TV Gal Changes Her Mind

I'm not going to lie to you.

I was going to write a positively evil column today. With all the bloodletting happening on our favorite series these days, I was going to write a column about the characters I would like to see, as the saying goes, take a long walk off a short bridge.

See, totally evil? Promoting that people lose their jobs? That's just mean, mean, mean. I should be forced to watch a nonstop marathon of "Teachers," Unan1mous" and "South Beach" as punishment.

Then I thought: Is that the May sweeps spirit? Is that any way to begin to say goodbye to the 05/06 season? I think not.

So, instead, I decided to celebrate some stand out performances this season from some of the more minor characters. The folks who have stepped out of the opening credits and into our hearts.

Richard Burgi as Karl on "Desperate Housewives": We all know that "Desperate Housewives" has made some mistakes this season (heck, even the show doesn't seem to care about Betty Applewhite anymore), but its smartest move was adding the delightful Burgi to the full time cast. Burgi, who makes the most out of every scene he's in, is deliciously smarmy but charming enough to make us understand why Susan would fall for his shtick. As many of you pointed out, even Tom Selleck stole a page from his playbook this week on "Boston Legal."

Amy Acker as Kelly Peyton on "Alias": A few years ago, we realized how utterly talented Acker was when she went from sweet Fred to evil smurfy Illyria on "Angel." This season as Prophet Five's wicked anti-Sydney, she's kicked the drama up a notch with her cool nefarious style. Thank goodness we saw her finger move last week or I would have been upset. On a show like "Alias," it's particularly good when you like the bad guy.

Glenn Morshower as Agent Aaron Pierce and DB Woodside as Wayne Palmer on "24": One of the more brilliant things about "24," is that they always put the story first and give opportunities to lesser known actors. Wayne as an action hero? Loyal Aaron smitten with the first lady? I am so there. Both actors effortlessly transitioned to the center of the drama this season and have created such goodwill with the audience that we're immediately caught up in their drama.

Joe Gannascoli as Vito Spatafore on "The Sopranos": As you know, I've been less than thrilled with the mob drama this season. But the Vito story line is such a different direction for the show and is evoking such a different reaction in Tony that for the first time I found myself thinking, "I can't wait to see what happens next."

Kyle Gallner as Beaver on Veronica Mars: Sweet but with secrets. Seemingly shy but using his stepmother to make a fortune. How upset will I be if Beaver is behind the bus crash?

What other less recognized performances are you enjoying this season? Talk about it on the TV Gal message board.

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Jeanette Bronx was the woman who was raped on "Crossing Jordan." She was Dex last season on "Jack & Bobby." Angela Goethals was the wife of the baseball player accused of rape. Goethals was Maya Driscoll last season on "24" and Angela on "Phenom." And we saw her this season as the patient who couldn't stop blushing on "Grey's Anatomy." Paul Wesley was the ball player who was secretly gay. Wesley was Tommy on "American Dreams," Amy's bad boy boyfriend Tommy on "Everwood," Donnie on "The O.C." and Lucas Luthor on "Smallville." Nick Wechsler, Kyle on "Roswell," was the man who had actually committed the rape.

Daniel Bess is the hunky yoga instructor Steve on "What About Brian." He's best known as Rick on the first season of "24." Jon Hamm, Inspector Nate Basso on "The Division," was the hunky parent hitting on Deena. Jud Tylor was Lisa, the first woman Brian slept with. She's also currently playing Hyde's wife Samantha on "That 70's Show."

Gina Torres, Zoe on "Serenity" and "Firefly" and who will see this week reprising her role as Anna Espinosa on "Alias," was the woman who ran the shelter on "Without a Trace." We saw Torres earlier this season as Kavanaugh's ex-wife Sadie on "The Shield."

Kate and Shawn were the first to catch Gale Harrold, Brian on "Queer as Folk," was the station manager on "The Unit."

Quotes of the Week

"An unmarried woman, alone, of a certain age, dressed the way I dress, apparently is Korean for Jenna Jameson." Lorelai to Christopher on "Gilmore Girls." Thanks to Gil for the quote.

"Although the lesbian thing, with Jennifer Beals. It's not bad." Tony discussing homosexuality with a shout out to "The L Word" on "The Sopranos."

"Let's be honest Syd. Right now you waddle." Dixon to Sydney on "Alias."

"What are we the A train? Everybody gets to ride with us?" T-Bag to the gang on "Prison Break."

Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Standard Time for April 24 to 30

Pucker up. Michael smooches Sara on "Prison Break" (Monday, FOX, 8 p.m.). I've said it before and I'll say it again -- girlfriend so needs to get out more.

You'll get a chance to see how an episode of "How I Met Your Mother" (Monday, CBS, 8 p.m.) comes together. Starting April 24, you can go to for a tour of the set, a look at the weekly table read and cast rehearsal. Who knows? It might even be, wait for it, legendary. This week, Barney sets Ted up and Ted decides to try to make Robin jealous. That's two bad ideas in one episode.

Kelly Carlson (Kimber on "Nip/Tuck") descends on "Everwood" (Monday, WB, 9 p.m.).

Lane and Zach's wedding on "Gilmore Girls" (Tuesday, WB, 8 p.m.) brought such a smile to my face, that it's really hard for me to stay mad at the show.

Talk about an actor who make the hilarious most of his limited screen time. It's all about the Todd this week on "Scrubs" (Tuesday, NBC, 9 p.m.). Carla and Elliot decide they are going to figure if Todd's constant sexual innuendos are compensating for something else.

So my friend and I were watching "Alias" (Wednesday, ABC, 8 p.m.) last week and during the "previously on 'Alias'" part she turned to me and asked, "What's Prophet Five?" Well I'm not that bad but it was mighty confusing popping back into Sydney's world. We simply cannot continue to waste time with Thomas Grace and Rachel Gibson. Grace is such a boring character I don't even care if he turns out to be a double agent. Do you? But I'm thrilled to think that Papa Bristow was in on the whole "Vaughn faked his own death" shenanigans from the beginning. This week's marks the 100th episode of the series and the return of your friend and mine Will Tippin.

Lisa Tucker got the boot from "American Idol," but she'll pop up this week on "The O.C." (Thursday, FOX, 9 p.m.).

Will deals with his father's death on "Will & Grace" (Thursday, NBC, 8 p.m.).

Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) joins the good Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle who makes his second appearance this season) in Africa on "ER" (Thursday, NBC, 10 p.m.).

Here's a fun trivia fact: did you know that Steve Carell, Michael on "The Office," is the voice of Gary in "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" in those Saturday TV Funhouse skits. You'll get the chance to recognize the voice when Ace (Stephen Colbert) and Gary host "Saturday Night Live: Best of Saturday TV Funhouse" (Saturday, NBC, 11:30 p.m.)

To the TV Gal Reader Belongs the Spoils

You know the rules. Don't read if you don't want to know

We'll see Jeri Ryan on the two-hour season finale of "Boston Legal." She'll play a talk show host who is (what else?) accused of murder.

Marissa will have to rescue Kaitlin on "The O.C."

C. Thomas Howell, Rob Lowe, and now Judd Nelson will guest star on "CSI" on May 4. And as if it couldn't get any better, Jason Priestley causes all sorts of trouble on the season finale of "Without a Trace." See TV likes me. It really, really likes me.

Bright will confess to Hannah on "Everwood." You'll find out what he has to confess this week.

Good times. Kevin Bacon will appear on the series finale of "Will & Grace."

Dr. Cox will have a breakdown on "Scrubs" after three patients die unexpectedly. And someone else will be pregnant before we say goodbye to the fifth season of "Scrubs."

The brothers rescue their dad in the season finale of "Supernatural," which promises to answer some of the season long questions.

In the series finale of "7th Heaven" (sniff), Matt and Sarah show up for Simon's wedding and even Mary makes a call to the family with some happy news. But something tells me Rose and Simon may not be saying "I do."

Just about everyone will be around for the season finale of "Veronica Mars" on May 9. Veronica will learn who is responsible for the bus crash and will, of course, graduate from high school. In addition to appearances from Charisma Carpenter, Steve Guttenberg, Tina Majorino, and Harry Hamlin, look for Amanda Seyfriend (Lily Kane), Corinne Bohrer (Lianne Mars), Erica Gimpel(Alicia Fennel) and Ken Marino (Vinnie Van Lowe).

You know how I was convinced Faux Francie would be back on "Alias"? Well, I was right.

Well, this will be oh-so-shocking, but shots will ring out during the season finale of "ER." You get one guess who will be in harm's way.

That's all for today. I'll be back next week with my thoughts on "Grey's Anatomy," "The Amazing Race" and "Prison Break." Plus, a peak at what we can expect to see this summer and which pilots I hope get picked up next season. Have a question, seen a familiar face, have an inside scoop or want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at by clicking on my byline at the top of my column.

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