Melrose Again: Bloggin' about Melrose Place

Posts Tagged ‘Michael-Rady

The CW Network has canceled Melrose Place.

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Farewell to the gang at Melrose Place.

I really didn’t want to believe the rumors since they’ve been dogging us fans for so long, but I’m sad to say that Melrose Place has been canceled according to a media columnist at The New York Times. The CW is staging the official presentation of its fall lineup tomorrow, but some media outlets have already received the schedule. I was holding out hope for renewal, but if the news is reported in the Times, it’s safe to say it’s true. The CW is pretty niche-targeted but apparently the ratings never reached the mass numbers needed to justify the expense of producing the show. To the producers’ credit, the show never looked cheap and, for viewers with an appetite for over-the-top melodrama, the revamp delivered. Some moves were off-the-mark from the start, like casting Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, and I still believe they would have attracted more eyeballs had they done some stunt casting with high-profile names from the worlds of reality shows and music. I could have pictured Lady Gaga or Kim Kardashian having fun with Katie Cassidy’s uberpublicist Ella Simms, even in cameo appearances. Bringing Heather Locklear back was a smart move, but her storyline was a snooze. If nothing else, the show will be credited for showcasing the talents of the charismatic Katie Cassidy. Her unexpectedly nuanced portrayal of a potentially one-note character like Ella revealed that there’s much more to her than a bright smile and mile-long legs. I’m sure we can expect to see more of her in the near future. On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who checked in with the Melrose Again blog to keep up with my episode recaps and musings about the Melrosers. It has been a blast and I hope you enjoyed it as much I have.  Not that I’m giving up blogging, mind you. I recently revived my True Blood blog www.BitingRemarks.wordpress.com.  Check it out if you’re a fan of Sookie & Co.  Have a great summer!

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The FBI arrests Amanda on the season finale of Melrose Place!

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Ella finally outmaneuvered queen bitch Amanda.

Making Up and Breaking Up

April 13: Hormones are raging at Melrose Place as Jonah and Ella finish a rather rigorous round of sex. Jonah (Michael Rady) likes a lot of things about his fling with Ella (Katie Cassidy), but his thoughts are elsewhere. Riley, meanwhile, is having her own cozy morning-after moment with Drew (Nick Zano), who gives her the painting Sydney had given Auggie. Could it be the priceless artwork Amanda’s been looking for all this time? Riley and Jonah split up their belongings and take a trip down memory lane, remembering their good times together. Their nostalgia is further stoked when they attend a reunion of their alma mater, NYU, and run into another couple that reconciled after breaking up. The couple’s shock at hearing of Jonah and Riley’s bust-up gives them food for thought. The day’s warm feelings cause a friendly goodbye hug between them to turn into a kiss and Jonah suggests they reconcile, but Riley is sure that she has changed too much to return to the way things were. A dejected Jonah takes his box of stuff and leaves. Meanwhile, a perky-looking Sydney (Laura Leighton) appears to Amanda (Heather Locklear) in spectral form a la “A Christmas Carol” and warns her not to make the same greedy decisions Syd made so she won’t end up like her… alone, miserable and dead. Amanda ignores Spiritual Sydney’s advice and gives Ella the heave-ho at WPK, slapping her in the process. A demoralized Ella, however, has a stroke of luck when she runs into Riley and convinces the gullible girl to let her have the painting Drew gave her, suspecting it’s the hot art that Amanda’s clamoring for. Applying a bit of paint thinner to the piece, Ella is pleased as punch to discover her hunch is right. Time to pay Empress Woodward a visit!

 

Will the residents of Melrose Place return next season?

