Today on TV Squad Daily:
- It's "turn off your TV week." Whew! Good thing I'm here to keep you posted on things like this breaking news: Adam Brody wants to grow facial hair!
- Also, it's American Idol's week to give back (and also take like never before but let's not focus on that.)
- Who will the huge mystery duet singers be on American Idol's results show this week?
(S04E16) Does this count as the end of an era? I'm not sure. When The OC first began, it sure felt like the beginning of an era. Now that it's over, I'm not exactly sure what it's the end of. Other than something that I'm really, really going to miss.
I have to be honest. The first twenty or so minutes of this episode fell pretty flat for me. I really wasn't enjoying the six-month jump, only to find out that everything we thought we knew was no more. Julie was engaged to Bullit, Taylor was back in France, and Seth and Summer had become "comfortable." Nothing was right, and despite the fact that we all knew how this was going to end, I was a little put off by the way it started. But it picked up steam and by the episode's end, I was completely satisfied with the way it all turned out.
Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier (Mon., 9PM ET, History)
Space ... it's still the final frontier. Watching this special celebrating 40 years of Star Trek, I'm struck by how forward-looking the show was. Sure, the uniforms were totally '60s and the plots were super cheesy, but the concepts were light years ahead of their time. Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, narrates, with stars William Shatner, Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew sharing insights into their various incarnations of Trek. Plus, see footage from last October's auction of Trek memorabilia.
American Idol (Tue., 8PM ET, Fox)
Is it just me or are this year's top 24 contestants almost completely unmemorable? Looking over their photos, I strained to recall each one. Actually, one did stand out -- the beatboxing guy, Blake. But can he sing? I think the judges were right in saying this season is more up for grabs than any since season one. This week, experience six hours of Idol overload, with the top 12 boys performing tonight, the girls taking their turn tomorrow and a two-hour results show Thursday. Phew!
(S04E15) It's starting to feel very final isn't it? I'm really impressed with the way the series is wrapping itself up. Some of the cheese factor still exists (Seth getting help from the homeless folks again), but for the most part the characters and their paths are falling into place.
I think this may have been the first episode of The OC that took place entirely at night. As a result, the whole episode was lit in shades of dark and light blues. It reminded me a lot of a season one episode of CSI: NY.
Overall though, what the episode really emphasized for me is how far Ryan has come. This is probably the biggest tragedy that could have possibly occurred in Newport Beach and despite that, the group remained intact with Ryan right in the middle of it. Not bad for someone who came into their lives as an outsider.
(S04E14) It's the end of the world as we know it. Well... not really, but it might be the end of Newport Beach. I have to say, I kind of like the idea that the finale Josh Schwartz "always planned to do" for The OC involves an earthquake. It's the ultimate closure for a show that takes place in California and depending on how bad you want to make it (it looked pretty bad), it can immediately force everyone into a situation where they're forced to start over.
Closure is key though. With only two episodes to go now, a lot of the broad ideas that have been lingering since the beginning of the season were brought back into play. Seth's indecisiveness, Ryan's emotional awkwardness, and Sandy's dislike for Newport all manifested themselves in some pretty creative ways. It was a satisfying episode.
(S04E13) One down and four to go. It's starting to feel like the end too, isn't it? Everyone seems to be finding their place. Sort of.
First off... Frank. I don't think I like him as much as I did the first time around. The whole idea of Ryan's father suddenly being in the picture feels a little forced. It was really the one unresolved thing left in his life and for that reason I suppose it makes sense that he's here now. It's just awkward and I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe because he's been around for about 8 seconds and he's in love with Julie? Or because it's Kevin Sorbo?
I suppose it doesn't matter because the one thing you have to remember is what the show is about.
(S04E12) Was anyone else slightly disappointed with this episode? It just felt kind of so-so to me. Plus, everything that was meant to be a big shock wasn't all that shocking. I know it's selfish to expect a masterpiece week in and week out, but this was the fifth to last episode. In this instance, I think we're justified in hoping for more.
All that being said, it was still a decent episode. Plenty of funny moments involving groundhogs, mail trucks, and the return of Bullit. Bang!
Anne Heche sure loves 'em and leaves 'em. ET is reporting the Men in Trees star has left husband Coley Laffoon (with whom she has a son) for co-star James Tupper. Heche and Tupper's characters are romantically involved on the show.
But here's the problem with co-stars hooking up: they often eventually break up. And when they do, it sure causes havoc with TV storylines.
(S04E11) Lots going on here, a pretty jam packed episode. As usual, I loved it but there were a few things that irked me. I gripe because I love. Like all fans of The OC, I'm savoring every second of it though. Only five more episodes and it's over.
