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May 4, 2012

1:01
P.M.

Should Skylar Laine have been ousted on American Idol? Lisa de Moraes Live

Total Responses: 92

About the hosts

About the host

Lisa de Moraes

Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites. de Moraes worked for a decade as the television editor at The Hollywood Reporter, the entertainment industry trade paper, where she was routinely on the receiving end of more shouting phone calls from TV suits than Paula Abdul's manager.

When she upgraded to The Washington Post in 1998, a well-known executive producer called to suggest she have someone else start her car, but her trenchant writing (and refusal to use words like "trenchant") earned her the following praise from the brilliant, handsome media observer at Slate: "She writes like a wicked bitch." Wikipedia has called her "a noted television columnist," but they're often unreliable. It's pronounced "deh more ICE."

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Entertainment: Television

About the topic

Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes discussed Skylar Layne being ousted on American Idol, a new Lifetime movie about the Casey Anthony trial, and all the drama, comedy and heartbreak of the world of television -- both onscreen and behind-the-scenes!

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Q.

Lisa de Moraes :

THIS WEEK in TV COLUMN/BLOG:

-'American Idol': Skylar Laine sent packing.

- Rob Lowe returns triumphant to Lifetime to play Casey Anthony trial prosecutor

- CW gives early pick up to 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Supernatural' and '90210' -- but no freshman series and no 'Gossip Girl'

- Nieslen: There are now only 114.1 million TV homes for advertisers to pitch to instead of 114.7 mil

- Old 'American Idol' is the new No. 1 show among young viewers.

- Fox 'borrows' NBC's swivel-chair reality series format

- 'American Idol': Steven Van Zandt wowed when Joshua Ledet masters Bee Gees tune in 15 minutes

- 'Luck' cancellation cost HBO $35 million

- YouTube pitches new channels to ad suits during TV networks' upfront frenzy

- Adrian Pasdar cast as POTUS on USA's 'Political Animals'

- 'Dancing with the Stars': So long Jaleel White

- Judge rules for dick clark productions in handling of Globes deal

- 'Two and a Half Men' stars finalize next-season deals

- WJLA launching The Live Well digital network in Washington

- 'Dancing with Stars': season's first perfect score

- Jimmy Kimmel: 3rd grade jokes played best at White House Correspondents' Dinner

- E! greenlights docu-soap about Jonas brother from Ryan Seacrest

- HBO picks up 'Girls,' 'Veep' for second season

- ABC orders 'Big Brother'-esque 'Glass House'

- 'American Idol' evictee Colton Dixon almost famous at White House Correspondents Dinner

- 'Good Morning America' officially beats 'Today' for second week

- E! developing  'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' update about billionaire who hooks up with lobbyists. Ick

- Whitney Cummings lands weekly talkshow on E!

 

A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Hi. Here's this week's reading material....let's get started!

– May 04, 2012 1:01 PM
Q.

Wharton, Carey, Kellogg

I don't get the hype "something we've never seen before" of Lena Dunham's "Girls." All the characters pretty much feel like either future TV writers or people who are friends of future TV writers. My pitch for a TV show showing 25-year-olds would be about character who aren't referred to not by either actual names but the business school they got their MBA from. Something Wharton, Carey, Kellogg, etc... I just think the idea of why something goes to Wall Street and how changes these people and why do they get so damn money for what they do.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I think in your enthusiasm you may have dropped a couple words, of which I approve entirely -- it keeps your readers on their toes. I employ it often in my blogging, as well as creative spelling (see comment in this week's "Idol" performance night recap, from some stick in the mud,  in re my fascinating spelling of  'dryer' ) Anyway, I think you are saying you are not so much a fan of  "Girls" because you've been there, seen that before. I agree entirely, with one major exception. The lead isn't pretty. Yes, that passes for groundbreaking television. And, I think this show is said to have broken new nepotism ground, which should snag it an Emmy or two. Now, moving on to your show pitch... I love it:  Eulalie Wharton and Zaneeta Kellog are 20-something roomies/BFFs, recently hired by Wall Street firms to bilk widows and orphans,  who are trying to figure out "who they are" and how to find true-love-with-six-figure-incomes.

– May 04, 2012 1:02 PM
Q.

Adrian Pasdar

Will his POTUS character be more of a good guy than the thoroughly evil Jim Profit, his role in the cult fave show from the mid-1990s?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Well, given that USA's 'Political Animals" is not-about-Hillary-Clinton -- it's about a former First Lady (played by Sigourney Weaver), who ran unsuccessfully for POTUS herself, only lost, except the guy who won then named her his new Secretary of State, and her POTUS husband was a philanderer -- my guess is that Pasdar's POTUS will, in fimilar fashion, not-be-Barack-Obama. Which is to say, he will be very like President Obama....

– May 04, 2012 1:04 PM
Q.

30 Rock and reality tv

I have never watched any of the ubiquitous reality shows, so I was totally bemused by 30 Rock last night, until someone explained that they were being filmed for the Queen of Jordan show. A fake show within a fake show--how meta can you get? But everyone was himself or herself--just more so? Although I was a tad worried that young Kenneth would be seduced by the glamour of the fashion show.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Meta indeed... and, only  3 million people watched, which makes it even moreso.  It only beat CW's "The Vampire Diaries" by about half a million viewers.....

– May 04, 2012 1:07 PM
Q.

