New to TV – Winter 2014 (Part Four)

It’s that time of year again… the winter television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with a teen sci-fi program and a few comedies.

*****

Star-Crossed

CW Summary:  When an alien spacecraft crash-landed on Earth, 6-year old Emery Whitehill harbored an Atrian boy before losing him to authorities; ten years later, Emery finds the boy, along with fellow Atrians, has returned to her town as a social experiment. 

Originally titled Oxygen, Star-Crossed has been compared to Romeo and Juliet with aliens.  For the aliens (Atrians), earth was supposed to be a refuge, a place to find unification after their world was attacked.  But for the Americans, their arrival is an invasion and they fear the Atrian kind.

The series stars: Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights and Scream 4) as Emery; Matt Lanter (the remake of 90210) as Roman; Grey Damon (Friday Night Lights, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, and Twisted) as Grayson; and Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries) as Julia.

Oh yeah, and of course Star-Crossed wouldn’t be a true teen drama, aliens or not, without a love triangle…

We’re a little late with this one… Star-Crossed premiered last night, February 17th, but the CW is usually pretty good about replaying a pilot episode, as well as making all of the episodes available online for the viewer’s convenience.

*****

About a Boy

NBC Summary:  An unemployed man, who lives solely off of the money earned from writing a hit song, has his perfect life turned upside-down when a single mother and her 11-year old son move in next door, thrusting him into playing the role of surrogate father.

Will loves his responsibility-free life.

Marcus is an outsider that none of the other kids really get.

But once Marcus and his mom move in next door, the two form an unlikely friendship.

Based on the book by Nick Hornby, written by Jason Katims (Parenthood and Friday Night Lights), and directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), About a Boy promises a lot of heart and tons of laughter.

The sitcom stars: David Walton (the adorable actor from the short-lived Bent) as Will; Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting) as Fiona; and Benjamin Stockham (1600 Penn) as Marcus.

About a Boy premieres Saturday, February 22nd on NBC after the Olympics.  The sitcom will then air on its regularly scheduled night—Tuesday.

*****

Growing Up Fisher

NBC Summary: An 11-year old, who has been his blind father’s eyes and wingman for as long as he can remember, has his world turned upside-down when his parents decide to separate, which starts the family down a path of changes from their usual roles.

Meet the Fishers:

Mel is just as normal a father as can be – he teaches his kids to drive; he works in the yard; and he plays sports with his son.  There’s only one issue—he’s blind.

Joyce is living a teenager’s dream, except she’s the mom.

Katie is a regular teenage girl.

And Henry.  Henry is accustomed to being his dad’s guide, who has to now not only adjust to his parents’ divorce, but also his being replaced by a “real” guide dog.

Growing Up Fisher is narrated by one of my crushes—Jason Bateman (and he also serves as one of the executive producers).  With him behind it, I may have to give this one a try.

The sitcom stars: J.K. Simmons (The Closer) as Mel; Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) as Joyce; Ava Deluca-Verley as Katie; and Eli Baker as Henry.

Growing Up Fisher premieres Sunday, February 23rd on NBC after the Olympics.  The sitcom will then air on its regularly scheduled night—Tuesday.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Star-Crossed at number one.  About a Boy probably comes in second with Growing Up Fisher following in last place (sorry Jason Bateman).  Here’s the thing – I totally expect the CW teen sci-fi drama/romance to outlast both of NBC’s comedies.  Why?  Because mid-season sitcom replacements usually don’t fare all that well.  That said, I’m not really chomping at the bit to see any of these—but that’s me.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

New to TV – Winter 2014 (Part Three)

It’s that time of year again… the winter television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with comedy, drama, and pirates.

*****

Looking

HBO Summary: Three friends, living in San Francisco, explore the exciting options available to a new generation of gay men in this HBO comedy series.

Balancing between a drama and comedy, Looking follows three gay men as they search for “authentic ways of being in the world” today.

In the lead, we have Patrick (Jonathan Groff, Glee).  A successful video game designer, Patrick is currently at a crossroads in his life.  He thinks he knows who he is, but he’s noticing he’s changing just a bit.

Next, we have Augustin (Frankie Alvarez).  Augustin wants to be an artist, but fears he isn’t good enough.  In his personal life, he is in the process of settling down with his boyfriend.

And finally, we have Dom (Murray Bartlett, Guiding Light).  Dom is the oldest of the three, and he’s at a point where he is wondering what he has actually done with his life.

We’re a little late with this one… Looking premiered Sunday night, January 19th, but the show is on HBO which means it will replay like crazy and can be found via OnDemand.

*****

Rake

Fox Summary:  A show about a defense lawyer with a remarkably screwed up personal life.

Rake is not the name of the lead character.  That’s Keegan Deane, played by the very talented Greg Kinnear (As Good As it Gets, Sabrina, Little Miss Sunshine).

A “rake” is actually a man in 17th century Britain who liked to wine & dine and carouse with women.

And a rake, by that definition, is definitely who Keegan Deane is.

Keegan is a brilliant and amazing defense attorney, who can be his own worst enemy.  He’s an opportunistic, erratic, and annoying person with a very good heart.  He is in love with a prostitute (Mikki, played by Bojana Novakovic)… and he’s currently seeing a therapist, who also happens to be his ex-wife (Maddy, played by Miranda Otto from The Lord of the Rings trilogy).  The new show does take on a more serial format; however, each week Keegan will face a new and very interesting court case.

The new legal dramedy also stars: John Ortiz (Fast & Furious 6), Necar Zadegan (24), and Tara Summers (Boston Legal).

Rake premieres Thursday, January 23rd on Fox.

*****

Black Sails

Starz Summary: A Michael Bay production that reveals what it was like for the men and women of the 1700s to chart their own destinies. 

Set in Nassau, the Bahamas, Black Sails is a dark pirate show—not like our beloved and comedic Pirates of the Caribbean.  The series combines actual historical figures and characters from Treasure Island.  And in this dark world, piracy is punishable by death…

Now let’s meet the characters:

Captain Flint (Toby Stephens, Die Another Day) – Capt. Flint is the prime captain on Nassau.  He is a political creature, both witty and very manipulative.

Mr. Gates (Mark Ryan) – Mr.  Gates is the quartermaster and Capt. Flint’s ally.  Flint needs Gates to make the crew do what he wants them to do.

Billy Bones (Tom Hopper, Merlin) – Billy Bones is a pirate with actual ethics.  He truly wants to trust the people around him.

John Silver (Luke Arnold) – John Silver looks out for himself, but he’s at least honest about it.

Eleanor (Hannah New) – Eleanor is an ambitious woman, who forced her way into becoming one of the most powerful people on the island.  Not only that, but she’s a visionary and sees great things for the island’s future.

Captain Vane (Zach McGowan, Shameless) – Capt. Vane is a real pirate, who comes from nothing and decided he wanted more.  He believes in living free and on the sea… and he’s very ruthless.

Rackham (Toby Schmitz) – Rackham is as thick as thieves with Capt. Vane.  He’s a charmer, gambler, and extremely ruthless.

Anne Bonny (Clara Paget) – Anne Bonny is a strong-minded, ferocious, and bad@$$ woman.  She has earned her spot as one of the boys and is considered a stone-cold killer.

Mr. Scott (Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Hotel Rwanda) – Mr. Scott oversees Eleanor’s business.

And Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy, Smallville and The Secret Circle) – Max is a local prostitute, who like everyone else, is in it for herself.

Black Sails premieres Saturday, January 25th on Starz.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Black Sails at number one.  Everyone likes pirates, thanks to Captain Jack Sparrow; and since Mike Leach coached at my college, the pirate theme has been a popular one in our house.  Dropping quite a ways down the totem pole, Rake probably comes in second with Looking following in last place.  Only recently have I seen the Rake previews, and doing this blog research was the first I heard about Looking.  No hype = no excitement on my end.  Sorry.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

New to TV – Winter 2014 (Part Two)

It’s that time of year again… the winter television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with comedy, a science fiction thriller, a crime drama, and the supernatural.

