Monday, August 31, 2009

Mad Men “My Old Kentucky Home” Party Time!

Mad Men “My Old Kentucky Home” was a mixed bag of events, with three parties of differing kinds, plus one child stealing from her grandfather.

First things first – Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) steals $5 from her grandfather when he’s not in the room. Despite the fact that Gene’s (Ryan Cutrona) mind is becoming more scattered, he misses the money right away and get annoyed with Don (Jon Hamm) when Don tries to fix the problem by handing him $5 of his own. Carla (Deborah Lacey), the housekeeper, feels like Gene will accuse her, so she tears apart his room to look for the money. Eventually Sally sees the problem that she has created and finds a way to return the money by throwing it on the kitchen floor when no on is looking and pretends to “find” it. Gene seems to have forgiven her when he allows Sally to go back to reading him a book – which is where they started before Sally took the money. Somehow I think that Sally, who if I recall last season too a few sips of one of her parent’s drinks when they weren’t looking, is going to be a problem child for the Drapers as she grows up. At least it is good to see that in this case, she saw the repercussions from her actions and decided to make it right.

As far as the three parties going on, one was formal, one was informal, and one was a “pot” party in the office. Joan (Christina Hendricks) and her husband are having a dinner at home with her husband’s boss, the chief of surgery. Don and Betty (January Jones), Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Trudy (Alison Brie), Harry (Rich Sommer) and Jennifer, and Ken (Aaron Staton) are going to a posh outdoor party hosted by Jane (Peyton List) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery). And Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), Kinsey (Michael Gladis ) and Smitty get stuck working at the office over the weekend on a new campaign for Bacardi that is needed first thing in the week. Their creative block turns into a pot party.

For Joan’s party, she and her husband Greg (Sam Page) want everything to be right, but for different reasons. Greg wants to be deferential to his boss, Joan wants to maintain etiquette rules. They find a compromise and the dinner party goes on. But Joan seems uncomfortable when the wife of the chief of surgery tells her not to get pregnant, and tells her how hard things were for her and her husband when they started out. She also seems to be slightly embarrassed that Greg has asked her to play the accordion for them, but she bounces back just fine, performing a number in French. It seems Joan has made a very positive impression for Greg. Somehow, I feel that Joan will soon get tired of being the perfect wife doing all the perfect things only for the benefit of her (creepy) husband.

At Sterling Cooper, Peggy, Kinsey and Smitty (Patrick Cavanaugh) are trying to come up with new ideas for the Bacardi ads. They’re miffed that they have to work the weekend (Peggy moaning that the accounts people “hate creative”). Peggy’s new secretary Olive (Judy Kain), who is an older and seemingly very stable woman, seems to be protective of Peggy and stays in the office as long as Peggy is there. But when Peggy leaves Kinsey's office Kinsey decides to contact an old friend who deals drugs in order to get some pot. The dealer, Jeffrey Graves (Miles Fisher) arrives with a whole assorted bag of tricks, but they stick with the pot. Smitty uses Kinsey’s sweater to block the bottom of the door so the smell won’t escape. Later, when Peggy makes a move to go back into Kinsey’s office, Olive stops her, as she knows exactly what is going on in there. But Peggy goes in anyway, and shocks the rest of them when she decides to join them in the fun. Jeffrey seems rather taken with her. As Kinsey becomes more morose and Smitty more useless, Peggy is enlightened by being high and comes up with the beginnings of a great ad scenario. She goes back to her office, knowing she is high, to continue to work. Olive seems displeased that Peggy joined in, but Peggy reassures her there is nothing to worry about, and asks Olive to set up her Dictaphone, planning to go to work while her creative mind was turned up on full. In fact, she tells Olive “I’m in a very good place right now.” I wonder if Peggy will make any further connection with Jeffrey or him with her, and if drug use will become a requirement for Peggy in the future in order to get the creative ideas flowing. In fact, as Peggy tries to be respected at one of the boys, she mistakenly thinks she has to do everything they do in order to belong, and in a way, she is loosing herself. I am a little disappointed that Peggy seems to falling into a trap that she has to be like them in order to succeed.

The outdoor derby day party at the country club hosted by Roger and Jane seem to look like a good time. Betty feels that her dress makes her look like an umbrella, as she is so far along in her pregnancy. She is surprised when, while she waits for her friend to leave the ladies room that a man approaches her and seems to be taken by her pregnant beauty. He asks to put her hand on her belly, admitting it is the martinis taking. She finds out later that this man is Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) and he works in the governor’s office. Also at the party, Pete and Trudy perform the Charleston, and Roger performs “My Old Kentucky Home” in blackface for Jane. Don goes off and bonds with a lonely bartender and makes his own drink with the liquor that is available. Later, when Jane seems loopy and falls while trying to get some food, Don and Betty realize she is drunk. When Jane makes a comment about Don and Betty getting back together, Betty gets ruffled and walks off, and Jane, seated, grabs at Don who is standing next to her chair. Roger sees this and wonders what is going on. Don tells him that Jane is drunk, and Roger thinks that Don is just jealous that he is happy, but Don knows that what Roger has is not happiness. Later, Don finds Betty standing alone in an open area, and they share a kiss. I wonder, though, was Betty thinking about the slight thrill she seemed to get by another man finding her attractive, even when she was pregnant? Was Don kissing her because he feels they can have more than what Roger and Jane have, or was there something else going on in his mind?

After watching this episode, while I have concerns about Sally, I think her experience with stealing ad how it affected her grandfather may have had a more lasting positive effect on her. I can’t say the same for Peggy, who seems to be falling into the same traps as her coworkers whom she often looks down upon. Jane, who at the beginning of the show seemed to condescend to Joan, seems to be having trouble coping with her new life with Roger, and clueless Roger thinks everything couldn’t be better. Betty and Don seem to be on better footing, although I sense once the baby is born, Betty will become even more depressive and Don may be forced away again. It’s very interesting and complex drama that keeps me coming back for more!

