Must Hector Elizondo be hired as the boss on every new ensemble drama about doctors or lawyers? This is your 11th series to date, Hector. Enough already. The rest of the Screen Actors Guild could use some work, too.
Oooh, look! It's curly-tressed Ioan Gruffudd — from A&E's Horatio Hornblower movies — playing that tired old stock character, the Earnest Young Lawyer. I much preferred his dashing 19th-century British Navy uniform over the modern business suit. Still, he's likable on Century City — TV's umpteenth show about an L.A. law firm. This one's twist is it's set in 2030, making today's "What If?" controversies (like human cloning) the everyday reality of the future. I was genuinely fascinated by the questions this show raises: Is your clone baby really your twin brother, and not your son? Either way, considering guest star David Paymer knows how he has turned out — and it ain't pretty — why would the man doom a child to share his homely fate? And as long as we're getting superficial here, where can I get the number of that septuagenarian boy band's plastic surgeon, who made them all look like youngsters? 'Cause this Los Angeleno is pushin' 30 and welcomes all the help he can get, honey.
For more dish on Century City, watch the Watercooler boys — that's me and Michael Peck — tonight on TV Guide Channel's What's On.
Blooper Alert! At the top of this two-hour special, Ryan enthusiastically introduced the 12 finalists as "the most famous faces in America." OK, I wouldn't go that far. My friends who watch this show regularly still have trouble keeping their names straight — and so do Idol's staffers, apparently. When LaToya London was introduced, some genius behind the scenes put Jasmine Trias's name on the screen. Oops! I rest my case.
Speaking of LaToya, who knew this youthful 25-year-old was already a wife and stepmother of two? Liked the cool clip of her humble beginnings as a wedding singer. Then, in keeping with the "Soul" theme, she comes on stage and belts out "Ain't Nobody" like a total star. And did you see her pick up her heels? Girlfriend needed to just take it a step further, let loose and kick her shoes off like Patti LaBelle does at concerts. You could tell she really wanted to! Anyway, she was clearly a tough act to follow. Maybe I'm wicked, but I loved how Simon and Randy kept comparing the others' performances to LaToya's and finding them lacking. Now, I like the personalities of Jon Peter, Fantasia and John Stevens. And yes, 16-year-old Diana DeGarmo was pretty good at the end. But Ms. London's still the only talent worth texting. Don't send a girl to do a woman's work.
Pier 1 Imports commercial
Thom Felicia from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is the new spokescelebrity for Pier 1. I thought Thom was nice, but that evil queen has stolen what was left of Kirstie Alley's career. That's just wrong! Did Pier 1 have to fire Kirstie? Couldn't they just put her on TrimSpa like Anna Nicole Smith and make her dress more modernly, instead of wearing those crazy Renaissance-festival gowns? Anyway, as for Thom, he was cute. Except when he told that perky chick that her new home furnishings were "You-licious." Too far.
Three seasons in, The Shield is still my fave cop show on television. And Vic Mackey's dirty cops are still hoarding stolen cash for their "retirement fund." How many near misses can they have before they get caught? I can't believe Vic would risk using marked bills from their own secret stash as bait in that gun-running sting. Especially after he scolded Shane just for buying his lady that Lexus. Of course, if you keep on suspending your disbelief (as is necessary for most TV) it's still lotsa fun. At least Det. Claudette Wyms now has the authority to sniff around Vic's dirty dealings. Girlfriend is on to you, Vic! And that means more fabulously tense scenes between CCH Pounder and Michael Chiklis. For more on their dangerous cat-and-mouse game, read my recent Insider on The Shield.
Hey! Remember my old game of watch-dogging how long it takes for Bill Brochtrup — he's John, the gay squad-room secretary — to get a line to say? Well, here it was, just six minutes into the episode: "An African gray parrot. Sgt. Gibson brought it in this morning. It's quite colorful." Goodness me, that's downright verbose for this underused character, who barely ever gets to talk. Seriously, give this man a storyline! All John got here was bitten by the parrot. Andy Sipowicz oughta arrest that buzzard for committing a hate crime — and grand larceny of screen time from the human cast members. At least he taught it to say that nasty word, which I'm too much of a gentleman to repeat here. Squaaawk!