I’ve never been a big TV watcher (being a hopeless biblioholic takes up a lot of time), but, since deciding it would be nice to be a TV writer when I finally grow up, I’ve been watching quite a bit in order to see what works, what doesn’t, and what would be good shows to do spec scripts for. Two I particularly recommend:
USA Network’s In Plain Sight follows the adventures of Marshall Mary Shannon (played by Mary McCormack), who works in the Witness Security Program (“WitSec”) in Albuquerque with her partner, Marshall Mann. In addition dealing with people she’s protecting from those who want them dead, she has to contend with her dysfunctional mother and sister, and a very patient boyfriend, none of whom know what she really does in the Marshall’s service. The show is a dramedy, with emphasis on the drama.
The show was “on the bubble” for renewal after its first season, but it’s now in its third and seems to have found a steady audience. This is good, because the writing, stories, and acting are all top notch. Highly recommended. The next is…
…Southland. This is a very gritty drama about the detectives and officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. Each episodes has multiple stories, usually 2-3, which sometimes, but not always, intersect. The writing and acting are both superb, and episodes sugarcoat little of what cops go through each day. Originally on NBC, it was canceled for weak ratings, which I can understand; I don’t think this is a show for a general network audience. TNT picked it up for its second season. I hope it is renewed, for it’s a truly good, even compelling show. So far, however, word is that it’s on the bubble at TNT, too. Fingers crossed that it survives. Great TV like this should.