Television 2011-2012 A

Posted by: Barbara

Television 2011-2012 A - 09/24/11 12:40 AM

Now I can't get all of the TV 11-12 topic to load! And I think Botticelli is in trouble, too.

A couple of disappointing new shows. A Person of Interest has a good premise, stolen from Minority Report, but poor execution. What could have been a good puzzler is just another action show. And Prime Suspect has none of the intensity or intelligence of the original. It belongs on USA with all the other cop chick shows.

But tonight's A Gifted Man was so well done that I wish I liked it more. The dialogue, the pacing, and especially the direction were all spot on. It's just that my willing suspension of disbelief always becomes less willing when it's up against a ghost story. It's easy to see where the series is going; the ghost of the doctor's ex-wife is going to act as his conscience and make him a better man. Well, I wish 'em luck, even though I probably won't be watching. I did like the doctor's episode-long resistance to being haunted instead of accepting the situation in the first five minutes and plunging into a story, with ghost firmly settled in. There's much to recommend this show.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 09/24/11 07:07 AM

I didn't expect much of Prime Suspect. The original is a hard act to follow. I was hoping for more from A Person of Interest, but got less. I missed the ghost story entirely...I didn't even know it was on!

I can't get the other topic to load either, but there was a post there (Rita?) about Survivor. I'm watching it too...I just didn't want to be the first one to admit it.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 09/24/11 08:03 AM

Ha, Austin...me too. The Hantz nephew is worse than the Hantz uncle in one way. Russell was no hypocrite. He was sleazy and not too bright, but he never pretended to be better than he was.

Person of Interest...BIG letdown. And remaking Prime Suspect while the memory of the original is still strong is a remarkably dumb idea.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 09/25/11 02:49 PM

The first Survivor episode was puzzling because it didn't make clear who was the player we're given to hate. But the second episode took care of that. Coach said he'd probably make the same mistakes he made before, believing people and trusting them only to find them stabbing him in the back. If creepy Hantz can come up with a convincing repentence act, Coach will probably forgive him. It's going to be a test of Coach's gullibility.

Did anyone watch Unforgettable? I almost skipped it because I'm not a Poppy Montgomery fan, but it was pretty good. Another chick cop show, though.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 09/26/11 03:43 PM

New TAR last night, and those showgirls are lucky, lucky, lucky. The older couple are goners. It took them four hours to spot the sign in the square, and they have a speed bump to slow them down even more in the next leg. The wife annoys me no end, I don't know why.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 09/26/11 04:55 PM

I know why she annoys ME. She talks in social clichés, the sort of things hostessy women say to smoothe over awkward moments. And she says them with such poised confidence, as if she were on top of the situation instead of coming in dead last. The husband just stands there with a silly grin on his face and lets her do all the talking -- not exactly a pairing of winners. Those two will never catch up.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 09/27/11 07:56 PM

So they'll be one of the two teams dropped. I don't know why we're supposed to be so excited about a double elimination.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 09/29/11 06:42 PM

Survivor: Now we know how to get on Coach's good side. Confess some dirty secret to him and then ask him not to tell anyone. He won't see that as manipulation, for him it's all about LOYALTY. Even when Brandon fessed up to the rest of the tribe, Coach stayed LOYAL. The guy's an idiot.
Posted by: Scribbler

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/01/11 02:09 AM

I actually feel sorry for Brandon. I think he is sincere in wanting to "do right", but I also think he is really naive about it, a fairly recent convert to it, and far too caught up in whatever his "bad/wild life" had been before. He's rather young, and I put it down to living wild, and possibly getting his girlfriend pregnant and suddenly getting responsible about his life. His antipathy to Mikayla seems almost entirely grounded on the fact that he does find her attractive, and so while "trying to be good" has to shove her away. Most people go through this stage in privacy, but he's doing it on national TV.

I don't think Ozzy will make it all the way. He's not really very good at observing true strengths, nor in planning his strategy. And he has a "too cool for the room" attitude. I suspect he thinks he can do what Rob did, but Rob moved decisively against those who could endanger his position, and I don't think Ozzy can do that (mainly because he doesn't know who can endanger his position). Plus he's made the mistake of telling someone he has the idol. Rob never made that mistake.

I don't think these are the strongest players we've seen (in terms of the social game), but they seem more on the ball than some recent games.

OTHER SHOWS....

I had the pilot for Charlie's Angels on while I was working on the computer, and so listened to it. Cripes, rather wooden acting. Not very smooth delivery of lines, so the whole of any emotional draw just sank like stones. To go from that to the season premiere of Castle was stronger than a day/night contrast.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/10/11 04:16 PM

Sunday night has turned out to be quite busy. I watched three straight hours last night -- TAR, The Good Wife, Dexter. And I recorded the new Inspector Lewis mystery and Homeland to watch some other time, although I doubt I'll stick with the latter. Anyone watching Homeland?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/11/11 10:30 AM

Well, the premise isn't exactly new -- a returning war hero who may have been turned. The Manchurian Candidate fed off a national paranoia in its day, but maybe it's time for that again. The show is well done, and I like Mandy Patinkin in anything he does. But it looks to me as if the role of Carrie was written to give Claire Danes a shot at winning another Emmy. The role doesn't ring true to me; there's a note of falseness in it, of artificiality. And since Carrie is the focal point for the series, that note of falseness colors the rest of what's going on. I'll watch it again, but my expectations aren't very high.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/12/11 06:53 PM

Sportelli, the Metro detective on NCIS...he looks so much like John Schuck that I'm thinking they must be related. Does anyone remember John Schuck?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/13/11 10:25 AM

John Schuck, sure. He made a great Klingon. But I've missed the last few NCIS episodes.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/13/11 08:13 PM

The actor playing Sportelli is named Jack Conley, and he doesn't seem to be related to John Schuck in spite of the resemblance. Not much info on the web.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/16/11 06:32 PM

Tonight Masterpiece Mystery is showing an adaptation of Kate Atkinson's Case Histories. Real scenes, with dialogue! Yay!
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/18/11 10:48 AM

Did anyone recognize Ronny Cox in Dexter? That grotesque, bloated old man in Jockey briefs...that happened between SG-1 and Dexter? Whew.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/18/11 07:03 PM

That was Senator Kinsey? Geez, I didn't recognize him.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/20/11 06:49 AM

I am sick to death of both Ozzie and Coach. A pox on 'em and their inflated egos. Last night was my last episode of Survivor.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/20/11 03:57 PM

Hmm. Didn't you swear off Survivor once before?
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/21/11 07:36 AM

I find Survivor (and, indeed, all "reality" shows) very easy to ignore. I just tune in a cop show instead. Or the TNT network if there's no cop show on.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 10/22/11 08:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Christopher
Hmm. Didn't you swear off Survivor once before?
Yes, and I backslid. But that was back when the show still had the capacity to irritate me. Now I just don't give a hoot.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/02/11 08:24 PM

