Tele-Tuesday: Knowing How to Close

The last few weeks, I have been glued to the television.  Many may be asking how that’s any different from my usual TV-viewing love affair, and it’s not really, but this particular programming only comes around once every four years.

I love the summer Olympics.  Nothing against the winter games, but there is something about swimming, gymnastics, beach volleyball, and track and field that I can’t pull myself away from.  And this year was no different.

For one reason or another, I cried every night—every night for the past two weeks.  I especially choked up during Michael Phelps’ and Missy Franklin’s record-breaking swims, the women’s gymnastics performances that earned gold for only the second time ever, and Misty May-Treanor’s and Kerri Wallace Jennings’ fantastic partnership in the sand that brought home the third-straight gold medal to the United States.

I  honestly believed that once these events were over that I’d stop crying, but that didn’t happen.  Every time I saw any of the flashbacks, whether it be from any of the above mentioned performances, the 1992 Dream Team, or the 1996 Magnificent Seven, a lump formed in my throat and my eyes stung until I allowed the first tear to trickle down my nose. Then, I thought for sure that once the closing Olympic ceremonies wrapped, my water-works would dry up…

But they didn’t.  Why?

Because the series finale of The Closer aired last night.

Like its name,  The Closer knows how to close.  Everything came full-circle; no outstanding issues were left unresolved; and everyone watching knew exactly how each and every character felt toward one another—love.

I will miss Brenda and her classic, black bag…

But perhaps my favorite aspect of the series finale was the attention to detail and symbolism.  Without giving too much away, let’s just say Brenda Leigh ruined her purse.  Anyone that watches The Closer knows how attached she is to that little black bag.  She’s not the type of woman to switch out handbags to match her outfit; it’s always the same purse.  But ruining it couldn’t be avoided and she did not hesitate, which is why when her team replaced it as close as they possibly could, teardrops streamed down my face.

And it didn’t stop there.  What did her team fill her new purse with?  Ding-dongs—Brenda Leigh’s favorite escape from a stressful day.

I will miss Brenda Leigh and her candy drawer…

I will miss the drama of the Major Case Squad’s cases; I will miss the goofiness of Provenza and Flynn; I will miss the dry humor of Sanchez; I will miss the wittiness of Tao; I will miss Gabriel’s trying to keep everyone in line; I will miss Buzz and his electronic equipment;  I will miss Pope’s and Taylor’s tendencies to only cover their own butts; and, I will miss Brenda Leigh’s ability to close.  But more than anything else, I will miss Brenda Leigh and Fritzy—one of the best love affairs on television today.

And I will miss Brenda Leigh and Fritzy… The way Fritzy “gets” Brenda Leigh just melts my heart every time.

However, most of these characters and character’s traits weren’t missed for long…

Following the conclusion of Brenda Leigh’s story, Captain Raydor took the lead in Major Crimes.  For the past few seasons, we’ve tolerated Captain Raydor while she terrorized Brenda Leigh, leading all of the officer-involved investigations (kind of like Internal Affairs).  But we’ve also witnessed a softer Captain Raydor who has stood by Brenda Leigh and has done everything in her power to protect the Deputy Chief.  How will Captain Raydor do leading Brenda Leigh’s team?  That’s right—almost the entire cast of The Closer returned for the new series which premiered last night.

I’ll save my thoughts on Major Crimes for another day, but I’ll close with this… My Monday nights will never be the same again; but for what it’s worth, TNT is softening the blow.  Raydor may not close like Brenda Leigh, no one ever will for that matter; but what Brenda mastered in closing a case and prying a confession out of her suspect, Raydor will match in her ability to settle the case– saving Los Angeles a ton of money.  How will our favorite group of detectives handle their new leader’s style?  We’ll just have to wait and see…

So, here’s to The Closer *lifts Champagne glass*.  We will miss you and will forever recommend you to our readers…

“Thank you, thank you so much.” ~Brenda Leigh Johnson

Are you a fan of The Closer?  What did you think of the series finale?  Did you stick around to watch Major Crimes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: TNT – Terrific (Summer) Nighttime Television

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – TNT has some of the best summer programming of any network today.  Tonight kicks off the new season with the premieres of Franklin & Bash and Rizzoli & Isles, two fun and unconventional dramas.  But the summer fun doesn’t end there!  Three returning favorites and three additional new series also premiere over the course of the summer, keeping our TV schedules full of terrific nighttime television.

*****

Franklin & Bash

They’re Totally Lawyers.  Totally.

Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) have been friends since high school.  The series begins with the two sitting at a diner watching the traffic in Los Angeles while they banter back and forth like best friends do, when a fender-bender takes place directly in front of them.  Racing out to the scene, they immediately offer their business cards and legal representation to the driver responsible for rear-ending another car.

Why is the driver not responsible for the crash when he clearly bumped into the car in front of his?  Franklin and Bash explain that it is because the driver was distracted by the interactive advertising sign yards ahead flashing images of a sexy young woman.  The young and unconventional (really unconventional) attorneys take the case to court and prompt the beautiful girl in the ad to unbutton her shirt while on the witness stand, thus proving her chest to be guilty of causing an unnecessary distraction to those driving.  With that, they win their case against a large and successful law firm.

Witnessing and enjoying the unique techniques of Franklin and Bash, Stanton Infeld (played by Malcolm McDowell) offers the two friends jobs at his law firm.  Along with their ex-con assistant, Carmen, and their agoraphobic clerk, Pindar, the two join the firm.  The series also stars Reed Diamond as Damien Karp, the obvious successor to his uncle at the firm and the classic jerk, as well as Garcelle Beauvais as Hanna Linden, another lawyer at the firm with previous romantic ties with both Damien and Franklin.

Meyer and Gosselaar have great comedic timing and a perfect on-screen chemistry.  Franklin and Bash live together, party together, and work together, yet never seem to tire of one another.  Their famous “Margarita-Mondays” have already saved one of their cases and provided them the vision to defend another case successfully.

Franklin & Bash is full of unconventional (one more time to be clear) courtroom fun, and season two premieres tonight (June 5th).

Rizzoli & Isles

A Boston detective, Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon), and her best friend/medical examiner, Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), solve crime together.

The two friends couldn’t have less in common — Rizzoli hails from a working class family; her dad’s a plumber, her younger brother (Colin Egglesfield) has just been released from prison, and her other little brother (Jordan Bridges) idolizes Rizzoli and is following in her footsteps, much to the dismay of their overbearing mom (the fabulous Lorraine Bracco).  Meanwhile, Isles’ biological father (John Doman) is a Boston mafia boss.  Isles was raised by her adopted parents (her mother is played by Jacqueline Bissett) where she learned to focus on her studies, and adapted a fabulous sense of style.   How many medical examiners do you know who perform autopsies in stilettos?

But regardless of their differences, the girls have each other.  Or at least they did – season two ends with Rizzoli shooting Isles’ dad.  Even though Isles has a difficult time admitting her true feelings for her biological father, he’s still her father.  Will Rizzoli and Isles’ friendship survive?

The series also stars Lee Thompson Young as Rizzoli’s partner, Detective Frost, and Bruce McGill as Rizzoli’s former partner/senior detective, Vince Korsak.

If you liked Crossing Jordan, you’ll also like Rizzoli & IslesSeason three premieres tonight (June 5th).

*****

In the upcoming weeks, we have more to look forward to:

Falling Skies

Falling Skies follows a group of survivors led by Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) after aliens invade and attack our world as we know it.

As if the practically complete destruction of our planet wasn’t bad enough, the aliens want our few surviving children and plan to attach a horrendous apparatus to the children’s spines (the harness).  This device controls the children – but what are the visitor’s end goals?

Falling Skies also stars Moon Bloodgood as Anne Glass, the resident doctor among the survivors, and Will Patton as Captain Dan Weaver (the title “Captain” should give plenty enough away about his role among the survivors).

Courtesy of my Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday partner, Amber West, I learned that Falling Skies is actually inspired by the events at Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution.  To read her review of the sci-fi drama, click here.

Season two of Falling Skies premieres June 17th.

The Closer

The Closer follows Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) and the Major Case Squad as they solve L.A.’s worst crimes, while her FBI-agent/husband (Fritzy or Fritz Howard, played by Jon Tenney) provides his and the Bureau’s expertise to her team.

Brenda Leigh hails from the south, if not already evident by her accent, and has a very hard time hiding her emotions when she has a bad day – she opens her desk drawer full of chocolate and digs in.  She possesses that southern charm we’ve grown to love over the years, and having been born and raised in Texas, I can personally attest to what Brenda Leigh actually means when she says, “Thank you, thank you very much.”  Kyra Sedgwick perfects the sarcasm so many southerners use in our daily vocabulary.

In addition to the drama, each show promises humor, and I find myself smiling at each episode’s end regardless of how gruesome their case.  Most of the fun centers on the interactions of her team: David Gabriel (Corey Reynolds), Louie Provenza (G.W. Bailey), Andy Flynn (Tony Denison), Michael Tao (Michael Paul Chan), Julio Sanchez (Raymond Cruz), Buzz (Phillip P. Keene), and Commander Taylor (Robert Gossett) with her boss, Will Pope (J.K. Simmons).

The final six episodes of The Closer premiere July 9th.

Leverage

The Leverage team consists of a group of criminals turned do-gooders that utilize their specialized skills to avenge those harmed by the wealthy and/or powerful.  Each character has his or her own flaw which helps the viewers understand their passion behind the individual cases they accept.

Nate Ford (Academy Award winner, Timothy Hutton), is “The Mastermind” — he leads this team of otherwise misfits.  He selects the team’s clients, and he uses his skills to anticipate the movement of the con’s marks while the rest of his team is in play.

Joining Nate are his “side-kicks” (without whom, the show would not be the same):

“The Grifter” — Sophie (Gina Bellman).  Sophie serves as Nate’s right hand.  She has secrets that even the audience is still trying to figure out: is she royalty? Is she married? Or is she just a great actress? Well, maybe she’s not as great on stage as she is at playing the marks of the con.

“The Hitter” — Eliot (Christian Kane.  Eliot has a bit of an anger-management problem: he loves to punch and kick, but he refrains from using guns as much as possible.  His number one job is to protect the team; but, sometimes he takes on a character role that showcases his intelligence, not just his muscle, in order to complete the con.

“The Hacker”  — Hardison (Aldis Hodge). Hardison loves his computers, technology, and “Lucille,” his thoroughly pimped out techie van.  He has designed the team’s headquarters twice now (they had to blow the first office up to hide their identities), and the specialized equipment the team uses on each case.

“The Thief” — Parker (Beth Reisgraf).  Moving from foster home to foster home, Parker lacks many social skills, but might just have the biggest heart of all the cons.  One might think that Parker lacks empathy, but when she’s emotionally involved in a case, she’ll stop at nothing to take down the bad guys.  Parker is one of the best thieves around, and her supreme safe cracking skills and her extreme acrobatics make her crucial to every case.

The Leverage team gets it done, even if they are a bunch of “bad cons” converted to good.  Season five premieres July 15th.

*****

But what about new shows – does TNT have any new fresh faces to add to our television programming this summer?

Dallas

One of the most anticipated programs this year is the continued story of the duel between the members of the Ewing family.

We’ll see Ewings from the ever-popular soap opera that aired from the late ‘70s to the early ‘90s, including Larry Hagman as J.R. (who remembers the famous slogan:  Who shot J.R.?), Linda Gray as Sue Ellen, and Patrick Duffy as Bobby to just name a few.  Additionally, we’ll meet the new Southfork generation of Ewings, played by the young, fresh, and beautiful faces of Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, and Jordana Brewster.

Bring on the oil fields, cattle ranches, cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and family feuds.  Dallas, we’ve missed you.

The new Dallas premieres June 13th.

Major Crimes

Following the conclusion of The Closer, Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) takes the lead in TNT’s spinoff, Major Crimes.

For the past few seasons, we’ve tolerated Captain Raydor while she terrorized Brenda Leigh, leading all of the officer-involved investigations (kind of like Internal Affairs).  But we’ve also witnessed a softer Captain Raydor who has stood by Brenda Leigh and done everything in her power to protect our favorite Deputy Chief.

How will Captain Raydor do leading Brenda Leigh’s team?  That’s right – almost the entire cast of The Closer returns for the new series, including Provenza, Flynn, Tao, Sanchez, Buzz, Taylor, and even Fritzy.

The new Major Crimes premieres August 13th.

Perception

Would TV be complete without a new medical drama?

I don’t know much about Perception, other than it stars Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuroscientist who specializes in complex cases for the FBI.  The series also stars Rachael Leigh Cook, a former student of Dr. Pierce, and the FBI agent responsible for adding him to the team of investigators.