Inside Look Mad Men “My Old Kentucky Home”

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Closer “Waivers of Extradition” A Good Close To Summer

Billed as the “summer” season finale (the series starts back up in December), ”The Closer” episode “Waivers of Extradition” brought a serial killer to the attention of Major Crimes. It also looks like it (thankfully) takes Brenda’s (Kyra Sedgwick) niece “Charlie” (Sosie Bacon) out of the mix.

The gruesome stabbing death of a woman gets major crimes involved. It appears that her husband heard her screams, and saw what looked like a Ninja, dressed all in black, fleeing the scene. Brenda’s team is skeptical. Focusing on the woman’s husband, they soon back off of interrogating him when another witness comes forward who also claims to have seen someone dressed in all black in the area of the murder – and they also got information about a car the suspect was driving.

Tracking down this car points Brenda and her team to Texas where the car was purchased. When El Paso Detective Curt Landry (Xander Berkeley) gets the call from Brenda, he seems to already know some details of the case, and rather than tell Brenda what he knows over the phone, he hops on a plane and flies up to LA. Apparently Landry is all too familiar with this murderer’s MO and multiple killings and wants to track this serial killer down so he can extradite him back to Texas to face the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Brenda’s father Clay (Barry Corbin) has returned to Brenda’s home in order to bring Charlie back home to Georgia. The problem is, Charlie doesn’t want to go back home, and Fritz (Job Tenney) and Brenda don’t want her to stay. Personally, her presence is a distraction to the show so while I watch the episode I am hoping Brenda doesn’t cave in and let her stay.

Landry feeds Brenda just enough information about what he knows to help her a bit, and, after meeting with Chief Pope (J.K. Simmons) agree that whoever had the better case can get the killer to prosecute. Brenda, of course, seems to want to keep the upper hand so she can claim she has the best case. What she doesn’t know is Landry is holding back. But the team’s collective work – along with help from Fritz (yes, he actually did some FBI work in this episode) - helps to focus the team on someone who is transporting cars via a car carrier, and using some of those cars in the commission of the murders. The track one of the cars in question via LoJack to a rest stop. When Sergeant Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) and Detective Sanchez (Raymond Cruz) catch up with the car carrier the driver is nowhere to be found. Rather than wait for the driver to show themselves, they decide to go into the rest stop store and see if they can find him. The problem is, he’s now in the truck and starting to drive away. (Dumb move on the detectives' part, I say.) Sanchez decides to try to get the driver to stop and grabs hold of the passenger side door of the truck cab, and as the drive barrels down the road in his loaded car carrier, Sanchez battles for control. In the process, the driver breaks Sanchez’s arm with a baseball bat. Sanchez hangs tough and gets the truck to stop after it storms through a construction zone (they don’t have fruit or flower stands out on the open road so a construction zone will just have to do.) Landry notices some scratches on the suspect’s neck, but says nothing.

Back at Major Crimes, Brenda and her team still look for the proverbial “smoking gun” in order to connect this suspect to all the murders. They find a bag of items in his truck that Brenda suspects are trophies from his killings. But Landry reveals his ace in the hole – one of the crimes in Texas netted him some DNA (from the scratches on his neck). Brenda knows that having the DNA will trump anything she has – unless she gets a confession. Brenda deftly finds a way to get the suspect to waive his rights – criminals can be so dumb – and dangles the prospect of the death penalty if she releases him to Texas as incentive to talk to her. Of course, he waives his rights and takes the contents of his trophy bag and maps out to Brenda where he picked up every item.

Landry knows that the confession of all the murders will trump his DNA, and tells Brenda that she can have him. But he hands her his file of all the pictures of the victims that he had compiled, and when Brenda looks at all of them, changes her mind and decides to have the killer released to Texas where they will bring him to justice in their way. Landry is happy and indicates this is exactly why he handed those pictures to Brenda. In a way, he worked Brenda just as well as Brenda worked the suspect.

Back at home, Clay wants to get going to return to Georgia and he wants Brenda to decide about Charlie. We know what Fritz wants – he wants Charlie to go home – and Brenda decides to have a chat alone with Charlie in her room. She helps Charlie to come to grips with the decision that she has to go home and give her parents a second chance. Let’s hope that she doesn’t return in December.

This episode certainly had plenty of action and drama. Xander Berkeley was a good choice for Detective Landry and frankly I was glad when Brenda caved and let Landry take the killer back to Texas. Sometimes I think Brenda’s desire to win is overpowering and it was an interesting twist to have her know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em in this case. It was also a nice change for Fritz to actually be doing some work for the team in his FBI capacity and not just be window dressing for the show in the form of kitty sitter and “kiddie” sitter. Hopefully in the season starting back up in December they will give Fritz more credible scenarios.

The confession of the serial killing, in my opinion, was a little too easy to be realistic. Sure, criminals aren’t necessarily the brightest people, but I would think that someone who has such an elaborate scheme to cover his tracks would have known to wait for his lawyer. Not that I plan on being arrested for anything, but I have already come to the conclusion that if that ever does happen, my only words will be “I want a lawyer.” As I mentioned earlier, I think this show will be better if Charlie does not return to the show, no offense to Sosie Bacon, the real life daughter of Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon (who also directed this episode). It is always a good break for the crime portion of the show to see into Brenda’s personal life, but having kids around sometimes breaks the mood a little too much. And I can only beg again for the series to give Jon Tenney a little more serious work with the show rather than being treated like a househusband.

Still, it was a satisfying finale to the summer and I look forward to Brenda’s return in December. Also, the best of luck to Kyra in her quest for this year’s Emmy Award, as she certainly deserves it.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mad Men “Love Among the Ruins” Little Love, Lots of Ruins

This episode of Mad Men, “Love Among the Ruins” opens with a clip from that campy 1963 movie, “Bye Bye Birdie” with Ann-Margret’s singing the opening theme song. Personally, that movie has many great memories for me; my grandmother took my sisters and me to see it in one of the big movie theaters in downtown Cleveland when the film opened, and it represents some of the happiest times for our family.

But for the people at Sterling Cooper, it means a look or a feeling that they want for the ad campaign for “Patio”, the new diet drink from Pepsi. Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) seems to be struggling with how woman are represented and how the product is being sold to women, and she lets it show repeatedly. When Don sees the clip of Ann-Margret from the movie, it’s clear that Don is responding to the performance in the same manner as the rest of the guys. When Peggy begins to air her concerns to him, he tells her bluntly that men want Ann-Margret, and women want to be her. "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems. Leave some tools in your toolbox." Peggy seems to struggle with wanting to be respected as one of the guys, yet in the privacy of her own apartment, she mimics Ann’s Bye Bye Birdie number while looking in the mirror. Later, she tries, somewhat uncomfortably at first, to fit in to the bar scene. She manages to pick up a college guy and they head to his place. Things almost grind to a halt when Peggy asks if her one night stand has a Trojan, and when he doesn’t, she suggests other things they can do. Later, she tries unsuccessfully to slip unnoticed out of his apartment. The next day, she acts like nothing has happened as she approaches Don about the Pampers account. Peggy wants to be respected for he mind, but she also wants to be a subject of men’s desire. Was her trip to the bar from a need to be desired or is she just trying to get into the heads of men to try to understand it more for her job? I sense that we are seeing the birth of a feminist.

Betty Draper (January Jones) is as big as a house. In fact, Joan (Christina Hendricks) says to Betty “Other than Wilma Flintstone, I've never seen a woman carry so well.” This doesn’t seem to make the cranky Better feel much better. In addition to the pressures of her pregnancy, there are also family problems as Betty is faced the fact that Gene, her father, is becoming somewhat senile. She perceives that her brother William is looking for any excuse to get hold of his father’s home. But despite the fact that we find that Betty’s relationship with her father had been less than stellar in the past, it’s Betty who seems to want to do the right thing for him. I found this segment of the episode rather dull. I was glad when Don (Jon Hamm) stepped in and forced William into pushing the solution of having Betty’s father move in with the Drapers and making sure that Gene's home is not sold. Don shows his dislike of William by making him leave Gene’s car at the Draper's and forcing William and his family to take the train home. Later, Don and Betty realize what they bought into when they find Gene rattling around the kitchen, pouring all the liquor into the sink, thinking back to the prohibition years and in his state of mind, thinking that a raid is coming. At a later date, Don, Betty, their kids, and Gene are at a gathering where a maypole dance is being performed, and as Don watches a young, barefoot woman dance with the children, he reaches down and runs his fingers through the grass. I am not sure if Don is wishing to be back to those carefree years where he had no worries, or if he was attracted to the woman, or both.

Problems arise for Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) while trying to land the Madison Square Garden account when Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis) seems to be siding against the MSG people as he voices his opposition to the demolition of Penn Station. The MSG people aren’t pleased and Pete also chides Paul for his comments. Later, Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) wants Don, along with Roger, to break bread with an MSG man, Edgar, in order to try to patch things up. Don tells Edgar that if he doesn’t like the negative comments that are out there in the press, he should change the conversation. When Edgar’s curiosity is piqued and he asks Don just what is the conversation, Don knows he has Edgar roped back in. Also, Don and Betty have dinner with Pryce and his wife Rebecca (Embeth Davidtz), and while Rebecca seems nice enough, she comes off as a little aloof and this seems to but Betty off.

But later, Pryce tells Don that the headquarters of parent company PP&L want them to drop any further work with MSG as they see it as being too big of a cost outlay and administrative hairball in the long run. Don is incredulous, and tells Pryce that they are throwing away an opportunity that would cover many shapes and forms over many years. When he asks Pryce why the company bought Sterling Cooper, Pryce answers that he doesn’t know. By the way, the real public outrage over the destruction of the original landmark building was the driving force behind the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Paul may have been on the right track but landed at the wrong station, so to speak. Who knows, maybe Paul had something to do with it.

Roger Sterling (John Slattery), by his own admission, has made his bed and now has to lie in it. His divorce from his wife Mona (Talia Balsam) and his remarriage to Jane has left it icy with their daughter Margaret. When Mona and Margaret, and then later the fiance Brooks Hargrove come to the office to go over wedding plans, the sniping begins. Roger tries to outwardly not be bothered by it. When he puts his blessing on the wedding invitation, we see the wedding date of November 23, 1963 – what we now know is the day after the assassination of President John Kennedy. Yes, I would say that there are going to be problems. Later, in the elevator with Peggy and then with Don while waiting for Edgar from MSG, Roger moans about not being wanted at his daughter’s wedding, and the toxic relationship he seems to now have with his ex-wife. It seems to me that there may be little love in the ruins of Roger’s life. While Roger seems to have twinges of regret, he still behaves as an ego-centric person who lives life for his own gratification. Roger seems to think that his choices should have no impact on everyone else’s life, and now he is seeing the harsh reality.

It seems that every character in this show has learned to survive in some shape or form. For Peggy, it’s almost as if she has a secret life outside the office, and in the office she tries to keep everything completely professional. Roger survives by drinking. Don survives by making decisions and then living with the consequences, but still seemingly wanting a life without all the responsibilities. But Roger’s daughter’s wedding date brings an ominous tone to what is to come – and I sense a true survival test will be coming with it.

Recap Clip

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CSI Miami “Out of Time” Season Premiere Photos, Episode Information

The first episode of season 8 for CSI Miami (CBS) goes backwards in time before the season can go forward. As viewers are aware, the end of last season left Eric Delko (Adam Rodriguez) driving away with his father. The car later is found crashed in a pond and while Eric’s father is there, injured, Eric is nowhere to be found. Since it’s no secret that Adam Rodriguez is leaving CSI Miami, it should be no surprise that the new season begins with Eric in a coma. The episode also involves flashing back to 1997, and the early days of the Miami Dade Police Department, to give insight on how the team became the people that they are in the present day.

We learn a few tidbits of key information as evidenced by these photos and other general information leaked about this episode:

1. Horatio Caine (David Caruso) actually wore white shirts! (He looks better in white, I think)

2. Eric Delko may be the person who started Horatio on his obsession with sunglasses. (It could be because the glare from the white shirts were too much for Horatio when he looked in the mirror.)

3. Frank Tripp (Rex Linn) had hair. On his head, that is.

The show also introduces the new character Jesse Cardoza (Eddie Cibrian) who first shows up in the flashback, but will later return to Miami in the present time. Khandi Alexander also returns in the flashback as ME Alexx Woods.

