Cliff-hanger alert! The 'Liars' land in prison -- and someone gets away with murder
This week was the “Pretty Little Liars” Season 2 finale, and we all know what that means. Cliff-hanger alert!
- The fearful foursome were taken in because Dr. Sullivan, the psychiatrist they’d been spilling secrets to, had gone missing. And three of the girls – Hanna, Spencer and Aria – were sitting in a holding cell, in black tie attire, apparently accused of homicide and being interrogated by Officer Garrett and that smarmy Detective (yup, he’s back) who had made their lives miserable. So where was Emily? And how did they end up there?
- Flashback! Busy, busy girls in a busy, busy world. Emily, for one, wanted to rekindle her romance with Maya, who was back in town. But Maya wanted to take things slow. Spencer and Toby, meanwhile, were already talking babies. But their intimate moment was disrupted by the site of creepy neighbor Jason DiLaurentis hanging out across the street. Caleb was back from visiting his mom – and Hanna really needed the support. Aria, meanwhile, had reason to worry. Ezra’s ex Jackie made a move, and though he rejected it, Aria had some fierce completion.
- But that all went back burner when the girls got a text from their “Gossip Girl” from the grave pal A – a photo of the good doctor with a message: she’s still alive. Later, they got a big box with words “Open Before She Dies” marked on the top. Inside, some freaky-deaky dolls that talked. And each doll had a mission for each of the girls – except Emily. Spencer: Keep Toby safe. Aria: tell Ezra that Jackie plagiarized a soon-to-be published paper. Hanna: stop her dad’s wedding.
- For once, the Liars were going to do what they were told. Aria was the first to do the deed. She confronted Jackie and told her to leave Hollis College. Later, Jackie showed up at the Montgomery house – and threatened to spill on Aria and Ezra’s relationship.
- Spencer, too, decided to do what she could – by breaking up with Toby. She said she lied to him about what her dad told her about the deal with Jason. She said she lied because she couldn’t trust him. Crying her eyes out, she ran into Wren, her sister’s ex, who offered a hanky. (Yes, really.) And a kiss or two, of course.
- At the wedding, Hanna was more wary, especially having a heart-to-heart with her dad. In the end, though, Hanna disrupted the ceremony. She took Isabel aside and told her that her dad had hooked up with her mom. That sure stopped the wedding. As soon as she did, A texted an address.
- Emily, who had finally gotten her uber-creepy doll, was already there, locked in a garage with a car leaking gas fumes. She was out cold when A dragged her away. She awoke to Alison, telling her to decide – stay there or come with her. And then she kissed her – but the girls found her. She told them that she saw Alison. Then the girls saw a strategically placed shovel. Yes, A buried Dr. Sullivan alive. Or maybe it was just a mask with a straw stuck in it. And that shovel, that was the murder weapon. Oops. A set-up.
- Back at the precinct, Jason DeLaurentis showed up. He confronted Spencer’s dad, asking if his wife knew the secret he’d been keeping. Meanwhile, Ezra showed up and had a confrontation with Aria’s mom, who told him to turn around and leave.
- And Garrett was cozying up with his blind girlfriend Jenna, relishing their set-up. “It’s over, Jenna,” he said, “there’s nothing left to link us to that night.”
- But, of course, there was. Dr. Sullivan was still alive. Tun tun tun!
The 'Days of our Lives' reboot brings Bo and Hope back to familiar territory
MSN TV got on set at "Days of our Lives" to scope out the brand new Horton Town Square set, which won't air until Wednesday, Sept. 26. We posted a video of Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn back together again right away, but now we can share pics of the set itself. Even better, while we were taking pics, Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso rode over to talk about the Salem reboot. Here's what they had to say:
MSN TV: This is some new set! The big Horton Town Square opening ceremony will lure back some favorite characters and also set off serious drama on Sept. 26, but after that, the new hang is bound to turn into gossip central.
Peter Reckell: Isn't it crazy fun? It's so fun to work on. We'll be able to pop the walls out and do all kinds of stuff.
Kristian Alfonso: We can ride bikes here -- that was Peter's idea -- and who knows, maybe I'll open a Hope Faith Miracles jewelry shop in one of these store fronts.
The big Salem reboot is all the talk these days, but where will it put Bo and Hope, who never left town and have been through the ringer the last few years?
Reckell: Back in our comfort zone.
Alfonso: But back in the thick of it.
Reckell: They've got a lot of stuff to work out, as a couple, because of the last couple of years. Us working together helps bring them closer together.
How does it feel to be back in that "comfort zone," after a few years of wild stories, including Hope's drug-induced second personality?
Alfonso: It's not so much "the comfort zone." I have to say I disagree with his words.
Reckell: You're not understanding what I mean by it: The show is back to meaning what we want it to mean. It's about romance, family and community. That's what we're used to and what we want to the show to be.
Alfonso: Yes! We're back to doing what we love doing, and what we started doing.
Reckell: Our comfort zone.
Alfonso: Bo-Hope. Hope-Bo. This is the Kristian-Peter show. This is us (laughs)!
It's funny you say that, because fans on Twitter wanted to know how you two stay close and keep from killing each other, after almost 30 years working together.
Reckell: We work hard. We go home to our families.
Alfonso: Yes. And we love what we do. We feel passionate and blessed to walk through those doors every day, and even more now, because the story is absolutely amazing.
Reckell: And it brings in a lot of history. People who watched the show 25 to 30 years ago and haven't watched, if they turn the show back on now, so they can catch up before [the big shift September 23], they will see stuff that we're involved in that will pull them back in.
Alfonso: What I am crazy for is that something is going on with everyone, and everyone's characters are woven into other storylines. It's not just groupings of actors: The Kiriakises here, the DiMeras here, the Bradys, Bo and Hope trying to make it better... Everyone is involved and it's exciting. People were tweeting me that they saw the promo [a few weeks back] and were so excited. What they also said, which is exciting to me, is they have not watched the show in years and they were coming back, because they were excited, it was familiar and it was the show that they loved. Now imagine that, and let's raise the bar.
Bo and Hope are back to being cops. Will they be able to keep the peace as the family feuds pick back up?
Reckell: That's the interesting part of that: We're a Horton, a Kiriakis and a Brady. That will make it so interesting for the audience again, because we'll have these storylines where our roles as law keeper and family members wrap into each other.
What has it been like to have Deidre Hall (Marlena), Drake Hogestyn (John), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Christie Clark (Carrie) and Patrick Muldoon (Austin) back in Salem?
Alfonso: Oh, my gosh. It's like old home week. It's like nothing has changed.
Reckell: It’s a family reunion.
When you started hearing people were coming back, which return got you the most excited?
Alfonso: I can't pick favorite! I have to say everyone who's returned, and I was very sad to see the people who left leave.
Reckell: I think it's Drake, because I just love listening to his stories.
Alfonso: My first vision of Drake, seriously: He's walking down the hall and I'm at the other end, so excited. Like a school girl. I see him looking at the photos as he's walking and he gets this little smile on his face and he's like, "I'm home." I was like, "Welcome home!" It was so thrilling.
What will surprise fans about the reboot?
Reckell: I don't think it will surprise to fans so much as comfort them. It's, "Oh, it just feels good to be watch 'Days of our Lives'!" What they saw back in the '80s, '90s or '70s will come back to them, but with even more energy, mystery and romance.
Alfonso: It’s all about relationships, family.
"Days of Our Lives" airs weekdays on NBC.
Loyalties shift and new complications emerge in a fantastic episode
"If you just do stuff, and nothing happens, what's it all mean? What's the point?" – Jesse
It seems like the first half of this season has been mostly about coldly observing the great and mysterious Heisenberg morph back into the impotent and frustrated Walter White of yore. It's really saying something when his biggest action set-piece so far is to do a bunch of donuts in a parking lot like a teenager and then blow up Jr.'s new car (all to the tune of $52,000, as we are helpfully informed by lawyer to the stars, Saul Goodman). Walt's actions throughout "Problem Dog" seem even more contemptible when contrasted with the methodical and intelligent police work of Mr. Hank Schraeder.
Although he had been presented as a bit of a buffoon in the early days of "Breaking Bad", and more recently as gratuitously spiteful to his wife Marie during his recovery from the shooting, Hank being great at his job has never been in question. It has been interesting to see him evolve from the man he thought he was supposed to be – a swaggering cowboy ready and willing to shoot down the "bad guys" – to what he really is – an excellent, tireless detective. Last year, when he told Marie "I think I'm done as a cop" just before the horrific shootout with the Cousins, he truly believed that. But his injury has forced him to channel his energies in a different direction, away from the badass posturing that he was never really comfortable with in the first place. And it's clear that Hank is an even more deadly antagonist for Gus and his meth empire now, even if he can't literally pull the trigger to take him down.
Of course, even the person who seems to be in the best position to do that very thing is none too eager to be the hit man. After shutting down a sickeningly manipulative monologue from Walt ("Drop the sales pitch."), Jesse readily agrees to poison Gus using their old favorite murder tool ricin. But as usual, events conspire to sow a lot of doubt in his mind about just who has his best interests at heart (or at the very least, who is feeding him the least amount of lies). Mike trusts him with a loaded gun and gives him a blunt assessment of what Gus "sees in him" ("Loyalty") and how that quality might be severely displaced ("But maybe you got it for the wrong guy.") But more than these practical considerations, Jesse seems to be clinging desperately to what is left of his soul, spilling out a pseudo-confession at his old meeting, and practically begging someone – anyone – to judge and punish him for his sins. No matter what happens, neither Gus nor Mike nor Walt is going to be able to fill up the dark hole inside of him; indeed, they all seem to be conspiring to make the fate of Jesse Pinkman the ultimate tragedy of this superb show.
- Has Gale appeared in every episode in some way? Is this a thematic device? It's a good one if it is.
- I do confess to turning up The Pretenders' "Boots of Chinese Plastic" very loud during that scene.
- "Mountains of contrition here!" Saul Goodman, why do you ever leave us?
- So Skyler really was not prepared for the enormous pile of cash, was she? But something tells me she will come up with a plan. Maybe it will also involve three pages of cheesy dialogue as well.
- The shot inside Saul's office safe showed a whole bunch of cassette tapes, and it was too lingering to be a coincidence.
- "Eyebrows of doom"
- Gus Fring's fondness for plastic wrapped crudités tickles me to no end.
- Can we just talk again about Hank's AWESOME detective work? That monologue was a thing of beauty.
Leah Remini out, Holly Robinson Peete's future looking murky
The net has been abuzz with speculation since word broke that Kardashian Queen Kris Jenner and "Steve Harvey Morning Show" funnywoman Sheryl Underwood are joining "The Talk" team. The story was that they were replacing Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete, not Sharon Osbourne, who is taking a break from the talker. But reporters may have spoken too soon ... or not.
Rimini is indeed out, having tweeted the news herself late Thursday: "It is official: I am sorry to say that I have NOT been asked back on the show. Sorry to my fans. U worked so hard! I adore u guys." Later, she added, "No reason was given."
Deadline seems to have gotten that part of the story correct, but what about Holly Robinson Peete?
"Truth is I have still not officially been released ... " Peete tweeted. "Devastated by the news that @LeahRemini was not asked back to @TheTalk_CBS. She brought humor, heart and authenticity."
With fans tweeting support to Remini and Peete, it seems Deadline may know something Peete doesn't "officially" know. CBS isn't talking "The Talk" exits, but a source close to the show confirmed to MSN TV that Kris Jenner and Sheryl Underwood are indeed joining the team, in different capacities -- and the math doesn't add up for Peete.
"Sheryl is joining as co-host at start of season and could become a regular," our source reported. "She'll join the panel with Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert and Sharon Osbourne for the season two launch, which starts Tuesday, Sept. 6."
Though Osbourne will be on hand for the premiere, she still plans to have a lighter schedule this season and it sounds like Chris Jenner may be one of her replacements. "Chris has signed on as a guest host for two weeks, early in the season," confirmed MSN TV's source.
