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July 29, 2014

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Best and Worst TV of 2009: Jason's List

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 21st 2009 5:06PM
Daniel Wright2009 was a good year for television. It offered the resurgence of the comedy on network television, and the continuing growth of original programming on cable. In all honesty, I don't think I could just do a list of what was great and what was horrible on television because I would need pages and pages.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the things that really stood out this year. Sorry, Mad Men fans, but even though this was a great third season and an amazing finale, I expect it at this point. It's the only way I could come up with to keep my list manageable.

Also, as a point of protest I did not include Jon, Kate or the balloon boy hoax. These events got more attention than they deserved already this year, and I feel bad I even mentioned them.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Five cancelled shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 19th 2009 10:00AM
Guiding LightOn the fifth day of Christmas, TV gave to me ... five cancelled shows ...

Every new season, a network will cancel a show (at least) that a ton of people like. Of course, every year the networks cancel shows that nobody likes. The five shows on this list include a little of both. Feel free to list other shows in the comments, but these are the five that stood out to me in 2009.

1. Guiding Light. I had to put Guiding Light at number one. You can't put the cancellation of a show that was on every weekday for 72 years at number three or number five. It just wouldn't be right, even if the show did limp to its end. The longest-running soap opera (and one of the longest-running shows on TV, period) started on radio in 1937 and switched to television in 1952 (it was actually on both radio and TV for a while). The last episode aired in September.

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Review: Dollhouse - The Attic

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 19th 2009 2:20AM
Dollhouse(S02E10) I KNEW IT! I knew Adelle was faking it. It's classic Whedon. If anyone is operating on an apparent motive, then their true motives tend to be the opposite. How will she reconcile with Topher? Even if she was faking it, it would have been easy to not give Rossum the keys to the Kingdom. Did she figure that Rossum would eventually discover the technology anyway? Was she betting on Echo?

When Echo first appeared in the snow with the tree in the background, it seemed like she was trapped in Narnia. I was half-expecting Aslan to walk up and start talking to her.

Please note that since we've learned that Rossum is the evil sort of corporation that permeates science fiction, this make Laurence Dominic a good guy now. It's a good thing November killed Sierra's rapist of a handler rather than Adelle putting him in the Attic. Adelle must be feeling at least a little guilty regarding putting Dominic there.

At first, I couldn't tell if the shadowy figure was named Arcade or Arcane (it's the latter). This is before he became Clyde.

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Review: Dollhouse - Stop-Loss

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 19th 2009 2:05AM
Dollhouse(S02E09) Adelle has really begun her descent into Hell, hasn't she? I haven't seen a turn this bad since Angel lost his soul in Buffy Season 2. I wonder if she feels a twinge of jealousy that Sierra has won "Roger."

Enver Gjokaj should get his own show. Simply his "goodbye" to Sierra when he was about to be released had me in stitches. At the same time, it somewhat broke my heart when Sierra sat at the dinner table waiting for Victor to join her.

Admittedly, the show wasn't clear on the exact circumstances that brought Sergeant Anthony Ceccoli to the Dollhouse. Near as I can tell, he was a soldier in either Iraq or Afghanistan (or both) and he joined the Dollhouse to escape the war. He obviously underwent shellshock or some such trauma. Did he go AWOL? Usually when people join the Dollhouse they're running from something. The exception to this is Priya who was the victim of a scumbag who couldn't take "no" for an answer.

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What's On Tonight: Dollhouse, Ghost Adventures, Crash

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 18th 2009 12:20PM
Frosty the Snowman
  • At 8, ABC has a new Supernanny, followed by two new episodes of 20/20.
  • CBS has a new Frosty the Snowman at 8, then Frosty Returns.
  • FOX has two new episodes of Dollhouse at 8.
  • PBS has a new Washington Week at 8, followed by new episodes of NOW and Bill Moyers Journal.
  • MyNetwork TV has a new Smackdown! at 8.
  • AMC has National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation at 8.
  • At 9, Travel Channel has two new episodes of Ghost Adventures.
  • Lifetime has An Accidental Christmas at 9.
  • Also at 9: BBC America has a new Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.
  • At 10, NBC has a new Jay Leno Show.
  • Syfy has a new Sanctuary at 10.
  • Food Network has 24 Hour Restaurant Battle at 10.
  • STARZ has a new Crash at 10.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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Review: Dollhouse - A Love Supreme

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 12th 2009 1:10AM
Dollhouse(S02E08) We get double the guest stars in this episode with both Alan Tudyk returning as Alpha and Patton Oswalt returning as Joey Miner. Did anybody else notice that Alpha seemed to be acting just like the Joker, particularly with the mismatched purple ensemble? I'm referring more to the Heath Ledger version than the Jack Nicholson or Cesar Romero versions.

Patton Oswalt is a returning guest and a former engagement of Echo's, but were the others, as well? I suspect so. I think the one that got blown up real good was the motorcycle rider from the pilot episode. I think. It was interesting how one person became so addicted to the Dollhouse that he blew all his money on it. This is your brain on Dollhouse.

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Review: Dollhouse - Meet Jane Doe

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 12th 2009 12:43AM
Dollhouse(S02E07) What we seem to have here is a case of sides being taken. Ballard and Langton, along with Echo, are taking the anti-Dollhouse side while Adelle is joining Mr. Harding in the pro-Dollhouse category.

The concept of skipping some time is always an interesting device to use in a drama. Who can forget the classic "one year later" on Battlestar Galactica? Adelle was demoted due to her loss of Echo while Echo trained with Ballard to eventually overthrow the Rossum by freeing a woman whose imprisonment she was responsible for in the first place. It seemed at the end as if "Lisa" was getting a new life much in the way that Actives get a new imprint.

Eliza Dushku did some good acting this episode, possibly the best yet in the series. Favorite line (or part of a line): "and, at least seven times, gay." Is that some sort of subtle political statement about homosexuality being psychological? Feel free to post theories in the comments.

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What's On Tonight: Yes, Virginia, Ugly Betty, Dollhouse, The Soup

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 11th 2009 12:09PM
Sanctuary
  • At 8, ABC has a new Supernanny, followed by new episodes of Ugly Betty and 20/20.
  • CBS has Yes, Virginia at 8.
  • NBC has a new Law & Order at 8, then new episodes of Dateline and The Jay Leno Show.
  • FOX has two new episodes of Dollhouse.
  • PBS has a new Washington Week at 8, followed by new episodes of NOW and Bill Moyers Journal.
  • MyNetwork has a new Smackdown! at 8.
  • At 8:30, Cartoon Network has a new Ben 10: Alien Force.
  • At 9, Travel Channel has two new episodes of Ghost Adventures.
  • BBC America has a new Friday Night with Jonathan Ross at 9.
  • At 10, Syfy has a new Sanctuary.
  • E! has a new episode of The Soup at 10.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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All Mike M. Wants for Festivus

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 11th 2009 10:02AM
fringe foxIn honor of the great Frank Costanza, and to ring in the holiday season, we're celebrating Festivus here at the Squad by sharing our personal TV wish lists. This year, I'm wishing for ...

  • An awesome end for Dollhouse. I know its cancellation was inevitable – the series was forever tanking in the ratings, and even Joss Whedon devotees were sometimes underwhelmed by it – but I really loved the experimental nature of the show. Dollhouse was a weird, funny and sometimes very dark playground where Whedon could try out new ideas and put new spins on old ones. I'm looking forward to watching the final episodes.

  • More sci-fi stuff on Stargate Universe. I love the slow burn character arcs, but would it kill the writers to shake things up a bit with a little action and some fantastic science fiction-based stories?

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What to Watch: December 7 - 13

by Stephanie Earp, posted Dec 7th 2009 3:14AM


Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009 - Wednesday December 9, 10 pm, Global/ABC

Babs' annual love-in raises the bar a little this year - or is it just that 2009 was a really bizarre year? The short list includes four people I would confidently call lunatics (though some use their crazy for good and others for evil) including Sarah Palin, Adam Lambert, Kate Gosselin and Lady Gaga. Tyler Perry is also on the list and I can't wait to see how Walters handles him. Tyler, if you are reading this, I beg you to do the interview in Madea drag. Brett Favre and Glenn Beck from the world of sports round out the published list. The top three fascinators will be revealed during the broadcast. Who wants to do a pool? My picks are Robert Pattinson, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

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Review: Dollhouse - The Left Hand

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 5th 2009 10:00AM
Dollhouse(S02E06) In our last episode, our hero Echo was tied to a table and getting her brain fried by the evil and deranged Bennett Halverson. And now, part two ...

Admittedly, the "two parts in a single night" works well with this show and its current penchant for cliffhanger endings. Plus we don't have to wait until next week to see how our heroine Echo gets out of her current trap.

Tonight we also discovered a new application for Dollhouse technology: the ability to experience other people's memories without actually taking their personality.

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Review: Dollhouse - The Public Eye

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 5th 2009 12:45AM
Dollhouse(S02E05) This was truly an excellent episode of Dollhouse. The show has improved leaps and bounds, and I can't wait to see the developments Joss has waiting for us next season ... oh. Oh yeah. Forgot about that.

Despite the imminent cancellation, this was an excellent episode with so many twists and turns you'd think it was the SR1 in California. Okay, Daniel Perrin is a Doll (sort of) and his wife is his handler (making her more of a fake than him). The mysterious Bennett in the D.C. Dollhouse has a past with Caroline, Echo's original personality. And it all ends in a cliffhanger making this the perfect night for a two-parter.

When Echo (as Bree) and Perrin had their scenes together, I couldn't help but flash back to several scenes from the Buffy and Angel series which had Wesley together with Faith. Faith tortured Wesley in one of those, I recall. Fortunately, no grudges were held between series.

Did anybody else notice that Kilo was played by Maurissa Tancharoen, who is engaged to Jed Whedon (Joss' brother) and was one of the co-writers of Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog? If you didn't, then you should have. She's also a writer for this series and co-wrote the last episode.

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What's On Tonight: Ghost Whisperer, Muppets, Dollhouse, White Collar

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 4th 2009 12:03PM
  • MonkLifetime has an Army Wives marathon all night.
  • At 8, ABC has Dreams Come True: A Celebration Of Disney Animation, followed by new episodes of Ugly Betty and 20/20.
  • CBS has a new Ghost Whisperer at 8, then new episodes of Medium and Numb3rs.
  • NBC has A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa at 8, followed by new episodes of Dateline and The Jay Leno Show.
  • FOX has two new episodes of Dollhouse.
  • PBS has a new Washington Week at 8, then new episodes of NOW and Bill Moyers Journal.
  • MyNetwork TV has a new Smackdown! at 8.
  • Food Network has Paula's Southern Christmas at 8.
  • Hallmark has the movie The National Tree at 8.
  • Also at 8: Disney has a new Wizards of Waverly Place, then a new Suite Life on Deck.
  • At 8:30, Cartoon Network has a new Ben 10: Alien Force, followed by a new episode of The Clone Wars.
  • At 9, The CW has Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.
  • USA has the series finale of Monk at 9, followed by the fall finale of White Collar.
  • Syfy has a new Stargate Universe at 9, then a new Sanctuary.
  • At 10,Food Network has a new holiday-themed Unwrapped.
  • E! has a new episode of The Soup at 10.
  • At 10:30, Fine Living has a new Bartender Wars.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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12 Sci-Fi Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon

by Bryan Enk, posted Nov 14th 2009 1:15PM
Joss Whedon has become something of a tortured artist since 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' ended its highly successful seven-season run in 2003. Since Sunnydale was destroyed and 'Angel' got pulled right when it was finding its own identity post-'Buffy,' Whedon has yet to find another long-running hit. It's still hard to believe that a show as great as 'Firefly' only lasted one season!

Whedon's bad luck continues with the recent announcement that Fox is pulling the plug on 'Dollhouse,' a series that had enough of a following -- and potential -- to warrant another season. Would 'Dollhouse' have really hit its stride further down the road? We'll never know. Here are some other sci-fi television series that met their makers too soon.

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The real reason Dollhouse was cancelled

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 12th 2009 5:04PM
Are you still losing sleep over FOX's unsurprising yet tragic cancellation of Josh Joss Whedon's Dollhouse? This may be the melatonin you need.

CollegeHumor has uncovered the true reason FOX nixed the action drama from its airwaves. It needed more room for more Seth MacFarlane cartoons about pop-culture spewing families with anthropomorphic pets and American Idol. I never thought I'd long for the good ol' days was Fox was known for quality programming like Bad Orderlies Caught on Tape 2 and When Lawn Equipment Goes Screwy 4.

[via Slashfilm]

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