Celebrity Blogs


Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Zoo Story"

Mary McDonnell

The expectation of safety has — alas - exploded in our modern world. Worse, the very idea of safety has become so politicized that it's nearly impossible to discuss (from any perspective) without simultaneously inviting partisan criticism. Walking through this political minefield just to tell a story is nearly not worth it

Nearly.

Those who watch Major Crimes regularly know that we try to vary the tone from episode to episode. Some stories are dark and moody; some are light and, occasionally, funny; some are designed to be action-packed thrillers; some are built as studies of human nature. And, usually, we end our seasonal run with a touch of horror. Last year's spree killing "Poster Boy," and the previous season's cool-headed sniper, led us into the more depraved reaches our genre.

Here we go again... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Sweet Revenge"

Raymond Cruz and Mary McDonnell

bsp;Ask police detectives about homicide's  "blue chips," and right up there with divorce, greed and psychopathy, they will mention "getting even" as one of their highest performers. In fact, if you factor in gang violence, mob hits and war zones, retaliation isn't only a celebrated motive for murder, but also the prime mover behind the deaths of millions of men, women and children around the globe.

Add to this cheery observation that civilization doesn't seem to be getting any easier to maintain, and that the expectation of privacy has pretty much ceased to exist, and you have the toxic recipe for tonight's victim, a purveyor of a particular form of on-line harassment known colloquially as "revenge porn." Imagine a website... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Two Options"

Raymond Cruz, Mary McDonnell

We wake in the morning, pour hot and cold running water for coffee and showers, fry eggs or fill our cereal bowls with milk from the fridge, find our cars in their garages, or our trains at their stations, or our buses at their designated stops. We drop off children at schools, and stop by ATMs and maneuver our way to work through a series of signals managing the flow of traffic and railway cars, and we do most of this while taking for granted our comfort, ease and, most especially, our safety. The tragedies of Newtown and Aurora and Santa Barbara may jolt us, or cause us to doubt, but nothing totally shakes our faith that civilization has — for the most part - triumphed.

But, like the justice system in which Major Crimes operates, our civilization has been designed to work in the aggregate, not for individuals, and our assumptions that we live in an ordered world can be rudely dismissed by criminals bent on chaos... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Blogs 'Jane Doe #38'

Mary McDonnell

We are born with an expectation of family; there is no other way for a baby to survive. Humans are so frail and weak during infancy that, without adult protectors and providers, they would be dead within a day. But relatives are not only present to feed and defend, they are also shapers of character, first teachers in the subjects of life, last words on rights and wrongs: they are the personification of fate; they are a form of destiny that we must either embrace or escape (and sometimes both).

But what about those for whom family is not a given? Children left behind, as it were, or set aside, or forced by circumstances from their original cribs? For example, I was adopted... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Do Not Disturb"

Graham Patrick Martin

Mystery stories trade in puzzles and surprise. How did the body get into the library? How was it all the windows and doors were locked from the inside? Why is the victim wearing someone else's cologne? These are the riddles over which Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot expend their energies as private detectives and likable busybodies in British detective fiction. But, in Major Crimes, as elsewhere in the procedural world, sometimes the most difficult conundrum facing our division is the law itself... read more

Major Crimes Creator James Duff Blogs "Letting It Go"

Mary McDonnell, Jon Tenney

You cannot see the justice system from space; you cannot hug it; you cannot shake its hand or climb its walls; it is an abstract construct deriving its power from our collective resolve to settle society's conflicts through the administration of law. 

Though a primary pillar of civilization, the justice system was not designed to succeed for individuals, but in the aggregate. Indeed, one could conceivably argue that it is our commitment to support the justice system even when it functions improperly — even when it does less well than it should - that endows it with more secular force than any other institution in our daily life.

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Major Crimes Creator James Duff Previews "Personal Day"

Raymond Cruz and Mary McDonnell

The ability to communicate with others is something we mostly take for granted.  An expectation of understanding serves as the unconscious foundation of nearly every social, personal and professional transaction we undertake. True, the atonality of e-mail, or the micro nature of Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, can lead to some fairly interesting apologies.  And let's not forget how irritating autocorrect can be. But technological gremlins are not the only obstacles standing between us and perfect clarity. If our words sometimes fail to carry their proper meanings, maybe it's because we have said them too many times before, or changed them entirely from one day to the next. Our character, our reputations and our known opinions may provide our statements with unintentional context, so that we are not misunderstood at all but, rather, understood better than we realize.

Det. Julio Sanchez has always been in favor of short declarative sentences; his reactions usually tell us more about him than his verbal responses... read more

The Biggest Loser's David: Today I Am a Triathlete!

David Brown

I had heard it said, "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."  Fourteen weeks on The Biggest Loser ranch and I have been challenged in a million ways, big and small.  I've gone as far as a person can go on the show.  I've risen to the demands of each day, each workout, each setback, each growing challenge and I have succeeded.  I have learned about true success, being nothing more and nothing less than a few simple disciplines practiced daily.  And CHALLENGES are the gateway to the next level of growth, a launching pad for our potential, and a decision to define our own destiny.

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The Biggest Loser's David on His Transformational Makeover

David Brown, Ken Paves

I remember watching The Biggest Loser makeover week episodes of seasons past with a pint of ice cream or bag of chips in my lap.  I would be inspired in the moment, genuinely happy for the contestants and their transformations, but knowing deep down that would never be me.  I couldn't visualize myself being able to do any of the things the people on this show routinely do; workouts, challenges and the incredible consistency of eating right and exercising daily.  I couldn't picture myself disciplined enough, consistent enough, worthy enough.... and when hope fades, "blindness" sets in.

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The Biggest Loser's David on Going for the Gold

David Brown

There is a story of a determined woodcutter asking for a job with a timber merchant.  He wanted to show his new boss how strong a worker he was, so with new axe in hand, he brought back 18 trees the first day.  The boss congratulated him on the accomplishment.  Very motivated, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he brought only 15 trees back.  The third day he tried even harder, but he only could bring 10 trees.  Day after day he was bringing less and less trees to his boss.  He went to the boss to apologize for his lack of production, to which the boss asked him, "When was the last time you sharpened your axe?"  The woodcutter replied, "Sharpen?  I had no time to sharpen my axe.  I have been very busy trying to cut trees..."

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