Archive for the “IMDO” Category
In My Damned Opinion – Views and reviews. Or as I like to call it, “The Good, the Bad, and the Unholy”
Welcome back to Falling Skies!
Creepy damn aliens (at least two varieties), giant spacecraft and wicked weapons, gritty bad-ass rebellious humans, and absolutely no socio-political commentary to be found anywhere!
Go ahead, bicker among yourselves. Excessive paranoia and a healthy dose of self-doubt? No problem. Threaten each other with violence … everybody is equally well armed (all praise the NRA!).
Just remember which way to point those guns with the aliens rain hell down on your heads and I’ll go to bed happy.
It’s clear from the start that our alien invaders in Falling Skies have the firepower to lay waste to the entire planet. Therefor, the big mystery here, is why they have yet to do so. Theories range from classic Twilight Zone (To Serve Man) to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I favor the latter, or something like it, meaning these aliens need our bits for some purpose other than stocking the larder. Regardless, this is the central mystery that provides the backdrop to Falling Skies … not that I care. I’m from the XBox generation, afterall. Just nuke some more aliens, dammit!
Alien death is often slowed up by interpersonal conflict between the principals, including Noah Wylie and his family of emo-boys, but I supposeTNT doesn’t have the budget for wall-to-wall alien-busting effects. I imagine, should I put my mind to it and use some of those brain-cells not yet burned out by various video games, I could probably find some kind of allegorical parallels to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, but I just as soon not. I can’t even spell Afghanistan without help.
The aliens are bug-eyed bastards that deserve to die. That’s all I need. As long as Noah and the boys can set aside the pseudo-drama long enough to take care of bidness, count me in.
The aliens are coming, boys! Lock and load!
Wait … don’t shoot! That’s just Larry Hagman …
What am I saying? Fire at will!!
Falling Skies airs Sundays on TNT at 9/8 Central.
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I’ll admit it. I should get therapy. Sooner than later. Why?
Let’s start with this … I watch way too much television AND I write a blog no one reads on the topic. That’s just nuts. I need help.
What I don’t need is couples therapy. Any time I have a disagreement with my DVR, I always win. No therapy needed there.
But that is the long way around to a quick “thumbs up” for USA’s new buddy copshow, Common Law. The basic premise here is to take the old standby conceit of two cops who don’t get along and making them partners. Now mix in couples therapy to help our cop-buds work our their issues. Hey, while we’re at it, let’s turn the therapy sessions into group therapy! Yeah! That’s gonna be tons of funny!
Actually, it kind of is.
The only thing remotely original in this mix is that someone had the idea to combine all of these ideas into one mix at all. Buddy cops that don’t get along. Buddy cops that are clearly opposites. Couples therapy for a little bromantic flavor. One cop is a street smart, good lookin’, smooth talking black guy and the other, naturally, needs to be white, uptight, and dresses just right. But also clearly good looking. I could run down a list for you of all the movies and/or television shows with exactly those ingredients in various proportions–from Lethal Weapon to Starsky and Hutch–but there isn’t much point. You’ve seen them all and you know the cliches.
The thing is, it does kind of work. You learn to enjoy these guys and the relationship they have, dysfunctional as it may appear to be. Of course the relationship is hardly dysfunctional at all in that these two always get the bad guy in the end. It is the USA Network after all.
Watch it. Enjoy it. Laugh a little either at the antics on your screen or at the fact you’re perfectly willing to buy the bit in the first place. Either way, it might just be the sort of therapy you need.
Common Law airs Friday Nights on USA Network at 10/9 Central (which somehow translates to 11p Mountain time).
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Let’s make this short and to the point: Rookie Blue is a better show than it should be. That’s seldom the case for network television; usually shows are no where near as good as they could be. Rookie Blue is exactly the opposite of that. At its heart, this is a cop show with far too many pretty people. It’s nowhere near as good, for example, as Southland which was discarded by NBC (because they already had far too many good shows?) after just one season.
But I’m okay with pretty people, particularly if one of them happens to be Missy Peregrym. And she may not even be the prettiest cop on the beat. Okay, actually she is. But the girl seems able to act and the rest of the ensemble cast hold up well enough. Do I see an Emmy in the future? Hell no. But William Shatner’s guest turn as a grandfather obsessed with the disappearance of his granddaughter in the season premiere should get some consideration. It won’t, but it should.
The plot-lines are overrun with unlikely coincidences and unbelievable twists, but so what? You ever watch Grey’s Anatomy or House or just about any other television drama? That’s the way these shows work. We’re television junkies, people. We buy anything. Hunky ex-boyfriend/fiance returns from the military and ends up working as a cop in your same precinct? Sure. Why the hell not. You catch a ride with your on-again/currently off-again police officer boyfriend and crash into a van that happens to have a kidnap victim hiding in the back? Sure … go with that.
Rookie Blue isn’t about being believable. If we want that, we watch the far better Southland. I told you already … it’s about pretty cops doing cool things and, whenever possible, hooking up. Welcome back you guys!
Rookie Blue airs Thursdays on ABC at 10/9c.
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Click Pic for Gallery
I’m happy to report, and more than a little surprised to learn, that Nikita is still alive and kicking … kicking ass that is. The finale aired this passed Friday and Nikita (Maggie Q) survived her date with Division. While that was no small feat, it was only marginally more impressive than the fact that Nikita also beat the odds and will return next year to the CW line-up.
On a network over-run with teenage angst (but surprisingly little acne), Nikita skews a bit older than the standard CW fair (as in Gossip Girl, 90120, and even Supernatural). Based upon the remarkably conclusive finale, I suspect the show runners for Nikita also feared their time was about up. Watching last night’s episode, I could almost pinpoint the exact point where the script made a nice little jump to allow for the possibility that the show might continue. It’s the moment when a now major character steps off the elevator … in case you want to take a look for yourself. There is an equally pivotal moment when another member of the cast could easily have easily been killed instead of popping up alive and well before the end credits roll.
All’s well that ends well, right? Especially if you also survive the up-fronts.
This was a very satisfying season for this show. In fact, I liked this finale much more than the latest season-ender for Supernatural (which follows Nikita on Friday nights). I enjoy Supernatural and, honestly, will put more effort into watching it than I will Nikita. But the last few seasons, the writers appear to be in a disappointing rut. It goes like this: Paint the Winchester boys into an impossible corner, have them barely survive–but at what cost?–then leave everyone with the clear impression that all that hard work and sacrifice probably only made everything worse. Stay tuned for next season when the shit really hits the fan!
And they fucked up the Impala … again.
Both shows had a very solid run this season, better than I expected. But of the two, Nikita left me filling more satisfied. Both shows have been renewed for next season, with the Winchesters moving to Wednesday night to hang out with Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow) and Nikita shifting to a later time on Friday’s. Initially, Nikita will get the dubious honor of following America’s Next Top Model but eventually our super-spy gets teamed up with something a little meatier as Cult is slotted as a mid-season replacement.
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I was going to skip over the various cable network cancellations, until I noticed that several rather good programs are no longer going to be with us. Still, I will just stick to the highlights here. And no, I don’t care about any show on Bravo or E! that got pulled.
- In Plain Sight (USA) – I LOVE Mary McCormack, but it was probably time for this one to go. Good show, just time.
- The Closer (TNT) – Another good show with a great cast that leaves on its own terms and probably right on time.
- HawthoRNe (TNT) - I only got a glimpse of this after watching something else I actually cared about.
- Memphis Beat (TNT) - Gone too soon. This simple little cop show had a lot of charm and should have been given more of a chance to really catch on.
- Men of a Certain Age (TNT) - Another show I feel slightly guilty for rarely watching. It was pretty good really, just not my sort of thing.
- Eureka (SyFy) – This is a good one, but not better than anything else that SpiFy has cancelled over the last several seasons in favor of more reality show crap.
- United States of Tara (SHO) – Didn’t care for it. Showtime has much better stuff to watch.
- Skins (MTV) – Almost nothing on Music?WhatMusic? TeleVision ever gets my attention anymore. But this one made some waves once upon a time.
- The Protector (Lifetime) – I might have even watched this if I had any clue that it was on. Ally Walker has a certain appeal. Sorry Ally …
- Roseanne’s Nuts (Lifetime) – And then we’ve got this, your polar opposite of anything resembling a show with any appeal whatever. Combining Roseanne Barr and a reality show actually was greenlit by someone … it boggles the mind. No wonder I never tune in to Lifetime. It would make more sense to give another talk show to Rosie O’Donell …
- The Rosie Show (OWN) – This was actually on TV? No way!
- Bored to Death (HBO) – I tried watching this. Just not that hard.
- Eastbound & Down (HBO) – Hit and miss at best. When it missed … wow, did it miss.
- Entourage (HBO) – Should have been cancelled about two season ago.
- Luck (HBO) – Ran out of luck when too many horses kept dying.
- How to Make It in America, Hung, & The Life & Times of Tim (HBO) – HBO, it seems, is cleaning house.
- Rescue Me (FX) – This is one of those shows I should have watched more often. Definitely worth catching up on DVD or Netflix.
- Make It or Break It, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, & State of Georgia (ABC Family) – Were all of these as completely interchangeable as they sound? Never watched a single minute of any of them. Maybe that isn’t completely fair to say. I may have starting watching Chloe if it had lasted more than a season. As for the other two … I’m being completely fair.
- Glen Beck (Fox News) – Buh-bye.
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It’s that time again when we learn the fate of television shows, both loved and reviled, and some not even on our radar. The following is a list of those no longer with us … accompanied by an appropriate eulogy when needed.
A few random observations:
- I’m heartened by the almost routine failure of a wide range of reality and game shows, most of which seem to get unceremoniously dumped. For example, this little bit of good news from NBC (May 13): ‘Not making the cut on the reality front are “Escape Routes,” “Fear Factor,” “The Sing-Off,” “”Minute to Win It,” “The Marriage Ref,” “Who’s Still Standing?,” “It’s Worth What?” and “Who Do You Think You Are?”‘ Most of that list was just too unremarkable to bother metioning below. I suspect there are still more than these that failed to make this list.
- Only the CW beat out CBS with the fewest cancellations. I’m not sure the CW should really count because I don’t think they’re still trying, but it is interesting that the two nets answer (to some extent anyway) to the same overlords.
- Other than The New Girl, I can’t think of any new show on Fox that made the cut this year.
- So called ‘period pieces’ just don’t seem to be working on network TV any more.
- Special Programming Note: Rules of Engagement is again floating out there as “on the bubble”. This is becoming the latest variation of the “sitcom that just own’t die”, a title previously held by Scrubs until it actually did, finally, die.
- Desperate Housewives – I love Terri Hatcher but I quit watching this years ago … right around the time it probably should have been canceled all along.
- Charlie’s Angels – Farrah Fawcett was much too old to make this thing work. What? No Farrah? Well screw that!
- Combat Hospital – Uh … what? Wait … I have a very vague memory of this being on very briefly.
- Cougar Town – Not quite dead since it is getting moved to TBS. Any chance of getting that name change with the change of venue?
- Expedition Impossible – Nothing warms my heart like a cancelled reality/game show.
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – Another case in point (see Expedition above). My only regret is that they killed this off before they got to my house.
- GCB – I heard there was some kind of big controversy around this thing. Really? Why the hell would anyone care? Hey, I kind of like that little blonde gal with the huge … um … voice. But this show was not my cup of tea … or anyone else’s either. I’m still not sure what it was about. They let Kristin sing, right?
- Karaoke Battle USA – C’mon … now you’re not even trying! This concept was so pathetic it was barely a blip on anyone’s radar.
- Man Up! – Man Down! Man Down! (How can I avoid an obvious joke like that, right?)
- Missing – Missing In Action. (Another obvious joke). I really wanted this to work. It didn’t. Kind of a poor man’s ‘24′ with more estrogen.
- Pan Am – Crashed and burned! (Ah yes … the hits just keep coming!) Mad Men on AMC may be a critic’s darling, but it’s hardly a ratings success for all that. This was just one of many lame attempts to cash in with a similar period piece.
- The River – This illustrates a major difficulty for network TV … trying to get viewers to invest in “big mystery” dramas. We’ve just been burned too often.
- Take the Money and Run – When you get the idea for your reality show from a tune someone probably sang on Karaoke Battle USA, you can’t be surprised when it sucks. I’m just happily surprised no one watched this.
- Work It – Huh? What the hell was this? I’m not even going to bother looking it up.
- CSI: Miami – Here is a fatality with almost no mystery to it all … much like any CSI:M plot ever written. This show will live on in syndication and no one will ever be able to hear certain songs by the Who again without seeing Horatio in his sun glasses.
- How to be a Gentleman – AKA “How to get Cancelled in Four Episodes or Less.”
- NYC 22 – Kind of like Rookie Blue with a lot less blue. By ‘blue’ I mean eye-candy. It’s like Grey’s Anatomy without Katherine Heigl. What? Katherine’s not on Grey’s Anatomy anymore? Well, glad I quit watching that crap.
- A Gifted Man – Never really bothered to watch this and yet, I kind of feel guilty about that now. But I also feel like I kind of saw the same show only with a lawyer or an ex-cop.
- Rob – Ah. Perhaps proof that there really is a God.
- Unforgettable – This is one of few shows on the Dead and Gone list that simply shouldn’t be here. A better lead-in or a better time slot and this really could have worked. A police procedural with a little more to offer … like a smoking hot red-headed Poppy Montgomery. It that ain’t ‘must see TV’ I really don’t know what is. All kidding aside. Good show and I’m sad to see it go.
- H8R – Did this crap even make it on the air? God, I hope not.
- One Tree Hill – Did this crap even make it on the … what? Really? It’s been on that long? Wow. Glad I missed it.
- Remodeled – Removed.
- Ringer – Dead ringer.
- The Secret Circle – No secret at all … just not that good. A poor attempt to suck in the Vampire Diaries and Supernatural crowd. Probably could have done well on ABC Family.
- Alcatraz – Real potential here, but I’m afraid the viewing public is far too reluctant to take a chance on any show of this sort when you know it is almost certain to be cancelled about the time you really get invested.
- Allen Gregory – I’m a big fan of Family Guy, but this was just too … uncomfortable. Oh … and just not very funny.
- Breaking In – Resurrected but only briefly. Sort of an odd duck, but one I sort of enjoyed. This time it’s gone for good.
- The Finder – This had a lot going for it, including a very charismatic cast and an unusual premise. It worked. But evidently not for Fox who never really got behind it and shoved it into a Friday time-slot where no one was going to bother finding it.
- House – Had a great run on Fox and going out at just the right time. I’ve watched a few, but I’ve never been a huge fan. At least when it was on, Fox didn’t jamming another extra episode of American Idol in the time slot.
- I Hate My Teenage Daughter – Didn’t hate it. In fact, I kind of liked it. But mostly for Jaime Pressly. Any thing that keeps Ms. Pressly on my television set is okay by me. Nope. Didn’t hate it at all. But could be I was saving all my hate for …
- Napoleon Dynamite - Oh my lord this was completely unbearable. In fact, I’m surprised I can type right now without swearing.
- Terra Nova – Fox took a huge chance on this and I really, really wanted it to work. Maybe it was a case of trying to please too many masters and it certainly couldn’t have been cheap to produce. Still, with a bigger investment in the effects and some tighter writing … *sigh* … we’ll never know what could have been.
- In the Flow with Affion Crockett and Q’Viva: The Chosen: Wow. I’ve got absolutely nothing to say since I had no idea either of this shows ever existed.
- Are You There, Chelsea? – Nope. Chelsea doesn’t live here anymore. Who’s asking? Oh, right … nobody.
- Awake – I should have known (and actually, I wasn’t fooled at all) that this was going to go away too soon and leave me hanging. Again. And the networks continue to wonder why these kind of shows never seem to work anymore.
- Best Friends Forever – A cliche does not a TV series make.
- Bent – I heard good things about this one. It came and went before I could find it on the cable listings.
- Chuck – Honestly, this show lasted at least two seasons longer than I ever thought it would. It’s one of those I only occasionally bothered watching, but I will certainly do the full run via Netflix or something soon.
- The Firm – A flop. No way this was ever going to make it. Bad idea. Bad show. Just bad.
- Friends with Benefits – Add it to the list of generic, interchangeable sitcoms that flashed rather briefly across our televisions this season.
- Love Bits – Case in point.
- Free Agents – And again, ditto. I think maybe I watched this. Once.
- Harry’s Law – Another lawyer show with Kathy Bates in the title role. I love lawyer shows usually. I’m just not that fond of Ms. Bates.
- The Playboy Club – On HBO or Showtime, this might have actually worked. Not even the totally to be expected cries of ‘boycott’ and ‘lock up your kids’ could save this one. Need more T&A. A lot more.
- Prime Suspect – Unlike Kathy Bates, I simply love Maria Bello. But when this was shelved in favor of The Firm (unbelievable), I knew it was done. There are simply too many cop shows around and little chance for new ones to connect with an audience. Would been better served as a mid-season or summer replacement.
