out. Eko uses the rest of the dynamite to blow up the doors, forgetting that they're called blast doors, and not, say, balsa doors for a reason, and he almost blows Charlie up too! But Desmond's leery of Locke's plan to let the timer run down, because he watches his own flashbacks and remembers a time he almost let the timer run down too; the electromagnetic anomaly whatchamajigger -- explained to Desmond by the legendary Kelvin, revealed to be formerly-in-Iraq Clancy Motherfucking Brown -- went crazy and in all likelihood pulled Oceanic Flight 815 out of the sky. And it's actually the Pearl station douchebags who were the experiment. The button-pushing? That's to periodically release the...magnetism? To...well, prevent planes from being pulled out of the sky, I suppose. Locke's still not convinced, and he lets the timer run down, and the electrodoodad goes crazy, and Desmond ducks underneath the computer room to jam his APPARENTLY NOT METAL key into the fail-safe.Which fills the sky with a bright light and a loud noise, and sends the Swan station hatch door into an airborne portal of death that almost takes out Bernard and Claire on the beach, but is fortunately deflected by Aaron's giant head. You blew it up! Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell! Charlie survives, and is actually really chipper, but there's no sign of Eko or Locke. Or Desmond, for that matter.

Which might be bad news for someone. Because in the land of ice and snow, Russian chess-players see their electromagnetic detector go crazy, and put in a call to Penny, Desmond's girlfriend. In Soviet Russia, chess plays you. What? They're Portugese? Oh. Well, in democratic play chess, I suppose.


We'll take a break from Lost and let you know about Jack White's side project, The Raconteurs. This album is SOOO Jack White. It proves what everyone already knows... the man is talented. Check it out. My cousin isn't the only one who likes it.. so do I and so does Amazon:

"Smothered by the indulgence of his rock star ranking, Jack White steps into the eccentricities of the supergroup, and at first glance, this seems to be a band where White's imposing presence could overshadow the rest. Not the case with these Raconteurs. Teaming with fellow Detroit songwriter Brendan Benson and Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler, the rhythm section from Cincinnati band the Greenhornes, White exhales a bit, deferring enough to his mates to make Broken Boy Soldiers play like a team effort. Following the Benson blueprint, "Steady as She Goes," which opens as a slice of 1960's radio pop, the record steers away from pigeonholing the rest of the way. White's in a Middle Eastern mood for the title track as he pulls off a wicked Robert Plant howl, while Lawrence and Keeler excel on the chorus-strong "Intimate Secretary" and the optimistic acoustic rocker "Yellow Sun." Like so many all-star bands before them, The Raconteurs could be one and done. But don't place the blame on this fertile and genuine debut."

LOST: Take 2

EW's recap, which is always excellent....

On ''Lost,'' Desmond helps Locke take control of the Hatch and inadvertently unleash the Island's power; plus, Jack, Kate, and Sawyer are taken prisoner by the Others by Scott Brown

CRASH DUMMY Desmond confessed to Locke that he may have caused the plane to break up
Well, they've really done it now.

I've figured out what the Lost writers have been up to all this season. It's very simple, really. They've been trying to make us hate Charlie. And they have succeeded. Admirably. Let's say two people you've been close to — father figures, brother figures, whatever — appear to have been incinerated in an electromagnetic plot meltdown. What do you do? A. Break down. B. Go into shock. C. Quip cheerfully and canoodle with that girl you've been crushing on. I'm willing to give Charlie the benefit of the doubt and postulate that C was tempered with B in this case. But c'mon, Brandybuck: I know the apparent annihilation of the Big Men means you can now claim full manhood and all, in the Oedipal sense, but what happened to your brain in that purple haze? Did it cook?

I know mine did. Holy Other of God, what a finale. I was up, I was down, I was frustrated, I was thrilled, and finally I was...well, a bit numb. Let's retrace our steps and try to make sense of this. (Ha!)

We begin with deus ex sailboat. It turns out the watercraft from last episode belongs to Desmond, the Hatch refugee we met way back at the beginning of the season. Now we get his flashback: The prison time, the dishonorable discharge from the British military, the copy of Dickens' Our Mutual Friend he totes around for rather obscure reasons. (Desmond has read everything by Dickens, but he's saving the author's final opus to make sure it's the last thing he ever reads.) And, of course, the woman.

Penny Widmore's her name, daughter of Charles. In the show's ancillary mythology, Charles Widmore is a bazillionaire with ties to the Hanso Foundation and, thus, the Dharma Initiative. He didn't approve of his daughter's relationship with Desmond, so he did everything he could to pry them apart, up to and including confiscating Des' prison letters to Penny. Knowing he can't beat Daddy's dollars head-on (and perhaps lacking a bit of backbone), Desmond decides to ''get my honor back'' in a roundabout fashion: He's going to enter a Widmore-sponsored race around the world, win, and collect his bright shiny Penny. (Fortunately, Libby, who met Desmond at a coffee shop, happened to have a spare sailboat lying around.)

As (bad) luck would have it, the race lands him smack in the middle of another Widmore spin-off, the Island. (I'm guessing it wasn't luck at all — Desmond's presence on the Island, like everyone else's, seems to be no accident, and his connection with Widmore suggests some meddling from a higher power.) He washes up on the beach, is rescued by a Dharma hatch dweller named Inman — the same Inman who, as an American intelligence officer in the early '90s, talked Sayid into torturing his former friend. Inman did his old job too well, turns out — he was disowned by his old employers, probably for something Abu Ghraib-ish. He's not too wild about his new bosses, either. In fact, he's planning an escape with Desmond's boat. Desmond finds out, fights him for it — and accidentally kills him. (Doesn't seem like accidentally killing Inman — played by the massive and inimitable Clancy Brown — would be an easy thing to do, but our Des pulls it off.)

In the process, he learns that the button, the Hatch, the cataclysm of noncompliance — it's all real. If the button doesn't get pressed, the ''geologically unique'' magnetism of the island goes haywire, overloads, starts yanking anything metal into its collapsing nucleus. The Island, it seems, is perched on some sort of black hole, and the forces contained within it need constant venting. Why must it be done manually? This remains a mystery. But Desmond watches it happen. And later, when he reads the logs Locke and Eko brought back from the Pearl observation station, he realizes the consequences: In the moments before Desmond brought it under control with some belated button pushing, the Island's magnetism (drumroll, please) brought down Flight 815. Our friend Desmond crashed the plane. Some days later, pistol in hand, ready to end it all, he heard Locke banging on the hatch door — and turned on the light. Instant epiphany...or something. It's unclear what this meant for Desmond. But he tells Locke, ''You saved my life.''

He says he'll return the favor. But does he? That's our cliff-hanger, folks: We don't know the fates of Locke, Desmond, and Eko. All were in the Hatch when the counter went to zero, the sky turned violet, and heads started throbbing. All we know is Charlie stumbled out of the jungle, largely unhurt, if deeply annoying. And the Hatch door came smashing down into the sand on the beach, after flying a mile through the air. That suggests something rather explosive (or attractive/repulsive, in the magnetic sense) happened right in the epicenter of downtown Hatch. Desmond, emboldened by his true love's devotion, turned a fail-safe key, the one Inman didn't have the guts to turn, the one that would ''blow the dam,'' ''make all this go away.'' And...fade to white.

How'd it come to this? Locke, angered at the perceived fraud of the button, decides to stop Eko from pushing the damned thing. Desmond, despite having witnessed a calamitous countdown firsthand, at first elects to assist in the hatchjacking, convinced that Locke's Pearl scoop is true and the whole setup is a cruel psych experiment running on autopilot. Only after they've triggered the blast door and sealed Eko out does Desmond reconsider: Maybe the people in the Pearl were the subjects of the experiment. Maybe the people in the Swan were really doing something important.

And it's around about this time that Jack ''I Wouldn't Lead You All Out Here If I Didn't Have a Plan'' Shephard and his hapless party of five stumble upon one of the episode's most gratifyingly creepy images: a pile of discarded, unread notebooks, chock full of observations, barfed from the Pearl's pneumatic tube. It's a chilly moment as it dawns on you: The Pearl is the ringer; the Swan is for real. But there's little time to ruminate. The Others swarm over Jack et al, whose surprise attack has proved useless, as Sayid was duped by the Others' Potemkin village. Jack, Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley are taken to a long wharf, where Bearded Toughguy is revealed to be clean-shaven Tom, where Ms. Clue/Klugh is revealed to be ''B'' (or ''D''? I couldn't tell), and where Henry Gale is...well, he's the ranking officer, if not the big bad. He appears to keep his deal with Michael, giving him a boat and his freedom. He alludes to getting ''more than we bargained for'' with Walt and seems none too bothered about giving him up. He sends Hurley back to the Lostaways camp with a message: Don't come looking for us. And he says that Jack, Kate, and Sawyer will be ''coming to live with us.'' How...hospitable! Seems the Others did want Kate after all. And her boy toys. Ah, just wait until they get a load of how annoying that love triangle is — hope they're in the habit of keeping the receipt.

So that's where we leave it, ladies and gentlemen. Ah, but then there's the coda: Somewhere off the island (Antarctica, maybe?), two foreign guys (was that Russian?) are playing chess in a monitoring station. An alarm goes off. A computer announces, ''Electromagnetic anomaly detected.'' One man picks up the phone. On the other end of the line is Penny Widmore. She's been looking for her man. And somehow, it seems she knew where he'd be: atop a giant magnet. Inside intel from her dad's shady operation? Signs point to yes. Or maybe she sent old Des there in the first place. Who knows? Who knows if there's any Des left to love? Who knows who built that rock formation? Or the giant Colossus of Toes found by Sayid on his fruitless circumnavigation of the island? (My favorite moment of the episode, by the way.) Who knows why the Island and its surrounding waters are ''a snow globe'' for anyone who doesn't plot a very specific course? (Having seen the outside world, theoreticians, we may now eliminate the ''apocalypse/last place on earth'' possibility.) Could the producers have actually been gutsy/foolhardy enough to kill off Locke and Eko, their two most beloved characters? Almost certainly not. But who knows anything? Not me. Maybe not the producers, either. But we've got all summer to argue about it.

