Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Where We Are Today…

It’s that time of year when the networks are adding even more new programming to our already full TV plates.  But before we get started on the New Year in Review, Amber West and I decided to recap our 2011 Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday ratings, from best to worst.

While I’m not quite sure where everyone else stands, this crazy television and food obsessed girl has gained her share of comfort weight over the past thirty weeks – figuratively, of course.  Thirty weeks — it seems a bit unreal that WatchWed has been around that long.  Add up the time and count the amount of MacNCheese and Junk Food TV that we’ve reviewed, the added pounds become a bit easier to understand.

First, let’s take a quick look at the 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

Some of the ratings have been around since Watch Wednesday opened its doors for business, but our palates became a bit more refined over time and it took watching a few series to understand we didn’t quite have the proper scale in place.  After considerable thought, we added Gourmet MacNCheese TV, Twice Baked Potato TV, and NyQuil Induced Viewing TV to the menu.   After all, a good chef always tweaks his or her recipes depending on the comment cards left behind by the diners, right?

It makes the most sense to begin with our favorites, the best of the best – the GTV (Gourmet TV) rated programs.  Leading the way for this television viewer will always be Criminal Minds, Bones, and Burn Notice.  Not one of these shows can sit on the DVR for more than an hour without burning a hole in the table cloth – they are that hot.

That’s not to say other plates didn’t also deserve a top-nod, including Blue Bloods, and our favorite cons on Leverage and White Collar.  And, believe it or not, there are many other programs that fit into this category that we’ve yet to review (and our explanations are Justified).

But who can afford a bone-in filet, horseradish mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and a glass of $100 wine with every meal?  It appears not Fox, since our GTV alternate reality favorite, Fringe, is on the rocks.  Or rumor has it anyway…

Back to the more affordable dishes…

Most of us enjoy a homemade meatloaf with the rich and creamy guilty pleasure Velveeta Shells & Cheese (also known as MacTV, MacNCheese TV) on the average night.

And what goes better with this more affordable meal than the fantastic new supernatural series, Grimm; the action packed scenes, beautiful scenery, and the leading man eye-candy of Hawaii Five-o (that’s Alex O’Loughlin for anyone who may not already know); as well as the two new rookie programs that have both been renewed for a second season: Suits and Franklin & Bash?

Seriously – try it.  Curl up on the sofa with a warm bowl of the cheesy favorite, and check out one of these programs.  They’ll promise to fill you and leave you satisfied, wanting more.

Before we eat the last bite, we must pay our respects to the MacTV great that has given us eight seasons of laughter, tears, mystery, intrigue, and drama – the REAL housewives of Wisteria Lane, the Desperate Housewives.  It won’t be long before the housewives leave us forever, well until syndication anyway.

Moving on…

Because this girl likes to enjoy a few meals while reminiscing about the good ol’ days of high school, Pretty Little Liars and MTV’s surprising hit, Teen Wolf, also satisfy the carb-craving that everyone needs filled every once in a while (the mystery and intrigue of these YA series doesn’t hurt either).

And for the nights when cooking just doesn’t quite seem like an option, there’s always that trusty bag of greasy potato chips we keep hidden in the pantry.

Television’s equivalent to the JFTV (Junk Food TV) bag of tasty goodness is the same – it’s not the best thing in the world for us, but we must have more than one episode: Unforgettable, Being Human, Law & Order: SVU, Warehouse 13, and the late TNT drama, Memphis Beat.

Yes, Jason Lee’s blues singing detective show has been cancelled, but don’t worry – he’s joined the cast of another JFTV show and returned to his comedic roots in Up All Night.

Next are the days when we really just need something to fill our bellies and ruin our cholesterol, much like a Twice Baked Potato (TBPTV). 

For days like these, we have the AMC original hit, The Walking Dead.  This post-zombie-apocalyptic television series fills the supernatural undead void we’ve had for years (although a particular someone in this house is still waiting for the Frankenstein monster television program before he’s perfectly satisfied).  The survivors working together to make the most of a bad situation makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  And then the bloating feeling hits us like a ton of bricks, proving the show isn’t the best thing out there for us – but it sure is fun to savor while it lasts.

Perhaps tasty, warm, fuzzy, and savor aren’t the best words to use when describing a zombie television show, but we think it gets the point across.

And sadly, we left one program Still Simmering (SSTV) on the back burner and completely forgot to pay more attention to it, but we will…especially since Alphas was picked up for a second season.  For this, our readers have our deepest apologies.  The re-review will come in time before the premiere of season two on SyFy, promise.

All this serious talk may lead one to believe we’re all business around Watch Wednesday, but we’re not.  We love to laugh too, and a few of the network funnies received the same critical reviews as the dramas.

Hindsight is always 20/20, therefore we need to re-file the one MacTV rated sitcom (How I Met Your Mother) into the JFTV rating list along with Two and a Half Men and 2 Broke Girls.  For some reason, HIMYM has its viewers crying at the end of episodes instead of laughing here recently, which kind of defeats the purpose of the sitcom and explains the need for the downgrade – something just isn’t the same.

And just like my dinner plate, there will be no Liver and Onions TV (LOTV) for the audience today, and hopefully not anytime soon.  Yuck!

Okay, that is a ton of television.  I didn’t even include the reviews of a few of my Netflix and marathon-style TV favorites (MacTV Charmed and Tru Calling, as well as the Gourmet TV Twin Peaks and Moonlight).  Does anyone notice the Alex O’Loughlin trend?

It’s a lot to take in, but tell us:

What do you think?  Which shows already in progress need to be in our list? Are there any new shows that you are looking forward to?  We’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and catch up on where her reviews sit to date.

Come back next week when Amber and I begin the new season of Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday!

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.

Tele-Tuesday: TV’s Female Cops We Love to Love

Last week, we joined three other writers to share TV’s top 10 men with (and without) badges that we love to love.  In order for Tele-Tuesday to not appear sexist, we’re including a few of television’s strong and beautiful female cops we love to love today.

Sadly, most female character roles are not written as well as their male counterparts.  It’s actually quite predictable to determine which of the typical attributes the female stars on TV programs will have today: will they be weak and dependant on a man; or damaged beyond repair; or haunted by their past to the point of repetitiveness; or flat-out boring?

There are, however, a few female protagonists written today that could quite honestly kick their male co-star’s rears.  Perhaps not because they are insanely muscular like the women of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment for those that don’t follow Raw), but because these ladies have an inner strength that makes them as enticing as any male star; these women have the intelligence and drive to support themselves in what is sadly a man’s world on TV, and we love them for it.

Oh, and did we mention they are beautiful too?

Brenda Leigh Johnson – The Closer

 

Brenda Leigh is a southern belle from Atlanta running the all-male major crime squad in Los Angeles.  At the beginning, one may have wondered exactly how she landed the job as Deputy Chief (having had an affair with her boss and all), but she has proven herself in case after case after case.

No one can convince a criminal to confess the way that Brenda Leigh can, and she is about as polite as a she can be at the same time with her catch phrase, “Thank you, thank you very much.”  We can always tell when Brenda Leigh is having a bad day or stressing out over the case when she opens her desk drawer full of chocolate.  Who can relate, ladies?

Jane Rizzoli – Rizzoli & Isles

Detective Jane Rizzoli is about as tough as they come, even with her scarred hands as a reminder that she has come close to death on numerous occasions from the maniacs she chases around Boston.  She hails from a working class family where she picked up just as many tricks of the trade as her younger brothers.

Despite her absolutely stunning good looks, Jane is quite the tomboy; she loves to play baseball, field hockey, or any other sport with a ball.  Of course, these physical activities have to attribute to her long and lean body, one that all women wish they had (and men too, ha-ha).

Calleigh Duquesne – CSI: Miami

Another southern belle, with a to-die-for accent, Calleigh Duquesne is a brilliant criminologist working with other Crime Scene Investigators for the Miami-Dade Police Department.  She is an expert in ballistics and she speaks fluent Spanish (a bonus for law enforcement in Miami).

Calleigh has escaped death numerous times; she has been stalked by a serial killer, she almost perished in a fire in the lab and another fire at a crime scene, and she nearly drowned when her Hummer was forced off the dirt roads in the Glades and into the swamps.  Regardless of her day’s work, she always manages to smile – and capture the bad guy.

Jackie Curatola – Blue Bloods

Partnered with the Police Chief’s son, Detective Jackie Curatola is assigned most of the major cases for the great city of New York.  Not only does she and her partner investigate the biggest cases of the squadron, they also manage to capture the bad guys under constant scrutiny from those that oppose the Police Chief.

Jackie left home when she was just a teenager and she has been on her own ever since.  She made a few bad decisions in life (drugs, bad boys, etc), but she turned things around and put herself through school.  Jackie has the looks of a classic beauty, and she has used this to her advantage to work undercover as a high-priced call girl where she arrested a team of serial killers despite having been drugged herself.  Jackie holds her own…

Juliete O’Hara – Psych

Juliete O’Hara has proven herself to be more than a pretty face.  Partnered with the head detective for the Santa Barbara Police department, Juliete has fought her way through the frustrations of her coworkers not believing her to be the best suited for the position.  She faced similar scrutiny while also working as a rookie in Miami.

No one can believe that this petite, blonde girl can take on the bad guys roaming the streets.  But she can; between her con-man father and her military trained brother, Juliet isn’t as fragile as she appears.  With her aviator glasses and tailored suits, Juliete is one sharp-looking, yet tough, police officer.

Many other female TV cops deserved to make this list, including Jennifer “JJ” Jareau and Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds, Annie Walker from Covert Affairs, and Kensi Blye from NCIS: LA….

What do you think?  Are you a fan of these ladies?  Which of TV’s female cops do you love to love – past or present?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Come back next week when we include a few of the female criminals we love to love….

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Reagan Family Ties

The new television season has arrived!  Many of our favorite programs are returning, so Amber West and I decided to share a few more Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews to check out two of CBS’s hit series – The Mentalist and Blue Bloods

First up – Blue Bloods

 

The Reagan family loves each other and New York City.  Each member of the Reagan family serves, or has served, their city in one way or another. 

Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck, also known as the man with the best looking mustache in the industry, Magnum, and Jesse Stone), is the current NYC Police Commissioner.  Frank is the patriarch of the Reagan family, even though his father Henry lives with him under the same roof. 

Frank served in the marines and is a Vietnam veteran.  He is widowed and also suffered the untimely loss of his son, Joseph Reagan, who died while on the job, also serving New York City (later revealed to be at the hands of The Blue Templar, a group of rogue cops). 

The job of Police Commissioner in New York City is grueling enough, but throw in the added pressure of a mayor seeking re-election (played by Bruce Altman) who is constantly riding the commissioner’s case, and one can see why Frank needs a drink at the end of every day. 

Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) is one of the top detectives on the NYPD squad.  Danny gets the job done, even if he doesn’t follow the letter of the law to a “T”.  Like his father, he is a former marine and Iraq war veteran.   While Tom Selleck receives top billing, and rightfully so, Donnie Wahlberg is the star of the series. 

When one initially hears the name Donnie Wahlberg, they recall his role in the ‘90s boy band, New Kids on the Block.  However, Donnie has had many fantastic performances in both television and motion pictures proving himself as an actor, including HBO’s Band of Brothers, NBC’s Boomtown, and Hollywood blockbusters such as Ransom, The Sixth Sense, and the Saw franchise (movies 2, 3, and 4). 

Jamie Reagan (Will Estes, American Dreams) is the newest of the Reagan family to join the force, currently working the streets as a rookie cop.  Jamie attended Harvard Law planning to follow in his big sister’s footsteps, however he changed his mind after graduation to join the NYPD like his brothers, father, and grandfather before him. 

Because he was new to the force, the FBI approached Jamie to provide information as it pertained to The Blue Templar.  Through his investigations, Jamie learned that his brother Joe was helping the FBI uncover information about these dirty cops as well, and that these rogue officers were responsible for his brother’s death.

Erin Reagan-Broyle (Bridget Moynahan from Sex and the City and Coyote Ugly), the only daughter of Frank and his late wife, is an up-and-coming Assistant District Attorney.  Divorced and raising a teenage daughter (Sami Gayle), Erin tends to be the voice of reason that helps hold her family together, besides her father that is. 

Erin tries to keep Danny in line so that her convictions of his arrests will stick; but, despite his love for his sister, no one can make Danny follow the book.  In addition to balancing her family and her career, Erin must also decide if it’s appropriate to date her boss, a man gunning for the mayoral race and who will undoubtedly remove her father as Police Commissioner.       

Henry Reagan (Tony Award winning actor, Len Cariou), or Grandpa, is the retired NYC Police Commissioner.  Henry lives with his son Frank, or Francis as he calls him, and provides support to his son and the entire family.

Blue Bloods also has a stellar supporting cast: Jennifer Esposito (Samantha Who?, Spin City) plays Jackie Curatola, Danny’s partner; Amy Carlson (Another World, Third Watch) plays Linda Reagan, Danny’s wife and mother to their two sons; Nicholas Turturro (NYPD Blue, Third Watch) plays Sgt. Anthony Renzulli, Jamie’s partner; and Emmy Award winning and Tony Award nominated actor, Bobby Cannavale (Will & Grace, Third Watch) plays Erin’s boss and District Attorney, Charles Rossellini.  

Okay, so there is a ton of programming on television today, so what’s special about Blue Bloods? Every episode features at least one family gathering around the dinner table at Frank’s house, an aspect of television today that is often times overlooked. 

The Reagan family represents America’s finest fighting crime every Friday night in New York City, but the relationship shared among the characters is the real hero.   Because of this, I award Blue Bloods the GTV rating – this gourmet television program has everything we want, and more.  Fitting, considering Frank meets someone for lowball whiskey cocktails and fine steak dinners in restaurants with linen table clothes in most of the episodes. 

What do you think? Have you watched Blue Bloods?  Who’s your favorite Reagan? Are you like me and would watch Tom Selleck in just about anything? What do you think of Donnie Wahlberg – he has come a long way from singing and dancing with the New Kids, hasn’t he?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of The Mentalist….is Simon Baker’s character, Patrick Jane, not just the tiniest bit fabulous?  

CBS is so hot, that Amber and I can’t quite leave.  Come back next week when we continue to review a few more of our favorite programs on the hit channel –The Good Wife and Criminal Minds.

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.  We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Clash of the Monday Titans

Our television sets and DVRs are about to kick into overdrive as fall TV arrives in just a few weeks.  Many of our favorite programs are returning, so Amber West and I decided to share a few more Why It’s Worth a Watch reviews to check out two of the dueling Monday night titans coming back to us September 19th – ABC’s Castle and CBS’s Hawaii Five-0

 

In 2008, TV viewers learned that CBS planned to remake the popular television series Hawaii Five-O, a hit that remained on the air from 1968-1980 starring Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett and James MacArthur as Danny Williams. 

Mixed emotions spread like wildfire – some of the older generations were furious that the networks would once again ruin a classic by attempting a remake, while others jumped in joy at the thought of their favorite television show in the ‘70s returning.  Not all that familiar with the original, the younger generations, particularly the women, marked their calendars for the series premiere and the return of some Australian sexiness to the small screen.    

Forty-two years to the day from the debut of the original Hawaii Five-O in 1968, the new Hawaii Five-0 aired.  Continuing the tribute to the original series, the 2010 opening credits remained exactly the same (except for the actors and a tad bit of our new technology today, of course).   The 2010 series also plays the original theme song composed by Morton Stevens during the opening credits. 

Don’t believe me?  Check these out!

1968

2010

What did you think?  Okay, now on to the characters!

Steve McGarrett played by Alex O’Laughlin (Moonlight, The Back-up Plan)

The series opens when McGarrett, a former Navy SEAL, hears his father murdered over the telephone.  He returns to Hawaii for the funeral and decides to stay when the governor (Jean Smart from Designing Women) appointments him the lead of the Five-O special task force, a unit with the ability to do whatever they deem necessary to close the case at hand – perfect for McGarrett’s way of acting & thinking. 

McGarrett takes down the bad guys for his “day job” while searching for the evidence to bring down Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven), the man he believes is responsible for his mother’s death years ago and for his father’s recent murder. 

Viewers get to see a tad bit of McGarrett’s personal life when his sister visits (Mary Ann McGarrett, played by Taryn Manning, 8 Mile) and his recurring love interest’s carrier docks in Hawaii (Lt. Catherine Rollins played by Michelle Borth, The Forgotten).  

Danny Williams played by Scott Caan (Varsity Blues, Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen)

McGarrett’s partner, Danny, moved to Hawaii to be closer to his daughter, Grace, and he misses the mainland and Jersey food tremendously.   

Remember the popular phrase, Book ‘em Danno?  Well, the younger generations, not as familiar with the original series, learned that the term “Danno is actually a term of endearment that Grace uses instead of “daddy” or “father” for Danny.   When McGarrett overhears an adorable exchange between Danny and his daughter, he takes a mental note and busts out with, “Book ‘em Danno” at the scene of their first arrest, much to Danny’s dismay. 

Danny operates more like a police officer should (the term “by the book” comes to mind), therefore he disagrees with McGarrett’s way of doing things.  The banter between the two partners adds a humorous element to the show, although many original Hawaii Five-O fans believe that the Danny of the ‘70s would never have talked to the McGarrett of the’70s the way our current day Danny does. 

The third and fourth members of the team, Chin-Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim from Lost) and Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica), are native Hawaiians with a history of their own. 

Chin-Ho was excused from the Hawaii Police Department for allegedly stealing money and his cousin Grace is the only family member who hasn’t disowned him over the supposed crime.  This matter is cleared up towards the end of season one, but we’re not offering up any SPOILER alerts today.    

Grace, a former professional surfer and recent graduate from the Police Academy, anxiously joins the Five-O task force to work with her cousin, even if it means she’ll never get to wear the HPD uniform that she worked so very hard to earn.   

Other recurring characters include: Kamekona (Taylor Wiley, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), a confidential informant and shaved-ice vendor who sometimes babysits Grace for McGarrett and Danny; Max Bergman (Masi Oka, Heroes), the medical examiner/coroner; Victor Hesse (James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), murderer and Wo Fat associate; and Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik, The Baby-Sitters Club and 3rd Rock from the Sun), a former CIA agent and consultant/assistant to the Five-0 team.

The creators and CBS have brought back a classic in style, and they have glorified the beauties of the islands of Hawaii for the rest of the world to see.   Regardless of all the nay-sayers out there, I give Hawaii Five-0 a MacTV rating.   There aren’t many television programs that both my guy and I like to watch simultaneously, and this happens to be one of them. 

I really wanted to give McGarrett and Danno a GTV rating, but I just don’t quite think Beef Wellington and an expensive bottle of Cabernet when I think of Hawaii Five-0; instead, I think meatloaf covered in chili sauce served with shells-n-cheese and an ice-cold beer.  Every Monday night we sit curled up with our dinner plates in our laps enthralled in the action and mystery while shoveling the yummy food into our mouths without paying the least bit of attention to the mess we’re making.  Guilty pleasure, agree? 

What do you think? Do you like the new Hawaii Five-0 or prefer the original?  Are you like me and would watch Alex O’Laughlin in anything that guarantees the occasional shirtless scene (Navy SEALS swim a lot!)?  What do you think of Scott Caan – does he remind you of his father, James Caan (you knew that, right?)?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of Nathan Fillion….I mean, the crime and mystery drama Castle on CBS!  What happens when a mystery writer tags along with a detective?  Said writer gathers tons of writing material! 

Come back next week when Amber and I continue to review a few more of our favorite programs on CBS returning this fall – the Thursday night hit, The Mentalist, and the Friday night sophomore, Blue Bloods.

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.  We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!

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

Friday FabOoolousness – Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone

Remember the television series, Spenser: for Hire, starring Robert Urich as the crime fighting private detective who loved to cook alongside Julia Child? And his best friend, Hawk, played by Avery Brooks?  I can still hear Hawk’s voice as he called out Spenser’s name in his extra Hawk-like syllables, “Spen-saaaar.”  The hit show was adapted from the bestselling novels written by Robert B. Parker, and the novel and TV show’s success in the 1980s paved the way for four Spenser made-for-television movies in the 1990s.

In 1997, Robert B. Parker published the first in yet another series of nine bestselling novels featuring a new protagonist: Jesse Stone.

Night Passage (1997)

Trouble in paradise (1998)

Death in Paradise (2001)

Stone Cold (2003)

Sea Change (2006)

High Profile (2007)

Stranger in Paradise (2008)

Night and Day (2009)

Split Image (2010, published posthumously)

Before his death in January 2010, Parker saw television success again with his second adaptation: a made-for-television movie series, with none other than the great Tom Selleck portraying Jesse Stone.

Jesse leads a troubled life: he’s a former baseball star who quit playing due to an injury; his marriage to a movie-star, Jenn Stone, failed; he’s a disgraced former homicide detective fired from the force because of his drinking problem; and, now he’s the Police Chief in the small town of Paradise near Boston, despite having interviewed for the position while drunk.

The small town of Paradise grows on Jesse, and he works diligently to solidify his small police force (Deputy Suitcase: nicknamed after Jesse’s favorite baseball player “Suitcase” Simpson, and Molly: loyal policewoman, mother, and wife), and eliminates the big-city crime that has forced its way into the otherwise quiet community.  He not only battles the bad guys, but he constantly teeters back and forth with his own personal demons: his ex-wife, alcoholism and depression.

Tom Selleck was first introduced as Jesse Stone by CBS in 2005.  CBS started the TV movies with Stone Cold, the fourth book in Parker’s series, and then back-tracked with a prequel the very next year:

Stone Cold (2005)

Jesse Stone: Night Passage (2006)

 Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (2006)

Jesse Stone: Sea Change (2007)

Similar to most adaptations, the television movies differ slightly from the novels.  For example, in the books, Parker writes Jesse’s character in his mid 30s, but Tom plays Jesse as bit older on TV.  Also, in the televised Night Passage, Jesse is not drunk in his Paradise Police Chief interview, he’s only miserably hung-over from drinking the night before.  Another difference on CBS’s adaptation of Stone Cold, Jesse finds the murder victim’s dog at the scene of the crime.  Jesse adopts the dog, and the dog and Jesse share a close relationship throughout the rest of the movies.  In the novels, Jesse never has a dog.  Minor details though, right?

 

The remaining Jesse Stone television specials were not adapted from Parker’s novels, but writers Tom Selleck and Michael Brandman remain true to Parker’s Paradise and his flawed main character.

Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009)

Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010)

The television movies are packed with familiar faces.  Selleck and Brandman introduced a new member of Jesse’s team in Thin Ice: the fabOoolous Kathy Bates as Rose.  Other recognizable actors frequent the movies in cameo roles such as Stephen McHattie as Captain Healy, William DeVane as Dr. Dix, Saul Rubinek as Hasty Hathaway, and William Sadler as mob-boss, Gino Fish.

 

Robert B. Parker was quoted saying, “Tom nails the character.”  Selleck is Stone; Selleck delivers Jesse’s dry, matter-of-fact one-liners perfectly, and always portrays the best television detective (who will ever forget Selleck as Thomas Magnum in Magnum P.I.), and police officer (he does it again as Francis Regan in Blue Bloods).  Tom Selleck gets better with age, doesn’t he?

This Sunday, May 22nd, Tom Selleck returns to CBS in Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost.  Check it out!

What are some of your favorite novels that have been adapted to television or the big screen? Did the adaptation stay true to the book, or did they stray?  Will Tom Selleck always be Thomas Magnum, or are you warming up to him as Jesse Stone?  Which actor and/or actress do you imagine as a character in the novels that you read – and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday #3 A Pick Per Night

A Pick Per Night

Have time for just one television program a night?  Let me help with that! 

MONDAY – Hawaii Five-0 – a rewarding remake.

The original characters, Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) and Danny Williams (James MacArthur), should smile at the 2010 studs – Alex O’Laughlin as Steve and Scott Caan as Danny.  The scenery of Hawaii undoubtedly is a character within itself; the music & the original 1968 introduction was mirrored perfectly using the new cast; and the “Book ‘em Danno” catchphrase lives once again.  The governor’s appointment of the Five-O special task force provides the team with the ability to do whatever they deem necessary to close the case – perfect for McGarrett’s way of acting & thinking.  McGarrett, a former Navy Seal, battles the evils of his day job while searching for the evidence to bring down Wo Fat, who he believes is responsible for his mother’s death, and is also related to his father’s murder.  McGarrett’s partner, Danny, moved to Hawaii to be closer to his daughter, and misses the mainland desperately.  Danny disagrees with McGarrett’s way of doing things, and the banter between the two partners adds a humorous element to the show.  The third and fourth members of the team, Chin-Ho and Grace, are native Hawaiians with a history of their own – Chin-Ho was excused from the HPD for stealing money, and his cousin Grace is the only family member who hasn’t disowned him.  The creators & CBS have brought back a classic in style.  

TUESDAY – NCIS: LA – spinoff success. 

Special Agent G. Callen (Callen himself doesn’t know what the G. stands for having lost many of his childhood memories) and his partner, Special Agent Hanna, a former Navy Seal, join forces with LAPD Liaison Officer Deeks, who shot his own father after years of abuse, and Deeks’ partner, Field Agent Blye, a strong female character, coming from a marine family, and who was engaged to a marine.  Together, the four solve military crimes most often times threatening national security.  This Secret Naval Intelligence Unit, hidden inside a condemned building in Los Angeles, reports to the ever-mysterious Ops Manager Hetty, and showcase their ability to adapt, and go undercover in any situation.  Despite the frightening story premises, NCIS: LA promises humor in every episode.  Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J (Ladies do Love Cool James), Eric Christen Olsen, and Daniela Ruah possess fabulous on-screen chemistry and that alone is worth a visit. 

WEDNESDAY – Criminal Minds – inside the mind of the deranged. 

Criminal Minds follows the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit led by Agent Hotchner, who rarely smiles (not surprising, considering the “unsubs,” or Unidentified Subjects of the Investigations that his team chases).  Agent Morgan, Agent Rossi, Dr. Reid, and the recent addition, Agent Seaver, await invitations from local law enforcement and assist the local authorities in capturing unsubs, utilizing their behavior training and the computer expertise of their technical analyst, Penelope Garcia.   Criminal Minds also finds time to focus on the personal lives of each of the characters – Agent Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) raises his young son alone due to the murder of his wife last season; Agent Morgan (Shemar Moore) was abused as a child; Agent Rossi (Joe Mantegna) returned to the BAU after writing and lecturing about criminal analysis; Dr. Reid (Matthew Grey Gubler) has an eidetic memory, and battles internal demons because of his institutionalized, schizophrenic mother; Agent Seaver’s (Rachel Nichols) father was a serial killer; Garcia (Kristen Vangsness) has been shot, loves Agent Morgan, and fights to see the beauty in everything.  The show has had problems keeping female agents, but reports claim recent deportee Agent Jennifer Jareau (AJ Cook) will return at the end of this season.  The cases are believable and dark, and the characters pull you in.

THURSDAY – Archer – animated brilliance. 

Not offended by South Park? Love to watch Family Guy? FX has introduced Archer – pure animation brilliance.  Meet ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service):

Sterling Archer = an alcoholic, sex crazed secret agent, who also happens to be a breast cancer survivor (Team Rampage!).  Think James Bond…

Malory Archer = Archer’s alcoholic, nymphomaniac mother/boss, whose apparent affair with the leader of the KGB resulted in Archer’s birth (although we’re still awaiting confirmation).   Think Miss Moneypenny…

Lana Kane = Archer’s sexy bombshell ex-girlfriend/partner who wants to be #1, and always wears her machine gun around her shoulder like a purse .   Think Lara Croft…

Cheryl = ISIS’ billionaire secretary with an S&M fetish. 

Pam = The Human Resource director and head-gossip, who is as sex crazed as the rest of the team. 

Archer’s 30-minutes of raunchy humor are an absolute must see!  I mentioned raunchy, right?

FRIDAY – Blue Bloods – NYC Crime Fighting Family.

 The Reagan family loves each other, and their city.  Each member of the Reagan family serves, or has served, their city in one way or another: Henry (Len Cariou), also known as “Grandpa”, is the retired Police Commissioner; Frank (Tom Selleck), also known as “Pop” or “Dad”, is the current Police Commissioner; Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is one of the top detectives on the NYPD squad; Jamie (Will Estes) is the newest of the Reagan family to join the force currently working the streets as a rookie cop; and Erin (Bridget Moynahan), the only daughter of Frank and his late wife, is an up & coming Assistant District Attorney.  Every episode features at least one family gathering around the dinner table at Frank’s house, an aspect of television today that is often times overlooked.  The show also has a stellar supporting cast: Jennifer Esposito, Amy Carlson, Nicholas Turturro, and Bobby Cannavale, Blue Bloods fights crime every Friday night in New York City, but the family dynamic is the real hero. 

What do you like to watch on Saturday and Sunday?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday #2 – This one? Or that one?

This one? Or that one?

Do you ask yourself these very questions if and when you have a free hour to watch television? 

I realize that most people don’t watch (or DVR in my case) four to ten hours of television a night — so, I am here to help you! 

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation versus CSI: Miami versus CSI:NY

My #1 – CSI: NY.  The addition of Sela Ward this season really helps make up for losing Melina Kanakaredes, and Gary Sinise is always great.  I feel the ensemble cast of NY wins against the other two CSI shows, and New York City is a wonderful supporting cast member.  I also like the NY storylines a bit more than the others CSI shows — the crimes appear to be a bit more believable.  I do hope the remainder of the 2011 season brings more of David James Elliott’s guest appearances as a FBI agent.  Plus, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that I have a small crush on Carmine Giovinazzo (Danny Messer). 

 

My #2 – CSI: Miami.  I love the bright colors and shots of Miami throughout the episodes; however, Horatio Caine, his sunglasses, and his one-liners drive me nuts!  Honestly, if it wasn’t for Horatio, Miami may rank above NY.  I must admit though, Horatio and his sunglasses have become a staple for the show.  I love Calleigh Duquesne, and I applaud the show’s attempts at covering Emily Procter’s pregnancy since they chose not to write it into the storyline.  I can’t wait for next season when Calleigh has more scenes, and hopefully the show re-explores the Calleigh/Eric Delko relationship.  Major kudos to Miami for bringing back Adam Rodriquez’s character, Delko.  I liked Eddie Cibrian, but it just wasn’t the same. 

My #3 – the original, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  The Vegas edition has been through a lot in its 11 years on the air.  The original cast has dwindled: Grissom is off the screen even though William Peterson is still involved with the production; they killed Gary Dourdan, aka Warrick Brown, and he was probably my favorite.  The show has tried to redeem itself with the addition of Lawrence Fishburne, and that did help.  The show also brought Jorja Fox back after a brief hiatus.  But, unfortunately, the storylines too often reach far beyond the norm making it last on my list — but then again, it’s Vegas, baby!  You may now think I’m stranger than you once thought, but a part of me watches to support my fellow Red Raider: Guns’ Up – George Eads, aka Nick Stokes. 

The Law & Order franchise – Law and Order: SVU versus Law and Order: Criminal Intent versus Law and Order: LA

My #1 – Law and Order: Criminal Intent.  NBC dropped CI a few years ago, but the USA network picked it right up.  They’ve waffled a bit with characters: Chris Noth, Jeff Goldblum, Annabella Sciorra, Saffron Burrows, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Alicia Witt — all big names, but still not the originals – Vincent D’Onofrio (Goren) and Kathryn Erbe (Eames).  CI returns this May for its final season on USA.  Goren and Eames may be on my top all-time partner list along with Booth & Bones (Bones), Crockett & Tubbs (Miami Vice), and Maddie Hayes & David Addison (Moonlighting).  Goren & Eames’ partnership works, and I’m glad they’re back to close out a solid show. 

My #2 – Law and Order: SVU.  SVU has another great ensemble cast, but showcases gut-wrenching storylines.  The Special Victims Unit works assault and rape cases led by Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), and her partner, Elliott Stabler (Christopher Meloni).  Benson, the product of her mother’s rape, and Stabler, the father of five children, take the cases personally and sometimes they take actions that we as viewers wish we could see more of on television (in other words, they’re not always by the book).  The main characters are joined by Tutuola (Ice-T), also not by-the-book, and Munch (Richard Belzer), who adds a small comedic touch to the otherwise dark story.  SVU loads the guest stars into each season.  So far in the 2010-2011 season, the show has featured Jeremy Irons, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Marcia Gay Harden, Debra Messing, Rose McGowen, and many more.  Warning – the writers don’t sugar-coat things.  If you don’t like watching bad things happen to children, don’t watch! 

My #3 – Law and Order: LA.  NBC rushed LA to make up for the fact they cancelled the original Law & Order without much warning after 20 years.  I shelved my frustrations, and I looked forward to the new cast led by Skeet Ulrich.  NBC aired a few episodes this fall, and then bam, it was gone.  After more than a 4 month hiatus, LA returned last night with a BANG.  Yea, they really did kill off Skeet Ulrich.  I don’t mean to ruin it for anyone, but it aired last night.  A small redemption: former Law & Order cast member Alana de la Garza (also formerly of CSI: Miami) has joined the LA cast.  Now the show is led by Terrence Howard and Alfred Molina, and I’m quite sure they can hold their own.  I’m not giving up yet, but as it stands now, LA is the low-Law and Order on my totem pole.   

Do you battle with This One or That One?  If so, who do you choose?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Tune in to Tele-Tuesday these upcoming weeks for more: Criminal Minds versus Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior; NCIS versus NCIS: Las Angeles; Archer versus Family Guy; Hawaii Five-O versus Blue Bloods; Rizzoli & Isles versus Body of Proof