Showing posts with label ABC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ABC. Show all posts

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fall 2015 New Shows Have Us Saying..."Meh."

Viewers approach every new fall TV season with excitement. Our DVRs get programmed to bursting, recording every new show that looks remotely interesting alongside our returning faves. Gradually, as the weeks wear on, we find our new faves and discard the shows that didn't win us over. Early cancellations weed out the schedule even when we don't want it to.

This year began with a lot of excitement. So many new dramas and comedies with big names, big ideas, and tons of promise. While it's still early in the new TV season, we can't help feeling a sort of television limbo. Rather than big hits and tragic misses, the series we've tuned in for have been...mostly sorta okay. There's nothing that we immediately want to banish from our DVRs and scrub from our memories, but there are very few shows that hold much excitement for us, either.  


"The Player" -- As far as generating excitement, we're still loving "The Player." The trio of Wesley Snipes, Philip Winchester, and Charity Wakefield light up our small screens in so many smooth and sexy ways. The adventures are fast-paced and entertaining, the stakes are high, and the underlying mystery tying the characters together offers just the right amount of frustrating suspense that has us looking forward to the next installment.

Despite the rather ridiculous plot of wealthy gamblers betting on crime, the show has a lot more wit and unpredictable twists than your average crash-bang action romp. We genuinely hope this show sticks around.

"Heroes Reborn" -- Even the beloved first season of the original "Heroes" had some irritating characters that we dreaded spending time with. This sequel series so far has gifted us with a lot of interesting, likable characters that we actually care about. Miko (Kiki Sukezane) and Ren (Toru Uchikado) may be two of the most awesome, ridiculously adorable characters in TV history.

Noah Bennett (Jack Coleman) is a fantastic focal point, playing at hero but with wiped memories that hide some big secrets about deadly events in the past and the future. We get to revisit and remember some former heroes, and meet new ones with interesting powers. And we're back to the "Save the World" connecting thread, which is what sucked us all in to its predecessor. So far, so good--we're hooked.


"Blindspot" -- We're willing to forgive a lot because of the awesomely unique storyline of a former Navy Seal who wakes up in a duffel bag in Times Square, with amnesia, her body tattooed with an intricate array of mysterious codes and clues to a network of crime. Plus, we love Jaimie Alexander so much. But by the second episode we were already cringing over the show's flaws. Despite the disappointing execution of a fab idea, the show has earned fans with its intriguing hook and recently earned a full season order. The actors seem to be getting a bit more comfortable with each other as the series progresses, and we're hoping some of the eye-rolling plot moments and dumbed-down dialogue improve over time.

"Rosewood" -- This is probably never going to break free of "guilty pleasure" territory, but we need it to step up its game a bit more. The show skates on the amusing heights of positive energy and charm from the Miami-Vice-2.0-wardrobed Morris Chestnut, and the Sherlockian crime-solving can be a lot of fun. The pilot was horrendous, however, with over-the-top scenes of private coroners examining dead bodies in club wear, with no protective clothing or gloves or consideration for all the possible germs they then carried outside on their fashionable outfits.

Subsequent episodes have made a better attempt at reality in that regard, and the family drama provides some touching moments. But despite some entertaining banter with Rosie's police detective collaborator Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz), the writers have made the troubled cop way too abrasive and often gratingly unlikable.  

"Minority Report" -- We're thankful that tough cop Vega's (Meagan Good) cleavage is no longer stealing every scene, but the show has already gotten repetitive with its formula every week. See Dash (Stark Sands) have a vision at an inappropriate time. See him suffer agonizingly as they try to suck further images out of his head. Cue naive adventurer versus jaded, experienced cop banter. Watch our heroes ask the same people for help who express reluctance to help. And on and on we go. A subplot forming with the other precogs has added interest, however, and a hint of the ominous creepiness that helped make the original film so riveting.  

"Grandfathered" -- Sitcoms play with caricatures of course. But this John Stamos vehicle takes it too far. A flashy, suave bachelor restaurant owner meeting a previously unknown-to-him nerdy son and grandchild is a perfect set-up for "Odd Couple" levels of comic conflict. But "Grandfathered" makes Jimmy such an obnoxiously selfish asshole and his son a mortifyingly doe-eyed pathetic dork that we are usually thoroughly disgusted with both of them by the time the "feel good" portion of the program is supposed to kick in. The supporting players have their moments and sometimes the comedy lands well. But it's 50/50 enjoy/hate every week and that will spell doom pretty quickly.

"The Grinder" -- Marginally better than its "Grandfathered" lead-in, this show about a lawyer whose actor brother decides to join the family business at least has some sharper wit. Rob Lowe is supposed to be the main draw as the narcissistic charmer, but Fred Savage steals the show with his wry delivery as the "sensible" brother who resents living in his famous bro's shadow. The series still has its irritating, predictable moments, but so far the relief has been that the "lesser" brother's wife is always supportive instead of a nagging shrew, and the flashy actor brother doesn't always get his way. We're still overall a bit meh about the whole thing, but this one seems to have a bit more potential to stay on the DVR.  

"Limitless" -- We were promised Bradley Cooper would remain a part of the series based on his feature film, but so far he's only turned up in the pilot--then they've replayed that same footage in every episode that follows. Jake McDorman does a good job of believably portraying both halves of his character Brian, the affable loser musician who's always between jobs and the ridiculously brilliant and suave FBI liaison whose sudden brain power comes from a dangerous drug. It's mildly entertaining during the investigations, but all the secrets and lies and threats between the characters has already become exhausting.  

"Quantico" -- This drama had a promising premise about new FBI recruits going through tough physical and emotional training together, and then finding out one of them is a terrorist who executes a devastating attack. Priyanka Chopra plays the innocent recruit the whole mess gets pinned on, and while she's fine at playing sexy and athletic, her attempts at emotion are pretty cringe-worthy. She's often not helped by the writing, which heaps on corny dialogue and melodrama. The characters get a bit more interesting over time as we continually learn that people are not at all what they seem, even when you've done extensive background checks on them. The mystery and manhunt is enough to keep us interested right now, but the show fits well inside our ongoing theme of wasted potential in new shows.

What do you think of the new season? Any new favorites, or is it all just "meh" material to you?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

'Nashville' -- 5 Big Questions About the Season 3 Premiere

Nashville Season 3 Premiere Rayna Jaymes Connie Britton phone call decision smile screencaps pics photos

The "Nashville" Season 3 premiere was so full of emotional tears, we're surprised the episode did not float right off our TV screen. Rayna was torn between two men, Juliette was having Meltdown 5,673 over Avery, and Scarlett ended up on a soul-searching road trip home with two unexpected companions. With all the plot twists that happened on our fave musical melodrama, we're left with five burning questions...

1. Will Scarlett ever become likeable again? At the start of "Nashville," we loved Scarlett in all her airy-fairy-lacy-dressed adorableness. There was the earnest Dolly-esque accent and the endless good cheer and the ridiculously beautiful music she made with Gunnar. And all went horribly wrong.

Last season Scarlett gave Juliette a run for her money in the hot mess department, with intense pressure from sudden fame, unclear life goals, and a wackadoodle mother making her completely unhinged. What was most upsetting was Scarlett had previously been the character that had more brains than most, and suddenly she made 700 horrible decisions and became an irritating, blubbering, oh-woe-is-me catastrophe.

In our "Nashville" Season 3 premiere, Avery hitches a ride out of town with Scarlett, and Gunnar's "I won't get out of the car until you agree to stay" plan turns into what he refers to as a kidnapping. No one seems too busted up about the threesome road trip, and thankfully there's not much exploration of the relationship tree to see how they've all intertwined with each other and others over the last two years.

The end result is, Scarlett realizes her problems will follow her everywhere. And sometimes being a nutcase amongst other celeb nutcases is the safest, most understanding place to be. And that Nashville maybe really is her home after all. If this leads to a kinder, gentler, less hysterical Scarlett pursuing her music in perhaps a newer, less stressful way, then I am totally on board. Give us our sweet and shiny Scarlett back, please!

2. How long will Will and Layla be able to fake it? We knew those creepy bedroom cams were going to come into play at just the wrong time. Not having a lifetime of sexuality deception in her skill set, Layla decides she wants to pull the plug on her sham of a marriage. Will agrees, but when they try to opt out of their reality show--oops, there's some blackmail on film right there. Time to pretend to be the happy couple for a year so the network can make its money.

Here's a tip for future reality stars--if there's something you don't want on camera, LEAVE THE BUILDING. Go to a lake and go skinny-dipping to remove any chance you've been secretly miked. Seriously. Be paranoid, people. Learn from Will and Layla.

3. Is there room in Maddie's life for two dads she's speaking to? Teddy makes a killer-asteroid-sized effort to be Cool Dad and tries to get his daughter to open up about her teenage angst. He's not thrilled about the whole "I want Mom to marry Deacon" information, but he takes the confession in the sharing spirit it was given. He even takes his two girls to see Deacon perform at the Bluebird, earning himself more brownie points.

We gotta wonder with Teddy possibly being back on the good list, how long will it be before Maddie finds something wrong with Deacon. Especially if Rayna really doesn't choose him after all. And how much will Teddy be laughing on the inside if Rayna ditches Deacon AGAIN for the "better" guy?

Juliette Barnes Patsy Cline Hayden Panettiere black lace dress audition tears pouty red lips Nashville Season three premiere screencaps pics images photos

4. Is the world ready for a pregnant and hormonal Juliette? I don't even care if Glenn is the father at this point, I think the question is how much self-destructive behavior Juliette will escalate to when facing impending motherhood? Considering they only had her hack off her split ends in a desperate "breakdown" scene, I'm guessing "Nashville" is leaving her room to build up to something spectacular.

Or will Avery come back to save her sanity, along with a role-of-a-lifetime as Patsy Cline? Can Juliette have it all? Will she want it? Will it ever be enough?

Nashville Season 3 premiere Tandy and Rayna Connie Britton Judith Hoag marriage proposal decision screencaps images photos

5. Did Rayna make the right choice in picking Luke over Deacon? This is the biggie. It was an interesting flashback to hers and Deacon's past...all the good and bad we've seen before on "Nashville," but this time we saw that Luke was there for her when Deacon was not. Other than him being what seems like a totally jealous control freak, we gotta admit Luke seems like the more sensible choice in that context.

Which is where it causes us angst. After all, Teddy was the smart choice, too, and look how that turned out. We can't help feeling a marriage proposal should be met with an enthusiastic "YES!" rather than, "Well, there's this other guy I have history with, but with you I can make a fresh start, so yeah, that seems better." Um, consider us underwhelmed by your outpouring of love.

What do you all think, "Nashville" fans? Here's a peek at next week's episode...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

'Killer Women': So...How Much Do You Really Like Tricia Helfer?

My response, the moment after "Killer Women" aired its premiere episode, "La Sicaria," was to laugh. This is generally not the reaction that a network would want for a new TV series, but I'm guessing a lot of viewers responded the same way I did. The show about a female Texas ranger tracking down female criminals is fairly ridiculous, but it could possibly smooth out into a charming fluff of escapism each week.

Full disclosure: I love Tricia Helfer, who stars here as Molly Parker, a tough law enforcement officer who has both brains and beauty. Helfer was a revelation in the series "Battlestar Galactica," where she played a humanoid upgrade of that iconic 70s robot villain, the Cylon. Clearly hired to be an incredible beauty that was worthy of being obsessed over, she turned in an impressive performance of a character that could be, by turns, terrifyingly menacing or heartbreakingly vulnerable.

It seems the hope was she could do the same thing in "Killer Women." Unfortunately, rather than letting the character slowly build empathy, the show dumps on us immediately a backstory that our heroine was abused for years by her husband. For me, this is just one of the many ways the character is stripped of her power for female viewers. If you have a strong woman, you have to make sure she's not *too* strong.

Unlike many cop shows, it is at least believable that the statuesque Helfer can kick some ass. But like, "The Closer," I'm once again offended by a character shown repeatedly stuffing her face with food--in some misguided effort to appeal to "regular women"--when said character is rail thin. All this does is perpetuate a dangerous myth to impressionable people, and for us "regular" people, all we're thinking is "Well, she must be bulimic, then."

We also immediately have to have Ranger Parker (not to be confused with a Park Ranger) getting dolled up and flirting with a cute DEA agent, because we have to make sure she's feminine enough for the male audience. And of course a tomboyish law officer would wear a tiny black cocktail dress to a work event where all the guys are wearing flannel shirts and cowboy hats. Uh-huh.

But really, you had to know that "Killer Women" was in trouble when Nadine Velazquez, who turns in dreadful performances weekly on "Major Crimes," shows up in the pilot. She stars as a woman threatened by drug cartels to walk into a church and kill an ADA on her wedding day. None of the ADA's security guards pay any attention to an uninvited woman in a red evening dress and platform heels striding into the church...and then all the way down the aisle...and killing the bride...and then all the way back down the aisle...and out of the church...and then they all shoot and totally miss this non-criminal who leaves her red Cinderella shoes behind.

And then, after years of secrecy, Parker confesses her dark, abused past to this woman--in order to get her to open up for the real cause behind the murder. This is supposed to be all dramatic and moving, but since we barely know Parker, it's more of a "What?" kind of moment.

But let's get back to the cute DEA agent, Dan Winston. I could live with this pairing. Marc Blucas, lately of "Necessary Roughness" and way back on the resume, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," has a nice Jeremy Renner-esque balance of good guy/bad boy. The two have a charming chemistry and, with some witty banter and steamy scenes and blowing up stuff real good, could make for that fluffy escapist confection I mentioned earlier.

Right now "Killer Women" doesn't seem to know quite what it is. At times it strives for that Tarantino-esque mix of violence and humor, but it's not quite violent enough and definitely not funny enough to make that work. If its aim is to be a female version of "Justified," it has to get a lot more complex and clever before it can reach those heights.

Whether you watch any more episodes of "Killer Women" at this point hinges on Helfer. She's an engaging presence, even in a silly show, and if the series finds its tone and improves over the coming weeks, it might be a keeper. But if it continues in the vein of thin plots and caricatures, and low ratings, it'll die a quick death.

"Killer Women" airs on ABC, Tuesdays at 9/8c.

PHOTOS: "Killer Women" screencaps, pilot episode, c2014 ABC, fair use.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

'Nashville' recaps, Season 2

Nashville Scarlett Gunnar singing screencaps recaps
Clare Bowen and Scott Palladilo star in "Nashville".

Your 'Nashville' Season 2 recaps are here! Season 1 ended with that big cliffhanger of Rayna and Deacon's accident--if you want to catch up with last season, get all the recaps here. Otherwise, scroll down to catch up on all the Season 2 intrigue with Rayna, Deacon, Juliette, Scarlett, Gunnar, Teddy, Tandy, and more!

Episode 1: 'Nashville' Season 2 Premiere Recap: After the Accident

In the "Nashville" Season 2 premiere, "I Fall to Pieces," everyone struggles in their own way with the aftermath of Rayna's and Deacon's accident.

Episode 2: 'Nashville' Recap: Deacon Gets Bad News, Rayna Gets Double-Crossed 

In "Nashville" episode "Never No More," Deacon struggles with his injured hand, Rayna gets back-stabbed by the new label owner, and Juliette exploits her own tough childhood for record sales.

Episode 3: Rayna Fears for the Future of Her Singing Career, Deacon Faces His Fears About Fatherhood

"Nashville" episode "I Don't Wanna Talk About It Now" finds Juliette and Rayna both battling their record company. Teddy urges Deacon to face his responsibilities, then gets himself ensnared in Peggy's evil web.

Episode 4: Maddie Runs Away, Juliette Tries to Save Her Tour, and Deacon Finds Romance

In "Nashville" episode "You're No Angel Yourself," Rayna struggles to bond with her daughter, Deacon has a romantic evening with his lawyer, and Juliette makes a bold choice to save her world tour.

Episode 5: 'Nashville' Recap: Did the Accident End Deacon's and Rayna's Music Careers? 

In "Nashville" episode "Don't Open That Door," Rayna and Deacon face the end of their music careers, while Lamar faces prosecution.

Episode 6: Nashville' Recap: Rayna Tries to Save Her Record Label, Juliette Romances a Married Man

Romance is in the air in "Nashville" episode "It Must Be You," with old flames hooking up and new couples trying to decipher their feelings. 

Watch "Nashville" on ABC, Wednesdays at 10/9c.

PHOTO: "Nashville" Season 2 promo screencap, ABC, fair use.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Anthony Edwards Drama 'Zero Hour' Canceled

I confess, seeing that "Zero Hour" had been canceled made me say "What's 'Zero Hour'?" Much in the way that when I first saw previews for the kidnapping/Nazi/conspiracy theory drama I thought, "Anthony Edwards?"

No offense to the veteran "ER" actor, but some people just aren't suited for certain roles, and casting the right person is often what makes or breaks your project. Just ask the people who thought casting "Twilight" actress Kristen Stewart as Snow White was a good idea. Then look at Ginnifer Goodwin on "Once Upon a Time." Those people knew what they were doing.

So, when you're told about a show that seemingly has influences from "DaVinci Code" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," is Anthony Edwards the hero you're picturing? As a shy schoolteacher trying to make a difference at a city college, maybe, but not as a Tom Hanks/Harrison Ford hybrid.

Of course the demise can't all be blamed on casting. Just take a look at the promo, which has all kinds of heavy-handed, bizarre, and cheesy stuff going on.

If viewers are rolling their eyes at the trailer, it doesn't bode well for the series itself. You know things weren't looking good for the series when the comments section for the EW article about the cancellation has an entire thread about "Red Widow" instead of the show that's already been axed.

Part of that "Red Widow" discussion pointed to another problem with network television today--the pace at which shows are canceled. Sure, there are some surefire bombs that aren't worth pursuing. But many of the greatest shows took time to build an audience, and nothing gets that chance anymore, particularly on ABC (Already Been Canceled). The result is that no one wants to watch a new series now, fearing they'll once again get invested in something that will never reach a satisfying conclusion. Then when no one watches, the network pulls what might have become a perfectly good show. It's a vicious cycle that doesn't seem to be close to ending any time soon.

