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Category Archives: USA

USA Renews Suits for a Second Season!!!

Oh happy day!!!   My favorite new summer show is getting a 16 episode 2nd season pick up.   Yeah!!!!  Suits is coming back next summer and I couldn’t be happier.

The one thing that I really like about this show is that this is a very different from other lawyer shows on TV.   Most law shows really focus on the courtroom drama and the way lawyers conduct themselves in the courtroom.  This show features more behind the scenes lawyering that is much more common than TV law shows would like us to believe.  I think they’ve only been in a courtroom twice.  Once Mike was there for an arrangement.  The other, Harvey was in a courtroom but a plea deal still went down.  So I think they’ve been in a courtroom for all of 5 minutes.  I love it.  Although I wouldn’t mind seeing at least one big court case because I do love that as well.

But I am thrilled for the cast and crew because the show is fantastic and I think there are so many stories yet to tell.  I can’t wait.   The summer finale is Thursday Sept 8th and then my boys are gone until next summer.  At least they are coming back next summer!!!

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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Renewed Shows, USA

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Covert Affairs “Half a World Away” S2 E7

Best episode of Covert Affairs yet!   I haven’t really written too much about CA.  In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve written about it at all.   Maybe I’ve only talked about it on the podcast.  Either way, I had to write about this episode because it was terrific.   While we always knew when and where Auggie lost his sight, we never knew how it all went down.   And this episode told that story.   While CA is really Annie’s story, the supporting cast is pretty strong and the character of Auggie (played by the wonderful Christopher Gorham) has gained huge popularity…and after last night’s display of abs and guns (Gorham’s guns not the Army’s), I’m sure he’ll become even more popular!!!   At one point my husband said to me “I know he’s a good-looking guy but is he so good-looking every girl would want to sleep with him?  I don’t get why every girl wants to sleep with Auggie.”   Cue the scene that is Covert Affairs version of the volleyball scene from Top Gun.   “That’s why”  I said to my husband who immediately started laughing saying “fair enough.”  But I also said to him that it’s his personality that makes him so sexy.  At least for me it does.  I love his intelligence and confidence as well as his boyish charm that makes him very approachable and likable.   I also admire his relationship with Annie and how he treated her when she first started at the agency.

In last night’s episode, Auggie is in Istanbul for a jazz festival.  When recording a song, he overhears a voice from his past and Auggie’s relaxing jazz trip turns into a serious and emotional journey to find and kill the man who betrayed him in Iraq four years ago.   Meanwhile, Auggie, in typical Auggie fashion, has befriended a beautiful flight attendant (played by Rebecca Mader) who helps Auggie in his quest to hunt down this man he believed was dead.  I’m a little surprised that Auggie would trust this stranger to help him with something so personal.  Even Franka asks him “how did you know you could trust me?”   “I didn’t” he tells her.  But when you are a blind man hunting a trained assassin, you need some help.   Luckily she was willing and able to help him.

What we learn is that Auggie and 4 of his men were sent to kill the “Jack of Diamonds” also known as Khani, who is an Iraqi assassin with large terrorist rings all over the world.  They find the building where he is hiding out and almost immediately, Auggie and his team are spotted and Khani’s men begin to fire on the truck.  Now, don’t you think it’s a bad idea to pull a military vehicle right up to the front door of the building you are covertly trying to infiltrate?  Call me crazy but this seemed a bit stupid to me.   But I’ll let it go…after all, did you see the man’s abs earlier?  We come to find out that the real threat was not Khani at all, it was the translator, Nasir, traveling with Auggie’s team (and one of his team members) that was leading him right into a trap.  Auggie sees Nasir throw a grenade under the Humvee and immediately runs out to his two other teammates to get them away from the truck (one was wounded and the other was staying with him until help arrived.  The driver was already killed and the fourth man, is Nasir.)   Just as Auggie gets to the Humvee, it explodes killing the two men by the car and blinding Auggie in the process.

Auggie realizes that the voice on the recording is Nasir and decides he needs to go after him.   He figures out that he is planning to hop a cargo plane headed for Washington DC.  He asks for Annie’s help, without telling her the real reason he’s asking for it, and it ends up getting her in some trouble with the FBI who have been tracking Nasir for years.  She tells Joan what is going on and they both try to convince Auggie not to go after Nasir.  Annie explains to him that the FBI have a ton of evidence to put him away forever and destroy many of his other terrorist cells that will save thousands of lives.   He apologies and says he can’t do it her way.  He hops the cargo plan and attacks Nasir.  I’m not sure how Auggie thought he was going to win this (neither was I) but low and behold, he gets the upper hand on Nasir and when he has the chance to kill him, he doesn’t.  He beats him to a pulp and when the plane lands at Dulles, he dumps his body out the door to the waiting FBI.  Yeah Auggie for making the right decision!!!!!   The episode wraps with Auggie telling Annie the whole story and we find out she’s the only person he has ever told that story to.

I like that CA can take a character other than Annie and make them the focus of the episode.   Of course it works so well for Auggie because #1: he has a mysterious back story with how he lost his eye sight and #2: he’s a fan favorite.  Two elements for success.   But I also think Joan, Jai, and Arthur could have compelling stories as well.   But all in good time!  It’s a testament to the writers and cast that I care about each of the players in the series.

What did you think of Auggie’s story and do you want to see more focus on him?   What about the other characters?   Also, are you in the Auggie/Annie belong together camp or the Auggie/Annie should be BFFs camp?   Right now, I’m leaning towards BFFs.  But that could change.   No matter what happens, I want to see more shirtless Auggie!!!!

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Recaps and Reviews, USA

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Suits “Pilot” S1 E1

So there have been two shows people have been asking me to watch and therefore review…Falling Skies and Suits.   Of the two shows, Suits is much more up my alley than Falling Skies.  But I did mention in my last podcast that I may try Falling Skies to see what I think in the off-season (like maybe December/January when all the network shows are on hiatus for the holiday break) if after the first season wraps up and people still think it’s worth watching.  Remember that fun little show called The Killing that everyone loved in the beginning only to have their hearts cut out of them with a dull spoon by Veena Sud and crew?   Well if Falling Skies turns into The Killing, let me know and I won’t waste my time.

As usual, I’m a little late to the game on this but at least I’m not five seasons behind.  I’m only three episodes behind…which I should be all caught up on after tonight.   That is if iTunes will download the episodes faster than saying “12 hours remaining.”   For real?   Now I know this isn’t iTunes.  It’s the bomb shelter type house I stay in at the Jersey Shore that was built with cinder block.   Seriously people, if you stay at the Jersey Shore and a hurricane hits, my house is where you want to be!   This sucker is going nowhere!!  But the walls are so thick, connecting to the router a few rooms away really slows things down.  So hopefully it won’t take until 1am to be able to watch Episode Two, but it might.   So you know what that means?    PODCAST DISCUSSION TOPICS!!!   Because guess what finally premieres this week?   THE CLOSER AND RIZZOLI AND ISLES!!!   You have to listen to the podcast to get the inside joke so I will not explain it.   You are just going to have to listen to the podcast!!   Geez Heather get off track much?   When did a review of the pilot of Suits turn into a discussion about podcasts and hurricanes?   Too much Sam Adams too early in the day…that’s how!    Anyhoo, back to Suits!

What did I think of Suits?   I LOVED IT!!!!  Probably my favorite new summer show.   Suits tells a very interesting story that is not your typical law firm drama featuring the hiring of new associates.   Suits focuses on two main characters: Harvey Specter (played by Gabriel Macht) and Mike Ross (played by Patrick J. Adams.)   Can you say bromance in the making?  Harvey is the firm’s (and NYC’s) best closer.  At first I thought, “oh great.   This is going to be another law show with the cocky lead character who thinks his charm and smarminess will win over every case and every person he meets.”  For the most part, I was wrong.   Specter is cocky and charming but he’s very likable and he’s very good at what he does.  You can tell he takes his job seriously, even if everyone else doesn’t think so.  He has a great sense of humor and a sharp wit.   In one scene, he walks through the halls cracking jokes at his colleagues expense (kind of) but it isn’t mean-spirited or nasty.  It comes across as slightly self-deprecating and possibly over-the-heads of some of the people he is teasing.  I get the impression that everyone knows how Specter is, therefore doesn’t mind the sarcasm.  I give a lot of props to Gabriel Macht with how he is playing Specter so far.  These types of characters skate on very very very thin ice from being grating and hated to being endearing and beloved.  So far, he is leaning towards endearing.   Especially in scenes with Mike.  I think Harvey sees himself in Mike and I get the impression from the little we know right now, that Harvey didn’t have an easy road to get to where he is now.   Neither has Mike.   So Harvey is going to give him a chance.   It’s sort of a pay it forward moment if you will.  I think we’re are going to see Harvey really looking out for Mike and molding him.  Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t doing this for solely altruistic means…he has to protect his ass (which is on the line) as well.  If Mike fails, so does Harvey.  Harvey could lose his job.   So he is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen.  But while Harvey claims to not care about anyone but himself, he immediately shows that isn’t true in the way he handles Mike.

