Fortune cookies spell trouble for Jason and Sam's wedding bliss
"General Hospital" fans are clamoring for Jason and Sam's wedding week to begin Monday, Sept. 19, but trouble may be afoot. It seems psycho Franco hasn't received his invitation to the big event and with James Franco set to bring Jason's nemesis back to town, MSN TV has received a foreboding box of fortune cookies to promote the JaSam wedding. Could this be one of Franco's games?
"No one ever knows what to expect from Franco," Steve Burton (Jason) teased, but fans can bet Franco has some demented trick up his sleeve. The maniacal artist, who must have been crushed by that MIA wedding invitation, is set to show up Tuesday, September 20 and he looks as nutty as ever as he plots his next move in the photo above.
The box of fortunes also seems to spell Franco-sized trouble. The messages included were:
Love will haunt you
Love wears a familiar face - but masks an unknown pain
Love awakens the best of us - and the worst of us
Love is around the corner - right or left?
Love lies bleeding
Ouch. This is not going to be fun for Port Charles locals!
Having James Franco onset, however, was much fun for Steve Burton, even if he did have to come into work on a Saturday back in August. "I had one long scene with him, about four or five pages. It was great," Burton raved. "It's always crazy when he comes, because we're shooting so much for him. For me, it's like a great day off, because I don't have to do anything. I roll in at 3pm and do one scenes and be out by 5:30."
Bing: More on James Franco
Franco's run was originally announced as extended say, so the character should be back again after September 20. One pic making the rounds, however, shows Franco a bloody mess.
Whatever may come, Burton approves of both the drama and attention Franco brings to "General Hospital." "James loves the show and for him to come help us out is awesome," Burton said. "He's such a great, really down to earth guy. It's always fun to have him here."
Stay tuned for more JaSam wedding dish from Steve Burton and Kelly Monaco!
"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC.
Will Kelly Ripa find a hot young stud to replace Reeg?
When Regis Philbin announced this would be his last year on "Live! with Regis and Kelly," the retirement news set off a swarm of speculation about who might replace him. Now, on the heels of celebrating his big 80th birthday, the Emmy winning host is officially ready to say goodbye. Kelly kicked off his farewell tour Monday and today, Reeg revealed his final November airdate, which means that co-host chatter is sure to go into overdrive.
"Last January I made the announcement that I'll be moving on … but I never gave you an exact date. So I'm pushing it back five years. Just kidding!" Philbin teased on Tuesday, September 6. "[Kelly] doesn't want to hear that. She's looking forward to some new, young hot stud. Whoa ho ho!"
As for the real date, Regis will say goodbye on Friday, Nov. 18. "But don't worry, the show goes on," Reeg promised. "Kelly will begin trying out new co-hosts, just like 11 years ago when I did the same thing and found her."
Philbin first created "The Morning Show" for the New York audience back in 1983. A few years later, Kathie Lee Gifford signed on and in 1988, the morning talker went syndicated as "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee." In an infamous shake up, Gifford left in 2000 and after "All My Children" fave Kelly Ripa landed the seat on a permanent basis in 2001, the show became "Live with Regis and Kelly."
Between those 28 years in daytime and his hosting duties at "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," Phiblin holds the Guinness World Record holder for most time on camera, with more than 16,500 hours. Now, he's ready to share the light with a new generation.
"There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera," he said when he announced his exit. "Especially certain old people!"
"Live with Regis and Kelly" airs weekdays on ABC.
SAMCRO rides back into a new Charming in an explosive season premiere
There is (literally) a new sheriff in town, as the Charming PD has been replaced with the San Joaquin sheriff department, in the no-nonsense personage of Eli Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar of the much lamented "Terriers"). Described as a "straight up cop", it's clear he can be neither bought nor pushed around. His counterpart is the motorcycling-riding, chain smoking, spacey but sharp new U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter (played by the superb Ray McKinnon of "Deadwood"), who already has an astonishingly deep and detailed operation up and running. His grand plan involves taking down the Russian mob, the Real IRA and the Sons in one fell swoop. Naturally, this plan has a setback, when SAMCRO take out the FBI agent planted inside of Putlova's organization in the final bloodbath. Both of these actors are exceptional and it is great to have them involved. The power structure of Charming has been greatly transformed, with unctuous mayor Jacob Hale getting rid of the local police department and developing upscale housing units for the newer and more wealthy residents, much to Clay's disgust ("Building homes in this town that no one IN this town can afford."). And maybe, just maybe, there is a new conviction within Jax to actually follow through on his final separation from the Sons. But here is where the old weaknesses of the story-telling rose up again; in order to keep him around more or less indefinitely, we are supposed to accept that Jax would put his masculine ideas of "providing" for his family above that same family's safety, even after all these months of experiencing the consequences of that danger first-hand. His lame idea of "laying low" while he "earns" from the gun running for who knows how long is the equivalent to the hoary old "just one more big job and we'll retire" cliché.
But still, there was so much wonderful stuff going on in this episode, from Dayton Callie's incredibly poignant scene crying on Gemma's shoulder over his broken-down life, to the trailer-trash-tastic wedding of Opie and Lyla, that it seems wrong to complain about the things that were problematic. There were plenty of set-ups for ongoing intrigue and deception amongst all the various folks, and everyone's motives are thoroughly high-stakes. To quote Jax Teller, it's good to be home.
A tense episode shifts the focus to the enigmatic Gustavo Fring
"Just act normal." – Hank Schraeder
By definition, the greatest criminal would be someone completely unknown, someone who got away with everything and was never even on anyone's radar as a suspect. Among the traits one would have to possess in order to be that good: strategic and long-term thinking, infinite patience, a willingness to forgo the ostentatious trappings of wealth, and a clinical, ruthless and singular efficiency, which allows no room for emotions such as pride, love or a desire for revenge. Up until the revelations of tonight's terrific "Hermanos", Gustavo Fring seemed to meet all of these criteria.
Of course, removing some of the mystery surrounding the history of New Mexico's Los Pollos Hermanos boss may be somewhat of a let-down. But by revealing his personal animosity for the Mexican cartel bosses, and Hector "Tio" Salamanca in particular, that long flashback raised even more interesting questions about Gus. Who was he in his native Chile that caused Don Eliado (played by a menacing Steven Bauer) to spare his life? What was his relationship with the original meth chemist Max? And what did he do in the intervening years to build his relationship with the cartel to move his product in the way he wanted? It isn't necessary to answer these (or any other) questions, especially since now we know that Gus is capable of messy emotions that may make him vulnerable to a misstep in order to exact his long desired retribution. Although he is more controlled and a much better liar, he may have more in common with Walt and Jesse than we imagined.
Those two, however, are heading down a rabbit hole of their own neuroses fairly quickly. Admittedly, it was extremely satisfying to see Walt's ego come back to bite him, as he realizes that Hank has not only taken his advice that "probably there was another big guy out there", but he has already identified Gus correctly as the real power behind the drug ring. Knowing Hank is conducting this investigation on his own doesn't assuage his increasing panic, so he turns up the heat on Jesse to give him "a progress report on that thing we discussed." It seems clear he is alienating Jesse more and more. Indeed, you know Walt is truly being presented as the bad guy when Jesse actually gets better counsel on his life from Saul Goodman of all people. Of course, how all these different alliances get damaged or strengthened is anyone's guess, but deepening our understanding of one of the more ambiguous characters only raises the stakes for everyone.
- Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have the Emmy awards, but it is good to sing the praises of Giancarlo Esposito as well. The subtle emotions playing across his face after the DEA interview were masterful, so much in contrast to the violent grief he displayed in the flashback by the pool.
- Did he use his friend's real name for that chemistry scholarship? That would seem to be a major risk, and a bit out of character for the cautious Gustavo Fring.
- Skyler putting the drug money into vacuum-sealed clothing bags and hiding them in that notorious crawlspace was a bit too on the nose, but I still laughed.
- "A dunce to pull the trigger." Ouch.
- Jesse's bedazzled shirt deeply hurt my feelings.
- Nice to have a quick history of the rise of crystal meth from Gus in the flashback.
A troubled teenager brings out the worst and the best in Louis C.K.
Near the midpoint of "Niece", Louis dismisses another comedian's "crowd work" (interacting with the audience, "Where are you all from?", etc.) as "easy." It's possible it isn't really his style, but it is also clear that he thinks it is a crutch, a way to pander for laughs. Naturally, it is also revealed, when he gets up to do a set and lamely tries to banter with the customers, that he is pretty lousy at it as well.
