The cable networks have been very, very good to women over the last few years. Particularly strong, independent women who are on par, or many times above, the men in their lives. This has been exemplified by characters like Brenda Johnson in The Closer, PJ Franklin on My Boys, Nancy Botwin on Weeds, Patty Hewes on Damages, and the ladies from HBO's Sex in the City.
Last year, someone new joined Leigh, PJ, and the rest of the women of cable. Her name was Grace Hanadarko -- the smoking, drinking, and sexually promiscuous Oklahoma City police detective from TNT's Saving Grace. Grace is played by Holly Hunter, the award-winning actress who has appeared in such films as Raising Arizona, The Piano (for which she won an Academy Award) and The Incredibles. Late last week, Holly spoke to members of the press concerning the second season of Saving Grace (premiering tonight at 10 pm) and what's in store for the hard-living detective.
... Six welcome returns.
Every fall season I get stoked about all the new shows, with cool new premises ("A guy travels through time trying to make right what once went wrong!"-- Journeyman not Quantum Leap), and all the big changes in store for existing shows. But it's equally exciting to see which beloved actors will be returning to television. Brad Garrett coming back to television in 'Til Death last year? Cool! Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer both coming back to television ... together? That's gotta be awesome, right? Jerry O'Connell on Carpoolers ... well ... ? I like the guy, but I'm not scheduling a 'Welcome Back' shindig for him.
Half the fun of a new television season is the return of great actors and actresses to the small screen. And while I could have easily done 10 or even 20 of these, I've narrowed it down to the six talents who were most welcome back in my house on a weekly basis this past year. I've even been so bold as to rank them. Feel free to agree, disagree and present your own lists in the comments.
This episode was also the very special "laugh n sniff" episode. If you shelled out a couple of bucks for this week's TV Guide, you could pick up a card with 6 different odors. Rub the numbered odor when a number pops up during the episode, and you'll get a bit of extra-sensory Earl. Turns out all the odors smelled a bit like paper and a bit like something else, be it junk food or cologne.
Earl is back from hiatus, and it's returned to form. Earl gets to cross two items off his list, and you get a little peek into what makes Earl and Randy tick.
(S02E10) I'm always a little wary when a half-hour sitcom decides to extend itself to a "special" one-hour edition. In many instances, the producers and writers want to introduce a new storyline or bring an existing one to some sort of conclusion. In many instances, these extended episodes turn out to be very disappointing. Not this time.
After what seemed like an interminable Winter Olympics break, My Name is Earl finally comes back to Thursday night. Life is indeed good again.
This week, we come to find that Earl neglected to pay his taxes after working in an asbestos-filled room with his brother Randy a while back. He did pay his share of fines to the municipality over the years, but Earl feels he owes it to the government and adds this task to his list.
Earl is doing his level best to repay the government in a number of innovative ways, including filling in a pothole on the main highway. Of course, things go awry when a police officer accuses him of burying a baby in the hole at gunpoint, and Earl eventually "undigs" the pothole. He then gets the idea to join a prison road gang, where he meets up with an old friend who is doing time. All of the cons are dressed in jeans and white t-shirts, and as the day goes on and the heat beats down on the gang, Earl takes off his shirt and is in his jeans and white t-shirt. When the guard begins to gather everyone back on the bus, Earl is mistaken for a prisoner, and despite his protestations, is driven to prison.Earl's pleas that he is not a prisoner are ignored, and he ends up in solitary confinement to the strains of Humble Pie's "30 Days in the Hole." (A BRILLIANT song choice!) Finally, after a few meals, Earl is released. One would think that he would put this part of his list aside, but Earl is determined to make amends, even though he has become frustrated with the government and how they don't seem to care.
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