Mike Ross is a brilliant con man/cheater/drug dealer/care giver/ who happens to be a genius and through a string of bad luck, ended up on the wrong side of how his life should have went.   He is your typical good guy who made some bad choices and had some bad luck that we want to root for.  Mike has an uncanny ability to be able to read and learn things every quickly and be able to really remember and retain anything he learns and he loves the law.  For pete’s sake, he took the bar on a dare…and passed!  We see him taking LSAT tests for other people and when he happens on to run into (literally) an interview session with Harvey to escape the police (which he was set up by his buddy Trevor’s drug dealer friends, and sort of Trevor himself, to take the fall for a deal they knew the cops would be there) he is able to impress Harvey by reciting law references and rulings without looking at a law-book or at a computer at all.   We also know that Mike is an orphan and has been raised by his grandmother who is in a nursing facility.  In order for her to stay there, he needs $25,000 (which is why he got messed up with Trevor and his crew in the first place.)   Since that plan is now down the tubes and he aced his interview with Harvey, inadvertently, Harvey decides to bring Mike on board at his firm as his new associate.  One thing I already like about Mike, is that he isn’t one those obnoxious “I-Know-It-All” kind of guys.  He’s a regular guy with an enormous gift of intelligence.    But he also is smart enough to know when he is in over his head and that just because he is book smart, doesn’t mean he is smart in practice…that’s why he needs Specter and Rachel.   There are plenty of times in the pilot we see Mike looking like a deer in headlights because he doesn’t know what he’s doing.   I’m very pleased to see the writers go down that road because while I still have some issues with the premise (more on that later) it would be HUGELY insulting to every lawyer in the world to have this guy with no college degree, no law degree, hasn’t passed the bar, no experience, come in and dominate and be a great lawyer.   I don’t care how smart he is.  The smartest person in the world still needs real world experience to excel at their career.   So I must say, excellent casting so far on the two leads.

The rest of the cast was also strong.   You have the managing partner Jessica Pearson (played by one of my favorites Gina Torres), the sharp as a tack and beautiful paralegal Rachel Zane (played by Meghan Markle), the stick in the mud rival looking to bring down Harvey, who is also in charge of the new associates, Louis Litt (played by the wonderful Rick Hoffman) and Harvey’s very funny and witty assistant Donna (played by the always solid Sarah Rafferty.)   I’m sorry but I will never be able to see Gina Torres as anyone other than the deliciously evil Anna Espinosa from Alias.   And that is not a knock on her as an actress because she is fantastic and I always love her in every role she is in.   But to me, she will always be Sydney’s bitter nemesis, Anna.   There seems to be some history with Harvey and Jessica and I don’t think it’s romantic.   It seems she may have taken a chance on him at one point and ended up paying for him to attend law school at Harvard.  She appears quite responsible for his quick advancement up the ladder and she has a big sister/jailhouse warden type of effect on Harvey.  I already like that while she allows him to get away with some of his crazy antics, she will not tolerate others.   She’s tough but fair and has a soft spot for Harvey….probably because she sees so much potential in him and possibly for some other reasons we are not privy to yet.   Rachel has apparently been hit on one too many times for her liking because she really bites Mike’s head off when they first meet and his first reaction to her is how beautiful she is.  They each learn, very quickly, that the other is very sharp.    Rachel’s walls do start to come down a bit when Mike asks for her help in researching for his first case (she’s the best researcher in the building) and we see Rachel start to open up to him.   We learn she is incredibly bright but she has trouble taking tests.   Boy can I empathize with that!   Maybe not the incredibly brilliant part, but definitely the test taking part!  She talks about how she’d love to be a lawyer if someone could just take the damn tests for her, as Mike grins and ducks his head.   Would be a sweet gesture Mike but in the long run, that won’t score you many points with Miss Rachel!   I’m not sure if this is going to be a potential love interest (especially since it seems like Trevor’s girlfriend, Jenny, also has the hots for him and he possibly for her) or if this relationship is going more of the Auggie/Annie way.   Either way, I like the friendship bond that is forming.  Louis is going to be a BIG problem for Harvey and Mike.  Not only was Louis passed over for the senior partner promotion that went to Harvey, but he also has a nephew that graduated from Harvard Law the same year as Mike “graduated” and the nephew never heard of Mike and doesn’t know him at all.   Oops.   Now I wouldn’t think everyone at Harvard Law knows one another, but I can’t imagine there are 10,000 law students walking around making it easy to blend in (according to Harvard’s website it’s about 1,900 per year.)   On average, that’s just over 633 students per year (1st, 2nd, 3rd year.)   Chances are, you know at least 50-60% of those people and probably have heard of 80-90% of the people in your year.  So this should be interesting which leads me to my bitch fest section of the blog.

There are really only two gripes I have with the show.  Number One: Trevor.  I really don’t need to see him again.   Can we please ignore him and pretend like he never happened?   Number Two: Mike’s employment.    This is a tough one for me because while I love the premise because it is so different, how is this going to last?   At some point, Mike will need to pass the bar exam to practice law and at some point, his scholastic background is going to be questioned…it already has a little!   For any of you who are lawyers out there, please help me out with this.   You have to pass the bar to practice law correct?   I know when you graduate, there is some time between your hire date at your firm or county prosecutor’s office and when you take the bar and hear the results that are considered acceptable.  But until you pass, I think all you can really do is research.  I don’t think you can be in a deposition actively participating (maybe just observing) or in a courtroom either trying a case or pleading out with opposing counsel.   If it was found out that a “lawyer” who didn’t pass the bar was arguing cases or negotiating plea deals, couldn’t that be grounds for a mistrial or overturn plea deals?   Then again, people in this country have a right to represent themselves and not everyone has a law degree or has passed the bar so maybe not.   Maybe it’s fine.   But it could open up Harvey’s firm to a MONSTER lawsuit, I would think, if clients that Mike represented lost their cases and they found out that not only did he not pass the bar, but he never went to law school and this firm is passing him off as an attorney!   So at some point, Mike’s got to pass the bar (again.)   But here’s another question, does he need to show proof of graduating law school in order to take the bar exam?   I don’t know.   Or can anyone off the street take a bar exam?  I would think not but who knows!   I know I am really getting too caught up in this but I had to get on the show runners about something!

Overall, Suits is a 9.9 out of 10 and I recommend you get caught up and check it out.  And good news.  Only 10 hours remaining until I can watch episode two!   Ugh!!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2011 in New Shows, Recaps and Reviews, USA

 

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To Be or Not To Be Canceled…Why TV Networks Should Operate Like Pro Sports Teams

We have about 12-16 weeks left (about 10 episodes for those shows will full orders for the year) in the 2010-2011 network broadcast season.   One thing is certain, I think it is harder and harder for shows to get on the air and stay on the air long-term.  Think about it.  It used to be that a new show had an entire season to see if it could make it.  In some cases, it even got a few seasons to see what it could do.  When you hear Murphy Brown, LA Law, Cheers, Hill Street Blues…what do you think?  These were classic shows that people loved, they won lots of awards and accolades, and people still watch them on syndicated channels or DVDs today.  Yet if every single one of these shows, were broadcast today, NONE of them would have seen a 2nd season and some probably wouldn’t have lasted to mid-season.   Think about Cheers.  Cheers was dead last in the ratings when it premiered in 1982.  It would have been canceled after 3 episodes today.   Maybe it would have lasted until mid-season with burn offs on Saturday.    And before you ask, yes, we are talking about the same Cheers that ran for ELEVEN SEASONS and spun off one of the most successful sitcoms ever, Frasier, which ran another ELEVEN SEASONS on its own.  In its first TWO seasons, Cheers wasn’t in the top 30 TV shows and as I mentioned in its first season was dead last.  It didn’t crack the top 30 until season 3 (tied for #12 with Hotel.)  But starting with season 4, it was in the top 5 shows for the next SEVEN seasons with it being #1 during the 1990-1991 season.  In its final season, the 1992-1993 season, it was #8.  When I look at that, I am blown away.  The saying “timing is everything” couldn’t be more true when it comes to TV.  Could you imagine a TV history that didn’t include Cheers?  If Cheers premiered today to those ratings, you wouldn’t be talking about Cheers as one of the best sitcoms of all time with some of the most quotable characters ever.  Could you imagine TV history without Frasier?  If Cheers never got off the ground, Frasier never would have happened.  Now keep in mind, when I say “those ratings” I don’t mean the actual ratings because they can’t be compared to today’s ratings.  A #1 show back in the 70s and 80s would pull in a 30-32 rating.  Today the #1 show pulls in around 16-17 (which wouldn’t have put it in the top 30-40 shows in the 70s and 80s.)  I mean the ranking of where the show falls vs. its competitors.  Now I am not one of those pining of the old days type of people but it does make you think.  How many shows that have been canceled over the last 10 years could have been the next Cheers if it was given a chance?

Not only do shows have to worry about bringing in the ratings for the advertisers to keep revenues flowing at the networks, as well as the shows they compete with in their respective time slots, but there is one more area that they have to worry about…shows on their own network.  The more successful a network is with its shows, the harder it is to stay on that network.  On the flip side, the more credence your show gets because it is on said successful network, the more viewers your show will likely get.  It’s a quite a conundrum.  Break it down by network.   CBS is far and away the best network in both total viewers and ratings in the all important adults 18-49 advertiser category.  ABC is 2nd in total viewers but 4th in ratings (guess ABC is skewing really young or really old.)  NBC is 3rd in total viewers and ratings.   Fox is 4th in total viewers and 2nd in ratings (thank you American Idol.)  And the CW is a distant 5th in everything.  CBS, NBC, and the CW are up this year in ratings.  The CW programming this year is really strong (for CW standards) and isn’t surprising since it has such a small base with which to grow.  NBC really had nowhere to go but up.  If I am not mistaken, the Winter Olympics were last year in February so that could impact NBC in the later part of this season.  CBS is CBS but could see some big declines in the next few weeks because they had the Super Bowl last year.  Fox is down but could rebound with Super Bowl this year.  ABC is down and I’m not sure why, to be honest.  I am going to assume it’s a weak broadcast season.

So what does all this mean?  It means awesome shows like Blue Bloods and The Good Wife on CBS may not make it to next season because all the other CBS shows are doing so well yet NBC can’t keep a drama on the air to save its life.  In terms of hour-long dramas, CBS has only canceled one show this year (Medium) while only one other show appears to be headed for cancellation (The Defenders.)  NBC has canceled 2 shows (Outlaw and Undercovers) while 3 shows appear headed for cancellation (The Cape, The Event, and Chase.)  ABC has canceled 2 shows so far (The Whole Truth and My Generation) while 3 shows appear headed for cancellation (V, No Ordinary Family, Detroit 1-8-7.)  Both NBC and ABC will seem to have 5 open drama spots where CBS will only have 2.  And here is the part that confuses me, CBS NEEDS to cancel more shows so that they can premiere new shows next season, that could be the next CSI or Grey’s Anatomy (in terms of ratings not content.)  WHY?  If you have shows that are working, why dump them?  Because something MAY be better?  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not under the delusion that the networks care about good programming for the viewer.   They care about good programming for the viewer only if it gets them the ratings needed to drive up costs to the advertisers, to increase revenues.  This is a business and the bottom line is, money drives everything.  But there has to be a better way so the viewer doesn’t lose quality programming.

You sports fans out there can appreciate the next analogy.  Why can’t we have a free agency/trade period in TV like pro sports teams?   Hear me out for a minute.  What if a show like Blue Bloods, which has a solid, loyal audience, is a great show but isn’t big enough to out-do the other shows on the network.  CBS would have a dilemma.  Blue Bloods is a solid procedural and they like it creatively and don’t want to walk away from it but would like to take a chance on a new show that could bring in a larger audience.   CBS could “trade” it to another network and get something in return.  Just like a football team with one too many linebackers and there isn’t room for him on the team.  He’s fantastic, just not better than what they have.  So they trade him to another team to get something they need in return.  In this case, I’m not suggesting networks trade a 1 hour drama for 1/2 sitcom and some advertisers to be named later.  But there could be a win-win solution.  NBC’s dramas have really been tanking and they have been struggling in this category since ER went off the air.  What if CBS traded Blue Bloods to NBC and in return, CBS would get a % of their advertising revenue during that show.  It’s a win for NBC because they are getting a proven show with a loyal audience that they can hopefully build on (something they have been struggling with for many years now.)  It could remove competition for them with one of their other shows in the same time slot, L&O SVU (which you could argue has the same type of audience) and could be moved to set up a “2 hours of Justice” night with Blue Bloods at 9pm and SVU at 10pm.  Ok so we’d have to work on the tag line, but you get the idea.  Then CBS would get a % of the ad revenue from that show.  It’s still better revenue than NBC was getting from a show like The Cape or The Event that they are losing.   So even giving 5-7% to CBS, the 93-95% they are left with is still better than 100% with The Cape because they could charge a higher premium due to the ratings.  CBS gets that 5-7% for as long as the show runs and are basically getting ad revenue for nothing.  And the viewers of Blue Blood don’t have to see their show go off the air….unless NBC finds a way to kill it which is completely possible.   Maybe there is even a bonus package in place for CBS if the show lasts for 10+ seasons.  I love this solution!!!!!   Now, am I over simplifying a situation that is probably more complicated than it sounds, probably.  But why not try it?  Give a few seasons to see if it could work.  Doesn’t it benefit ALL the networks to keep the best programming on the air possible to keep the viewers coming back to drive those ad sales up?  I think the viewers would appreciate it and so would the cable and satellite companies.   The cable and satellite companies would love it because there would be more of a need to record shows with so much good programming on the air, that it would drive the need for DVRs up and people would be buying more so they can not miss their favorite shows!  The more quality products out there, the more revenue that naturally comes in to all parties involved.   Plus it makes people a lot less angry at the networks for pulling their favorite shows.  I am still pissed at FOX for pulling Reunion off the air before we found out who murdered Sam!!!