Battle of the Blondes

Ella shows Amanda the painting and strikes a deal for Amanda to clear her of the embezzlement charges and bankroll a startup PR firm for Ella featuring her best WPK clients. Amanda agrees to draw up a contract.  At the hospital, Drew continues his campaign to stop Michael (Thomas Calabro) from transplanting his defective heart valve into more patients. When Michael seems to relent and asks Drew for his research, a relieved Drew shares the news with Lauren, but a supply of drugs are conveniently found by hospital security in his locker. Lauren has problems of her own. David (Shaun Sipos) is still reluctant to forgive her for turning tricks and, unbeknownst to Lauren, he continues to be pressured by mob daughter Morgan (Melissa Ordway) into being her consort under the threat of exposure to her intimidating dad. At the opening party for Coal under David’s ownership, couples are in a major state of flux. Ella balks when Jonah tells her about his kiss with Riley and dumps him. Morgan boldly introduces herself to Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen) as David’s new girlfriend, hoping to drive a wedge between them, but her ploy backfires, reuniting them instead. Daddy’s little girl is not happy. David and Lauren make plans for a romantic dinner, but Morgan’s mobster dad shows up at Coal and, after roughing him up, threatens to harm Lauren to force David to work for him as his personal thief. Like daughter, like father, it seems. Lauren, meanwhile, stands up to Michael in the operating room and shares with the surgical team the issues with his toxic valve. Drew is off the hook, thanks to Lauren, but when Riley confesses her kiss with Jonah, he shares that he himself was a recipient of Michael’s heart valve and he doesn’t know how much time he has left to live! At WPK, Ella arrives to collect her payoff from Amanda, who tries to wriggle out of the deal through some fine print in the contract. Ella reveals that she, too, had a back-up plan and shows Amanda photos of herself fencing the hot artwork taken by her very own private detective, who was disgruntled about being cheated by Amanda. Sydney DID warn her, after all. Some FBI agents arrive and arrest her. The war’s not over yet, Amanda warns a momentarily unnerved Ella. A wicked glint returns to Ella’s eye as she watches the feds lead Amanda away in handcuffs. There’s a new queen bee at WPK… and Melrose Place!  To be continued?

Photos: copyright 2009/2010 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Will Amanda be arrested on the Melrose Place season finale?

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Is Ella (Katie Cassidy) the new queen bee at WPK?

 The season finale of Melrose Place is just days away and YouTube footage from The CW Network reveals that the cat-and-mouse game between Amanda and Ella comes to a head with Amanda (Heather Locklear) firing Ella (Katie Cassidy), and slapping her for good measure. However, preview photos posted to the CW’s website lead me to conclude that Our Miss Simms delivers a potentially lethal blow to Empress Woodward in the episode’s closing moments.  In the photos shown here, Ella arrives at WPK, presumably after Amanda had fired her, dressed in an updated version of Amanda’s classic miniskirt-suit with a rather smug look on her face. She shows a tense Amanda some information on her Blackberry (evidence perhaps?). The tip-off shot looks suspiciously like a victorious Ella standing in Amanda’s office looking on as something happens in the WPK lobby. Might it be Amanda being led away by the cops in handcuffs? In other finale news, look for Drew (Nick Zano) to come up against Michael (Thomas Calabro) about the defect in the dastardly doc’s heart valve, with dire consequences for one of them. David (Shaun Sipos) and Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen) reconcile, but Morgan (Melissa Ordway), in true “Fatal Attraction” style, will not be ignored. Her revenge puts one of the reunited lovebirds in danger. Sydney (Laura Leighton) makes a welcome return appearance and Jonah (Michael Rady) asks Riley (Jessica Lucas) to take him back (yawn!). Tune in April 13. All Melrose fans with Twitter accounts should tweet as much as possible about the show in the coming days and use the hash tag #SOSMelrosePlace so that Melrose Place trends strongly. We fans need to let the CW Network know we want more Melrose! 

Photos copyright 2010 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Ella arrives at WPK for her showdown with Amanda.

Is Amanda (Heather Locklear) getting a sinking feeling?

Ella breaks into Amanda’s files on Melrose Place.

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Riley (Jessica Lucas) seems ready to move on with Drew (Nick Zano).

The Life of Riley

April 6: Riley (Jessica Lucas) is the center of attention as she plans a fundraiser for her inner-city schools project with the encouragement and support of Drew, which draws the jealous attention of Jonah (Michael Rady). Casting for Jonah’s film hits a snag when he clashes with the director over the pivotal casting of the character based on Riley, whom Jonah describes in near angelic terms. It’s evident he’s missing what he had with her, but the director doesn’t have time for Jonah’s sentimentalism so he cans him. Riley’s fundraiser, meanwhile, starts off slowly and then livens up when Drew (Nick Zano) gets uptight rich guests to loosen up in kiddie-style street fair attractions and entertains them with some tunes. When he spontaneously auctions off a date with the seemingly irresistible Riley, Jonah shows up (of course) and joins the bidding, nearly winning the date until Ella outbids him using money from WPK’s charity fund. Might Amanda (Heather Locklear) use this in her embezzlement scheme against Ella? Jonah shares his movie troubles with Riley and she advises him to not compromise his vision. His pleas to the studio head to keep his movie intact as he wrote it fall on deaf ears until the star, Owen Anderson, fires the uncooperative director and replaces him with Jonah. When Jonah tries to share his latest triumph with Riley, he finds she’s too busy celebrating the success of her fundraiser with Drew.

Ella’s Mission Impossible

Ella (Katie Cassidy) may be getting jealous over Jonah’s lingering feelings for Riley, but she’s got bigger fish to fry, namely breaking into Amanda’s computer files at WPK to delete the fake billing statements incriminating her. Jonah frowns on her plot, but clues her in about the nerdy WPK accountant who holds the keys to the central computer files. Ella dons a hot minidress and meets the numbers-cruncher for a hilarious blind date at the local movie theater, all the while trying to swipe his keys. When the sci-fi geek gently tells her they aren’t a good match (since when is a tall, gorgeous blonde not someone’s type?) Ella pulls him close to plant one on him and deftly removes the WPK key from his key chain. Point for Team Ella! Miss Simms’ next move is to recruit the cat burglar skills of David (Shaun Sipos) for her WPK caper. David, however, has his hands full trying to keep Coal afloat after firing crazy head chef Marcello, who abuses his staff one too many times, and losing a few employees in the bargain. Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen) shows up and calls on her old waitressing skills to help David as a hostess while Ella pitches in too, attending to an influential restaurant critic (played by Broadway legend Betty Buckley, of all people!) who can make or break Coal with one review. Ella’s inside knowledge about the critic helps David hit all the right notes on the meal and the restaurant gets a rave review. David is touched by Lauren’s support and seems ready to give her a second chance. Indebted to Ella, he helps her break into WPK only to discover the accountant’s key doesn’t grant access to Amanda’s secret computer files. Their next stop is Empress Woodward’s office, where David and Ella discover a file on Sydney with a picture of the $19 million painting that disappeared from an Upper East Side apartment back in New York City. Has Ella found leverage against Amanda? At the hospital, Lauren catches Drew drawing blood from the body of a young man who died despite Drew’s attempt to save him. Drew later reveals to Lauren that he’s been removing the heart valve Michael invented from several people who died due to poisoning from a toxin that leaks from it. Looks like next week’s season finale will find Melrose Place’s diabolical duo Amanda and Michael under fire from the new generation of Melrosers. Tune in April 13!

Photo: copyright 2010 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

YouTube clip shows Ella recruiting Jonah to help her fight Amanda’s embezzlement plot.

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When we last saw our favorite publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy), things weren’t looking too good as she stared down the barrel of Amanda’s plot to set her up for embezzling funds from WPK. The new preview clip posted to the CW Network’s YouTube channel, however, shows that Ella isn’t one to be underestimated. When pushed to the wall, Ella does as Victoria’s Secret might suggest and dons some sexy lingerie to lure Jonah (Michael Rady) into her plan to hack into the WPK files to wipe out Amanda’s bogus billing statements incriminating her. Alas, it turns out that they would need to get past a WPK tech geek to access the files. Something tells me a certain IT guy is gonna get a surprise visit from a pretty blonde when Tuesday rolls around. Tune in Melrosers!

YouTube footage copyright 2009/2010 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Amanda accuses Ella of embezzlement on Melrose Place.

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Jane (Josie Bissett) is still out to get Ella (Katie Cassidy).

Blinded by the Blondes

March 30:  Jonah (Michael Rady) plans a big party in the Melrose courtyard to celebrate the sale of his script. Little does he realize his shindig will be the site where some long-simmering secrets will come to a boil. David (Shaun Sipos) is still trying to find out why Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen) dumped him, but she’s not confiding in anyone, not even Ella. Michael (Thomas Calabro) makes things worse for Lauren by pressuring her into making good on their aborted “date.” In what has to be the blondest episode of Melrose to date, several original Melrose Place residents make return visits. Guest Blonde Jane Andrews (Josie Bissett), still steaming over Resident Blonde Ella’s switcheroo of her designer gown on a movie star at a movie premiere in the fall, demands to know why Bitchy Blonde Amanda has yet to fire her from WPK. Amanda (Heather Locklear) assures her that Ella will soon get her comeuppance. At Coal, David is preparing to cater Jonah’s party when New Blonde Morgan (Melissa Ordway) surprises him with a watch she stole from her mobster dad. When David tries to squirm out of her eager come-ons, she tightens the collar around his neck by threatening to tell her scary pop about David’s theft of her mom’s diamond ring. The girl gives new meaning to the term demanding. Drew (Nick Zano) convinces Riley (Jessica Lucas) to help him shop for toys for the pediatric patients at the hospital and charms her slowly but surely. Jonah’s not sure he likes what’s developing between the two.

Amanda and Michael's schemes caused havoc for the Melrosers.

“Punch Drunk”

At WPK, Ella (Katie Cassidy) notices that some billing figures on her accounts aren’t adding up correctly and starts checking up on her projects. Dropping in on Jo Reynolds (Daphne Zuniga) during a photo shoot for W Magazine, she learns that a check to Jo was overstated by ten times in the WPK books! Is someone framing Ella for embezzlement? Speaking of Amanda (wink, wink), the Empress of WPK tries a new tack in tracking down the artwork that may dig her out of the money hole she’s in. Hoping to loosen lips among the Melrosers, she generously tips the bartender at Jonah’s party to give the guests especially potent drinks while she pumps them for information one by one. Her plan works better than expected as Melrosers past and present overindulge in bad behavior. Jonah challenges Drew to a game of beer pong and the inebriated duo end up duking it out over Riley in the Melrose pool (where else?). A reunion of original residents Jo, Jane, Michael and Amanda is a tepid affair. “Let’s do it again in ten years,” says Amanda. Let’s not. At least Jane is smart enough to reject a horny Michael, who stalks Lauren so relentlessly that she breaks down and confesses her hooking career to her neighbors. David is aghast.  Ella, meanwhile, confides in Amanda that she thinks there’s an embezzler at WPK and later overhears Jo confronting Amanda about being the culprit. Amanda interrupts Morgan’s latest mauling of David to pump him for more information about Sydney’s missing art and he gives her a new lead: Syd gave one of her pieces (among other things) to Auggie. The next morning, Lauren confesses her love to an unresponsive David while Drew sneaks into the hospital morgue to slice into a rather handsome cadaver (this is the CW Network, after all). Organ harvesting, anyone? Amanda summons Ella to WPK and lowers the boom on her by accusing her of embezzlement. Ella had better think of something quick, because, as Amanda puts it, “You, my dear, do not have the curves to pull off a prison jumpsuit.”

Photos: copyright 2009/2010 The CW Network , LLC. All rights reserved.

Melrose Place’s Katie Cassidy and Michael Rady partner with AT&T for PSA on the dangers of texting while driving.

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Melrose Place’s tech-savvy publicist Ella Simms spends a lot of time on her cell phone, but she’s too smart to endanger herself by texting while driving. This is a message that will come across on the March 30 episode, which includes a scene where Our Miss Simms abandons this potentially lethal habit. Immediately after the episode, Ella’s portrayer, Katie Cassidy, joins co-star Michael Rady (Jonah) in a public service announcement from AT&T warning viewers about the dangers of texting while driving. It’s part of a major campaign launched by the communications giant to fight the growing threat of this practice, which has joined drinking and driving as a danger on our roads. America is text crazy. Statistics from AT&T show that 457 billion text messages crossed their network last year compared to about 243 billion in 2008. Everything has its place, however, and AT&T’s clever campaign “Txting and Drivng… it can wait” is spot on. I personally always ask people whether they’re driving when they call me. It makes me uncomfortable to think I may be distracting someone when their attention should be on the road, so I applaud this effort. Using Ella to deliver the message is especially smart given we Melrosers hang on her every word. It doesn’t hurt that Katie and Jonah look super-cute in the spot, too. To support AT&T’s campaign, visit them at Facebook here.

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