It hasn’t been made quite clear in how many episodes Rodriguez will appear, so fans will just have to wait and see.

It sounds like an interesting premiere, and long as they don’t “cheese” it up to badly. Enjoy the pictures below that CBS has released for “Out of Time.” (The season premier is on Monday, September 21 at 10 PM.)

All Photos ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Raising the Bar “Bobbi Ba-Bing” One Loss, One Win, One Reconciliation

Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) loses a case to Marcus McGrath (J. August Richards) but wins back Bobbi in this episode of ”Raising The Bar” (TNT) “Bobbi Ba-Bing.” Jerry defends a man who stabbed another inmate in prison. The problem is complex for Jerry because the man appears to have been wrongly incarcerated, but Judge Ventimiglia (Jon Polito) won’t let Jerry bring that piece of information into evidence. The man, who had been constantly beaten by prison gangs, was told by the gang to stab a rival rang member if the man wanted the beatings to stop. The gang also had threatened his brother. Despite the defendant’s impassioned testimony and Jerry’s good summation, he is found guilty.

But a twinge of jealousy hits Bobbi Gilardi (Natalia Cigliuti) when Jerry gets flirty with a young, attractive woman who is testifying as an expert witness for Jerry. When Bobbi’s jealousy becomes obvious to Jerry, he reminds Bobbi that she is the one who pushed him away. Apparently Bobbi comes to the conclusion that if she wants Jerry she needs to stop alienating him and isolating him. When Jerry returns to the office after losing his case, he finds a messages left on his desk, pointing him to a map telling him where to go. He doesn’t know who left the message but he goes there anyway – it’s a hotel bar. When he sees Bobbi waiting there, he’s pleasantly surprised, and even more so when she hands him a hotel room key card. Needless to say, they make use of that hotel room.

Roz (Gloria Reuben) and members of her staff are conducting interviews for a new staff member. One person, Ashlee (Autumn Reeser) wins out when she gives information to Richard Woolsley (Teddy Sears) during the interview process that would help him to get the charges dismissed against his client, a homeless panhandler who was arrested for loitering. Teddy seems pleased with this new hire, until Ashlee goes overboard and decides to create a class action suit against the DA and the city for wrongfully arresting their client and others like him. Teddy tries to slow her down and tells her it needs Roz’s approval. Roz also wants Ashlee to cool her jets, but tells her – with Teddy riding shotgun - to take the individual case for Teddy’s client to the city’s lawyers to see what she can shake loose. But Ashlee goes overboard after she feels the city’s attorney is blowing them off, and tells the attorney that a class action suit is in the works. This brings the smarmaliscious Nick Balco (Currie Graham) to the public defender’s office to see Roz, a move that seems to cause mouths to drop in the office. Roz uses it as a chance to get Nick to get a better offer for their client when she back off the class action suit, a case she really didn’t want to take on anyway, but Nick didn’t know that.

When Teddy and Ashlee take their homeless client to an apartment that will be paid for by the proceeds of this settlement, the client is grateful. Teddy seems to have shown Ashlee that their cases are not always about catching the big fish every time.

All in all, this was a very satisfying episode. Teddy managed to win his case and satiate his need to do good. Even though Jerry lost his case – in real life you don’t win them all – he still managed to get Bobbi back in the process.

The season finale is next week, and I have to say that I am sorry that it is coming so quickly. I have come to really enjoy this series and hope next season they offer more episodes.

Clip of “Raising the Bar: Bobbi Ba-Bing”

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dylan McDermott: The New Horatio Caine

I’ve been watching TNT’s new show Dark Blue” for a few weeks now, and it’s left me rather cold. There was something not quite right with it and I hadn’t been able to figure it out until last week’s episode titled “August.” By the way, I have no clue as to why it was given that title because I couldn’t find anything that tied to it in the story.

The problem with “Dark Blue” – besides the flat acting, a cast of characters with no chemistry, some unrealistic scenarios, and clichéd dialog – is the lead character of Carter Shaw, played by Dylan Mc Dermott. My epiphany came to me during this episode when, in one scene as Carter goes to visit one of his team members who is undercover in jail, and Carter is wearing sunglasses, which he removes as he sits down. Bingo! Horatio Caine, I thought. It’s the same combination – bad acting, bad dialog, unrealistic scenarios, and sunglasses. I was watching a new, dark haired Horatio Caine-like character in action. I laughed long and hard, and then the show just became funny to me.

But seriously, Horatio Caine aside, the show is pretty implausible. Carter is able to assemble a team and seemingly go undercover and infiltrate just about any group at any time, and creating identities and getting the needed tools and equipment for his team in a flash, all from working inside what looks like a dark warehouse. In the first episode, Carter adds a woman to the team, Jamie (Nicki Aycox) and she has a past that she wants to keep secret. Of course, Carter finds out what she is hiding, but he gets her for the team anyway, despite the fact she seems to have almost zero experience in law enforcement. We all know he needs a woman for his undercover work so he has someone who can wear sexy clothes in the course of doing their work. Of course, Jamie needed an excuse to dress provocatively in “August” so she earned her keep.

Also poorly cast is Logan Marshall-Green as Dean Bendis. It seems they want to create some working tension AND sexual tension between Dean and Jamie. Sadly, there is no chemistry at all between them so the effort falls flat. Green is far too bland for the role.

The one thing I have yet to figure out is how these people can repeatedly work undercover in the same general area and not have someone be aware of their real identities as undercover law enforcement agents. In many cases they use the real first names (as Ty did in “August”) and since they seem to work consistently in the LA area, one would think their faces would get around as being undercover people. I know LA is a big city, but still, criminals DO talk. And speaking of going undercover, they make the act of infiltrating their targets too simple. Sure, criminals can let their guard down, but it seems that the criminals in these cases are far too trusting of outsiders, which makes the scenarios seem unrealistic.

The dialog is also hopelessly weak, almost as if someone was trying his/her first hand at writing a script and using every trite line in the book. I’ve read bad fan fiction that is better that the dialog in “Dark Blue.”

