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In Libris Libertum
In Books, Freedom
What I watch on TV 
12th-Jan-2011 08:49 pm
hamster computer
For many years now, I've meant to post my comments on the season openers (and the season closers) of my favorite TV shows. Generally don't get around to it. I have a few moments, now and I thought I'd talk TV, series/season openers and series/season closers.



My favorite show of recent memory is Numb3rs, which is no longer on the air. I think the best season opener for Numb3rs was the pilot. Excellent introduction to the characters and to the premise of the show. I actually understood the point behind the math, even if I didn't understand the math itself. The best season ender, IMHO, was Season 3's "The Janus List." It had some quality brother-time, a suspenseful plot and a weaponized MRI. Not something you see every day.

Much as I disliked the idea that the show was ending, I did like how Heuton and Falacci ended the series. They wrapped up some subplots (would Charlie and Amita get married? What was going on with Don and Robin? Would David get a promotion? Etc.) Best of all, they left things open enough that they could have jumped into a Season 7 with little difficulty.

I think the current show that has had the best season enders is CSI: New York. In fact, the season enders were so good, it moved CSI: NY up in my estimation from "watch when nothing else is on" to "must watch every week." I particularly liked "Charge of this Post", in which the bad guys were using cell phones to trigger bombs. They showed this in the previews, so I was ready to jump out of my skin every time somebody's cell phone went off!

Another good season ender for CSI: NY was "Snow Day" when a bunch of cocaine smugglers invaded the CSI labs in order to steal back their cocaine. Several of the CSI's were trapped in the building and they managed to do their CSI thing while avoiding being captured or killed. Nice work on this. :-D

Some season cliffhangers have been rather predictable. The first season of Warehouse 13 was explosive, but my sister and I figured out what would happen and why. (It was nice to be right, tho!) The second season of W13 is more suspenseful. I know what HAS to happen, but I don't know how they're going to do it. (*waiting with bated breath*)

Speaking of Warehouse 13, it's a summer show, but SyFy did a Christmas special for it (and Eureka.) It was a wonderful episode, one of my favorite Christmas episodes ever! (Right up there with the Bones' episode where the squints get quarantined in the lab and have to solve a cold case and have a cheerful holiday in spite of that.)


Season openers, CSI: NY again takes some top honors. The season that opened with Mac Taylor getting shot and dumped into the river was quite engrossing. (Under statement! It was actually the second part of the season cliffhanger where Mac got kidnapped.)

This season introduced a new CSI, Jo (played by Sela Ward.) It, too, was quite engrossing. I liked Jo immediately. It's going to be rerun next week, I believe. Catch it if you can.

Series openers: I'll get to my favorite current series in a moment; however, I'd like to say a few words about remakes of classic TV shows. (Only a few, because most of the words are unprintable and would melt your screen and I don't want that.)

There have been many remakes of old TV shows on television and the movies. Most of them have been awful. Much as I wanted to like the Wild, Wild West movie... really, Will Smith? That's the best you can come up with? I skipped the movie versions of Starsky and Hutch and I, Spy just because of the commercials. (The word "ick" comes to mind.)

However, there have been exceptions: The Lost in Space movie was basically an extended episode. I like that in a movie. The A-Team managed to be as light-hearted as the series and far darker, too. (People actually died when they got shot at! What a concept!) And the reboot of Star Trek in the ninth movie? Well played, JJ Abrams!

On television, I had high hopes for the new Knight Rider, as the pilot was so much fun. However, they totally lost their way in first episodes of the new series. Dang. Just as they were starting to get it right, the series was canceled. *sigh*

However, the current revival of Hawaii Five-0 is DA BOMB! It has all the best aspects of the old Hawaii Five-0. Great theme, shot on location so we can see all the beauties of Hawaii, wonderful theme, good actors in all the key roles, the rocking theme, Danny Williams played once again by the son of a screen legend, yes... I Love That Theme!

In fact, I like the reboot even better than the original. Not to detract from the original, which was mas excellente, but there are two main differences that (IMHO!) make the new series more enjoyable for me.

1) Old series: McGarrett was the star, the rest of the team were merely supporters. I prefer a little more equality in my teams/ partners. I am so getting that in this series. (For all that Scott Caan (Danny/Danno Williams) has a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Supporting Actor".)

2) This is actually a flaw of many 60's shows. Too much time is spent with the bad guys. I don't care about the bad guys' personal life. I want to see the good guys. The bad guys should show up long enough to interact with/ to puzzle/ to menace/ to be conquered by the heroes. The new series spends way more time with the Five-0 team.

Another difference: In the original, Kono was a seasoned cop and Danny was the rookie of the team. This time, Danny is the seasoned pro and Kono is a rookie.

Kono is also a girl. 60 shows tended to be light on the female action characters and Hawaii Five-O had no female regulars aside from McGarrett's secretary. I find I like the female Kono. I wasn't sure that I would, but Grace Park's competent, loyal and kickasp portrayal of the rookie of the team has won me over.

My only complaint about Hawaii Five-0 is that it's on opposite my second favorite current TV show... Castle. Oh, well, that's why Sony invented VCRs.

I love Castle. Nathan Fillion is a hoot, but he has serious acting chops and he can produce them when needed. I also love all the supporting roles, even Castle's mostly annoying mother. Castle's daughter, Alexis, is a joy! She's one of the few level-headed teenagers on TV. If I could clone myself a daughter, she would be the original that I'd clone from.

The other supporting actors, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever are capable and they play well off of Nathan.

I follow Seamus on Twitter, he is quite a hoot! I also follow WriteRCastle on Twitter and Facebook. He is quite humorous online. He’s even solved two mysteries during the break, on twitter, in 140 character increments. Quite a feat, if you ask me.
This show loves to take the concept of Rick Castle as a real person to extremes. In the series, Rick Castle is writing mystery novels about “Nikki Heat”, who is based on the “real life” detective Kate Beckett. Two of those books have been published and have sold well enough that I expect a third. (I would rather have a Castle book, but I’ll take what I can get.)
My only complaint about this show is that… wait for it… it’s on opposite Hawaii Five-0! ;-)

What else do I watch? Human Target, on Fox, has won me over. It's adapted (very loosely) from DC Comics. I loved the comic book version of Christopher Chance. The TV version bears almost no resemblance to him, but I love him, too. The show is light hearted action/ adventure about a former hit man who was hampered by a conscience and decided to atone for his past by preventing people from being murdered. The supporting characters (Winston and Guerrero) are a hoot.

Winston and Guerrero are polar opposites. Winston (Chi McBride of Pushing Daisies) is a big, black honorable ex-cop. Guerrero (Jackie Earl Haley, who’s played nasty characters in a lot of things) is a short, nasty, nasty white man who has no trouble killing someone who might turn out to be a threat. His one loyalty is to Christopher Chance. Not sure why, but I don't care. The show has had some wicked stunt work; I really wish the Mythbusters would tackle some of them. Maybe I should make that suggestion...

I also like NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, though I admit that the spin-off is holding more appeal to me than the original (which is actually a spin-off of JAG, if memory serves.) What can I say? I like the bantering/ bickering between G. Callen and Sam Hanna (played by Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J.) They've also changed the cast so there are now three sets of bickering/ bantering partners, which makes just about every scene a lot of fun.

And I've adored Linda Hunt, the actress who plays the boss, for decades.

The Mentalist is a lot of fun. Simon Baker as Patrick Jane is a joy to watch. The supporting characters are great, too. Especially Kimball Cho (played by Tim Kang.)

I continue to watch CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami because there isn't anything else on in those time slots that draws my attention. Not that they haven't had good episodes. Original CSI can still come up with winners.

Well, that's all for this set of musings on TV. Maybe I'll get around to discussing the season enders when the season ends.

But don't hold your breath.

Even though that shade of blue is an excellent look on you. Kind of like the Na'vi from Avatar.

TTFN!


Comments 
13th-Jan-2011 07:04 am (UTC)
I love Castle. Fillion is great. I love the dynamic between him and Stana, but Alexis just steals the show. She is SO fabulous.
2nd-Feb-2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
I agree, I think Molly Quinn is a great actress. I hope they do at least one more show that focuses on her. (The episode where Alexis was an intern is one of my favorites!)
3rd-Feb-2011 02:35 am (UTC)
Not only is she beautiful, she just has so much charisma!

I hope they can work in some story to keep her close to home when the character goes to college.
13th-Jan-2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
I loved the comic book version of Christopher Chance. The TV version bears almost no resemblance to him, but I love him, too.

I am not familiar with the comic book version and have only seen a few episodes of the show -- my husband informed me that I wanted to see them for the dog -- but I finally figured out what was distractingly familiar about his name: it was reminding me of Christopher Chant.

I am not sure what either character would think about this. :)
2nd-Feb-2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
I'm not familiar with Christopher Chant, so I looked him up. He'd probably think it was one of the more crazy alternate versions of himself. :-)
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