Tele-Tuesday: Anxiously Awaiting the Return of American Horror Story

Over these last few weeks, The Ooo Factor has introduced seventeen new programs to the 2012 television schedule.  But what about our returning favorites?

By now, I think everyone knows just how much I loved a few of the new dramas last year.  When asked which one I enjoyed most, I have a difficult time choosing (all three are very different).  First, we have ABC’s Revenge, where we watch the angry, yet beautiful protagonist Emily Thorne exact vengeance against all those who destroyed her family years earlier.  Next, we have CBS’s Person of Interest, where we watch the Jack Bauer-Raylan Givens-like protagonist John Reese kick bad guys around each and every week.  Then we have American Horror Story

FX did it again in the 2011/2012 season with yet another fantastic original drama to add to its list of past successes.  Joining the likes of Nip/Tuck, Damages, and Justified, American Horror Story kept with the creepy and dark story lines and didn’t disappoint!

To recap:

Following a miscarriage and an affair, Vivien and Ben Harmon leave Boston with their daughter looking for a fresh start.  The family buys a gorgeous house, despite learning that the previous owners both died in the basement in an apparent murder-suicide.

The Harmon Family…

The house is perfect for the Harmons; large enough for Ben (Dylan McDermott, The Practice) to open his private psychiatry practice, and outdated just enough to keep Vivien (Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights) busy redecorating.  At first daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga) doesn’t understand why the family has to move across the country, but she soon adjusts after she meets her father’s new patient and fellow “cutter” Tate (Evan Peters).

The family’s new neighbors stop by to introduce themselves: Constance (Academy Award winner, Jessica Lange) and her daughter Adelaide. Constance warns Vivien that Addy has always been attracted to the Harmon’s new home and tends to walk in as she pleases, but fails to disclose that she too has a long history with the house.

Next, Vivien meets Moira, the house’s former housekeeper.  After briefly visiting with Moira, Vivien decides to hire her to help tend to the house.  But here’s the creepy part – Vivien sees Moira as an older woman (played by Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under), but her adulterous husband sees Moira as a young and sexy maid (played by Alexandra Breckenridge, Dirt).

Regardless of which version of Moira is on screen, Constance can’t stand her.  Years earlier, young Moira was sleeping with another former owner of the house (played by Eric Close from Without a Trace), a man who Constance loved.  After walking in on Moira and her lover having sex, Constance shot and killed them both.  Constance didn’t bother to notice that her boyfriend was forcing himself onto the beautiful housekeeper; instead, she just shot point-blank into Moira’s eye before taking dead aim at his chest.

Following a home invasion of crazy people reenacting a previous murder that allegedly took place in her house in the 1960s, Vivien decides to hop on board a tour bus that stops outside her new home to learn a bit of history about the house—The Murder House.

The Murder House… aka the Harmon residence.

The house was built in the early 1900s by a Dr. Charles Montgomery for his wife, Nora.  Suffering from a down economy, the doctor performed abortions inside the house for extra money.  It was not long before an angry family member of one of Charles’ patients kidnapped and murdered his son.   The events destroyed the family, particularly Nora, but when the doctor sewed his son back together like a Frankenstein monster, his wife lost it.

In the 1960s, a group of sorority girls lived in the house.  Maria, a devout Christian, answered the door to find a bleeding man on the front porch.  She brought him inside and called upstairs for the house nurse to help—but it was a set-up.  The man and his friends drowned the nurse, and hog tied and brutally murdered Maria.

Learning of these additional stories about her house, Vivien decides she has heard enough.  Noticing blood, she jumps off the tour bus and rushes to the doctor afraid she’s suffering another miscarriage.  Her baby is fine, but despite her doctor’s warning to not attempt a move during pregnancy, Vivien insists they sell the house.

In addition to the legends that Vivien has already heard, the house has an even longer history of death making it difficult for the realtor (Christine Estabrook, Desperate Housewives) to show the house.

In the 1970s, the house was vacant and a set of red-headed twin tweens enjoyed vandalizing the property.  Young Adelaide warned the two to not go inside, but they ignored her and continued to break lights and wreak havoc on the house.  After entering the basement, the two boys were murdered.

Look behind you, Vivien!

Another previous owner, Larry Harvey (Denis O’Hare, True Blood), set the house on fire while his wife and daughters slept—or did he?  Regardless of how the fire started, he too burned, but was spared before perishing himself.  After serving years of his life sentence in prison, he was diagnosed with an advanced stage of brain cancer and was released to live out the remainder of his days a free man.  Now free, Larry begins to stalk Ben and warns him that he must get his family out of that house…

On Halloween 2010, gay lovers Chad (Zachary Quinto, Heroes) and Patrick (Teddy Sears, Raising the Bar) died while preparing to celebrate the festive holiday.  Following a fight, Patrick stormed off and a mysterious man dressed in rubber drowned Chad in his apple-bobbing station.  Attempting to mend fences with his lover, Patrick rushed home wearing his Halloween costume and discovered his partner’s body before suffering his own untimely death at the hands of The Gimp.  As we can see, the previous owners did not die in a murder-suicide, as the realtor tells it, but rather a double homicide…

The Gimp… or is that Ben? Or Tate? Who is wearing the creepy rubber suit?

Past events continue to unfold, but remember one of the reasons why the family moved away from Boston?  Ben had an affair with his student (Hayden played by Kate Mara from We Are Marshall).

Hayden announces she is pregnant and shows up at the Harmon house hoping to convince Ben to take care of her or warns she will ruin his marriage.  Crazy Larry takes a shovel to Hayden’s head and Ben covers up the murder by burying her in a grave in the backyard.  As Larry sees it, Ben now owes him; and the house has a new ghost lingering around.

Speaking of the grave, there were other bodies down there—Moira for one.  Constance explains this is why the slain housekeeper is forever tied to the house, especially after Ben builds a gazebo to cover up Hayden’s body.  But are there other bodies down there too?

Tate, Constance, and Moira watch as yet another falls victim…

And this is just early into season one… the really good thing about American Horror Story is that the show actually answered many of our questions, including:

Who is The Gimp?
What happened to Tate?
What happened to Constance’s other children, and is she a ghost?
What happened to Mrs. Montgomery?
Will Addy be tied to the house along with the other ghosts?
Will the Harmons escape The Murder House?
And, who is the father of Vivien’s baby, her husband or the man in the rubber suit?

But unlike most television dramas, season two brings us an entirely different story and cast.  Instead of a family moving into The Murder House, this year the story takes place in an asylum.  Instead of playing Constance, Jessica Lange now plays Sister Jude.  Instead of playing Chad, Zachary Quinto now plays Dr. Thredson.  Instead of playing Tate, Evan Peters now plays Kit Walker.   And, instead of playing Nora, Lily Rabe now plays Sister Mary Eunice.  Other than this, the entire cast of American Horror Story season two is new:  James Cromwell, Joseph Fiennes, Adam Levine, Chloe Sevigny, Clea DuVall, and Mark Consuelos to just name a few.

I won’t lie; a part of me is sad that the story of season one died along with… well, I don’t want to give anything away.  But after seeing what the writers and creators were capable of last year, I will be one of the first to press play on my DVR October 17th when American Horror Story: Asylum premieres on FX.

Did you watch American Horror Story?  What do you think about the change in location and cast for season two?  Which non-returning character will you miss most?  Which new character are you most looking forward to?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: New October Drama

It’s that time of year again!  The fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re focusing on the new television dramas premiering during the month of October…

*****

We all know how much of a success Smallville was; heck, it lasted ten seasons on the CW.  Fighting crime alongside Clark (aka The Blur; aka Superman, played by Tom Welling) in the later seasons of Smallville was Oliver Queen (aka the Green Arrow, played by Justin Hartley).  Personally, I loved Oliver and was thrilled to hear the CW was launching a Green Arrow show; but I’d be remiss to not mention that I was just a tad bit disappointed when I learned Mr. Hartley would not be reprising his role.

Instead, in the new series Arrow, the role of the “billionaire playboy” Oliver Queen is played by the very attractive Stephen Amell.  I’ll try to let the re-casting slide for this very reason… he really is cute.

Following an accident at sea, Oliver Queen was presumed dead.  After being discovered alive, Oliver finally returns home… but the last five years have changed him.  While his closest friends and family welcome him back with open arms, Oliver wants more—he needs more—so he decides to reconcile his past, starting with his ex-girlfriend.  But he doesn’t stop there; Oliver also wants to restore his city from the “ills of society.”  And with that, his new vigilante persona is born—Arrow.

The series also stars many familiar faces: Catie Cassidy (Harper’s Island and the “new” Melrose Place) as Laurel Lance, Oliver’s ex; Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files and The River) as Detective Quentin Lance, Laurel’s father;  David Ramsey (Dexter) as John Diggle, Oliver’s driver and bodyguard; Willa Holland (the O.C.) as Thea, Oliver’s sister; Colin Donnell (Pan Am) as Tommy, Oliver’s best friend; Susanna Thompson (Once and Again) as Moira, Oliver’s mother; and Jamey Sheridan (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) as Robert, Oliver’s father.

Arrow premieres Wednesday, October 10th on the CW.

*****

There’s just something about fire fighters… they’re sexy, courageous, generous, and did I mention sexy?  But seriously, can you imagine the pressure our firefighters are under on a daily basis?  Saving lives; risking their lives; protecting everyone, including one another at all costs; living with some of the highest levels of stress imaginable—they really are heroes.

Chicago Fire follows a group of firefighters and paramedics as they serve Chicago and work to maintain and balance their personal lives.  And as if the job isn’t tough enough, the new drama starts off with these brave men and women losing one of their own.  Who will they blame?  How will they move forward?  And will there be time to truly mourn the loss before another emergency calls them away?

We all know that every fire starts with an ignition source; and with Chicago Fire, that source would be the sexiness.  Just look at this cast: Jesse Spencer (House) as Lt. Matthew Casey; Taylor Kinney (The Vampire Diaries) as Lt. Kelly Severide;  Eamonn Walker (Oz) as Chief Wallace Boden; Charlie Barnett (Men and Black 3) as Firefighter Peter Mills; and Lauren German (Happy Town and Hawaii Five-0) as Paramedic Leslie Shay.  The series also stars David Eigenberg (Sex and the City) as Firefighter Christopher Herrmann and a few ladies I’m not familiar with (Monica Raymund and Teri Reeves).

Maybe it’s the expected heat; maybe it’s the promising flames; either way, I am ready for Chicago Fire!

Chicago Fire premieres Wednesday, October 10th on NBC.

*****

Is this the one starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Leighton Meester about the aging country beauty and her young and talented competition on tour together?  No… that’s Country Strong.

This is Nashville—a story about an aging country beauty (Rayna James, played by Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights and American Horror Story) and her young and talented competition (Juliette Barnes, played by Hayden Panettiere from Heroes) on tour together.

See, two totally different shows…  No really; they probably are different, I just can’t seem to see past the similarities at this point.  To me, it looks like television is hoping to cash in on motion picture success.

The series also stars: Powers Boothe (Deadwood) as Rayna’s daddy, a rich and powerful politician; Eric Close (Without a Trace) as Rayna’s scumbag husband—he’s one of my TV crushes, but why has he been playing a scumbag lately? I’m talking about his Suits recurring character for those not familiar; Jonathan Jackson (General Hospital) as a fellow musician; and Charles Esten (Who’s Line is it Anyway?) as Rayna’s former love.

Nashville premieres Wednesday, October 10th on ABC.

*****

It’s been twenty-two years since we all fell in love with Catherine (Linda Hamilton, the Terminator movies) and Vincent (Ron Perlman, Sons of Anarchy) in CBS’s Beauty and the Beast.  Twenty-two years… can you believe it?  Viewers watched as the “world above” and the “world below” joined together to fight evil, but unfortunately the series was short-lived (only three seasons) and television has been without it ever since.

But now Catherine and Vincent are back, only this time they are younger and the story is a little different…

Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk from Smallville) is a homicide detective with a haunted past (her mother was murdered in front of her).  She probably would have been killed too, but she was saved by an animal… no, a human.  Catherine takes her past experiences and uses them to become the woman that she is today—strong, independent, and very capable.

While working a case, Catherine and her partner stumble across fingerprints of Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan from Terra Nova), a man who supposedly died years earlier.  But because of his past with Catherine (I’m sure most everyone can guess this one…), he confides in her and tells her his secret—when enraged, he transforms into a beast with super strength and powers.  Catherine agrees to keep his secret; after all, she owes him her life… and she can’t seem to keep from obsessing about him at the same time.

The series also stars: Max Brown (The Tudors) as Evan Marks, the medical examiner and Catherine’s “human” love interest; Brian White (The Shield) as Joe Bishop, Catherine’s boss; Nicole Anderson (Make It or Break It) as Heather, Catherine’s sister; as well as relative new-comers Nina Lisandrello (Tess, Catherine’s partner) and Austin Basis (JT, Vincent’s confidant).

Beauty and the Beast premieres Thursday, October 11th on the CW.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Chicago Fire at number one.  This was a tough decision because I’m a really big CW fan… that said, Arrow probably comes in a very close second with Beauty and the Beast following closely behind at number three.  No offense to Nashville, but it comes in last.  Someone always has to come in last, but that doesn’t mean we won’t give it a chance here on Tele-Tuesday.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

P.S.  Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!!

Tele-Tuesday: New TV This Fall

It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re looking at even more, but we’re mixing it up with comedy and drama…

*****

Ben and Kate… two siblings who have always had each other—and only each other on many occasions.

Ben Fox is the brother who “never grew up” and Kate Fox is the sister who “grew up too fast” by having a baby out-of-wedlock.  Like most sisters, Kate is the first one to admit that her brother is an idiot; but no matter how tough life gets, Ben and Kate will always have each other… and Maddy, Kate’s five year old daughter… and their two best friends, BJ and Tommy.

The comedy stars: Nat Faxon, a comedian with a familiar face and recent Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (The Descendants); Dakota Johnson, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson—yeah, THE Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson; as well as Maggie Jones (We Bought a Zoo), Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher and Dinner for Schmucks), and Echo Kellum.

To see my thoughts on the pilot, click here.  I cheated and watched it online a few weeks ago…

Ben and Kate premieres tonight (September 25th) on Fox.

*****

Does watching romantic comedies skew a girl’s ideas on what relationships actually look like?  Yes…

And what happens when a girl meets a boy in a typical romantic comedy “cute encounter” type of situation, but it doesn’t end the same way as the romantic comedies do?  A girl obsesses about scoring her romantic comedy type of relationship and sets out to find herself the perfect man…

Meet Mindy (Mindy Kaling from The Office), a physician looking for love…  Yep, that’s it; that’s what The Mindy Project is all about from what I can tell.

Amber West snuck a peek a few weeks ago and tells us what she thought about the pilot.  Click here for more.

The Mindy Project also premieres tonight (September 25th) on Fox.

*****

Welcome to Hidden Hills, a gated community in the suburbs of New Jersey complete with its own golf course… sounds peaceful, right?  Not when the entire neighborhood consists of aliens…

The new ABC comedy follows the experiences of the Weaver family, the first human family to move into Hidden Hills in the ten years its current residents (aliens from the planet Zabvron) have been waiting for instructions to return home.  At first the Weavers believe their new neighbors are just weird (most are even named after famous athletes), but do weird neighbors really cry a nasty goo from their ears when upset?  No… that would be aliens.  Is it time to move?

The series stars Lenny Venito, one of Sipowicz’s snitches from NYPD Blue, and Jami Gertz, one of my favorite ‘80s actresses (Sixteen Candles, Lost Boys, and Less Than Zero).

The Neighbors premieres tomorrow night, Wednesday, September 26th on ABC.

*****

What happens when a Navy submarine crew, ordered to launch missiles at an enemy, is betrayed by their very own country?

This is the premise behind ABC’s new drama, Last Resort.  Realizing they’ve been hung out to dry by the United States government, the USS Colorado’s captain decides to take refuge on an island and protect his ship and crew no matter the cost—even if that means attacking Washington DC.

As if the story isn’t intense enough, Last Resort also stars one of my favorites—Andre Braugher (Glory, Hack, and Men of a Certain Age) as Captain Marcus Chaplin.  Viewers might also recognize a few other familiar faces: Scott Speedman (the Underworld movies and TV’s Felicity);  Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse and Being Human); Autumn Reeser (No Ordinary Family and Entourage); Jessy Schram (Veronica Mars and Falling Skies); and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2).

Our two favorite NCIS shows have some Naval competition…

Last Resort premieres Thursday, September 27th on ABC.

*****

“What would you do to have everything you desire?”

Residents at The Drake apartment building in New York City have it all—wealth, success, and good fortune.  But in this building, all good things come at a price… and it just so happens at 666 Park Avenue, a supernatural force demands possession of their souls in return.

Based on the books by Gabriella Pierce, 666 Park Avenue stars: Terry O’Quinn (Lost) as Gavin Doran, The Drake’s owner; Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) as Olivia, Gavin’s beautiful wife; Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) and Rachael Taylor (the beautiful Australian actress from movies such as Transformers and Shutter) as the apartment building’s new managers; and Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill) and Mercedes Masohn (The Finder) as a few of The Drake’s tenants.

Sexy, mysterious, and chilling are just three of the words used to describe this new series… I’m sold!

666 Park Avenue premieres Sunday, September 30th on ABC.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put 666 Park Avenue at number one.  Last Resort probably comes in second with The Neighbors following closely behind at number three.  Fourth place has to go to Ben and Kate, even though I’ve already watched the pilot, and The Mindy Project comes in last.  Someone always has to come in last, but that doesn’t mean we won’t give it a chance here on Tele-Tuesday.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: New Fall Drama

It’s that time of year again!  The fall television schedule is right around the corner, and as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re looking at a few of the new fall dramas…

*****

If there’s anything we’re all guilty of in today’s world, it’s our addiction to technology.  But what would we do if all of the technologies in the world were wiped out forever?  How would we survive?  And as if living in a world without everything we’ve become accustomed to isn’t bad enough, what if the one we love the most is taken away from us?

Revolution follows the Matheson family after a blackout destroys everything we rely on heavily today—phones, computers, transportation, electricity, etc.  This family possesses the truth behind why the blackout occurred and holds “the key” to reversing its effects and restoring power.  But along the way, and with public order non-existent in this post-apocalyptic world, an evil militia has taken over and wants the power to rule all to themselves.

The series stars: Tracy Spiridakos as Charlotte “Charlie” Matheson, a young woman who will stop at nothing until she reunites with her brother taken by the militia; Billy Burke as Uncle Miles, a former Marine who supposedly has MAD sword-fighting skills; Ginacarlo Esposito as Tom Neville, a captain in the militia; Tim Guinee as Ben, Charlie’s father, the one with the supposed “key” to restoring the power; and Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel, Charlie’s mother.

Revolution premiered last night on NBC.  But don’t worry; catch an encore presentation this Wednesday, September 19th.

*****

We’re all familiar with The Hippocratic Oath, right?  The Oath every single doctor, nurse, and healthcare professional takes, swearing to practice medicine both honestly and ethically…  But what happens when a top surgeon’s family is indebted to the mob and medical expertise is expected as a form of payment toward such a debt?

The Mob Doctor follows Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro), one of the top surgical residents in Chicago.  Everything is falling into place for Grace and her future looks promising, until she makes a deal with the devil—or mafia—to save her brother.  As a part of her “arrangement” with the mob, Grace agrees inadvertently to do whatever it takes to repay her debt… even if that means killing a patient in her care.  But will she actually go through with it?  Or will she fight the mafia, trying to do what’s right—staying true to The Hippocratic Oath?

The new series also stars: William Forsythe as Constantine Alexander—the mob boss; Zach Gilford from Friday Night Lights; James Carpinello, Broadway alum and husband to one of our favorite Whedonites, Amy Acker; Jesse Soffer, from the Brady Bunch movies; and Michael Rapaport, one of my favorites from the 1995 movie, Higher Learning, and TV series Boston Public and Prison Break.

But here’s what’s concerning—Michael Rapaport is clearly in the commercials for The Mob Doctor, but his name doesn’t appear in the credits online.  Very interesting…  Maybe he is killed off early?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but that would be a shame… considering he’s one of the main reasons I’m tuning in to watch.

The Mob Doctor premiered last night on Fox.  But again, don’t worry; catch the pilot episode again this Friday night, September 21st.

*****

I used to like a show about Vegas a LOT—remember NBC’s Las Vegas, starring James Caan, Josh Duhamel, James Lesure, Molly Simms, and Vanessa Marcil?  Heck, even Tom Selleck starred for a few seasons after Caan left.  Now that was a good show…

But that’s not this Vegas.

Inspired by a true story, Vegas follows a sheriff and rancher (Dennis Quaid) as he battles a Chicago mob boss (Michael Chiklis) looking to take over the desert town in the 1960s.  As their personalities and lifestyles clash, these two men with completely different ideals battle head-to-head.  Who will win?  After all, Vegas is all about winning and losing…

The series also stars Carrie-Anne Moss (the Matrix movies) and Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova).

Vegas premieres Tuesday, September 25th on CBS.

*****

Certain literary masterpieces continue to live on just as strong today as they did centuries ago…  like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Jane Austen’s Emma, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes just to name a few.

Elementary is television’s latest adaptation of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.  Hoping to bask in the popularity of the Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, as well as the BBC’s Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, CBS’s new drama places a modern-day twist on the classic story.

Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone) stars as Sherlock Holmes, a former London detective with a bit of a drinking problem.  At the insistence of his father, Sherlock is shadowed by Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu, from Ally McBeal) who is looking to get back into the medical field after her license is revoked.  But Sherlock’s sobriety is not a concern for him and he knows a normal rehabilitation program is not what he needs—instead, he wants to do what he does best—solve crimes.  Together, the duo will solve some of New York City’s toughest cases… whether Watson likes it or not.

The series also stars Aiden Quinn (Prime Suspect, but more importantly Legends of the Fall) as NYC Police Captain, Tobias Gregson.

Elementary premieres Thursday, September 27th on CBS.

*****

What do you get when you cross a high-powered New York law firm with street-smarts from New Jersey?  The perfect attorney for the job—Martina Garretti (Janet Montgomery, from Human Target and Entourage).

Of course, that doesn’t mean the other members of her firm won’t doubt Ms. Garretti’s abilities—after all, most of her colleagues have Ivy League educations.  Plus, with a traditional Italian family back at home, we can expect Martina to be pulled in many different directions.  Despite all of the naysayers and interruptions, will she successfully balance her family life with a high-powered legal career?

The series also stars: Kyle Maclachlan (Twin Peaks, Desperate Housewives) as firm founder, Donovan Stark; Kristoffer Polaha (Ringer) as Nolan Adams; Stephanie March (Law & Order: SVU) and many other familiar faces.

Made in Jersey premieres Friday, September 28th on CBS.

*****

If I had to rank these in order as to which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Elementary at number one.  Not to mention, Elementary falls on my favorite TV night of the week—Thursday.

Revolution probably comes in second behind Elementary, with Vegas following closely behind at number three.  Fourth and fifth place is probably a tossup between The Mob Doctor and Made in Jersey, but that doesn’t mean we won’t give both of these a chance here on Tele-Tuesday.

And just in case anyone missed the premiere of The Mob Doctor and Revolution last night and can’t decide whether or not to check out the encore presentations later this week, come back tomorrow and find out what Amber West and I thought of the two in our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new dramas?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: NBC’s New Fall Comedies

It’s that time of year again!  The fall television schedule is right around the corner, and as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re looking at the new NBC comedies…

*****

Matthew Perry returns to NBC in the new comedy, Go On.  While NBC has aired the pilot episode a few times already, I have yet to catch it.  But I won’t miss it this week—my DVR is already set.

But for those who haven’t heard anything about it, Mr. Perry plays Ryan, a sports radio host who is ordered into mandatory counseling before he is allowed to return to work after his wife passes away.  His therapy group consists of all the colorful characters one would expect to see—people Ryan feels need counseling more than he does.

The series also stars Julie White (the hilarious Mrs. Witwicky from the Transformer movies), John Cho (Harold from the Harold & Kumar movies), and Brett Gelman (from the Funny or Die series), as well as a few other familiar faces (Allison Miller from Terra Nova, Laura Benanti from the short-lived Playboy Club, and Khary Payton from General Hospital).

A few weeks ago, Amber West reviewed the pilot on her Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post.  Her take on the new comedy told me exactly what I thought it would—Matthew Perry is funny and the show has potential.

Go On premieres tonight, September 11th, on NBC.

*****

The New Normal stars Andrew Rannells (from Broadway’s Book of Mormon) and Justin Bartha (from The Hangover movies) as a gay couple wanting to add a precious baby to their family.  When they meet a single mother (Goldie, played Georgia King), the couple decides they have found the perfect surrogate for their baby.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to is the return of Ellen Barkin.  From the promos I’ve seen, Barkin’s character is a bit off-colored and I can’t help but laugh—even if it’s an uncomfortable laugh.  Will The New Normal bring a bit of raunchy comedy to NBC?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

The other thing I’m most looking forward to is the fact that Ryan Murphy co-created the series.  Murphy’s most popular television series include two Ooo Factor favorites: Nip/Tuck and American Horror Story.  I think his resume alone speaks volumes and we should all at least check out the pilot episode…

The sitcom also stars NeNe Leakes; that’s right, a “Real Housewife” from Atlanta and previous Celebrity Apprentice contestant.  Now isn’t that interesting?  I don’t watch any of the Real Housewives, but I do know of NeNe from all of her coverage in the media.  Maybe she’ll bring some of her NeNe flare to the show?

The New Normal premieres tonight, September 11th, after Go On on NBC.

*****

It seems that the parents with babies theme is big over at NBC… last year, Up All Night premiered and scored a second season pick up, and this year Guys with Kids is the second sitcom based on fathers and their babies (the first being The New Normal from above).

Guys with Kids follows three fathers as they raise their children.  I’d say “stay-at-home-dads” or “Mr. Moms,” but having not seen an episode yet, I’m not sure of their individual situations.  One is believed to be divorced and another married, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Regardless, the new comedy stars three funny men with impressive resumes: Anthony Anderson (from The Bernie Mac Show and Law & Order), Zach Cregger (from the short-lived sitcom Friends with Benefits), and Jesse Bradford (from the very funny I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and TV’s short-lived Jimmy Smits drama, Outlaw).  And speaking of funny men, the SNL great and current nighttime TV host, Jimmy Fallon co-created the series.  Again, the talent involved makes the new show worth a watch…

But it’s not all about the boys; this sitcom also stars a few women, including Jamie Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos) and Tempestt Bledsoe (The Cosby Show).  I personally can’t wait to see Meadow Soprano in a comedic role…

Guys with Kids premieres this Wednesday (September 12th) on NBC.

*****

If I had to rank these in order as to which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Go On at number one with Guys with Kids following closely behind at number two.   No offense to The New Normal; someone always has to come in last, but that doesn’t mean we won’t give it a chance.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of the new comedies on NBC this year?  Which of these shows will make it and which ones won’t… and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: A Shout-Out to the All the Inbetweeners

I don’t know how often kids today watch MTV, but I’m a real-life, breathing child of the music channel…

In the’80s, the new Music Television channel changed pop culture forever with music videos—thank you, MTV!  In the ‘90s, the network began to slowly drift away from the music videos, and started airing original broadcasts such as Road Rules and The Real World, animations including Beavis and Butthead and Celebrity Deathmatch, and even a few popular game shows like Remote Control and Singled Out—the show that put Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra on the map.  By 2000, rarely could we flip channels to MTV and actually watch a music video.  Instead, we’d find The Osbournes, where we’d watch Ozzy and Sharon wrangle their children and many small dogs around their house; or we’d watch Ashton Kutcher play pranks on celebrities on Punk’d; and, sometimes we’d even watch Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica so that we could laugh at just how silly that girl could be.  Since then, MTV has continued to launch more and more reality shows: Laguna Beach, NEXT, My Super Sweet 16, and the craziest of them all, Jersey Shore.  And, who could forget one of the biggest hits of all MTV programming—Jackass?

MTV’s Teen Wolf – pretty people and the supernatural… normal teen television today

But I’ve never given up on my MTV.  Today, when I’m looking for something to watch on television, I always flip over to check out what’s on the channel.  While I can’t say it’s been a music video one time in the last few years, MTV still offers a few programs that I don’t miss—the Road Rules/Real World Challenges, Teen Wolf, and Death Valley.  Everything else… I have stayed away from (Teen Mom—no, thank you); but that’s not to say I haven’t laughed at the commercials for a few of the other MTV originals.

But after a very impressive first two seasons, MTV doubles the upcoming season three episode count and orders 24 episodes!!

Let’s be honest—MTV is supposed to grab the attention of the teen audience, which I believe it does.    However, teen programs today aren’t necessarily the same as the ‘80s and ‘90s.  Television in the 1980s offered a bit more substance than today’s reality fixation.  Back in the day, honest- to-goodness family programming dominated network TV’s primetime hours—Who’s the Boss?, Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, The Wonder Years, Family Ties—instead of the incessant need to watch individuals hurt themselves while rushing through an obstacle course or watch a young talent’s hopes shatter in recorded auditions.

Teen television today tends to focus on more adult situations.  Take The Secret Life of the American Teenager—how many characters have either already had a baby or at least a pregnancy scare?   And as much as I like The Vampire Diaries, where are the parents?  Who gets these kids alcohol for their parties?  Today, popular young adult TV seems to focus on pretty people, popular kids, high fashion, and adult themes.

But what about the rest of us?  Not everyone fits in with the “in-crowd.”  At one time or another, most teenagers have felt like they don’t belong; like they are all alone in this cruel world.  Luckily, MTV caters to this crowd with two programs—Awkward and The Inbetweeners.

I didn’t plan on watching either of these shows, not until I saw Comedy Central airing reruns of The Inbetweeners this weekend.  While I still haven’t seen Awkward, I did set the DVR for MTV’s latest series… I mean, if Comedy Central is going to play the new show, it must be funny—right?

It’s funny… to me, The Inbetweeners might be more realistic than most other teen programs on television.  The thirty-minute show focuses around Will Mackenzie (Joey Pollari), a recent transfer student from a private prep-school to a public high school.  On his first day, he meets Simon (Bubba Lewis), Jay (Zack Pearlman), and Neil (Mark L. Young).  Despite Will’s not really fitting in with these guys, he has found his circle of friends—they’re not jocks, they’re not nerds; they’re not in any way popular—they’re inbetweeners.  And like most teen boys, all they can think about is girls, sex, and alcohol.  These characters are constantly thinking about girls (Simon loves Carly, but Carly is dating a real “hunk”), sex (Jay claims to have had sex many times, but we all know the truth—he’s a virgin), and alcohol (they even drink the expensive stuff with gold in it…).  Seriously; it’s all about girls, sex, and alcohol.  The comedy is a bit lewd and there are quite a few bleeps over the bad language, but it all seems realistic to me—how teens act and talk, and especially how they think.

In just the first two episodes, the boys have already fallen victim to many embarrassing moments: the principal’s warning students to not bully Will over the PA system; Will’s thinking he’s getting a cool car when he passes his driving test, only to learn his father has purchased him the “sports edition” of an old, yellow Ford Festiva; Simon’s drinking too much and throwing up all over Carly’s kitchen after she invites him over on a pity-date (he spray-painted her driveway and his friends were making fun of him); and the enduring pain of watching parents’ public displays of affection.  Most of us can relate to at least a version of these embarrassing moments, can’t we?  Even if we considered ourselves part of the “cool” kids in school?

Based on the British series of the same name, and created by the man responsible for hit shows such as Arrested Development and My Name is Earl, The Inbetweeners has already survived the first crucial moment in a television show’s life—MTV has picked up twelve episodes.  Will it last?  I don’t know… but if anyone fell or falls into the “inbetween” group while in high school, this show might just be for them.

Have you watched The Inbetweeners?  Will you?  Have you ever felt like an inbetweener?  What do you look for in YA television?  I’d love to hear from you!

And, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

Tele-Tuesday: Major Crimes’ New Look

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I would return to my thoughts about TNT’s The Closer spinoff.  Today is that day…

Following the conclusion of Brenda Leigh’s story, Captain Raydor took the lead in Major Crimes.  For the past few seasons, we’ve tolerated Captain Raydor while 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 the Deputy Chief.  How will Captain Raydor do leading Brenda Leigh’s team?

That’s right—almost the entire cast of The Closer returned for the new series.  I said almost… this is the first major difference between the two shows.  Besides losing Brenda Leigh, obviously, the team also lost David Gabriel (Corey Reynolds) and we haven’t seen the recently promoted Chief of Police (Chief Pope, played by J.K. Simmons).

Once a TV series loses a character, it usually makes sense to replace that role.  Enter Kearran Giovanni as Detective Amy Sykes, the newest member of the Major Crimes unit.  As expected, Detective Sykes ruffled the feathers of a few of the veterans on her way to her new position… especially Louie Provenza (G.W. Bailey).  But that could be because Detective Provenza was already bothered by Raydor’s promotion, since he had been leading the team in the interim.  It could also be Detective Sykes’ eagerness and her constant over-reaching and jumping in where she doesn’t belong.  Either way, her abrupt nature isn’t fitting in with the others just yet, but she’s growing on them and it’s just a matter of time before they accept her.

Captain Sharon Raydor

As of last night, I’ve watched three episodes and I stand behind my earlier statement that my Monday nights will never be the same again without The Closer; but for what it’s worth, TNT is softening the blow.  Raydor (Mary McDonnell) may not close like Brenda Leigh, no one ever will for that matter; but what Brenda mastered in closing a case and prying a confession out of her suspect, Raydor will match in her ability to settle the case—saving Los Angeles a ton of money (the second major difference between the two TV shows).

How will our favorite group of detectives handle their new leader’s style?  Once again, Provenza doesn’t like it in the least.  None of them really do, but he’s the most likely to speak out against Raydor.  But there is nothing he can do; the Major Crimes unit is to work with the District Attorney’s office every step of the way in trying to skip the courtroom and walk the criminals directly to their prison cells—Chief’s orders.

In an earlier post, I also mentioned that in addition to the drama, The Closer episodes promised humor, and I found myself smiling at each episode’s end regardless of how gruesome their case.  Most of the fun centered around the interactions of the team: Gabriel, Provenza, Andy Flynn (Tony Denison), Michael Tao (Michael Paul Chan), Julio Sanchez (Raymond Cruz), Buzz (Phillip P. Keene), and Commander Taylor (now Assistant Chief, played by Robert Gossett).  So far, this is the third major difference between The Closer and Major Crimes as far as I’m concerned.  While there may be a comment or an interaction that brings a smile to my face, it happens a lot less often in Major Crimes.

Oh, the sarcastic Raydor smile…

For now, I believe this is because the show is focusing on developing the Raydor character—they have no choice; she has some really tough shoes to fill.  Initially, The Closer fans didn’t like her; but the writers and creators slowly began to appeal to the viewers with a softer Raydor—a Raydor that even Brenda Leigh started to like.  I mean, let’s be real; if Brenda Leigh likes her, so will Brenda Leigh’s fans… right?  But Raydor is still no Brenda Leigh, and her character needs to be developed just a little bit more for us to fully fall head-over-heels for her like we did our favorite southern Deputy Chief.

Which leads me to the fourth major difference between the two shows… the addition of Rusty (played by Graham Patrick Martin), a homeless teen who was left with no other choice than turning to prostitution in order to survive.  Brenda Leigh initially discovered Rusty working her final case for the LAPD; but in her departure, Raydor has now stepped in and promised to continue Brenda Leigh’s work searching for Rusty’s mother.  In the meantime, Rusty lives with Raydor and the viewers slowly see the maternal side of Raydor kicking in.  She’s not just a ball-buster, she’s a mother.

It’s no Closer, but Major Crimes still has the characters I’ve grown to love over the years.  Raydor may not be Brenda Leigh, and she has a long way to go to establish herself on the same level in my opinion, but I’m not giving up.  Major Crimes is definitely worthy of a watch… even if this isn’t one of my Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts.

What do you think?  Have you checked out Major Crimes?  How do you feel it fares compared to The Closer?  Do you think the spinoff is headed in the right direction?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Why Common Law Deserves a Renewal

Everyone is familiar with the term opposites attract.  Heck, many of us even remember Paula Abdul’s hit song from the late ‘80s, early ‘90s.  Usually, people think of romantic couples when hearing the phrase… but television has taken it to an entirely different level, especially when creating cohesive and lovable partnerships—detective pairings to be specific.