*****

Enlisted

FOX Summary: An army-set single-camera comedy about three brothers reconnecting with one another.

Pete Hill (Geoff Stults from Seventh Heaven, Happy Town, and The Finder) is the oldest of three brothers.  He also happens to be a super soldier.  But when he messes up, he is assigned a group of misfit soldiers as his punishment—a group that includes his brothers, Randy (Parker Young from Suburgatory) and Derrick (Veronica Mars and Private Practice).

Randy is in love with the Army, while Derrick is jaded with the military and his family.  But these three brothers love each other… they just may not get along all the time.

The comedy also stars Keith David (There’s Something About Mary, the Riddick films, Barbershop, and many other feature films) and Angelique Cabral.

Enlisted was originally scheduled to premiere on Fox back in November… but something happened and they moved it to this Friday, January 10th.

*****

Helix

SyFy Summary: A team of scientists from the Centers of Disease Control travel to an Arctic Biosystems base to investigate a retrovirus and come up against unimaginable horrors; the team attempts to deal with the infected victims and a rebellion starts.

“The virus is just the beginning of the story.”

In Helix, doctors, scientists, and the military travel together to see what is happening at an Arctic Biosystems base.  The disease they encounter doesn’t just kill, it changes—and it changes the people it infects.  Every attack the doctors make to fight it fails… because it mutates.

The series stars Billy Campbell from Once and Again, Hiroyuki Sanada from Revenge and The Wolverine, and many other recognizable faces from their guest spots on popular TV shows.

Helix premieres Friday, January 10th on SyFy.

*****

True Detective

HBO Summary: Two detectives, who were once partners, are called in to give statements about the murder of a prostitute seventeen years ago; and as they share their stories, details of the case are intertwined with insights into their partnership and personal lives. 

First of all, this eight part miniseries stars Matthew McConaughey-hey and Woody Harrelson.  Yes, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.  Granted, Woody did TV back in the day, but since he has become a huge Hollywood star?  Not so much.  And my boy, Matthew?  Not that I can recall… not in a starring role anyway.

The story begins in 1995 when the detectives, Rust Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Harrelson), discover the body of a prostitute, and the narrative continues in 2012 when these two detectives are being interviewed about the case.  They are brought in because the case files were supposedly destroyed in a hurricane-type storm, but the line of questioning leads Cohle to believe perhaps the case wasn’t solved previously in its entirety and more people may have been involved.

The miniseries is more a thriller than a whodunnit, according to the writer, and the story is more about Cohle and Hart’s characters and relationships.  I also thought it was interesting that in this digital age, they shot the series with old-school 35mm film.

The series also stars: Michelle Monaghan (the Mission Impossible films), Elizabeth Reaser (The Twilight Saga), Alexandra Daddario (the Percy Jackson movies), Kevin Dunn (the Transformer films), and Michael Potts (The Wire).

True Detective premieres Sunday, January 12th on HBO.

*****

Bitten

SyFy Summary: The lone female werewolf in existence, who wanted to escape that life and who abandoned her pack and moved to a new city, is summoned back to her pack when bodies begin to turn up in her pack’s backyard. 

Based on the Women of the Otherworld book series by Kelley Armstrong, Bitten joins SyFy’s latest batch of successful supernatural TV series (Being Human, Lost Girl, etc).  The series stars Laura Vandervoort (from ABC’s V) as Elena Michaels.  Elena wants nothing to do with being a werewolf, nothing to do with her pack, and wants to forget all about that life—she even hides it from her new boyfriend.  But when trouble comes knocking, what’s a girl to do?

Oh, and the series also stars a lot of men.  A lot of men.

Bitten premieres Monday, January 13th on SyFy.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put True Detective at number one.  No contest here.  Dropping quite a ways down the totem pole, Helix probably comes in second with Bitten following at number three.  That leaves Enlisted in last place; although don’t be fooled by the rankings… I love to laugh and the commercials do look funny.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

New to TV – Winter 2014 (Part One)

It’s that time of year again… the winter television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re taking on a few of the new dramas…

*****

The Assets

ABC Summary: CIA officer Sandy Grimes investigates an incident with a lost and very valuable asset to the CIA, but is soon swept into a much larger problem that involves a decade-long hunt for a mole that may include an agent she trusted.

Based on the book Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed by former CIA agents Sandy Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille, the new eight episode miniseries will follow agent Sandy Grimes (played by Jodie Whittaker) as she investigates a situation surrounding her asset, Aldrich Ames (Paul Rhys).

Even though this story is based on actual events (Ames sold secrets to Russia in the ‘80s; was arrested in the ‘90s; and is currently serving a life sentence in prison), a part of me can’t help but think this miniseries/ABC is hoping to cash in on the success of Showtime’s Homeland and FX’s The Americans.  I’ll watch it, but I’m hesitant for some reason…

We’re a week late with this one… The Assets premiered January 2nd (to horrible ratings) and continues this Thursday, January 9th on ABC.

*****

Intelligence

CBS Summary: A high-tech intelligence operative with a super-computer microchip inside his brain becomes the first human to have complete access to the global information grid to fight crime and search for his missing wife who disappeared years ago.

An elite government division, led by Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), uses Gabriel Vaughn (Josh Holloway from Lost) to access key intelligence by hacking all sorts of data centers in order to protect the United States.  To help keep him “reeled in,” Strand orders agent Riley Neal (Meghan Ory from Once Upon a Time) to watch after him… because as we’ve seen with overly intelligent people on TV, they can be a bit unconventional and unruly (I’m thinking of Patrick Jane here from The Mentalist).

The new series also stars: Lance Reddick (Fringe), Michael Rady (The Mentalist, Emily Owens, M.D.), John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise), P.J. Byrne (Dinner for Schmucks, Final Destination 5), and the great Peter Coyote.

Intelligence premieres tonight, Tuesday, January 7th on CBS (in NCIS: Los Angeles’ spot—BOO).

*****

Killer Women

ABC Summary: From executive produce Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”) and created by Hannah Shakespeare, step inside the dangerous world of the Texas Rangers from the female perspective and experience the arresting “Killer Women.”

Based on the Argentine crime drama, Mujeres Asesinas, this eight episode series will follow Molly Parker (Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica), a recently divorced Texas Ranger enjoying her newly single life and being really good at her job.  Each week, this former beauty queen tracks and arrests a different female criminal.

The series also stars: Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Necessary Roughness) as Dan, Molly’s “fling”; Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica, Fairly Legal) as Billy, Molly’s brother, Alex Fernandez (Dallas) as Lt. Zea; and many guest stars, like Beth Riesgraf (Leverage).

Killer Women premieres tonight, Tuesday, January 7th on ABC.

*****

Chicago P.D.

NBC Summary: Sergeant Hank Voight leads the officers of District 21, where the past history and rivalries between the officers create problems at the district.

Created by Dick Wolf (Law & Order) and a spinoff series of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. will serve as yet another typical police procedural on television.  My main question is this—will Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) be a good guy or a bad guy?  While I did not watch the entire first season of Chicago Fire, I did watch enough to know that he was not a “good” cop.  The character did not hesitate to cross legal or ethical lines.  And if he’s anything like that on the new show, what in the world is his staff going to be like?

And speaking of Jason Beghe, I’ve had a crush on him since I was a little girl when he starred as the quarterback, Tom Yinessa, on HBO’s 1st & Ten.  Yes; my parents let me watch with them—it was about football, after all!  And most recently, I’ve enjoyed his recurring character, Richard Bates, on Showtime’s Californication where he plays an alcoholic/sometimes gay/sometimes straight man.  His performances are fantastic.  Needless to say, I will give Chicago P.D. a try just for him…

The new drama also stars: Jon Seda (Band of Brothers) as Detective Antonio Dawson; Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) as Detective Erin Lindsay; the great Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky; and many others.

Chicago P.D. premieres tomorrow, Wednesday, January 8th on NBC.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Killer Women at number one.  Intelligence probably comes in second with Chicago P.D. following closely behind at number three.  Last place has to go to The Assets.  I already have the first episode on my DVR, but after seeing the horrible premiere numbers, I’m not dying to press play. 

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.