The Client List: An Early Look

What’s coming up on Sunday? Jennifer Love Hewitt returns to TV in a new series based off the Lifetime TV movie (that earned her a Golden Globe nomination), The Client List. The show, with the same name, takes a slightly different take on the events, and it should be interesting to see how it breaks out of the mold from both the movie and the real-life events. The show premieres on Sunday at 10/9c.

I’ve had the opportunity to watch the first episode. If you don’t know anything about the show (and don’t want to), you may want to stop reading. I don’t try to spoil here, but some things must be said, and let’s face it, I gotta say them. Keep reading after the break if you want my thoughts.

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Moment of the Week: What Can Jennifer Love Hewitt Do?

So between the bloodshed on Being Human and Vampire Diaries and the bloodshed on Southland, it’s been a pretty grim week. What do we need? A laugh. So while there were some huge scenes this week that may change the course of a show forever (well, at least for a while), I’ve got to push those aside in favor of a laugh. After all. We need it.

And who else would we turn to for a laugh but our very own Jennifer Love Hewitt! No, seriously. Trust me.

Jennifer recently surprised us all with her recent Golden Globe Nomination for her role on The Client List. Sure, she didn’t win, but that’s a highly esteemed honor. She should be proud, and we should really give her some due credit.

However, this week, she appeared on Ellen. And while, sure, this was all in the name of charity, she did kinda make a fool out of herself on national television by putting a hat on her head and jumping up and down to pop balloons; smash bottles on her head; and unroll a role of toilet paper in 30 seconds.

Can Hewitt do it?

Well, take a look at the clip below, our Moment of the Week.

Jennifer Love Hewitt on ‘The Client List’

Jennifer Love Hewitt is back on the small screen tonight, this time in a new Lifetime movie.

The Client List stars Jennifer as Samantha (Sam) Horton, a former Texas homecoming queen and physical therapist who loses her job. Her husband, played by Raising the Bar‘s Teddy Sears, is facing the same jobless dilemma and the two are close to losing the only home they have for themselves and their three children. When Sam knowingly takes a job within a prostitution ring, her monetary troubles fade away, but when her secret is discovered, everything else falls apart. The movie is inspired by a true story and co-stars Cybill Shepherd as Sam’s mother. Check out the trailer here.

I was fortunate to see an advanced copy of the movie, and it’s interesting to see how much this one person does for her family. You’ll love her and hate her, but I couldn’t stop watching to see what would happen next. I have to commend not only Jennifer Love Hewitt but also Teddy Sears on their performances. These are hard roles to play. Really, I just wanted to give Teddy Sears a hug the whole time, especially once he discovers the truth. I will contend that the end seemed a little…light…to me, but after that emotional roller coaster, I think the viewer needs it.

I was able to talk to the star herself in a recent conference call about the movie, and even she had a lot to say about how emotional the performance was.  She had an interesting take on the character, basically wanting to make her as real and relatable as possible. It’s a little hard, what with the type of character she’s playing, but I think if you watch, you’ll understand.

Here are some highlights from the call:

On Sam: As Jennifer puts it, the character is “a lot of different parts of a lot of different women.” It’s easy to judge her, she said in the call, but she was a woman in a tough situation. She commended Sam’s strength, authenticity, and drive: “Role models are ones that do make mistakes and walk through it with integrity and grace.”

How she related to Sam: While she couldn’t relate to everything, Jennifer said that she related to Sam first by being that girl next door from Texas, but further, in her willingness of doing what she could for her family and her “gumption.”

On crying: “I tend to pick projects emotionally that I can relate to…this project in particular, I went on the journey with her. That’s all I really had to do.” Jennifer also noted the freedom of being able to be ugly when she cried, as opposed to Ghost Whisperer‘s Melinda, who often had to look beautiful, even through tears: “The worse [Sam] looked, the better the journey for the audience. It was very freeing.”

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What to say about this week’s ‘Ghost Whisperer’

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.07 “Devil’s Bargain”

I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to say about this week’s Ghost Whisperer. If you were paying attention to my twitter this weekend, you would have seen that I was postponing watching the show because of the Jennifer Love Hewitt pole-dancing scene. Yes, that was enough to make me not watch because it seemed as needless as her video game outfit last season.

And really, it was. Melinda could have just as easily watched the other girl pole dance as much as she really needed to. That was rather ridiculous. I wonder who’s brilliant idea that was.

