Tele-Tuesday: Waving Goodbye to the Geeky Spy We’ve Grown to Love

We’re taking a break from the regularly scheduled program – yes; that means we have even more new shows to introduce on upcoming Tele-Tuesdays – to say goodbye to one of our favorite series: Chuck.

Chuck then...

Friday night aired the last of the new episodes, an event the audience has been expecting since the end of last season when the network announced that Chuck would come to an end during its fifth season, with a short order of only thirteen episodes.  But true “Nerd Herders” had already grown accustomed to waiting on the series’ fate year after year, considering the fans and Subway (the restaurant chain) saved the show and it’s supposed low ratings as much as they could with petitions, campaigns, and sponsorships for the past two years.

So, thank you NBC, Subway, and the creators of Chuck, for giving us five seasons filled with geekiness, action, laughter, love, character growth, true familial support, and “Jeffster”.

Meet Jeffster, and the other Chuck characters:

The series follows Charles “Chuck” Bartowski, played by the ever-adorable, Zachary Levi.   Chuck, very intelligent and known for his hacking abilities, has a bright future and a gorgeous girlfriend (played by Jordana Brewster), but he never graduates college because his friend plants evidence indicating that he was cheating.

Chuck's never been a fan of guns...

As if getting kicked out of school for such horrible accusations wasn’t enough, Chuck’s girlfriend breaks up with him.  Defeated, he is forced to re-establish himself and he moves in with his sister, Eleanor “Ellie” Bartowski (played by Sarah Lancaster).  Chuck accepts a job at the Burbank Buy More as a “Nerd Herder” (think Geek Squad at Best Buy), alongside his childhood best friend (Morgan Grimes, played by Joshua Gomez).

Ellie and Awesome

His life seems to be getting back on track, as much as it possibly can, when suddenly the same friend responsible for Chuck’s early collegiate departure (Bryce Larkin, played by Matt Bomer), sends him a mysterious email – an email that changes his life, forever.

The email contains “the intersect” – a program written by Chuck’s father (played by Scott Bakula) that contains all of the government’s databases, a supercomputer, and is uploaded directly into Chuck’s brain.   The intersect allows Chuck to “flash” on faces of terrorists or objects once he sees them or comes into direct contact with them.  The information obtained by these flashes enables Chuck to see into the terrorist’s past lives, as well as see what the terrorists have in store for the future, making Chuck an extremely valuable government asset.

The CIA sends Agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin) to secure the intersect, which later leads to the two trained government killers’ main assignment during the series – protect Chuck, and the intersect, at all costs.

As one can imagine, Chuck is not the most coordinated spy – even with his intersect flashes to perfect the art of karate and other skills.  But he is loveable, even to those who seem the most callous of heart (insert a famous John Casey grunt here).

While we’re on the topic, here are a few of our favorite John Casey grunts…

Of course Chuck and Sarah fall in love after playing a long game of cat and mouse, and the entire group forms a new family.  Over the years, the family members increase with the addition of Ellie’s husband (Dr. Devon “Awesome” Woodcomb, played by Ryan McPartlin), Chuck’s long-lost mother (Mary Bartowski, played by Linda Hamilton), and Casey’s daughter (Alex, played by Mckenna Melvin).  And who could forget the extended family, Chuck’s Buy More family: Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence), Lester (Vik Sahay), and Jeff (Scott Krinsky)?

Chuck now, after years of training

What makes Chuck so special?  Besides the fantastic cast of characters, and I mean characters, each of the “Chuck versus” something-or-another episodes were literally filled with action and massive take downs of bad guys – bad guys including: Chevy Chase, Brandon Routh, Timothy Dalton, and Bo “freaking” Derek. 

Chuck never once forgot the meaning of friends and family, and each episode left me with a smile on my face – feel good, action packed, geeky goodness.

Well, to be honest, a few of the episodes left me in tears – but good tears – tears of happiness, and in Friday night’s case, tears of sadness that we’ve reached the end of Chuck’s journey.   A journey that was not dragged out too long like many other television series, in my opinion.

So much more can be said of the five years we’ve spent with Chuck, but for those who haven’t watched the series in sequential order with us, here’s hoping you will – via the Netflix Queue, Best Buy DVD sets, Hulu, etc…

We will miss you, Chuck.  I did see a random Twitter handle Friday night when I was reading through the #goodbyechuck farewells… Could we be lucky enough to see a “Chuck Versus the Movie” in our future?  A girl can dream….

Did you watch Chuck?  Are you in a Chuck mourning period with me?  Who was your favorite character and why?  Least favorite?  Favorite bad guy?  Favorite episode and/or storyline?  Let’s reminisce.  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Preparing for the New Year

Today, Amber West and I take another look back at one of our previous Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts.  We figured that everyone is recovering from their holiday hangover right about now, so we too decided to take a tiny break and repost a previous WatchWed review.    

Reposting this particular post couldn’t have come at a better time.  With the new year on the horizon, we thought it would be worth everyone’s time to share how we determine our DVR Priorities… just in case we can help anyone struggling with the decisions of which television program to record and why. 

How do we determine our DVR Priorities?

Setting the DVR is a serious business at Casa Blanca.  A certain someone might just go into cardiac arrest if her favorite TV shows don’t record properly.  Okay… it’s a figurative heart attack, not a literal medical emergency – but try telling her it’s not a big deal. 

So, what qualifies as a DVR priority in Casa Blanca?  The episodic series that don’t feature special encore presentations or reruns later in the week are the number one priority in our house.  Ironically, these shows aren’t necessarily all GTV rated programs.

One might ask, if the television program doesn’t earn a top Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday rating, why should it be considered a DVR priority?  Because if we record an hour-long show on the DVR, we can fast forward through the commercials saving twenty minutes of our day! 

When someone (not naming any names) records anywhere from five to seven programs a night, saving those twenty minutes is crucial to making our TV viewing as efficient as possible

So, let’s begin…

Take Survivor for instance – this reality sensation, hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, does not air again if missed at its original time slot.  Does Survivor earn a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV favorite.  The same can be said for Big Brother because we don’t have another chance if we miss a show.    

Survivor returns February 2012

Sometimes we can rely on the basic five (ABC, CBS, the CW, FOX, and NBC) to air the occasional rerun, but it’s never guaranteed; therefore, Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Bones, and Chuck sit high upon the DVR priority list (all receive a GTV rating, by the way). 

The cable channels (USA, TNT, and FX specifically) replay their original programming, so even if the DVR experiences a glitch while recording, we can schedule a future recording to ensure we stay on top of our series.  THANK YOU, cable networks; especially since so many of these channels produce top-notch GTV rated television: Psych, Burn Notice, The Closer, Justified and American Horror Story just to name a few.

Justified returns January 2012

Last week, one of our favorite and most loyal readers disagreed with the fact that The Walking Dead did not receive an undisputed GTV rating.  First of all, we can’t express enough how much it means to have a faithful following, and we specifically ask for our readers to respond and spark up healthy debates.  For that, we thank you, Andrew!  When Mr. Mocete speaks, we listen here at WatchWed – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t feel the need to back up our rating system. 

The Walking Dead returns February 2012

The Walking Dead did receive half a GTV rating with the newly awarded TBP rating – a twice baked potato is the best of both worlds: gourmet and junk food.  But regardless of the rating, AMC’s hit show receives top priority on our DVR for the mere fact it brings zombies (eh-hem, walkers) to the TV.  We can’t miss the walkers – the supernatural is a must in this house. 

We’re kind of going against our earlier rule about reruns with this next DVR priority, but at the same time, we’re sticking with the newly established supernatural rule.  While Death Valley only receives a JFTV rating, what other television program brings us thirty minutes of zombie, werewolf, and vampire comedy?   Trust us, it’s not the best television available today – but it is one of a kind and we look forward to the silliness and gore every Monday night before bed.    

Pretty Little Liars returns January 2012

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV also receives a DVR priority in this YA mystery writer’s house.   ABC Family provides mystery lovers with two fantastic on-going whodunits with Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game.  Again, neither receives a top GTV rating (although the mystery factor of each one deserves a top review), but both series definitely qualify as a guilty pleasure and earn a MacTV rating.  

Who in the world is A?  What additional secrets will Sutton and Emma uncover?  This thirtysomething loves the constant intrigue of these two young adult television shows – if an episode answers a question, it guarantees to develop two or three more before the hour expires. 

So, to recap:  When considering DVR priorities in Casa Blanca, we go with episodic TV without encore presentations or the possibility of reruns.  We ignore the rating scale for once, and go with what we may miss if we don’t schedule ahead of time.  And finally, while we didn’t set out for this to actually qualify as a rule, it appears that any programming with supernatural elements or a good YA mystery finds a home high atop our recording list.

What determines DVR priority in your house?  Which show is your #1 Priority on the DVR?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out which one of her Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts she wants to share with everyone once again before the end of the year. 

Come back next year, I mean next week, when Amber and I re-review the fairy tales, Grimm and Once Upon a Time.  We left them simmering last time, have they worked their way up the rating’s chart?

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: Sometimes It Just Takes Two

Watching television is much like reading a good book; in order to keep us coming back for more, a few elements must fall into place like a great story and relatable and lovable characters.

What’s better than falling in love with a great character?  Why falling in love with a great duo, of course.

Television programs have produced wonderful power couples over the years, some even going back decades.  A perfect example of a happy husband and wife team working together from the start of a series to the end is Hart to Hart’s Jonathan and Jennifer Hart.

 

But not every couple on television experiences the same success as the Harts.  Actually, many TV partnerships begin as “just friends” before ever turning romantic.  Historically, the programs with platonic relationships actually last longer, or at least they do when the TV characters start out as just friends.

Of course, that’s not to say we don’t appreciate a bit of a cat and mouse game when it comes to alluding to the possibility of romance between friends.  But each and every time the characters find happiness with one another, the show tends to end.

*****

Moonlighting – David and Maddie

Moonlighting never quite recovered once David and Maddie gave in to their romantic feelings.  The series attempted to go back to the way things were, but it was too late.

House – House and Cuddy

We could all see it coming, and it made for some great television…but were we really shocked when House drove a car through Cuddy’s house ending their tumultuous relationship?  Doesn’t it say enough that the only picture we could find of the duo appearing happy was in the fantasized skit, “Get Happy?”

Chuck – Chuck and Sarah

Chuck always seemed to struggle with the ratings bug, but luckily the fans and Subway saved the show more than once.  Last season, we witnessed Chuck and Sarah finally marry and begin their lives together, just in time for the network to announce that this season, a shortened season at that, would be its last.

Alias – Vaughn and Sydney

Vaughn and Sydney might just be one of the best cat & mouse relationships on television…ever.  It seemed like every single time Vaughn and Sydney might be happy, some major obstacle smacked the two in the face (sometimes literally… remember the car wreck?).

*****

Like the many attempts before, the television gods are trying their hand at newly developed relationships between characters who at first were just friends.  What will the future hold for a few of our favorite TV duos now venturing down a romantic path?

Bones – Booth and Brennan

We’re seven seasons in and Booth and Brennan are finally together and having a baby.  Will the relationship survive the two’s differences (financial, spiritual, etc), or is their future doomed?

Burn Notice – Michael and Fiona

Michael has finally admitted his feelings for Fiona and she has moved in, but now the man responsible for Michael’s burn notice is blackmailing them.  How will Michael manage his way out of this one?

Psych – Shawn and Juliet

While Psych doesn’t focus on the romantic relationship between Shawn and Juliet, we still wonder how it will affect their ability to work together… Plus, don’t we really want to see more?

Fringe – Peter and Olivia

Okay, so we keep bouncing from one universe to another where sometimes Peter and Olivia are together and other times they’re not.  Perhaps this is because the show’s creators fear their future if indeed Peter and Olivia appear content?

*****

Which past or present TV power couple do you love?  Do you feel that once the relationship turns romantic, the show is doomed to fail?  What are your thoughts on the current relationship/television show status of Bones, Burn Notice, Psych, and Fringe?  Will these shows make it or will history repeat itself?   I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The DVR Priorities de Casa Blanca

This week, Amber West and I aren’t reviewing a particular television program; instead, we’re discussing our individual DVR priorities as they stand in each of our households.

Setting the DVR is a serious business at Casa Blanca.  A certain someone might just go into cardiac arrest if her favorite TV shows don’t record properly.  Okay… it’s a figurative heart attack, not a literal medical emergency – but try telling her it’s not a big deal. 

So, what qualifies as a DVR priority in Casa Blanca?  The episodic series that don’t feature special encore presentations or reruns later in the week are the number one priority in our house.  Ironically, these shows aren’t necessarily all GTV rated programs.

One might ask, if the television program doesn’t earn a top Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday rating, why should it be considered a DVR priority?  Because if we record an hour-long show on the DVR, we can fast forward through the commercials saving twenty minutes of our day! 

When someone (not naming any names) records anywhere from five to seven programs a night, saving those twenty minutes is crucial to making our TV viewing as efficient as possible

So, let’s begin…

Take Survivor for instance – this reality sensation, hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, does not air again if missed at its original time slot.  Does Survivor earn a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV favorite.  The same can be said for Big Brother because we don’t have another chance if we miss a show.    

Sometimes we can rely on the basic five (ABC, CBS, the CW, FOX, and NBC) to air the occasional rerun, but it’s never guaranteed; therefore, Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Bones, and Chuck sit high upon the DVR priority list (all receive a GTV rating, by the way). 

The cable channels (USA, TNT, and FX specifically) replay their original programming, so even if the DVR experiences a glitch while recording, we can schedule a future recording to ensure we stay on top of our series.  THANK YOU, cable networks; especially since so many of these channels produce top-notch GTV rated television: Psych, Burn Notice, The Closer, Justified and American Horror Story just to name a few.

Last week, one of our favorite and most loyal readers disagreed with the fact that The Walking Dead did not receive an undisputed GTV rating.  First of all, we can’t express enough how much it means to have a faithful following, and we specifically ask for our readers to respond and spark up healthy debates.  For that, we thank you, Andrew!  When Mr. Mocete speaks, we listen here at WatchWed – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t feel the need to back up our rating system. 

The Walking Dead did receive half a GTV rating with the newly awarded TBP rating – a twice baked potato is the best of both worlds: gourmet and junk food.  But regardless of the rating, AMC’s hit show receives top priority on our DVR for the mere fact it brings zombies (eh-hem, walkers) to the TV.  We can’t miss the walkers – the supernatural is a must in this house. 

We’re kind of going against our earlier rule about reruns with this next DVR priority, but at the same time, we’re sticking with the newly established supernatural rule.  While Death Valley only receives a JFTV rating, what other television program brings us thirty minutes of zombie, werewolf, and vampire comedy?   Trust us, it’s not the best television available today – but it is one of a kind and we look forward to the silliness and gore every Monday night before bed.    

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV also receives a DVR priority in this YA mystery writer’s house.   ABC Family provides mystery lovers with two fantastic on-going whodunits with Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game.  Again, neither receives a top GTV rating (although the mystery factor of each one deserves a top review), but both series definitely qualify as a guilty pleasure and earn a MacTV rating.  

Who in the world is A?  What additional secrets will Sutton and Emma uncover?  This thirtysomething loves the constant intrigue of these two young adult television shows – if an episode answers a question, it guarantees to develop two or three more before the hour expires. 

So, to recap:  When considering DVR priorities in Casa Blanca, we go with episodic TV without encore presentations or the possibility of reruns.  We ignore the rating scale for once, and go with what we may miss if we don’t schedule ahead of time.  And finally, while we didn’t set out for this to actually qualify as a rule, it appears that any programming with supernatural elements or a good YA mystery finds a home high atop our recording list.

What determines DVR priority in your house?  Which show is your #1 Priority on the DVR?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out which shows prompt her to scream at her DVR if for any reason they don’t record. 

Come back next week when Amber and I review something; we haven’t decided yet.  Have a great Thanksgiving!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future. 

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
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: Perp or Victim?

Continuing with last week’s post, television 2011 has brought us a large lineup of new programs hoping to find a permanent home on the networks.  After giving almost all of the new shows a try, I’ve picked a few that have definitely peaked my interest and earned a spot on the DVR.

For those of you with just enough time for a few programs a week, this is for you!

We’ve already discussed why Revenge is Sweet, so today we’re going to talk about what happens when someone’s number is up.

Post 9/11, the U. S. Government hires Mr. Fitch (Michael Emerson,Lost) to build a computer with the programming capabilities to predict terrorist activity.  Fitch’s machine produces numbers, specifically social security numbers, indicating who the country should add to the watch list.  Of course, not every number that it generates is indicative of terrorist activity and those are thrown out.

Fitch decides to save the portion of his computer the government deems irrelevant, and he discovers that he can find individuals who may or may not be involved in a crime tomorrow, the next day, or a year from now.

Realizing he doesn’t have the required resources to follow each lead on his own, Mr. Fitch seeks out former CIA agent, John Reese (Jim Caviezel from major motion pictures including The Passion of the Christ).  Reese is the perfect partner for Fitch; he’s presumed dead by the U.S. government, and he possesses the highest level of training and skills the U.S. military has to offer.  Better yet, his beloved was murdered years before and Reese has nothing to lose.

Person of Interest begins when hoodlums on a subway train attempt to mug Reese.  Notice we said attempt….Reese, dirty and resembling a bum, fights back and incapacitates each and every one in the gang.  The police take Reese in for questioning, where he meets Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).  Det. Carter isn’t buying Reese’s story, but he is bailed out by a mysterious benefactor (Fitch) before she has the chance to question him further.

Reese cleans up and Fitch pitches his idea to him – “the machine” generates a social security number, and Reese will follow the individual gathering Intel to determine whether or not the individual is going to be the victim of a crime, and when, or whether or not the individual is going to be the perpetrator of a crime, and try to prevent it.  Mr. Fitch will provide Reese the necessary funds for each investigation; money is no object.

The first social security number Reese receives belongs to a young and beautiful district attorney.  Reese follows her with the intentions of protecting her from whatever danger is ahead, but he soon discovers that she, along with others on the NYPD, is dirty.  Reese uses this opportunity to blackmail and pocket one of the dirty cops, Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman, Rescue Me), which really comes in handy considering Det. Carter refuses to forget about the subway vigilante.

The phrase, “act first, ask questions later,” describes Reese perfectly.  He’s not afraid to punch, kick, or even shoot anyone he considers dangerous and a threat to the individuals he is tasked with protecting.  We’ve likened Reese to Michael Westen (Burn Notice) in our house, except Reese has even less to live for than our favorite burned spy, making him one dangerous dude.

And, what about Fitch’s past?  Person of Interest provides flashbacks giving the audience tiny pieces to the puzzle.  We know that Fitch is the brains behind the computer; we know that the “face” of Fitch’s organization, his partner Ingram (Brett Cullen, The Gates), has been murdered; we know that Fitch now suffers ailments from a previous injury, and that he too is presumed dead.

What happened?  Is it possible that the government tried to cover up the fact that it asked Fitch to build this technology?

Do you watch Person of Interest?  What do you think?  Do you think the government has a “super computer” they use to track potential threats?  How long before Det. Carter learns the truth, and will she join the team or arrest Reese?  I’d love to hear from you!  

 

Remember – the final season of Chuck premieres this Friday night on NBC…..What do the writers have in store for fellow Nerd Herd and Buy More fans?  Will Morgan survive the Intersect?  Will Sarah and Chuck, Ellie and Awesome, and Casey save the world and live happily ever after?  What antics does JeffSter have up their sleeves this season?

Let me know in the comments section if you’re a Chuck fan too and what you hope to see as the series comes to an end!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Converting Bad Cons to Good

Welcome back to Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday!  Today, Amber West and I continue reviewing the hit programs on TNT and USA.  Each network has a con and a medical story to tell, and we break them down in today’s special quadruple edition.   

Can a con-man change to good? 

TNT and USA think so!  Both networks have hit summer programs featuring some of the most likable con-men on television.  While each con might have to resort to their old ways in order to bring down an even worse foe, they all fight the good cause and do what’s best for mankind and to uphold the law. 

 Leverage – Sunday nights on TNT

The Leverage team consists of a group of criminals turned do-gooders that utilize their specialized skills to avenge those harmed by the wealthy and/or powerful.  Each character has his or her own flaw which helps the viewers understand their passion behind the individual cases they accept. 

Nate Ford (Academy Award winner, Timothy Hutton), “The Mastermind” – Nate leads this team of otherwise misfits.  He battles alcoholism trying to recover from the death of his son, which in turn cost him his marriage and his job as an insurance investigator.  Nate selects the team’s clients, and he uses his skills to anticipate the movement of the con’s marks while the rest of his team is in play.

Sophie (Gina Bellman, Coupling), “The Grifter” – Sophie is Nate’s right hand.  She has secrets that even the audience is still trying to figure out: is she royalty? Is she married? Or is she just a great actress? Well, maybe she’s not as great on stage as she is at playing the marks of the con.  And, what is her real name for crying out loud?

Now to the “side-kicks”, without whom, the show would not be the same.

Eliot (Christian Kane, Angel), “The Hitter” – Eliot has a bit of an anger-management problem: he loves to punch and kick, but he refrains from using guns as much as possible.  Eliot’s number one job is to protect the team; but, sometimes he takes on a character role that showcases his intelligence, and not just his muscle, in order to complete the con.

Hardison (Aldis Hodge, Friday Night Lights), “The Hacker” – Like one might assume, Hardison loves his computers, technology, and “Lucille,” his thoroughly pimped out techie van.  He has designed the team’s headquarters twice now (they had to blow the first office up to hide their identities), and the specialized equipment the team uses on each case. 

Parker (Beth Reisgraf, multiple TV appearances in shows like How I Met Your Mother and My Name is Earl), “The Thief” – Moving from foster home to foster home, Parker lacks many social skills, but might just have the biggest heart of all the cons.  One might think that Parker lacks empathy, but when she’s emotionally involved in a case, she’ll stop at nothing to take down the bad guys.  Parker is one of the best thieves around, and her supreme safe cracking skills and her extreme acrobatics make her crucial to every case.

The Leverage team gets it done, and I grant my second GTV (Gourmet TV) rating of the season: Leverage gives us everything we want and more.

White Collar – Tuesday nights on USA

Meet Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer, from Chuck and Tru Calling), a suave and sexy professional con-artist captured by FBI agent, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). 

Season one opens with Peter releasing Neal from prison under the strict supervision of an ankle monitor, AND one condition: Neal must use his criminal expertise to assist the White Collar division of the FBI in capturing bad guys. 

Neal enlists the help of his fellow con-man, Mozzie (Willie Garson, aka Stanford Blatch from Sex and the City), who despite his distrust of the government, stands by his friend’s side and builds his own relationship with Peter and Peter’s wife, Elizabeth (played by Tiffani Theissen, Saved by the Bell and the real 90210). 

In addition to solving a new FBI case each week, Neal focuses on discovering the truth behind his girlfriend Kate’s disappearance.  Neal continues his search while everyone, including Peter and his FBI right-hand Diana (Marsha Thomason from Vegas), investigates Kate’s story on their own, each hoping to bring closure to Neal’s heartache. 

White Collar builds fun and heartfelt character relationships: Peter/Neal, Peter/Elizabeth, Elizabeth/Neal, Elizabeth/Mozzie, Neal/Alex (another of Neal’s con-buddies played by Gloria Votsis), and Neal/Sara (insurance investigator/Neal’s current love interest played by Hilarie Burton). 

Season 2 ends with Neal’s previous mentor turned nemesis, Vincent Adler (Andrew McCarthy best known from his 80’s hits Pretty in Pink, and St. Elmo’s Fire) escaping once again after the U-Boat treasure that Neal and Peter helped reveal, goes up in flames. 

Or does it? Neal is a con, remember. 

Will Neal flee with Mozzie and claim their fortune? Or will he stay and continue his new life helping the FBI catch other cons?  He is a great asset for the Feds…and our television screens!

This has never been done before, but I grant White Collar another GTV (Gourmet TV) rating of the season: it has everything we want and more. 

That’s two in one post!

Did I mention that Neal is sexy?  Neal’s piercing baby blues and charming smile illuminate in combination with his dapper tailored suits and his Fedora hat. 

Do you agree with my double GTV ratings this week?  Are you a Leverage or White Collar fan?  Would Leverage be worthy of a GTV rating without Eliot, Hardison, and Parker?  Will Neal stay or will Peter have to arrest him yet again?  I’d love to hear from you!

Did someone call a doctor?

Now click over to Amber’s review of this summer’s medical programs: TNT’s HawthoRNe and USA’s Royal Pains.  What will she rate two of the networks biggest hits?

Come back next week for a special recap edition as Amber and I revisit our earlier Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews. What are we still watching?  Have our opinions changed? 

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 August and September schedule and 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!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

 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

Tele-Tuesday #7 – Spring Cleaning

 

May sweeps used to indicate that the television industry saved the best for last.  The networks broadcast non-stop, action packed, cliff-hanging story lines every night of the week hoping to pull in the largest ratings of the year before announcing which shows would be receiving pink slips.  Times have changed, and today’s May sweeps ultimately means knowing which shows will return, and which shows will be swept away before the season finales have all aired.

Recent years prove that no show is safe: many shows are done after only one season, “One & Done”; some shows make it through the toddler years, a minimum of two or three seasons; some programs have aired for years, even decades with multi-generational loyal followers; and, some are still awaiting their destiny.  Television’s broom was very busy this year….

One & Done

 $H*! My Dad Says, 18 to Life, Better with You, Boston Med, Breaking In, Chaos, Chase, Chicago Code, Dating in the Dark, Law & Order: Los Angeles, Mad Love, Mr. Sunshine, My Generation, No Ordinary Family, Off the Map, Outlaw, Perfect Couples, Persons Unknown, Scoundrels, Skating with the Stars, The Cape, The Defenders, The Event, The Gates, The Good Guys, The Paul Reiser Show, The Whole Truth, Traffic Light, Undercovers

Terrible Twos & Threes

Dark Blue, Human Target, Life Unexpected

Seasoned Veterans

 Big Love, Brothers & Sisters, Entourage, Friday Night Lights , Last Comic Standing, Smallville

And the Answer is (Updated 5/18/11):

Criminal Minds (RENEWED),  Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CANCELLED), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (RENEWED), CSI: Miami (RENEWED), CSI: NY (RENEWED), The Good Wife (RENEWED), Hell Cats (CANCELLED), The Mentalist (RENEWED), NCIS: Los Angeles (RENEWED), Nikita (RENEWED), One Tree Hill (RENEWED),

Still Awaiting their Destiny: Flashpoint and Wipeout

On a positive note, not all chivalry is dead: some shows have earned advance notice that next season will be their last.  Thank you networks; thank you for allowing the writers to close out a series appropriately for the loyal fans.  This doesn’t happen all that often, just ask Law & Order.

All My Children – Last episode September 2011

 

Chuck – 13 episodes 2011/2012

  The Closer – Final season begins July 11,  2011

  Law & Order: Criminal Intent -Currently airing on USA

One Life to Live – Last episode January 2012

Seems a bit insane, doesn’t it?  What are the morals of today’s Tele-Tuesday?  Don’t get too attached to freshman television series, and no television show is safe from May sweeps.

The TV world’s information is so very scattered right now, and the networks will undoubtedly continue announcing changes in the days to come.  In the meantime, here are a few websites to check out for more information:

 TV Series Finale

Hollywood Reporter

Which of these cancellations came too soon?  Over the years, what television series has been cancelled that you still mourn?  Which network do you think sweeps the most shows in the trash before giving the audience a chance to watch week in and week out?  I’d love to hear from you!

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!

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