So how much do we love Jamie Pressly? Not only is she a dead ringer for my smokin' friend Sara who works at The Continental in Philly's Old City, she's also ballsy enough to mock her craptacious biker flick Torque as a way to guilt Vince into cohosting her animal telethon! Of course, I could do without her suggestion that Vince replace his Rottweiler with one of Pepito the Wonder Chihuahua's peeps. Think our small Latino buddies are a punch line or something? Please, Tinkerbell Hilton has more of a future than her owner. Speaking of futures — and Hiltons and dawgs — it looks like Nicky-dater Kevin Connolly just got a brighter one, now that Eric's booted the so-enhanced Kristin for cheating on him, bagged himself a Perfect 10 model and caught the digits of a Van Cleef & Arpels salesgirl, all in under 30 minutes. Not bad, son. Hopefully, E can give Drama a lesson in smooth before he winds up in a Page Six blind item about the washed-up actor obsessed with other men's legs. And what sort of role requires hunky calves, anyway? Usually that sort of gag is a bit too Steve Sanders for me, but mercifully there's a curly-haired sidekick in the 90210 vicinity who can actually pull off that sort of silliness. Now we just have to see if Vince can pull off Aquaman. And pull in better ratings. Seriously, people, don't make me start a campaign. It's not pretty. — Damian J. Holbrook
Michael Ausiello wrote that the second episode was better and I agree. But I myself liked it last week so you know I really liked this one. I figured out why I was relating to Lisa Kudrow's Valerie character, at least to a degree. One group of friends I hang out with consists of guys and gals much younger — some more than 10 years younger — than I. We always have a blast, and for the most part I never feel like I'm the adult guardian since, frankly, I don't look my age. But sometimes I'll refer to something, like Wayland & Madame or Brett Somers, that goes way over their heads, and my friend Johnny will always say, à la Kelly Ripa, "I don't know who that is, Reege." There were similar moments tonight like when Valerie sang that rap song and her young costar was like, "That song is so done now!" The way Valerie struggles to fit in with her costars is one of the things that crack me up the most. How they dressed her and positioned her in the photo shoot killed me.
Other random highlights:
1) Valerie trying to look sexy in the photo shoot and the photographer shouting "No pouty mouth!"
2) Valerie's faux frowny-face when she peered from first class at her costars in coach.
3) The teens getting spa gift certificates in their gift baskets and Valerie thinking hers must have dropped on the floor.
4) "The Search for America's Next Great Porn Star" — priceless. — Dave Anderson
Noise is a part of baseball, but it's worse when you're telepathic, like luckless minor-leaguer Garry Navarro. In 1973, he was an up-and-coming star when he got abducted into the future, and now that he's in 2005 he can hear what's going on in everybody's head. It's not so bad when he's just focusing on the pitcher (he went 5 for 5 with two homers in one game), but he can't handle reading the minds of his teammates, opponents and the crowd simultaneously (good thing he's not in Philly). Garry hopes NTAC can help him, but instead of turning the sound down, they use him to spy on Jordan's 4400 center. Garry accepts, provided they treat his condition. Tom swears NTAC will. When Garry enters, he can hear a perky woman preparing her bright-eyed pitch. I couldn't help but wonder if this was how Tom Cruise was introduced to Scientology. Then, before you can say "bad guy," in pops Ian Duvat, an arms dealer with a grizzled expression that just screams "heavy." Even worse, he's swiped the drugs that help Garry focus. Luckily, Tom and Diana arrive in the nick of time to save Garry before the poor dude gets his head blown off, but for a guy who just wanted to play in the World Series, the cloak-and-dagger shenanigans are too much. Then Tom's word goes out the window when NTAC decides to use Garry on another mission. That's the spy world for you. Oh, and Richard's eerie daughter gives dad a mild seizure. Just wait till she reaches the terrible twos. — G.J. Donnelly
The Dead Zone
Johnny Smith closed Season 3 out on the floor after another apocalyptic vision. Last night, his squeeze, Rebecca Caldwell (Sarah Wynter) plotted to bump off congressman Greg Stillson (Sean Patrick Flanery), whom she believes bumped off her sister, Rachel. Although Stillson is tied to an impending catastrophe, Johnny's too nice a guy to let her sacrifice herself to prevent it. Accused of killing Rebecca's sister and experiencing visions that threaten his life, Johnny goes on the lam dressed as a homeless person, and I had to admire how Anthony Michael Hall was able to weave through a crowd carrying that cane of his. Plus, I loved watching Walt clock that stooge, who left enough blood on his fist for Johnny to tie Rachel's murder to the Stillsons. Something was up with Stillson père , too. In the prologue, he slapped little Greg for upstaging him in a flashback that portrayed dad and lad as Paper Moon-type con artists. See, Pop swigged booze and took care of the kid's "loose ends," by offing Greg's girlfriends. Sure, Daddy's responsibility for Rachel's death was telegraphed, but so what? I was almost happy that Junior finally took out the trash. Speaking of which, who's the smooth cat with the funky ring? First, he springs Purdy from the jug ("We don't get to judge ourselves... that's God's job" — we should all be so lucky) and then covers for Stillson, who has merely swapped a bullying pop for a spooky conglomerate. Oooh-wee-oooh. Johnny capped the episode by tossing his cane into the river. Apparently his leg finally healed. — GJD
Into the West
I know one thing: I'd have never survived the Lakota life back in the old days. The two teenagers leading the buffalo stampede over the cliff before jumping off and swinging from a rope into a cave underneath? No way. I'd have been left hanging from the rope like an idiot, or I would've pulled a Wile E. Coyote and made it into the cave, only to have all those buffalo collapse the stinkin' thing right on top of me.
I'll say this, too: I wouldn't have succeeded all that well among Jedediah Smith and his guys, either. Watching your boss get his scalp ripped off by a grizzly, then having him order you to sew it back on for him? Uh... sorry, sir. I think you'll just have to buy a hat. (Of course, I still would have chosen that job over Loved by the Buffalo's being strung up by his nipples any day. Owie.) Nope, unless there was a job writing about TV back then, I'm pretty sure I'd have starved, been eaten by a cougar or ended up staked out over an anthill.
Good stuff, though I'll have to get used to the lack of Deadwood cursing. But in all seriousness, you know what? By the time I've finished watching Jacob and Thunder Heart Woman leave their respective homes, go through their ordeals and finally meet, I'm hooked — and looking forward to the rest of this. I've always been a sucker for a good Western, heartbreaking as this one promises to be. — Michael Peck
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