Lost: Take One

Okay, here's the first article of several to come!!

Courtesy of

NEW YORK (AP) -- As promised, "Lost" viewers were left with plenty to ponder but juicy answers to savor as well, thanks to Wednesday's season finale of the ABC mystical adventure series.

Roughly two months -- or, more accurately, two TV seasons in real time -- after Oceanic Flight 815 crash-landed by this lost tropical island, viewers learned:

The sailboat seen at the end of last week's episode belonged to Desmond, who had been found at the start of this season in the hatch when the castaways first made their entrance. Grateful to hand to someone else the weird computer-entry task, Desmond ran away -- and set sail in the boat he had arrived in years earlier. But after 21/2 weeks on the water, he had gotten nowhere. "There's no outside world, there's no escape," he wailed, drunk and despondent, when the castaways retrieved him from the sailboat just offshore.

What may have caused the jetliner's crash: an excessive buildup of electromagnetic energy that Desmond, as the hatch's occupant at the time, failed to properly diffuse.

Why that numbered sequence (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) needed to be entered on the keyboard every 108 minutes: To diffuse the powerful buildup safely. So the audience learned that the button really did need to be pushed, and wasn't a meaningless exercise after all, which became a season-long issue that on the finale fueled a raging argument between Locke (the disillusioned former believer) and Mr. Eko (the fiercely loyal convert to the button-pushing cause). After an explosion in the hatch, they were both unaccounted for.

Finally, Michael seemed to prove without a doubt that he would sell out his friends to save himself and his son, Walt, who was kidnapped at the end of last season by the Others.

After having been brainwashed by the Others, Michael had gunned down fellow castaways Ana Lucia and Libby a few episodes ago to facilitate the escape of Henry, an "Other" from across the island whom the castaways had been holding captive.

Then -- despite the best efforts of Jack and Sayid to outmaneuver him -- Michael made good on his plan to deliver Jack, Hurley, Sawyer and Kate to the Others in exchange for getting Walt back. Hurley was released by the Others with an order to return to camp and warn the rest of the castaways against retaliating. "But what about my friends?" Hurley protested. "Your friends are coming home with us," said Henry, the Other who had been held in the hatch. While Jack, Sawyer and Kate looked on, bound and gagged, Michael and Walt were given a motor boat to make their safe escape.

"My hunch is, you won't say a word to anybody," Henry told Michael as he sent him on his way, "because if you do, people will find out what you did to get your son back." "Who ARE you people?" asked Michael, voicing the question that has plagued "Lost" viewers all season. "We're the good guys, Michael," Henry said simply. Disinclined to argue and at last reunited with Walt, Michael piloted his boat to apparent freedom.

Hoods were pulled over the heads of Jack, Sawyer and Kate. Their safety while in the Others' custody was assured by Henry. But viewers will have to wait until fall to see.

Wednesday, May 24

TomKat News

--Hmmm. This is interesting.

Is there trouble in TomKat land?

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reportedly got into a big fight — that ended with Holmes deciding to take baby Suri to Ohio to introduce the two-month-old to family and friends. Tom, who is rumored to have a rocky relationship with Holmes’ parents, won’t be joining them, according to Life & Style Weekly.

“He told Katie he wasn’t going, considering the bad relations between him and her family,” an “insider” told the mag. “Katie was really happy he said that, because she’d been afraid to admit to him that she didn’t want him to go.”

The couple allegedly had a “huge argument” which ended with Katie declaring, “I’m doing this and you can’t stop me.” Her rep denies the story. Cruise reportedly decided to fly his fiancée and tot to Toledo, drop them off and fly back to pick them up.

The episode, however, may be giving Holmes second thoughts. A “confidant” of hers told the mag: “Katie’s very unhappy and beginning to realize she may have made a major mistake being with Tom.”

Decent LOST Article

Read It Here

Tuesday, May 23

Idol Finale

8pm. FOX. Tonight.

What Is Wrong With Having An Opinion?

Country radio nixes Dixie Chicks.

Apparently the radio execs have it out for the country trio. Frankly, I just don't get it. Since when is it wrong to utilize your freedom of speech and have an opinion about something? It's fine if people don't want to hear their music. Turn the damn channel. Don't buy the CD. Whatever. But, they are a legitimate music group with many Grammy's under their belt. I mean, you got Toby Keith out there yodeling about kicking the ass of the Taliban. How is that any different? It's just a different viewpoint.


I'll Have To See It To "Get" It

Nike Inc said on Tuesday that it had teamed up with Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod to launch a wireless system that integrates Nike shoes with the popular digital music device.

The Nike+iPod Sports Kit will retail for about $29 and be available within two months.

--What the hell? What is this? Music eminating from my shoes now?

Okay My Little Losties....Read Up!

Here's some scoopy goodness to get you through until tomorrow at 9pm!

Episode 2.23: Live Together, Die Alone (2-hour season finale) (Desmond-centric)
Airdate: May 24, 2006 from 9 to 11 p.m.

"We are going to tell you why the plane crashed," says Cuse. "We're going to explain what happens if you don't push the button. And we're going to resolve the Michael-and-Walt story." (Michael's son, Walt, was kidnapped by "the others" in last year's season finale and has been missing ever since.) Desmond, the enigmatic guy originally discovered in the hatch, also reappears, and he's not in good shape, though he gives the survivors fresh hope for escape. Just as last year's finale expanded our scope of the island's boundaries, this year's will expand its relevance. "There is something else that is reverberating on our planet that is directly linked to this island," says Monaghan. "You begin to understand that what is happening there has a significant butterfly effect in the rest of the world." One more thing: we think another character is going to die, or come close. It's just a hypothesis, based on the fact that when we asked Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia) to guess which character would die after Libby, she said: "I can't do that, 'cause I know." Then she clammed up.

At the beach, long-lost button pusher Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) chugs from a bottle of booze and spills a secret. (Hint: It's sick.) [...] This time, we'll see Walt again, learn what caused Oceanic flight 815 to crash, find out what that mysterious button actually does (if anything), and more.

Harold Perrineau is not a regular for next season. He could be back as a guest star (à la Walt this season) but not as a regular cast member.

Michael Emerson (Henry Gale) [...] is returning next season as a series regular.

In Season 3, there will be new locations and new characters (one rumor has Desmond joining the cast full-time, but producers won't comment). The season's big theme sounds timely, twisty, and terrifying. Hints Lindelof: "'Us versus Them.' But who's the 'us,' and who's the 'them'?"

Damon Lindelof [reveals]: Libby's got this mysterious backstory, of which we've only given you the tip of the iceberg. We know she's spent some time in the mental institution with Hurley, and the idea of killing her before she had an opportunity to explain how she got there... we have a master plan for how we're going to tell that story, but it's all posthumous. You'll start to learn Libby's moves through flashbacks over the course of the next season. So we're not done with Cynthia, but Libby is dead.


Wow, so I'm not into the Denny plotline. It kind of annoyed me. But the last episode was actually tolerable and... I guess I almost cried a few times. (But I swear I didn't!)

Loved the way the Dr. Burke storyline ended. Same with the Izzy plotline. It was a little over the top at times, but it came to a nice, somewhat realistic end. And how about Meredith and McDreamy?!! Holy shit!!!

What did everyone think?

Will & Grace

Good riddance. What an awful series ender. I think it was filmed the same time the Cheers finale was filmed. Does anyone have a different opinion?

Wednesday, May 17

Like A Deer In The Headlights

OMG! This is too funny!

LOST: Three Minutes

Episode 2.22: Three Minutes (Michael-centric)
Airdate: May 17, 2006

Guest starring are Malcolm David Kelley as Walt, M.C. Gainey as Mr. Friendly, Tania Raymonde as Alex, April Grace as Ms. Klugh and Michael Bowen as Pickett.

A determined Michael convinces Jack and several castaways to help him rescue Walt from "The Others." Meanwhile, Charlie struggles with Eko's decision to discontinue building the church.

Michael will be getting a flashback episode on May 17, during which we'll learn what, um, Others stuff he's been up to these last couple of months. Whatever it is he's been doing, I understand we'll meet a very different Michael than the one we left. Walt will also be back, and yes, he'll still be played by Malcolm David Kelley. I'm also hearing that [the] episode contains a great scene between Jack and Sawyer. Even better than the poker stuff.

Guest star is 'Mrs Klugh', a smart, interesting, edgy, powerful businesswoman in her early 40's.

See What Lying Will Get Ya?

Richard Hatch was ordered to serve 51 months in prison after U.S. District Chief Judge Ernest C. Torres concluded that he had commited perjury during his trial and also lied to probation officials. He will then have three years of probation plus counseling.

Wow. That seems pretty steep, don't you think?

And Then There Were 3

So, who's it gonna be? Elliott, Katherine or Taylor? Personally I still do not know why Elliott is still in this competition. He has the personality of a dead fish and his voice is just too different to be mainstream. Katherine is amazing but I am tired of girls winning and she would probably make a better Broadway performer anyhow. That leaves Taylor... my second favorite (Chris was my fave until the surprise boot last week). Tonight will be interesting and I really hope Taylor makes it through to the finals.

Monday, May 15

Good idea, MTV

Too bad you fucked it up.

I WANT MY MP3: MTV launching URGE, a new music and video store, where users will be able to download songs for 99 cents a pop or subscribe to an unlimited download service for $9.99 a month--$14.95 if they want the option to transfer tunes to a portable music device. But Mac and iPod users need not apply--only Microsoft types can get the URGE.

Porn New of the Day

From E! Onliine:

PORN PIONEER: Vivid Entertainment announcing that it will beginning selling adult entertainment movies online through CinemaNow, a service that will allow buyers to burn movies to DVDs and watch them on any screen, not just a computer. Hence the death knell was sounded for the area of the video store once referred to as the "adult section."

Thom Yorke to release solo album

Except he doesn't want to call it a solo album. It's called Eraser.

Britney is a genius

"I no long study Kabbalah, my baby is my religion."


I'm so behind - I watched 1.5 episodes last night, and I still need to watch 3.5, plus the dang season finale tonight. I don't know what's wrong with me!!!

