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LBJ on "SNL"

By admin Published: September 30, 2007

Well, last night saw LeBron James take the stage of "Saturday Night Live." I'd give him a C plus, but part of that has to do with it being a C minus show overall. Decent digital short, nods to Akron and to St. V, couple of laughs but there wasn't a "Box" song or, to look at sports figures and "SNL," a Peyton Manning/United Way bit. LeBron didn't do himself any harm, but he didn't advance his offcourt performing cause, either.

Sketch by sketch notes after the jump ball ...

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Into the Weekend: "Dexter," "Brotherhood"

By admin Published: September 28, 2007

"Dexter" starts anew at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, "Brotherhood" at 10 p.m. Discussion after the jump.


Two guys who deserve your attention

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More on "Friday Night Lights"

By admin Published: September 28, 2007

Perhaps because of concerns already expressed by criticsh who have seen the season premiere, NBC sent out the second and third episodes of the new season. And it's tearing me apart. ... (Possible slight spoilers ahead.)

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Thursday Night: ''Grey's Anatomy," "The Office," "Survivor," "CSI," "My Name Is Earl"

By admin Published: September 28, 2007

Notes and spoilers if you haven't watched yet, in series alphaetical order, after the jump ...


"How many Emmys do you get for treating a deer?"

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New Season: "Ugly Betty"

By admin Published: September 27, 2007

Returned tonight. Comments based on this evening's telecast, so spoiler-laden, after the jump ...

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I Know, I'm Behind

By admin Published: September 27, 2007

One of those days. I have an "Ugly Betty" post half-written, and managed to finish it tonight, though with minimal elaboration, and wanted to say some things about tonight's "My Name Is Earl" (which is good). I expect to do some posting after "Grey's" and "The Office" and possibly "CSI." Probably not until Friday AM. But I also wanted to remind one and all that there's a new "Mad Men" tonight, and it's a biggie. So watch that, too.

And I had two new episodes of "Friday Night Lights" burning a hole in my briefcase, which I ended up spending the early part of the evening on. Believe me, there's a post coming about that.

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"Private Practice": Honey, Get Me Rewrite

By admin Published: September 26, 2007

Noticeable change from the for-review version to the actually televised "Private Practice."

The review version had an opening with a nod to Mary Tyler Moore; Addison decided to make the change in part because, as the Chief suggested, "you want to throw your hat all the way up in the air." More serious now. Addison and the Chief in scrubs instead of civvies, no hat in the air line, and the Chief now warns that she will be back in a month, and promises to hold Addison's job "as long as I can." (Someone worrying that "Private Practice" isn't a slam dunk?)

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"Dancing With the Stars": The Results Show

By admin Published: September 26, 2007

Will Floyd get jobbed? Will Sabrina sail through? Live post after the jump ...

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Autumn at the Movies

By admin Published: September 26, 2007

The escapist-blockbluster period of summer is over, so we're easing into the serious-Oscar-consideration movies. Which also means movies that are somber and sometimes depressing.

Case in point: Last night I saw "Into the Wild" (alienation and starvation). Today I saw "Gone Baby Gone" (child molestation, abduction, drugs, alienation) and "Things We Lost in the Fire" (death, drugs, grieving).

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"Dancing With the Stars" (Night Two)

By admin Published: September 26, 2007

Last night I was in Cleveland for a screening of "Into the Wild," then had an amusing drive home through lightning and rain. I've got two more screenings in Cleveland today, so I'm going to fast-forward through "Dancing" to focus on the performances. ...


Did Floyd get sucker-punched by the judges?

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About Tonight's Post

By admin Published: September 25, 2007

I have to go to a movie screening, so I won't be writing about "Dancing With the Stars" as it airs. I hope to have a post either late tonight or -- far more likely -- tomorrow morning.

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New Season: "Reaper," My Favorite New Show

By admin Published: September 25, 2007

Premieres tonight

I've mentioned my enthusiasm for The CW's "The Reaper" before. Akron's Ray Wise makes a jolly but utterly convincing devil, and the show understands that it can be silly and a little scary at the same time, without undercutting either quality.

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New Season: "Bones"

By admin Published: September 25, 2007

Returns tonight.

