I'm back from vacation and before I get to today's column, I would like to have a little tete-a-tete with the world of television. It's nice that you missed me. Really it is. But do you really need to be so dramatic every time I go away?
Let's take a gander at a few of the things that happened while I was skiing:
Donna and Josh Kiss on "The West Wing": Um, we have been wanting this forever (that's forever ever) and then you wait until I'm gone, when I can't talk to my people about it, to have these star-crossed lovers finally lock lips. Oh, cruel, cruel TV, how you mock me. So the kiss really was most excellent. And even more excellent was Donna slipping Josh her room key -- because, that's right, it's so not inappropriate for these two to get together. Such good times that I almost can't even discuss it. But then what does "The West Wing" do? They don't even show Donna on the next episode. Oh, how you mock me. You giveth and then you snatcheth away. There are a million questions swirling around in my head (starting with, why does it look like they took a curling iron to Ron Silver's hair?) But we all know what has to happen before the series ends its run. I'm waiting patiently for my wedding invitation.
Tony Dies on "24": See, I should have been very suspicious when Carlos Bernard told me that Tony was supposed to die in this season's premiere. Did the show basically keep Tony alive just to make his inevitable death all the more painful? Because it totally worked. When was the last time we saw Jack cry real tears? Combined with the untimely deaths of Edgar and Lynn, it's been a bloodbath over at "24." But the upside is that Curtis and Buchanan (the two characters I've been most worried about because let's be honest, things never go too well for the head of CTU) have to survive at least a little bit longer or there will be no one left. Truly, "24" is only forgiven because they brought back Wayne Palmer (played by one of my favorites D.B. Woodside), swiftly kicked Kim to the curb (will she stay away?) and continues to give Aaron some serious drama this season.
Audrey Is a Traitor on "24": Those of you who read my column regularly know this was my rallying cry last season. My theory was that Audrey was such a boring, whiny character that the only way to redeem her was to have her turn out to be evil. But this season, aided by a snazzy new haircut and some melodramatic eyewear, Audrey has been this season's most rehabilitated character. So as much as I would like to gloat in some sort of "I told you so" glory, my guess is that Audrey isn't a traitor at all. And while I'm on my fearless predictions I'm convinced that Nina, Dina or Sherry Palmer is behind all of this somehow. I don't care if they are all supposed to be dead.
Kevin Is Kicked off from "American Idol": Okay, let me be clear. I think American made the correct decision but you know how I like to be right and I was convinced that little Chicken Little would make it to the top ten and go on tour. But at least my final four are still in and I am more sure than ever that Mandisa will be the next "American Idol."
"Veronica Mars" not a lock for the new CW schedule: Um, what is this? At first the new CW was all about the scrappy blond detective and now we're not sure? It is bad enough that I have to worry about "Everwood." Is TV trying to kill me? Is this payback for adding "Freddie" to my season pass list on my TiVo? "Veronica Mars" moves back to Tuesday nights and away from "American Idol" at 9 p.m. staring April 11.
What else happened on TV while I was away that you want to talk about? Go to the TV Gal Message board to discuss.
Assignment of the Week
You simply must tune in for the two-hour return of "Everwood" Monday night at 8 p.m. on The WB. When I was growing up my mom would always know what I was up to even when she wasn't around. She used to say she had eyes in the back of her head. And I learned a lot from my mom, so if you don't tune in I will know. And I will be very disappointed in you. "Everwood," the best family drama on TV and one of the best dramas on TV, needs our love and support right now. Help me, help "Everwood," by tuning in.
Quotes of the Week
"I feel like I'm trapped in some high school musical and I want to leave." Simon on "American Idol."
"Shall I sing to your belly? I'm hazy as to why I would do this. But I distinctly recall these sort of shenanigans on the last season of 'Mad About You.'" Jack to Grace on "Will & Grace." I'm happy any time the word "shenanigans" is used.
"People don't like me." Ana-Lucia to Sayid on "Lost." Thanks to Jacquie and Josh who were the first to send me this very true and very popular quote.
"I swear to God I like you Christina, I really do. But I grew up in a trailer park and I'm not above kicking your pampered little Beverly Hills ass." Izzy to Christina on "Grey's Anatomy." Thanks to Michelle for the quote.
"You're good at math. How many times does 24 go into 48?" Meryl to Sam on "The Loop." Thanks to Shawn for the quote. I can't believe I forgot to tell you to watch this very funny show before I left for vacation. Bad TV Gal. Very bad.
"Well, this morning I woke up with a guy in my bed that I'll probably never see again, and I just watched one of my best friends die right in front of me, so I guess not that great." Chloe to Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) when asked how she's doing on "24." Thanks to Paul for capturing the entire quote.
Where Have I Seen Them Before?
We were all so excited to see Henry Ian Cusack, Desmond on "Lost," on another series, brother. He was German agent Theo Stoller on "24." That's excellent work by Cusack to land himself on two of the most talked about shows this season. Thanks to Dyan, Neil and Steve who were the first to recognize this extremely popular familiar face.
Timothy Olyphant, Seth Bullock on "Deadwood," was the Billy Reed (who slept with five women) on "My Name Is Earl." Thanks to Al who was the first to catch this familiar face.
Melanie and Anne were the first to catch David Denman, Roy on "The Office," was the dead woman's fiance on "Bones." And we all liked that this was a little reunion between star David Boreanaz and Denman, who played Skip on "Angel."
Josh wanted me to remind everyone that Michele Hicks, who plays Detective Amy Sykes on "Heist," is Shane's wife Mara on "The Shield."
Rachel Chagall, Val on "The Nanny," popped up on "What I Like About You" as one of the woman who got chocolate from Lauren. Thanks to Diane for catching this familiar face.
Where Have I Seen That Before
Brandon was the first to let me know that on "Bones," Temperance went to dinner at Nolita's from the cancelled-too-soon "Kitchen Confidential." And yes this catch does deserve some bonus points.
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Standard for March 27 to April 2
I agree that the return of "Prison Break" was a little ho-hum and slow moving. But I promise you that this week's episode (Monday, FOX, 8 p.m.) and the April 3 episode (that's the flashback one) really begins to escalate the action.
This week the Top 10 contestants are singing songs from the 21st century on "American Idol" (Tuesday, FOX, 8 p.m.) But will they sing any Kelly Clarkson songs?
You'll be able to choose the gender and name of Carla and Turk's baby by going to www.nbc.com/Scrubs starting on Tuesday. And don't miss the big announcement on "Scrubs" (Tuesday, NBC, 9 p.m.).
NBC's new show "Teachers" premieres Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. And I would love to tell you all about it. Unfortunately, the DVD NBC sent me didn't work, but what I can tell you that the series stars Kali Rocha (the ever fabulous Halfrek on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Sarah Shahi from "The L Word."
The marvelous Andre Braugher stars in the new FX series "Thief" (premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m.). I know between "Heist," "Conviction," "The Evidence" and "The Unit," it's hard to keep all these shows straight, but "Thief" is the one you should make a point to watch. As he was on "Homicide," Braugher is positively mesmerizing. You won't be able to take your eyes off him. And Mae Whitman is terrific as his stepdaughter. Four stars.
There are so many upsetting things about "The Bedford Diaries" (Wednesday at 9 p.m. on the WB.) As a long time fan of Milo Ventimiglia, it's disappointing to see him in such drivel. And I still can't quite figure out why Matthew Modine agreed to play a Human Behavior and Sexuality professor. But what is most disturbing is that this show comes from Tom Fontana, the brilliant mind behind "Homicide," one of my all time favorite series. When I first watched "The Bedford Diaries" over the summer, I actually gasped out loud when I saw his name. This show isn't even worthy of a stared review, for now I'll simply say BOOOOOOOO.
Oh my god, y'all. Britney Spears is guest starring on "Will & Grace" y'all. Sean Preston's mom is Jack's new co-host Thursday at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.
It's raining guest stars on "Grey's Anatomy" (Sunday, ABC, 10 p.m.). Chris O'Donnell, Mare Winnigham and Laurie Metcalf will all appear in this week's episode. And here's a little trivia question for you. What role was Laurie Metcalf supposed to play this season? She was originally cast as Karen Hayes, the Homeland Security official trying to take over CTU on "24."
That's all for today. I'm still catching up from my vacation (I even brought my TiVo a gift while I was away) but I'll be back next week with thoughts on "Lost," "Veronica Mars," "The Office," "Everwood" and the premiere of "Pepper Dennis." Have a question, seen a familiar face, have an inside scoop or want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at email@example.com.