Screen Savor: Newsy Bits

Mad Men returns for its third season this coming Sunday at 10 p.m. on AMC. In June, Variety reported that the show will be running a few minutes past the hour each week, so set your VCRs and DVRs accordingly — unless you have a service like TiVo that gets programming signals and should be "aware" of this.

If you like such reference works as Nikki Stafford's excellent
Lost companions and are among Mad Men's discerning viewers, by the way, Nikki herself recommends Jesse McLean's Kings of Madison Avenue, out any day now, offering episode analysis, cast bios, and supplementary material on the show's milieu.

The creator and showrunner of Mad Men, Matthew Weiner, is notoriously averse to spoilers, so we don't know much of anything about what's coming up in Season Three. I'm okay with that.

Fans of
CSI have been abuzz about a departure, a return, and an adjustment on the original series. I've only seen the stories on the EW and TV Guide websites (that's TV Guide Magazine, actually, which split off from the now purely online a while back even though they still share a logo), but a quick Google reveals that reportage and discussion are heated. Me, I don't really care what led to Jorja Fox's decision to leave or to return; that's her business, and I'm just glad that Sara Sidle's back for a while as long as it doesn't mean her relationship with Grissom went south — or further south, since last we saw they hooked up in Costa Rica.

What bums me up is the departure of Lauren Lee Smith, whose Riley Adams apparently suffered from viewer backlash as Sidle's replacement and from lack of attention creatively when Laurence Fishburne joined the cast. I liked the understated strength and snarkitude that we saw before she was back-burnered. There are also plans to portray Fishburne's Ray Langston as more of a veteran, which to an extent makes sense as character development, but I liked that he stuck out as a bit of an odd duck, older than most of his colleagues yet a rookie after his career change; hopefully his professorial bent won't disappear completely.

reported the other day was that Langston will be crossing over to the other editions of CSI for November sweeps. I don't think I ever caught CSI: New York beyond the first episode, mostly 'cause I was already watching the other two plus the procedural Without a Trace. I've since given up on CSI: Miami (in my defense, the series debuted at a time when my apartment didn't have cable, and the colors were fun), but as mentioned back in March CSI: Las Vegas has stayed fresh to me and I'll probably give in to this gimmick out of curiosity.

Lost doesn't return for its sixth and final season until early next year, but ABC and the producers have been doling out some tantalizing teasers. In one of the promo spots that pretend the network's characters all know one another, Dominic Monaghan is seen playing foosball with Grey's Anatomy's Patrick Dempsey, An American Family's Ed O'Neill, and Cougar Town's Courtney Cox when he refers to himself as having been dead. The video debuted not long after Lost's potentially game-changing season finale, when either the mysterious Jacob, the detonation of a hydrogen bomb near the Island's magnetic lode, or both may have reset the characters' timelines — leaving viewers to wonder whether Monaghan was indeed speaking as Charlie Pace, especially since Dempsey is called Derek, not Patrick. Consensus seemed to be that Monaghan's line referred to his death on Lost and his "revival" as another character on ABC's upcoming Flash Forward, which despite its title has no relation to Lost.

It's been known since last year that Emilie De Ravin would be absent as Claire during Season Five yet return for Season Six in 2010, however, and the one relationship on the series that doesn't seem to either bore or bitterly divide the fan base, besides Rose and Bernard's, is Charlie and Claire's. Then producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse revealed at San Diego's Comic-Con International that Ian Somerhalder would be returning to Lost as Boone, who died in the first season, for an unspecified number of episodes — although probably not in any great capacity, given his commitment to new CW series The Vampire Diaries — after confirmation that Elizabeth Mitchell's Juliet and even Jeremy Davies' Faraday would be seen again, too, despite Mitchell's participation in ABC's series remake of V.

That all fueled new speculation over the reality-altering plotline and new hope that we'd see Charlie again as more than just another brief vision of Hurley's, even before Monaghan's surprise appearance at the end of a Lost panel at Comic-Con. I'd like to see Charlie and Claire reunite in some fashion, but with Lost getting what you wish for may not always turn out to be a good thing.


Arben said...

<< What bums me up is >> Ha! Ya gotta love them Festrunk Brothers... Yeah, I liked her. Wife enjoys The L Word, so it took some getting used to seeing her on CSI but I'm sorry to see her go. I don't know why it had to be either/or with her or Jorja Fox, though.

Benny said...

I've been denying myself Mad Men just because I hate starting watching something new only to get caught in it!

As for Lost, let's not forget the message Dom supposedly had on his hand when he waved to the audience:

Am I dead?

He's been a referenced character often and a key cog in the show. The ABC promo, the Dexter Straton ring, the Comi-Con appearance... these can't all be coincidences.

I'm coming up with a theory that I'm not sure I want to post yet, I want to elaborate on it in more details before giving it out!