This is going to sound strange but I watched tonight's season premiere of "Bones" awhile back, and I was quite adequately entertained, and I was glad to see the characters again -- but I'm not sure I remember much of what actually happened. One thing for sure, involving a regular character, but not a lot more.

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New Season Stunts: "House" For One

By admin Published: September 25, 2007

Resumes a new season tonight on Fox.

I've been worried about spoilers for tonight's season premiere of "House." But the network's promos spoil one good joke, as well as giving away the closing scene of the episode, so there's not a lot left to spoil. And I suspect that tonight's promo for next week's episode will have a spoiler or two. So I'll just press on, albeit after the jump ...

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New Season: "Heroes"

By admin Published: September 24, 2007

Returned tonight. Notes from the telecast after the jump, so wait until you have watched ...


(No big hint here. I just like Ando.)

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New Season: "Dancing With the Stars" (Night One)

By admin Published: September 24, 2007

Returned tonight. Notes from the telecast, including a good night for Sabrina Bryan, below, after the grand jete ...

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Dan Abrams Is a Breath Mint. Dan Abrams Is a Candy Mint. No, Breath Mint. Yeah, Definitely Breath Mint

By admin Published: September 24, 2007

You may have noticed that Dan Abrams was doing MSNBC double-duty as both the general manager and an on-air personality. Now he's becoming an on-air star fulltime again. Announcement after the jump ...

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Andy Borowitz on O.J.

By admin Published: September 24, 2007

Andy Borowitz's humor column makes me laugh pretty often, and today it made me laugh hard. An excerpt:

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Tonight the Craziness Starts for Real

By admin Published: September 24, 2007

As much as there was to watch during the summer, it still isn't the same as the fall.

In the fall, multiple DVRs are doing multiple duty. In the fall, thanks to the changing landscape, I'll be keeping an eye out for online videos of shows -- in case the DVRs blow a gasket.

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Charles Durning Honored

By admin Published: September 24, 2007

I recently noted my admiration for Durning while posting about the season finale of "Rescue Me." Now the Screen Actors Guild is giving the 84-year-old actor its Life Achievement Award.

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No Maureen-Eve Romance

By admin Published: September 23, 2007

In my Friday Notepad post, I noted a National Enquirer report that Maureen McCormick's upcoming memoir included a juicy story about her and co-star Eve Plumb. I also reminded one and all that the original source was the Enquirer. So it should not surprise that the story is now being firmly denied -- as ABC News reports here.

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Marcel Marceau Dies

By admin Published: September 23, 2007

New Season: "Private Practice"

By admin Published: September 21, 2007

Premieres Wednesday.

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Friday Notepad

By admin Published: September 21, 2007

Here's a link to my review of "Eastern Promises," in case you missed it over at Ohio.com.

My review of "The War" will be in Sunday's Beacon Journal. I had some issues -- and think Ken Burns mishandled the Latino question -- but kept watching. We'll talk more about it.

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"Mad Men" News

By admin Published: September 20, 2007

Via TV Tattle, the show-biz trades report that AMC is on the verge of picking up "Mad Men" for a second season. (Link to Variety's story here.)

Also, AMC notes that ''this week's airing of MAD MEN ... is an encore presentation of Episode 5, '5G.' Beginning with the premiere of Episode 10 'The Lost Weekend' on September 27th, things continue to heat up, including quite a few pivotal moments and exciting revelations in the next few episodes as we build to the finale on Thursday, October 18th."

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New "SNL" Season: LeBron, Kanye, Rogen, Bon Jovi, More

By admin Published: September 20, 2007

The "Saturday Night Live" announcement follows the jump.


He knows comedy: LBJ at the ESPYs

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"Kid Nation": Milking Controversy

By admin Published: September 20, 2007

If CBS had sent out the first episode of "Kid Nation" for review, it would have muted some of the debate about the show. Obviously, CBS did not want to mute the debate ... (some spoilers after the jump)

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More on "Friday Night Lights" Second-Season Premiere

By admin Published: September 20, 2007

I'm not the only one concerned. My colleague Maureen Ryan is also worried and has posted some of her thoughts in her blog. She also has a link to Yahoo! TV, where you can see the episode -- and so understand my problems with the premiere. My friend and colleague Alan Sepinwall has also weighed in a bit on his blog.

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New Season: "Back to You," " 'Til Death"

By admin Published: September 19, 2007

"Back" premieres tonight, " 'Til Death" starts its second season tonight. ...

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"24" Sets the Date: Jan. 13-14, 2008

By admin Published: September 19, 2007

Official announcement after the jump. It notes that Jack Bauer "faces trial for his actions in the pursuit of justice." Which, given his actions, could make for a verrrrry long trial.

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The Last "Sopranos" on DVD

By admin Published: September 18, 2007


"Sopranos" Folks at the Emmys (AP Photo)

Here's the word from HBO Video:

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Lauren Graham Looks at TV Again

By admin Published: September 18, 2007

The "Gilmore Girls" star has signed a development deal with NBC Universal. Details after the jump ...


The adorable Ms. Graham. Also, a "Bad Santa" photo after the jump. Just because.

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"Order of the Phoenix" on DVD on Dec. 11

By admin Published: September 18, 2007

"Flying onto DVD for the holidays," says Warner Home Video. Announcement after the jump. ...

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Brett Somers Tribute

By admin Published: September 18, 2007


(Pic from the Match Game Wallpaper Factory)

Details about GSN's plans, after the jump. ...

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New Season: "Friday Night Lights"

By admin Published: September 18, 2007

Second season begins Oct. 5.


Coach Taylor in better days

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Maybe It's Just Me ...

By admin Published: September 18, 2007

When I was watching "Eastern Promises" on Monday, Viggo Mortensen's look, seen here ...

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The Great Movies/TV Divide

By admin Published: September 17, 2007

For those of you who have not yet found it online, my fall-season rumination is here. (The first line in text is actually a subhead, with the story beginning on the following line.)

But, even as we all get psyched about the TV season to varying degrees, there are still those who view TV as an entertainment stepchild to the movies. I am thinking specifically of Gregory Kirschling of Entertainment Weekly, who wrote a recent article about writer-director Paul Haggis ("The Great Divider," Sept. 21 issue).

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Sleeping Through The Emmys and Other Tales of the Weekend

By admin Published: September 17, 2007

I was in bed pretty early Sunday night, passing on both the Emmys and -- more surprising for me -- the later innings of Red Sox/Yankees. Problem with the Emmys is that usually, by the time I've gone over the nominees, I am more than sick enough of the process to shrug off the actual winners. Even a look at the winners' list this morning has the usual mix of righteous choices and head-turners, although I would have been interested in all the censoring of the show. (I can catch up. This is why there are DVRs.) Problem with the Red Sox/Yankees was just that after a weekend that included a Friday performance by Chrissie Hynde, Saturday chores, an attempt at attending a Saturday concert, a Sunday morning drive to Cleveland for an Indians game and a few more obligations, I was just wrung out. Details after the jump ...

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The Weekend's Question

By admin Published: September 15, 2007

I'm planning a longer post this weekend about Chrissie Hynde's great journey into Akron. I was lucky enough to be at her 11-song-plus-banter acoustic performance Friday night for a small crowd, and it was definitely one of those "this is a cool job" moment.

But that show, as well as tonight's big concert at the Akron Civic, has me asking this question: Why do people go to concerts and then talk through the performances? It happened Friday night, and again Saturday. Granted that Saturday's show had more of a festival atmosphere, with lots of socializing in the lobbies. Still, why would you sit -- like the people behind us -- and gab through act after act?

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"HSM 2" Songs in Spanish

By admin Published: September 14, 2007

Disney Channel adds Spanish-language versions of the songs from "High School Musical 2." Details after the jump ...

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The Low Life of O.J. Simpson

By admin Published: September 14, 2007

You've probably seen the latest news about O.J. -- that he's a suspect in a burglary case in Las Vegas. He says he's innocent. Been there, heard that. When does he launch the search for the real burglars?


Simpson in Earlier Times

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Mad Men Thursday (With Spoilers)

By admin Published: September 14, 2007


Gail Davis as TV's Annie Oakley. If you've seen the episode, you know why.
More after the jump ...

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"Rescue Me" Season Finale (With Spoilers)

By admin Published: September 13, 2007

So that's the defense for this off-kilter, badly paced, erratic season?

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New Season: "K-Ville"

By admin Published: September 12, 2007

Premieres Monday on Fox


Anthony Anderson

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New Season: "Nashville"

By admin Published: September 12, 2007

Premieres Friday on Fox.

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Harry Potter Rules the Movie World

By admin Published: September 11, 2007

So says Warner Bros., in an announcement proclaiming that the "Harry Potter" movies in total have now grossed more worldwide than any other film franchise, including "Star Wars" and James Bond. (Potter still trails top-ranked "Star Wars" and Bond at the North American box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

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"The Closer" Season Finale

By admin Published: September 10, 2007

Spoilers and thoughts, after the jump...

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Drew Carey Will Be Busy

By admin Published: September 10, 2007

CBS has ordered six more episodes of "Power of 10" for telecast at mid-season, in addition to Drew's hosting "The Price Is Right." The reason: Decent numbers.

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Sherri Shepherd Joins "The View"

By admin Published: September 10, 2007

Today's official announcement is after the jump. But I'm wondering about Barbara Walters' statement that she is looking forward to "a wonderful" year with Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg. Is "The View" now accepting that it will change hosts the way "Law & Order" changes casts?

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More Vanessa Weirdness

By admin Published: September 10, 2007

The Fall 2007 issue of Teen magazine hit newsstands on Sept. 4 but just landed on my desk today. The cover story is about Vanessa Hudgens ("her first-ever solo magazine cover," says a press release) with the cover line, "A girl's gotta have her secrets."

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Britney (Yawn) Spears

By admin Published: September 9, 2007

I checked out Brit's much-hyped performance at the VMAs tonight. The Britney silhouettes on the background screen certainly conveyed some rude imagery. But the only way she could have looked less interested would have been to chew gum throughout. Obviously unprepared, empty-eyed. She committed the worst sin for her: She was dull.

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A Not-So-Funny Thing Happened After the OSU-UA Game

By admin Published: September 9, 2007

I said in the previous post that I planned to add more notes about our foray into Buckeye Central. I have now added those notes to the "Booing Big Ten Network" post. But here's why they were long delayed.

At about 6:15 Saturday, the bride and I were finishing up dinner in a Bob Evans on Olentangy River Road in Columbus -- when the power went out. The waitress was apologetic, but we were done, paid cash for our bill and walked down to the University Plaza Hotel, where we were staying.

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Booing Big Ten Network and Other Notes From a Columbus Saturday

By admin Published: September 8, 2007

The best non-football thing at the Ohio State-Akron game today was the enormous, hearty booing that greeted a promotional announcement for Big Ten Network. BTN, as you know, has been playing tough with cable companies, so fans who did not have a satellite dish did not get to see the OSU-UA game. It was nice to see that the savvy Buckeye fans recognized BTN's villainy, which in addition to boos prompted cries of "Greedy!"

I will note, too, that the boos came in a stadium where fans were for the most part courteous about UA. (The game announcer asks for courtesy, and a card handed out on behalf of Bob Evans says "we cheer for a good play and respect the visiting team" and "we use pleasant language and never boo.") Which doesn't make its many getting-loud traditions any easier to bear, of course.

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Not Vanessa!

By admin Published: September 7, 2007

If there were going to be nude pictures of a "High School Musical" star, I would have expected to see the more aggressively career-minded Ashley Tisdale before Vanessa Hudgens. Or even Zac Efron, who seems quite ready to be a grownup. But no, we got a Hudgens photo first. And, while I thought it looked suspiciously photoshopped, Hudgens has now admitted that the photo is of her.

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More on "3:10 to Yuma"

By admin Published: September 7, 2007

You can find my review of the Russell Crowe western here. It's not a hugely enthusiastic review, and I think I've figured out why.

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"20/20" Goes At "Dateline"

By admin Published: September 6, 2007

From ABC today:

ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross explores the tactics used by Murphy, Texas police, the citizen watchdog group Perverted Justice and ''Dateline'' NBC during a sting designed to apprehend alleged sexual predators in Murphy, Texas for the popular series ''To Catch a Predator.''