Honestly, this entire episode just seemed very convoluted. It makes me question whether the writers have taken on too much with their introduction of the “shadows” storyline. I mean, we had a ghost, that was supposedly angry at the beginning but by the end was supposedly trying to protect the good doctor; a doctor that was ex-best friends with the president of the university; the president of the university that somehow got his job because of the shadows and has a sick mother; and more people. It just seemed like we were hopping from one story to another, and I started to lose track.

The main thing we were supposed to realize was that the president of the university has some sort of deal with the shadows–or at least are being blackmailed by them–and knows about the book.

I’m curious to know what the shadows really are. I’m excited to know that they’re really making a tangible presence on the show, but they’re still too far beyond arm’s reach to really make sense of the information being revealed to us. The book is protecting itself by hiding information about them. They can take over someone’s body and cause events to happen–elevators crashing, people to die. They overtook Melinda so she could barely move. Clearly, they’re bad and they need to be stopped.

And I do want to know what parts of people they really are. The evil side of people? Say, if you have a bad heart, it’s left behind? Who knows?

But the way it’s being presented. Uggh. It’s horrible. I can’t understand left from right with this. I think the show needs to focus. And here’s how:

  1. Choose your episodes carefully. If you’re going to reveal a lot about a story arc, make it a story arc-centric episode. The writing’s not strong enough to juggle.
  2. Make filler episodes better. Make them so much better that we don’t realize they’re filler episodes. Keep the story arc out, keep the storylines clean, and then get the episode done.
  3. Focus the story arc episodes. Don’t throw too many people in the episodes that surround the arc. Make us keep guessing, too. Don’t tell us the answer (like you did last week). Give us material that when we rewatch, we go, “How did I not notice that last time?”
  4. See the minor characters. Just because the Emmys and Oscars define people as supporting actors and actresses doesn’t mean the show itself doesn’t. Focus on someone other than Melinda and Eli for an episode. You’ve got some strong talent. Show it.
  5. Cut back Aiden. He might see more things than Melinda, but he’s a terrible actor. Cut back his air time, and start using heresay. It’ll work just as effectively with fewer headaches.

Anyway, that’s just my two cents. Hopefully I understood enough from this week’s episode to understand next week’s (which has Greg Germann in it–yay!), but here goes nothin’!

Ghost Whisperer: Bleh. Ick. Sigh.

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.03 “Till Death Do Us Start”

I’m so disappointed. Incredibly disappointed.

I was expecting this amazingly well-done episode that follows up with the incredible Sally Stitch storyline of the previous week. I wanted to see more creepiness and possibly go to bed with nightmares.

Yes, I’m weird.

Instead, we got this. A lame story of Eli and his parents.

Now, I realize that Jennifer Love Hewitt thinks that Jamie Kennedy is the bee’s knees, but I find the Eli storylines to be excruciatingly dull. Not only are they just boring, but Jamie Kennedy’s Eli is quickly going downhill in his capabilities to be a “blind” ghost whisperer, you know, someone who can only hear the ghosts.

And this storyline with his parents was just so awful.

First, they set it up like he could have a half sister. Well, that’s all well and good–except that we had that storyline last year. So unless we were going to just regurgitate some stuff we’ve already seen (which it really did seem to be that way for a while), we knew there would be some sort of twist.

And what was that twist, ladies and gentlemen? Lesbianism!

Sigh. Must every TV show had lesbians somehow incorporated? What’s worse is that not only is Eli discovering this truth about his family, but the amount of time he spent thinking about his mother’s possible sexual partners is a creepfest in itself. Perhaps I should watch what I ask for.

I don’t know. For some reason, I had absolutely no interest in this episode, and was highly considering flipping over to Say Yes to the Dress instead. I think it would have had more drama.

I feel bad saying this. I mean, I’ve overall been rather positive about Ghost Whisperer. It surprises me that sometimes the writing on this show–a show that I don’t think many people take seriously–is actually pretty good. The entire Sam Jim Jim Sam storyline last year was unpredictable and a good watch. I give them props and kudos.

But they need to find the correct strength in the show. And that’s not Eli. I don’t care who Eli is dating, and I don’t really care about his family life. I do like his new role to guard the book, but that’s a rather limited capacity. It only comes up now and then.

I just think this could have been stronger. Maybe if they had just cast someone else as the son–not replaced Eli but making the son of the deceased father a random third party–it would have been stronger.

Or maybe I’m biased. You tell me. What did you think?