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James, Kristen, & Dreama
Hey, I’m not overly found of the bitch myself, but that’s why God gave me a remote control. I’ve watched this one a couple of times now and it just doesn’t work so well for me. I’m not upset that they push the limits of taste and seem to be going out of their way to keep the censors on their toes. It’s not that at all. It’s not the recreational drug use either or the under-age drinking. It’s the general lack of funny and the over-dependence on the shock factor. The two main characters are intended to be a modern era Odd Couple. One is the quintessential ‘good girl’ from the sticks and the other, naturally, has to be the jaded ‘bad girl’, aka the bitch. Dreama Walker (blonde and wholesome) plays the goody-goody and Kristen Ritter has the meatier role of the B—- in question. The dynamic between the two roommates is the only appeal this show has. The support characters, including James Van Der Beek stretching his acting chops by playing himself (I’m really not being sarcastic), are one-dimensional and paper-thin.
Bottom line here … Don’t Trust the B—- makes me nostalgic for 2 Broke Girls. That can’t be a good thing.
As for our old friend the Parents Television Council, it’s hardly a surprise that the B—- has the PTC folks up in arms. Their usual bitching, however, is more strident that usual:
The program is a sexist mixed-bag of hedonism, drug-use, alcohol abuse (including the main character plying a 13-year old boy with alcohol to get him drunk) and explicit levels of promiscuity that are shocking even by today’s broadcast TV standards.
Please take action now by contacting the show’s sponsors [Company A, Company B, Company C] and holding them responsible for paying ABC to beam the offensive content on Don’t Trust the B—- into every home in America.
The series represents a continuing and disturbing trend of using offensive, profane language in the very title of the program, where it is nearly impossible for families to avoid.
But beyond the offensive and inherently misogynistic title, the repugnant content of this program should raise the concern of every parent in America — and it should convince every responsible corporate advertiser in America to avoid associating its name with this series.
I’m not sure about the ‘trend of using offensive, profane language in the very title of the program’ –a couple of ‘bleeped’ program names does not make a trend–but I can’t really fault the overall description. It’s just the usual over reaction that makes me shake my head. And suppose there actually is such a ‘trend’. I would think the PTC would be all for it since such titles would make it remarkably easy for your average Bible-belter to figure out this was a show to avoid.
But do we really need to play the ‘boycott’ card again? How about this instead: Don’t watch and you won’t have to boycott anybody because you won’t ever see the adverts in question and thus will not be tempted by the items/service/product being sold.
Yeah, ABC is responsible for this horror. And yes, ABC is owned by Disney, the same company that introduced Selena Gomez to the world. Really, which is the greater evil? How about you PTC folks boycott the Disney Channel instead? Now that would be a public service.
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There are shows I don’t expect to like, but then I do (Hawaii Five-0; No Ordinary Family). There are shows I know I won’t like, but somehow I end up watching them anyway (L&O: Los Angeles; $#*! My Dad Says). There are shows I’m sure I will like but won’t get much of a chance to watch (Lone Star; Cougar Town). Then there are shows I really want to like but quickly find out I really don’t.
How’s that for The Whole Truth?
Three weeks in and this one is right there at the top of my list of disappointments this season. Rob Morrow? Love the guy. Moira Teirney? Love her even more (tho I’m never sure how to spell her name). The premise sounds pretty good too. The audience gets to watch both the Defense and the Prosecution at work, each presenting compelling, believable cases with their own interpretations of the facts. We get to be the jurors, until the real jurors chime in and render their verdict. Unlike real jurors, however, we also get to see the “final scene” in which the “whole truth” is finally revealed.
It should work. Only it doesn’t.
The cast should be great. Mostly they’re not bad, but the material is dragging them all down.
My biggest problem so far has been the so-called “reveal” at the end of each episode. I might be able to struggle past the weaknesses in the plotting and the astonishing myopathy of the jury when rendering their verdict, but that final scene each episode never fails to leave me saying “meh”. I should be thinking either “Bam! I knew it!” or “Whoa … didn’t see that one coming.”
Instead I’m left with “Huh. Well … that was an hour of my life wasted.”
And if that is the big gimmick upon which the success of your show rests … uh oh. I think this series could have some potential if they could fine tune the execution just a bit. I would have opted for a brief, intense, and definitive flashback each episode instead of the often misguided “wow” scene they’re trying to deliver. It would just feel much more resolved and satisfying. Also better structure within the plot itself would help. While it could be potentially too restrictive, a straight forward, step-by-step mechanism could work well here, along the lines of class Law & Order. Each team would get one segment to construct their case and plan, to present their take on the evidence. The third segment would be the trial itself. The final segment would be your verdict, followed by the “truth” sequence in some sort of stylistic presentation … black and white, blurry editing, whatever. Something along those lines could make for compelling television.
Instead, we get “meh”.
The Whole Truth airs Wednesdays on ABC at 10/9c
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