Read At Joe's
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 25, 2008
Who would have thought that Cat Fancy is the toughest magazine on the newsstand? Okay, maybe not the toughest, but Michael did use a rolled up Cat Fancy to beat up two thugs on last night's BURN NOTICE. Talk about an improvised weapon!
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 23, 2008
Let's start at the end of the evening, shall we...with GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT (no relation to this column). I'll say this for the season two premiere: It packed more soap tropes into its hour than the mothership manages in a week. Last night we saw complicated relationships among family and friends, rivalries, love affairs, frustrated romance, dudes without shirts and babes in bras, old favorites, recasts and new characters — even the death of a recurring character! And there was actual hospital stuff. What NS lacked, I didn't miss: There were no mobsters, no one was murdered and no children were shot.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 22, 2008
This week's episode of THE MIDDLEMAN reminded me a lot of vintage DOCTOR WHO — say, anywhere from season 12 (1974) through 25. (Season 26 had taken a markedly darker and more serious turn by the time of the 1989 hiatus.) What I mean by that is, classic WHO subsisted more on imagination, a sense of fun and the dedication of the creators than lavish budgets. WHO was famous for sets that literally wobbled and actors messing up oncamera.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 18, 2008
My education in all things espionage-y got under way as soon as BURN NOTICE fired up last night: In the very first scene, ex-spy Michael (Jeffrey Donovan, ex-Dwayne, ANOTHER WORLD) gave a crash course in stegenography — the art of hiding coded messages in such a way that no one even realizes there is a message. In this case, Michael's beautiful and mysterious new handler, Carla (Tricia Helfer, Six, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) hid a message in a crossword puzzle — which is apparently a common tactic in the real spy world. Carla set up a meet that demonstrated her unnamed organization is adept at undercover work and has its own personnel and resources.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 15, 2008
The new MIDDLEMAN devoted some time to filling in lovely Lacey's backstory — she has issues with her mother, "Dr. Barbara Thornfield, M.D., Ph.D.," who would rather chat with Henry Kissinger than attend her daughter's spoken-word performance.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 14, 2008
Well, it was bound to happen, and this was the week DOCTOR WHO delivered a major clunker. "Midnight" was easily the weakest episode of the season — and perhaps David Tennant's entire run.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 11, 2008
I have been waiting for the second season of BURN NOTICE the way my nephews look forward to a new Pokémon release: It cannot premiere fast enough! And last night was the night. The teases suggested that ex-spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan, ex-Dwayne, ANOTHER WORLD) might learn who burned him, but I didn't think that was really going to happen — and it didn't. Not really.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 9, 2008
I'm liking the short RESCUE ME minisodes, but they are just too short — too short for fans and too short to indoctrinate new viewers. Take last night's discussion of the perfect bar: As long as you're familiar with Tommy's long and twisted war with sobriety, his paean to drinking in "a cave" makes perfect sense. But if you've never met the troubled Mr. Gavin before, Lou's line about Tommy spending more time in bars than the rest of the FDNY combined could be taken as reference to alcoholism or him being an uninhibited party guy.
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jul 1, 2008
I was shocked — shocked — to discover that ABC Family's THE MIDDLEMAN was moved up for a showing of the theatrical Mean Girls. The nice guy comic-book hero had been banished to 10 o'clock — unknown to your humble blogger, so I will have to catch up with MM and Dub-dub online (which is kind of fitting, actually).
By Joe Diliberto Posted: Jun 30, 2008
DOCTOR WHO asks, what's in a name? Well, when you're known throughout time and space only as "the Doctor," your true name holds power. If you are Prof. River Song, the Doctor's name holds the power to convince him that you are who you say you are — a person he can trust totally. I find it mind-boggling that Song knew the Doctor's name!