Did you ever read "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"?
That's the book where the kids hide out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
It was one of my favorite books when I was younger and it was exactly how I felt when I visited the set of "How I Met Your Mother." Like maybe I should find a secret hiding place and stay there. You know, pop up as their long lost friend from Boston.
I didn't want to stay on the set of "24." Clearly CTU is so not safe.
I was afraid to stay at "Studio 60" for fear Danny may start stalking me. And I was simply not fashionable enough to hang out at Mode on the set of "Ugly Betty."
But I so could have moved into "How I Met Your Mother." The set is extremely authentic and homey. There's even real snacks at the bar and real food in Ted's refrigerator. (Although I didn't try to eat anything. Who knows how long it's been there?)
And watching the cast nuance the jokes was fascinating. It's amazing what an oh-so-slight alteration to your inflection or facial expression can do.
My major complaint with "HIMYM" has been that its parts were greater than its whole. Love the jokes, love the characters but somehow the whole episode doesn't always come together.
I feel as if that is changing as the show is coming into its own in its second season. The slap bet, the Robin Sparkles video, naked Marshall, learning about everyone's first time (Barney as Patrick Swayze in "Dirty Dancing"? Legendary) have been highlights this season. The show's genius is that it continues to capture how a real group of friends talk.
How do you think "How I Met Your Mother" is doing this season? Talk about it on the TV Gal message board or write me at email@example.com
Where Have I Seen Them Before?
Sue recognized Michael Mitchell as Bronson the leader of PHAT and potential new love interest for Mac on "Veronica Mars." Mitchell played Derek on "Invasion" last season. He also guest starred in the pilot of "Standoff" this season.
Katie recognized Rachel Boston as the Amish woman shunned by her community on "Grey's Anatomy." Boston was Beth on "American Dreams" and earlier this season, in a turn of events I still find upsetting, hit on Eric as the twin's teacher on "7th Heaven."
Here's a fun familiar face. David Hunt is playing Darren McCarthy, the British man apparently behind the terrorist attacks on "24." He's the real life husband of Patricia Heaton ("Everybody Loves Raymond") and he played neighbor Bill Parker on "Raymond."
Rena Sofer was Jack's sister-in-law Marilyn on "24" (who he apparently has some sort of romantic past with). Sofer is playing Heidi Petrelli on "Heroes." She was Susan on the short-lived "Coupling," Christie on "Blind Justice," Bonnie on "Ed" and Eve all those years ago on "Melrose Place." Melissa wanted me to remind you that she was also Zack's love interest in "Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style."
Quotes of the Week
"That is awesome times awesome. That is awesome squared!" Ted after seeing the pictures of a naked Marshall on "How I Met Your Mother." Thanks to Sarah for the quote.
"Why do people I know keep dying?" Chloe to Morris on "24." Thanks to Barry for the quote.
"Oh you. I thought we were done with you." Michel to Luke on "Gilmore Girls." Oh Michel we are far from done with Luke.
"It's fantastic. It's like dinner theater." Senator McAllister to Kitty about her mother's 60th birthday party on "Brothers & Sisters."
"I know you all have your messy love lives, and your secrets and your silliness but I want more." Bailey to Derek, Burke, Addison and Mark on "Grey's Anatomy."
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Time for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4
TV Gal reader John has suggested that perhaps my TiVo just isn't that into me. And I fear he could be right. Before I left for LA, TiVo decided to freeze on CBS like it wanted to make sure I didn't miss "CSI" or something. Well, I calmly explained to TiVo that I simply did not have time for such nonsense and gave it a stern talking to and a reboot of the system. That seemed to do the trick. TiVo recorded all my shows while I as gone (nice TiVo, good TiVo), but I'm telling you the trust between my TiVo and I has been irrevocably broken. Thankfully it recorded "The Class" (Monday, CBS, 8:30 p.m.) so I was able to attend my Monday night "The Class" support group.
The show has decided to focus on the three core relationships: Duncan and Nicole, Lina and Richie and Kat and Ethan. But it's seriously like Holly Ellenbogen has entered some sort of Bad Sitcom Witness Protection Program. This is when you realize how heartless the TV business can be. Sans explanation, Lucy Punch has been removed from the opening credits and it appears as if no one will ever speak of her character again. The last we saw, Sara Gilbert's Fern was threatening her. Are we supposed to think Fern killed Lucy? And if so, is that funny? My strange fascination with "The Class" remains. I can't seem to stop watching the show (help me). I love Sara Gilbert and they made her play the most despicable unsavory character and I still couldn't stop watching. As I said, help me.
David loved the fact that last week's episode of "Prison Break" (Monday, FOX, 8 p.m.) was called "John Doe," since that the series Dominic Purcell used to star in on FOX. Despite my quibbles with the series (seriously I can't take it any more with T-Bag's hand), Kellerman is quickly becoming one of my favorite TV character this season.
I love how "24" can simply decide that Jack has a brother, a father, a nephew and a sister-in-law. That's the beauty of showing us one day of his life over five seasons. Such good times that evil Graham is his brother (although raise your hand if you think the producers decided to make that up this season). They basically could tell us anything at this point (um yeah Jack used to be a ballet dancer and that's why he's so nimble and quick) and we'd believe it. This week (Monday, FOX, 9 p.m.), Chad Lowe, who I will be forever loyal to because he was Jesse on "Life Goes On," joins the cast. Now all we need is for Senator McAllister of "Brothers & Sisters" to drop by.
Here I am telling you to please watch "Studio 60" (Monday, NBC, 10 p.m.) and there they are turning Josh, um I mean Danny, into a stalker. He's quickly crossed the line from charmingly pursuing Jordan to being kind of scary. Let's hope the show wraps this up very quickly because I don't like it one bit. I'll buy into the dichotomy that Matt and Danny are together in their professional lives and a mess in their personal lives (witness Matt's bidding for a date with Harriet) but Aaron Sorkin is taking it too far. Like the first season of "The West Wing," "Studio 60" is still trying to find the right balance. My only fear is that they won't get a second season to smooth everything out.
My biggest TV complaint is when a series develops a plot line that is so obviously not the direction the show is going to permanently go in that everyone is just waiting for it to be resolved and for order to be restored. That's exactly how I feel about the Christopher/Lorelai marriage on "Gilmore Girls" (Tuesday, CW, 8 p.m.). It's becoming increasingly clear that no one has any intention of keeping these two together. It's a big waste of time. Their marriage continues to unravel this week.
I'm telling you I really don't have the constitution for this part of "American Idol" (Tuesday, FOX, 8 p.m.). I get too embarrassed for the bad singers who think they are good and too upset about the mediocre singers who have their dreams crushed. Can't wait for Hollywood Week. Simply can't wait.
NBC isn't showing "Friday Night Lights" (Wednesday, NBC, 8 p.m.) any love so it's up to me to remind you of how good this show has become. It's funny, poignant and portrays the characters in a very messy and real way. I love how Tara can be so devoted to her mother yet still bitchy to Lila. This week folks are none too thrilled about Lila's recent engagement.
I was so happy that Alex told Addison he wasn't interested in her on "Grey's Anatomy" (Thursday, ABC, 9 p.m.). Let's hope that sticks because I've had it with all the bed hopping on that show. Also does anyone else think the math doesn't work with Addison being pregnant with Mark's baby? Maybe only less than eight months have passed since she arrived in Seattle but it has been three television seasons.
Karen finally confronts Pam about her relationship with Jim on "The Office" (Thursday, NBC, 8:30 p.m.
From time to time, I check in on "7th Heaven" (Sunday, CW, 8 p.m.) just to make sure they haven't, you know, killed off Eric or anything and the whole Ruthie/sex episode was almost too much for me to take. Can you imagine what will happen if they actually have a 12th season of this show?
That's all for today. I'll be back next week with a review of the return episode of "Lost," thoughts on "Brothers & Sisters," "What About Brian" and much, much more. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.