So, did anyone out there watch "Zero Hour"? Will you miss it?

PHOTO: "Zero Hour" trailer screencap, 2013, ABC, fair use.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

'Nashville' Recaps, Season 1 Here!

Connie Britton and Eric Close star in "Nashville."

Welcome, "Nashville" fans to Season 1 recaps! (Season 2 is here.) If you've just discovered the show and want to catch up, or you missed an episode, or if you just want a refresher before the next installment, this is the post for you. I'm recapping "Nashville" for Yahoo!TV, and I'll put all the links right here. Bookmark it and you'll always know where to turn for every last twist and turn of Rayna and Juliette's lives. (And of course there's Teddy, and Deacon, and Scarlett, and Gunnar, and...more.)

Episode 1:  'Nashville' premiere recap: Music, politics, and good old-fashioned catfights

Top-level acting, fast-paced storytelling, and some darn good country music elevate "Nashville" from mere melodrama to seriously fun, quality TV.

Episode 2:  Love songs and love triangles

"Nashville" episode "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)" turned up the heat on our love triangles, throwing temptation and increasingly romantic duets in their paths to heartache.

Episode 3: 'Someday You'll Call My Name' reveals turmoil for Rayna, Juliette

Rayna's conflicts over money, family, and her career boil over in "Nashville" episode "Someday You'll Call My Name." Meanwhile, Juliette faces disappointment from both Deacon and her mother.

Episode 4: Will Juliette and Rayna ever tour again?

"Nashville" began with two country stars who didn't want to tour together. Now it looks like neither one will be touring at all.

Episode 5: Deacon and Juliette bail each other out in 'Move It on Over'

In this week's "Nashville," Juliette struggles with her mother's relapse, Scarlett sees Avery's jealousy and ambition clearly for the first time, and Teddy's campaign goes negative.

Episode 6:  Scarlett finally tells Avery 'You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)'

"Nashville" episode "You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)" puts shaky couple Avery and Scarlett to the test, while Juliette's PR penance just might land her in a decent relationship.

Episode 8: 'Nashville' recap: Juliette is ready to go 'Where He Leads Me'

In "Nashville" episode "Where He Leads Me," Juliette decides to get herself a new family, Deacon gets a golden opportunity, and Rayna finally learns the truth about Teddy and those photos.

Episode 9: Avery learns to 'Be Careful of Stones That You Throw,' Juliette runs from her troubles

In our latest "Nashville" recap, Avery learns that stepping on people on the way to the top has consequences, Juliette's elopement isn't all that she thought it would be, and Rayna tries to keep her marriage from completely disintegrating.

Episode 10: Juliette finally says 'I'm Sorry,' Deacon quits the band

"Nashville" episode: "I'm Sorry for You, My Friend. As much as she tries to run, Juliette finally has to face the music on her flight from the altar, and Rayna learns that replacing Deacon on tour isn't as easy as she thought it would be.

Episode 11: Juliette plays second fiddle to Rayna, Deacon falls apart

In "Nashville" episode "You Win Again," Juliette feels she's being ignored and belittled on the joint tour, Deacon suffers depression after quitting from the band, and Rayna gets wooed by another record company.

Episode 12: Is it the end for Rayna and Teddy?

In "Nashville" episode "I've Been Down That Road Before," Deacon causes more tension between Rayna and Teddy, and fires Juliette up about transitioning from pop diva to serious country music star.

Episode 13: Juliette goes diva (even more than usual), Rayna faces the end of her marriage 

In "Nashville" episode "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight," Rayna faces the stress of her divorce and gets tempted by Liam, while Juliette tries to take over her own tour.

In "Nashville" episode "Dear Brother," Rayna and Teddy deal with tabloid fallout from their divorce, Juliette plans a party for Deacon, and Gunnar faces off with his gun-toting brother.

Episode 15: Maddie Acts Out, Juliette Causes Chaos, and Avery's Career Goes Up in Flames

In "Nashville" episode "When You're Tired of Breaking Other Hearts," Juliette turns a 50-person concert into a fan mob scene, and Rayna's troubled daughter Maddie gets caught up in the stampede.
In "Nashville" episode "I Saw the Light," Juliette continues her selfish ways, Rayna tries to talk her daughters out of being musicians, and Avery is forced to leave town.

Episode 17: Rayna Has a Revelation About Her Father, Juliette Puts All Her Trust in Dante

In "Nashville" episode "My Heart Would Know," Rayna learns more about her mother's affair, Dante takes over Juliette's life, and Scarlett tries to celebrate her record deal with an emotionally struggling Gunnar.

"Nashville" episode "Take These Chains from My Heart" has love triangles galore, with new and old flames, and romance from unexpected sources. Meanwhile, Dante and Tandy do some serious scheming.

Episode 19: 'Nashville' Recap: Rayna and Deacon Romance Already in Trouble; Juliette Drowns Her Sorrows

In "Nashville" episode "Why Don't You Love Me," Juliette suffers from the after-effects of Dante's betrayal, but it may not be over yet. Rayna is troubled by the secret she must keep from Deacon.

Episode 20: The Rayna, Teddy Fight Gets Ugly; Jolene Takes Drastic Measures to Protect Juliette

In "Nashville" episode "A Picture from Life's Other Side," Teddy takes his anger over Rayna's relationship with Deacon to the courts. Meanwhile, Jolene decides to solve Juliette's blackmail problem herself.

Episode 21: 'Nashville' Season 1 Finale Recap: Juliette Mourns Her Mother; Deacon Spirals and Takes Rayna Down With Him

In the "Nashville" finale, "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive," Juliette finds out the truth about her mother's death, Teddy gets shocking news, and Deacon falls off the wagon. 

Watch "Nashville" on ABC, Wednesdays at 10/9c.

PHOTO: Connie Britton and Eric Close in "Nashville", 2013 screencap, ABC, fair use.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

5 Canceled Series To Nab Emmy Awards?

Elizabeth Mitchell Lost Juliet screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captures finale Emmy Award
What do Lost, The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Monk, and The Tudors have in common? We won't see any of these shows next year, despite the fact that they've been rewarded for outstanding elements by the Emmy Awards.

