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Saturday, September 25, 2010

TV week 

This was the week of the new TV shows. Here are some quick takes:
I really liked Detroit 187 -- with the mild quibble that the "rogue cop with a tragic backstory and a heart of gold" scenario is getting rather tired. But Shaun Majumder is going to be pretty good in this, I think. And they actually film it in Detroit, which is an interesting city visually as well as socially.
Boardwark Empire? Eh, not so much -- the script is trying to repeat the Sopranos formula, but Steve Buscemi, as much as I love him, can't pull off Gandolfini's genial psychopath with a heart of gold.
Blue Blood also had the tired "rogue cop rescues the child by torturing the scumbag" scenario, but had a neat twist at the end with the secret society stuff.
Not sure about The Event -- likable characters, but I lost it at the third or fourth flashback within a flashback. And does anyone actually think that Blair Underwood looks Hispanic? So just do the big Kang-and-Kodos reveal already and lets move on! Now, Jimmy Smits looks Hispanic though I'm not sure whether he can singlehandedly save Outlaw when everyone else in the cast seems to be a cardboard replica of a real person.
Defenders was much more interesting than I had thought it would be -- interesting characters and a truly intriguing legal case with the involuntary manslaughter angle and gaming the judge not to properly instruct the jury. If they keep this up. they could have a real show here. We passed on Hawaii 5-0, thinking it would probably be terrible, but apparently it wasn't.
Good Guys has improved so much it is almost unrecognizable from the early shows -- particularly Colin Hanks.
Castle just gets better and better -- interesting plots, and one of the only shows on TV that shows a normal relationship between a father, teenage daughter, and grandmother. Though of course there is also Modern Family - hysterical. And I know exactly what Claire means about appreciating memories with your family -- saving sunshine in a jar.
NCIS seems to be bringing the Director into the stories more now, a good thing because the Director/Gibbs relationship is more nuanced. And I hope they're cutting down on the Crazy Abby subplots.
For a while there, NCIS was falling into the familiar pattern which we often see on TV shows written primarily by men, where the men characters are just normal people but the women are all types -- nurturing mother, sexy bitch, little girl lost, crazy comic relief.
I guess CSI and Criminal Intent are what they are -- serial killers, explosions, autopsy porn, everybody spends 20 hours a day at work. And this year's soap opera on Bones is going to be Angela's pregnancy? Oh, please!
Next week -- The Good Wife, and Human Target!
And I think Flashpoint will be back sometime, too.
Every fall we go through this -- we enjoy catching the new shows when they come out, but then we usually only watch a few over the rest of the season. Considering that there is only a couple of hours of TV watching time available for us in the evenings, if that, and considering that we also want to keep up with sports, not to mention the occasional movie or documentary or Dog Whisperer or Sell This House -- and blogging, don't forget blogging -- it means there's never any way that we could watch all the TV series that we potentially might enjoy. We now have one of those TV boxes where you can record a show anytime, and now I've got several hours of recordings that I am not sure when, if ever, I will watch.
And every fall, it seems that at least one of the shows I like dies an early death

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