I am getting very tired of Cathi in TAR. Every word that comes out of her mouth sounds patronizing. Maybe she doesn't mean it that way, but she certainly sounds condescending.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/04/11 06:38 AM

Yes, she's annoying. Another show...I watch Harry's Law mostly for the courtroom scenes. The high point of each episode is Harry's summations, much the way many episodes of Boston Legal built up to Alan Shore's flamboyant speechifying. Harry's words are compassionate and persuasive, and Kathy Bates is absolutely perfect for the role.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/09/11 11:11 PM

Rita, have you really stopped watching Survivor?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/10/11 06:05 AM

Really have.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/10/11 10:35 PM

The show has actually taken a turn toward the interesting. Cochran the Nerd switched sides in tribal council, and as a result all three of Savaii tribe's alpha males are on Redemption Island, together!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/11/11 11:53 AM

TWO tribal councils Wed. night, wow. I don't blame Cochran for flipping. He did everything he could to earn a firm place in Ozzie's tribe, but they made it clear he was along as cannon fodder and he'd never be one of the chosen few. Keith was especially snide to him. All Jim's talk about how they'd protected Cochran, that was just bullshit. They needed his vote. And now the strongest alliance in the game (Ozzie, Jim, and Keith) has been shipped off to Redemption Island where they'll have to go at each other to stay alive. Serves them right.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/11/11 02:12 PM

Yes, that's going to be an interesting three-way challenge. I'll admit to having a soft spot for Cochran just because he's so articulate. On the whole, this group has done less slaughtering of the English language than their predecessors have done, Brandon excepted. Cochran, however, has a way of putting his finger on the nub of a situation and expressing it clearly without indulging in the backpatting the alpha males are prone to. But in a game based solely on jockeying for position in whatever social hierarchy is established, Cochran must have looked like easy pickings. All Ozzie's tribe had to do was treat him decently and they would still be in the game.

The only downside to Cochran's flipping I can see is that it provides more food for Coach's ego. Coach strikes me as being slightly more mature this time around, a little more realistic. But basically he remains a smug man in love with himself, and that's not going to change.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/11/11 07:32 PM

Well, damn!
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/12/11 12:30 PM

Ha, Rita. You picked the wrong time to bail. Coming back?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/14/11 09:27 AM

No. No, this time I'm going to hold firm. I am.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/15/11 06:13 PM

Who was the idiot that said the older couple in TAR were goners? Oh, I was that idiot. They're still in the race.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/18/11 07:05 PM

Prime Suspect has been canceled, and Dexter has been renewed for two more seasons.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/23/11 06:45 PM

The Closer returns on Monday. Now we get to see whether Brenda Leigh goes out with a bang or a whimper.

Any guesses on who the leak in the office is? My son is convinced it's Pope.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/23/11 09:56 PM

Well, Taylor is the obvious choice. He's the most unreliable member of the team and he has trouble keeping his mouth shut. So for that reason he's probably NOT the leak...unless the producers pull a double reverse on us.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/24/11 05:55 AM

Pope sounds like a pretty good guess. He brought Brenda onto the job and then watched her pass him by. She made the short list for Chief of Police, but he didn't. His days as acting Chief of Police are numbered, and he has to feel resentment toward Brenda...maybe he even blames her for his own waning career. If he can discredit her, he might have a shot at keeping the job. He's the only one with a real motive.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/24/11 06:51 AM

I hope it's not Provenza or Flynn. Either one of them could be leaking info without knowing it. They don't always show good judgement.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/24/11 05:07 PM

What about Gabriel? He isn't always in sync with Brenda, and there was an earlier episode or two when his loyalty was in question. Not the part where he was the only one who didn't get a subpoena...that was just a ploy. A couple of seasons earlier than that. And he did once ask for a transfer, when his office romance turned sour. He doesn't have the clear motive Pope does, though. Maybe just plain old ambition? There's nothing in his character to suggest that, but he'd make a good "least likely suspect."
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/24/11 06:19 PM

One person we can be sure is NOT the leak is Detective Sanchez. He's fiercely loyal and he can keep his mouth shut, even under pressure. Remember when Captain Raydor was interviewing him about the Shootin' Newton case? He clamped his lips together and told her nothing.

Speaking of Captain Raydor (the Raider?), could she be manipulating Brenda out of a job so she could manipulate herself into it? I certainly wouldn't put it past her. The question is whether she is privy to enough of the squad's operations to do any real damage.

So, have we missed anyone?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/24/11 11:22 PM

Buzz.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/25/11 11:00 AM

Ha, Buzz, right...he's the bad guy! grin
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/25/11 02:27 PM

Wait a minute...there's another one, Lt. Tao. But he has no bone to pick and has been cooperative right from the start. I'd group him with Buzz, Provenza, and Flynn as non-suspect. That leaves Pope, Taylor, Gabriel, and Raydor as possibly the leak.

Raydor, the raider? Hmmmmmmmm, could be.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/25/11 06:03 PM

And if it turns out to be Fritz, we can all write nasty letters to TBS.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/25/11 10:04 PM

Dear TBS,

&#@!!%^&*#*!!!&#@!!%^&*#*!!!&#@!!%^&*#*!!!

Sincerely yours,
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/28/11 07:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Rita
Who was the idiot that said the older couple in TAR were goners? Oh, I was that idiot. They're still in the race.
Well, they're gone now, but they lasted a lot longer than I thought they would. This season of TAR has had a better variety of things for the racers to do than in the last few seasons, it seems to me...bunny racing, body building, making "doughnuts" with Broncos, etc.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/29/11 09:18 AM

Aha! LOVED the way Captain Raydor narrowed the field of suspects down to two!
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/29/11 11:21 AM

And removed herself from the list of suspects at the same time. Deftly done. So now we're down to the final two. So who is it? The biggest blabbermouth or...the most vindictive?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/29/11 06:20 PM

Remember the scene where the sleazy lawyer informed Brenda he was taking the case to the federal level? Remember how Brenda learned he was there? Pope said, "There's someone here to see you" and nothing else, not even saying who was there. He gave her no chance to prepare herself and there was even a little smile on his face as he opened the door to let her walk in and face that without any warning.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but that doesn't seem to me like the behavior of a man acting in his assistant's best interests. Once Raydor lets it be known what happened, everyone's going to assume it was Taylor who talked. There was even a line in this last episode, about not saying something in front of Taylor if you didn't want it repeated. Taylor's going to look guilty, but I bet that will just be a smokescreen.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/30/11 08:29 AM

Lorna puts up a good case for Pope throwing Brenda under the bus.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 11/30/11 08:55 AM

It sounds reasonable. But here's a horrible thought: what if they don't find the leak at all? Or leave it for a problem Raydor has to deal with when she takes over? Just because The Closer needs closure doesn't mean it's going to get it. TV shows don't always deliver on their promises...remember SG-1.

All of the above is merely a "What if." I think we'll find out in the next four episodes who the leak is.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/01/11 01:01 PM

Um, I hate to rain on the parade, but Raydor didn't really narrow down the field. Her encounter with the lawyer at the very end of the episode was not the first indication that the story of her leaving was no longer secret. Provenza knew about it; even Fritz knew. So since the story was circulating through the squad room (Taylor's big mouth at work, no doubt), then anyone in that room could have called the lawyer.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/01/11 03:40 PM

Well, hell!
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/01/11 05:35 PM

Oh, merde.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/05/11 01:08 PM

I'm watching "The Killing [Forbrydelsen] II" at the moment. There are ten episodes, and BBC4 is showing them in pairs on Saturday evenings, 9-11pm, so the series is a great deal shorter than the previous one. I've seen the first six episodes, and the whole thing is much more taut than series I - although new characters are introduced fairly frequently, they don't disappear (unless they die, which some of them do). In series I, pretty much every episode introduced a new suspect or suspects and many of them were cleared and then disappeared.

Series II concentrates on something (as yet unrevealed) that happened to some Danish soldiers in Afghanistan, and they and others are being targeted by persons unknown. Meanwhile, a new Minister of Justice is thrust into the limelight and has to learn fast, especially as politicians are pressing for curbs on Muslims.

Sarah Lund has been called up again, of course, and has unsurprisingly cut corners and has just been sacked (but she's still working unofficially on the case).

It's very enjoyable, with lots of twists and turns.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/06/11 10:24 AM

So she didn't escape after all? No marriage? Hm. I don't know when we're getting season 2 of the American version. It should be soon.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/14/11 08:33 AM

Is anyone else disappointed with the return of The Closer? The Santa episode last week must be their worst episode ever, and this week wasn't much better.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/14/11 05:40 PM

They look as if they're just marking time until the Big Finale and the transition to the new series. One thing of note in last week's episode: Pope actually helped Brenda. He talked her expensive lawyer into continuing to represent her, only now doing it pro bono. Not the act of someone out to sabotage her.

NCIS -- what's happened to McGee's voice? It used to be a resonant baritone but now it's lighter and higher-pitched. Is that deliberate? Is Sean Murray sick?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/17/11 10:55 AM

Some bloggers are saying it's the result of Murray's weight loss. I don't know how much that is worth.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/19/11 11:04 AM

A quite satisfactory conclusion to Survivor, for a change. It was a default winner, again. The votes weren't so much for Sophie as they were against Coach. But enough people got fed up with his holier-than-thou performance to give her the million dollars. Poor Albert, completely ignored (as he should have been!). In a way, Cochran was right when he said Coach had played the best game and deserved to win. But I'm so glad he didn't. smile
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/19/11 02:30 PM

Ah, but did Coach play the best game? It came out in the final tribal council that Sophie plotted their game; she was the strategist. Coach was the actor to Sophie' script, all the while convincing himself he was being "honorable" and "a Christian man" and all the rest of it. That way he took the heat from those voted off, not Sophie. She played a smart game and deserves her prize.



Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/19/11 07:02 PM

Yes, she does deserve the win. She pointed out that male winners of the game formed alliances that included a couple of girls who'd vote the way they were told, but she couldn't do that. Both Ozzie and Coach did just that. So she allied herself with the dominant male in her tribe and kept a low profile. If she'd been in the other tribe, it would have been Ozzie. She played smart all the way through.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/19/11 09:30 PM

Did anyone watch the season finale of Dexter? That was a "Whew!" episode. Everything is going to change.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/20/11 09:49 AM

Haven't watched it yet.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/21/11 05:10 PM

Whew! Yeah, EVERYTHING is going to change! Can we talk about it?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/22/11 08:04 AM

Yeah, talk. But I can't even guess what Deb is going to do. Whatever it is, she won't be doing it right away, because they have two more seasons coming up.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/22/11 02:57 PM

I'm wondering if she's going to tell her therapist. Isn't the doctor/patient confidentiality suspended when a life is in danger? But does that apply to something the patient told the doctor or only to the patient herself? Deb's in no danger nor is she a threat to others. Complicated.
Posted by: Mike

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/22/11 07:25 PM

.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/23/11 08:49 AM

What's that, Mike?

Thought I'd posted this...Dexter has always been so careful, picking isolated or deserted spots to carry out his executions. But this time he chooses the very church that's part of the police investigation? And he doesn't lock the door? Necessary for the plot (Deb has to find out) but not consistent with Dexter's M.O. for six seasons.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/24/11 02:19 AM

Deb could have a key, couldn't she, as the officer in charge of the investigation? It's still a bad choice of place.

The therapist told Deb that Dexter was her "safe place" that she turned to; how safe will she feel now? That on top of her facing up to the fact that she's in love with her adopted brother...poor girl, what a lot that is to handle.

When this series first started, Dexter killed only those villainous men that the law didn't punish, either because of a legal technicality or through ignorance of their misdeeds. He was doling out a particularly grim sort of vigilante justice. But now Dexter is killing because he wants to. The police know Travis's name; as long as he stayed in Miami, they'd find him eventually. But Dexter has been in a race with the police, needing to find Travis first when he could have just sat back and let the investigation run its course. Is this deliberate, or is it just careless inconsistency on the part of the writers and producers? I can't tell.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/24/11 03:03 PM

TV Guide published a wish list, and one wish was to forget this current season of Dexter all but the last 20 seconds. I kind of feel that way myself. All that hokey religiosity, and I didn't like seeing Adama and Senator Kinsey so uglified. That wasn't necessary. Even Deb is getting weirder and weirder looking. Dexter's own "exploring" of religion seemed to depend on whoever he last talked to. At first Travis seemed the reluctant pawn of the professor, even rebelling against him. Then poof, the professor's a hallucination and Travis is the true monster, like flipping a switch. Is this supposed to trace the path of madness? I don't believe it. And where did Travis get his acolytes (who ended up dead), especially the woman he sent into the police station wearing the poison gas? Is all you have to do is say "God wants it" and people will do whatever you tell them? There wasn't nearly enough preparation for that. I just didn't like this last year, even Deb's new-found love for Dexter.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/27/11 03:51 PM

WHAAAAAT??? Final six episodes of The Closer...NEXT SUMMER??? I thought we were seeing the final episodes now!
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/27/11 06:38 PM

So did I. At least Brenda's off the hook with the lawsuit, but her name is tarnished and she didn't get her day in court. It's not quite finished yet.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/29/11 12:20 AM

The solution to Brenda's problem is a cheat. She deliberately let the killer with immunity out of the car in a place where she knew he was in danger. Gabriel suggested they hang around for a while to prevent another murder, but she declined. It was a neat solution to a knotty problem (the killer should never have been given immunity), but it was still vigilante justice, even if carried out by a cop. But Brenda is off the hook because someone else did something worse than she did? The hit was ordered? How convenient.

That "solution" reminds me of another similar one. Remember Spenser for Hire, based on Robert Parker's books? In one episode, Spenser's girlfriend Susan is working on her Ph.D. and her thesis advisor lets her know that if she doesn't sleep with him, he'll never approve her dissertation. What to do? If she goes to a dean with a charge of sexual harassment, it'll be a case of she says/he says. Unprovable. So Spenser investigates the man and oh wow gosh guess what -- the advisor has committed a murder. So Spenser nails him for murder and Susan's problem melts away. How convenient.

I guess the moral of that episode is that when a woman is propositioned by a man in a position to do her harm, she should make sure he has committed some crime in the past. But both shows sidestep the real problem, Spenser moreso than The Closer, since the city of L.A. has to pay a $1 million settlement (an admission of wrongdoing). And both bring in a brand new element to make a solution possible -- the advisor's act of murder and the former gang member who ordered the hit. Deus ex machina.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/29/11 10:11 AM

Well, damn! It IS a deus ex machina ending! Never saw the Spenser episode, but The Closer sure fits the bill. Invent a new bad guy to get Brenda off the hook. Ethically, I think she was completely justified in what she did. Pope let that military type talk him into granting immunity to get the killer to talk. He should have held firm. If ever there's an argument for bending the rules, it's when a system of justice is misused.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/29/11 05:41 PM

When Brenda let T-Ball out in gang territory and it became clear what was going to happen, I thought "Good!" The guy had callously bl0wn away an old man and a little boy, a child...and he didn't deserve to walk away. I admired Brenda for having the guts to let street justice take its course.

But in retrospect, I can't really justify what she did. In the heat of the moment, it seemed the just thing to do, but I'm no longer sure about that. No easy solution to this one. What else could she do? There should have been something.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/30/11 09:59 AM

I don't know what Brenda should have done in that situation, either. But she'd been blindsided by the prosecutors in granting T-Ball immunity.

The "Johnson Rule", however, stood her in good stead in handling the lawyer; he's going to have a protection detail watching him in everything he does from here on out.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/30/11 12:32 PM

What Brenda could have done was take him to a safe place and then watch him. Low-life like T-Bone isn't going to reform, ever. He'll be in trouble again. Nail him then, not now.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/30/11 06:22 PM

That wouldn't work, Lorna, because he'd have to commit another crime before he could be caught. Another crime means another victim...he might even kill again. Too big a price.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/31/11 04:37 PM

Let's hear from the pro in our midst. Mike, what would you have done in Brenda's place?
Posted by: Mike

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 12/31/11 06:04 PM

Now Chris, you don't think I'm going to say I'd dump that scumbag in a place where he'd get hurt do you?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/01/12 08:18 PM

Understood.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/02/12 12:02 PM

You know, there is a precedent for Brenda's action -- that is, she'd done it before. In an earlier episode, Brenda was hot on the trail of a rapist-murderer when a lawman from Texas (I forget his rank) showed up looking for the same guy, who'd committed a whole series of rape-murders in Texas. Brenda was not about to turn over her suspect to the Texas authorities, but she was able to use the lawman's presence as leverage to get a confession. The killer could confess and be tried in California, which had had about a dozen executions in the last 35 years. Or he could not confess and be tried in Texas, which still has the highest execution rate of any state in the country. He confessed. The lawman told Brenda that since the killer wouldn't be going back to Texas, maybe she could use his evidence to help get a conviction and handed her a folder containing photographs of the Texas victims. Brenda was so horrified by what the guy had done to those women that she let the lawman take him. His exit line: "I sure played that one right!"

So she sent that guy to his death just as surely as she did T-Bone. Both of them were scum of the earth, but Brenda overstepped her bounds when she played judge-and-jury. The question then is whether that weighs more heavily than the fact that she gets the job done. How highly valued is she in that politically charged situation where she works?

Incidentally, this coming November California will be voting on the proposed abolition of the death sentence.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/02/12 08:23 PM

I remember that episode. That one wasn't quite as questionable, since she did turn the killer over to another law enforcement agency. Sort of a warm-up for T-Bone.

Chris, it seems only fair that you answer the same question you asked Mike. What would you have done in Brenda's place? Me, I wouldn't have taken him back to his gang neighborhood. But then, I'll be the first to admit I'd make a lousy cop. No stomach for the work, and I'm not really brave enough.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/02/12 10:33 PM

OK, fair enough...here's my answer. I would have done exactly what Brenda did.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/03/12 09:20 AM

So would I...and then I would have regretted it. It was satisfying, seeing Brenda solve her problem in such a tough way. But "satisfying" and "right" aren't always the same thing. I guess I'm sitting on the fence on this one.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/03/12 11:33 AM

That's about where I sit, too. When Brenda followed the new "Johnson Rule" and ordered protection for the sleazy lawyer regardless of whether he cooperated or not, Raydor told her it was "the right and honorable thing to do." You can't really argue with that, can you? But when you try to work within a system and follow its rules, and it's the system itself that backs you into a corner and forces you to make the kind of decision Brenda had to make -- what happens to "right and honorable" then? I don't believe there is one right answer.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/03/12 05:22 PM

But doesn't a system that forces you to choose between acting as judge-and-jury or setting a killer free forfeit its right to expect "right and honorable" actions? I'd probably suffer a little conscience problem later, but I'm pretty sure I'd do what Brenda did.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/08/12 11:24 AM

1. Everything Danish over here. Forbrydelsen II has finished - ten episodes, small number of suspects, kept me guessing more or less to the end. The new Danish drama is Borgen (Government), about manoeuverings among political parties. No murders and no Sarah Lund, though both of her investigatory partners have turned up, one a TV news chief and the other a party leader's husband. I've just finished episode 2 (of ten) and it definitely holds the attention. Would I be right in thinking that US TV companies don't buy subtitled series from Europe? Your loss, if so.

2. Great Expectations - 3 one-hour episodes. Good atmosphere but rather a travesty of the story (I've re-read the book in order to check). Too much Bentley Drummle and not enough Wemmick (no Aged Parent or Miss Skiffins, aargh!), various made-up scenes, etc. Ray Winstone and David Suchet excellent as Magwitch and Jaggers, but Gillian Anderson not my idea of Miss Havisham.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/10/12 10:39 AM

Unfortunately, it's true that American TV won't show series with subtitles. HBO won't even show foreign-language movies, although some of the other pay channels occasionally do. But for the most part our TV proceeds on the assumption that it's impossible to underestimate the intelligence of the viewing audience.

Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham? Oh dear. Even if the casting was right...it wouldn't be right. Anderson was terrible in Bleak House. She played her entire role with the same pained expression on her face, as if she'd eaten something that disagreed with her and couldn't find the Pepto-Bismal.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/10/12 11:27 AM

Sort-of coincidentally, I caught the 1946 David Lean Great Expectations on TV yesterday - haven't seen it for years. John Mills rather too old for Pip, some of the sets were pretty stagey and there was no sign of Orlick, BUT most of the dialogue was actually as written by Dickens, shock-horror! And we got a bit of the Aged P, too.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/17/12 06:57 AM

Four new shows on this week, and not one of them worth watching again! The Finder, The Firm, and Lost Girl are all boilerplate, but I had some hope for J.J. Abrams' Alcatraz . There's nothing awful about it, but it's obviously trying to be the new Lost, with its mysterious questions and heavy hints. And that huge facility built underneath the prison...that's straight out of an early James Bond movie. Disappointing.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/18/12 09:55 AM

It even takes its framing plot from another show, Brimstone. A specific number of bad guys go missing from Hell/Alcatraz and must be returned there, laying the groundwork for escapee-of-the-week episodes. Except the prisoners don't really escape; they're sent forward in time to do damage (we're supposed to be asking by whom? For what purpose? Why this particular year? Etc.). Even with all its borrowings, that's not a bad set-up for a series. But the show itself isn't...well, it just isn't.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/19/12 01:06 PM

Harry in Harry's Law lost her last two cases, and both of them were quite touching. Barbara, did you watch last week's episode? Brian Markinson was in it.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/20/12 10:44 AM

Missed it. I like the show when I watch but I keep forgetting about it. WEDNESDAY, right.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/20/12 06:33 PM

I hate to tell you this, but Harry's Law is moving to Sundays in March.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/26/12 10:41 PM

Did anyone watch the Touch pilot last night? I forgot all about it.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/27/12 12:02 PM

Huh. I didn't even know it was on.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/31/12 11:09 AM

Neither did I. But I did catch the pilot episode of Luck on HBO...anyone else? It looks like a winner to me.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 01/31/12 06:28 PM

It does to me too. Good cast, good dialog, racing and gambling -- the whole show has the aura of authenticity to it. I liked it all, the Santa Anita racetrack, the intricate betting schemes, even the steam rising from the horses' backs. This is what a first episode should be!
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/01/12 08:53 AM

I watched Ringer last night. I don't see how they are going to get this beyond one season.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/01/12 10:01 AM

I don't either. I gave up after the second episode, and so did a lot of other people since by midseason the ratings had dropped to half of their initial number. CW hasn't cancelled it yet, though.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/04/12 12:34 PM

I watched Luck last night, and it IS good! Best first episode since Lost. The whole atmosphere is different from what you usually get in stories about racing. It seems so very knowing. Only one potenial weak spot that I could see. Richard Kind's performance as the agent verged upon shtick, in contrast to the 100% believable performances of all the other actors in the show. But this is one series I'm definitely going to watch.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/07/12 08:13 AM

Good second episode of Luck last night. Do racing people really call jockeys "bugs"?
Posted by: Mike

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/07/12 09:38 AM

apprentice jockeys
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/07/12 02:33 PM

"Bug boys", I heard. They get a 5 lb weight allowance, indicated in the racing sheets by an asterisk.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/08/12 10:12 PM

The 200th episode of NCIS took a different route this week, a sort of It's a Wonderful Life for Gibbs. Only mildly interesting, though.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/09/12 10:56 PM

Lorna, did you ever watch Quantum Leap? The final episode shows Sam Beckett going into a bar where, like Gibbs, he sits at the bar/counter and watches bits and pieces of his life with some mystical alternatives thrown in. Both shows came from Donald Bellisario's production company. Recycling.

Remember Chip, Abby's unwanted assistant? That's Bellisario's son. And McGee's sister -- Bellisario's daughter. McGee himself is Bellisario's stepson. Another stepson and daughter are NCIS producers, and another son is a producer for NCIS: Los Angeles. Big Daddy takes care of everybody.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/10/12 01:28 PM

The son who played Chip also had a recurring role in JAG, another Bellisario series. He was Lt. Roberts' brother...Mike, I think. I remember the NCIS episode with McGee's sister, but I don't remember HER.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/11/12 09:13 AM

Oh, JAG, that's why Chip looked familiar. I guess "nepotism" isn't a dirty word in Hollywood.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/11/12 11:36 AM

Upstairs on January 8th I mentioned the new Danish drama, Borgen (Government), seen over here on BBC4. It started with manoeuverings among political parties when the right-wing Prime Minister's name has been blackened just before a General Election. At the end of the second episode, after the election, the leader of the Moderate Party had just about formed a coalition government. The rest of the ten-part series is about her (yes, HER) tribulations - possible break-up of the coalition, difficulties over defence policy, arrival in Copenhagen of Eastern European dissident at the same time as the president of his country who wants him arrested, problems with her family. Plus there's a continuing thread involving the major TV station whose star interviewer has a sort of off/on relationship with the PM's spin-doctor.

Great stuff, and Series Two will air over here at the end of the year, with an apparently final series 3 about to start filming.

Danish seems more difficult to me than Swedish (as in the Wallander series), but Borgen has a certain amount of un-subtitled English language sections (e.g. when the TV interviewer talks to the E Europe dissident). And some English words seem to have permeated Denmark - guess what the Danish for "spin-doctor" is?

I'm sure that any of you who're interested can get hold of the DVD boxed set through the magic of the internet - well worth watching, IMNSHO.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/14/12 10:52 AM

Miracle of miracles, it IS being shown here! Very limited viewing, unfortunately. It's carried on Link TV, one of those small channels buried in a bunch of other small channels so that you don't even notice it's there. Channel 375 on DirecTV; Dish also carries it but Comcast does not. An episode of Borgen is scheduled to be shown tonight.

An American version is in the works at NBC.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/14/12 04:07 PM

Glad to hear that, Barbara. I'll be interested to hear what you thought of it. (BTW, one problem for me was that the subtitles are often in white against a white or light background, so I had to get closer to the TV and switch the light off. The Killing mostly took place in Stygian gloom (as against normal daylight in Borgen), so the titles there were easier to read.)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/14/12 06:16 PM

Never heard of Link TV, but on checking I find we do get it! And Borgen is indeed on tonight.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/14/12 10:22 PM

Uh, did I read the schedule wrong?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/15/12 09:16 AM

If you did, so did I. Now the listings are saying two episodes this weekend, one Saturday and one Sunday.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/15/12 10:58 AM

The Sunday episode is scheduled to be shown three times that day, so I guess that one's the more recent of the two. So, Andrew, in addition to the show, you also gave us a new TV channel we didn't know we had. cool
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/16/12 10:11 AM

New Survivor last night. Did anyone bother to watch?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/16/12 02:07 PM

Nope. And a new TAR this Sunday. I'm not sure I'll watch that, either.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/17/12 06:47 AM

Oh, I will. I'm not completely tired of it yet. Did anyone watch Smash? It's supposed to be Glee for grown-ups, but since I never watched Glee I don't know if that's accurate or not.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/18/12 09:37 PM

I've been watching Smash. I thought I would love Glee when it began, being a music teacher and all, but I found I couldn't stand it. Smash is better, so far, but still ridiculous in relation to how a musical is actually created, and stuffed full of every primetime-soap cliché you can name. (The marriage conflicted over adoption and the time it takes; the greedy assistant out of All About Eve; the choice between the capable pro and the fresh-faced unknown for the new starring role; the casting couch; the divorcée producer who fast-tracks the production because she sees it as her chance to stay in the game; and on and on.)

It doesn't help that the "unknown," Katherine McPhee, is the one who apparently is supposed to be the draw to TV audiences (she lost on American Idol years ago), and she's just a mediocre pop-style singer, a minimal actress, and no dancer. It's absurd that they would spend half a second vacillating between casting her or Meg Hilty.

But I'll admit that it's fun to see actual NYC locations as part of the show every week, and stage actors I like such as Hilty, Christian Borle, and Brian d'Arcy James. I wish they had fresher material. I don't know how long I'll stick with it.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/19/12 04:51 PM

Clichés in the writing, too. Julia writes a try-out song; her husband reads in the paper that a certain reviewer mentions it in his column. Julia immediately goes on a rant about what an awful critic he is, his taste is all in his mouth, etc. It's so obvious a set-up that we know the review is going to be favorable and Julia will have to do a quick about-face. Oh, ha ha ha. Like we've never seen this before?

I've had my first taste of Borgen; it was episode 7, "See No Evil, etc." It didn't grab me the way The Killing did, but that could be because I missed the first six episodes. I took an immediate dislike to the TV reporter -- but that's probably a good thing, if the characterizations can be made so clear so quickly. I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing; is the PM going to stay idealistic through the rest of the series? "Spin-doctor" appeared several times in the dialogue, and one unexpected "Smurf" as well.

I'm going to try to watch the rest of the series, but Link TV isn't making it easy. The promised three showings today have now been reduced to one, and it's the same episode that was shown yesterday. Two different episodes are scheduled for next weekend, the second-shown to be the first in the series (the election). Do you get the feeling Link TV isn't the most stable channel in the world?
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/20/12 12:12 PM

This season of "Downton Abbey" seems to have come to its end.I suppose we'll see the 1920s next year.

I thought another season of "Upstairs, Downstairs" was going to be made. Did it lose out to Downton or something?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/20/12 04:37 PM

I hadn't heard of a new season of Upstairs, Downstairs. It would have to be a remake, with an all-new cast.

Crazy ending for the first leg of TAR. Those two sisters were eliminated because they didn't see Phil at the pit stop, and he was standing RIGHT THERE. Chris, did you watch?
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/20/12 06:07 PM

Yes, the new season of Upstairs, Downstairs started yesterday: http://tinyurl.com/74sktme
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/21/12 09:22 AM

Hmm, that writer didn't think much of the new U,D.

Lorna, yes, I did watch, and I'm glad I didn't miss that ending! All those girls had to do was turn their heads and look to the side...but no, they just kept plowing straight ahead. Fatigue, no doubt. Not thinking straight.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 02/25/12 01:41 PM

I was not wildly impressed with the new USDS when I saw it the first season...But I am hooked on Downton Abbey...
got to get home and catch up on the episode I missed last weekend.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/02/12 01:14 PM

Anyone catch Awake last night? This one looks promising.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/02/12 07:09 PM

Yes, it has potential. It all depends on how much the two realities interact once the novelty of the situation has worn off. For instance, I am thoroughly tired of the ghost in A Gifted Man, and the alternating lives in Awake could go the same way. They're going to have to keep on their toes. It's a good cast, though, and the direction so far is nice and taut.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/09/12 11:18 AM

Wicked Awake last night, especially with the revelation that Britten's alternate lives are being manipulated or at least monitored.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/09/12 04:16 PM

One thing is puzzling. Every time he goes to sleep, he wakes up to his other reality. One day he wakes up to a living son and a dead wife, working one case with a rookie partner, and visiting a confrontational shrink. The next day he wakes up to a living wife and a dead son, working a different case with his longtime partner, and visiting a nurturing shrink. Doesn't anybody in either reality notice that this guy is around only every other day?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/10/12 01:33 PM

Ha! Awake hasn't shown us anything in way of dates -- newspapers, calendars, etc. -- on purpose, I'd guess. In this second episode, there was a lot of quick switching back and forth between the two realities. Perhaps Britten is living the same day twice. Or simultaneously?

Isn't it a little early in the run to be revealing there is something nefarious behind Britten's condition? It seems to me he has enough on his plate as it is to keep the show rolling for a few more episodes. But I do like this cast. Jason Isaacs is perfect as Britten, a grown-up, got-it-together man dealing with an impossible situation. One of his therapists is B.D. Wong, who also plays a psychiatrist on L&O:SVU. The other therapist is Cherry Jones, demoted from her last TV job as US President on 24. This show is looking good.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/10/12 08:37 PM

I just got around to watching this week's Survivor, and WOW!! For those of you not watching, who I'm assuming is everybody reading this, it's a men vs. women competition this time. This last immunity challenge was won by the men...BUT THEY GAVE THE IMMUNITY IDOL TO THE WOMEN'S TRIBE. Why? Because the snotty guy calling the shots for the men didn't like one of his tribe members and wanted to get rid of him. And all the other men did as he said, the stupid sheep. There have been a lot of idiotic moves made in Survivor over the years, but this one tops them all. Giving up immunity! The look on Jeff Probst's face when the men walked into Tribal Council was absolutely priceless.

The women are laughing their heads off.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/11/12 11:43 AM

Good lord. I guess the show's screening process doesn't include sanity checks.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/12/12 03:06 PM

I guess I'd better come clean and admit I'm watching Survivor as well. Colton (the snotty guy) is a rich Alabama college kid who says things like "Country Club people have more intellect"...more than poor people or the lower classes or something. The guy Colton wanted to get rid of was Bill, who is black and poor and is trying to make it as a stand-up comic. Colton hated Bill from Day One because he's not "the right sort" (Colton's words). It's racism at its ugliest, because Colton got the rest of the tribe to follow his lead -- and that is the most incredible thing I've seen on this show. Completely defies explanation.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/13/12 05:45 PM

I'm not sorry to have missed that. It sounds as if they're scraping the bottom of the barrel for contestants.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/16/12 12:12 PM

More likely that's the kind of contestant they're seeking out now, people who are likely to stir up controversy. Nasty people. Isn't it interesting how the nature of the game has changed? I watched this week's episode, and I've already forgotten who was voted out.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/17/12 03:11 PM

Did anyone watch the new show Missing? Ashley Judd as a retired CIA agent whose son goes to Europe and is kidnapped so she follows to rescue him. Wasn't that a movie with Liam Neeson as the agent going after his kidnapped daughter?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/18/12 12:13 PM

Yep, it was. I think it's called Taken. Judd is OK, but Neeson is more convincing as ex-CIA.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/18/12 04:18 PM

I haven't seen Taken, but there's one thing Missing got right and that's the aftereffects of a fight. Most TV heroes skip away without a scratch, but Ashley Judd was scraped bloody and bruised, and she walked stiffly, obviously in pain. Judd is a middle-aged woman playing a middle-aged woman. Of course she's going to be hurt when she takes on an armed male assassin. The show didn't strike me as particularly engaging, but I do appreciate that one dollop of verisimilitude.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/18/12 06:19 PM

Do you suppose that's one of the reasons the L&O franchise has lasted so long? No fist fights?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/19/12 09:31 AM

Luck has been canceled. Three horses died during filming, and HBO says it can't guarantee the safety of the other animals.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/19/12 06:56 PM

Oh my. THREE horses. Oh dear, that's terrible! Just terrible!
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/20/12 12:33 PM

It's inexcusable and unforgivable. I was just getting into the show, which is a quality series. But not if the horses are sacrificed to entertainment. Still, you have to wonder if the low ratings were the real reason for HBO's decision.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/20/12 01:56 PM

Always likely, but HBO has stuck with shows with ratings lower than Luck's. The real reason seems to be PeTA, which has been on HBO's case right from the start. PeTA says postmortem blood testing on the three horses revealed the presence of drugs that shouldn't have been in their systems, a claim the animal-handlers stoutly deny. Whatever the real reason, HBO did the right thing.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/21/12 06:08 PM

That is just sickening. One horse dying is bad enough, but THREE? Would HBO have canceled without pressure from PeTA? I doubt it.
Posted by: Mike

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/21/12 08:55 PM

The drugs were to relive pain in inflamed joints, all the horses used in the show were washed up and arthritic. they were finished with racing and weren't even worked out anymore, but they were made to run full out for the racing scenes sometimes twice a day.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/22/12 12:47 PM

It just keeps getting worse. Does anyone know who made the decision to use those particular horse?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/22/12 05:02 PM

Ultimately it has to be the producers, David Milch and Michael Mann.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/22/12 06:53 PM

Well, I hope they're held to account for that decision. Made to clean out stables for the next 20 years.

On a less important matter, appendicitis got rid of Survivor's snotty guy when his tribemates wouldn't. Colton's bellyache turned out to be quite serious and he's out of the game. He took his immunity idol with him as a souvenir rather than give it to his tribe to help save themselves. Selfish to the last.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/23/12 02:22 PM

Yeah, that was soooo Colton a thing to do. Jonas sees himself as the new leader of the tribe. I wonder if the others do too.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/25/12 02:16 PM

Did anyone watch the long-awaited (perhaps too long) Touch? Even more preposterous than 24, but the way all those story strands made up ONE story...well, that was kind of cool.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/26/12 09:03 AM

That was my reaction too. The show's success depends upon the satisfaction generated by bringing the separate stories together, but that sounds like the kind of thing that can grow old very quickly. The plots are going to have to be VERY clever if this show is going to fly. But having almost totally new casts every week means we won't have to listen to that screechy flight attendant again.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/26/12 05:30 PM

The boy is 11 years old and has never spoken. Would he be able to if he wanted to? Do vocal chords atrophy from disuse?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 03/29/12 06:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Austin
Jonas sees himself as the new leader of the tribe. I wonder if the others do too.

Obviously not, since they voted him out last night. Jeff made a point of telling them they'd gotten rid of a player that almost everyone agreed was likable, a good provider, and loyal. In other words, how stupid can you get? This bunch is THE worst.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/01/12 05:02 PM

The Killing returns tonight. Last season's murder will FINALLY be cleared up in the first few episodes. Or so we're told.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/02/12 01:02 PM

I was surprised by how quickly I was drawn in again, as if there'd been no gap of months since the last episode. Holder has now definitely moved into the Bad Guys column, and Sloane (Barbara's guy Brian Markinson) is more than just his Narcotics Anonymous sponser. Lookin' good. grin
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/18/12 08:37 AM

What is wrong with McGee's voice? It's getting worse. Last night he had almost no voice.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/23/12 12:14 PM

I absolutely loved last night's TAR...it was their best episode in a long, long time! The Indian dance task was wonderful, and they even played that catchy little tune through the closing credits. It was nice seeing the Kentucky boys finally survive, even if one was crippled and the other one sick. A very satisfying episode.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/23/12 04:34 PM

I wasn't too happy seeing Mark use his kids as an excuse to quit. The guy didn't need an excuse, he was clearly wiped out. But then he rallied and finished the Bollywood dance routine on his TWELFTH attempt. Bopper was the one that impressed me. He was so worried about Mark that he urged him to quit. He valued his friend more than the million dollars. I agree with Lorna...this was one of the best TAR episodes ever.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/24/12 09:50 AM

Yes, it was; no doubt about that. Bollywood, motorized rickshaws, cricket -- so much better than go there, find the clue, go on to the next clue. They're going to have to go some to top that episode.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/24/12 11:29 AM

Wow. I'll have to watch that tonight...good thing I recorded it.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/25/12 09:56 AM

Oh yeah, that was a great episode. I felt sorry for AJ. He looked just the way I'd look if I tried that dance.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/25/12 10:13 AM

The latest subtitled Scandinavian drama on BBC4 is The Bridge, in which a body is dumped exactly in the centre of the Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden. As a result, a Swedish policewoman with a sort of Aspergerish inability to connect with people and a chaotic but more human Danish policeman are obliged to work together to solve the case - especially as the body turns out to be half of a Danish body and half of a Swedish one. The first two episodes moved pretty quickly and there are various loose ends which don't yet seem connected to the main story - a heart transplant doesn't work, a man befriends down-and-out women, a journalist is trapped in his car with the minutes ticking down to zero ....

Certainly worth watching so far! Maybe an English-language version would start with a body on the border between the US and Canada (or between Kentucky and Indiana, or ...)
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/26/12 12:13 AM

Oh, that sounds like a goodie. Lots of potential there; I hope we get it, or an English-language version of it. I've seen exactly two episodes of Borgen, in spite of setting the DVR to record the entire series. Even the scheduled episodes were never shown. No wonder no one's ever heard of Link TV.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/26/12 03:30 AM

Can you access the BBC iPlayer in the US? If so, you could watch the first two episodes of The Bridge:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01gmbvb/The_Bridge_Episode_1/
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/26/12 02:39 PM

"Currently BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only"

Dern.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/26/12 06:51 PM

Yeah, that's what I got too.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 04/30/12 05:04 PM

I'm sorry to see the Kentuckians gone from TAR. As annoying as they were, I got used to them and wished them well. Mark really crashed, didn't he? If they'd just started out a little earlier, they'd still be in the race.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/01/12 08:53 PM

The promos for the final episode of In Plain Sight are annoying. They give away The Big Surprise.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/06/12 10:42 AM

I've just been watching episode 6 (out of ten) of The Bridge. The body count is already higher than in both of The Killings put together and I'm still having trouble with trying to remember who is who. Meanwhile, the American version of the latter is now to be seen on our Channel 4, but I can't be bothered to watch it.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/06/12 12:04 PM

Andrew, care to elaborate?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/07/12 11:14 AM

What a great TAR finale! That crazy Japanese chicken TV show, sushi Bingo, and Rachel and Dave winning TWICE! I loved it.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/07/12 04:08 PM

This whole race has been better than other recent ones, like they got a second wind or something. Or maybe a bigger budget? Whatever, let's hope they keep up the good work.

I'm getting a little annoyed with The Killing, though. The Rosie Larsen case should be solved by now, but they've even introduced new characters this late in the game.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/07/12 06:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Christopher
Andrew, care to elaborate?


Not sure whether you're referring to The Bridge or The Killing, Chris. On the latter, there's no reason why I should watch the US version, whether or not the dénouement is different. I've never had the urge to see things like Elliott Gould in The Lady Vanishes when I can see Michael Redgrave and a whole lot of great (or Great) British actors in a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. On the former, well, I'm only at episode 6 out of 10 and, although some things have, apparently, been explained, there are still a large number of suspects and new developments, plus some unexpected events in some of the protagonists' lives.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/14/12 08:51 AM

In The Killing (American version), Linden has lost her marriage, her son, and her job. I don't see how things can get any worse for her. Did that happen in the original?

For those of you who no longer watch Survivor, who I think is everyone except Austin and myself, the current game came to a surprisingly satisfying conclusion last night. For the first time in the game's history, the final five were all women, and the right woman won. Kim did the successful strategizing without any braying about kicking ass or calling her competitors idiots or the usual alpha-me behavior you see so much on that show. Only last night she revealed she'd just come out of a rough divorce, and the game had helped her regain her self-confidence. Good on ya, girl.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/14/12 11:28 AM

Assuming that Linden is the equivalent of Sarah Lund in The Killing (first series), yes, that's what happens to her. At the start of the second series, she's been holed up in the middle of nowhere for a couple of years, checking passports in a place called Gedser on an island in the bottom right-hand corner of Denmark. Then her former boss Lennert Brix begs her to come back to deal with a series of killings...
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/17/12 09:31 PM

I just watched this week's episode of NCIS, the season finale, and was stunned when the final scene showed Ducky falling face down on the ground with a heart attack. I simply cannot believe they'd kill off Ducky!
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/18/12 06:48 AM

It was a shock, especially coming after that sweet moment when Jimmy hugged Ducky, both of them laughing and happy. And of all places for him to collapse, alone on a beach with no one else in sight. Ducky's my favorite character, and I can't imagine the show without him.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/18/12 04:11 PM

You won't have to. Last month David McCallum renewed his contract with NCIS for two years.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/19/12 08:05 PM

Well, that's a relief.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/20/12 12:58 PM

I was afraid, seeing that heart attack, that McCallum meant to retire from the show. Glad he isn't.

I'm not so happy about continuing villains who are always two steps ahead of our heroes, however. I like to see them Catch the Bad Guy.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/20/12 01:46 PM

But wouldn't you love to have their magic computers?
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/21/12 10:57 AM

Time compression in TV crime shows always amazes me.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 05/31/12 04:03 PM

Update on gloomy Nordic dramas on BBC TV:

The Bridge finished ten days ago. The villain was unveiled in the penultimate episode (I'd guessed who it was) but the last episode was quite gripping and somewhat tragic.

Its slot is now being taken by two Swedish dramas starring Rolf Lassgård, who was the first TV Wallander, as Sebastian Bergman, a retired criminal psychologist. I saw the first and it definitely held the attention, although fairly gruesome in parts. The second will be shown next Saturday. Here's a report from a blogger:

http://artemisnt.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/sebastian-bergman-cursed-one-2010.html

(It's quite a relief to be hearing Swedish again after all that Danish - the former has far more recognisable English words than the latter.)

Oh, and British critics have been giving the thumbs down to the American version of The Killing (which I haven't been watching). They say that the dialogue is banal and leaden.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/01/12 06:35 PM

Well, it's minimalist, at least.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/02/12 01:29 PM

I was so looking forward to Breaking Pointe (in spite of its dumb title), a reality show about backstage at the ballet, but the first episode was mostly teenage angst alive and well in twentysomethings. I hope that's just an introduction to the dancers and we'll be shown more of what goes on in creating a ballet. What's been shown so far of the dancing isn't very impressive.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/02/12 03:01 PM

Never heard of it. What channel is it on?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/03/12 03:01 PM

Kmax and The CW, on different nights. Channels 31 and 394, if you have DirecTV.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/04/12 01:49 PM

The ballet company in question is Ballet West in Salt Lake City. (Salt Lake City has a ballet company?? Wow.) It's obviously a low-budget reality series, or perhaps none of the major companies would permit the distraction. But we're not likely to see any great dancing. One of the dancers was dropped by the Pittsburgh Ballet, and Pittsburgh is hardly A-list. The prima donna has trouble holding her arms up. But the show still could be interesting if they get into the business of creating a new ballet.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/18/12 12:19 PM

Well, is everyone satisfied with the solution to the Rosie Larsen murder?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/18/12 01:28 PM

No. It came as an anti-climax, although there was no real climax for it to be anti- to.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/18/12 06:29 PM

Well, that's in keeping with the low-key style of the whole series, isn't it? I thought it worked OK.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/19/12 10:37 AM

*****SPOILER*****

Isn't making the least likely suspect the killer a no-no in mystery writing? There was some preparation for him, but none at all for her. I just didn't buy it.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/25/12 08:23 PM

Did anyone catch the two new shows last night, The Great Escape and The Newsroom? They both come with good pedigrees, but I found them both underwhelming.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 06/29/12 05:00 PM

So did I. The Great Escape does have a good pedigree -- Ron Howard and the TAR producers, but it was a big yawn as far as I'm concerned. It probably wasn't wise to set the first episode at Alcatraz; that decrepit, rubbishy, filthy place is hardly an enticement to watch.

The Newsroom is Aaron Sorkin's third attempt at a series set behind the scenes of a television show, and it's just like his other shows -- rapid speech, everyone talking alike, instant recall of tons of statistics, etc. The first episode had a long sequence of preachy idealism which I didn't buy for one minute, and I doubt that I'll watch the second episode.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 07/10/12 01:04 AM

The Closer came roaring back tonight with the first of its final six episodes, and right away change is in the wind. And Eureka looks to be in for the biggest change of all; final episode next Monday.

I'm going to miss both these shows.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 07/10/12 11:59 AM

One thing about The Closer bothered me, and that was the casual dismissal of the problem of who was the leak in the office. The law suit is gone, the sleazy lawyer is gone, and there's no one left to leak info to. Surely they're not going to leave it at that?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 07/10/12 06:42 PM

That might just be a reminder instead of a dismissal, a reminder that someone in the squad can't be trusted. Just as Raydor was brought in as a messenger right at the end, to remind us she's part of this picture. Anyway, I'm hoping that's what it is.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2011-2012 A - 07/11/12 09:46 PM

Jon Tenney (Fritz) showed up in a small part in The Newsroom...couldn't tell if it's a recurring role or a one-shot. But with Brenda Leigh gone, Fritz doesn't really have a function in the show.