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"Friday Night Lights"

By admin Published: November 30, 2007

I don't want to talk about it. ...

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The Evel Knievel-Ghoulardi Connection

By admin Published: November 30, 2007


You think this thing could jump a canyon? (Photo from bigchuckandliljohn.com)

If you've been reading the obituaries for Evel Knievel, you may have come across passages like this one, from the Associated Press:

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"Walk Hard," "30 Rock," "Earl"

By admin Published: November 30, 2007

Went to a preview of "Walk Hard," the new John C. Reilly movie, last night because Reilly will be in Cleveland for a promotional event and interviews next week. I'm a fan both of Reilly and of Judd Apatow, whose empire is behind the movie, so -- without going into a full review here -- I can say that I laughed, giggled and smiled. It's a stupid-funny movie in a lot of ways but also smart-funny, especially when it comes to the cliches of the music-star biopic. I suspect it will be very difficult to take "Walk the Line" as seriously after seeing "Walk Hard." But that's the idea.

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How About a Post-Strike Writers TV Special?

By admin Published: November 29, 2007

There are so many videos being posted by striking writers, some enterprising entity (Comedy Central, hello!) should follow up the strike with an TV special collecting the best of the clips. I've already mentioned the stuff from "The Office," and here's an item from Bob Kushell of "Samantha Who?" (I found it via Deadline Hollywood Daily.)

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"Pushing Daisies": A Little Hitch

By admin Published: November 28, 2007

I'll post at greater length when I am done watching tonight's episode. But after seeing Molly Shannon being attacked by the birds, I couldn't help but think of how much they'd made her look like Tippi Hedren even before that scene. But for some comparison, here's a publicity photo of Hedren in "The Birds."

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TV Love Notes (Updated)

By admin Published: November 28, 2007

UPDATES below.

I thought the kiss between Julianne Hough and Helio Castroneves looked a little warm last night. And Extra! may know why, according to this press release:

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Writers Strike: Still Dragging

By admin Published: November 28, 2007

I tend to read Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily first on this stuff, and she's not full of great news in this post. ...

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"Bones"

By admin Published: November 28, 2007


Hang all the mistletoe, I'm gonna get to know you better.
(Photo From USA Today)

OK, not for a minute did I buy all the maneuvering and covering up that allowed the Brennan family Christmas. But the much anticipated Brennan-Booth kiss was pretty good, especially in the way it went from an uncomfortable joke on Brennan and Booth to a very uncomfortable moment for Caroline (the fine guest star Patricia Belcher), who had insisted on the kiss to begin with. And then came the excellent followup of having both Brennan and Booth recognize there was something significant in the kiss -- but stopping short of verbalizing what that was. "Bones" is smart that way.

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"House": Then There Were ...

By admin Published: November 28, 2007

Well, considering how many people may not have watched yet, I'm not saying until after the jump ...

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"Reaper": I Got a Girlfriend That's Better Than That

By admin Published: November 28, 2007


Could you scare me just a little like you would on "The O.C."?

Pretty good episode Tuesday, but I have some thoughts about the casting ...

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"Dancing With the Stars": Season's Final Results Show

By admin Published: November 27, 2007

Details, with the winner, after the jump ...



Goodbye, Dolly.

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"Dancing With the Stars": Scoring Rules for the Finale

By admin Published: November 27, 2007

I've been seeing some things referring to the judges' having the final say. Yes and no. The judges will cast the final votes, but the viewers will still carry a lot of weight. Here's the official explanation of how it works:

On Tuesday, November 27 (the "Finale Episode"), the couple who received the lowest score on Monday will be announced, and the two remaining couples will compete in one final dance. Each judge will deliver an individual score for this dance. The winner will be the couple with the highest total numerical score (to two decimal places), calculated as the sum of the "Judges' Finale Score" and the "Public Finale Score," as those terms are defined below.

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"Heroes": Truth & Consequences

By admin Published: November 26, 2007

After a spectacular episode a week ago, this one was a letdown ...

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"Dancing With the Stars" Monday

By admin Published: November 26, 2007

I’m hoping that (the winning team) is Mel and I, but I’m not sure that is going to happen. History shows it’s either a cute man or somebody with a huge fan base and I think Marie has both Helio and Mel’s fan base combined times five.
-- Maksim Chmerkovskiy to "Extra"

Well, let's still see how the dancing itself went, after the jump ...

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More "Kyle XY"

By admin Published: November 26, 2007

It's back on Jan. 14. Details after the jump ...

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"Damages" on DVD

By admin Published: November 26, 2007


Will I look any nastier in Blu-ray?
(Photo from TVGuide.com)

The first season of the Glenn Close series arrives on Jan. 29 in standard DVD and Blu-ray. The series has also been renewed for two more seasons, although I don't expect to watch much.

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Back and Badder Than Ever

By admin Published: November 26, 2007


What do you mean, you didn't see my movie until today?

Pleasant enough weekend and I'm hoping to post at greater length later today. But a few thoughts for now. ...

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Christmas Is All Around

By admin Published: November 23, 2007


I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes. (Feel it in my toes.)

Well, the bride and I did not do the 4 a.m. thing at local stores but we were out and about by about 7. And had the expected mix of successful shopping and mental screaming of "THIS IS MADNESS! STOP IT!" Even some online efforts were for naught.

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Happy Thanksgiving

By admin Published: November 22, 2007

The House of Heldenfels is settled in for the holiday. I've been doing some viewing, including Tuesday's "House" and last night's "Private Practice," and I may be posting here and there. But I hope all of you are having a grand day, with the joy of good food and gathered family.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results Show

By admin Published: November 20, 2007

Details after the jump ...

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Anyone Remember "Duet"? The CW May Not

By admin Published: November 20, 2007

The CW is bringing back "One Tree Hill" on Jan. 8, with the time leap promised. The official announcement is after the jump, but here's a passage worth further discussion:

The fifth season of "One Tree Hill" will be unprecedented in the annals of television drama, as the show leaps forward four years.

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"Heroes" Monday

By admin Published: November 20, 2007


Goodness, gracious, great episode.

Regular readers here know that I have seen a lot of missteps in the second season of "Heroes." Monday's telecast was not one of them. It may, in fact, be the best episode of the season ...

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"Dancing With the Stars" Tonight

By admin Published: November 19, 2007

Live notes from the telecast, after the jump ...

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"Friday Night Lights": No No No ...

By admin Published: November 19, 2007


More with characters like Smash and his mom, please. This can be such a great family drama.

I'm a little late to the discussion about last week's "FNL," but let me add my unease to that being felt elsewhere in the blogosphere.

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"Celebrity Apprentice": I Don't Think So

By admin Published: November 19, 2007

NBC has announced the lineup for "Celebrity Apprentice," which will begin on Jan. 3. Since it's getting a Thursday slot, at least to start with, NBC must be assuming that the strike will stall fresh sitcom product in the early months of '08.

Now, for sheer laughs, here are the names of the people competing for charity on "Celebrity Apprentice":

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"HSM 2" Goes Pop-Up

By admin Published: November 19, 2007

Official announcement after the jump about the Nov. 23 telecast. Also, People online has this report about Vanessa Hudgens getting ready for "HSM 3."

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Monday Monday

By admin Published: November 19, 2007

It wasn't a crazy weekend, just one of those where I was busy when I felt like blogging, and tired when I wasn't busy. Did some shopping, went to the Akron tree festival (which was too cramped into its space), a little work, some family business.

But let's have a cheery note or two. I've been getting the occasional letter asking about "Hold on Tight" in the Honda commercial, so for grins here's Electric Light Orchestra/ELO doing the song:

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Friday Morning Backtrack

By admin Published: November 16, 2007

I did get through "Earl," "The Office" and "30 Rock." I may post some longer thoughts late. For now, my amusement was at best piecemeal -- the Joy stuff in "Earl," the trash-talking in "The Office." ...

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Short Answer: No

By admin Published: November 16, 2007

TV Tattle has a link to this post in which a Brit laments about all the good British actors working in TV and movies in America.

It barely scratches the surface in naming names. Who, for instance, is the current Batman? Welshman Christian Bale. And how many foreign actors are playing Americans in TV series?

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"Survivor: China"

By admin Published: November 15, 2007

Results and ruminations after the jump ...

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"CSI" Tonight: Goodbye, Sara

By admin Published: November 15, 2007

Jorja Fox departs "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" tonight, and she is given a good send-off. ...

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"Big Wednesday": Wrestling With the Past

By admin Published: November 15, 2007


Gary Busey, Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt

The other morning, during a channel flip, I got caught up again in 1978's "Big Wednesday," John Milius's reflection on surfing, American culture and adulthood. ...

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More Tuesday: Good "Reaper," Gross "Nip/Tuck"

By admin Published: November 14, 2007

Although it's an up-and-down ride, "Reaper" was definitely up this week ...

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"Perfect Strangers" on DVD

By admin Published: November 14, 2007


(Picture from TVGuide.com)

People have been asking for it, and it arrives on Feb. 5. Details after the jump ...

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Monday Catch-Up: "HIMYM," "Two and a Half Men"

By admin Published: November 14, 2007


You're in Cleveland. Where's Kid Leo?

Before I talk about the comedies, a brief note about Chuck Lorre's title card at the end of "Men." Usually full of tiny type, this one simply said "United We Stand." Good move, great way to remind viewers (well, at least the detail-obsessed ones) that these shows come from writers, and their issue hasn't gone away.

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Tuesday on Fox: "Bones," "House"

By admin Published: November 13, 2007

Best thing on "House" tonight: The shout-out to "Nip/Tuck." ...

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results

By admin Published: November 13, 2007

Notes after the jump ...

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Back From a (Sort of) Break

By admin Published: November 13, 2007

After working Saturday, I spent the better part of Sunday and Monday away from the job. (Well, aside from writing a column on Sunday.)

It was time for one of our family projects -- cleaning the garage. And I mean really cleaning the garage: going through long-ignored boxes, and in so doing spending a good bit of time on memory lane.

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Norman Mailer, R.I.P.

By admin Published: November 10, 2007

I'm working a Saturday shift at the office, so I can't say as much right now as I would like about the death of the great, confounding Norman Mailer. (See the New York Times obit here.) Suffice it to say that for many years I read a lot of Mailer, mainly his epic nonfiction, "Armies of the Night" and beyond. I crossed paths with him a couple of times, and met him once. I had not read much of his more recent work, and was defeated by several attempts to get through "Harlot's Ghost." But there are books of his that I will keep on my shelves always.

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"Friday Night Lights," and the Evils of Promos

By admin Published: November 9, 2007

I have some friends who will not watch the promos for upcoming episodes of their favorite shows. I don't blame them a bit ...

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More Music

By admin Published: November 9, 2007

I hadn't gotten around to seeing "The Next Great American Band" until tonight. Having done so, no regrets. Yes, the bands all had to do Billy Joel songs and that tends even more to make them sound like a bunch of wedding singers. Still, too many sounded like ... a bunch of wedding singers.

This made me nostalgic for "Rock Star Supernova." Actually, it made me nostalgic for Dilana, who should have won the show but is in all likelihood better off for not having won. So here's a semi-recent tune from her:

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A Little Music in the Night

By admin Published: November 9, 2007

Stuck in my head (and my iPod) for many, many days ... Ladies and gentlemen, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings!

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People's Choice Awards Nominees Announced

By admin Published: November 9, 2007

Complete list after the jump. The awards show is Jan. 8, with Queen Latifah hosting. If the strike is still going on, I'll be very interested to see how some of the nominees address it -- if they show up at all.

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Bocephus and Friends

By admin Published: November 9, 2007

No big news here, I just like the photo. Caption is from CMT.


Country superstars gather to honor Hank Williams Jr. at CMT’s Los Angeles taping of CMT GIANTS: HANK WILLIAMS JR., premiering on Friday, November 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. (L-R) Members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Dale Rossington and Carol Chase; Steven Tyler; Shooter Jennngs; Rickey Medlocke and Johnny VanZant from Lynyrd Skynyrd; Hank Williams Jr; Alan Jackson; Gretchen Wilson; Holly Williams; Brad Paisley; Buddy Guy; Toby Keith; Tim McGraw; and Kid Rock.

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"The Office" Thursday

By admin Published: November 8, 2007

Half interesting, not all that funny ...

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"Survivor" Thursday: Some Kind of Gamble

By admin Published: November 8, 2007

Details after the jump ...

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Why You Should Watch "30 Rock" Tonight

By admin Published: November 8, 2007


Second recycling bin to the right, straight on till morning...

I should write at greater length about this, but I'm tired from putting together a John Waters story, not to mention trying to make a good song-lyric joke about James Taylor being on HSN. So, a short list of reasons:

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If You're Still Wondering Why the Writers Are Striking...

By admin Published: November 7, 2007

This video from the staff of "The Office" explains it about as well as anyone has. Note how much work they did without compensation for the sake of "new media." (Thank you to TV Tattle for posting the link.)

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Fox Shuffles

By admin Published: November 7, 2007

Because of the writers strike, Fox is shaking up its lineup in the new year. "24," for one, is out of the lineup. Details after the jump ...

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"Reaper": Failure of Imagination

By admin Published: November 7, 2007


If only I had an 8-track of "In Your Eyes" ...

I expected more, as I will explain after the jump ...

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results

By admin Published: November 6, 2007

Details from tonight, which is not a travesty, after the jump ...

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Strike Rundown

By admin Published: November 6, 2007


Actor (and former Buckeye) Robert Patrick supports writers on the picket line.

Sure feels like a long haul. There's a detailed list in the Los Angeles Times of how each major TV show is being affected by the writers strike. You can find it here. Also, info, anecdotes and insights at Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily, which is also the source of the Robert Patrick picture, above.

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Day/Night Movie Doubleheader

By admin Published: November 6, 2007


Cate Blanchett as one of many Bob Dylans in "I'm Not There"


Robert Redford, director and co-star of "Lions for Lambs"

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Running Down the Road, Trying to Loosen My Load: "SNL," "FNL," "Earl," "House"

By admin Published: November 5, 2007

I was in Pennsylvania the better part of Saturday and Sunday, far from my DVRs. And today I have two movie screenings and an interview. So some brief notes here, for possible elaboration later ...

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"The Office": Silly and More

By admin Published: November 2, 2007


Sorry ...

I know, it wasn't it a typical episode on Thursday. But it was also both extremely funny -- and a meaningful moment in the Jim-Pam relationship. ...

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Catching Up: Dumbest "Survivor" Move Ever?

By admin Published: November 2, 2007

"I've come to realize that I'm very good at playing stupid," Jaime said on Thursday night's "Survivor: China." And, apparently, very good at playing stupidly. ...

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More "Rescue Me"? Eek!

By admin Published: November 2, 2007

Slowly emerging from my other obligations, I see on TV Tattle that the Hollywood Reporter says "Rescue Me" has been picked up for a new season, with an expanded order of 22 episodes. Considering how terrible it was last season, this is awful news. The show didn't have enough ideas or coherence for 13 episodes last season, and now it's going to do 22? Oh my goodness. Or words to that effect.

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Thursday Note

By admin Published: November 2, 2007

I have been jammed up. Early Thursday evening I was out (and thank you to the Bath-Richfield Kiwanis for inviting me to speak), I've been staring down some work deadlines and I have had a family issue to handle. So I'm a bit behind on viewing and way behind on posting. I hope to elaborate later today but will make a few brief points now. "The Office" was utterly ridiculous and absolutely hilarious. And "Grey's Anatomy" was pretty uneven; did it not occur to anyone just to have the observation area cleared? And I'm looking foward to a complete viewing of "Survivor: China"; I saw the wild tribal council and the bride tells me that the events leading up to it were priceless -- as anything leading to the presentation of a wrong immunity idol would have to be. Anyway, I hope to have more later.

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Drew Carey and the "Smell of Freedom"

By admin Published: November 1, 2007

Drew Carey is doing video commentaries for the Reason Foundation, and his latest, above, is about the need to decriminalize medical marijuana. (Check out the pot pharmacy. "Weeds" doesn't exaggerate much. Carey says it looks like a deli.)

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Casting for "Amas de Casa Desesperadas"

By admin Published: November 1, 2007


Ana Serradilla, Lorna Paz, Lucia Mendez, Scarlet Ortiz, Julieta Rosen, Gabriela Vergara

Plans for the Spanish-language version of "Desperate Housewives" continue. Details after the jump. ..

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The New Guy Joins "Criminal Minds"

By admin Published: November 1, 2007

For those of you tuning in late, the ever-restless Mandy Patinkin announced in July that he was leaving "Criminal Minds" over creative differences. The show promptly traded up, hiring Joe Mantegna, who made his debut on the show last night. ...

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