"The show is also looking at other potential hosts or guest hosts, but hasn't ruled out a season with four on the panel," adds the source. Chen, Gilbert, Underwood and Osbourne/Jenner makes four. Not good news for Peete, officially or otherwise.
As for the new additions, Kardashian mama Chris Jenner needs no introduction. It's hard to imagine why CBS felt the E! reality mom needed more airtime, but she should bring an interesting dynamic to the table -- not to mention visitors from the Kardashian camp.
Sheryl Underwood, who is a self-described "sexually progressive, God-fearing black Republican,” should also shake up the mix.
Stay tuned for more on this story.
"The Talk" airs weekdays on CBS. Season 2 launches Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Or come out a 'Young and the Restless' and 'B&B' weekend in Los Angeles
CBS daytime fans are taking Los Angeles by storm this weekend for "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "The Young and the Restless" fan club gatherings. If you're in the area, tickets are still available, but, if not, you can catch the "B&B" action streaming online.
The stars of "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" are coming out to the Universal Sheraton Hotel to meet, greet, answer questions, sign autographs and strike a pose or two with fans this weekend. "The Young and the Restless” Fan Club Dinner will be held tonight, Friday, Aug. 26, while "The Bold and the Beautiful" fan gathering is Saturday morning, Aug. 27.
MSN TV doesn't usually post fan events, but "The Bold and the Beautiful" has made it possible for all of us to attend, with the help of the web. All or part of tomorrow's Fan Gathering will be streaming on "The Bold and the Beautiful" fan website. The party starts at at around 11:00a.m., so don't miss it!
"The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" air weekdays on CBS.
A special hour-long episode reaches new heights of emotion
The bulk of the episode was drawn directly from Louie's experiences with the USO in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008; indeed, his fellow performers (country singer Keni Thomas and Miami Dolphins cheerleader Lilly Robbins) played themselves quite charmingly. There was some tension throughout, both high stakes (the reality of being exposed to dangerous combat) and low (Louie's lame attempts to flirt with young Lilly) but mostly there were long observational stretches that just spent time establishing the verisimilitude at a leisurely pace, with the USO folks shuttling between camps, flying on helicopters, eating in the mess hall and interacting with the young men and women in the armed forces.
But wait – there was also a duckling! An adorable, fuzzy, yellow, cheeping little duckling that Louie's daughter smuggled into this bag "to keep (him) safe". Lo and behold, it did just that, in a final scene that was just incredible (not to mention tear-inducing). There is a unique sort of bravery on display for this extraordinary season of "Louie"; a willingness to go all the way with honest emotion, leaving irony and cheap laughs behind and trusting the audience to go along to uncomfortable places. And although in most cases that lack of comfort is the result of darkness and pain, sometimes it comes from the simple poignancy of an impromptu soccer match in the shadow of a remote military base, or the sight of a clumsy, pasty man tripping over himself to catch a duck.
- "OK, I've got a green head! I don't know what that means."
- The young actress who plays Jane may be the most accomplished whiner in the history of television.
- Once again, Louis C.K. amply shares the spotlight with his guest actors, allowing Keni Thomas to perform an heartfelt song and Lilly Robbins to be sweetly funny ("Why can't you say Christian things and be funny?")
- "OK, I'm sitting tight."
- Dedicated to the memory of Tim Hetherington. Now, I'm really crying.
The plot thickens as a political crisis speeds up the newsroom's growing pains
Is fun an underrated quality for a television show? There a lot of shows are deep and dark and complicated ("The Sopranos", "The Shield") and many are the purely mindless ("Burn Notice", almost every network sitcom), but only a very few that manage to be entertaining without insulting viewers' intelligence. Based just on two episodes, "The Hour" seems to have that rare combination of staying light on its feet while still showcasing real human emotion (not to mention a good old-fashioned spy story).
Part of that appeal is that all of the main characters – Bel, Freddie and Hector – are recognizably human and likeable people. Bel is whip-smart and passionate about her job as producer, observant enough to lecture young Sissy about being careful how she is perceived around the office and cool-headed in a crisis. But she is still able to be easily upset around her nightmare divorcee mother (the embodiment of "mutton dressed as lamb") and she is clearly quaking as she stands up to the unctuous government press secretary, even though she acquits herself admirably. Her pal Freddie continues to be a maddening combination of petty childishness and brainy tenacity, doggedly pursuing the mystery behind Ruth Elms (alleged) suicide, while visibly pining after Bel. His disgruntled attitude is constantly threatening to veer into unattractive self-pity, but when push comes to shove, Freddie does right by his rival Hector, and helps prep him for the important interview with the Egyptian official. Although he says he's doing it for Bel, it is clear he also believes in the necessity – and importance - of putting on the best news show possible.
Surprisingly, so does Hector Madden. It is refreshing how soon Abi Morgan and the rest of the writers allowed Hector's vulnerability to peek through the surface of his cocky charm. He is still wisecracking and flippant, particularly to Freddie, but he is just as hardworking and intelligent as anyone else in "The Hour"; he is just less experienced and (surprisingly) less confident on camera. As predictable as it might have been, it was still satisfying to see him take in all the lessons, advice and flat-out haranguing he had been subjected to by this staff, and knock that interview out of the park. No wonder Bel's eyes light up as she watches him; it is only going to increase the likelihood of some sort of romantic entanglement down the line.
There was also a lot of furtive detective work going on, what with cryptic crosswords, tapped phones, and the mysterious Mr. Kish turning up as a translator for Lix (as well as making a cameo in Ruth's home movies). Who knows where all that will go? Time to read up on the Suez Canal crisis.
What if Jason Quatermaine had never gotten into that life-altering car crash all those years ago?
With a wedding to plan and Sonny spiraling out of control, a car accident has put Jason under the knife on "General Hospital." It's an all too familiar scene for fans and Port Charles locals alike, especially as last time he was there, the young Quartermaine emerged a different man. Faced with the same possibility, the ladies in Jason life can't help but wonder on Friday, Aug. 26, and Monday, Aug. 29: What if Jason Quartermaine had never gotten into that first car accident, all those years ago?
"It's four women's ideas of who they want me to be, Carly (Laura Wright), Elizabeth (Becky Herbst), Monica (Leslie Charleson) and Sam (Kelly Monaco)," Steve Burton told MSN TV. "The way it's shot is pretty cool. It took a long time and it was a lot of work, but it was worth it. It was fun to play a bit of different characters and get out of the black t-shirt for a minute. I got to wear a suit. I was excited about that, but once got it on, I'm like, 'Give me my t-shirt and jeans back, now!'"
Burton didn't likely have to don a suit in Sam's Hawaiian fantasy, but suiting up makes sense for the other scenarios. "Elizabeth wants me to be an architect," Burton previewed. "Carly's dream is that we run the mob together, which is ridiculous, but was fun to do. In that scenario, Sonny takes off for some reason."
Then there's Monica's alternate reality, which brings Stuart Damon (Alan) back into the fray for two days. "With Monica, I'm a doctor -- the family business," Burton sets up. "It's how, in her mind, I might have ended up if I'd never worked for Sonny.
"It was amazing to have everyone back as a family, with Stuart Damon (Alan), Jane Elliott (Tracy) and Leslie Charleson. We're just missing Anna Lee (Lila), Stephen Kay (Reginald) and the dog," he said. "It really was a family. I miss working with them. It brought back a lot of memories, because we did this in the Quartermaine den. One of my first scenes was in that foyer and den, 20 years ago."
Hopefully, Jason will get back to the manse more often. "Garin Wolf (head writer) is probably going to start tying the Quartermaines back into Jason's life and him into their lives," Burton teased. "The first olive branch was Michael working for ELQ. I think they're going to open that road again."
That's assuming Jason comes out of surgery unscathed, of course. In the "real" world of Port Charles, he takes a turn for the worse on Patrick's table, which might send some of the fantasies into their own tail spins.
"People don't always turn out how you want them to be," Burton warned. "You can't change anybody, so it doesn't play out how everybody wanted."
Don't miss Wolf's nod to the past, set to air Friday, Aug. 26, and Monday, Aug. 29.
"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC.