It’s almost Valentine’s Day! The day known for love, compassion, and spending a fortune on pretty weeds and chocolate-covered calories. Yay! Unlike the majority of the female population, I personally love February 14. It’s the one-day of the year that combines three of the world’s best things: wine, glitter, and oh-so sweet shipper moments on our favorite TV shows!
This week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List is sweetly sprinkled with love and plenty of your favorite TV goodies. I spilled almost everything I know from Sunday’s jaw-dropping episode of Once Upon a Time and the drama-packed hour of The Good Wife. I gathered some Valentine’s Day scoop for The Middle and will they/won’t they details from The Carrie Diaries. I also chatted with the unbelievably lovely Sutton Foster about what's twirling into town on Bunheads. Happy Valentine’s Day, TV lovers!
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1. Twitter Question: @charmingfinchel: Once Upon a Time the "Manhattan" episode!
Hmm, well that wasn’t really a question; it was more like an excited demand. Luckily for you, my head is still spinning from watching this Sunday’s all-new episode, “Manhattan,” and I need to gush about what happened. Not only do we learn the identity of Rumpelstiltskin’s son Baelfire, the episode is also jam-packed with answers to our most burning questions.
In the flashbacks to Fairytale Land, fans will get a deeper peak into Rumple’s life B.M. — Before Magic, that is. Mila is back and for a brief, shining moment you’ll see a sweet side to the pirate-loving, child-abandoning cheater. OUaT lovers will also finally learn exactly what happened to Rumple in The Ogre Wars and trust me when I tell you, the situation was much more complicated than you could ever imagine. Some might still call Rumple a coward, but after seeing this episode, I now think of him as a caring, kind-hearted hero. Weird, I know.
Over in Storybrooke, Emma calls with news that leaves Charming and Snow adorably baffled, while the evil threesome—Regina, Cora, and Hook—are searching for the one thing that can finally take down “The Dark One.”
But here’s where it gets good: Rumple and Bae finally have their much-needed heart to heart. (Even though it’s only three minutes long, per Bae’s request.) Although I can’t reveal who his son is — I’m pretty sure ABC would send Snow to shoot an arrow straight though my heart — I can tell you that we may have seen this person in the past. Or maybe not. Oh, and all you August fans out there are definitely going to want to tune in this week!
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2. The Carrie Diaries: Limo Loving
New Goal in Life: Be an extra for a day on the set of The Carrie Diaries. Bonus points if they’re filming another school dance like in the upcoming episode “Caught” (airing Feb. 25, bee-tee-dubs). If you’re not watching this delightful Sex and the City prequel, then you really need to reevaluate your DVR priorities. Not only is this show addictingly sweet and filled to the brim with Google-worthy fashion pieces, young Carrie (AnnaSophia Robb) is simply sensational.
This week we met Carrie’s new beau George, and in a few weeks we’ll see that this super tall hunk is still very much in our leading lady’s life — but so is Sebastian. While Carrie is rocking the world’s most amazing mint green dress at the Winter Dance, fans will see that V-word is something that will finally be addressed. And to all you sweet-minded fans, I’m not talking about valentines. Let’s just say she’ll be having a very Chuck and Blair moment in the back of a limo.
With Carrie off dancing the night away, Dorrit is finally spending some one-on-one time with their dad. And fans will also see a first glimpse of Carrie’s knack for writing when her quippy headline makes it into Interview Magazine.
Plus, get excited for Carrie’s best line of the episode — and the best SATC jab yet: “If I’m still dating and talking about guys in my thirties, someone needs to smother me with a pillow.” Hah! Oh, Miss Bradshaw, if only you knew…
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3. The Middle: I Heart The Hecks
It’s no surprise that I love sparkly things. So you can imagine my extreme delight when Brick Heck, sent me a personalized valentine yesterday. There is red glitter all over my desk and I’ve never been happier — that is until I saw tonight’s episode of The Middle and realized that he gave Frankie and I the exact same valentine. Matching girlfriend and mother presents is quite a big step, but I’m glad that Brick is confident in our love. Swoon!
Love is in the air in the Heck house tonight, and while Mike’s idea of romance is finally taking the Christmas tree out to the curb, his co-workers decide to tackle his “intimacy issues” and suggest new ways to show his love for Frankie. Meanwhile, Axl and his Boss Co. crew come up with the world’s most genius — and yet incredibly douchey — way to make money off his classmates’ V-Day misery.
And Sue is once again trying to channel the world’s supply of optimism and signs up to be on the clean-up crew for the school’s Valentine’s Day dance. She exclaims, “I may not be in love, but I can still clean up from people in love!”
The Middle is not typically a show filled with spoilers, but I reveal that tonight’s episode has a massively amazing twist at the end. I literally gasped, squealed from delight, and the re-watched the moment three more times. If you’ve never seen The Middle, then shame on you! But you’re in luck, because tonight is the perfect episode to jump into the craziness of the Heck house.
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4. The Good Wife: A Sweet Surprise
This Sunday’s episode, “Red Team/BlueTeam” is a whirlwind of classic Good Wife drama. Now that Lockhart Gardner's debt issue has been resolved, the partners are less inclined to let newbies in — so the status of Alicia, Carey, and the rest of the fourth years' partnership offers is up in the air. In the meantime, Diane and Will ask the officemates to argue against them in a mock trial to prep for a lawsuit against their energy drink company clients.
As Alicia and Carey throw themselves into the case, they get angrier and angrier that they might not get their promotions. Could they strike out on their own together? From competitors to potential partners — those two have come a long way over the years and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this to happen.
Eli enlists Elsbeth's help in the criminal case building against him, and once again the quirky lawyer finds a way to outsmart her competition. Sure, she's a weirdo, but I'd hire her in a heartbeat!
And since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, here's a sweet treat: Keep an eye out for an unexpected romantic moment during Sunday's episode. I'm not telling who kisses, but let's just say I screamed at my screen — and you will too!
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5. Bunheads: Red-Hot Fun
Lemme just start this off by saying that my go-to show is Gilmore Girls — always has been, always will be. So the fact that Amy Sherman-Palladino is has sprinkling some of my favorite Stars Hallow residents into Bunheads has been particularly thrilling for me. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you.
There are only two more episodes left in the winter season of Bunheads, and they will definitely make your head spin. I had the pleasure of speaking with the legenday Sutton Foster yesterday and she filled me in on everything that’s coming up in next Monday’s episode.
“There’s a fire and the dance studio becomes one of the evacuation zones, so Michelle becomes one of the co-captains to oversee the disaster.” Foster continues, “All the characters are forced to be in the same place at the same time all the girls, all their love-interests and the girls decide to take their relationships to new levels.” Cue the cat fight and tutus!
So while the girls are figuring out their love lives, our leading lady is left trying to keep everything in order. Sutton says, “Michelle becomes more of a parental figure and watching every body and then reluctantly being put into a position of responsibility and that is ot necessarily her strong points.”
I then suggested that Michelle should bring back her polyester-powered panysuit to give her the courage to handle the responsibilities. Sutton laughed, “Oh no! Thank god I’ll never have to put that pant suit back on. But there is a lot of silly crazy and fun stuff in the next two episodes.” Can’t wait to watch it all twirl out of control!
Who do you think is Rumplestilskin’s son in Once Upon a Time? Is Carrie ready to give up her V-card in The Carrie Diaries? Excited to see all the drama unfold on Bunheads? Will you be my Valentine, TV lovers? Tell me everything in the comments below!
—Additional Reporting by Jean Bentley
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
[Photo Credit: CREDIT: Jack Rowand/ABC; David M. Russell/CBS; Adam Taylor/ABC Family; Michael Ansell/ABC; Patrick Harbron/The CW]
Having recently moved to England from America with his large family young Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig) is finding it difficult to adapt. But it isn’t so much the culture shock or calling his mom “mum” that’s giving him trouble—it’s the fact that he is a warrior and doesn’t yet know it. He is tipped off to the weirdness after witnessing two policemen hot on his trail for purchasing what he thought was a pendant for his sister (Emma Lockhart) morph into black crows. That pendant turns out to be one of six crucial “signs” in need of finding and Will turns out to be the last of the Old Ones fit for the job—as he is informed by fellow Old Ones Merriman Lyon (Ian McShane) and Miss Greythorne (Frances Conroy). Will’s success is mankind’s only hope of warding off the evil Dark whose goal is to defeat the Light and steal their free will; it’s your classic battle of Dark vs. Light. With each passing day Will becomes more adept at sensing new signs but he only has five days to do so before the nefarious Rider’s (Christopher Eccleston) skills reach their peak which will be bad news for everyone. If there were never a Daniel Radcliffe by whom all fantasy-protagonist performances are now measured youngster Alexander Ludwig (of The Sandlot 3 fame) might not seem so stiff—fine inept. But in The Seeker Ludwig struggles with the already tenuous special-effects sequences let alone with trying to carry the movie to franchise-dom. While it’s rare to find the young actor whose charisma trumps his inexperience—a la Radcliffe or even Macaulay Culkin circa 1990—Ludwig comes off more like a kid in a candy store than on a movie set and no editing-room fixes can help. Elsewhere the actors’ stakes are lower and the results mixed. McShane utterly incapable of a bad performance is leaps and bounds above all of his numerous costars. It’s too bad the former Deadwood actor starring as the most vocal of the Old Ones didn’t rub off on any of his younger costars; it’s also too bad he accepted a role well beneath him much like August’s Hot Rod was. McShane’s fellow Old One and HBO casualty Conroy (Six Feet Under) shares a similar venerability but she ditches it the second she wields a sword in a vain attempt to go medieval on our collective heiny. We could’ve used more of Eccleston (28 Days Later) as his wry alter-ego doctor but he spends most of his scenes obscured as the villainous Rider. In most modern fantasy flicks the grand-scale action scenes are where the magic’s at with their bank-breaking special effects and/or productions; in The Seeker such scenes expose the movie as a thrift-shop version of its more deep-pocketed genre brethren (i.e. Narnia Potter Lord of the Rings). It’s not only that the look of the action is less imaginative but also its conception: Each time Will must retrieve one of the signs there is seemingly no difficulty in doing so and thus zero suspense—like a bad video game. That could be because director David L. Cunningham (TV movie The Path to 9/11) seemingly wants the movie to play out like a video game instead of like Susan Cooper’s beloved novel The Dark Is Rising whose story was somewhat tweaked by screenwriter John Hodge (Trainspotting). On the bright side the lush snow-covered English village in which the movie is set is rich and evocative. In fact everything looks great and will keep viewers’ attention throughout the early part of The Seeker. But unlike its aforementioned contemporaries the movie takes a nosedive when it’s supposed to most enthrall us.
Top Story: Studio Delays From Kelly to Justin DVD
Twentieth Century Fox is delaying the home video release of the upcoming musical From Justin to Kelly starring American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini after theater owners complained about its release date. The studio had scheduled the film's home video release just six weeks after its June 13 nationwide theatrical release. Exhibitors such as Regal Entertainment Group, Loews Entertainment and National Amusements had reportedly threatened not to play the film if the timings between the release windows remained so close. Sources told Reuters that Fox has moved the date back to early September but the studio says the date has not been set. Some industryites suggest Fox probably wanted to shorten the window on From Justin to Kelly in order to capitalize on American Idol's momentum.
Steve-O Released From Swedish Jail
Jackass star Steve-O, whose real name is Stephen Glover, has been released from jail in Stockholm, Sweden, The Associated Press reports. Glover was arrested Thursday after he told a Swedish newspaper he swallowed a condom filled with marijuana. He admitted possessing 5 grams of marijuana and a tablet of ecstasy and agreed to pay a fine of $5,800. The Stockholm district court had ordered Glover held in jail until June 6 while a prosecutor prepared possible charges of drug smuggling and drug possession.
McCartney and Mills Expecting First Child
Paul McCartney and wife Heather Mills announced Wednesday they are expecting a baby later this year, Reuters reports. McCartney, 60, has three children from his 29-year marriage to Linda McCartney, who died of breast cancer in 1998. The former Beatle also adopted Linda's child from an earlier marriage. McCartney and Mills, a former model, met at a charity event three years ago and were married in June 2002. "We are delighted with this happy news," the couple said in a statement.
Students Create Saks, Lies and Videotapes
A group of students from Point Loma High School in San Diego has created a musical based on Winona Ryder's shoplifting trial titled Sticky Fingers: Saks, Lies and Videotapes, the AP reports. The musical follows a missile-factory employee and tango dancer who has a fateful encounter with Ryder at the Saks store on Rodeo Drive. The Girl, Interrupted star was invited to see the show, directed by teacher Larry Zeiger, but the school hasn't received a response.
Kenneth Branagh Weds in Private Ceremony
British actor Kenneth Branagh married girlfriend Lindsay Brunnock in a private ceremony over the weekend and are now on honeymoon at an undisclosed location, his publicist told Reuters Wednesday. Branagh, 42, met Brunnock, an art director, on the set of the TV drama Shackleton in 2001. It's the second marriage for Branagh, whose marriage to actress Emma Thompson ended in 1996. He was later linked to his Frankenstein co-star Helena Bonham Carter. Branagh recently starred as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets but is best known for his Shakespearean roles in Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet.
Bellucci's Stolen "Cleopatra" Gown Recovered
A $180,000 gown worn by Italian actress Monica Bellucci in the 2002 French film Asterix and Obelix: Meet Cleopatra was stolen from a hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes by a waiter who wanted to impress girls, Reuters reports. According to police, the thief had just started work at the hotel as a waiter and rapidly confessed that he had wanted the dress as a gift for two girls he had just met. The three have been released but will be charged with theft.
Bob Hope Turns 100
Bob Hope, who turns 100 on Thursday, will celebrate with a low-key family party. His daughter, Linda Hope, said in an AP interview the centerpiece of her dad's birthday will be a huge cake--large enough to hold all the candles. Linda Hope added that her father still has a sense of humor. "He doesn't really tell jokes anymore. But he loves to hear a good joke," she said. "Friends come and tell him latest jokes. His face lights up. He still has that. Somebody will say something and then he'll say something that makes it into a joke. It's very much a part of him."
Shots Fired at Tha Row Records
Seven bullets were fired into the front door, windows, and wall of Suge Knight's Tha Row offices in West Los Angeles Tuesday, the AP reports. Knight, who was released on parole in August 2001, after serving five years in prison for assault and federal weapons charges, issued a statement suggesting the shooter may have been motivated by jealousy. "We've got a lot of artists like Crooked I, Eastwood, and Kurupt that are currently working on new albums. And, because of the hype and media attention associated with these two projects, there have been a lot of girls flocking to see them at the studio and at the clubs. The crime was probably committed by a jealous boyfriend or a jealous husband," Knight said.
Academy Calls for Sci-Tech Achievements for 76th Oscars
The 2003 Oscar race is underway! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has mailed out more than 850 applications, both in the United States and abroad, for the 2003 Scientific and Technical Awards. To be considered, achievements must show "exceptional merit and evidence of having provided significant advances in the production of motion pictures." All entry applications must be submitted to the Academy by August 1. The Scientific and Technical Awards will be presented on Feb. 14, 2004.
Role Call: Sk8er Boi: The Movie
Paramount Pictures has optioned Avril Lavigne's hit single "Sk8er Boi" for the big screen. The pic, to be produced by studio-based MTV Films and Alphaville, will focus on a teenage girl who rejects a skater boy because her friends do not approve of him--even though she secretly likes him. The studio has hired ER writer/producer David Zabel to adapt the lyrics words into a feature film.
Just as the J.K. Rowling books keep getting better and more exciting so do the movies based on them. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone had the unenviable task of introducing everything but with Chamber of Secrets you march right into the adventure headlong. After spending another miserable summer with the Dursleys our boy Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is anxious to start his second year at Hogwarts but a house elf named Dobby (voiced by Toby Jones) warns him he'll be in grave danger if he goes back. He returns anyway and sure enough once Harry joins up with his friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) weird things start to happen at school--one of which being that students are somehow being turned into stone. Pretty soon it becomes clear the Chamber of Secrets--a legendary hidden chamber of evil built by one of Hogwarts' founders the nasty Salazar Slytherin--has been opened. Legend says the chamber can only be opened by the true heir of Slytherin and once it is the beast within will be unleashed to purge the school of those undeserving to study there. In other words it'll get rid of wizards and witches who come from non-magic heritage (or Muggles as they're called). This puts Hermione in particular danger since she comes from Muggle parents. Yikes. Harry has his hands full trying to figure this one out especially since he is suspected as the one who opened the chamber.
The natural rapport of the young actors Radcliffe Grint and Watson comes shining through as the trio become more comfortable walking around in their characters' shoes. Radcliffe gets to do a lot more in Chamber of Secrets than just stand around wide-eyed and slack-jawed as he did in Sorcerer's Stone and all three have definitely improved as actors (but there is still some work to do). If you were to choose the best of the three it would have to be Watson. She has a few truly outstanding moments especially in her tender scene with Hagrid (the always good Robbie Coltrane) who tells her being Muggle-born has nothing to do with being a great witch. Great casting has also been a key element to the success of the Harry Potter movies so the actors chosen to play the two new characters introduced in Chamber of Secrets are simply perfect. The delightful Kenneth Branagh has fun playing Prof. Gilderoy Lockhart a vain blowhard who knows almost nothing about wizardry but pretends to while Jason Isaacs (The Patriot) oozes as Lucius Malfoy a malevolent wizard who was once a follower of You-Know-Who (Harry's nemesis Lord Voldemort. Oops! I said it). He is also father to bully Draco Malfoy played by Tom Felton who also needs a little more work in the acting department. Of course watching the late Richard Harris as Hogwarts' headmaster Albus Dumbledore is indeed sad. It'll be hard to replace him.
Chris Columbus just gets it. Either he somehow channels J.K. Rowling or perhaps is secretly part-wizard himself but Columbus manages to capture the essence of the books to a tee. With Sorcerer's Stone he was partially weighed down by the story's exposition but with Chamber of Secrets he's set free. Columbus utilizes more special effects darker imagery and plays up the funnier moments. If you are a fan of the books you will marvel at Columbus' uncanny ability to visualize exactly what things looks like in Harry Potter's world. The digitally created house elf Dobby is just as you would imagine him with torn clothes and huge eyes. As is the flying car the walloping Whomping Willow the creepy spiders' nest the ugly baby Mandrake plant--all of it is done with exquisite detail. Still the film is not completely perfect. Some moments don't ring as true especially in the ending and it runs a little long. If you aren't a literary follower you might find yourself looking at your watch a few times during the course of the movie. But it's fleeting because soon you are caught up again by the next exciting chain of events. Columbus is passing the baton to director Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien) for the next Potter adventure Prisoner of Azkaban because he wants a break from all that magic stuff. I bet he'll miss it.