The cast of Gossip Girl spent the summer on extravagant vacations (in both TV-land and reality), but it seems the rest of the world isn’t too interested in their homecoming.
Thursday’s premiere finished with a 36 per cent decrease in viewers, compared to the 2008 premiere. It’s a shocking drop for a show whose cast spent their time off in the spotlight, generating a real-time version of gossip.
Leighton Meester made the music press recording a single with Cobra Starship and launching her personal MySpace with plans for a debut solo album.
Chace Crawford was voted this summer’s hottest bachelor by People Magazine, beating out the smouldering Robert Pattinson and, unexpectedly, Dwayne Johnson (better known as The Rock).
So Michael Scott is parading around in a fat suit, Angela Martin is throwing hourly hissy fits, and Dwight Schrute is attacking baked goods in the name of his boss’s honour. Yup, sounds like The Office is back for another season of small-town shenanigans. The fifth season premiere revolves around a contest set up by corporate to promote healthy living, in which the prize for the firm that loses the most weight is three extra vacation days. Wow, what a prize. I am quitting my job and applying at Dunder-Mifflin ASAP.
In week 1, the Scranton team manages to lose 31 pounds collectively, but it’s all downhill from there. We learn that Pam is peacing out of Scranton to attend art school in New York City for three months, while the rest of The Office crew begins a weekly ritual of stepping onto a gigantic scale to measure their collective weight.
Everyone in Dunder-Mifflin Scranton has their own weight loss method. Stanley proclaims he’s already losing weight for himself by eating better and exercising. Alternatively, Kelly Kapoor has chosen a cleanse diet which involves drinking a mixture of “maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and water” (and possibly crack cocaine since she looks like an addict going through withdrawal). By week 3, the staff has gained back 5 pounds and Kelly has won an express ticket to the emergency room.
Meanwhile, Pam starts off having a bit of a rough time at school but becomes more optimistic when she tells Jim she “made friends”. Poor Pam. Sadly, no one told her the generic big –boned fellow with a questionable sexual preference who makes mildly humorous comments will talk to anyone.
Back in Scranton, Pam’s replacement, Ronnie, isn’t working out so well (Michael: “Weirdo! Why are you such a weirdo?!”). So Michael decides to scrape the bottom of the metaphorical secretary barrel and hires back former temp, Ryan Howard. Ryan returns with a new outlook on life, kicking ass and taking names. No, literally. He is now recording all the names of those who wronged him in a notebook so he can get back at them when he’s back on top. It takes all of 5 minutes for both Jim and Dwight to get their names in the book. Oh and by the way, he’s totally infatuated with Kelly now.
This episode also sees Angela and Andy planning their wedding. Or rather, Andy planning about 17 grandiose weddings (hot air balloon over Napa Valley?) and Angela rejecting all of them and sneaking off to the warehouse to fool around with Dwight (Wait, did I just accidentally change the channel to Grey’s Anatomy?).
In a similar (but far less creepy) romantic vein, Oscar offers to set Holly (the new HR girl) up with his yoga instructor, much to Michael’s chagrin. Holly goes out with Yoga Guy a couple of times but seems to give up on him after he ignores her invite to a Counting Crows concert. When Michael learns of this, he claims the guy must be “loco” and offers to buy the concert tickets from Holly. She thinks he’s going to invite her but because he’s a total idiot he rips them up in her face instead. Smooth.
By week 5 of the weight loss contest, corporate is disappointed in the results and has upped the prize to 5 vacations days. Seriously, Dunder-Mifflin! Where do I sign up?! Of course, the Scranton staff take even more desperate measures at this point. Kelly swallows a tapeworm she got from Creed (Creed: “that wasn’t a tapeworm”), Michael dresses up in a fat suit (everyone knows he’s doing ‘Michael Klump’, a character who comes complete with a bad ghetto accent and is allegedly a celebration of fat people), and Dwight suggests that three ‘random’ staff members get liposuction on their own tab. Shocker: it’s Phyllis, Stanley, and Kevin.
In addition, Dwight convinces Phyllis that he is bringing her on a surefire sales call and then proceeds to desert her at an abandoned warehouse without her purse so she is forced to walk back to the office (Michael: “it was basically a death march”).
Despite a last ditch-effort which involves Andy turning up the thermostat in the office (“Andy Bernard does not lose contests. He wins them. Or he quits them…because they’re unfair”), the Scranton branch loses to Utica by 8 pounds. But all is not lost. After much hesitation Jim asks Pam to meet him for lunch and he winds up proposing to her in the rain. Cliché? Probably. Of course she accepts, and Jim makes it back in time (Andy: “Wet Tuna!”) to hear Michael declare that he’s not disappointed; he still thinks they “are all gigantic losers.” Good talk Michael, see you out there.
Television addicts rejoice: “Lost” is back!
Notoriously secretive, producers producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof would only spill a single line of dialogue to Entertainment Weekly.com: ”I’m thinking of growing a beard.” But who will speak this crucial line? Oh, the suspense!
For the answer to that burning question – along with other little ones like, say, will the Losties be rescued or do they face certain death? – be sure to check tune in to CTV at 8 p.m. ET.
With most shows on hiatus until the Writer’s Guild of America strike is resolved, the intense series can probably expect huge ratings for tonight’s 2-hour season premiere event.
Need a refresher on what the heck is going on? Check out EW.com’s cheat sheet.
24 fans rejoice! Not only will Jack Bauer (Canadian Kiefer Sutherland) officially be returning to television on January 13, but Tony Almeida will be by his side once again.
Though Tony (Carlos Bernard) presumably died due to injuries from the terrorist car bombing that killed his wife, Michelle, the writers did leave a small hint at his survival.
A customary tribute to deceased characters is for the famous digital clock to tick silently after the last appearance of the departed. Tony did not receive such a farewell, despite being one of the show’s most beloved and trusted characters.
Tony’s resurrection isn’t the only surprise in store for our hero Jack. Season 7 will find CTU disbanded, and all the edge-of-your-seat action moved from Los Angeles to Washington.
Fan faves Chloe O’Brian and Bill Buchanon (Mary Lynn Rajskub and James Morrison) are the only other known returning cast members. Newcomers this season include Cherry Jones, Janeane Garofalo, Colm Feore, Annie Wersching, Jeffrey Nordling, John Billingsley and Rhys Coiro.
Be sure to tune into the 4-hour season premiere event in January, on Sunday 13 and Monday 14.
When Desperate Housewives returns for its fourth season on September 30, Canadians will see a familiar face: Edmonton’s own Nathan Fillion.
Fillion, 36, will play Adam, a gynecologist and the much younger second husband to Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delaney) who moves to the neighbourhood from Chicago. Just like all Desperate characters, Fillion’s fictional family has a secret dark past which will unravel as the season progresses. Of Fillion and Delaney’s characters, series creator Marc Cherry told TV Guide, “They had to leave Chicago because something unsavory happened in Adam’s professional life.”
Fillion joins the cast after his Fox series Drive was cancelled in April. Only four of the six produced episodes were aired. His breakout role was that of Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the cult hit (and unjustly cancelled) Firefly, along with its film adaptation Serenity. Fillion’s recent small film Waitress, co-starring Keri Russell, was a critical darling.
Desperate Housewives will air in its regular timeslot, Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.