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<p>Rory (Arthur Darvill)&nbsp;and Amy (Karen Gillan)&nbsp;in their &quot;Doctor Who&quot; farewell.</p>

Rory (Arthur Darvill) and Amy (Karen Gillan) in their "Doctor Who" farewell.

Credit: BBC

Review: 'Doctor Who' - 'The Angels Take Manhattan'

The Doctor, Amy and Rory run into Steven Moffat's favorite villains

"Doctor Who" has just concluded its five episode fall mini-season (next up: the Christmas special), and I have a review coming up just as soon as I specifically remember not noticing the lines on your eyes...

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<p>Anne Heche of &quot;Save Me&quot;</p>

Anne Heche of "Save Me"

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Save Me'

Anne Heche stars in a Showtime half-hour misplaced on NBC

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Save Me" (NBC) [Midseason]
The Pitch: "What would happen if we did a Showtime half-hour on NBC?" "It would probably do Showtime ratings." "I'm OK with that if you are."
Quick Response: A few years ago, there was a rush of "Women who may or may not be prophets" dramas. I'm thinking "Wonderfalls" and "Joan of Arcadia," though if you expand gender boundaries and your definition of "prophet," you might include "Book of Daniel" or "Dead Like Me." After letting the genre lay fallow for a while, NBC is jumping back into the fray (after, possibly, HBO's "Enlightened," which has similar underpinnings without needing to be so darned overt) with John Scott Shepherd's "Save Me," in which Anne Heche plays an awful woman who has a near-death experience and begins to think that she's a prophet. Or maybe she is. One thing she certainly is is a Showtime-style comedy leading lady, in that she's quirky, flawed, prickly and only occasionally [rarely, even] funny. And when you look at the director and producers on "Save Me," it isn't even slightly surprising to see that their credits include "Californication," "The Big C," "The United States of Tara." And, heck, NBC's entertainment operation is overseen by former Showtime boss Robert Greenblatt, so really none of the Showtime-ness of "Save Me" is surprising. And if "Save Me" were, indeed, on Showtime, we'd probably be talking about Anne Heche as a possible Emmy contender, because she's got her best part in years and she embraces every peculiar, not-entirely-likabe aspect of this character. Figuring out the exact point of "Save Me" is a bit more complicated. It either has a very superficial theme regarding faith and spirituality in the Midwest and in the suburbs, or else it's eventually going to make a bigger point that hasn't even been approached yet. And beyond Heche and Alexandra Breckenridge as the main character's husband's mistress, none of the actors or characters in the pilot make even the slightest impression. And, performance-wise, nobody seems to know exactly what the tone of the show is supposed to be, so some actors are playing it as a "Desperate Housewives" style comedic soap, some are thinking it's a sitcom and some are playing straight drama. It's confusing. [I'd point to Michael Landes in the "most confused" category. And I don't know which version of the show Landes would really succeed in.] Some of those Showtime "comedies" have also struggled to find their subtext and tone in the early-goings and have eventually become quite solid. But those shows have had the ability to produce in a vacuum and premiere without worrying about ratings. "Save Me" won't be able to do that and it is, like "Red Widow," another midseason show that isn't a fabulous match with its future home.
Desire To Watch Again: Moderate. I liked Heche and I was perplexed, but interested by "Save Me." I want to see what an episode or two of "Save Me" sausage will look like after it goes through NBC's development meat grinder. Or maybe I'm just perversely fascinated to see where NBC intends to schedule this show and how they intend on promoting it without raising an uproar from special interest groups that often take exception when a TV character talks to God. 

 

That's it for the 2012-2013 installment of Take Me To The Pilots...What a crazy journey it's been...

Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Red Widow'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Cult'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Next Caller'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Following'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Family Tools'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Infamous'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'How To Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's '1600 Penn'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Zero Hour'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Do No Harm'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'The Carrie Diaries'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Malibu Country'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'The New Normal'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Guys with Kids'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Mindy Project'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Partners'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Nashville'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Made in Jersey'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Emily Owens, M.D.'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Mob Doctor'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Animal Practice'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Last Resort'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Vegas'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Beauty & The Beast'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's '666 Park Avenue'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Chicago Fire'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Ben and Kate'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Elementary'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Arrow'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Neighbors'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Revolution'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots entries

 

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<p>Olga Kurylenko and Ben Affleck in &quot;To the Wonder.&quot;</p>

Olga Kurylenko and Ben Affleck in "To the Wonder."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Magnolia to release Malick's 'To the Wonder' in 2013

The film has had a rocky reception since premiering earlier this month

Arguably no film has suffered a steeper fall on the autumn festival circuit than Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder." The usually slow-working director's unexpectedly prompt follow-up to last year's Palme d'Or winner "The Tree of Life" entered the Venice Film Festival, together with Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," as its prime attraction. By the time it moved on to Toronto, however, many critics seemed to be wishing he'd taken a little more time. 

The Venice premiere was by no means disastrous. Inevitably, as with "The Tree of Life" at Cannes, some boos greeted the closing credits at its morning press screening, and were swiftly, even gleefully blown out of proportion by the media, but it had its fair share of admirers, too -- of which I was one. (Indeed, I'm one of the very few who thinks the film a step up from "Tree.") The Toronto reception, however, was rockier: with expectations already dampened by the mixed advance word from Europe, a lot of critics positively seemed to revel in sticking the boot in, while claims to the effect of "Malick's worst film" rapidly became consensus.

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<p>Deb (Jennifer Carpenter)&nbsp;finally gets a look at the real Dexter (Michael C. Hall).</p>

Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) finally gets a look at the real Dexter (Michael C. Hall).

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Dexter' season 7 is a big change, for the better

The Showtime drama benefits from dealing with the consequences of Dexter's actions

I'll be damned. "Dexter" has sucked me back in.

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<p>Roxy of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Roxy of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Roxanne 'Roxy' Morris talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

Roxy remains convinced there was more than warmth between Angie and Malcolm
You know who's not a fan of showmances?
 
That's right. Roxanne "Roxy" Morris of "Survivor: Philippines."
 
For the duration of Wednesday night's episode, Roxy told everybody on her Matsing tribe that something was stirring in the night between youthful hardbodies Malcolm and Angie. Like a reality TV Cassandra, Roxy tried to warn the tribe that any sort of Angie/Malcolm alliance would eventually be dangerous and tried to make it clear that booting Angie and her distracting physical attributes would be the easiest path to success and harmony. 
 
Unfortunately for Roxy, her caution went unheeded or, at the very least, the Matsing tribe found itself more concerned about Roxy's energy at the camp and the seminary student's outspoken faith. Angie survived and this week's exit interview is with Roxy.
 
In the conversation, Roxy reiterates her certainty that Angie and Malcolm were generating more than just warmth, explains her complaints about the tribe's excessive productivity at camp and also discusses her decision to throw Angie under the bus in the season's second Immunity Challenge.
 
Click through for the interview...
 
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<p>Joseph Gordon-Levitt in &quot;Looper&quot;</p>

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "Looper"

Credit: FilmDistrict

Tell us what you thought of 'Looper'

Rian Johnson's latest hits theaters this weekend

I've said plenty about "Looper" in the podcasts but haven't really had a chance to sit down and write something up. I'll get to it, maybe, but I'm content in loving this film whether I get around to writing about it or not. And I'd love to hear the readership's thoughts, too, so if/when you make it out to see it this weekend, do come on back here and give us your take.

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<p>Mumford &amp; Son's &quot;Babel&quot;</p>

Mumford & Son's "Babel"

Mumford & Sons will handily top next week's Billboard 200 with 'Babel'

Where do Green Day and No Doubt come in?

As we previously reported, Mumford & Sons are set to have the biggest debut week of 2012, as “Babel” is on target to sell as many as 615,000 copies. That will handily top this year's current record holder: Justin Bieber's "Believe," which sold 374,00 in its opening frame.

That tally is four times that of its nearest competitor, Green Day’s “Uno,” which will sell up to 170,000 copies to come in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, according to Hits Daily Double.

Three other debuts join them in the top 10: No Doubt’s “Push and Shove” will comes in at No. 3 with 125,000 sold, Lupe Fiasco’s “Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap”  at No. 5 and deadmau5’s “Album Title Goes Here” (yes, that’s really the name) at No. 7.

This week’s No. 1 album, Pink’s “The Truth About Love” drops to No. 4, which this week’s runner up, G.O.O.D Music’s “Cruel Summer” falls to No. 6. 

Rounding out the top 10 are Dave Matthews Band’s “Away From the World” at No. 8, The Killers’ “Battle Born” at No. 9 and Little Big Town’s “Tornado” at No. 10.

Bolstered by excitement from “Babel’s” release, Mumford & Sons’ first album, “Sigh No More” rockets back up to No. 11.


 

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<p>Joshua Jackson of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>

Joshua Jackson of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' Premiere - 'Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11'

'Fringe' starts its final season via a time jump that is alternately thrilling yet perplexing.

It’s only fitting that Yaz’s “Only You” closes out the final season premiere of “Fringe”. Written by Vince Clarke, who many will know from his work in Depeche Mode and Erasure, “Only You” is a synthesizer-based ballad. In other words, it creates beauty from inside the cold confines of technology. That’s always been the greatest strength of “Fringe” as well. It has taken the sometimes-cold world of science fiction and imbued the genre with enough heart and emotion to fill a half-dozen other television programs. Even if the fourth season never quite generated those some emotional highs as previous years, it has still aimed to tell very personal stories within a vast universe. This makes tonight’s episode, “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11", so perplexing.

Before you jump to the comments and chew me out, let me explain. I’m not convinced tonight’s episode is bad by any stretch (especially since this season’s narrative gamble needs to play out in full before final judgment is rendered), but it certainly demands some adjustments from the viewer. Even with Season Four’s “Letter Of Transit” serving as out introduction to the “Fringe” future world of 2036, it’s still difficult to properly process everything that’s going on through a first pass. What makes this difficult? Glad you asked!

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<p>Janet Montgomery in &quot;Made in Jersey.&quot;</p>

Janet Montgomery in "Made in Jersey."

Credit: CBS

Series premiere review: 'Made in Jersey' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new CBS drama?

"Made in Jersey" is another new fall show I didn't have write a review of, though Dan and I discussed it for a few minutes on yesterday's podcast, where we agreed that any enjoyment you take out of it will depend almost entirely on your affection for star Janet Montgomery.

For those who tuned in tonight, what did you think? A Jersey love letter or more of the same old stereotypes? Did you buy the English-born Montgomery as a Jersey girl by way of Marissa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinny"? Did you feel the show made good use of Kyle MacLachlan? Did you want to spend more time on the case or back with her family? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

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<p>Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, and Chris Hemsworth prepare to rain some pain on some North Korean bad guys in the 'Red Dawn' remake</p>

Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, and Chris Hemsworth prepare to rain some pain on some North Korean bad guys in the 'Red Dawn' remake

Credit: FilmDistrict

Review: Chris Hemsworth can't save the shabby 'Red Dawn' remake from frustrating action scenes

Even '80s nostalgia can't salvage this one

"I miss 'Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare.'"
"Your life is 'Call Of Duty' now. And it sucks."

The original "Red Dawn" was released in 1984, and as much as any film of that decade, it is a product of its times.  I was 14 that year, and like most school-aged kids, I had been completely and utterly indoctrinated to be terrified of the Russians.  "Red Dawn" played expertly on that fear, and it helped that John Milius, the film's co-writer and director, is a glorious war-monger, a man who loves the way conflict defines a person.  The movie featured a cast of some of the best-known young actors in the '80s, including Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Grey, and even if you were able to avoid the film's politics, it worked as an action film.  There was something about the film's invasion scenario that struck a very deep chord with young viewers at the time, and for many of them, it remains a nostalgic favorite.

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<p>Nicki Minaj</p>

Nicki Minaj

Credit: NBC

Nicki Minaj lands three-part series on E! in November

Will Roman Zolanski come out to play?

Sorry Barbz, It turns out that Nicki Minaj is not getting a reality series, as had been rumored for the last few weeks, but she will be coming to a TV near you for at least three weeks.

E! will air  three specials on Minaj in November that will revolve around her professional and personal life, according to Idolator.  Does this mean we’ll see her and Mariah Carey cat fighting backstage at “American Idol?” Will her alter ego Roman Zolanski make an appearance? Let’s face it, with Minaj, you know it won’t be dull.

The three-part series will air around the release of “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded —The Re-Up.”

Minaj’s previous TV experiences include her 2010 MTV special, “My Time Now.”
 

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Oscar Talk: Ep. 89 -- 'Life of Pi' opens NYFF but is it a player?

Oscar Talk: Ep. 89 -- 'Life of Pi' opens NYFF but is it a player?

Also: Surveying the Best Actor field and disagreeing on 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

This week the New York Film Festival is launching and October is right around the corner. We're catching up with this and that along the way and have plenty to mull over as always, so with that, let's see what's on the docket today...

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