Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Still Unforgettable

Oh, the decisions made by the television networks today…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Survivor

The fall television season is right around the corner, which means one of my favorite reality programs is coming back—Survivor.

Now in its 27th season, Survivor follows tribe members (contestants of all races, ages, and backgrounds) as they battle it out to win immunity, hoping to Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast the other contestants.  They are isolated, usually at a beautiful tropical location with gnarly storm seasons, and they must build a shelter to survive.  During physical and mental competitions, the tribes earn rewards — flint for fire, fishing equipment, tarps, and luxury items (such as pillows and blankets — yeah, not very “luxury” by our definition, right?).  But no single prize is as great as the immunity idol.

The competitions aren’t the only obstacles standing in the way of the Ultimate Survivor winning the $1,000,000 cash prize.  The elements are intense, sometimes so brutal I don’t know how the contestants find the will to keep going.  And then there are the bugs.  The bugs are the number one reason why I could never play this game that I love.  Call me a pansy; call me what you will.  But I hate bugs — bugs that crawl; bugs that fly; bugs that breathe.  Period.  The number of bug bites on the contestants makes my skin crawl.

An example of a physical competition…

Fire is life in Survivor; without fire, even the water isn’t safe to drink.  I’m amazed every season at the number of contestants accepted onto the show who haven’t learned to master starting a fire using nothing but twigs and patience.

Everything considered, the most important aspect of playing Survivor is one’s ability to socialize — to form alliances.  Without the votes of the fellow tribe members, a contestant’s days on the island come to an end at tribal council (considering they don’t hold the immunity idol or a hidden immunity idol).

“Immunity is up for grabs!”

Of course, winning competitions over and over again does not guarantee the million dollar prize (does it, Colby?).  Aligning with the perfect partner/partners can carry someone all the way to the end.

Speaking of Colby Donaldson… Guns Up, Red Raiders!!

One of the best alliances of all time might just be Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich (now Mariano) in Survivor All-Stars.  The two were playing the game for the second time and formed what many considered to be an unlikely alliance, but one that took them both to the end.  Together they claimed the first and second place cash prizes, and later pocketed the ultimate prize when they married and started a family.  I actually think Survivor has been more successful with couples marrying than the Bachelor and Bachelorette.    But I digress…

Survivor’s “Godfather” — Boston Rob

Sometimes being the villain of the group also pays off.  How?  I don’t know, but we’ve seen it on multiple occasions.  Heck, I’ve even gone from despising a contestant one season to liking them later on (Coach, a.k.a. “The Dragon Slayer” had this effect on me, but it took him three seasons to do it).  Villains do rather well most of the time – Parvati, Russell Hantz, and even Boston Rob (yes, the same Rob Mariano as mentioned earlier.)  Russell was so evil that his own nephew didn’t want the other contestants to know he was related to him when he played on a later season.

Are these people really villains?  No, of course not.  But do they play the game of Survivor to win at all costs, no holds barred?  Yes, and quite well at that.

Hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, Survivor has earned multiple award nominations and won.  How is this possible, considering every season is practically the same only with new contestants in a different location?  Because somehow Mark Burnett, Probst and the producers keep it fresh.

Take the new season for instance… “Blood vs. Water.”   This year, the field of twenty will consist of ten previous contestants PLUS one of their friends or a family member.   Will blood prove to be thicker than a million dollars?  I mean, water?

I thought for sure Rupert would be my favorite (returning) player this year, but Kat (from Survivor: One World) is bringing along her hot boyfriend… Hayden Moss, winner of Big Brother 12!  Go, Hayden, Go!

All things considered, does Survivor earn a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV program.  Survivor is one of my favorite reality shows.  I have never missed a season.  Never.  Call me crazy, but I literally get giddy as the clock inches closer and closer to 7pm CST on Wednesday nights.  It’s exciting.

Survivor returns Wednesday, September 18th.

What do you think? Do you watch Survivor?  Who’s your favorite contestant over the years?  I’d love to hear from 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
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
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Mysteries of Under the Dome

After my second DVR crash since March, I found myself scurrying around, trying to recover the 200+ recordings I lost.  Amongst those so inconveniently deleted was CBS’s new science fiction drama, Under the Dome.

When we were finally ready to sit down and watch Under the Dome, we couldn’t find the first episode.  The pilot wasn’t available for viewing on the CBS website, or via OnDemand, prompting us to try something we’d never done before—watch TV via our Amazon Prime account.  For free.  Yeah, I was a happy camper…

Anyway, what would happen if we were cut off from the world?  If we couldn’t leave our city or county lines?  If we were imprisoned by an impenetrable barrier?

Based on the science fiction novel by Stephen King, Under the Dome follows the residents of Chester’s Mill after they are cut off from the world by an invisible, impenetrable barrier—a dome.  Will they uncover the truth in time to save their small town?

Let’s talk about this “wall” for a second… This “wall” sliced a cow in half, which was not at all appetizing to watch while eating dinner.  And for about a span of three to five minutes, although it felt longer, the cameras kept showing the darn cow.  Yuck.  Trust me.

But back to the story…

Not knowing whether or not this is an act of terror, or an act of God, the town’s people scurry around, trying to make heads or tails out of the situation.  And when government agencies show up on the outside, wearing full-on Hazmat Gear, those trapped know that something is terribly wrong.

Recognizing that something has them “stuck in a fish bowl,” the mayor hops on a public radio access channel and instructs all vehicles to stop moving, but not before a couple of cars crash into the invisible “wall.”  A few witnesses even watch as a small prop plane smashes into what appears to be nothing up in the sky and burst into flames.

Completely dumbfounded, friends and family, separated by the “wall,” stare at each other… scream at each other.  But nothing carries across the electrical field.  The only way we know it’s electrical is because it’s shocking to the touch and even prompted someone with a pace maker’s chest to explode.

As one can imagine, some panic, others keep calmer heads and hope to plan an escape, while others just go plain bonkers.

The new horror/mystery series stars: Mike Vogel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre circa 2003), Rachelle Lefevre (the Twilight saga), Colin Ford (Supernatural), Natalie Martinez (Detroit 1-8-7 and CSI: NY), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Britt Robertson (The Secret Circle), Aisha Hinds (Detroit 1-8-7, True Blood, and Cult), and many other familiar faces in recurring roles (like Jeff Fahey from Lost).

Bottom line?  At the end of the pilot, I was ready to watch another episode.  In addition to the dome, there were a ton of characters to get to know better, and even a few mysteries with the townsfolk (like the stockpiling of propane, a kidnapping, a murder, etc).  But my guy was ready to watch the Falling Skies season finale, so Under the Dome had to wait.

We still haven’t gotten back to it, but I want to.  It definitely left me wanting more.  For that reason, I must award the new CBS sci-fi drama with the JFTV rating.  Perhaps after we catch a few more episodes, the ranking will rise…

Have you watched Under the Dome?  How do you feel it ranks compared to the other Stephen King made-for-TV adaptations, series, and/or movies?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, 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
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – CBS Couldn’t Forget About Unforgettable

After two weeks of reviewing new summer TV shows, I’m back to taking a break from the regularly scheduled program.  Sort of.

While I’m not reviewing a new show that has never been seen before, I am showcasing a program that was new to TV in 2012… yet cancelled by CBS last May.

Why?

Because CBS couldn’t forget about Unforgettable.

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

So, for the sake of today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, I’m sharing an older post from 2011, featuring a show that returns to CBS next month with its brand new season.

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

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

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

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

Toward the end of season one, Unforgettable added a TV superstar to the cast – Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie was one of my childhood favorites… and who doesn’t remember Ms. Curtin from SNL back in the day?).  As Dr. Jane Webster, Curtin’s character will supposedly be crucial to Carrie’s ability to solve her sister’s cold case.

Additionally, Marilu Henner (Taxi) consults production.  Similar to the character of Carrie, Henner possesses the rare ability to recall all autobiographical events in real life, a condition known as hyperthymesiaAnd of course, Henner also guest stars in a recurring role as Carrie’s aunt…

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

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

But don’t get me wrong; I recorded every new episode and usually watched Poppy and the boys within a week… and I remember thinking it was a shame the show was in danger of cancellation after the season finale last year.  Not to mention, I consider most crime dramas great writing research.  For this, I award the JFTV rating to Unforgettable—no matter the predictability, I’m hooked like a fiend, craving another greasy potato chip.  But, if I’m busy, this is a show that can pile up on the DVR and catch later.

Oh, and guys – this one’s for you: season one really liked to show off Poppy’s amazing arms.  Carrie wears a tank top in almost every episode.  Yea, I’m jealous…

Unforgettable returns July 28th to CBS.

Did you watch Unforgettable?  If not, do you plan to this summer?  Are you as shocked as I am that CBS is bringing a show back after giving it the ax last year?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, 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
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

NCIS: Red – The Power of Three?

Law & Order had three (the original, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), technically five if we count the short-lived Law & Order: Trial by Jury and Law & Order: LA

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation had three…  (the original Las Vegas crime drama, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY)…

So, why shouldn’t NCIS (technically a spinoff from JAG) have three?  We already have the original and NCIS: Los Angeles… and now CBS hopes to launch a third—NCIS: Red.

First introduced to NCIS: Los Angeles audiences via another backdoor pilot double feature in “Red” and “Red P2” (these backdoor pilots appear to be the way of the future…), Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Sam (LL Cool J) joined the “Red Team” in Moscow, Idaho to investigate the murder of a marine, while Deeks (the adorable Eric Christian Olsen) and Kensi (Daniela Ruah) stayed behind to check out another man’s death via the same style—execution to the back of the head with a small-caliber round.  The cases led back to one really bad man, so the teams united and worked together to take him down.

If the series makes, NCIS: Red will follow a group of Naval Criminal Investigative Service officers as they travel around the country as a mobile unit.   The team consists of one analyst, four agents, and one “tech” guy:  Analyst Roy Quaid (John Corbett, the ever-adorable Aidan from Sex and the City), Agent Claire Keats (Gillian Alexy, McLeod’s Daughters), Special Agent Dave Flynn (Scott Grimes—I knew this guy looked really familiar, and now it makes sense… he has starred for multiple seasons on two of my favorite shows- ER and Party of Five, and he was in one of the best miniseries ever made-Band of Brothers), Special Agent Danny Gallagher (Kenneth Mitchell, Ghost Whisperer), and Technical Assistant Kai Ashe (Edwin Hodge, Cougar Town—and yes, he is the older brother of Aldis Hodge from Leverage) all report to team leader Agent Paris Summerskill (Kim Raver, 24).

The Red Team… Kai, Claire, Roy, Paris, and Dave.

And I could be wrong, as I’m just guessing here, but I think NCIS:Red will also borrow Owen Granger (Miquel Ferrer, Crossing Jordan) away from his recurring role on NCIS: Los Angeles and give him a bit more air time… the new show’s Hetty, if you will.

The “Red Team” travels together and lives together on two mobile units known as “Laverne and Shirley.”  Once connected together, the trailers of two eighteen-wheelers transform into the team’s headquarters, lab, and living quarters.  And don’t think the mobile unit is just a set—the art department for the show actually built the unit, consisting of hydraulics and lots of other technical bells and whistles.  It’s pretty cool when we get to see the transformation in action in “Red P2,” but it’s not all that nice and pretty like LA’s home office.

Paris…

During the two-hour special, viewers learned quite a bit about Paris (Raver)… with the most important being her muddled history with Roy (Corbett).  The two previously worked together as partners, with Roy serving the superior role.  On a case, ordered by Heddy, Roy was shot and blamed Paris for not being where she was supposed to be.   With Roy temporarily back on the team (until Gallagher returns from a gunshot wound), Hetty and Granger wonder if he will ever trust Paris again… and if Paris will ever trust herself again.

Agents are trained to shoot for the chest; it’s a bigger target; but Paris tends to shoot and nail enemies in the head.  Why?  Because when she finally arrived to the wounded Roy’s side on that old assignment, she shot a bad guy sneaking up behind them in the chest.  However, the man was wearing body armor and didn’t stay down, almost killing her.  But Roy saved her life, and now it seems she simply takes the headshot to avoid the headache.  Not only that, but Paris likes to decompress on the firing range, something I would assume is very normal for many agents.

There were also a few hints that Paris and Callen might be a good fit together, leading me to believe the two might have a cross-series romance brewing… if the show makes.

Has Callen found a love interest in Paris?

Audiences also learned a few things about the other members of the “Red Team.”  Claire tends to have a weapon of some sort or another in her hands in most of her downtime; maybe that’s because she’s an ex-smoker and this keeps her hands busy.  Dave is obsessed with food allergies, despite the fact he doesn’t have any.  He’s also not very good with Spanish—that was a comical scene.  Kai not only handles all the technology on “Laverne and Shirley,” but he’s also tasked with the joyful role of emptying out the trucks’ septic tanks when full—a nauseating but necessary job.  And well, Gallagher hasn’t been all that developed yet, considering he was injured in the first hour and only talked about by his other teammates in part two.

It is rumored that if the new NCIS: Red is picked up, CBS will host a one-night, three-hour event each week with one NCIS following another.   But is the new series worth a watch?

One thing’s for sure—I will definitely set my DVR to pick up this new show!  However, I don’t think any of the characters will replace my favorite NCIS member… okay, so Deeks isn’t a NCIS agent, he’s a detective who works with the team; however, he’s still the reason I watch NCIS: Los Angeles every week.

How about you?  Did you catch the two-part backdoor pilot?  Does CBS need a third NCIS program?  Does casting come into play when choosing a new TV series… or is it all about the genre?  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Surviving “Real” TV

With over forty Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts under our belt, can anyone believe that Amber West and I have yet to review any reality TV programs?  I’m shocked… especially considering I am one of the millions guilty of watching “real” television throughout the year.

During our WatchWed holiday-like hiatus, Amber and I published our DVR priorities where I listed reality TV as one of my number one DVR must-records.  Why? Because most reality sensations don’t air again if missed at the original time slot, and I don’t want to miss out.

This week, Amber and I review two of Mark Burnett’s reality shows — the no-nonsense Shark Tank and the no-holds-barred Survivor.

Now in its 24th season, Survivor follows tribe members (contestants of all races, ages, and backgrounds) as they battle it out to win immunity, hoping to Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast the other contestants.  They are isolated, usually at a beautiful tropical location with gnarly storm seasons, and they must build a shelter to survive.  During physical and mental competitions, the tribes earn rewards — flint for fire, fishing equipment, tarps, and luxury items (such as pillows and blankets — yea, not very “luxury” by our definition, right?).  But no single prize is as great as the immunity idol.

An example of a physical competition...

The competitions aren’t the only obstacle standing in the way of the Ultimate Survivor winning the one million dollar cash prize.  The elements are intense, sometimes so brutal I don’t know how the contestants find the will-power to keep going.

Fire is life; without fire, even the water isn’t safe to drink.  I’m amazed every season at the number of contestants accepted onto the show who haven’t learned to master starting a fire using nothing but twigs and patience.

And then there are the bugs.  The bugs are the number one reason why I could never play this game that I love.  Call me a pansy; call me what you will.  But I hate bugs — Bugs that crawl; Bugs that fly; Bugs that breathe.  Period.  The number of bug bites on the contestants makes my skin crawl.

Everything considered, the most important aspect of playing Survivor is one’s ability to socialize — to form alliances.  Without the votes of the fellow tribe members, a contestant’s days on the island come to an end at tribal council (considering they don’t hold the immunity idol or a hidden immunity idol, of course).

"Immunity is up for grabs..."

Winning competitions over and over again does not guarantee the million dollar prize (does it, Colby?).  Aligning with the perfect partner/partners can carry someone all the way to the end.

Speaking of Colby Donaldson... Guns Up, Red Raiders!!

One of the best alliances of all time might just be Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich (now Mariano) in Survivor All-Stars.  The two were playing the game for the second time and formed what many considered to be an unlikely alliance, but one that took them both to the end.  Together they claimed both the first and second place cash prizes, and later pocketed the ultimate prize when they married and started a family.  I actually think Survivor has been more successful with couples marrying than the Bachelor and Bachelorette.    But I digress…

Survivor's "Godfather" -- Boston Rob

Sometimes being the villain of the group also pays off.  How?  I don’t know, but we’ve seen it on multiple occasions.  Heck, I’ve even gone from despising a contestant one season to liking them later on (Coach, a.k.a. “The Dragon Slayer” had this effect on me, but it took him three seasons to do it).  Villains do rather well most of the time – Parvati, Russell Hantz, and even Boston Rob (yes, the same Rob Mariano as mentioned earlier.)  Russell was so evil that his own nephew didn’t want the other contestants to know he was related to him when he played on a later season.

Are these people really villains?  No, of course not.  But do they play the game of Survivor to win at all costs, no-holds-barred?  Yes, and quite well at that.

Hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, Survivor has earned multiple award nominations and won.  The show is such a success, that CBS has already ordered two more seasons following the conclusion of the one currently airing.  Yay!

The Probster...

But does that mean Survivor earns a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV favoriteSurvivor is one of my favorite reality programs.  I have never missed a season.  Never.  Call me crazy, but I literally get giddy as the clock inches closer and closer to 7pm CST on Wednesday nights — kind of like a young child standing nearby as his or her mommy makes mac-n-cheese for dinner.  It’s exciting.

"Your tribe has spoken." Yes, that is Jimmy Johnson (the former NFL coach). The last words any contestant wants to hear...

What do you think? Do you watch Survivor?  Who’s your favorite contestant over the years?  Mine are Boston Rob and Colby Donaldson, if you haven’t gathered from my mentioning above… Have you considered Outwitting, Outplaying, and Outlasting the competition enough to apply for CBS’ reality hit?   Do you watch any reality TV?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about ABC’s “real” TV, Shark Tank.

Come back next week when Amber and I review something interesting…

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!

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.

 

Tele-Tuesday: The Machine versus The Mentalist, Guest Post via Andrew Mocete

He’s back!  Writer and blogger Andrew Mocete struck gold with his first Tele-Tuesday guest post (When TV Makes a Wrong Turn) and I knew that we must have him back.  Andrew shares our passion for fine television programming, and today he hopes to bring forth a solid debate among two of our Thursday night must-sees: Person of Interest and The Mentalist.  It’s possible that Andrew might ruffle a few feathers here, but he also may be on to something…

Mr. Mocete

Enjoy!

*****

“Why Person of Interest is 1000% Better Than The Mentalist” by Andrew Mocete

Sorry Mentalist fans, but it’s the truth. In less than one season, Person of Interest has blown away The Mentalist. And let me tell you, I’m just as surprised as you because I do not like dramas on CBS. Of the shows I’ve tried over the years, they all have a great gimmick, but after a few weeks, I feel like I’m watching the same episode. That’s great for the casual viewer, but for someone like me who will watch a whole season, there needs to be some kind of story progression and character development. In that respect, Person of Interest succeeds on both levels where The Mentalist doesn’t. I’ll explain.

When I saw The Mentalist pilot, I thought I discovered my new favorite show. I don’t remember the details of the murder case, what stuck was the origin of Patrick Jane.

He was a psychic of celebrity level fame who appeared on television and was available for private counsel. For a price. The truth was, Patrick was a con man using his superior powers of deduction to manipulate people into thinking he was psychic. It made him cocky, and during a TV interview he was asked his opinion of serial killer Red John. Patrick chose to ridicule him. Red John’s response to this was to murder Patrick’s wife and daughter. Since then, Patrick has abandoned his life as a psychic and uses his gift to help the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the hopes of one day crossing paths with Red John to exact his revenge.

Is that not an awesome origin story? And it was all in episode one. Well, guess what, we’re in season four and that’s still the most information we’ve gotten towards the mystery of Red John.

Red John's Calling Card

So far there have been two to three episodes per season that have something to do with Red John and while events have happened, story arc-wise, the progression has barely moved. The most interesting plot involved the team’s learning of a mistake Red John made when he was a rookie killer.  A mistake that could reveal Red John’s identity. Of course, this didn’t happen (I wasn’t expecting that big a revelation) but once again Red John stayed ahead of everyone and the team learned nothing useful.

Red John is as formidable an enemy there is and he views Patrick as a worthy opponent. Why, then, is Patrick still running in place waiting for what Red John does next? How many seasons do I have to wait for Patrick to do something that unbalances Red John? The creator of the show has said Patrick won’t defeat Red John until the end of the series. I can accept that, but I don’t know how many more episodes starring Red John’s unending supply of accomplices I can take.

Even though Red John has been disappointing, Patrick’s relationship with his partner, senior agent Teresa Lisbon, is awesome. She is the sole person Patrick cares about more than revenge on Red John. And she too is willing to go to great lengths to protect him. I wish more of this connection was explored, not necessarily in a romantic way, but in a way that tests the limits of their relationship.

A standout episode this season involved Patrick losing his memory and reverting to his old self, minus the knowledge of the deaths of his wife and daughter. At the end of the case, Lisbon has a choice to make. Leave Patrick the way he is or get him back his memories. Of course she chose the latter because she believed the man Patrick became as a result of Red John was a better Patrick despite the circumstances. And the decision brought her real pain because she had to see her friend go through the worst trauma of his life again. I want more of that kind of depth.

Notice I’m not talking about the supporting cast. That’s because they’re boring, which is a shame because Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman and Amanda Righetti are great actors. They just don’t get much material to work with. In four seasons of getting to know them, I still wouldn’t care if they were wiped out for new people. Not good.

I think The Mentalist just needs to focus on its strengths. Put Patrick and Lisbon in more intense situations, make the other detectives an integral part of the team and move the Red John story FORWARD. Think I’m asking for too much? Remember The X-Files? They pulled off everything I want from The Mentalist fabulously.

Person of Interest also has an awesome gimmick: solving a murder before it happens courtesy of The Machine that spits out the social security numbers of the victims. Are they good or bad? Well, that’s also part of the mystery. Beyond that, there’s quite a bit going on with the story.

Main characters, Reese and Finch have an interesting relationship. It’s unclear if Finch, the creator of The Machine (The Brains) and Reese, ex-badass (The Brawn) really like each other, but they recognize the important role they play in the work they do. Will they always agree? And Finch is as much a mystery to Reese as he is to us. What is he hiding and how will it affect Reese if he finds out? Definitely sets the stage for lots of conflict. Yay for conflict!

Person of Interest hits the mark on the supporting cast too. Detective Lionel Fusco starts out the show as a dirty cop Reese and Finch blackmail to be their man on the inside. He’s shown signs of changing for the better, but maybe that’s just because he doesn’t want to go to prison.

If that wasn’t a sticky enough situation, Fusco’s partner, Detective Carter, is on the trail of the mysterious vigilante of NY. She’s extremely smart and it’s only a matter of time before she catches up with Reese and Finch. What will she do when she finds out Fusco’s been working for them this whole time? Sounds like ingredients for conflict to me. Whee!

But wait, there’s more!

Early on, they dropped hints about a strange case known only as “Elias M.” and by episode seven those clues were brought together to put a face on who the case was about. In other words: the story moved forward giving Reese and Finch an arch nemesis. And we all know the kind of conflict those maniacs can bring. I’m glad they unmasked Elias M early because now something new will have to happen when they cross paths.

I’m expecting a lot more surprises from Person of Interest and unfortunately none from The Mentalist.

So, what do you think? The Mentalist or Person of Interest? Choose your side in the comments!

*****

First, a big THANKS to Andrew! His guest post couldn’t have come at a better time.  This week is a big birthday week for me, and Andrew has helped lighten my load so that I can focus my time on editing my manuscript, cleaning the house for my upcoming house guests, and preparing to spoil myself.

Please be sure and check out Andrew’s blog and learn more about him here.  Andrew thought we (Amber West, Jen Kirchner, and I) were joking when we donned him the Twitter Hashtag, #MrMoceteSpeaks…but we weren’t kidding; when he speaks, we listen.

I’ll save most of my thoughts for the comment section, however I can’t move forward without mentioning that unlike Andrew, I enjoy CBS dramas.  Hawaii Five-0 and Criminal Minds are two of the first that come to mind, in addition to Person of Interest and The Mentalist.  That’s right – I adore Patrick Jane and The Mentalist, despite the fact that many of Andrews’s points also rang true for me.

I also love the idea of characters in television dramas having arch nemeses in addition to weekly storylines (McGarrett has WoFat, to Patrick Jane’s Red John, and to Reese and Finch’s Elias M.); and similar to Andrew, I like to see the progression of said storylines instead of ignoring these arcs all together week after week.

Bring on Red John, The Mentalist!  We can handle it, and we’ll probably even stick around after the fact.  Just sayin’…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

%d bloggers like this: