TV Gal Recommends Character Rehab

A couple of weeks ago when I was watching "The Office," the strangest thing happened. I actually felt sorry for Roy and -- stop the paper mill -– I was kind of rooting for him. What was happening to me? Part of it may be that Jim's charming flirtation with Karen has made it seem like he has a girl in every office port (not that there's anything wrong with that, I've already sent him directions to where I work). But part of it is that Roy has been through character rehab this season. Suddenly, he's more sympathetic, more sensitive and more caring. He's not the jerk we once knew and we're starting to understand why Pam fell for him in the first place.

Dr. Archie Morris is also going through an intense character rehab over at "ER." Suddenly, this once nincompoop doctor knows what he's doing. After all, he's the only one who realized Shawn Hatosy had a split personality disorder a couple of weeks ago.

Same thing seems to be happening to Taylor Townsend on "The O.C." Who knew that she could actually become a potential love interest for Ryan?

They're not the first TV character to go through rehab. Remember when Spike when from foe to (quasi) friend and romantic interest on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?

Sometime a character is beyond redemption. Really the only solution for Ana Lucia, who had incurred the wrath of far too many fans, was death on "Lost." And there is certainly no saving Kimberly Bauer on "24."

And it occurred to me, we have to get Meredith Grey into a treatment program. Stat. The heroine of "Grey's Anatomy" is becoming increasingly whiny, self-centered and annoying. Why would she ever even flirt with McSteamy? That whole speech she gave him in the elevator about not giving her the look was ridiculous, not to mention that these people spend far too much time in elevators. Why would she even ever agree to go have a drink with him? Only a woman looking for trouble in all the wrong places would do that. They're writing her character all wrong and it's got to stop. Because I think it's sucking the life out of the show. It's not good, not good at all, when I want to fast forward through Meredith's scenes.

Gabrielle on "Desperate Housewives" would benefit from a consistent rehab treatment program. Because they have her storyline on continuous repeat. She fights with Carlos, agrees not to fight with Carlos, fights with Carlos, searches for meaning in her life, realizes she's too shallow, fights with Carlos, well you get the idea.

Who do you think needs to go to character rehab? Talk about it on the TV Gal Message Board.

Quotes of the Week

"It's really slow at the gym. I think fat is coming back." Christine on "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

"Andrew, it's etiquette. Nobody wants to read the truth on Christmas." Bree to her son on "Desperate Housewives."

"I'm this close to splitting a Cobb salad with Sarah Jessica Parker and talking about shoes." Daniel to Betty after he spends all day waiting for Sofia to call him on "Ugly Betty."

"Hi, my name is not Lance, and I'm not an addict." Kellerman to Sara on "Prison Break." Thanks to Amy for the quote.

"I'm homophobic in the way that makes sense." Matt to Harriet on "Studio 60." Thanks to Stephen for the quote.

"It's not gambling when you know you're going to win." Barney to the gang on "How I Met Your Mother." Thanks to Sarah for the quote.

"The town where Rory grew up is like your perfect small town. You expect Professor Harold Hill to move there and sucker everyone into buying band instruments." Rory's new friends about Stars Hollow on "Gilmore Girls." TV Gal reader David remembered that "The Music Man" was shot on the same back lot that is now used for Stars Hollow.

"I'm always one step ahead, like a carpenter, who builds stairs." Andy on "The Office." Thanks to Jarrett for the quote.

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Ginny Lee caught one of my favorites Susanna Thompson, the wonderful Karen on "Once and Again," and Judith on "The Book of Daniel," was Cynthia, the con artist on "Without a Trace" and Lt. Col. Hollis Mann on "NCIS."

Matt Winston was Frank, the patient who talked about himself in the third person on "Grey's Anatomy." Winston starred in last season's "Teachers," was Dr. Jeffrey Steadman on "Scrubs" and Terry on "Six Feet Under."

DJ recognized Jennifer Elise Cox as future Annie on "Nip/Tuck." Cox was Jan in the "Brady Bunch" movies and Tiffany on "Lovespring." You'll see her next week on the new TBS comedy "10 Items or Less."

Mary recognized Debra Monk, who played Katie Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue," was the head of Gabrielle's modeling agency on "Desperate Housewives."

Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Standard Time for Nov. 20 to 26

I hate to say this, but I fear that "How I Met Your Mother" (Monday, CBS, 8 p.m.) is becoming a series whose parts are more funny than its whole? What do you think?

Well, I thought I knew, but I had no idea. The Lorelai/Christopher fans came out in full force last week. They rocked the vote so to speak. They're all for the relationship, they even have dubbed the duo "Lorepher." So I stand corrected: there are quite a few people out there who think Lorelai and her high school sweetheart were meant to be. This week on "Gilmore Girls" (Tuesday, CW, 8 p.m.) Rory's parents must tell her that they tied the knot in Paris.

Good news for fans of "Standoff," and I know you're out there. FOX just picked up the Ron Livingston drama for more episodes. This week Matt and Emily must deal with bank robbers who refuse to negotiate Tuesday at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Everybody get up and do the dance of joy. The CW picked up "Veronica Mars" for seven more episodes. November sweeps are all about guest stars and this one is a doozy. Patricia Hearst guest stars as Selma Rose, the wealthy grand-daughter of the founder of Hearst College on "Veronica Mars." By the way, the Logan/Veronica romance is stressing me out on "Veronica Mars" (Tuesday, CW, 9 p.m.). The way they interact with each other is heart-breaking and so utterly believable. They're so dysfunctional: he's a bad boy who tries to do the right thing and she doesn't trust him to do the right thing. I mean, you can't date someone you spy on. Bad Veronica, very bad. Next week this segment's mystery will wrap up as Veronica figures out who the rapist is. I'm sticking by my fearless prediction that the rapist is a woman. We'll obviously have to talk much more about this once the mystery is solved.

Don't let the latest brouhaha stop you from watching "Madonna: The Confessions Tour Live" Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC. If you couldn't see it live, this is the next best thing. Oooh, hope that didn't bring up bad memories of the material girl's movie.

I love the relationship between Betty and Daniel on "Ugly Betty" (Thursday, ABC, 8 p.m.). I say more of this and less of the masked woman (although that story line gives Vanessa Williams more screen time which I'm a big fan of).

On Thanksgiving Day, Roger Daltrey guest stars on "CSI" (Thursday, CBS, 9 p.m.).

Just want to let everyone know that I'm experiencing something of a John Stamos renaissance. How about you? This week on "ER" (Thursday, NBC, 10 p.m.), it's all Abby all the time.

TNT airs a day long "The Closer" marathon of the first season of the hit series on Thanksgiving Day beginning at 8 a.m. with the pilot episode. If you're a latecomer to this great series, tune in to see how it all began. This is all to prepare you for the special episode coming on Monday, Dec. 4.

I have to say I was way too excited that Emmitt Smith beat out Mario Lopez on "Dancing with the Stars." I just wasn't picking up what Lopez was putting down and there was such joy to Smith's dancing. To see a younger Lopez (and check out any of his earlier dance moves) spend your day with a "Saved By the Bell" marathon beginning at noon on TBS.

Perhaps I need to reissue my threat to "7th Heaven" (Sunday, CW, 8 p.m.), it is so on if you kill Reverend Camden. And why are they making Ruthie such a brat? I mea,n she's always been a little self-centered but the Ruthie I know wouldn't still not want to come home after Lucy tells her that their dad has a heart condition. Seriously, the show has gone off the deep end.

That's all for today. I'll be back next week to talk about "Friday Night Lights" (scoot over because I'm getting on the bandwagon), the fall finale of "Prison Break," and discuss the very important topic of is "My Name Is Earl" still funny. And don't forget -- coming in December the best of everything television –- the best shows, the best characters, the best moments and the quotes of the year. So send me your favorite TV moments and quotes of 2006. Have a question, seen a familiar face, want to nominate a quote of the week, write me at amytvgal@zap2it.com.

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