Lorraine Duffy Merkl Lorraine Duffy Merkl
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a freelance writer in NYC and author of the novels FAT CHICK and BACK TO WORK SHE GOES.

‘Manhattan Love Story’ Premieres On ABC: Where Will The Love Go?

October 1st, 2014 1:22pm EDT
‘Manhattan Love Story’ Premieres On ABC: Where Will The Love Go?
As I just celebrated twenty-six years of my own Manhattan love story, I was very interested in watching this show.

And then I tuned in. Well, spending a half hour with this series is the first bad date I’ve had in thirty years.

If the point is to expose people – especially those on the dating circuit – as phonies and liars, then the creators of this series have hit the nail on the head. You see, the gimmick they are trying to pass off as charm is that we hear the characters’ thoughts, which are almost always the polar opposite of what’s coming out of their mouths.

The main couple whose l...

'The Singles Project' Season 1 Finale: What We've Learned From The Daters

October 1st, 2014 11:07am EDT
'The Singles Project' Season 1 Finale: What We've Learned From T
I won’t front: I really liked this show. It put the "real" back in reality TV for me, as I think it captured so many of the scenarios that those on the hunt for “the one” deal with day to day. I also appreciated that the cast of very nice people got friendly, and we were spared the usual table turning, back biting, screaming matches among the stars. Even when two of the cast members had a situation where the same man showed interest in both of them, there was no predicable you-stole-my-man “cat fight”; the one who felt spurned kept the focus on the man for being a rather flighty player.

I ...

‘Forever’ Season 1 Episode 3 Recap: 'Fountain Of Youth'

October 1st, 2014 10:39am EDT
‘Forever’ Season 1 Episode 3 Recap: 'Fountain Of Youth'
How will Henry (Ioan Gruffudd) die this week? Apparently not at all, because the point of this episode is: Live your life to the fullest regardless of your age, or as Abe (Judd Hirsch) said, “Youth is wasted on the immortal.”

The comment is in response to Henry being really excited because one of his death wish experiments has possibility. Abe finds it hard to generate any enthusiasm for this information. Henry tries to explain that it's not that he actually wants to die and stay day, but just stop living forever and experience the cycle of life, which means growing old.

79-year-old Abe t...

Is ABC’s Rom-Com ‘Selfie’ Worth Watching?

October 1st, 2014 8:56am EDT
Review: ABC’s Rom-Com ‘Selfie’ Pilot Premiere
“Let me take a selfie,” is the mantra of “Eliza Dooley” (Karen Gillan), a self-absorbed top pharmaceutical sales rep with enough virtual friends to populate a small country, but no actual ones.

Disillusioned by romance (her boyfriend has a wife), mocked by her co-workers, and saddened when she’s sick and can’t get one of her almost 300,000 Facebook friends to bring her a ginger ale, Eliza wants to translate her virtual fame and importance into real life relationships.

She makes a request of her company’s celebrated, yet introverted, branding expert “Henry Higgs” (John Cho): Change my imag...

'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' Season 6 Episode 11 Recap: 'Gators And Haters'

September 29th, 2014 9:58am EDT
'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' Season 6 Episode 11 Recap: '
It's the First Responders party all over again, but this time it's the men of the Garden State who are about to let the fists fly.

Teresa Guidice is probably glad she chose not to join them down south. She stayed home with her family, not only her nuclear one, but Joe's clan, which includes his parents as well as his brother and his brood. "I'm protected from the world," said Teresa about being with her extended family. Basically because she knows that none of them are going to ask about her legal issues in person or via text like Jacqueline, whose husband Chris reached out to Joe wanting ...

'Blue Bloods' Season 5 Premiere Recap: 'Partners'

September 27th, 2014 9:47am EDT
'Blue Bloods' Season 5 Premiere Recap: 'Partners'
The Reagan's are back and their blood is bluer than ever.

After five years "on the job" someone decided we needed a refresher course in partnership: how some can be a challenge, some need to change, while others can stand the test of time. We'll learn our lesson through detectives “Danny Reagan” (Donnie Wahlberg) and “Maria Baez” (Marisa Ramirez), patrol officers “Jamie Reagan” (Will Estes) and "Eddie Jenko" (Vanessa Ray), and "Commissioner Frank Reagan" (Tom Selleck) and the entire NYPD, as well as his family.

There's a reason that Danny's had a revolving door of partners: he's controlli...

'Forever' Recap: Season 1 Episode 2 'Look Before You Leap'

September 24th, 2014 10:36am EDT
An hysterical woman, failing to contact the person she is trying to reach on her cell, jumps out of her speeding taxi as it crosses the 59th Street Bridge late at night, climbs over the railing and dives into the East River. It’s a suicide according to NYPD “Detective Jo Martinez” (Alana De La Garza). “Homicide,” counters medical examiner “Doctor Henry Morgan” (Ioan Gruffudd). And so begins the second episode of this new ABC drama.

Lorraine Toussaint as “Lieutenant Joanna Reece” gets into the act as Jo’s superior who’s tough as nails. We know this because Reece tells Jo that she feels sorr...

'The Singles Project' Season 1 Episode 7: Fall-ing In Love

September 24th, 2014 10:14am EDT
'The Singles Project' Season 1 Episode 7:  Fall-ing In Love
The appeal of this show is the thrill of the chase. So now that Ericka and Lee have found each other, I'm ready to wish them well and send them on their romantic way. I'm really not interested in following their two-or-the-road Hamptons weekend where the workaholics go off the grid and leave their cell phones home. I feel our work here is done and we need to turn our attention to making sure that the rest of the cast meet their matches as well.

Perhaps they'll have the opportunity at Brian's big 3-0 birthday dinner, which is this week's event.

So, will the four remaining cast mates go sta...

ABC's 'Forever' Season 1 Pilot: How Long Will It Last?

September 23rd, 2014 10:55am EDT
As a native New Yorker who fears death, I couldn’t wait for this show because at least to me, “Doctor Henry Morgan” (Ioan Gruffudd) is livin’ the dream: He is immortal and living New York City.

Unlike me though, he considers this “live forever” thing a curse (I bet he’d deem winning the lottery a burden, too).

In the past two hundred years, he’s not only had many interesting experiences but died numerous times, always to “pop back up” alive and well, and forty years old (once again I must admit, I don’t see the problem).

Henry does not know how this phenomenon befell him, but by becoming...

'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' Recap: S6 Ep10 The Day Of Jacqueline

September 22nd, 2014 9:09am EDT
'The Real Housewives Of New Jersey' Recap: S6 Ep10 The Day Of Ja
Just when you thought it was safe to go back over the George Washington Bridge: Jac is back.

The former cast member does very little in this episode except reintroduce herself to the audience as the loving mother of autistic four-year-old Nicholas. She’s still on the housewife periphery though, as her only contact is with sometime-housewife Kathy, who’s building a house that they visit. Jacqueline tells Kathy that she’s reached out to Teresa Guidice in her time of need via text message; apparently the two women have not spoken in a while. She says that even though they no longer have a rel...