This week, I answer questions about Rules of Engagement, Huff and Southland.
Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) is set to star in ABC's Suspect. The show is a procedural that will solve crimes by tracking suspects through a lineup. She's joined by Eric Palladino (ER) and Kathleen Munroe (Beautiful People). The ABC track record for procedurals is less than impressive, but the addition of Guy Ritchie (Snatch) as director is intriguing enough to give this one a look.
(S02E13) Last week I said I expected this finale to be "one helluva storm." Well I was almost right. It was a storm. Just a calm one that played out very methodically with a few things that you almost half expected anyway.
We pick up right where it left off: Russell tweaking out on his couch and Huff sitting on the floor next to Pepper's lifeless body. The cops arrive and it comes as no surprise that Russell is cuffed and brought in. The guy was high as a kite and suspicions are aroused when traces of coke are seen in Pepper's nostrils.
The following scene was incredibly well laid out as it jumped back and forth to Russell being booked and sent to his cell while Craig checked into a hotel. It's a wonder these two have maintained a relationship over the years because they are complete opposites.
Sad news here. This morning Showtime announced that Huff will not be back for a third season. The decision was made after numbers for the second season didn't exceed the low ratings of the first. I suppose it's nice that we at least got two seasons because if you recall, Showtime president Robert Greenblatt gave the second season a greenlight before the pilot even aired. If that hadn't happened, I might have been posting about this a year ago.
Hank Azaria and the rest of the cast were notified of the news earlier this week. They should feel proud of what they did accomplish though. A best supporting actress Emmy for Blythe Danner and nominations for Azaria and Oliver Platt are nothing to be ashamed about. And who knows if they'll get any more nods this year.
I'm especially disappointed by this as are some of my fellow TV Squadders. Heck, we even interviewed show creator Bob Lowry twice! Everyone should tune in to the
season series finale this Sunday though. I've already had the opportunity to screen it and you won't be disappointed.
(S02E12) And thus begins the downfall of Russell Tupper. We've watched him destroy his own body with drugs since day one and now finally, it seems that Russell might be in a position where he absolutely, positively has to clean himself up. As if Kelly being pregnant with his child wasn't enough. The man is a wreck and it's about time something happened. The question that remains is will he rise to the challenge?
More on this after I lay out everything else first because next week's finale is going to be one helluva storm.
(S02E11) I'm speechless. Every week I just watch this show and I'm so impressed. Shows like this are the reason I hardly read books. This is better than a book. Way better.
Taking a cue from Six Feet Under, the episode began with Huff dreaming that he was back home with Beth and Byrd. Until Byrd pulled a gun on his father. Dream sequence over. It's starting to seem that Huff is regretting his decision to leave Beth and these dreams are how he's dealing with it. It happened to him again during a session with a patient later that day. He just keeps spacing out. I'd like the think that the rest of this season will be about Huff finding himself and making amends with Beth. But after this episode, I seriously doubt we'll see that happen in the final two episodes.
(S02E10) I was starting to wonder what the story arc for the rest of this season would be and it's finally starting to take shape: the similarities and comparisons between Craig and his father, Ben. It comes at a poignant time too. Now that Ben is gone for good (I honestly don't think he'll be back), it's left Craig to inherit all his father's flaws and mistakes. As much as Craig wants to not become his father, he has and it'll probably take him the rest of the season to realize that. Also, you might notice that I'm referring to Huff as "Craig" and not as "Huff." I have a point to make there, I swear. But I'll get to that later.
While everyone is BBQ'ing this weekend, HBO and Showtime have both made the wise choice of holding off on new episodes of The Sopranos and Huff this Sunday night. Instead, HBO will run a mini-marathon on the past three episodes of The Sopranos ("The Ride," "Moe n' Joe,"and "Cold Stones") starting at 9PM. The Sopranos will return the following Sunday (June 4) with the mid-season finale entitled "Kaisha."
Over on Showtime, this Sunday night at 10 will be a re-run of the Huff two-hour season two premiere, "Maps Don't Talk." Huff will also return on Sunday, June 4 with a new episode entitled "Bethless" at 10PM. It's the first of three new episodes before the season two finale which airs on Sunday, June 25.
(S02E09) I often find that this show has a lot in common with Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mainly, that it frequently makes me feel uncomfortable during certain scenes. You know something is good when it literally puts you off just by watching it. In particular, one of the final scenes between Huff and Beth was done quite well. So well that I almost stopped watching because I felt so bad. But we'll come back to that.
Elsewhere in the Huffstodt home, Ben is back! He even went out of his way to get Izzy her license back... by threatening a judge. He laughed when he told her how he got it, but I actually believe him. I wouldn't put anything past Ben Huffstodt, especially now that we found out why Ben is back in town: he's in debt to the Malaysian mob. Good times.
(S02E08) I hate how this show makes me want to cry every five minutes. A dramedy with so many depressing topics (drug use, alcoholism, cancer, divorce) shouldn't be this good. But it is.
Beth and Huff are still going to couples therapy but it doesn't seem to be working. They argue just as much with the therapist as they do with themselves. The episode opened with them at their session and it was interesting that it started off that way because it led to both of them seeking therapy on their own terms later.
(S02E07) The Huffstodt home just can't have a quiet evening. With everything going on in this family, it's a wonder they haven't tried to kill each other... knock on wood. For the most part, the problems seem to be stemming from Ben. He's still hanging around, after he supposedly only had ten hours before he had to go away forever to who knows where. The odd thing is that he's suddenly taken quite the interest in his estranged family. I'm starting to think that maybe he's sick.
They gave us the impression that he's no longer with his Chinese (Japanese? Korean? I forget...) wife and he's clearly looking for some company. The only problem is that nobody, especially Izzy, wants Ben sticking around. In one of the most powerful scenes so far this season, Izzy completely went off on Ben and you can clearly see why Danner won the Emmy for best supporting actress in a drama series last year.
(S02E06) Once again, this show continues to mesmerize me. So many different and varied things happened in this episode that it boggles my mind when you think about how well it all flowed together. Only this show could hop back and forth between a tearful father/son reunion and crystal-meth fueled house party.
Yes, in case you skimmed that first paragraph, I did say father/son reunion. Ben Huffstodt is back, he's only got ten hours until he has to disappear forever, and in true Ben Huffstodt fashion we have no idea why. But before he goes, he wants to see Teddy and maybe Izzy. Obviously, he comes to Craig first. For those that saw the first season of Huff, you may have noticed that Ben looked a little different. Formerly played by Robert Forster, the role of Ben Huffstodt now belongs to Tom Skerritt and I thought he handled the role much better (even though it seemed like a different character).
(S02E05) Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Eighteen episodes into this spectacular series and up to this point, every single one of them has been nothing short of incredible. This episode? Not so much. I just didn't find myself all that engaged. The story was all over the place, which isn't that unusual for an installment of Huff. But this episode felt especially disjointed.
That being said, there was still plenty of good stuff going on here. You know a show is pulling it's weight when it has Sharon Stone exit from her guest-starring stint only to be followed up by Angelica Huston in the very next episode. Unfortunately though, to make room for such stellar guest stars, storylines involving the main characters (What happened to Byrd and his new hobby?) get pushed aside.
(S02E04) I feel like I went into this episode with an unfair advantage. I got to screen it early and speak to creator Bob Lowry about it. Now that I've watched it a second time, so many things stood out. You want to talk about a show with multiple levels ... it's like a 50-story apartment building. Wow, I can't believe I just wrote that - worst analogy ever. But you get what I'm saying? Yes? Good. Moving on.
The episode started with a bang. Dauri is still a patient of Huff and as one would expect Russell is covering the cost of the sessions. But that's what Russell does. He throws money around without bothering to try and have a real relationship with anyone. With all the problems Russell has, it's hard to believe he hasn't figured out one of life's simple truths. Money doesn't fix everything but I think Kelly is going to teach Russell a few things in that department. But his connection with Dauri makes a startling leap forward which I'll address later.
- ABC has a new ep of America's Funniest Home
Videos at 7, followed by new eps of Extreme Makeover, Desperate Housewives, and the debut
of What About Brian?
- CBS has a new 60 Minutes, followed by a new Cold Case and the conclusion of Robert Ludlum's Covert One: The Hades Factor.
- On NBC, there's a new Dateline, West Wing, Law and Order: CI, and Crossing Jordan.
- FOX has a new Malcolm at 7, followed by a repeat King of the Hill, a repeat Simpsons, a new War At Home, a repeat Family Guy, then another new War At Home.
- The WB has a repeat Reba at 7, then a new Charmed and a repeat Pepper Dennis.
- At 9, HBO has a new Sopranos.
- There's a new episode of Steve Irwin's Great Escapes on The Travel Channel at 9.
- A&E has two new eps of God Or The Girl at 9.
- Also at 9: two new eps of The Next Food Network Star.
- At 10, Showtime has a new episode of Huff.
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