Uh oh, ‘24’ is back to its old (stupid) tricks (TV commentary)

Chloe is put in charge of CTU; Renee and Jack have sex less than an hour after Jack found President Hassan dead; Hassan’s widow agrees to take over as IRK president; the Russians pull out of the peace talks, blatantly suggesting that they have hidden motives; President Taylor goes to criminal ex-President Charles Logan for help; and the secretary of state who had a heart attack two hours ago is back at work.

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In search of the next ‘Lost?’ It’s already here, and it’s called ‘Fringe’ (TV commentary)

A recent issue of Entertainment Weekly examined networks’ efforts to find the next “Lost,” in terms of both quality and ratings, and determined that nothing fits the bill. I disagree: “Fringe” (8 p.m. Thursdays on Fox) — like “Lost,” produced by J.J. Abrams — is as good as “Lost” (maybe better), and it’s successful enough that it has been renewed for a third season.

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Hold onto this throwaway album from Butch Walker (Music review)

Butch Walker’s latest album was, according to the liner notes, “written and recorded in 5 days at RubyRed Productions in Santa Monica, CA.” I’m not surprised. Not because the album is rushed and sloppy, but because it’s really good — but in a breezy, effortless way that I’ve come to associate with the artist.

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The Turtles were ‘Lean, Green and on the Screen,’ and life was good (Movie commentary)

I can’t really say it better than I did in my Nov. 1, 2002, Easily Bemused column for my college paper, the North Dakota State University Spectrum. So, to commemorate Tuesday’s 20th anniversary of the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, here is a reprint of my tribute to my all-time favorite comic-book-turned-movie (and cartoon, and toys, and more movies, and more cartoons, and more toys), along with a few footnotes that I’ve added (or should I say “Foot” notes. Get it?):

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In ‘Buffy’ No. 33, Twilight is revealed to be … cough … hack … wheeze … spoiler alert (Comic book commentary)

Almost as entertaining as reading the “Buffy” Season 8 comics is reading Scott Allie’s From the Editor pieces on the Dark Horse Web site. In a January editorial, he apologized profusely to fans for Dark Horse’s accidental leakage of the identity of season-long villain Twilight when advance covers of Issue No. 34 were released online showing — SPOILER ALERT

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Are Andy and Erin on ‘The Office’ representative of a new trend, or an old one? (TV commentary)

People-watching in the lobby between acts at a recent Everclear concert at The Midland in Kansas City, I noticed an interesting phenomenon: Among couples, nine times out of 10, the woman was better looking than the man. And the 10th time, they were of equal attractiveness. Almost never would you see a couple where the guy was the better looking of the pair.

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This week on ‘Lost’: You wanna see something awesome? (TV commentary)

I’m not an awards-show guy. If you’re perusing my blog archives looking for analyses of Oscars, Emmys or Grammys, you won’t find any. That having been said, someone needs to give Nestor Carbonell an award (even if it’s a worthless award like an Emmy) for his performance as Richard Alpert in “Ab Aeterno,” Tuesday’s episode of “Lost.”

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With an electromagnetic pulse bang, ‘24’ is back among TV’s elite dramas (Commentary)

If it were a sports team rather than a TV show, no one would have predicted “24’s” resurgence. When a team struggles, there are generally two options: rebuild with young players or sign good players from other teams. But without changing its writing roster or its formula a whole lot for Season 8, “24” (8 p.m. Central Mondays on Fox) has put together its best season since its first.

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