Here are the major plot points you need to know to get by at the water cooler
- Vampire Bill to the rescue -- again! Last week, during the vampire-witch showdown, it surely seemed the witches were winning, and that Sookie Stackhouse was going to be the major casualty here. Instead, just as an impotent Alcide tries to drag the wounded clairvoyant away, Bill intervenes, saving her with a heady dose of her blood. Of course, this means that Sookie is now -- and forever -- attacked to Bill again. Cue the:
- Threesome alert! Okay, okay, so it's just a dream. But now that Sookie's had a taste of both Bill and Eric, she can't get either of them off her mind. So this leads to a sexy dream where she's about to hook up with an old school Eric and Bill. Instead of getting all racy, though, Sookie decides this is the appropriate time for a chat. She tells the pair that she loves them both -- and since this is an unconventional love story anyway, why not? Oh Sookie. You're really ruining it for us here. The should-have-been-steamy scene ends with Sookie getting bit -- by both her vampire amours.
- But alas, it was all just a dream, and reality is Debbie Pelt -- werewolf Alcide's lady love -- knocking at Sookie's door, asking the other woman to step off and help her regain her man. Sookie's had trouble with the lady wolf before, but always a softie, she says she'll help. But first, they have to rescue Eric!
- Vampire-turned-witch-puppet Eric is being held by Antonia and her coven -- who have actually tried to rebel against her, because things have gone too far, but are now being held hostage. Oops. Tara is trapped, once again, by freaking supernatural sources that give her great displeasure. She telepathically tells all this to Sookie when she and Debbie show up for their great rescue. Tara also informs Sookie that the coven plans to take Bill down at some Vampire Tolerance event. The pair pseudo-fight and Sookie escapes w/ get-a-way vehicle drive Deb.
- Lafayette, still possessed by the ghost of Mavis, shows up at Hoyt's house with baby Mikey and that freaky doll. Naturally, Hoyt (in a classic run-for-your-life-sans-pants scene) calls Jason for help, since Jason is so, you know, helpful. Jason, Andy Bellefleur, Terry and Arlene all show up, trying to talk a possessed-Lafayette down to no avail. So they call Jesus, who does his voodoo-hoodoo thing and gets the whole story out of Mavis-as-Lafayette. She just wanted to hold her murdered baby one more time, yo. And they dig up the bodies of Mavis and the baby, and she finally goes into the light, all thanks to Lafayette and Jesus.
- Jason's other shining moment here? He takes Hoyt's box of crap back to "monster" Jessica, and then, despite his best intentions, hooks up with his best friend's girl. Classic Jason Stackhouse.
- Meanwhile, Luna and Sam take this quiet moment as a chance to go camping with little Emma. And of course, they hook up again. She's really forgiving, this Luna. And perhaps she shouldn't be, given that whole Tommy situation and all. Tommy is trying to redeem himself, I guess, by showing up as Sam to the pack meeting where Luna's ex Marcus is still out for blood. He beats the crap out of Tommy-as-Sam. Does this really redeem anyone?
- At the Festival of Tolerance, all hell breaks loose again when Sookie disrupts themade-for-TV moment to warn Bill about the witches incoming -- just seconds before they show up and kill a bunch of guards. Looks like this witchy war has just begun.
An occasionally clunky episode marks the midpoint of the season
"I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger." – Walter White
Last week, Gus staged an armed robbery so that Jesse could play the hero by "saving" Mike (not to mention Gus) from getting ripped off. Tonight, the preternaturally intelligent Walt figures this out, and lines up the likely motive: to drive a wedge between himself and Jesse (in addition to, as Jesse points out, using Mike's "babysitting" to make sure Jesse isn't using). But, as keeps getting clearer all the time, Walt hardly needs an outside force to destroy any good feelings that may remain between himself and his former high-school student. He is perfectly capable of making Jesse hate his guts a little more each day.
And all it took was some respectful attention from Mike and a few words from Gus ("I like to think I see things in people"). Even back in his clownish "Cap'n Cook" days, Jesse was more complicated, more sensitive and more intelligent than he needed to be – a textbook example of "wasted potential." By no means a genius, he still proved a clever and inventive partner to Walter in the lab and on the street. It was somehow both sad and heartening to see him use his special junkie knowledge to wrap up Mike's surveillance post in record time, and it was apparent that, despite what it may have started out as, his role in the Pollos Hermanos hierarchy is moving from phony to useful in record time.
Speaking of fake "protection", Skyler finally gets a glimpse of "Heisenberg" in all his glory, and it's understandably terrifying to her. Skyler is the character that really embodies the episode title (perhaps too literally, as the rather clumsy scene at the Four Corners tried to spell out). Her misplaced compassion for Walter, whom she viewed as a semi-innocent pawn in the drug world, is permanently upended, thanks to Walt's sobering declaration. Her roles as a criminal accessory and, more depressingly, as "Bitch Mom" are becoming more entrenched all the time. Still, it is scary to think of how much Sklyer still does NOT know about Walt, stretching all the way back to Crazy 8 and Tuco. In the future, God only knows how much more cornered everybody will end up, both as a result of their own actions and others'.
- That opening sequence was truly diabolical, with each dreadful step of the double murder and robbery locking methodically and sickeningly into place. And it ended with the Mexican cartel soldiers stealing one (1) tub of battered up blue meth, specifically to send a message to Gus. Great stuff.
- Maybe it is the result of analyzing, discussing and dissecting "Breaking Bad" on a weekly basis, but some of the dialogue seemed a bit too on-the-nose, both in the opening scene between Skyler and Walter, and the one where Walt confronts Jesse in the parking lot outside the lab. While it isn't in doubt that Walt is something of a genius and Skyler is also a pretty smart cookie, most of their lines were parroting back to the audience things we had already figured out or knew about.
- Walter taking that dollar bill off the wall was incredibly petty, but Bogdan has been such a jerk for so long, it didn't really bother me.
- "It's all about me."
- OK, I really didn't buy that Walt would not see that dragging the three ladies into the lab to clean up was an incredibly risky and dumb thing to do. Although the sight of the three of them in hazmat suits chattering away was pretty funny.
- Mike's weekly moment of awesome: "I don't care for unpredictable."
- “Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family.”
Production company Endomal USA to take on scripted dramas and a syndicated talker
Steve Harvey is throwing his hat into the ever-crowding daytime talk show ring. Between "Anderson," "The Chew," "Dr. Drew's LifeChangers," "The Revolution" and upcoming talkers from Katie Couric and "Survivor" host Jeff Probst, it's getting hard to keep track of who's coming to daytime, these days!
Bing: More about Steve Harvey
Funnyman Harvey has teamed up with Endemol USA to develop and produce a new syndicated talk show for fall 2012. While this will be Harvey's first daytime talker, the funnyman is no stranger to morning talk or daytime TV. He already hosts the country's top-rated nationally syndicated morning radio show, "Steve Harvey Morning Show," and after he took over hosting duties on "Family Feud," the game show grew 55% among daytime's key audience, women 25-54.
"This is one of my unconquered ventures," Harvey told Broadcasting & Cable, who broke the story. "It's something I always wanted to give a shot at. I always felt that it would fit into my forte. I've gained a lot of experiences over the years sitting on a lot of talk shows. My radio show has gone on at the national level for about seven years. With all of that experience and the success of the book and 'Family Feud,' I think now is the right time."
The book Harvey referenced is 2009's "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment," which is currently being developed for the big screen. Harvey followed his first self-help manuscript with "Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man." Now, he intends to bring those ideas to the boob tube.
"I think it's an interesting angle to have a guy in daytime television who's actually built his platform around not only being funny, but also being empowering and insightful for women," Harvey said. "I hope to offer women an interesting take on a lot of different things from the male perspective, and I also want to be empowering to people and give them great information. It's a triple threat combination."
Word is Harvey's show will be less celebrity driven than the usual daytime talkers, but frankly, that's what all of the shows set to launch over the next year are saying.
This isn't the first time Harvey has played with the idea of getting his own talker. Back in 2004, there were rumblings that he was in contention to replace "The Sharon Osbourne Show" or "Living It Up with Ali & Jack," but that was never confirmed.
The news that Harvey has now teamed up with Endomal comes just a day after the announcement that the reality powerhouse behind "Big Brother," "Deal or No Deal," "Fear Factor" and "Wipeout" is adding original scripted series to their bounty. The new effort so far includes developing the Western "Hell on Wheels" for AMC and holding exclusive rights to TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland" and "Happily Divorced," as well as the TNT's "Leverage."
"We go after things that we think make good television and then figure out where they are going to be," David Goldberg, chairman of Endemol North America, told Broadcasting & Cable. "It isn't like we've been going out and taking tons of meetings so we could go out and get into syndication. We saw Steve Harvey as a huge talent, and thought that was a logical way to get into this business."
Prospect Park has offers out to Susan Lucci and her costars
Just a few weeks ago, it seemed the future of "All My Children" was turning to rubble, but this week, the soap's survival is looking a bit more secure. Prospect Park, the company that bought the rights to "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" from ABC, sent out the first round of Pine Valley offers Tuesday, and word is Susan Lucci is holding a good one.
Rumblings broke out this week that Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) had received an official offer to stay with the "All My Children" in its next incantation and, according to Deadline, that pending offer was almost on par with her current salary at ABC. The story suggested other Pine Valley fan-faves would get juicy offers, as well, but clearly, if the new "All My Children" producers are going to spend big money on anyone, it would be wise to start with Lucci, the only original "AMC" cast member and a daytime icon!
However sweet her deal, we now know Lucci has one in hand. Walt Willey (Jackson), her onscreen love of many years, confirmed offers have indeed gone out to the cast.
"'All My Children' goes off the air on September 23rd on broadcast television but moving on with a company called Prospect Park, moving to the internet and then hopefully to a cable channel," Willey said during a chat with Chicago's WGN. "The fans are dying to hear about that. We just got our proposal [Tuesday night], so we're all looking at it now, but bunches of stuff for people to be brought up to date on."
Apparently, Willey hasn't yet had a chance to consider his offer, but he's as thrilled as fans are to see things moving forward with Prospect Park.
"I don’t fully know the content, but I know this much: Here we go!" Willey cheered to "Soap Opera Digest." "Obviously, they are going to do this thing. This is an initial step of working out [talent contracts] with AFTRA under the new media [umbrella]."
Prospect Park, who is breaking ground by turning TV stars into internet stars, has likely been anxious to tackle those complex contracting issues. Initial delays in that effort have already cost them "All My Children" faves Debbi Morgan (Angie) and Jacob Young (JR), who were snapped up by the CBS soaps "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," respectively.
Now, with the first round of Prospect Park offers finally out, negotiations can truly begin. "I imagine it will go back and forth like all agreements do: you say this, we say that and we meet somewhere and off we go," Willey continued. "I’m very excited about it. These folks are innovators and I think they are very smart. I think that getting this up and running by fall was a little on the undoable side, but now it seems that both 'AMC' and 'One Life' will be starting up on the Internet at the same time in January 2012."
Stay tuned for more on this big move and in the meantime, here's Willey's "Midday Fix" appearance from earlier in the week. He talks mostly about his comedy career, singing chops and sky diving, but also gets into "All My Children" chatter.
The show takes a break from the drama with a pair of lighter sketches
"Halloween" did have some tone issues, as the two menacing thugs seemed to vacillate between genuinely threatening Louie and his daughters and just taking a Halloween-themed scare a bit too far. Still, the double payoff of the adorable Jane telling off the two guys ("Being scary is NOT NICE!") and Louie's passive-aggressive (but effective) vandalism solution was highly amusing. The set-up was reminiscent of last year's incredible "Bully" episode, and Louis C.K. seems to relish putting his television alter ego in these types of emasculating situations, with resolve in surprising ways. Overall, "Halloween" was slight but cute.
Taking a dive into show-business satire, "Ellie" opened with a dire script "punch-up" round table, populated by every basically true stereotype in the writing world: the inexperienced "baby" with the groaningly lame jokes, the cynical smart-aleck with a constant need to make sure he is better than everyone else, and the intelligent veterans eager to throw out ideas, collect the paycheck and get the hell out. And then there is Louie, who actually offers up some original ideas and clever comic set pieces. Maybe his work won't actually make the script or the movie any better, but he seems incapable of phoning it in; this trait catches the eye of studio vice-president Ellie, played with just the right amount of grandiosity and brittleness by Veanne Cox. In true "Louie" fashion, his good fortune lasts about ten seconds, just until he starts describing his idea for The Most Depressing Movie In The History Of The World (trademark Louis C.K.). But does he let this get him down? Not our Louie. It's onward to the next lengthy riff on his favorite (unmentionable) activity.
- "Americans only buy things that come from suffering."
- I bet Louie got a kick out of helping his daughter create her Fredrick Douglass costume.
- Lollipops aren't frozen.
- "I bet you've got fifty movie ideas sitting in that brain". Just kill me now.
- "If I could murder one person it would be you."
Here's what you need to know to get by at the water cooler
Ten episodes into the second season of "Pretty Little Liars," the girls "Gossip Girl" from the grave pal A's getting up close and personal.
Like hands around Emily's neck personal. While Emily was trying to enjoy a massage, the creepy creeper snuck in to give her a message. And all the girls got the point.
In the meantime, chaos all around. Spencer and Emily told Aria about the creepy photos they found in Jason DeLaurentis's shed -- and he explained them away by saying they were from an old role of film he found in dead bestie Ali's room. And then he had them framed and gave them to her. Weird.
Hanna made enemies with her soon-to-be step-sister Kate by dissing the giro's mama Isabel during an outing to the equestrian club.
Spencer told Ezra about the whole situation with Jason -- and Ezra finally stepped up, saying he and Aria should come out as a couple. Of course, Aria's mom spied Spencer and Ezra together and thought they were a couple -- and she totally disapproved.
Then Spencer and Toby, snooping through dead guy Ian's yearbook, discovered that Ian, Jason and bad cop Garrett all belonged to some non-existent club with the initials "N.A.T." Then they found a t-shirt that said "Nos Animadverto Todas," which meant: "We see all." Freaky.
Does that mean more than one creeper was involved in shooting those weird videos. Seems like it, since Garrett paid Jason a visit that night, making sure they were "still cool."
"What does it matter,” Jason asked. "It’s over now, right?" But Garrett informed him threateningly that, "I’m a cop now, it matters more than ever."
Looks like the girls might have more than one A-suspect on their hands.
The new British period drama provides entertaining summer fun
The dog days of August are hardly the time you would expect an enjoyable new television series to start, but behold: thanks to BBC America, we can get a much-needed dose of relief from summer reality shows with the "The Hour," starting Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. With a first-rate cast, lush production values and a mysterious Cold War espionage backdrop, it looks like intriguing and stylish fun.
Set in the BBC newsroom in the mid 1950's, the central characters are outspoken rebel journalist Freddie Lyon (Ben Wishaw), and Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) an ambitious young blonde who has just snagged the plum assignment of producer on the first hour-long prime time newscast. She is determined to make sure Freddie is a part of her team, despite his abrasive alienation of everyone in the workplace (and the not so hidden fact that he is crazy about her). Complicating matters is the smooth, rakishly handsome anchorman Hector Madden, played with considerable charm by Dominic West (best known in the US for playing Jimmy McNulty on "The Wire"). Although Madden seems intelligent enough, he is everything Freddie is not – charming, likeable, confident – and he develops an instant rapport with Bel.
If all that sounds vaguely familiar, it should. Creator Abi Morgan has been quite open about her love of "Broadcast News" and how she based the central love triangle around the Holly Hunter/Albert Brooks/William Hurt relationship in that film. But this is no easy Mad Men-esque knockoff; once you throw in whispered phone calls, a debutante with a secret, coded ciphers on the inside of cigarette papers and various sinister men in fedoras running around in the London Underground, it may start to seem more like "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" than a 1980's workplace romance. Even if all of the elements are familiar, "The Hour" is still a lively and refreshing way to escape the heat.
Come back and let us know what you thought in the comments!
Veteran Rick Forrester is coming home
Jacob Young is having a blast following his character JR Chandler into the bottle, but when "All My Children" goes dark next month, Young is ready to go back to where he got his start. The daytime vet has signed on to return to "The Bold and the Beautiful" and will show up on canvas right after "All My Children" wraps on ABC.
Many suspected Young might make this move back to CBS, but when MSN TV asked him a few weeks back, he played coy. Now, the secret is officially out. Young will be back on "The Bold and the Beautiful" September 26, the Monday after "All My Children" bows on ABC.
"It was always at the back of my mind that I'd love to return to this role," Young told TV Guide. "It was my first part on television and the fact that Rick's still around is almost too good to be true. To go back and make the role my own again is a real thrill for me. I'm eager to work with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) again. We had such a great rapport when I was younger. When they suddenly aged Rick and gave me the part she was, like, 'I'm too young to have a kid this old!' That was when I was 18 and now I'm almost 32. I can't wait to go back and bust her!"
With the future of "All My Children" back up in the air, much of the cast has hit the audition circuit and Young's costar Debbie Morgan has already signed on with "The Young and the Restless," sister soap of "The Bold and the Beautiful."
Young, who also did stints on "General Hospital" and "One Life to Live" before signing on to "All My Children" in 2003, was in the running for a few primetime roles, but isn't grumbling now that he's decided to stick around daytime, instead.
"I know this daytime medium really well and I love it," he told the mag. "I love the over-the-topness of it. I love working every day. It brings me a lot of joy. Cady McLain (Dixie) and I were talking the other day and I said, 'I'd stay in this medium as long as it will have me, until I can't work anymore.' It's brought so much to my life and that's the bottom line. To have a steady job and to work as many years as I have is an amazing thing. The whole world's unpredictable now, not just show biz. My uncle just lost his job after 30-some years. Laid off. Done. It's going on everywhere.
"Do you ever think about that ultimate question: If I was to die tomorrow, would I be happy with what I've achieved? Well, I gotta say yes! Sure there have been ups and downs but I've had a lot of success in my life and a great deal of it has to do with the daytime soaps."
Young was not actually the first Rick Forrester, but he was the first Rick to see his own drama. He played Brooke and Eric's son from 1997 to '99 and during those two short years, Adrienne Frantz' Amber put him through the ringer with her machinations.
After Young left, Justin Torkildsen assumed the role and got into his own share of the drama, but since Kyle Lowder stepped in in 2007, Rick's action has been sporadic. The Forrester heir returns to canvas often, and even had moments with Taylor and her daughters, Steffy and Phoebe, but he never seems to stick around for long.
Word is that with Young back in the role, Rick will be front and center again.
As an interesting side note, this puts Lowder officially out of a job, though he wasn't getting much action on "The Bold and the Beautiful," anyway. With "Days of our Lives" going through a reboot, Lowder's real life wife Arianne Zucker (Nicole) wouldn't mind seeing him return to Salem, but not as Brady (Eric Martsolf has that role covered).
"I would like to see the character of Eric Brady back... and it would be interesting to see my husband," Zucker told MSN TV a few months back. "Think about it: He's Sami's twin. They don't look alike, but their coloring is so similar, with their platinum hair and the blue eyes. I think that would be cool!"
Hey, you never know in daytime…
"The Bold and the Beautiful" airs weekdays on CBS and "All My Children" airs weekdays on ABC.