Has 'Melrose Place' already let me down?

melroseplace_cast_290.jpgYeah, this might not work.

Unfortunately that was my thought after watching the second episode of "Melrose Place," which premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. on the CW. As you know, after I watched the pilot, I was quite optimistic. I thought the show captured the spirit of the original with an updated spin. I was thrilled to see the infamous apartment complex again and delighted to have Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) and Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro) back on prime time. The CW was even resurrecting one of my all time favorite ad campaigns by declaring "Tuesday are a bitch."

Plus the new cast had promise. Sure Katie Cassidy as the conniving Ella Simms is no Heather Locklear but I could already see the fun trouble she could stir up. Nobody does nice guy better than Michael Rady ("Greek"), who plays wannabe filmmaker Jonah. Colin Egglesfield is appropriately mysterious as recovering alcoholic Auggie. Shaun Sips has bad boy written all over him as poor little rich kid David. Stephanie Jacobsen was convincing as Lauren, the medical student forced to make a dangerous choice. The only one who wasn't really convincing me was Ashlee Simpson-Wentz as wide-eyed newcomer Violet. But I was even okay with that since into every prime time soap, some bad acting must fall.

However the second episode deflated all my optimism. The pilot ends in a murder and with all the residents as possible suspects. And if the second episode is any indication, that means  the episodes will be chockfull of flashbacks as viewers piece together how everyone knew the victim and what possible motive he or she might have. It's a clunky device that may work for an episode or two but I don't think is sustainable for a full season. It's awkward to continually flip back and forth between the present and the past. (Sure it works for a show like "Damages," but we're not dealing with "Damages" here people). Also I think the show made a strategic mistake in killing off this particular character (I know most of you know who gets murdered in the pilot but for those who don't I'm trying to be as vague as possible.)

So after two episodes, I'm saying three out of five stars. After you watch the show let me know what you think. Are you excited about the new "Melrose Place?" Were you a fan of the original? Talk about it below. Also check out this link, which shows you just how far the CW is going to promote the show.

Rescue Me Season Finale

The finale seemed so choppy to me and particularly rushed in the final 15 minutes. Without explanation, we go from Tommy "kidnapping" his youngest daughter to him drinking with all his friends at the bar. And by the way, this is after he had handcuffed Sheila to her bed. That's one full evening.

While I know we've seen Teddy's violent reactions to tragedy in the past (after all he did shoot the drunk driver who killed Tommy's son), I still find it hard to believe he would shoot Tommy and then delight in watching him bleed to death. It was a cheap cliffhanger and I think the show is better than this.

I'm definitely hoping that Kelly sticks to her decision to never see Tommy or deal with his drama again. We don't need one more female character inexplicably obsessed with Tommy. The whole Sheila/Janet/Tommy dysfunctional love triangle is killing the show. Did anyone enjoy Jane and Sheila's fight on the street? The story line increasingly marginalizes all the other characters and I have zero confidence that Tommy actually has had it with Sheila.

What did you think of the finale of "Rescue Me?" Talk about it below.

Mad Men

So I have to admit I didn't realize Joan was married. I think because she was still working at Sterling Cooper, I incorrectly assumed she and her positively dreadful fiance hadn't made it official yet. But I did confirm with my friends at AMC that she is married - apparently the big clue was in the second episode when Roger calls her "Mrs. Harris." I thought it was a little odd that given the time period, they were living together but I needed still needed more clues. Plus I kind of wanted to see Joan's wedding, didn't you?

Maybe I was in denial because the fact that she's married to Greg is going to make it much more difficult for Joan to extract herself from this relationship. And it makes last week's accordion scene that much more devastatingly sad.

Am I the only one who didn't realize Joan and Greg had gotten married between seasons two and three? Are you more worried about Joan this season than you were last season? Talk about it below. And for a look at Sunday's episode (remember "Mad Men" is new this week), click here.

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

David K. was thrown by the fact that Ray Wise, the devil on "Reaper," was the priest performing the exorcism on "Psych." Wise was also Vice President Gardner on the fifth season of "24" and he'll always be Leland Palmer of "Twin Peaks" to me.

David H. recognized that "Monk" is bringing out the guest stars in its final season. Eric Balfour was the nephew of the mob boss on "Monk." Balfour was Milo on the sixth season of "24," Eddie on "The O.C.," and Gabriel on "Six Feet Under." Kelly Carlson was the girlfriend of the hired killer who looked just like Monk. Carlson is Kimber on "Nip/Tuck" and we'll see her soon on "Melrose Place." Reed Diamond was the FBI agent investigating the case. Diamond is Dominic on "Dollhouse," Jack on "Journeyman," Detective Mike Kellerman on "Homicide," and Detective Terry Crowley (remember he was the one Vic killed in the pilot) on "The Shield." Vincent Curatola was the mob boss who had ordered the hit. Curatola was Johnny Sack on "The Sopranos." Louis Lombardi, Edgar on "24," was another member of the mob. He was also Skip Lipari on "The Sopranos."

Reid Scott, Brendan on "My Boys," is playing Kathleen's (Grace's mom) younger boyfriend on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." We just saw Scott on "Hawthorne" as the man who was worried his girlfriend (played by Sarah Lancaster) wouldn't love him anymore if he was paralyzed.

Kate Mara is playing Eric's new assistant on "Entourage." Mara was Katie on "Jack & Bobby," Shari on the fifth season of "24," and Alma in "Brokeback Mountain." Scott Caan is the rival manager who wanted to land Bob Saget on "Entourage." Caan was Turk in all the "Ocean's" movies.

Chris Carmack was Jane's high school friend Brian on "Drop Dead Diva." He was Luke on "The O.C." and Alex on "Related."

Quotes of the Week

"I'm tired just listening to it. Aren't you tired?" Evan to Cappie about the Cappie/Casey will-they-or-won't-they romance on "Greek."

"We're also kind of enjoying this death struggle over who gets Tommy which is also kind of like fighting over who gets the Ebola virus." Sheila to Jane on "Rescue Me."

"Hi, the prophet of doom has returned." Tim Gunn to the contestants on "Project Runway."

"Sometimes you have to destroy something to save it. That's in the Bible, or the Constitution." Jason on "True Blood." Thanks to Barry for the quote.

Exchange of the Week

"Aren't you a little worn out from yesterday's party?" Dale to Cappie on "Greek."

"Yeah, so." Cappie's reply.

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"My mother was right. It's a mistake to be conspicuously happy. Some people don't like it." Roger to Don on "Mad Men."

"No one thinks you're happy. They think you're foolish." Don to Roger.

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"That didn't happen." Bianca to Joey after they kiss on "10 Things I Hate About You."

"I know but if it did it was amazing." Joey's response.

That's all for today. I'm back on Monday with a look at the return of "Glee" and "90210" and a review of the new series "The Vampire Diaries." We'll also talk about the season finale of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and "10 Things I Hate About You." Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week or a topic for discussion? Write me at amytvgal@zap2it.com or follow me on Twitter. Have a great weekend.

Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal