Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Still Unforgettable

Oh, the decisions made by the television networks today…

CBS aired a new program back in 2012—Unforgettable. By the end of the first season, the network cancelled it.

However, it seemed the network executives couldn’t quite forget about Unforgettable

That’s right… a network actually admitted (in a roundabout way) that they were wrong, or at least hasty, in one of their decisions.  And this doesn’t happen often—ever really—but CBS officially picked up Unforgettable for a second season last summer after canning it a little over twelve months earlier.

And now? Now Unforgettable is back for its third season!! It’s a crazy world we live in, I tell ya.

So, for the sake of today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, we’re taking a look back at Unforgettable… a show that I honestly think keeps getting better with each passing season.

The CBS series stars Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) as former Syracuse detective Carrie Wells.  Carrie remembers everything:  every moment and every aspect of every day, except for the murder of her sister when she was a child.   When asked to help the New York City police solve a crime that took place outside her apartment that she sort-of witnessed, Carrie is reunited with her ex beau and partner, Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck).

After assisting with the one case, Carrie decides to join Al and the NYC force with one major goal—solve her sister’s murder.

The other detectives on the squad (Detective Mike Costello, played byMichael Gaston of The Mentalist, and Detective Nina Inara, played by Daya Vaidya from Robbery Homicide Division) aren’t quite sure what to think of Carrie; both react as if they think she is weird and don’t appear to want to get to know her on a more personal level.  At first.

But Detective Roe Sanders (Kevin Rankin from Trauma) actually takes an interest in Carrie; he’s amazed with her recall and often times tests her memory, trying to catch her in a slip.  This friendly banter prompts Carrie and Al to open up and share her history and the mystery surrounding her sister’s death with Sanders.

Toward the end of season one, Unforgettable added a TV superstar to the cast – Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie was one of my childhood favorites… and who doesn’t remember Ms. Curtin from SNL back in the day?).

Sadly, all of these characters (with the exception of Carrie, Al, and Jo) are now all gone. With the reboot of season two, the show’s creators went in a different direction with a new cast.

Now, Carrie and Al work for NYC’s Major Crime Division with an entirely new team. Led by Eliot Delson (Dallas Roberts, The Walking Dead), the two work alongside Jay Lee (James Hiroyuki Liao, Prison Break)—the man usually behind the computers—and Cherie Rollins-Murray (Tawny Cypress, Heroes).

Carrie Wells is the ideal detective; especially considering she’s the perfect study subject for a mystery writer as she recalls everything about a crime scene.  Additionally, I absolutely adore Dylan Walsh; while I like Poppy Montgomery (big fan of Without a Trace and love the red hair), I initially watched Unforgettable because of Dr. Sean McNamara (Walsh’s character from Nip/Tuck).

Then there’s the story… during the first season, the writers gave viewers not only the fresh case every week, typical of TV’s police procedurals, but also the ongoing serial mystery behind Carrie’s sister’s murder.  However, there was one downfall… the individual cases seemed a bit too predictable for me.  I personally don’t like to watch one-hour crime dramas only to have the “bad guy” figured out in the first ten or so minutes (my guy likes to call me a TV ninja; I’ve had to learn to keep my opinions to myself while watching police procedurals or I ruin it for him).

But don’t get me wrong; I still recorded every new episode the first year and usually watched Poppy and the boys within a week… and I remember thinking it was a shame the show was in danger of cancellation after the season finale.  Not to mention, I consider most crime dramas great writing research.

After the reboot in season two, I felt the storylines were a bit more enjoyable. And I must say, season three’s episodes are even better.  Really.  They are.

For this, I award the JFTV rating to Unforgettable—the early predictability aside, I wasn’t lying when I said season three is the best yet… and I’m hooked like a fiend.

Do you watch Unforgettable?  What do you think – is season three the best yet?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

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Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The End of Warehouse 13

Last week, one of my favorite SyFy series returned for its final season. I like it when I network actually lets a show’s creators know in advance that the series is set to end, giving them a chance to wrap everything up nicely with a big red bow. So, for the sake of today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, I’m revisiting an older post from 2011, featuring Warehouse 13. And I’m asking you—how will it end?

Throughout history, government agencies have built secret warehouses around the world to house and protect magical artifacts.  These warehouses are overseen by the Secret Service and a group known as the Council of Regents.

Warehouse 13, the current warehouse designed by a team including Thomas Edison, is hidden deep in the mountains outside of the fictional town of Univille, South Dakota, also known as the middle of nowhere.  As a part of their cover, the Secret Service agents claim to work for the IRS, and therefore the townsfolk snub them.  After all, who likes the IRS?

Dr. Arthur “Artie” Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) is the agent-in-charge of the warehouse.  Artie has a hard time trusting others with the artifacts, and he is oftentimes frustrated with his two lead agents, Myka and Pete.  Artie isn’t very personable, although he does have an ongoing crush on a visiting doctor played by Lindsay Wagner, who comes once a year to remove his regenerating appendix (it’s a magical show, remember?).

Viewers learn that Artie’s mysterious past includes his unknowingly trading magical artifacts to the Soviet Union in exchange for the release of his imprisoned family members, an act that was considered treason by the United States.  Once he turned himself in, the US government assigned him to the warehouse where he has been ever since.

Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) is the traditional, play by the rules, Secret Service agent working at the warehouse.  Like most women, Myka pays great attention to detail, and her professional style clashes with her goofy partner, Pete.  On a personal note, Myka has a pet ferret (that she named Pete) and she loves Twizzlers. A girl after my own heart…

What “special power” does Myka bring to the table? She has a photographic memory.

Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) is the other side of the partnership.  He’s a former Marine and a recovering alcoholic, yet he still has a goofy and fun side.  Pete loves sports, collects comic books, and craves junk food.

What “special power” does Pete bring to the table? He’s a master at reading lips and he can sense when something bad is about to happen.

The two partners share a cute relationship—it’s clear that they love each other, but more in a brotherly/sisterly kind of way.  Pete dated the town veterinarian for a little while (until an artifact possessed her and she tried to kill him), while Myka managed to kiss the boy she crushed on in high school at her reunion.  Other than that, the Warehouse 13 agents rarely have time for any romantic interludes.

The Warehouse also employs Claudia (Allison Scagliotti), a young techie-genius who went to work for the team after breaking into the warehouse… or at least we’re led to believe that was the first Artie and the Board of Regents had hears about Claudia, until recently, that is.

A few other recurring characters include: Mrs. Frederic (C.C.H. Pounder), the director of the warehouse and liaison between the agents and regents; Helena “H.G.” Wells (Jaime Murray), an agent from the late 1800’s, who bounces back and forth between good and evil; and, Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore), an agent brought in after Myka temporarily resigned.

A huge bonus to working at the warehouse is the access to very cool gadgets.  The agents communicate with one another visually and telephonically via a “Farnsworth” in lieu of cell phones.  Instead of using real guns, the agents fire a “Tesla Gun”—a weapon that shoots lightning bolts and stuns the bad guys instead of killing them.  The agents also use caution when in public by capturing the magic of the artifacts by sealing them inside metallic “flash” bags.

Warehouse 13 has featured many historical artifacts throughout the seasons, including: Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, Lizzie Borden’s compact, Marilyn Monroe’s hair brush, Harry Houdini’s wallet, Marie Antoinette’s guillotine blade (well, the one that killed her), Ben Franklin’s lightning rod, and Edgar Allan Poe’s quill pen.

Not personally big on most shows featured on SyFy, I find Warehouse 13 very enjoyable.  I read somewhere that W13 has over 50% female viewers, maybe for the very same reasons that I watch—it’s fun, magical, and an escape from reality.  That’s why Warehouse 13 earns the JFTV rating… it’s like the bag of potato chips that we just can’t put down.

Are you a Warehouse 13 fan? Is there an artifact throughout history that you’d like to get your hands on? And if so, what magical power do you think it might possess?  

Better yet, how do you think the series will end? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Not Just a St. Patty’s Day Food – Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick’s Day means a couple of things in our house… it’s a day to wear green or get pinched, a lot; it’s a day to treat ourselves to a green beer or two, or maybe a Guinness; and it’s a day to enjoy one of our favorite Irish dishes—Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Corned Beef and CabbageActually, tons of families eat this popular dinner to celebrate St. Patty’s Day… but why limit ourselves with this delish dish only once a year? Corned Beef and Cabbage is not only yummy, but it’s easy to make and it is actually very healthy for us… not to mention, it makes a ton, perfect for leftovers. And who doesn’t like leftovers?

Now, I’m sure there are multiple ways to make Corned Beef and Cabbage, but here’s how we do it:

First, what’s needed:

Corned Beef Roast, prepackaged with a seasoning packet (any size, depends on how much you want)
2-4 Cans of beer (any flavor, we usually use whatever domestic is in the fridge… like Miller Lite)
Bag of baby carrots, washed and dried
Bag of red potatoes, washed, quartered, and punctured with a fork
Head of cabbage
Extra pickling spice

Now let’s cook:

First, you’ll need a roaster. It can be a disposable foil roaster, a heavy-duty oven roaster, or a countertop roaster oven.   Thanks to my parents, we use a GE countertop roaster oven. It’s amazing how much cooler my kitchen is when cooking a dish all day in the countertop oven versus using my gas oven for hours…

Pour the beer in the roaster oven until the bottom is covered. The quantity of beer will depend on the size of the roaster.

Place the Corned Beef Roast—fat down—in the oven with a tiny bit of the natural juice from the package.

Sprinkle the packaged seasoning over the meat and then add some extra pickling spice as desired.

Pour another beer or two over the meat. The meat doesn’t need to be covered, but we usually want the beer level to be about half an inch up on all sides of the roast. If the liquid dissolves while cooking, add water. But in using so much beer, we rarely (if ever) have to add water while cooking.

Corned BeefCover with foil (if using a foil roaster) or lid and cook at 350 degrees for a couple of hours… usually thirty minutes per pound works great.

Sprinkle in the carrots and potatoes in the juice surrounding the roast after about two hours. Cover again with the foil or the lid and cook for another hour or two.

Corned Beef, Carrots, and PotatoesTurn the heat down to 250 degrees. At this point, I usually puncture the carrots and potatoes with a fork.  If hard, obviously they need to cook longer.

About an hour before you’re ready to eat, core the cabbage and cover the entire meal with the cabbage. Season with pepper, cover, and cook.

Corned Beef and CabbageServe with toasted pumpernickel bread and butter. This is some serious yum here, folks.

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  Have any other holiday recipes that are good year-round to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.