Todd mason

Scrubs Episode Recap: "My Saving Grace" & "My Happy Place"

In the first episode, "My Saving Grace," there was a good, if rather facile, continuing thread of Carla trying to take new intern Kate (Betsy Buetler) in hand and convince her that relating with both patients and her colleagues is in her own best interest...while around them, an object lesson is made of the new and suddenly former Chief of Medicine, Dr. Maddox.

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Scrubs Episode Recap: "My Jerks" & "My Last Words"

Scrubs is back, and the series is apparently determined to get back on track after a couple of weaker seasons on their former network, NBC. Now, as an ABC Studios production on sitcom-weak ABC, one would hope they'd get a fair shake on their new broadcast home, for their 8th and probably last season.  So far, ABC isn't too worried about the "flow" of the evening, as the two-episode debut was sandwiched between two "reality" series — neither exactly pitched at the Scrubs audience — as small as that's become (the end bumper on the first episode even jokes about the Neilsens, who turn out to be dissatisfied patients).

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"Find Your Happy Place"

Life begins its second season on NBC out of its new timeslot which is meant to be Fridays at 10p ETPT up against CBSs popular Numb3rs as it is its premiere is up against the even more popular CBS cop show CSI Miami And on Friday and next Monday and Friday three more new episodes will be offered theoretically to give the show more exposure than it might otherwise get though it feels like the network throwing it up against the wall to see what sticks or even trying to burn off the episodes as quickly into the season as possible Life with a title that doesnt exactly call out to viewers was the second-best of the new series to debut last season the bestJourneyman was done in by poor ratings in that same Monday night slot AMCs Mad Men or Breaking Bad might be the third best though USAs Burn Notice and NBCs Chuck both not altogether lighthearted spy dramas were more funLife solved its overarching mystery by the end of last season or so it read more

"Slip of the Tongue"

Californication comes again with its second season premiere with a real-life shadow hanging over itbut more importantly for the production itself with some of its cleverness diminished And as the title of the series might suggest there is no way that this can be a family-friendly blogAt the end of the first season Karen Natascha McElhone perpetually a typo waiting to happen leaves her repressed fiance at the altar to reunite with the love of her life Hank Moody David Duchovny much to the delight of their daughter Becca Madeleine Martin we begin this episode with the couple enjoying cohabitation albeit with the mornings agenda dominated by Hanks vasectomy appointment Hank asks for and gets the opportunity for one more act of coitus before surgery with the proviso from Karen that he wear a condom one last time Further negotiation is more in fun than in earnestDuring his vasectomy the nurse in the operating room Sheri Moon Zombie somewhat improba read more

Bad Blood

This sixth episode of the second season displays both how this series has become a well-oiled machine, and how it slyly transcends the mechanical, if still pleasing, combination of familiar elements.Michael has two cases to worry about this time, as usual, one rather easily worked through for the younger brother of a childhood friend, the other the overarching continuing exploitation by the mysterious cabal that has managed to burn him in the first place. Rationing Tricia Helfer's Carla, Michael gets to deal this time with the clearly disturbed Victor (Michael Shanks) instead, who nonetheless seems quite functional enough to work in criminal espionage (if there is any other kind).Ricky (Ben Watkins), an accountant, is being framed for embezzlement from a gangster rapper Valentine (Method Man) and his personal conglomerate, by a resentful, once true-believing, former manager and general financial adviser, Eddie. Happily, Eddie is easily manipulated, so that even when Victor attempts... read more

"Breaking and Entering"

Burn Notice returned tonight on the USA cable channel, at 10p and 1a...but we, and protagonist Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), aren't too much further along in figuring out how or exactly why he was given his burn notice, or identity- and asset-destroying walking papers (or lack of papers), from the espionage agency for which he was working. After luring him into trailer of a semi with the promise of a face-to-face meeting and answers, the mysterious voice over his buddy Sam's car's emergency radio tells him to call her "Carla," and is eventually revealed to belong to actress Tricia Helfer...a fact you'd have to work pretty hard to avoid hearing about in advance.But before we see Carla, we learn that Michael's trip in the back of the tractor-trailer was just a means of getting him on site, so that he could be blackmailed into a task for Carla and whomever she might be working with, or for. Michael emerges from the trailer to see a computer security expert lying bound, gagged an... read more


A fine, deft episode, based on Peter Crowther's short story of the same name, and adapted by Richard Chizmar and Jonathan Schaech (who also recently wrote the screenplay for the feature-length adapation of Ed Gorman's novel The Poker Club). Cult favorite Stuart Gordon, probably still best known for Re-Animator, directed a fine, small cast headlined by Elisabeth Moss, most visible of late, inside greater or lesser degrees of padding, in Mad Men.A rather simple storyline: A particularly vile and prolific mass muderer, known for quickly killing his male victims and slowly cutting parts from his female victims and essentially eating them alive over the course of days or weeks, is delivered to a rundown Louisiana police precinct to be held overnight in their lockup. The sergeant in charge details two veteran patrolmen and a "boot," a rookie still in her probationary period, as the graveyard shift to stay with the "Eater." One of the veteran cops is openly contemptuous of young Officer ... read more

"In Sickness and in Health"

The first suspense (as opposed to supernatural horror) episode of Fear Itself proves to be a disappointment, and I suspect most of the blame this time lies with the direction, rather than with the script. Not that the very guessable "twist" ending scriptwriter Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers) offers helps matters, but the uneven tone, utter lack of subtlety, and clumsy pacing of the episode, directed by John Landis, killed it much more efficiently than our drama's serial killers could hope to snuff any victim.A bride (Maggie Lawson, most visible of late in Psych) is joking with her maids of honor as they prepare for the ceremony. As one bridesmaid goes to check on the groom, she remembers to pass along an envelope the officiating priest had given her, which he'd received from an unidentified woman. The typewritten note in the sealed envelope says only "The person you are about to marry is a serial killer." This disturbs the bride, but only slightly; she goes to the groom (James Rod... read more

"The Family Man"

Finally a good episode of Fear Itself, one written by Daniel Knauf, he most recently of Carnivale (the HBO dark fantasy historical drama), and one as well shot and acted as the previous two, this one directed by Ronny Yu. Rather a simple story: a doting husband and father of two children is asked by his wife to run an errand, and is so wrapped up in his cell phone conversation with her he doesn't see the pickup truck that charges into the intersection and centerpunches his sedan, apparently killing the pickup's occupants and, it turns out, very nearly killing him. Indeed, he has an out-of-body experience at the hospital where he's being treated, and meets another disembodied spirit; this other spirit tells him that they're both dead. As it turns out, the second spirit is jumping the gun, and both men survive, but when they awaken, they discover that they have swapped bodies. And family man Dennis Mahoney is now occupying the stronger, more pain-resistant body of a prolific serial k... read more


So far we don't have too much to fear from Fear Itself, other than having our time wasted, with well-produced offerings of very weak stories and scripts. There are a lot of ways to go wrong with any screenplay, but why take such unpromising work as what has been written, or at least what has been filmed from what was written, for these first two episodes and then lavish on them as much atmosphere and ingenuity as a mid-range television budget can afford? Why not solicit better scripts, or if that's not the problem, quit allowing someone to dumb them down so badly during production and/or post-production?In this episode, we have a world-weary and vicious cop (Eric Roberts, reminding us of Robert Forster), who tortures, essentially to death, a suspect in the kidnapping of a US Senator's son...but before he can die, the obviously guilty kidnapper? accomplice? uncooperative witness? (we guess primary kidnapper, and we do have to guess) makes a dying declaration that he will haunt Harr... read more

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