Loved last night’s episode of Hung when pimp (pimpess?) Tanya (Jane Adams) served “Preacher Cookies” to her how-to-succeed-in-business group. The cookies were given their name, the character explained, because they could be whipped up in just a few minutes if your preacher made a pop-in visit. Cool explanation, but when I saw the cookies on screen, I realized they’re what I grew up calling No-Bake Cookies.
That name says it all – you don’t bake the fudgy, peanut butter-y, oatmeal-y treats; you literally cook them on the stove, no oven involved at all. They’re easy to make and delicious, and they were my Grandma Gilmore’s (yep, she’s a real Gilmore girl!) go-to-dessert for bake sales and any other occasion where a big supply of sweet goodies were needed.
The cookies are also referred to as “Boiled Oatmeal Cookies” (which sounds way less appetizing IMHO), “One-and-a-Half-Minute Cookies” and “Stove Top Cookies” in various parts of the country, but I’m sticking with No Bakes. Here’s my grandma’s recipe:
NO BAKE COOKIES
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup milk
4 heaping tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3 cups (uncooked) oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 – Put the butter, milk, Hershey’s cocoa powder and sugar in a medium pot and bring to a boil for a minute and a half.
2 – Remove pot from heat. Immediately stir in peanut butter and oatmeal.
3 – Once mixture is well combined, drop by teaspoon or tablespoons-full onto sheets of newspaper covered with wax paper.
4 – Let cookies set up for several minutes to become solid. (And they are especially tasty once they’ve been refrigerated for a few hours).
All the tube news that’s fit to surf …
- Office Space star Ron Livingston is set to boldly go into another kind of space with ABC’s new sci-fi series Defying Gravity. The show, scheduled to premiere this summer, revolves around a group of international astronauts who are sent on a “mysterious” six-year mission through the solar system.
- AOL’s PopEater wonders if farmer Kevin Skinner might be America’s Got Talent‘s version of Susan Boyle. Judge for yourself via the video of Skinner’s performance.
- MTV has given a season-two greenlight to 16 & Pregnant, the fantastic documentary series that follows teen moms-to-be as they deal with pregnancy and the realities of raising babies when they’re still kids themselves. The network has also announced a first season finale special, 16 & Pregnant: Life After Labor, that will be hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky on July 23. In it, all six teen moms from the inaugural episodes will chat about their experiences and answer questions from a live audience.
- After his stint on Celebracadara (and a memorable guest gig on Southland), C. Thomas Howell will return to reality TV as the host of CMT’s All Jacked Up on Aug. 22. The show, in which the Soul Man star travel around the country “in search of outlandish, funny and extreme stunts, sports, events, people and inventions,” sorta sounds like Jackass-meets-America’s Got Talent-ish.
- The new Lifetime dramedy Drop Dead Diva (which premieres on July 12) will feature guest appearances by Liza Minnelli and Delta Burke, who will play feuding sisters. Rosie O’Donnell will also play a judge in the episode, which is set to air on Sept. 20.
- The big ratings winners of the week among premieres: HBO’s Hung, which was HBO’s biggest premiere in two years with 2.8 million viewers, and Oxygen’s Dance Your Ass Off, which, with 1.3 million viewers, was the highest-rated premiere in Oxygen’s history. PS – Check out the TVScreener.com reviews of Hung and Dance Your Ass Off.
- And NBC News’s upcoming series The Wanted (July 20) sounds like a real-life version of The A-Team, as “an elite team with backgrounds in intelligence, unconventional warfare and investigative journalism” tries to hunt down terrorists and war criminals.
- And tonight in primetime:
- Discovery Channel’s season marathon of Pitchmen episodes, featuring the late Billy Mays, continues all day, leading into the first season finale at 10PM ET
- Animal Planet premieres Monster Inside Me, all about parasites that prey on humans, at 9PM ET
- Wipeout. ABC, 8PM. More big red balls
- The Reno 911! deputies think aliens have come to town (10:30PM, Comedy Central)
- Teddy has company woes of his and tries to help a young girl who needs a kidney transplant on The Philanthropist (10PM, NBC)
- The Fashion Show crew gets busy designing sleepy-time wear (10PM, Bravo)
- One pair feuds while another hooks up on The Real World: Cancun (10PM, MTV)
- There are back-to-back new eps of Tattoo Highway on A&E (10 and 10:30PM)
- And E! has home videos of young Michael Jackson and his family on Michael Jackson: An E! Entertainment Special (10PM)
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Stars: Thomas Jane, Jane Adams and Anne Heche
The Big Idea: Jane is Ray Decker, a Detroit high school basketball coach and former star athlete whose wife (his high school sweetheart – the homecoming queen/cheerleader) has left him for a nerdy (but rich) former classmate. Ray’s job doesn’t pay him enough to afford insurance on his house and his children – teen twins – have to move out of said house when it catches fire and Ray can’t afford to repair it. The former BMOC’s last hope in this economy is a self-help seminar that makes him realize he’s got one asset: He was blessed in the family jewels department. He’s well-hung for success in the bedroom. He’s got the perfect tool for the job. Okay, bad puns aside, he’s going to become a male prostitute.
To Watch or Not to Watch: Hey, if Disney can make a hooker movie that becomes one of the most beloved chick flicks of all time (Pretty Woman, of course), why can’t HBO make a good half-hour comedy about a male hooker? Not that Hung is a laugh-out-loud kinda comedy. It’s more in the dramedy genre, for sure, as comical touches mark Ray’s desperate attempt to create the life that he once thought would come easily to him.
Jane is perfect as the still attractive, but downtrodden Ray, a role that could do for him what Breaking Bad has done for Bryan Cranston and what The Shield did for Michael Chiklis, namely giving under-the-radar actors signature roles that allow them to finally showcase how talented they are. Deep Blue Sea and The Punisher actor Jane’s Ray is handsome and endearing enough to make you believe he was once the star of his high school with a promising pro baseball career ahead of him, but not so attractive and charming that you don’t buy the mid-life crisis he’s landed in. Ray’s a bit of a dunce sometimes, and let’s just say his first forays into gigolo-ing don’t show him to be a smooth ladies man.
Heche, at least in the first four episodes provided for review, is little more than shrewish and annoying as Ray’s ex-wife Jessica, but Jane Adams (Niles’ wife Mel on Frasier) is another performer who could finally break out with her role in Hung. Adams is Tanya, a struggling poet who has sampled Ray’s goods and, as his pimp, comes up with the plan to market him as a “happiness consultant” to women.
Bottom line: I was hooked from the pilot, though if you’re really set on the show delivering humor, it is subtle. Stick with Hung for a couple of episodes though … it’s not only timely (especially, unfortunately, with its Detroit setting), it’s also a pretty weird concept that proves to be surprisingly sweet.
TV Screener Tidbit: The show was created by husband-and-wife team Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson. The premiere episode, shot on location in Detroit, was directed by Oscar-winning Sideways screenplay writer (and Hung executive producer) Alexander Payne. Payne also received an Oscar nomination for his script for the 1999 dramedy Election, featuring Matthew Broderick‘s hapless high school teacher character, who has a lot in common with Thomas Jane’s Ray Decker.
Hung premieres tonight, June 28, at 10PM ET on HBO
All the tube news that’s fit to surf …
- Weeds premieres its fifth season tonight (10PM ET, Showtime). Check out my interview with Emmy nominee Elizabeth Perkins (also a star of one of my all-time fave movies, About Last Night) at AOL TV.
- Is Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) alive on Lost? Okay, so then why’s he playing foosball in that new ABC promo? EW.com’s Michael Ausiello has the surprising answer. PS – IGN TV thinks the secret show is Flash Forward.
- More from Ausiello: There may be a Cagney & Lacey reunion on Burn Notice next year.
- Think you’ve got advertising skills? Put ‘em to use pimping – ha – HBO’s new series Hung, about a middle-aged guy (Thomas Jane) who becomes a gigolo, and you might win $10,000.
- Cougars are all the rage on network TV, especially now that Erica Kane‘s become one.
- Go and Prison Break star William Fichtner will guest star on the upcoming sixth season of Entourage, which premieres on HBO on July 12.
- Kathy Bates, Tim Curry and Colm Meaney will star in Sci Fi’s Alice in Wonderland miniseries.
- Uncle Jesse – the Full House one, not the Dukes of Hazzard one – is itching to make a big-screen version of his cheesy, but endearing sitcom, sans Olsen twins and with, oddly, James Franco taking over his role.
- Once and Again and My So-Called Life producer Marshall Herskovitz has a plan to radically change up the way TV pilots are sold. He ain’t tellin’ what it is, though.
Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred – returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) [...]
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