Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

My new best friend

My new best friend

Well, for TV shows and movies, that is. I came to the decision more than a year ago that, while TWC provided good service, they were just charging way more than I wanted to pay. I was paying for more than 200 channels, but watched only five or six with any regularity. Seems kind silly to subsidize the rest, no? But, being a NFL football addict —and my 49ers are good, again!!— it was hard to cut back to Internet only. I mean, I could catch the shows I like through streaming services or their web sites, but… football. (Said in a slack-jawed, caveman voice.) Then I did the math and realized I could save $85-$90 per month.

Football isn’t worth that much to me.

So, yesterday I “downgraded” my service and returned the DVR box to my local TWC office. And the choice to do so is no reflection on Time-Warner; I’ve had almost nothing but great service from them. And there was no hard sell yesterday to keep me, just a couple of offers and then making the change I asked. Returning the equipment was no questions asked, out in ten minutes, tops. So, well-done, TW.

My replacement is the Roku streaming video box pictured above. Because my TV is older (no HDMI), I had to get a switcher box so I could also connect the DVD player to the TV, but, overall, the set up, both physical and online, was very easy. Video playback and sound is excellent, and I’m impressed with the breadth of channel offerings. (1) I’m now linked to my Amazon Instant Video and Cloud Player accounts, so I can keep current with the shows I watch (2), paying only for them and not for channels I’d never watch.

So far, I’m very happy with the change.

Now all I need is a live streaming option for the NFL…

1. Okay, some are on the level of public-access cable, but, you never know when you’ll find a gem. I mean, I found a channel for military miniatures enthusiasts! How cool is that?
2. Currently: Grimm, Justified, The Americans, Person of Interest, Sherlock, The Black List, and Covert Affairs

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"King & Maxwell"

“Stop grinning. We’re out of work!”

About a month ago, I expressed my bewilderment that TNT’s mediocre freshman series, King & Maxwell (ranted about here) had been renewed. Looks like the network succumbed to my mind-control satellites, because they changed their minds and canceled it, instead:

Deadline reports that TNT has decided to cancel King & Maxwell after one season. The 10th and final episode aired on August 12th.

The show revolves around a pair of Secret Service agents (Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn) who opened their own detective agency after they were fired. Michael O’Keefe, Chris Butler, and Ryan Hurst round out the cast.

King & Maxwell remained fairly consistent during its 10 episode run and averaged 3.11 million viewers. The premiere attracted 3.52 million viewers and the finale drew 3.50 million.

While it wasn’t as big a hit as Rizzoli & Isles (5.7 million) and Major Crimes (4.9 million), it wasn’t that far behind Perception (3.5 million).

In fact, I have to wonder if TNT had to choose between Perception and King & Maxwell, tossed a coin, and the latter lost. They sure didn’t show much faith in it, giving it only a ten-episode order. And what’s with first renewing it, as we read in August, and then canceling it? Odd.

Honestly, much as I criticized the show, I thought it had some potential. Were I the head of programming for TNT, I might have kept it on the condition that the writers be replaced (by shooting, preferably) and the show’s tone be made a bit more serious and darker. As it was, K&I looked way too much like the lightweight cop fare one sees on the major broadcast networks.


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I’ve been meaning to do an update of shows I’ve been following –What’s great, what’s good, what’s just “meh,” and what truly stinks– but I never seem to get around to it. So, as a placeholder, here are a few stray thoughts about shows on the air right now (and not on hiatus):

My favorite: Covert Affairs. Great writing and characters, and a change from the usual cop or lawyer drama. The most intriguing character this season so far is Kari Matchett’s “Joan Campbell.” Basically, I think she’s the one caught in the middle of all that’s going on and she has a baby on the way. That spells “wild card.”

Good, but not great: The Bridge. A little slow moving, lacks the wit in its writing of other FX shows — Justified and The Americans, for example. Best element for me so far has been Demian Bichir as Chihuahua State Police Detective “Marco Ruiz.” This guy is a very good actor. Hopefully the second half of the season will have a strong payoff.

How did these get renewed? Rizzoli and Isles and King & Maxwell. The first has been renewed for a fifth season, while the latter was picked up for a a second. I just don’t get it. Both have likeable characters, yes, but the writing is weak and the stories… superficial and often dumb. And each could be so much better.

I’ve heard very good things about Breaking Bad and The Good Wife, but have never watched them. Might try to catch up via Amazon Instant Video.

How I rank the networks? Bet you can guess:

  1. F/X
  2. USA
  3. TNT
  4. CBS

More when I can get to it.

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"King & Maxwell"

“King & Maxwell”

As a wannabe writer, I have certain pet peeves, things I would never do in my own writing and hate to see in TV shows I’m following. They’re what I call “lazy writing” and they show a lack of respect for the craft, for the performers, and the audience. One among them is putting the main character in danger of their life, maybe about to be dropped into a pool of sharks by an evil villain.

Now, think about it: this is lazy because you know they’ll never kill the star of the show. I mean, give me a break. You’re ABC and you’re paying Nathan Fillion millions to star in “Castle,” for whose character the show is named and because of whom people watch, and you want me to believe there’s a serious chance the bad guy is going to gun him down? Puh-leeze. Any writer who proposed that would be fired the moment the show runner realized he’s serious. Sure, some among the audience watch to see what clever way the writers will rescue the hero, but, without the genuine threat of harm, it’s really just a cliché way to keep to keep viewers from changing channels.

But, you know what’s worse? When writers have the characters do something mind-numbingly stupid in order to get to that “star in danger” moment.

Case in point: Monday night’s episode of King & Maxwell, the fifth in their premier season. Starring Jon Tenney as Sean King and Rebecca Romijn as Michelle Maxwell, two former Secret Service agents now working as private eyes. The first four episodes were enjoyable, albeit not stellar, but last Monday night… (spoiler warning)

Here’s the set-up. “Maxwell,” (Romijn) is captured by the killer and held at gunpoint by him in a car. Oh no! Heroine in danger! But wait! She tricks him, surprises him, beats the crap out of him! Heroine wins!! Now all she has to do is…

Get out of the car and run off into the woods, leaving him his gun? WTF??

She could have done anything: get his gun. Grab his cuffs and handcuff him. Keep beating him until he’s unconscious and then call for help. Anything… anything!… except run away and leave him his gun so he could recover and pursue her, putting her in, yes, mortal danger, setting up a last-second hackneyed rescue by her partner.

Like I said, lazy, easy-way-out writing that cheats the craft, the show, the performers, and the audience. I’d like to think Romijn felt like an idiot having to do that scene.

I almost swore off the show right there, but I like it enough to give it some more time.

But not much.

Okay, “what should they have done” is a fair question, and I’ll give you a fair answer. Instead of putting the stars in mortal jeopardy, have the killer threaten a likable supporting character who is nonetheless expendable for being minor. This is cable (TNT), so the risk of supporting character death is reasonable. Maybe it’s happened before. The point is, the audience will believe it, the heroes still face danger and risk (of failure), and then no one is treated like a sucker.

See how easy it is?

Now, King & Maxwell writers: you try it.

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Castle Beckett TV

“Castle, I think we bored them”

Last night was the season finale for season five of ABC’s Castle. To show you how engrossing I’ve found the season so far, I had no idea this was the finale. And, at the end when the announcer gave the “see you next year” sign off, I found myself not caring.

That doesn’t mean I dislike the show — quite the contrary– but this season was a substantial letdown compared to prior seasons, to the point that it felt like the series was running on fumes. I’ll watch next year, but they need to do some work to make the show interesting again.

More below the fold, to guard against spoilers.


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Another great moment from the wonder that is Japanese TV:

The production meetings for this must’ve been so much fun. “Okay, our hero is fighting a Nazi alien in a Hitler mask… Oh! And he’s also a humanoid starfish!”  😀

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The Americans TV

“The Americans,” the FX network’s recent entry into the espionage genre, presents both a daring risk for FX and a challenge to the viewer: Can you like and care about the fate of two protagonists who are spies for our deadly enemy and willing to do seemingly anything, no matter how vile, to further that enemy’s cause?

The series is set in 1981, soon after President Reagan’s inauguration, and centers around the lives and work of Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys), who live the all-American life: they own their own business, have a nice home in a great D.C. neighborhood, and are the parents to two nice children. And they seem like really good people.

And almost all of it is a lie. “Elizabeth” and “Phillip” are deep undercover Soviet spies working for the KGB. Their business is a front for their real work, their children have no idea who their parents really are, and they commit evil acts for a homeland ruled by a monstrous political system. Their work is so secret, they don’t even know each other’s real names and backgrounds. And yet the viewer (or, at least, me) finds himself liking Phillip and Elizabeth and rooting for them, worrying that their cover might be blown.

