Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels"

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels"

Credit: A&E

Recap 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels': Is the ending really a cliffhanger?

The sitcom-ready plot of the season finale is fun, but it skips over the deeper issues

In the midst of the season finale of “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” son Nick teases his rock star dad, saying, “You are a sitcom. Who writes you?” It’s a question that could be asked of the entire episode, which hits every sitcom beat (and sometimes better than a lot of the actual sitcoms in prime time, but still). Gene orders a custom ring. It doesn't arrive when it's supposed to! He wants to propose at the top of a Mayan ruin but gets too winded to do it! He tries to pop the question during a biplane ride, but she can't hear him over the engine! Wacky, wacky hijinks abound!

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"Gene Simmons Family Jewels"

"Gene Simmons Family Jewels"

Credit: A&E

'Gene Simmons Family Jewels': Gene proposes on the season finale, but will Shannon accept?

The rocky rock ‘n’ roll relationship doesn’t seem headed for a happy ending

The season finale of “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” is tonight (10 p.m. on A&E) and the network has already released a wowza preview: Gene Simmons, humbled by the events of the season, actually vows his devotion to his “girlfriend” of the last 25 years Shannon Tweed and, wait for it… proposes. It’s a little disconcerting to see the rock god who has staked his reputation on screwing around and keeping his options open staring at Tweed, equal parts fear and longing in his eyes, as he takes a knee and finally acts like a grown-up at the tender age of 61.

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"The Bachelorette"

"The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

Recap: A bachelor rejects Ashley on "The Bachelorette"

It's a roller coaster week as one bachelor leaves and a second returns


We’re almost done with Ashley’s Husband Hunt and I can’t say I’m sorry to see the end in sight, if only because Ashley seems to say the same things about each and every guy each and every week. He makes me feel safe and protected! I could see myself spending the rest of my life with him! He’s so handsome! At the beginning of the show, sure, rubber stamp superlatives made sense, as she probably had a hard enough time just keeping names straight with so many guys floating around. But now that she’s had (theoretically) some time to get to just a few, I’d hope she’d have something more nuanced to say. Like, I dig guys with Geico caveman hair, or jealous rages makes me hot. But oh well!
The final three bachelors and Ashley are in Savusavu, Fiji, which looks beautiful and tropical and, at least where they’re staying, expensive. Ashley’s always dreamt of coming to Fiji! Now she knows what she wants in a husband. Let me guess – handsome and protective.  
Next, she explains what she likes about each guy. In a nutshell: Ben has grown since she met him. Constantine is real. J.P. is hot.
But wait! A rejected bachelor returns! And it’s… Ryan P.! He feels that things were left unsaid. And undiscovered. They had something! What if she’s regretting sending him home? He needs to find out if she feels at all like he does. He doesn’t want regrets! He’s putting everything on the line. I can’t decide if Ryan is being earnest and adorable or he’s acting a little obsessive and scary. It’s a fine line, I suppose.
Ashley is flipped out when Ryan P. knocks on her door, but I think it’s a good flip out. Hard to tell. Ryan launches into a long and rambling speech. He’s 31! He can’t sweep things under the rug! He needs to see things through! I really don’t think he’s saying what he needs to say here, because it sounds more like he needed to prove something to himself than anything else. And yes, he wants love, but the way he’s talking it seems like he doesn’t really care who he gets it from – he’s not telling her why he came back for her beyond the fact he likes her – flatter her, Ryan P.! Give her specifics! We know Ashley’s a neurotic, insecure basket case, so don’t wait for her to fill in the blanks. He’s talking and talking and she’s just staring at him. He gives her his hotel information and tells her she can get in touch if she wants to. I hope Ryan gets to see a bit of Fiji or can keep the frequent flyer miles, because otherwise this looks like a really long trip for nothing.
He is open and determined and willing to fight for love. Now he waits. Oh, Ryan P. You seem to have crossed the line from optimistic and fun and upbeat into slightly stalkery with a hint of bitter.
But Ashley can’t worry about Ryan P. right now. She has a hot date with Ben. They’ll take a yacht out into the middle of the ocean to snorkel. She feels safe with him! She feels protected by him! She could see herself spending the rest of her life with him! Please, please stop Ashley. They flirt. She has him cover her with sunscreen, then returns the favor. This does not look sexy, but they seem to enjoy it.
After they snorkel, Ben is hysterically beaming! His words, not mine. He’s going to tell her he loves her. They both loved cuddling on the way home.
Over dinner, we wait for Ben to drop the love bomb. And wait. And wait. And finally, he sort of mumbles something about I love you but it’s used in a sentence and it’s not a declaration. So close! Don’t be chicken, Ben! Do it!

