All CATEGORIES
☰ Menu
The HeldenFiles Online

''Survivor'': A Week Late

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 30, 2006

Last week, so I've heard, was a really good episode of ''Survivor: Cook Islands.'' I didn't see it; there was that whole Thanksgiving thing, and the DVR had a meltdown (albeit a rebootable one) that night. Still, I made sure to tune in tonight  and, well, not so great.

To read more or comment...

''Jericho'' And the Semi-Finale (With Spoilers)

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 29, 2006

It was tough enough when TV shows had cliffhangers at the end of their seasons, prompting endless speculation over the summer about what was coming -- and endless frustration for fans of shows that did not come back. Now we're getting midseason cliffhangers to keep you coming back after hiatuses or cycles of reruns. ''Lost'' tried it, in a way that dismayed even diehard fans of the show, and tonight ''Jericho'' is doing it. I'll file some notes after it's over, but I'm somewhat optimistic since ''Jericho'' is a lot more linear than ''Lost,'' and more willing to hand out information along the way.

To read more or comment...

NBC Shuffle, Including Another Air Date for ''Crossing Jordan''

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 29, 2006

Here's today's announcement from NBC. Note that ''Crossing Jordan'' is now slated for return on Jan. 21.

To read more or comment...

''Veronica,'' ''Gilmore,'' More Christmas Song Notes

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 29, 2006

Not my favorite episode of ''Veronica Mars'' last night. No big emotional kick, and the shortened story arc -- while getting us to the point more quickly -- left me feeling as if we had lacked details about the story and the characters. (More Mac! More Mac!) Wasn't crazy about the Logan-gets-revenge bit, either. Yes, we all know that he loves Veronica, but it still felt a bit stagey. On the other hand, the case was solved in a reasonable way, the actual criminals made sense and the setup for the next arc was all right. So I was satisfied. But lots of TV is satisfying. I was hoping for something more powerful.

To read more or comment...

Christmas Song Time (Revised)

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 28, 2006

OK, folks, I am working on a followup to last year's look at unconventional Christmas music. (You can find last year's story -- and links to some audio -- here.)

To read more or comment...

''How I Met,'' ''Studio 60,'' ''Two and a Half,'' ''Big Day''

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 28, 2006

Last night was one of those where the things we know off-camera affect what we see on camera. How many times did the guys on ''Studio 60'' have to use the word ''pregnant'' before you began to think, oh, yeah, Amanda Peet? How much did you ponder Neil Patrick Harris's recent coming out while watching ''How I Met Your Mother's'' riffing on acceptance -- only making the riff about Barney's disaste for marriage instead of the usual topic?

To read more or comment...

It's a Hard Rock Life

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 27, 2006

      Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock are divorcing. Story on www.tmz.com, which also has a link to Anderson's divorce papers. They cite ''irreconcilable differences,'' but that doesn't say much. In fact, it's just a box you check off on the legal papers.

To read more or comment...

Looking Ahead: ''Friday Night Lights,'' NBC's Thursday Comedy Block

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 27, 2006

Tomorrow night's ''Friday Night Lights'' landed on my desk about a week ago. I didn't wait long to watch it. My only regret is that I'll have to wait for another new one. I sometimes wish there was no football in the show, since that may have created bad expectations in the audience -- about the subject matter, the maturity of the storytelling, the range of the characters and their lives. Even if you don't care about football, even if the Browns' state has driven you away from the game, watch the show. Still great stuff.

To read more or comment...

Still Giving Thanks?

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 25, 2006

More hectic days. Cavs game Tuesday night with the bride. (Cavs beat the Grizzlies but let them get close near the end.) Interesting to see how timely some of the clips on the big-screen were; they had a bit of that terrible ''Totally Awesome'' '80s-movie parody. But vintage stuff still does the deal. And when they wanted the crowd to be especially hostile, they'd show Michigan and Steelers logos.

To read more or comment...

Robert Altman

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 21, 2006

The great if uneven director has died. (Associated Press obit here.) There was a time in the '70s when I would go to any movie with Altman's name on it; in various theaters I saw ''MASH,'' ''Brewster McCloud,'' ''McCabe & Mrs. Miller,'' ''Nashville,'' ''California Split,'' ''Buffalo Bill and the Indians,'' ''The Long Goodbye,'' ''Popeye,'' ''3 Women'' ... my reactions sometimes ranging as wide as the content and subject matter of the movies. But he did some remarkable work along the way, and more besides in TV (''Tanner '88,'' ''The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial'').

To read more or comment...

''Stop Laughing! It's Not Funny!''

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 21, 2006

That's Jerry Seinfeld, berating the audience at David Letterman's show as his ''Seinfeld'' co-star Michael Richards labored through an apology and explanation of Richards's recent race-baiting rant in a comedy club.

To read more or comment...

Michael Richards Tries To Make Amends

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 20, 2006

The following arrived this evening from CBS:

To read more or comment...

The O.J. Dump

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 20, 2006

From Fox today:

To read more or comment...

Kiev's Top Rap Artist

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 19, 2006

Spent a semi-restful day, necessary after six straight on the job. But the Thanksgiving food shopping is done, caught a little football and settled in tonight with the bride and ''The Amazing Race.'' Sure seems to be turning into a two-team fight, Models vs. Blondes. Not exactly Ohio State-Michigan, but what is?

To read more or comment...

O.J. Simpson and Pete Rose

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 18, 2006

The hubbub over O.J. Simpson's book and TV special has had me thinking about Pete Rose. As those of you who haven't been vacationing on Mars know, O.J. has agreed to a TV special where he explains how he would have killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman -- if he had killed them. (That alone makes me think of the line from a Richard Pryor monologue: ''I was running, but I wasn't really, really running ...'')

To read more or comment...

Ruth Brown

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 18, 2006

About three years ago I saw Ruth Brown in Los Angeles, singing as part of a PBS presentation to tout the ''The Blues'' series. Bobby Rush was also there, which was cool enough, but Brown -- even in a semi-casual setting like this -- was royalty.

To read more or comment...

I Am Going to Figure Out a Way To Make This Work

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 17, 2006

Today's Beacon Journal includes my piece on Calvin Trillin, my look at the new James Bond and ''Casino Royale'' and a HeldenFiles. I'll have another piece on Sunday and had to work ahead on some Thanksgiving things. Busy times, and a big reason why I haven't been here. (I am beginning to feel as if my eyes are glued to a monitor.)

To read more or comment...

Calvin Trillin

By admin Published: November 15, 2006

Since yesterday, Calvin Trillin has been meeting with classes and -- tonight -- giving a talk at the University of Akron. I have spent part of each day hanging around while he talked, and here and there talking to him as well. I have collected a lot of string, and I am beginning to see what I can make of it -- which is a good thing, since I have to write the story Thursday.

I am also in a bit of a panic. Regular readers here know that I am a Trillin fan, so I am trying to write about a writer who is light years better than I am. Even composing an e-mail put me in a sweat. And I asked for this assignment.

To read more or comment...

More ''Friday Night''

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 13, 2006

I have a sticky note on my desk listing the shows I want to write about here: ''Saturday Night Live,'' ''Jericho,'' ''Veronica Mars,'' ''Lost,'' ''Studio 60,'' ''My Name Is Earl,'' ''The Office'' ... and ''Friday Night Lights.''

To read more or comment...

Back Again

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 12, 2006

For the last few days, every time I thought about posting here, I had other things to do. It's not as if I haven't been busy either, as you can see here. Note the Calvin Trillin advance, the review of '"Stranger Than Fiction,'' today's piece on celebrity breakups, a new DVD column and the ongoing HeldenFiles (although I didn't see Sunday's posted yet).

To read more or comment...

"Studio 60" Keeps On

By admin Published: November 9, 2006

I haven't gotten around to writing about how much I disliked this week's episode, the first of two parts. But it doesn't matter, since NBC is going to let the show keep bugging me. The official word, with ratings rationalizing:

NBC has renewed its critically acclaimed, first-year drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (Mondays, 10-11 p.m. ET) for the remainder of the 2006-07 season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.

To read more or comment...

Looking for ''Smith''?

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 9, 2006

Here's where CBS says to find it:

To read more or comment...

''Men in Trees'' Moving, ''Six Degrees'' Takes a Break

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 8, 2006

From ABC this afternoon:

To read more or comment...

