'All My Children' vet will not be taking on pal Victoria Rowell's role
Special to MSN TV
As word spread that "All My Children" fave Debbi Morgan is moving to Genoa City come September, a rumor kicked up that she would be taking on the role of Victoria Rowell's divalicious Drucilla. Morgan took to her website with a blog post titled "The rumors are true" to clarify: She is joining "The Young and the Restless," but not as Drucilla.
"I’m very excited about joining 'Y&R,' and already have relationships with a few of the actors over there," Morgan wrote. "And after playing Dr. Angela Hubbard on and off for over twenty-five plus years, I’m ready to step into a new pair of shoes."
Many of Morgan's costars, including Susan Lucci (Erica), are staying in Pine Valley, but Morgan signed onto with "The Young and the Restless" on the very day it was announced that ABC's canceled "All My Children" will live another on the internet, along with "One Life to Live." Talk about good timing for Genoa City!
As for her new shoes, Morgan isn't telling us anything about them, except to say what is isn't: "For those who have speculated about the possibility of my taking over the role of the ex-'Drucilla Winters', played by the wonderfully talented Victoria Rowell, I can tell you absolutely not!… No way…No how! Ms. Rowell has put her stamp on the role of Drucilla, and I know her fans would be outraged to see me or any other actress come in and try to take her place. I wouldn’t even attempt to go there. As far as I’m concerned Victoria Rowell is simply irreplaceable as 'Drucilla.'
"But I am terribly excited about the role I will be playing and can only hope that my devoted fans who have followed my career as 'Angie' all these years, as well as many of the other roles I’ve played outside of daytime, will take this new journey along with me!"
Morgan's list of primetime and the big screen credits go back to the early '70s, but daytime has long claimed her as its own. In addition to play Angie on "All My Children," "Loving" and "The City," Morgan did time on "Generations," "Port Charles" and "The Bold and the Beautiful."
"The Young and the Restless" airs weekdays on CBS.
The new season starts off strong with a tense and powerful episode
"We're all on the same page." – Jesse Pinkman
"Breaking Bad" has always been a confident blend of nail-biting suspense and pitch black comedy; although not as deeply cynical about human nature as a show like "The Sopranos", it still occasionally gets its kicks from stepping back and watching its characters squirm like bugs trapped under a microscope. "Box Cutter" was no exception, as its centerpiece was a slow-burn build that allowed the central villain to toy with both the audience's emotions and psyches of his terrified employees.
More to the point, despite being incredibly creative, nothing happened in this episode that could be characterized as unpredictable. Despite some internet chatter, was there ever any real doubt that Jesse shot Gale? Perhaps it needed to be confirmed that Gale was dead from that gunshot (he is) and if Jesse managed to get out before any one saw him (he did), but the real suspense was the simple question: What would Gus do (WWGD for short)? Once Gus arrived at the lab, and started that slow, methodical, endless-by-television-standards, change of clothes and grabbed the eponymous tool, it was also clear who was the red shirt in that room. Simply by virtue of being the series regulars, it wasn't the babbling Walt, the catatonic Jesse, or the stoic Mike. Poor Victor, we hardly knew ye (outside of your impressive observation skills, of course).
Interspersed with the central nail-biting sequence, Skyler gets deeper into her life as a criminal, inch by dissembling inch. Sure, it wasn't too big a deal that she got the locksmith to let her into Walt's apartment; she was genuinely worried and didn't have any nefarious intentions. But look at her face after the guy leaves; this kind of lying is coming more naturally to her every day. And we also got a glimpse of what life is like for Marie and Hank; he is slipping into strange and compulsive online shopping behaviors, while she is keeping a brave façade up that will surely get more brittle every day. Even in these scenes that are more humorous on the surface, maximum time is spent just studying the mundane actions of each character, which no regard for moving the plot forward.
That's where the incredible genius of "Breaking Bad" lies; in the willingness of the creators to linger on the gruesome details of the actual disposal of a dead body, or the meticulous way a killer has to protect his clothes before committing a crime, or the raw realities of convalescing from a crippling gunshot wound (bedpans and all). Most important, they don't let us forget that Walt, the man at the center of it all – brilliantly portrayed by phenomenal Bryan Cranston – has made a series of ugly choices that are slowly eroding all the happiness of the people he is ostensibly trying to protect. Now he's back at work, and I can't wait to see what happens.
- Last year, the flashbacks were some of the best parts of that extraordinary season, and tonight's poignant cold open with Gale scurrying around the new lab like a kid at Christmas was great as well.
- Aaron Paul is just fantastic; he didn't have one word of dialogue for more than half the episode, but the intense expression on his face after Gus slit Victor's throat spoke volumes. His attitude at the diner was pretty bone chilling as well.
- As usual, the most purely hilarious moments were courtesy of Saul Goodman ("You got a passport, right?"). I also hope we see more of his obviously long-suffering staff.
- They do love their underwater camera shots, don't they?
The series finale proves why this show will 'Always' be in our hearts
"Being a part of the Lions has been the greatest experience of my life." – Jess
"I think it's been mine too." – Coach Taylor
There is sometimes a big gap between knowing the right thing to do and actually doing it. Human beings, even the best ones, will twist themselves into knots trying to find a way to get out of making tough decisions. But occasionally, there is a moment of clarity that sweeps your doubts away. And sometimes that moment makes you run through a shopping mall at Christmas time, embrace the woman who is both your wife and your best friend, and entreat her to let you go to Philadelphia with her.
Well, maybe that only happens on the series finale of the Emmy nominated "Friday Night Lights". But it was a winning and appropriate moment that encapsulated the romantic and loving relationship at the core of this show. Of course, it was expected that some sort of compromise would be worked out between the Taylors, but that didn't lessen the impact of the scene where Eric looked back and forth between Tami's weary early-morning eyes and the Braemore college paperwork spread out across the dining table, and realized that it was her turn, that the best thing for their family was to follow her dream to another state, and use his talents to reach out to another group of young people in another city. It took a lot of conflict, and a jolt of reality from his own daughter (more on that later), but Coach made his peace with his new life and could head out to the State game with clear eyes and a full heart.
The "Can't lose" part of our mantra seemed uncertain right up until that glorious shot of Vince's pass morphing into the Philadelphia high school field eight months later. The filming of the state championship game was an example of the creative team pulling out all the stops; slow-motion reaction shots of elation and despair, close-ups of the kids' sweaty faces underneath their helmets, and Explosions in the Sky's evocative music the only sound we can hear. Maybe it was overkill – yet another last-minute victory coming from behind - but they earned it. And the wrap-up montage was earned as well, with all of our various couples in states of bliss or contentment or uncertainty, as follows:
Julie and Matt: Jason Katims and company really cashed in every chip they held on this one. Realistically, it is crazy for these two teenagers to get engaged (Tami's hilariously shrill "I think we agree on this!" to Eric was the high point of their prolonged conflict), and the adults have every right to object and probably even actively try to stop them. But all of the time we have spent with QB1 and Coach's daughter paid off; when Julie pointed out that Eric and Tami had gotten married young, everything fell into place. These two have had the ideal and (as Julie said) inspiration of the Taylor marriage as a role model, and there's no better example in the world.
Jess and Vince: Embodying a more down-to-earth portrait of a high school romance, the real story was their growth as individuals. Indeed, both Jess and Vince had individual moments with Coach that were more moving than their scenes together; Eric's sincere "You will be missed" when Jess tells him she is moving, and his pointed expression of pride to Vince before the game were both touching as hell. And their expressions in the final montage – Vince confident and graceful on the field in his senior year, and Jess clutching her clipboard amid the coaching staff at her new school – told us everything we needed to know about their bright futures.
Tim and Tyra: Here, another strong Texas woman helped a troubled Texas man find his own measure of contentment. Reviving the connection between these two, while at the same time acknowledging their growth away from each other, made for a bittersweet but satisfying end to their story arc. Tim will put down roots on the land he has (rather unbelievably) been able to hang on to, working with his lifetime partner Billy, while having a beer and enjoying the sunshine. Not such a bad way to end up.
Luke and Becky: This was the one "You are the love of my life" that felt tacked on and semi-obligatory. Once again, the real poignancy of the episode was in another relationship, namely Becky and Mindy. Their parting, with Becky whispering, "I'm a sister", was actually more affecting than Luke's good-bye to her as he gets on the Army bus. There's no doubt it was a reasonable alternative for a small town boy with limited opportunities, but it didn't feel as earned as some of the other endings.
Amidst all the tears, there were many moments of levity – the adventures of Tim Riggins and baby Stevie, Landry's ribbing of the newly engaged Matt as they hang out in the garage, Billy and Tim's unison "It's not incest" – and despite the many changes over the past five years, some things stay the same. Buddy Garrity will still tootle around the Panther field in his golf cart, Eric Taylor will still dispense gruff but affectionate wisdom to wide-eyed high school football players, and I'm sure Tami is trilling "Hi y'all" to all of the Braemore students. In the final scene, it is a different state, a different city, and a different football field. But, always, it is the same beloved family. We were all able to be a part of it, and that will never change.
'Joan' is a loving tribute to a comedy legend
Talking about the craft of comedy has become something of a cottage industry lately. Podcasts like Marc Maron's in-depth interviews with his fellow comedians and shows like the HBO special "Talking Funny" let the stand-ups step out from behind the microphone and analyze what they do and why they do it. Certain episodes of "Louie" are certainly a part of that subculture, particularly tonight's bracingly funny and ultimately loving appreciation of living legend Joan Rivers.
In addition to his obvious talents, Louis C.K. has proven extraordinarily generous to other actors and comics featured on his show – willingly ceding the spotlight last season to Pamela Adlon, Nick DiPaolo, and Ricky Gervais. Here, he stepped aside and gave over the bulk of the episode to Joan, who dove right in with her usual no holds barred attitude. Everything about her was a kick – pouring herself a jumbo sized vodka, bitching about being ousted as resident "old person" by Betty White of all people, slapping Louie upside the head when he dares to even assume she dispensed sexual favors to advance her career. At its core, her lecture to Louis about shaping up and "knowing when you're lucky" was the standard work ethic sermon from the older generation to the younger; it was no different than a stern senior citizen instructing some kid to get a haircut and a real job. And the fact that it ended in both of them heading to the bedroom? Well, that was just an expected "Louie"-style bonus.
- The opening bit was pretty brief, but it did introduce Karleen, the other sister mentioned in the premiere episode. What a nightmare.
- Also, the Sunshine Deli bit highlighted another archetypal frustration of living in New York City. Ordering delivery; it's never ever simple.
- "Now, you're united as a people in hatred of me."
- "That's Chicago. They got all those people."
- What a sweet, rueful little coda, seen entirely in a long shot of Louie getting his job back from the kindhearted Sam.
- Awesome and frankly, surprising news: Louis C.K. garnered four Emmy nominations; two for writing and acting in "Louie" and another two (writing and editing) for his HBO special.
Manipulation goes both ways as Ryan tries to assert himself with his sister
It is not really clear if "Wilfred" is just trying to be a gross, wacky comedy or if it has something deeper on its mind. Every episode so far has incorporated a "life lesson" of sorts, taught to the wide-eyed Ryan by the scabrous, foul-mouthed, pompous Wilfred. But is the cure for Ryan's alleged character flaws worth the humiliation and anxiety that Wilfred puts him through every time? More specifically to "Acceptance", does Ryan rescuing Wilfred from another most-likely fabricated crisis relate in any meaningful way to his standing up to his nagging sister?
Dorian Brown made the most of her first significant screen time, nicely balancing the obnoxious facets of Kristin's personality ("Laughing hurts, too.") and her genuine concern for her slacker brother. Ed Helms had considerably less to do, as the purported "dog molesterer" with a repulsive penchant for peanut butter perversion. Strangely, with each elaborate lie or set-up that Wilfred perpetuates on adorable little Ryan, Jason Gann gets more appealing and funny. Maybe silly comedy is enough for now.
- "This is a guilt burrito."
- True observations: Pugs do have that ugly/cute thing going on.
- The tags are really the best part of every episode; Ryan's Pavlovian response to the gurgling sound of the soda was priceless.
Who else will be returning to Salem?
By Deanna Barnert
Special to MSN TV
The new regime of "Days of our Lives" will have old storylines wrapped in time for the back to school season and fans are getting teasers galore from co-headwriter Marlene McPherson, who confirms the return of Carrie and Austin, just in time for a "huge" and "grand" Salem shindig.
"Wrapping up old storylines air August 19, " Marlene McPherson tweeted. "So exciting. But the best is yet to come - our new stories! Huge party with many surprises the week of September 26, with a special episode on September 23! You are all invited! We promise you won't be disappointed!"
While it won't air for a few months, "Days" has been talking about the "grand event" since the executive producer shakeup last month and the cast and crew have already kicked off the festivities onset.
"The big event is taping now," McPherson tweeted today, July 13, 2011. "Old friends and new are all here! Get ready for big emotion, romance and fun! It's a brand new DOOL!"
Two of those old friends are returning faves Christie Clark (Carrie) and Patrick Muldoon (Austin). "The news is out! Carrie and Austin are back!" McPherson confirmed.
Earlier today Muldoon tweeted: "So great to see Ali and Christie. Kristian Alfonso (Hope) just said 'welcome home.' I think I'm getting emotional. Hahaha. Ok it's ON! Let's Rock this!"
Drake Hogestyn (John), Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Matthew Ashford (Jack) are also likely to make an appearance at the soiree, as they all return on September 26.
Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that Ivan G'Vera is also back onset as Vivian's dutiful sidekick Ivan (1992 to 2000). If he is in fact taping right now, the timing certainly intrigues. Louise Sorel's Viv will likely be planning one last scheme before she blows out of town.
Where better to strike than at this big party?
Update: Based on a new tweet from Peter Reckell (Bo), it seems there could be even more returns in store. "The shows are going to be amazing!" he posted. "Wait 'til you see who is coming back!"
The fearful foursome bury their prime suspect -- and learn that the killer is still out there
Jabot Cosmetics breaks the fourth wall
By Deanna Barnert
Special to MSN TV
After 20 years of onscreen product development, "The Young and the Restless" is bringing fictional Jabot Cosmetics to the real world, with a little help from "The Talk," Genoa City locals Peter Bergman (Jack) and Tracey Bregman (Lauren) are heading to "The Talk", on Thursday, July 14, 2011 to dish on the "new" cosmetic and skincare line with hosts Leah Remini and Holly Robinson. Then, on the Thursday July 28 episode of "The Young and the Restless," local characters Jack and Lauren visit "The Talk" to launch Jabot's new product; while Jabot takes the real world by storm.
Bing: Watch clips and episodes of 'Young and the Restless'
"We'll bring more eyes to 'The Talk' and I think it's a way to be part of the daytime family," "The Talk" exec producer John Redmann says of the crossover. "We have so much respect for what they do and to be able to include that on our show is a huge opportunity for us."
"One hand helps the other," adds Tracey Bregman, the face of Jabot in both Genoa City and the real world. "What I'm hoping is that Jabot will reach an audience that hasn't found daytime, because we need to help daytime any time we can. The launch also pays homage to [show creator] Bill Bell and his original idea of Jabot. Diehard fans are going to feel they own a piece of 'The Young and the Restless.'"
Bing: Watch clips and episodes of 'The Talk'
"I'm just having a great time with it," she continues. "The soft launch we did [in June], we sold out our Red Carpet Collection in forty minutes. There is a frenzy for product now. You should see on the [chat] boards! "
After months of wearing Jabot on the sly, Bregman couldn't wait to dish her new fave products on HSN and she can't wait to get to the "The Talk."
"This is something I love, makeup and skin care," Bregman reveals. "I've tried everything on the market. There are a lot of amazing Jabot products to talk about. Our moisturizers great and there's something called the Five Star Serum that's made with the cactus pectin that's tremendous. The whole cactus pectin thing that's been on the 'Young and The Restless' is revolutionary and amazing.
While Bregman is at ease pitching Jabot Cosmetics, she had to keep herself in check for Lauren's run on the "The Talk," which airs on "The Young and the Restless" later this month, but has already been shot.
"I had to remember this isn't Tracey, who's been in front of an audience," Bregman shares. "Lauren would be like, 'Oh my god! This is so cool!' I had to change it up a little."
With Leah Remini and Holly Robinson asking some inflammatory questions and springing a surprise guest on Jack and Lauren, the Genoa City run will also get a bit scandalous.
Lauren has managed to stay out of Newman/Jabot cosmetic wars over the years, but as a Newman board member and the new face of Jabot, she's could find herself in the crossfire. If that doesn't cause drama with her husband Michael, perhaps touring around with Jack might. They did, after all, have a "hot time" back when they were college kids.
Bregman has no idea what's in store, but wouldn't complain if her new gig stirred up some martial drama onscreen. "One would only hope," she sighs. "I would love that!"
Find out more about Jabot Cosmetics and Skin Care by tuning into "The Talk", on Thursday, July 14, 2011, but don't forget to circle back to see the ladies of "The Talk" on "The Young and the Restless" on July 28. Then, catch the 5-hour Jabot launch on HSN that same day, with prices ranging between $15 and $45.
"The Young and the Restless" and "The Talk" air weekdays on CBS.