Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Memphis, Music, and Mystery

This week, my partner Amber West and I change things up and instead of talking about the same network, we switch over and review two police dramas currently airing on TNT and Lifetime.

First up: Memphis Beat on TNT starring Jason Lee ( from My Name is Earl, and Kevin Smith’s hit movies such as Mall Rats, Chasing Amy, and Cop Out in addition to the motion picture adaptation of Alvin and the Chipmunks) as detective Dwight Hendricks. 

Dwight loves Memphis, his mamma (played by Celia Weston), and music – specifically Elvis Presley.  He followed in his daddy’s footsteps by joining the Memphis Police Department, and strives to keep his city safe alongside his partner, Detective Charlie “Whitehead” White (played by Sam Hennings). 

Unlike Whitehead, Dwight has a cool demeanor and never raises his voice even when interrogating the worst criminal.  He also uses his peaceful tone to help his partner deal with his insecurities about aging, and Dwight assures Whitehead that he’s still a great cop – a better cop, actually.    

Dwight drives a classic blue 1964 Pontiac GTO instead of a patrol car, and he has a music den at his house where he tends to sleep on the couch night after night.  Does Dwight have a bedroom?

Once a case is solved, Dwight performs at the local bars in Memphis singing popular blues hits from Elvis and Waylon Jennings to just name a few, while his fellow squad members fill the audience with cold beers in hand. 

Spoiler alert – Jason Lee doesn’t sing, at least not in all of the scenes; he has a stand in vocalist for many of the bar performances.  Sorry ladies; I’ve seen him confirm it as truth on Regis and Kelly.

Dwight’s precinct was upended when the new department’s lieutenant took over (Tanya Rice played by Alfre Woodard), and Dwight stepped in to ease the tension between the new boss and his unit.  Knowing his fellow detectives look to him, Dwight does his best to oblige, but continues to maintain his unorthodox detective methods forcing Lt. Rice to slowly adjust her attitude toward the Memphis way of doing things.  Now, if only Lt. Rice would learn to like Dwight’s partner…

Continuing with his “good-guy” role, Dwight mentors his fellow co-workers including Officer Davey Sutton (played by DJ Qualls) and Detective Reginald Greenback (Leonard Earl Howze).  Although he’s a master marksman, Officer Sutton is looked at as a joke by others in the department and especially out in the field – he’s as skinny as a rail and he looks like a young school boy – yet Dwight works to make him feel like a part of the team.  Detective Greenback has problems of his own, like supporting a family on a cop’s salary – will this lead to trouble?  We’ve already seen some questionable actions from Det. Greenback. 

Watching Memphis Beat makes me want to plan a trip to Tennessee soon, especially for the music and cuisine.  Ironic really, when you consider most of the show is filmed in Los Angeles and New Orleans.

I give Memphis Beat a JFTV rating – Junk Food TV.  It’s not the best police drama on TV, but it’ll definitely keep me coming back for more….especially since it airs mostly during the summer months when there’s not much else on the tele. 

What are your thoughts about Memphis Beat?  Should I have given it a higher rating?  Do you prefer Jason Lee as Earl Hickey or Dwight Hendricks? Should Dwight get a love interest anytime soon? I’d love to hear from you!

Now – remember to visit Amber’s review of The Protector starring Ally Walker on Lifetime.  She created a new rating for this one…NIV.  You’ll have to click to see exactly what it stands for, but the acronym reminds me of an infectious disease.

Come back next week when Amber and I speed things up – each of us will host two USA hit shows for a total of four reviews!  I’ll review Burn Notice and Suits while Amber reviews Covert Affairs and Necessary Roughness.

Friday FabOoolousness – New York Times bestselling author, James Rollins

On Saturday, May 7th, I was sitting around (eh-hem, I mean doing research) watching television, when I decided to give a shout out to a fellow Twitter-mate that Kristen Lamb had recently introduced me to.  Imagine my surprise when he responded that he was at the Pirates premiere in California and would tweet more after the movie.

Questions started circling in my head: Pirates premiere?  In California?  The Pirates of the Caribbean premiere?  Pirates, as in Captain Jack Sparrow and Johnny Depp? 

The answer to all of those questions was – YES!

New York Times bestselling author James Rollins

Who in the world had Kristen just introduced me too?  Don’t get me wrong, I knew the name James Rollins, but was @jamesrollins the James Rollins?  The James Rollins New York Times bestselling author??

Did I think that I had been chatting with a NYT bestselling author the past few weeks?  No, I didn’t.  Had I actually been chatting to a NYT bestselling author on Twitter?  Yes, I had! 

For those who may not know, James Rollins is indeed a New York Times bestselling author.  He’s written over sixteen books as James Rollins, and seven under the pen name James Clemons.  His works span several genres including action-adventure, thriller, suspense, mystery, and fantasy.  For all you Indiana Jones fans, James wrote the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. 

We could celebrate James for any of his many accomplishments.  For one, he’s a licensed veterinarian.  We could also celebrate James for any one of his literary series, like his Jake Ransom series for children and adults; his many individual works such as Subterranean or Ice Hunt; his short stories, including his most recent release: The Skeleton Key; his The Banned and the Banished series; but, today we’re celebrating James for his SIGMA Force series

James Rollins' SIGMA Force Series

The first novel in the SIGMA series, Sandstorm, was released in June, 2004.  The SIGMA Force is a fictional division inside the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and consists of highly trained and skilled operatives as well as expert scientists whose primary focus is fighting terrorism and protecting sensitive and confidential information. 

The SIGMA series also includes Map of Bones (May, 2005), Black Order (June, 2006), The Judas Strain (July, 2007), The Last Oracle (June, 2008), and The Doomsday Key (June, 2009).

Guess what?  It’s June, 2011.  Do you know what that means?  It’s time for a new SIGMA Force novel! 

The Devil Colony, book number seven in the SIGMA series, releases this Tuesday, June 21st

Join us, Tuesday, at the world premier launch party of The Devil Colony!  Find us gathering for twenty-four hours on Twitter in the hashtag #DevilColony.  This gathering may be online, but make no mistake – this will be a HUGE cyber-party. 

What’s the party’s theme?  You guessed it – Devil

Dress up for a costume party, or dress up for a fancy New York or Los Angeles book release party.  Wear devil costumes, eat deviled eggs or deviled ham, and take pictures!  Not in the costume mood?  Put on that sexy cocktail dress and high heels or your Mad Men suit, and take pictures!  Post all of your pictures on twitter in the #DevilColony hashtag.  Why

James will stop by periodically to say “Hi” to all of his friends, family, and fans.  Why else? 

James will also select his favorite pictures from our cyber-party and post them on his site’s Wall of Fame.  Why else? 

The best pictures will win a big mystery prize

Camera shy?  That’s okay!  Join us anyway.  Tuesday’s #DevilColony hashtag will be the social event of the Twitter-verse.  Come, have fun and hang out! 

Do all the writers out there need added incentive?  This is James Rollins, the NYT bestselling author.  What if other agents, editors, and bestselling authors stop by?  Do you really want to miss that opportunity? 

All success aside, James Rollins is an everyday guy.  He’s funny, smart, compassionate (he’s a veterinarian for goodness sake), and most importantly, he’s my friend.  

In the meantime, stop by James’ website here and his bookshelf here!

Check out Jenny Hansen’s fun post about James here and read a fun interview with James by Kristen Lamb here

Have you read any of James’ books?  Will you join us Tuesday at our cyber-party?  Have you ever pinched yourself when you realized you were talking to one of your favorite authors via social media?   Leave a comment and share; I’d love to hear from you! 

Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday #3 A Pick Per Night

A Pick Per Night

Have time for just one television program a night?  Let me help with that! 

MONDAY – Hawaii Five-0 – a rewarding remake.

The original characters, Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) and Danny Williams (James MacArthur), should smile at the 2010 studs – Alex O’Laughlin as Steve and Scott Caan as Danny.  The scenery of Hawaii undoubtedly is a character within itself; the music & the original 1968 introduction was mirrored perfectly using the new cast; and the “Book ‘em Danno” catchphrase lives once again.  The governor’s appointment of the Five-O special task force provides the team with the ability to do whatever they deem necessary to close the case – perfect for McGarrett’s way of acting & thinking.  McGarrett, a former Navy Seal, battles the evils of his day job while searching for the evidence to bring down Wo Fat, who he believes is responsible for his mother’s death, and is also related to his father’s murder.  McGarrett’s partner, Danny, moved to Hawaii to be closer to his daughter, and misses the mainland desperately.  Danny disagrees with McGarrett’s way of doing things, and the banter between the two partners adds a humorous element to the show.  The third and fourth members of the team, Chin-Ho and Grace, are native Hawaiians with a history of their own – Chin-Ho was excused from the HPD for stealing money, and his cousin Grace is the only family member who hasn’t disowned him.  The creators & CBS have brought back a classic in style.  

TUESDAY – NCIS: LA – spinoff success. 

Special Agent G. Callen (Callen himself doesn’t know what the G. stands for having lost many of his childhood memories) and his partner, Special Agent Hanna, a former Navy Seal, join forces with LAPD Liaison Officer Deeks, who shot his own father after years of abuse, and Deeks’ partner, Field Agent Blye, a strong female character, coming from a marine family, and who was engaged to a marine.  Together, the four solve military crimes most often times threatening national security.  This Secret Naval Intelligence Unit, hidden inside a condemned building in Los Angeles, reports to the ever-mysterious Ops Manager Hetty, and showcase their ability to adapt, and go undercover in any situation.  Despite the frightening story premises, NCIS: LA promises humor in every episode.  Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J (Ladies do Love Cool James), Eric Christen Olsen, and Daniela Ruah possess fabulous on-screen chemistry and that alone is worth a visit. 

WEDNESDAY – Criminal Minds – inside the mind of the deranged. 

Criminal Minds follows the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit led by Agent Hotchner, who rarely smiles (not surprising, considering the “unsubs,” or Unidentified Subjects of the Investigations that his team chases).  Agent Morgan, Agent Rossi, Dr. Reid, and the recent addition, Agent Seaver, await invitations from local law enforcement and assist the local authorities in capturing unsubs, utilizing their behavior training and the computer expertise of their technical analyst, Penelope Garcia.   Criminal Minds also finds time to focus on the personal lives of each of the characters – Agent Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) raises his young son alone due to the murder of his wife last season; Agent Morgan (Shemar Moore) was abused as a child; Agent Rossi (Joe Mantegna) returned to the BAU after writing and lecturing about criminal analysis; Dr. Reid (Matthew Grey Gubler) has an eidetic memory, and battles internal demons because of his institutionalized, schizophrenic mother; Agent Seaver’s (Rachel Nichols) father was a serial killer; Garcia (Kristen Vangsness) has been shot, loves Agent Morgan, and fights to see the beauty in everything.  The show has had problems keeping female agents, but reports claim recent deportee Agent Jennifer Jareau (AJ Cook) will return at the end of this season.  The cases are believable and dark, and the characters pull you in.

THURSDAY – Archer – animated brilliance. 

Not offended by South Park? Love to watch Family Guy? FX has introduced Archer – pure animation brilliance.  Meet ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service):

Sterling Archer = an alcoholic, sex crazed secret agent, who also happens to be a breast cancer survivor (Team Rampage!).  Think James Bond…

Malory Archer = Archer’s alcoholic, nymphomaniac mother/boss, whose apparent affair with the leader of the KGB resulted in Archer’s birth (although we’re still awaiting confirmation).   Think Miss Moneypenny…

Lana Kane = Archer’s sexy bombshell ex-girlfriend/partner who wants to be #1, and always wears her machine gun around her shoulder like a purse .   Think Lara Croft…

Cheryl = ISIS’ billionaire secretary with an S&M fetish. 

Pam = The Human Resource director and head-gossip, who is as sex crazed as the rest of the team. 

Archer’s 30-minutes of raunchy humor are an absolute must see!  I mentioned raunchy, right?

FRIDAY – Blue Bloods – NYC Crime Fighting Family.

 The Reagan family loves each other, and their city.  Each member of the Reagan family serves, or has served, their city in one way or another: Henry (Len Cariou), also known as “Grandpa”, is the retired Police Commissioner; Frank (Tom Selleck), also known as “Pop” or “Dad”, is the current Police Commissioner; Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is one of the top detectives on the NYPD squad; Jamie (Will Estes) is the newest of the Reagan family to join the force currently working the streets as a rookie cop; and Erin (Bridget Moynahan), the only daughter of Frank and his late wife, is an up & coming Assistant District Attorney.  Every episode features at least one family gathering around the dinner table at Frank’s house, an aspect of television today that is often times overlooked.  The show also has a stellar supporting cast: Jennifer Esposito, Amy Carlson, Nicholas Turturro, and Bobby Cannavale, Blue Bloods fights crime every Friday night in New York City, but the family dynamic is the real hero. 

What do you like to watch on Saturday and Sunday?  I’d love to hear from you!

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