MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz

‘Crossroads’ brings a questionable triumph to the former champion.

By Miss Sarah Jo Feb 22, 2011 11:39PM

Stacy Keach, Holt McCallany“I just like to punch people” – Patrick “Lights” Leary


There was a lot of irrational exuberance running through tonight’s episode.  Johnny and Lights had a meaningful talk and managed a reconciliation, Daniella unburdened herself to her Aunt Margaret and made her peace with her father’s renewed presence in the ring, and Theresa is firmly back in her husband’s corner, cheering him on and making out with him like a teenager. And, most important, Lights (and his father) whipped himself back into amazing shape and knocked out the scariest fighter in the world. Everything’s coming up roses and lollipops right?

 

Except it doesn’t seem remotely possible that Morales didn’t throw this fight.

 

The most glaring evidence is the startling turnabout in the second round.  Although Lights is in the best shape he could possibly be in, he is clearly overmatched for the entire first round. Morales is fighting dirty with punches to the groin, head butts and whaps to the back of the head. It’s true that when Patrick locks eyes with his “good luck charm” Theresa, he regains focus and steps up to give out some fast punches. But the shocking change in fortune as Morales quickly folds just isn’t plausible.  It seems clear that Pops Leary is aware of something wrong, although he won’t hurt Patrick’s pride by raising the issue. And the writers have done too good of a job of showcasing “El Diablo” as extremely dangerous, but also a cartoonish and posturing egotist. Unlike Patrick, there is nothing in his character to suggest that he possesses any integrity or true passion for the sport. Since the clear goal of Brennan and Word (the real power brokers) is the rematch between Lights and Reynolds, it would make perfect sense to pay off Morales as a stepping stone to the inevitable bout.  Maybe I’m wrong? We’ll see.

 

Still, it was uplifting to see the champ really act like “The Champ”.  Holt McCallany didn’t just look like he lost all that weight, he seemed more buoyant and less oppressed than ever before. Like Johnny said to him, “The closer you get to the ring, all this other crap is going to fade away.” Unfortunately, there is no doubt lots more crap will be coming his way.

  • “I’ll give you fifty dollars right now if you go to hell.” Stacy Keach is the master of the deadpan.
  • Barry really knows his Shakespeare. Othello and Iago is an easy one, but Beatrice and Benedict? That might be a stretch.
  • If it wasn’t clear by now how Johnny keeps working his way back into his loved ones’ good graces, that heartfelt pep talk while he kneaded Patrick’s hands was a clear indicator.
 

A superb villain takes center stage in ‘Gillis, Chase and Babyface’

By Miss Sarah Jo Feb 22, 2011 9:52PM

Jason Clarke (standing), Matt Laura (foreground)Sometimes it’s fun to watch the bad guys get one over on the good guys. Naturally, it’s only really fun if the stakes are still low enough to be generally entertaining, and it is still early days for “The Chicago Code” and its central plotline of political corruption vs. crusading cops.  Obviously, it was only a momentary setback, but Delroy Lindo as the now clearly evil-with-a-capital-E Alderman Gibbons made the most of his series of triumphs over greedy construction boss Killian, sleazy chief-of-staff Hampton, and particularly with overreaching Superintendent Colvin.  No wonder she reacts with an office trashing tantrum, and a hardened resolve to bring him down.


It isn’t just the big civilian bosses who are lining up against our little band of do-gooders; the other cops’ resentment of Colvin’s purging of the rank and file has spilled over to Wysocki and actually puts his (and Evers’) lives in danger.  A heavy-handed tactic at best, but it is putting an interesting spin on the relationship between the new partners.  Caleb is definitely looking to fast track his career, as he boldly admitted early on. But can he really find that boost with Jarek, who is fiercely dedicated but also a developing pariah within the department?


The show still seems to be taking shortcuts with interaction of the police officers, particularly with our undercover man Liam. It’s possible I missed something, but it isn’t clear what or who he is pretending to be in order to hang out with the Irish mobsters at the pub, and he seems to excitedly ring up Jarek (“I’ve got something for you!”) every time one of the guys looks at him cross-eyed.  How long before even the thickest Celtic thug is going to figure out where all the intelligence is coming from? Naturally, Liam has had a target on his back since the pilot, but the suspension of disbelief is stretched fairly thin.  But when ever it gets to be too much to swallow, there is another fantastic shot of the city skyline or a kinetic chase on an elevated train to distract us.  Not too bad a trade. 

When Rachel Berry throws a house party, the 'Glee' gang gets down and dirty

By Sona Charaipotra Feb 22, 2011 1:34PM

Photo courtesy FOXIf you've been watching 'Glee' since its post-Superbowl return earlier this month, you know that the show has had some people wondering whether, two seasons in, it's already jumped the shark.

Well, this week's episode, in which uptight Rachel Berry watches her house get, uh, slushied, let's say, by the 'Glee' gang and friends, should seal the deal either way. It's alcohol awareness week, and what better way to celebrate than to get sloshed and take down Rachel's house (her gay dads are on Rosie O'Donnell cruise, and hence, deserve the disaster)? Santittany and Artcedes promise to make an appearance -- and rumor has it there's a lesbian liplock in store -- not to mention some angst for our favorite fashionista Kurt when an out-of-hand game of Spin the Bottle leads to a kiss between Rachel and Kurt's crush Blaine. 
 

 

As for the music, Heather Morris's Brittany rocks it out to the Ke$ha track "Tik Tok," and Lea Michele and Darren Criss -- apparently inspired by their kiss -- take on "Don't You Want Me" by Human League. That's not all, folks: Matt Morrison's Will Schuester finally hooks up with Coach Bieste -- on a duet, naturally. That's right, Dot-Marie Jones finally gets in on the song-and-dance action.

 

The Oscar-nodded actress heads back to TV as a suburban single-mom turned private eye

By Sona Charaipotra Feb 22, 2011 1:09PM

Photo courtesy FX/In another major TV casting coup, Emmy and Oscar-nodded actress Minnie Driver is set to make a splashy return to television in the CBS pilot "Hail Mary," three years after warping the FX drama "The Riches."

 

Bing: More about Minnie Driver

In "Mary," Driver would play a suburban single mother-turned-private eye who pairs up with a street hustler to unravel Atlanta-area crimes. The show will be exec produced by "L Word" co-creator Ilene Chaiken and Joel Silver (whose recent TV production credits include "Veronica Mars" and "Moonlight"), and Brad Silberling ("Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Land of the Lost") is on board to direct, but Driver's partner in crime-solving has yet to be cast.

Former movie star Driver has been struggling in her film career (her latest two, "Conviction" and "Motherhood," have yet to recoup their relatively small budgets), but TV has always welcomed her with open arms. Last seen in a guest turn on "Modern Family," she starred last year in the BBC mini-series "The Deep," and had a fun run on "Will & Grace" pre-"Riches." 


The show is described as a drama, and Driver definitely has the chops, but given her stellar comedic timing on "Will & Grace" and "Modern Family," we hope she'll get to rock a few lighter moments here and there.

 

The '24' star is in talks to star in 'Heroes' creator's next show

By Sona Charaipotra Feb 18, 2011 12:33PM
Photo courtesy FOX
Looks like Anne Weschling is not the only "24" alum headed back to TV this fall.

Deadline.com is reporting that busy boy Kiefer Sutherland himself is in talks to star in "Touch," a drama by "Heroes" creator Tim Kring that has landed at FOX.

Sutherland would play a dad who discovers that his mute, autistic son is clairvoyant. This would be a quick return to TV for the Emmy-winning action hero, may run into trouble because he's currently starring in Broadway's revival of the Jason Miller play "That Championship Season," which opened last week and has a yet undetermined run.  

Movie star Sutherland ("A Time To Kill," "Phone Booth," "Taking Lives") also has several big screen projects in the works, including a film adaptation of "24," which he has been developing with Imagine Entertainment and plans to produce later this year, despite the fact that the project was rejected by show producer 20th Century FOX. "It's a very difficult thing to take something you've done for eight years, almost 200 episodes, and try to find a story that's going to be unique and yet service the story that's going to be unique and yet service the history of the show as well," Sutherland told "Extra" in January. "That's to be expected." 

 

‘Media Blitz’ is a showcase for Adam Scott’s comedy chops.

By Miss Sarah Jo Feb 18, 2011 1:06AM
Everyone has heard the aphorism that people are more afraid of public speaking than dying. Usually, we just power through, maybe making a few small gaffs that we can laugh about later with friends.  But where’s the comedy in that? No, the comedy is in the meltdown, the crash-and-burn, the complete and utter nervous collapse.  And Adam Scott delivers a winner.


Actually, he does it twice.  Stammering inarticulately through a radio interview with Pawnee’s aptly named Ira & The Douche, who ambush him with his past as a teenage mayor, starts the ball rolling.  As Tom says, “Was that your first time talking to other people? Cuz it came off that way”. Then it is on to “Ya Heard? With Perd”, where his antics include describing feeling up his prom date and showing off his stomach scar.  Leslie manages to save the day on Joan Callamezzo’s talk show, despite the hilariously pointed name captions (“Ben Wyatt: Human Disaster”). 

 

Meanwhile, April puts Andy through the (highly amusing) wringer, telling him she might not move to Indianapolis if, for a month, he does everything she hates doing. Of course, Andy gets through the day with his usual unstoppable good cheer, even as he massages all the repulsive feet in the office. It’s possible April would have kept on exploiting his crush indefinitely until Ron dropped some fishing-related wisdom on her (continuing Ron’s fatherly attitude to both April and Andy is a great choice for everyone). So if April is not moving to Indianapolis, maybe Ann Perkins can work it out with Chris. Even if he does make a lot of disgusting tea.

  • Words Ron Swanson knows: Rectangle. America. Megaphone. Monday. Butthole.
  • Where Ron Swanson shops: Electronic Bay Dot Com.
  • “But if he wants to take my dumb sister to her dumb dance class, then I’m not going to dumb stop him.”
  • Amy Poehler saying “The Douche” makes me laugh out loud.
  • Andy’s grandmother is actually her grandfather (and a man) and his name is not Gizmo. Good to know.
  • Caller from "Douche Nation" is just douching over in Eagleton. (Like you do).
  • “I want to define your Bagua.”
  • Leslie’s face scrunches as she dug deeper in with the newspaper reporter spoke volumes (“We’re colleagues with benefits.”)
  • “It does look sad, kind of. Sorry for stepping on you, floor.”
  • Select ramblings of Ben Wyatt: “Who hasn’t had gay thoughts? Who?” “Is there a bird in here?” “The funny…um..when…I guess…the fortunate…um…can we just…sort of…”
 

‘Pipeline Fever’ brings lots of banter between the two best super-spies.

By Miss Sarah Jo Feb 17, 2011 11:48PM

Can animated series have bottle episodes? Strictly speaking, it took place on another location (the Louisiana bayou) and it involved expensive set pieces (an airboat, a wounded alligator), but it focused almost exclusively on Archer and Lana, with only occasional flashes of the office folk back at ISIS. Good thing they don’t worry about “budgets” in the same way as live-action.


Truly, there were some bordering-on-deep moments, as Lana prodded Archer to reveal his three biggest fears: alligators, crocodiles and brain aneurysms (which are particularly terrifying because they can happen anywhere at anytime).  There was an origin story of sorts for Lana: apparently, she was close to dousing a fur-clad Malory with a bucket of red paint, before impressing her by ignoring the Magnum that Malory trains on her Afro-ed head. Our little ex-lovebirds (seemingly) inched closer to reconciliation before (thankfully) pulling back with Lana abandoning Archer on the pipeline platform for a date with the honey-voiced eco-terrorist. Like you do.


The bits about Malory trying to turn the ISIS office “green” were mostly tossed-off gags, but we did learn new information – Kreiger is growing his own mutant clones in the lab, the ladies have never told Pam about the women’s bathroom due to her severe intestinal issues, and Canadian light bulbs are stupid.  Good times.

  • My favorite visual gag: Pam pouring the dead batteries down the garbage disposal.
  • “It really is an emergency!”  “Of an awesome and ass-kicking nature!”
  • Duh duh duh duh duh = shut up.
  • “Whichever Hepburn; she was the queen.”
  • “Stop..”  “What? Gator?” “…. talking, but I do really wish there was a gator.”
  • “Look at me, chopping ice for a Tom Collins like a field hand.”
  • Of course, Archer doesn’t care about the Lorax. Putz.
  • “Burt Reynolds is my spirit guide.”
  • “Yes, ruiner of explanations! I was building to that, but yes.”
  • “I hope an alligator attacks you at the exact moment you have a brain aneurysm.”
  • “Why do I have to carry the toilets?” “YOU KNOW WHY.”
  • “Also, yes.”
 

‘Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking’ exposes the best and worst of the study group.

By Miss Sarah Jo Feb 17, 2011 11:48PM

Just how far are they are going to take the idea of Pierce as possibly the worst person at Greendale College? Last week, I said that I hoped they would complete this arc as soon as possible, but it is looking less like a story about a cranky and annoying old man whose addiction to painkillers pushed him over the edge into extreme behavior, and more like a complete personality transformation to Satan Incarnate. Entitled, selfish oafs are a staple of sitcoms, but not many of them can bounce back from the kind of cruel and mean-spirited behavior that Pierce exhibits in this episode. Although the ending seems to suggest that the gang has forgiven him, it also seemed that way in the last three episodes. I can appreciate and even admire that Dan Harmon keeps a consistent character through-line for everyone, that the show has the patience to build believable well-rounded characters over time and actions have consequences that don’t just drop out at the end of each half-hour.  But when the audience is actively rooting for the rest of the group to shun Pierce forever and move on….well, maybe that is what needs to happen. Not that it will, but it isn’t clear how this can resolve in any satisfying way.


However, a welcome side effect of that deep and steady characterization is that so many moments are hilarious and still grounded in the truth – Jeff’s freak-out about possibly meeting his father being the case in point. It is pretty rare for Joel McHale to get to show off his (considerable) acting chops but this was marvelous showcase for him; the barely repressed rage in his “Uh-huh” on the phone was stellar.  And we still got one of the funniest Britta/Jeff scenes; these two are delightful when they just bug the hell out of each other (“What do I know? I’m Jeff Winger’s big gay dad!”).  Britta’s dark night of the soul about whether to give away Pierce’s blank check to charity or keep it for herself came directly from what we know about her self-righteous personality (“It’s not that I’m selfish. It’s just that I’m really stupid with my money!”).  Despite being my least favorite character possibly ever, Chevy Chase was at his best tonight.  Everything from the fake dad phone call (“No, don’t come closer! As you were. Well, I have to catch a flight to Katmandu..”) to his interaction with Britta (or “Death”) was funny.


Best of all: Troy met LeVar Burton.  It did not go well. At least, it wasn’t Gregory Hines all over again.