JJ Abrams is a teenage girl

"The ending of this year in Lost blows the ending of last season out of the water. It's an incredible finale. You'll see what happens, but I can tell you that a lot of it has been there and been building from the beginning of this season. It's not out of the blue, but what happens at the very end of this year, for me, it's the greatest finale I have ever heard."

Al Gore

Did you see him on SNL? He was brilliant, and sure made me wish that I didn't currently live in Iran. In a parallel universe where Al Gore is the president, there is no global warming (in fact, he jokes that our biggest threats are now glaciers - not terrorism), there is an $11 billion surplus - no deficit, gas prices are ridiculously low because we don't need it to run our cars - we use trash instead. This all sounds outrageous, but what if Al Gore spent $330 billion on things like that, instead of the damn Iraq war? Where would we be now?

Oh yeah, he also joked that he solved the immigration problem by giving California to Mexico. So I now live in New Mexifornia.

Did anyone see Poseidon over the weekend?

Didn't think so.

NBC's New Shows


Created by Crash and Million Dollar Baby scribe Paul Haggis, and set in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, four young Irish brothers involved in organized crime sink deeper into the criminal underworld. The ensemble cast includes Kirk Acevado, Tom Guiry, Keith Nobbs, Jonathan Tucker, and Olivia Wilde.

Based on the book and the feature film, the lives of a high school football team and their coach (Early Edition’s Kyle Chandler) in a small Texas town are the focus. The cast also includes Connie Britton (Spin City), Zach Gilford, Adrianne Palicki, and Jesse Plemons.

A group of regular people find out that they have super human powers, including a disillusioned cop in Los Angeles who can hear thoughts of other people. The cast includes Santiago Cabrera, Tawny Cypress, Greg Grunberg, Ali Larter, Masi Oka, Adrian Pasdar, Hayden Panettiere, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Loenard Roberts, and The Bedford Diaries star Milo Ventimiglia.

After the 15-year old son of a wealthy family has been abducted, the subsequent investigation (where everything, of course, is not as perfect as it seems) is followed throughout the course of the season. Dana Delany, Timothy Hutton, Jeremy Sisto, Delroy Lindo, and Mykelti Williamson star.

An eccentric, but brilliant Los Angeles police officer (Jeff Goldblum) solves murders in an unusual way: the victim becomes his partner, while his ability to communicate with the dead remains a figment of his imagination until the mystery is solved. Matt Craven, Dov Davidoff, Luis Guzman, Linda Park, and Nicole Sullivan (The King of Queens) also star.

Friends star Matthew Perry returns to NBC in this one-hour dramatic look at life behind-the-scenes at a long-running sketch comedy series (reminiscent of Saturday Night Live). Also starring are Sex and the City’s Evan Handler, comedian D.L. Hughley, Sarah Paulson, Amanda Peet, former Wings star Steven Weber, and The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford.



The head writer (Tina Fey) of a fictional sketch comedy called The Girly Show tries to come to terms with a temperamental star and a difficult executive producer. Alec Baldwin, Rachel Dratch, Jack McBrayer, and Tracy Morgan co-star.

After suddenly realizing they only have about 20 good years left, two New York friends in their 50s (3rd Rock From the Sun’s John Lithgow and recent Arrested Development star Jeffrey Tambor) try to make the most of it.

Five strangers at a wedding bond, and become friends, after they are seated at a table for singles only. The cast includes John Cho, Conor Dubin, Pascale Hutton, Jarrad Paul and Rhea Seehorn.



Describe as a variety show competition, and airing from Las Vegas, the best in singing, dancing and comedy, plus novelty acts will complete in front of a panel of celebrity judges who decide which acts advance.

Three promises

The producers of Lost granted Newsweek an interview about the season finale, and they promise three things will be resolved:

-The Michael/Walt storyline
-What happens when you don't press the button
-Why the plane crashed

They also said we'll learn some more about the others.

This is complete speculation, but after reading the article - which also stated that in the third season would see the islands world relevance expanded - I have this feeling that the plane and the button are connected. I also think that it may have something to do with terrorism. Then again, I could be totally wrong.

NBC Upfront

It's today. Everything can change, so check your local listings in September. One note: I don't like them pushing Scrubs into the winter every year.

Monday should remain strong for NBC, especially with the huge new promotional platform of "Sunday Night Football." Opening at 8 p.m., "Deal or No Deal" wins the time period with broad appeal and should drive viewers into the night's new tent-pole series "Heroes," a stylish drama with strong breakout potential. The new show should prove to be highly compatible with the suspenseful series "Medium" at 10:00 p.m.

NBC kicks off at 8 p.m. with "Friday Night Lights," a new drama that transcends sports and should be ideal for families to view together. NBC follows this with another new drama, "Kidnapped," a tense serial thriller that should team well with the 10:00 p.m. incumbent "Law & Order: SVU," which continues to dominate despite soft lead-ins this past season. Film star Connie Nielsen ("Gladiator") joins the "SVU" cast for six episodes early in the season while series star Mariska Hargitay is on maternity leave.

"The Biggest Loser" proved to be a refreshing success story last year at 8 p.m., and it ended its second cycle with record numbers, boosting NBC to its biggest non-Olympics Tuesday in five years. It will be used to combine with the evergreen "Law & Order" at 10:00 p.m. to hammock two new comedies. At 9 p.m., Emmy winner John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor are set to win over audiences with their masterful chemistry in "20 Good Years." That leads into the 9:30 p.m. time period premiere of "30 Rock," starring Emmy winner Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan. Then Dick Wolf's "Law & Order" will return re-invigorated by exciting cast changes aimed at keeping the show fresh and competitive.

NBC's traditional flagship night starts with two of television's most popular new series in "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office." Expect renewed vitality on the night with the arrival of the much-anticipated "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" in the vital 9 p.m. hour followed by "ER" -- the series that has defined Thursdays (10-11 p.m. ET) for a dozen years. However, the medical drama will have a decided edge this year with all original telecasts leading to a cliffhanger in December. Additionally, John Stamos joins the regular cast as he reprises his role as Tony Gates, a charming Gulf War vet working through medical school as a paramedic. In January, "The Black Donnellys," from Oscar winners Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (both for "Crash"), will premiere in the time period. "ER" will complete its season in the time slot following the run of "The Black Donnellys."

NBC will stick with stability with time-period champ "Deal or No Deal" at 8 p.m. followed by "Las Vegas" and its loyal audience at 9:00 p.m. Closing out Fridays at 10:00 p.m. will be "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," which re-locates from Sundays due to the NFL, after having performed solidly against intense competition on the night.

"Dateline Saturday" will continue at 8 p.m. and encore telecasts of NBC dramas will run at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

In addition to delivering a powerful night of television, "Sunday Night Football" will greatly increase NBC's promotional platforms leading into each Fall week. This four-hour package also allows NBC to reach an elusive young male demographic. When series programming returns in January, "America's Got Talent" with host Regis Philbin will take over the 8 p.m. hour. "The Apprentice" follows at 9:00 p.m., creating a strong unscripted block. At 10:00 p.m., "Raines" is a quirky police drama that stars the appealing Jeff Goldblum.

Crossing Jordan, The Apprentice: Los Angeles and Scrubs will return to the schedule sometime mid-season.

Welcome to Iran

I think that's where we live, based on the first headline I saw today:

BREAKING NEWS: Senior federal source tells ABC that Bush is tracking their phone calls to sources, doing same to NYT and Wash Post.

Friday, May 12


I have a wireless account with them. I just called. Here, basically, was our conversation:

Verizon: Hello, how may I help you today?
Me: I was wondering if you handed over my phone records to George Bush.
Verizon: You are not the first person to ask about this. No, we haven't. It would be a violation of FCC rules if we did.
Me: So why am I reading that you did?
Verizon: Verizon Wireless did not. Verizon (landlines) is a whole different story.
Me: Thanks!
Verizon: No problem. Thank you for being the most important part of Verizon Wireless.
Me: Huh?
Verizon: Basically, we love our customers.
Me: Oh, that's just a weird way to say it.

That was my conversation. In a nutshell. I feel much better now that I did that.

"When I Got Home Last Night ...Dick Cheney Was Sitting On My Bed Reading My Diary"…

Thanks, Jimmy Kimmel! You're right on the spot.

11th Heaven

7th Heaven, the longest-running family drama in television history, in a surprising move, will return for its 11th season on the new CW network this fall. Mediaweek has learned that a deal has been reached to bring the show back for at least 13 episodes. CW officials refused comment. John Consoli reports.

My Game Is So Hot I Can't Remember It's Name

When you're as busy as Paris Hilton, it can be hard to remember your product lines. At least, that's one way to explain why the socialite, appearing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in LA to launch her new signature video game, called it by the wrong name. "I'm really excited to have my new video game, Diamondquest," Hilton told jostling fans and press at E3 yesterday. The cell phone game, called Paris Hilton's Jewel Jam by everyone else involved with the project at maker Gameloft, is the first rollout in the firm's multiyear licensing agreement to produce a series of Hilton-themed games. Available for download this summer, the puzzle game challenges viewers to clear a jewel-covered field to unveil a Paris likeness. Gameloft has been looking to claim the audience of female and casual gamers who might be more likely to pick up games on their mobile phones than elsewhere. According to Arc Group, the number of game-ready cell phones should exceed 2 billion by 2008.

NBC Next Year

Some juicy bits of info from Media Life:

Buyers left last year’s upfront presentations frustrated that NBC had done nothing to overhaul its sliding Thursday night.

One year later the night has been overhauled, but ratings are still dipping, and now NBC must once again radically revamp the night.

Just how it plans to do so media buyers will learn on Monday, when NBC reveals its fall schedule at the first of the broadcast upfront presentations. What the network comes up with could go a long way toward assuring media buyers that NBC is at last back on its way up.

Of all the broadcast networks, NBC will do the most radical surgery on its lineup, with changes expected for every night. But Thursday night, which it long dominated, is key. It must reverse the slide.

The question is whether to move “ER,” the medical drama heading into its 13th season, to another night. The show is down 27 percent year to year in adults 18-49, from a 7.2 to a 5.2, and network is reportedly considering the move.

Media buyers think it could be a smart one, as the show has fallen off even more steeply in recent weeks.

That would free the lucrative 10 p.m. slot for Aaron Sorkin’s new drama “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” which has received very positive early buzz from buyers. If NBC decides to keep “ER” Thursday at 10, “Strip” could air at 9 p.m., against CBS’s still-potent “CSI,” or perhaps on Monday.

“Whether it moves depends on how confident they are with their drama development. ‘ER’ has lost quite a bit of ground opposite CBS’s ‘Without a Trace,’” says one media researcher.

“If NBC is thinking of moving ‘ER,’ they should put it on Wednesday nights at 10, where it would most likely air opposite ‘CSI: NY.’ That one isn't as strong as the other ‘CSIs,’ and NBC could move ‘Law and Order’ to 9 p.m. instead of 10 where it now airs.”

The network could move Thursday’s current 9 p.m. occupants, “My Name is Earl” and “The Office,” to 8 p.m. to make way for “Strip.” It could also keep its 9 and 10 hours intact and try out new comedies at 8 p.m.

NBC has picked up two new comedies, “The Singles Table,” about people seated together at a wedding, and the "Odd Couple"-esque "20 Good Years" with Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow.

The network is also eyeing Tina Fey’s untitled show about life behind the scenes at a TV variety show and “Community Service,” either of which could join Thursday's lineup.

If “Scrubs” is renewed, it may also land here, though another midseason return seems more likely, given its slumping ratings.

Every single night of NBC’s schedule will see major changes. In fact, some will have only one show returning from last year.

“An argument could be made for up to 12 hours of new programming. But no network could launch so many new shows with success,” says a development report from MediaVest. “When NBC’s schedule is announced it’s unlikely any night will come back intact unless the 2006 development roster is very poor.”

Sundays will be filled by “Sunday Night Football” in the fall. “Crossing Jordan” may return at midseason to its old Sunday 10 p.m. slot after football is done.

On Monday, the Paul Haggis drama “Black Donnellys” is one contender, along with “Strip.” NBC may also put new dramas “Friday Night Lights” or “Raines” here, shipping “Medium” off to Friday night at 10 after a season when ratings declined.

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” will remain Tuesday at 10 p.m. It’s possible that “L&O: Criminal Intent,” which has been renewed but is losing its Sunday slot, could land at 9, but it could also be part of a revamped Friday schedule that will also include “Las Vegas.”

Other Tuesday possibilities include the quirky drama “Heroes,” about people with special powers, and either “Lights” or “Raines.”

Midseason game show standout “Deal or No Deal” should keep the Wednesday 8 p.m. slot followed by new drama “Kidnapped,” or, should “ER” move, “L&O,” which could also stay at 10.

“Las Vegas” and “Medium” are likely Friday shows, and Saturday will be repeats.

“The Apprentice,” with ratings in a big fade from last year, may be benched until midseason.

I haven't seen a computer in three days...

Or at least one that I could use. I have been at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) all week, checking out what's coming up in the video gaming world. Let's just say that PS3 is going to be phenomenal. I flew a fighter jet playing Warhawk by simply moving the controller to the left or right or up or down. I'm not talking pressing buttons, this is motion sensor stuff. It knows how the controller is oriented. It's like flying a real plane. More later....

Top 5 Lost Theories

EW explores the theories and this articleis a must-read!

Lost! Lost! More Lost!

Oooh!!! Here's some major goodness from EW:

Among the many theories that have been formulated to explain the island, the monster, the numbers, and the 666 additional mysteries lurking within ABC's Emmy-winning drama Lost, the most popular is that the passengers of Oceanic flight 815 are stuck in purgatory. But here in a lush thicket of jungle on Oahu, life bears a closer resemblance to a ring of hell reserved for torturing pretty Hollywood actors.

In the shadow of a crooked tree, Matthew Fox (Jack) and Evangeline Lilly (Kate) bat away hungry gnats dive-bombing their glistening skin. Outside the vine-choked doors of the hatch, Harold Perrineau (Michael) is being painted with sticky fake blood. And stomping through the underbrush is Josh Holloway (Sawyer), his dimpled mug pinched with panic. Things are a little crazy around here today, since sequences for the final four hours of Lost's brilliantly puzzling second season are being shot concurrently. And — oops — Holloway prepared for the wrong scene. Now he's cramming for a cumbersome mouthful of typical Sawyer snark. '''The artist formerly known as Henry Gale' — what is that?'' says the actor, shaking his head. He asks if he can ditch the tricky quip. Nope. Make it work, he's told.

And he does, though the scene itself ends tragically, with Jack and the gang learning that Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) and Libby (Cynthia Watros) have been shot — by Michael, no less, though he has pinned their murders on that duplicitous Gale guy. Now the stage has been set for a fateful confrontation with the ominous, jungle-dwelling Others in the two-hour May 24 season finale. ''Being the one who pulled the trigger was freaky,'' says Perrineau. ''The hatch used to feel like a safe haven. Now ghosts live there.'' Burying his wildly bearded face in his hands, he half jokes: ''Why am I doing this career? I don't have to kill anyone if I work construction!''

Such is the soul-searching that takes place when you're part of the most enigmatic enterprise on television. In fact, a visit to the set of the cult pop phenomenon suggests a new Big Theory for the show: Lost has become an allegory for itself. A group of people on an island, their fates shaped by unseen, life-threatening Others — namely, the show's Burbank-based writers, and the 15.3 million viewers who are simultaneously fascinated by and frustrated with its peekaboo plot development. ''I've never had a truer sense of not knowing what the hell is going on than I've had working on this show,'' says Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko). ''The only way you can influence your fate is to put your soul into your performance and hope it registers with the audience.''

If there were ever a time for Lost's cast to make a good impression, it would be now. In a clearing of crunchy grass, the nefarious Mr. Friendly (M.C. Gainey) twirls a bolo and barks at his fellow Others: ''Don't shoot! We need him.'' At the beach, long-lost button pusher Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) chugs from a bottle of booze and spills a secret. (Hint: It's sick.) Down in the hatch, Eko mops up Libby's blood and speaks of damnation. And as they load their weapons, Jack and Sawyer bond over the memory of Ana Lucia. ''At least I get to kill somebody now,'' says Sawyer, cocking his shotgun with an emphatic crack. ''Brutal'' is how Naveen Andrews (Sayid) describes the finale. ''People here are scared. They want to know if they're going to survive.''

Fox, on the other hand, calls it ''mind-blowing. It leaves us scattered and vulnerable in the face of a larger foe — or who we think is a larger foe — and walks us right up to the start of next season.''

Executive producer Damon Lindelof vows a darker and more revealing finale than last year's still-unresolved Walt-napping, and that inconclusive peek into the hatch. This time, we'll see Walt again, learn what caused Oceanic flight 815 to crash, find out what that mysterious button actually does (if anything), and more. Lost co-pilots Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are already sweating the feedback. Their sophomore-season ambition was to spin a complex and surprisingly personal story that pushed the Lost saga to a defining moment. Now it's time to face the judges. ''I feel like we've been practicing a dive in anticipation of the Olympics,'' says Lindelof. ''But until we break through the surface, and hear the audience reaction, we won't know if we've executed it.''

Secrets and lies, scams and conspiracies, mystical visions and mind games, all embedded with densely coded allusions and other distracting tidbits — that's been the Matrix-y stuff of Lost's second year, one that was perfectly epitomized by the big reveal of the island's fabled monster: a tentacle of billowing black smoke, flickering with fleeting images. Lost used to be merely intriguing: Now it's about as shifty as a White House press conference. ''Season 1 was about 'Here we are,''' explains Lindelof. ''Season 2 has been going deeper: 'What is our reality? Are we really here? Is this even a place on the planet?'''

Lindelof and Cuse (who came aboard when co-creator J.J. Abrams left after Lost's seventh episode to direct Mission: Impossible III) began sussing out season 2 last spring by brainstorming the contents of the show's Pandora's box: the hatch, a quarantined bunker buried beneath the jungle. The producers always had some general ideas, but now they had specific names. Desmond. Alvar Hanso. Dr. Marvin Candle. The Dharma Initiative. And the button, a computer key that must be pushed every 108 minutes lest...something happen. ''When they pitched the button, my first reaction was 'No f---ing way!' And I mean that in a good way,'' says ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson, who denies rumors that the network mandated the hit series steer clear of the sci-fi side of the road. ''I'm constantly amazed by their imaginations.''

Lost's shepherds are also deep-thinking guys whose soulful concerns are imprinted on the show. Lindelof, 33, and Cuse, 47, both speak of spiritual awakenings during adulthood; they aspire to use Lost as a vehicle to tell stories of redemption and, according to Cuse, explore the question of ''how does one lead a life.'' During the show's conception, Lindelof was grappling with an array of internal debates prompted by the death of his father. At the same time, he was falling in love with his future wife, and finding the spiritual connection he was seeking through exposure to her Catholic beliefs. ''For me,'' he says, ''Lost is about meaning — and the search for meaning.''

For the actors tasked with embodying this journey, season 2 has required a risky leap of faith, and not just because they're usually kept in the dark about the plot. (Says Yunjin Kim, who plays Sun: ''When a character reaches some kind of redemption, perhaps it's time to start packing your bag.'') The cast was warned that new characters and an infusion of island mythology were likely to yield a different kind of show from season 1 — and less screen time. ''It hasn't been easy,'' says Dominic Monaghan (Charlie). ''I like to work. You just have to submit to the storytelling.'' Adds Daniel Dae Kim, who plays Jin: ''The challenge for all the actors now is to find our place in the mythology. Because clearly, if there is no place for us, we won't be around. The deaths on this show have shown that.''

