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‘Big Love:’ Its fifth season will be its last



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HBO announced today that “Big Love’s” Season 5 premier is set for Jan. 16. That’s great news. They also threw in a little upsetting tidbit: It’ll be the acclaimed show’s final season.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to work with series creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer on this unique and provocative series, and I’m happy that they will be able to bring the story to its close the way they always envisioned,” noted HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo. “We look forward with great anticipation to collaborating with Mark and Will on their next venture.”

“‘Big Love’ has been our all-consuming labor of love for the past eight years,” said Olsen and Scheffer. “We are very grateful for HBO’s continuing support and for the collaborative effort of our partners at Playtone, our producers, our fine cast and our fellow craftsmen and crew for making this show the exceptional and joyful experience that it’s been. This coming January, we look forward to presenting our audience with the most vibrant and satisfying final season of a television series that we can produce.”

I’m completely bummed by the new. But the show has run its course I guess. I thought it had at least six seasons in it. Six is normally HBO’s magic number (think “Oz” and “Sex and the City”). I just hope they treat the final season with love and smarts, unlike Season 4.

‘In Treatment’ Week 1 recaps: Paul has his hands full



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“In Treatment” returned to HBO this week and it’s already off to a pretty fantastic start. Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) has a new cast of patients and even a new therapist (we think).

On Monday nights, Paul meets with Sunil (Irrfan Khan) and Frances (Debra Winger). Sunil is a recent widower from Calcutta who was kind of forced by his son to come to America to live with him and his American wife. He’s very unhappy with his current life, misses his wife and hates his daughter-in-law. And rightfully so. There’s something up with her. Something is sure to come out about what’s going on with that relationship. I thought I’d be the least interested in Sunil’s story, but so far I’ve very intrigued. Can’t wait for next week.

Frances has come to Paul because she’s a “former actress” who is back in the game but can’t remember her lines. Frances was referred to Paul by her sister and former patient. She spends most of the session talking about herself and presuming Paul has seen her in a movie or play. She finally reveals her sister is dying of breast cancer and she has her own fears of the disease. Again, there’s something more going on there with her and her sister and perhaps Paul. Winger plays the washed up, yet super narscisistic actress perfectly.

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Revisit our 31 Days of Horror



psycho-copy“Psycho” came in at No. 4 on our 31 Days of Horror list

Last year, in honor of one of film’s favorite months and holidays, we counted down the 31 Best Horror Movies. It started on Oct. 1 and ended Oct. 31. That’s 31 great movies, all laid out, reviewed and recapped just for you.

And the best news is, it’s a timeless list. There sure hasn’t been anything good in the horror movie world during the past year that would bump anything off the list. From “Rosemary’s Baby” to “28 Days Later,” find out where your favorites rank with us.

So if you’re looking for a great movie to scare you during this holiday season or if you want to compare your list to ours, check it out and let us know what you think about our list!

‘Dexter’ Season 5, Episode 5: Rice and Robocop



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“Dexter,” Season 5, Episode 5: “First Blood”

“Dexter” is kind of my show. I’m in love with that show. I force people to watch it and they end up loving it too. So what I’m about to say is very painful.

I know as soon as I say, I’m going to regret it. But I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to think of how to write this recap. It normally comes so easily for me. But not this time. And that’s when I first realized it and now I’m going to say it.

I HATE this season.

That was hard. I feel so terrible. I feel like I just kicked my dog or lied to my Mom. But it’s true. I hate this season. So far. I’m still holding out hope that it will get better.

I don’t care that someone is forcing people to clean out their bank accounts at an ATM then end up getting their eyes ripped out. I don’t care that Dexter (Michael C. Hall) hired a nanny. I don’t care that Lumen (Julia Stiles) is there. I don’t care that Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) are sleeping together.

I don’t care about any of that stuff because I don’t quite understand it. ALL of those storylines are developing so poorly. There’s just something missing in each of them. I’m really confused about the ritualistic killings Deb is investigating. I keep wondering if I’m supposed to be suspicious of the nanny or if I’m supposed to be happy baby Harrison has a mother figure. I don’t get what kind of person Lumen is either. Is she good and scarred or just plan bad? And Quinn and Deb? So what.

Now that I’ve gotten that all off my chest, I’ll recap.

Dexter tries to get Lumen to leave town but she’s set on tracking down the other guys who assaulted her. Dexter decides to beat her do it before she does something stupid. He goes in Boyd’s house to find someone had already been there. He finds a print, runs it and it turns out it’s Lumen. She was there to find out who Boyd’s associates (and her attackers) are and where she can find them.

Dexter tracks one of them down under a bridge. Apparently in Miami pedophiles and sex offenders live under bridges because no kids live under bridges. OK.

He finds the guy, chats him up, knocks him out and is ready to kill him. But Harry steps in and reminds Dexter that the guy is on house arrest and couldn’t have been involved with Lumen’s attack. Dexter barely escapes another kill outside the code.

Lumen goes after the same guy and is ready to shoot him when Dexter stops her. He convinces her to take an airline ticket he bought her and go back home to Minnesota. She agrees.

Deb and Quinn are still fooling around but Deb is more focused on her current case. She finds two more victims, rotting in their house. It was a pretty gross site. Unless you paused and looked really close like I did. Then you’d see those weren’t maggots. They were rice. Rice pieces? What’s the plural form of rice?

My favorite part of the episode (besides Deb’s comment to Masuka about his penis and a needle) was what’s going on with LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) and Batista (David Zayas).

Batista’s been under investigation by internal affairs and it was made to appear that LaGuerta was going to have to perform her world-famous oral pleasures to get him out of it. Batista even believes that’s what’s going on. He snoops on LaGuerta’s phone and finds that she’s scheduled to meet with the IA agent at a motel the following day.

The next day he goes to the hotel, looks in the window, sees LaGuerta buttoning her blouse and breaks down the door. She quickly reveals that she’s involved in a sting operation. Which is better than my theory. I was convinced she was really taking secret ballroom dance lessons with the IA agent.

But it turns out they were working on an internal case against a dirty cop played by Robocop himself Peter Weller. We later find out that was just his introduction. It seems he’s acquainted with fellow dirty cop Quinn. The two men are sharing a drink and talking smack about LaGuerta when Quinn asks him to check into Dexter for him.

So there you have it. It’s going to be Dexter vs. Robocop. It’s starting to look more and more like Season 2. And next week’s preview backs that up even more as Dexter is almost caught killing Chad Allen. If it’s another one of those seasons where Dexter almost gets caught every episode then it won’t get better. But I’m not giving up.

‘Mad Men’ Season 4 finale recap: Don does more dumb stuff



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“Man Men,” Season 4, Episode 13: “Tomorrowland”

Was Sunday’s “Mad Men” really the season finale? I’m confused, but don’t know why. It ended the way it started: slow and confusing. I love this show. I really do. But it disappoints me and makes me angry almost as much as it drops my jaw in glee and excitement.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved a lot of the episode. I even laughed a lot. It’s just the way it ended and the story they set up that bothered me. I’ll start from the beginning:

The season closed out with Don (Jon Hamm) heading to California to take care of some business and spend some much-needed time with his children. Don had planned to take the kids’ lifelong nanny along to take care of the kids, but Betty fired her for letting that creepy boy that she hates visit with Sally.

The scene with Betty (January Jones) and Carla was pretty amazing. Not because Betty fired Carla, but because what Carla said to Betty. “Someone has to take care of the kids,” she said, referring to Betty’s grossly lacking parenting skills. Hilarious.

So Carla’s firing leaves Don in a bind. He couldn’t possibly be a parent all by himself, so he invites his secretary Megan (Jessica Pare) along. This works out perfectly because the kids like her, she’s never been to California and Don has an instant sex receptacle.

But it’s not just sex Don and Megan find in California. They find love. Out of no where. I mean, sure they’ve worked together all this season and had sex once, but apparently they’re in love with each other. So much in love that Don asks her to marry him and she says yes. Seriously.

That’s one of the problems I had with this episode. Where did this come from? Don had been dating two other women throughout the season and now he’s in love with Megan? I know Don’s crazy when it comes to women, but there’s just something weird (and seemingly lazy) with this new storyline. I don’t know why I care; everything will be fine next season. I guess I just sometimes wish for a little more excitement with this show.

Not a lot more happened in the season finale, which was my other problem with it. No one else got any payoffs, story set-ups, or anything. I guess I have to take some of that back because we did learn for sure that Joan (Christina Hendricks) didn’t terminate her pregnancy. It seems she kept the baby and is passing it off as her husband’s and not Roger’s (John Slattery). So we can look forward to that storyline next season.

Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) did secure a new account, breaking the dry spell that the agency had following the fallout from Lucky Strike. But that celebration was a little over shadowed by the news of Don and Megan’s engagement. The reaction from that news is what really made the entire episode.

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Peggy, clearly annoyed by the news, goes into Joan’s office, shuts the door and steals a cigarette. Joan looks up and says “What ever could be on your mind.” Hilarious. The two women are finally on the same side this season as they diss Don, the men at SCDP and women like Megan. It’s a brilliant scene.

I’m starting to realize there’s sort of a Megan/Peggy parallel. At least up to this point. Both women have had similar relationships with Don. He even compares Megan to Peggy. It almost seems as if Peggy would’ve been in Megan’s position if Don was actually attracted to her. I hope Peggy is OK with that because she’s the lucky one in this whole mess. Not Megan.

Near the end, Don and Betty share an odd scene. Betty pretended to just run into Don, but clearly had planned it. She even adjusted her makeup. Was she going to try to seduce Don into something? Ex sex? Getting back together? What? I love how crazy everyone on this show is.

Then the episode ends with Don and Megan laying in bed as Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” plays them out. That’s it. I’m not always the best person at analyzing symbolism, but I didn’t get any clue if that ending meant anything.

What were your thoughts? Did you pick up on anything I missed? This show sometimes takes a second watch, so go easy on me.

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‘Mad Men’ Season 4 Episode 12 recap: Don quits tobacco



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“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 12: “Blowing Smoke”

Sunday night’s “Mad Men” was kind of all over the place. But in a good way.

Midge resurfaces and reveals herself as a heroine addict. Don (Jon Hamm) gives her some money to buy smack. Sally is secretly meeting with creepy kid. And Betty (January Jones) is doing her best to relate to Sally. Which isn’t easy. Creepy kid even knows Betty “doesn’t’ like kids.”

Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is still trying to figure out what to do after losing Lucky Strike. Heinz just rejected Don. And what I’m guessing would be Virginia Slim cigarettes wouldn’t even meet with the firm.

Lane (Jared Harris) tells the partners they each have to pitch in some money to be able to keep the payroll going. That’s in addition to firing some people. Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) freaks out because he doesn’t have the money and fights with Trudy (who sadly wasn’t wearing her hilarious pregnancy nightie) about it.

So just as it seems there’s no hope, Don does something amazing.

Don takes out a full page ad in the New York Times, dumping tobacco. He writes that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will no longer be taking tobacco companies of clients. He even mentions the health risks of tobacco.

I have a feeling this will be a brilliant move. But unfortunately the people at SCDP don’t agree. The partners are furious. Cooper even quits. I think. So will it become Sterling Draper Pryce? That doesn’t have a very good ring to it.

So until Don’s trick pays off, people still have to be fired. Thankfully, no major characters are pink slipped.

This is episode 12 of 13, so anyone care to guess what will happen on next week’s season finale? We surely didn’t get a preview following the episode. I’m betting Don’s plan works in some way or another. I’m also predicting something serious happening with Sally. Betty did pretty much negate any of the poor girl’s therapy on Sunday’s episode. I bet Sally kills Betty (I’m mostly joking, but with as little as January Jones has been used this season, I wouldn’t be completely surprised).

Regardless, I want more Sally. She’s really grown on me. Especially after her funny Land O Lakes logo observation.

Of course there’s also Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan (Christina Hendricks) who didn’t have storylines set up in Sunday’s episode. Let’s hope they’re not just overlooked next week.

‘Mad Men’ ‘Chinese Wall’ (Season 4, Episode 11) review: An unlucky strike



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“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 11: “Chinese Wall”

Last week we all learned that Lucky Strike was dumping Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

This week the folks at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce find out. And no thanks to Roger (John Slattery), who was the only one who knew about it last week. Ken (Aaron Staton) finds out the bad news from a friend at another firm. Ken tells Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) who calls Don (Jon Hamm) and pretty soon the partners (minus Lane) are at the office in the middle of the night. Roger plays dumb. And everyone freaks out.

Everyone at SCDP is forced to focus on that tragic event. Even Pete, despite his wife being in labor, and Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), who is reeling over her new love interest. These people better be making a ton of money because they all put up with way too much for their jobs.

