The gang tells some revealing scary stories in a lightweight episode
Whether you prefer gross-out "Re-Animator"- type humor about body parts being cut off and sewn back on in the wrong places, or a giddy send-up of the Christians who rise up in the rapture versus vile heathens (complete with Dean Pelton in a sexy Satan costume, threatening everyone with "Gay marriage!"), your sense of humor was probably represented pretty well. For my money, the most amusing sequence was Annie's florid "Twilight"/Grimm's fairy tale hybrid, which ended in a glorious insane monologue detailing all the disgusting things that the Annie-wolf did to the faithless Jeff-vampire. It seemed both perfectly (and terrifyingly) plausible that this was the place where she would channel all of her frustrated feelings for Jeff, and Alison Brie sold the heck out of the twisted tale. Maybe there were more pure laughs in the other vignettes ("Foot hands!"), but only a truly crazy person wouldn't feel just a little bit awed by the powerful emotions underneath that little cardigan.
- It's nice that there is continuity about Greendale's financial issues, with Pelton bluffing that he made the lights flicker on purpose in order to be scary for the holiday. ("So the lights will work on November 1st?" "ALL SAINTS DAYmonth.")
- Also extremely funny: Brita's lackadaisical storytelling coming through on the radio guy's voice, talking about "a thingie for his hand" and the killer "on the loose and stuff."
- Pierce is really just terrible.
- The whole Abed story was somehow deeply satisfying, particularly if you are one of those people who go nuts over lapses of logic in horror movies.
- Joel McHale could do Shakespeare. Not "King Lear" probably, but still.
- "I thought I heard something awesome out there."
- Naturally, in Shirley's world, the staff of NPR misses out on the rapture.
- Once again, just the right amount of Chang.
Missed this week's 'Vampire Diaries'? Here's what you need to know to get by at the water cooler
Jeremy’s ex Anna was still haunting him, and they were even holding hands. All of which was really pissing Bonnie off. “I went against the balance of nature when I brought Jeremy back to life and now I’m paying the price,” she told Caroline. Bonnie told Damon that ghosts weren’t supposed to be able to physically interact with people – which meant something had gone really, really wrong. But then her little magic book opened itself up to just the right page for a spell to reveal veiled matter – ghosts.
Elena, meanwhile, wanted Jeremy to get in touch with Stefan’s old pal Lexi to see if they could figure out how to stop Klaus. Stefan showed up and saw Elena checking out his old journals. He told her to give it up. Again.
Caroline and Bonnie went to the creepy old house where all the witches were burned so Bonnie could do the spell. The first ghost she brought back? Her grandmother (Jasmine Guy). “A fine mess you’ve made, honey,” she said. “You cracked open the door to the other side. There’s an old witch over here, and she took advantage of you. You upset the balance of nature. You need to set it right.” That meant destroying that old necklace Elena had.
But others showed up all over town, including Lexi, who got right to the point. “You’re off the rails,” she told Stefan, before knocking him out cold.
And Elena walked in on Jeremy and a now-visible Anna making out. Oops. But Elena had bigger worries – Lexi was going to give her a crash course on “Ripper Detox.” The process was painful – Lexi made him hallucinate he hadn’t had blood for two years, then stabbed him with a stake. “You have to make him see past the blood,” Lexi told Elena.
Mason wanted an apology from Damon. “You’re right,” Damon said, “I didn’t have to kill you. I do a lot of things I don’t have to do.” Close enough? Anyway, Mason knew how they could kill Klaus. He and Damon met at the Lockwood cellar, where they started digging for an old Lockwood weapon that could apparently kill an original. They headed deep into the cave, where Mason had a set a trap that sent several stakes right through Damon. Ouch. Except apparently he didn’t set the trap, the old Lockharts had, because Mason helped Damon pull them all out. “You know what the other side is like? We’re all alone, watching the people we loved making the wrong decisions,” he told Damon. “It’s too late for me, but maybe it’s not too late for Tyler.”
While Caroline spilled to Bonnie about the whole kissing dead exes thing, Anna and Jeremy were discovering that the spell had brought back many, many vengeful vamps – who strung up Founders’ Ceremony speaker Mr. Bell dead body just to make their point.
Jeremy called Caroline to tell her that the vengeful vamps were about to work their way through the founding families. But the girls couldn’t find the necklace – and they thought Anna took it. When she said she didn’t, Jeremy said he believed her.
“It’s not real,” Elena told him of his feelings for Anna. “Are you going to love a ghost for the rest of your life?”
And then Anna confessed: she did have the necklace.
Jeremy still couldn’t let go. “This doesn’t have to be goodbye,” he told Anna. “But it should be,” she told him. She took the necklace hoping to find her mother. “I don’t want to be alone anymore.” She gave him the necklace and sent him off to find Bonnie.
But Lexi still didn’t have the old Stefan yet – so she reminded him of the necklace, the one he’d found in his darkest period.
Jeremy brought the necklace to her, and she threw it into the fire, casting her spell, hand in hand with her grandmother. And all the ghosts disappeared, just as they were about to break through. But one did – Anna found her mother, just as they faded away, together.
And Bonnie’s grandmother told her: “You are stronger than all of this. I’m so proud of you.”
Still in the cave, Damon called Alaric, who was still pissed at him. “Sometimes, I do things I don’t have to do,” Damon said again, his same stupid half-assed apology.
Stefan was still tied up, and Elena was going to leave him there. “I was wondering when you were gonna give up,” he said.
“I still have hope,” Elena said, “but there’s nothing I can do until you get yours back. If you don’t, you’re going to lose me forever. I won’t love a ghost for the rest of my life.”
Bonnie couldn’t listen to Jeremy’s excuses. She told him to go. And then, in the fire, found the necklace, still intact.
And in the cave, Alaric found Viking markings, ancient ones, perhaps the key to killing the Originals.
What did you think of this week's "Vampire Diaries"? Are you going to miss the ghosts of Mystic Falls' past residents?
We go on set with Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington and the crisis management crew
There's a new drama coming out of the land of Shonda Rhimes. And when "Scandal" premieres Thursday, April 5, the high-stakes world of crisis manager Olivia Pope and her dysfunctional team is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. MSN TV has the trailer, but also went on set for a sneak peak and chat with Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington and the rest of the "Scandal" crew.
Situated in the political hotbed of Washington D.C., the lawyers at Pope & Associates may not have a handle on their own lives, but they can stop a scandal in its tracks before it breaks.
"People deserve a second chance, and people make mistakes," Washington (Pope) sets up. "Justice is more complicated than the law, so Olivia and Pope & Associates are there to make sure that everybody [gets an] even playing ground and to be helpful to people who have nowhere else to go, if they feel that help is deserved and justifiable."
Olivia, the woman at the center of it all, is a former media relations consultant to the U.S. President (Tony Goldwyn), who sets out to make a fresh start, professionally and personally. A wildly efficient D.C. power player, she employs a "take-no-prisoners" attitude to get to the bottom of brewing scandals and crises, with the help of her quirky staff (Henry Ian Cusick, Columbus Short, Guillermo Diaz, Darby Stanchfield and Katie Lowes).
"Olivia is pretty rocking," Washington raved. "I'm constantly saying I feel like the luckiest broad in television -- in showbiz, period. I look at who she is with a great deal of awe. It's fun to play someone who is far more intelligent than I am, and whose life is far more complex and complicated than mine is.
"It's a challenge," she continues. "This is the hardest I've ever worked, without a doubt. It's the most challenging job I've ever had, and it's the most fulfilling, artistically and emotionally. I am madly in love with this cast and crew, and with this role."
Though Olivia is trying to make a break from her past, she can't help getting pulled back into the scandals of the oval office, due to her intriguing relationship with the President and his right hand man (Jeff Perry).
The series also moves at a pace reminiscent of "The West Wing," but Pope & Associates will take on more than just the political world.
"Crisis managers get to represent associations, corporations, individuals, politicians, celebrities," reveals real-life crisis manager and co-executive producer Judy Smith, on whom the character Olivia is based. "What they've done is take this world -- the things we deal with every day in an environment that's chaotic, hectic, high stakes and the strategy -- and dramatized it for television in an exceptional way."
At its heart, however, "Scandal" is as much about crisis intervention as Rhimes' "Private Practice" and "Grey's Anatomy" are about the medicine. "They're about people," Rhimes says of her series. "The medicine -- [and] the crisis -- is the backdrop."
"Scandal" has one other thing in common with Rhime's other shows: This capable, brilliant team of D.C. players may be able to save other people's lives, but they aren't always doing the best job at living their own lives.
"One of the things that's cool about all of the characters on this show [is that] people do things that somebody can judge in a very intense way, but it's [presented] with many different perspectives, not demonizing the character or letting him off the hook," Washington says. "We have battles in the hair and makeup trailer over President Fitz, with people throwing things about how they feel. Nobody's all good, nobody's all bad, which is always a gift when you're an actor, because human beings aren't that way."
Yes, there is something off about this President. But, no, MSN TV can't tell you more than that … yet! Get used to the feeling, if you plan to tune in to "Scandal." Each episode offers jaw-dropping character reveals and twists, and some of those will leave viewers biting their nails.
"We're telling a story where there's a little bit of a cliffhanger at the end of every episode," Rhimes previewed. "I got to do it like a British miniseries: It feels more like 'State of Play' than a regular network show, and that was my goal. The seven episodes work as a whole, and at the end of every episode, you're going to be going, 'Why don't I know what's happening next?'"
Rhimes isn't joking about those cliffhangers. MSN TV is actually steaming over our "Scandal" preview, because now we have to wait for the show's 2012 premiere to find out what happens in Episode 4!
"Scandal" is aiming to hit the air in March, but stay tuned for the final release date and, in the meantime, enjoy the "Scandal" preview clip above.
"Scandal" premieres Thursday, April 5 at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT on ABC.
Series scrubbing its character lines blurry
Forget the cougar. It's "Scrubs" town on an upcoming Season 3 episode of the Courteney Cox comedy, slated to return midseason to ABC.
The episode -- to air sometime early next year -- will also feature Sarah Chalke (down for multiple episodes as the new main squeeze of Brian Van Holt's Bobby), Ken Jenkins (returning as dad to Cox's Jules), and Sam Lloyd (back as a ukulele-strumming bum named Ted, who may or may not be his "Scrubs" character).
Braff's and Maschio's roles are being kept a secret, although Maschio did tweet: "Maybe I did shoot a cameo on Cougartown today as the Todd from Scrubs... Would you be all right with that five?!"
Other "Scrubs" vets who have cameoed on "C-Town" in the past include Scott Foley as Cox's boyfriend and Robert Clendenin as a neighbor. And Braff was heard, though not seen, as the voice of an app in Season 2.
What's with all the scrubbing in? Bill Lawrence, who created "Scrubs," is the co-creator of "Cougar Town."
It's possible that Regis helped accelerate his own departure
Regis Philbin may say he's leaving "Live! with Regis and Kelly" because he's being pushed out of the show he helped create, but it's possible he's the one who was a bit too pushy.
"I'm not calling it quits, you understand," Philbin said during an interview with Mojo in the Morning Friday. "I'm moving on. I'm not retiring."
Philbin was quick to mention the chat on "Live! With Regis and Kelly," giving radio hosts Sharon, Spike and Mojo a shout out. Though he didn't reference what they discussed, it seems he wanted to make sure none of us missed his big early morning reveal: He was pushed out of his own show.
“The contractual issue just never worked out, but I was going to leave before that anyway," he told the radio hosts.
“That's a loss on their part because I've got to admit, it looks to me like they're kind of forcing you out and I think it's a mistake,” host Spike responded. “The audience still loves you. You're obviously still ready to work so I don't know why they wouldn't want you."
"Of course it’s a big mistake, but Regis is moving on," Philbin countered.
MSN TV sources, however, note that this "big mistake" may have been Philbin's, not the show's. Word is the host was asking to continue working the easier schedule he's had of late, with a day or two or more off each week, while maintaining the same salary. Clearly, that's not a realistic request in this economy -- even if you're Reege.
Whatever went down, Philbin isn't through with entertaining us. He revealed he's hoping to pop up in primetime, once he gets over the breakup.
“I don't want anything lined up yet," he said. "I want to have a few moments of peace alone before I get involved with somebody else.”
Stay tuned for more on Philbin's next step, as well as the hunt for his replacement on "Live with Regis and Kelly." While some are saying Kelly Rippa's husband Mark Consuelos and Bravo host Andy Cohen as front runners, Regis hedged, “I really don't know and I know they don't know. It's going to be a process of three or four months of her trying out different people, seeing who clicks with her."
"Live! With Regis and Kelly" airs weekday mornings.
'American Idol' runner up talks about coming to daytime and the 'AI' judge who didn't get 'it'
"American Idol" Season 3 runner up Diana DeGarmo is coming to "The Young and the Restless" this Halloween, Oct. 31, and her new character Angelina will be packing tons of tricks and treats for Genoa City locals. The young songstress may even prove there's something more dangerous than a mob wife or a "Jersey Shore" diva: a mob daughter! MSN TV caught up with DeGarmo, who dished on her new character, and also reflected on the "American Idol" judge she could have done without.
MSN TV: Is your new gig at "Y&R" a cameo or a legit role?
Diana DeGarmo: Angelina is going to make her mark in Genoa City, don't you worry. I am the weekly pot stirrer. She's spicing things up. You're not going to see me all time, so you're not going to get sick of me, but I'm recurring.
