Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Donnie Wahlberg Guest Stars on In Plain Sight

Mary McCormack Mary Shannon Donnie Wahlberg In Plain Sight Father Goes West screencaps images photos pictures Colleen Hayes USAAs an added bonus to the return of Mary and Marshall on tonight's season 3 premiere of In Plain Sight, we get guest star Donnie Wahlberg. "Father Goes West" explores Mary's return to duty as well as the search for her shooter. Tonight's WITSEC investigation involves a witness who may be having trouble giving up his former life of crime.

You may still think of Donnie as that New Kids on the Block singer, but he's no slouch in the acting department. Highlights of his acting career include excellent performances in Ransom, Sixth Sense, Band of Brothers, and acclaimed series Boomtown. Donnie also starred in the short-lived series Runaway, as a father wrongly accused of a violent crime who takes his family into hiding with new identities. It seems he'll already have some insight into the plot of In Plain Sight.

In Plain Sight Season 3 has more exciting guest stars in store, as well as more family drama, more witnesses, and even some flashback sequences. Here's a clip of Mary McCormack talking about some of the changes in season 3:

You can also read: In Plain Sight -- New Season, Tew Timeslot, New Showrunner for even more details.

Watch In Plain Sight on USA, Wednesday nights at 10/9c.

PHOTO: Donnie Wahlberg, Mary McCormack, In Plain Sight "Father Goes West", c2010 Colleen Hayes, USA Network.

Friday, March 19, 2010

In Plain Sight Returns With Season 3, a New Timeslot, and a New Showrunner

In Plain Sight, finale, season 2, 3, Mary Shannon, Mary McCormack, Eleanor Prince, Holly Maples, Marshall Mann, Fred Weller, premiere, screencaps, images, photos, pictures, screengrabs, capture
That's right, Mary's back! U.S. Marshals Mary Shannon and Marshall Mann return in Season 3 of In Plain Sight, premiering Wednesday, March 31, on USA at 10/9c. We finally get to see the aftermath of Mary being shot point-blank while trying to protect one of her more idiotic witnesses.

After the angsty, bitch!Mary segments we had to endure to the nth degree last season, a rewrite of the tone is definitely in order. We'll find out Wednesday if the changes imposed are for the better. I'm not happy about the timeslot change, as I enjoyed the one-two punch of USA's Law & Order: CI and In Plain Sight on Sunday nights. Now both shows will be up against heavier primetime contenders; In Plain Sight premieres against dramas CSI: NY and Law & Order SVU. Not sure this is the wisest course of action for a ratings win.

Two Cast Members Departing
E!Online reports two major cast changes for In Plain Sight. First, we'll be seeing a lot less of Mary's mother Jinx, played by Lesley Ann Warren. While In Plain Sight has always been about a balance between Mary's work and home life, last season got too mired down in the home drama. Jinx's current story arc also seems fairly played out, and changing her to an occasional guest star should happily tone down the shrill angst factor that was making In Plain Sight too much of a downer.

The other In Plain Sight cast member reduced to occasional appearances is Detective "Bobby D" Dershowitz (Todd Williams). I don't think Bobby needed to be in every episode, but I'm sorry to see his screen time reduced so dramatically. I thought they'd finally worked out a nice competitive working relationship between Bobby and Mary, and it makes sense that the marshals would have to have a good rapport with local law enforcement. Outside of plot concerns, it's also disappointing that In Plain Sight would cut down on the diversity of its cast.

Change in Tone

With new showrunner John McNamara (Jericho, The Fugitive), USA is also hoping for a change in tone that better suits the lighthearted nature of their other successful series. Thankfully it sounds like they'll be following more of the Burn Notice drama/action/dark comedy framework, rather than the camp Psych or Monk. Albuquerque Journal reports that In Plain Sight will be shot in HD, and In Plain Sight star Fred Weller (Marshal Marshall Mann) says director Charlie Haid is "setting a look for the whole season, and it's going to be a lot tighter and little more intimate and intensify the drama element."

While some fans have worried about rumors that In Plain Sight was going to be more procedural than character-driven, Weller insists McNamara has captured the tone of the show that's won so many viewers. USA network exec Jeff Wachtel also tells E!Online that In Plain Sight won't be getting a complete overhaul. "The original voice in this series belonged to David Maples, that's how we fell in love, and we will continue to respect and protect that voice."

Wachtel also clarifies some of the disagreements between the network and In Plain Sight creator Maples, saying that they were fine with dark humor, but Maples often wanted to go too dark: "David would want to end stories with a real downbeat cast moment. We would say, it's not necessarily a fairy tale, but we don't need to have everybody broken and bloody, crying on the floor."

What It All Means

This could be a very wise change for USA, and a good thing for the fans of In Plain Sight. USA has been successful by tapping into people's desire for good drama without making people despair over the state of humanity. While viewers may have liked the edginess of In Plain Sight, it became clear over the course of the last season that you can have too much of a good thing. Rather than being the tough, crabby and uncompromising cop we'd come to love, Marshal Mary Shannon had become angry, vindictive, miserable, and pretty much no fun at all.

