Television 2010-11

Posted by: Barbara

Television 2010-11 - 09/20/10 04:56 PM

New season, new topic.

Did everyone watch Boardwalk Empire last night? I loved the Magritte opening, Steve Buscemi wearing a bowler and looking out to the sea. But I can't say I loved the show. Yet. First episode, gotta get all those plotlines going, etc. In spite of Martin Scorsese's hand on the helm, I thought the whole thing was overproduced. Overdecorated. And slow in spots. I'm certainly going to watch again, but BE didn't grab me by the throat the way The Sopranos did.

The Defenders also debuted last night; did anybody watch? I didn't. When the high point of the show's promo is Jim Belushi belching, I sort of figure this isn't my kind of show. Remember the original Defenders? E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed.

Tonight, it's the new Hawaii Five-O on CBS. Slam-bam action instead of the rather pedestrian pace of the original, but I'm a wee bit leery. The show's promo, again, this time a scene showing three fully dressed men and Grace Park in a bikini. It's going to be THAT kind of show.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/20/10 07:20 PM

Two more new shows debuting tonight, The Event on NBC and Lone Star on Fox. The first looks promising.

I was disappointed in Boardwalk Empire. Didn't feel any connection. And I could do without the constant musical reminders that we're in 1920 now. Enough, already. But...yes, I'll watch it again.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/20/10 07:58 PM

And one more...Chase on NBC. A new House as well. House's mother will appear on the show this season, played by Candice Bergen, of all people. Wasn't House's mother shown before, in the episode where Wilson had to drag House to his own father's funeral? I don't remember her, but I'm sure some woman was shown while House was delivering what was supposed to be a eulogy.

I haven't seen BE yet.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/21/10 10:33 AM

Well, Hawaii Five-O did turn out to be THAT kind of show. Grace Park's first assignment required her to undress. And what's all this about McGarrett looking for his father's killer and Danno wanting to be near his daughter? It's not enough just to be a cop anymore, you have to have a personal agenda to justify it?

[This message has been edited by Lorna (edited 09-21-2010).]
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/22/10 07:12 PM

Did The Event remind anyone else of Lost? Not the same plot, but the same approach.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/22/10 08:41 PM

The structure is similar, yes. Snippets from different character groups, brief flashbacks, more questions raised than answered, a whiff of the supernatural which is probably in fact some superhightech development. It worked before, so why not do it again? One of the snippets was a retread: half of a romantic couple goes missing on a cruise. I've seen that twice already this year, once in an LMN movie and I forget where I saw the other one.

This week I tried recording two shows at the same time and it worked! LOVE that DVR.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/23/10 09:31 PM

A new Survivor has shown two episodes without any comment here. Old vs. young, double-dealing right from the start, dirty tricks and lies, and a one-legged woman. The show had a deaf girl once, and once there was a one-legged racer on TAR. But isn't that kind of sadistic?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/24/10 01:18 PM

Quite sadistic. But remember, Jeff Probst is the one who wanted to do a show that granted dying people their last wish. That woman who filled some guy's shoes with sand and then sank them in the water -- that was stupid. But she was even more stupid when she confessed to doing it.

My main concern with Boardwalk Empire isn't the over-fancying it got for its first episode...that will disappear. What makes me wonder is whether Steve Buscemi can carry the show as its lead. He's a fantastic character actor, but the few leads he's played were in movies that went nowhere fast. (Let's see a show of hands here! How many of you rushed out to see Ed and His Dead Mother?) The last shot of the episode, showing Buscemi holding a bunch of flowers and standing in the doorway of the new widow's hospital room...he looked like a goofball.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/24/10 08:37 PM

BE has already been renewed for a second season, after the airing of that one episode. I'm not in love with the show, but I'll watch again.

Anyway, Dexter returns Sunday. And tonight is Jimmy Smits's new attempt at a series, Outlaw. This is supposed to be the premiere, but I stumbled onto an airing earlier this week. I saw only the last 15 or 20 minutes, but it didn't look very good to me.

[This message has been edited by Lorna (edited 09-24-2010).]
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/25/10 08:47 PM

TAR starts tomorrow, too, with a 90-minute episode.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/27/10 10:30 AM

I wonder if the Express Pass will be the game-changer Phil says it is. "What country are you in?" "London." Is Vicki really that dumb or was she just rattled?

Got a bit of a problem with Dexter, though. That piece of sleaze he killed -- a worthless man, obviously, but an innocent one. It stopped Dexter from following his path of self-destruction by triggering that outpouring of emotion. But that guy had to die to make Dexter feel better? Yeah, I got a problem with that.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/27/10 06:09 PM

And I have a problem with the way he was ready to dump those three kids on Deb. Sure, he was overwhelmed with grief and guilt (as well he should be), but Deb's even less able to care for the kids than Dexter himself. I guess that's why the grandparents were introduced. (Didn't Rita have only a mother in earlier episodes?)
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/28/10 06:45 PM

They're both valid points. Dexter's victims had always been carefully chosen, but that dumb schmuck was just cannon fodder. And the kids...well, I hope the grandparents stick around.

In Hawaii Five-O, McGarrett "transferred" from some New Jersey police department. Arrgghh. I'm going to send that one straight to the top of my list of pet peeves. Why do they keep doing that? But $#*! My Dad Says turned out to be not so very outrageous. I liked Shatner's low-key performance, not at all what I was expecting. However, it's been a number of years since I stopped watching sitcoms, and I'd forgotten how VERY ANNOYING a laugh track can be. Drove me nuts.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/29/10 07:40 PM

Yeah, me too. Surprisingly, Shatner's the only thing worth watching in that show. The other three main characters are caricatures, including the son -- make that especially the son. And the setting is the usual claustrophobic domestic sitcom set. But sitcoms worse than this one have become hits, so who knows.

Editing to add No Ordinary Family came as a complete surprise to me. I knew nothing about the show and watched it only because Michael Chiklis is in it. It's part Heroes, part comic book, part tongue-in-cheek comedy, part domestic drama (not too serious)...I enjoyed it.

[This message has been edited by Christopher (edited 09-29-2010).]
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/30/10 09:35 AM

It surprised me too, but in a different way. I'd read it was SF, but not comic book SF. So I was a little disappointed, but it had enough nice goofy moments to keep me watching, and I ended up liking it too.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/01/10 09:15 PM

I'd thought The Whole Truth might be good, since it presents both sides of a criminal case preparing for trial. And it was pretty good, mostly. Another of my pet peeves showed up, though: having the defense make its closing argument last. The prosecution ALWAYS has the last word. In the two episodes I've seen, it was pretty obvious in the first that the prosecution was going to win, and it was equally obvious in the second that the defense was going to win. Still, I'll hang on for a while.

But I won't be hanging on to S#*! My Dad Says. What a HUGE difference between the first and second episodes! The second was so silly I couldn't believe my eyes. A ridiculous episode. Hmmph!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/02/10 12:05 PM

You're being polite, Barbara. The other son and his wife...that was embarrassing. It was almost a parody of bad sitcoms.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/05/10 07:57 AM

I just don't get what's going on with Dexter. He moves so much stuff into Deb's place that she has to find another place to sleep...all so he can rent a van that has a bloodstain? That's the only reason for the van, since the two older kids have been written out, for all practical purposes. All that moving was useless, confusing, and unhelpful, and really had nothing to do with the kids. It was just to give Dexter a new target.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/05/10 05:10 PM

And get the show back on track, maybe. It looks like "correcting" to me, the way Eureka used time travel to tweak the present. Having Dexter continue his bloody ways while surrounded by wife and kids may have looked like a good idea at the time but proved too difficult to execute. But Dexter still has the baby; is something going to happen to him? Or is the Harry/Dexter counseling going to give way to a new Dexter/Harrison counseling?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/05/10 08:03 PM

God, I hope not!
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/08/10 11:11 AM

That would be terrible. What could Dexter teach him?

It looks as if Survivor is going to stick with one challenge per episode, rewards and immunity combined. I feel cheated.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/08/10 06:50 PM

I don't like that either, about Survivor, and it probably means the show is just hanging on with as small a budget as possible. It's cheaper just to show footage of the tribe members stabbing each other in the back than to devise one more elaborate challenge each week. Swan song?

But Jeff Goldblum is out of L&O:CI and D'Onofrio and Erbe are coming back for the series' final season. A fitting and proper way for the show to draw to a close.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/11/10 05:44 PM

I wonder why there are no married couples in the current TAR. I don't think that's ever happened before.

And Dexter has hired a nanny...who may turn out to be more than just a nanny. Barbara, weren't you the one who said someone new would have to come into Dexter's life because of those motherless children?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/14/10 12:05 AM

Yes, but I was sort of thinking it would be Rita's mother. She didn't come to Rita and Dexter's wedding but sent a cryptic note saying maybe the third time's a charm. That's what tipped Dexter off to the fact that Rita had been married twice before. And there was no mention of a father. But now we have these two imperfectly seen grandparents who stay in the backgrounds of the scenes and don't speak, clearly brought in for the sole purpose of taking the two older kids off Dexter's hands.