These duos usually have different backgrounds: familiar, economic, social, racial, educational, etcetera.  But more often than not, these partners make for some of the best in the field.  One of the first pairs that comes to mind is Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs (Miami Vice).  Another is Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey (Cagney & Lacey).  And a more recent example would have to be Peter Burns and Neal Caffrey (White Collar).

There is nothing ground-breaking about these types of pairings on television, which is why when a new police procedural airs, the characters need another sort of twist to make it stand out among all the others.

Common Law does just that.  The USA series follows two Los Angeles robbery/homicide detectives with an immense love for the job—a job they’re good at—great at, actually—they just don’t like each other very much.  And when one partner draws his gun on the other, the police captain insists the two attend relationship counseling, or couples therapy to use a term we’re familiar with today.

Let’s start with Travis (Michael Ealy).  Travis was raised in the foster care system and has many mothers and brothers around the L.A. area.  He is a bit of a womanizer—he loves women and they love him—but he shies away from dating any one woman for more than, well, a night.  Perhaps this has something to do with his unstable childhood, but for whatever reason, it works for him… for now.

Next, we have Wes (Warren Kole).  The series hasn’t shared much about his childhood, but one can assume he hails from a wealthy enough family.  Before joining the LAPD, Wes worked as a lawyer and was married to another lawyer.  But when he quit to become a policeman, he lost more than his job—his wife left him too.  He hasn’t really dipped his toes back into the dating waters, but he’s taking baby steps toward the pool.

Travis and Wes bring these differences to their partnership, but only one thing matters—they are the best at what they do.  They bicker; they fight; and then they bicker and fight some more.  But when on a case, they rock it.

This scenario isn’t very fresh, is it?  No—but this is where the couples therapy comes in.  Travis and Wes do NOT want to attend therapy, but they don’t have a choice.  They’re joined by three heterosexual married couples and led by Dr. Ryan (Sonya Walger).  The therapy sessions really are great, and each episode’s opening quote always ties into the detectives’ lessons for the week.

For example, “Responsibility is the price of greatness.” ~Winston Churchill

Of course, Travis and Wes feel the group’s conversations don’t apply to them because they aren’t in a romantic relationship with one another; yet every single session relates directly to what the duo is experiencing, including: discussions about respecting each other’s personal property, or more specifically, Wes’ stapler and Travis’ inability to return it; co-parenting, or more specifically, working out a shared-custody arrangement of another policeman’s dog; and dealing with the in-laws, or more specifically, managing time between former, divisional bosses joining the current investigation.

“This session just took a detour to crazy town.” ~ Wes

The freshman series was very enjoyable for the most part, but the series finale sealed the deal for me.  After watching the last episode of the first season, I immediately hopped online to see if it had been picked up.  I was saddened to see it had not… not yet anyway.

In the finale, viewers watched Travis and Wes share with Dr. Ryan the story as to how they met and how their partnership began.  But more importantly, we learned why the two were assigned to couples therapy in the first place—why Wes drew his gun on Travis.  And let me just say, FANTASTIC.  I loved the finale so very much.  Not just because it gave the entire season purpose, but because we saw honest-to-goodness character growth from both Travis and Wes.

And I applaud the writers.  I noticed the tiny attention to detail inside the evidence warehouse; I saw the baby masks that the thieves wore in an earlier episode.  Everything came full-circle, including what I now consider to be Travis’ and Wes’ signature take-down.

“I can see a storm front coming through… a cloudy, cloudy storm front.” ~Travis

Watch the video attached to this article for a better understanding of Storm Front.

This partnership has a future, but does Common law?  I sure hope so…

C’mon USA!  Just renew it already.  Friday night is a tough spot, and even I’m guilty of not watching it live.  But I do watch it.  And I love it.  Please bring it back.

Oh, and did I mention the eye candy?

Travis and his baby blues…

Not a great shot, but just imagine baby blue eyes… because they are!

Wes and his killer dimples…

Again, not a great shot, but it gives you an idea of how cute his dimples are…

And one more thing that makes me swoon…  Warren Kole’s voice—it’s very sexy, ladies!

What do you think?  Did you watch Common Law?  Have you ever been so-so on a series until one particular episode drew you in for-keeps?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Knowing How to Close

The last few weeks, I have been glued to the television.  Many may be asking how that’s any different from my usual TV-viewing love affair, and it’s not really, but this particular programming only comes around once every four years.

I love the summer Olympics.  Nothing against the winter games, but there is something about swimming, gymnastics, beach volleyball, and track and field that I can’t pull myself away from.  And this year was no different.

For one reason or another, I cried every night—every night for the past two weeks.  I especially choked up during Michael Phelps’ and Missy Franklin’s record-breaking swims, the women’s gymnastics performances that earned gold for only the second time ever, and Misty May-Treanor’s and Kerri Wallace Jennings’ fantastic partnership in the sand that brought home the third-straight gold medal to the United States.

I  honestly believed that once these events were over that I’d stop crying, but that didn’t happen.  Every time I saw any of the flashbacks, whether it be from any of the above mentioned performances, the 1992 Dream Team, or the 1996 Magnificent Seven, a lump formed in my throat and my eyes stung until I allowed the first tear to trickle down my nose. Then, I thought for sure that once the closing Olympic ceremonies wrapped, my water-works would dry up…

But they didn’t.  Why?

Because the series finale of The Closer aired last night.

Like its name,  The Closer knows how to close.  Everything came full-circle; no outstanding issues were left unresolved; and everyone watching knew exactly how each and every character felt toward one another—love.

I will miss Brenda and her classic, black bag…

But perhaps my favorite aspect of the series finale was the attention to detail and symbolism.  Without giving too much away, let’s just say Brenda Leigh ruined her purse.  Anyone that watches The Closer knows how attached she is to that little black bag.  She’s not the type of woman to switch out handbags to match her outfit; it’s always the same purse.  But ruining it couldn’t be avoided and she did not hesitate, which is why when her team replaced it as close as they possibly could, teardrops streamed down my face.

And it didn’t stop there.  What did her team fill her new purse with?  Ding-dongs—Brenda Leigh’s favorite escape from a stressful day.

I will miss Brenda Leigh and her candy drawer…

I will miss the drama of the Major Case Squad’s cases; I will miss the goofiness of Provenza and Flynn; I will miss the dry humor of Sanchez; I will miss the wittiness of Tao; I will miss Gabriel’s trying to keep everyone in line; I will miss Buzz and his electronic equipment;  I will miss Pope’s and Taylor’s tendencies to only cover their own butts; and, I will miss Brenda Leigh’s ability to close.  But more than anything else, I will miss Brenda Leigh and Fritzy—one of the best love affairs on television today.

And I will miss Brenda Leigh and Fritzy… The way Fritzy “gets” Brenda Leigh just melts my heart every time.

However, most of these characters and character’s traits weren’t missed for long…

Following the conclusion of Brenda Leigh’s story, Captain Raydor took the lead in Major Crimes.  For the past few seasons, we’ve tolerated Captain Raydor while she terrorized Brenda Leigh, leading all of the officer-involved investigations (kind of like Internal Affairs).  But we’ve also witnessed a softer Captain Raydor who has stood by Brenda Leigh and has done everything in her power to protect the Deputy Chief.  How will Captain Raydor do leading Brenda Leigh’s team?  That’s right—almost the entire cast of The Closer returned for the new series which premiered last night.

I’ll save my thoughts on Major Crimes for another day, but I’ll close with this… My Monday nights will never be the same again; but for what it’s worth, TNT is softening the blow.  Raydor may not close like Brenda Leigh, no one ever will for that matter; but what Brenda mastered in closing a case and prying a confession out of her suspect, Raydor will match in her ability to settle the case– saving Los Angeles a ton of money.  How will our favorite group of detectives handle their new leader’s style?  We’ll just have to wait and see…

So, here’s to The Closer *lifts Champagne glass*.  We will miss you and will forever recommend you to our readers…

“Thank you, thank you so much.” ~Brenda Leigh Johnson

Are you a fan of The Closer?  What did you think of the series finale?  Did you stick around to watch Major Crimes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: The Firm – Unfinished Business

Back in February, I reviewed NBC’s continuation of John Grisham’s The Firm.  Even then, I could tell the new television drama was in danger of cancellation.  The series premiered on a Sunday night in January before moving to its supposed permanent home on Thursday nights.  But that didn’t last long.  After just a few episodes, the network moved the show once again to a time slot that I couldn’t help but think would kill the show—Saturday nights.

I was right.  In May, NBC announced the official cancellation of The Firm.  But, in an unorthodox move, the network agreed to air the remaining episodes—all twenty-two of them.

Knowing the show had been axed, I did not rush through the recordings on my DVR.  Anyone that knows me knows that my DVR is almost always at capacity, and I chose to first watch the programs that still breathed network life.  However, in-between watching the Olympics this weekend, I finally finished The Firm.

I disagree with cancellations all of the time.  Perhaps that’s because I like too much television.  When one likes five-hundred thousand television shows (okay, that’s a bit high… but everyone catches my drift), frustrations with cancellations are expected.  But all of that aside, I am fully disappointed with the network’s decision to kill this particular program.

The Firm television series picks up ten years after Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas) turns in his law firm’s documents proving they were overbilling clients to the FBI (from the Grisham novel and the movie).  The story continues that these said documents led the FBI to take over the law firm and uncover piles of other files incriminating the mob, who has in turn set their sights on Mitch and his family as retribution.

The U.S. Marshalls placed the McDeere family into witness protection for a short period of time, but the TV drama begins after the family leaves witsec and returns to a so-called “normal life” with Mitch running his very own private practice.  But when Mitch is faced with a major legal battle versus a top medical company, he strikes a deal with a large D.C. firm—their resources for a percentage of his earnings.  He officially works for the firm, but he gets to keep his staff and his off-site office location.

Or so he thought…

“It’s happening again…”

Each episode, or chapter as each week is appropriately titled (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc), starts in the present day, then rewinds back in time to tell the story, uncover more clues, and follow Mitch through the mystery, before sending it back to the present day.  Every chapter features bits and pieces of three different plots: a minor storyline, a major storyline, and the ongoing storyline.

The minor:  Mitch will represent a new individual case each week, like when he takes on a dirty judge.
The major:  Mitch will continue to research the Sarah Holt case—a client on trial for murdering an older woman while in her care.  This story qualifies as the major plot line because unbeknownst to Mitch, his new firm is interested in this case.  The firm isn’t interested in Miss Holt, the woman Mitch represents; they are interested in protecting their client—Noble Insurance.
The ongoing:  The mafia will follow and chase after Mitch and his family for his actions in Memphis (the storyline from the book/movie).

Without a doubt, The Firm‘s intricate plot made viewers pay attention.  Maybe this was too much for TV audiences today.  But for those that enjoy a good novel, particularly a good mystery, the plot was genius.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away for those who didn’t have the privilege of enjoying chapter after chapter with me, but we do see a glimpse of truth behind the mystery in each episode.  The Firm doesn’t keep us guessing, not completely anyway, week after week like other programs.  And it’s a darn-shame we won’t get to watch the rest of the story unfold… because like most other series granted a twenty-two episode season, The Firm wrapped with a cliff-hanger.  Who wouldn’t?  Twenty-two episodes is a lot.  I can understand a series tasked with recording a short-season, like six episodes, or maybe even twelve, would feel uncertain with its future.  But twenty-two?  I’d feel pretty safe with a pick-up, especially when the story is top-notch.   Yet, here we are… no more Firm.

As a Grisham fan, I hope the author continues his story—maybe a new novel—maybe a new movie—but I personally feel, without a doubt, that The Firm deserves more.  One way or another…

And if he does, please keep the cast.  Josh Lucas as Mitch, Juliette Lewis as Tammy (the chain-smoking legal secretary), and Callum Keith Rennie as Ray (a private investigator/Mitch’s ex-con older brother) were perfect in their roles.

What do you think? Did you watch The Firm?  Has there been a series cancelled that you’re still wondering how it would have or how it should have ended?  I’d love to hear from you!

P.S.  If you enjoy a good mystery with a complex story, I highly recommend making a marathon of The Firm once its available on DVD or Netflix…

Remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

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