This is because both are genuinely good people: Phillip plays hockey with his son and takes him to games, while Elizabeth worries that her daughter is maturing too fast. And yet, when “on the job,” they are willing to seduce, blackmail, poison, and even kill for “Mother Russia.”

So far, two episodes have aired. The pilot concerns efforts to capture a Soviet defector and return him to the USSR for execution, and the risk posed by a new FBI counterintelligence agent and his family moving in just across the street. The second is built around their efforts to plant a bug on extremely short notice in the home of Defense Secretary Weinberger. These two episodes provide an amazing amount of well-conceived character development: we learn of a trauma in Elizabeth’s background that threatens her working and personal relationship with Phillip, while Phillip is revealed to be coming to like American life and is at least open to the idea of defecting, worried in part about the effect their continued undercover work will have on their children – particularly if they’re caught.

This show is not for children nor, I think, for teens. This is not a “dramedy;” while there are humorous moments, the story is deadly serious and R-rated. There is some nudity, the sex is moderately graphic, and the language explicit. And the moral confusion of good people who feel duty-bound to do awful things may be something young minds aren’t ready for.

That said, the first two episodes have been great and have me hooked to want more. Produced in part by Graham Yost (of “Justified” fame), I hope the rest of the season keeps up and that Elizabeth and Phillip continue on their mission for a good long time.

Highly recommended.

RELATED: Ron Radosh, an expert on the history of American communism and Soviet espionage in America, has his own review.

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Interesting article in The New Yorker. After years of being a superbly run business with very loyal customers, over the last year or so Netflix has made one stumble after the other and looks to be on the road to ruin, or be absorbed by the Borg of Amazon. In fact, their recent quarterly conference call announced a loss and a sharply declining rate of subscriber growth, the lifeblood of their business. The reasons would appear to be alienating their once-loyal customers and failing to adapt to a changing market:

It’s a bad time, too, for Netflix to have declining subscriber loyalty. The company believes that the mail-order-DVD business is finished, and that our DVD players are following our VCRs to the junkyard. So it is killing off that part of its business. Unfortunately, though, that’s the part with the high barriers to entry. It’s not easy for a startup to build massive warehouses and systems for mailing discs. It is easy, however, to get into the streaming business. Yesterday, for example, we learned of a startup called NimbleTV, which plans to let you watch all the channels you subscribe to through your cable provider on your phone or your tablet. If you had that, would you want Netflix, too?

Netflix fears that just distributing digital content is a mug’s game. Anyone can move bits around, which means that the price for doing so will just keep dropping. So it’s trying to create its own original content. But, so far at least, it’s not very good at doing so. “Lilyhammer,” a mobster show that Netflix introduced in January, has gotten killed by reviewers; I gave up on the first episode after fifteen minutes of mediocre acting and clumsy dialogue. Early next year, Netflix will release a new season of “Arrested Development,” which will surely be better. But the company is in an odd spot, facing the same competition problem it avoided when it spun off Roku. If its shows are bad, it’s embarrassing. If they’re good, they could irritate partners. Netflix needs content from AMC, for example. But will those negotiations get harder once Netflix is creating its own shows to compete with “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.”

It’s a story at least as old as buggy-whip manufacturers facing the coming Automobile Age: what do you do when the core of your business is becoming obsolete?

Netflix compounded their long-term problem with some of the most boneheaded customer-related moves I’ve seen in a long time: jacking up prices; splitting the DVD and streaming businesses, making people pay for both instead of a combined service, while not automatically transferring the customer’s queue from the DVD to streaming sides (many, many people were incensed at losing their queues); and then having weak streaming offerings, having lost a couple of big contracts (Starz and one other I can’t recall). In short, they took all the goodwill they had built up, spit on it, then stabbed it in the gut and left it bleeding on the pavement.

And now they’re in trouble. Gee, I wonder why?

I’d been a very happy, loyal Netflix customer since about 2003, and I’d also made good money on the stock as an investor. But, like many, the last year or so has soured me. I switched to streaming as I was getting damaged discs more and more often, indicating Netflix wasn’t renewing their supply of DVDs. But then I discovered that the digital catalog was pathetic — at least with regard to things I wanted to watch. So, for now, I’ve gone back to DVD and the one-disc at a time plan.

But, for how long?

Amazon has a much better streaming catalog, and I can either rent or “buy to own” the digital copy. If I get a Roku box, I can watch my Amazon videos on it. (Yes, I can with Netflix, too, but… watch what?) And getting the Roku (1) would let me cancel my cable TV subscription, saving serious money. (The only reason I haven’t is the apparent lack of NFL games via Roku or other streaming option.) For what would I need Netflix?

From the New Yorker piece, it sounds like many are asking the same question.

(1) Ironic that Netflix invented the device that would encourage many to say “bye-bye” to Netflix.

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Surreal, kitschy, yet who can argue with Raquel Welch dancing in a bikini?

I imagine the backing dancers kept telling themselves “It’s okay. I’m being paid for this and no one will know who I am under this mask…”


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Castle two-parter, part two

Last Monday was the finale of the “Castle” two-parter, “Linchpin.” (Earlier I reviewed part one, “Pandora“.) I’m sorry to say the episode went as I feared: a bigger version version of last year’s two-parter. (“Setup”/”Countdown”) Instead of a dirty nuke set to devastate Manhattan, we get a plot to start a global war and destroy the United States. And, naturally, it advances the Castle-Beckett relationship. In this case, by planting with her the idea that maybe something would be lost by consummating the relationship (a hat-tip to Moonlighting?). Perhaps a hint of the now-traditional season-ending reset in their two-steps-forward one-step-back romance?

Trouble is, I couldn’t escape the feeling of having seen all this before, which I had. Maybe the creative team ran out of gas here; maybe they didn’t realize that they were repeating themselves in a not-good way, but, whatever, these two episodes came across as lazy writing. There were no real surprises, and the dialog didn’t have its usual sparkle.

I will give them credit, though: using America’s crack-like addiction to borrowing from China to provide the linchpin for the USA’s destruction was a good use of current events, and it had the appropriate feel of a thriller plot, something Rick Castle would write.

Enjoyable episode, but, as a “Castle,” I can only give it a “C.”  Let’s hope the run-up to the season finale makes up for it.

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I was really enjoying last night’s Person of Interest, “Blue Code,” until they had a bit of a “lazy cliché” moment.

(Spoilers below the fold)


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While it’s only part one of a two-parter, I have to admit I’m a little disappointed in last night’s “Castle” episode, “Pandora.” In plot and subtext, it’s very similar (so far) to the season 2 two-parter, “Tick,Tick, Tick” and “Boom!” In both…

(Spoilers hidden under the tag.)


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Some people are afraid of clowns. Not me (1), but I’m sure dolls are vessels for evil. Whether it’s the Zuni warrior doll from Trilogy of Terror, psychotic ventriloquist dolls, or the ultimate pigtailed Satan, Talky Tina, dolls hide horror behind their tiny forms and placid smiles.

Someone obviously agrees with me and took a commercial I recall from my youth, giving it a new script straight from the Twilight Zone:

Yeah, that would have cost me a couple nights’ of sleep. Rod would be proud.

You can see the original here.

In Passing:
(1) Clowns are our friends. We like clowns. The nice clowns will protect us while we sleep.

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"Trust me, Della. It will never work between us."


Hmmm. I’m a big fan of the old series, and Robert Downey, Jr., has turned in some great performances since cleaning himself up, so this sounds promising:

Warner Bros. Pictures and Team Downey are relaunching the “Perry Mason” franchise as a feature film, with Robert Downey Jr. eyeing the title role, reports Variety.

The trade says that, like the original Erle Stanley Gardner books, the Perry Mason movie will be set in the 1930s and feature characters such as Mason’s secretary, Della Street, private investigator Paul Drake, and Mason’s longtime courtroom nemesis, Hamilton Burger.

I like the return to the 1930s of Gardiner’s stories and I hope this also means they’ll be more true to the Mason of the stories, who was often willing to engage in a little law-breaking himself in service of a greater good. (The original series starring Raymond Burr had that in its early days, but it mostly vanished after a few seasons.) And I think Downey is a good choice for the part — as long as it isn’t a “reinvention” like his Sherlock Holmes movie. I liked that for what it was, but, in this case, I want “Perry Mason,” not a action-hero comic-book alternate-Perry.

Sidenote: Sorry about the lack of posting of late. I hope to be a bit more regular about it; if nothing else, there are some new TV shows to talk about.

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At least, one can infer that from the surprised look on my face at the news that Rizzoli and Isles, which I panned, has already been renewed for a third season, just four episodes into its second year:

“This summer, ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ has proven that last year’s record-breaking ratings were just the beginning of this show’s remarkable track record,” Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM, said in a statement. “With a terrific cast, a top-notch production team and the kind of stories TNT fans crave, ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ is poised to continue its success alongside blockbuster TNT series like ‘The Closer’ and ‘Falling Skies.'”

Ya got me, pal. I stand by everything I wrote in my earlier review about mediocre, botched stories and cliche characters. My cynical side suspects that people are watching because they’re waiting for this “ambiguously lesbian” duo to admit their attraction toward each other and at last get it on.

Sort of “Moonlighting” for gay couples.

And that’s not just me being cynical (or salacious). After all that “are they or aren’t they” talk last season, the show has gone out of its way to practically scream “THEY’RE STRAIGHT!!” in the first three episodes.  In the season premier, both women wind up in bed with men. In episode three, Sasha Alexander’s character “Maura Isles” practically drools on her own shoes over a guy, and she makes it crystal clear that it’s all about lust and wanting a man.

Methinks they doth protest too much.  😉

Seriously, it’s my opinion the showrunners were exploiting the subtle “lipstick lesbian” angle to draw viewers and now they’re trying to dial it back. Maybe the stars have complained, since both have denied there’s anything there. Whatever. I’ll give them credit for a sense of humor, though: at one point in episode three, Rizzoli gets a worried look on her face and asks Isles “You don’t want to sleep with me… do you?” To which Isles says no, of course not. And then, at the end of the episode, to get rid of the now-annoying guy Isles had wanted to bed, they have to pretend to be… lesbian lovers.

Nice touch, folks. 🙂

Still can’t see why the show is a hit, though.

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Dana Delaney as "Megan Hunt"

A couple of months ago, I reviewed ABC’s “Body of Proof,” a series starring Dana Delaney as “Megan Hunt,” a female Quincy — a Medical Examiner who solves crimes. Back then, I wasn’t impressed and didn’t think the show had much of a chance.

Well, continuing my hot streak* of guessing which shows will make it and which won’t,  I read this morning that BoP has been renewed:

Debuting very late in the season, on March 29th, the premiere of Body of Proof attracted a 3.1 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic and 13.94 million viewers. The demo number’s not great but overall viewership is very strong, an indication that the series skews older and is a good match for Dancing with the Stars.

ABC aired the second episode on the following Sunday, likely to try to entice viewers who remember Delany from her Desperate Housewives** days to give it a try. Most weren’t interested and it scored only a 2.0 demo rating and 8.94 million.

The following Tuesday, episode three attracted a 2.4 rating and 11.15 million viewers, a loss of 23% in the demo when compared to the premiere. Subsequent episodes have fallen down to a 2.0 rating. The overall viewership has remained strong however, still pulling in 11 million viewers.

Hollywood worships the 18-49 demographic, to the point that any weakness there usually spells doom for a show. In this case, as the article notes, the overall strength of BoP’s numbers outside that demographic may have combined with the poor performance of the rest of ABC’s lineup of new dramas to give it a second chance — because the network didn’t have much else.

I’m still not impressed with the series, as I wrote in a comment at the site. (Awaiting moderation.) The mysteries are so-so, and the dialog, for example in last week’s episode, is cliché and predictable. Like the article’s author, I don’t expect a season three unless the numbers improve***.

Regardless, congratulations to the cast and crew for the renewal.

*I was wrong about Rizzoli and Isles, too, though the cynic in me thinks that its success is due to the subtext of sexual tension between the two leads, played by Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.

**I never knew she was and Desperate Housewives; I remember her from China Beach. I’m getting old…

***Passing question: Why is this show at 10PM? That’s usually the “adult hour” in network programming, with grimmer, more graphic stories told after the kiddies have gone to bed. What’s so grim and adult about this show? The occasional shot of a fake corpse or meat pretending to be a human body part? It sure isn’t the lightweight stories or situations.

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And you thought they were all sweet and loveable — hah! In their early days, the Muppets made Miss Piggy look like a pacifist:

From 1957 to 1961, Henson made 179 commercials for Wilkins Coffee and other Wilkins products, including Community Coffee and Wilkins Tea. The ads were so successful and well-liked that they sparked a series of remakes for companies in other local markets throughout the 1960s.

The ads starred the cheerful Wilkins, who liked Wilkins Coffee, and the grumpy Wontkins, who hated it. Wilkins would often do serious harm to Wontkins in the ads — blowing him up, stabbing him with a knife, and smashing him with a club, among many other violent acts.

Remember: When the Muppet offers you some Wilkins Coffee — you take it!

via Bryan Preston

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Dana Delany as "Megan Hunt"

I watched Dana Delany’s new ABC show, “Body of Proof,” last night and I can’t say I was impressed. The brief review is that I’ll give it another couple of episodes, but I don’t expect it to last.*

Body of Proof follows the life and career of Medical Examiner Megan Hunt, once a high-flying neurosurgeon, who now works in Philadelphia’s Medical Examiner’s Office after a car accident abruptly ended her neurosurgery career. As a Medical Examiner Megan applies her vast medical knowledge, keen instincts and variously charming and scalpel-like personality to the task of solving the medical mysteries of the dead and bringing the people responsible for their deaths to justice. But that’s only half the show.

Read showrunner Chris Murphey’s pitch to the public for the rest.

On the surface, the show sounds promising; in addition to her job as a Medical Examiner, Megan Hunt has no real friends (thanks to her often-acerbic personality, which she uses to keep people at bay), a failed marriage, and a broken relationship with her young daughter, the latter two thanks to her obsessive dedication to her former career. In addition to the weekly mysteries, then, we should be intrigued to see how Megan overcomes her weaknesses, rebuilds her old relationships, and builds new ones.

Trouble is…. We’ve seen all this before. Irascible medical detective? Quincy. (Or, for those too young to remember Quincy, House.) Crime fighter with broken personal relationships? The Equalizer. Scientific crime-fighting with cut up bodies on a table? Almost any procedural of the last 20 years. Witty, snappy, ironic dialogue? Too many shows to name, and it’s become cliché.

And that’s the problem with Body of Proof: there’s nothing special about it. Not the stories, not the investigation, not the dialogue, and mostly not the cast. Regarding the cast, Delaney herself is an excellent actress deserving of better writing. From among the supporting cast, Sonja Sohn (“Detective Baker”) is a favorite from her role in The Wire. The rest… eh. Jeri Ryan (“Dr. Kate Murphy”)  didn’t appear enough to make an impression. Windell Middlebrooks (“Dr. Brumfield”) risks being turned into the show’s regular punching bag. John Carroll Lynch’s character (“Detective Morris”) is a walking stereotype, “the cop who hates the star’s character but eventually turns into an ally she charmingly annoys.” Nicholas Bishop as Delaney’s sidekick (cop-turned-ME “Peter Dunlop”) who’s willing to tell her what she needs to hear… well, lose the stubble-beard, guy. It’s another cliché. Of course, so is the whole character.

The one relatively bright spot was seen in Delany/Hunt’s relationship with her daughter. Obviously estranged (a fact perhaps exacerbated by her ex-husband, who has custody), Hunt struggles to find a way to begin reconnecting with “Lacey” on the occasion of Lacey’s birthday. No spoilers, but, she does, and the final payoff is nicely handled — for once avoiding the trite.

But, that was about it. As I wrote at the start, I’ll give the show another couple of episodes to see if it improves, but I don’t think this “Body” will be rising from the table any time soon.

*Yeah, I know I said that about Rizzoli and Isles and was proved massively wrong, but cable has relatively lower standards for what constitutes a “hit” than do the broadcast networks. “Body of Proof” has a much higher hurdle to clear.

UPDATE: According to Variety, Body’s premiere enjoyed “3” rating in the coveted 18-49 category, with 13.9 million viewers. That’s a good start, but the key will be to see the trend over the next several weeks.

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I was sorely tempted these last few weeks to buy myself a Kindle as a Christmas present. Being a fan of screen space, I gravitated toward the 9.7″ Kindle DX. But… I decided it was too pricey for now*, so I passed.

I was sad. 😦

However, the gods at Amazon decided to take pity on me and ran a one-day sale yesterday on the 28-disc, boxed set of The Twilight Zone: The Complete Definitive Collection. How much of a sale, you ask? The MSRP is $299.99 and Amazon’s normal price is $243.49.

I snagged it for $93.99 — a 69% discount.

I call that an adequate consolation prize. 😀

*No promises about next week, though. I really, really, want a Kindle.

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Lovecraft on the Love Boat? Gopher meets a Great Old One on the high seas where hilarity ensues?

Or is this the true, sanity-blasting face of the 70s?

(via Moe Lane)

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