It sounds like Lucky Strike won’t kill SCDP, but everyone is going to have to work even harder. Take Don, for example. He’s already working harder at being a complete a–hole. He’s barking at everyone even more, he’s almost forcing Dr. Faye to ignore her ethics, and he sleeps with yet another secretary. What women see in Don Draper I’ll never know. I understand what one might see in Jon Hamm, but not Don Draper. He’s a jerk. Completely. I don’t even see what Sally sees in him as a father.

Speaking of jerks, Roger is almost unbearable these days. He’s messing with Joan’s (Christina Hendricks) head. He’s cheating on Jane. He’s lying to everyone about Lucky Strike. He’s all washed up with his pathetic published memoir. They really should do something to make that character at least a little likable.

It was nice to see Peggy happy and in love. That’s been well overdo for that character. We get it that she’s a strong and independent woman, but everyone needs happiness at home, right?

Where was Betty (January Jones) and Sally? Why does show head Matthew Weiner seem to hate January Jones this season? I mean, I know she isn’t exactly the most charismatic actress on the planet, but her wooden, stilted ways really work for Betty. And I miss her. With only two episodes remaining, I can’t help but think she was really cheated out of this season.

‘Dexter’ Season 5, Episode 2 review: Getting back to normal



DEXTER (Season 5)

“Dexter,” Season 5, Episode 2: “Hello, Bandit”

Welcome back, Dexter. After last week’s sad and mopey premiere, it was nice to see the Dexter (Michael C. Hall) we all love back. Inner monologue and all.

Sunday’s episode found Dexter as the newly-single father. Astor and Cody moved into Deb’s (Jennifer Carpenter) with Dexter and baby Harrison. Astor, still not ready to forgive Dexter, insisted on leaving the cramped apartment for her grandparents’ house. Dexter agreed.

That was probably the best decision anyone could’ve made. Dexter as a single father would’ve never worked. Not for Dexter, not for those kids and not for us, the viewers. We don’t watch this show for wholesome family fun. We all know why we watch it. So, farewell Cody and Astor.

It doesn’t take long for Dexter to feed his inner creature of the night. While renting a moving van, he discovers some crime evidence in the back of one of the vans. He does some lab tests and concludes that it’s human blood. He tracks down the person who last rented the van and pretty soon he’s found his next victim.

Dexter doesn’t get around to killing in this episode, but it’s been set up for next week.

I’d like to report that Dexter is in the clear after his interview with the FBI, but I can’t. Everyone knows he has a solid alibi for when Rita was murdered, but there’s still a search on for Kyle Butler (Dexter’s alter-ego from last season). And now Quinn has sketches of Kyle made from details given by Arthur “Trinity Killer” Miller’s family.

Elsewhere we’ve got Deb dealing with Quinn (Desmond Harrington) following their sexual encounter last week. Right now it seems Deb regrets what happened while Quinn is ready for round two. That storyline is interrupted by a ritualistic murder (or two?). It’s too soon to tell if either of those murders are worth mentioning any further. So I’ll stop with that now.

Also, we’ve got some LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) and Batista (David Zayas) drama brewing. Batista becomes upset that LaGuerta has been hiding a hefty bank account from him. He gets drunk and gets in a pretty serious bar fight. Who knows where that’s leading. I hope the show writers find a nice place to take this story because those are two of my favorite characters.

I’m definitely ready for things to get back to normal. So saying goodbye to Cody and Astor was definitely a good place to start (it was almost as joyful as seeing amazing character actress Patrika Darbo as the realtor). It was a sad moment for Dexter, but it’s for the best. Dexter now has his sights set on his next victim and hopefully he’ll soon get Quinn off his trail. Things are slowly getting under way but they’re getting there.

Still to come this season: Julia Stiles enters Dexter’s life and Peter “RoboCop” Weller joins the cast as a troubled police officer.

Tony Curtis dies at 85



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Oscar-nominated actor Tony Curtis died Wednesday night at the age of 85.

Curtis was the father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis and is best known for his roles in “The Defiant Ones” and “Some Like it Hot” with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe.

Jamie Lee Curtis released a statement today: “My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages. He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world.”

‘Titanic’ actress Gloria Stuart dies at 100



GLORIA STUART

Gloria Stuart, the actress pretty much all of us only know as old Rose from “Titanic,” has died. She was 100.

Stuart had retired at acting in 1946 but returned to the craft in 1975. For “Titanic,” she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Stuart’s family said she died in her sleep.

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