Friday, August 12, 2011

What I'm Watching Now #6 (August 12, 2011 Edition)

I got a few page views last week, so you could imagine my surprise.  These days, this feature is practically my whole blog, but, don't worry, the fall season starts soon, which means I'll be writing about all of the new shows that are coming on.  This feature will just end up being the place where you go to see what I don't want to write full blog posts about.

I had been thinking about adding something to this feature, for a few weeks, and I think I'm going to start doing it.  If there is a memorable quote from any episode, during the week, I will list it along with what I say about the show.  This is a good thing for shows like Burn Notice, that are nearly impossible to write about, other than saying, "It's good. Y'all watch now, ya hear?"  Some shows won't have a quote, and that's quite all right, since it's just for the memorable stuff, anyway.  You can feel free to add your own entertaining quotes from each show, in the comments section, and if you give me a good one, I'll update the blog post, and put your name as the supplier.  Now, let's get on to what I'm watching now.

Ratings Legend:

*Don't waste your time
**Some people may like it, but overall, it's not going to change your life if you watch it or miss it.  Shows between 2 stars and 3 stars are on the line of watchable.
***Solid, watchable show.  If I give something 3 stars, I think you can safely watch it, and usually enjoy it.
****You should definitely watch this show, at least once.
*****Why are you not watching this show?


Alphas (Syfy, Check local listings)****
Most recent episode rating-****

I have bruises in my hair.-Gary

Gary was in the zone, this week, with all of the stuff he was saying.  I'm pretty sure he made nearly every main character laugh, in the episode, with the bizarre stuff he said.  On message boards, his character is loved or hated, and there is almost no in between.  I think he's one of the best characters on the show, and it's always fun to watch for what crazy thing he'll say next.

As for the episode, it didn't appear the Alpha was someone who will recur in future episodes, which may mean that the sides have officially been drawn, and now we're kind of watching a "Monster of the Week" type show.  I'll try not to spoil anything for this episode, so the most I'm willing to give you is that love is the most powerful drug there is, at least according to Alphas

The Closer (TNT, 9pm EDT)****
Most recent episode rating-***.5

I'm going to call this week's Monday line up, on TNT, "Dumb Down Monday".  Until this season, I always had watched The Closer rather passively, so that means that I never really noticed how unsophisticated the series really is.  The last couple of episodes have really seemed to insult the audience's intelligence.  In most cop shows, you don't basically make it really obvious what happened (or twists that are really obvious), and you typically go on the hunt with the Detectives.  However, with this series, all you basically have to do is watch the first scene with any character, and you'll be able to figure out the basic premise of what happened.  In the very first scene, I predicted that the church leader was wearing the women's clothes, and I guarantee you their goal was to make that a "shocking twist". 

Where the makers of this show really insulted us was with Brenda spilling red wine on a subpoena (I think) that her husband got, in regards to her bad deed from the end of last season.  The wine spilled over the word kill, and then she got wine all over her hands trying to clean it up.  I mean, really?  O noes, Brenda has blood on her hands, now. :/  I thought people stopped using this kind of 2nd grade symbolism in the 1940s.  That scene was really embarrassing, and makes me think this show really may be out to insult the audience every single week (or, at the very least, they think we're really stupid).

Clumsy criminals, story lines, and symbolism aside, this week's episode was still a good episode, but episodes like that one are why it is extremely clear this show never could have succeeded on network TV.

Rizzoli & Isles (TNT, 10pm EDT)****
Most recent episode rating-***

Maybe he's a zombie.  That's why he took a shower 6 hours later.-Rizzoli

Overall, this was a pretty good episode, with lots of good character interactions.  However, I'm giving it a one star downgrade, due to not being able to suspend my disbelief.  For some reason, the makers of this series thought it would be a good idea to have two Boston based Major League Baseball teams.  Then, they decided that they would take it one step further, by saying that the fake team was about to make it into the playoffs, and could finally push the Sawx out of the way.  For some reason, these lines from Ferris Bueller's Day Off came into my head, after writing that:

Ferris:  Do you speak English?
Valet:  What country do you think this is?

Again, in keeping with the theme of "Dumb Down Monday", it was super easy to figure out who the killer was.  I watch a lot of cop shows, and I like to give them the benefit of the doubt, and try to challenge myself for who the perp could be, but alas, I'm learning this show is not supposed to be about the cases.  Didn't I say that the last two weeks?  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, this show is shot in L.A., but takes place in Boston.  The Boston team they focused on this week, wore blue and white uniforms.  This is a story that "could" take place in L.A. with the whole Angels/Dodgers thing, but anyone who has ever seen Boston, heard of Boston, or lived in Boston would see that the whole premise of two Major League Baseball teams was ridiculous.  Still, don't let that stupidity deter you from watching Rizzoli & Isles, as it's a fairly witty, and usually entertaining series.

The Big C (Showtime, 10:30pm EDT)***
Most recent episode rating-**.5

Still not feeling this series, anymore.  Every show revolves WAY too much around sex.  If it's not talking about it, it's putting the viewer in strange situations.  There's not a single character on the show I want to see have sex, much less hear them talk about it, so please effing stop, please!  Based on next week's promo, it's clear that nothing will change, in that regard.  I'm still watching, but it's back on the clock of destruction, again.


Memphis Beat (TNT, 9pm EDT)***.5
Most recent episode rating-***.5

Now maybe I'm just an ex-con, wannabe lawyer, who's taken the bar six times.  But, you know what I call that? Reasonable doubt.-Dominic

Just writing that line in a relatively serious cop show took a lot of guts, so due to that, and a few other factors, I think it's time for a ratings upgrade for Memphis BeatI'm invested in the show, now, minus the sangin'.  I really do love every character on the show (Dwight is bland, but everyone else is great).  The funny thing is that watching this series is what made me realize how unsophisticated The Closer is.  I don't think anyone involved with this series would say they are trying to make groundbreaking television.  They just want to give you cases with interesting resolutions, with characters you can relate to, in some way.  I said it before, and I'll say it again, this series is a partnership/duo cop show, and that genre is basically obsolete.  However, the more I watch it, the more I realize it's a partnership/duo AND character interaction show.  There are usually two stories going on, one that revolves around the police station (or someone in it), and a case.  It's kind of an interesting hybrid, and I don't think I've watched anything quite like it.

This week's episode centered on a storm that caused the police department to be evacuated, and Whitehead going to the reading of a will, with Dwight.  Both scenarios turned out to not be what they seemed on the surface.  One person was left locked in a cell, at the police station, and he has no memory of who he is.  The will reading turns into the game (movie?), Clue, with a good old fashioned whodunit?  The level of writing sophistication in the crime is much, much higher than in The Closer, and this has been the case in nearly every episode I have seen of Memphis Beat.  The makers clearly want you to solve the crime with our heroes, as opposed to before our heroes, like many other shows do.  I do believe I'm beginning to become attached to this series.  Thanks, Chris P., I never would have checked it out without your recommendation.

HawthoRNe (TNT, 10pm EDT)**
Most recent episode rating-**

I really think this series is like stabbing yourself, but feeling no pain.  You stab yourself to die, but you live, with no pain.  You beg it to work, but it doesn't.  It just kills you, a little each day, slowly, and painlessly.  If you read my post I wrote about HawthoRNe, yesterday (I know you didn't), you would know that I thought this week's episode was the season finale.  I was wrong, and they are wrong, the whole world is wrong.  Now, I will be stuck watching the season finale one week from now.  I've included a poll for what you think will happen in the season finale.  If you don't mind spoilers, PLEASE read my blog post I wrote about the last few episodes of the series.  I think it's very entertaining, if I do say so myself. ;)


Necessary Roughness (USA, 10pm EDT)**
Most recent episode-**

I have downgraded the rating of Necessary Roughness, once again.  This show is doing absolutely nothing for me, anymore, and I am already planning an exit strategy.  As of today, I will watch the rest of the season, and then give the first episode of season 2 a shot.  If it's still the same old boring, bland, show, that's it, you are the weakest link, goodbye.  I'd really like to know what anyone else out there, who watches the show, thinks, and if this show is doing anything for them.  It's still got pretty good ratings, so if it doesn't get picked up for a second season, I would be really surprised.

State of Georgia (ABC Family, 8:30pm EDT)*.5
Most recent episode-*



Burn Notice (USA, 9pm EDT)*****
Most recent episode rating-*****

This is all I'm writing about the show.  If it doesn't make you watch it, you're hopeless.

Michael Westen:  Bravo. That was compelling, and rich. One of two things is possible.  Either Jackson ripped you off, and we caught him red handed.  
Mercenary Guy:  Or?
Michael Westen:  You let a mysterious super genius take over your island, turn your op inside out, and detain your commander's men. Which is more likely?

Suits (USA, 10pm EDT)****
Most recent episode rating-****

I'll just start out by saying that Suits has been renewed for a 16 episode second season (that news came out yesterday).  That's great news, as it's quite an excellent show, with very good ratings.  They FINALLY dealt with the lawyer problem on this episode, and it shouldn't ever really be an issue, again.  It was the elephant in the room, and was really beginning to take away from what is actually a really good and fun lawyer show.  It doesn't really explain the fundamental problem that other people should know that Mike's a fake (Jessica, anyone???).  However, it was dealt with smoothly enough that the series can now officially table the "danger of exposure" aspect that has been a major undercurrent through well over half of the episodes.  At a certain point in this episode, it looked like USA was writing Louis out of the show, but they managed to clean it up to where this is not likely to happen.

I think my favorite character on this show is Donna.  Sarah Rafferty is a very gifted actor, with exceptional comic timing (though heavily edited, usually).  Her interactions with Louis are probably some of the best things I have seen on TV, in quite awhile.  She's a classic character, who is sure to gain a cult following. 

I was glad the series was able to get back on the rails, after the near derailment of last week's episode.  I said I would give it a pass, and I'm glad I did.  I thought it was a damn fine episode.

It's a shorter list of what I'm watching now, as things are beginning to wind down for the summer seasons.  It's been a great summer for scripted TV watching, and if you haven't been watching some of these shows, you're truly missing some good stuff.  Thanks for reading.

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