But hey, Lorna, you got your two Survivor challenges tonight!
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/14/10 07:36 PM

Yes, and they were both rather elaborate as well. But I didn't like the one where the girls were strapped to a big wheel that dunked them underwater one at a time. That was just sadistic and demeaning. The other challenge (balls rolling down through a maze) was a good one. You had to be quick, but it wasn't too physically demanding for the older players.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/14/10 11:40 PM

Lorna, don't kill me, but I've got to ask. Would you find it demeaning if the guys were strapped to the dunking wheel instead?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/15/10 12:23 PM

Well, of course! There's nothing gender-specific about it! Austin, can you imagine yourself strapped to that wheel and getting dunked, taking in as much water in your mouth as you can hold, then spitting it out at a small container when you're at the top of the wheel...and then doing it again and again and again? And there's a guy right in front of you and another behind you doing the same thing? You're part of a machine!

Am I the only one who finds this demeaning?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/15/10 01:38 PM

No, you're not.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/15/10 03:20 PM

Dehumanizing, certainly.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/15/10 06:00 PM

OK. Lorna, thanx. That's just about the same thing my wife said. I didn't see it that way...I just thought it was a clever stunt. Maybe it's a guy thing.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/16/10 12:06 AM

Not completely, Austin. I have to side with the ladies here. It WAS a clever stunt, and not just a retread of earlier challenges. But it made me uncomfortable, watching it. And the faces of the women being dunked...they hated it, they really hated it.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/20/10 07:43 PM

I thought I'd posted this, but I guess I forgot. But wasn't it nice on Sunday to see the TAR racers actually having fun? The dog sleds, and the snow sleds, whatever they're called. There should be more of that.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/29/10 12:53 AM

Did you know there's a L&O:UK? I didn't, until a couple of weeks ago when BBCAmerica started showing it. Same formula, same chimes, etc. Jamie Bamber plays one of the cops. He sounds just as English in that show as he sounded American in BSG.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/29/10 09:25 AM

What is "BSG"?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/29/10 11:06 AM

Battlestar Galactica. What night, Barbara?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/29/10 04:58 PM

Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 10/30/10 03:09 PM

Also Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I just found out.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/01/10 07:34 PM

Dexter had a great line last night: "Some experiences are so big, they change your DNA." And Baby Harrison's first words were "die-die". Creepily appropriate.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/02/10 07:54 PM

I was waiting for Dexter to get Lumen out of his life, but it looks as if she's going to hang around as his partner in crime.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/08/10 02:37 PM

Yes, that's what it looks like.

The last episode of Medium was a bit of a shocker, with Joe refusing to support Alison when she needed him so badly. That was a terrible ordeal for her, not being able to understand anything anyone said. But that's the moment he chose to get fed up with the whole "medium" thing. He was even tempted by that doctor who came on to him in the hospital. That's not the Joe I've been watching for years.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/10/10 09:43 PM

Hmm, maybe it is, Lorna. In the first season, Joe was 100% supportive of Alison's "gift" while managing to keep both feet on solid ground -- a fantasy husband. That was the picture implanted in my head, at least. Until recently.

For a while this year Life Channel reran the show, two episodes per night, five nights a week. I saw a bunch of them. So close together, Joe's behavior became more noticeable. He'd argue with Alison over what seemed like every little thing; he'd even dismiss her attempts at figuring things out. There was a lot of yelling. A lot. In the long run, Joe has not been nearly as supportive as I'd thought he was. And in this last episode Lorna's talking about, he pretty much turned his back on her. They were lovey-dovey again by the end, but that episode left me unconvinced.

By the way, is there a single episode of Medium in which someone does NOT say "I don't know what to tell you"???
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/11/10 08:08 PM

Probably not. I watched most of those Life reruns, and it got so I was waiting for the line each time.

And guess who's guest-appearing on NCIS as a medical examiner who works with Ducky? Bob Newhart.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/11/10 10:55 PM

That is either a stroke of casting genius or the worst boo-boo NCIS will ever make. When is it showing, Rita?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/12/10 03:11 PM

Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/12/10 06:17 PM

Newhart was nominated for an Emmy for a serious role he played on ER. I didn't see it, but I do have trouble visualizing him doing straight drama. However, since his scenes are with Ducky, I don't imagine they'll be all that straight.

Another actor who was a victim of type casting that I always thought could do dramatic roles was Don Adams. I didn't watch Get Smart much; it didn't seem all that funny to me. But in a couple of interviews I saw, Adams was composed, articulate, and quietly authoritative. One time he mentioned that for all the post-series roles he was offered, the producers wanted the Maxwell Smart voice. He never really got away from the role.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/15/10 12:53 PM

Kat and Nat had a close call last night. They're the ones we're rooting for.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/15/10 07:38 PM

Me too. They're bright and they're having fun and they don't yell at each other. They should be the winning team.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/16/10 10:55 AM

I remember Newhart in that ER role; as I remember, there was absolutely nothing comedic about it; he played it straight, and was IMHO quite effective in it.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/18/10 01:05 AM

We've seen some pretty stupid moves on Survivor before now, but not until now have we seen a bunch so stupid they'd burn down their own camp. Where do they find these people???
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/22/10 11:05 AM

Notice that didn't get much coverage? Burning down your camp is a pretty big deal, I'd say, but it got hardly any air time. Whatever happened, they didn't want to show it for some reason. Must have been pretty bad.

Is anyone watching Boardwalk Empire? If it was a movie, it would be X-rated. They're sure not holding back much.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/22/10 06:27 PM

I haven't been watching it, but now I'm thinking maybe I should!

The burned camp on Survivor -- they're saying on some of the boards that showing that was a slip-up, that it's from a later episode. And what happened was that Jane set the place on fire after she was voted off. I don't believe a word of it, but it sure makes a good story.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/23/10 03:56 PM

Ha, yes, it does.

Dexter -- why did Astor's friend Olivia not show the bruises to her mother? Why keep the beatings a secret?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/23/10 07:20 PM

Yes, that made no sense. By keeping quiet, she was just protecting Barry.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/28/10 09:13 AM

Every time I turn on L&O: UK, they're showing the same episode. It's a good episode, but I really would like to see another one.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/29/10 11:30 AM

Yes, that's BBCAmerica for you. Plus the longest commercial interruptions on TV.

TAR -- I had a feeling last night would be a "free" leg (I'd lost count). Too bad, because we would have been rid of Nick and Vicki otherwise. Vicki is no prize, but Nick is one mean-spirited s.o.b. I'm thinking of the way he laughed when one of the shopping hostesses got sick from the buffet food and had to throw up. That would slow her team down, he thought. And when the same thing happened to Vicki, he was disgusted. The guy seems totally lacking in compassion for anyone...other than himself, of course.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2010-11 - 11/29/10 03:39 PM

Of all the annoying moments over the years, this one annoyed me the most by far. (By comparison, Flo winning gets just a shrug of "Stuff happens.") Flat-out quitters shouldn't get rewarded, and a 6-hour penalty is absurdly small -- waiting for the next leg's flight will wipe it out. Linda Holmes, formerly Miss Alli, has a good column about it on her NPR blog .
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/02/10 02:16 PM

NaOnka didn't learn a thing during her time on Survivor, did she? She left as the same selfish, excuse-making troublemaker that she was when she arrived. Blind as a bat. Purple Kelly...nothing memorable about her except her name. They'd probably forgotten her by the next morning. Interesting that they'd both pick the same time to quit.

Is anyone else watchign Chase? Not compelling drama, but it's always interesting to watch.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/02/10 06:21 PM

I've watched a few episodes, and they were interesting, in a distanced sort of way. I like the cast. On the other hand, the two new women characters in Human Target aren't adding much to the show and their reasons for being there are trivial.

Those two Survivor quitters are still on the jury and will participate in choosing the winner. THAT. IS. NOT. RIGHT. They should both have been sent home.

Edited to add I just read the blog Jon linked to, and oh, is the lady ever right! It's worth reading, folks.

[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 12-02-2010).]
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/06/10 09:24 PM

Did anyone watch TAR or were you all watching football? That six-hour delay was enough! Nic and Vic missed the first flight, and that just about guaranteed they wouldn't be in the final three. Happy ending.

The doctors have the best dentistry in the show.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/09/10 08:57 AM

They do, don't they? Glad to see the end of Nic and Vic, and only one man left in the race.

And Benry is gone from Survivor, ho hum. Weird thing, I kind of like Fabio now. For someone this far into the game, he is so incredibly innocent. Last night he looked so hurt when someone actually voted for him in tribal council, ha!
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/13/10 01:17 AM

Hurray, the good guys won TAR! It's been a long time since "my" team won. (In fact, I'm not sure I ever rooted for a winner.) But the good doctors played smart, and they deserved to win.

However, I'm not so sure about the next race. Second-Chance TAR? A race of losers? Sure, it'll be fun to see some of those teams again, like the cowboys, but it makes me wonder if they're having trouble getting new participants.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/14/10 12:38 PM

I think most of the more enduring reality competition shows do some version of rounding up previous participants every few years, so I don't find this all that remarkable; I'd figured we'd be getting one soon. I'm only sorry that this (according to rumor) seems to be limited to teams since the last one), as my heart continues to belong to Danny-Oswald, Kevin-Drew, the Bowling Moms, Ken-Gerard, Jill-JohnVito, and others from the early seasons. I have trouble sometimes remembering ANYbody from recent years.

The Cowboys are an exception, and I'll be glad to see them again. And they seem guaranteed as participants as they did the verbal promo at the end. For the rest, we were shown moments of dozens of teams, who can't possibly all be participating. So it was mostly likely a general tease, with the official announcement of teams to come later.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/14/10 02:00 PM

Ha, nostalgia for the good old days of TAR? Well, I have to agree those teams you named were more interesting than what we've been getting lately, although I will remember the doctors. But maybe the reality shows do round-ups because they're having trouble getting applicants (or acceptable ones they'd feel safe putting on TV).

A different show...Dexter didn't find his soul mate after all. A pity, in a way, but certainly safer this way. He'll still live out the rest of his life knowing there's someone out there who could reveal his, umm, "hobby" to the rest of the world.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/14/10 09:28 PM

Dexter and his sister are splitting, rather Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter are. They met on the Dexter set, married, separated, and are now divorcing. Not exactly a comfortable working atmosphere.

Kyra Sedgwick is calling it quits. The next season of The Closer is its last.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/15/10 05:38 PM

I only just discovered that Hall was divorced from the wife I knew about, Amy Spanger. (A Broadway triple threat; I saw her as Bianca in Kiss Me Kate.) That happened in 2006, right around the time Dexter started.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/17/10 08:27 AM

Whoo, Jon, you're even more behind in your gossip than I am. The last time I read about Hall and Carpenter, they were dating.

Now that Jane's been voted out in Survivor, we'll see if she really did go back and set the camp on fire. I don't believe it either, Austin. But a few weeks ago I read a couple of things claiming to be what really happens instead of a prediction. One web site said Sash offered to pay off Jane's mortgage if she'd vote for him in the final vote. Another web site said Sash didn't receive a single final vote. Both or either or neither could be true, but what's interesting is that both sites put Sash in the final three. The finale is this Sunday.

Rita, Fabio is a crybaby.

Edited to add I'm sorry The Closer is coming to an end, but this way they'll get to wrap it up properly instead of letting the show fade away.

[This message has been edited by Lorna (edited 12-17-2010).]
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/18/10 01:54 AM

Originally posted by Lorna:
The last time I read about Hall and Carpenter, they were dating.
It's so hard to keep up, isn't it?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/18/10 10:54 AM

Yes, Fabio is a crybaby. He should go home to his good-looking mama. But you know something? I think he's going to win. At tribal, Jeff came right out and invited Dan and Fabio to join with Jane and force a tie, but they were too slow on the uptake, or something. So Jane is gone, and Dan will go next. How long will it take the three remaining alpha males to decide to get rid of Holly? But Chase and Sash have stabbed too many backs to be picked to win. That leaves Fabio.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/18/10 05:44 PM

Sounds reasonable to me.

Jane didn't start a fire, she put one out.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/18/10 08:36 PM

TV Guide is conducting a poll of who viewers think will win, and so far Fabio is leading the pack with 45% of the vote. Holly is second with 27%.

One thing we know for sure: It won't be Dan.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/20/10 02:05 AM

Well, Rita, you called it. Dan went first, then Holly, and then Fabio won. Lorna, that website that said Sash didn't get a single vote -- do you remember where it is? I believe everyone's first impression of Fabio was the correct one. He IS a goofball. Fabio was fun to watch, but he didn't outwit anyone; half the time he didn't even know what was going on. He's a default winner, just like whatsername in the last game. But I enjoyed this game more than the last one. No Russell.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/20/10 12:56 PM

No, I don't remember which website. I wish I did. But it was pretty clear before the final votes were counted that Fabio was going to win. The editing made him the star of both episodes. Not only the youngest player to win Survivor, but also the dumbest. The manipulators haven't been doing too well on this show lately. A new trend?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/20/10 08:29 PM

Why did Dan wear $1600 shoes to play Survivor? Didn't he ever watch the show?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/21/10 01:07 PM

Dan likes to brag. He was right about Chase and Sash, but he's still a braggart.

I'm not sure this Redemption Island gimmick will work. It'll all depend on the kind of challenges the two outcasts are given. A contest of physical strength between Lawrence Taylor and Winona Ryder would be boring.

But at least they're not going to let quitters sit on the jury any more! That's one real contribution NaOnka and Purple Kelly made to the game.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/21/10 05:03 PM

Is that a certainty? It sounded to me as if Jeff said that they (meaning himself) would have the option of sending a quitter home instead of to the jury. Leaving himself some wiggle room, there.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 12/22/10 01:48 AM

It sounded that way to me too. It's most likely a gesture intended to silence all the criticism of allowing the two quitters to sit on the jury while leaving the door open to do the same again if they want.

Does anyone remember the very first Survivor Reunion? It was hosted by Brian Gumbel, who'd had absolutely nothing to do with the show until then, because CBS considered Jeff Probst a no-name and they wanted star power for the finale. My, how things have changed.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/07/11 07:51 PM

There are almost 30 new shows about to burst upon the scene, and I can't get excited about any of them. What looks best to me is Harry's Law (Jan. 17), but only because Kathy Bates is always watchable.

As for the rest...well, there's The Borgias on Showtime, with Jeremy Irons, a costume drama NOT made by the BBC. And a cop show called The Chicago Code (Feb. 7) from Shawn Ryan, the guy who did The Shield. Those might be worth a look.

[This message has been edited by Lorna (edited 01-07-2011).]
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/11/11 04:08 PM

Last night Fox showed two new episodes of Lie to Me back-to-back. Not a two-part episode but two unconnected stories. Doesn't that usually happen when a network is getting ready to cancel a show?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/11/11 06:40 PM

Yep, that's not a good omen. Fox paid for the episodes and wants to use them up, naturally. Fox must have some new show it wants to put in that time slot.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/11/11 07:50 PM

I've never heard of Showtime, but I read here that a somewhat sanitised US version of Britain's Channel 4 show Shameless (now into its eighth series over here) is imminent or has just started. Has anyone seen this?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/12/11 10:28 AM

It's just started. I've seen the promos, and they were enough to make me NOT want to watch.

Regarding Lie to Me:
Originally posted by Christopher:
Fox paid for the episodes and wants to use them up, naturally. Fox must have some new show it wants to put in that time slot.
It does. It's the show Lorna mentioned, The Chicago Code. Lie to Me has stopped production, perhaps only temporarily. Fox is waiting to see how its lineup fares against the new batch of shows. If they've got a weak spot, Lie to Me will be brought back.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/13/11 07:54 AM

I watched one episode of Shameless and didn't like it. It tries too hard to be eccentric.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/13/11 10:53 AM

Ah, well, maybe you should try the real British Shameless, Series One, with James McEvoy and Ann-Marie Duff.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/13/11 09:52 PM

Maybe I should, but it's not being shown over here.

Here's some disagreeable news: Bad Russell will be back for his third try on Survivor. Arrrghh. Let's hope that this time his tribemates are smart enough to get rid of him early. Boston Rob will be back as well. Feb. 17th...they're back on Thursday nights where they belong.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/13/11 11:39 PM

They must really be having trouble finding contestants.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/14/11 03:00 AM

Getting rid of Russell early may not solve the problem. In this next game, people who are voted out are not sent home but instead go to an island -- Redemption Island, which can have only one inhabitant at a time. When someone new is voted out, s/he must "duel" with the island's sole resident for the right to stay there and thus remain in the game. Loser goes home.

Try this scenario. Russell is voted out early but manages to defeat all challengers sent to the island, and he rejoins the game near the end. So instead of spreading his poison and earning the hatred of the other players as he's done before, he remains isolated from them for most of the game. In the meantime, the other players are playing the usual game of backstabbing and double-crossing and building up a lot of distrust and outright hatred among themselves. Then here comes Russell, who hasn't hurt anybody because he couldn't, stuck out on that island. He could end up winning this time.

IF he can beat all the challengers. That's a pretty big "if".

Edited to add I watched Shameless for the first time tonight. I hate to say it, but the thing I disliked the most was William H. Macy's performance. He's horribly miscast; I cringed for the man. I may be the only one in the world who thinks that, but I did find his part in the show embarrassing. The rest of the episode was mostly about raging teenage hormones.

[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 01-14-2011).]
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/14/11 12:48 PM

Oh, I forgot about that island! It will all depend upon the nature of the duels, won't it? Physical strength, Russell could lose out. Otherwise, he might make it all the way. So the real Survivor could be determined on the island, not in camp? This could be interesting.
Posted by: Scribbler

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/15/11 07:15 PM

Regarding the new twist on Survivor, I don't think Russell would fare to well with the "fend for yourself" aspect of living on Redeption Island. As I recall in the previous two games, he wasn't particularly interested in the basics of camp life maintainence. Not saying he couldn't do it, but unlike Boston Rob, who actually bothered to learn how to make a fire without flint (something Russell sneered at, remember), Russell let others do the "doing".

Regarding the fire at this season't camp -- they were so intent on "protecting" their fire while going off to Tribal in a drizzle that the made a blooming fireplace out of wood! These supposed smart people! I watched that as they moved the trunks in close, and wondered that not a single one of them said "Guys, closing it in this way is going to make the fire hotter and it will burn up these trunks!"

It just made it clearer to me how utterly urbanized modern life has become, so that even basic physics and their consequences become unknown.

Did anyone else watch the "modern Sherlock"? I'd sort of gone "meh" when a friend watched it on BBC America. But he raved so much, that I decided to watch it on PBS. I really loved it! It's really well done.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/21/11 07:42 PM

I've recorded the modern Sherlock but I haven't watched it yet.

Tonight is the final FINAL episode of Medium. I really do hate to see this show end.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/21/11 09:01 PM

Me too. It never did run out of steam, the way most long-running shows do.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/22/11 02:23 PM

Of all the ways the series could end, I would never have thought of that one. Way to go, Medium.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/22/11 04:10 PM

It made me cry. I never cry.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/22/11 07:05 PM

If the purpose of the episode was to create a great sense of loss, it succeeded. Allison's loss, our loss. Goodbye, Medium.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/22/11 08:07 PM

Ah, but you had to love the way they made their exits. A stripped-down set, the twins running down a hall and turning to wave. Then the rest of the cast, one at a time, all giving a little smile and a wave as they left. No stringing it out, no possibility of a TV movie, just...goodbye. A class act all the way.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 01/22/11 11:28 PM

Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/03/11 03:36 PM

Ever hear of someone named Jim Ealy? He was sued by CBS for posting leaked information about two Survivor seasons, Samoa and Heroes/Villains. Ealy knew the order in which the players were voted off and other things that were meant to be secret. But CBS dropped the suit when Ealy named his source. It was Russell Hantz. Still playing the game, although by the time those two games aired, he already knew he'd lost both of them. Ealy said he decided to cooperate with CBS when Russell tried to blame the leak on an innocent player. CBS is considering action against Russell, who (like all the players) signed a contract agreeing to pay a $5 million fine if he gave anything away.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/03/11 08:44 PM

Oh, wow! I hope they fine him the entire five mil.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/04/11 12:38 AM

So do I, but that $5 mil is probably a fine for revealing the winner, which Russell would be careful not to do. It all depends on the wording of the contract. Odd that this should come out right before Russell is scheduled to make his third try...well, he's already made it, we'll just be seeing what's already happened. It's almost as if CBS suspected Russell and wanted to expose him before Redemption Island got started.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/04/11 01:35 PM

But why? What's the advantage to CBS? I suppose the controversy would generate some publicity, but why would they want to show Russell playing the new game with an axe hanging over his head? That would build audience sympathy for him.

[This message has been edited by Lorna (edited 02-04-2011).]
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/04/11 07:19 PM

Well, the worst-case scenario I can think of is that Russell actually wins this time, and CBS is laying a legal groundwork for not paying him the million dollars, or maybe only part of it. It could be something entirely different going on, though...that's just a guess.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/04/11 08:29 PM

That's a horrible scenario! I don't mean the part about the money, I mean the part about Russell winning. Ugh.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/08/11 08:05 PM

Did anyone watch The Chicago Code last night? I thought it was pretty good. I especially liked the voiceovers spread among several members of the cast.
Posted by: Scribbler

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/09/11 02:38 PM

Re Survivor, I expect that exposing Russell now keeps him off the radar for the "fan favorite" voting. After all his claiming about loving the game and being the best, that fact that he was exposing secrets does rather undercut his worth even as someone "you love to hate". Except that I didn't even care for him on that level.

I think it's far more likely that exposing him now is a write off because the players get rid of him early. So what was supposed to be an "epic battle" between him and Rob actually ended up with Russell being booted early and a failure on Redemption Island itself. At least that's my guess and hope.

Oh, meant to add:
I thought last night's NCIS was a really nice one. Plus, yet again, Gibbs deflects someone from probing deeply into his psyche.

[This message has been edited by Scribbler (edited 02-09-2011).]
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/09/11 06:03 PM

Did anyone watch The Chicago Code last night? I thought it was pretty good. I especially liked the voiceovers spread among several members of the cast.

I liked that aspect of it too -- especially the surprising use made of one of them (I'll say no more in case someone recorded it to watch later).

As a Chicago boy, I also liked the use of the city. Unlike many shows ostensibly set there but faked in LA plus a sprinkling of second-unit shots, this one really gets across what it looks like and feels like.

It's also a clever move to have the one cop with a distaste for profanity (about which he lectures his junior partner); it lets them make a show that feels a bit like a gritty cable series while avoiding the language one might expect in that context.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/09/11 08:47 PM

Yes, The Chicago Code is very well done. I suspect whether you like the show or not is going to depend on how much you warm up to Jennifer Beals and Jason Clarke, the guy who plays Supercop. She's the ranking officer but he's playing the role of her instructor; maybe that will change as the show progresses. That strong sense of the city is quite appealing. I hope it isn't just new-show bait and will be sustained.

Last night's The Good Wife had an interesting twist. It was a Love Canal plot: a pharmaceutical company didn't dispose of its toxic waste in an EPA-required way but simply buried it, resulting in health hazards for residents in the area (sterility, for one). Alicia's law firm was vying for the right to bring a class-action suit against the company with a lawyer who was pushing for a quick settlement. It turned out the lawyer was actually in the employ of the pharmaceutical company, who wanted the quick settlement because that would save the company millions of dollars. Ingenious, in an evil sort of way.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/13/11 08:05 PM

Westminster tomorrow.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/15/11 11:57 AM

Westminster is the only beauty pageant I watch, and I know judging is based on some ideal standard for each breed, but the judges made some unexpected choices last night. The Scottish deerhound was the first surprise. Does anyone remember a Dick Van Dyke episode about "the ugliest dog in the world"? That was a deerhound. The Peke and the Shar Pei could have been cousins. Only the bearded collie fit traditional standards of canine beauty. Now, I'm not saying only cute little Yorkies or Bichons should win. In fact, I think this may be a good thing. Tonight should be interesting.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/15/11 06:23 PM

I remember that Dick Van Dyke episode well; Billy de Wolfe played a pet salon owner who gave the dog a makeover. You can watch the episode here:

Westminster: I was a little surprised that two "push-faced" dogs won, but of course the group judges don't consult or even consider other group winners. I thought Mary Carillo added to the show; bringing her on board was a smart move.

[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 02-15-2011).]
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/15/11 11:19 PM

Ha ha ha ha ha! Look who won!

Hickory, the first deerhound ever to win Westminster.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/15/11 11:29 PM

A gangly, loose-jointed sort of dog with a surprising dignity. She was a good choice.

That Shar Pei must be the homeliest dog I've ever seen...I loved her! Her name is Jayne Hathaway (after the character Jane Hathaway in Beverly Hillbillies?).
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/16/11 09:41 AM

Oh, that's why that name sounded familiar! I was pulling for either the deerhound or the terrier with half a white face and half black. Over 200 best-of-shows in that final group. That's amazing.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/17/11 01:29 AM

Redemption Island is off to a rousing start. Boston Rob demonstrated that he's just as jealous of his position as Russell ever was of his: stand up to him and you, are, gone.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/17/11 12:13 PM

Phillip is obviously our designated One You Love To Hate. He honestly thinks if he says "I was a federal agent" often enough, everyone is going to follow his lead without question. "When I speak, you listen" -- ha! Ticket to the island, Phil baby.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/17/11 04:11 PM

Yeah, he expects everybody to bend over for him. Kristina had a few bad moments when she got three votes after deciding not to play her immunity idol. They just got there and she's already telling people she found the idol -- what's with that?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/17/11 08:38 PM

That was an especially dumb move, telling she had the idol that early. They barely know each other's names yet. The idol's been used as a bargaining chip in the last couple of games, and Kristina must have thought she was doing the smart thing. She won't be around long.

I felt like cheering when Francesca spoke up and called Jeff on his statement that Boston Rob and Russell were there to help. If those two sleazeballs were there as advisors and were not competing for the million dollars, THEN they'd be there to help. Unfortunately, speaking up was Francesca's undoing. The only way she'll stay in the game now is if she defeats every other person voted out, and the glimpses we got of the "duels" looked pretty physical.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/18/11 12:32 AM

On the whole I don't care much for USA's fluff series -- White Collar, Royal Pains, Fairly Legal. So when that last one came on after an NCIS rerun, I started to turn the TV off but saw a familiar face that made me stop. It belonged to Brian Markinson, whom I've mentioned here as one of those good actors who will never be stars. I saw him first on SG-1, then on Da Vinci's Inquest, where he had a recurring role. I think the last time I saw him was on Caprica in another recurring role -- he played the agent investigating the bombing that started the plot rolling. So I watched the whole episode of Fairly Legal; this time he played a man who suffered a head injury when hit by a truck and who underwent a deep personality change as a result.

Then in the last sequence of the episode, a new character was introduced, a man the heroine (Kate) had been looking for, a friend of her late father. I didn't recognize him at first, but it was Richard Dean Anderson. Seeing him again was both a pleasure and a shock. He is truly showing his age now. That narrow face of his is no more; I think he must still be on cortisone. He and Markinson acted together in the SG-1 episode, but not in this one. Google says RDA has signed on for a four- or five-episode story arc.

Then just to round things out, Kate's ex is played by Michael Trucco, who was Sam Anders in BSG, the resistance leader Starbuck married. USA owns SyFy, so they're both dipping into the same pool of actors. But I'm glad RDA is back in front of the camera, even if it is only for a short stint.

[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 02-18-2011).]
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/18/11 10:47 AM

Omigod, that was RDA??!? I didn't recognize him! He didn't even look familiar. Just this old guy sitting at a bar. Whew.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/18/11 11:58 AM

I've never watched the show, but I'll take a look now.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/19/11 03:28 PM

Same here.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/19/11 05:09 PM

I didn't recognize either RDA or Michael Trucco, but I did remember Brian Markinson! Like Rita, I thought RDA was just an old guy sitting at the bar. I'll be watching the rest of this arc for sure. I like Kate, and the show is interesting when she is on the job. But when she's not, it's rather silly. The only original USA series that had any meat on its bones was In Plain Sight, but that hasn't been on in a long time. Has it been cancelled?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/20/11 06:32 PM

Nope, it's coming back May 1st. Something else is coming back that same date: L&O:CI, with Goren and Eames returning for the final season. Only 8 episodes, but that's better than nothing.

New TAR tonight.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/21/11 01:39 AM

And a twisty one it is...ending the first episode on a cliff-hanger! Ha. But frankly, I'm having trouble with the fact that the show put all those people in a tank filled with sharks and a sting-ray. Is is possible to sedate sharks? None of them made any menacing moves that we were shown.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/21/11 02:47 PM

Yes, sharks are sedated all the time, for tracking and medical purposes as well as for use in movies and TV. The sharks on TAR were probably enjoying a nice Valium buzz.

The cowboys aren't doing so well this time. Their first flight turned into the second flight, they were the only ones who missed the ferry, and they still hadn't been able to figure out the flags code when the episode stopped (not ended, stopped).
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/23/11 08:34 PM

I'm liking The Good Wife more and more.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/24/11 12:00 AM

So am I.

Two episodes of Survivor and I still haven't found anyone to cheer for except Francesca, and she'll probably lose her first Redemption Island duel to Matt.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 02/28/11 09:01 AM

Ha ha ha! Those kangaroo costumes the TAR people had to wear are the most ridiculous I've ever seen! The racers must have felt like absolute idiots.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/03/11 07:26 PM

Francesca is gone from Survivor, as expected. That's too bad, especially since it was the kind of "duel" she could have won. But at last the show has some people who are smart enough to get rid of Russell. He's not completely gone, no, but is it at all possible he can beat out EVERY other player sent to the island?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/03/11 11:46 PM

If there's any way to cheat on the duels...yes.

What killed me was that jackass Phillip was SITTING on an immunity idol and didn't even notice! Ha! Ralph's got his number, all right.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/04/11 09:31 PM

The ducking wheel again; I could do without that. So far it looks as if the duel is going to replace the rewards challenge; cheaper, no doubt.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/08/11 08:19 PM

I am seriously wondering about what prompted some of the new shows in the fall schedule.

Once Upon a Time. A woman travels to a town where fairy tales are real.

Poe. Edgar Allan Poe as a sleuth in 1840s Boston.

Partners. Two female police detectives who are secretly sisters.

Awakening. Two sisters face off during a zombie uprising.

Ringer. A young woman on the run hides out by posing as her wealthy twin sister, who has a bounty on her head. (This is a big year for sisters.)

Tagged. A comedy set in a coroner's office.

Well, you get the idea.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/10/11 09:53 AM

He's gone, he's gone, he's gone!
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/10/11 05:28 PM

Gee, I wonder who she's talking about. He blubbered like a baby when he lost, ha. Did you know that Russell's second game was already filmed before the first game aired? So those people in the second game didn't know him or his backstabbing ways. But this time around his tribemates did, so he was the first one they got rid of. Now if Rob's tribemates would only wise up the same way...

Rita, I haven't seen that list of fall shows. Doesn't anything look good? Something?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/11/11 01:22 PM

Ah, I wondered why those people in Russell's second outing kept trusting him. That's why he was able to get away with it a second time.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/15/11 05:33 PM

Is Kent, the Goth guy on TAR, trying to be nicer this time around? A few times it looked as if he was literally biting his tongue to keep from saying something.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/16/11 09:42 PM

Yes, he does seem to have learned from his first experience. Now, if Ron could only learn the same lesson...
Originally posted by Christopher:
Rita, I haven't seen that list of fall shows. Doesn't anything look good? Something?
There are some possibilities, although nothing really stood up and screamed "HIT!":

Damage Control (CBS)
Kerry Washington plays a professional "fixer," based on the career of Judy Smith, the crisis management consultant who has guided such public figures as Monica Lewinsky and Michael Vick and served on the White House press staff under the first Bush.

Prime Suspect (NBC)
Based on Helen Mirren's successful series, adapted to a New York setting.

Rookies (ABC)
Six new New York cops try to balance their new jobs and their private lives. (This sounds rather conventional, but Robert De Niro is co-producer.)

Alcatraz (Fox)
A cop (Sarah Jones) and a team of FBI agents track down a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day after disappearing 30 years earlier. (Is Clint Eastwood among them?) J.J. Abrams will executive-produce and Liz Sarnoff will be the showrunner. Jorge Garcia (Hurley in Lost), Sam Neill, and Robert Forster are in it.

A police detective (Jason Isaacs) who's involved in a traumatic car accident wakes up in two fractured realities.

Special Investigations L.A. (NBC)
The project looks at Los Angeles through multiple perspectives, including law enforcement, the justice system, city hall and the criminal underworld.

Exit Strategy (Fox)
This series stars Ethan Hawke as the leader of a CIA extraction team.

Touch (Fox)
A father (Kiefer Sutherland) learns his autistic, mute son is psychic.

17th Precinct (NBC)
Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ron Moore created this supernatural police drama set in the fictional town of Excelsior. Battlestar vets Jamie Bamber, James Callis, and Tricia Helfer will star along with Stockard Channing.

Hail Mary (CBS)
An Atlanta-set P.I. drama tells the story of a suburban single mom who teams up with a street hustler to solve crimes. (This sounds like a sure loser except that Minnie Driver is playing the mom.)
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/17/11 08:33 AM

I read something about Damage Control. It sounded as if expectations are high for that one.

Kiefer Sutherland's new show...I don't exactly see where that is going, but I'll give it a look or two.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/17/11 07:20 PM

Boston Rob hasn't really matured at all. He's still the same cocky s.o.b. he always was. What would happen if his tribe found out he's been concealing an immunity idol from him? Would they still follow him?
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/17/11 08:59 PM

Probably. He'd spin some yarn, they'd buy it. They're not too bright.

The Ethan Hawke series about CIA extractions could be interesting or it could be formulaic, like L&O. But it's just the latest in TV's search for other avenues of law enforcement besides cops and prosecutors.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/18/11 01:08 AM

A couple of memorable lines in this last Survivor episode:
"That will hold something for she and for I." (Phillip the Pompous)

"Move to your left! No, your other left!" (Stephanie the Struggling)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/19/11 08:59 AM

The upcoming show, 17th Precinct...I'm glad to see some of the BSG people reunited, but I'm not happy the show is about the supernatural. That's one of the things I disliked most about the conclusion of BSG, when Ron Moore turned Starbuck into a ghost. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from that.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/21/11 07:23 PM

Will anybody miss the cheerleaders from TAR? I'm glad the Goths were able to come back; his restraint was admirable when she lost her fannypack. I hope that wasn't just the editing.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/27/11 04:25 PM

Is anyone besides me watching Harry's Law? It's not a show I look forward to eagerly, but I do end up enjoying every episode I've seen. Kathy Bates is wonderful.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 03/31/11 12:17 PM

I like it as long as Kathy Bates is on the screen, but the rest of the time it's not very interesting, IMO.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/01/11 04:20 PM

It's about that way for me, too. I especially like the scenes Harry plays with whatever man is guesting. The Tommy Jefferson character, clearly modeled on Denny Crane in Boston Legal. And that schlub of an ex-lover who won Harry's respect with an impassioned speech worthy of Alan Shore. And finally that twerp prosecutor who's beginning to look like something more than Harry's Hamilton Burger.

But the regular supporting cast -- blah. Cliché characters saying cliché things. Dump 'em all, sez I.

I didn't see the first episode; I know Harry was fired from her cushy job, but why? And how did she end up practicing law in a shoestore?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/04/11 10:50 AM

Harry suffered a burnout, realizing after 38 years that patent law is boring. She's smoking pot and watching Woody Woodpecker when her boss comes in and fires her. She's barely left the building when a man falls on her, an attempted suicide who'd jumped from the building. Harry wakes up in the hospital with nothing more serious than a mild concussion. When she leaves the hospital, she sees a For Rent sign across the street. But she's just stepped off the curb when she's hit by a car.

She wakes up in the hospital again, but this time she's able to make it to the For Rent place. It's an abandoned shoestore, well stocked with expensive designer shoes. Harry's secretary (Jenna) persuades Harry to keep the shoes, as a potential source of much-needed income. The wannabe suicide (Malcolm) wants Harry to represent him in court on a drug charge; he stays on to work as a paralegal. The driver of the car that hit her shows up (Adam, a lawyer). He wants to work out of her office temporarily, to help her get established as a way of making up for hitting her with her car. But in spite of the rough neighborhood, he decides to stay. Three gangbangers show up and attempt to shake Harry down for protection money. She tells them that if they really will protect her, she'll provide them with free legal service when they get arrested. They accept.

Um, come to think of it, I'm not sure the gangbangers were in the pilot episoe...they may have come later. Anyway, that's how Harry's new "family" was assembled.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/05/11 04:30 AM

Ohhh, the blond is Harry's secretary! I thought she came with the shoes (sharing space and expenses). I don't remember seeing her do anything secretarial.

Anybody watch cable's Spring Spectaculars this weekend? I found Starz's Camelot disappointing. The dialogue is generally clunky, sprinkled with occasional bits of modern idiom ("Good luck with that!"). Some of the changes to the legend are a bit puzzling (Guinevere betrothed to another knight, for instance). Merlin is more political manipulator than wizard; as played by Ralph Fiennes, he looks like an unkempt Christopher Meloni (Eliot in L&O:SVU). The biggest disappointment is Arthur, shown here as a libidinous teenager badly in need of a shampoo. The only cast member with any real presence is Eva Green as Morgan. Oddly, I'd thought she was the only weak link in Casino Royale; she was too young and too, well, green for the role she played. But she's matured in the years since then, and she makes an impressive Morgan.

As far as spectacle goes, Showtime's The Borgias wins, hands down. Rich, rich visuals in this $45 million production -- but with a somewhat impoverished content. The life story of the Borgias is so complex, so multi-layered, that any dramatization is forced to simplify. But so many intriguing matters are left out to make room for as many sex scenes as can be crowded in that the plotting, the double-dealing, the bloody ruthlessness of the family are given short shrift. Jeremy Irons is a believable Roderigo Borgia / Pope Alexander VI, a nice mixture of aristocratic cold-bloodedness and humane love for his illegitimate family.

Until its own spectacle airs (Game of Thrones, April 17), HBO is making do with Mildred Pierce. This production follows the James M. Cain novel more closely than the Joan Crawford movie did. It's still soap opera, but it's pretty good soap opera. Kate Winslet will probably win all sorts of acting awards.

Reelz is showing The Kennedys. This is the series The History Channel commissioned but then declined to show because: 1) the Kennedy family pressured them to drop it, or 2) it has so many historical inaccuracies. I suppose those two reasons might not be mutually exclusive. Tom Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy is his usual marvelous self; he has the Boston accent down pat. The rest of the first double episode I found flat and uninteresting. It reminded me of all those quickie biopics TV used to show so much back in the 70s.

For my money, AMC's The Killing has them all beat. One of the problems with one-hour crime dramas is that there's not enough time to show the consequences of violent death other than the police investigation. The Killing takes the time. A young girl is killed, and slowly and with restraint, we're shown the emotional effect of the killing on three groups of people -- the police, the girl's family, and the suspects. This is not a murder-every-week show; 13 episodes are devoted to this one crime. No flash, no gun battles, no witty cop banter. The Killing is quiet and intelligent, and utterly absorbing. I can easily do without any of the other shows I've mentioned here, but I'll not be missing The Killing.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/05/11 05:18 AM

The Killing has caused quite a stir over here, and the Faroese can't turn out enough Lund-style woolly jumpers to satisfy demand. It's been shown on Saturday nights on BBC4 - two one-hour episodes every week. It can be a bit confusing, with new suspects turning up in every episode and then disappearing again (often because they've died), plus lots of political manoeuvering over the City Hall election, but it's certainly been addictive (and very dark most of the time). Incidentally, I fingered the killer at quite an early stage, something I'm generally not very good at.

Danish seems a much stranger language than Swedish. I've now seen three different Inspector Wallanders in television series (of whom Kenneth Branagh was by far the least satisfactory) and got used to the sound of Swedish, which seems to use a lot of borrowings from English. Danish had hardly any and sounded odder.
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/05/11 10:09 AM

Strange--One of the Norse languages helped create Old English, to start with (along with Anglo-Saxon), I thought. Various grammatical features of English are derived from the Vikings who took over central Britain, and against whom Alfred and his successors fought and eventually won.

I have read that the European language closest to modern English is Frisian. I know that when I used to listen to SW radio while I was in the USN, that Radio Nederland used to broadcast at times in a language that sounded like English (but wasn't).
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/05/11 04:44 PM

Here in York, once the capital of a Viking kingdom (I think they came from Denmark or thereabouts - possibly Schleswig-Holstein), a lot of the oldest streets within the city walls have names ending in -gate: Micklegate, Petergate, Colliergate, Coppergate, Stonegate, Fossgate, Monkgate, Jubbergate, Whipmawhopmagate (yes, really!), Swinegate, Ousegate, Bishopgate, etc. Oh, and Walmgate (where I live in a building beneath which the archaeologists found evidence of Viking habitation). I'm pretty certain that -gate signifies Scandinavian origin: in Sweden, a lot of street names end in -gatan, or so it seems from reading Henning Mankel and Stieg Larsson. Dunno about Norway.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/06/11 12:52 AM

Andrew, it sounds as if you watched the original version, Forbrydelsen (with subtitles?). What I saw is a new American version, set in Seattle. I don't know how similar or different the two are.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/06/11 04:20 AM

Ah, I didn't know that there was an American version. Yes, it was in Danish with subtitles and mostly took place in Copenhagen. Sarah Lund, the principal investigator, was on her way to Sweden in the first episode but turned back when the body was found. There were 20 episodes altogether.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/06/11 10:27 AM

There's one difference, 7 more episodes in the Danish version. Sarah Linden is on her way to California when...etc.

[This message has been edited by Austin (edited 04-06-2011).]
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/07/11 10:38 AM

I enjoyed The Borgias, but I did want more plotting, political chicanery, etc. The only thing that really annoyed me, though, was seeing an actress in her twenties cast as 14-year-old Lucrezia Borgia. But it's interesting that Roderigo Borgia bought the papacy the same year another Italian sailed to a land he thought was India.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/08/11 01:40 PM

The Survivor merge sure as heck didn't help Matt any. Back to the island with him! Jeff pointed out that was a sure way to make Matt switch sides if he got back in the game again (which seems likely). Maybe, maybe not. Matt is so simple Rob might be able to talk him around.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/12/11 08:02 PM

Goodbye, Dan. I'm sorry he ruined it for Christina, but I'm happy that pompous know-it-all is gone. It looks as if the Goths go postal next time, unfortunately; I've been pulling for them and the Globetrotters. The cowboys will probably win.

Grim scene in The Borgias, all those corpses stuffed and positioned along a dinner table. That little tableau gave even Cesare's assassin pause. Della Rovere is proving remarkably hard to kill.

The Killing continues to intrigue, but I've given up on The Kennedys and Mildred Pierce. And I doubt if I'll stick with Camelot.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/13/11 10:43 AM

Camelot has eight more episodes to turn a teenager with bad hygiene into a man and a king. I wish them luck.

Did you see TV Guide's comments on the show?
The beauty of adapting the King Arthur legend is its historical vagueness. If experts can't even agree whether or not the man lived, then that leaves plenty of freedom to mess around. At turns the legend has been magical (Excalibur), sanitized (The Sword in the Stone) or cheeky (Monty Python and the Holy Grail). Friday's premiere of Starz's Camelot had moments both unexpected and unsettling. Here's how this umpteenth version distinguished itself:

1. It's rather tame. Oh, Eva Green's breasts pop up eight minutes in, but Starz's other semi-historical series Spartacus has desensitized us to graphic violence and sexuality. Still, we don't need stomach-churning action nor feel like drawing the blinds closed every Friday night just to watch television so it's not necessarily a critique. And if the extreme is what you want, fear not: Plenty of people do die and many more bosoms are bared.

2. Young Arthur just wants to get some. This paragon of what's right begins his journey as a randy dude who sleeps with his brother's girl and is more interested in scoring than saving England. Boys!

3. Morgan spent 15 years in a nunnery. And we thought Maria Von Trapp was rebellious! Morgan definitely seems more worldly than everyone else in the series and even though she's evil, she has a streak of healthy feminism too. When she scorns Igraine for confessing, "No queen questions her king," we're on Morgan's side. What kind of cloister was she living in anyway?

4. Merlin's gone bald -- everywhere. Okay, not everywhere. And we do give the show credit for completely destroying all of our preconceived notions about how Merlin looks. But chrome dome or not, we at least figured there would be a sorcerer's beard or some kind of magical goatee.

5. What potion has Merlin been slipping everyone? Even if you believe in magic, what's his proof that Uther actually masqueraded as the other dude to impregnate Igraine? Why does Igraine continue to ask Merlin to perform life-saving miracles when he keeps letting her down? And why does Arthur let creepy Merlin just hover by his bed and yell at him about women in his dreams? How magical is Merlin, really?

6. Someone should call child services on Merlin. Not to keep harping on Merlin, but didn't he promise to watch over Arthur? Time and time again, Arthur puts himself in harms way, whether it's climbing up a waterfall or wandering off to the beach where any passing person with a sword (or angry chick who doesn't like being stared at) can hurt him. In each case, Merlin does nothing to safeguard his Once and Future King. No bodyguard, no spotter, no royal taste tester. What good are you, Merlin, except to spout cryptic nonsense?

7. It's just so '80s... 1980s not 1180s. Speaking of cryptic nonsense, we really didn't expect Camelot to resort to the protagonist who, in a time of crisis, remembers someone else's words and then speaks them aloud to emerge victorious. We're talking about the "Stop pulling at me and start pushing yourself" situation with Merlin that led to the successful extraction of the sword.

8. Arthur likes girls and gives good speech! That Arthur, despite his youth and inexperience, is pretty good with the speechifying. Perhaps this is part of why people follow him. "I am Arthur Pendragon and I am proud to be your king." No doubt the "And I approved this message" part got cut for time constraints.

9. Bieber gets Guinevere. Some knight with good hair named Leontes is already betrothed to Guinevere. Did you know that? We didn't! Girl gets around!

10. Hector's painful walk will stick with you. In a Spartacus-worthy moment, Hector gets impaled by a long staff and then walks forward, pushing the stick deeper and deeper through his bowels and out the other side of him, just so he can stab King Lot in the back. Ouch.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/13/11 11:26 PM

Ha. That pretty well sums it up.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/17/11 03:29 PM

Camelot is determined to de-mystify the legend, to make it "real". Huh. Excalibur is a teen-aged girl, and she's trapped beneath the ice when Merlin freezes the lake and pokes a hole in the ice with the sword which Merlin takes from her, not Arthur. So much for the Lady in the Lake. The writers must have thought they were very clever, coming up with that "solution". I'm done with this show.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/17/11 08:20 PM

What annoyed me was the way Merlin was responsible for the deaths of both members of that family -- and for no reason! He and the swordmaker were pawing the ground at each other; all Merlin had to do was keep his mouth shut and nothing would have happened. Then the daughter (whoever names a girl "Excalibur"?) grabbed the sword and ran, terrified, and drowned because Merlin caused the lake to ice over. Why allow Merlin the magical power to do that but deny the magical Lady of the Lake? Merlin did try to rescue the girl by pounding on the ice with the hilt of his sword; I guess he knows a freezing spell but not a melting one. Then he goes out and gets himself beat to a pulp by a couple of thugs -- as punishment, as penance, to show he's not really a black-hearted villain, he has feelings, begorrah!

I'm done too.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/21/11 08:59 AM

Whew, that was quite a Survivor last night! Phillip is a pompous, motormouth know-it-all in love with himself -- but he's still there and Julie is gone. I'd say the reason Rob targeted Julie is that in last week's Tribal, she said Rob had complete control of his group and it wasn't a tribe, it was a cult. The look Rob shot her when she said that spelled the end of her time in the game.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/21/11 10:00 AM

I think you're right about why Rob picked Julie to go next. He's keeping Phillip to sit beside him in the final three, because who would vote for him? Nobody.

Interesting question: Who will be the other person Rob wants beside him at the end?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/21/11 05:09 PM

That's going to be a hard choice. Grant hasn't offended anybody and could draw votes away from Rob. But picking one of the girl followers could be just as dangerous as she might win by default up against the master manipulator and Phillip. Remember, Russell and Parvati lost to a passive woman player.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/22/11 11:19 AM

I read on one of the nonofficial websites that Andrea is the only "suitable" applicant they had for this game. All the other players were recruited. Probably no one wants to spend any time with people as abrasive as they've been featuring in the last four or five games.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/22/11 12:19 PM

Me, I wouldn't be able to stand listening to all that atrocious grammar for 39 days. I'd vote myself out.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/24/11 11:08 PM

Aw, too bad. This time the cowboys couldn't catch up. I was hoping they'd win this one.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 04/25/11 08:21 PM

Interesting that last night both Game of Thrones and The Borgias had a scene in which a naïve young bride sought marital advice from her maid.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/02/11 10:15 PM

The Goths are out of TAR for not following directions, but they're still snarling about the Globetrotters. I couldn't follow what was happening in the chocolate factory. Did Flight Time take Vyxen's gnome?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/03/11 07:37 PM

I had trouble following that too. The editing seemed aimed at obscuring who exactly was at fault. Vyxen has really blasted the Globetrotters, saying they bounce around like good old all-American boys but turn into bullies the minute they don't get what they want. Too bad.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/06/11 07:57 PM

The return of Goren and Eames was somewhat underwhelming...did anyone watch? The character supposedly based on Charlie Sheen self-destructing fell kind of flat. And no explanation of why G&E are back on the job. The last time we saw them, Eames accepted a promotion to lieutenant, fired Goren, and then resigned. Yet here they are, back doing what they do best.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/07/11 06:38 PM

That probably was the best way of handling it; somebody says "Welcome back" and they get on with the story. Any explanation of their miraculously restored status would be long, convoluted, and in the end unbelievable. The episode was flat, though; I was expecting something more. There was one brief sparkling moment, when Goren was on the phone pretending to be a fashion designer, to his partner's amusement.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/08/11 09:45 PM

I wouldn't trust Vyxsen's word on anything. As to the "who stole the mold" business, I'm inclined to believe he was mistaken and he had his own after all, but there's no definitive information on that. But if anyone took it, it couldn't have been Vyxsen, because she didn't take anything out -- she was late putting anything in the fridge at all, so all she'd done was put one of her molds in.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/09/11 12:17 AM

Well, the girls beat out the trotters, but you have to feel sorry for Gary and Mallory. One terrible cab driver cost them the race. They were doing so well up to that point. Just sheer bad luck cost them dearly.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/09/11 04:24 PM

Mallory is such a drama queen that she began to get on my nerves, but yes, she and her dad got the short end of the stick. That was an unusually harsh finale, wasn't it? First the hair-waxing, which must have been really painful for the hairy guys. Then the tricycle ride across Seven-Mile Bridge...just watching it made my knees ache. Anyway, congrats to Keisha and Jen, who revealed they're going to use the money to help their mother start her own business. That's a good ending to any race.

Last night's L&O:CI was more like it! Goren got to manipulate TWO bad guys into admitting their guilt. Now we're cooking.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/15/11 09:46 PM

Cancelled: V, Brothers and Sisters, Detroit 187, No Ordinary Family, Lie to Me, Human Target, Chicago Code. I'm sorry about Lie to Me; I liked its original approach to crime-solving.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/16/11 09:42 AM

The Survivor finale was about as exciting as watching grass grow. Is there anyone in the world who didn't know Rob was going to win? If that's the best they can do, forget it.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/17/11 12:33 AM

One good thing about Rob's win -- we'll never have to look at him again.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/18/11 08:27 AM

I wish. He's not done yet...the guy loves the spotlight too much. Next up is a co-hosting gig on the History Channel, of all places.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/26/11 03:13 PM

Andrew, when/if you're back from Leeds, would you answer a question about The Killing? Since the second episode, I've pretty much felt Belko was the killer. But yesterday I read somebody's post that said since Belko was the killer in the original Danish series, the American version had to have a different killer. That seems reasonable, but could you confirm that Belko was the Danish killer?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/26/11 04:38 PM

I'm still here, Barbara - the 45 minute trip to Leeds is tomorrow (Friday).

Belko. There's nobody of that name in the original Forbrydelsen. Can you tell me something about how he's connected with the rest of the characters? Assuming that he's a he, that is.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/26/11 07:21 PM

He's a he, yes. This is going to be tricky with the name changes. His name is Belko Royce in the American version, and he and Stan Larsen (father of the murdered girl) have known each other most of their lives. Belko helps Stan with his moving company, and he's sort of a casual, unofficial member of Stan's family. Belko is only a fringe player in the story we've been shown so far, never a director of the action but more a follower. That's what made me suspicious. There's an old trick in TV crime shows: the killer is introduced early in some innocent situation and then drops out of the action. Then he's brought back again, to remind the audience that there is such a character in the story. This may happen again, depending on the length of the show. So at the end, when he's revealed as the killer, the audience can't say "Who's this guy, where did he come from?" L&O's various episodes use the device all the time; so does NCIS, and probably other crime shows that I don't watch. But that's exactly the way The Killing has been showing Belko, in an insignificant sort of sidekick role.

There are internal pointers to Belko as well. He and Stan may have shared a criminal past. The police learn that the murdered girl's body was moved in a car that belonged to the campaign staff of a local politician running for mayor, and for a while the spotlight is on the politician. Belko offers to "take care" of the politician for Stan, but Stan says no, because "I don't do that any more." They've both killed in the past? Sounds like it.

The police believe the campaign car was stolen and turn their focus elsewhere. Belko finds out from a contact that the police do have a suspect, and he's one of the murdered girl's high shool teachers. So Stan and Belko grab the teacher and take him to an isolated spot, where Stan proceeds to beat the crap out of him. When Stan's finished, Belko steps in and starts kicking the man while he's down. He kicks the teacher so viciously that Stan has to stop him from killing him.

Belko isn't on the screen very much, just enough to establish two things: he's violent, and he's in and out of Stan's home a lot. That's adequate preparation to reveal him as the killer. It's understandable that the American version would want a different killer, but leaving those pointers to Belko in the script instead of turning them toward someone else -- that's just a red herring, always a cheat.

So, Andrew, is there a Belko-like character in the Danish series? And is he the killer?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/26/11 07:40 PM

Thanks, Barbara.

"So, Andrew, is there a Belko-like character in the Danish series? And is he the killer?" Yes, and yes. Assuming that no-one here is bothered about spoilers, it was as clear to me as it was to you that Belko is the killer. In the Danish version, he's Vagn, and I spotted him at about the same time as you did.

"He and Stan Larsen (father of the murdered girl) have known each other most of their lives." Check!

"Belko helps Stan with his moving company, and he's sort of a casual, unofficial member of Stan's family." Check!

"There's an old trick in TV crime shows: the killer is introduced early in some innocent situation and then drops out of the action. Then he's brought back again, to remind the audience that there is such a character in the story." Check!

"There are internal pointers to Belko as well. He and Stan may have shared a criminal past. The police learn that the murdered girl's body was moved in a car that belonged to the campaign staff of a local politician running for mayor, and for a while the spotlight is on the politician. Belko offers to "take care" of the politician for Stan, but Stan says no, because "I don't do that any more." They've both killed in the past? Sounds like it." Check!

"Belko isn't on the screen very much, just enough to establish two things: he's violent, and he's in and out of Stan's home a lot. That's adequate preparation to reveal him as the killer." Check!

As I said, I'm not usually great at spotting the villain, but I did this time. That doesn't detract from the overall compelling nature of the [Danish] series.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/26/11 07:48 PM

Addendum: Barbara, you said "no gun battles, no witty cop banter". Well, there was some of both, except that the cops weren't bantering, they were annoying each other like there was no tomorrow, mainly because Lund was supposed to be off the case and in Sweden.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 05/27/11 02:22 PM

No banter or bullets so far. Maybe in episode #10 (Sunday), or maybe not at all, since the American version has seven fewer episodes than the Danish series. Things are definitely chilly between the two detectives, and Linden has told her superior that she has concerns about her partner's ability to be an investigator. He's new to the game, promoted to Homicide from Narcotics. But they haven't had it out between them yet.

The AMC website has an ongoing poll where viewers can select the character they think is the killer. And guess who the overwhelming favorite is! Belko has 40% of the vote; the next highest character, only 10%. The remaining 50% is scattered among the rest of the cast in parcels of 2 and 3%. If the killer turns out to be someone barely visibile, like the moneybags who's bankrolling the politician, you'll be able to hear the screams of protest from all the way across the pond.

[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 05-27-2011).]
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 06/10/11 12:58 AM

Has anyone watched Bobby Fischer Against the World? It's a new documentary, showing on HBO. It's a sad story. Not unique; many of the great chess masters suffered from the same kind of demons that plagued Fischer. But still sad.

Oh, I forgot to mention that on The Killers Belko became a suspect for about ten minutes, after which he was dismissed as a pathetic loser but innocent of the murder in question. So much for Belko.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 06/13/11 05:45 PM

I was vaguely aware that Fischer had mental problems, but I didn't know he'd turned into a ranting paranoid schizophrenic at the end. There must be some truth in the theory that the things that make some chess masters great are the very things that ultimately drive them insane. Frightening.

On a more frivolous note, I am getting very tired of all the fluff crime dramas on TV. They've been a USA specialty for years now, like Psych and White Collar and all those forgotten series that were tried out for a short season and then dumped. I can't even remember any of their titles now. Burn Notice turned into a hit, and maybe In Plain Sight, but they're still fluff. Monk ran for years, and I've never understood why.

But now even LMN is getting into the act. Its new show, The Protector, is flat, cliché-ridden, and boring. It even has a heroine who looks like a slightly younger Mary McCormack. LMN has another such show planned for later this summer, but I'm not even going to give it a try. Enough, already!
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2010-11 - 06/14/11 10:47 AM

What's "LMN"? You all must get cable channels I don't or something.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 06/14/11 11:05 AM

Lifetime Movie Network. Both LMN and USA are owned by NBC, which has found these cookie-cutter shows profitable enough to keep grinding them out. But corporate myopia promotes and schedules L&O:CI right with the fluff. All the L&O shows are formulaic, but they're not fluff.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/11/11 03:27 PM

The Closer returns tonight, for its final season, and I don't think I'm going to like it. It sounds very much like the downfall of Brenda Leigh Johnson. She may "choose" marriage over career as an out, but she's in hot water. (I'd love to see a show where a man chooses marriage over career.) Anyway, 21 more episodes, and that's it.

They're spinning off Major Crimes, with Mary O'Donnell in the lead.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/11/11 04:31 PM

I was reading the other day that the killer in The Killing (the Seattle one) apparently isn't the same as the equivalent killer in the Danish one - AND that Series 1 ended with a cliff-hanger, presumably so that everyone will watch Series 2, in which it is promised that the killer will be revealed. (Unless they commission Series 3, perhaps ...) As a result, the woman who commissioned the Seattle version has become very unpopular. Have I got that right? The Seattle Killing has just started over here, but I'm not watching it.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/11/11 09:15 PM

Rita: I don't much like the idea of Brenda's bowing out, either under a cloud or under her own volition. I'd rather see a finale more like the one L&O:CI had, in which the two detectives just keep on keeping on. Things have changed slightly -- their relationship is closer, more personal. But they're both doing exactly what they want to do, and what could be a happier ending than that? If Brenda is going to be denied that kind of completeness...well, a bittersweet ending is probably the best to hope for.

Andrew: More of a tease than an actual cliffhanger. Holder, the secondary detective, tells Sarah Linden, the main detective, that a toll bridge photo shows their suspect to have been at a crucial place after denying having been there. That's the one final bit Linden needed to complete her case, so she makes the arrest. (I won't say who it is, in case you decide to watch the Seattle version.) Then the very last scene shows her on a plane with her son, ready to take off, when she gets a phone call from some civic archiving place. The caller says they can't provide her with the toll bridge photo she requested, because that camera was out of order for several weeks, including the date in question. No photos. Holder lied.

The obvious suspect (Belko/Vagn) was dismissed with a plausible explanation of his involvement, but in retrospect that might have been a red herring. However, there's this. We sometimes see TV shows in which a cop will falsify evidence to nail a criminal he knows is guilty, and Holder is trying very hard to make good on his first homicide case. The fact that Holder's evidence is nonexistent doesn't mean their suspect is innocent. They might have the right guy after all. What I find improbable is that Linden would go ahead with the arrest without actually seeing the photo herself. She's always had trouble trusting this particular partner, so why now? We're told all this will be cleared up early in the new series and a new case will then be introduced. So I guess Linden gets off that plane. No California wedding for her.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/12/11 07:54 PM

Well, Brenda Leigh's troubles begin, right in the first episode. I remember that case she's being investigated for, the one where she released a confessed murderer knowing the other members of his gang would kill him. But Brenda was backed into a corner by the interference of others...Pope promised the murderer immunity in exchange for information and the FBI or some other agency was poking its nose in as well. It wasn't all her doing. She could have offered police protection, but that goes against the grain as well. However, as the Mary McDonnell character pointed out, Brenda just did the same thing again last night when she put that young girl in danger by using her as bait. What if the cops had gotten there five minutes later? The girl would have been dead. Yep, Brenda's in trouble, all right.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/22/11 01:20 PM

Strangely, I've come to like Suits. It's just as glib as all of USA's shows, but I love the interplay between the young self-taught lawyer and his mentor, and their cases are entertaining. Only one weak link in the supporting cast that I can see, and that's the woman who plays the owner of the law firm. She just doesn't have the authority for that role.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/23/11 08:27 AM

Self-taught lawyer???
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/23/11 09:09 AM

Young guy who is a prodigious reader and remembers everything he's read. Passed the bar exam without ever going to law school (no money for college). Now he's working at a law firm that worships the ground Harvard Law graduates walk on. Only Harvey, his mentor at the firm, knows he's not a Harvard man.

The young studmuffin is cute, but Harvey steals every scene he's in. Lorna's right, the show is glib, but it is entertaining in its own way.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/23/11 03:35 PM

Mike Ross (the studmuffin) has made one big mistake, when he admitted his secret to the notoriously unreliable Trevor. A man is still judged by the company he keeps, and Mike's choice of lifelong best friend does not reflect well on him. Harvey keeps telling him to cut Trevor loose; I hope Mike listens, but it may already be too late.

Harvey is great; he has a touch of Alan Shore in him -- but not too much. He's played by Gabriel Macht, Stephen Macht's son.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/24/11 11:21 PM

Who's Stephen Macht?
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/25/11 12:33 PM

Stephen on the left, Gabriel on the right. Stephen never made it as a big star, but he worked steadily from the time he gave up teaching for acting full-time. He has a PhD from Indiana University, and Gabriel attended Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/25/11 06:56 PM

Stephen ended up a regular on some soap opera, didn't he? I remember him mostly as Sharon Gless's now-and-then boyfriend in Cagney and Lacey.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/29/11 10:39 AM

Am I the only one who found this last episode of The Closer disappointing? Very disappointing.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 07/29/11 11:51 AM

It looked like a filler episode to me. They were capitalizing on the success of an earlier episode, the one in which Provenza and Flynn made fools of themselves over a couple of stewardesses. Obviously going for a light touch -- but it just didn't work. For one thing, a man was murdered when he was mistaken for another man, and no one blinked an eye! He wasn't much of a man, a petty grifter, but he was innocent and he died unjustly. For another thing, Provenza had to work too hard at being funny. It wasn't funny.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2010-11 - 08/18/11 07:32 AM

Last night a new dramatic series premiered on BBC America, called The Hour. It's a "backstage" show, about a BBC news program in the 1950s. I'm finding it harder and harder to tell from the first couple of episodes what a show will be like, but I'd say this one has potential.

[This message has been edited by Rita (edited 08-18-2011).]
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2010-11 - 08/18/11 10:53 AM

It's a sort of a thriller. Lots of acting talent - Ben Whishaw, Dominic West, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Burn Gorman, Anna Chancellor and ... Oona Chaplin (movie royalty!). Not my sort of thing, but the couple of episodes I've glanced at seemed to be pretty well done.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 08/18/11 05:53 PM

Just as NBC changed "Sci Fi" to "Syfy", it has now changed "Sleuth" to "Cloo". Cloo!?!! The reason for the changes was the same in both cases. Copyrights are already held for "Sci Fi" and "Sleuth" and even "Clue". They're just now finding this out?
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2010-11 - 08/19/11 10:36 AM

I thought you couldn't copyright a title?

I hate to think how many books I have read with the title Matrix, for instance.

And besides, you put enough money on the table, and rights to anything can be bought.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 08/19/11 06:16 PM

Are play titles no longer protected by copyright? I know at one time they were, the only form of title that could be protected. Sleuth started life as a play.

NBC's name-changing may be simple belt-tightening. If they were paying royalties to call their two subsidiary channels Sci-Fi and Sleuth, using made-up words instead would save them a few bucks.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/04/11 08:22 PM

My DirecTV receiver died and I had to have it replaced. The new one works fine, but all my DVR recordings died with the old receiver. Grrrrrrrrr.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/05/11 12:26 PM

Lose anything important?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/05/11 09:45 PM

Oh, not really -- a few old movies I haven't seen since I was a girl, a couple of Nova episodes, some other things I don't remember, and the "Hush" episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer...priceless!
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/06/11 10:24 AM

This topic has at least 150 too many replies in it. How about closing it and starting another?
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2010-11 - 09/06/11 10:42 AM

Barbara, you're a Buffy fan??!?