If we can get back to focusing on the challenges of the witness protection cases, the banter between Marshall, Mary, their boss Stan (Paul Ben-Victor), and Eleanor (Holly Maples), and just occasional forays into Mary's personal life, In Plain Sight should have a lot of happy fans on its hands. If our favorite U.S. Marshals get turned into caricatures that get put into absurd situations and don't take anything seriously, then In Plain Sight could lose its core crowd and a lot of ratings.

Look out for an In Plain Sight season 2 marathon on USA in March, followed by the In Plain Sight season 3 premiere on Wednesday, March 31, at 10/9c.

Watch In Plain Sight on USA, Wednesday nights starting March 31, at 10/9c.

PHOTO: Mary, Eleanor, and Marshall evesdrop electronically on boss Stan; In Plain Sight season 2 finale screencap, c2009 Universal Media Studios, USA Network.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lost -- "Dr. Linus" for the Win

Michael Emerson Dr. Ben Linus Lost Dr. Linus screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captures
Now we're getting somewhere. Tonight's Lost, "Dr. Linus" definitely ranks amongst the best of the Lost episodes. Michael Emerson is definitely one of those amazing actors that can take what is truly a monster of a man and make him sympathetic and pitiable. The way Ben is broken down in this episode, and how it mirrors both Richard's and Ilana's disillusionment, was extremely powerful and moving.

Ben also surprised me twice--once for each reality. As professor, nay, "Dr. Linus", ran into belittling circumstances at work, I was ready for anything. I truly wouldn't have been surprised if Ben had killed the principal in order to get ahead, thus proving his island experience just brought out his true nature. But no, in the end, he chose to do the right thing for Alex rather than for his own ambitions.

Then, on the island, after facing death at Ilana's hands, we get one of the most emotional scenes of the episode when Ben confesses he's only going to meet Evil Locke on the other island because "no one else will have me." I was shocked when Ilana welcomed him back to the beach, and even more surprised when Ben accepted. The way he stands there, so lonely and dejected as the group greets Jack and Hurley, broke my heart--which is once again a testament to Emerson.

Another great thing about this episode, and this season, is that I like Jack again. He's confident, and angry, and just this side of crazy. It's been a total flip on the island, where all the previous shadowy figures in control are now stumbling around blind while the castaways are starting to take charge. The scene with Jack and Richard, with Jack laughing his way through Richard's suicide attempt, was both suspenseful and startling. I am also pleased that Eyeliner Man and New Jack did not get all-blowed-up. I want to see what these two do next, and if Jacob has a good master plan or a really messed up one. Possibly it's both, knowing Lost.

As usual, Miles is made of win in this episode as well, communing with the dead and throwing Linus under the bus--and with his own sarcasm thrown back in his face to boot. I also liked the interesting bit that Frank was supposed to be piloting the Oceanic flight that originally crashed--but he overslept. It was extra creepy when Ben told him the island "got him anyway."

All in all, a great episode. There've been some highs and lows this season, but "Dr. Linus" has got me looking forward to the next step in the adventure.

What did you think of "Dr. Linus?" Vote on the episode over at Lost For a Reason.

Watch Lost on ABC, Tuesday nights at 9/8c.

PHOTO: Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, Lost "Dr. Linus", c2010 ABC.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Kathryn Bigelow Wins Best Director & Best Picture

Kathryn Bigelow Best Director Oscar The Hurt Locker 82nd Academy Awards 2010 screencaps images pictures photosIt was a big night for Kathryn Bigelow and for The Hurt Locker. This talented director became the first woman to take home the Best Director Oscar in history. Presented the award by famously snubbed actor/singer/director Barbara Streisand, it was a victory lap for the ladies at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Finally!

Want to see all the winners? I've compiled a list of all the 2010 televised Oscar winners and presenters for you. I also wrote in detail about the Highlights and Lowlights of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Highlights include the awesome and well-deserved posthumous tribute to John Hughes. Lowlights include the poorly arranged and incomplete In Memoriam segment.

Additional shout-outs to Sandy Bullock for winning the Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side. This lady has been a charming and lovable presence onscreen for a long time, and has also turned in some stellar serious roles--most notably Murder By Numbers, and this year's The Blind Side. She's got to be loving winning an Oscar in a year where she was up against both Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren, two uber talented dynamos. You go, girl! And extra props for her great speech, where she laid the love on all her fellow nominees, including Streep, who is apparently "a good kisser".

While the Academy Awards were overall a good production this year, there are always a few things that could be done better. One of them is the annoying tendency for the cameras to fly around the room looking for black people every time an African-American wins an award. It's an annoying focus on separatism. I mean, what, no white people think Mo'Nique was awesome and deserving in her role in Precious? Obviously they did, or they wouldn't have voted for her.

Additional shout-outs to Meryl Streep for being such a good sport with all the teasing from Academy Awards hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, as well as her best actress tribute speaker, Stanley Tucci; one for James Cameron for being ecstatic when his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow won the Best Director Academy Award; one for the adorable and awesomely funny Oscar duo of Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr., and a personal final shout-out to Oscar presenter Gerard Butler for being hot as always, with that sexy Scottish accent.

Now it's time to catch up on all those Oscar nominated films I haven't seen yet!

PHOTO: Best Director Oscar winner, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), c2010


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