Michael Arbeiter
Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.
  • Red Carpet: Michelle Williams on 'Marilyn,' Jennifer Garner on 'Butter'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 07, 2011
    The red carpet was bustling this weekend thanks to the arrivals of two anticipated films: the Marilyn Monroe biopic My Week with Marilyn starring Michelle Willaims, and the 2008 election allegory Butter starring and produced by Jennifer Garner. Our reporters got a chance to speak with Simon Curtis, director of Marilyn, as well as its stars Williams and Dominic Cooper, who plays Milton Greene, celebrity photographer famed especially for his work with Monroe. Curtis expressed the effect that the set of his film had on its actors and their performances, specifically the use of locations formerly employed by the figures represented in the film (for example, Marilyn Monroe's actual dressing room). Williams was understandably thrilled by the opportunity to embody a legend like Monroe, and to be part of such an exciting project. Cooper went on about the talents of the leading lady, and offered a bit of an examination on both Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier, played in the film by Kenneth Branagh. We also got a bit of an insight into what it's like to be an actress in and a new producer of a film from Garner, who proclaimed a great investment in her new film Butter (which she has seen over twenty times already). My Week with Marilyn arrives in theaters November 23, while it was recently announced that Butter will open March 16, 2012.
  • Robert De Niro Set to Play Bernie Madoff in HBO Biopic Movie
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 07, 2011
    A few months prior, it was announced that HBO was circling a project about the infamous Bernie Madoff, with desired star Robert De Niro. The project is now taking form, and De Niro is on board to play the notorious multi-billion dollar thief. HBO is using two books about Madoff's life and his criminal activities, which robbed thousands of citizens of their life savings, as source material for the film. Those include Truth and Consequences: Inside the Life of the Madoff Family by Laurie Sandell—to which HBO and De Niro's Tribeca pictures has recently purchased the adaptation rights, and The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust by Diana B. Henriquez—the original source material for the script. The film is being written by John Burnham Schwartz, whose only film credit to date was adapting his own novel, Reservation Road in 2007. If De Niro has a type, it's certainly no far stretch from a Madoff character: a man-in-power and a ruthless criminal. Hopefully the actor can channel his glory days to bring us a Madoff story we won't soon forget. Source: AOLTV
  • Dana Carvey to Take Over Regis' Hosting Gig?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 07, 2011
    He who will assume the legendary seat of Regis Philbin on Live! with Regis and Kelly has got a lot to live up to. It's likely that anyone suggested will be met with at least some naysayers, no matter how affable or talented said candidate may be. The newest potential successor to Philbin's longtime hosting gig is quite an interesting and unexpected choice, although not one without promise: Dana Carvey. Yes, Carvey has been the source of a good deal of laughter over the years, from both the Wayne's World movies and his years on Saturday Night Live. But we never really see Carvey not playing some kind of character; and more often than not, he's playing a pretty off-the-wall character. He's known more for wild, spot-on impressions rather than his capabilities with charming smalltalk and casual banter. But then again, it might be wise to veer from the expected. No one who takes the role will wow all of the Regis-devotees out there. Perhaps, instead of emulating the television fixture's unwavering insuperability as a friendly talk show host, shooting for the epitome of a character actor to keep everyone guessing is not a bad choice. Of course, they won't have Carvey coming out in Church Lady garb or delivering opening monologues as Tom Brokaw. But instilling some of his wacky flavor into the mix might just work. Others in consideration for the role include Kelly Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, who has filled in for Philbin in the past on the show. Additionally, Ryan Seacrest and Bravo television host Andy Cohen are in the running. Source: NYPost
  • 'Tower Heist' Director Brett Ratner Wants to Make Another Eddie Murphy Comedy
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 07, 2011
    I suppose if any of us got a chance to work with our longtime heroes, we'd want to keep that going as long as possible. Director Brett Ratner has declared Eddie Murphy to have been a huge influence on his career, inspiring the Rush Hour movies with his brilliant action comedies. This weekend, Ratner's heist comedy, Tower Heist, opened, with Murphy headlining opposite Ben Stiller. Ratner is also producing the 2012 Academy Awards, which Murphy is hosting, as well as the developing animated film Hong Kong Phooey, with Murphy voicing the title character (which we can only hope will be faithful to the better-than-logic-dictates-it-could-have-been original cartoon). Ratner has declared that in addition to all of this, and a possible new Beverly Hills Cop movie, he would like to work on another comedy film with Murphy. The director and the actor are reported to be in talks for a new project; perhaps Ratner will take over directorial responsibilities on the script Murphy is writing: Jamal and Tyrell and Omar and Brick and Michael's Wack-Ass Weekend, about a fivesome of friends being abducted by aliens. For now, there is nothing solidified. But a Ratner/Murphy collaboration is on the horizons, so prepare accordingly. Source: The Wrap 
  • J.J. Abrams' Boldly Goes After Benicio Del Toro for 'Star Trek' Sequel Villain
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 07, 2011
    I believe that there is a secret legion of powerhouse actors who maintain a level of unrepentant honor while agreeing never to clamor for the degree of sparkling notoriety afforded to the superstars who reign supreme in Hollywood. This legion consists of actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman and, acting as the muscle when the rival acting gangs stray into their territory, Benicio Del Toro. Del Toro's newest gift to America might his portrayal of the much anticipated villain in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek sequel. Abrams has reached Del Toro to play the major part, and discussions seem to be underway. The role will call for a multitude of talents. He'll have to play the villain—no problem. Del Toro has played a wide variety of despicable, twisted characters in the past: all different, each masterful. Now, the whole "being an alien" thing that might find its way into the character is less treaded land for Del Toro. Does anyone have a doubt, however, that BDT can totally wrangle extraterrestrial antagonist? Anyone who does has quite the strong argument to make. We still know nothing specific about this character. He might turn out to be a traitorous member of the crew. Perhaps an overlord of an alien planet. Maybe, Kirk's evil twin...there aren't enough evil fraternal twins in fiction, come to think of it. But whatever Del Toro plays, he'll play it well. And we'll reap the benefits. Source: Variety
  • Jessica Chastain Cast as Princess Diana in 'Caught in Flight' Biopic
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 07, 2011
    Jessica Chastain has found this past year to be quite the fruitful one, with roles in such films as The Tree of Life, The Help and The Debt, among others. Although her career has virtually just begun, she's already taking the step that is generally reserved for actors who have thoroughly established themselves as dramatic talents—the embodiment of an icon of modern history in the most sacred of films...the biopic. And the subject of Chastain's new film is just about as significant a figure as you can get: Princess Diana. A lot of pretty substantial biopics are being churned out nowadays. Michelle Williams plays Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, coming out later this month. Martin Scorsese is developing a film about Frank Sinatra, with Leonardo DiCaprio (of course) to star. And Chastain will play Princess Di in the biopic film Caught in Flight, by director Oliver Hirschbiegel. Hirschbiegel is responsible for The Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, as well the acclaimed Das Experiment and Downfall. The latter chronicles the demise of the Third Reich during the final episodes of World War II. And although you may not be particularly familiar with it by title, we can guarantee that you have seen one very famous scene in Downfall, in one form or another. As said, this is a big step for the relative greenhorn that is Chastain. In just a short time, she has advanced to a Hollywood omnipresence, with roles increasing in size exponentially. Being cast as Princess Diana is as big an honor as an actress can earn, and many of us are glad to see the talented Chastain advancing with such speed. Good things to come. Source: Indiewire
  • 'Hell on Wheels' Pilot Review
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 06, 2011
    It seems to me that everyone was going into tonight’s premiere of the new period drama show Hell on Wheels with the mindset that this will be AMC’s first subpar original series. I’m not entirely sure from what exactly this theory derives. The subject matter is hardly grounds for dismissal of the show—yes, a lot of period dramas are being attempted these days, but very few before the 1900s; thus, a lack of originality is not necessarily a factor. Aside from the inclusion of rapper Common as a liberated slave and railroad laborer, the casting should not lend any particular degree of skepticism. So why, exactly, were we all—myself included—setting ourselves up to be underwhelmed? Whatever the answer is, it’s unfair to approach any show—or anything at all—with that attitude. But considering, Hell on Wheels did all right by me. No, it wasn’t anything monumentally gripping—few pilots really are, to be fair. I didn’t find myself drawn to any particular character or storyline (although the pair of Irishmen traveling together did offer some fun comic relief, for which I’m a sucker—and, don't ask me why, I do love Ted Levine in any role, though we won’t be seeing him around the railroad in any future episodes). But, as said, considering the public negativity it was facing, Hell on Wheels delivered a pretty viable premiere episode. The central story revolves around Cullen Bohannen (Anson Mount), veteran of the Confederate Army in the Civil War who is on a mission to avenge the death of his wife. The first we meet of Bohannen, he is hiding out in a confession booth, ready to ambush and kill one of the men he knows to be responsible for her death. What he believes at this point is that she committed suicide due to the atrocities imparted on her by these men—Union soldiers. The truth: she was murdered, and made to look like a victim of suicide, by the men of whom he is aware and an unnamed senator. While Bohannen paints himself as a godless murderer and former slave owner, we like him straight from the start. We learn that he freed his slaves due to a moral enlightenment (courtesy of his wife) a year before the Civil War, but still fought in his army out of honor. We understand that he has a greater human respect for the black men who work on the railroad than do Levine’s character and any of the other nameless men we meet. He has a thick black beard and speaks in a sullen whisper, but we like him. He’s rhythmic, he’s crafty, he says what he means, he’s tortured by his driving ambition of revenge…Cullen is your typical antihero. And though he’s nothing we haven’t seen much of before, he’s played quite well by Mount, so we find him more likable than not. We don’t learn too much about any of the other characters. Elam (Common) is the self-appointed “leader” of the black laborers, speaking for their injustices and often taking matters into his own hands. He kills the tyrannical railroad manager played by Levine—much to the chagrin of Cullen, who was hoping that Levine’s character would supply him with the name of the senator who killed his wife—at the end of the episode in his own act of vengeance of the violence imparted upon his friend and coworker. There are also a pair of so-affably-in-love-that-you-know-one-is-about-to-die travelers, who brave hostile American Indian territory and feel the wrath of a violent tribe. The man dies, and the woman is left injured and alone—where exactly they’ll take this story is beyond me, because two revenge pieces in one series is far too many. And finally, there is the head of the railroad business, Thomas ‘Doc’ Durant (Colm Meaney), who professes vociferously his Gordon Gekko attitude throughout the episode, summing his accepted villainy all up in a reasonably meta speech at the end: his wickedness is necessary for the success of this business. AMC does love its villains, and Doc might be a good one. He’s not blind to his flaws, or even ashamed of them. He understands that his motivations are purely selfish. But, in quite the Machiavellian sense, he also understands that they serve a useful purpose for the progress of the United States. Sure, he might not particularly care about this—or he might, we’ll have to explore him further—but such is the case. One thing I will say about Hell on Wheels, it is more fun than I thought it would be. It’s faster and more stylistic. Not to lessen its originality—the style is most definitely its own—but it did seem reminiscent of something in the Tarantino vein at times, especially in Cullen’s opening shoot-a-man-in-a-church-confessional scene. The dialogue lies in the healthiest compromise between modern and of-the-times, never incomprehensible and not offensively anachronistic. Like the mood, it is far more fun and rhythmic than I expected the series would be. As are many of the characters—I’m really looking forward to seeing more of those two bizarre Irish fellows. But the real show will rely on Cullen and Doc, and, (I believe) to a lesser extent, Elam. Cullen’s revenge story will be the narrative that keeps us going. The problem with this is, they need to really make us care about Cullen’s late wife and why her killer must be brought to justice. They have lain the groundwork as amply as a pilot can—not only was she his love, she was the good inside of Cullen. She brought him to free his slaves, and made him the honorable man we have met. That’s reason enough for now, but they’d better do some regular reinforcing. As far as Doc goes, as long as he amps up the evil every so often and keeps his dictums going, I don’t doubt that he’ll maintain interest. In short, the pilot is a pleasant surprise. I can’t commit to the idea that this will be a can’t-miss. But it does have the potential to be a should-probably-keep-up-with. It is AMC, after all. Hell on Wheels airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.
  • 'Boardwalk Empire' Recap: Peg of Old
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 06, 2011
    S2E7: “Peg of Old” is, in theory, just about the perfect example of what I understand Boardwalk Empire aims to be. In one of the most enjoyable episodes of the season so far (I’d put it second to Richard’s woods outing, although this one is a better archetypal representation of Boardwalk Empire’s true and intended form), we see both the internal minefields of the three biggest non-Nucky characters on the show, and some series plot advancement involving each of their stories—all cases surrounding issues that very directly affect Nucky (to varying, but all outstandingly negative, degrees). Nucky is featured only minimally this week—as seems to be a growing trend—but this could not possibly have been a less fortunate turn of events for the poor guy. And what did he ever do to anyone? “You’ll go now. Back to your own place, and leave us be. There’s no one here who knows you.” – Maggie’s brother If you’ve been paying attention to Maggie lately—even passing attention—you know that she’s feeling a bit lost. We have gotten hints that she has not spoken to her family in years, but we aren’t quite sure why—until this week’s episode, that is. Maggie pays a visit to Brooklyn—a 1920s Brooklyn complete with clothesline, bustling market places, cramped apartments…this is the real treat of watching period dramas—to reunite with her brother and various younger sisters, some of whom are too young to know her. Maggie wishes only to make amends for her departure and to “be among those who know her.” Her sisters try and cater to her wishes, greeting her kindly. But her brother, the only one aware of her reason for absence, is less welcoming. The two recollect on a memory from their youth: apparently, Maggie had an affair with a young man in Ireland and, from what it seems, had an abortion. This, coupled with her absence during their mother’s passing, and her new morally grey means of sustenance, keeps her brother none too willing to rekindle sibling bonds. Maggie returns home, distraught, and—probably out of grief—succumbs to her lust for Owen Slater, who has had his own bad day. Instead of doing his job (which proved quite more a significant choice than it normally might have*), Owen spent his day on the prowl for someone he considered a “traitor” to Ireland (an old acquaintance for whom he has apparently kept some hostility). Both are feeling lonesome and isolated, without anything of familiarity, and take to one another in a physical way. And everyone who watches Boardwalk shouts, in unison, “Finally!” “This is your baby. You bought it. The kid doesn’t even have a name.” – Lucy Among everything else that it does, van Alden’s storyline introduces us to someone who just might turn out to be one of the most entertaining characters on the show, if tonight’s episode is a fair indication: Esther Randolph, the new prosecutor assigned to Nucky’s case—and one hell-bent on doing her job to the utmost proficiency. Esther has commandeered Nelson’s work station, with which he obviously takes issue. But, of course, he has more important matters to deal with: 1) his new baby, and 2) the mother of his new baby, who is demanding the $3,000 he promised her. Seeing as Nelson cannot pay Lucy, she retreats to her old treasure trove: Nucky, who is at first frustrated at her presence, but then warms up when he sees how earnest she…seems…about motherhood. Additionally, this new compromising position for van Alden gives Nucky an idea: Nucky will agree to support van Alden and the child in return for information on every aspect of Randolph’s case. This is clearly a deal that holds a lot of weight with Nelson. Some time after this discussion, Nelson returns to his apartment to find the still nameless baby being cared for by a neighbor. She informs him that Lucy stepped out to get formula over twenty minutes ago, which arouses suspicion in Nelson. He then finds a goodbye note of sorts inside the symbolic record player: the cover of the script that Nelson forbade Lucy from reading pinned to the baby’s dirty diaper. Alone with the baby, Nelson begins flipping through the Bible for an inspiration on names. He lands on Abigail, which inspires a joyful coo in the young baby—something that provokes a rare smile from the stalwart detective. It is this connection to his daughter that makes Nelson realize that no matter what his monetary situation, he needs to be an honest man for her. Thus, he visits Esther Randolph with all of the information he has compiled on Nucky over the past two seasons—specifically, all of the crimes he is aware that Nucky has committed (not excluding murder). He may go broke, but Nelson keeps his honor for his daughter. It’s kind of sweet…even though we know he’s a twisted nut. “It doesn’t make a difference if you’re right or wrong. You just have to make a decision.” – Jimmy Jimmy has one concurrent internal conflict this season (aside from his ever increasingly bizarre relationship with his mother): he is tormented over his betrayal of Nucky. He has come to terms, more or less, with turning on him. But in this episode, the stakes are raised. He meets with Lucky, Meyer, Capone, Mickey Doyle and Richard to discuss the overthrow of their respective bosses. Jimmy suggests that Nucky be put in jail while he seize control of Atlantic City, for the benefit of all. Latecomer Eli Thompson combats this with the idea that they kill Nucky instead, about which all of the men (aside from Richard, the only noble figure in the show) are more enthusiastic. Pressured, Jimmy gives the okay to kill Nucky, which plagues him for the rest of the episode. He considers taking his command back, but his mother convinces him that this will make him seem week. Thus, at a fundraising event for Nucky, Jimmy approaches his old father figure and offers him the following statement: “It doesn’t make a difference if you’re right or wrong. You just have to make a decision,” before one of his men shoots Nucky*…non-fatally, of course. But still. Big stuff. Needless to say, eventful episode. Nucky gets cheated on, loses a great deal of headway in his legal case, and the whole bullet-to-the-torso thing, propagated by the man he raised as a son. On top of these developments, we get to see the darknesses plaguing Maggie and Jimmy in closer lights, and a spiritual step-up for Nelson, who has been on a pretty consistent losing streak. All this and a great new character? I’d call this week as good as Boardwalk gets.
