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TV Gal Puts Out the Welcome Mat (whedonverse actors mentions)

By Amy Amatangelo

Sunday 4 September 2005, by Webmaster

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Oh come on. Please let me say it. Just this one last time. Pretty please.

Welcome to the new television season, bitch.

FOX rolls out more new shows this week, but first let’s take a look at the gang on "The O.C.," who return for a third season of carnivals, drinking, back-stabbing, moody stares, Captain Oats shenanigans and the ever-fabulous Julie Cooper at 8 p.m. on FOX.

If Seth was adorable in Season One and too self-aware of how adorable he was in Season Two, Season Three finds our intrepid geek just merely giving the people what he thinks they want. So every cute inside joke, every quirky reference, every adorable gesture falls a little flat and feels a little hollow.

Coming off last season’s (somewhat) shocking finale, the show starts off the season with much less oomph and pizzazz than it needs. Oh, sure, it looks like Jeri Ryan is up to no good and, yes, Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows are looking mighty fine (and you know my theory as go the eyebrows, so goes the show), but still I’m more than a little worried.

As I hinted at a couple of weeks ago "Reunion" (premiering Thursday at 9 p.m. on FOX) is a terrific idea embroiled in a mundane execution. The year is 1986 and six friends graduate from high school. Flash forward 20 years later and one of them is dead and one of them did it. We’ll spend the season finding out who’s dead and who did it. Every episode represents a different year (think the anti-"24"). Pretty nifty idea, right?

But the whole thing plays out a little like a cheesy ’80s movie — with the privileged rich kid, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, the tomboy in love with her best friend who only sees her as his friend. Wait a minute; this is "Some Kind of Wonderful."

Part of the problem is the less than convincing aging make-up (not as bad as the series finale of "Six Feet Under" but close, thankfully Mathew St. Patrick who plays the detective investigating the murder was spared this time around). Part of the problem may be that Amanda Righetti can’t really act (I’m sorry, she can’t. Somebody has to say it and it might as well be me).

But the series does boast Will Estes ("American Dreams"), Sean Faris ("life as we know it") and my long time favorite, Gregory Harrison. Great premise, pretty good cast. For now I’m giving the show three stars, but I’ll be watching to see how the rest of the 80s play out and could be changing my ruling.

And finally "The War at Home" doesn’t quite know what it wants to be — nice family comedy ("Everybody Loves Raymond") or a raucous look at parenting ("Married ... with Children."). Although there are a few funny moments and Kyle Sullivan is a hoot as middle son Larry, the show doesn’t work as a whole. Could it? Perhaps. For now I’m giving it two stars and resigning myself to the fact that there will never be another "Roseanne."

What did you think of the season premiere of "The O.C."? How about "Reunion" and/pr "The War at Home"? Talk about it on the TV Gal message boards.

Quotes of the Week

"Oh, look — a meeting of the minds and the minds didn’t show." Jerry commenting on Mike and Sean playing Scrabble on "Rescue Me."

"Well, eight is enough." Willie Aames on "Celebrity Fit Club" after being told he lost eight pounds.

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Michelle recognized a slew of familiar faces on "Prison Break." Adina Porter was Leticia, the woman who contacted Veronica. She was Gwen Walker on "American Dreams." Camille Guaty is Maricruz. She was Maria on "The Help," Detective Santana on "Crossing Jordan," and, perhaps most importantly, she got Bright fired from his job after he was caught making out with her in the supply closet on "Everwood." Anthony Starke, Kip on "Suddenly Susan," is Veronica’s fiancee.

Steph recognized Jessalyn Gilsig, Gina on "Nip/Tuck" and Lauren on "Boston Public," was the mother of Lincoln’s son.

Diane recognized Keegan Connor Tracey, Alison Driscoll on "The 4400," was Diane on "Jake 2.0" and I remember her as Audrey in "Beggars and Choosers," a show I still miss.

Rose Abdoo, Gypsy on "Gilmore Girls," was Monk’s mom in the season finale of "Monk."

Jason O’Mara was the man wrongly convicted of murder on "The Closer." He was A.B. Stiles on "The Agency."

And even with a little bit of hair of course you all recognized Michael Rosenbaum as Dee’s boyfriend on "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

And Jordan was the first to let me know that Jewel Staite, Kaylee on "Firefly" and the upcoming movie "Serenity" (can’t wait), showed up covered in latex as Ellia on "Stargate: Atlantis."

Highlights of the Week Ahead

All times listed are Eastern Time for Sept. 5 to 11

TNT’s hit drama "The Closer" ends its first season with an extended and strong 70-minute episode Monday at 9 p.m. Don’t miss G.W. Bailey’s spot-on impersonation of star Kyra Sedgwick’s southern accent. This show has totally grown on me. How about you?

Elizabeth Perkins, D.B. Sweeney and Kristen Stewart star in "Speak," a movie about a high school freshman who is raped by an upperclassman. The movie airs simultaneously on both Lifetime and Showtime Monday at 9 p.m. and is followed by a public service announcement.

Is anyone else worried that Lou is going to lose all his money and that his new girlfriend is going to take him for a ride on "Rescue Me" (Tuesday, FX, 10 p.m.)? The show has played out so predictably this season, I’m very concerned. Also I would like to officially announce that Tommy has suffered enough traumas and the previews for this week scare me.

"The Simpson," "American Dad" and "Family Guy" have their season premieres beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday on FOX. To the TV Gal Reader Belongs the Spoils

Let the new season begin. And remember the TV Gal adage don’t read if you don’t want to know.

Okay, I’ve seen the season premiere of "Gilmore Girls" and since we are soclose to the premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 13, I won’t reveal too much. I will say that Lorelai and Rory having a riff of Lorelai and Emily proportions is a fantastic direction for the show to go in. Also Rory will have to serve 300 hours of community service for stealing a boat. Look for Kathleen Wilhoite to return as Luke’s sister and Michael DeLuise as Luke’s clueless brother-in-law, T.J. Also, Lorelai will adopt a pet.

Charlize Theron will play Michael’s new girlfriend on "Arrested Development." There’s something very special about her, but I promised Mitch Hurwitz that I wouldn’t tell you what that is and I love the show too much to reveal its punch line.

As we all know Luke Perry is on the new NBC midseason drama "Windfall." That means that "What I Like About You" had to switch gears a little bit. We’ll find out that Val accidentally married Vic (Dan Cortese of season one fame).

Eric Mabius shows up on Thursday, Sept. 15 as the gang’s new Dean of Discipline on "The O.C." He won’t be pleased with Marissa or Ryan. Autumn Reeser, Angela on "Complete Savages," is Summer’s new nemesis at school. And this year Summer is going to have a house not just her bedroom. Kirsten is very dependent on Charlotte (who is up to no good, remember?).

The vilification of Mary Camden continues in the season premiere of "7th Heaven" (which is also the 200th episode, can you believe it?). Haylie Duff joins the cast as Martin’s new girlfriend and in true "7th Heaven" fashion, she may be pregnant with Martin’s baby. David is still dating Rose and Ruthie is after a high school senior.

Keith Mars has written the book "Big Murder, Small Town" on the season premiere of "Veronica Mars" on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Veronica is back to being popular and even has a new job. But you know how it works — every time she thinks she’s out, they pull her back in. Wallace is kicked off the basketball team after he tests positive for drugs. And — such good times — Charisma Carpenter makes her first appearance as Dick and Beaver’s stepmother in the season premiere.

Sure, we knew that Ephram would have to return to "Everwood" on the season premiere of Thursday, Sept. 29. If he hadn’t, I would have flown to Europe myself and brought him back. But did you know that Nina would chose between Jake and Andy in the premiere? And that there would be a surprise wedding. Also Bright and Hannah tentatively pursue their romance after being separated all summer long. That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week with reviews of the scary "Supernatural," the really scary "Threshold," the kind of boring "Bones" (with a newly buff David Boreanaz), "Head Cases," the season premiere of "House" (he’s back and cranky as ever) and "Gilmore Girls" (love it, love everything about it and so will you).