Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – SyFy TV

This week, Amber West and I switch things up yet again and review two of TV’s hot new science fiction dramas on TNT and SyFy.

Over the past few years, the SyFy network has rivaled the basic television channels with their original series such as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Andromeda which all aired for at least five years each.

Today, SyFy has found new must-see television with series Being Human, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Haven, and Sanctuary, which is why when Alphas premiered July 11th, our household couldn’t resist checking it out.

Alphas follows five people who have super human abilities.  Together, they track and study other Alphas while also working with local law enforcement to ensure that other Alphas misusing their powers are sent to “The Compound” and kept off the streets. 

Dr. Lee Rosen – a non-Alpha played by Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Temple Grandin), leads the extraordinary team of Alphas, and uses his scientific research to better understand and control the Alpha population.

Each Alpha has a neurological difference providing them with an exceptional advantage over humans.

Would you like the strength to physically move a car blocking your path?

Meet Bill – a hyperadrenal-Alpha with super strength and training as a former FBI Agent, played by Malik Yoba (New York Undercover).  Bill reminds me of the Hulk, only he sweats profusely when his power is activated. 

Have you ever dreamed of pitching a perfect game?  What if you could master the art every time you stepped on the baseball mound? Or, what about the ability to toss a quarter into the vending machine change slot from ten feet away? 

Meet Cameron – a hyperkinesis-Alpha with perfect aim and motor skills, as well a history as an army sniper, played by Warren Christie (October Road).  Cameron appears vulnerable despite his physical stature.  He’s haunted by his failed marriage, and he misses his son desperately.

Would you like the ability to manipulate your way out of a speeding ticket by simply making eye contact with the traffic officer?

Meet Nina – an influencing-Alpha who manipulates others with her power of persuasion, played by Laura Mennell (Blood Ties and the motion picture, Watchmen).  Nina is absolutely beautiful, and she drives a new “borrowed” sports car in each episode. Now that’s what I call a super power! 

Have you ever wished that you could intercept the audio waves of a cell phone call so that you could hear the entire conversation taking place in front of you?  Or wish that you had the ability to read someone else’s text messages from a distance? 

Meet Gary – a transducing-Alpha or human antennae that can intercept any sound or radio wave, played by Ryan Cartwright (Bones).  Gary is always maneuvering his fingers through the air as he enjoys the different internet feeds, audio waves, etc.  He lacks a sense of humor, and the ability to lie.  I almost wonder if he has a form of autism.

Would you like the ability to eavesdrop on conversations taking place about you when you’re not around? How about the super power of microscopic vision?

Meet Rachel – a synesthete-Alpha, the most vulnerable of the Alphas with the ability to strengthen one of the five senses while leaving the other four useless, played by Azita Ghanizada (General Hospital: Night Shift).  Rachel’s powers are simply amazing, and she plays a large role in the investigations, yet she takes a back seat to her family.  Her current family drama surrounds their disagreement on arranged marriages. 

In the pilot, the Alphas help local law-enforcement officer Don Wilson (Callum Keith Rennie) solve the shooting of a federal prisoner locked inside a sealed interrogation room with no windows.  The investigation leads the team to the “The Ghost”, an Alpha with the power of persuasion via direct contact.  The extremist group known as “Red Flag” was also introduced as the main threat to the Alphas, and should return throughout the season as the Big Boss Trouble Maker.

The upcoming season promises to reveal more threats to the Alphas, and will test the Alphas loyalties to one another.

After only two episodes, I give Alphas the rating of SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out.  I was pleasantly surprised with the series start, and will definitely give a few more episodes a try before removing from my DVR.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? What do you think about Alphas? Has SyFy found another hit series?  Does it remind you of Heroes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, click over to Amber’s review of TNT’s Falling Skies where Noah Wyle battles aliens and machines trying to protect our world’s children.  What are those spike things the aliens attach to the children’s spines?  YUCK! 

Come back next week for another quadruple special – Amber reviews the summer’s medical programs: TNT’s Hawthorne and USA’s Royal Pains, and I take on the summer cons: TNT’s Leverage and USA’s White Collar.   

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.  Amber and I would love to chat with you!

Last, but certainly not least, did your favorite TV shows make the Emmy nomination categories?  Vote here for the 1st annual Tamberny awards.  Leave a comment by July 29th and you could win blog linkage on my special Tele-Tuesday Siskel and Ebert style Emmy breakdown where Amber and I promise to not agree!

 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 – Unconventional Courtroom Fun

Welcome to this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday where Amber West and I channel surf over to TNT.

As I mentioned on an earlier Tele-Tuesday post, TNT hosts some of the hottest summer programming on television today, and the network once again hit one out of the ball park with the new dramedy Franklin & Bash

 “We’re Totally Lawyers” – doesn’t that sound exactly like something the “grown-up” Zach Morris or Travis Birkenstock would say?  

“As if” – who doesn’t totally love Saved by the Bell and Clueless? “Whatever!”

Now I can’t get “Rollin With My Homies” out of my head!

Now back to today’s post – As we learned in last week’s episode, Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) have been friends since high school.  The series begins with the two sitting at a diner watching the traffic in Los Angeles while they banter back and forth when suddenly a fender-bender takes place directly in front of them.  Racing out to the scene, they immediately offer their business cards and legal representation to the driver responsible for rear-ending another car. 

Why is the driver not responsible for the crash when he clearly bumped into the car in front of his?  Franklin and Bash explain that it is because the driver was distracted by the interactive advertising sign yards ahead flashing images of a sexy young woman. 

The young and unconventional attorneys take the case to court and after prompting the beautiful girl in the ad to unbutton her shirt while on the witness stand, thus proving her chest to be guilty of causing an unnecessary distraction to those driving, they win the case against a large and successful law firm.

Witnessing and enjoying the unique techniques of Franklin and Bash, Stanton Infeld (played by Malcolm McDowell) offers the two friends jobs at Infeld Daniels, where he is the senior partner.  Along with their ex-con assistant, Carmen, and their agoraphobic clerk, Pindar, the two join the firm.

Meanwhile, the obvious successor to his uncle, Damien Karp (played by Reed Diamond) takes a disliking to Franklin and Bash and does his best to discredit their antics – but his uncle loves it saying repeatedly that the two remind him of himself when he was younger. 

Further infuriating Damien, Franklin beds Hanna Linden (Garcelle Beauvais, former NYPD Blue cast mate of Gosselaar), another lawyer working at the firm almost immediately.  Why does this bother Damien? Hanna is Damien’s ex. 

We’re only three episodes in, but so far we’ve enjoyed each episode.  Meyer and Gosselaar have great comedic timing and a perfect on-screen chemistry.  Franklin and Bash live together, party together, and work together, yet never seem to tire of one another.  Their famous “Margarita-Monday’s” have already saved one of their cases and provided them the vision to defend another case successfully. 

I’m giving Franklin & Bash another MacTV rating.  It doesn’t quite qualify for the GTV rating that I’d give Justified, Burn Notice, or Bones, but it also doesn’t sit long on my DVR making it a tad better than JFTV. 

I’ve started playing a game with each new episode – how many of Gosselaar’s former TV co-stars will land a guest role on Franklin & BashWanna play?  So far, I’ve already mentioned Garcelle Beauvais…..can you name another?  

Tune in tonight for a new Franklin & Bash on TNT. 

What do you think of Franklin & Bash?  Did you enjoy the butt scene in the first episode, or was it too much?  What do you think of Franklin and Bash’s courtroom antics – are they believable, or would they never happen in real-life?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, click over and check out Amber’s review of TNT’s Men of a Certain Age starring Scott Bakula, Ray Romano, and one of my favorites, Andrew Braugher. 

Remember to stop by the Twitter hashtag (#watchwed) and visit with us about today’s posts and any of today’s television shows that you’d like to see discussed on our series in the future.  Next week we discuss police dramas: Lifetime’s The Protector and TNT’s Memphis Beat.

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

Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday #1

Do you not have enough time in the day to watch everything you want on TV?

Is there so much on each night that you don’t know what to select and therefore forego it all together?

My favorite:  Do you find something on the networks that you really do like and then all of a sudden it’s removed without so much as an explanation?

It goes without saying that I’m addicted to television.  Many of you don’t have the time to watch more than a couple of hours of TV a night, if that much, and I want to use my addiction to help you.  My friends laugh at the amount of television I watch.  I love TV!  I personally feel the DVR is the best invention since the Internet, and I put it the test.  My AT&T U-Verse DVR records up to four shows at a time!  You think I’m crazy?  Join the club.

Every Tuesday I’ll introduce more shows and sometimes I will even provoke thought.  Since this is my first edition of Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday, I’m going to keep it simple and start with my favorite shows on each network, in no particular order.  Due to the inordinate amount of television that I follow, I will break this into two parts.

Part 1

ABC – Detroit 187.  I used to love NYPD Blue and ABC launched a new show this year starring Christopher Moltisanti, I mean, Michael Imperioli, as a top Detective in Detroit with secrets and quirks.  Detroit 187 reminds me a lot of NYPD Blue, and as the season progressed I enjoyed it more and more.  Warning – ABC has already aired the season finale.

CBS – This is tough.  I believe CBS might be the best network out there.  I don’t miss an episode of Criminal Minds or any of the three CSI shows.  CBS even wins for the network with the best new shows in 2010-2011 as far as I’m concerned:  Hawaii 5-0, The Defenders, and Blue Bloods.  If you’re one of those that don’t know what to watch, tune your set to CBS and just let it run while you cook, clean, read, whatever it is you do from 7pm-10pm CST.

In the meantime, I promised a favorite so I choose….Survivor.  I can’t resist watching who can Outwit, Outlast, and Outplay each other.  Every season promises pure entertainment and crazy people.  This season, the show introduced Redemption Island.  I absolutely love the new twist in the game.  Go ahead, watch.  Is this season’s Philip really a former federal agent?  Oh, and I’m Team Boston Rob.

 

CW –Supernatural.  Brothers, Sam & Dean Winchester save the world from demons, vampires, shape-shifters, the Apocalypse, etc.  Did I mention that Dean loves classic rock?  Best Supporting Character?  The music!

 

FOX – Bones.  Do you like mysteries?  Forensics?  Did you watch Buffy or Angel and develop a crush on David Boreanaz?  Bones follows one of the best forensic pathologists lacking most social skills, and her partner, a former military sniper and current FBI agent, as they solve murders.  Is there sexual tension?  TONS!  You can’t help but fall in love with Booth and Bones.  Warning – Don’t watch the show when you’re eating dinner!

 

NBC – Chuck.  Pure Monday night fun.  Chuck is half 007 and half geek.  I can’t remember the last time an episode ended and I didn’t have a smile on my face.  For whatever reason though, Chuck is always rumored for cancellation.

To be continued…

What’s your favorite TV show?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tonight, Body of Proof debuts on ABC at 9pm CST starring Dana Delaney.  I have mine set on the DVR!