A thoroughly delightful episode opens up the time/space continuum
"See what happens when I leave you alone?" – Jeff Winger
Word around the interwebs today was that "Remedial Chaos Theory" was a return to the high-concept (aka "gimmick") episodes of "Community". Although it certainly was outrageous and surreal, it didn't feel as labored as some of the more overwrought ideas in season two. Instead, it was just fast-paced, exceedingly clever, and very, very funny.
The recurring gags lines varied from relatively light, such as Shirley's need to stuff everyone with her baked goods, to high drama, most notably Annie's purse gun shooting (and killing) Pierce in the darkest time line. The bits about Britta getting high in the bathroom, the attractiveness of the pizza delivery guy, and Troy's hysterical fear of the troll doll went in ever-shifting directions, and were given more or less weight depending on the circumstances. Considering how quickly everything moved and changed, it was admirable how the emotional beats were kept consistent throughout the running time. Annie and Jeff continued to test out their mutual attraction and be thwarted by the age difference ("Make out 101: Less Dad Talk"), Troy and Britta's friendship deepened, and Pierce was able put aside this jealousy of Abed stealing his roommate away. Or at least, that is what happened in the "nicer" time lines; others ranged from the usual sniping and backbiting to a complete mental and physical breakdown of the entire group.
In the end, who was the person that caused the best outcome for everyone? It was Jeff, who brought the group together simply by leaving it. "Community" has been slowly building on the idea that Jeff is the anvil around everyone's necks, the person whose nasty, dismissive and condescending attitude is possibly the biggest damper on everyone's happiness. When he is around, there is chaos; when he is not, there is a harmonious group sing-along to "Roxanne" by The Police. In passing, Annie mentioned karma, and that is definitely not something Jeff can escape for long.
- Trobed is my new favorite name mash up.
- Indiana Jones and the Apartment of Perpetual Virginity would probably have been a better movie than that last one.
- "Chop busted, fellow adult."
- "Clearly, you don't know anything about defeating trolls."
It's official: Yet another name is entering the talk show ring
Ten NBC-owned stations have picked up "Steve Harvey" for fall 2012. Harvey's relationship-centered, one-hour show will face heavy competition in the crowded daytime scene, but as previously reported, the confident star and producer considers his syndicated talker a triple threat.
"I think it's an interesting angle to have a guy in daytime television who's actually built his platform around not only being funny, but also being empowering and insightful for women," said the TV personality, comedian, radio show host and best-selling author. "I hope to offer women an interesting take on a lot of different things from the male perspective, and I also want to be empowering to people and give them great information. It's a triple threat combination."
Bing: More about Steve Harvey
With Katie Couric's "Katie" landing on ABC at the same time and Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake and Bethenny Frankel also hoping to find homes in daytime, Harvey will need every tool in his arsenal to make his show a hit.
As of now, "Steve Harvey" is set to jockey for viewers on WNBC New York, KNBC Los Angeles, WMAQ Chicago, WCAU Philadelphia, KNTV San Francisco, KXAS Dallas, WRC Washington D.C., WTVJ Miami, KNSD San Diego and WVIT Hartford.
"Steve Harvey has consistently entertained viewers and attracted audiences," said Valari Staab, President of the NBC Owned Television Stations in a statement. "As part of the investment we're making in our 10 stations, we're working hard to offer our viewers the strongest daytime lineup possible. Steve Harvey is a welcome addition to our schedule."
"Steve Harvey" is set to premiere in syndication fall 2012.
Would you buy lunch from this host?
Breaking into daytime TV has been a whole new game for Anderson Cooper, and the change up has inspired the newsman to try other new things. "Anderson" viewers have been sending in their suggestions and today's brave new world for Cooper was the food service industry.
Bing: More about Anderson Cooper
Cooper first kicked off his exploration by braving his food fears and sampling spinach, coffee and Brussels sprouts. Today, he upped the ante, clocking in at a local Boston Market restaurant in New York, where he found what it's like to serve up some of his fave dishes, which meant learning how to use those confounded tongs (pictured above). He also tried his hand at taking customer orders, doling out mashed potatoes and other sides and wrapping up To-Go orders -- and from the looks of it, he was no natural!
The day of service episode has no airdate yet, so stay tuned to find out when you can hear, "Hi, I'm Anderson. Can I take your order?"
In the meantime, "Anderson" is still taking ideas for places he should go, activities he should try, food he should taste, people he should meet and more, and Cooper is even willing to join viewers as they face their own fears. Visit the official "Anderson" website to get in on it.
"Anderson" airs weekdays in syndication. Check local listings.
Season 3 plotline creating online furor
"Glee" isn't what some adoption advocates are full of. They're upset at a plotline hatched on the Sept. 27th episode, which had teen cheerleader Quinn (Dianna Agron) vowing to snatch her baby daughter back after giving her up for adoption.
So far, 835 have signed a change.org petition posted by adoptive mother Amber Austin. According to the petition, Quinn is "actively (and with malice)" trying to get her baby back from Shelby (Idina Menzel), the birth mother of Glee club member Rachel (Lea Michele). Here's the episode, if you missed it ...
The petition also objects to how Rachel deals with the sudden reappearance of her birth mother.
"A birth mother cannot simply take a child away from their family or pop back into a child's life," reads the petition, which declares that the series "perpetuates myths about adoption that harm adopted children, adoptive parents, and birth parents alike."
Austin and the petitioners demand that "Glee" and its studio, FOX, produce a public service announcement clarifying their misrepresentation.
I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. However, I prescribe a 5 milligram chill pill for Austin et al. While their concerns are valid, Quinn's desire to reclaim her baby doesn't mean the writers will let her get away with it.
This may all be part of her Lohan-esque descent from a goodie-goodie two years ago to a pink-haired, noseringed, tramp-stamped Skank.
That's the actual name of her girl gang; please don't petition me.
Tonight Oprah Winfrey officially makes her return to TV -- but is it too little too late?
NBC buys Barr's second bid for sitcom stardom
Now we know why Roseanne Barr didn't seem too bummed about the cancellation of her Lifetime reality show last month.
According to Deadline, NBC has ordered a pilot for a new sitcom from the beloved comedienne. If the show makes it, it will mark Barr's first time in prime time since "Roseanne" left the air in 1997.
"Roseanne" celebrated life on the lower end of middle-class. And her new sitcom aims even lower on that spectrum. Co-created by Barr with her boyfriend, Johnny Argent, and showrunner Eric Gillilan, "Downwardly Mobile" will dwell on one family's life in a mobile home park.
If I were cynical, I would suspect NBC of operating on a phenomenon known to poker players as "tilt," wherein a past oversight has undue current influence. (NBC had first crack at "Roseanne" in 1987 but passed. ABC got rich instead.)
It's a good thing I'm not cynical.
First Lady Michelle Obama jump-ropes onto 'Today'
First Lady Michelle Obama is setting off a worldwide effort to earn the Guinness World Record for most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period on Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday, she's coming to "Today," and we can bet she'll be talking childhood obesity and health. Another bigwig headed to daytime this week is Box Office King Hugh Jackman. Plus, with more fall premieres ahead, primetime faves are still working the daytime talk circuit, along with Joe Jonas, Evan Rachel Wood, Taylor Swift, Jewel, Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Liza Minnelli, Keith Urban, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Bernadette Peters and more.
Here's the lowdown on who's talking where the week of Oct. 10-14. (Schedules subject to change.):
"Live! With Regis & Kelly"
Mon: Evan Rachel Wood, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, guest co-host Larry the Cable Guy
Tues: Dylan McDermott, Anna Torv, guest co-host Katie Couric
Wed: Chace Crawford, Jewel, guest co-host Michael Strahan
Thurs: Taylor Swift, Lauren Alaina, guest co-host Jerry O'Connell
Fri: David Boreanaz, Zachary Quinto, guest co-host Mark Feuerstein
Bing: Watch clips and episodes of 'Ellen Show'
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
Mon: Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson
Tues: Liza Minnelli, Keith Urban
Wed: Glen Campbell, Ellen Pompeo
Thurs: Kate Walsh, Adam Scott
Fri: Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Mon: Tim Allen
Tues: Hank Williams, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Bernadette Peters
Wed: Dr. Mehmet Oz
Thurs: Stephen Lang, the latest "Dancing with the Stars" castoff
Fri: Gayle King, Lisa Ling
"The Rachael Ray Show"
Mon: Shaun White, Debby Ryan
Tues: Kim Kardashian
Wed: Rachel Bilson
Thurs: "Guess the Guest!"
Fri: Hugh Jackman
Mon: Lily Cheryl Hines, Kirsten Vangsness, Parvati Shallow
Tues: Jaclyn Smith, Foreigner
Wed: Jerry Springer, Marcela Valladolid
Thurs: Pauley Perrette, Il Volo
Fri: David Arquette, Duff Goldman
Mon: Todd English, The Scotto family, Michael and Gina Spehn (“The Color of Rain”)
Tues: Paula Deen, Michael Starr (“Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story”
Wed: Linda Evans, First Lady Michelle Obama, Martha Stewart , Jenna Wolfe. (9-11 a.m.): Dule Hill & James Roday, Jewel performs in studio
Thurs: Jenna Bush Hager, Harry Belafonte (10-11 a.m.): Anthony Mackie
Fri: Chris Kimball, Virginia Breen ( “I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice")
"The Wendy Williams Show"
Mon: Joe Jonas, Rachel Zalis
Tues: Malcolm Jamal Warner, the latest "Biggest Loser" castoff, Rev. Al Sharpton
Wed: Robbie Montgomery
Thurs: Simon Cowell, Tracy Dimarco, Olivia Blois Sharpe, Gigi Liscio
Fri: Al Roker, Anthony Mackie, Katrina Szish
An exciting – and shocking – season finale
"I go, and it is done. The bell invites me." – Shakespeare's Macbeth
It has been a slow build to the last few seconds of tonight's enthralling, almost unbearably tense episode of "Breaking Bad". Everything fell into place for once, with no last minute bait and switch, no surprise inspection from the DEA, no stray bullets hitting anything that they weren't supposed to hit. The epic showdown between Walter White and Gus Fring took place in a drab nursing home, but with an appropriately spectacular death scene for the Chicken Man. Walt and Jesse are partners again, working in perfect synchronized unison to get rid of the super lab and evidence of all their latest crimes. And Skyler, Junior and Holly, not to mention Hank, are safe once again. But then comes that seemingly innocuous backyard shot, and the full scope of the immoral hell that Walter has descended into becomes horrifyingly clear.
Look, there are going to be lots of arguments about how Walt managed to orchestrate this entire plot (as well as the wisdom of keeping the audience in the dark, which is unusual for this show). My biggest problems have to do with just how he transported the poison to Brock and got him to ingest it, and how much Walt relied on Jesse finding the missing cigarette at precisely the right time and reacting in precisely the right way that Walter needed him to. Vince Gilligan has already confirmed that Huell did indeed lift the ricin cigarette off of Jesse when he patted him down at Saul's office, and I have no doubt they will expand on the details of what happened in the final sixteen episodes. But for now, it is enough to ruminate on what I am decidedly NOT questioning: that Walter White, former high school chemistry teacher, cancer survivor and devoted family man, is fully capable of killing an innocent child to protect himself from harm. The fact that Brock did not die is pure luck, and Walt's relief at this is obviously sincere. But if the outcome had been different…well, apparently he was going to be fine with that. The point was his final line: "I won." Just how long is he going to be satisfied with the status quo? And what happens when the next person in his way isn't a criminal mastermind like Gus? What if it is someone like Steve Gomez or his own brother-in-law? And what happens if (when) Jesse finds out about everything that his buddy Heisenberg has done to the people that he loves? It won't be pretty, to say the least.
There was over an hour of some truly great television before that final reveal, and it ranged from the blackly comic shakedown between Walt and Saul's secretary (I love that it is the people with the least amount of power who always mess up his grand plans) to Gus's aggressive march into Casa Tranquilla for his final confrontation with Tio. And what a fantastic final send-off for Giancarlo Esposito – literally dying on his feet, mangled but meticulous and dignified to the very end. It certainly isn't the end of the meth trade in New Mexico, but it was a fitting ending for this chapter in the life of Walter White. His world is wide open now and it is frightening to contemplate what we are in for in the future.