Just look at how much the show has evolved though. Stuff that happened in this episode would have never occurred in the first season. It's changed a lot and I'm all for it. The show is done. Might as well go out with a bang.
(S04E10) You can tell that Josh Schwartz and his writing team are having fun with this season. They knew the show was going to be canceled well before we did. So it only makes sense that these remaining episodes feel fresh, like the writers are taking chances. Why wouldn't they? The show is over -- they can do whatever they want.
There are pros and cons to that though. Sometimes too much creative freedom can be a bad thing. Example one? I feel like Sandy and Kirsten have been forgotten. Especially Sandy. It seems that lately his only role has been popping in here and there to offer brief words of advice to Ryan. Although I will say that his Jerry Lewis impersonation was hilarious.
If you're a glass half full type, the good news is that expectations for that slot are low. The O.C. has struggled to reach even 4 million viewers this season. Drive should be able to best that pretty easily. On the other hand, if you're a glass half empty person, it is also the toughest time slot of the week. Not only will they be going up against the number 1 and 2 shows on TV in Grey's Anatomy and C.S.I, but they also face Supernatural, which I think has some crossover with viewers who would watch Drive.
(S04E09) So far everything about this season has been good. So I suppose it was inevitable that we'd get to a storyline that I'm not a big fan of. Of course I'm talking about Chris Brown. I really think he is a talented guy (he's got one hell of a singing voice), but this isn't the right venue for him to showcase his skills. His character (Will) just doesn't feel right.
It doesn't help that the storyline he's been tossed into is completely flat. Kaitlin has felt distant nearly the entire season and now it's further highlighted because the only character she's connected to just showed up. I'm not buying him as the dorky band-geek either. It feels forced for the sole purpose of creating the "beauty and geek" aspect between him and Kaitlin.
Alright, I'm done ranting about that. Let's move on to the rest of the episode. Can we talk about how much I love that Ryan's father is Hercules?
(S04E08) If this keeps up, the current season of The OC won't just rival the first -- it'll beat it. Everything that was great about this show in its debut season has returned. The writing is stronger than either of the middle seasons and it seems clear that Josh Schwartz and Co. are flexing their creative muscles fully knowing that this may be their last chance to do so. Seth's dry wit is in full force. The storylines are funny again (no more Marissa to bring it all down). But they're believable storylines too. And the relationships? I actually care about them again.
To illustrate what I'm saying, just look at this episode. It ripped a page right from the Alias playbook and gave us an opening scene only to jump back seven hours earlier. Before this season, I would have never expected to see something like that on The OC.
So I had a light evening last night when it came to TV. Nip/Tuck is over, House was a double repeat, and there wasn't much else on that I cared to watch. So I flicked on my Arrested Development DVDs and then I did something terribly stupid.
A friend of mine had sent me a small holiday gift basket, which happened to contain some of that cheap egg-nog that comes in a can. And what did I do with it? I made some of Stamford Andy's "Nogasake," featured on last week's holiday episode of The Office. Remember? He and Michael ordered it at the Benihana restaurant? Well, it was gross. Egg-nog mixed with sake is an absolutely horrible idea. Needless to say, I feel terrible this morning and don't feel like moving. But I suppose I'm well enough to make some Festivus wishes, so here's want I want.
A satisfying end to The Sopranos - So help me, these final nine episodes had better be freakin' amazing. I know there's been a lot of speculation that it's all going to be in Tony's head or that Kevin Finnerty is who he actually is, but if David Chase and Co. pull a St. Elsewhere on us and the whole thing happens inside of a snow globe or whatever... I'm going to be disappointed. I want it to be real.
It's always a nice change of pace to interview someone and not have it feel like you're doing your job during the conversation. For some, that's a tall order and others make it easy. Autumn Reeser made it too easy. I could have talked to her for hours on end glossing on just about any topic and I'm pretty sure she could have matched me in conversation no problem.
Despite the fact that she had been up doing phone interviews and radio spots since early in the morning, she was still just as bubbly and energetic as ever when she called me last Wednesday morning from California. A welcome surprise since I was just starting to adjust to being awake and had barely downed a cup of coffee when Ms. Reeser called me almost 20 minutes ahead of our scheduled appointment. Now maybe it's just me, but that's impressive. You've got to respect someone who shows up to work early and with the way her career is going, you can tell that phoners and radio interviews aren't the only thing that she's putting effort into. With her recent bump to series regular on FOX's The OC, things are looking mighty bright for Reeser. Also bright? Our conversation, which as I said, was far too easy to be called work.
Jonathan Toomey: Hello?
Autumn Reeser: Hey, Jonathan. It's Autumn Reeser. I'm totally calling you early... I hope you don't mind.
JT: Hey that's fine. I've been sitting at my desk for about half an hour, just having some coffee.
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