What's your character's story?
She comes with her dad, Angelo, a local mob boss. He's been out of town and is back visiting Genoa City. Angelina's is tagging along, but slowly but surely, she's taking over the scene. She's is a hoot and a half. She's a little over the top, but she's definitely got her real moments, which I love to be able to sneak in there and catch people off guard with.
Bing: More about Diana DiGarmo
Does she know her dad is in the mob boss?
Oh, she knows exactly what's going on and she doesn't mind. She likes throwing around her weight at any time. She loves the perks of being a mob boss's daughter. She lives for it.
As a Jersey mob girl, is her wardrobe over the top, as well?
I come in [to wardrobe] and I just laugh as soon as I see where the outfit is going. It's like having a fashion show every morning. She has all the money in the world, but she thinks she needs to show it at all times. There are some things that I, Diana, would be too terrified to walk out of the house wearing, but Angelina is not afraid.
Once I'm transformed from head to toe, Angelina comes out so easily. I love watching the other characters react to her because she is such a surprise. She's so different from everyone else.
Who have you gotten to work with, so far?
I've had the great pleasure sharing the screen with Mr. Greg Rikaart. Angelina gets a little bit of a crush on Kevin, and she's not afraid not to show it. It's a blast, because she makes him incredibly nervous. We have to try so hard not to laugh when we're shooting because she is, of course, very zealous and Kevin is not so much when it comes to the female department. The sparks that fly on screen are just hilarious. It's wonderful to be a part of.
Word is Angelina is a horrible singer but still wants to go pro?
That was one of the things that casting was a nervous I would be afraid of, but I was gung ho about singing badly. It was fantastic and hilarious. Angelina thinks she is hot stuff, from head to toe, but has no idea that she sounds like a cat in heat when she sings, and neither does her dad. Angelo, who is played by the absolutely lovely Mike Starr, thinks his daughter is the cat's meow. The magic of Angelina's voice is its own storyline. It's going to lead to some exciting and fun moments in weeks to come.
Are you flattered that you were brought on for your acting, and not so you can belt out a song at Jimmy's every week?
I'm just excited that somebody's giving me a chance. Being on "Idol" is a double edge sword. There are so many Idols out there that are still trying so hard to get past the idea that we're only reality TV personalities, but I've been able to do that in the theater community. It's great that, finally, somebody believes I am more than just that. I'm really being supported and they're letting me create this fantastic character.
Are you in contact with any former "American Idol" contestants?
A few, actually. A lot of my "Idol" friends think what I'm doing is quite hilarious, but they're super proud. Eight years ago, I used to go to the CBS lot to film "American Idol," and now I go to the CBS lot, but to the other side of the building for "Young and the Restless." It's so mind boggling. It makes me realize how far I've come.
'Fess up: Are you jealous you didn't get to audition with the new "AI" judges?
Totally. I love the originals, but at the same time I love Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. They've been fantastic additions to the show. I appreciate their critiques, because they are performers. Paula is definitely a performer and she can give a critique without ripping your soul apart, but sometimes, it comes from somebody where you're like, "And what do you do again? You've never sung in your life…" That can be daunting. I feel like they can come from a whole new perspective, but that one particular judge couldn't, if you get my drift.
"The Young and the Restless" airs weekdays on CBS.
'Idol' veteran opens up about her guest spot on 'Body of Proof,' fish people and upcoming projects
Fan remember Crystal Bowersox as one of the true breakout stars from Season 9 of "American Idol," where she very publicly overcame complications from her diabetes in the early rounds to become a judges' and fan favorite. Her folksy, down to earth style and her no-nonsense sound (no doubt honed at many an open mic night in Chicago, to where she moved as a teenager) made her an instant frontrunner and ultimately landed her in the finals, where she finished second to Lee DeWyze.
Now, the singer-songwriter, who released her debut album last fall, is set to guest star on ABC's "Body of Proof," where she plays one tough mother. Her guest appearance on "Body of Proof" airs Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. We caught up with Bowersox to chat about her guest spot, her musical plans and her thoughts on a return to reality TV.
MSN TV: How did you get hooked up with "Body of Proof"?
Crystal Bowersox: The producers came to me and actually asked if I'd be willing and wanting to do this role of Zoe Brant, an incarcerated female who's a young mother and who's gone on the wrong track in life. I said, "Yeah, sure." I've never done any kind of professional acting before. But I've always been interested. So, I gave it a shot!
Is this the type of role you imagined for your first real acting job?
I didn't really have a role in mind. It's something that I've always wanted to do but never actively pursued. Once I read this script and got to know the character, I thought I could really empathize with it. So I took it on.
Tell us a little more about your character Zoe Brant and the episode you'll be appearing in.
There's some horse riding in the script. I grew up with a horse and a pony, so I know a little bit about that. It was sad that I didn't actually get to ride a horse for filming. My character was incarcerated for beating up her drug dealer-slash-whatever he was to her. The character can't see her daughter. As a mom, I can't imagine being put away for a mistake and not being able to see my own son. That made my cry a lot, thinking about that. I just kind of put that into my character.
You're not singing in this episode, then.
No. There's no singing. It's all acting. And I'm happy for that.
What about future acting gigs?
Yeah, if there's someone who thinks I'd be good for something. I don't live in L.A. So, you know, I can't get around and do a ton of auditions when I'm focusing on music. But I'd love to do it again. It was great. I learned a lot from Dana [Delaney] and John [Carroll Lynch] and everbody on the set.
What was it like working in scenes with those two?
I know it was acting. But in the script, I was being interrogated. And I felt guilty [in the scene] the whole time. I really did! I really felt like I had to defend myself. It was a very real emotion. My reactions were scripted, but it was real to me. They are intense. They are very intense actors. They're very good at what they do.
Having been on "Idol," you must know the value of getting things right in one take.
I know, right? This was definitely different than "Idol." There was more pressure on "Idol" -- because it's live, it's uncut and because I wasn't acting as anybody. I was being myself. That is maybe a more vulnerable feeling than pretending to be something else.
Do you have plans to put out another album anytime soon?
I'm in the process of writing. I have a list of songs that I need to weed through, and new ones come up in that process. I just need to pick the next batch of songs for the next album. I'll record sometime in the fall or winter for a spring or maybe summer release.
Getting back to TV, what shows do you like to watch with your son?
My son is really into "Bubble Guppies" on Nickelodeon. They're little fish people. He also loves "Sesame Street." But we're really into doing arts and crafts. I come up with weird stuff to do here at home. And he's the smartest, handsomest kid in the world. That's from my husband.
Will you sit down and watch your episode as family?
My husband is going to DVR it and force me to watch it.
Any chance you'd ever return to reality TV?
If it were documentary-style. Not competition reality. I don't think I'd do that again. It was good to me this time around. Maybe if Ken Burns was doing something on a topic that I'd know anything about, it'd be great …
Crystal Bowersox guest stars on "Body of Proof" Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
The surviving group splinters again in an affecting episode
"It's nature correcting her self, restoring some balance." – Herschel
Opening with a flashback to ostensibly happier times, tonight's "The Walking Dead" did a very effective job of balancing some glimpses of hope with the relentless gloom. The man who accidently shot Carl while stalking the deer turns out to be Otis, a member of a small group on a nearby farm, which includes folks with medical knowledge – enough to at least treat and save the boy for the present time. But this means the group is even more fractured than before, with Rick and Lori by their son's side, Shane off with Otis to try to collect more supplies while dodging a horde of walkers, and the rest of the folks weakened, confused and still without Sophia. I'll admit, I was worried that there wouldn't be many opportunities for variety in this type of story, but I am glad to be proven wrong.
Of course, that does raise the question of which storyline you prefer and which you can do without. Currently, pretty much everything has enough suspense, action and/or deeply felt emotion to satisfy viewers, although I am partial to the Sophia search group. They have the most potential for different types of conflict, whether it is Andrea's stoicism, Dale philosophizing, or the welcome comic relief of Darryl and his crossbow (best moment: his vaguely irritated "Shut up" right before he shoots the walker in the head). On the other hand, Andrew Lincoln is acting up a storm as Rick becomes more like a zombie than a human; he seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown all the time, and his physical and mental pain are palpable to the audience. Hopefully, the new characters will not devolve into a bunch of disposable redshirts (particularly the always welcome Pruitt Taylor Vince as Otis), and we can keep enjoying the delicate negotiations amongst an expanded band of survivors. So far, the creators of "The Walking Dead" are on the right path.
- I sincerely hope they are stockpiling sunscreen from all those abandoned cars.
- Jeffrey DeMunn brings something so unique to his characterization of Dale – he's just a fully lived-in presence, someone who seems to have reserves of strength while at the same time making the wrong move a lot of the time.
- I see Daryl's brother has been a customer of Los Pollos Hermanos.
- The meta-comment on T-Dog being the only black guy and what that means in every sense was pretty amusing.
- Another brilliant cliffhanger, as we watch the lock on the gate ominously shimmy around.