TNT –Terrific (Summer) Nighttime Television Continues…

I can remember back when the summer months meant we couldn’t find anything new to watch on television… maybe a reality program here, or a two-hour made-for-TV-special there, but no new series.

But not anymore.

TNT has some of the best summer programming of any network today.  This year, I count six series (five returning favorites and one new) that my household will watch, keeping our TV schedules full of terrific (summer) nighttime television.

Last week, we shared three of the network’s veteran programs premiering in their third and fourth seasons later this June.  And today, we’re talking about two more of TNT’s returning hits PLUS a new freshman series starring one of my faves…

*****

King & Maxwell

Based on the novel series of the same name by David Balducci, King & Maxwell stars Jon Tenney (Sean King) and Rebecca Romijn (Michelle Maxwell) as two former Secret Service agents now working together as private investigators to solve crime—by whatever means necessary.

Together they have an abundance of previous life experiences under their belt, making them two of the best at what they do—despite losing his job in the Secret Service (the president he was assigned to protect was assassinated), King attended law school and knows the legal system.. while Maxwell, a former Olympic athlete, uses her attributes and her connections to aid in the investigations.  And as with any good television partnership, opposites attract.

The new series also stars Michael O’Keefe (Caddyshack) as Frank Rigby and Chris Butler (The Good Wife) as Darius Carter, two FBI agents who clash a bit with King and Maxwell’s methods.

King & Maxwell premieres June 10th.

*****

Major Crimes

Over the last few seasons of The Closer, we tolerated Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) as she terrorized Brenda Leigh, leading all of the officer-involved investigations (kind of like Internal Affairs).  But we also witnessed a softer Captain Raydor who stood by Brenda Leigh and did everything in her power to protect our favorite Deputy Chief.

And last summer, we watched Captain Raydor take over Brenda Leigh’s team.  That’s right—Raydor stepped in following Brenda Leigh’s departure and took over the Major Crimes Division, including almost the entire cast of The Closer (Provenza, Flynn, Tao, Sanchez, Buzz, Taylor, and even Fritzy on occasion.)

While it wasn’t quite the same without our favorite Southern belle, the series kept this Closer fan watching.  I expect some changes in season two, like the addition of new characters (Nadine Velazquez from My Name is Earl) and perhaps seeing less of a few of the cast members we love (King & Maxwell’s Tenney), but I am still looking forward to the return of Major Crimes.

Season two of Major Crimes premieres June 10th.

*****

Perception

I don’t know much about Perception, other than it stars Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuroscience professor who suffers from schizophrenia.  Despite his internalized demons and hallucinations, he is a brilliant man who assists the FBI with complex cases.

The series also stars: Rachael Leigh Cook as Special Agent Kate Moretti, a former student of Dr. Pierce, and the FBI agent responsible for adding him to the team of investigators; Kelly Rowan as Natalie Vincent, Dr. Pierce’s imaginary best friend… who it turns out is based on a woman (Caroline Newsome) that Dr. Pierce saw once at a party and became infatuated with; and Arjay Smith as Max Lewicki, Dr. Pierce’s live-in teaching assistant who helps keep the good doctor’s real-life and hallucinations straight.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know much about Perception.  I watched a few episodes but the series didn’t grab me in a way that makes me want to watch every single episode immediately.  And when my DVR crashed, I lost the rest of the first season… thus, I haven’t seen every episode.  However, the fact that TNT is bringing it back gives me hope.  Maybe the network will offer the first season online or via OnDemand and I can catch up before the premiere of the new season?

Season two of Perception premieres June 25th.

*****

Did you enjoy Major Crimes or Perception last summer?  Will you check out King & Maxwell?  I’d love to hear from you! 

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Pinteresting – Recipes

Over the past few months, I have fallen into the Pinterest craze along with millions of other people.  At first, I didn’t know exactly what to do… but once I got the hang of it, I found myself spending hours on the weekends checking out neat Do-It-Yourself tricks for around the house, finding cute clothes that I needed to add to my wish list, learning interesting beauty and hair techniques, and probably my biggest downfall, discovering recipes that I absolutely must try.

So, I’ve decided to start a new Friday FabOoolousness blog series.  At least once a month, I will share a few Pinterest ideas I have grabbed from other users and share whether or not they work.

Today, we’re taking on a few of the recipes…

*****

Oven Baked Hard Boiled Eggs
Oven-Baked Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-Boiled Eggs in the oven?  What?  You’re kidding me, right?