This fear of interacting with others, particularly young people, is the theme of the penultimate episode of "Louie". Abruptly saddled for the weekend with Amy (Gideon Adlon), the thirteen year old daughter of his lunatic sister Karleen (whom we glimpsed on the phone in "Joan"), he isn't rude or unkind to her; he just circles around like a baffled bear, amazed at her completely withdrawn sullenness. The knowledge that someday his beloved daughters will become taciturn and infuriating teenagers floats subtly throughout the entire evening, as Louie escorts Amy to a loud rock club and then to the Comedy Cellar to see him perform. It is there that Amy finally cracks a smile and even opens up about her feelings to Godfrey, the charming and friendly comedian who was so good at working the room. He is the one who schools Louie about the definition of empathy – "learn how to talk to people that aren't like you." Still, it's clear from the gut-punch of an ending, Louie's heart is in the right place, and he will do the right thing in the end.
- So, do we think Amy will still be living with Louie next week for the season finale? Continuity has never been even a small consideration in this universe, but it did seem like something too major to just drop.
- "You're wearing a vest that matches the building."
- I wish everyone could spend at least 10 minutes in Grand Central Station.
- It is so fun just having Todd Barry and Nick DiPaolo hanging around, contributing their deadpan personalities.
- "You only gave him a dollar."
Will Zach and Kendall Slater get their happily ever after?
With the final days of "All My Children" on ABC airing this month, production has officially wrapped and the Pine Valley sets are being tucked away. Hopefully, all will return when the show moves to the internet in 2012, but Friday, Sept. 23, will be Pine Valley's final day on ABC. MSN TV was on set for one final visit before the cast was set free. Here's what Alicia Minshew (Kendall) and Thorsten Kaye (Zach) had to say about it all. "All My Children" airs weekdays on ABC.
MSN TV: Seeing you together makes me want to sing, "Reunited and it feels so good."
Thorsten Kaye: That's an '80s song.
Alicia Minshew: I know. I was born!
Thorsten, what is it like to come back to "All My Children" with the end drawing near?
Kaye: It's been great. It's nice to come back to see friends, and some people you don't like that much who you can't avoid. [laugh] It's fun to be part of the end game. I talked to Julie [Hanan Carruthers, executive producer] and said, "What's the plan? I'd love to part of it in some way," and I am, so it's good.
Minshew: I've seen so many people come and go. This one, Eva LaRue, Agnes Nixon, Carol Burnett. It's been fun for me, but I'm especially happy to have him back, selfishly, because I get to hang out with him and act with him.
How do you feel about the way things are wrapping up on screen?
Minshew: I care what happens with the character and I am happy for Kendall that her husband and the father of her children is back. Yes, I know, I started to fall for another guy…
Kaye: Which is weird to me, right? So you're husband dies. Love of your life. There's crying ...
Minshew: You think he's dead!
Kaye: Hold on, hold on. There's Emmy nominations and, "Oh, what a great performance." On the way back, she's here putting her tongue into someone else? There's something strange about that. What is the commitment level? Am I wrong?
Minshew [laughing]: I know you're right.
Kaye: Mourn for a couple weeks!
Minshew: How long did I mourn? Like 9 months. In soaps, that's a long time.
Kaye: One commercial.
Minshew: But she hasn't made love to anybody, yet.
Could this go into a triangle?
Kaye: Would you like that, Kendall?
Minshew: I don't think it's necessary.
Kaye: But would you like it?
Minshew: I wouldn't hate it.
Kaye: See, that's what I'm talking about.
Minshew: But I'm a woman and there's two attractive men and--
Kaye: Most women are not like that. They like one man.
Minshew: If I could choose between anybody, I would of course want Zach and I'm happy that he's back. I don't know what they're going to do. There's still a few weeks left. Every time I open a script, I'm like, "What's going to happen?" I'm still waiting [to find out].
You guys have been through so much with all the confusion around the cancelation and pick up. How do these last weeks feel?
Kaye: It feels a little rushed, but in a way, it's good. If you watch soaps -- and I have -- sometimes, it drags out a bit. Now they can't. It keeps moving, and I like that. Hopefully they learn something from that.
Minshew: Right, one thing after the other is happening, and you're not saying the same thing over and over again. There's progress, so I don't know how it's going to end.
You can't take anything too big, since the show is moving to the net, but is there anything on set you have your eye on as a keepsake from the ABC days?
Minshew: If it had strings, I'd love that piano.
Kaye: Tough to fit that into your purse.
Minshew: I'll have you help me lug it out.
Kaye: I'm not going to help you.
Minshew: What, it's just a piano!
Kaye: I think it all stays here. They're going to keep doing this, exactly here with these sets and hopefully, all the props.
Have you started talking about the going away party and your last day onset?