I am a business person but the TV industry is not my area of expertise.  Ask me anything about the alcohol beverage industry and I could give you a sound business plan.  I am just someone who love TV and loves GOOD TV.  I hate seeing good shows getting canceled and talented casts and excellent writers and crews be out of work because you have to make room for something that MIGHT be better.  I think another part of why networks are so quick to dump shows is because they have SO many shows in waiting.  Why not have 2 dramas, 2 comedies, and a reality show ready to go if something doesn’t work.  And if something doesn’t after giving it a fair chance, you dump it and go with the backup plan.  But if it works, then hold off the back up plans for next season or dump the back up plan.  Wouldn’t it have to be cheaper to get rid of a pilot than a whole show that’s been on the air already?  Again, I know I am over-simplifying this but since I’m not an expert, just someone who wants to see the best shows on TV, I’m throwing ideas out there.    It’s just, the idea of Blue Bloods or The Good Wife going off the air because CBS needs to get rid of 2 more hours of drama to make room for stuff next season that may or may not work, is mind-boggling to me.  Yet, NBC probably won’t have anything near the level of these two shows coming to its network next year.  I don’t know that with 100% certainty.  But based on their recent history, it isn’t likely.

I guess my main point for writing this is that I think the networks are currently setting themselves up for failure, more times than not.  It used to be that you had a show and it had 22-24 episodes to see what it could do with some back ups if it really stunk.  Now you have fall season shows, mid-season shows, summer season shows, and replacement shows for fall and mid-season.  It’s too many!  No wonder shows are pulled after 3-5 showings.  You have so many waiting in the wings that if it isn’t clicking immediately, it’s gone and the next one is coming in.  And I understand that with the advent of cable shows taking over, networks can’t afford to be patient.  It’s really not fair to compare cable to network because there is so much more you are permitted to do with cable that you can’t with network TV.  But like it or not, fair or not, they compete for viewers.  And with people becoming more and more busy and their time becoming more valuable, they are going to go where there is quality.   So what is a network to do?

If you were in charge, what would you do?  How would you make it so good shows don’t disappear to never see what they could achieve?  How can we make sure that we don’t miss an opportunity on the next great show?   How do we make sure “Cheers” gets its chance?

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2011 in ABC, AMC, Canceled Shows, CBS, CW, FOX, HBO, NBC, Showtime, Sound Off, TBS, TNT, USA

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Fairly Legal “Priceless” S1 E2

The next time I have a disagreement with my boss, I want Kate Reed around to help me out.  That girl can solve any problem…and she is completely believable.  This week’s case was about a man, Steve Jenks, who was wrongfully accused of murder and spent 22 years in jail.  DNA shows it wasn’t him so he is released from prison.   Justin wants to avoid a trial (Jenks’ attorney wants to sue for damages) so he asks Kate to mediate the case between Jenks and the state of California.

Jenks doesn’t seem to care too much about money and seems distant and sad.  Kate is the only one paying attention to this and backs off pushing him to make a decision on a final number (his lawyer wants $20 million and the state wants to give $2.4 million.)   She tries to do things to help Jenks reintegrate himself back into society but nothing seems to work.  He continues to push away.  He calls Kate and his lawyer and starts saying thank you for all they have done and says good-bye.  You think they are setting this up for him to kill himself but instead, Kate figures out where he went and goes to stop whatever he is planning to do.  He’s at Tommy’s Market (the place where the felony murder took place that he was wrongfully accused of) and he is going all Barry Bonds on the shelves and groceries in the store.  Instead of trying to stop him, Kate joins him and she is thrilled that he is finally letting his emotions run free.  We get to see how much this has effected him and how scared he is about what to do with his life now.  Unfortunately, he and Kate get arrested and Justin wants to send him back to jail.   Kate comes up with a brilliant solution.   They go back to the field behind Tommy’s Market (which is where Jenks used to play ball with his friends when he was a kid) and Kate suggests that the state of California buy the lot and build a youth center.  Jenks will be put in charge and will receive a salary and full benefits.  He also promises to pay back all the damages of the market.  It saves the state lots of money and sets Jenks up for life…it’s a great deal for everyone!

The Reeds are also trying to find a time to get together to read Teddy’s will.  Kate keeps putting it off because of  “work” but it’s because if she hears the will, it really makes it final.   Lauren has also been struggling.  Everyone keeps fluffing her off as the trophy wife who didn’t really love Teddy and just married him for money.  Two episodes in, I don’t believe it.  I think she really loved him and is heartbroken over his death.   None of her clients or subordinates seem to be making her life easier either.  The clients don’t think she has what it takes to run Teddy’s firm but she is slowly proving them wrong.  And the admin assistants either keep getting fired or being rude to her (like Teddy’s secretary.)  But people will go to any lengths to hide their emotions…like filling a sink full of ice water and sticking you face in it and screaming at the top of your lungs.  However, Betty, Teddy’s secretary, was also in the ladies room when this happened and saw the whole thing.  She starts to soften to Lauren a bit and offers to help her moving forward and Lauren appreciates it.

The kicker at the end of the episode was when the will was finally read by Spencer, he announces to Kate and Lauren that the estate has been split FOUR ways.   But there are only three of them.  Spencer then asks “Who the hell is David Smith?”  Well that’s a very good question.  I guess we are going to find out at some point.

 
 

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REVIEW: Fairly Legal “Pilot” S1 E1

I thoroughly enjoyed this show.   This is my first USA show (ducking while people are throwing things at me) and it did not disappoint.  I am a sucker for a good legal show and I like the twist on it with the lead being a mediator and former lawyer who works for her father’s firm which is now being run by Margaret Hamilton, I mean the woman who is the wife of her recently deceased father.

The show is pretty straight forward.  It centers around Kate Reed (played by Sarah Shahi) who is a former lawyer turned mediator and whose father has recently passed away.   She is working at his firm and her stepmother, Lauren (played by Virginia Williams) is now running the firm.   They don’t seem to like each other on the surface but it’s the pilot so I’m sure more will come out about their relationship and will slowly evolve over time.  Kate looks to be sleeping with Justin (played by Michael Trucco) who is an ADA (Assistant District Attorney) and also Kate’s ex-husband.  Since the show opens with them in bed and ends with some very nice words exchanged, they seem to be on good terms with each other.  Her brother Spencer (played by Ethan Embry) is also an attorney but seems to be a stay-at-home dad and doesn’t appear to work at their father’s firm.  Leo (played by Baron Vaughn) is Kate’s assistant and friend.  Finally there is the mysterious Andrew (played by Tim Fellingham) who is Kate’s neighbor (she lives on her dad’s boat in the marina) and potential suitor, maybe?   We’ll see.

Most of the episode is Kate running around like a chicken with her head cut off going from case to case.  One case is court appointed, one case is Lauren appointed, and one case she is just sticking her nose in.  But even as crazy as she comes off in the episode, I never feel like she is out of control.  She appears sporadic and bemused but she is smart, passionate, savvy and completely aware of her clients’ situations and how to handle them.   I would think as a mediator, it’s easy to come across as a know-it-all or condescending.  Kate is neither.  She exudes calmness and thoughtfulness and she truly wants to get to the heart of what is concerning her clients and what is causing them to be at odds.  She also has a great sense of humor.  In one of the opening scenes, she goes to get a cookie and some coffee and the store is being robbed at gun point.  She starts to talk to the gunman and store owner to see if they can come to a compromise.  Normally this would come across as preposterous but Sarah Shahi pulls it off very convincingly.  Turns out the gunman wants money for beer and beef jerky and wouldn’t you know it, the store he is robbing has both.  So Kate asks what his cost is on a case of beer and beef jerky and the owner says $17.50.  “$17.50?  Really?  Who’s robbing who here?” Kate asks.  But the owner agrees to give the guy $50 worth of beer and jerky and it will only cost the owner $17.50.  My real job is in alcohol beverage industry and I have to say, if that truly is his mark up, he is robbing people.  Wow!!!!   Kate instantly comes off as someone you can root for, which I prefer in a lead protagonist role for my enjoyment.

As for the rest of the cast, they were very likable as well.  I am most curious about Lauren at this point.  It’s easy to assume she would be the bitchy trophy wife but she appears to have a genuine interest in keeping afloat her late husband’s firm (it is losing clients left and right and she is working hard to retain them.)  You also see a solid side to her when she has a drinks with a client she is trying to retain.  When he does agree to give her his business and she promises to go the extra mile to keep him happy, he immediately slides his room key over to her side of the table.  “What is that” she asks and the dirt bag says “the extra mile.”  Oh Lord please tell me people don’t say things that cheesy or nasty!  She politely declines but thanks him once again for his business.  As she leaves, he shouts “what am I too young for you Lauren?  Should I call my father for you?”  What an asshole.  The look on her face made me want to jump through the TV set and give her a hug and him a swift kick in the groin.  I am also very interested to see how her relationship with Kate will possibly change over time as these two will need to work together to save the firm of the man they both love and respect.

Fairly Legal is on Thursdays at 10pm on USA.  I highly suggest you check this show out because it’s a keeper!

 
 

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Mid Season Premiere Dates!

It’s hard to believe that we are mid way through the 2010-2011 TV season but we are!  There are lots of shows premiering in Jan-Mar 2011 (probably because the shows in 2010 weren’t so great.)  There is also A LOT of moving shows to new days and times since there is a lot of burn off that needs to happen with shows.  It can be very confusing so I am going to break it down as best I can.

Below are all the premiere dates of new shows starting in Jan.  Some shows are returning from hiatus (like Pretty Little Liars, Survivor, and American Idol) and some are brand new shows (like The Cape, Harry’s Law, and Mr Sunshine) and the new shows are highlighted for you.  So check these out and the daily grids should be coming soon!

Date Time Show Network
Monday, January 03, 2011 8:00 The Bachelor ABC
Monday, January 03, 2011 8:00 Pretty Little Liars ABC Family
Monday, January 03, 2011 9:00 Greek ABC Family
Tuesday, January 04, 2011 8:00 Live to Dance   NEW CBS
Tuesday, January 04, 2011 8:00 The Biggest Loser NBC
Tuesday, January 04, 2011 9:00 V ABC
Tuesday, January 04, 2011 10:00 Southland TNT
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 9:00 Are We There Yet? TBS
Thursday, January 06, 2011 8:00 Winter Wipeout ABC
Friday, January 07, 2011 10:00 Merlin Syfy
Sunday, January 09, 2011 8:30 Bob’s Burgers   NEW Fox
Sunday, January 09, 2011 9:00 The Cape   NEW NBC
Sunday, January 09, 2011 9:00 Californication SHOW
Sunday, January 09, 2011 9:30 Episodes   NEW SHOW
Sunday, January 09, 2011 10:00 Shameless   NEW SHOW
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:00 Lights Out   NEW FX
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10:00 Off the Map   NEW ABC
Sunday, January 16, 2011 9:00 Big Love HBO
Monday, January 17, 2011 9:00 The Cape (timeslot premiere) NBC
Monday, January 17, 2011 9:00 Being Human   NEW Syfy
Monday, January 17, 2011 10:00 Harry’s Law   NEW NBC
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 10:00 White Collar USA
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:00 American Idol Fox
Thursday, January 20, 2011 8:30 Perfect Couples    NEW NBC
Thursday, January 20, 2011 9:00 Royal Pains USA
Thursday, January 20, 2011 9:30 Parks and Recreation NBC
Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:00 Fairly Legal     NEW USA
Friday, January 21, 2011 8:00 Who Do You Think You Are? NBC
Friday, January 21, 2011 8:00 Kitchen Nightmares Fox
Friday, January 21, 2011 10:00 Spartacus: Gods of the Arena NEW Starz
Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:00 Archer FX
Monday, February 07, 2011 9:00 The Chicago Code    NEW Fox
Wednesday, February 09, 2011 9:30 Mr. Sunshine    NEW ABC
Wednesday, February 09, 2011 10:00 Justified FX
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 8:00 Survivor: Redemption Island CBS
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 10:00 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior  NEW CBS
Sunday, February 20, 2011 8:00 The Amazing Race CBS
Monday, February 21, 2010 8:30 Mad Love  NEW CBS
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 8:00 America’s Next Top Model CW
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:00 Shedding for the Wedding    NEW CW
Monday, February 28, 2011 9:00 The Event NBC
Sunday, March 06, 2011 8:00 Secret Millionaire   NEW ABC
Sunday, March 06, 2011 8:00 The Marriage Ref NBC
Sunday, March 06, 2011 8:00 The Kennedys    NEW HIST
Sunday, March 06, 2011 9:00 Celebrity Apprentice NBC
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:00 America’s Next Great Restaurant   NEW NBC
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 10:00 Body of Proof   NEW ABC

Now these aren’t all the premieres..I refuse to put the premiere of junk like Jersey Shore on here.  But this should cover most shows.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, Showtime, TBS, TNT, USA

 

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