Even the second season's central figures have wrestled with Lost's evolving texture, perhaps none more so than Terry O'Quinn, who has gone from boar-hunting mystic to hatch-trapped cosmic victim. ''I've told the producers that I miss the old John Locke,'' says O'Quinn. ''I wish he hadn't found those damn buttons sometimes. But these ups and downs reflect everybody's. You can't always choose the way things go. That's life.'' But those who persevere are rewarded with enlightenment. Holloway says he was baffled and bothered by all the fat jokes that producers were giving Sawyer to lob at Hurley (Jorge Garcia), not knowing they were setting the stage for Hurley's meltdown in April 5's trippy, I-see-imaginary-friends episode. Says Holloway: ''That's when I learned [to] trust these writers. They know what they're doing.''
Wellll...almost. They did cast Michelle Rodriguez as Ana Lucia, whose surly portrayal of the haunted cop polarized audiences. ''In the case of Michelle, there seemed to be a split in opinion over what she was like as an actor and what she was like as a character,'' concedes Cuse. But ''we feel Michelle fulfilled the role we wrote for her.'' Ana Lucia's death, he adds, was always part of the plan, and in fact, the Blue Crush star requested a one-year tour of duty. But her rough edges did scuttle plans for a romance with Jack, and contributed to the decision to make the May 10 episode a double homicide. Watros, however, wasn't initially marked for death: ''We worried [Ana Lucia's] death might not have the [same] emotional resonance as if we had killed a sympathetic character. By adding Libby to the death toll, it would really intensify the audience's feeling toward Michael going into the final episodes,'' explains Cuse, who denies that Rodriguez and Watros were targeted because of their much-publicized arrests for drunk driving. While producers declined to reveal their original intentions for Libby, they will say that Hurley's secret loony-bin admirer will pop up in Desmond's flashback in the season finale, as well as other characters' flashbacks next year. (While Watros recently shot a CBS comedy pilot, she'll still be available for future Lost episodes.)

Additional plans for Lost's third season are also taking shape. There will be new locations and new characters (one rumor has Desmond joining the cast full-time, but producers won't comment). The season's big theme sounds timely, twisty, and terrifying. Hints Lindelof: '''Us versus Them.' But who's the 'us,' and who's the 'them'?'' And perhaps the most promising tease of all for Lost fans will be a welcome change in ABC's erratic, repeat-heavy scheduling of the show, which the producers believe has hindered their serialized storytelling. McPherson doesn't disagree. ''The ideal schedule for this series would be to run for 22 consecutive weeks,'' he says. ''But we have a 35-week season. We are looking at a number of scenarios, like the possibility of three huge chunks.''

Of course, another theory could explain why Lost is down about 200,000 viewers from last year (and it's not just because it now faces American Idol's results show): Some viewers may simply have reached ambiguity overload. Truth is, Lost has to be judicious about plot development. Lindelof and Cuse say they would love to write the drama knowing that it had an end point, ideally about five seasons. But Cuse believes the show can survive on character-driven redemption tales for years, and both he and Lindelof recognize that Lost must deliver the goods, however long it's on the air. ''The more I hear about disgruntled Americans who believe there never was an exit strategy for Iraq, the more I understand why they want to know that the story we're telling has a...well, an exit strategy,'' says Lindelof. ''If they can't get answers to mysteries in real life, they most definitely want answers on their TV sets on Wednesday nights. And they deserve them.''

What those answers will be remains to be seen. Fox, at least, is willing to say what one of them won't be. ''Nobody is going to wake up on this show and mysteriously end up somewhere else.'' Promise? ''That's a promise.''

Told of Fox's pledge, Lindelof betrays a mischievous smirk. ''Well, then,'' he says, ''I guess we're going to have to do that.''


We were robbed on Survivor last night. No tribal vote and a stupid "to be continued". Now I have to wait until Sunday to see the whole thing pan out. Damn you, Mark Burnett!

Thursday, May 11

Lost Recap

From EW:

On ''Lost,'' the would-be holy man, driven by dreams and visions from his life before the crash, shows Locke the truth about the Hatch by Scott Brown

Before we begin, a word to Sprite. Sprite, ever since your merger with the Dharma Initiative, I've found myself less and less inclined to ''obey my thirst.'' Really, Lost producers? A bald and blatant Sprite tie-in? I realize quality advertising dollars are harder and harder to come by in the age of TiVo, but...Lymon? Wasn't that an ad campaign from the '80s? As my friend Liz put it, ''They owe me nothing, yet I feel betrayed.''

But let's leave aside carbonated red herrings and move along to the main course: This week's episode, titled simply ''?'' Ironically, questions are actually answered in this installment, though perhaps not to everyone's satisfaction. For example: Q: Is Libby really dead? A: Eventually. Sawyer provides her with some pure-T Virgin Mary heroin, for a graceful end — and knowingly gives up the location of the guns to Kate in the process. Jack sees another one bite the dust on his watch. Poor Hurley cries and takes the blame. (If only he'd remembered the blankets, she'd have never gone to the Hatch!) And Michael sits quietly and nervously awaiting the end — the gal's gotta go if his cover story about unHenry shooting up the joint is going to stick. Luckily, Libby's not exactly verbal. She manages to fire off a ''Michael!'' before kicking the bucket, but it's misinterpreted. ''He's okay,'' Jack tells her. And with a look of extreme frustration, Libby heads for that big mental institution in the sky.

Meanwhile, Eko, prompted by dream brother Yemi, sets off to steer Locke back to the path of the righteous man — and perhaps get some of his own answers along the way. They head into the jungle, ostensibly to track the fugitive non-shooter unHenry, with Locke's half-remembered map and Eko's newfound inspiration. All roads lead to Boonesville, the plane-crash site where young master Carlyle fell from grace. And what does Eko do? He shimmies up that selfsame cliff, though with considerably less tragic results. (Oh, if Boone had only had a magic ax!) From his perch, he sees the fabled ? from the center of the glow map: It's a salted stencil in the island earth, enormous and very distinct. And beneath it? What else? A hatch! ''Eko...may I?'' asks Locke meekly. Of course he wants to open it. It's a hatch! And Locke loves opening hatches.

It's the last joy he'll experience for a spell. As before, what Locke finds in the hatch proves infinitely complicated and frustrating. the facility is called the Pearl (of wisdom? ''of great price''? ''before swine''?), and it's the observation station. It's a God's-eye view of the other stations. It's empty, of course. God packed up and left long ago. In his absence, seven screens broadcast static, while an eighth still has a live feed of the Swan, our Lostaways' hatch. A ninth screen, in the center, is hooked up to a video recorder. Pretty tight tech for 1980 — that's the copyright date on the orientation film.

Oh yes, there's an orientation film. Our friend Candle is back — only he calls himself Mark Whitman now. ( in...Walt Whitman, perhaps? He who proudly contradicted himself and contained multitudes?) Also, he's got two arms. But if this was recorded before ''the incident'' he alludes to darkly in the Swan's orientation reel, why is the tech more advanced here? Magnetic videotape instead of a yellowed film reel? Was Candle's arm regrown thanks to Dharma research? Or is this just part of the mind game? (I can answer that last question: Of course.)

But the meat of the matter is this: Candle/Whitman explains that the people in the sister hatches merely believe their tasks are important. Pushing the button every 108 minutes is just an empty task, noted on a printout over and over again with time stamps and a cold ''Accepted.'' (In other words, Doc Jensen's Skinner-box theory is dead-on — or so it would seem.) This news really pushes poor Locke's buttons. He goes to pieces. Which Eko picks up. No, no, he explains. This doesn't mean what's been going on in the hatch is meaningless. This means that destiny and belief are not flat facts of being but acts of will. In other words, if you choose to believe, then that which you believe is true.

Eko clearly developed this quantum theory of God over the course of his fake priesthood, which we see here in flashback. His reinvention of himself as a holy man is an act of will, after all. And his adopted piety is rewarded with a miracle. He's stationed in Australia but on his way to L.A., perhaps to return to his old criminal habits. But he's delayed by a reported case of divine intervention: Apparently, a young girl has drowned, then come back to life the next day — on the autopsy table! Creepshow! Her dad, it turns out, is the same psychic who advised Claire to get on Flight 815. (Ah, Claire...remember her? She might've been kidnapped again, for all I know.) So Eko investigates, finds no evidence of the miraculous, and gets on the next plane out. Could psychic dad have orchestrated Eko's presence on Flight 815 as well? Who knows how well organized those Dharmites might be?

What we do know is that Psydad's supposedly resurrected daughter turns up at the airport to give Eko a message from his dead brother Yemi: Eko's a good man, and they'll see each other soon. But Eko's not the only one to be visited by a ghostly Yemi. Locke receives a vision as well, complete with wheelchair. Are the Losties experiencing overlapping subconsciouses, brought on by either psychic intervention or electromagnetic manipulation or both? (That's another Doc Jensen theory, by the way.)

So, one question is answered. And sooo many more are raised. Where's this ''Pala Ferry'' Candle/Whitman referred to? Where did it go? (''Ferry'' suggests a nearby mainland destination.) And where do those nifty pneumatic tubes lead? And why do I want a Sprite all of a sudden?

Wednesday, May 10

OMG! Holy Shit!

EW pegged it. They were dead on with their Idol assessment. Chris & Katharine in the bottom 2 and Chris got booted. Who woulda thunk it?


Idol Musings

From EW:

Holy cow. Here's where it starts to get interesting. For the first time in five seasons of American Idol, I wouldn't be shocked if any one of the final four contestants got eliminated, or conversely, went on to win (and subsequently record a drippy, Clive Davis-produced ballad called ''A Moment Inside Your Wings,'' or some such nonsense.) Indeed, the question of who'll be permanently exiting the Idol building on Wednesday night's results show is about as unpredictable as the moods of Paula Abdul — which alternately thrills, terrifies, frustrates, and tickles me.

The only thing I'm certain of after a particularly solid Elvis night, in fact, is that I'll be sleeping fitfully tonight, tossing and turning and mulling over which of the following scenarios will lead to the untimely elimination of one of the talented (and closely matched) Idol wannabes we heard tonight.

1. If voters focus solely on tonight's vocal performances... Katharine McPhee should pack her bags. To be fair to the last female standing in the competition, I thought her ''Hound Dog/All Shook Up'' mash-up was actually quite inspired, a playful, pleasant, and (mostly) on-key departure from her standard-issue balladeering. That said, if Katharine really envisions herself as the second coming of Kelly Clarkson (hey now, try to suppress the groaning, haters), aren't we a bit far into the competition for her to be botching her lyrics?

As for Kat's rendition of ''Can't Help Falling in Love,'' the opening 20 seconds or so sounded like the musical equivalent of a home run, until the performance suddenly veered left — and right into foul territory. (Okay, maybe that was a bad analogy, but I watch too much Idol to follow baseball, so cut me a break.) Even Katharine's biggest boosters can't pretend they didn't hear the screeching ending, or the way the fashion-challenged beauty abruptly terminated her last note, then stood waiting for the judges' critiques while the band wrapped up the song.

Not exactly an Idol-making moment, but then again, what if the dudes split the vote? What if Kat's built up enough good will with ''Black Horse and the Cherry Tree'' and ''Someone to Watch Over Me'' to overcome a one-song stumble? What if she wins sympathy votes from viewers who hate having to watch her endure Ryan Seacrest's icky attempts at flirting?

2. In that event, if you've studied Idol history... Chris Daughtry fans might be in for a shock this week. True, many folks have been calling the bald-headed hottie a shoo-in for the final two since sometime around Valentine's Day, but think of the way the voting's gone down in previous seasons: Jasmine Trias outlasting La Toya London in Season 3, or Nikki McKibbin garnering more votes than Tamyra Gray in the show's first edition.

Perhaps Chris chose the wrong week to play it soft and sentimental. (Note: The last time he took a non-howling approach, on ''What a Wonderful World,'' he landed in the bottom two.) And let's be frank: What was the guy thinking pulling a David Caruso — removing his unnecessary shades mid-line-reading — midway through his otherwise heartfelt rendition of ''Suspicious Minds''?

On the other hand, Chris' ''A Little Less Conversation'' was loooow-key, but it worked for cryin' out loud. I mean, not every recipe calls for all the ingredients to be thrown directly into the fire, and accordingly, Chris let his number simmer slowly and sensually, building to an appropriately spicy finale. That clingy white shirt, all that talk about action and satisfaction, and the well-timed use of his secret weapon — Chris' admission that he wears boxer briefs (!) — may not have worked on Simon, but I bet there'll be a sudden spike in Daughtry wallpaper downloads in the next 24 hours. I mean, the dude's shtick certainly seemed to register on Paula's lust-o-meter.

3. If the skivvies talk worked (and you know it probably did), it'd be hard to ignore season-long voting patterns... Which clearly point out Elliott Yamin as the likeliest evictee from the competition. His bottom-two finish last week, along with the fact that he's the only remaining finalist with multiple bottom-three appearances, means he's probably got the least sizable (or least-likely-to-speed-dial) fanbase.

In other words, E-Double will always need to be twice as good as his competitors when he takes the stage. And while I'm sure everyone reading this column has their own opinion on the subject, I'd say the unlikely heartthrob (yes, imperfect teeth and all!) did exactly that. Elliott's wickedly soulful ''If I Could Dream'' proved Mandisa's not the only Season 5 finalist who could rock the gospel charts, but it was ''Trouble'' — a song choice that on paper seemed like a disastrous misstep — that proved Elliott is fully capable of taking over Carrie Underwood's crown. More so than any other performance tonight, Elliott's ''Trouble'' possessed passion, conviction, and a true sense of Elvis-esque cheekiness. It also showed the diabetic guy with 90 percent hearing loss in one ear might, for the first time, believe he's talented enough, handsome enough, and that, gosh darn it, people like him. Heck, even Simon thinks Elliott deserves to survive till next week!

4. Which, while it's not very likely, means that not even Taylor Hicks should be feeling completely secure right now... Sure, there's no denying his ''In the Ghetto'' was a perfect song choice, proving (once again) that the gray-haired guy has better taste in music than any of his rivals. And Taylor sang it beautifully, too, eschewing even the slightest hint of gimmickry, and reminding even his naysayers of his ability to not only connect with his lyrics, but to make familiar tunes sound very much his own.

In fact, I'd call this Taylor's first true ''moment'' since his ''Change Is Gonna Come'' audition. Too bad he didn't rise to the occasion on his first number, ''Jailhouse Rock,'' which Simon astutely noted was ''karaoke with a capital K.'' I know some folks will call me a killjoy, but honestly, I have no problem with Taylor's goofy dancing or his inherent showmanship — they're both A-OK as far as I'm concerned. What bothers me is that when Taylor gets into his manic groove, his voice sounds listless and strained, and he gets away with it, thanks to the Mr. Congeniality, ''Soul Patrol!'' shouting routine.

Still, what I'm trying to say is, even after slicing up tonight's show four different ways, I can think of a dozen other factors that could put the contestants at risk. If viewers listen to the judges, Katharine and Chris will be the bottom two. If we're thinking cynically about the predictably market-driven sensibilities of the American public, it's probably the end of the line for either Elliott or Taylor. In terms of week-to-week momentum, it seems Chris might be slipping the most. If teen speed-dialing makes the difference, Elliott's a goner. To put it another way, this week's outcome is anyone's guess. And with not a single talentless screech owl in the bunch, I think I could learn to live with whatever happens. In any event, it's going to be a nail-biter. See you at the watercooler this time on Thursday?

Which contestant do you think deserves to get the boot? Is America in for a shock during tonight's results show? And anyone else out there think Paula should be strapped to her chair?

--BTW, I'd like to see Elliot booted. His teeth gross me out.

Tuesday, May 9

Jon Stewart F'ing Rocks

Anyone find this funny? Let's just say W's vocabulary is smaller than even his harshest critics have previously concluded.

Tom Cruise is the new Michael Jackson

Funny article by Nora Ephron. Guess he won't be in any of her movies anytime soon!

"My son Jacob off-handedly pointed out to me this week that Cruise has now become the new Michael Jackson, a weirdo, an all-purpose piñata, the freak celebrity that everyone concedes is crazy, a poster boy for career immolation, a bizarre case of arrested-development, a man still playing with childhood toys."


Inappropriate Music

Nothing goes together like 24 and the Golden Girls theme.


I've read that she's dead.

I've read that she's not.

I've read that she's not dead... yet.

Which is it? I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

A comedy of errors?

Word on the street: HBO is developing "Hotel Palestine," a half-hour comedy about a group of wartime journalists living in a Baghdad hotel.

George? Are You Paying Attention?

Tony Blair abandoned his election promise to serve a full third term last night, indicating that he could stand down next summer.

So NoTORIous

They say she preggers..... hmmmmm

Blaine: Publicity Whore

From Gawker:

Last night’s Lincoln Center shitshow served as a pleasant reminder that David Blaine isn’t a magician so much as a stunt man — and an inept one at that. After spending 7 days pruning in his human aquarium, the showboat emerged to wrap himself in chains and go back under in an attempt to hold his breath for nine minutes and thus break a world record. Alas, he came up for air two minutes short of the record. Pussy.

He bravely takes a moment to thank the people of New York for our “support,” but Blaine’s tears are visible as he chokes on his own shame. Grab yourself a kleenex, because nothing pulls at the heartstrings like failed publicity whores.

Score One For O'Donnell

From Socialite's Life:

Page Six is reporting this morning that Star Jones will be exiting "The View." According to Page Six's source, this was at the request of Barbara Walters and Rosie O'Donnell. I have to say I'm a tad disappointed. What could have been must see television, has now become "that talk show that Rosie is going to be on." People would have tuned in droves to watch the unpleasantness on set between Jones and O'Donnell.

ABC will announce this week that the big-boned talking head is out at "The View," a source close to the inner workings of the late-morning gabfest tells Page Six. "It was always Rosie's condition of joining the show, and Barbara agreed to those conditions from the outset," our source said. The network and Jones are now concocting a face-saving scenario in which Jones will be touted as moving on to pursue important new projects.

Jones' camp yesterday denied the blustery babbler is going anywhere. "It's 100 percent not true. Where are you hearing this?" a rep for Jones said. A "View" flack echoed that. But those denials come on the heels of reports that Oprah Winfrey's best friend, Gayle King, may be in line to take over Jones' chair on the kitschy coffee klatch.

And while publicly, the show says Jones is "welcome" to remain on "The View" as long as she wants, insiders confirmed late last week that her agents are quietly shopping around for a new job for her.

Monday, May 8

I Love The Onion

I don't know why, but I always forget to browse their website. Today, I'm glad I remembered, because I am peeing my pants after reading this article.

Finale Highlights

Okay, time for less politics and more fun stuff.

LOST-Wed. May 24, 9-11pm
HIGHLIGHTS In the two-hour finale, titled ''Live Together, Die Alone,'' Jack and Sayid come up with a plan of attack against the Others in hopes of rescuing Walt; Locke and Eko get into a fight over Locke's fateful decision regarding the button and the Hatch. Expect lots of expressions of shock and bewilderment, like those on the faces of Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Kate (Evangeline Lilly).

BURNING QUESTIONS Will we finally learn, as promised, why Flight 815 crashed in the first place? Will we learn what became of Desmond, the original hatchling? Will the castaways learn that it was Michael, not Henry, who shot Ana Lucia and Libby? Will someone die in the confrontation with the Others? (Probable answers: Yes, yes, not yet, and yes.)

HIGHLIGHTS Two new characters who will make trouble next season will be introduced to Wisteria Lane. One, played by Julie White (Six Feet Under's Mitzi), is tied to Kyle MacLachlan's Orson, the recently introduced potential love interest for Susan (Teri Hatcher, right). The other, played by Kiersten Warren (Hoot), will prove disruptive to the marriage of Lynette and Tom.

BURNING QUESTIONS Will we get any closure on the Applewhites, on the war between Bree (Marcia Cross, center) and her son, Andrew, on the Edie-Karl-Susan triangle, on Felicia Tilman's war of wills with Paul Young, or on the attempts by Gaby (Eva Longoria, left) and Carlos to start a family?

GREY'S ANATOMY-Sun. May 14, 10-11pm, & Mon, May 15, 9-11pm
HIGHLIGHTS It's a whopping three hours of season-ending suspense spread over two nights. Among the upheavals at Seattle Grace: Cristina will suddenly find herself in charge of the ER; Callie will confront George about his feelings for her; and Meredith and McDreamy will confer about ailing dog Doc.

BURNING QUESTIONS Can Izzie (Katherine Heigl) find a new heart for Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, pictured, with Heigl) in time? Is the relationship between McDreamy and Addison doomed? Will Meredith make it work with handsome veterinarian Finn?

Lies. Lies. More Lies. But Funny.....

Bwah! ha ha! Actually laughed out loud at this one!

From DailyKos:
Jesus. H. Christ. Is Bush even capable of telling the truth?
Bush says the highlight of his presidential career was catching a 7.5 pound perch in his lake. Except that...

The only problem is that the world's record for the largest freshwater perch caught is 4 pounds 3 ounces.

So Bush either doubled the world record, and didn't report it, or he's a liar.

Incidentally, see how three presidents answered the question, "What was the best moment of your presidency?"

Apparently, since Bush didn't have any "best moments", he had to invent one.

Our Tax Dollars At Work


Friday, May 5

Shouldn't There Be More Important Things To Investigate?

Okay, so that Kennedy dude was probably drunk and the event is, rather newsy. Unfortunately, people do it all the time; sometimes with severe consequences. In this case, nothing serious occurred, other than the cops covered it up. Or something to that effect.

Shouldn't we be more concerned about the emerging Hooker-Gate and the newly announced resignation of Porter Goss? Oh, and the fact our President has a 33% approval rating? Oh and that little lie about WMD's?

The plot thickens.

Nikki Kidman on her divorce from Tom

"I always knew the rug was going to be taken out from underneath me at some stage. I didn't think it was going to happen in the way it happened."

What the FUCK does this quote mean? She KNEW it was going to happen? (Is this because her contract was up?)

What's the deal with David Blaine

Is he in the middle of his little underwater trick? I couldn't care less so I'm not paying attention.

The CW

By the way, I'm likely going to the upfront presentations for Fox and The CW (the combined UPN/WB network). I'll have the scoop soon!

One good thing... Veronica Mars is definitely going to be on The CW!


Kristin at E! finished her S.O.S. campaign (Save One Show). The winner? Not a big surprise... ONE TREE HILL. The show got 44% of the vote. Veronica Mars, the runner up, got 32%. What About Brian only got 3%. Buh-Bye.


Kristin at E! finished her S.O.S. campaign (Save One Show). The winner? Not a big surprise... ONE TREE HILL. The show got 44% of the vote. Veronica Mars, the runner up, got 32%. What About Brian only got 3%. Buh-Bye.

The Office

Next week's looks hilarious! The big question: Will they kiss?

Stars Wars coming to DVD

I honestly forgot it wasn't on DVD yet. The original trilogy - you know, the good one - will be out on DVD on September 12. It will only be available through 2006. How funny that it just so happens to be Christmas shopping season!



Roger Ebert has clearly seen too many movies -- too many computerized ones of the action sort at any rate -- and he has become bored. The Chicago Sun-Times critic is certainly bored with the ones titled Mission: Impossible and starring Tom Cruise, and he says as much in his review of the film: "Either you want to see mindless action and computer-generated sequences executed with breakneck speed and technical precision, or you do not. I am getting to the point where I don't much care. There is a theory that action is exciting and dialogue is boring. My theory is that variety is exciting and sameness is boring. Modern high-tech action sequences are just the same damn thing over and over again." Numerous other critics have seen the same films that Ebert has and have reached similar conclusions about Mission: Impossible 3. Bruce Newman in the San Jose Mercury News writes that "many of the action set pieces fall strangely flat, and Cruise's attempt to sprint through every scene makes him look more like a wind-up doll than a recognizable human being." Several of the films suggest that M:I 3 is not much more interesting than a standard-issue Alias, the TV series that the movie's director, J.J. Abrams, created, only with more explosions. Michael Sragow in the Baltimore Sun concludes: "It's Alias all over again, without the complex rooting interest." Wesley Morris in the Boston Globe also observes that some of what he calls the "ludicrous" situations set up in the film "just seems commonplace now -- thanks in large part to Abrams and his TV shows." (Abrams also created ABC's Lost.) Still, the film receives quite a bit of applause. Claudia Puig in USA Today writes that "Abrams may have achieved the nearly impossible: taking a predictable, tired franchise and putting his signature style on it so that it feels fresh and cool." Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times praises Abrams for coming up with "a solidly crafted entertainment, a diversion that really diverts once it gets down to business." Bob Longino in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the director accomplished his mission, producing "a solid enough popcorn movie, firmly popped and professionally packaged to kick off the summer season." John Anderson in Newsday, makes a similar point, calling M:I 3 "the perfect summer movie -- fast-paced, action-packed, emotionally engaging (without demanding too much investment), and pure, unadulterated eye candy. Whattya want for 10 bucks? A quarter tank of gas?" Indeed, says Jami Bernard in the New York Daily News, audiences will get what they pay for. "The plot makes no sense ... But logic and humanity would probably gum up the (fire)works." And surely, this movie is not aimed at moviegoers' minds so much as it is at their wallets. As Lou Lumenick in the New York Post predicts, the film "will probably hit the sweet spot at the box-office -- and give Cruise a whole new reason to start jumping on couches."

We need a ratings bump, STAT

A year ago, the rest of NBC’s Thursday schedule was a mess, but “ER” continued to win its 10 p.m. timeslot, and by a wide margin. But this year, “ER” is stumbling into the muck right along with the rest of the night.

Last night “ER” averaged just a 5.1 overnight rating in adults 18-49, finishing a distant second in its 10 p.m. timeslot behind CBS’s “Without a Trace.” “Trace” averaged a 5.9.

“ER’s” average was down 27 percent from the comparable night last year, when it averaged a 7.0 on the second night of May sweeps. Meanwhile, “Trace” was up 11 percent over last year’s 5.3.

“ER” has been sinking all season, and last night’s rating was 0.1 off its 5.2 season average. Obviously age is part of the reason for its decline – the show is now in its 12th season, while “Trace” is just four years old.

[Source: MediaLife]

Gimme Some Boston Love!

EW Survivor recap:

'Oh my God, I'm gonna have a chocolate ice cream bar in about one minute.'' — Shane

That's funny, Shane. I say the same thing myself right at the end of every Survivor episode, except replace ''chocolate ice cream bar'' with ''lukewarm Milwaukee's Best.'' Seriously, that had to be one of the best send-off lines in Survivor history, right up there with Richard Hatch's ''I've been bamboozled!'' and Christy's post-booting sob session about her ''evil stepsisters.'' Whether you loved Shane, hated him, loved to hate him, or hated to love him, you have to admit the dude was crazy entertaining. Or maybe just plain crazy. Either way, he was a blast to watch, capping it off by pouring water into the wrong hole at the immunity challenge and then twisting and contorting his face into every possible position while the votes were read aloud at tribal council. (Jim Carrey, eat your heart out.)

There was a lot of hype coming out of CBS about this season, and until a few weeks ago, I wasn't really feeling it. Don't get me wrong — it was no Thailand, Africa, or Vanuatu, but it was no Pearl Islands, Amazon, or Palau either. But the past two episodes have been great. Why, tonight we even got close to seeing some good ol' fashioned Survivor porn! See Terry's wife, Trish, proclaim, ''I can't wait to get that beard off him and get him back to his hot-looking, studly self.'' See Terry get up to go turn the lights off as Trish slides into bed. See Trish request her hubby to ''be gentle with me.'' See Terry — who has never had a problem celebrating his Survivor conquests — tell the cameras, ''We had some private time.'' See Trish promise him, with lights out, ''I'll be good to you.'' Finally, see Terry later tell Aras that ''there wasn't any sleeping on my part.'' (Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that Trish also asked Terry to wear the immunity necklace at some point during their hanky panky? Let's just hope they didn't engage in a threesome with the hidden immunity idol.)

Trish certainly had it better — at least I hope so — then Cirie's spouse, H.B., who was welcomed with open arms by his Hunny Bunny...and then told to get straight to work and do everything around camp. Of course, Shane's son, Boston, had the best deal of all — he got to skip school to go hang out in Panama! Sweet!

As far as the whole reward challenge went, my first thought was that Terry should have thrown it, because winning would mean he would have to piss some people off by denying them time with their loved ones. My second thought was that he should have tried to gain some favor with his tribemates by giving them all the time with their family members and putting himself on Exile Island. My third thought was that I should have bought more pretzel nuggets, since I was about to run out, but that's neither here nor there. But after thinking it over, Terry didn't have a whole lot of options. If he had lost, he surely would have been sent to Exile Island and been away from all the strategizing. Same deal if he had won and put himself on Exile. His best bet probably would have been to win and then give himself the hug option (which Aras received) so he still could have made three other people very happy while also still being able to form a new alliance with someone.

What I do know is that he shouldn't have gotten into it with Aras back at camp about the differences between mother and wife. (By the way, I'm not taking sides on that one, lest I enrage one of those special women in my life. Luv ya, gals...even if neither ever reads my column. Sniff. Sniff.) I've given Aras a fair amount of crap in this here space over the past few months, but he said one of the smartest things all season when he commented to Jeff Probst about Terry's dominance: ''The challenges are just one part of the game. You can win all the challenges you want. If you don't win people over, you don't win the million dollars.'' If only Robosurvivor II: The Sequel had been a little more humble, I'd like his chances should he make it to the final two a lot more. (Not to say he can't win a vote, especially with Austin, Sally, Bruce and wild cards — and I do mean wild — Shane and Courtney on the jury.)

The thing I love most about the last two episodes? The maturation of Cirie as a power player. After her masterly move last week, she blindsided Shane yet again. And if she gets into the final two, you may as well hand her the million-dollar check. It's no chocolate ice cream bar, but I'm pretty sure she would make do.

What do you think? Who would be Terry's toughest competition in the final two? Could Cirie scheme her way to the finale? And who's more important: your wife or your mother?

Thursday, May 4

Bush calls U.S. a "nation of prayer"

What else are we a nation of? Post in the comments section...

I thought Alias was kind of lame...

But not everyone did. TWP:

Everyone's trying to find Anna. Anna is in Barcelona. And she's actually SYD. The Appleseed Gang manages to get hold of some art dude named Koller who's been tasked by Peyton and Anna to decode a hidden portion of Page 47. Unfortunately, Koller discovers that the Page 47 he has is a fake. Sloane has the real one hidden in Nadia's things and he's totally NOT obsessed about it. Except for the part where he is.
Speaking of Nadia, Sloane administers the Rambaldi-approved serum to his daughter and she, shocker of shockers, actually comes back to life! Her life is, erm, short-lived, however, because she discovers Sloane's hidden Page 47 and forces her father to choose between her and the page. When she tosses the page into the fire, Sloane sees a hidden message in it and shoves her away in order to get to it and…Nadia crashes neck-first into a piece of glass. Goodbye, Nadia!

The Appleseed Gang is totally clueless about Nadia's death as they head off to Ghana to nab Anna. When she doesn't show up as planned and the entire operation goes tits up, everyone scrambles and Élodie plays the part of sacrificial lamb when Anna-as-Syd shows up and slices her throat wide open. Goodbye, Élodie!

Sloane thinks that his daughter's death was actually part of Rambaldi's grand plan, and he joins forces with Prophet Five to see the realization of Rambaldi's greatest achievement. What that greatest achievement is, I'm assuming we'll find out about three episodes from now…


Oh my God, I'm loving this show. Not that I ever didn't.

Tony is becoming a good guy! And what's up with Dr. Melfi's psychiatrist? Is he talking to the Feds?

TWP on Lost

That's Television Without Pity:

Seems to me that, if you like to drink, you have better than even odds of running into Jack's dad any given time you enter a bar. Or maybe it's Jack's dad who runs into Ana-Lucia. Either way, the two meet up in an airport bar, because Ana-Lucia quits her cop job after Capt. Foxy Mama confronts her about the guy she knows -- but can't prove -- Ana-Lucia shot. He…hires her? To provide personal security for him in Sydney? And it makes no sense? But that's what happens. He spends a lot of time drinking, and then shows up at some woman's house, demanding to see his daughter, but that doesn't happen, and we get no more details of this alleged daughter. Which of the female characters is from Australia? Hmmmmm.
Henry attacks Ana-Lucia while she's still trying to play Good Cop with him, and she's saved by John's crutch. Henry confides to Locke that when he was caught up in Rousseau's trap, he was on his way to see Locke, because apparently Locke is one of the "good ones." You're a credit to your hatch, Locke. Later, Ana-Lucia wants a gun, and she's distracted by Sawyer's crotch. For a con man, Sawyer sure is gullible, as the whole rumble in the jungle with Ana seems to be for the purpose of getting his gun, which he NEVER EVEN REALIZES IS GONE until much, much later. Ana-Lucia wants the gun so she can confront Henry like she confronted the guy who shot her, because that turned out so well for her.

Meanwhile, Michael wakes up eventually after Jack and Kate bring him back to camp. He tells them that he found the Others' camp, and they live like animals, and there are only 22 of them, and most of them are old, and/or women, and possibly blind or even amputees that consist of nothing but torsos and heads, which means that the Lostaways can easily take them. Jack and Locke are initially curious about the circumstances of Michael's reappearance. Not that they end up doing anything about it.

And while Jack and Kate are out trying to convince Sawyer to give them the guns (and hey, shouldn't Jack be mobilizing a battalion or two from his alleged army?), Ana-Lucia decides to shoot Henry (while apparently trying to make it look like he was trying to escape). But she can't go through with it, because she's a big baby who has decided that shooting an unarmed man to death is never the answer, or at least not the answer more than once. Michael "They Took My Boy!" Dawson offers to do it for her, so she gives him the gun. Looks like this is the last mistake she'll make, because an apologetic Michael pops her in the gut. And he's surprised by Libby, looking for some wine for her date with Hurley, and he blows her away too, although that seemed less intentional. We don't have confirmed deaths on these two yet, but…do you really think Disney wants a couple of drunk drivers on the payroll? Michael opens the door to the armoury, and pulls out the gun, only to shoot himself, most likely in the arm, although I think they cut it off quickly so we're supposed to think he killed himself, like NICE TRY, Lost.

Fifty-eight minutes of setup, two minutes of edge-of-your-seat. The upside is that the setup was more interesting than normal this time out, and the last two minutes really kind of ruled. The shooter has become the shootee. With deadly results!

The O.C.

Rumor is that Mischa is leaving. She is definitely not a regular next season, according to sources. AND the producers have already said a major character is dying at the end of the season.

I really need to watch the season finale.

One planned, one not

That is what Kristin @ E! is saying about last night's deaths. I am now betting Ana-Lucia was planned, and Libby was not. Except I don't think Libby is dead yet. I think she is an other. This is all speculation, of course.

Buh-Bye Ana-Lucia

Why Did Lost Kill Ana Lucia? Lindelof/Cuse Tell All!
Before we get to the shocking events of last night's Lost, I have a confession to make: I've known for weeks that Michelle Rodriguez was leaving the show and I said nothing about it in Ask Ausiello. No hints. No spoilers. Not even an asterisk quiz. And you're probably wondering why. Well, it's simple: I knew Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wanted Ana Lucia's death to be a big surprise to viewers and I wasn't going to be the one to ruin that for them — or you. Plus, I knew if I kept my big trap shut, I'd stand a better chance of getting them to spill the beans about the shocking plot twist before it happened, and then be able to post it to my blog the moment the episode was over. All in all, I think it was a pretty fair trade-off. Oh, and you're probably wondering about the fate of Cynthia Watros' Libby since she too was gunned down by Michael last night. I'll have the full story on that next week. But first, let's get to the bottom of M.Ro's ouster.

Ausiello: Was it always your intention to use Ana Lucia as a one-season character?
Damon Lindelof: A lot of this is going to sound like spin, so all we can give you is our word that this is exactly what happened. Around late February of last year, we started throwing our respective lines in the water to find the leader of the tail section, who we knew was going to be a Latina woman and who would be conceived as a romantic foil for Jack. We wanted her to be in her mid-thirties and be a detective from the LAPD. So we started putting out feelers unofficially because we wanted her to show up in the penultimate episode of last year. That way, when we started our plan for Season 2, it wouldn't feel like we had pulled her out of our asses. So, right around that time...
Carlton Cuse: I got a call from Michelle's agent saying, "Would you guys be interested in Michelle Rodriguez? But she's really only interested in being on the show for a year."
Damon: So we basically said, "A year is not necessarily ideal for us, but let's bring in Michelle and have the meeting." And she came in and met with Carlton and I and then, in the last 15 minutes, J.J. [Abrams] happened to be across the way doing some Alias stuff and he came over and sat down with her and we just hung out with her and chatted. It turned out that she worked in Hawaii on Blue Crush and knew a lot of people down there. But she made it very clear in that meeting that she's sort of a nomadic spirit and she did not want to commit to doing any more than [one season]. She wanted to do one kickass arc, as she described it, and we basically started to wrap our brains around her energy and say, "Yeah, we'll bring you on the show and then we'll kill you off at the end of the year." And she was totally cool with it and we were totally cool with it, and we parted ways and talked amongst ourselves. Obviously, the network and the studio normally don't want to get into a situation where they're not making multiyear deals, but we assured them that this was in fact the plan, and that even if Michelle was a rocking sensation on the show, we were going to stick to the plan. So they signed off on it and made the deal accordingly.

Ausiello: And then the DUI...
Carlton: Then she got this DUI and Damon and I looked at each other and we were like, "Oh, great. Everybody is going to think we're killing her off because she got a DUI." But there really wasn't anything we could do about that. I mean, the story was set. We had made plans. With Lost, we think it out well ahead of when we actually shoot it. We thought about altering our plan, but [this] was in fact what was best for the show. The fact that she got a DUI would come and go and what would live on would be the show, and our plan was still the best plan for the character. Ironically, we actually thought about changing it the other way around once [the DUI] happened, but it really was the best story. We wanted to tell the best story.
Damon: And obviously that decision was further mitigated by the fact that Libby is shot at the same time as Ana Lucia. Basically then we said, "Oh, s--t. Both Michelle and Cynthia were busted the same night for DUI and we've got this story point coming up where they essentially both get shot at the same time, so it's going to look like this is the Lost producers attempt to say, 'Don't drive drunk!'" But as Carlton says, all it created in us was [the thought that], "Maybe we shouldn't do the plan now, 'cause people are going to think this is a reaction to [the DUIs], as opposed to this [plan] existing prior to that event."
Carlton: As you'll see, everything that happens for the rest of the season all sort of falls from this event. And we're not doing ourselves or the fans of the show or the show itself any service by altering those plans because of Michelle's extracurricular activities.
Damon: Not to mention that we didn't even know if that option would be available to us. We were still functioning under the auspices of that meeting, which was Michelle saying, "I want to do a year and then move on."

Ausiello: Did you meet with Michelle to make sure everyone was still on the same page?
Damon: Michelle happened to be [in Los Angeles] and she came by to see us. We basically said to her, "So we’re going to stay on course." And at that point, Michelle was kinda like, "Hey, I'm living in Hawaii...." She might have been able to wrap her brain around [staying] a little bit longer on the show, but she did not say, "I want to stay on the show!" She was basically like, "Yeah. That's a good plan."
Carlton: And once we told her what was happening, she was incredibly supportive. She thought it was sort of a kickass way to go, and she got very on board with the idea of how she was going to be exiting the show.

Ausiello: Rumor has it she was a hard-ass on the set and everyone hated her. Care to set the record straight?
Damon: We're not in Hawaii on the set so all we can speak to is our working relationship with Michelle and what we have heard from the other actors and directors on the show, and we never heard anything remotely resembling that she was a hard-ass. You know, she's Michelle. She's got a very playful spirit. But she's totally professional and got along well with all the other actors. We get calls over the course of our career about difficult actors. We did not get those calls about Michelle.