Jim's Notebook: Open to PLL, Dallas and More!

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Last week, I emptied my notebook from Miami. But now I’m a little further West in Dallas, where I spent yesterday at the legendary Southfork Ranch where the cast of Dallas is busy shooting Season 2.

I’ve also got more scoop from Pretty Little Liars’ Janel Parrish, along with intel on USA’s upcoming summer series Graceland.

NOTE: I’m rushing back to Los Angeles today for the start of the 30th annual PaleyFest in Los Angeles. The first night is a big one with a panel with the cast from The Walking Dead. Go to http://PaleyCenter.Org for more details on the schedule and tickets.

Jim's Notebook

DALLAS One of the show’s newer cast members, Emma Bell - who plays Emma Brown, the daughter of Ann (Brenda Strong) and Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi) - took time between shooting scenes yesterday to fill me in on where Emma’s relationship with her newly found mother is going now that we’ve seen the first signs that Emma may need her Mama after all.

“The greatest thing about their relationship,” Bell explained at Southfork, “is that it’s very true to form of a mother/daughter relationship. It’s incredibly complicated and at times very beautiful, at times very painful. It’s a learning experience for both of these women. You’ll see them come together in a way that they never have before but it’s beautiful and painful at the same time.”

But don’t expect Daddy Harris to be happy that his daughter is bonding with his mother. Bell said that Emma is “being pulled in both directions. I don’t know that she’s incredibly clear at the moment which direction she’ll ultimately choose because it’s become a choice.”

I’ll have more from my Dallas interviews with the cast very soon - and that includes lots of talk about the upcoming death and funeral of JR Ewing.

jim on set
jim on dallas

GRACELAND The new Jeff Eastin drama for USA is currently shooting in Miami, but star Daniel Sunjata explained on the set last week that there was something new in this character that attracted him to it: “I haven’t had a ton of opportunities in my career so far on camera to play characters that have multiple levels going on at the same time, characters with this type of complexity and texture to them. As soon as I saw the writing and, of course, it’s Jeff Eastin so I knew the history of White Collar and I knew he was a great storyteller and it was a no-brainer. There was no reason not to take the job. Definitely a great character.”

Sunjata also said that co-star Aaron Tveit was cast first on the show and “he was there at my test so I actually auditioned with Aaron in the room. I’m sure they wanted to make sure the chemistry between whoever they cast as Briggs - thank God it was me - and Aaron was going to be on point and I think they saw that in the audition.” 

Watch for Graceland this summer on USA!

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS The best TV villains are those that we love to hate... and one of the best has got to be Mona Vanderwaal. As played by Janel Parrish, I asked the actress if she hears from fans who actually are rooting for Mona to take down Spencer, Hanna, Emily and Aria.

“I get a lot of ‘I love to hate you’ or ‘I love hating you.’ But, yeah, there are probably some people who, even if they never admit it, say, ‘Go, Mona!’ Mona is after revenge and I think some people enjoy seeing her get it but I love it. That’s the best compliment I can get that I create a villain that people enjoy watching and people enjoy hating. It becomes a guilty pleasure and I like that.”

Expect Mona to up the ante even more with the last few episodes before the March 19th season finale.

That’s a wrap for this week! Anything else you’re dying to know about your favorite show? Leave a comment here or you email me directly at jim@jimhalterman.com. And remember: follow @TVFanatic for all your TV scoop!

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Pretty Little Liars Quotes

B is for bad.


Emily: You know that A is always one step ahead of us.
Spencer: Yeah, maybe he...she...it...bitch is.