The Herald-Dispatch |


Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "24," "Lost," "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Friday, March 31, 2006

Quick Notes: Carl Edwards, "24," "SVU," "Prison Break" & "Arrested Development"

If you’re a NASCAR fan--more specifically a Carl Edwards fan--be sure to check out Monday’s “24” as Edwards makes his dramatic acting debut as a Homeland Security agent. And unlike Senator John McCain and his blink-and-you-miss-it “24” cameo, Edwards actually gets to speak. Apparently, the “24” cast and crew were pretty impressed with his performance. You can catch some of the behind-the-scenes action during the “NASCAR on FOX” pre-race show Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Edwards is the driver of the #99 Office Depot Ford and for those of you who don’t watch NASCAR, he’s the guy who does back flips off his car after winning races. I’m a big fan of his, so I’m pretty excited (as if I need another reason to get excited about “24”). And by the way, if you’re wondering what this is all about, Ford is a big sponsor of “24.” That’s why all the good guys drive Expeditions…

Speaking of “24,” it looks like the FOX promo department wanted to eliminate any doubt about the fate of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). Monday’s cliffhanger left us doubting (not really) whether Jack was dead or alive. Then, the previews didn’t show him at all. Now, the “24” promos (which I try really hard not to watch) are making it clear that Jack did not die in the explosion. I’m guessing that someone got nervous. Let’s face it. There is no “24” without Jack Bauer…

While we’re on the subject of promos, NBC is seriously hyping Tuesday’s episode of “Law & Order: SVU” as a “can’t-miss.” NBC is notorious for deceptive network promos; but there’s no deception here. If you are an “SVU” fan, you CANNOT miss Tuesday’s episode, which as far as I can tell, truly does change the show as we know it…

Another can’t-miss episode this week is Monday’s “Prison Break” which will take a page out of the “Lost” playbook and show us how the guys (and Dr. Sara) got into Fox River Penitentiary. I was so excited to see “Prison” teamed up with “24,” but the last two weeks I’ve been a little bored during the “Prison” hour. Maybe it’s just because “24” has been so exciting. FOX, however, has been pleased enough to bring back the show for next season, though there is some talk of changing the name of the show...

One show that apparently has ended for good is “Arrested Development.” Showtime was VERY interested in picking the show up, but creator Mitchell Hurowitz refused to sign on, citing creative fatigue. And “Arrested Development” without Hurowitz would be like “24” without Jack Bauer. The final nail in the coffin came this morning with the announcement that Jeffrey Tambor (who played George Bluth) has signed on to an NBC pilot. I LOVED this show and I was happy to see Showtime’s interest, but I really think the show couldn’t go any further after its outstanding finale. I applaud FOX for giving “Arrested” the three seasons that it did and hope that they don’t cancel the DVDs as well…

"Hannah Montana"

Last Friday, I checked out the new Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana” starring Flatwoods, KY native Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter, Miley. And judging from the ratings, I wasn’t the only one as “Hannah” put up the network’s best series numbers ever in total households, kids 6-11 and preteens 9-14.

Miley plays Miley Stewart, a preteen trying to adjust to her new Malibu school, after moving from Tennessee. Miley, however, has a big secret. She’s also Hannah Montana, today’s hottest preteen pop star (She keeps it a secret because she’s afraid if she tells anyone that they will treat her differently.). Billy Ray is her dad, Robby, who is also her manager. She has an older brother, Jackson, and two friends, Lilly, who of course, is a HUGE Hannah Montana fan and Oliver, who is so big of a fan he calls Hannah his future wife.

In last week’s premiere, Miley was forced to admit to Lilly, her best friend, that she is Hannah Montana which put a strain on their friendship. But because this is the Disney Channel, they patched everything up by the end and even managed to show up the snobby girls in school.

It’s clear that Disney is hoping that Miley is the new Hilary Duff and I have to say it’s possible. “Hannah” reminds me a lot of “Lizzie McGuire.” You could see Miley getting better as the episode went on and she’s got some pretty catchy songs that should be good sellers. But in my opinion, the real star of the show is Billy Ray himself. It looks like the man most famous for doing “Achy Breaky Heart” is about to become famous for doing something else—being a father. His Robby is the perfect mix between a cool hip dad and Danny Tanner from “Full House.” Billy Ray has found a real niche here and I hope that the show finds more to do with him. I’m thinking that it shouldn’t be too long before this single dad is dating.

You can catch “Hannah Montana” every Friday at 7 p.m. on the Disney Channel.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday Night Notes: "The O.C" and Britney

So, just in case anyone from “The O.C.” is reading this—like, say, one of the executive producers who’s on his way to Huntington to direct a major motion picture—let me just say that I have been a big fan of “The O.C.” since episode one.

Okay, now that I’ve got the compliment out of the way, let me say that I'm really not sure why I’m still watching this show. I think it's like people gawking at a car accident. You can't help but.

The first season, it was a smart, sassy, refreshing teen soap. Then, it decided to do the “let’s change everything as we know it” season finale and the show has never been the same.

And this season, it just doesn’t make sense. It seems like some of the characters have gone through some kind of machine that turns them into different people. For example, why would Ryan break up with Marissa over the phone? And I understand that Marissa’s lonely, but Volchak? He tried to beat up Johnny (who we know Marissa really loved) and he practically stalked Marissa to get her to go out with him. Plus, Marissa convinces Sadie to stay in town to be with Ryan, but she’s so depressed by it, she starts snorting cocaine!

If not for Seth and Summer and the other supporting characters (especially the wonderful Taylor Townsend), there would be nothing about the show worth watching…

So remember I said yesterday that I was willing to give “Will & Grace” another shot? Yeah. Bad idea.

The concept of the episode was cute—Jack’s Out TV was bought by right-wing conservatives—but it just didn’t work. And Britney Spears? That didn’t work either.

As the conservative co-host of Jack’s talk show, she had some funny lines; but her overemphasized southern accent killed them. And the audience just didn’t seem to get her. Maybe it was because she looked hideous in that tight red dress.

I have to admit that I will watch the series finale just to see how it all ends, but I’m done until then…

Did you watch something Thursday you want to talk about? Drop me a comment.

"We Are Marshall"--"24" Connection

Sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake, but after reading today's story about "We Are Marshall," it dawned on me how I knew the name Kate Mara.

Mara joined the cast of "24" last week as Shari Rothenberg, a new CTU analyst with an interesting backstory. Just as we thought she was cool after she saved Los Angeles from the horrible nerve gas, we realized she may not be all together there as she freaked out when CTU Director Bill Buchanan patted her on the shoulder to congratulate her (We had earlier learned that she had once filed a sexual harrassment suit against Miles, the new guy from Homeland Security.).

If the information I'm hearing about the part she's playing in "We Are Marshall" is correct, she'll be perfect. She's already the perfect addition to "24."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wednesday Night Notes

I checked out some of “Deal or No Deal” last night, just in time to see Howie Mandel surprise the contestant with a reunion with his daughters. I admit I got a little teary-eyed. And when he took the deal of $94,000 just to please them, even though he had great odds, you had to smile—until his case revealed $300,000 (Boy, did those little girls feel bad.). It’s a decent show and I’m happy to see NBC with a hit, but I worry that they’ll pull a “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and run it into the ground. It's already on three nights now...

I know there are a lot of “Lost” fans out there, so I’m happy to discuss the show with you. However, I just want to say for the record that “Lost” creeps me out! I had to stop watching ever since we found out Locke was in a wheelchair last season. Seeing Locke trapped by a huge door on his legs in last night’s episode didn’t really make me feel any better—especially when we found out that Locke’s new pal Henry is more than likely an Other. And what was up with that weird stuff on the wall when the lights went out? Was that some kind of brainwashing?...

Though I haven’t given it my complete attention, I have to say that “Heist” is actually interesting. And the sight of Dougray Scott in those glasses pretending to be a lawyer—absolutely priceless. You may want to give this one a try…

While watching “Heist,” we got a reminder that Britney Spears will appear on “Will & Grace” tomorrow (Thursday) night. She’s playing a conservative brought in to co-host Jack’s talk show after his TV station is bought out. These pointless guest appearances are what made me stop watching “Will & Grace,” but ever since the hilarious spot by Hall and Oates, I’m willing to give the show another shot…

Did you watch something Wednesday that you want to talk about? Send me a comment…

Who Is Voting For Bucky?

I know that most people just tune in for the last few minutes of “American Idol” to see who’s been eliminated. But I actually love all the theatrics. I often wonder how much Ryan Seacrest rehearses what he’s going to do.

And though we got the result I think we all expected, we did get some interesting surprises along the way.

After a rather strange performance by Shakira and Wyclef Jean, Ryan got down to business. It was no surprise that Lisa was in the bottom three and Ace was not much of a surprise either. But when it came down to Katharine and Bucky, shockingly, it was Katharine in the bottom three. The biggest surprise, however, was when Ryan sent one of them back to their seat, and it was Ace—not Katharine. Of course, it was Lisa who ended up saying goodbye, but it did make me wonder for a few minutes.

So why did Katharine end up in the bottom three? I totally agree with Simon that her performance was not that good, but could it have been something more? Is it a coincidence that Katharine ended up in the bottom two the same week she criticized the show in “Soap Opera Weekly” for giving her mom a raw deal? Maybe not. Voters could have been turned off by that.

But my biggest question of the night is: Who is voting for Bucky? Everyone I know of thinks he should have already been gone and Vote for the Worst is pulling for Kellie. So why is he still here? And with next week’s theme being country, he’s probably not going anywhere next week either.

Which means Ace is sweating bullets right now.

This is truly the most interesting season of “Idol” yet.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Paris "Works It Out," but the others?

So why don't we start this out with a discussion of the hottest thing on television right now--"American Idol."

Tuesday night's theme was songs from the 21st century. We've already seen how singing current songs can trip up contestants (Think Ayla and "Unwritten."), so I expected some of the top 10 to have problems. I just didn't expect so many of them to have problems...

Here is my breakdown of the performances:

Lisa Tucker, “Because of You”
This was not even close. A horrible song choice.

Kellie Pickler, “Suds in the Bucket”
She picked a novelty song? Not a good move.

Ace Young, “Drops of Jupiter"
Ace has been my favorite from the beginning and I have voted for him every week except Stevie Wonder week (when he ended up in the bottom three); but I HATE this song. And what was up with the cheesy display of his scar?

Taylor Hicks, “Trouble”
It was nice to see him do something other than his spastic dancing, but the song was kind of boring. I was surprised to see Simon love it so much.

Mandisa, “Wanna Praise You"
I think this was an “Idol” first—a Christian praise song—but I didn’t think it really showcased her voice during the verses.

Chris Daughtry, “What If”
Simon said he was sharp, but I think it was just the overpowering band making him sound that way. Interesting that after applauding Chris for “refusing to compromise” Simon told him he needs to do something different.

Katharine McPhee, “The Voice Within”
Bring back Barry Manilow. That arrangement was horrible. The judges were impressed, but it just didn’t do it for me.

Bucky Covington, “Real Good Man”
Again, the band was overpowering, but it didn’t really cover up much with this one.

Paris Bennett, “Work It Out”
Okay, she is WAY too young to be singing that song and moving like that. But it was gutsy.

Elliott Yamin, “I Don’t Want to Be”
Sorry, but I HATED that arrangement. The ending was lousy too and he struggled with the words.

So who’s going home? Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. She picked a song that “Idol” watchers are guaranteed to love and she butchered it. I can’t see America forgiving her for that. As for the bottom three, I have no idea. Kellie deserves to be there, but I can’t see that happening. If more people felt the way I did about Elliott’s arrangement of a popular song (that Bo Bice nailed last year), he may be there; and of course, Bucky deserves to be there, but he keeps surprising me.

And in case you’re wondering, no I didn’t vote. If Ace ends up in the bottom three this time (which he could), he deserves it for singing that song (My apologies to all you Train fans out there.)

Don’t forget to tune into the results show Wednesday at 9 p.m. with a performance by Shakira and Wyclef Jean of “My Hips Don’t Lie.” I find this to be a strange appearance considering Shakira’s relationship with Verizon Wireless. Oh well, the guys will like it…

Stay tuned...

Do you love TV as much as I do?

As anyone who knows me can tell you, I LOVE to talk about TV. The only thing I love more than talking about TV is watching TV…

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed being the one to tell my friends what was going to happen on their favorite shows. And I always tried to break it to them gently when they asked me why their show wasn’t on anymore (I understood ratings at an early age.).

So now I’m sharing my thoughts with all of you on this blog. I hope that some of you out there who love to talk about TV as much as I do will join me. My favorite topics are “24,” and “American Idol,” but I’ll talk whatever show you’d like.

So, are you still mad that “24” killed Tony? Were you surprised that Kevin got voted off “American Idol” before Bucky did? Who do you think is going to win “The West Wing” presidential election?

And most importantly, where will this discussion take us?

Stay tuned…