But Dylan Mc Dermott in those sunglasses – that was it for me. Once the Horatio Caine image crept into my mind, all hope was lost for this show, as far as I am concerned. I will probably finish watching the series just to have something to watch, but won’t be back in the event that this show gets renewed.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Mad Men “Out of Town” Boils Over

The third season of Mad Men titled “Out Of Town” returned, taking viewers farther down the timeline than when we last left the series in season 2. And like the milk that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is heating for his wife Betty (January Jones), things heat up and boil over quickly. It seems that things haven’t changed much – Don Draper is still a philanderer, Pete Campbell is still a spoiled brat, Peggy is still fighting to be treated as an equal to the guys. There is still drinking and smoking, and great period fashion – although in one scene I detected breasts having a modern-day enhanced appearance along with the 1960s underwear. The episode did not disappoint, providing drama in both the boardroom and the bedroom. Sal secret was exposed, but luckily only to Don, who has plenty of secrets of his own and who seems to have no desire in outing anyone.

The episode begins with Don Draper daydreaming – or night dreaming since it happens at night – over warming some milk for his wife to help her sleep. Betty is now very pregnant. He’s thinking about his mother, who just had a miscarriage, and a woman who I assume was a midwife saying God will give her another child. The woman’s husband makes a heartless comment about her killing another one. Later, he imagines a young man who resembles a young Don offering a woman $.85 for a roll in the hay She tells him is he gets her in trouble she is going to cut off his dick and boil it in hog fat. Of course, she does get “in trouble” and as she is in labor having the baby, she repeats her comment that she is going to cut his dick off and boil it in hog fat.

Meanwhile, the milk is boiling over.

Later, this midwife drops off this baby to the woman who is Don’t mother, reminding her that she told her God would give her a child. She says the baby’s name is Dick, after a wish that his mother should have lived to see. And this is how Dick Whitman – who we know as Don Draper, came to be.

Don takes the milk in to Betty in an attempt to help her sleep, her advanced pregnancy causing the sleeplessness. She tells him she packed his suitcase but alerts him to the fact that their daughter Sally took a hammer to it, “like a little lesbian.” Don cuddles to Betty and tells her to imagine herself on a beach in hopes to get her to relax.

Back at Sterling Cooper, Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) is in her office, trying to raise her secretary Lola on the intercom. She steps outside her office and sees that John Hooker (Ryan Cartwright) the secretary to Mr. Price (Jared Harris) is flirting with her. Peggy is not happy at this and lets Lola know it.

Meanwhile, Mr. Price, who I believe is the new CFO representing the new British parent company to Sterling-Cooper, is in Bert Cooper’s (Robert Morse) office admiring a rather suggesting painting. He is there with Cooper and Don walks in. The have a brief discussion about the London Fog account, with Price saying there was no fog, just coal dust from the industrial age. It seems the reason they are gathered there to fire Burt Peterson (Michael Gaston) who is the head of accounts. With Roger Sterling (John Slattery) late for the meeting, they go ahead with it anyway, with Don saying how hard it is to fire Burt. They give Burt a severance check, and say they held off on the action because they knew his wife was undergoing radiation. Roger enters the party late, saying how hard this is. But Burt gets upset and says they will regret losing him and his Rolodex (meaning his list of accounts).

After Burt leaves the office, his rage gets control of him and he begins to yell loudly and knocks things off of desks, and tells price’s secretary John Hooker to drop dead, referring to him as a limey son of a bitch. Pete Campbell’s (Vincent Kartheiser) secretary tell him Mr. Price wants to see him, and Pete gets rattled.

Joan Holloway (Christine Hendricks) tries to placate Hooker after the name calling, but he laces into her about the lack of respect her is getting, saying that he is Price’s right arm, not his “secretary” or typist like the other women.

Pete goes to Price’s office, and his discomfort and nervousness is obvious. He doesn’t sit down, and after trying to make nice talk with Price, Price tells him that he is making Pete the head of accounts but to keep quiet about it. Pete leaves Prices office and calls his wife Trudy (Alison Brie), giving her the happy news. Pete realizes he never asked Price if this meant a raise.

But shortly thereafter, Price has called Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) into his office, and Ken sits right down and makes himself at home. Price offers him the same job he just offered Pete, and Ken accepts it gladly, outwardly happy. Price shakes his head as Ken leaves, likely thinking about how both people reacted to the news of their new job.

Elsewhere, Don and Sal (Bryan Batt) are on a plane to Baltimore for the London Fog account. A stewardess comes on to Don. She tells him she saw his name on his luggage as Mr. Hofstat, and then tells them where they are staying, which happens to be the same place as Don and Sal, so you know she wants to hook up. Don does not let on to his real name, but tells Sal that a relative borrowed his luggage and left his name on it.

Back at the office, Ken and Pete ride down in the elevator together, complementing each other, thinking that they were going to be the other’s boss, not realizing that Price has something else in mind.

Back in Baltimore, the stewardesses flirt with Don and Sal, and the pilot is also there. They think Don and Sal are accountants and Don implies they are working for the feds. Later, while Don and Sal head to their rooms in the elevator, Shelly the stewardess is there, and a bellhop also enters and leaves the elevator. Sal gets off on a lower floor, but Don and Shelly continue to go up, and Shelly follows Don to his room. She pulls him to her and they kiss, with Don not seeming to respond at first. But of course he succumbs, and while in his room, he watches her slowly undress, and she is wearing typical 1960s underwear – although her breasts have a modern day implant look to them.

Meanwhile, Sal has flopped onto his bed, and then goes to turn on the air conditioning, which doesn’t seem to be working. He calls the front desk, and they send up the bellhop. After the bellhop fixes the air conditioner, he makes move on Sal, much to his surprise. As Sal succumbs to the turn of events, the fire alarm rings, and the bellhop tells them to get out of the room. As they scramble to get dressed, Don, who is running down the fire escape with Shelly, runs past Sal’s room and looks into the window, and yells for Sal to “come out.” But he then sees the bellhop running around getting his clothes. Sal gets a look of worry that his secret may be out. While they stand on the street. Don looks at Sal and Sal looks concerned.

Back at Sterling Cooper, Peggy runs into Joan at the elevator and makes small talk about Joan’s engagement ring. But Peggy complains about Lola and her flirting with "Moneypenny” – meaning Hooker – and when Joan says he doesn’t like to be called that, Peggy is surprised Joan is defending him. But Joan tells her Hooker is repellent and she can’t wait until she gets out of there (meaning getting married and then quitting).

When Pete’s secretary congratulates him and tells him there is a meeting for the “heads” of accounting, he gets confused, and she clarifies it is a meeting with him and Ken. He gets visibly upset.

Back in Baltimore, Don and Sal meet with the London Fog people, and realize that the owner has concerns about the continued viability of the line. But Don reminds them that London Fog is a 40 year old brand and that there will be good years and bad, but there will always be rain.

Back at the accounts meeting, Joan is reading off the list of accounts as they are being split. Ken takes notes; Pete sits there and stares. Price reminds them they are each getting half the company and hopes one of them will distinguish themselves. When they leave the office, Pete asks Ken if he is upset and just hiding it. He then insults Ken by asking him why he even took the job because he’s no good. But Ken says the bosses want them to hate each other and he just won’t participate in that.

As Sal and Don are on their return flight, Sal is still clearly unconformable with what Don saw. But Don leans over and says he is going to ask Sal something, and he wants Sal to be honest. Sal looks worried, but Don instead lays out an ad scenario for London Fog, saying, "London Fog, it's a subway car and there's a commuter looking up, there's a girl with her back to us, she's wearing one of those short tan ones but it's open, her legs are bare, we know what he's seeing. 'Limit your exposure.'" Sal says, "That's it." Don looks back at him, pauses and says "good." Sal sits back and begins to relax. Of course, Don has managed to get a sublte warning in to Sal to watch himself so his secret is not exposed.

Back at the office, Joan brings Hooker to Burt Peterson’s office and suggests they use it for visitors but that Hooker can use it in the meantime. She also says she will get him a secretary. He’s very happy about this. Later, though, when Hooker takes credit for the idea with Mr. Price, Price indicates his displeasure with Hooker using the office and tells him he wants Hooker sitting outside the office, not in it, citing the fact that he just fired quite a few people in the office.

Trudy decides to pay a visit to Pete, who is still fuming about the split responsibilities. Trudy brings him back down to earth, telling him not to sour this amazing opportunity. She tells him they don’t want his outrage, they want his good work.

Later, when Sal is showing Kinsey (Michael Gladis) and Harry (Rich Sommer) the ad, they all like it. The only problem is that the person wearing the London Fog coat looks like a flasher. They ask Sal how it was in Baltimore with Don, and Sal says it was just two old married men and there was a fire, too.

Don is in his office, typing. Roger walks in with some Stoli and cigars. They talk about Ken Cosgrove and Pete Campbell, and Roger says he thought it was a joke at first but thinks it comes from the home office. When Pete comes in to speak with Don, he sees Roger and changes his approach, saying he's honored by the promotion. Bert Cooper comes in and says that a local politician is looking for some help and Pete says it would be his pleasure..

When Don gets home, Betty is in the bedroom and she calls Sally in to confess about the suitcase. Don tells her she will take the costs out of her allowance. When she says she. s she doesn't have an allowance, Don tells her not to break things then. Sally says she did not want him to leave. He says she will always be his girl, and he kisses her on the head. While Sally starts to go through the suitcase, she finds stewardess wings and asks if they are for her. Don looks a bit surprised to see them in there, but says they were for her. Betty puts them on her, and Sally asks if she was really once “in there”, meaning in Betty’s pregnant belly. Betty says yes, and Sally asks to hear about the day she was born. But while Don starts to speak of it, he falls asleep and Betty finishes the story.

.All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Raising The Bar: “Making Up is Hard to Do” A Reality Check

Last night’s episode of Raising The Bar, “Making Up is Hard to Do” (TNT) had everyone trying to fix problems, some of them of their own making.

Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), who sometimes seems clouded by his belief that all his clients are good (and innocent) people, makes an error when he doesn’t really listen completely to what his client, who is refusing plea deals, has been saying. When he gets his boss Roz (Gloria Reuben) involved, she is able to extract an admission from Jerry’s client, and she finds that he only said he was not guilty because he didn’t want to disappoint Jerry, who had helped him in the past. Jerry, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be hearing his client because he didn’t want to disappoint him either. The end result was Jerry and his client passed up on a decent plea deal, and when Jerry tries to get that deal again from Marcus McGrath (J. August Richards), Marcus first tells him no, and then succumbs and says he will take the issue up with his boss, the smarmy Nick Balco (Currie Graham).

Marcus does as he said he would, and takes the issue to Nick, who proceeds to chastise Marcus for caving in to his friend Jerry. Nick tells Marcus to tell Jerry there will be no plea deal. Jerry breaks the bad news to his client, and at the end, Marcus makes the first move to patch things up with Jerry while they sat at the bar at their usual watering hole. Jerry tells Marcus that Marcus doesn’t know his client, but Marcus reminds Jerry that Jerry didn’t know the woman that his client had assaulted and robbed, and that this woman had worked two jobs to put several kids through college. In this case, Jerry showed that sometimes he looks at his clients with rose-colored glasses, and that he needs to take more time to really listen to his clients.

The more involved case in this episode involved a woman that Bobbi Gilardi (Natalia Cigliuti) represented, who was accused of smuggling drugs. The woman claimed it was a simple case of her picking up the wrong luggage off the bus. But prosecutor Michelle Ernhardt (Melissa Sagemiller) has help from the man she’s sleeping with who also happens to be the detective who caught the case, Tim Porter (Josh Randall). She doesn’t know right away that it’s not the kind of help she needs. At first, Michelle is worried when a key piece of evidence – the cocaine the woman was allegedly carrying – can’t be found in the evidence room. Porter tells her not to worry, and magically has the evidence ready on the day of the trial and for his testimony. But when Bobbi challenges the evidence – it seems the evidence form attached was a copy and not the original – Bobbi annoys Judge Farnsworth (John Michael Higgins) by voicing a lengthy objection. Bobbi’s objection is reviewed and overruled in chambers, where Farnsworth tells Bobbi he’s not into conspiracies. Personally, I am enjoying Judge Farnsworth far more than his colleague, Judge Kessler (Jane Kaczmarek).

Things get worse when one of the jurors comes forward and says she overheard Porter talking in the elevator with another person about the defendant’s prior arrest. Michelle seems to have a twinge of concern. When Farnsworth has the juror and the attorneys in chambers, the juror tells them there was another juror in the elevator with her who likely overheard the same comments from the detectives. But that second juror claims he heard nothing, as he was not wearing his hearing aid. Farnsworth only replaces the first juror who came forward and the trial goes on, and the defendant is found guilty. But Bobbi is on to the other juror who said he couldn’t hear the detective’s elevator conversation, and after the trial, she gets in an elevator with him as he is leaving. She asks him where is his hearing aid, and then tricks him into showing he can hear perfectly well without it by standing behind him and saying quietly his zipper is down. He knows he is caught, but when she pushes him to talk to the judge about what he did, he threatens to report her behavior to the judge.

Things seem to crash down on Michelle when she gets a phone call from the property clerk saying the evidence that could not originally be located was finally found. Michelle is stunned as she realizes that Porter faked the evidence. She storms over to his squad and she confronts him about the matter. He admits that he used a pack of books wrapped up to fake the evidence, that no one would have tested it to verify the contents. He said he got the scorpion pattern that was on the original drug evidence bag off the Internet. She also realizes that he really did talk about the case in front of the jurors on purpose to taint the jury, and then she calls their relationship quits, not a moment too soon.

Knowing she made a mistake and worried that should the case go to appeal and these things come out, and concerned that her affair with the detective/ key witness would be exposed, she runs crying to Balco. Balco, after handing Michelle a handful of paper towels to wipe her tears, agrees to help her out of the mess. We later see him – along with Michelle and Bobbi – in Farnsworth’s office where Balco expresses concern about the drug evidence paperwork question and the possibility of a tainted jury, and Farnsworth grants them a retrial. Bobbi asks to get her defendant released pending a new trial, and Farnsworth, asking Balco if he wouldn’t mind a lagniappe – a Cajun word for “baker’s dozen” or “a little extra” - gets Balco’s agreement. Everybody is happy, and afterwards Balco reminds Michelle that he expects her respect. I suspect he wants a little more than that from Michelle.

It’s great to see that Jerry Kellerman got a dose of reality, and hopefully he has learned that he can’t just drag his feet and then expect his friends to bail him out when he makes a mistake. Likewise, it’s good to see that Michelle has dumped Porter, who actually was beating out Balco on my smarm-o-meter. What is surprising to me is that while Balco expected Michelle to give him more credit and respect in the future, I found that I also had a little more respect for him and his way to work the system in this episode. But he still scores high on the smarm-o-meter.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Law & Order Franchise: Still Alive and Kicking

Regular readers of my blogs know that I have two blogs dedicated to the Law & Order franchise and the stars of the show, All Things Law And Order and These Are Their Stories. As the season ended last night for Law & Order Criminal Intent, and with the new season getting ready to start up in late September for the “mothership” Law & Order and Law & Order SVU, I thought it was time to turn a critical eye at the franchise as a whole.

Law & Order Criminal Intent just finished up their season with a fine finale, "Revolution" which featured the franchise’s newest detective, Zach Nichols, played by the man who was born with the word “quirky” tattooed on his behind (just kidding) – Jeff Goldblum. Off to a shaky start and after a producer was fired, Goldblum’s character seemed to become more comfortable, believable, and highly interesting as the first few weak episodes were history and the new producer and team took control. In fact, I think Goldblum has re-energized the show, and the fact that he played well off both co-stars Julianne Nicholson and Kathryn Erbe made the show even more interesting. After last season’s depressing turn with Detective Robert “Bobby” Goren, Vincent D’Onofrio had his work cut out for him this season, and his character still seemed to be carrying around the baggage of the bad experiences that Bobby had endured during the last season or so. Maybe the writers should take a cue from the Goldblum team and breathe some life back into what used to be a mentally agile, in-your-face, razor sharp Goren. D’Onofrio is such a skilled actor that his recent story lines are a waste of his talent. But for a series that NBC seemed to have given up on a few years ago, it has found a new life and resurgence on a network that cares (USA), and I see only good things for the show should it be renewed (no official word on that issue as of this writing).

Law & Order SVU’s most recent season, in my opinion, was a mixed bag. The series spent what seemed like too much time last season on personal issues for the characters, and on what I call ”for your consideration” episodes which seemed akin to begging for Emmy nominations for its key stars, Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, along with using a gaggle of high powered guest stars. Don’t get me wrong, Mariska and Chris were key to the success of this series last season, and SVU has done very well in bringing out the talent with powerful guest stars such as Ellen Burstyn, Brenda Blethyn, and Carol Burnett, all who were nominated for Emmys. But the stories themselves seemed to suffer as a result, becoming more like a crime soap opera at times. After watching a fewer of the older episodes over the last week or so that were from the first few seasons, I have to admit that I miss the grittiness of this show. It also seems that they have gone out of their way to focus on crimes that don’t quite fit the “special victims” category, maybe in another attempt to give their key stars meatier roles. SVU is still a great show, but I admit that I am worried that the show has become more about the sizzle rather than the steak. And that may make the show tough to swallow if the trend continues.

Fans were concerned when Meloni and Hargitay were holding out in contract negotiations, but not me. After the many years of changes in the mothership series, I got used to cast changes and I felt comfortable that SVU could have survived without one or both of the top stars. In fact, with the large amount of male TV stars out there that could have fallen into the role if Meloni were to vacate his role, I envisioned the show actually being more interesting if one of the two stars left, and a cast change maybe bringing on a whole new group of fans. The show did well by cutting lose a deadpan Michaela McManus and by bringing back Stephanie March to reprise her role as ADA Cabot (with the obvious omission of any mention of her work as a bureau chief while on the series, “Conviction”). I think without March’s return, the season may have been just average. While some die-hard fans think I am too hard on Law & Order SVU, it’s only because I think it is sacrificing the quality of its story lines to become more of a character driven show.

