Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Made in Jersey and Staying There

Fall Television is officially here!  With all of the new TV programs airing this fall, Amber West and I have a ton of homework to do.  This week, we tuned in and watched two brand new shows with female leads for our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews—ABC’s Nashville and CBS’s Made in Jersey.

What do you get when you cross a high-powered New York law firm with street-smarts from New Jersey?  The perfect attorney for the job—Martina Garretti (Janet Montgomery, from Human Target and Entourage).

Of course, that doesn’t mean the other members of her firm won’t doubt Ms. Garretti’s abilities—after all, most of her colleagues have Ivy League educations.  Plus, with a traditional Italian family back at home, we can expect Martina to be pulled in many different directions.  Despite all of the naysayers and interruptions, will she successfully balance her family life with a high-powered legal career?

The series also stars: Kyle Maclachlan (Twin Peaks, Desperate Housewives) as firm founder, Donovan Stark; Kristoffer Polaha (Ringer) as Nolan Adams; Stephanie March (Law & Order: SVU) and a few other familiar faces.

A few weeks ago, I previewed Made in Jersey on my Tele-Tuesday series.  Granted, I wasn’t very excited about this new show.  Heck, I even rated it at the bottom along with Mob Doctor when I ranked the week’s previews in order of which ones I was most excited about.  But, I still watched it…

I went in with very low expectations, but the series fell in-between two of my Friday favorites—CSI: New York and Blue Bloods—so I gave it a whirl.  First, the lead character (Ms. Garretti) is very likable; viewers can’t help but yell for her as she works with some really snooty people who think she’s many rungs in the social and educational ladders beneath them.  While she may appear confident on the outside, she’s still a tiny bit insecure and her job and co-workers make her very nervous.  But, Ms. Garretti has worked hard to get where she is and she’s not going to let anyone stand in her way of upholding the law, of defending her clients, or of her future.

I won’t lie; I was pleasantly surprised with Made in Jersey.

After watching the first episode, I hung in there for the second.   It appears that the series will feature a new legal procedural each week and not an ongoing in-depth storyline that we all have to work hard to follow.  In other words, if we miss an episode, we can pick right back up where we left off without worrying too much about what we’ve missed.  After all, Friday night is a tough night for watching television…

Usually when I review a new television program, I can’t help but award it with the SSTV rating; but not today.  That’s right—I’m not awarding Made in Jersey with any rating!  Why?  Because CBS has already cancelled the show and removed it from the television schedule.  Made in Jersey is the first to suffer the axe so far this season.

This is upsetting… not because Made in Jersey was my new favorite show, but because of how, in essence, the network treated this series.

Back to my Friday night comment above…

Friday night is our night to unwind from the week’s events.  Friday night is the start to our weekend.  Friday night is not typically a night we’re sitting in front of the television just waiting for our shows.  Therefore, on more than one occasion, Friday night has proven fatal to many TV programs.

So why is it that the networks are so quick to judge?  Knowing that Friday nights can be fatal for television shows, why schedule a new series on the toughest night of the week?  Even when sandwiched between two network favorites and Friday night success stories, a freshman series can still struggle, so why not give it a chance?  Why not air more than two episodes, or move it to another night or time slot?  Or why not at least air the episodes already “in the can” instead of hastily removing it from the TV schedule?

Networks, please stop playing with viewers.  Give us a chance to fall in love with new shows.  Dropping a bomb on a freshman series like this does not make us, particularly me, want to give the new shows on your network a chance until they’ve established themselves… and by then, it could be too late.

Did you watch Made in Jersey?  Are you surprised with the early cancellation?  Do you think the networks should give the new shows more of a chance or just cut ‘em when they’re not working?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about ABC’s Nashville.

Come back next week when Amber and I take on the CW and review Arrow and Beauty and the Beast!

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: Renew Ringer, Seriously

In January of this year, I blogged about the first half of the first season of the CW’s mysterious new series Ringer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as twin sisters Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin.  I not only blogged about it not once, but twice — once on Tele-Tuesday and again a bit later on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.

Even after the first half of the season, I felt that Ringer was one of the best new shows added to the 2011-2012 TV schedule.  Recently, I watched the second half of the season in marathon style.  The season finale aired just a few weeks ago and now the news is circling that Ringer is one of the CW’s programs “on the bubble.”

How can that be?

I love the CW and DVR most of the network’s series: Gossip Girl, 90210, The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, and Supernatural.  So I guess it’s technically a shorter list to mention the CW programs that I don’t watch: Hart of Dixie and Nikita.

I’m not going to say one way or another whether or not Hart of Dixie and Nikita deserve to be picked up for a season two and season three respectively because I don’t watch those programs.  I will say, however, that the revamped 90210 has nothing on the original and I’m shocked that it is still on the air.  Yes, I record it; and yes, I watch it (well I fast forward through the entire episode like I do soap operas, and still understand enough to move on to the next week) — but it’s really subpar TV.  And then there’s Gossip GirlGossip Girl is leaps and bounds better than 90210, but still the most recent seasons are nowhere near as intriguing and twisted as the earlier years (when the kids were in high school).

Over the next few weeks, the CW is introducing two new shows to the schedule: a fictionalized series based on the young and beautiful trying to make it in Hollywood, The L.A. Complex (sounds like another stab at the Melrose Place years); and a reality series based out of a Miami hotel, The Catalina (I shudder to think that this looks like a hotel-style based Jersey Shore).

So I’m back to my original question, how is it possible that Ringer is on the bubble?

It’s been no secret around The Ooo Factor regarding my feeling towards ABC’s new hit, RevengeRevenge is currently my favorite program of all series airing today and I would be shocked if ABC didn’t renew it, considering the following it has and the ratings.

Ringer and Revenge share many similarities – they’re both mysterious and full of twists and turns; both shows have creative and believable writing in otherwise over-the-top situations; both shows have likeable lead female characters despite their actions (Ringer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar and Revenge’s Emily VanCamp); both shows have good-looking male love interests (Ioan Gruffudd and Kristoffer Polaha from Ringer, and Joshua Bowman and Nick Wechler from Revenge); and most importantly to this mystery lover, both shows actually answer the question “why” and wrap up open storylines cleanly and meticulously.

From my earlier posts featuring Ringer, there were a few specific questions I hoped would be answered in the second half of the season: Why does Siobhan hate her sister so much?  When will Andrew discover the truth?  How long will Siobhan and Bridget keep up this charade?  And what is Mr. Carpenter’s secret?

Each and every one of these questions was answered.  That doesn’t happen often, trust me — I watch a LOT of TV.  Additionally, the first season was wrapped up very nicely with only the slightest cliff-hanger leaving us wanting more.  Perhaps the series was written this way because the staff didn’t know at the time whether or not the show would be picked up for a season two; or maybe this storyline was the plan all along.  Regardless, I applaud the writers and creators of Ringer.  Really, I do.

But I’m still left wondering how in the world Ringer can be on the bubble when Revenge is practically a shoe-in for pick up (it should be, anyway).  How can Ringer be on the bubble when it’s, in my opinion anyway, the fourth best show on the network?

I’m completely dumbfounded…

What do you think?  Did you watch Ringer?  What did you think about all of the outcomes surrounding all of Bridget’s, Siobhan’s, and Andrew’s twists and turns?  Is one of your favorite shows this TV season facing a questionable return?  I’d love to hear from you!

For those interested, follow @SaveRinger and use the #SaveRinger hashtag on Twitter… spread the word.  I’d like to see a season two, especially since the creators have already announced a season two will be all about the consequences…

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Two Worlds, One Ringer

This week on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, Amber West and I review two new programs to the 2011-2012 television schedule whose plots are based on dual realities – NBC’s new drama, Awake, where the protagonist lives in alternate realities depending on whether or not he is dreaming; and the CW’s new mystery, Ringer, where the protagonist is choosing to live in another reality, her twin sister’s world.

Ringer stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as twin sisters Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin.

The sisters share a troubled past – Bridget is a former narcotics user and stripper, and Siobhan cut ties from Bridget when she married a millionaire New York City hedge fund manager, leaving her normal life and sister behind.  But after a few years apart, the girls suddenly decide to move past previously made mistakes and mend their relationship, or so it seems.

The series begins as Bridget runs to her wealthy sister, Siobhan, after she witnesses a mob hit and escapes protective custody just before testifying in court.  A few days into the happy reunion, Siobhan disappears herself (making it look like an apparent suicide).  Bridget panics, like most would, but then realizes that this is her perfect opportunity to escape her past and assume her sister’s identity.

And so the story begins….

Bridget’s first matter of business is to convince Siobhan’s husband (Andrew Martin, played by Ioan Gruffudd) that she is her sister.  She learns rather quickly that the two share a rocky, tumultuous marriage, and her new husband doesn’t seem to like her very much.  Andrew’s teenage daughter from a previous marriage really hates Siobhan (Juliet Martin, played by Zoey Deutch), and she lashes out constantly by skipping school, doing drugs, and destroying things around the penthouse.

Siobhan's husband, Andrew

As if Siobhan’s life at home wasn’t enough of a disaster, Bridget soon discovers that her sister was also having an affair with Henry Butler (Kristoffer Polaha), the husband of her best friend (Gemma Butler, played by Tara Summers).

Siobhan's boyfriend and best friend's husband, Henry

Just as Bridget begins to manage all of the lies her sister is living, the FBI agent tasked with protecting her during the trial (Agent Victor Machado, played by Nestor Carbonell) arrives in New York with a few questions for Siobhan.

The FBI agent tasked with protecting Bridget, Victor

Meanwhile, Bridget’s Narcotics Anonymous sponsor and apparent lover (Malcolm Ward, played by Mike Colter) is abducted by the drug lord/mob boss looking for her back home, beaten within an inch of his life, and reacquainted with black tar heroin.  Malcolm might just be the hero of the show; despite the torture, he doesn’t disclose Bridget’s secret and he still manages to escape and travel to NYC to protect her.

Bridget's NA Sponsor and one-time lover, Malcolm

Everything is just too much, so Bridget (aka Siobhan) seeks out a new NA sponsor in the city and meets Charlie (Billy Miller).  Charlie seems eager to help, not only with her constant battle with relapse, but also with the many matters surrounding her double life.  People can trust sponsors, right?

Bridget's new NA sponsor and dirty former cop, Charlie

Oh, and did we mention the “real” Siobhan (who is camped out in Paris under an assumed identity) is pregnant?  That’s an interesting twist…Bridget gets the call from Siobhan’s doctor and has to pretend she’s pregnant; meanwhile, Henry thinks the baby is his; Andrew of course thinks the baby is his; and Siobhan’s new Parisian lover (Tyler, played by Justin Bruening) now thinks the baby is his.  This lady is a mess.

Siobhan's Parisian boy-toy and her husband's business associate, Tyler

To make matters worse, Bridget doesn’t do a bang up job keeping her secret – Gemma discovers the truth: that the “real” Siobhan is sleeping with her husband, and that Bridget is assuming her sister’s identity.  When Gemma threatens to blow the top off Bridget’s lies, she disappears.   Henry comes home to find blood all over the walls and a broken vase, and immediately cleans the mess up to protect Siobhan.  But when he confronts Siobhan (aka Bridget), she of course thinks he did something to Gemma – why else would he cover up the evidence?

Confused yet?  Remember, the “real” Siobhan is the puppet master pulling all the strings; Bridget is only trying to survive in Siobhan’s world.

And this ladies and gentleman is just the beginning…

Because of the non-stop twists and turns, I must award Ringer with the JFTV rating – it’s the perfect Junk Food Television.  I sat and watched the entire first half of the season in mini-marathon style.  See, I record the series each week, but wasn’t intrigued enough at first to watch; but once I started the episodes, I couldn’t stop – just like when I pick up a bag of Hershey’s miniatures from Costco — someone needs to pull the bag of chocolate away from me in order for me to stop popping the delicious delights in my mouth one right after the other.

I enjoyed my mini-marathon of the first half of the season so much, I’m currently stock-piling the second half of the season for another marathon-style viewing party.  I’m just waiting for that perfect Saturday…

What do you think? Do you watch Ringer?  Which of Siobhan and Bridget’s men is your favorite and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on the masterfully creative dual realities of Awake.

Come back next week when Amber and I review two new (or maybe old) TV shows.  We like to keep everyone on their toes.

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: “Ringer” in the New Year

Perhaps the correct phrase is “Ringing in the New Year,” but not in the case of today’s post.  Today, we’re catching up on Ringer, the CW’s new mysterious series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as twin sisters Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin.

The sisters share a troubled past – Bridget is a former narcotics user and stripper, and Siobhan cut ties from Bridget when she married a millionaire New York City hedge fund manager, leaving her normal life and sister behind.  But after a few years apart, the girls suddenly decide to move past previously made mistakes and mend their relationship, or so it seems. 

The series begins as Bridget runs to her wealthy sister, Siobhan, after she witnesses a mob hit and escapes protective custody just before testifying in court.  Matters get worse when Siobhan appears to have committed suicide, leaving Bridget the perfect opportunity to assume her sister’s identity.   

Enter the drama….

Bridget’s first matter of business is to convince Siobhan’s husband (Andrew Martin played by Ioan Gruffudd) that she is her sister.  She learns rather quickly that the two share a rocky, tumultuous marriage, and her new husband doesn’t seem to like her very much.  Andrew’s teenage daughter from a previous marriage really hates Siobhan (Juliet played by Zoey Deutch), and she lashes out constantly by skipping school, doing drugs, and destroying things around the penthouse.    

As if Siobhan’s life at home wasn’t enough of a disaster, Bridget soon discovers that her sister was having an affair with Henry Butler (Kristoffer Polaha), her best friend’s husband (Gemma Butler played by Tara Summers). 

Just as Bridget grabs a hold of all the lies her sister is living, the FBI agent tasked with protecting her during the trial (Agent Victor Machado played by Nestor Carbonell) arrives in New York with a few questions for Siobhan.  Meanwhile, Bridget’s Narcotics Anonymous sponsor and apparent lover (Malcolm Ward played by Mike Colter) is abducted by the drug lord/mob boss looking for her, beaten within an inch of his life, and reacquainted with black tar heroin.  Malcolm might just be the hero of the show; despite the torture, he doesn’t disclose Bridget’s secret and he still manages to escape and travel to NYC to protect her. 

Everything is just too much, so Bridget (aka Siobhan) seeks out a new NA sponsor in the city and meets Charlie (Billy Miller).  Charlie seems eager to help, not only with her constant battle with relapse, but also with the many matters surrounding her double life.

Could that be because he’s an ex-cop named John working for the real Siobhan, who is camped out in Paris under an assumed identity?  It appears she’s the puppet master behind everything, but why? 

Oh, and did we mention she’s pregnant?  That’s an interesting twist…Henry thinks the baby is his; Andrew of course thinks the baby is his; and Siobhan’s Parisian lover (Tyler played by Justin Bruening) now thinks the baby is his.  This lady is a mess. 

To make matters worse, Bridget doesn’t do a bang up job keeping her secret – Gemma discovers the truth: that Siobhan is sleeping with her husband, and that Bridget is assuming her sister’s identity.  When Gemma threatens to blow the top off Bridget’s lies, she disappears.   Henry comes home to find blood all over the walls and a broken vase, and immediately cleans the mess up to protect Siobhan.  But when he confronts Bridget (aka Siobhan), she of course thinks he did something to Gemma – why else would he cover up the evidence?   But remember, the “real” Siobhan is the one pulling all the strings….

If this was a Why it’s Worth a Watch Wednesday review, I’d award Ringer with the JFTV rating – it’s the perfect Junk Food Television.  I sat over the holidays and watched the entire first half of the season in mini-marathon style.  See, I recorded the series but wasn’t intrigued enough at first to watch; but once I started the episodes this weekend, I couldn’t stop. 

There are so many questions to be answered: Why does Siobhan hate her sister so much?  When will Andrew discover the truth?  How long will Siobhan and Bridget keep up this charade?  And what is Mr. Carpenter’s secret (Juliet’s teacher played by Jason Dohring)?

What do you think?  Have you watched Ringer?  How will this series continue for multiple seasons?  Any ideas?  I’d love to hear from you!

%d bloggers like this: