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I'm growing more and more ...

Question: I'm growing more and more frustrated with CBS' The Unit. I really like the show and I've seen every episode, but there are a couple of things that bother me. It borderline cheats in defying what we've just seen, with some quick little explanation wrap-up at the very end. An example would be Scott Foley's character guarding a guy on his way out of the country for execution, who somehow ends up dead due to a poisoned scarf. And then at the end, it's, "You completed your mission, we couldn't have it look like it was us." I mean, one time OK, two times... OK, but they do this kind of misdirection so often that it cheapens everything. I actually sat here for at least part of last week's episode expecting Hector to not really be dead, that it was all some big scam, because they do this so much that it just makes you unable to suspend disbelief. Which brings me to Hector's death. I realize that you have to see one of them die to bring home the realism of what they face. I'm shocked ... read more

Alba Seeing Sopranos Stars on Broadway?

Michael Imperioli and James Gandolfini by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com

Or for those who care to liken my headlines to a high-school newspaper: "Jessica Alba Gets Plow'd." The Fantastic Four's Invisible Woman may be making her first appearance on the Great White Way. According to the New York Post, though she possesses zero/zilch stage experience, Alba is being wooed to star in a spring 2008 revival of David Mamet's Speed the Plow. Alba's prospective role, Karen the secretary, last was inhabited (and not very well) by another Broadway baby, Madonna, back in '88.The Sopranos' James Gandolfini and Michael Imperioli are said to be on the producers' wish list for the two male leads. read more

At the Movies: Whoa... It's Point Break 2, Dude

Per Variety, Peter Iliff will write and direct Point Break 2, a 20-years-later follow-up to his original Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze vehicle, this time concerning a surfer-turned-Navy SEAL on the trail of a criminal gang in Southeast Asia.... Tim Allen is a troubled action-movie star who lures a Jiu-jitsu master (Chiwetel Ejiofor) into the biz in the David Mamet-penned Redbelt.... The Wayans Brothers' Super Bad James Dynomite comic is being turned into a live-action comedy starring Marlon.... Per the Reporter, Two and a Half Men's Jon Cryer is Cole Hauser's FBI partner — and Housewives' James Denton is their boss — in the psychological thriller Tortured. read more

David Mamet Is Deemed Ford Tough

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet stepped behind the camera to direct new commercials for the Ford Edge SUV, to debut during Tuesday's American Idol, the AP reports. The spots feature two men discussing how their Edges compare to vehicles from BMW and Lexus, and are part of the new "Have You Driven a &*%!&@ Ford Lately? Have You, You &*@%#ing &*@$@#er?" campaign. read more

Happy New Year!

CBS' The Unit is back from holiday hiatus with a new episode [airing this Tuesday at 9 pm/ET]. In "The Broom Cupboard," the unit is assigned to protect a Texas senator who is touring in a hostile country. And Jonas is given a secret assignment by the president, played by William H. Macy, while Molly, Kim and Tiffy plan a surprise for Crystal.I spent the holidays back in Dallas. I love taking long walks every day through my neighborhood. Rolling hills and wide open sky. I think that limitless horizon inspires a body to dream — I can’t help but to wander off on your own way. I remember as a child catching hell a few times for being a little “off the beaten track,” but I got Texas grit in my veins.... I kept stepping. Sometimes you have to make your own individual path.Audrey Marie “Hepburn” Anderson knows about that sky. She’s another fellow Texan from Fort Worth. Audrey is eclectic. An inventive cook and a great photographer, she makes her own funky... read more

Between Takes

In The Unit episode "Bait," which airs Nov. 28, Jonas is bound and thrown into a room with a bag over his head, and his captors are about to draw his last blood. He proves himself to be Houdini, however, by persuading them that he's more valuable to them alive than dead. Houdini, master of illusion and escape — we never know who's the rabbit and who's the fox. Jonas manipulates his captors to have them videotape him with their terms of release. As he reads their demands, he secretly signals to his comrades back home. He pulls more than one rascally rabbit out of his hat in order to escape, only to be captured and returned, bound and tortured. Meanwhile, Washington suits aren't interested in negotiations, so Colonel Ryan has to perform his own sleight of hand — before our Houdini runs out of rabbits.On the home front, Colonel Ryan's wife, Charlotte, who was shot at the end of last season's finale, is now hooked on pain meds. Driving under the influence, she wrecks another w... read more

Thanksgiving

In the Nov. 21 episode "Report by Exception," Jonas is assigned to go to Latin America to assassinate an oil minister with the support of a "cover wife." He is tempted by the charms of his new partner. Meanwhile, his real wife, Molly, takes a personal interest in Crystal, whose boyfriend Molly has recruited as a driver in Algeria. Crystal voices both of their insecurities when she asks how Molly copes with not knowing "Where he is, what he's doing, if he's OK. And is he even thinking of you? Maybe he's shacking up with some other woman. Or he's laying dead on the side of a desert road. How do you not think about those things?" Molly's reply: "I don't go there." Succinct.The answer is insufficient for the newly initiated Crystal. Molly can't find the words to share what she knows. There is this wall between Unit husband and wife. He can never share what goes on when he's away. Where he's been or with whom or how he spends his days — typical parts of sharing in a typical marriag... read more

Any new scoop on The Unit?

Question: Any new scoop on The Unit?


Answer: According to exec producer Shawn Ryan, "We have a very explosive, combustible finale that David Mamet directed. It involves a mission with the UN to sort of capture a Bosnia war criminal that sort of goes bad and has repercussions back at home."

read more

The Unit You know, I started out...

The UnitYou know, I started out the evening fairly confident that I wouldn't see anybody shoot a mule, and along comes The Unit to prove me wrong. Note to self: When bearing a load in Afghanistan, do as Dennis Haysbert says. That's pretty much the gist of this new CBS show: Haysbert is Jonas, leader of the country's deadliest covert-ops team, rookie Bob (Scott Foley) and some other guys do as he says, and you and I sleep tight at night. Throw in some home-front scenes as the wives deal with the military lifestyle, the pen of David Mamet (god of theater) and the pull of Shawn Ryan (god of The Shield), and we should have a pretty good hour of TV on our hands, right? Well, kinda. Last night's premiere was just OK — it deli read more

Joy of Relativity
A family comedy so real it almost hurts

When a new comedy shows up as fresh, original and painfully hilarious as Sons & Daughters (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET on ABC) at first I want to cheer. And then I start to worry if it can survive. Call it Arrested Development syndrome. ABC is calling this partially improvised, very offbeat series about a messily extended multigenerational family a “unique hybrid.” Not exactly the next According to Jim, if you get my drift. But unlike Arrested, which turned off so many by constantly going over the top, Sons & Daughters is defiantly low-concept, mining laughs of recognition from the cringe-inducing small embarrassments, annoyances and resentments that define long-term, inescapable family relationships. As humane and wise as it is amusing a read more

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