Monday, February 11, 2008

"Celebrity Apprentice", "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles", "Survivor", "Law and Order" and "Knight Rider"

"Celebrity Apprentice" - last week

Tito was away at a fight, so the guys were down one person. Carol was appointed project manager of Empresario by Donald Trump, and Piers was chosen as the project manager for Hydra. The task was to develop a program for Crocs in which people could trade old shoes for new shoes, and the old shoes would be recycled and given to people in need of shoes.

Trace came up with the slogan of "Wear them, share them," which Piers immediately loved, so that became Hydra's catch phrase. Piers thought he saw the women next door spying on them, so he decided to do the same thing, and he and Vinnie staged an argument so that Vinnie could go next door as a Trojan horse and spy on them. And sure enough, when they saw Vinnie sitting outside both conference rooms and he told them Piers kicked him out, they decided to take him in. It was amazing to me that they didn't even question that it might have been a setup, that they were duped so easily. They said later that they felt sorry for him, but it sure looked like they didn't have confidence in their own abilities by agreeing to just take him in.

Empresario came up with "Share the love" as their slogan to use, and while Vinnie and Marilu were on their way to the construction site to design their shoe container, he managed to toss a paper to Hydra with his notes on what Empresario was going to do. Stephen was antsy about having the paper, so instead of picking it up himself, he went into their conference room and got Lennox to go outside and pick it up. To me, that seemed hypocritical. It he really wanted nothing to do with Vinnie's note, he would have either just said nothing about it and kicked it to the side or picked it up and just thrown it away, and no one else on Hydra would have known about it. But by getting Lennox to pick up the note, he could benefit from whatever he thought might be on the note, but he could technically keep his hands clean since he wasn't the one who actually picked up the note. He was basically getting someone else to do his dirty work.

On the car ride over to the construction site, Vinnie got an attack of conscience and confessed to Marilu that he was supposed to be a spy, but now, he was really flipping to be on the women's side. He got Marilu to agree to keep his original intentions quiet. But Vinnie didn't know that Piers had already revealed to Nely that he was aware of their slogan by constantly telling her to "share the love", and Nely realized that Vinnie had betrayed them and then told the rest of the women that Vinnie had been telling Hydra everything they were doing. Omarosa called Marilu and then summarily dismissed Vinnie.

Vinnie then went back to Hydra and had it out with Piers for both "making him" be a spy and then for outing him to the women. I think Vinnie was a total hyprocrite when he said that Piers "made him" spy on the women. Ummm, no, he asked you to, and you were all for it. You went along with the whole charade. You could have said no. You could have gone and then not given any information back to the guys. You made the decision to do what you did, but it's much more convenient to place the blame on Piers instead. Besides, as it was, it was really just a harmless joke. It wasn't like Hydra used the info they got about Empresario to do anything different with their own plan. They already had it worked out. They really just ended up unnerving the women and distracting them by showing they knew their plan. But in the end, it wasn't enough of a distraction because the women's idea to build a giant Croc as a shoe depository with model Carol next to it won the challenge. But Vinnie was still upset, enough that he decided to resign. And then he tried to retract his resignation. And then tendered it again, so Trump accepted his resignation.


"Celebrity Apprentice" - this past week

Fallout from the last challenge continued, and Stephen Baldwin decided to talk to Donald Trump to tell him that he couldn't work with Piers anymore and wanted to quit. What's with the whole quitting thing? But Trump decided to put him on Empresario instead. When Baldwin went back and told Hydra that he would rather be on the women's team even if all they wanted him to do was have him get coffee, Piers and Lennox were disgusted by his declaration. And then it got worse. The women weren't all that happy to have him, but on top of that, Stephen told them he was unavailable for most of the next day because of a prior commitment. Omarasa was particularly angry and told Trump that they didn't want him. I expect they were still stinging from the fiasco with Vinnie. But Trump told them they had to have Stephen.

This time around, the contesants meet Vera Wang and a representative from Serta mattress, for whom Vera Wang is designing a mattress, and their task is to create a living window for this new product. Omarosa was the project manager for Empresario, and Lennox was the project manager for Hydra. Empresario immediately went with a bridal theme which included a little scene with a bride and groom (since Stephen was expected to return later in the evening). Hydra felt that they were at a disadvantage since they knew nothing about Vera Wang, but after their meeting with her, Trace pinpointed the idea of romance and came up with a Cleopatra theme. I find it seriously amusing that Trace is generally fairly quiet, but he then just comes up with these amazing ideas - this is the second week in a row that he's done that.

There was some dissension in Hydra since Lennox as project manager ran everything by a vote, not making any decisions of his own at all, which drove Piers crazy, but even though it also annoyed Trace, and the rest of the group, it mostly seemed good natured overall.

Empresario wasn't necessarily having a better time, and there was some drama with Marilu as she had some trouble communicating with the window construction guy. Omarosa and Nely commiserated together. Stephen finally arrived at 6pm, and he was not so much interested in getting coffee for the women. Instead, he tried to re-work the entire concept that late in the game, which the women didn't particularly appreciate.

When it was time to present their window, Empresario had a whole wedding party scene, with the bridesmaids coming in and throwing rose petals, and then Stephen as the groom carried Carol as the bride in over the threshhold. Vera Wang was really loving the scene.

When it came to Hydra's turn, they had Cleopatra's lair with Cleopatra and Marc Antony being fed fruit by a servant, but there were modern touches as well, like a plasma television and a celphone and a laptop. Vera was ecstatic about the new scene and positioning of her product.

In the end, as much as Vera loved both windows, it appeared that the deciding vote came from the Serta executive, and Hydra won. For me, as much as the bridal theme was beautiful, I would think it would mostly attract just women but the Cleopatra theme would appeal to both men and women.

In the boardroom, Omarosa reverted to form and tried to deflect blame everywhere else. When she was told that the bridal theme was old and uncreative, she admitted to coming up with the idea (sort of - what she actually said was that she "signed off" on the bridal idea rather than outright admitting that it was her idea in the first place) but that she hadn't gotten enough guidance from Nely or help from Marilu, who was too scattered. When it came time for her to decide who to bring back into the boardroom with her, she mentiond Stephen because he wasn't there for most of the day, but then Trump compared her to Gene Simmons and said that she shouldn't bring someone who didn't deserve to be there and who he can't fire because they weren't responsible for the loss. Trump also basically gave her a huge hint by saying that you can't help but remember history when it came to making that decision, that past performance had to be in play. Trump had made it clear that Nely would have been fired if Simmons hadn't been obstinate, so Omarosa did what Simmons wouldn't - she played Trump's game and effectively threw Nely to the lions by bringing her back with Marilu, figuring that Nely was a bigger target than she was. Nely protested her inclusion and rankled at Trump's constant mentions of her prior work, but Trump still ended up firing her.


"Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"

The show started with Sarah telling the story of Golem, a monster who was created and then turned on his creator, making an obvious comparison to the terminator. The terminator who was after John arrived at the office of a plastic surgeon, and true to form, he killed the doctor as soon as he'd gotten what he wanted. He then had the same face as another of the doctor's patients, and since he was caught on tape leaving the doctor's office, the police ended up picking up the guy himself for questioning. But it wasn't until after he was cleared that the terminator arrived at his house and killed him, taking over his life, so when the FBI agent showed up to tell him he was clear, the FBI agent was unaware he was actuall talking to the terminator.

Meanwhile, John was still upset about the girl at the school who jumped, that he wasn't able to do anything to help her or stop her. But Cameron had other concerns - she figured out that the terminator who was after John was in their time and still after John, and she relayed this information to Sarah and John. John decided that he wanted to do something this time, not just keep running, and they found out about a shipment of the alloy that the terminator endo skeleton is made from, so they went to where the shipment was to lie in wait for him. However, they ended up finding another terminator who arranged for men to steal the shipment of the alloy. John ended up accidentally getting trapped in the truck, and while Sarah and Cameron initially tracked the truck via John's celphone, they eventually lost him when the phone broke. They ended up questioning one of the accomplices to figure out where the shipment was going. Cameron did something to terrorize the initially-reluctant guy into helping - what the heck did she do to him? He looked terrified of her. Once they get close to where they needed to go, they left him in a minefield. They discovered that the second terminator was stock piling the alloy for use after Judgement Day, and Cameron said that was the very facility where she was built. They all managed to get John out, and the three of them left with the truckful of the alloy and traped the second terminator in the military bunker which eventually became the terminator manufacturing plant. Cameron plunged the truckful of alloy down a cliff - but wasn't she destroying the material that she was eventually made from? How did she know that they wouldn't have then run out of the alloy before they got around to making her?


"Lost"

I watched the first three seasons of the show, and as much as I liked the first season, I was really not happy with the second season, and while the third season was better than the second, there were still things that infuriated me, so I was done with them. I wasn't planning on watching the season premiere this year, but the husband was watching it while I was in the other room, so I heard bits and pieces of it. I liked the scene where they had to tell Claire about Charlie, but other than that, I'm not sorry I didn't really watch it. I didn't see any of the second episode, and the husband said that was a good thing because I would have hated it. I really just want all of them to get eaten by the "Cloverfield" monster.


"Survivor"

When I first heard that it was going to be fans vs. favorites, I thought that would be a lot of fun. And then I heard who the returning people would be. And the list included John, the person I've hated the most in all of "Survivor", who I can't even stand to see, hear about, anything really, unless he's getting his ass kicked by Danny Bonaduce. And as much as I wanted to watch the show, I had a real dilemma because I didn't want to see him. I thought about waiting until he was kicked off, and then I'd start watching. And I'm wondering - he's not a fan, and he's definitely not a favorite - what the heck is he doing on the show?

A couple friends who saw the first episode and knew how I felt about John said that I really needed to watch the show. And the husband happened to spill that John was the one kicked off, so I decided to deal with watching him in one show. When they introduced the favorites, it was nice to see some familiar faces. But Ozzy cut off his nice hair!

It was fun that the fans didn't know they'd be competing against the faves, but I wonder what they thought when they were taking the boat trip over and there were only 10 of them. They're all fans of the show so they would have known that wasn't enough people. I don't remember anything about Tracy, but I loved her line that she wanted just "one moment to kick John". It was kind of funny to watch the torrential downpour during the whole opening. I don't remember that happening before.

Jeff announced that there were two individual immunity idols on the island that could only be used on the owner's first trip to tribal council. The idols were draped over the end of two canoes, but people were looking everywhere on the island for them. John finally got there, and he figured it out, but he picked up the idol from the wrong team. Yau Man saw what he did, and they both went for the other idol, and how funny was it that Yau Man basically slammed John into the boat and got the idol? The little old Chinese man kicked John's ass. Do we even know that John wouldn't have been allowed to keep the other idol, that it was one idol designated for each tribe? John had dropped the other idol, so it was just lying on the ground. As Kathy walked by, Yau Man told her to pick it up, so she ended up with the other one.

But then Kathy is amazed that she's met and will be on the same tribe as a gay man and wonders what it will be like since she's never known one before. Ummm, ok, she was treating him like an alien species. It's not that big a deal. It wasn't like she was going to notice any big differences, any more so in that everyone has their own quirks.

The faves showed that experience helped as they were immediately able to work together to build a shelter and get food. Parvati, the notorious flirt, connected with James, and Amanda bonded with Ozzy.

On the fans' beach, though, their shelter wasn't working so well, and they were beaten up all night by the storm.

Eliza saw the foursome/two couples that had formed, so she made an alliance with Yau Man, Jonathan and Ami. They decided to target Parvati, wisely realizing how much of a threat she was with her social skills and since she was basically wrapping James around her little finger already. Both sides tried to court John, even though they didn't really trust him, and he really ended up playing both sides. They showed that experience helped even more as the faves started a fire with Yau Man's glasses.

When they showed the tree mail, my first thought was - are they all going to practice with the message puzzle wheel, because that's probably going to be important. During the challenge, the faves had a wipeout with their vehicle and Eliza got hurt. I hope she got that looked at. I was laughing as they were all digging in the sand for the planks, and one of the fans was flinging sand onto the faves as they were digging. Even with all the experience and food and rest that the faves had, the fans ended up winning.

John said that he had a girlfriend who was seven months pregnant and he missed her and was concerned about the baby and said that he wanted to be voted off. OK, why would you leave her? If I was seven months pregnant, I wouldn't want the father of my baby to disappear and be basically unreachable for a long period of time. Even with John being voted off first, it's not like he could return home immediately. He wouldn't be able to come back until they were all done or until the first episode had aired, whichever happened first. I loved Yau Man's speech when he made his vote to offer to be a child consultant for John. John was voted out unanimously and hugged a seemingly-reluctant Jeff on the way out, but he was still delusional in his last speech as he talked about how everyone liked him and he had everyone eating out of his hand. Yeah, whatever, at least I don't have to see him again until the reunion episode. Got help his baby with a father like that.

And in the preview for next week's episode, it looks lik Ozzy and Amanda get hot and heavy. Not so much a good idea for the game, but maybe the game becomes not as important if they've made some kind of real connection. We'll see.


"Big Brother"

During "Survivor", there was a preview for the next installment of "Big Brother", and the twist is that apparently, they get paired up and have to live/sleep with another total stranger, and voting might be by the pair as well. Hmmm, wonder how that pans out. It's going to be a very busy schedule, though, "Big Brother" usually only runs during the summer, where three nights a week isn't an issue because not much new content is on anyway. This installment is being aired now because of the writers' strike, but with the strike now settled and writers on their way back to work, we'll see how the show fits into the schedule when the new episodes of regular shows start being available again.


"Law and Order: CI" - The story started out with a homeless guy who was basically extorting money out of people either by in-your-face confrontation or even the threat of violence. He played into the story because Bobby bought the brick he was using, and Bobby ended up using the brick later. They then showed a prison where a guy was tied down in solitary confinement, and he eventually died from that treatment. Then Bobby's homeless brother Frank made a return appearance, and he had come to ask for Bobby's help with his son Donny, though Bobby never knew he had a nephew. The nephew was busted for possession, but Frank said the drugs weren't his, so Bobby agreed to look into it and has Bobby transferred to his precinct temporariy. During Bobby's discussion with Donny, Donny said that the prison he was in was purposely killing people, and it turned out that it was the same jail shown earlier. When Donny was sent back to that jail, Bobby feared for his life and so he got a fake ID, filed off his prints to hide his true identity, and arranged to get himself arrested and sent to that very jail. The prison doctor injected him with sodium pentathol to get answers from her non-responsive patient, and under the effects of the truth serum, Bobby started to give his true identity and true purpose for being there. The doctor denied the allegations and seemed concerned about what Bobby was saying, but she let it go. She does later show that she was trying to protect the prisoners from the torture going on at the prison, though why she didn't report it or actually do anything to stop it was not addressed. Bobby ended up getting sent to isolation and endured the torture we saw inflicted earlier, torture which the warden condoned and presumably even ordered. Alex and their captain get to Bobby in time, and he was able to testify to the torture he was personally subjected to. The authorities said they would investigate the matter but chastised him for his methods, to which he responded that he had no other choice, and that the consequences he endured were necessary and worth being able to expose the torture. He was still suspended under further notice, and Bobby went in search of his nephew, who had escaped from the prison. The abruptness of the ending seemed a bit odd, so I wonder if the nephew will be a continuing story, not to mention having to resolve Bobby's suspension.


"Law and Order"

This week's story was timely in that it involved a guy who scammed people whose houses were in danger of getting foreclosed. Under the guise of helping them with their credit, he got them to "temporarily" quitclaim their houses to him, and while they thought they would eventually get their house back, he sold the house to other people, with the stipulation that $50,000 would be paid in cash, which he pocketed. The detectives set up a sting operation where they were both people in trouble and the buyers to catch him, with the help of the title company employee who had been unwittingly helping him. Soon thereafter, though, both the scammer and the mob guy who was also in on it were found killed. It turn out that the title company employee was in on the deal the whole time, and she was responsible for killing the two people. She was taken to trial but managed to seduce her public defender lawyer into helping her try to escape. When that failed, she turns to the FBI and claimed to have been witness to financial terrorist activity, so the Feds wanted to take her into custody as a potential witness. The detectives than arrested the FBI agents for kidnapping her, and they agreed to trade the FBI agents in return for getting her back into their custody. However, she decided to testify at the grand jury hearing, and she managed to charm the grand jury into feeling sorry for her and believing her lies, so she was not indicted. The public defender then offered to testify that she told him she had killed the people, in exchange for dropping charges against him, which might help him not get dis-barred. The new ADA was willing to go through with it, even though he knew the confession probably didn't happen, but in the courtroom, he couldn't go through with it and withdrew his motion for her indictment. The detectives then discovered that she was using a false identity, so they had no idea who she really was, but she was no longer their problem - she was now in Federal custody.


I haven't been particularly excited about "Criminal Intent" and "Law and Order" this season. I missed last week's episodes because I made a taping mistake, and I kept meaning to go to the website to watch them, but I just never found the motivation. I'm not engaged in the shows like I used to be, and I really miss Jack McCoy. I'm going to give it another week, but with "Big Brother" soon to occupy three hours of my week, I'm not sure I'm going to keep watching these two shows. I do still like "Special Victims Unit" enoughth that I expect to keep watching that.


"Knight Rider"

When I first heard that they were doing a new version of "Knight Rider", I wasn't sure that I'd be watching. Yeah, I liked the old series, and it was fun, but now, I don't know. And then I heard who they had cast as the new "Michael Knight" - Justin Bruening. Many people won't know who he is, but I know him because he had been playing the role of Jamie Martin on "All My Children" for a number of years but left last year. He apparently landed a pretty good gig in getting the lead in this new show, which is just a movie at this point but could be turned into a series. I've like Justin on AMC, but Jamie could be a very limiting character. I want to see how Justin handles the role, so I'll be watching when the movie airs on Sunday, February 17.

Here's a poster for the new show. You can see Justin, but not very well.





Here's a better picture of Justin in character from NBC's website. He definitely looks the part to me, very different than he's looked on AMC.





And here's a picture of Justin with wife Alexa Havins, who he met when they were both on AMC. His hairstyle and look in this picture is definitely not Knight Rider!





Here's a trailer for the new show. I think Justin captures the right mix of scepticism and humour, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.





Here's another trailer I liked.





And here's a good interview with Justin Bruening. If this show takes off, I think Alexa is going to be fighting off a lot of new fans of Justin's!





One very recent development about the show is that they had to go back and re-do all of KITT's lines. Will Arnett (who I'm not really familiar with) had already completed his work as the voice of the talking car, but apparently, he has been doing voice-over work for General Motors for quite a number of years now, and since the new KITT is being "played" by a Ford Mustang, GM objected and asked Arnett to withdraw from the project, which he did. But don't worry. They've found someone else to do KITT's voice - Val Kilmer. They're going to have to work fast to get his lines done! (BTW, I am assuming that the voice of KITT in the trailers is Arnett since I don't think there's been enough time for the changeover to Kilmer.)

Someone else made a connection regarding the new show that I hadn't realized, but I was able to make it go full circle. Michael Knight was previously played by David Hasselhoff, who was at one time married to Catherine Hickland, probably best known for playing Lindsay on "One Life to Live". After they divorced, Hickland was later married to Michael E. Knight, and they are currently in the midst of an amicable divorce after having been married for quite some time. Michael E. Knight has for many, many years played Tad Martin on "All My Children" - father to Jamie Martin, who was played by Justin Bruening, who is now playing the new "Michael Knight". All that and Kevin Bacon wasn't even involved! :)

1 comment:

JeffG said...

I absolutely loved Knight Rider when it originally aired and am very curious to see the remake. On the other hand, I was 16 when the original series went off the air (and I'm not sure I stayed with it until the end) and I have some concern that this might be a concept that I won't find quite as appealing at my current age... :)

I admit that I was pleased to see the news that David Hasselhoff at least has a cameo on the new show (Bruening apparently plays the son of the original character). He definitely isn't much of an actor, but I'm still not sure how easy it is going to be to accept someone else as the lead on the show.

I'm even more worried about how well Kilmer will do as the voice of KITT, considering how memorable William Daniels' voicework was for the original series. In many ways, his voicework was probably the key to the fact that the show worked at all. Daniels is in his 70s now and probably wouldn't have been very well suited (if even available) to do the new show, but I still hope that Kilmer can find the right tone.

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