There's only one outcome possible after Season 6 finale
In last night's electrifying Season 6 finale of "Dexter," Lois Lane finally discovered Clark Kent's secret identity. (Spoiler alert to DVR viewers: Bookmark this and come back after seeing the episode.)
While Lieutenant Deb's (Jennifer Carpenter) discovery of her brother, Dexter (Michael C. Hall), in the act of serial-offing sets up a minefield of possible outcomes, only one is possible dramatically.
The episode proved the final showdown for Dexter and the Doomsday Killer (Colin Hanks), with young Harrison (Evan and Luke Kruntchev) hanging in the balance. As if swimming to shore from the wreckage of a botched attempt on your life doesn't make for a bad enough day, Dexter soon realized Doomsday's intention to use his son as his final "sacrificial lamb." (Doomsday discovered Dexter's address -- and, by extension, the existence and whereabouts of his son -- from Dexter's wallet.)
Everything wrapped up nicely -- Dexter saved Harrison and exacted his vengeance -- until Deb walked into the kill room and "Dexter" painted itself into a corner.
As much as Hall and Carpenter will dread it -- being divorced in real life -- they are doomed to spend Season 7 as lovers and co-conspirators in Dexter's vigilante murders. I have no advance script knowledge, but there is no other possibility.
If Dexter kills Deb for the knowledge she now has, this will also kill any sympathy viewers have for Dexter, and prove a quick dramatic dead end to a series that supposedly has two more seasons in it. Likewise, if Deb honors her loyalty to career and arrests Dexter, the series is also kaput.
The road toward this eventuality was paved by the lecture given Deb last night by LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) at the site of Doomsday's final murder. Deb can be a great lieutenant, noted LaGuerta -- speaking entirely out of character, considering their recent animosity -- but only if she doesn't let herself be ruled by her emotions. And, as we all know from the last few "Dexter" episodes, Deb now has a deep-seated sexual desire for her non-biological sibling.
Adding to the predictability of the plot is the transparency of the writing. It's what perpetually keeps "Dexter" from transcending to, say, "Breaking Bad" brilliant. "Breaking Bad's" creators clearly plan out their story arcs at least a season in advance, if not more. So predicting individual plot elements -- other than the overriding requirement that Walt (Bryan Cranston) will break badder -- is a matter of random luck.
With "Dexter," a little detective work goes a long way. And last night's LaGuerta anomaly was nothing. For instance, it seems apparent that the writers didn't even know the finale until just before bringing Deb to a psychiatrist in Episode 8. Through these sessions emerged her love for Dexter, a left-field arc with absolutely no basis in previous episodes.
And was romantic love even necessary for Deb's loyalties to lean toward her cherished brother?
I'm not saying all this won't make for a highly dramatic and riveting Season 7 -- only that its main plot arc is predictable and, therefore, less than brilliant.
With Brody still at large and Carrie electro-shocked, we take a look at what lies ahead
Angelina Jolie gets personal, music is in the air
With the holiday fast approaching, you can expect a lot of repeats on the schedule, but these juicy celeb episodes just might warrant a second watch.
Schedules subject to change
Mon: Angelina Jolie and the cast from “In the Land of Blood and Honey"
Tues: Jane Fonda
Wed: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Hayden Church, Elle Fanning & more
Thurs: Dugan Smith and The Johnston family (achondroplasia dwarfs)
"Live! With Kelly"
Mon: Rooney Mara, "Disney On Ice" cast, Carley Roney, Lady Antebellum, guest co-host Mark Consuelos
Tue: Scarlett Johansson, the Radio City Rockettes, Joaquin Consuelos, Voca People, guest co-host Mark Consuelos
Wed: Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Connolly, Lauren Graham, the Swamp Brothers, guest co-host Seth Meyers (R)
Thurs: Aaron Eckhart, John Leguizam, James Marsden, guest co-host Andy Cohen (R)
Fri: Daniel Boulud, Lidia Bastianich, guest co-host Mark Consuelos (R)
Bing: Watch clips and episodes of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
Mon: Brad Pitt & Chris Pratt, Kelly Clarkson performs (R)
Tues: Luke Bryan, Melissa Mccarthy, Armie Hammer (R)
Wed: Ashton Kutcher (R)
Thurs: David Beckham, Maya Rudolph, Jane Lynch, Lady Antebellum performs (R)
Fri: Justin Bieber (R)
"The Rachael Ray Show"
Mon: Regis Philbin, Graffiti6 performs
Tues: Fitz & the Tantrums Perform
Wed: Céline Dion, Kristin Chenoweth (R)
Thurs: Sara Moulton, Julie Chen & Sara Gilbert
Fri: J.R. Martinez, Sunny Anderson, Clay Walker performs
Mon: Miranda Lambert, Allison Miller; Henry Winkler guest co-hosts
Tues: Jeremy Sisto, Carole King performs
Wed: Robin Wright, Melody Thomas Scott
Thurs: Jamie Oliver, Allison Krauss and Union Station band performs with Jerry Douglas
Fri: Margaret Cho, Ross Cassidy and Jeffrey Alan Marks
Mon (7-9 a.m.): Rooney Mara; Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton & Simon Pegg; Shaggy performs, (10-11 a.m.): Simon Pegg
Tues (7-9 a.m.): The Professionals, Giada DeLaurentiis, Carole King performs (10-11 a.m.): Stellan Skarsgard, Carole King performs
Wed (7-9 a.m.): Meryl Streep, Martha Stewart, Tony Bennett performs (10-11 a.m.): Tony Bennett performs
Thurs (7-9 a.m.): Jenna Bush Hager, The Fray performs (10-11 a.m.): The Fray performs
Fri (7-9 a.m.): Jenna Bush Hager, The Jersey Boys perform (10-11 a.m.): Michael Feinstein performs
Mon: Florence and the Machine performs
Tues: Fred Armisen, original cast of "A Christmas Story"
Wed: Chuck Nice, Scott Schwartz, Zack Ward
Thurs: Kenneth Branagh, Jim Caras
Fri: Meryl Streep, Phyllida Lloyd, Mario Cantone & Joey McIntyre perform
"The Wendy Williams Show"
Mon: Ralph Macchio (R)
Tues: Tyra Banks, Sean Paul (R)
Wed: Charlie Sheen (R)
Thurs: Patricia Heaton, Boyz II Men perform (R)
Fri: Star Jones, Dave Mizejewski (R)
Julie Berman & Dominic Zamprogna talk nuptials and behind-the-scenes shakeups
Dante and Lulu are back on track on "General Hospital" and now that Lulu's ready to get married, don't expect a long wait. In fact, if you miss the days leading up to Christmas, you'll miss their wedding! Julie Berman (Lulu) and Dominic Zamprogna Dante) preview Dante and Lulu's New York getaway, but can't make any promises about happily ever after -- or anything at all, for that matter. With "One Life to Live" exec producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati taking over the reins of "General Hospital," it's a whole new day in Port Charles, again.
Bing: Watch clips and episodes of 'General Hospital'
Lulu proposed to Dante on Friday, Dec. 16. Why the change of heart?
Berman: She realized all those things she was worried about are stupid to worry about. Why waste your time worrying about someone not being there for you [in the future] when you can have him in your life now? She told him she was wrong and is completely in love with him.
Zamprogna: Which is funny, because she wasn't acting like she was in love with him at all! She acted like she did not want to marry the guy, so he needed her to say that.
Was that behavior a defense mechanism?
Zamprogna: It was all that alcohol she was drinking! Who can make a good decision that drunk all the time?
Berman: No, it was just a tricky situation where she had to figure out her feelings quickly. Now, she's over it enough to deal with it.
Is she also over the drinking?
Berman: I don't know. It's still going on, but there's a lot of changes going on with our show and a lot of storylines on the canvas. I don't know what they're going to continue to pursue and what they're going to let go.
There was excitement over May's head writer shakeup, but what is it like to go through another round of changes so soon?
Zamprogna: I don't know if "exciting" is the word when the people who gave you your job are no longer there anymore, but that's business. It happens to actors and producers, alike. I loved Jill [Farren Phelps, outgoing exec producer] and I know Julie did too, so it's sad for us, but even Jill will tell you that she hopes the show is better for it and maybe these things need to happen in order for us to extend our run.
It must be crazy for you guys, with so much change happening both on your show and in daytime, in general.
Zamprogna: It is, but it's good. Our characters are in good places and the show is on its way too good places, so I think we're going to be fine.
Speaking of going places, let's talk about Dante and Lulu's New York City adventure, airing next week.
Zamprogna: Dante takes her there for a night out and it turns into something more. They go to Ground Zero and start talking about the future.
Berman: It brings up a lot of emotions, because Dante's character used to go there as a child and obviously, it rehashes the issue of losing a loved one to their work. It's good for them to have this conversation and it propels this spontaneous wedding.
Julie, last time we spoke you said all you wanted your huge soap wedding: Did this cut it?
Berman: It did! Now I can die happy. (laughs) Totally kidding, but it was perfect and sweet. I'm happy for the characters and I think fans will love the ceremony and all the sweet touches that make it personal to the characters.
And did you get your soap wedding dress?
Berman: She doesn't have a lot of time to buy something, so it was not quite my first choice of dress, but yes, and it was beautiful, sweet and perfect.
Zamprogna: We were surprised they weren't going to go for it in a bigger way with this wedding, but it worked out better this way. We have some unexpected guests show up and it's a small ceremony, but it gets a little crazy. It had a few fun, touching moments and I think everyone's going to like it. We did.
Going into 2012 as newlyweds, will they get to enjoy the proverbial honeymoon?
Berman: There's no actual honeymoon, but they're in a good place. No current drama. They're married, it's official and everyone knows. It's a nice place to be, but who knows how long that will last?
With so much darkness in Port Charles, is it nice to get to play lighter moments like this?
Zamprogna: It is if they're true. If it's contrived on either end of the scale, it's not awesome to play. That's why the wedding lingered for me. It was nicely done, and the fighting and darkness we've had in the weeks leading up to it was also more realistic. Dante and Lulu finally hashed it out. This is the first time they've been honest and faced true conflict that real couples face.
Berman: The audience would tire very quickly if we were happy all the time. What makes you want two characters together is seeing them overcome difficulty and having the struggle of, "Oh my gosh, I want them to be together and they're not!" You need that to fuel the fire.
There was a point where it seemed nothing could get between these two and then so much was thrown in their path.
Berman: I don't think they intended us to get married this quickly. I don't know for sure, but I think it was a last minute change in direction that they wrote this wedding in before the end of the year. A lot of that has to do with wanting to give fans what they want, and maybe it was also time for them to have some happiness and just get to the point.
Speaking of giving fans what they want, any update on you two having a fan event together?
Berman: Dominic's doing something with Chad [Duell (Michael)], but it's not in the cards for us right now.
Zamprogna: Julie secretly doesn't like me, so we can't do an event together.
Berman: Oh, now it's not a secret! Damn.
"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC.
Jeremy Sisto goes for Alicia Silverstone again
The implications have been translated below into "Clueless" speak for fans of the 1995 movie:
So guys, here's the 411: This time, Elton may finally get his Cher boinkfest. I mean, she can't still be playing hard to get. He's way more of a Baldwin and she's probably a full-on Monet by now.
According to the report, an "unusual line of work," performed by Silverstone's character, will cause a rift between Sisto's single dad and his best friend.
The episode, to air sometime in the new year, will mark the first series for Silverstone, 35, since NBC's shortlived "Miss Match" in 2003.
Like, phat, right?
"Suburgatory" airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
James Marsden and Denise Richards among those to expect when NBC sitcom returns in four weeks
Her father, her anonymity and her new career
Bing: Watch clips of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' | More about Paris Jackson
Back when Michael Jackson was hiding her from the world, Paris Jackson thought it was as strange as the rest of the world did.
"I’m like, 'This is stupid. Why am I wearing a mask?'" she admitted during her visit with DeGeneres, which she landed after Lindsay Lohan was a no-show. "But I kind of realized the older I got, like, he only tried to protect us, and he’d explain that to us, too.”
As odd as it seemed to walk around veiled in blankets and masks, the anonymity paid off when Paris joined the real world, leaving behind home-schooling to clock in as a student at Buckley School in Los Angeles.
Two years after her father's death, the 13-year-old even claims to have a "regular" childhood. "I'm treated the same," she told DeGeneres. "When I came to Buckley, they didn't know who I was. I was like, 'Yes, I've got a chance to be normal!'"
Paris, who was a bit shy when Oprah Winfrey first introduced the Jackson kids to the world in November of last year, appeared much more comfortable on "Ellen," which is good, considering she's planning to spend even more time in front of the camera.
Jackson's only daughter has landed the lead in the upcoming live action-animated film “Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys,” based on the young adult fantasy book series by Dennis H. Christen. The film, which will feature the voices of Larry King and Joey Fatone, has been a work in progress for years, but is getting renewed attention thanks to the Jackson name.
One can't help but think this sounds like the very thing her father was trying to avoid, but Paris told DeGeneres that Michael not only inspired her desire to act, but also helped her train.
It was his performance in "Moonwalker" which first gave her the itch. “I knew he could sing really well, but I didn’t know he could act. I saw that and I said, 'Wow, I want to be just like him,'" she revealed.
Her father seemed to approve. "We would do 'improv' together. He would give us little scenarios." Paris said. "He would say, ‘O.K., in this scene you’re going to cry,’ and I’d cry on the spot.”
When asked about the biggest lesson learned from her father, however, Paris kept her answer broad.
"He said, 'If I die tomorrow, always remember what I told you,'" she recounted. "And I took his advice, and I remembered everything he told me."
Paris Jackson's appearance on "Ellen" will air Wednesday, Dec 14, in syndication. Check local listings. If you miss the episode this afternoon, check back for an updated video.
See which actors, movies and television shows received nominations
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Silent film is taking over Hollywood's awards scene. The silent-era tale "The Artist" heads the Golden Globes with six nominations, among them best comedy or musical and acting honors for its French stars, Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo.
Tied for second-place in Thursday's nominations are the 1960s racial tale "The Help" and George Clooney's Hawaiian family story "The Descendants." Both films are up for best drama, while Clooney was nominated for best dramatic actor and "The Help" earned acting slots for Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain.
Also competing for best drama: Martin Scorsese's Paris adventure "Hugo"; Clooney's political thriller "The Ides of March"; Brad Pitt's baseball chronicle "Moneyball"; and Steven Spielberg's World War I epic "War Horse."
Joining "The Artist" in the best musical or comedy category are: the cancer story "50/50"; Kristen Wiig's wedding romp "Bridesmaids"; Woody Allen's romantic fantasy "Midnight in Paris"; and Michelle Williams' Marilyn Monroe tale "My Week with Marilyn."
Clooney has three nominations. Besides best dramatic actor for "The Descendants," he's up for directing and screenplay for "The Ides of March." For the acting prize, Clooney will compete against his "Ides" star Ryan Gosling, who had a second nomination for best musical or comedy actor for the romance "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
Glenn Close also is a dual contender, as best dramatic actress for the Irish drama "Albert Nobbs" and for best song for writing the lyrics to "Lay Your Head Down," the film's theme tune.
Along with the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations a day earlier, the Globes field helps narrow down prospects for the Academy Awards, whose nominations come out Jan. 24.
On the TV side of the Globes, the nominees for best drama series were HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," FX's "American Horror Story," HBO's "Game of Thrones, Starz's "Boss" and Showtime's Homland." In the comedy category, the nominated series were NBC's "30 Rock," HBO's "Enlightened," Showtime's "Episodes," Fox's "New Girl" and Fox's "Glee."
With drinks and dinner, the Globes are a laid-back affair for Hollywood's elite compared to the Oscars. The show turned a bit touchy last year as host Ricky Gervais repeatedly made sharp wisecracks about stars and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 85 entertainment reporters for overseas outlets that presents the Globes.
But Gervais helped give the show a TV ratings boost, and he's been invited back as host for a third-straight year.
Five-time Academy Award and Globe nominee Morgan Freeman — who won the supporting-actor Oscar for "Million Dollar Baby" and a best-actor Globe for "Driving Miss Daisy" — will receive the group's Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Jan. 15 ceremony.
Thesps Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson, Rashida Jones and Sofia Vergara joined Takla-O'Reilly in announcing nominations in 25 categories at the Beverly Hilton. A dozen categories mixing film and TV were unveiled before a short break; then the remaining 13 were announced with live TV coverage.
The 69th Golden Globe Awards airs Sunday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC.