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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Lost in the Amazon

This week Amber West and I review two mini-series on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: the BBC favorite, Doctor Who, and the new ABC paranormal mystery, The River.

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

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

First, a quick summary of The River:

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) and son (Lincoln, played  by Joe Anderson) agree to allow Dr. Cole’s former producer (Clark, played by Paul Blackthorne) 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 and the daughter of Emmet Cole’s missing cameraman; Emilio (Daniel Zacapa), the ship’s mechanic and his young daughter, Jahel (Paulina Gaitan); Captain Kurt (Thomas Kretschmann), a bodyguard hired to protect the crew but who also harbors a secret agenda; and lead cameraman,  A.J. (Shaun Parkes).

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

Now, a bit of the story:

For over twenty years, Emmet Cole starred in a popular television series that explored the different parts of the world and the organisms that populate it.  His catch phrase, “There’s magic out there,” reached out to millions of loyal viewers, but perhaps no one quite as much as his wife and son who traveled with him on his ship, the Magus, during his expeditions.

But on his latest voyage to the Amazon, Emmet leaves behind those that usually travel with him (his wife, his son, his producer, and his cameraman’s daughter).  Instead, he hires a new crew and ventures out on his own searching for magic.

See? Magic…

Magic is just what he finds – a mysterious magic in the Amazon.  But before he can return with his discovery, he along with everyone else on his ship vanishes.  Emmet was presumed dead by the world, that is until his emergency beacon activates six months later.

Tess, feeling a bit guilty for reasons we won’t mention, insists they find her husband.  She decides to partner up using Clark’s financial resources to document her search for Emmet and builds the team, including her reluctant son, to find the ship and her husband (and the other missing people, but everyone has their own agenda out there).

Once the team locates the Magus, they board and immediately start watching footage taped by Lena’s dad (Russ, played by Lee Tergesen) and Jonas (Scott Michael Foster).  It is obvious to the viewer that something in the Amazon is making Emmet appear like he is going crazy; but the team presses on despite the forces working against them — forces such as possessions, magical legends and curses, poisons, and ghosts.

So far, the search and recovery has yielded two of Emmet’s missing shipmates: Russ and Jonas; but still no Emmet.  After seeing what happens to these men (no spoilers), one can only imagine Emmet’s fate is doomed.

For television, The River is actually very spooky and mysterious and the special effects are surprisingly good (Steven Spielberg is involved, after all).  The season is short (only eight episodes long) and I’m hoping for some answers in the remaining two shows.  While I am enjoying the series and it’s not sitting in my DVR queue very long, I’m still not so sure about the overall program’s rating.

Lost in the Amazon at night… spooky!

A part of me feels that I should award the JFTV rating; The River is unlike anything else on network television today (American Horror Story is better, in my opinion), but I have a bad feeling that the direction of these final episodes could possibly leave a Lost feeling in my mouth.  For that, and for that fear alone, I must award The River the SSTV rating.  It’s still simmering; what can I say?

What do you think? Do you watch The River?  Is it worthy of a higher rating?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on the regenerating doctors of Doctor Who.

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – What’s Real, and What’s The Lying Game?

This week Amber West and I hop aboard the ever popular Young Adult (YA) train, and review two shows targeting the younger audiences on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Amber takes us down a musical lane with Glee, while I attempt to solve yet another mysterious drama on ABC Family, The Lying Game.

From the creators of Pretty Little Liars, and based on the novels by Sara Shepard, The Lying Game follows twin sisters, Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer (both played by Alexandra Chando).  Currently in the second half of season one, we’re still not sure how the twins learn that they were separated at birth, but they do and they find each other online and communicate via Skype.

Usually this look means it's Sutton...

Living in an abusive foster home in Vegas, Emma agrees to switch places with her twin and live Sutton’s life in Phoenix with her wealthy adopted family, allowing Sutton the time to travel to California and search for their birth mother.  Not long into the switch, Emma learns that Sutton is quite the miserable person to be around.  She’s known around school as the mastermind behind “The Lying Games” – lies that persecute others and terrify them from ever crossing Sutton again.

And this look means it's Emma...

Emma immediately bonds with her younger sister, Laurel (played by Allie Gonino), and her mother (Helen Slater, The Legend of Billy Jean) and father (Andy Buckley, The Office), repairing the seemingly damaged relationship the adopted family had with the spoiled and entitled Sutton.