Law & Order - the mothership, the original recipe, call it whatever you like - is going on its 20th season and showed more signs of life last season than it had in a long time. The season featured a slow buildup in tension for District Attorney Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) as he fought to win the election and keep his office. The season ended with a rather delicious episode where Jack gets the upper hand against his opponent, and gets to bring down the governor in the process, but left fans hanging as to the actual outcome of the election. Of course, the show had the added bonus of a real live New York governor’s scandal during the show’s 19th season which gave writers a great chance to do some “ripped from the headlines” story-stealing, but at least they added a nice twist all of their own. In a change from her first season with the show, ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) seemed to have softened her look and grew a backbone, and many times provided either a fresh approach to a case or a tidbit of information that helped win a case, proving she is much more than a pretty face. And while EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) seemed to try to win most of has cases by some underhanded maneuver, he saved his best for last when he outmaneuvered the governor and got him to resign, all without McCoy’s knowledge or approval. Not to forget the detectives – Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson – who are starting to act more like real working partners. Sure there will never be another Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) but Sisto and Bernard seem better matched than Lupo and Greene (Jesse L. Martin). The only problem I see is that they still have S. Epatha Merkerson in a role that woefully underutilizes her talents. And by the way, either Sisto or Bernard needs to shave, because their facial hair looks too similar.

The bottom line is that the Law & Order franchise is one that still has a lot of life left in it, despite the rumors of the show’s demise over the years. Criminal Intent has found new life with the addition of Jeff Goldblum and likely some better writers and producers. SVU still has solid regulars on the show, and can command very high-powered guest stars, which help to draw viewers. And hopefully Law & Order will start the season with Jack McCoy having won the election as District Attorney, closing one story line, but maybe opening up more political trouble down the road for him and his staff. Yes, I’d say the franchise is still alive and kicking.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Closer “Identity Theft” Bait and Switch Case

Monday’s new episode of ”The Closer” (TNT) titled “Identity Theft” appeared to be one of those cliché’d cases where someone confesses to a murder to protect someone else. In this case, Russell Clark (Bruce Davison) takes a hasty plea deal for a murder of a doctor because he thought his son James (Michael Arden) was the killer. James was being treated by the doctor for schizophrenia, who was using alternative methods that weren’t working. Russell seems to be able to get away with his deception saying that he was angry that the doctor’s methods were not working, but during allocution, Russell’s version of strangling the doctor doesn’t coincide with what Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) sees in the crime scene photos. Compounding the matter is that the murder weapon had not been found. Brenda manages to get the DDA Andrea Hobbs (Kathe E. Mazur) to raise the issue to the judge, who grants them some time to sort things out. Commander Taylor (Robert Gossett) and Lieutenant Tao (Michael Paul Chan) try to deflect blame for not noting the discrepancy earlier; it seems that Hobbs rushed in to make the plea deal before they had a chance to really question Russell.

A new addition to The Closer mix is Brenda’s niece, Charlene (Kyra’s real life daughter Sosie Bacon), who has arrived for a visit with Brenda’s mother, Willie Ray (Frances Sternhagen.) When they arrive at the courtroom, the defendant’s son James seems to be smitten with Charlene – who by the way insists on being called Charlie. Brenda finds out later over dinner that Willie Ray is watching over Charlie for a while, as Brenda’s brother Bobby and his wife seem to be having troubles with her as of late. It seemed to me that Charlie was going through the typical teenage girl phase, but I guess these days, parents think that passing off their child to someone else is a good way to "fix" their child. In any event, Willie Ray knows she is in over her head with Charlie, and begs Brenda and Fritz (Jon Tenney) to take Charlie for the rest of the summer. Brenda signals an emphatic NO to Fritz, but when Fritz has a one-on-one with the frustrated Willie Ray, he caves in and agrees to take Charlie for a short time, much to Brenda’s dismay.

But things work out when Brenda decides to use Charlie as a way to get to James Clark. Since James seems so taken with Charlie, and since James has so many mental issues including claustrophobia, Brenda takes Charlie into the Major Crimes squad room and allows her to be very visible through Brenda’s glass-walled office in order to keep James distracted and calm. It seems to work, as James recounts his broken memories of the crime. It seems like James may have been the real killer, but the issue remains that the murder weapon was still undetermined an unaccounted for. Russell claims he strangled the doctor with his hands; James seemed to imply he may have done it with a sock. But the marks on the body indicated something much thinner which left a very distinctive mark.

Brenda has an idea, and goes shopping. She also arranges to get the murder victim’s wife Robin Milano (Cynthia Watros) -who had been earlier very frantically asking to get her property back from her husband’s office crime scene – back to Major Crimes to pick up these effects. Instead, Brenda brings her into the room where they recreated the crime scene, and without asking a single question, manages to implicate Robin while a stunned prosecutor Hobbs looks on. Brenda manages to prove that Robin murdered her own husband with the chain strap on her purse (Brenda bought a purse just like that to prove her point). Of course, Russell and James are both thankful for Brenda’s attentiveness and her drive to find the truth.

While “Identity Theft” seemed to be an open and shut case from the start, it turned into a case that seemed to surprise everyone involved. The other surprise was that Brenda seemed to have made a connection with Charlie, and maybe her stay will not be so bad. For me, I worry when a show starts to bring in kids to the mix. In many cases with crime shows, adding kids under a certain age never seems to fit well into the mix. Two cases come to mind right away: Law & Order SVU, where fans often groan at any mention or appearance of Elliot Stabler’s kids; the other, “Shark”, a CBS show that was canceled last season, where the attorney’s daughter had a prominent role in the story line, much to the series’ detriment. I hope that Charlie’s stay will not last more than this episode, if necessary, maybe only one more. After that, I just want it to be over. It’s not that I don’t think that Fritz and Brenda’s relationship can’t handle it, it’s just that they give so little meaningful attention to Fritz as it is that I don’t want him to go from resident kitty-sitter to resident kiddie-sitter.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.