Archive for January 4th, 2011

The morning after “How I Met Your Mother’s” Jan. 3 episode, fathers across America no doubt received calls from their adult children.

In the wake of the heart-kick at the end of “Bad News” — the sudden death of Marshall’s (Jason Segel) dad — a check-in with the parents seems to be in order.

“Well, my dad called,” series co-creator Carter Bays tells Zap2it of the episode’s aftermath. “I would have called him if he hadn’t called me… it’s one of those moments where you just want to talk to your dad.”

The moment also caught a lot of fans off-guard. Hardly a cookie-cutter sitcom, “HIMYM” isn’t all laughs — but it’s yet to go into territory as dark as this. “The show has always explored the various mileposts of life in your 20s and 30s,” says Bays. “Very early on we set the goal for ourselves that we weren’t going to sugarcoat it or back away from something if there’s a little darkness to it. Loss is a part of life.”

Bays and co-creator Craig Thomas have wanted to explore loss for a while. In the planning stages for Season 6, they decided it would be an appropriate arc, setting up events throughout the first half and then letting the rest of the story unfold from the moment of the death.”

Having the tragedy focus on Marshall ended up being a natural development. “Jason is such a terrific actor,” says Bays. “It felt like something he could play very well. And we loveBill Fagerbakke (Marvin Eriksen Sr.). Their relationship has always been so nice, we felt like we could get the most powerful effect out of them.”

Adding to the tension of the episode’s tragic end, the episode featured a countdown from 50, told through strategically-placed props with numbers on them. “We knew we wanted to do something that sort of announced to the audience early on in the episode that we’re heading towards a big moment,” Bays says of the script, penned by Jennifer Hendriks. “It’s hard to create a sense of foreboding on a 22-minute CBS sitcom. We wanted it to be a sucker punch, but we wanted to balance the sucker-to-punch ratio.”

The aftermath of that sucker punch won’t come until the Jan. 17 episode (written by Bays and Thomas), “Last Words.” Bays wouldn’t reveal much on the events of the episode, but makes the themes they want to explore quite clear.

“I really think it came out good,” he says. “It’s all about how to behave when your best friend has gone something like this — and the need inside of you to figure out a way to help them.”



Read Full Post »

After spending 86 episodes in the shoes of THE SOPRANOS’ Christopher Moltisanti, just how does actor Michael Imperioli top a role that will very likely go down as the most memorable of his career?

He doesn’t.

“To think that you’re going to need to do something better than that, a bigger role, be the lead of a show and make more money to be successful, that’s the mistake. If you think that you’re dead,” explained Imperioli during our recent visit to the set of DETROIT 1-8-7. “I think the best thing to do is find another project, be it a movie, a play or a TV show and go with your gut. Something interesting that turns you on.”

Which for Imperioli just so happened to be the lead role on a freshman ABC cop drama. Which naturally raised the question, just what attracted him to another network series following his short-lived stint on ABC’s LIFE ON MARS?
“I thought the pilot script was very smart, and more importantly, the characters all had individual voices, which often on cop shows you don’t get,” said the actor. “Procedural shows are well done and the stories are compelling but a lot of times the lead characters don’t get to do a lot beside solving crime. You don’t get to see their personality, their methods, their pain, their struggles and things like that. Yet that was all in the pilot. Fitch in particularly was very specific, very odd and very quirky.”

And, Imperioli neglected to mention, very secretive.

Suffice to say, the most interesting thing about his small screen alter-ego may in fact be how little those both in front and behind the camera know about his enigmatic Detective. What mysterious circumstances brought the seasoned New York Police Officer to Detroit?

Despite my seasoned interrogation techniques (read: asking very nicely), the soft-spoken actor isn’t talking. Except to admit that he has recently learned the truth about why his character moved to the Motor City, “I don’t completely know everything but now it’s starting to come together. It was surprising.”

And if anyone knows a thing or two about surprises, it’s an actor who still has fans scratching their head over the ending to his previous two shows.

“I really liked the ending to LIFE ON MARS. While it’s never good when you get cancelled prematurely, it was nice that the writers knew we were done so they were able to write an ending,” explained Imperioli. “I thought it was just a bizarre and creative way to end the show. There were things that kind of alluded to it all the way through and it kind of tied it all up for me. I thought it was really smart. But I also loved THE SOPRANOS ending and lots of people hated that so maybe I’m the wrong guy to talk to.” 

Catch brand new episodes of DETROIT 1-8-7 Tuesday nights at 10PM on ABC


Read Full Post »

14 states may target birthright citizenship

Arizona state politicians will introduce model legislation this week to encourage states to prevent children of illegal immigrants from being granted citizenship under the 14th Amendment.

Lawmakers in at least 14 states have said they are committed to passing the legislation targeting birthright citizenship. Arizona’s anti-illegal-immigrant bill, SB-1070, was also based on model legislation that could be easily copied by states, and at least seven states are likely to pass bills similar to the first Arizona immigration overhaul this year,according to one analysis by an immigrants rights group.

[Related: Immigrants push for driver’s licenses and financial aid]

Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce will unveil the bill Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C., the Arizona Capital Times reports. The paper says lawmakers in Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah have said they want to introduce similar legislation this year.

Pearce argues that the “original intent” of the 14th Amendment was to grant citizenship to freed U.S. slaves, and that it was never meant to apply to the children of foreigners. A Phoenix New Times writer, however, argues that lawmakers who originally passed the amendment took into account the cases of children of Chinese immigrants in California as well as children of gypsies when drafting the measure. A 19th-century Supreme Court precedent also backs that interpretation, though no Supreme Court case has yet dealt withthe issue of offspring of illegal immigrant parents.

[Related: Congress passes rare bills for Japanese immigrants]

The amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Ali Noorani of the immigrant-rights group the National Immigration Forum told The Lookout that he believes leaders in more states will try to counter the thrust of the birthright initiative by adopting resolutions that eschew state laws cracking down on illegal immigration. Religious and political leaders in Utah recentlysigned a compact advocating for a “humane” approach to immigration, which other states could copy.


Read Full Post »

WASHINGTON – The Navy brusquely fired the captain of the USSEnterprise on Tuesday, more than three years after he made lewd videos to boost morale for his crew, timing that put the military under pressure to explain why it acted only after the videos became public.

Senior military officials said they were trying to determine who among Navy leaders knew about the videos when they were shown repeatedly in 2006 and 2007 to thousands of crew members aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.


An investigation by U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., also is seeking to determine whether Capt. Owen Honors was reprimanded at the time.

The episode has raised serious questions about whether military leaders can behave badly so long as the public doesn’t find out.

“He showed bad judgment and he embarrassed the Navy. Those are things that are going to be hard for the Navy to ignore or to forgive,” said Stephen Saltzburg, the general counsel of the National Institute of Military Justice and a law professor at George Washington University.

Just two days after the videos were shown repeatedly on television, the Navy called a news conference Tuesday in Norfolk to announce that Honors was stepping down as ship commander and being reassigned to administrative duties ashore.

“After personally reviewing the videos created while serving as executive officer, I have lost confidence in Capt. Honors’ ability to lead effectively,” said Adm. John Harvey, head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, in Norfolk. Harvey declined to answer questions from reporters.

The Pentagon said the disciplinary system isn’t foolproof but generally works.

“There are always going to be people do things they shouldn’t,” said Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman. “They will be held accountable.”

Yet Honors was set to deploy with the USS Enterprise this month as the ship’s commander when The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk obtained videos he made three and four years ago as the carrier’s executive officer. Honors, who took command of the ship in May, appears in the videos using gay slurs, simulating masturbation and staging suggestive shower scenes.

While many sailors aboard the ship at the time have defended Honors on Facebook postings — contending he was simply providing a much-needed morale boost during long deployments at sea — senior military officials interviewed by The Associated Press said the videos were extreme and showed a disturbing lack of judgment.

No leaders in senior posts at the Pentagon and in the Navy could not explain why, if Honors’ conduct was so questionable, he was promoted after the videos aired. Last week, the Navy said the videos were intended merely as “humorous skits” and stopped airing immediately after other senior officers became aware of them.

According to the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen weren’t aware of the videos until this week. They were said to have left any disciplinary action up to the Navy.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus first learned of the videos last weekend, spokespeople said, and both supported the decision to fire Honors. They declined to say, however, whether either official pressed for the dismissal, saying only that it was Harvey’s decision.

The lewd videos were far from the first time that U.S. troops have been disciplined for misbehaving.

In 1991, the Navy became embroiled in the “Tailhook” scandal in which naval pilots were accused of sexually abusing female officers at a Las Vegas convention. During the Iraq war, shocking images surfaced of prisoners being abused by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib.

And in 2008, a Marine was kicked out of the service after being videotaped throwing a puppy off a cliff while on patrol in Iraq and joking about it.

A conservative group that has previously clashed with Adm. Mullen on his support to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban seized on the latest incident on Tuesday. The group accused the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of turning a blind eye to discipline problems that, they say, will make openly gay service difficult.

Mullen was chief of naval operations when the videos were made.

“Now we know that Adm. Mullen’s rose-colored crystal ball is unreliable,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness.

Asked to respond, Mullen spokesman Capt. John Kirby said, “The chairman’s long record of command and leadership, afloat and ashore, speaks for itself.”

The Pentagon said December’s congressional vote to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban did not contribute to this week’s reaction to the videos. Lapan said anti-gay slurs have never been considered appropriate in the military.

Gates is expected to begin this week the process of pulling together a final plan to repeal the rule against open service by gays. The law signed by President Barack Obama last month requires that before any changes are made the Pentagon must certify to Congress that lifting the ban wouldn’t hurt military effectiveness

Lapan said initiating that process will be one of Gates’ “highest priorities” this month.

Capt. Dee Mewbourne has been named the new commander of the USS Enterprise. He is a former commander of the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.




Read Full Post »

Report: Brett Favre Sued by Two New Women

Brett Favre is reportedly being sued for sexual harassment in New York by two massage therapists.

“Good Morning America” reports that Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole, two former New York Jets massage therapists, are suing Favre, with Scavo claiming he propositioned her and another unidentified woman to join him together. Scavo claims, according to “Good Morning America,” that Favre texted the unnamed woman, writing, “Brett here, you and Crissy want to get together, I’m all alone,” and she says he sent another text that read, “Kinda lonely tonight, I guess I have bad intentions.”

Scavo claims that after she rejected Favre and her husband confronted Favre, both she and O’Toole were not hired again by the Jets to give massages.

Favre recently closed the book on another scandal. He was fined $50,000 on December 29 by the NFL after an investigation into claims that he allegedly sent inappropriate messages to “The Daily Line” reporter Jenn Sterger.

According to deadspin.com, Sterger received voicemails and pictures of male genitalia a couple of years ago from someone she believed was Favre. The fine was levied after Favre was found by the NFL to not be “candid in several respects during the investigation, resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention,” according to “Good Morning America.” The league could not confirm that Favre had sent the objectionable photographs, according to the TV show.

The football great reached a milestone as he says he will retire after this season, and he sat out the last game of the Minnesota Vikings season with an injury.



Read Full Post »