Remember when NeNe Leakes was the Zen goddess of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"? Well, that's over. I realize that, after perching on her high horse for so long, she needs to get back into the mix in an explosive way lest Bravo kick her to the curb where Sheree Whitfield has been sleeping under a cardboard box. We all know what that means -- bring on the shade! And I don't mean a sunhat!
Kordell talks to Peter, and Porsha has some explaining to do
With Neverland behind us, the new storyline could be a return to form
At last the claustrophobic stint "Once Upon A Time" spent in a surprisingly dark and dreary Neverland has finally ended. Aren't you glad that's over (sorry, Peter Pan)? The show returns tonight (Sun. March 9 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC) with a new story, a new villain and some lingering questions that should be twisty enough to fuel the last eight episodes of the season. But is that enough to bring back viewers?
Let's face it -- as many of us looked forward to Neverland before the storyline began (I know I did), the reality was less than stellar. Our core characters were trapped on an island that appeared to be a soundstage cluttered with potted plants and not much else. We didn't fully appreciate the rich colors, textures and secondary characters of Storybrooke and Fairytale Land until they were stuck on a back burner to make room for… a one-note antagonist and endless puzzles for Emma and the gang to solve that felt like freshman year writing exercises (if your main character's biggest emotional issue was a hill, what would it look like?).
Despite Robbie Kay's best efforts, Peter Pan never blossomed as a villain. His need to present "challenges" to our protagonists never felt organic -- just a way of propelling plot. We can only hope that this disappointing experiment, which seemed determined to toss out all the elements that made "Once Upon A Time" work in the first two seasons, has taught Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz what works -- and, significant, what doesn't.
This first episode following the midseason hiatus suggests they did -- so fans who tuned out during Neverland can feel safe putting "Once" back in their DVRs. It's hard to write about the episode without leaking dribs and drabs of spoilers, but I'll do my best even if the result is a little vague. The story picks up where it left off last season, and the door has been blown open to more fully incorporate elements we've sorely missed -- our colorful, traditional Fairytale Land and yes, Storybrooke. I don't get the sense we're going to have Emma, Charming, Snow, Regina and Hook stuck in isolation this time around. More importantly, we're getting an antagonist that, while just as iconic as Pan, promises more drama and fewer useless puzzles (no spoiler here if you've seen the promos or been on the Internet) -- the Wicked Witch of the West, in all her ghastly green glory.
"Once Upon A Time" has remembered what Disney fans have always known -- female antagonists, whether they be witches or evil queens or sea creatures -- are almost always more fun (at the very least they get MUCH better costumes), and the Wicked Witch suggests a more suitable rival for our "good guys" and perhaps an equal match for Regina. One of the issues with Peter Pan was watching a group of adults do battle with a kid -- even though we knew Pan was nothing of the sort, on a visceral level it was still unsettling.
Now we will see Oz's most colorful (literally) bad girl and, as you'd expect, all of the accessories that go with her (you ponder that, but I suspect your first guess is dead on). The show has picked a visually rich world to explore, and if it gets this part right, that's half the battle.
We also see glimmers of Kitsis and Horowitz picking up threads of story lines that looked promising earlier in the season but seemed to get lost in Neverland's gloom. There is romance in the air, dwarves are in the mix (we did not get enough Grumpy this season!), and complicated spells are being cast. The show will bounce between timelines, which it's done successfully before, and locations. As long as none of those are Neverland, I think the magic is definitely back.
Are you going to watch "Once Upon A Time," and did you tune out during the Neverland episodes? What do you think about the new villain? What did you think of Peter Pan?
A lab technician is in intense pain when acid is thrown in his face
Discovery Fit & Health has a new TV series with an Aussie flair -- "Sydney ER," a reality show that debuts tonight (Fri. March 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET) with a double episode premiere. In the first episode, a 19-year-old hip hop star is stabbed in the heart outside of a night club. In the second? A guy is doused with acid. In the face. Don't watch this clip before eating. FYI, this is not a re-enactment.
This teaser is all kinds of creepy
There's one way Katherine can save Nadia, but will she?
This episode was loaded with big moments -- tearful goodbyes, weepy flashbacks, rollercoaster plot twists, and more than one character was sent packing. In truth, the body count was pretty damn high. Given we had so much to digest, I'm not sure I felt the feels I was expecting. Too often I felt as if I was cued by the music to register, "NOW FEEL SOME EPIC SAD, DAMMIT," before the plot whirled on to other matters.
It's not forever, but to give Cristina a proper send-off
'Oprah Prime' reflects on death of Philip Seymour Hoffman
If anyone is going to solve the drug problem in the United States, Oprah Winfrey is the best candidate we have for the job. This week on "Oprah Prime" (Sun. March 9 at 9:00 p.m.), Winfrey sits down for a one-on-one conversation with Russell Brand to talk about addiction. In this exclusive clip, Brand talks about what he sees as a first step toward solving the problem -- and it might not be what you expect.
It's their first go at it, if you don't count 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'
According to Deadline, E! has picked up its very first scripted series (well, if you don't count any of the Kardashian-centric shows). "The Royals" is a one-hour drama about a fictional bunch of British royals set in modern-day London. The show is supposed to be framed by the story of "Hamlet" and capture the "regal opulense" of the British monarchy.
The actress doesn't seem to be back on track
If Oprah Winfrey has to sit you ass down to tell you to "cut the bullshit" (her words, not mine), you may want to listen. Of course, you may have wanted to take that advice before you agreed to be the focus of a reality TV show (in this case, more fittingly called a docudrama) for her network. But Lindsay Lohan apparently didn't get the memo, because this Sunday we get "Lindsay" (Sun. March 9 at 10:00 p.m. on OWN).
How do you feel knowing about the bad news to come?
Watching last night's one-hour season premiere of "The Little Couple" should have been pure joy. Jen Arnold and Bill Klein have finally "completed their family" with the adoption of tiny Zoey from Mumbai, India. Despite worries about how their other son, Will, would accept a newcomer, he seemed to love her right off the bat. Yes, Zoey seemed a little clingy and doesn't have Will's easy, effervescent personality, but Jen seemed delighted that she finally had a baby who was small enough for her to cradle in her arms.