Mary Tyler Moore
The more things change, the more they sound the same. And so it was as American Idol returned this week — with shiny new judges, a flashy new opening, but the formula pretty much intact from before. (Delusional tone-deaf losers? Check. Precocious talents? Check. Inspirational sob stories? Name that tune, repeatedly.) One essential ingredient is, of course, missing: the curmudgeonly and biting snark, but also the tang of weary boredom, that was the hallmark of Simon Cowell. In his place, two charismatic supernovas who represent flip sides of the Paula coin: the ditsy loose cannon (an electrifying Steven Tyler) who blurts things like "I think you got the what-is-it-ness" when he's not leering at a parade of nubile Disney Channel refugees or drumming along to the groove of the better talents; and the beatific cheerleader (a luminous Jennifer Lopez) who's quick with the goosebumps and moist eyes and hates to say no. "I'm not in the business of crushing spirits," says J-Lo, who goes on to protest too much: "This is awful. I hate this! Why did I sign up for this?"
Film critic Roger Ebert has a new chin.
After more than two years, Ebert, who lost a portion of his jawbone and the ability to speak after a battle with thyroid cancer, is now the proud owner of a new silicone prosthetic that fits over ...
So sayeth Leslie Knope and so be it. Last night, Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler's adorably entertaining civil servant-com made its long-delayed return and — no offense to the mustachioed magnificence that is Leslie's boss — it has earned a spot at the top of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness.
There's no football in Hawaii Five-0's special Sunday post-AFC Championship Game episode, but it does start out with extreme surfing. Well, more like some extremely uncomfortable surfing as Kono (Grace Park) gives Danno (Scott Caan) board lessons so he can impress his daughter. "It's fun because Danny's obviously averse to water," says executive producer Peter Lenkov. The waves get a whole lot bigger as a major tsunami warning sends islanders evacuating to higher ground, while our team stays in town to investigate the disappearance of the head of the Tsunami Warning Center.
Red Riding Hood
The new Red Riding Hood trailer has been released, and let's just say this ain't a children's fairy tale.
The film, from Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, tells the story of a werewolf who wreaks havoc on a medieval village until the villagers call on a famed werewolf hunter to help find and kill the beast. Meanwhile, the always red-caped Valerie, played Amanda Seyfried, is torn between two men, one of whom may be the werewolf. (Sound familiar Twi-Hards?)
Check out the trailer after the jump.
Medium has taken its fans on some intensely crazy rides over the course of seven seasons. Why should the finale be different? The CBS fright series — the victim of low ratings — will end its run tonight with the episode "Me Without You," which starts with psychic Allison Dubois and her family in the present day and follows them 48 years into the future.
Young Justice, Jesse McCartney
Pop star Jesse McCartney is proving he's not just another pretty face by expanding his voice-over résumé. The 23-year-old heartthrob has already racked up several video game credits and provides the high-pitched squeals of Theodore in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Now he's now suiting up as Batman's crime fighting apprentice, Robin, in Cartoon Network's Young Justice. The new series (which had a sneak preview in November and now airs weekly), features a team of second-generation heroes from the pages of DC Comics, including Superboy, Aqualad, Kid Flash and Miss Martian (who is the focus of this week's episode, "Welcome to Happy Harbor").