MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz

‘Stage Two’: Here’s to family. I guess.

By Miss Sarah Jo Mar 17, 2011 9:31PM

Did I mention I have cancer?It has been made clear that “Archer” features some of the best comedic voice acting in the business.  Although the actors record their parts separately (I assume), the lines still bounce off each other with crackerjack timing in every scene. But who knew they could also actually express some serious emotion? Well, at least a (very very VERY) little bit.

Sterling Archer has breast cancer. Or maybe he doesn’t. Either way, he actually transformed himself ever so slightly into the nicest version of himself that it was possible to be. He spends quality time with the wee baby Seamus, and gets them both matching tattoos. He had kind words for Woodhouse, but he still steals his long-suffering butler’s prepaid trip to Vegas. He tells Lana he loves her, but somehow manages to still be a dick to her in the cold light of day. He bestows “mid-range” Scotch on Cyril, while still letting him take the fall for Sterling’s misadventures in Sin City. Best of all, he actually has a mother/son heart-to-heart talk with Malory. A self-pitying, drunken, whiny talk, but still - baby steps.

  • “If I cared about what you do on the weekend, I’d stick a shotgun in my mouth and pull the trigger with my toes.”
  • “It’s just like when the barn flooded in real life, only tiny and sweet.”
  • “Thanks, I’ll let you know if I need a hybrid pig-boy.”
  • “Damn her piggy little eyes.” “Ah, Pigly.”
  • “Good God, you’d think he was half-fainting goat.” “Ah, Goatly.”
  • “Looking for this? Or perhaps the lead container I probably should have left it in?”
  • “So wait. There’s good cholesterol?”
  • “Really? To both statements.”
  • I would also like to know what the wee baby Seamus is into.
  • “Why are you dressed like a…tout?”
  • “Oh, you gotta go. It’s ama…zing, I hear, but I’ve never been.”
  • “Lana, I’m in love with you.” “You are also shit-faced.” “I can be both.”
  • It’s easy to get excited about bear claws. (Growwr.)
  • “This is so boring and forever-taking!”
  • The whole doctor gag had to be a callback to Jessica Walters’ previous job “Arrested Development”, right?
  • “There’s radiation treatment, there’s chemotherapy, there’s…well, I think just those two things.”
  •  “I’m kind of making peace with my loved ones right now. Plus some other people.”
  • “Totally cancer free! Again!”
  • “Not a new person.”

Scoop from the Paleyfest panel reveals new romances, guest stars galore and Sue Sylvester's 'trifecta of doom'

By Sona Charaipotra Mar 17, 2011 10:54AM
Photo courtesy FOX
Hey Gleeks, have we got some scoop for you. The "Glee" gang chatted about the rest of Season 2 -- and shared some news about what we can expect from Season 3 -- at Paleyfest in Los Angeles yesterday. Here are the highlights:
  • The love triangle between Rachel, Finn and Quinn is a major plot point for the rest of the season (six new episodes start April 19). 
  • After a bit of a break, Sue Sylvester's back up to her old tricks, pulling together her "League of Doom" to take down Will Schuester and the glee club gang. Her "trifecta of evil" consists of Will's ex-wife Terri Schuester, former McKinley glee club director Sandy Ryerson and Vocal Adrenaline coach Dustin Goolsby. 
  • Kristin Chenoweth will be back as drunkard April Rhodes -- and she'll be doing a "Glee" original track, "It's 10 A.M., I'm Drunk," as part of a one-woman show called "Crossroads."
  • Will Schuester's new love interest, Gwyneth Paltrow's Holly Holiday, makes a return, too, after the show's four-week hiatus. "Gwyneth is sort of the muse of the show," creator Ryan Murphy said. "She's somebody I write to on weekends and say, 'What do you think of this for an episode, even if you're not in it?' She has opinions. She's great." 
  • Broadway actor Cheyenne Jackson comes back as Dustin Goolsby, the director of competing choir Vocal Adrenaline (replacing Idina Menzel's character). Charice's character Sunshine will be back as that choir's star for the last six episodes of the season -- all of which put the focus on New Directions' journey to Nationals. 
  • Kurt and Blaine's budding relationship gets major play as the pair head to the prom! "That storyline is ripped from the headlines," creator Murphy told TVLine. "Can you imagine two boys wanting to go to prom in Ohio?" Eventually, the pair end up going long distance when Kurt heads back to McKinley High. But that's not all! Next season, Blaine ditches the Warblers and Dalton Academy to audition for New Directions! Expect loads of tension there, because he's used to being the star at his all-boys school. And we know New Directions already has its fair share of divas.
  • Santana, too, deals with her conflicted sexuality -- but it's unlikely she'll be reigniting her relationship with BFF Brittany, who's still with Artie. 
  • The bullying storyline is revisited in the upcoming "Born This Way" episode.
  • Mercedes will finally find romance -- and it's coming to us via the "Glee" casting reality show on Oxygen. 
  • The next themed episode will be centered on a single album -- the classic "Rumors" by Fleetwood Mac. 
So what do you think of the new directions "Glee" will be taking in the back six (starting April 19) and for next season? 

An enjoyable episode that was a far cry from a ‘Blaze of Glory’

By Miss Sarah Jo Mar 16, 2011 10:27PM

Walton Goggins, Nick Searcy“You know we’re gonna have to talk about it…sooner or later?” -  Raylan Givens

It is nice to have a breather once in a while. After all, “Justified” is only halfway through a stellar second season, and they have time to build up the stakes in the dual master-plots for Boyd Crowder and the Bennetts. So taking a break for a lighthearted pair of stories about a spontaneous theft by Winona and a geriatric bank robber with emphysema was actually pretty agreeable.


Winona’s spontaneous lifting of a bill from the evidence room did strain credulity somewhat, although the writers (and Natalie Zea) did a good job portraying this as an out-of-character act, which was almost immediately regretted.  She is jittery, conflicted and confused, with a dumbbell (estranged) husband screwing up their finances and a handsome but taciturn ex-husband sleeping in her bed. Maybe this is the point in her life where she acts rashly.  She is just lucky Raylan thinks calmly under pressure and can lift the money back from Art after it makes its way into the stash of a crew of bank robbers.


And what a crew they were – Dopey, Nasty, and Wheezy.  In the show’s Elmore Leonard universe, the peculiar characters and their knotty back-stories are more important than the shoot-outs or other action set pieces.  So it figured that Frank (Wheezy) would threaten and attack Carter (Nasty), only to maneuver both him and Bobby (Dopey) into getting arrested while he took off with the money.  As well as being a clever and twisty case of the week, it was also a showcase for the gruff charm of Nick Searcy as Art Mullen. His extended confrontation with Frank at the airstrip, ending in the most hilarious “chase” in the history of cop/bad guy chases, was simultaneously funny and unexpectedly touching, with both Searcy and Scott Wilson underplaying two aging men’s rueful regrets perfectly.  It is always a welcome treat to take a break with all of these people.

  • Just a little bit of Boyd to wrap up the mine robbery; it appears he will get away with it, but he will also definitely have Raylan sniffing around something fierce.
  • Boyd and Ava, sitting in a tree……
  • Man, they are going out of their way to make Gary a real tool. An Arabian racehorse? Really? Dude.
  • “What am I, an asshole?” “No?”
  • “Clearly, you are the smart one.”
  • It was obviously not dynamite of course, but Raylan’s mighty punch and quip about road flares was pretty bad-ass.
  • “You remember the end of “Jaws”?

'Cut Men': Tough decisions need to be made as the series enters the final stretch

By Miss Sarah Jo Mar 15, 2011 9:53PM

Holt McCallany, Billy Brown“The train is leaving the station; if you can’t get on it, someone will take your place.” - Barry K. Word

In their essentials, people don’t change. As true as this statement may be, it is difficult to build a compelling television series around it.  “The Sopranos” made this its over-arching theme, but then again, “The Sopranos” is one of the greatest achievements in television history.  By bringing Patrick Leary back into bed with all the criminals (half-way and full-blown) that he thought he had left behind, “Lights Out” shows the inherent limitations of staying true to that subtext.


It probably wouldn’t have been such a letdown if the last two episodes hadn’t had the incredible jolt of Eamonn Walker’s mesmerizing performance as Ed Romeo.  He took Lights right up to the precipice of transforming himself, before Ed’s psychosis and Lights’ fear pulled them both back.  It seems slightly unbelievable that Lights would be so forgiving to both Ed and Johnny for the injury that causes such chaos in his career, but maybe he learned that much Zen detachment from Mr. Romeo.


Who was it good to see again? Bill Irwin as Brennan, that’s who.  Honestly, from scene to scene, I can’t decide if he is the most manipulative, cold-blooded SOB in New Jersey, or if he actually has sincere feelings for the Leary clan (well, Margaret and Lights anyway).  Of course, he is looking to get a hefty piece of this fight – pulling strings behind the scenes with Barry and slyly feeding information about Lights’ assault on the dentist to Margaret. But he is also upfront and honest about the seamier side of the business, and about what needs to be done to get Lights in the ring in the best shape possible. And I’m still waiting to find out about that Morales fight.

  • The lack of consequences for some of these incidents is getting a bit ridiculous. “Some homeless guy” stabs Lights and there are no detectives or policemen or even a crime scene investigation outside the gym? Two grown men have a bloody brawl that ends in a dive through a plate-glass window and “they aren’t pressing charges”? Suspension of disbelief: activated.
  • Oh Johnny. Time to face that fact that your son is more of an “indoor kid.”
  • Reynolds is turning out to be more vulnerable and sensitive than someone nicknamed “Death Row” should really be.
  • The graduation bit was heavy-handed but still affecting, and it was good to see Theresa pissed off but holding it together.
  • So grapes help with healing; who knew?

Kristin Chenoweth, Scott Foley and Tom Sizemore among the big names booking pilots for fall

By Sona Charaipotra Mar 15, 2011 10:44AM
Photo courtesy ABCFrom Kristin Chenoweth to Scott Foley, some of your favorite stars are making a small screen comeback this fall. Here's the scoop.

Kristin Chenoweth: After stints on "Glee" and the short-lived but well-loved "Pushing Daisies," Kristin Chenoweth locks the role of Darlene on Darren Starr's ("Sex And the City") ABC drama "Good Christian Bitches," starring Leslie Bibb as Amanda, a newly-divorced mom who returns to her Texas roots to discover that middle age cliques aren't all that different from high school. Chenoweth plays the queen bitch, naturally. But no word yet on whether her character will also be a song-and-dance diva. 

Scott Foley: "Felicity" favorite -- and current "Grey's Anatomy" actor -- Scott Foley has locked the role of the Christine Lahti's cardiologist son on the CBS drama "The Doctor," though Lahti plays the titular physician. Created by Rina Mimoun ("Privleged" and "Everwood"), the show centers on an older doc who faces familial conflict when she joins her kids in a family practice.  

Wilmer Valderrama: The "That '70s Show" star -- who also headlines Disney's "Handy Manny" -- is set to star opposite Jason Isaacs in "Lone Star" creator Kyle Killen's NBC drama, REM, an "Inception"-esque action thriller. Valderrama plays outgoing Detective Richard Vega to Isaacs' Det. Mark Britten, a cop who discovers he's living in dual realities after a freak accident. 

Julie Benz: Like her "No Ordinary Family" costar Michael Chiklis (who locked the lead on the CBS comedy "Vince Uncensored"), Benz is hedging her bets and hoping to hit the ground running this fall on CBS's Susannah Gore supernatural doc drama, which stars Patrick Wilson as a cutthroat doc turned widower who learns lessons as his wife guides him from beyond the grave. Benz signed on to play Wilson's sister, a struggling single mom. Though both actors are still committed to "No Ordinary Family," the superhero drama is unlikely to score a second season pick-up. 

Tom Sizemore: Last seen on TV in the VH1 reality hit "Celeb Rehab," Sizemore ("Pearl Harbor," "Black Hawk Down") scores his first major lead in more than a decade with a role on FOX's Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day")/Ethan Hawke drama "Exit Strategy," about a team of five CIA operatives sent on a covert mission. 

Eric Roberts: Julia's big brother -- another "Celeb Rehab" alum -- stars in the ABC dance-centered drama "Grace," also featuring Debbie Allen and Abigail Spencer. Roberts will play professional dancer and philanderer Michael Grace, who is also the father of three daughters. 

Eddie Cibrian: The former "Third Watch" and "CSI: Miami" star -- and perhaps more famously, the guy LeAnn Rhimes was caught on camera cheating on her husband with -- has nabbed the lead in NBC's Brett Ratner ("Prison Break") and Brian Grazer ("24," "Arrested Development") drama pilot "Playboy," set in the Chicago club's 1960s heyday. Cibrian is set to play Nick Dalton, "the ultimate playboy," a Chicago lawyer and club Keyholder with ties to the mob. Rounding out the cast are Laura Benati, Naturi Naughton, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and David Krumholtz. 

‘Movie Star’: Hollywood invades the spy agency in a funny return to form.

By Miss Sarah Jo Mar 11, 2011 9:32PM

Now that’s more like it.  Delightfully absurd, with a solid satire of celebrity culture, “Movie Star” moved the ISIS gang right back into their bitchy, shallow and self-centered comfort zone. Featuring spot-on guest voice work from Rachael Harris, the episode had three funny stories that worked individually and interested cleverly at the end.


The invasion of dumb blond starlet Rona Thorne, who wants to shadow a secret agent for an upcoming movie role in “Disavowed”, inflames Archer and Lana’s rivalry, throws the office drones (Pam, Gillette and Carol/Cheryl) into a journal-stealing tizzy, and (most amusingly) pairs up Malory and Cyril as they rewrite the screenplay to be a “taut, sexy thriller”…with Malory as the star.  Each storyline had brilliant comedy set-pieces: H. Jon Benjamin’s priceless “Mee, mah, mah” noises as he wanders around the office after being temporarily deafened by Lana’s gunshots, the bizarre and hilarious story of Carol/Cheryl’s stalking and stabbing of college football star “Dick Sledge” (“He totally snuck up on me!”), and best of all, Malory’s horrifyingly racist vision of a spy thriller (“The forbidden love between Malory and Cassius is central to the plot!”). Of course, it turns out Rona is actually a second-generation sleeper Russian spy, and it all ends with a patented “Archer” anti-climactic wrap-up - Archer and Lana drugged and slumped over in a compromising position.  Can Rona be forgiven? Because having her back again would be….AMAAAAAZING!

  • “Do you know who you are?” “I DOOO.  I do I do I do I do…”
  • “Speaking of my body, and your body, and stiffness…”
  • “I maybe kinda slightly took it.” “Did you think it was meat?”
  • “Deaf people are gross.”
  • “She’s gonna wish I was never born!” “Just gonna softball it in like that?”
  • “Or those big steam-shovely scoops you call hands.”
  • “You do realize there’s a finite supply of Vaseline in the universe.”
  • “Type! Nerd.”
  • “Well, if your aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle.”
  • “We’ll calling it Mandingo 2: The Enslavening.”
  • “Come Krieger Bots! Avenge your fallen comrade!”
  • “What voice is that? Is it from Bullwinkle?”



With the two main leads cast, 'Circle' is becoming one to watch this fall

By Sona Charaipotra Mar 11, 2011 2:06PM
Photo courtesy HarperTeen
Call me a doofus, but the pilot I'm most excited about for the fall is "Vampire Diaries" producer Kevin Williamson's adaptation of another L.J. Smith teen book series, "The Secret Circle." It just brings out the fangirl in me.

And now that the two main leads are cast, we have something to start getting excited about. 

The show will center on new girl in town Cassie Blake, played by Britt Robertson, of the dearly departed CW sleeper "Life Unexpected." The teen finds herself the odd girl out in New Salem, Mass., a cape town with some seriously witchy history, as she tries to fit into a controlling clique that also happens to be a coven.

Thomas Dekker, formerly of "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," has just been cast as the male lead, boy-next-door Adam Conant, the oldest member of the coven and a love interest for Robertson's Cassie, despite the fact that he's long been linked to coven leader Diana Meade. 

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the cast takes shape -- and how far Williamson and co-creator Andrew Miller ("Nothing," "Ball & Chain") take the series from the book trilogy. Williamson and Jule Plec's take on "Vampire Diaries" has veered quite a bit from L.J. Smith's series, prompted the original trilogy's launch on to the bestseller list and even inspired additional books. And unlike "Diaries" tight-knit group, "Circle" has an expansive cast of characters that may need to be eliminated or combined. But the call went out for three other leads, good witch Diana, who befriends Cassie and is the third member of the love triangle with her and Adam, dangerous Faye Chamberlain and her friends-with-benefits pal Nick Armstrong, a bad boy who also takes a keen interest in Cassie. Can't wait to see how it all plays out! 

‘Cottonmouth’ hits an incredible high point for the F/X series

By Miss Sarah Jo Mar 9, 2011 11:34PM

Walton Goggins, Michael Mosley

Know thyself. 


Besides being good advice from the Greeks, the journey to fulfill this aphorism can be a very compelling story for television characters. Just recently, another top-notch cable series had one of the leads stating unequivocally “I’m the bad guy.” And so it is with the enigmatic, fascinating and ultimately poignant character of Boyd Crowder.


What is there to say about Walton Goggins’ performance?  He plays all of the different layers of Boyd with equal sincerity: cold-blooded murderer, gleeful born-again preacher, painfully betrayed son of a cruel father. The eerie calmness of his voice and demeanor in this season have masked a roiling riot of emotions, which erupted briefly when he dragged would-be robber Kyle from the window of his truck.  Although Boyd appeared suitably chastened by both Ava and Raylan, he decides to join in Kyle’s rather complicated scheme to rob the mine’s safe, which turns into a desperate series of improvisations to save his own life once he realizes Kyle and his co-horts are planning to kill him in the process.


All of which cumulates in Boyd’s final realization: he is an outlaw, a thief, and a criminal. Saying it out loud - “It’s who I am, Ava…as hard as I’ve been trying to pretend otherwise. Everybody else seems to know that but me” - seems to free up something inside him. It is unclear where he means to go with this newfound awareness (what is he asking Ava to do for him? How is he planning to escape and/or lie to the incoming police squadron?) But one thing is for sure – these choices will put him directly on the path to confront his old friend Raylan Givens somehow.


Every scene in “Cottonmouth” seemed to top the next, from the prison cell conversation with Dewey Crowe, to Arlo hilariously breaking his “tether” to try to give back $6,000 of the $20,000 that he owes to the Feds, to the taser battle between Raylan and the “Church of the Two-Stroke Jesus” founder.  The most affecting interaction was the understated, but deadly serious exchange between Raylan and Loretta.  He knows there is nothing he can do to remove her from the care of the Bennett cabal, but he can make sure she has a way out when the time comes.


Speaking of the Bennett family, did I mention Mags SMASHING her OWN SON’S hand with a BALL-PEEN HAMMER?  Saying that this woman has ice in her veins may be understating the case just a wee bit.   It is surely a sign of the stupidity of both Coover and Dickie that they went behind her back not only on the risky Oxycontin bus hijacking, but also the easily traceable trick of cashing the welfare checks of the man that they helped her poison.  Now that Raylan is decidedly hot on their trail, there is no telling what she is capable of doing.  Let’s hope Loretta keeps that cell phone close by her side.

  •  “What fruit did this touching new relationship bear?”
  • I have developed an overwhelming fondness for handsome and wonderfully sane Trooper Tom Bergen. Which of course means that now I’m afraid that Doyle will do him harm sometime before the end of this season.
  • “You’re like the hillbilly whisperer! Put you on Oprah.”
  • Department of Not Lying: “You will not die down in that hole, Kyle. You have my word on that.”
  • It is great how every episode has a moment where Raylan realizes how dangerous and powerful the Bennetts are; here it was seeing that Winston Baines would rather be tased in the mouth than give up any information on Coover cashing those checks.
  • Deadwood almun alert! Jim Beaver playing Shelby, who “will not easily part with company money.”
  • “I can see by your face you are somewhat troubled.”
  • “And I like Coover.”