  • The Generational Comedy Stylings of 'Tower Heist'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 06, 2011
    Tower Heist might speak particularly well to the present day, with a plot revolving around an eclectic bunch of everymen trying to steal back the money that is rightfully theirs from a greedy billionaire. However, there is one pretty significant element of Tower Heist that has been a constant for generations (not Casey Affleck, although I do have my suspicions that he is a reincarnation of Johannes Kepler). I’m talking about comedy. Although comedy has been around since the dawn of humanity and has existed as a prominent part of film, television and other forms of popular culture over the past few decades, there are certainly distinctions in the way comedy has been delivered. This is something that Tower Heist embraces. Upon examining the cast of Tower Heist, you’re likely to notice the wide range of ages in the starring players. More importantly than their ages even are their professional histories. Headliner Ben Stiller, for instance, developed his notoriety in the 1990s. Stiller’s Tower Heist sidekick Eddie Murphy, who really blossomed a decade prior—the 1980s. And, of course, the film’s villain: the great Alan Alda, who became a welcome fixture in American households during the 1970s with the hit television series M*A*S*H. Each of these men is synonymous with the comedy of his time. Alda’s heartbreaking M*A*S*H finale still holds the record for most-watched episode of television in American history. Murphy’s Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop movies are modern classics. And Stiller has continued to churn out fan favorites since his 1995 comedy Heavyweights. And though each could be considered a comedic kingpin of his respective era, they are all quite different in the humor with which they do supply us. Let’s start with Alda (I like my lists to be chronological, alphabetical, and in descending order of time spent grinning). Alda is known best for having played army surgeon Captain Hawkeye Pierce for eleven years on M*A*S*H, regaling audiences with his charm and intellect. Pierce acted as sort of a less energetic Bugs Bunny figure—we always know that when up against opponents like the humorless Major Burns, Pierce would come up the victor. Why? He was smarter, cooler, quicker with a jab—always one step ahead of everybody else. Pierce was rife with wordplay, double-talk, and countless of lines that seemed to entrance the seemingly endless supply of nameless military nurses at the 4077th. In short, Pierce was a winner. This is why it was easy to root for him—he’s the sort of character that everyone wishes to identify with the most (even if they are more the Radar type). And most importantly, just about everything he said was funny. Always on point and stocked with a clever shot, Hawkeye Pierce—and his portrayer Alan Ada—represented the comedy that America needed in the trying times of the Cold War: someone who represented intellect, popularity, stability, and success. Eddie Murphy represented quite a different style of hero—not quite an antihero, but definitely a less “noble” figure than Hawkeye. Murphy’s 48 Hrs. conman Reggie Hammond and his free-wheeling Beverly Hills Cop detective Axel Foley were reckless, irresponsible, loud-mouthed goofballs: the type whose energetic antics were regularly laugh-a-minute. The main difference between Murphy and Alda is the level of composure each represents. Whereas Alda’s comedy derived from his ability to stay calm in high stress situations (minor example: the Korean War), Murphy was a wily stick of dynamite, set off by so much as a crooked glance from somebody wearing far too much denim. For my money, Trading Places is the best comedic performance by, and best representation of, Murphy. When the film begins, Murphy’s character Billy Ray Valentine is a squawking swindler, pleading unsuccessfully with Philadelphian pedestrians for some spare change. Before becoming involved in the Duke brothers’ nefarious scheme (the central plot), Valentine finds himself in over his head in a handful of situations: he is outsmarted by a pair of policemen, thrown in jail, and nearly beaten to a pulp by two very large, very intimidating cellmates. And this is Eddie Murphy at his best: while Valentine manages to dig his own grave deeper and deeper, he still hangs onto the air of superiority and self-importance that fuels the vociferous verbal tirades for which the actor is famous. Alda’s type was important for his time—when America needed to feel like a winner. Murphy’s was equally important for his time. Murphy’s criminal characters didn’t represent the same educated sophisticates that Alda’s did. Murphy played on behalf of the common man who, while perhaps not as prone to Pierce’s casual literary allusions and effortless yet hilarious asides, were still capable of being extremely funny, and were still capable of being looked at as heroes. Hawkeye Pierce was a winner, and he knew it. Murphy’s characters weren’t quite as adept as Pierce, but they were nonetheless convinced of their grandeur. And then comes the third comic actor in question, whose characters represent the final extreme: the beta-male, the hapless nebbish, the spineless nerd, the full-fledged, bona fide loser…too harsh? It’s okay…as you’d probably assume from the fact that I blog about movies for a living, this is the category I belong to. The ‘90s saw America willing to root for a new type of hero. While Radiohead, Daria and Stephen Chbosky let the lot of us know that there was value in our inability to fit in, Stiller brought the notion of this new hero to comedic film. With films like Reality Bites, There’s Something About Mary, and Meet the Parents, Stiller represented the sort of well-meaning sad sack that we both pitied and rooted for. American pop culture wasn’t as consumed by superiority by this point. Weaker characters could be our heroes. We would even find ourselves comfortably—willingly, even—identifying with the losers. As Alda’s charming soldier was necessary for the American public in the 1970s. Murphy’s lovable ne’er-do-well was a heroic character for the working class man of the 1980s. And for the brooding beta-males who hadn’t yet seen their hero come to fruition onscreen, the 1990s brought Stiller. So what does it mean for us that they all come together in Tower Heist? It could mean the beginning of the end to the rigidity in the separation of these types of heroes. Maybe we can find ourselves rooting equally for men like Hawkeye Pierce, Billy Ray Valentine and Michael Grates. After all, the most heroic thing done by any of these characters is the inspiration of laughter in their audiences. When casting out the value in those unlike us, this is one of the most important things to remember. It doesn’t matter if you relate best to Alda’s well-read playboy war hero, Murphy’s motor-mouth swindler or Stiller’s sighing sad sack. The important thing is that each of these men can, has, and will continue to make us laugh.
  • Casting Roundup: Gary Busey on 'Two and a Half Men' and 'New Girl's' New Romance
    By: Michael Arbeiter Nov 04, 2011
    The Two and a Half Men set is no stranger to the eccentric. But now that Charlie Sheen is gone, it needs to fill the void of not-quite-sane celebrity somehow. There is no defecit in actors who might be short a few, but they really grabbed from the upper echelon of the pool of peculiarity with this new guest casting decision. Gary Busey will appear on an episode of Two and a Half Men, playing himself. Experiencing some latent grief over the loss of his brother, Alan (Jon Cryer) begins to foster delusions that he is Charlie. He goes to a psychiatric hospital to sort this situation out, and meets none other than Busey, who's also a patient at the mental health care institution. Busey's episode of Two and a Half Men will air on Monday, Nov. 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. -THR Fox's unstoppably lovable New Girl will be amping up its unstoppable lovability (be careful watching: you might be transformed into a Care Bear or something). Kali Hawk, who you likely know from films like Bridesmaids, Get Him to the Greek and Couples Retreat, will be stopping by the series to play a love interest for Jess' (Zooey Deschanel) most rigid roommate, Winston (Lamorne Morris). Hawk's character, Shelby, is an old love of Winston's who used to be quite obsessed with our most closed-mouth New Guy. Hawk will remain on the show for a multi-episode arc, sparking up some old feelings no doubt. New Girl airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. -TVLine Megan Mullally is a gift to comedic television. She was the heavy-hitter on Will & Grace, the secret weapon on Party Down, and continues to be one of the highlights of Childrens Hospital (and don't get us started on her recurring Parks & Rec role). She's heading over to Fox to join the cast of the hacker sitcom Breaking In, starring Bret Harrison and Christian Slater. Mullally will play a new head of the security firm, usurping Oz's (Slater) position as top banana. Season 2 of Breaking In will head into production in January, to join Fox's Tuesday night lineup come at midseason. -Deadline The Showtime drama Shameless, starring William H. Macy as a no-good alcoholic father of six, is on its way back for a second season. Come the twelfth episode of the season, we will meet a guest character played by Jenna Elfman of Dharma & Greg fame. Elfman is known for her comedic chops, but will likely have to channel some drama in the often heavy Showtime series. Showtime describes Elfman's character as "a woman with a dangerous past and an awkward present." Shameless will premiere Sunday, Jan. 8 on Showtime. -AOLTV