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October 22, 2014

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Survivor runner-up Russell has a new web site

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 22nd 2009 2:29PM
Russell Hantz
If you watched the season finale of Survivor the other night, you probably noticed that, unlike a lot of runner-ups in the past, Russell Hantz was openly bitter and angry about not winning. He didn't try to hide it, which probably proved to the jury that they were right in voting for Natalie in the first place.

But Russell still thinks he should have won and he has just launched a new web site called RussellGotScrewed.com, where he asks you to vote for him if you think he's "America's Top Survivor." You can also make donations or buy shirts and other things in his store. Proceeds go to St. Jude's Hospital, which is a great thing, though I'm not sure exactly what he wants to accomplish with the whole "vote for me" thing. Maybe he wants a recount.

He even told Natalie on the finale that if she asked Jeff to proclaim him the best player (though not the official winner) he would give her $10,000. She didn't take the offer.

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Seven questions about the Monk finale

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 5th 2009 7:05PM
monk_team_copsA few more questions about the Monk finale before it disappears into TV immortality. Just some niggling thoughts that weren't really addressed in the two-part wrap up.

1. Why did Joey Kazarinski choose to kill Monk with poison?
Joey was a killer for hire. He used a bomb to kill Trudy, but shot Dr. Nash. They never said how Wendy Stroud was killed, just that she was buried under the sundial at the judge's house. So, when the judge offered Joey another payday -- killing Monk -- why didn't Joey choose a direct approach and shoot Adrian? Or he could have blown up Monk's apartment. There were any number of ways to kill him, but poisoning the wipes was perhaps the most complicated. And a ricin derivative? How did he manage to acquire that? If it had been arsenic or something, that could have been bought at a hardware store. They never really explained the poison or the reason for that method of murder.

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Review: Monk - Mr. Monk and the End (Part 2) (series finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 5th 2009 12:30AM
monk_natalie_usa
(S08E16)
The pressure of writing the last episode must be tremendous. Especially for a long-running show like Monk. The writers have to tie up loose ends, satisfy viewers' desire for the characters, and leave fans with a sense of closure. Closure, in fact, is the word Dr. Bell used with Adrian. Monk was looking for it and so were we.

But the ending is tough. There have been some shows that have stumbled badly at the end. Seinfeld, for instance, was a real stinker. But the memory of Newhart, which harkened back to The Bob Newhart Show may be the best-ever. Now, in the broader scheme of things, Seinfeld was a much better series than Newhart; in every way but the ending. Which brings us back to Monk. How did the writers navigate the Monk finale? Follow me after the jump and I'll tell you all about it.

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Review: Monk -- Mr. Monk and the End (Part 1)

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 28th 2009 10:01AM
monk_leland_usa
(S08E15)
If you were thinking that the penultimate episode of Monk, the next to last show, would be a gag fest filled with sight gags and spit takes, you were wrong. I can't remember a more serious Monk episode in eight seasons. Also, for those of you who have wondered about Monk's mourning of Trudy, here was a show that would address the issue head on. For that and other matters of life or death, read on and remember, this is only part one of the two part finale so spoilers will be shared... after the jump.

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Review: Monk - Mr. Monk is the Best Man

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 14th 2009 12:55AM
mr_monk_tony_shalhoub_Carole_kane
(S08E13) Just three more episodes till the end of Monk, so it sort of feels like they're wrapping up some loose ends. Tonight, the focus was on Leland Francis Stottlemeyer, Monk's best friend, the guy who has been solidly behind Adrian through all the difficult years since Trudy's death, helping Monk to cope and remain gainfully employed as a police consultant.

Leland's always been a good guy, but not so lucky in love. As the title suggested, if Mr. Monk is the best man, that means that Leland was the groom. More about the nuptials after the jump.

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Review: Monk - Mr. Monk Goes Camping

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 7th 2009 2:01PM
Monk_tony_shalhoub_camping
(S08E12)
Well, after the past couple of shows -- especially Monk's reunion with Sharona -- I was imagining that the final season of Monk was sprinting to the finish line, delivering some final hours that would be up there with the best ever for the series.

Then Adrian went camping. This might be one of the weakest Monks of all time. The funniest thing was the title, which was where the inspiration began and -- sadly -- ended. Nothing worked. Monk and children? No. Monk in the woods? No. Monk and the grizzly bear? Do you even have to wonder? More after the jump.

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Review: Monk - Mr. Monk and the Dog

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 31st 2009 12:32PM
mr_monk_the_dog_usa
(S08E11)
All the people involved in Monk know that this is the last season. They've promoted it as such, and clearly they've planned it that way. That could explain why Monk is evolving in these last episodes. I was truly encouraged by last week's Sharona episode, which was one of the best Monks I've seen in a long time.

Could the next episode possibly be that good? Well, not quite, but it was wonderful. I'm giving anything away -- it's in the title -- but this was all about Mr. Monk and a dog. Yes, Adrian and a dog. More after the jump.

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Review: Monk - Mr. Monk and Sharona

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 24th 2009 10:31AM
Mr_Monk_and_Sharona_and_Natalie
(S08E10) "What year is this?" - Monk to Sharona

I'm not spoiling anything by telling you at the top that Bitty Schram was back as Sharona for this episode. Hell, the title of the show was "Mr. Monk and Sharona." Oftentimes when a former character returns to a long-established show, it doesn't live up to the expectations. You want it to be like it was, only better. Fortunately, Bitty Schram's guest turn was excellent. This might be the best Monk of this finale season.

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Monk: Mr. Monk's Favorite Show (season premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 8th 2009 1:00AM
monk_sweater_usa

(S08E01)
Somewhere Sherwood Schwartz was smiling if he watched this season premiere of Monk. Or else he was calling his attorney to sue for copyright infringement. I think it was more likely the former, because the tribute to The Brady Bunch was sweet. More on that and the rest of Mr. Monk's return -- for his last season -- after the jump.

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Monk: Mr. Monk on Wheels

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 17th 2009 2:20PM
monk

(S07E11) "Come back here. I command you." -- Monk to Natalie

Exactly what is the relationship between Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger? Boss/employee? Colleagues? Friends? Family? For a nice change of pace, this episode was less about whodunit and why and more, about how Monk and Natalie make whatever it is between them work. It was also a strange show in terms of physical humor, sort of in the A Fish Called Wanda tradition, where pain equals laughs. For me, a little of that goes a long way.

However, the more important business was Monk and Natalie. She really proved her loyalty, integrity and grit. In an odd way, I think we saw qualities in her that Sharona wouldn't have displayed. I think she would have smacked Monk during this adventure, but more on that and the trip to the hospital and a very good guest turn by Bradley Whitford after the jump.

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Monk: Mr. Monk and the Genius

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 26th 2008 11:28AM
gun monk(S07E02) I really thought this was going to be a superb Monk. It had all the elements of a top notch cat and mouse affair, starting with guest star David Strathairn -- so brilliant in Good Night and Good Luck as Edward R. Murrow -- as a chess grand master, Patrick Kloster. The set up was elegant; Kloster's wife hires Monk to investigate her murder because she is certain her husband will follow through on his perfect plan to kill her. Within a day, she's dead and the chess master has an airtight alibi. How did he do it? It was a Columbo gambit, and only a genius like Columbo -- or Monk -- could figure it out.

Unfortunately, this episode wasn't written by Levinson and Link. The clues to the mystery fell into place without any great surprise or twist. The wife was poisoned when she drank from a secret stash of oleander laced wine, which was never found. That was just Monk's supposition after swiping the flowers from the garden. That would be inadmissible evidence because he had no warrant to get them from Kloster's home. Then he actually tried to plant the evidence -- again, not very smart or Monk-like.


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Big Brother 9: Eviction #3 and HOH #4

by Kristin Sample, posted Mar 6th 2008 9:02AM
Mattie and Nattie
(S09E11) Expect the unexpected. Those of you who are dedicated BB fans know this phrase all too well. It could mean that your ex-boyfriend is getting thrown in the house with you. It could mean that your estranged father is one of your fellow houseguests. It could mean that your nemesis who you campaigned against is getting another chance at the Big Brother crown. Last night we evicted another houseguest, found out what the siren meant, and got a new HOH all in one hour. It's not going to be a really short season of BB after all!

A review of last night's Big Brother 9 follows after the jump...

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The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 14th 2007 11:07AM
Facts of Life DragAll those girls living in one house for so long. You knew they were up to nothing good. In Jamie Morris' stage version of The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode, Eastland is short on funds and looking to axe Mrs. Garrett. Natalie, Tootie, Jo and Blair will do anything to raise enough money to keep her on staff. Anything.

This campy stage production, making its New York City debut later this Spring, features five drag performers enacting Facts' fictional lost episode "The Best Little Whorehouse in Peekskill." If you're visiting New York this Spring, skip Broadway and head downtown. It's just a hunch, but I'm betting you won't see Eastland the same way again. (Not that you thought Natalie or Jo were 100% straight anyway.)

[Via Lady Bunny's Blog]

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Sports Night: Napoleon's Battle Plan

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 2nd 2006 2:40PM

Sports Night(S01E22) This is one of the more soap opera-ish of the Sports Night episodes, because it deals with relationships and secrets and who's sleeping with who and who knows and who doesn't know and will they find out. But it doesn't feel lie it, because it's still Sports Night, and that means it's still funny and smart and well done.

Gordon proposes to Dana, who has accepted, and this ticks off Casey, who knows that Gordon slept with Sally. But he can't tell Dana because then she'll find out that he too slept with Sally. Casey says he's just going to follow "Napoleon's Battle Plan" and just see what happens. Dan isn't sure if this is such a good idea, and has a plan of his own.

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Sports Night: Ten Wickets

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 1st 2006 9:10PM

Sports Night(S01E21) You know, when you get right down to it, there's nothing sadder than a man in love, waiting for his woman, holding a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, and an old abacus.

Dan has a special night planned for Rebecca, but she's thinking about going back to her husband. Meanwhile, Casey is still freaked out about last week's bomb scare and still ticked at Dana for bailing on the show to go to dinner with Gordon. And Jeremy is still broken up with Natalie. At least he thinks so. Natalie is telling him and everyone else in the studio that they are still together. Maybe Jeremy's obsession with a cricket (the sport, not the insect) story will make him forget how maddening she's being.

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