The proud Mercer parents

The only people it appears that Sutton didn’t callously cross are her two best friends – Char (Kristen Prout) and Mads (Alice Greczyn, Privileged).   While the two girls notice something is drastically different with Sutton, they continue to love her unconditionally and stand by her – even when Emma (as Sutton) breaks up with her boyfriend and starts publically dating the town’s bad  boy, Ethan (played by Blair Redford), who also happens to be the “real” Sutton’s secret boyfriend.

Ethan Whitehorse - does anyone else see the irony here? The hero saves the day, riding in on his white horse? LOL

Confused?

After a short amount of time, Emma loses contact with Sutton and fears she has disappeared.  Emma, being the nice and sweet girl that she is, is faced with the dilemma of telling the Mercer family and all of Sutton’s friends the truth.

Of course, every time Emma comes face to face with the reality of telling anyone outside the circle (only Sutton, Emma, Ethan, and Mads’ brother know the truth about the twins and the “switch”), Sutton reappears with one excuse after another and spews rude comments.  It doesn’t help that everyone loves the “new” Sutton, or Emma rather (even if they don’t know that there is two of them), and Sutton can’t stand it, claiming Emma has ruined her life.

Emma with Sutton's best friends - Char and Mads

Ethan disagrees; he feels that Emma has fixed so many of the damaged relationships that “Hurricane” Sutton left behind, which is one of the reasons he dumps Sutton for Emma.  Of course, his brother (police officer Dan, played by Tyler Christopher, General Hospital) warns Ethan to stay away from her all together.

Oh, and before we continue, here are a few other characters everyone should know: Justin (Randy Wayne) is Laurel’s boyfriend, a boy claiming to have lost both of his parents in a car wreck; but who later fesses up and tells Laurel why he really came to town – to get answers from her father, the man responsible for his mother’s death.

We also must introduce probably the second biggest villain of the story (behind Sutton) – Mads’ dad and District Attorney, Alec (played by Adrian Pasdar, Heroes).  Alec is also the life-long best friend of Sutton’s adopted dad, Ted, and Sutton’s godfather.

Alec always has an angle...

Alec clearly knows the answer to most of the secrets around town – he knows about both Sutton and Emma, and he knows what happened and why at their birth.  He also likes to hold “truths” and good favors over people’s heads to get them to do what he wants, like in the case of Ethan’s brother, Dan, and Char’s boyfriend, a juvenile delinquent.   But why?

And finally, we must discuss the two Annies: Annie number one has been locked away in an insane asylum for years, having never recovered from the death of her daughter.  And then there is Annie number two, also known as Rebecca (played by Charisma Carpenter, Buffy), perhaps the woman with the answers to all of Ted and Alec’s secrets.

Cordy is still so very pretty...

Rebecca recently returned to town, looking for a fresh beginning. She obviously knew Ted and Alec in high school, but doesn’t want to discuss the past.  She’s actually quite adamant about not reminiscing with Alec and Ted, leaving us to believe the two friends with tons of secrets may have finally met their match.

The Lying Game has layer after layer of secrets and mysteries:

Who are Sutton and Emma’s biological parents?  I have my guesses…

Why were they given up at birth?  We already know how they were separated… 

Why did Ted run out of an operation that cost Justin’s mother her life sixteen years ago?  I have my suspicions…

The twists and turns involved in the plot makes The Lying Game definitely worth a watch, even if I do think I’m starting to figure out the mystery.  Despite the show’s targeting the YA crowd, this thirty-something loves to watch, claiming it is perfect research for a YA mystery writer.

But where does TLG rank on the WatchWed ratings scale?

The Lying Game deserves a JFTV rating – it’s not as tasty as the hot and delicious Mac-n-Cheese we love around here (like the YA MacTV rated Teen Wolf and Pretty Little Liars), but it does satisfy our tummies once an hour every week like our favorite candy bars.  Seriously, 250 calories a week isn’t bad…is it?  Nah!

What do you think? Do you watch The Lying Game?  Who do you think are Sutton and Emma’s parents?  Is someone really threatening the girls, or is this just another one of Sutton’s Lying Games?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out what she has to say about Fox’s hit musical, Glee.

Come back next week when Amber and I review a few of cable’s returning police procedurals: TNT’s Southland and A&E’s Breakout Kings.

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: 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!

Friday FabOoolousness – All Good Things Must Come to an End

Over the holidays, we watched a movie that I remember had grabbed my attention when the actors were moving through the daytime and nighttime talk shows doing press – All Good Things.

The story is based on, or inspired by, alleged events surrounding the life of Robert Durst.  My family, who has lived in both New York City and the great state of Texas, remembers hearing about these stories and the people involved.  Loving true crime the way that I do, I was shocked to realize I wasn’t familiar with this case and immediately logged onto the Internet to read about it.

The real-life story, and the movie, is right up my alley.

***** WARNING – SPOILERS *****

The movie stars Ryan Gosling as David Marks, the eldest son and heir apparent to his father’s New York City real estate conglomerate.  As a young boy, David’s mother commits suicide right in front of him and his life changes forever.  His father (Frank Langella) never gives up hope, and continues to push David to be at his beck and call, including having him dressing down to fix tenant’s maintenance issues at the drop of a hat and dressing up to showcase at political events and high society dinners.

Early in the 1970s, David meets Katherine “Katie” McCarthy (Kirsten Dunst).  They fall in love and marry, despite his father’s disapproval.  David and Katie move to Vermont and open an organic food store, fittingly named All Good Things.  After a short while, David’s father plants a seed of doubt in David’s mind that Katie deserves AND wants more than the measly shop out in the middle of nowhere.  They sell the store and move back to the city where David goes to work for his father.

Of course, working for the Marks family has its privileges – the money rolls in, the young couple buys a penthouse and a second home out on a nearby lake, and everything seems to be going according to the grand master plan that all married couples hope for when they start their new life together.  David and Katie associate and party with other successful couples, including David’s long-time best friend and bestselling author, Deborah Lehrman (Lily Rabe).

But everything is seldom as it appears….

The Marks’ family business isn’t as clean as a legitimate real estate company should be, and certain law enforcement officers are searching for a way to take them down.  David is tasked with collecting the rent, or books, of a few extremely shady properties for his father (one was clearly a porn house), and his buildings are the first hit by the police.

Katie wants to start a family, but David refuses without giving any explanation.   Of course, as luck would have it, Katie soon discovers that she is pregnant and David forces her to have an abortion.  Distraught, Katie focuses more on her education, and less on her marriage.  She slowly pushes away from her husband and at one point even attempts to file for a legal separation.  Unfortunately, for Katie to continue her dreams of attending medical school, she needs the Marks’ money and decides to stay with David.

Their lives were never the same; David spends his time in the city, and Katie spends her time at school.  They see each other on the weekends at the lake house, but the two fight to the point that their relationship turns abusive.  Late one night in 1982 while taking out the trash, Katie discovers that David has killed their family dog and she grabs the shovel to go inside and confront him.

Katie is never seen again.

Or is she?

The doorman at the NYC penthouse claims to have seen Katie arrive at the property early the next morning wearing oversized sunglasses and her hair down covering her face.  She was also reported making a phone call at the phone booth just outside the building that same day.

But back to the night of Katie’s disappearance, a very telling portion of the movie (in my opinion)…

David drives over to his father’s mansion for a quick late night visit.  Rambling and clearly disturbed, David ends the conversation by telling his father that they’re the same now – alone.  David leaves, on foot, and his father notices that he has left Katie’s Mercedes behind, parked directly in front of the house.  His father walks over to the trunk of the car, opens it, and the camera focuses on his face.

After an exhausting search by the McCarthy family, and publically supported by the Marks family, David leaves the city and moves to Galveston, Texas where he rents a small apartment.  He begins cross-dressing and pretends to be mute so that no one will bother him or discover who he actually is.  He repeatedly dodges phone calls from Deborah, who desperately needs help (money) and who begins to threaten him if he doesn’t call her back.

It is at this point that David decides to befriend his aging neighbor, Malvern Bump (Philip Baker Hall).   The two men bond by shooting guns together, and David later convinces Malvern to help him out with his situation in exchange for a place to live, considering he is facing eviction at his apartment complex.  With nowhere else to turn, and trusting David, Malvern travels to California and shoots Deborah dead inside her own home, execution style.

When Malvern returns to Texas to discover David never paid the escrow on the house, the two scuffle and David kills him.  He doesn’t stop there – he dismembers Malvern’s body, dresses in drag, and disposes of Malvern’s body parts in a body of water.

The movie ends with David on trial for Malvern’s death.  He is found not-guilty by way of self-defense, however did face a short stint in prison for the wrongful disposal of the body.  While Deborah’s murder in California prompts the NYC District Attorney to reopen Katie’s disappearance with David as the primary suspect, no charges were ever filed and he retires in Florida…selling real estate.

An aged Gosling playing David Marks

*****

This is not in any way a feel good movie.  A few one-liners by Kristen Wiig’s character might have been the only time I laughed out loud (the scenes with Katie’s attorney).  However, the performances by Gosling and Dunst deserve some sort of acclaim, any sort of acknowledgement.  The two young actors are absolutely brilliant with their portrayal of such haunted characters.

Obviously, the character’s names in the movie have been changed to protect the innocent and any surviving family members (Robert Durst = David Marks; Kathleen McCormack = Katie McCarthy; Susan Berman = Deborah Lehrman; Morris Black = Malvern Bump).

A story by the New York Times reported that Durst viewed All Good Things and basically had no major objections to the story, other than he wasn’t involved in the three murders.  For more from the Times’ Article on the Durst family’s thoughts regarding the movie, click here.

Are you familiar with the Robert Durst story?  Have you seen All Good Things?  What do you think?  Will his wife’s body ever be discovered?  Has he gotten away with two (alleged) perfect murders?  I’d love to hear your take! 

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!

Friday FabOoolousness – A Writer’s Life….in Movies

Everyone loves movies, particularly writers.  Writers find it extremely helpful to use movies as tools to identify crucial elements to the story making process, and even better yet, as research.

So, why not reminisce about some of the recent decades’ most popular movies about writers? 

*****

Romancing the Stone (1984)

This widely successful film stars Kathleen Turner as fictional romance novelist, Joan Wilder. 

Joan is lonely, living with her cat in her New York City apartment, when she receives a phone call from her recently widowed sister who claims to have been kidnapped by antiquities smugglers. As ransom, the smugglers demand a treasure map that Joan received in the mail from her brother-in-law.

Ransom demand in hand, Joan sets off to Cartagena, Colombia.  After a bit of a wild and crazy detour, Joan learns that other criminals want this treasure map as well.  She meets Jack Colton (Michael Douglas) and he promises to guide her through the jungle for a small monetary fee, not aware of what he’s gotten himself into. 

After sharing a romantic exchange, Joan and Jack decide to follow the map on their own.  They find a beautiful emerald, but not before one of the kidnappers (Danny DeVito) finds them.   One thing leads to another; Joan finally exchanges the stone for her sister, and shares her adventures in Cartagena by writing a novel when she returns to the city. 

Romancing the Stone has romance, action, suspense, and comedy.   In 1985, the movie was followed by a sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, also starring Turner, Douglas, and DeVito.   

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if all writers encountered a love affair, mystery, or adventure of our own to help push us through our stories?

*****

Her Alibi (1989)

Tom Selleck stars as Phil Blackwood, a fictional mystery novelist who meets his muse while sitting in a courtroom.  Blackwood forges an alibi for Nina (supermodel Paulina Porizkova), the beautiful Romanian woman accused of murder, and she is released into his custody. 

Blackwood takes Nina back to his house and begins plotting his story as he fantasizes himself in the role of his protagonist living with a mysterious woman.  Suspicions set in, however, after a police detective pays him a visit and places doubts in Blackwood’s head about Nina’s innocence.  Blackwood further questions just how well he knows this woman after she throws a kitchen knife across the room, stabbing and killing a bug crawling up a cabinet just inches from his face.

Not knowing if he’s made the right decision to protect this woman, and definitely not able to stop his romantic feelings for her, Blackwood follows Nina to a clown festival where they encounter the Romanian operatives responsible for the crime in which she was accused. 

How far will writers go to find the ever-important muse?

*****

Misery (1990)

Based on Stephen King’s novel, Misery stars James Caan as fictional novelist, Paul Sheldon.

On his way to deliver a new novel to his publicist, a story not related to the successful series that his readership has grown to admire, Sheldon crashes his car deep in the desolate woods during a blizzard.  Badly bruised and with multiple broken bones, including both legs, Sheldon is rescued by Annie (Kathy Bates), a nurse who just so happens to be his number one fan. 

Grateful for her hospitality, Sheldon agrees to let Annie read his new novel.  Unfortunately for Sheldon, she doesn’t like the new story and is offended by his language.  This disappointment sends Annie into a crazed tailspin where she obsesses about other mistakes in his storytelling; she tortures him, drugs him, spills hot soup on him, forces him to burn his manuscript, and finally takes a sledgehammer to his ankles.

Eventually, Sheldon escapes, and the movie ends just as he meets another number one fan…

Writers, how painful would it be to be forced to burn one of our manuscripts?  Does this story make us re-evaluate the importance of a “number one” fan?    

*****

Secret Window (2004)

Based on another Steven King story, Secret Window, Secret Garden, this psychological thriller stars Johnny Depp as fictional author, Mort Rainey. 

Secret Window keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, watching as Rainey spends most of his days alone in his cabin, agonizing over his wife’s (Maria Bello) affair which has created an untimely case of writer’s block. 

What’s worse than a writer suffering from writer’s block?  Being accused of plagiarism, of course. 

Rainey doesn’t believe he, the successful writer, stole the work of his crazed accuser (played by the great John Turturro).  After his dog is murdered, Rainey hires a private investigator (Charles S. Dutton) to look after the man. 

The movie takes an interesting turn when it’s revealed that Rainey is actually suffering from an identify disorder and has assumed the role of his character.  He lives out his story first hand by imagining the man accusing him of plagiarism, and by seeking revenge against his unfaithful wife and her lover (Timothy Hutton), thus overcoming his writer’s block. 

Are writers really this crazy?

*****

Did you enjoy any of these movies? What other movies about writers do you enjoy?  Writers, do you use movies and television programs as research for your stories?  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Clash of the Monday Titans

Our television sets and DVRs are about to kick into overdrive as fall TV arrives in just a few weeks.  Many of our favorite programs are returning, so Amber West and I decided to share a few more Why It’s Worth a Watch reviews to check out two of the dueling Monday night titans coming back to us September 19th – ABC’s Castle and CBS’s Hawaii Five-0

 

In 2008, TV viewers learned that CBS planned to remake the popular television series Hawaii Five-O, a hit that remained on the air from 1968-1980 starring Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett and James MacArthur as Danny Williams. 

Mixed emotions spread like wildfire – some of the older generations were furious that the networks would once again ruin a classic by attempting a remake, while others jumped in joy at the thought of their favorite television show in the ‘70s returning.  Not all that familiar with the original, the younger generations, particularly the women, marked their calendars for the series premiere and the return of some Australian sexiness to the small screen.    

Forty-two years to the day from the debut of the original Hawaii Five-O in 1968, the new Hawaii Five-0 aired.  Continuing the tribute to the original series, the 2010 opening credits remained exactly the same (except for the actors and a tad bit of our new technology today, of course).   The 2010 series also plays the original theme song composed by Morton Stevens during the opening credits. 

Don’t believe me?  Check these out!

1968

2010

What did you think?  Okay, now on to the characters!

Steve McGarrett played by Alex O’Laughlin (Moonlight, The Back-up Plan)

The series opens when McGarrett, a former Navy SEAL, hears his father murdered over the telephone.  He returns to Hawaii for the funeral and decides to stay when the governor (Jean Smart from Designing Women) appointments him the lead of the Five-O special task force, a unit with the ability to do whatever they deem necessary to close the case at hand – perfect for McGarrett’s way of acting & thinking. 

McGarrett takes down the bad guys for his “day job” while searching for the evidence to bring down Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven), the man he believes is responsible for his mother’s death years ago and for his father’s recent murder. 

Viewers get to see a tad bit of McGarrett’s personal life when his sister visits (Mary Ann McGarrett, played by Taryn Manning, 8 Mile) and his recurring love interest’s carrier docks in Hawaii (Lt. Catherine Rollins played by Michelle Borth, The Forgotten).  

Danny Williams played by Scott Caan (Varsity Blues, Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen)

McGarrett’s partner, Danny, moved to Hawaii to be closer to his daughter, Grace, and he misses the mainland and Jersey food tremendously.   

Remember the popular phrase, Book ‘em Danno?  Well, the younger generations, not as familiar with the original series, learned that the term “Danno is actually a term of endearment that Grace uses instead of “daddy” or “father” for Danny.   When McGarrett overhears an adorable exchange between Danny and his daughter, he takes a mental note and busts out with, “Book ‘em Danno” at the scene of their first arrest, much to Danny’s dismay. 

Danny operates more like a police officer should (the term “by the book” comes to mind), therefore he disagrees with McGarrett’s way of doing things.  The banter between the two partners adds a humorous element to the show, although many original Hawaii Five-O fans believe that the Danny of the ‘70s would never have talked to the McGarrett of the’70s the way our current day Danny does. 

The third and fourth members of the team, Chin-Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim from Lost) and Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica), are native Hawaiians with a history of their own. 

Chin-Ho was excused from the Hawaii Police Department for allegedly stealing money and his cousin Grace is the only family member who hasn’t disowned him over the supposed crime.  This matter is cleared up towards the end of season one, but we’re not offering up any SPOILER alerts today.    

Grace, a former professional surfer and recent graduate from the Police Academy, anxiously joins the Five-O task force to work with her cousin, even if it means she’ll never get to wear the HPD uniform that she worked so very hard to earn.   

Other recurring characters include: Kamekona (Taylor Wiley, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), a confidential informant and shaved-ice vendor who sometimes babysits Grace for McGarrett and Danny; Max Bergman (Masi Oka, Heroes), the medical examiner/coroner; Victor Hesse (James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), murderer and Wo Fat associate; and Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik, The Baby-Sitters Club and 3rd Rock from the Sun), a former CIA agent and consultant/assistant to the Five-0 team.

The creators and CBS have brought back a classic in style, and they have glorified the beauties of the islands of Hawaii for the rest of the world to see.   Regardless of all the nay-sayers out there, I give Hawaii Five-0 a MacTV rating.   There aren’t many television programs that both my guy and I like to watch simultaneously, and this happens to be one of them. 

I really wanted to give McGarrett and Danno a GTV rating, but I just don’t quite think Beef Wellington and an expensive bottle of Cabernet when I think of Hawaii Five-0; instead, I think meatloaf covered in chili sauce served with shells-n-cheese and an ice-cold beer.  Every Monday night we sit curled up with our dinner plates in our laps enthralled in the action and mystery while shoveling the yummy food into our mouths without paying the least bit of attention to the mess we’re making.  Guilty pleasure, agree? 

What do you think? Do you like the new Hawaii Five-0 or prefer the original?  Are you like me and would watch Alex O’Laughlin in anything that guarantees the occasional shirtless scene (Navy SEALS swim a lot!)?  What do you think of Scott Caan – does he remind you of his father, James Caan (you knew that, right?)?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of Nathan Fillion….I mean, the crime and mystery drama Castle on CBS!  What happens when a mystery writer tags along with a detective?  Said writer gathers tons of writing material! 

Come back next week when Amber and I continue to review a few more of our favorite programs on CBS returning this fall – the Thursday night hit, The Mentalist, and the Friday night sophomore, Blue Bloods.

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 September schedule and would love to chat with 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
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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – YA Inspired TV

What’s one of the most common phrases used by toddlers when asked, “Who did this?”  How about: “Not me!” (usually coupled with the famous pointing of a finger to the nearest scapegoat).  Children learn at a very early age to lie, even if it’s a harmless little-white lie.  Right? 

The lies worsen as we get older.  We look for excuses behind why we brought home a bad grade, or why we were accused of cheating.  Perhaps some of us were really devious and were looking for the perfect fib when our parents caught us sneaking out the window late at night.  Oh, don’t worry; I never did this, Mom and Dad.   

Regardless, everyone lies – which brings me to today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday show – ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, where lies haunt from beyond the grave.

The series begins when Alison DiLaurentis’ (Sasha Pieterse) remains are found a year after her mysterious disappearance in the fictional town of Rosewood.  This event brings together her four former best friends, who had drifted apart following that fateful night.  Alison was the glue that held the girls together, the leader of the high school clique.  As the episodes progress, viewers see Alison’s viciousness and many of the secrets that she holds over everyone’s heads – not a nice girl.

After attending Alison’s funeral, the four friends reunite outside the chapel when each of their cell phones sound – they’ve received their first threatening text message from “A” – and the mystery begins: Who killed Alison? And, who is “A”?

BFF #1 – Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) returns home from a year abroad with her family, and forgetting she’s a teenager and back in America, goes to a local bar where she meets Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding).  The two immediately hit it off and share a kiss after connecting over their love for literature.  The next day at school, Aria walks into English class where she discovers Ezra is also her teacher. 

Meanwhile, emotions erupt at home when her mother (Ella Montgomery, played by Holly Marie Combs) leaves her father after discovering the true reason behind the family’s extended absence from Rosewood – Aria’s father, a professor, had an affair with a teaching assistant at the local college.  Aria and Alison knew this secret, having spotted Mr. Montgomery (Chad Lowe) making out with his TA in his car.  Whoopsie! 

Isn’t it ironic that Aria now begins a torrid love affair and dates her teacher after torturing her father for a similar inappropriate relationship?  “A” won’t let Aria forget it…..

BFF #2 – Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) replaced Alison as the most popular girl in school following her friend’s disappearance.  “Hefty Hanna”, as Alison liked to call her, dropped her baby fat, partnered with her new BFF Mona and took to a life of brattiness and shoplifting. 

Hanna lacks the self-confidence a young woman needs, having watched her father walk out on her and her mother.  She spirals out of control, throwing herself at her boyfriend, only to be rejected.  Not helping matters, Hanna watches as her single mother (Ashley Marin, played by Laura Leighton) bails her out of trouble by bedding the detective on Hanna’s shoplifting case. 

Hanna really has the worst of luck – she wrecks her boyfriend’s car, and she is run-over when she gets dangerously close to discovering “A’s” identity.  When Mona throws her a surprise “glad you’re alive party,” someone steals all of the money (assumedly “A”) that Hanna’s mother stole from a client at the bank.  And, while following “A’s” sordid trail back to the money, Hanna falls for the wrong boy who happens to be feeding information to the girls’ nemesis, Jenna Marshall (Tammin Sursok).

BFF #3 – Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) is the poor-little-rich-girl of the bunch.  Her successful parents push Spencer to be the absolute best, much like they did with her older sister Melissa.  Spencer is brilliant, but plays second fiddle to her sister, always aware that her parents favor her.  To retaliate, Spencer kisses her sister’s boyfriend (Ian Thomas) and then later kisses her new fiancé.  Matters get worse for Spencer when Melissa surprises the Hastings family by abruptly marrying Ian right after calling off her previous engagement. 

Spencer begins to investigate her new brother-in-law, and slowly uncovers an affair between Ian and Alison before Alison’s disappearance.  As she continues to investigate, Spencer believes that Ian not only stalked her best friend, but also killed her, causing the rift between Spencer and her sister to intensify. 

Now a suspect herself in Alison’s murder, Spencer befriends Toby Cavanaugh who also happened to serve time in jail briefly as the main suspect in Alison’s death.  Did I mention that Toby is also the half-brother of Jenna?  Toby knows just how deceiving and manipulative his sister can be….is Jenna “A”?    

BFF #4 – Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) is the daughter of a military father always away on assignment who is confused with her own sexuality.  She starts the series with a boyfriend, but then falls for the new girl, Maya sending her mother (Nia Peeples) into a tailspin.  Making even more of a splash, Emily takes Toby to the homecoming dance as her date trying to hide the fact that she’s gay.  The fact that Emily doesn’t totally believe in Toby’s innocence, like the rest of the town, leads to a dangerous encounter. 

After accepting that she was a homosexual, Emily is devastated when Maya is sent away to military school after marijuana is found inside Maya’s back pack.  Emily turns back to her swimming career and begins having feelings for her competition and swim-mate. 

Emily’s world continues to turn upside down when her mother announces that they’re leaving Rosewood to live with her father, who is stationed in Texas.  Meanwhile, Emily holds the key to the photo evidence Spencer uncovered of Ian and Alison on her home computer, which conveniently gets erased when the realtor shows the Fields’ house. 

And the text messaging begins...."A"

Obviously, each of the teens have oodles of conflict surrounding them, even without “A” threatening their every move.  Throw in the suspicions the police and their parents have regarding their involvement in Alison’s murder, and the lies they continuously try to hide despite “A’s” best efforts, Pretty Little Liars doesn’t bore their viewers – they have twists and turns week in and week out.    

I give the girls & the mystery behind Pretty Little Liars another MacTV rating – despite the fact that I’m in my thirties, I tune in every single week to watch these little teenagers scurry around playing detective trying their best to solve their BFF’s murder and discover the true identity of the creepy texter known only as “A” who anticipates their every move. 

Do you watch Pretty Little Liars or is the show too young for you?  What do you think of the mystery – have you figured out the identity of “A” or who killed Alison?  Which of the girls do you relate to the most – Aria, Spencer, Hanna, Emily, Alison, or the outcast Jenna?  I’d love to hear from you!  

Now it’s time to click over and read Amber’s post discussing the new ABC Family series The Nine Lives of Chloe King based on the young adult series written by Celia Thompson (also known as Liz Braswell). 

Remember to stop by the Twitter hashtag (#watchwed) and visit with us about today’s posts and any of today’s television shows that you’d like to see discussed on our series in the future.  Next week we swap channels and move over to TNT where we’ll discuss Franklin & Bash and Men of a Certain Age.

Friday FabOoolousness – Love a Good Mystery?

A great method to enjoy reading is to find an author or a series of stories that you simply can’t put down. 

My collection of the series on a messy bookshelf

One fabOoolous example: James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club Series

The series follows four female friends (a detective, Lindsey Boxer; an attorney, Jill Bernhardt, and later Yuki Castellano; a medical examiner, Claire Washburn; and a reporter, Cindy Thomas) as they work together to solve murder cases in San Francisco.  Without giving too much away, I’ve included a short synopsis of each story.

1st to DieLindsey and her team of friends investigate the serial murders of multiple couples.  Readers are introduced to a few of the hardships in Lindsey’s life following her working on a tough case, “The Honeymoon Murders”, and her diagnoses of a life-threatening disease.        

1st to Die received such great reviews that a two-hour television movie starring Tracy Pollan as the blonde bombshell homicide detective aired in 2003. 

2nd Chance, co-written by Andrew Gross – The Women’s Club investigates a local gang-related murder spree.  Lindsey’s troubles continue, plus her father is introduced (they too share a troubled past).  The other three women have their hands full while assisting Lindsey with the case: one of the four is targeted by the killers, another gets involved in a relationship with one of the victims, and another announces life changing news. 

3rd Degree, co-written by Andrew Gross – Arson, fire, and bombs – OH MY!  The third installment of the series is action packed.  The “August Spies” threaten to kill every three days, and promise the politicians in San Francisco aren’t safe.  FBI investigator, Joe Molinari, joins as a recurring character while one of Lindsey’s friend’s life is in danger.  3rd Degree is nail-biting!

4th of July, co-written by Maxine Paetro – Lindsey goes on vacation to stay at her sister’s house in a desperate attempt to escape the drama and sadness in her life.  The detective in Lindsey can’t vacation, so she starts investigating the murders that she reads about in the small town’s newspaper, and discovers that these murders seem familiar to her.  Lindsey then does what she does best – she throws herself right in the middle of the cases.  Local authorities warn her to mind her own business, but does she? 

The 5th Horseman – co-written by Maxine Paetro – Lindsey and team investigate a San Francisco hospital when one of their own family members takes a turn for the worst after what should have been a routine hospital stay.  A pattern of inexplicable deaths emerge, and the investigation then threatens one of their own.  A new member of the team is introduced in the fifth installment: Yuki. 

The 6th Target, co-written by Maxine Paetro – Lindsey focuses on two cases – A shootout on a ferry ride where one of her best friends narrowly escapes with her life, and the kidnapping of affluent families’ children – no ransom, no contact – the children simply vanish. 

7th Heaven, co written by Maxine Paetro – The governor’s son is missing, and another arsonist is on the loose destroying rich couples and their beautiful homes.  Romantic tensions flare as Lindsey fights the intensifying emotions for her partner Rich, and her FBI agent, Joe. 

8th Confession, co-written by Maxine Paetro – Cindy discovers a homeless man’s corpse, and her empathy pushes her deep into the case.  Despite Lindsey’s warnings, the reporter in Cindy yearns for her big story, prompting Lindsey’s partner to keep a watchful eye, and a few other things, on Cindy.  Will jealousy break up the group?  Meanwhile, Lindsey investigates the mysterious deaths of a wealthy couple, and discovers her case might be related to another homicide that occurred decades earlier.   

The 9th Judgment, co-written by Maxine Paetro – Mothers and their small children are being brutally murdered in public parking garages, and the killer proudly signs his work with lipstick on the car windows.   At the same time, a cat burglar happens into the wrong home, and is now wanted for murder.  After successfully closing the cases, Lindsey’s life is turned upside down; the ending brought me to tears. 

The series releases the tenth installment, 10th Anniversary, Tuesday, May 2nd

ABC aired a dramatic series for one season (2007-2008) and cast Angie Harmon as Lindsey Boxer.  While I enjoyed the show, the episodes didn’t stick to the novel’s storyline, and the show was short-lived.  The visualization of the TV cast helps create a picture show in my mind as I read Patterson’s novels.  I can’t help but envision Angie Harmon as Lindsey (except Lindsey is blonde in the books), Laura Harris as Jill, Paula Newsome as Clair, and Aubrey Dollar as Cindy. 

Here’s to hoping that a network adapts a screenplay for the remainder of the series!  Why stop after 1st to Die?  Who doesn’t love a good two-hour mystery? 

Do you like The Women’s Murder Club series?  Who’s your favorite character?  What other series has you riveted and eagerly awaiting new installments?  I’d love to hear from you!

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