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  • It's Official: TNT Renews 'Hawthorne'

    Previous: TNT Renews Medical Drama 'Hawthorne' TNT has written a prescription for a third season of the powerful medical drama Hawthorne, starring and executive-produced by Jada Pinkett Smith(Collateral, The Matrix trilogy).  TNT has ordered 10 new episodes of the hit series, which is slated to return in 2011. Created by Emmy® winner John Masius (St. ElsewhereProvidenceDead Like Me), Hawthorne premiered in summer 2009 and ranked as one of ad-supported cable’s Top 5 new series of the year.  In its second season in summer 2010, the series continued its success, averaging 3.7 million viewers and ranking as ad-supported cable’s #1 Tuesday program among women 25-54. “With its memorable characters, powerful performances and moving storylines, Hawthorne takes us on a dramatic journey through the world of a hospital on the brink of collapse,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).  â€œThis »

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  • 'Saturday Night Live' gets more diverse

    snl-cast-narrowImage Credit: Kevin Parry/WireImage.com; Chris JohnIt’s that time of year again. You know, the time when Lorne Michaels and NBC announces the new slate (peace out, Jenny) of Saturday Night Live cast members. Of course, this is also known as the time we spend a good portion of our pop culture-loving existences complaining about how the new line-up is whiter than the packet of gum in that purse Paris Hilton borrowed. (Badum-ching!)

    But, lo! Looks like we’ll have to change our tune this year, because SNL‘s cast has (finally!) become more diverse. (Read full post)

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  • americas next top model what to expect in cycle 15

    America’s Next Top Modelreturns to The CW for cycle 15 tonight at 8 p.m. ET, and with a new magazine partner — Vogue Italia replaces Seventeen â€” comes a new focus on high fashion. The winner, who still earns her $100,000 CoverGirl contract even though this year’s victor will need to have a more editorial and less commercial look, will get a spread in a Vogue Italia, as well as a second spread and cover for Beauty in Vogue, the beauty magazine of Vogue Italia. She’ll also be prominently featured on the website Vogue.It. The modeling agency that signs the winner has also changed to IMG Model Management, and for the first time in the show’s history, representatives were present when producers were casting the 14 contestants. â€œSo they had an opinion right from the start of what girls could be viable or not,” says exec producer Ken Mok, adding that the show’s deals with Vogue Italia and IMG have already been re-upped for cycle 16.

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  • Mad Men Episode Recap: "The Suitcase"

    "Somebody very important to me died." — Don Draper

    "Who?" — Peggy

    "The only person in the world who really knew me." — Don Draper

    "That's not true." — Peggy

    While the rest of the world was watching (and losing money on) the second bout of Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston, a much more personal boxing match was going on inside the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices. Don tries to avoid making a phone call destined to bring him earth-shattering bad news by making his protégé, Peggy, stay behind to help him with a troublesome Samsonite ad. The result is one of the series' finest hours, allowing each character to jab the other with various grievances. But they ultimately come to realize what we already knew: These characters love each other — enough to stand by and pick the other up when life delivers a knockout punch. »


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  • Glee news: 'Glee' cast and David Archuleta show up for Jerry Lewis telethon 2010


    Something else to look forward to on Labor Day, oddly enough, is the 2010Jerry Lewis telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. The 45th annual show, which started at 9 p.m. Et on Sept 5 and continues through 5 p.m. Et on Sept 6, boasts a particularly star-studded line-up this year.

    David Archuleta tweeted to fans that his late-Sunday appearance on the Las Vegas telethon will include a debut performance of "Things Are Gonna Get Better."

    And he's not the only "American Idol" in attendance. Returning producer Nigel Lythgoe and former contestant Ace Young will both lend their talents as emcees -- nobody expects 84-year-old Lewis can't go for over 21 hours all on his own.

    Elsewhere in the TV-verse, the full cast of "Glee" are on deck for the telethon to perform their rendition of "Proud Mary" -- which you might remember as the wheelchair routine from Season 1.


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  • Kat Von D Kisses Jesse James Goodbye ...

    It's back to the real world for Jesse James and Kat Von D.After spending Labor Day weekend joined at the hip, the couple shared a goodbye kiss when Von D dropped James at Lax Monday. With their love apparently in full bloom, the pair packed the weekend with music, food and Pda. On Friday, James and Von D ate lunch a deux and were later spotted filling up at a local gas station. The next day, the lovebirds soaked up the sun in Orange County, Calif., and were seen kissing and holding hands after hitting two music events - »

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  • Jennifer Aniston's Cougar Town Date

    Looks like Jennifer Aniston's guest starring role on Cougar Town comes with some sweet fringe benefits. The actress, 40, (who was recently rumored to be back together with John Mayer) shared a two-hour Italian dinner withCougar Town actor Josh Hopkins at Madeo in Beverly Hills on Sept. 2. "She seemed very excited about her date," says a eyewitness. "She and Josh sat at a more private table and they seemed to get along great." Aniston, who sipped white wine and ordered fish, shared animated conversations with Hopkins, 39. "It was obvious that they don't know each other well, but there was »

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  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlet Johansson “Loosely Attached” to Diablo Cody’s Breathers: A Zombie’S Lament


    Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) and Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2) may soon be lending their talents to a “zombie comedy.”  Pajiba is reporting that the two are “loosely attached” to Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament based onS.G. Browne’s 2009 novel of the same name.  Currently, Diablo Cody (Juno) is set to produce the script by Geoff Latulippe (Going the Distance).  Per the report, Latulippe’s script is being circulated to potential directors as I type, meaning Gordon-Levitt and Johansson’s involvement may be either confirmed or denied sooner rather than later.

    Browne’s novel is described as a romantic comedy about a dead man named Andy who finds himself brought back to life as a middle-aged zombie.  Andy must then “figure out it means to live as an Un-dead in a society that denies his kind basic rights.”  I’ll trust you to interpret the metaphorical social commentary from there. »


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  • Eddie Izzard and Frances Conroy join 'United States of Tara'


    Showtime announced today that comedian/actor Eddie Izzard and the Emmy-winning Frances Conroy will guest star on United States of Tara during its third season. Izzard will appear in eight episodes and Conroy in one episode opposite star Toni Collette (Tara Gregson).

    Izzard will play Tara’s psychology professor who becomes fascinated with Tara while Conroy will star as Max Gregson’s (John Corbett) mother, a recluse with a compulsive hoarding problem.  Production on season three begins mid-September in Los Angeles for a 2011 premiere. »

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  • Mariska Hargitay Crosses Over to New Law & Order: Los Angeles


    Woo hoo! Mariska Hargitay is coming to Los Angeles. Well, at least to the new L.A. offshoot of the Law & Order franchise… "I got to work with them yesterday," Hargitay told me at the Emmys. "They have an incredible cast…I think it's going to be strong right out of the gate." Her hunky costar Christopher Melonihasn't crossed over from Svu to the West Coast…yet. "I hope to," he said. "I always like a free trip out to L.A. The mother ship did the same thing with us when we were starting out to give us a little lift. That's all we really needed, a little push." Hargitay says her guest storyline is inspired by her own victims »


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  • NBC Nabs Magic Drama From Ron Moore

    Exclusive: Ronald D. Moore is back at NBC Universal with a new drama project for NBC that has landed one of the biggest commitments so far this pitch season. The project from Sony TV where the Battlestar Galacticadeveloper inked a two-year overall deal in May, is described as an adult Harry Potter set in a world ruled not by science but by magic. I hear the drama got pilot and series penalties totaling close to $2 million. Before going to Sony, Moore had three consecutive overall deals at NBC Uni’s Universal Media Studios that were tied to his services on Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica, a reimagening of Glen A. Larson's classic, which he executive produced and ran with David Eick. The duo is also behind the Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica. Sony has made drama development a priority this season, signing deals with Moore, Smallville creatorsMiles Millar and Alfred Gough,

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  • Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday: Pov and other twists

    So my colleague tells me that tonight’s episode is supposed to be all kinds of crazy… and lo and behold, the promo to the show reveals that RACHEL is back. What? How exactly is BB rationalizing that move? Part of me thinks, yay, lots of screaming! And the other part of me thinks, ugh, lots of screaming, because Rachel may be dramatic and mentally unstable in the way that makes good television, but she’s also ear piercingly shrill in the way that makes permanent deafness and migraine headaches. But oh well, she’s back, so let the games begin!

     

    [Full recap of Wednesday's (Aug. 18) "Big Brother" after the break...]
     
    Ragan is about to have a level 5, full-blown meltdown (is there any other kind?) because he’s on the block. Poor Ragan. Lane thinks Brendon’s lost his friggin’ mind, and you know what? I have to agree, though Lane was actually an inspired choice. Yes, I know, Brendon’s all kinds of tough guy, Medieval knight-vengeful for his lady, The Duchess of Artificial Tresses, but who in their right mind would find Ragan to be a threat? Why not put up, oh, two physically strong members of the (b)rigade (I’m sticking with lower case for these doofuses, sorry)? Or the deceptively sturdy Matt, who keeps winning HOH despite looking like a soggy, growth-stunted weasel? But no, Brendon’s still playing for Rachel, who is worth so much more than winning. Whatever.
     
    Anyway, here’s Brendon’s explanation for his picks. Lane is a pawn, because Brendon really wants Ragan to go. In his love (and possibly hair dye-addled) brain, he thinks Britney, Matt and Ragan are his worst enemies. Oh, Brendon. Everyone’s your enemy, because the whole house hates you.  
     
    Time to pick players for the POV competition! Brendon picks Enzo. Ragan picks Kathy. Lane picks houseguest choice, which for him is Hayden. Brendon’s just happy that Matt and Britney don’t get to play. Britney, of course, is not happy. Britney is rarely happy, actually, being a strangely bitter little person, but that’s another conversation.
     
    Next, a robot enters the house. Yes, a robot. “BB” is starting to feel like an Ed Wood movie. The robot is a Don Rickles kind of creation called the Zingbot 3000, which insults the hamsters and will be hosting the POV competition. The Zingbot 3000 seems to work harder than anyone else in the house, which makes me hope it will stick around for a while, maybe doing light maid service or consoling the hamsters when they have their little breakdowns while offering mild comic relief.
     
    For the POV, the winner has to walk a balance beam, then stand on a spinning wheel and put together a puzzle while the Zingbot lobs insults. Oh, and the competitors have to dress like robots. Lane seems to have an in, as he knows how to do-si-do. But Ragan takes an early lead.
     
    First out? Can you guess? Kathy! For an able-bodied person, she seems to actually have some kind of undiagnosed brain injury. All I’m saying is I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I needed help from the sheriff in her town. You’d be best off asking her if you could just shoot yourself with her revolver, really.
     
    Brendon is determined to win, but Ragan is even more determined. And Ragan wins!
     
    Lane is horrified. Oh, is there any chance that Brendon will accidentally luck into breaking the (b)rigade? Of course not, since Matt has that stupid diamond POV and Brendon still thinks he’s friends with Enzo and Hayden, but it’s nice to dream.
     
    Apparently winning the POV makes Ragan all kinds of weepy, because he has to tell Britney he thinks she’s a kind, beautiful, intelligent human being and he really loves her. Then Britney cries, because she’s thinking about having to go kiss Brendon’s ass. Ragan seems like a genuinely nice guy, which really makes you wonder why he wanted to be on “BB” and, more importantly, why he actually thinks anyone else in the house isn’t evil incarnate and lying to him, but I guess his being the saboteur kind of evens the score a bit in any case.
     
    Hayden hasn’t told anyone how he thinks about Matt. But here’s the truth -- he’d be happy for him to go home! Enzo agrees! Yup, it seems the (b)rigade is snapping apart regardless of who goes on the block!
     
    Brendon walks into his HOH room and discovers Pandora’s Box. He can get a trip for two to someplace tropical. And the suggestion is that he might get to see Rachel. Well, that sells it for Brendon. He opens the envelope and learns he’ll have a 24-hour break from the game in Malibu. But who cares about that? He’ll get to see Rachel and her hair extensions! Whoo-hoo!
     
    Except he won’t. While he’s in Malibu, she’s back in the hamster house for 24 hours. Psych!
     
    Rachel, of course, comes barreling into the house like a drunken hurricane, and immediately everyone wants to kill her. But Ragan would like to kill her a little more than the other hamsters. Ragan and Rachel immediately start sniping at one another. This is pretty fun, as it’s like watching a tennis match, except instead of balls they’re just lobbing big wads of hatred at one another.
     
    Ragan tells Rachel she has no friends in the house. So Rachel has to ask if everyone hates her (oddly enough, this makes the hamsters uncomfortable). Then she has to ask Ragan if he has to be a bitch because he’s gay. Ragan tells her she’s a bad person. Rachel promises to make the next 24 hours of Ragan’s life miserable. Rachel, you overestimate your powers, seriously.
     
    Brendon arrives at the Malibu estate and can’t find Rachel. Oh no, he discovers she won’t be coming to him after all! Brendon is sad. So, he has a massage, floats in the pool and has a nice dinner. That’s what I call dealing with disappointment.
     
    Back at the hamster house, Rachel and Ragan fight some more. Ragan tells Rachel she’s a wicked witch and the only thing real about her are the pimples on her chin. Rachel tells Ragan his game play sucks and he has no real friends. He calls her a devil child. Rachel tells Ragan he sucks at being gay. Ragan tells her she’s going to get what’s coming to her. I am waiting for the hair pulling to start any minute. This is just too much fun!
     
    Rachel decides to leave a pretzel message for Brendon suggesting Matt for elimination. I will say, Rachel does have some good instincts. If not for that stupid diamond POV, this would be a brilliant move.
     
    Brendon returns from his spa vacation and discovers Rachel’s pretzel message. He KNOWS it must have been left by Rachel, because who else would leave a message in pretzels? Um, I don’t know. I would think anyone could do that, Brendon, it’s not much of a skill set. But he’s touched just thinking Rachel left a message for him. Isn’t that the cutest? Squeee! I’m actually surprised Brendon doesn’t eat the pretzels while sobbing hysterically, the saltiness of his tears dripping all over his bittersweet snack.
     
    Brendon talks to Britney and Matt about which one he should put on the block. Britney swears he can have faith in her. She swears on her relationship. Britney would slit the throat of a Labrador puppy to stay in this game, so really, Brendon shouldn’t put a lot of stock in her swearing on her fiancé.
     
    Ragan tries to give Brendon a little help by suggesting that Matt isn’t a good pick, because Lane could go. Of course, Ragan’s advice is so convoluted that at first it sounds like he wants Brendon to evict Matt, which may have something to do with his torn loyalties, but Ragan probably should have just stayed out of the HOH room altogether.
     
    The saboteur! He tells everyone to get some sleep to prepare for a competition the next day. Then wakes the hamsters up at 2:41am. Then at 3:08. Then at 3:16. You get the idea. Then, the saboteur reveals there’s no competition. Waaah-waah. It was pointed out to me that Ragan has kind of sucked as a saboteur because he never takes any kind of physical risk, the way Annie did. I’m wondering why “BB” is letting him phone it in, but hey, that’s their fault for giving him easy Facebook suggestions.
     
    Time for the veto meeting! Ragan uses the POV, then Brendon names his replacement: Matt.
     
    Ragan is devastated. Enzo thinks it’s time for Matt to wear cement shoes. I’m not even kidding, he says that. Britney’s relieved. Lane can’t believe two members of the (b)rigade are on the block. Oh no!
     
    But Matt, of course, isn’t sweating a thing, because he can’t wait to use his diamond power of veto. Shut up, Matt. I hope he’s allergic to that stupid diamond POV amulet and breaks out into a rash. It really couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
     
    Who do you think Matt will choose to evict? Do you think Ragan has been a good saboteur or has he taken the easy way out? Do you think we’ve seen the last of Rachel?
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  • Justice Served: Snooki Charged With Annoying People. For Real


    Snooki is criminally annoying. But don't take our word for it. And don't take the word of advocates of quality television.

    Take the word of New Jersey prosecutors, who have slapped Jersey Shore's lead guidette with the geniusly appropriate charge of annoying people (seriously), along with disorderly conduct and creating a public nuisance as a result of her arrest last month.

    Snooki, unsurprisingly, disagrees with that assessment: an attorney for the reality diva today entered a not guilty plea on Nicole Polizzi's behalf for all three charges, which stemmed from a particularly rowdy day of filming capped by her doing a face plant on the beach.

    She's due back in a Seaside Heights court for trial on Sept. 8.

    But don't expect a Lindsay-esque outcome. A conviction on all counts would only result in fines ranging from $500 to $2,000—chump change after her season-three pay raise.



    Read more: http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b195928_justice_served_snooki_charged_with.html?utm_source=eonline&utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=imdb_tv-movies#ixzz0x1S26f00 Read more »
  • USA announces premiere dates for 'Burn Notice,' 'Psych,' 'Facing Kate' and more

    USA announced some of its major programming decisions for fall and early winter, including when "Psych," "Burn Notice," "Royal Pains" and "White Collar" will return after their summer seasons wrap, and when new drama "Facing Kate" will debut. "Psych," which wraps its summer run in early September, will be back on Wednesday, November 10, and will air an "It's a Wonderful Life" parody on December 15. "Burn Notice," which airs its summer finale on Aug. 26, will follow on November 11. "Royal Pains" and "White Collar" fans will have to wait a bit longer, as both shows will return in January  Read more »
  • Steven Tyler Inks Idol Deal—Who's Next?

    Steven Tyler is signed, sealed, and Idol'd. While Fox officially says "no comment," a very-inside music source confirms the flamboyant Aerosmithsinger finalized negotiations late last week and is officially signed on to be a judge on the 10th season of American Idol. Whew, now we have somebody else to wear wackier makeup than Paula Abdul ever did, too fab! And as far as that other glitzy gal rumored to be seated at the judge's table... Idol-wise, Jennifer Lopez's diva demands haven't totally put her out of the running for the gig. But supposedly asking for pay north of $20 million—plus her own hair, makeup, styling team and "dressing room compound"—isn't in Read more »
  • AMC Adds New Crime Series to Strong Line-Up

    AMC, with 26 Emmy nominations, continues to bolster its strong line-up--led by Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Rubicon and the upcoming The Walking Dead---by adding a new series. Wednesday the cabler green-lit 13 new one-hour episodes from Fox and exec producer and showrunner Veena Sud (Cold Case) of crime drama The Killing (which will be retitled). The pilot, directed by Patty Jenkins(Monster), was based on producer Mikkel Bondesen's hit Danish procedural Forbrydelsen. The series weaves several stories around the murder of a young girl: it follows the detectives assigned to the case, led by Mireille Enos (Big Love), the grieving family--the mother is Michelle Forbes (True Blood)--and the suspects, as well as local politicians such as Billy Campbell (Once and Again) as a City Council president Read more »
  • Neil Patrick Harris Gets Last-Minute Emmy Nomination

    Despite all his success on the small screen, Neil Patrick Harris has never won an Emmy Award. Now, even his nominations seem to be requiring extra work. After getting a head's up from the Los Angeles Times, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences noticed this week that Harris, 37, was inexplicably missing from the list of people collectively nominated for an Emmy for CBS's 2009 Tony Awards broadcast, which Harris hosted. So, the Academy resolved the oversight, adding Harris's name to the existing nomination (alongside the show's producers) and bringing his Emmy nomination tally this year up to three. Read more »
  • Is American Idol Dumping Jennifer Lopez Already?

    Wow. Has Jennifer Lopez been eliminated by American Idol before she ever even took her seat on the judges' panel? Not even William Hung got the hook so fast! Lopez was reportedly a candidate to join Idol as a replacement for Simon (and most likely also Kara) but talks have quite possibly collapsed. Here's the latest: According to a People.com source, plans to hook up Jenny from the Block with American Idol collapsed because—wait for it—J.Lo is kind of a diva. According to the source, "Her demands got out of hand...Fox had just had enough." Network Fox and production company Fremantle Media both replied to request for comment with a big, fat...wait for it..."No  Read more »
  • n3D presents History Channel's The Universe in 3D on July 30

    History Channel doesn't have its own 3D network yet, but the day after season five premieres there, it will be aired at 10 p.m. on DirecTV's n3D... in 3D (and in 2D on The 101.) A&E TV VP David Zagin claims "The 3D experience greatly enhances the graphics of The Universe," and it certainly seems possible, given the CGI renderings featured on the show, which will focus that episode on "The 7 Wonders of the Solar System" including mountain ranges on Saturn's rings, a massive Volcano on Jupiter as well as its red spot, and hi-res photos of lava flow on Mars. Check the press release after the break for all the details, no word whether there will be any more 3D episodes coming our way, but hopefully this means things are looking up for DirecTV's attempts to acquire content for the first 24-hour 3D network in the US.  Read more »
  • rue Blood Episode Recap: "Beautifully Broken"

    On Sunday's episode of True Blood, Bill gets a proposition from the King of Mississippi. Sookie and Eric team up to find him while fending off werewolves. Tara, Jason and Lafayette all meet new love interests, while Sam meets his family.

    BILL

    We begin this episode Mike Tyson-style: Bill, with a severed ear in his mouth, all Mike Tyson-style. At his feet are a pile of bloodied naked bodies. Cooter's still alive — "Cooter? Seriously?" Bill asks with a snort — and just as he's about to attack Bill anew, up gallops Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), aka the King of Mississippi, in full equestrian gear. He couldn't look more out of place. (For more on Russell, check back tomorrow for my Q&A with O'Hare. There is a lot more to this guy than meets the eye.)

    The king is not concerned that Bill killed three of the wolves, but he is not at all happy that Cooter and his friends fed off Bill. "You drank from my guest?" he spits. As a punishment, he takes out a pistol and shoots the only remaining living guy. He orders Bill into the saddle, and off they go.

    Meanwhile, back at the castle, we meet Russell's husband Talbot (Theo Alexander), who has just redecorated the castle's guest room with a bed that once belonged to a famous Hungarian serial killer. He's hilarious. "I think I'm going to have to bring in the girl," Russell says mysteriously to Theo after they've escorted a befuddled Bill to his quarters. What exactly is he doing there?

    He's there for a dinner party, of course! What's that? Vampires don't eat? Well, somebody better tell Theo that because he has quite the spread planned. First up: carbonated blood with a citrus finish. "This one ate only tangerines for weeks," Theo says. Ha!

    The king says he wants to make Bill sheriff of Area 2 in Mississippi. He insinuates, however, that his eventual goal is much larger. He says he's asked Sophie-Anne to marry him (huh?), but that thus far she has rebuffed him. (OK, I did some research on this, and in the books, marriage between vampire monarchs is more of a political endeavor than a romantic one, meant to consolidate regions of power — just like humans in past centuries. They don't make that distinction clear on the show. In fact, Russell doesn't mention it until Theo has left the table to "drain the second course." "Carlo, bring me that Thai boy," Theo sing-songs as he re-enters the kitchen.)

    Ah, warm blood bisque infused with rose petals — my favorite!

    Then Russell says something interesting here, which picks up on an interesting plot line that was hinted at last season in Bill's dealings with the queen. Russell thinks Sophie-Anne is crazy to not utilize Bill, such a talented, young vampire, for better means than babysitting a waitress in Bon Temps. Bill weakly protests that it wasn't her idea, that he's not working for her, but it's clear from their conversation that Russell is on to something. (More on that later...)

    Blood sorbet! A nice palate cleanser before... well, more blood.

    Then, the worst party-crasher ever, Lorena, shows up. Bill welcomes her by throwing a hurricane lantern at her. As she bursts into flames, I find myself thinking how funny it would be if that was it for her, but I happen to know that it most definitely isn't. I get it — she's Bill's Kryptonite, so any time he needs to be bent to someone's will, she shows up. I like howMariana Klaveno plays her, but honestly, plot-wise I find her mostly to be annoying and extraneous.

    JESSICA

    Meanwhile, over at Fangtasia, Jessica sweetly asks Pam how to feed without killing. It's like the vampire birds-and-the-bees talk. Pam's advice: You force yourself to stop when the heartbeat slows; she likes to think of crying children with soggy diapers and maggots to calm her impulses.

    Back at Compton Manor, Hoyt is on the doorstep with some B-positive TruBlood. He's sweet, as usual, but Jessica's got a corpse rotting under the floorboards, so this is no time for a midnight stroll. She blows him off and starts weeping bloody tears yet again. Oh, you crazy kids; I want it to work for them so badly.

    She goes to sleep next to the decomposing redneck, who really must be stinking up the joint. The next evening, her frantic spraying of Lysol isn't doing the trick, so she looks into renting a chainsaw. But when she returns to take care of the body, it's gone.

    INSIDE COMPTON MANOR

    Presumably while Jessica was out at Home Depot, a figure wearing a mysterious pair of boots enters Compton Manor and ransacks Bill's study. He finds a secret drawer panel that contains a very detailed dossier on Sookie, including her family tree and a newspaper article about her childhood spelling-bee victory.

    This is interesting on many levels, as it hints at a big secret that has yet to be revealed: As in the books, Bill was, in fact, sent to Bon Temps to protect Sookie. If she were ever to find out that she is a job for Bill, she might not feel so tender about his French-restaurant proposal.

    ERIC and GODRIC

    There was a series of flashbacks to Augsberg, Germany, in 1945 in this episode, and for lack of a better location, I'm going to write about them here.

    An American soldier comes across a crouching, naked woman who appears to have been traumatized in some way. But no. As Uncle Sam's Finest approaches gallantly with his coat, she transforms into a werewolf and attacks him.

    If Eric and Godric were action figures, these would be the special World War II Editions. They're dressed as SS officers, which is perplexing. Eric pins the naked woman to the wall with swords (yuck). Featured prominently is the Operation Werewolf brand on her collarbone. As such, she says they're on the same side. "No, we're not," Eric says. Clever Nazi disguise, Eric!

    Eric wants to know who her master is, information she'll reveal if he gives her some of his blood. He obliges and she says her master is one of them, a vampire. (Russell?)

    Unfortunately, with an infusion of vampire blood, she's strong enough now to overpower him. Fortunately, Godric steps in and breaks her neck, lickety-split. "A vampire is never at the mercy of his emotions. He dominates them," he says solemnly to his ward. Yes, sensei.

    TARA

    When we last saw Tara, she was attempting suicide. Lafayette arrives just in time to stop her and take her away from the hapless Lettie Mae, whose only assistance is to remind Tara that she can go to hell for killing herself.

    As a cautionary tale, Lafayette takes Tara to see Ruby Jean Reynolds (Alfre Woodard), aka Lafayette's mom. What are her first words for her son, who she tells people is dead, after not seeing him for six months? "God killed him, because he's a faggot. But he keep coming back." Oh boy, she's clearly a handful. They meet Jesus (Southland's Kevin Alejandro), Ruby Jean's handsome nurse, and exchange pleasantries. "God killed you too," Ruby Jean says of Tara. "Almost," Tara replies.

    So Lafayette says that there's some darkness in their family, and that he wanted to remind Tara that they are strong enough to overcome it. Point taken, Tara says. Lafayette also mentions that he thinks Jesus is hot, so get ready for all that to happen.

    Franklin Mott (The TudorsJames Frain), a rakish, shifty-looking vampire, shows up at Merlotte's and sets his laser flirting sights on Tara. She's in no mood (when did we last see that sweet smile?), but she's polite. A pan down to the floor reveals that those were Franklin's boots we saw earlier in Compton Manor. Did he dispose of the redneck's body too?

    Later, Tara is outside taking a slug off a bottle when she hears two rednecks mocking Eggs' death. Franklin intervenes in this confrontation, and is helpful enough to hold one of them while Tara beats the crap out of him. His fangs come out, but he doesn't bite anyone. In this context, I think it means he's turned on. So get ready for all that to happen too.

    Quick note: Last week a lot of the comments were really anti-Tara. I understand that many of you think she's a whiner, but keep in mind, she's also a total sad-sack. She's had nothing but bad luck, and her troubles have hardened her. It doesn't bode well that now she's playing Sexual Fight Club with what appears to be a very sinister vampire, but I'm hopeful for more scenes of a lighter Tara in the future. She's a tough girl, so she doesn't need my protection, but come on, give her a break. (For what it's worth, Rutina Wesley is the sweetest, nicest person, the complete antithesis of Tara. It's a real testament to her acting abilities.)

    SAM

    Now, if I were to write negative comments on my own recap, it would be about this story line. I have an idea where it's heading, but man, is it slow going for now.

    Sam wakes up in his truck outside the Mickens house with Tommy pointing a shotgun in his face. He takes him inside where he meets Joe Lee, who's sporting his best BVDs for the occasion, and Melinda — Sam's mom and dad.

    Melinda tells Sam that she was 16 and Joe Lee was in jail when she gave him to the Merlottes. Sam says that he thinks he knows the real reason she gave him up, but Melinda says she was hopeful she'd be like his dad, the only non-shifter in the family.

    Tommy is a petulant, jealous little twerp, so he takes off. Sam follows. They fight about their grass-is-greener childhoods until Tommy decides he'd like to go for a run. So they strip down — Tommy's covered in scars, by the way — and shift into their canine alter egos. Tommy laughs at his big brother's go-to shift, the cute collie; he's a more scrappy pit bull.

    On the run, Tommy lures Sam into the street and transforms into some sort of eagle and flies away, leaving a naked Sam lying in the dirt, having narrowly escaped getting hit by a truck.

    JASON

    Andy gives a press conference, at which he's lauded as a hero. Later at Merlotte's, a drunken Jason tells everyone that Andy is the "wind beneath my wings." So he doesn't drive home, Andy offers him a ride. On his way, Andy gets called to a drug bust at a suspected meth house. Jason stays in the car, from where he sees a mysterious girl, who we'll later learn is named Crystal Norris (Lindsay Pulsipher). So get ready for all that to happen as well. He also sees a dealer escaping, hops out of the car and apprehends him. Thus begins the germ of an idea in the tiny brain of Jason Stackhouse.

    ARLENE and TERRY

    Terry makes a list of 10 reasons why Arlene can trust him with his kids, including that he nursed a baby armadillo and has a "diploma" in anger management. It's sweet, but her hormones decided this was a good time to puke. I guess it's no surprise that the dimwitted Terry hasn't caught on to her condition yet.

    SOOKIE

    Sookie is at Fangtasia with Eric, Pam and Jessica, and she's telling them about the Operation Werewolf brand they found on the dead guy at the scene of the car crash. "Never seen it before, sorry," says Eric unconvincingly (see above).

    Once Jessica and Pam head off to the ladies' room "to stare at themselves in the mirror" though, Eric says that werewolves are territorial, vicious, and pathologically secretive. "Boy, does that sound familiar," Sookie cracks. He's worried about her getting involved with them. "Your life's too valuable to throw away," he says.

    At that point, Sookie plays the Godric card and cries about losing Bill. "Don't do that. It makes me feel... disturbingly human," Eric says. Heh.

    The next morning at Merlotte's, Sookie sees a strange man in the woods and hears his malevolent thoughts. He disappears, but Terry is there, and the two of them track him, but find only his clothes. She makes Terry promise not to reveal what they've seen and says that a vampire sheriff is on the case.

    Terry gives her a gun to protect herself. "I've always liked you, and I'd miss you if you got killed," Terry says. Aw.

    Eric shows up at Sookie's house that night and tells her the whole story about werewolves that we saw in the flashback. He says he owes Sookie, presumably for finding Godric. But he's still the same Eric. "You're going to invite me so I can protect you or have passionate, primal sex with you," he says. "You're not going to distract me by talking nasty," Sookie, ever the lady, replies.

    But then, Eric has a twitchy vampire sensory moment, and asks her again, more insistently, to invite him in. So she does. Inside there's a werewolf, and just as he's about to strike, Sookie fires the gun and the screen fades to black.

    "I'm Alive" by Shelby Lynne is the outro, which I guess is all anyone in Bon Temps can hope for these days.

    What did you think of "Beautifully Broken"? Lots of new love interests on the horizon — any predictions? Will Sookie find out about Bill's job? Will he take a new one in Mississippi? Am I being too hard on Lorena? What do you think happened to the body?

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