Some programs, like Lost, had a planned demise. Others, like Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show and Old Christine, had more surprise endings. Conan O'Brien is going to be laughing all the way to the Emmy Awards, considering his 7 month stint on the Tonight Show got him a Best Variety Show Emmy nod--and rivals Leno and Letterman were left out in the cold. (Letterman's program is nominated in a couple other categories, for directing and technical direction).

Lost racks up an impressive four acting nods, for Matthew Fox (Jack), Terry O'Quinn (Locke), Micheal Emerson (Ben), and Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet). Mitchell is the first and only Lost gal to get an Emmy nod, and it's in the guest actress category. Whatever works--Mitchell deserves the honors. She's been turning in an amazing and nuanced performance from the moment she appeared on screen.

I'm sure Lost aficionado MsTerri would agree, it's a questionable move by the Emmy Awards voters to bestow a writing nomination for the Lost finale. (Vote in the love-it- or-hate-it Lost finale poll here.) I can argue for best drama Emmy Award, considering how we were all glued to the screens every week, but I'm still feeling immensely let down by the ending.

You can read more about the celebrate final seasons of the shows in my AC-Yahoo! article: 5 Canceled Series to Nab Emmy Awards?

Get all the TV News and Reviews updates, plus more by following @ValerieDavid on Twitter!

PHOTO: Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet on Lost, screencap c2010 ABC Studios.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Cast on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Alan Dale (Widmore), Nestor Carbonell (Richard), Jeremy Davies (Faraday), Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Harold Perinneau (Michael), Emilie de Ravin (Claire),  Terry O'Quinn (Locke), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), and Matthew Fox (Jack) Jimmy Kimmel Live Lost finale The End series screencaps images photos pictures capture screengrabsAlan Dale (Widmore), Nestor Carbonell (Richard), Jeremy Davies (Faraday), Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Harold Perinneau (Michael), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Terry O'Quinn (Locke), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), and Matthew Fox (Jack) answer audience questions on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Thoughts on the Lost finale? Check out: Lost -- "The End" -- I Laughed, I Cried, I WTF?

Tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live, we got a last chance to see some of our favorite Lost castaways (above pictured). While it was mostly good-natured chatting and cracking jokes, and some awkward moments, Jimmy did manage to have a Q&A with Matthew Fox at the start of the show about the Lost mythology.

It was an interesting theory Jimmy presented, about the idea of having to pass a test of character before concluding your life--and that Jack passed that test. Jimmy also conjectured that the Lost story was really about Jack's test, and that the others were merely players in that storyline--though they were experiencing tests of their own. I guess you could say that they all experienced tests of character, but perhaps the people who lived at the end still had their real tests yet to come.

The ads for the Jimmy Kimmel Live, Lost finale episode promised 3 alternate endings that Cuse and Lindeloff had planned. I was momentarily excited at the prospect of seeing what possibly better solutions they had tried out, but then I realized it was Jimmy Kimmel Live and these would most likely be joke set-ups.

The three clips had the actual Lost actors performing different finales--which turned out to mirror other famous season and series finale episodes. After each flub, the writers maintained that they hadn't seen the originals so they didn't realize they were the same. The first was a Survivor episode where Sayid was dismayed to learn that he'd been voted off the Island. Naveen Andrews was hilarious as he had his exit confessional where he complained bitterly about being killed, blown up, etc., only to be "kicked off the @#$%! Island".

(Article continues below these limited edition bobbleheads--click each pic for more info!)
Lost Claire Littleton Bobble Head - SDCC Exclusive Lost John Locke Bobble Head Lost Hugo Hurley Reyes Bobble Head

The second Lost sketch involved Richard, Hurley (Jorge Garcia), Claire, & Jack in what was apparently a mirror of the Sopranos finale. Like Cuse and Lindeloff, I haven't seen it, so I can't tell you if it was funny or not. The third and final "alternate Lost ending" was the finest, with Bob Newhart waking up in bed with Kate, ala the series end of Newhart. Bob was peeved that Bob and Carlton hadn't seen his beloved series finale either.

For another startling reunion, Sawyer appeared on the big screen TV, live from Canada, where he was shooting Snakes on a Plane 2: Electric Boogaloo. This was funny enough in and of itself, but Josh Holloway actually did some fly break-dancing moves with the original Breakin' movie duo Adolfo 'Shabba-Doo' Quinones and Michael 'Boogaloo Shrimp' Chambers. Ten points for an awesomely outrageous 80s reference and ten more points for execution.

Jimmy also had random people staring out from the jungle foliage surrounding the set of sand and airline debris--the funniest was a boy who may have been, and certainly looked like, the young Jacob.

My only complaint about the show is at least partically the fault of the Lost writing itself--there was only one woman, Emilie de Ravin, on the show. I felt moderately better when Evangeline Lilly at least showed up in the Bob Newhart sketch. What about Yunjim Kim (Sun)? Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet)? Maggie Grace (Shannon)? L. Scott Caldwell (Rose)? Tania Raymonde (Rousseau)? I hope they were all busy and that it wasn't just male-centric planning by former Man Show host Jimmy Kimmel. Despite the appealing cast diversity on Lost, however, you have to admit it's been largely a male-dominated story arc, relegating all of the women's roles to romance and motherhood.

One of the things I liked best about the Lost cast reunion on Jimmy Kimmel live was that there seemed to be a lot of genuine affection between the cast members. With six years of living and filming on Hawaii, it's nice to know that some friendships were formed, and Michael Emerson, Terry O'Quinn, and Matthew Fox had plenty of nice things to say about each other. I also liked that Naveen Andrews pretty much kissed everyone on the cheek, including a very affectionate kiss for Michael Emerson when the actor said he was happy there didn't seem to be any gleeful satisfaction from his fellow actors when Ben got any of his 100 beatings.

After the Jimmy Kimmel Live special, they had a Q&A session with some of the cast, which you hopefully you can still see on the Jimmy Kimmel Live website.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lost -- "The End" -- I laughed, I cried, I WTF?

Elizabeth Mitchell Juliet Lost screencaps images photos pictures captures screengrabsJuliet is still awesome on Lost.

(SPOILER ALERT) I knew after six years of build-up that we were never going to feel satisfied with the end of Lost, but I didn't think I'd feel as let down as this. Well, actually, since Richard turned out to be not magical at all, and the mystery of the Island turned out to be a shiny light in a cave, I'd started to get an inkling.

During the ridiculously long two hour intro to the finale (which was 30 minutes of interviews and flashbacks to the series, and 90 minutes of freakin' commercials), writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse gave us their true vision of Lost. That vision was that Lost was about the characters, and their personal journeys. That's the most you can get out of these final episodes--just one last visit with all of the characters we loved so much.

The one thing I have to give to season 6 of Lost was it made me love Jack again. His character had so many ups and downs and personality shifts and constant anger that it had been painful to see our hero fall apart. To see him rise again in everyone's estimation, to earn Sawyer's respect and rekindle Kate's love--that was wonderful.

Once again Matthew Fox (Jack) and Terry O'Quinn (Locke) played opposite each other so well. I loved when Jack told the Man in Black that he had disrespected Locke by taking his form, and I also love that in the end, Jack became a man of faith.

(Article continues below.)

Not unexpectedly, arguably the best part of "The End" finale was at the hands of Ben Linus, that deliciously complex and tortured soul we've come to know, despise, pity, and love over six seasons. While the reunions of all the couples on Lost was very moving, the moment Hurley asked Ben to be his number 2 got me more choked up than anything. The look on Ben's face--the final reward of being asked to take care of the Island, by someone who truly needed him--it was what Ben had been searching for all along.

I thought the plane was going to explode mid-air when the few Losties that were left tried to escape, but thankfully that didn't happen. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any of the happiness of that life. We only got to see all of our favorite people do the equivalent of LOTR's Undying Lands and sail off into the light. Hence, the WTF? part of my post. The end result of all the mysteries? The Losties had a miserable existence, suffered and got killed off on a supernatural island that had some sort of worldly significance, hung around in a happyland purgatory till most of them arrived, and then they took the next step.

So, basically, after loving all of these characters and living with them through all the heartache and love and humor and pain, the final note we get is: hey, they all died happily ever after.

Personally, I thought those doors were going to open and they were all going to walk out onto the Island. Maybe Jacob would be waiting to welcome them, and there'd be all the people from the hundreds/thousands of years that candidates had been brought to the Island and killed. At least that would have perhaps had some symmetry to it.

These are my initial thoughts. Now it's time to watch Jimmy Kimmel and see what the actors have to say. Maybe they have more profound ideas than I do at the moment. What did you think of the finale?

ETA: I also wanted to say that I loved the Juliet and Sawyer reunion. The scene when Juliet dies has to be one of the most heartbreaking moments Lost put us through--right up there with Charlie's death. To see them get to be together again, and to hear Juliet ask Sawyer for coffee--as she did before she died, when she glimpsed the Other Side--was hearbreaking all over again.

The creators of Lost have said they didn't want to give us all the answers, so that Lost fans would continue to debate the series and it would live on (and we'd all buy more Lost-related stuff, I imagine). What they actually did is they didn't really answer anything, so fans can beat every last metaphor, image, and line to death with a thousand more theories ad infinitum. Depending on your personality, I suppose you will find this either exciting and brilliant, or lame and irritating. Or perhaps a combination of the two. After all, Lost was all about ambiguity.

PHOTO: Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet, Lost screencap, c2010 ABC Studios.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Renewed and Cancelled Series: Law & Order, Heroes, Chuck & More

Heroes Peter Petrelli Milo Ventimiglia Noah Bennet HRG Jack Coleman screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capture cancelled canceled
Lots of news buzzing around about renewed and cancelled shows, so here's the scoop:

TVOvermind reports that Heroes is finally over after four seasons. Sadly, consensus is largely that Heroes was over after season one. What a waste of beautiful Peter Petrelli and his hot brother Nathan...that's all I'm sayin'... The good news is that TVSeriesFinale has scoop that there will be a wrap-up to the series rather than an abrupt cut-off. Here's hoping! (ETA: Yahoo!TV says the expense of the show means no ending after all, which really sucks for a series like this.)

Law & Order ties with Gunsmoke for longest running drama at 20 seasons...and has been cancelled, acccording to I'm sad because I love Linus Roache and wanted him to have a lengthy stint on TV, but the show really has run its course, and they never quite figured out what to do with Sam Waterston once they made him DA.

Crazy thing is, Law & Order: SVU has been renewed and there'll be a new spin-off, Law & Order: Los Angeles. Fingers crossed that Roache at least gets a few guest appearances on that one. And Law & Order: CI is still running on USA, albeit after one of the lamest send-offs for Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe ever. Gah.

Supernatural will be renewed for season 6, but without creator Eric Kripke, reports. I haven't caught up with the end of this season yet, but even if this story arc is now complete, I sure wouldn't mind seeing more of this ridiculously entertaining show.

I lost track of FlashForward early on due to timeslot issues, and it's a good thing I never invested the time because it's been cancelled. I was so shocked by how good indie star Joseph Fiennes was at being tough and macho (and still sexy), I'm really hoping he can land in another series.

Though its ratings weren't stellar, also says V is renewed for next season. It's not a bad show, but the whole pull of the original was we didn't know who the V were. Now that we already know, this remake feels a little anti-climactic to me. It's got a good cast, however, so we'll see where season 2 takes us.

Never fear, Chuck fans, your favorite geek spy is renewed for another season. The Hollywood Reporter guesses it should get a 13 episode order. I'm just hoping Brandon Routh pulls a Moriarty and returns from the dead. After all, Bryce did that at least once before he got his own show.

Early buzz was that FOX was going to cancel one or both of the series Human Target and Lie to Me, but according to TVbytheNumbers, FOX renewed both for 13 episodes apiece. I was personally shocked to find out it will be Lie to Me's third season rather than second...which tells you how often I've seen it.

After tons of TV ads and mad crazy online campaigning, ABC got disenchanted with the low ratings for new drama/mystery/weirdness Happy Town and have pulled it from the schedule. They'll air the remaining few episodes in summer. Translation: Cancelled. In case you were curious about this fly-by-night show, here's my review of the Happy Town pilot episode.

PHOTO: Peter and Noah, Heroes screencap, c2009 NBC.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Town Premiere Review

Henley Boone Lauren German Happy Town In This Home on Ice third floor boardinghouse dark screencap image photo picture screengrab captureHappy Town newcomer Henley wonders
what's up on the mysterious 3rd floor.

New ABC mystery series Happy Town premieres tonight with its pilot episode, "In This Home on Ice". While ABC is hoping for a combo of Lost and Twin Peaks fans, it remains to be seen if this uneven but intriguing series can hold that kind of audience. With a large cast of quirky and mysterious characters, and a continuing storyline of teases and shocks, Happy Town could turn into a decent mid-week guilty pleasure.

The highs? Sam Neill doing a stellar job of being both amusing and creepily sinister, and Lost alum M.C. Gainey making bad dialogue sound good, and hitting all the right scary notes with his sinister personality shifts. Happy Town also boasts a pretty intriguing mystery involving murder, unsolved abductions, the ominous third floor of the local boardinghouse, and possibly-not-all-she-seems newcomer Henley (Lauren German).

The lows? A jarring beginning of violence and Stupid Character Acts, and some corny and lame dialogue. There's also a problem with tone, as some actors seem to be playing up the cheese factor and melodrama, while others are playing it as serious, straight drama. It's not an easy line to straddle, and the success of Happy Town will depend on whether it can get everyone reading from the same script.

Want more detail? You can read my full Happy Town review at AC.

PHOTO: Happy Town pilot, "In This Home on Ice" screencap, c2010 ABC Studios.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lost -- "Happily Ever After" Review and Screencaps

Lost Happily Ever After Desmond Hume Henry Ian Cusick bed screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesDesmond wakes up to a nightmare, in Lost "Happily Ever After".

*SPOILER ALERT* Tonight's Lost, "Happily Ever After", brought the show back around to the mystery and heebie jeebies we've come to love. We got more Desmond/Penny love and crazy Charlie as a bonus, which just added to the goodness of this tight and compelling episode.

Lost Ab Aeterno Richard Alpert Nestor Carbonell eyeliner man screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captures wifeI confess, when Lost episode "Ab Aeterno" aired, I was pretty disappointed. After the anticipation of a Richard Alpert-centric episode, I was let down by a story took the gorgeous and immortal Eyeliner Man and stripped away all his mystery. While it was nice to see the sensitive side of Richard and his truly eternal love for his bride, the fact that Richard was only special out of making a deal with the devil took away from his sexy mystique. This is one of the pitfalls of stretching out a one year series this long--the build-up is sometimes too much for the resolution you originally had planned.

Lost Happily Ever After Charlie Pace Dominic Monaghan hospital dressing gown screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesWith "The Package" and especially tonight's "Happily Ever After", however, Lost is back on track to muddling our brains. While we've seen hints before that the alternate timeline Losties have occasional flashbacks or deja vu to their original Island lives, tonight we got confirmation that the two are definitely connected. After Desmond has a run-in with crazy, seemingly suicidal Charlie and a terrifying car ride off of a short pier into the ocean, Desmond gets a flash of the pivotal "Not Penny's boat" moment from his previous life.

Lost Happily Ever After Charles Widmore Alan Dale cut forehead screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesWe've seen a lot of "what if" scenarios for our Lost castaways, including an awesome hotel seduction scene between Sun and Jin, but tonight's set-up may be one of the most shocking. We get Desmond working for Widmore, as his respected right hand man. Widmore is married to Eloise, and their son Daniel Faraday is a classical musician hoping to perform some rock/classical with Charlie's band Drive Shaft. Then there's Daniel's half-sister Penny, whom Desmond has not even met--but the ever-tuned-in-to-weirdness Daniel points out that Desmond may need to discover his other life and have his love-at-first-sight moment with Penny.

Lost Happily Ever After Eloise Hawking Fionnula Flanagan Desmond Hume Henry Ian Cusick screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesThe most telling moment is when Eloise confronts Desmond about his inconvenient digging into these strange blips in reality. She hints that the Losties' alternate lives may be wish fulfillment of a sort--she tells Desmond he has what he wants, which is Widmore's respect. She tells Desmond he's not "ready" to find out anything about the facts he's pursuing. The headstrong Desmond ignores her, with a little help from Daniel, of course.

Lost Happily Ever After Desmond Hume Henry Ian Cusick electro magnetic field catastrophe light screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesThere's also the ongoing Lost mystery of what Widmore has planned in our familiar timeline, where he's brought Desmond back to the island to prove he can withstand an electro-magnetic catastrophe. Which he can. But what does this have to do with the Man in Black, Jacob, and Widmore's kidnapping of Jin? And can Desmond trust Sayid as his savior from Widmore's clutches? Can Desmond tell the future still?

Lost Happily Ever After Desmond Hume Henry Ian Cusick Daniel Faraday Jeremy Davies screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesAnd did Daniel's plan to detonate the nuclear bomb trigger the alternate reality? And did his mother Eloise have that result in mind from the beginning? Who exactly is pulling the strings in the Lost universe...or is their more than one puppeteer?

Things are getting interesting again.

Love at first sight...

Lost Happily Ever After Desmond Hume Henry Ian Cusick love at first sight screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesLost Happily Ever After Desmond Hume Henry Ian Cusick love at first sight Penny Penelope Widmore Sonya Walger screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs capturesWatch Lost on ABC, Tuesday nights at 9/8c.

PHOTOS: Lost, "Happily Ever After" screencaps, c2010, ABC Studios.