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Pavarotti

By admin Published: September 6, 2007

The man has died. Here's one of his performances of "Nessun Dorma" to remind you why he mattered (and because it's one of the bride's faves):

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My Favorite Singers, Part 3: Isaac Hayes

By admin Published: September 5, 2007

When I started the "My Favorite Singers" posts, I didn't expect so many months to go by between them. Oh, well. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Isaac Hayes in his early '70s heyday, and he's certainly worth a mention here, a mention that need not include either "Shaft" or his "South Park" tenure.

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"Free Earl"

By admin Published: September 4, 2007

The all-star video-for-a-cause is a pretty tired joke at this point. But at least this ditty for "My Name Is Earl" -- which should be watchable just after 3 a.m. Eastern -- offers a reminder of some of the funny characters who have passed through the show. (Note some of the video language is PG-ish.)

Free Earl Music Video

Add to My Profile | More Videos

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More Engvall

By admin Published: September 4, 2007

As announced by TBS today:

Setting the stage for continued success in the original sitcoms arena, TBS has ordered a second season of 10 episodes of its hit sitcom THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW, according to an announcement by Michael Wright, senior vice president in charge of the Content Creation Group for TBS, TNT and TCM. In addition, Engvall will host BLUE COLLAR COMEDY: THE NEXT GENERATION, a special to be shot at HBO and AEG Live's The Comedy Festival (TCF) at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for premiere on TBS Saturday, Nov. 17.

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Producers Pitch the Press

By admin Published: September 4, 2007

New-season episodes of "Ugly Betty" and "Brothers & Sisters" arrived today, along with letters from the producers that indicate how the shows think they stand with the press.

The "Ugly Betty" letter, signed by Silvio Horta and Marco Pennette, began, ''On behalf of the producers and writers of UGLY BETTY, we'd like to thank you for your continued support of our show. Your critical endorsement is a big part of why we're able to come back for a second season."

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"Nip/Tuck" Sets the Date

By admin Published: September 4, 2007

From FX today:

The fifth season of the Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning drama series
nip/tuck will premiere on FX Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 10 PM ET/PT. The show will include several guest stars
throughout the 14-episode season, including Oliver Platt, Lauren Hutton, Bradley Cooper, Paula Marshall, Portia de
Rossi, Jennifer Coolidge, Craig Bierko, Daphne Zuniga, Tia Carrere and John Schneider. Rosie O'Donnell will also
guest star, reprising her season four role of lottery winner "Dawn Budge." Additionally, Leslie Grossman reprises her
season one role as "Bliss Berger."
nip/tuck revolves around the lives of Dr. Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon),
two plastic surgeons, close friends and business partners who run McNamara/Troy, an overwhelmingly successful
plastic surgery practice. The series' fifth season continues where season four left off: following the divorce from Julia
(Joely Richardson), Sean sold his half of McNamara/Troy and left Miami for Los Angeles. Christian, after ending his
engagement to Michelle (Sanaa Lathan), soon followed -- thus re-locating McNamara/Troy to the West Coast. The
new season of nip/tuck will explore Sean and Christian's struggles for success in a city where they are professionally
unknown -- and its residents yearn for fame.

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Passing the Time on a Holiday Weekend

By admin Published: September 2, 2007

You may have seen this gadget, a toilet paper holder that also includes an iPod dock. But here's the big question: What songs would you want to listen to while you're, uh, communing?

Would it really help to hear Green Day's "Waiting" ("I've been waiting for a lifetime .. I'm so much closer than I have ever known"), or is that just more pressure? Speaking of which, what about the Seeds' "Pushing Too Hard"? (Thanks to Bob Sherwin for the suggestion). Or, for sheer titular simplicity, the President of the United States of America's "Lump"?

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One Weekend, Two Games, Two Wins

By admin Published: September 1, 2007

Friday night we went to the Indians-White Sox game, saw the Indians fall behind, got chills when Kenny Lofton came in to pinch-hit (screams of "Kenny! Kenny!" filling the stadium), cheered when the Indians came from behind to win and generally had a swell time. Plus it ended our seemingly endless streak of going to games that the Indians lose, adding to our high-fiving. Even better: We got out of the parking lot.

Tonight it was back to Cleveland for the first "Patriot Bowl," in the Browns' stadium, with the University of Akron against Army. Not so easy driving, since the Indians were also playing at home tonight. As for football, both teams had their bad spots, but Army was especially sluggish and the Zips won.

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