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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lost, Eli Stone, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Welcome to The Captain And Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites - Premieres for the Winter Blues!

Lost - The Beginning of the End - Ep. 401 - Season Premiere, Confirmed Dead - Ep. 402
Eli Stone - Pilot - Ep. 101 - Series Premiere, Freedom - Ep. 102
The New Adventures Of Old Christine - The Big Bang - Ep. 301 - Season Premiere
Welcome to the Captain - Pilot - Ep. 101 - Series Premiere
Survivor: Micronesia - Fans Vs. Favorites - You Guys Are Dumber Than You Look - Ep. 1601 - Season Premiere

New Shows! New episodes! Hurrah! A cure for the winter blues! And the strike blues (which may actually be over! Hurray!)

Meanwhile, I still have no idea what's going on on Lost (ABC/CTV Thursdays 9pm) but holy crap I LOVE IT! Love that they are throwing the flash forwards into the mix and it wasn't just a one time stunt, and loved that they continue to flesh out what happened on that island after Locke knifed Naomi, Jack and Locke separate into two camps, and Charlie dies while trying to save everyone. Plus, love that there are new cast members who aren't The Others (maybe, I think, who knows with this show). And Harold Perrineau is back on the cast list! Michael will be back! For spoilers sake, I'll continue below after the jump.

As for Eli Stone (ABC/CTV Thursdays 10pm), well, it may turn out to be just another lawyer show, but as the pilot of the show emphasized, you gotta have faith, and I'll give this show my faith for now just based on pedigree alone. Loved Jonny Lee Miller as a bewildered Stone, loved the supporting cast and even guest cameos, but while it is far from perfect, and a little bit of a male Ally McBeal (let's hope at least the early years), I won't dismiss it like I did another Greg Berlanti show, Everwood, which I initially dismissed as a cute noble effort but just another family drama that was a male version of Gilmore Girls. Instead, Everwood turned out to be one of the most fleshed out family dramas EVER (currently only to be rivaled by another fave Friday Night Lights) becoming one of my favorite shows of all time. So I'll have a bit of faith in Eli Stone. The cast itself has earned my attention.

Victor Garber alone has earned my devotion. Pair him with Greg Berlanti and I'm willing to have a faith! Plus a re-occuring appearance by Tom Amandes from Everwood? Yey! Cast members from Everwood,Veronica Mars and Alias all on one show! I'm still just giddy thinking about it!

Maybe the lack of new shows is skewing my senses and made me miss things more than I thought but watching The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS/E!Canada Mondays 9:30pm) made me miss Julia Louis Dreyfus as Christine a LOT, and I thought the season premiere was just as funny as its usual hilarious self, and I wondered why I had not placed it in the 4 star category?

Meanwhile, I watched Welcome to the Captain (CBS/CTV Mondays 8:30pm) for the cast alone. Or shall I say, because Jeffrey Tambor is in it and he's earned attention points for Arrested Development. Well, I'll have to give more credit to the scribes at AD since Tambor alone can't save Captain, and while he does his best in a typical old guy/father figure/creep role, the show is amusing enough and not offensive or anything, but a far cry from AD and might have had the misfortune of a cast that automatically builds up expectation. Raquel Welch, who was so funny in her guest appearances on Spin City is charming as the old Hollywood starlet now living out her senior years in El Capitan, a historic Hollywood apartment complex that our lead Josh finds himself moving into. Meanwhile Chris Klein practically steals the show from under the main straight man Fran Kranz as Josh (below with Welch), our supposed leading man. I always loved Klein since Election and American Pie playing both sweet and dimwitted while having a surprisingly gifted subtle sense of comic timing, so I'm glad he gets to prove his chops once again and move beyond being Katie Holmes' pre-Cruise ex.

The show isn't terrible but it isn't terrific either and falls closer to my love for the so-mediocre-it's-good category of Carpoolers, Reba, Freddie that I love so much (think of it as the mashed potatoes of TV. Comfort food that you crave even though it's kinda plain, white and mushy and probably bad for your waistline). It could up the dosage of Tambor, and could follow in Eli Stone's footsteps and add in a George Michael. The singer or a Bluth. Either or will do to improve the show that has a decent supporting cast (including Joanna Garcia from Reba) but a bland lead.

I know I have a confusing policy on reality TV, since I'm completely ignoring some shows (American Gladiator, The Moment of Truth) while I'm championing others (Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, The Amazing Race) and it basically comes down to this. If they were on before the strike and I liked them then, I'll watch, if they were essentially made as replacement television, I'm going to boycott it. Meanwhile, there's Big Brother and American Idol which I'm still undecided upon, mainly because I've felt burned from previous seasons and that Fox and CBS are still laughing all the way to the bank even/especially during the strike season. I know. I overthink things WAY too much. I'm amazed I can wake up sometimes to make toast and not feel tortured.

Survivor (CBS/Global Thursdays 8pm) falls into the I-know-I-shouldn't-be-watching-but-I-keep-getting-sucked-back-in-every-season-especially-if-there's-nothing-on. And since Ugly Betty and 30 Rock are no longer on, um, I'm curious to see if Yau Man can actually win this thing, or will the underdog Fans take the prize. I actually kinda love this Fans vs. Favorite concepts, though I wish they picked better favorites, since James was not one of mine (I loved that he got caught off-guard and voted off the island despite his TWO immnunities), and I can barely tell Parvati and Amanda apart. I just know Amanda had the smarts. Parvati... well... had the nerve of showing up again. Loved Cirie and Yau Man and Eliza is a good pick. Hated Jonathan and Fairplay but I guess that's the point, and though I wish Jonathan would have gone, at least one of the two annoying people are already gone after the premiere. Meanwhile, I think my favorite newbie is Mikey B at this point.

For a bit more on Lost, Eli Stone and Christine, (as well as a bit on the latest Cashmere Mafia) continue after the jump:

Christine is getting laid! Now why can't Blair Underwood just stay on The New Adventures of Old Christine? I'm liking Dirty Sexy Money more but not Underwood's character. Whereas here, he gets to play the straight sexy handsome man as everyone (and I mean EVERYONE, including Richard with his camera phone) fawns over him and somehow he's funnier and has more personality than when he's keeping secrets on DSM.

Also, let's finally say a big congrats to the show for FINALLY adding Wanda Sykes onto the cast list. Finally. Wanda Sykes can be annoying. Wanda Sykes can be really funny. On Christine, she's funny being annoying, constantly reminding Christine of the pressure of finally doing it with Mr. Harris (Underwood). It's what Sykes does best and they give her just enough screen time that balances out her sarcasm and wit without causing a headache.

I still miss Burton played by Matt Letscher but he's now on Eli Stone. A Greg Berlanti show. Who also does DSM.The connections keep coming. I could keep playing this forever.

Meanwhile, Victor Garber's (of Eli Stone) former castmate from Justice (which I actually really liked) Rebecca Mader is one of the 4 new cast members that have been literally plopped onto the island to join the rest of the Lost crew and I'm already totally intrigued. More than Ana Lucia or even Eko, and I guess that's a good thing because these newbies better make us like them fast or else past lessons have taught us that they will die a fast death if audiences turn on them (RIP Nikki and Paulo).

Jeremy Davies (above, as Daniel Faraday), Jeff Fahey, Rebecca Mader (as Charlotte) and Ken Leung (as ghost whisperer Miles) join the crew as Naomi's "rescue crew" and with the way it's being written, as "saviours" that are really there to track down Ben (Michael Emerson), I'm SOOOOOO curious. Loving the reaction of Mader's Charlotte as Ben spews out everything he knows about her, and as she slowly realises what the hell she got herself into. I even love that there's Leung as someone that communicates with ghosts (Jacob?) as ridiculous as it all sounds (then again, I am watching Lost, realism is not exactly key right now).

At this point, who knows who is on who's side and who is still good or evil or if everything is just grey, but the flash forwards of Hurley going psychotic over seeing Charlie and wanting to return, the reveal of Hurley as one of the Oceanic 6 (whoever they may be), the flashback that Naomi was hired to retrieve Ben as she was sold on the fact that everyone on Oceanic 815 was dead, and the continuing battle between Locke and Jack and the blurring tribes all still in fear of Ben is still making this drama completely mesmerizing (though I will knock the intro exposition dialogue that Rose, Sun and Claire had that seemed more like Heroes dialogue than it did Lost).

Like I mentioned before, Eli Stone could do less with the lawyer stuff to avoid becoming just-another-lawyer-show and more with the fantasy sequences/musical sequences (but avoid getting too weird/surreal as Ally McBeal did) but I like almost all of the character relationships (though I'm not really feeling Henstridge as the girlfriend and would have preferred her as an opposing lawyer or something) including Loretta Devine as the cliche-but-it-works sassy black secretary.

I actually laughed at James Saito's acupuncturist character with the fake Asian accent and while the whole things seems out of the blue, I'll buy for now. If only to add another Asian male onto TV (that's two for tonight! Ken Leung now on Lost and Saito, along with Cashmere Mafia's Mia and Jason storyline (which, uh, did that just end already? I was actually liking it. At this point the main thing to watch that show for now is the men again, from cast members Ovenden and Herrmann to gay-for-Jamie (Val Matt Emmich) and Chris Beetem as the lesbian-maybe chaser)).

Still, I'm just WAY too giddy over having a show that is mixing actors from Everwood (Tom Amandes),Veronica Mars (Julie Gonzalo) and Alias (Victor Garber). I know. I'm getting repetitive. Silly things excite me!

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