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

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Michael Emerson, aka Ben Linus from Lost, Visits The Soup

Joel McHale Ben Linus Michael Emerson guest star video The Soup Lost screencaps images photos pictures screengrabs captures
Okay, The Soup is consistently insane and funny, but tonight's introduction of Michael Emerson to the show was just plain genius. While surprise guests are pretty common on The Soup, usually it's a one gag bit where the star feels awkward and goes away quickly. Not Emerson. Not only is this man king of creepy drama, but he knows how to play satire. Watch for yourself:

If you haven't seen the show or clip, highlights include Michael Emerson finding the plot of 24 "confusing". When told by Joel that some TV characters get stabbed and then they come back to life, Michael scoffs and says "Ridiculous." Michael also asks if Joel is in some alternate reality that exists at the same time as the shows he's showing. (He's really not off base that a show that shows clips of shows is confusing...heh.)

I loved that when Joel introduced "Reality Show Clip Time," Michael said, "Define reality," in a spooky Lost sort of way. And I do agree with Michael Emerson that watching clips of the Kardashians makes me want to go move to an island somewhere.

So, all in all, just brilliant. This episode of The Soup is further proof that Michael Emerson is made of win. He's one of the best Soup guest stars I've ever seen, and I think the show runners agreed, because that's the longest time any guest I've seen has been on the show. Good on them for recognizing comedic talent when they see it.

You can watch The Soup on E!, Friday nights at 10/9c.

PHOTO: Michael Emerson, who plays villian Ben Linus on Lost, visits Joel McHale on the set of E! clip show The Soup, c2010 E!Online.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost -- "LA X, Parts 1 & 2"

Lost LAX Losties screencaps images photos pictures video screengrab capture
Okay, so tonight's Lost season 6 premiere "LA X, Parts 1 & 2" was just as much a mind bender as the season 5 ender "The Incident". Leave it to Lost to give you the aftermath of a HUGE cliffhanger with tons of scenes that don't actually tell you what happened after the bomb.

Let's see if we can recap the big Lost premiere moments. We start with Jack on the Oceanic flight, and it seems as if the bomb detonation has worked. The plane hits some turbulence, but doesn't crash. Rose is there, Bernard is there, Sun and Jin. Kate is there, in handcuffs.

But some things seem different. Hurley tells a curious Sawyer that he's the luckiest lottery winner on earth; that nothing bad ever happens to him. Boone is sitting near Locke, with no sister Shannon. And then there's the biggie--Desmond is on the plane as well. This seems to stir something in Jack, and he asks if they've met before. Desmond doesn't seem to remember anything, but later on he disappears from the flight.

Jack is called to the back of the plane to save someone locked in the bathroom--turns out it's Charlie, who swallowed a bag of drugs in an attempted suicide. He's not happy that Jack saved him. "I was meant to die," he tells Jack glumly, in an eerie parallel to the Lost sequence of events we know.

It was interesting to see how things would turn out if the plane didn't crash. I liked the easy friendship between Boone and Locke--a sort of fascination on Boone's part again--that mirrored their earlier relationship. It was hard to watch Sun and Jin, their marriage still strained. As Jin gets taken away by airport security for having undeclared wads of cash in his suitcase, Sun keeps her English to herself and lets him get into trouble.

Kate does a masterful escape once again, with just a teeny bit of help from bad boy Sawyer. Kate ends up forcing a cabbie to drive at gunpoint--with Claire sitting next to her on their getaway ride. And then we get another twist--Jack finds himself in the airport claims office with Locke. Locke lost a suitcase of knives, and the airline lost Jack's father. There's a nice scene with these two, when Locke tells Jack that no one can know where his father is. After all, the airline hasn't lost his father--they've only lost his body. Is this perhaps a hint about Locke's soul as well?

This isn't all, though. After we first see Jack on the plane, we then turn to Kate's point of view, where she wakes up dangling from a tree. On the island. Yes, that's right, Kate is still at the bomb site, though she's now back in her own timeline. And Sawyer is there, and Jack. Wait--Jack? But...

Sawyer is furious that the plan hasn't worked, and Jack for once has no answers for anything. Kate then hears Juliet, who somehow is still under the rubble, barely alive. So Sawyer at least gets to be with her one last time, but has to suffer through the realization of losing her--again. On top of it, she dies just before telling him something "important".

Hurley gets visited by the ghost of Jacob, who tells him to take a dying Sayid and the mysterious guitar case to the temple (home of the smoke monster and young Ben's life-saving change) in order to save him. The wound is too bad for Jack to heal, so he goes along with Kate, Hurley, and Jin to the temple. They're nearly killed by Others before they open the guitar case to find a message from Jacob that supposedly says they'd better save Sayid or else.

Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of Ben and Not-John-Locke. Ben is still confused as to why Jacob didn't put up a fight. Ilana sends her men in to find Jacob, and they shoot Not-John--but the bullets just bounce off. Then the Smoke Monster appears, and Ben learns that Not-John IS the Smoke Monster. Who just killed a bunch of men.

Ben is powerless to stop him. Shocking the collection of new crash victims on the beach with his Locke appearance, Not-John punches out a terrified Richard and carries him off to who knows where. As creepy as he's been in the past, I still have a soft spot for Eyeliner Man Richard, and don't want to see him meet a bad end.

Back at the Temple, Sayid drowns, despite the Others supposed attempts to revive him in the "healing pool". When the Others at the Temple discover that Jacob is dead, they freak out, sending up a flare to warn everyone and barracading themselves against the Smoke Monster they fear is coming. Then a very dead Sayid wakes up, which begs the question--is he Sayid, or is he perhaps Jacob returned? Will we now have a Not-John and a Not-Sayid?

The other twist is when Sawyer keeps Miles behind to help him bury Juliet. He has an ulterior motive, because he wants Miles to use his talents of listening to the dead. Sawyer is frustrated when Miles tells him Juliet's message is "It worked." If she means the bomb worked, and things went back to normal, then what are they all still doing on The Island? Do we now have two alternate realities operating at the same time?

Lost has certainly started the final season off with some big questions. Will any of them be answered in the next episode, or will we be left hanging all of season 6? There's only one way to find out...

Watch Lost on ABC, Tuesday nights at 9/8c. Read all my Lost-related posts!

PHOTO: The Losties captured by the Others in "LA X"; Boone and Locke in earlier days; Juliet before the bomb; Lost screencaps, c2010, 2009 ABC Studios.


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