Nope!

I love hard-boiled eggs, but I hate peeling them.  After baking in a muffin pan for thirty minutes at 325 degrees and chilling in cold water, these eggs peeled easier than any hard-boiled egg I have ever made.  I usually pass the peeling task off to my guy because he has more patience than I do (I want to throw the eggs across the room when I try to carefully pry the silly shells off the darn things), but not this time!  I was super impressed!

When I removed the eggs from the oven, there were a few small brown dots on them… but these spots washed right off when I soaked the eggs in water.

*****

Baked Chicken Fajitas
Baked Chicken Fajitas

We try to eat healthy as often as we can, especially chicken dishes—baked chicken, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, boiled chicken, etc…  But we have a rule in our house: I handle the inside and my guy takes on the outdoor tasks, including grilling.  To be honest, and I must admit I am somewhat embarrassed by this, I have never once operated the big stainless steel grill I bought for my guy a few years ago.  Not once.  That said, I don’t get to enjoy many grilled meats and veggies very often because it’s hot in Texas and I don’t want to ask him to go stand over a fire when it’s already scorching outside.

So, when I discovered this Baked Chicken Fajita recipe on Pinterest, I knew we had to try it!

It smelled oh so good as it was baking, but it wasn’t nearly as pretty as the picture I had seen on Pinterest when I pulled it out of the oven.  But it doesn’t matter—it tastes GREAT!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
Diced tomatoes (or 1 – fifteen ounce can)
Diced Green Chilis (or 1 – four ounce can)
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced (or more if you like them as much as we do)
2 tablespoon oil (we use grape seed oil for pretty much everything, but any baking oil—vegetable, olive—should work)
2  teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Grease a 13×9 baking dish
Mix together chicken, tomatoes, chilies, peppers, and onions in the baking dish
In a small bowl combine the oil and spices
Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and veggies and toss to coat
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender

Serve with warmed tortillas and all the fixin’s (rice, pinto beans, guacamole, etc)…  and enjoy!

*****

Dreamsicle Salad
Dreamsicle Salad

And no meal is complete in our house without something sweet.  Now, it doesn’t always have to be something elaborate like a cake or pie; however, we do like our desserts.

So, since summer is technically already here in Texas (we’ve hit 90 a few times already), I thought something cool and light sounded good.  Enter this *Sugar-Free* Dreamsicle Salad from Pinterest.  I used asterisks around “sugar-free” because I didn’t technically stick to the recipe where it called for the healthier mixes…  Sorry; we’re not really big on the SF stuff in our house.

It might look like a mess once the finished product is chilled, but this sweet treat definitely hits the spot when it’s hot outside.

1 package orange jello mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 ten ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts

Dissolve jello in one cup of boiling water. Add 1/2 cup of cold water to mixture and let set in fridge for 20 minutes
Once chilled, add dry vanilla pudding mix and beat until smooth with a mixer (or a whisk)
Fold in mandarin oranges, whipped topping, and pecans/walnuts (since we don’t have any nut allergies in our house) by hand
Refrigerate

*****

Your turn—have you tried any Pinterest recipes that you would like to share?  Did it taste as good as its picture?  I’d love to hear from you!

The original Pinterest recipes were found on these sites:

http://dancingoffthepounds.tumblr.com/post/24248559882
http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/01/baked-chicken-fajitas-recipe.html
http://thebetterbaker.blogspot.com/2011/09/sugar-free-dreamsicle-salad.html

And, feel free to follow me on Pinterest.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Exactly What Kind of Crazy is Hannibal?

This week, we’re back to our regularly scheduled Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday program… so, exactly what kind of crazy is NBC’s Hannibal?

Crazy… fascinating.

Crazy… chilling.

Crazy… intense.

And perhaps a bit of just plain crazy…

One of the most fascinating and chilling characters in literary and cinematic history has come to TV—Dr. Hannibal Lecter.  Only this time, audiences will get to experience more of Special Agent Will Graham’s hunt for a serial killer and his collaboration with a top psychiatrist (Lecter) as he builds his criminal profile.

I personally loved the character of Will from the film adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel, Red Dragon.  But then again, I adore Edward Norton.   When I truly enjoy a character, I can’t help but worry about the decision to re-do or continue the same character in a another adaptation with a different actor at the helm.  However, I’m happy to report that I do like Mr. Dancy’s portrayal of Will Graham just as much.

Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has a very vivid imagination that allows him to feel pure empathy with anyone, including psychotic killers, which proves to be a very uncomfortable gift.  It’s this unique characterization that allows Will to see the scene of a crime as it was before the crime occurred.  He can put himself in the killer’s shoes, providing him insight into the how and the why the murders took place.  However, with this great imagination comes an intense fear.  Perhaps this is why Will lives alone… well, except for his multiple rescued dogs.

At the beginning of the series, Will doesn’t work in the field anymore; instead, he teaches other FBI agents at Quantico… that is until Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) approaches him to join his Behavioral Science Unit to track down a serial murderer.

The case consists of eight missing college girls, assumed dead after the eighth victim’s body is discovered.  The investigation is a doozy, as we like to say here at The Ooo Factor, and after discovering the killer is not only draining his victims of blood, but that he is also eating their livers and lungs and not wasting any part of their bodies, Agent Crawford brings in another expert to help—enter Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).   With the “good” doctor’s help, and I say good very loosely, thus the quotation marks, Agent Crawford hopes Will will be able to see the cannibal’s face and the FBI can arrest their killer.

Lecter takes a very keen interest in Will and his abilities, but when Will doesn’t reciprocate the interest, Dr. Lecter promises him that he will indeed, one day, find him just as interesting.  After all, Lecter believes himself to be the best, and he wants to see if Will, the best at what he does, can catch him.

And speaking of Lecter… considering the TV series couldn’t land Sir Anthony Hopkins to resume his iconic role (well, maybe they could, but they didn’t), Mr. Mikkelson will definitely do.  He’s got the creepiness down and he’s playing the demented sociopath quite well.

Hannibal is a serial crime drama at its best.  While one could probably follow after skipping an episode, the show will definitely make more sense if watched in order.  And since the series has chosen to pull its week five episode following the events in Boston last week, I guess we’ll all see what it’s like to miss an episode.

Oh, and since we’re on the topic of episodes… I love the episode titles: Aperitif (before dinner drink), Amuse-Bouche (a light hors d’oeuvre), and Potage (a thick soup).  Clearly, after three Hannibal dishes, we’re just getting started with our meal…

So, how does Hannibal rank?  I do like it; it’s dark; it doesn’t shy away from the gore; and the way the viewers get to experience the minds of both Will and Dr. Lecter via the cinematography and writing is creepy good.  Therefore, I award the new NBC series with the GTV rating.

I know not everyone will agree with me, like my mother who has already stopped watching because it’s just too dark for her, but I think Will and Dr. Lecter serve up the finest of meals… bone-in filet, cooked to perfection, with a twice-baked potato and grilled asparagus on the side… and let’s not forget to wash it down with a fine Cabernet.

Yes, Hannibal is five-star dining at its best.

What do you think?  Have you watched Hannibal?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Come back next week when I take on another new show… SyFy’s Defiance.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

TNT – Terrific (Summer) Nighttime Television

I can remember back when the summer months meant we couldn’t find anything new to watch on television… maybe a reality program here, or a two-hour made-for-TV-special there, but no new series.

But not anymore.

TNT has some of the best summer programming of any network today. This year, I count six series (five returning favorites and one new) that my household will watch, keeping our TV schedule full of terrific nighttime television.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll discuss these TNT series.  First up, three of the network’s veteran programs, premiering in their third and fourth seasons this June…

*****

Falling Skies

Falling Skies follows a group of survivors led by Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) after aliens invade and attack our world as we now know it.

As if the practically complete destruction of our planet wasn’t bad enough, the aliens want our few surviving children and plan to attach a horrendous apparatus to the children’s spines (the harness). This device controls the children—but what are the visitor’s end goals?

The series also stars Moon Bloodgood as Anne Glass, the resident doctor among the survivors, and Will Patton as Captain Dan Weaver (the title “Captain” should give plenty enough away about his role among the survivors).

I didn’t pay much attention to the first season of Falling Skies… but my guy LOVED it. And yes, I used all caps because he rarely shows this much excitement about a television program. So, I tuned in with him for most of season two, and I must admit, I found myself enthralled and asked him to not watch any more of the episodes without me. Aliens usually aren’t my thing, but Falling Skies I can do.

Season three premieres June 9th.

*****

Franklin & Bash

They’re Totally Lawyers. Totally.

Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) have been friends since high school. And now they live together, party together, and work together, yet never seem to tire of one another. The two are quite unconventional, especially when it comes to the cases they choose to represent and how they win over the courtroom…

It all started with the two sitting at a diner, watching the traffic in Los Angeles while they banter back and forth like best friends do. When a fender-bender takes place directly in front of them, they race out to the scene and immediately offer their business cards and legal representation to the driver responsible for rear-ending another car.

Why is the driver not responsible for the crash when he clearly bumped into the car in front of his? Franklin and Bash explain that it is because the driver was distracted by the interactive advertising sign yards ahead flashing images of a sexy young woman. The young and unconventional (really unconventional) attorneys take the case to court and prompt the beautiful girl in the ad to unbutton her shirt while on the witness stand, thus proving her chest to be guilty of causing an unnecessary distraction to those driving. With that, they win their case against a large and successful law firm.

Witnessing and enjoying the unique techniques of Franklin and Bash, Stanton Infeld (played by Malcolm McDowell) offers the two friends jobs at his very successful and large law firm. Along with their ex-con assistant, Carmen, and their agoraphobic clerk, Pindar, the two join the firm and later become partners.

The series also stars Reed Diamond as Damien Karp, the obvious successor to his uncle at the firm and the classic jerk, as well as Garcelle Beauvais as Hanna Linden, another lawyer at the firm with previous romantic ties with both Damien and Franklin.

Meyer and Gosselaar have great comedic timing and a perfect on-screen chemistry, leaving one to forget they are actually playing characters on television (not to imply they aren’t hilariously funny and friendly in real life because they probably are). And remember, Franklin and Bash are quite unique… the successful bachelors throw weekly parties, and their famous “Margarita-Mondays” have already saved one of their cases and provided them the vision to defend another case successfully.

See? Unconventional… and fun.

Season three premieres June 19th.

*****

Rizzoli & Isles

Based on the novels by Tess Gerritsen, Rizzoli & Isles follows Boston detective, Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon), and her best friend/medical examiner, Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), as they solve crime together.

The two friends couldn’t have less in common — Rizzoli hails from a working class family; her dad’s a plumber, her younger brother (Colin Egglesfield) has just been released from prison, and her other little brother (Jordan Bridges) idolizes Rizzoli and is following in her footsteps, much to the dismay of their overbearing mom (the fabulous Lorraine Bracco). Meanwhile, Isles’ biological father (John Doman) is a Boston mafia boss. She was raised by her adopted parents (her mother is played by Jacqueline Bissett) where she learned to focus on her studies, and adapted a fabulous sense of style… how many medical examiners do you know who perform autopsies in stilettos?

But regardless of their differences, the girls have each other and they make for one of the best crime-fighting duos on television today.

The series also stars Lee Thompson Young as Rizzoli’s partner, Detective Frost, and Bruce McGill as Rizzoli’s former partner/senior detective, Vince Korsak.

If you liked Crossing Jordan, you’ll also like Rizzoli & Isles. Season four premieres June 25th.

*****

Come back next week when we share two more returning TNT summer favorites PLUS a new series that we can’t wait to check out (hint: it stars Jon Tenney from The Closer)!

Do you enjoy any of the above TNT original programs? Which one are you most looking forward to and why? I’d love to hear from you!

Football Sweetheart Cares – Doing What We Can for Those in Boston and West

The events this week have reminded me of what really matters.  My heart is with all, from Boston, Massachusetts, all the way to West, Texas just outside DFW.

Regardless of what or who caused these events, the tragedy still occurred and there are hundreds, if not thousands of people displaced and in need of something.

I want to do my part to help.  So this weekend, starting today (Thursday, April 18th) through Monday (Monday, April 22nd), I’ve decided to donate all of the Football Sweetheart proceeds to the American Red Cross and to the Salvation Army.

All proceeds from every Football Sweetheart e-book purchased, whether via Amazon or Barnes & Noble, will go to these two charities to help with the recovery process in both Boston and West.

Please keep all those affected in your thoughts and let’s hope the devastation ends here.

American Red CrossSalvation Army

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – What Makes for Good TV? Loving the Hero AND the Villain…

I know I mentioned last week that I would review NBC’s Hannibal today, but I’m taking a break from the regularly scheduled program.

For the sake of today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, I’m sharing a few of the current TV programs I absolutely can’t miss (instead of reviewing just one).  Why?  Because after watching each of these shows, I can’t stop thinking about how much I enjoy these particular characters… mainly due to the relationships between the good and the evil—whatever those particular relationships might be, as they are different in each instance.  It’s very normal for someone to adore the hero of a story, but when viewers connect with the “big bad” as well , we know we have something powerful on our hands.

First up, Justified

When I think of the good guy versus the bad guy, I immediately think of FX’s Justified.  While Raylan Givens is the hero of this story, the series would not be the same without his childhood friend and current foe, Boyd Crowder.  I can’t actually think of another duo on TV that is as well developed as these two characters—and this, without a doubt, is the byproduct of the wonderful writings of Elmore Leonard.

Unfortunately, the two don’t share too many on-screen scenes together, but when they do it is absolute perfection.  The dialogue is fantastic and the tension is magic, and I root just as much for Boyd as I do for Raylan.  As a matter of fact, Boyd was only a recurring character the first season; but because the audiences responded the way that they did to him, he was added to the show as a permanent character in season two.

Next up, we have The Following

Another great protagonist/antagonist coupling has to be Ryan Hardy and Joe Carroll from Fox’s The Following.  Because he’s the hero, audiences find themselves hoping Hardy can finally catch his demented nemesis.  The Hardy character is a lot like another Fox character we loved for years—24‘s Jack Bauer.  Hardy doesn’t get much sleep and he definitely doesn’t follow the rules like other police officers and FBI agents.  He does what is necessary to capture the bad guy.

And in this case, the bad guy is none other than Joe Carroll.  Unlike Boyd Crowder, Joe Carroll isn’t nearly as likable.  However, the series would not be as popular or enjoyable if this character was likable… or if this character pairing was any less developed on either end—Hardy or Carroll… or if the show also focused on Hardy helping the FBI solve multiple cases each week like in a traditional police procedural, instead of focusing only on Carroll and his followers.  The Following is anything but “typical” TV, and I still can’t believe it has found its home on Fox (it seems more like an FX series if you ask me).

As a side note, rarely is there a portrayal of a television character that would cause me to pause on the street and potentially run the other way if I saw the actor or actress responsible for the role in real life, but James Purefoy is the exception.  He makes for one of the creepiest villains on TV that I can think of in recent years… and he spooks me… just a bit.  Okay, maybe more than just a bit… but I love it.

And finally, we have The Vampire Diaries

These two characters and the actors’ portrayals have stolen the attention of the female audiences of their respective show… who, you ask?  That would be Damon Salvatore and Niklaus “Klaus” Mikaelson of The Vampire Diaries.

I’m not sure what the creators had in mind, but I have a hard time believing they could have predicted how strongly the audience, particularly the women and girls, would feel about Damon or Klaus.  Stefan Salvatore is supposed to be the hero, but girls across the globe prefer his bad-boy brother Damon over him—I know I do.

Well, let’s be honest, girls are always attracted to the bad boys… but there’s more to Damon.  In almost every situation, he knows what he should do (what the right thing is) and he battles with his decision to turn the other cheek.  Whether he wants to admit it or not, he has a conscience and that to me is what makes his character work.  That and his smirk.

And similarly to the Boyd casting on Justified, TVD didn’t even plan for evil Klaus to survive much past the second season finale, but now he finds himself as a permanent character on the show.  Heck, he’s so popular, he has a chance at his very own spinoff later this month.  On one hand, I hope the backdoor pilot does well and we have another supernatural series to watch next year; but on the other hand, The Vampire Diaries will NOT be the same without him.  Not even with Damon remaining.  As much as I love him, Damon’s really got nothing on the conflicted and flawed Niklaus.

So, to make this a bit more like the traditional Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post…

I would give each of these characters the GTV rating—they all have everything we want and more… even if a few of the villains are super creepy and each of the heroes mentioned are sometimes overly flawed.  They have what it takes to bring the viewers back for more… and more… and more, regardless of the particular storyline.

What do you think?  Do you like the character pairings of Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder, Ryan Hardy and Joe Carroll, and Damon Salvatore and Klaus?   Who would you add to this list… and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Come back next week when I return to the regularly scheduled program and review a show that I’ve been anxiously awaiting since I heard of the project’s development… NBC’s Hannibal.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

 

A Pick Per Night 2013

Welcome to the 2013 edition of A Pick Per Night!

It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging about television every single Tuesday for the past three plus years… but I have.  And today I’m going back to one of my very first blog posts and selecting one show per night that I absolutely can’t miss.