Idol Judges

Can we replace the judges with Jimmy Iovine and Steve Van Zandt? They were far more entertaining.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Weren't they GREAT? I'd watch them every week. Oh wait, I already watch this show every week. But yes, they stole the show last night -- such a cute couple!

– May 04, 2012 1:08 PM
Q.

Arlington Gay

Last night's eviction was like a Daughtry moment to me. Skylar will likely have a good career in Country, at least. Losing isn't necessarily a bad thing at this point, though I expected her in the top 2 or 3.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

All of the top 5 have recording careers. Iovine has said as much -- and he really demolished whatever pretense there is left that you need to "win" this competition to launch a career, when he said this week that his recording company Interscope, would work very hard to make sure it took good care of Joshua Ledet, though he hasn't won yet, and frankly probably won't after seeing Phil2 sail through last night despite two lousy performances on Wednesday. There is no defeating cute safe scruffy white guys with sad eyes and guitars on this show, since tweener girls began to control the voting, about five years ago...

– May 04, 2012 1:11 PM
Q.

Harry’s Law

Kathy Bates is great and I like this show. Is it renewed for next year...I hope.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's NBC's third most watched broadcast of the week -- behind only "The Voice" and "The Voice" (results show), but one of its oldest-skewing -- among 18-49 year old viewers who are the currency of NBC, "Harry's Law" finishes behind even NBC's newsmag "Rock Center" -- news programming tends to skew older than entertainment progrmaming. It only gets about half as many 18-49 year olds as Betty White's "Off Their Rockers." This is not good. NBC has loads of problems on its schedule so its may sneak on through for another season based on its overall audience and despite its older skew.

 

– May 04, 2012 1:11 PM
Q.

I am not making this up:

Spotted in Disney World over spring break: adult male wearing "My Boys" t-shirt. I immediately thought of Pookie & Co.!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

"My Boys" T-shirts? Why didn't anyone tell me?

– May 04, 2012 1:11 PM
Q.

Neilsen commenters

It occurred to me after last week's chat that I hadn't seen any comments from the Neilsen (Nielsen?) Ratings folks who'd participated for a few weeks. Or did I just overlook them?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

They came back the next week to say they'd been contacted by Nielsen to say they should not be talking. Apparently it's like the Witness Protection Program....

– May 04, 2012 1:12 PM
Q.

Goodbye Marshall Marshall

Tonight In Plain Sight ends. I really liked the show, except for whichever season kept having Mary and Marshall on separate cases and not in scenes together. Although I still don't really buy the whole Mary with a baby thing, although I guess the "she needs someone to protect" thing answered that. It was nice that USA was able to actually plan an ending rather than have it just canceled. So, next week begins Common Law. Is it any good?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's another USA cop show set in a sunny locale.. I think that's all you need to know..

– May 04, 2012 1:13 PM
Q.

Smart TV Presidents

So we are starting to see a bunch of presidential shows (I hestitate to call them political shows) such as Veep and now Political Animals. There have been a few other presidential shows, Commander-in-Chief comes to mind, that have failed to had any sort of longevity. The West Wing had 7 years (5 of them good) and probably could have gone longer if they wanted it to. Is the problem that the current crop of presidential shows aren't "smart" shows that focus on policy and fail to capture the attention of the political set, or is it something else?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

"West Wing" had run out of gas and was utterly out of step with the Bush administration, so it seemed odd instead of of-the-moment. "Commander in Chief" was just lame and limped through just one season. "Veep" has already been picked up for a second season and is much more a workplace comedy than a "policy wonk" kinda show, though it does have some wonderful inside-baseball moments in it. I'm a fan. We haven't seen any footage on "Political Animals"  yet, but it co-stars Ciaran Hinds as not-Bill-Clinton, and I will watch absolutely anything with Ciaran Hinds in it, whether they ever even mention policy or not. Seriously.

– May 04, 2012 1:17 PM
Q.

Arlington Gay

Let's start a Facebook Group next year: ONE MILLION PARENTS WHO WON'T LET THEIR TWEENER DAUGHTERS VOTE FOR AMERICAN IDOL. I don't have kids though, but I can keep an eye on a tweener niece. FWIW, my 67 year old sister is a Phil2 fan. Don't know if she votes, though.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Well find out and MAKE HER STOP if she does.. Or, get her to vote for Joshua, who honestly deserves to win. Or Jessica, who's also great....

– May 04, 2012 1:17 PM
Q.

The Vampire Diaries

I admit, I can of enjoyed VD earlier on, but it's awful. I tried watching last night after my friend caught me up, but so far to get into it since it's too much of daytime drama where constant over-the-top things are happening yet none of it really matters.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's been on the air three seasons and shouldn't they be graduating now? Will they go to college?

– May 04, 2012 1:19 PM
Q.

Back to Last Week

Lisa: Due to DVRing, only saw last week's Community and 30 Rock Live over the weekend. I thought the Community Law & Order pastiche was brilliant. As someone who has seen way to many L&O episodes I especially appreciated the scene in which the iconic blue and white paper coffee cup showed up. The whole episode was wonderfully absurd. As much as I liked the live 30 Rock, I've liked even more the bizarre online commentary that accused Jon Hamm of racism for his blackface appearance. Did those commenters not realize the sketch was satirizing the portrayal of race in TVs early days?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Most fascinating were the bloggers who were shocked and dismayed about  Jon Hamm play that role on "30 Rock," and yes some without appearing to understand what it was attempting to mock, but who breathlessly reported that Ashton Kutcher starred in a new new ad  campaign for a snack chip, in which he plays a "Bollywood" star --  in "brownface" -- until other bloggers started nicking them for it, then they suddenly got outraged by it too...

– May 04, 2012 1:23 PM
Q.

Two and a Half Men

Been a fan of 2.5 Men, since the beginning, but to be honest I haven't laughed at an episode in a few weeks. The story lines with Walden and Zoe, as well as Alan and Lindsey seem to have run their course. I'm sick of Jake being a pothead and Alan's character now is pathetic, no longer sympathetic. I would love an episode with Alan taking Jake to look at colleges and Judith and Herb tagging along or have Walden find a new girlfriend. They just signed the cast for another season, so please tell me Pookie what are they planning to do to make the show funny again other than bringing back the Warlock? It just seems tired to me at this point, which bums me out.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Good news! The longtime showrunner has "stepped down"! Hopefully we're in for a re-boot...

– May 04, 2012 1:24 PM
Q.

Idol vs. Voice

IMHO the contestants on American Idol are better than those on The Voice. Voice has a couple of excellent singers but overall, say top 10, Idol finalists are far superior. However, all the judges are wearing thin with me. Love him or hate him, ever since Simon left Idol there is no one left there to trust. Meanwhile on Voice, See-Low with his Dr Evil/Mini-me impression is hard to watch. J-Low, on the other hand, is easy to watch but hard to believe. Idol should make Jimmy Lovine a judge and we can get some truly constructive criticism.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think JLo has made a lot of very astute comments this season -- better than last season. She seems more comfortable in the role. Randy too. Steven has even made some sharp comments, like when he told Phil2 this week that sometimes it's a sin and a crime not to sing the melody...That said, I'm Iovine's biggest fan and if they could make Steven Van Zandt his sidekick every week, they'd be doing ratings like they did 6 years ago on this show. They were a knockout -- absolutely stole the show last night...

– May 04, 2012 1:26 PM
Q.

E!

A tacky network? Or the tackiest?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's a close race with Bravo, but I'd have to give the win to Bravo, I think....

– May 04, 2012 1:27 PM
Q.

Unattractive lead in a tv series

People from "South Park" to my Auntie Helen have told me how ugly Sarah Jessica Parker is...
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Ah, here's where we have the "so ugly she's gorgeous" talk....nobody, but nobody, can wear clothes like Sarah Jessica Parker... Yes, she has an outsized, horse-like head -- runs in my family too, so I know of which I speak -- but she is a very striking woman.

– May 04, 2012 1:29 PM
Q.

HBO's "GIrls"

It's not so much that I like the show, but just hoping it's going somewhere good just like you can just wait for movie to get going while it's introducing the audience to the setting and central characters. Seems I'm not alone in that view either.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

No, there's a boatload of us who want this to work. My guess is we all miss "Sex and the City." This show has a shocking lack of great shoes....

– May 04, 2012 1:30 PM
Q.

AI Jessica

Ok...Jessica definitely has an amazing voice. But her first performance the other night was disturbing. As the (cool) mother of a 16-year-old daughter, I was embarrassed for the kid. My daughter said it was disgusting. She needs to be styled differently because she is skeeving out people and not just some in middle America like JLo said last night. In the meantime, I'll take either of the boys over her just to prove I don't support what they are doing to her!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I am so not getting this... Do you remember what Britney was doing at age 16? Those videos? Much loved by Middle America? Really, not computing... I did not think it was a great performance, mostly because she always looks like a child in mom's shoes when she tries to dance around stage in 8 inch Louboutin heels, but it was nothing compared to Britney's bump-and-grind teen years....

– May 04, 2012 1:32 PM
Q.

Idol

I'm curious, do you think Phil even wants to win this thing? I thought everyone wanted to come in 2nd so they wouldn't be tied to E19's resctrictive contract. Either way, I don't think there's any way he won't win.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I was assuming he did not want to win because it would ruin his cred...but Iovine keeps telling us he's so missing in action,  which I assume includes his never ever appearing in the Ford Music Video shoots, because he is not feeling well... I remember he had a problem with kidney stones or something earlier in the season, but no one has explained what Iovine is talking about on the show... If Ryan Seacrest thinks he's going to become the next Matt Lauer, he should correct this immediately with  information...

– May 04, 2012 1:34 PM
Q.

Veep

I meant to watch but forgot. Is it worth it? I have always liked JLD and suffered through the Old Christine sitcom for her. And Buster from Arrested Development has a part!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

This is a great vehicle for her...

– May 04, 2012 1:35 PM
Q.

fall schedules

When will they be announced officially? There are still some shows that haven't been announced as cancelled or picked up for next year, so when will we hear for sure?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

The broadcast networks' upfront presentations begin, with NBC's news conference, on Mother's Day... Yes, NBC: no time for Mothers....Fox officially announces on Monday, May 14; ABC on Tuesday; CBS on Wednesday and CW on Thursday... That Friday, my chat will be all about the new schedules -- what you love, what you hate, what you will miss most among the cancelled shows, etc...

– May 04, 2012 1:36 PM
Q.

Speaking of "another USA cop show set in a sunny locale"

Is "The Glades" ever coming back?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Sunday, June 3. Only don't tune in to USA because it's an A&E show...

– May 04, 2012 1:37 PM
Q.

Mystery Idol Illness

Jimmy alluded to P2's health saying that it was amazing he could perform under the circumstances. Is he still dealing with the kidney thing or did he have a driveby voice transplant which causes inability to hit anything beyond a 5 note range?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I don't know and Ryan Seacrest, newest member of the NBC News family, is strangely silent on the subject. .. I'm guessing they're not saying because they don't want that to influence the voting... that would send tweener girls into orbit -- scruffy, safe, sad eyed, guitar-playing AND Byronically ill... they might as well end the competition now if word gets out...

– May 04, 2012 1:39 PM
Q.

Eilsen-ay Oeplep-ay

Can they talk if they use a bit of Pig Latin?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

my college major....

– May 04, 2012 1:39 PM
Q.

Context is everything

Without the title "The Vampire Diaries," the comment "I admit, I can [sic] of enjoyed VD earlier on, but it's awful" takes on a whole new meaning. Just thought I'd share.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It gave me pause too....

– May 04, 2012 1:40 PM
Q.

Black Sails

I heard Starz was making a series on Pirates. Will it have as much rampant violence and sex as "Sparticus" does?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's Starz. you answered your own question....

– May 04, 2012 1:41 PM
Q.

Britney vs. Jessica

Britney looked liked she was 25 when she was 16. Jessica just looks 16.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Ah, so it's not about actual age after all...thanks for clearing that up, Middle America...

– May 04, 2012 1:41 PM
Q.

E! a tacky network?

Bravo or TLC. They had farther to fall.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

TLC, hands down.. I could play this game for hours!

– May 04, 2012 1:42 PM
Q.

Scandal

I tried to enjoy this show but the lead character is so unlikable and chews the scenery right off the walls of every scene she is in. Very distracting and unrealistic (I know, what am I expecting), but I can't watch episode 2 because of it.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

You should have seen episode 4!

– May 04, 2012 1:42 PM
Q.

Nepotism

Wish I could find the link, but it was 2008 campaign interview with Mrs. Obama were she said that her elder daughter Malia's dream at that moment was to grow up and be an actress. Poor Obama girls, no matter what they do, even getting hired to pump gas, their employer will be accused of nepotism.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Ha -- I have found a whole in your argument: nobody pumps gas any more...

– May 04, 2012 1:43 PM
Q.

30 Rock

I have loved, loved, loved 30 Rock since it started, although I recognize the difficulties it's gone through as it's aged. While I wasn't entranced by the first Queen of Jordan episode last year, I really didn't enjoy last night's episode when [SPOILER] Liz tries to explain Jack's kiss to Avery's mom by saying it was "European," -- it really took me out of the show, since this was the exact same reason given to explain Chandler's kiss to Monica when they were secretly dating. I know there are a finite number of sitcom plotlines, but this is so minute but so similar (and on two NBC Thursday night comedies), it really took me out of the moment. Thank you for allowing me to vent! Although writing all this out makes me sad because if I didn't remember minutiae such as Chandler's kiss to Monica (which he then had to repeat with each of the other friends), I could know so many other valuable things, like a foreign language!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Yes, it takes up a lot of my brain cells too, that I might better be using to memorize all of Chopin's Etudes... and, speaking of "30 Rock" and whether it will be renewed, I have spent a great deal of time at night, as I drift off to sleep, wondering what would have been the ratings history of "30 Rock" had it not aired on NBC during the dark Jeff Zucker years and post-Zucker years, but instead been part of the glory days of NBC's Thursday night lineup. Imagine "30 Rock" immediately following "Seinfeld." A hit, I think...

– May 04, 2012 1:46 PM
Q.

Community

I like Community when I watch it, but for some reason it always sits forever in my DVR queue. But I was just thinking that they must all be pretty stupid considering how long they've been attending a 2-year program. Shouldn't they have graduated by now? Shouldn't Jeff have gotten his legal career back by now?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Yes and yes... maybe the writers should have thought of that.. or made it more clear that a season in real life was not a year in school...

– May 04, 2012 1:47 PM
Q.

Revenge

We're still drinking to it. And Madeline Stowe keeps giving those Smoldering Stares. Is it going to come back next year?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I'm betting....

– May 04, 2012 1:47 PM
Q.

Don't trust the The B___ in Apt. 23

I'm still loving it. How are it's ratings doing?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Sadly, this week's episode only hung on to about half of its "Modern Family" leadin.. But, among 18-49 year olds, "Modern" logged a 2.2 rating and "B---" clocked a 2.0 which these days is considered a good showing... let's focus on that....

– May 04, 2012 1:49 PM
Q.

(Cool) Mom again

I also thought Britney was over the top. Jessica definitely looks out of place all the time in big shoes and some of the clothes. But the grinding from the other night was over the top. I know everyone doesn't get it. I thought maybe I was just being old. But my daughter's reaction (and the reaction of her friends) was definitely negative. They all seem to like her voice but think she needs to stop trying to be a "woman" when she's just not.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I think she's trying to show range... oh, and to do what, you know, JLO TOLD HER TO DO.....you know, fling her hair around, be more "rock and roll," dance more on stage, blah, blah, blah....yes, I blame JLo.

– May 04, 2012 1:51 PM
Q.

Dial Idol

Had P2 dead last and yet he was safe. Had Laine as the only safe one and...well. So there was basically no overlap between phone voters and text voters. This can't be good for the show. How much money do they get from AT&T not to limit the text votes?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I'm sure the clever folks at Fox have figured out how to monetize the text voting... and yes, poor DialIdol seems to be totally over.. They got it all wrong this week -- had Skylar as the only person who was 100 percent not going home....a moment of silence for DialIdol....

– May 04, 2012 1:52 PM
Q.

Missing

Somebody says it skews too old. Does this mean ABC won't renew it?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It means it's not a sure thing...Last night it averaged about 6.3 million viewers and only 1.1 percent of the country's 18-49 year olds. In the age bracket, it tied CW... That is very very bad. One hour later, the very old show "Grey's Anatomy" averaged 3.1 percent of the country's 18-49 year olds to win its timeslot....

– May 04, 2012 1:54 PM
Q.

Show renewals

Any word on whether Person of Interest has been picked up for another season? Still think this is the best new show on TV!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Yes, it has been picked up....It's a JJ show...

– May 04, 2012 1:55 PM
Q.

Parenthood

Will Parenthood be back on the NBC schedule this fall?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

yet to be determined....

– May 04, 2012 1:55 PM
Q.

Community

Many community colleges have 4 year degrees. Jeff would need to go 4 years to get a bachelors, which is probably the degree he faked having in the first place, and so the one he needs to get now.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

oh. then, nevermind....

– May 04, 2012 1:57 PM
Q.

GMA vs Today

Will NBC attempt to address the decline of Today's ratings, or is it just one more passenger overboard on the Titanic? Or should we have an office pool on how much long Ann Curry is parked next to Million Dollar Matt?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

They will make a change soon. It's happened before that the ratings slumped (though not in more than 16 years that it started losing the weekly ratings race) and a "cast" change ensues... That's how Katie Couric landed her job there -- bye bye, Deborah Norville...

– May 04, 2012 1:58 PM
Q.

Bandersnatch Cummerbund

Heard an interview with Benedict "21st century Sherlock Holmes" Cumberbatch on NPR "Morning Edition" today and goodness he talks fast and in run-on sentences just like Sherlock which makes it really hard to follow what he's saying even as himself let alone as when he plays Sherlock on the PBS 3-parter that starts this Sunday, although I must admit he's really articulate and that I'm really looking forward to the new season and hope there'll be a third one as well, and... (whew, I'm out of breath already!).
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

He used to be more charming -- before he got cast in JJ Abrams' new Star Trek flick... now he's making snide comments about "Downton Abbey" second season... not classy.

– May 04, 2012 2:02 PM
Q.

Rob Lowe

Should have held out to play John Edwards in the sadly inevitable Lifetime Movie.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Perfect casting and my guess is Rob Lowe can have any role in any Lifetime flick he wants. Edwards story is perfect for the Lifetime treatment...

– May 04, 2012 2:02 PM
Q.

History vs. Military Channels

Who has more Hitler?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

That one's easy because is now the Pawn Stars network and doesn't have that much actual history. Military Channel wins!

– May 04, 2012 2:03 PM
Q.

Marina del Rey, CA

For Chopin's complete etudes, you're best off listening to Rubinstein's recording...then trying to play what you just heard. Wait, what...this is TV? Oh, sorry...
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

There is absolutely NOTHING I cannot turn into a TV discussion. For instance, I loved George Chakiris as Chopin, in the 70's BBC miniseries about George Sands, that aired on PBS...think it was one of his best performances ever.

– May 04, 2012 2:08 PM
Q.

RE: History vs. Military Channels

Yes, but the History channel has more shows about Hitler's UFOs, so I think it's really a draw.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

it's close yes, but I'm still going with Military Channel...

– May 04, 2012 2:08 PM
Q.

Breaking Bad

Pookie, when does "Breaking Bad" come back?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

July... the network already has started its promo campaign... haven't you seen it?

– May 04, 2012 2:09 PM
Q.

The Middle

I know you've said good things about her before, but after seeing this week's show I just have to chime in: the actress who plays the teenage daughter Sue Hect is the best comedienne on TV. And she was paired in this episode with Whoopi Goldberg, so that says something,
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

she is terrific and it's just wrong she hasn't won an Emmy which I assume is all about her age...

– May 04, 2012 2:10 PM
Q.

E!'s saving! grace!

Just putting an exclamation point at the end of it's name is tacky. But "The Soup" redeems E!. Some weeks it's hands-down the funniest show on TV. I have no interest in "Community" but Joel McHale is great at satirizing the rest of TV. I'll never forget when they intercut clips of that fey black hairdresser posing with his hair blowing and the sunburned Louisiana alligator-hunter in his overalls and no shirt with HIS hair blowing. I wish I could see that again.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I'm sorry but Greg Kinnear was the very best there ever will be in that gig...

– May 04, 2012 2:10 PM
Q.

Bravo used to be the West Wing network

Bravo used to be the West Wing network. I could watch the old reruns every night. Now, it's all crap, 24 hours a day.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Change is good, change is good... there are so many ways, pookster, for you to find epsiodes of "West Wing" but no place else to find "Real Housewives of Fill In the Blank"....

– May 04, 2012 2:11 PM
Q.

Safe space

There is nowhere else for me to make the following confession. I watch Fashion Police with some level of religious dedication - but that is not the confession - the confession is that I actually think Kelly Osbourne is good. Is there any hope for me?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Only if you act quickly...A couple more weeks and you'll be past saving...

– May 04, 2012 2:13 PM
Q.

Body of Proof...

Did this show get new writers? Last couple of episodes they killed off a character (the cute driver of the coroner's van) who didn't add anything to the drama, and then subsequently went all Criminal Minds on us with the blood and gore. Jumping the shark or going for the horror demographic?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Or, "trying to goose the ratings." There's a reason to go all Criminal Minds on us -- because "we" like it... "Criminal Minds" snags a good-sized audience....

– May 04, 2012 2:14 PM
Q.

No one pumps gas anymore

They do in New Jersey and Oregon...the only two states where self serve is illegal.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Illegal? On what grounds? And how do I turn this into a TV discussion.. I think I may finally have been stumped!

– May 04, 2012 2:15 PM
Q.

Jericho - The Second Civil War

I hear Netflix wants to make a third Season. Is it a done deal, or should we start sending nuts?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Yeah, start sending them nuts now....(I can't wait for the news reports about Netflix offices being swamped with nuts.. I miss that story...)

– May 04, 2012 2:16 PM
Q.

B'More Cat Lover

.Lisa de Moraes : Ha -- I have found a whole in your argument: nobody pumps gas any more... In New Jersey they do...why can't New Jerseyians pump their own gas? Have never figured that out.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I just heard! What's up, New Jersey-ians?

– May 04, 2012 2:17 PM
Q.

Pumping gas

It can still be a career, you just have to know where to look! There's no self-serve gas in New Jersey, for example.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Is there a strong gas-pumper lobby in New Jersey or something? Please, somebody, bring me up to speed on this...

– May 04, 2012 2:17 PM
Q.

gas pumped

Ever been to NJ? No self service at the pumps. And this isn't even a euphamism.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

lol....

– May 04, 2012 2:17 PM
Q.

Pumping gas

I thought there were some places (NJ? OR?) where you aren't legally allowed to pump your own gas....
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I can't help thinking this is un-American....or something...

– May 04, 2012 2:18 PM
Q.

Pumping Gas

You need to go to Jersey. As the t-shirt says, "Pump fists, not gas." It's still a 100% full-service state.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

More about T-shirts... I actually love that slogan and an now a complete convert...

– May 04, 2012 2:18 PM
Q.

Nobody pumps gas?

Go to Oregon!!! Self-service is illegal!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

well, now you all know which two states I have never visited....

– May 04, 2012 2:19 PM
Q.

30 Rock

Do the live shows actually improve their ratings? Love the show, hate the live ones. Last week's was painful to watch. And from the increasingly sweat-soaked hair, I was sure Baldwin was moment's from dropping dead of a heart attack.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

1) Baldwin has lost loads of weight.

2) The ratings went up, but only slightly

3) The episode was hilarious if you got the old-show references -- ancient-TV show references maybe not being the best running gag in a show that's targeting 18-34 year olds...

– May 04, 2012 2:21 PM
Q.

"There is absolutely NOTHING I cannot turn into a TV discussion"

Don't forget the great documentary on Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, that's been aired on PBS!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Thank god for PBS or I never could have turned a Chopin mention into a TV discussion. I will never ever again questin the value of PBS

– May 04, 2012 2:22 PM
Q.

please explain what a show runner is-does

You mention a new one for 2 1/2 men and have been hoping for a new one for Smash. This can't be the role of writer or director, can it? 'Cause aren't those people also the creators so it's "their" show? BTW it sure looks on "Smash" like everything is geared towards McP being the star-in-the-wings -- all those fantasy segments w/ her as Marilyn, the director saying he sees her as Marilyn, etc -- so I don't know how you can hope she'll be axed, tho I'm sure you know lots more than I do, starting w/ what a show runner is.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

The show runner is the actual person in charge.. The title of "producer" has become pretty meaningless -- notice how many stars on shows are also listed as "producer" and even "executive producer"... show runner is the commonly used term for the guy who makes it happen. who is often the head writer as well...

– May 04, 2012 2:23 PM
Q.

Re: Fashion Police

Pookie, please tell the nascent Kelly Osbourne fan that he/she can break the addiction cycle, but only by going cold turkey. I (hetero, 40-something male) found myself in exactly the same place during FP's 1st season, right down to finding myself nurturing a "maybe I was wrong bout her" fan-crush on Ms. Osbourne. Thankfully, The Soup was moved to Wednesday, so I was able to beat the Osbourne Fashion Monkey right off my back.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Thank you for this valuable testimonial, and I'm sure all the secret Kelly Osbourne fans out there are greatful for your guidance...

– May 04, 2012 2:24 PM
Q.

"Pump Fists, Not Gas"

I think you've found a way to turn this back around to TV....although it does involve Snookie and the Situation.....
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

thank you..

– May 04, 2012 2:24 PM
Q.

Turning this into a TV discussion

The TV series "Corner Gas" ran for 6 years and is still in re-runs on CTV.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

...and thank you too for coming to my assistance.. you guys are the best...

– May 04, 2012 2:25 PM
Q.

Re: Bandersnatch Cummerbund

Narrated Stephen Hawking's miniseries about space. What a yummy voice.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Gorgeous voice.. But I'm more a  Bill Nighy gal...Bandersnatch Cummerbund always sounds to me like he spends hours listening back to his own voice... You know what I mean -- the Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones vocal style...

– May 04, 2012 2:28 PM
Q.

Illegal? On what grounds? And how do I turn this into a TV discussion.. I think I may finally have been stumped!

Um...on the grounds that it's against the law. (Snark is purely unintentional, I promise...)
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Yes, I know that "illegal," loosely translated, means "against the law"... but how is giving American citizens their god-given right to be denied customer service at a gas station against the law?....how do they feel about ATM's in New Jersey and Oregon? and self-check-in kiosks at the airport? And, while I'm at it, vending machines?

– May 04, 2012 2:31 PM
Q.

Great series idea

I would watch the drama "Byronically ill".
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

it could be a singing competition series. On Lifetime.....

– May 04, 2012 2:31 PM
Q.

Rock Center

I watched the last half this week after "Modern Family". Rock Center was in the White House talking about the night Osama Bin Ladin was killed. It was really interesting - although I am not in the target age group. It seemed like a decent show, how does it stand a chance when the run it against a hit like Modern Family?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It helps NBC amortize the cost of its news operation and fills a hole on the network's swiss-cheese primetime lineup...

– May 04, 2012 2:32 PM
Q.

Corner Gas

I thought I was the only American who has seen Corner Gas. It was like Seinfeld, but funny
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

apparently there are two of you...

– May 04, 2012 2:32 PM
Q.

TV Land Awards

Does anyone else find the TV Land Awards confusing? They used to have nominees, but now seem to have dropped them entirely. It's somewhat interesting to see the cast reunions, but why bother with the arbitrary awarding of trophies? The categories all seem randomly generated. And how is Aretha Franklin a TV Land Icon exactly?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

You're thinking too hard on this one. Which is to say you're thinking....give it up, that's my advice...

– May 04, 2012 2:33 PM
Q.

Turning illegal self-service into tv conversation

I can only speak for Oregon - but it is essentially illegal because its part of Oregon's wacky traditions. There is absolutely no other justification. But, people think Portlandia is made up. But, no, Portland and Oregon like to be silly for the sake of being silly.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I'm all for silliness for its own sake... but what of the ATMs and vending machines?

– May 04, 2012 2:33 PM
Q.

Was Diane Keaton

Drunk on Colbert? The RS says she's just naturally whacky, but my wife doesn't believe that.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Tell your wife she's nuts... like a fox...well, you know what I mean. Colbert usually tries to mow down his "interview" guest and dominate the conversation. It's the first time anyone has thrown him off and kept him off-kilter for the entire interview...he never knew what hit him.. good for her. She was brilliant and I'm a huge fan.

– May 04, 2012 2:35 PM
Q.

How We Never Met Your Mother

Okay, Pookie, we've talked about how bad "The Office" has become, how "2 and 3/4 Men" has lost it, and how "Cougartown" is basically unwatchable at this point, but why hasn't anyone commented on how bad "How I Met Your Mother" has become? This show, which once was actually funny, has devolved into one of the most painful half-hours of supposed comedy television currently on CBS's schedule. I get that it wants to be "the comedy with heart", but seriously, dead fathers, faux pregnancy drama, a stripper who hooks a rich banker and still wants to strip -- it's all become so unbelievably stupid and, worse, unfunny. Honestly, the quality of the show has dropped to a level where it actually almost makes "2 Broke Girls" seem somehow funny -- which might actually be the point of the exercise. I'm sure it's still giving good ratings, but at this point, is there really anyone watching it for any other reason than they're waiting for an answer to the titular question? It's like the show is one great big slot machine, and the viewers feeding coins and keep pulling the handle, just *knowing* that there'll be a jackpot soon. Well, I'm over it -- I no longer need to hang around for the "great unveil" -- I just don't care who the mother is anymore.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

And yet, it's ratings are UP! Which hardly ever happens in a show that's in its seventh season, unless its name is spelled "NCIS."

– May 04, 2012 2:37 PM
Q.

awful VD

When I was in school many years ago, they all taught in health class that VD was awful. Now I have confirmation from your chatters.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

and you thought a TV chat wasn't educational...

– May 04, 2012 2:37 PM
Q.

The Voice

Do you watch? Its taken Idol's place for me, but I'm about to give up on it because of Christina Aguilera - I have to fast forward through anytime she opens her mouth, because she makes it all about her, at least when she's not dogging on her fellow ex-Mouseketeer...
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

she's dreadful... except when she's wearing the bedazzled black platter hat. Then she's hilarious. I can't watch that show.....

– May 04, 2012 2:38 PM
Q.

The Office

Please NBC! Let it die an honorable death! Last night's was one of the worst, even when they used Homer Simpson's alter ego.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's about two seasons too late for "The Office" to die an honorable death. This show is already in the books as one of the better examples of shows that stayed too long at the party... I'm very sorry to break it to you...

– May 04, 2012 2:39 PM
Q.

Those AI producers think of everything!

First off, in response to your question, I thought it was a toss-up between Phil and Skylar as to who should go. Skylar's got a great personality, but she needs to work on her diction and Jimmy put his finger on it -- her interpretations seem to be about being entertaining, which she is, but not about telling the story, which is what singing, especially country singing, is all about. Meanwhile, during the entire Carrie Underwood number with the simulated tornado onstage, there was a National Weather Service warning with a black bar across the top of the screen with a map of Maryland saying "T STORMS WASHINGTON." I thought that was a nice touch!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Great touch. It should have been a toss up between the two, but Phil2 was safe again this week. And you are spot on in re Skylar, as was Jimmy Iovine.. she often does not know what story the song it telling, which is fatal to a country singer... it also explains why she always appears to be singing the same two songs...

– May 04, 2012 2:41 PM
Q.

Pumping Gas Explanation

http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2012/02/why_cant_oregonians_pump_their.html Short answer, it started decades ago when the states were worried that untrained people might blow things up if they were allowed free access to the flammable gas. Since then, it's mostly intertia. Some people claim it provides jobs. Others (esp. in NJ) just grew up that way for so long and don't want to give it up. I read an article where a NJ man compared it to a restaurant and asked whether you would insist on pouring your own coffee or soda when you went to dinner.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

that is sooo sweet and stuck in the 70's... which can only mean there are no ATM's in Jersey, right?

– May 04, 2012 2:42 PM
Q.

Benedict Cumberbatch

I'm SO hoping he's a surprise guest on SNL the night that Mick Jagger hosts, because he could be Mick's younger doppelganger! Imagine the possibilities...
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

My guess is Mr. Cumberbatch would never agree to be a mere cameo -- he's a big deal now that he's been cast in a JJAbrams Star Trek flick... just ask him.

– May 04, 2012 2:44 PM
Q.

Pumping Gas

Reality show?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

... "Real Gas Pumpers of New Jersey?"

– May 04, 2012 2:45 PM
Q.

Adrian Pasdar

Pookie, thanks for the note about Adrian Pasdar joining "Political Animals," and for your nod to the Serious Students of Television who know him from "Heroes." The SSTV's sallower siblings, the Way Too Serious Students of Television, know him best as the star of Fox's brilliant and swiftly killed "Profit." I presume that you are also part of the WTSSTV but thought that "Profit" was too "inside" a reference. Pasdar is excellent and now I want to watch "Political Animals." I am sure USA hopes there are 4 million others like me.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

You presume correct... that, and the fact that he is better known for  "Heroes."  And absolutely USA hopes there are 4 million more like you....

– May 04, 2012 2:48 PM
Q.

Bad guy on Scandal

I want to like "Scandal," but the "Scandal of the Week" aren't much fun so relying more on the on-going plot of the extramartial affairs of the American president. But the evil Chief of Staff is just so obviously the bad guy in every scene and the plot requires the main characters to either forget or ignore his manipulations.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

This show needs to be animated... I think that would fix it.. and on FX...

– May 04, 2012 2:49 PM
Q.

Jessica Sanchez

Whew, I thought I was the only one weirded out by 80 pound, 16 year old Jessica Sanchez dancing in a dress that tight. Then again, I'm originally from Middle America, as Jennifer refers to us.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I thought she looked great...she danced like a chicken, but the dress was hot... especially the chains around her chest...

– May 04, 2012 2:50 PM
Q.

POOKSTER: The Final Word on #30 ROCK's Live show:

In one word: HILARIOUS Signed: 54 year old male (Not desired demographic)
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Ah, but you need to know: 25-54 is the new 18-49... networks are starting to sell more of the former now that they're getting less of the latter... you're still in!

– May 04, 2012 2:50 PM
Q.

This summer

Oh, you who are so wise in the ways of the TV, as we reach the end of another snoozer of a TV season in which I adopted none of the new shows, what am I going to watch this summer?!
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Howard Stern on "America's Got Talent".. Hope you'll join me.

– May 04, 2012 2:51 PM
Q.

Greys anatomy

Who do you think they are going to whack off? Any number of these guys deserve a horrific death.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

I'm hoping they bring back Katherine Heigl's Izzie and kill her ... I was denied the pleasure of seeing Izzie bumped off when Heigl "left" and if there was ever a TV series actress who's character needed killing it was Hiegl and Izzie... honk if you think I'm right...

– May 04, 2012 2:54 PM
Q.

Jonas show

Who would possibly watch a reality show about a Jonas brother?
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

Tweener girls, duh... the same people who watch all those Kardashian shows. This one's a slam dunk... (We're talking about Ryan Seacrest's new E! docu-soap about the Least Interesting Jonas brother, Kevin)...

– May 04, 2012 2:55 PM
Q.

Skylar

Although I think Phil should've been sent packing (he really can't carry a tune!), I voted for Skylar in your "who will be sent packing" poll - is it just me or does she have the most nasal, annoying voice on the show? But here is my real question - who decides how the songs are going to be abbreviated? The butchering of Dusty's song really bugged me this week but that's not the first song that got cut before the key bridge.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's pretty awful but if they didn't do it, the show would be 3 hours long and I could not take that...so please don't complain to Fox

– May 04, 2012 2:56 PM
Q.

Arlington Gay

Thanks for the longer chats lately, Pookie. Highlight of my week.
A.
Lisa de Moraes :

It's my pleasure.. but I'm out of time..Have a lovely weekend and I hope you'll join me next week...

– May 04, 2012 2:57 PM
Q.

 

A.
Host: