Tele-Tuesday: A New Year Full of the Paranormal

We briefly discussed how the supernatural is taking over the world, the world of television that is, last week in our Why It’s Worth a Watch review of the SyFy network’s Being Human.

Blame it on this love for the paranormal, but we announce with excitement that there’s not only one, or two, but three new science fiction shows airing on not one, or two, but three different networks in the next few weeks.  Not all three are one hundred percent supernatural, but all three have the crucial element of sci-fi – leaving the audience believing in fantastical events, whether realistic or not.

*****

Lost Girl

What if we made a habit of waking up next to dead lovers?

That’s the story of Bo’s life (Anna Silk), her life as a succubus.

Lost Girl follows Bo as she attempts to control her power and balance her supernatural and human lives.

Bo works alongside a combination of supernatural beings and human friends: Kenzi (Ksenia Solo, Life Unexpected), Bo’s best friend and scam artist with many “street” talents; Dyson (Kristen Holden-Reid, The Tudors), a police detective and a wolf shape-shifter; Lauren (Zoie Palmer), a human doctor with valuable knowledge of the supernatural Fae organization, an organization that we can only assume is a supernatural council of sorts; and Trick (Rick Howland), the owner of a town pub where good and bad, supernatural and human, mingle.

Looks like Bo can hold her own, succubus or no succubus

Lost Girl has aired in Canada for the past few television seasons, and has been renewed for a third.  The SyFy network recently acquired the rights to air the first two seasons, and the series premiered last night.

But don’t worry; if you missed the pilot episode, you can catch the encore presentation this Saturday, January 21st at 10pm CST. 

Lost Girl airs on SyFy’s Monday night’s 9pm CST time slot following Being Human.

*****

Touch

He’s back… Jack’s back…only this time not as our beloved Jack Bauer.  Instead, Kiefer Sutherland returns to the Fox network as Martin Bohm, a single father to an autistic and mute son.  A son (Jake, played by David Mazouz), who despite his lack of verbal communication and social skills, possesses a greater ability – the ability to see things that no one else can and communicate solely by using numbers.

Touch also stars the great Danny Glover as Professor Arthur Dewitt, an expert who will help Martin better understand Jake, even if his methods are a bit unorthodox.  It is crucial that Martin establish a better relationship with his son and build a solid home, since social worker Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Undercovers) is watching his every move.

Touch premieres on Fox, January 25th.

*****

The River

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

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

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

Desperate for the opportunity to search for their loved one, the doctor’s wife (Tess, played by Leslie Hope, 24) and son (Lincoln, played  by Joe Anderson, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) agree to allow Dr. Cole’s former producer (Clark, played by Paul Blackthorne, the great Harry Dresdon from The Dresdon Files) to join and film the expedition “documentary” style, in exchange for his funding of the trip.

The search team also consists of: Lena (Eloise Mumford), a valued resource; Emilio (Daniel Zacapa), the mechanic; and Captain Kurt (Thomas Kretschmann), a bodyguard.

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

The River premieres on the ABC network February 7th.

*****

What do you think – did you catch the pilot episode of Lost Girl?  Do you plan to watch Touch or The River?  Which show has the most promise and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Astute or Psychic?

Which show can be described as a police procedural, detective drama, quirky comedy, and an ‘80s and ’90s throwback?

The USA Network’s Psych!

Shawn Spencer (James Roday, Miss Match) was an ornery young boy raised by his single cop dad (Henry Spencer played by Corbin Bernsen, L.A. Law).  Okay, Shawn is still a bit ornery today.  From a very early age, Shawn’s dad taught him to pay close attention to details; and, it’s this astute ability that has allowed Shawn to trick everyone around him into believing he is psychic.

Everyone, that is, except for his father and his best friend, partner, and pharmaceutical salesman Burton ‘Gus’ Guster (Dule Hill, The West Wing).

Each episode begins with a flashback to the ‘80s when Shawn and Gus were young boys.  Often times, this childhood scene depicts an observational lesson from Henry, or a direct memory from Shawn and Gus’ past (like remembering their old classmate, played by Freddie Prinze, Jr.) that will relate directly to the current week’s episode.

After assisting the Santa Barbara Police Department on a case, Shawn and Gus establish Psych, their psychic consulting firm.  Hired on a case by case basis by Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson), Shawn and Gus work alongside detectives Carlton “Lassie” Lassiter (Timothy Omundson, Judging Amy) and Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson, TV movies Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover).

Most of Psych’s fun spawns from the banter between Shawn and Gus, Lassie’s constant frustration and exasperation with the two Psych consultants, and the familiar (Shawn and Henry) and romantic (Shawn and Jules) relationships shared between characters.

Fan of the ‘80s? ‘90s? Look no further!  Psych not only casts familiar faces from the decades, but also includes puns on particular storylines.

Famous ‘80s and ’90s recurring guest stars include Phylicia Rashad as Gus’ mom (The Cosby Show), Cybill Shepherd as Shawn’s mom (Moonlighting), and Ray Wise as Father Westley (Twin Peaks).

Shawn’s nemeses are all ‘80s greats as well: Yin (Peter Weller, Robocop), Yang (Ally Sheedy, member of the “Brat Pack”), and Pierre Despereaux (Cary Elwes, The Princess Bride).

One of the best episodes to date was the Twin Peaks tribute in season five, “Dual Spires”.  James Roday outdid himself writing the episode: he perfected the oddities of the characters from Lynch’s bizarre murder mystery; he mimicked the eerie music and peculiar dancing to a “T”; and, he incorporated a few of the Twin Peaks iconic elements such as the dead girl’s body wrapped in plastic found by the water, the diner, the log lady, the caged bird, and the pie.

Psych even changed the opening credits to honor Twin Peaks.  This wasn’t the first time the program made subtle changes to the music to reflect the current episode’s theme (just a little fun-Psych-“I Know You Know”-fact).

Back to the blasts from the past, let’s not forget these additional ‘80s and ‘90s guest stars: Jaleel White (Family Matters), Rachael Leigh Cook from She’s All That, “Brat Pack” member Judd Nelson, C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid), Keshia Knight Pulliam (The Cosby Show), Mena Suvari (American Pie), Carl Weathers (Rocky), and Twin Peaks alumni Dana Ashbrook, Sherilyn Fenn, and Sheryl Lee.

Need more? The new season promises to bring a few new faces from the ‘80s and ‘90s: Molly Ringwald (another “Brat-Pack” member), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys), Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block), Jason Priestley (the original 90210), Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon movies), William Shatner (Star Trek movies), and Madchen Amick (another Twin Peaks alumnus).

Rumor has it that this season will also include an Indiana Jones themed episode.  No doubt this will be fabulous!

Psych returns this Wednesday, October 12th.

Do you watch Psych?  Shawn or Gus?  Lassie or Henry?  Who is your favorite guest star to date?  Do you look for the pineapple in each episode?  I’d love to hear from you! 

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