Raising baby just got a whole lot funnier on TV
Monday's Sheen-anigans include hyper-hyped roast and sitcom
Monday? No, I don’t think so. SHEENday.
At 10 p.m. on Sept. 19, Comedy Central premieres its roast of Charlie Sheen. It follows by an hour the premiere of “Two and Half Men” starring Charlie Sheen’s absence. (His character is said to have died in a Parisian subway accident.)
The joke will be on Sheen during both shows –- thanks on the roast to a dais packed with evil comedians who know no boundaries, and on the sitcom to Ashton Kutcher making a reported $800,000-$900,000 per episode for cake-walking into a show built on Sheen’s sweat and tiger blood. (Sheen was sacked in March after an epic meltdown that launched a cottage Internet industry in crazy glossaries.)
The latest roast hype is a promo featuring Sheen parodying his father Martin’s watery “Apocalypse Now” scene. (Roman Coppola, son of the classic movie's director, Francis Ford Coppola, served as technical adviser.)
“I was going to the worst place in the world -- cable,” Sheen says in the short, after which the camera pulls back to reveal Martin standing by a hot tub and calling his son to bed.
The sitcom is relying almost singularly on stripping Kutcher of his clothes, which he did for an ad campaign and "The Ellen Show." (The other one-and-a-half lead cast members did it for the campaign, too, but nobody noticed except their embarrassed mothers.)
Can either program live up to the hype?
Lips were sealed as tightly on the “Two and Half Men” set as the doors during the August 5th taping. But it opens on a funeral (and we know how funny those are).
To be fair, the writers must have been thrilled to be back and new characters always breathe new life into old premises. (Kutcher’s is an “Internet billionaire.” Perhaps he started one of those Sheen quote sites.) Besides, let's be honest, this show never set the hilarious bar dangerously high to begin with.
In stark contrast, jokes from the roast are all over the Internet since news outlets were allowed to send reporters to last Saturday’s taping in L.A. Most are solid, but anybody who reads more than two of these stories will not need to see the show.
All of the hype misses an important point. Without the headlines created by Warlockgate, Comedy Central would never have roasted Charlie Sheen. (One of its ads reads: "All aboard the crazy train.") And only loyal viewers would care about a 9th season of "Two and a Half Men" with no Charlie Sheen.
So what are both networks doing exploiting the mental breakdown of a formerly beloved celebrity?
The Season 9 premiere of "Two and a Half Man" airs Monday, Sept. 19, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. "The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen" airs Monday, Sept. 19, at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central.
Jesse and Walter finally have it out, with inevitably bloody results
Walter White has always taken great pride in his alter ego "Heisenberg" – the no nonsense attitude, the macho brevity, and of course, the hat. So far, this season Heisenberg has been noticeably absent, as Walter has receded into background as a frustrated and marginalized bit player in the ongoing drama of Gus Fring's crystal meth empire. Still, he is our (ostensible) protagonist and it is only natural that we keep expecting him to come roaring back, most likely breaking the windshield of the Aztec while he's at it. Tonight's episode pushed that possibility even farther off the table as all of Walter's estranged relations – wife, boss and assistant/protégé – upped their toughness quotient considerably.
Skyler received an unwelcome visit from a broke and desperate Ted Beneke, who is facing prison due to a criminal IRS audit, and her panic is acutely palpable as she gasps, "My name, my signatures are all over those books." But, as she has proven time and time again, Skyler White has untapped reserves of guile and a flair for the dramatic. Given how grim things can get in "Breaking Bad", Anna Gunn's delightfully amusing bimbo act ("I…did not follow what you just said.") was a welcome relief from the usual mayhem. But it's never that simple on this show, as shown by her last shot eyeing the plastic bags full of money hidden under the house.
The more classic interpretation of fearless tough guy was embodied by Gus, particularly in that tense scene where he unflinchingly strides out through the cartel sniper's bullets, all but daring him to shoot him right there and then. Of course, he doesn't but Gus is forced to accede to their demands that he give up half his business and Walt's famous blue meth formula. Despite what we learned about him last week, Gus – unlike Walt - is able to make the kind of necessary practical decisions about his business, unclouded by any false sense of pride or worry about his reputation. However, this particular change calls for the help from the unlikeliest person – Jesse Pinkman.
Of all the people in Walt's orbit, Jesse is now the one whose ties to him are the most complicated – and the most fragile. Besides the well-trod emotional territory of father/son and teacher/student, both of the these men have shared extreme experiences only with each other, and – at least in the case of Walt and the nature of Jane's death – have potentially explosive secrets between them. So it was incredibly painful to watch a panicked, trembling Jesse spill out all his fears and plead with him for help, only to be hit with the full force of Walt's cold selfishness and distrust. That ugly fight, clumsy and brutal and primal, surely won't be end of their relationship, despite Jesse's final admonishment to "get the **** out and never come back", but the balance of power appears to have inexorably shifted. Jesse's eyes are fully open and there's no going back to the way things used to be.
Forthcoming HBO doc by Martin Scorsese sparks rumors
According to a new biopic by Martin Scorsese, which HBO will screen next month, Harrison was hardly the quiet Beatle behind locked doors. Rather, he had a voracious appetite for extramarital affairs.
"He liked women and women liked him," Harrison’s widow, Olivia, says in "George Harrison: Living in the Material World, " admitting that their union (his second) survived many “hiccups.”
"If he just said a couple of words to you, it would have a profound effect,” Olivia says. “ It was hard to deal with someone who was so well loved.”
Sir Paul McCartney, no stranger to marital problems, adds: "I don’t want to say much because he was a pal, but he liked the things that men like. He was red-blooded."
Thanks mostly to Mrs. Harrison No. 1, Pattie Boyd, we know lurid details of the former Beatle's wife-swapping with Eric Clapton,Ringo Starr and Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood. And Harrison was fingered in the 1996 book You'll Never Make Love in This Town Again by a prostitute complaining that she serviced him but he never thanked her, asked her name or enjoyed himself enough to stop strumming his ukelele.
But the rumor of a Madonna tryst, spawned by the Scorsese doc, is fresh and seems to hold some water. (Check out Britain’s Daily Mail for the poop.)
The two met on several occasions in the mid-’80s, when Harrison’s movie company financed Madonna’s abysmal “Shanghai Surprise” (nickname: “Flop Suey”), and when her marriage to Sean Penn was crumbling.
Was it something in the way she moved?
“George Harrison: Living in the Material World” air in two parts on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and Thursday, Oct. 6, on HBO.
Controversial comedian talking anti-awards podcast
Ricky Gervais may host an anti-Golden Globes podcast during the awards telecast, during which he and comedian friends Larry David, Louis CK, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart perform a “Mystery Science Theater 3000”-type alternate soundtrack to NBC’s.
"People at home can have the telly on with the sound down listening to us online say things that no broadcaster could get away with," he wrote on his personal blog.
Shockingly, Gervais claimed he was asked back by the network to once again publicly humiliate the celebrities in attendance. If true, there is no better proof of the adage that any publicity is good publicity. (Gervais was warned by many Hollywood higher-ups that he would never work in this town again.)
“It was a network friendly gentle ribbing of the industry,” Gervais wrote. “Nothing more. I didn't even dress as Hitler in the end.”
The 2012 Golden Globe Awards airs Sunday, Jan. 15, on NBC.
Singer's mom and dad say she hadn't used illegal drugs in three years
In honor of the series premiere of "Anderson," MSN TV already posted Anderson Cooper's premiere week schedule, but now the first "Anderson" video has already landed: Cooper kicks off his new daytime talker today, Sept. 12, with the family of Amy Winehouse and we have the first look.
Bing: More about Amy Winehouse | More on Anderson Cooper
When Winehouse died suddenly this summer, everyone's first thought was drugs. It turns out, Winehouse was in fact detoxing, per the rumors, but from alcohol, not drugs. See what Mitch and Janis Winehouse had to say about their daughter's drug use and tune into the "Anderson" premiere to catch the rest of the interview.
"Anderson" airs weekdays on CBS.
Here are the major plot points you need to know to get by at the water cooler
Missed last night’s "True Blood" finale? Here are the major plot points you need to know to get by at the water cooler.
Bing: More about "True Blood"
Last week, Bill, Eric, Sookie and the gang finally took out the very wicked Marnie, who had gone a bit power mad when Antonia tried to abandon their mission. But she wasn’t gone. Not by a long shot.
- Lafayette, whose powers as a medium came in handy in killing Marnie, was apparently possessed – by the increasingly evil witch. Jesus made him breakfast, and the cross-dressing short-order cook used his fork to stab him in the hand. Ouch. She viewed Jesus as a traitor – but she wanted his magic. All of it. And to prevent her from killing Lafayette, he gave himself – and the evil within him – up to her.
- Sookie, home sweet home, kept seeing flashes of her bloodied, murdered grandmother on her kitchen floor. So she asked Tara if she thought Gran was in heaven, since Marnie has channeled her. “I know it’s probably residual weirdness, but I can’t help feeling like she’s here,” Sookie said
- Sam stood at the grave of his brother, Tommy Mickens, and Mrs. Fortenberry showed up to mourn the “son of a bitch.” Sam said sadly: “Nobody taught Tommy how to love somebody without hurting them.” Seemed like Mrs. Fortenberry was set on meddling in Sam’s life, now, even telling him to call her mama. Eeeps. Then Luna and her kid Emma showed up. Apparently, the fact that Sam killed baby daddy Marcus wasn’t enough to keep them away.
- Apparently it was Halloween – that’s what Sookie learned when she got to Merlotte’s. She and Sam made up – he didn’t know that Tommy-as-Sam had fired her. So she dressed up as a bunny and got to work. Alcide showed up, telling Sookie she was right about Debbie. Then he confessed his feelings for her. “I’m seeing clearly,” he said. “I’m done with the drama. I want you to be done with it, too.”
- Terry, dressed as a zombie, was pretty excited to see his old Army pal – Sergeant Patrick Devins, played by Soctt Foley. Later, Arlene was bitching about taking out the trash when she ran into her ex – Bon Temps serial killer Renee. He warned her against Terry, saying the ghosts of his past would bring misfortune. Poor lady, she just can’t win.
- Jason went to go see his buddy Hoyt to tell him about sleeping with Jessica. First, Hoyt just laughed – he thought it was a joke. Then he punched Jason. “We had a code and you broke it,” Hoyt said. “She was the only one.” Then he punched him again. Later, he was icing his bruises with an ice pop – cherry, of course – when Jessica showed up, dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood. While they were hooking up, she confessed that she didn’t want to be his girlfriend. So they decided to keep things casual.
- Tara showed up at Lafayette’s – and found Jesus’s cold, dead body. So she ran off to tell Sookie and Holly that Marnie was back, inside of Lafayette. Luckily, Holly had a “Wiccan first aid kit,” and the three of them went off on a mission.
- Marnie-as-Lafayette had gone to Bill’s and silvered Eric and Bill together. Classic line, Bill to Eric: “I liked you better when you were brain-damaged.” When Sookie, Holly and Tara showed up, Marnie-as-Lafayette with Jesus’s evil mask on set the two vamps on fire. As Bill and Eric burned, Holly, Sook and Tara started chanting and brought all the spirits up from their grave to help. The spirits, including Anotnia, called to Marnie. Gran showed up, too, and she was pissed. She pulled Marnie’s spirit right out of Lafayette. The two of them double-teamed the witch, who told them she wasn’t ready to go. Antonia told her that soon she’d be at peace, but Bill and Eric, they’d be stuck here forever. “And there’s no victory in that.”
- Sookie asked her Gran not to go, but Gran couldn’t stay. “Being alone ain’t nothing to be afraid of, my Sookie,” she said. “We’re all alone at the end.”
- Later, poor Lafayette mourned the loss of Jesus – and the fact that he’d killed him. Then Jesus showed up, a spirit. “Everything’s temporary,” he told him. “I’m cool with how things went. Just keep breathing, baby. It’s that simple.” Then he kissed him good-bye.
- Back at Bill’s, Sookie let both Bill and Eric feed on her at the same time. Ew. She thought it was some sort of sweet ménage a trios, but it was just icky all around. “I can’t stand this anymore,” she said. “It’s like being ripped in half.” Bill gave her and Eric his blessing, but it wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted Bill. And Eric. So she was walking away from both of them.
- Later, Sam told Luna: “Life is violent and cruel by nature.So when something good comes along you’ve got to stop and celebrate.” When she left, he faced off with an angry werewolf. Debbie?
- Nan Flannigan showed up at Bill’s. She was pissed. “Ding-dong the witch is dead, yippie.” She told them that she quit the Authority. “Quit, fired, same difference.” She told them there was an order on all their heads. She told them they were going to team up with her to take on the authority. What’s in it for them? Sookie. “She smells fantastic,” Eric said, “but that’s hardly worth dying for.” But when she insulted their love further, they simply killed her.
- In the end, a furious Debbie showed up at Sookie’s with a gun and fired, but she hit Tara in the head. Then Sookie took the gun and killed Debbie. And once again, Sookie’s kitchen was a bloody mess.
So lots of bodies on the floor in this finale. Who'll make it to Season 5 alive? And what did you think of all the ghosts, ghouls and grisly things in this Season 4 finale?
Web surfers dying for new 'Dexter' season
Fans are filling like overstretched Hefty bags with anticipation for the Season 6 premiere of "Dexter," which airs Sunday, Oct. 2, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. In the past month alone, Dexter's Facebook fandom grew from seven to nine million, despite its anemic last season.
"October 2nd needs to hurry up," one fan posted.
"Best show on TV," wrote another. "Why do we have to wait so long?"
"Kill me, Dexter!" pleaded someone with either a good sense of humor or a chemical imbalance requiring medication.
In the news, Perez Hilton has star Michael C. Hall possibly bailing the series after Season 7 for the lead in the Broadway production of "Big Fish." But we doubt that. Even if this wasn't just a ploy for his current contract negotiations, Showtime would work around the schedule of its biggest current star.
Regardless, it's all adding to the buzz for the premiere, which the cable network is promoting as "D-Day." Here's what we know so far: Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) gets promoted to lieutenant, and new characters and an old one (Jesus Christ) figure prominently. Mos (the actor formerly known as the rapper formerly known by the last name Def) plays a victim of Dexter Morgan's turned ally who tries to drag his friend and his Dark Passenger to church. Edward James Olmos is a professor of religious studies and guru to Colin Hanks, who plays -- as usual, despite whatever the script says -- the son of Forrest Gump.Judging by every character-clearing previous season, the new acquaintances you make are likely to be killed by a bad serial killer, or the good one, before the following season's premiere.
Biggest among the sitting ducks is actress Aimee Garcia, who plays the new nanny and non-lisping babealicious sister to David Zayas' Detective Batista. (So which one was adopted?) Because she is so sweet, so connected to a cop and so freshly added to a show about violent mass murder, I wouldn't grow too attached.
If any of this sounds awesome to you, remember how awesome last season's addition of Julia Stiles sounded -- until it kicked in that her character was a whiny bore who couldn't have been made to look less attractive, and who never seemed worthy enough to compel Dexter to pursue her personal quest for vengeance.
"Did the original Dexter writers leave this season?" read the title of one popular thread on the official "Dexter" forum. (The answer: no, although their minds may have.)
Of course, it didn't help that Season 4 featured John Lithgow brilliantly reprising -- and somehow outcreepifying -- his serial-killing monster from Brian DePalma's 1981 movie "Blowout." Or that it was capped by the sickest finale in the history of sick finales (spoiler alert to all DVD catcher-ups): the literal bloodbath taken by Dexter's infant son.
But hey, everyone has an off year, right? Maybe last season suffered due to Hall's simultaneous battles against Hodgkins lymphoma and Carpenter, who happened to file for divorce while portraying his foster sister on the show.
Even Hugh Hefner was excited enough to take his "Dexter" anticipation to Twitter, although he was a tad behind the curve. "After playing gin rummy with the guys, my girls & I are watching the start of Season 5 of 'Dexter,'" he tweeted on Sept. 7.
Now there's a different way to ensure disappointment in bed.
"Dexter" premieres Sunday, Oct. 2, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.