A Pick Per Night is perfect for those who have time for just one television program each evening.   Back in 2011, I selected: Hawaii Five-0 for Mondays, NCIS: LA for Tuesdays, Criminal Minds for Wednesdays; Archer for Thursdays; and Blue Bloods for Fridays.  And last year, I named: Pretty Little Liars for Mondays, Justified for Tuesdays; Revenge for Wednesdays; The Vampire Diaries for Thursdays; and Supernatural for Fridays.  Considering the networks move their series around every single year, not to mention add tons of new programs to the schedule, let’s see if any of these previously picked shows survive and land on the 2013 list.

Sunday – Revenge

I honestly thought this season started a little slow, but now that it’s almost over, Emily is back at it and she’s not letting anyone stand in her way of seeking revenge against the Grayson family.  Nothing is off limits.  When the show returns from its odd hiatus, I can’t wait to see what plans “angry” Jack has in the works for Conrad… not to mention what Emily has in store for Victoria.  I’d say more, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers!

Monday – The Following

Since we’re being honest here, I cannot believe The Following is on Fox… its dark, gruesome, and twisted.  I could see it on FX, but I’m blown away that it’s on basic cable.  That said, Kevin Bacon is fantastic as Ryan Hardy… his character reminds me a lot of 24‘s Jack Bauer—he doesn’t get to sleep and he doesn’t play by the FBI’s rules.  And James Purefoy is freaky good as the villain, Joe Carroll.  Heck, I even like Joe’s right-hand-man, Roderick.  I hope he doesn’t die… but I’m beginning to think NO ONE is safe from death on this show.

It was quite difficult for me to not select TNT’s Dallas for the Monday night slot… the writers and the creators have resurrected the legacy of the original series, not to mention the cast’s performances this season have been some of the best on TV.  I don’t normally want to applaud the television after an episode airs, but I sure did last night with the two-hour season finale.  Bravo, Dallas!  Bravo.

Tuesday – New Girl.

I think I’ve pretty much decided that Pretty Little Liars is my favorite show on television right now, any night of the week, but for the sake of choosing something that is actually airing new episodes right now for Tuesday nights, I’m picking Fox’s New Girl.  My guy and I both laugh hysterically when we watch this sitcom; so much so, that we have to remember to not watch while we’re eating dinner—we might choke on our food from laughing as much as we do.

Wednesday – Criminal Minds

There are tons of police procedural programs on TV today, but none like Criminal Minds.  This television drama follows a team of highly trained FBI agents who profile criminal behavior for the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU).   They study unsubs, or “unknown subjects” of the investigation, instead of the crime itself.   As a mystery writer, Criminal Minds is a great tool for understanding the minds of the criminally inclined… not to mention, the character development for each one of the stars has me invested in every single one of them.

Thursday – Scandal

I don’t want to give too much away about Scandal’s scandalous plot, but I do want to say that each and every episode draws me in, holds me in tight so that I don’t miss a word, and leaves me with my mouth gaping open in awe at the end.  The series is classified as a procedural in that each week Olivia and her team take on a new client and help “make their problems go away.”  But, Scandal can also be classified as a serial drama, or a nighttime soap opera, with an ongoing story that keeps getting better and even more scandalous with each passing week.  This series has drama; it has politics; it has love; and it has A LOT of scandalous twists and turns…

Friday – Grimm

Now well into its second season, Grimm has aired more episodes and tackled fairy tales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Pied Piper, Rapunzel, The Queen Bee, and the Three Little Pigs.  The special effects and storylines are enticing… and I particularly love the use of Monroe in each episode to help Nick solve the case at hand—it is a bit heartwarming to see the two work together and develop a friendship between creature and Grimm, not to mention Monroe almost always has something witty and funny to say.

Plus, the actual police procedural aspect of the story ranks up there with the other crime dramas on television today.  There’s a bit more of a serial storyline this year, and I like that… quite a bit, actually.  This story arc has helped us invest more in watching on Friday nights, instead of letting the episodes stockpile on the DVR.  We’ve even found ourselves saying the NBC slogan on occasion: “Thank Grimm it’s Friday.”

Do you watch any of these shows?  If you had to pick only one television series per night, what would you choose and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

And before we go, I wanted to send a warm message to all those affected  by the horrendous acts in Boston yesterday.  My thoughts are with all of you.