Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Missing, in More Ways Than One

This week Amber West and I revisit two of our simmering reviews on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday — ABC’s Scandal and Missing.  Are we still watching?  Or have we given up completely?

Well, I may not have given up on Missing completely, but it seems the network has.  Missing has officially been cancelled — so I guess it’s missing in more ways than one.  But for the sake of today’s review, I’m sticking with it… considering I’ve stuck with it every episode along the way.

What would you do if your child went missing while studying abroad?

This frightening situation is the premise behind ABC’s soon to be missing drama, Missing.

The series begins with Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) as she witnesses, or overhears really, an explosion that kills her husband (CIA Agent Paul Winstone, played by Sean Bean) while talking to her son, Michael, on the telephone.

Missing then fast forwards ten years when a now eighteen year old Michael (played by Nick Eversman) informs his mother that he has been accepted to an architectural summer program in Rome.  Becca’s hesitant at first, considering Venice is where her husband was murdered, but agrees to Michael’s study abroad opportunity.  The two only have each other, and they share a very close relationship as apparent with his secret “I love you” code — 235@W’ — “23” is Michael’s soccer number; “5” because the heart is the 5th largest organ in the body; and “@W’” because Becca is the head of the Winstone household, thus making her Winstone Prime.

A little while into Michael’s trip, all texts and calls stop.  Causing her to worry even more, Becca receives a phone call from Michael’s architectural program telling her that he has missed multiple courses and has since been withdrawn from school.  Becca decides to do what any mother would do — she takes it upon herself to travel to Rome to search for any leads and clues into her son’s disappearance.

Becca first visits Michael’s apartment where she discovers spoiled food on the table and his cell phone plugged into the wall charger.  What teenager goes anywhere without his or her cell phone?  She’s reading his outgoing call history when she is interrupted by a man with a gun.  A struggle ensues, but Becca kicks this man’s booty, grabs his gun, and flees from the window after she hears police sirens.

How in the world can a soccer mom (literally, she’s a soccer mom — Michael’s favorite sport is soccer, and this plays into the story in more ways than one) and flower shop owner disarm and kill a man so effortlessly?  Because like her deceased husband, Becca is a retired CIA agent (she retires following her husband’s death).

While on the run from authorities, Becca reaches out to an old ally (Giancarlo Rossi, played Adriano Giannini) who informs her that the man she just killed in her son’s apartment is former Italian intelligence.  While hiding out and resting at Giancarlo’s, Becca continues to study her son’s phone and its photographs, and discovers that there is a surveillance camera out on the street behind his apartment.  She tracks it across town, breaks in, disables the security alarm, and hacks into the video footage of the day her son disappeared (she knows Thursday was the last day anyone saw him alive).  Becca watches the surveillance as two men grab Michael and throw him into the back of a black van with French plates.  A mother’s worst fears realized… 

Becca manages to track down clues, but constantly runs into more men and women with guns.  Not only is she frantically searching for her son, hopping European cities left and right (Missing was filmed on location in Europe — eight different cities, I believe), and dodging foreign police, she’s also attempting to trust other CIA operatives (led by Agent Dax Miller, played by Cliff Curtis).  She needs help, but Agent Miller’s team definitely doesn’t trust Becca because of the size of her CIA file — “the thinner the file, the better the agent.”  After a few chance encounters with the operatives, Becca also begins to run from her former employer’s new team.

She can’t trust anyone.  TWIST.  Or can she?  TURN.

Without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen it and still wish to, despite the cancellation — hopefully it will be available on Netflix and worthy of a watch — know that no one is as they seem.  No one.  TWIST and TURN.

With only the season finale left, the series has impressed me in that the action never slows down.  The twists kept me on my toes and impressively answered questions along the way, while of course throwing more twists right back at us.  Considering the network’s cancellation, I really hope the season finale wraps things up.  I want to see Becca — a woman on a mission, comparable to a female Jack Bauer — beat the living daylights out of the bad guy and wrap her arms around her son.

And despite the network’s cancellation, I can’t help but award Missing with the MacTV rating.  Not only do I like Ashley Judd (I can watch Double Jeopardy and High Crimes over and over again), but the non-stop action and numerous twists adds heat to the already rapidly boiling water — perfect conditions for a warm bowl of our favorite cheesy pasta.

If anyone missed the series, Missing may totally be worthy of a spot on a Netflix Queue when available – well, depending on how the season finale (eh-hem, I mean series finale) wraps up.  If the episode ends on a cliffhanger, a cliffhanger that will never see answers, I might recommend everyone steer clear of Missing.  There’s nothing quite like investing hour after hour in something to only be disappointed at the end.  Thanks a lot, ABC…

But if the finale ends with Becca kicking booty and finding Michael, it’s definitely worth a watch!

What do you think? Did you watch Missing?  Was this series cancelled too soon?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out if Scandal has passed her DVR queue test… is she still watching?

Come back next week when Amber and I review two of the USA Network’s dramas – the new series, Common Law, and the sophomore surprise, Fairly Legal.

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

Tele-Tuesday: Renew Ringer, Seriously

In January of this year, I blogged about the first half of the first season of the CW’s mysterious new series Ringer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as twin sisters Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin.  I not only blogged about it not once, but twice — once on Tele-Tuesday and again a bit later on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.

Even after the first half of the season, I felt that Ringer was one of the best new shows added to the 2011-2012 TV schedule.  Recently, I watched the second half of the season in marathon style.  The season finale aired just a few weeks ago and now the news is circling that Ringer is one of the CW’s programs “on the bubble.”

How can that be?

I love the CW and DVR most of the network’s series: Gossip Girl, 90210, The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, and Supernatural.  So I guess it’s technically a shorter list to mention the CW programs that I don’t watch: Hart of Dixie and Nikita.

I’m not going to say one way or another whether or not Hart of Dixie and Nikita deserve to be picked up for a season two and season three respectively because I don’t watch those programs.  I will say, however, that the revamped 90210 has nothing on the original and I’m shocked that it is still on the air.  Yes, I record it; and yes, I watch it (well I fast forward through the entire episode like I do soap operas, and still understand enough to move on to the next week) — but it’s really subpar TV.  And then there’s Gossip GirlGossip Girl is leaps and bounds better than 90210, but still the most recent seasons are nowhere near as intriguing and twisted as the earlier years (when the kids were in high school).

Over the next few weeks, the CW is introducing two new shows to the schedule: a fictionalized series based on the young and beautiful trying to make it in Hollywood, The L.A. Complex (sounds like another stab at the Melrose Place years); and a reality series based out of a Miami hotel, The Catalina (I shudder to think that this looks like a hotel-style based Jersey Shore).

So I’m back to my original question, how is it possible that Ringer is on the bubble?

It’s been no secret around The Ooo Factor regarding my feeling towards ABC’s new hit, RevengeRevenge is currently my favorite program of all series airing today and I would be shocked if ABC didn’t renew it, considering the following it has and the ratings.

Ringer and Revenge share many similarities – they’re both mysterious and full of twists and turns; both shows have creative and believable writing in otherwise over-the-top situations; both shows have likeable lead female characters despite their actions (Ringer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar and Revenge’s Emily VanCamp); both shows have good-looking male love interests (Ioan Gruffudd and Kristoffer Polaha from Ringer, and Joshua Bowman and Nick Wechler from Revenge); and most importantly to this mystery lover, both shows actually answer the question “why” and wrap up open storylines cleanly and meticulously.

From my earlier posts featuring Ringer, there were a few specific questions I hoped would be answered in the second half of the season: Why does Siobhan hate her sister so much?  When will Andrew discover the truth?  How long will Siobhan and Bridget keep up this charade?  And what is Mr. Carpenter’s secret?

Each and every one of these questions was answered.  That doesn’t happen often, trust me — I watch a LOT of TV.  Additionally, the first season was wrapped up very nicely with only the slightest cliff-hanger leaving us wanting more.  Perhaps the series was written this way because the staff didn’t know at the time whether or not the show would be picked up for a season two; or maybe this storyline was the plan all along.  Regardless, I applaud the writers and creators of Ringer.  Really, I do.

But I’m still left wondering how in the world Ringer can be on the bubble when Revenge is practically a shoe-in for pick up (it should be, anyway).  How can Ringer be on the bubble when it’s, in my opinion anyway, the fourth best show on the network?

I’m completely dumbfounded…

What do you think?  Did you watch Ringer?  What did you think about all of the outcomes surrounding all of Bridget’s, Siobhan’s, and Andrew’s twists and turns?  Is one of your favorite shows this TV season facing a questionable return?  I’d love to hear from you!

For those interested, follow @SaveRinger and use the #SaveRinger hashtag on Twitter… spread the word.  I’d like to see a season two, especially since the creators have already announced a season two will be all about the consequences…

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Messin’ with Momma is a Bad Idea

This week Amber West and I review two new 2012 midseason replacements starring two of Hollywood’s biggest stars on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday — Fox’s Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland, and ABC’s Missing, starring Ashley Judd.

What would you do if your child went missing while studying abroad?

This frightening situation is the premise behind ABC’s new drama Missing.

The series begins with Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd) as she witnesses, or overhears really, an explosion that kills her husband (CIA Agent Paul Winstone, played by Sean Bean from Game of Thrones) while talking to her son, Michael, on the telephone.

Missing then fast forwards ten years when a now eighteen year old Michael (played by Nick Eversman) informs his mother that he has been accepted to an architectural summer program in Rome.  Becca’s hesitant at first, considering Venice is where her husband was murdered, but agrees to Michael’s study abroad opportunity.

The two only have each other, and they share a very close relationship as apparent with their secret “I love you” code — 235@W’ — “23” is Michael’s soccer number; “5” because the heart is the 5th largest organ in the body; and “@W’” because Becca is the head of the Winstone household, thus making her Winstone Prime.

A concerned mother...

A little while into Michael’s trip, all texts and calls stop.  Making her worry even more, Becca receives a phone call from the architectural program that Michael has missed multiple courses and has since been withdrawn from school.  Becca decides to do what any mother would do — she takes it upon herself to travel to Rome to search for any leads and clues into her son’s disappearance.

A mother with one concern -- find her son...

Becca first visits Michael’s apartment where she discovers spoiled food on the table and his cell phone plugged into the wall charger.  What teenager goes anywhere without his or her cell phone?  She’s reading his outgoing call history when she is interrupted by a man with a gun.  A struggle ensues, but Becca kicks some serious booty, grabs his gun, and flees from the window after she hears the Italian police.

How in the world can a soccer mom (literally, she’s a soccer mom) and flower shop owner disarm and kill a man so effortlessly? Well she has bruises, but still.  Because like her deceased husband, Becca is a retired CIA agent (she retired following her husband’s death).

While on the run, Becca reaches out to an old ally (Giancarlo Rossi, played by Swept Away’s Adriano Giannini) who informs her that the man she just killed in her son’s apartment is former Italian intelligence.  This just keeps getting worse…

Becca and her ally, Giancarlo

Becca manages to track down Francesca, one of the most dialed phone numbers on Michael’s cell phone, at her place of employment (a nightclub).  Francesca admits to seeing Michael the day he disappeared and sends Becca to a soccer bar hangout where Michael likes to frequent.  Once there, Becca runs into two more men with guns.  She escapes by stealing a moped and drives back to the nightclub where she finds Francesca murdered.  This just keeps getting worse…

While resting at Giancarlo’s, Becca continues to study Michael’s phone and from a photograph discovers a surveillance camera out on the street behind her son’s apartment.  She tracks across town, breaks in, disables the security alarm, and hacks into the video footage of the day her son disappeared (she knows Thursday was the last day Francesca saw him alive).  Becca watches the surveillance as two men grab Michael and throw him into the back of a black van with French plates.  A mother’s worst fears realized… 

A distraught mother...

Becca returns to Giancarlo’s where the two discover the black van is registered to a warehouse in France. Becca’s next stop — Paris.

**Missing was filmed on location in Europe (eight different cities, I believe) — the settings are real, not studio CGI imagery.**

In the meantime, viewers meet the Italian based CIA operatives who are now hot on the trail of Becca, led by Agent Dax Miller (Cliff Curtis, Trauma).  These agents have access to Becca’s CIA file, but learn very little because of the size of said file — “the thinner the file, the better the agent.”

CIA Agent Cliff Curtis

Becca is “persona non grata” in France, and the CIA must intercept her before she crosses the border.  They send in a team who singles her out, and a fight ensues (yes, another fight).  Despite Becca’s phenomenal fight skills, the agents subdue her.

While in CIA custody, Becca somehow manages to befriend Agent Miller and he allows her three hours in France to do what she needs to do.  She immediately tracks down the warehouse and finds evidence that her son was indeed held prisoner in this location from his wall etchings — 235@W’.

Becca’s visit to the warehouse is interrupted by a guard, who she disarms and incapacitates before going about her business searching for any clues or evidence as to where Michael might be being held now.  She discovers a package of surveillance photos in a desk drawer — photos of her son since he was a small boy.  Finished at this location, Becca picks up a phone and dials the CIA requesting Agent Miller.  She lays the receiver down, allowing a trace.

Obviously she’s not completely against working with the CIA, but she has her own mission to worry about.  Nothing will stop her from finding her son.  Seems like the kidnappers picked the wrong woman to mess with…

Messin' with Momma is a bad idea...

The pilot ends with Becca walking along the streets of Paris studying the photographs from the warehouse.  Once again she is being followed and is shot in the shoulder, causing her to fall over a bridge and into a body of water.  This just keeps getting worse…

Only two episodes of Missing have aired to date, and the action does not slow down.  Becca is a woman on a mission, comparable to a female Jack Bauer.  Seriously.

Seriously, messin' with Momma is a bad idea...

Missing was a television series that my guy wasn’t all that interested in.  He thought it was just going to be another one of my mysteries that I can’t live without, so he declared Missing as one I could watch without him — we have his, hers, and ours programs.  After telling him all about the action in the first two episodes, he now wants to check it out.

But because only two episodes have aired, I must award Missing with the SSTV rating.  Not only do I like Ashley Judd (I can watch Double Jeopardy and High Crimes over and over again), but the non-stop action and actual European filming adds heat to the already rapidly boiling water.  It may not take many more episodes for Missing to be upgraded to the MacTV rating, but we’ll see…

What do you think? Have you caught an episode of Missing?  Does Becca remind you of a female Jack Bauer?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about Kiefer’s new series, Touch.  And speaking of Jack Bauer, will Kiefer be able to shake his popular 24 personality we’ve all grown to love over the years with his new role?

Come back next week when Amber and I review something…

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

Tele-Tuesday: Reader’s Pick Per Night, The Comedy Polls

A few weeks ago, the Tele-Tuesday readers had the chance to vote on which television dramas they can’t live without in a Pick Per Night 2012.  Today, we want to know which comedies reign supreme.

If we’ve learned anything year after year, we’ve learned that as time passes, people change.   We’ve also learned to adapt to other changes as well, like the revolving door of television programs.

The networks update their television schedules drastically over the course of a year, sometimes in just a matter of months.  We have fall premieres, winter premieres, summer premieres, and this new thing called midseason replacements.  Comedy seems to be at the top of this year’s midseason replacements with sitcoms such as Bent and the upcoming Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and Best Friends Forever.

And while the constant change to our network favorites continues to waffle, we must remember one thing — to laugh.

We’re watching more comedies than ever here at The Ooo Factor.  While some of our favorite veteran sitcoms still air today, we may have a different favorite that has taken over on a particular night of the week and we feel an obligation to update our readers with our 2012 choices.  But before we do, we’d like to know what everyone else watches.

If you could choose only one comedy per night, what would it be?

We’re omitting Friday and Saturday from the polls because there doesn’t appear to be any sitcoms on during the prime time hours.  Whatever happened to TGIF?  Remember those days?

Did your favorite comedy make the list?  If not, what is it?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Next week, we will announce what our viewers prefer to watch and what we here at Tele-Tuesday mark as our #1 must watch funny program in a Pick Per Night 2012: the Comedies.

 

Tele-Tuesday: The Hot New Thing – Midseason Replacements

If we’ve learned anything year after year, we’ve learned that as time passes, people change.   We’ve also learned to adapt to other changes as well, like the revolving door of television programs.

The networks update their television schedules drastically over the course of a year, sometimes in just a matter of months.  We have fall premieres, winter premieres, summer premieres, and now we have this new set of TV programs called midseason replacements.

Does a “midseason replacement” mean that the veteran show it is replacing midseason has actually been cancelled?  Not necessarily…

It seems the terminology “midseason replacement” is simply the networks’ way of testing the market for a new pilot series, instead of rushing the cancellation of current programs airing today to only regret it later.  We live in a marketing based world – why not order a few episodes of a new show to air in April in order to test the waters in a popular timeslot before announcing the plans for the next season in May?

*****

Bent

Bent follows recently divorced attorney, Alex (Amanda Peet, Saving Silverman), as she tries to pick up the ”bent” pieces of her life post-divorce.  With sole-custody of her daughter, Alex buys a small home that is in need of renovations.  She hires Pete (David Walton, Perfect Couples), a contractor who is also trying to pick up the pieces of his “bent” life (recovering gambling addict) as well.

Alex and Pete are nothing alike — Alex is a responsible person with a no-nonsense personality, while Pete flies by the seat of his pants.  We can definitely smell the romance brewing between these two and the sitcom hasn’t even premiered yet.

The new comedy also stars: Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) as Pete’s father; Margo Harshman (Sorority Row) as Alex’s sister; and Joey King (Ramona & Beezus) as Alex’s daughter.

Bent premieres Wednesday, March 21st on NBC.

*****

Best Friends Forever

Created by and starring Lennon Parham (as Lennon White, from Accidentally on Purpose) and Jessica St. Clair (as Jessica Black, from Bridesmaids), Best Friends Forever follows two lifelong friends after one of them (Jessica) is served divorce papers.  After the news that her marriage is over, Jessica decides to leave California and return to New York where she moves in with Lennon in the old apartment the two previously shared.

The two women pick up right where they left off, which isn’t helping Lennon’s boyfriend (Joe Foley, played by comedian Luka Jones) feel at home in the apartment where he lives too.  In addition to Lennon’s potential relationship troubles, Jessica reconnects with an old friend (Rav Stark, played by Stephen Schneider) who might just have a flame still burning for her, making her new single life more complicated that she originally bargained for.

It appears the sitcom is just as much about the women’s friendship as it is their romantic lives’ ups and downs…

 Best Friends Forever, premieres Wednesday, April 4th on NBC.

*****

Scandal

Scandal stars Kerry Washington (from the Fantastic Four movies) as Olivia Pope, a former White House communications director who is now operating her very own private crisis management firm.  She hires an apparently qualified staff; a staff that successfully fixes the firm’s client’s problems, but also brings their own issues to the table: Stephen (Henry Ian Cusick, Lost); Harrison (Columbus Short, The Losers); Hack (Guillermo Diaz, Weeds); Abby (Darby Stanchfield, Jericho); and Quinn (Katie Lowes, Easy Money).

Scandal also stars Tony Goldwyn (Ghost) as Fitzgerald Grant, President of the United States, and Jeff Perry (My So Called Life) as Cyrus Beene, the President’s Chief of Staff.  ** It is rumored that the new drama is loosely inspired by the actual life of President George H. W. Bush’s former press aide…**

Looks scandalous to me...

Will Olivia succeed in starting her new life?  Or will the secrets she has worked so diligently to hide in her past resurface?  Will her staff help her, or will they hold her back?

Scandal premieres Thursday, April 5th on ABC.

*****

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 tells the story of two unlikely roommates surviving in New York City…

Roommate #1: June (played by Dreama Walker, Seven Deadly Sins) hails from the Midwest, yet uproots her life for her ideal job in corporate America.  Only when she arrives in The Big Apple, she discovers her position has been eliminated, so she does what everyone does at least once in their lifetime – she becomes a barista.

Roommate #2: Chloe (played by Krysten Ritter, Breaking Bad) is a partying socialite who has been accused on more than one occasion of being a con artist, and she is constantly hanging out with her best friend (James Van Der Beek as James Van Der Beek).

Will June survive NYC?  Will she heed everyone’s warning to not trust the “B” in Apt. 23? Will James Van Der Beek playing a fictionalized version of himself be enough to keep this new comedy alive?

Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 premieres Wednesday, April 11th on ABC.

*****

NYC 22

And of course the midseason replacements would not be complete without a police procedural…

Not to be confused with ABC’s Rookie Blue, NYC 22 follows six NYPD rookies as they adjust to their new life on patrol.  The group consists of: Jennifer “White House” Perry (LeeLee Sobieski, Joan of Arc), a former marine; Ray “Lazarus” Harper (Adam Goldberg, Dazed and Confused), an older rookie than the others with a previous career in police news reporting; Tonya Sanchez (Judy Marte, Raising Victor Vargas), who has a few criminals in her family’s past; Ahmad Kahn (Tom Reed), a former Afghani native; Kenny McClaren (Stark Sands, Generation Kill), who falls in line as a 4th generation cop; and Jayson “Jackpot” Toney (Harold House Moore, Necessary Roughness), a former basketball star who should have seen success in the NBA.

Clearly, the six rookies form a much diversified group with extremely different backgrounds, who now share the same goal — protect the streets of New York City.

The drama also stars Terry Kinney (Oz) as Field Training Officer, Daniel “Yoda” Dean, and Felix Solis (The Good Wife) as Sergeant Terry Howard.  Doesn’t everyone just love the nicknames?

NYC 22 premieres Sunday, April 15th on CBS.

*****

What do you think?  Do you plan to watch any of these new programs?  Which show has the most promise and why?  The least?  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Lost in the Amazon

This week Amber West and I review two mini-series on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: the BBC favorite, Doctor Who, and the new ABC paranormal mystery, The River.

The River has been described as a paranormal, action-packed, and adventurous program that falls into the horror, mystery, and fantasy genres.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

First, a quick summary of The River:

The series follows the friends and family members of Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood), as they search for any signs that the famous television personality and wild life expert survived his last voyage into the Amazon.

Desperate for the opportunity to search for their loved one, the doctor’s wife (Tess, played by Leslie Hope) and son (Lincoln, played  by Joe Anderson) agree to allow Dr. Cole’s former producer (Clark, played by Paul Blackthorne) to join and film the expedition “documentary” style, in exchange for his funding of the trip.

The search team also consists of: Lena (Eloise Mumford), a valued resource and the daughter of Emmet Cole’s missing cameraman; Emilio (Daniel Zacapa), the ship’s mechanic and his young daughter, Jahel (Paulina Gaitan); Captain Kurt (Thomas Kretschmann), a bodyguard hired to protect the crew but who also harbors a secret agenda; and lead cameraman,  A.J. (Shaun Parkes).

Will the team discover the truth behind Emmet Cole’s disappearance, or will they too fall victim to The River?

Now, a bit of the story:

For over twenty years, Emmet Cole starred in a popular television series that explored the different parts of the world and the organisms that populate it.  His catch phrase, “There’s magic out there,” reached out to millions of loyal viewers, but perhaps no one quite as much as his wife and son who traveled with him on his ship, the Magus, during his expeditions.

But on his latest voyage to the Amazon, Emmet leaves behind those that usually travel with him (his wife, his son, his producer, and his cameraman’s daughter).  Instead, he hires a new crew and ventures out on his own searching for magic.

See? Magic…

Magic is just what he finds – a mysterious magic in the Amazon.  But before he can return with his discovery, he along with everyone else on his ship vanishes.  Emmet was presumed dead by the world, that is until his emergency beacon activates six months later.

Tess, feeling a bit guilty for reasons we won’t mention, insists they find her husband.  She decides to partner up using Clark’s financial resources to document her search for Emmet and builds the team, including her reluctant son, to find the ship and her husband (and the other missing people, but everyone has their own agenda out there).

Once the team locates the Magus, they board and immediately start watching footage taped by Lena’s dad (Russ, played by Lee Tergesen) and Jonas (Scott Michael Foster).  It is obvious to the viewer that something in the Amazon is making Emmet appear like he is going crazy; but the team presses on despite the forces working against them — forces such as possessions, magical legends and curses, poisons, and ghosts.

So far, the search and recovery has yielded two of Emmet’s missing shipmates: Russ and Jonas; but still no Emmet.  After seeing what happens to these men (no spoilers), one can only imagine Emmet’s fate is doomed.

For television, The River is actually very spooky and mysterious and the special effects are surprisingly good (Steven Spielberg is involved, after all).  The season is short (only eight episodes long) and I’m hoping for some answers in the remaining two shows.  While I am enjoying the series and it’s not sitting in my DVR queue very long, I’m still not so sure about the overall program’s rating.

Lost in the Amazon at night… spooky!

A part of me feels that I should award the JFTV rating; The River is unlike anything else on network television today (American Horror Story is better, in my opinion), but I have a bad feeling that the direction of these final episodes could possibly leave a Lost feeling in my mouth.  For that, and for that fear alone, I must award The River the SSTV rating.  It’s still simmering; what can I say?

What do you think? Do you watch The River?  Is it worthy of a higher rating?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on the regenerating doctors of Doctor Who.

Come back next week when Amber and I review two new (or maybe old) TV shows.  We like to keep everyone on their toes.

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

Tele-Tuesday: Reader’s Pick Per Night – The Polls

This month marks the one year anniversary (or blogiversary as we’ve gotten to know it around the blogosphere) of The Ooo Factor.  One year seems like a long time, but in all honesty the blog posts have flown by and I’ve had a great time sharing my television addiction with everyone on a weekly basis.  Blogging has actually given my obsessive TV watching purpose, and has made me feel better about the amount of television I watch each and every night.  And whether or not my readers can believe it, I have much more to share!

If we’ve learned anything as we’ve moved through the years, we’ve learned that as time passes, people change.

Whew; that sounded borderline serious for a second.   But it’s true…

But other things change too, like the revolving door of television programs.  The networks update their television schedules drastically over the course of a year, sometimes in just a matter of months.  In celebration of the past twelve months here at Tele-Tuesday, we’ve decided to update a few of our older posts that don’t necessarily stand true any longer (whether it be because the networks moved our shows around or because some new hit has taken its place).

Last year, we blogged about our 2011 Pick Per Night television series.  While some of our choices still air today, we may have a different favorite that has taken over on that particular night of the week and we feel an obligation to update our readers with the 2012 choices.  But before we do, we’d like to know what everyone else watches.

If you could choose only one show per night, what would it be?

Did your favorite show make the list?  If not, what is it?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Next week, we will announce what our viewers prefer to watch and what we here at Tele-Tuesday mark as our #1 must watch programs in a Pick Per Night 2012.

 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Does It Get Much Better Than Revenge?

This week Amber West and I review two of TV’s top dramas on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: a returning NBC favorite, Parenthood, and the new ABC smash hit, Revenge.

Revenge has been called the return of the night time soap opera, and the critics and viewers may be right.  The new drama loosely based on the Alexandre Dumas’ novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, stars Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne, a young and beautiful addition to the rich and prestigious Hamptons.   However, Emily’s arrival isn’t her first trip to the neighborhood…

"Our" Emily

When she was a little girl, Amanda Clarke and her father lived in the quaint beach house next door to her father’s boss and his mansion (known as Grayson Manor).  Late one night, Amanda’s father was ripped away from her for crimes that later sent him to prison for the rest of his life.  Not necessarily believing in his innocence, Amanda rebelled and spent time in incarceration herself.  The day Amanda was released from prison, she was greeted by a stranger with life changing news: her father was dead, he had been framed, and she was now filthy rich.

Amanda’s father had believed in and secretly invested in a young man named Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) when no one else would.  Nolan awarded Mr. Clarke forty-nine percent of his company in return for the investment, and his investment was now worth millions.  When Amanda’s father died in prison, all of his assets were awarded to her.  But something greater came with these riches – a map and an explanation to each and every person responsible for framing her father and sending him to prison.  Amanda assumes a new identity as Emily Thorne (the name of her closest friend in juvenile detention) and spends the next eight years of her life setting her plan in to motion, vowing revenge against those responsible for her father’s downfall – primarily the Grayson family.

"Our" Emily hard at work, researching her next target...

After establishing herself around the world as an educated and philanthropic young lady, Emily returns to the Hamptons and rents the beach house where she spent time with her father; the house where he was so abruptly taken from her.   In practically every episode, Emily destroys someone involved with her father’s demise: her father’s assistant and current mistress to Conrad Grayson, Lydia Davis (Amber Valletta); her father’s closest friend and a corrupt hedge fund manager, Bill Harmon (Matthew Glave); and the district attorney and current state senator, Tom Kingsley (Yancey Arias) to just name a few.

But these are not Emily’s prime targets.  Enter Conrad Grayson (Henry Czemy), the CEO of her father’s company who spearheaded the entire take-down, and his not-so-loyal wife, Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe).

Victoria may be smiling, but rest assured she is up to something...

To make matters worse, Victoria idly stood by and watched her lover (Amanda’s father) taken away in handcuffs.  Yes, that’s right – Victoria and David Clarke actually loved each other.  And little Amanda witnessed the entire thing – the love affair and Victoria’s standing outside the door as the police arrested her father.  Oh, and just wait and see what this secret romance created…

The look says it all...

How will Emily destroy the Graysons?  Will she involve their son, Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman); the man she’s slowly but surely seducing?  The pilot episode begins at Emily and Daniel’s engagement party with Daniel’s lying bleeding on the Hampton beach from gunshot wounds….so probably.

Sweet, sweet Daniel...

Or will the “real” Emily Thorne, assuming the identity of Amanda Clarke (played by Margarita Levieva) expose the entire charade before “our” Emily has the chance to exact her revenge on the Grayson family?

And what about Emily’s childhood friend, Jack Porter (Nick Wechler), who adopted her puppy when she and her father were ripped away from their beach house?  The same love-sick boy turned man who named his boat Amanda?  “Our” Emily has worked feverishly to protect Jack, but couldn’t stand in the way when the “real” Emily also fell in love with the bar owner.  Will he remain in the dark?  Will he learn the truth?  And when/if he does, how will he respond?

And then there's sweet, sweet Jack...

Oh, I could go on and on.  As if the title of today’s blog wasn’t clear enough, Revenge scores the highest of the highest WatchWed scores – the GTV rating.  It’s not gourmet because the series showcases what life in the Hamptons is all about – money, prestige, lavish homes, elaborate parties, and endless wardrobes, but because the storyline each and every week leaves such a sweet taste of revenge in our mouths that we simply can’t wait until the next episode.

If I could award Revenge with an even higher rating, I would.  How’s TBMIEH TV – The Best Meal I’ve Ever Had Television?  So that’s not a real rating here at Watch Wednesday, but it gets my point across.  I often say Revenge is my favorite of all of the new programs this 2012 season, but it may just be my favorite series that I’m watching today.  Period.

Revenge is infinitely sweet…

There's that look again...

What do you think? Do you watch Revenge?  Who’s your favorite character?  If you had all of Emily’s resources and a similar childhood story, would you exact revenge on those responsible?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on Parenthood, the show, not her motherly experiences.

Come back next week when we review two new (or maybe old) TV shows.  We like to keep everyone on their toes.

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

Tele-Tuesday: March Madness, TV Style

Television programs air sporadically today, and we’re not safe assuming (we all know what that really means) all new series and returning shows begin in September and January.  It’s simply not true anymore.

Since introducing so many new programs to 2012 in January, we decided to take the first few weeks of February to provide a breather of sorts.  But now we’re back, introducing yet another pilot series to ABC and two returning sophomores to Fox and USA that perhaps not everyone will be familiar with.

What will you watch?

*****

GCB

Originally Good Christian Bitches and later Good Christian Belles, GCB follows a former high school Queen “B” (Amanda, played by Leslie Bibb from Crossing Jordan) after she returns to her home town (Dallas) following a divorce and moves in with her mother (Annie Potts, Designing Women).

Despite the fact that Amanda left her “mean girl” days behind her, the girls she terrorized in high school haven’t quite forgotten the way she treated them.  Everyone, including Amanda’s mother, seems to be stuck in the past and the tables have turned on her.

GCB also stars: Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) as Carlene, Marisol Nichols (24) as Heather, Jennifer Aspen (Party of Five) as Sharon, and Miriam Shor (Damages) as Cricket Caruth-Reilly, the girls Amanda terrorized in high school.  The series wouldn’t be complete without the husbands: David James Elliott (JAG) as Carlene’s husband, Ripp; Brad Beyer (Jericho) as Sharon’s husband, Zack; and Mark Deklin (Lone Star) as Cricket’s husband, Blake, who happens to have a Dallas-sized secret of his own.

GCB premieres Sunday, March 4thon ABC.

*****

Breaking In

How many shows can actually say they have officially survived a literal network cancellation?  Not many; Fox first resurrected Family Guy in 2004 after watching continued success of the previous seasons in DVD sales and reruns airing on Adult Swim.  And now Breaking In can, a Fox program originally cancelled in May 2011.

Breaking In follows a team of “legitimate thieves” working at Contra Security, a high-tech security firm.  Clients hire Contra to break in and highlight flaws in security systems already in place.  For example, in season one the Contra team is hired to break into a house with a supposed impenetrable security system in an attempt to retrieve a valuable belonging to the homeowner.  Later, they discover that the house belongs to their team leader, who unbeknownst to them happens to be on the verge of a nasty divorce.

Perhaps our favorite episode of the first season was when the Contra team was hired to protect an invaluable DVD sequel until its national release party at Comic-ConGoonies 2.  The pop culture references and comedic events were absolutely spot-on and hilarious, at least for those of us who will forever be a Goonie.

The Contra team is led by Oz (Christian Slater, Heathers), a man who loves to play mind games on his staff… a staff composed of: Cameron (Bret Harrison, Reaper), a genius with top-rated hacking abilities; Cash (Alphonso McAuley), a gadget guy and hacker; Melanie (Odette Annable, House), the hot girl with safe cracking abilities; and Josh (Trevor Moore), the master manipulator and master of disguise.   Season two will see a new, yet familiar face at Contra Security when Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) joins the cast as Veronica, Contra’s new boss.

Breaking In returns to Fox Tuesday, March 6th.

*****

Fairly Legal

We love the USA Network’s programs here at Tele-Tuesday, which is why when Fairly Legal premiered last year we immediately checked it out.

Fairly Legal follows Kate Reed (Sarah Shahi, Life – a great short-lived series, by the way), a former attorney turned mediator working at her father’s law firm in San Francisco, as she deals with life both professionally and personally following a failed marriage and her father’s untimely death.

Kate, while extremely beautiful and successful, lives life by the seat of her pants.  She resides on her father’s boat, arrives late to almost everything, and relies heavily on her assistant (Leonardo, played by Baron Vaughn) to keep her day straight.  Once Kate arrives at the office, she not only has to deal with arguing clients assigned to her by the courts (especially those difficult cases assigned by Judge Nicastro, played by Gerald McRaney), but also with her new boss and step-mother, Lauren (Virginia Williams, Monarch Cove).

Unfortunately for Kate, her professional life isn’t the only thing leaving her rushing around with her head cut off.  Factor in her soon-to-be-ex husband Justin (Michael Trucco, Battlestar Galactica), who she continues to have an on-again/off-again relationship with, and the secrets surrounding a man (Richard Dean Anderson) involved with her father prior to his death, and Kate’s life is hectic.

Fairly Legal returns to the USA network Friday, March 16th.

*****

Will you watch GCB?  Do you agree with ABC’s decision to change the title?  How about Breaking In and Fairly Legal?  Did you catch the first seasons and if so, what did you think?  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Grimm Versus Evil

This week, Amber West and I are visiting the fairy tale world, and we’re sharing our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of Grimm and Once Upon a Time

We’ve all heard of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, right?  

NBC’s new drama based on the Grimm’s Fairy Tales follows a detective as he balances his life solving murders and learning that he comes from a long line of criminal profilers (Grimms) responsible for protecting the people of the world against the supernatural – Grimm versus Evil.    

The first episode of Grimm begins as a sorority girl departs from her house wearing a bright red hoodie and listening to the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” as she sets out for her morning jog through the woods.  The opening scene immediately screams modern-day Little Red Riding Hood, right?  

While on her run, the girl spots an odd figurine positioned on a rock.  She stops to investigate when she is suddenly tackled by something with lightning fast speed, and the viewers can only assume she’s going to die. 

So far, so good….      

Next, we meet the Grimm on what should be the happiest day of his life (Detective Nick Burkhardt played by David Giuntoli); instead, it might just be the beginning of the end.  Walking out of the jewelry store where he just purchased an engagement ring for his girlfriend (Juliette played Bitsie Tulloch), Nick notices a beautiful blonde walking down the street suddenly transform into nasty looking creature.  He shakes it off as his eyes playing tricks on him.   

Nick pockets the diamond ring, and he and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), drive out to the scene of a crime where they discover a jogger has been ripped apart in the woods.  Unfortunately, there isn’t enough left of the victim for identification purposes.  The detectives assume an animal is responsible for the attack, although they can’t seem to locate any animal tracks – only boot prints.

Later that night, Nick returns home anxious to propose to Juliette only to discover his aunt has stopped by on a surprise visit.  After a cryptic, “we need to talk,” Nick and his aunt go for a walk where she begins to tell him that his family has a secret.  His parents didn’t die in an accident; they were murdered.  Why is she telling him this now?  She is dying, and the Grimm powers will pass to him in just a matter of days if they haven’t already. 

Before she can tell him the complete story, Nick and his aunt are attacked by the Reaper of the Grimms.  Nick can’t believe his eyes and he opens fire on the monster shooting him dead, but not before the attack renders his aunt unconscious.  

Reeling from the day’s events, Nick walks into his aunt’s travel-trailer where he finds an arsenal of bizarre weapons and an ancient family book revealing his destiny.   As most of us would, Nick decides to keep his secret from his girlfriend and his partner — for now, anyway.

The next day, Nick and his partner are called to another crime scene.  This time, a younger girl with the initials R.H. has been kidnapped .  Coincidence?  Using his new Grimm powers, Nick tracks down Eddie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a reformed Big Bad Wolf.   Monroe can see Nick as a Grimm immediately, and he reluctantly agrees to help Nick understand the mythology. 

Monroe also agrees to help Nick track down the Big Bad responsible for the little girl’s disappearance.  He drives Nick out to the woods, sticking his head out the window along the way sniffing out the Big Bad’s scent. 

Nice touch….

Afraid of what might happen if he gets too close, Monroe retreats as soon as they locate the cabin where his nose has indicated the Big Bad is hiding the girl.  Nick calls Hank out to the woods, but explains he didn’t call for any additional backup because he “already cried wolf once” wasting the department’s resources.   

Another nice touch….

Hank doesn’t understand how Nick tracked this man down, but he believes his partner when he overhears the suspect humming the exact same song that had been playing in the jogger’s ear buds at the first crime scene, “Sweet Dreams.” 

The take down ensues, little R.H. is rescued, and Grimm ends with the Marilyn Manson version of “Sweet Dreams” — I’ve got to know what’s inside you.

Yet another nice touch.

Obviously, after just one episode, it’s too early to award Grimm with anything other than the SSTV rating.  This television series is definitely sitting on the hot plate and is warming up; but, the water is not hot enough for us to drop in the pasta to upgrade the rating to MacTV, but it is showing potential after just one hour.

What do you think? Did you watch the premiere of Grimm?   Do you think the dramatized fairy tales will last on television today?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of ABC’s new hit, Once Upon a Time.  Will Emma accept her destiny and return magic to Storybrooke allowing the fairytale characters to come back to life and return balance to the charmed city?  

We didn’t laugh enough last week, so come back next week when Amber and I review a few of our favorite comedies.

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
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
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

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