''Jericho'' Protected, ''King of Queens'' Returns

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 8, 2006

From CBS today, a couple of things of note. The network is sufficiently happy with ''Jericho'' that it doesn't want people to burn out on reruns, and the people who keep asking me about ''King of Queens'' finally have an answer. Here's the skinny from CBS:

To read more or comment...

''Joan'' Second Season

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 8, 2006

The second season of ''Joan of Arcadia'' has finally come to DVD; a copy landed on my desk today, with a release date of Nov. 28.

To read more or comment...

Old Habits ...

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 8, 2006

It was about 2 a.m. when I finally settled into bed. I had tried to sleep once before that, but couldn't do it with so much election drama. I would watch TV for a bit, then check the newspaper Web sites in key states -- watching, for example, as the Virginia returns crept from 99.25 percent to 99.35 percent -- then go back to TV. So now I'm yawning. But, as the bride pointed out this morning, this is one of the ways I have fun.

To read more or comment...

Meaningful News for Our Times

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 7, 2006

I know, it's election day. My ''I Voted'' sticker is on my computer, OK? But that's minor news today compared to Britney Spears's filing for divorce from Kevin Federline. You can find the story -- and the court papers -- at www.tmz.com.

To read more or comment...

''Idol'' TV Schedule

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 6, 2006

From Fox today:

To read more or comment...

Can You Star As a Voice?

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 6, 2006

I've been doing a weekly trivia question in my Sunday HeldenFiles column and this week's involved Brad Pitt: Name the five movies he starred in between 1994 and 2005 that had a number in the title?

To read more or comment...

It's Called Acting

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 4, 2006

Neil Patrick Harris has told People magazine that he is gay. (Statement here.)

To read more or comment...

''The Office,'' ''Earl,'' ''Veronica Mars''

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 3, 2006

Last night's episode of ''The Office'' was one of those where the show makes us squirm uncomfortably even more than it tries to make us laugh. Of course, that's one of the virtues of the show. It is so confident in its characters and storytelling, it can make us uneasy here and there -- because, as we know, these characters would do that to us in real life. And how neat was it that, without breaking a sweat, the show ended up with two men in the back seats of cars being driven by women, under very different circumstances.

To read more or comment...

''Dexter'' Renewed

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 2, 2006

I've still been looking for the time to catch up with this series, but apparently plenty of other people have done so. The word from Showtime:

To read more or comment...

David Bianculli Background

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 2, 2006

The comments section has been cranky just now. So here's the answer to Ian's question -- in a comment below -- about David Bianculli, courtesy of David himself:

To read more or comment...

Russell Crowe on ''60''

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 2, 2006

From CBS today:

To read more or comment...

Does That Make It United Artist?

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 2, 2006

... or maybe Untied Artist? Tom Cruise and producing partner Paula Wagner are going to run United Artists, the Associated Press reports here. Doesn't sound like a huge deal -- four films a year to start with -- but it does give Cruise the thing he prizes most: control.

To read more or comment...

''30 Rock''

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 2, 2006

Wednesday's telecast found a show clicking on most cylinders, if not all of them. Tina Fey is settling into her character, the dialogue is full of hilarious little bits (''Ann Coulter's 60th birthday''), Alec Baldwin is wonderful -- including with that snap. And the show has figured out that it doesn't have to serve all the characters every week, so it moved along last night without Jane Krakowski or Rachel Dratch. It still can't make everything fit -- the Tracy Morgan scenes, though good, seemed to be from a different show, and I'm not as wild about the NBC page as some fans. But watch! It's a funny show.

To read more or comment...

A ''Lost'' Night (With Spoiler)

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 1, 2006

Tonight's telecast illustrated even more the big problem facing ''Lost'' -- and I don't just mean that every freakin' break seemed to include a promo for ''Day Break,'' which will take over the time slot when ''Lost'' goes on winter hiatus after next week's episode.

To read more or comment...

Columbus, ''The Daily Show'' and A Lack of Beef

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 1, 2006

''Before you place your order,'' the counter worker told me Tuesday night, ''you should know that we're out of beef.''

To read more or comment...
The HeldenFiles Online Archives

SUBSCRIBE VIA RSS

OHIO.COM VIDEOS

Blogs:

Heldenfels' mailbag

Prev Next

INFORMATIONAL PAGES