Still, they opt for the luxury suite. They swim in their private pool, then Ben carries her inside for hot sex, or at least we can presume.
Ashley’s next date is with Constantine. He says he really needs a haircut. Does he ever! Anyway, they go for his first helicopter ride, and Ashley is very excited about being his first… helicopter ride buddy.  She feels like she’s sitting next to a Greek god. Who needs a haircut.
The helicopter lands at Bouma Falls on Taveuni Island. Ashley wants to see if Constantine is ready to dive into their relationship by getting him to jump off a ledge near a waterfall. You know, not everything’s a metaphor, “Bachelorette” producers.
Over lunch, Ashley tells Constantine that she learned from his family that he saw 108 houses before he bought one. Constantine isn’t pleased that she’s drawing a line between him being choosy about homes and being pokey when it comes to commitment. Just wait, Constantine, she’s only just begun to nag you!
Ashley is so frustrated with Constantine. He’s so hard to read! He can’t jump into a relationship head first! He needs more time and we don’t have it! Um, Ashley, isn’t that kind of normal? Don’t most people need more than two months to propose?
Over dinner, Ashley continues to push. Is he ready? She’s just not sure he’s ready. Is it because they’re on a reality TV show? What does he need? Constantine gets tired of Ashley basically hinting around that she’s not feeling it and he says it’s the end of the road for him. She’s glad that he’s honest. They hug, he leaves. She’s shocked that he didn’t want to give it the time to see if anything was there. Really? Because Ashley, you basically said it wasn’t there and it was pretty clear you were giving him the boot. He just didn’t wait around to not get a rose.
Still, Constantine’s decision to leave freaks out Ashley. What if I end up all alone? You’re not 104, Ashley. Just because you don’t find someone on a TV show doesn’t mean you’re going to die in a mobile home surrounded by cats that will eat your flesh once they run out of cat food and no one will think to look for you until the neighbors notice a terrible smell.
Time to visit Ryan! Ryan P. makes her feel special. She has so much clarity and knows what she needs to do. She and Ryan meet. He looks nervous and sweaty. She starts off with good things. Saying goodbye to him was the hardest goodbye. She was distraught! It was premature. It reassured her that he is the guy she knew he was because he came to Fiji. BUT she doesn’t feel the passion she needs in a relationship. And she’s found it with two people. Okay, Ashley, way to get his hopes up and then dig in the knife. “I don’t feel passion for you – but hey, these other two guys? We’re doing it crazy-like in luxury suites, ha!”
Poor Ryan P. He envisioned an amazing ending to their story. He’s sad. He needs real love. He wants someone to hold hands with. His heart is open to the right person. And then you can actually see a tiny little flame of cynicism and resentment light up as he mutters, “It’ll happen. It’ll happen. It’ll happen. Huh. It’ll happen.” Oh, this is so sad. It’s like watching Tigger decide to join a gang or something.
Ashley’s already moving on to another sex date. J.P. is her rock. That’s one word for it. They get in a little plane and head to Namenalala Island. J.P. is ready for the end. He’s ready to be her one and only. J.P. would seem a lot more perfect except for that pouty, angry moment he had on the group date a while back that made him seem less romantic and more nutso possessive. They frolic on the beach. They eat dinner in the jungle.
J.P. is scared to give his heart and get crushed. So Ashley tells him she said goodbye to two bachelors this week. You can tell J.P. is practically wetting his pants thinking he’s the last guy standing. Then, Ashley clarifies – a guy came back. J.P. wisely holds his tongue, but later admits he thought Bentley came back. Now, that would have been fun, as Ashley would still be chasing him around the island with a machete.
Ashley tells J.P. he can’t hold back any of his feelings if he wants to be the last man standing. He’s afraid of getting hurt, but he’s on his way to overcoming that fear, yada yada yada. What a bunch of girls! Just say I love you, it’s not that big a deal!
Anyway, they opt for the luxury suite. If there was any doubt that she’s getting it on with J.P., she changes into something more comfortable (a big shirt, get your mind out of the gutter) and they start rolling around on the bed. I always think this episode is a weird one. Exactly when does the camera crew leave? And I guess (hope, really) that they ask the happy couple to stop getting it on for a moment to remove their sound packs.
Time for the rose ceremony. Ashley talks to Chris Harrison. She’s most compatible with Ben. Things progress with J.P. when they’re on beaches. Um, that’s not necessarily going to translate into the real world, but okay. Still, she thinks he can make her happy. It was harder to say goodbye to Ryan than Constantine, because Ryan gave a crap.
Ashley insists on the rose ceremony, because she wants to make sure Ben and J.P. aren’t going to book at the last minute. Guess what? They aren’t. Not exactly the best rose ceremony ever.
So, we’re coming right up on the finale! I’m thinking Ben. But J.P. is cute. But whoever she picks, they’ll make her feel safe. And protected. And she can envision a future with them. Sigh.
Which guy do you think Ashley will pick? Were you surprised Ryan P. came back? And are you going to watch “Bachelor Pad”?  


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"Big Brother"

"Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

Recap: Rachel gets pouty over sushi and a favorite couple might pay for it on 'Big Brother'

A celebrity pays a visit to the hamsters to plug a new show

Okay, I'll be honest -- just got back from Comic-Con and boy, are my arms tired. Or something like that. In any case, this recap might lean toward short and sweet, but I'm sure you understand.

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Credit: The CW

'Supernatural' panel reveals that a new God may go bad in season 7

Jo and Death are set to return and fans get a peek at the new anime series

Even though the CW's "Supernatural" was sandwiched between fan favorites "Glee" and "Dr. Who" in Hall H during Comic-Con, the show still managed to attract plenty of its own rabid fans. Those loyalists were treated to some plot reveals, a cute gag reel and a quick hit of the show's new anime series.

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"The Secret Circle"
Credit: The CW

'The Secret Circle' gets a laugh at Comic-Con

The CW's new witch series doesn't wow the guys waiting for 'Mythbusters.'

Waiting in line for "The Secret Circle" panel at Comic-Con turned out to be a lonely experience. When asking if the people around me were waiting to see a sneak preview of the new CW show, I was greeted with blank looks and awkward smiles. "I'm here for 'Nikita'" or "I just wanted to get here early for 'Mythbusters'" was the usual response. Though the show is about witches and is from Kevin Williamson, the mastermind behind swoony "The Vampire Diaries," clearly those fans were slow coming over from that show's panel in Ballroom 20.

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Jennifer Morrison of "Once Upon A Time"

 Jennifer Morrison of "Once Upon A Time"

Credit: AP

'Once Upon A Time' gets 'Lost' in a fairy tale

Fans can look for mysterious clues in this series, too

'Once Upon A Time' gets 'Lost' in a fairy tale

Fans can look for mysterious clues in this series, too


Maybe it was the hope that show creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (and moderator David Lindelof) might finally explain how polar bears got onto a tropical island, but many of the fans present for the "Once Upon A Time" presentation at Comic-Con seemed more interest in dwelling in the past than embracing a new TV series.


While reaction to the screening of "Once Upon A Time" was warm, there were certainly a few fanboys who whipped out their cell phones to amuse themselves rather than dive into the pilot, which introduces the idea of what happens when fairy tale characters are, through the curse of an evil witch, stuck living out mundane lives in small town Maine. The pilot was solid but, if fairy tales make you groan or are just too Disney-ingrained for your taste, it's likely a hard sell. The "real life" fates of characters like Snow White and the evil witch are certainly clever (and performances are strong across the board, especially from Lana Parrilla ("24"), Jennifer Morrison ("House") and Robert Carlyle ("The Full Monty"), even the clever little touches (a bowl of apples on the modern-day evil witch's table, for example) are perhaps already too familiar. For the fanboy-heavy audience, though, fairy tales (even by the "Lost" guys) may have been just a little too girly. Blame Disney princesses.


After the screening, the creators discussed how the project came after they were briefly unemployed following "Felicity"'s cancelation. "Our agent said, 'you need a new sample.' And we started to think about fairy tales. We liked them, and they're like a lottery ticket. You buy them and you think your life will change," said Kitsis.


The pair didn't bristle (too much) when several fans mentioned similar TV and comic book projects that cover the same terrain, including the 2000 miniseries "The 10th Kingdom. "As we said, we had this idea from 2002 and to be fair, I never saw the 2000 miniseries, but now I want to to see what I can steal from it," Kitsis joked. 


The creators both praised Lindelof, Kitsis joking, "[He] helped us out of an eight year writer's block and got us out of crying on his sofa that we had no ideas left."


It seemed that playing fairy tale characters was an easy sell for the cast. "I told my agent, 'I'll take it,'" recalled Ginnifer Goodwin. "And he said, you need to read it. And I said, seriously, I'll take it. It really didn't take much.


Morrison, who plays Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter, doesn't get to be part of the show's flashbacks to fairy tale land, but that doesn't mean she doesn't like the costumes. "I'm jealous," she said. "It would be fun to wear the pretty outfits. but It's exciting to play a character who's brand new, a new fairy tale character."


While the creators (and Lindelof) said they wouldn't answer "Lost" questions, they did offer an enticing draw for the new show. "We hope this is a show you can watch and relax and enjoy, but if you're looking we want to put out things there for you to find."


Kitsis added, "You can either get into your slippers or get out your magnifying glass." 


But don't expect any huge "Lost"-like jumps out of the fairty tale arena. Prince Charming (and his modern version) are here to stay. "One of the great things is everyone knows these stories, and that's why they keep getting told," Horowitz explained.


Kitsis added the more practical reality:  "That, and they're public domain."  

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"Attack the Block"

 "Attack the Block"

Credit: Screen Gems

Aliens get cuddly, vicious in 'Attack the Block' at Comic-Con

Director Joe Cornish puts a new spin on monsters for Brit film

The horror movie "Attack the Block" (opens Friday, July 29) got a boost at Comic-Con this week. Sharing a hall and time slot with cult favorite "Underworld," the British indie and midnight feature award winner at SXSW had a solid platform on which to show off its creative twists on horror. 

The footage, which was familiar to many in the audience (the film was previously released in the U.K.) was a funny, scary mix of gore and punchlines as a group of kids, trapped in a government housing apartment complex, must do battle with aliens featuring furry pelts and glow-in-the-dark teeth. Fans of "Shaun of the Dead" will likely notice Nick Frost playing the building's resident long-haired pot smoker. 

Director Joe Cornish, who shares a writing credit on "TinTin" with his "Block" (and panel) partner Edgar Wright, explained that, as a fan of 80s horror movies, he wanted to pay homage to the classics, but with a 21st century spin. "[They] take reality like a suburban environment, a world we can recognize, then fuse it with fantasty," he said. "Our aliens wish they landed in Elliott's backyard." Instead, Cornish plants them in the a rough part of London, where their prey isn't soft suburban kids but gang bangers and street toughs. "We has eleven actors between the ages of 11 and 18. And every single one gives an incredible performance."

The kids easily capture not only the urban patter but the seen-it-all nonchalance of kids living in poverty. "We like to call it 'Super 8-Mile,'" says Wright.

Even more unexpected are the aliens. From a distance, they almost look, well, cute. "Sometimes you feel like the monsters are all a bit same-y," Cornish explained. "The dragon from 'Harry Potter' could wander into 'Cloverfield' and nobody would notice."

The film may have plenty of fresh material, but don't look for one thing -- subtitles. When one fan who'd seen the movie asked if they could be tossed in to make sense of the thick accents, Cornish flatly refused. "You know what? I think you guys are smart. Hip hop's been around for what, 20 years now? This movie is specially designed to teach you the language, we had a lexicon of ten or twelve phrases, repeated over and over through the movie in different contexts. Watch this and you'll be ready to put on a hood, come to london and slice some alien heads off."

Not that this is just a movie about tough kids and tough aliens, according to Cornish. "This is a movie about character. It has something to say. I don't want the jokiness to undermine the heart. But it's also a bit crazy and stupid. Because it has aliens with glow-in-the-dark teeth." 


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Colin Farrell at Comic-Con
Credit: AP

'Fright Night' star Colin Farrell cracks up - literally - at Comic-Con

The actor talks booze, horror and reveals more than he intends


At the Comic-Con panel for "Fright Night," director Craig Gillespie, writer Marti Noxon and stars Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all showed up to plug the new horror movie. But as far as quite a few fans were concerned, they all played second fiddle to the guy playing the movie's decidedly non-glittery vampire villain: Colin Farrell

Some of that could be excitement that Farell, long a bad boy off screen, would be a very, very bad boy on it for "Fright Night." "I wanted to write a vampire who didn't play the piano, nothing against that in the original. But I missed a viciousness and sexuality I felt Colin imbued." On stage, however, Farrell was hardly vicious, instead joking around with his co-stars, poking fun at himself and seemingly having a good time.

The star, whose bad rep has included the usual stints in rehab and a sex tape, explained his improved attitude. "I have enjoyed the work a lot more the last 5 or 6 years. I came to success really quickly, the idea of coming up fast and the chaos around you; it was insane. And i personally lost sight of why i went to my first acting class when i was 17 in Dublin. So the last six years I reconnected with the Colin who was 17 and didn't know anything, because my lack of understanding bred curiosity. I reconnected with the mystery of the whole thing. It's a lot of fun. It's such a fortunate place to find yourself."


Farrell wasn't shy about making fun of his previous behavior. When a fan asked him if he found it easier to pick up wearing fangs or pick up salsa for a previous movie, he joked, "I can certainly remember picking up fangs better than I can picking up the mojitos. Bit of a black out."


He even joked about his previous drinking problem by saying, "My Jerry [his character name] has to borrow a six-pack off the neighbor. Reputations, you just can't shake them."


Farrell did have moments of seriousness, however. The self-described vampire movie fan who saw the original when he was "10 or eleven or so" said he initially hesitated to take the role. "When I heard they were making it, I was dubious at first. Oh, here we go, Hollywood and its originality. But I really liked it. I'd done three or four films that were serious, and I wanted to have fun. There was enough homage to the original and enough that was different, it had a new direction... It was contemporized in a really clever way."


The series of clips (some of which had been censored for liberal use of the F word) were likely familiar to the audience (most of the material has been available online), but Farrell easily stole his scenes (though a scene with "Dr. Who" star David Tennant, who wasn't present but filmed a short message for the crowd, was met with hearty applause). But even though Farrell was happy to play a bloodsucker, he isn't fired up to get into a superhero unitard anytime soon. "I kind of played the superhero when I played Alexander [the Great] and it didn't pan out. Some of it's cultural, but I didn't grow up in the world of comic books or the lore that comic books represent. I don't know the backstory. But a lot of it I really enjoy."


At the end of the session, a female fan screamed for Farrell to give her his paper name placard, which he agreed to do as Mintz-Plasse offered his as well, adding "I have Hershey's kisses!" As Farrell bent down to sign the placard before handing it over, a fast thinking camera guy took a shot of Farrell's rear view, inspiring Gillespie to kid the actor about going commando. 


Farrell, blushing, hiked up his pants and joked about having a pimple on his butt. Well, it was a good moment while it lasted. 




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"Beavis and Butt-head"

 "Beavis and Butt-head"

Credit: MTV

Mike Judge, Johnny Knoxville welcome back "Beavis and Butthead"

Footage from new episodes is a huge hit at Comic-Con

"Beavis and Butt-Head" has been off the air since 1997, but if the crowd at San Diego's 2011 Comic-Con was any indication they have been sorely missed. When moderator Johnny Knoxville and "Beavis" creator Mike Judge entered the room, the SRO audience exploded. But they weren't attending to just see the "Jackass" stare and Judge -- they were in the room to get a first look at clips from the new episodes of the show.

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