Minshew: Our last few days here is when it will all sink in. Right now, I'm just trying to learn my scripts, get through the day and just focus. When it gets down to the wire, maybe I will.
Kaye: In theater, you always have limited run and in the last week, it's weird. You get a huge high from getting to do this a few more times. The low comes when you're cleaning out your dressing room. That's coming, and that's not going to be fun.
Minshew: That's going to suck. I'm just going to say it in very classy, simple terms. I'm not going to enjoy that part.
Kaye: She's a crier.
Minshew: I am. Now that I'm a mom? Forget it. I'm the worst.
Kaye: You were always a crier.
Minshew: I was, but I'm even worse now. It's deep.
What will you guys miss the most?
Minshew: The people, on a daily basis, for sure. Just seeing these faces, the camaraderie, talking to people and acting with them, and playing this character everyday with people that I love.
Kaye: Yeah, you'll miss the people and you can say, "We'll get together," like you do at the end of high school, and you never do. That's a bit of a bummer.
Do you have any message for fans?
Minshew: I would Just say thank you for being so supportive and amazing and watching our show and keeping us on the air as long as they have.
Kaye: And if and when this does go somewhere else, don't give up on it. Give it a shot.
"All My Children" airs weekdays on ABC through Friday, Sept. 23.
These emotions aren’t usually connected with dinosaurs but then again no one has taken on the mammoth creatures the way the new Discovery special 'Dinosaur Revolution' will
By Mekeisha Madden Toby
Special to MSN TV
A four-hour television event, “Dinosaur Revolution” premieres in two parts Sunday, Sept. 4, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and Sunday, Sept. 11, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery. It uses limited narration, state-of-the-art animation and anthropomorphic storytelling to educate viewers on little-known behaviors and other recently unearthed dinosaur facts.
We caught up with Erik Nelson (“Grizzly Man”), the executive producer behind “Dinosaur Revolution,” at San Diego Comic Con as he plugged the show.
Nelson was joined by director David Krentz (Disney’s “Dinosaur” and “John Carter of Mars”), co-director Ricardo Delgado (the “Age of Reptiles” comic books) and renowned paleontologist, author and consultant, Thomas Holtz Jr.
Here’s what they had to say about “Dinosaur Revolution.”
MSN TV: What are some of the things you all did to make sure this special was compelling?
Erik Nelson: Everything. It took three years and millions upon millions of Discovery’s money. It’s a long and arduous process that is not yet over. This will be abandoned not finished. We’ll be working on this all the way up to when it airs because it’s a huge undertaking. It’s a great evolution in dinosaur storytelling. Viewers will see dinosaurs do things they have never seen dinosaurs do before, things that science has told us they did but that we’ve only known in the last 10 years – raising young, hunting in pairs and behaving in ways that we’ve never seen big, dumb lumbering T-Rexes behave before – with little narration. It’s a project that actually deserves the title ‘Dinosaur Revolution’ because it is a revolution in both science and storytelling. This is the closest thing to time travel you’re likely to see.
David Krentz: You follow the sequences very quickly because we have established storylines for these gigantic predators and in a twist, we now empathize with them. We empathize with them as parents and as kids and so you take pre-formed storytelling and you turn it upside down where these gargantuan characters are relatable. We present stories filled with terror as well as love and laughter and move very, very freely. It’s a soap opera one moment and ‘Looney Toons’ the next.
How accurate is the special?
Thomas Holtz Jr.: A lot of those behaviors you’ll see are actually backed up by particular fossil evidence. Like, we have healed bite marks on the snout of the Tyrannosaurus so we know that’s the typical way – when they fought – within the species that they would grab each others’ faces. We also have arms that are damaged with tear marks on them, which is the inspiration for the character Stumpy. There’s even a mating sequence where the T-Rex is seen using his fingers to rub the female’s back. Although most of the stuff is taken from recent discoveries, the finger reference goes back as far as 1905 and was the original proposal on why the Tyrannosaurus had such short, stumpy little arms.
What do you think will draw viewers in and keep them watching?
Nelson: The key is to establish a visceral connection to the past. ‘Avatar’ showed how humans could get into a chamber and become alien creatures. With our special, you’re forced to empathize with what the dinosaurs are doing. You’re supposed to get into their heads. We didn’t do the traditional, clichéd dinosaur story where the asteroid hits and you see the dinosaurs blown off their feet. The end of the show is set in the nuclear winter after the asteroid because dinosaurs weren’t obliterated overnight. It’s Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ but with dinosaurs. And if we’ve done our job properly, no one will notice that this is something that has never been seen.
What else can viewers expect?
Holtz: There will be tales of their diversity, transformation and evolution. And you’ll get see the other creatures who are not dinosaurs but inhabit the world. This includes more types of mammals than they’ve ever shown on a documentary before. Some of them were discovered in a very early stage when they brought me on board. There’s a little creature that has the rear end of a beaver and the front end of a sea lion. It’s the oldest known aquatic mammal – the Jurassic Beaver. And there’s another one that looks like a flying squirrel but it’s from a totally different group of mammal. It’s never been animated before because they were discovered in the process of the show being developed.
Nelson: It’s almost as if we’re publishing scientific papers, which gets back to the title ‘Dinosaur Revolution.’ Unlike a lot of other TV shows, the title actually tells what we’re doing in both the storytelling and in the science we’re publishing. And every installment is self-contained so viewers don’t feel like they’re playing catch up if they miss an installment. If viewers are confused, they’ll get angry and we’ll lose them.
Is this as cinematic as it sounds?
Krentz: It’s designed as silent filmmaking so that viewers can follow the entire story and empathize. We didn’t rely on narration so that if people don’t get it, the narrator will explain it to them. Then we would’ve failed. It’s mime.
Ricardo Delgado: Most dinosaur documentaries have about five minutes of animation. ‘Dinosaur Revolution’ will have 35 minutes of animation in each one-hour installment.
Holtz: You’ll also see frogs that ate baby dinosaurs. They’re the largest known frogs in Earth’s history. They were discovered in Madagascar. You’ll see them wolfing down some nasty predators.
So, is this something families can watch together?
Delgado: The reason we’re here is because as kids, we watched King Kong beat the crap out of a little T-Rex puppet. And those monster movies inspired us to just get into the science as well. We’re all dinosaur nerds. And I hope that’s what this can do – inspire viewers.
Nelson: This is the kind of thing that will have great afterlife on DVD where kids will play it again and again and teachers and parents can too.
“Dinosaur Revolution” premieres in two parts Sunday, Sept. 4, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and Sunday, Sept. 11, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.
The rapidly escalating action moves out of the newsroom for a weekend in the country
Everything is moving pretty rapidly in the world of "The Hour", which means some accelerated build-up to a few turning points, both personal and political. Even though Freddie, Bel and Hector are away from the BBC headquarters at Marnie's family's country estate for some shooting, dancing, "sardines" and general Englishness, they are all still connected to the events going on around them in the larger world. And by the end, everyone has taken steps that may have disastrous consequences.
Dealing with the most tenuously believable development first, Freddie has graduated to somewhat of a super-spy: rapidly decoding "Revert to Brightstone" from the crossword (although he – and we - still don't know what that means), using little nebbish Isaac as his investigator/junior spy (with some wry assistance from Lix), and getting the upper hand with Mr. Kish, who chooses to end it all rather than be exposed by Freddie. It was quite disappointing to lose the twitchy coldness of Burn Gorman so soon, and it was a bit of a stretch to think that scrawny Freddie would be able to overpower him on the stairs, but it was still a wonderfully shocking turn of events. What will the authorities make of Freddy's proximity to yet another dead body, particularly when the circumstances of this death are so incriminating?
The much more plausible plot advancement was Bel and Hector consummating their smoldering flirtation. It is to the credit of the writers that Bel is not seduced or toyed with by Hector, but goes into the relationship as an grown woman, who is no virgin and has her eyes wide open as to who may get hurt as a result, namely Freddie and Marnie. In just a few short scenes and very little dialogue, Oona Chaplin has created a deft portrait of a stylish, brittle, sharp-eyed wife, who isn't above catty remarks about Bel's possibly "synthetic" dress, but who also covers up her hurt and confusion with the ultimate British stiff upper lip. What will her reaction be if this affair is exposed (as it most likely will be, in some way or another)?
- The Suez Canal crisis is percolating along in the background, and it was nice to see Hector standing up to McCain at the dinner table. The best part of Freddie seems to be rubbing off on him.
- "I'm surprised hell can spare him."
- Naturally, Freddie is allergic to dogs.
- "Obvious darling. He's hardly Poirot." We demand more Lix!
- Excellent sight gag of Ben Wishaw just swimming in the borrowed evening dress.
- "You are an amateur, Mr. Lyon." RIP, Mr. Kish.