I guess we’ll just have to see what this is all about.  Perception premieres July 19th.

*****

Do you enjoy any of the above TNT original programs?  Which of the new summer 2012 shows are you most looking forward to?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Preparing for the New Year

Today, Amber West and I take another look back at one of our previous Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts.  We figured that everyone is recovering from their holiday hangover right about now, so we too decided to take a tiny break and repost a previous WatchWed review.    

Reposting this particular post couldn’t have come at a better time.  With the new year on the horizon, we thought it would be worth everyone’s time to share how we determine our DVR Priorities… just in case we can help anyone struggling with the decisions of which television program to record and why. 

How do we determine our DVR Priorities?

Setting the DVR is a serious business at Casa Blanca.  A certain someone might just go into cardiac arrest if her favorite TV shows don’t record properly.  Okay… it’s a figurative heart attack, not a literal medical emergency – but try telling her it’s not a big deal. 

So, what qualifies as a DVR priority in Casa Blanca?  The episodic series that don’t feature special encore presentations or reruns later in the week are the number one priority in our house.  Ironically, these shows aren’t necessarily all GTV rated programs.

One might ask, if the television program doesn’t earn a top Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday rating, why should it be considered a DVR priority?  Because if we record an hour-long show on the DVR, we can fast forward through the commercials saving twenty minutes of our day! 

When someone (not naming any names) records anywhere from five to seven programs a night, saving those twenty minutes is crucial to making our TV viewing as efficient as possible

So, let’s begin…

Take Survivor for instance – this reality sensation, hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, does not air again if missed at its original time slot.  Does Survivor earn a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV favorite.  The same can be said for Big Brother because we don’t have another chance if we miss a show.    

Survivor returns February 2012

Sometimes we can rely on the basic five (ABC, CBS, the CW, FOX, and NBC) to air the occasional rerun, but it’s never guaranteed; therefore, Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Bones, and Chuck sit high upon the DVR priority list (all receive a GTV rating, by the way). 

The cable channels (USA, TNT, and FX specifically) replay their original programming, so even if the DVR experiences a glitch while recording, we can schedule a future recording to ensure we stay on top of our series.  THANK YOU, cable networks; especially since so many of these channels produce top-notch GTV rated television: Psych, Burn Notice, The Closer, Justified and American Horror Story just to name a few.

Justified returns January 2012

Last week, one of our favorite and most loyal readers disagreed with the fact that The Walking Dead did not receive an undisputed GTV rating.  First of all, we can’t express enough how much it means to have a faithful following, and we specifically ask for our readers to respond and spark up healthy debates.  For that, we thank you, Andrew!  When Mr. Mocete speaks, we listen here at WatchWed – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t feel the need to back up our rating system. 

The Walking Dead returns February 2012

The Walking Dead did receive half a GTV rating with the newly awarded TBP rating – a twice baked potato is the best of both worlds: gourmet and junk food.  But regardless of the rating, AMC’s hit show receives top priority on our DVR for the mere fact it brings zombies (eh-hem, walkers) to the TV.  We can’t miss the walkers – the supernatural is a must in this house. 

We’re kind of going against our earlier rule about reruns with this next DVR priority, but at the same time, we’re sticking with the newly established supernatural rule.  While Death Valley only receives a JFTV rating, what other television program brings us thirty minutes of zombie, werewolf, and vampire comedy?   Trust us, it’s not the best television available today – but it is one of a kind and we look forward to the silliness and gore every Monday night before bed.    

Pretty Little Liars returns January 2012

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV also receives a DVR priority in this YA mystery writer’s house.   ABC Family provides mystery lovers with two fantastic on-going whodunits with Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game.  Again, neither receives a top GTV rating (although the mystery factor of each one deserves a top review), but both series definitely qualify as a guilty pleasure and earn a MacTV rating.  

Who in the world is A?  What additional secrets will Sutton and Emma uncover?  This thirtysomething loves the constant intrigue of these two young adult television shows – if an episode answers a question, it guarantees to develop two or three more before the hour expires. 

So, to recap:  When considering DVR priorities in Casa Blanca, we go with episodic TV without encore presentations or the possibility of reruns.  We ignore the rating scale for once, and go with what we may miss if we don’t schedule ahead of time.  And finally, while we didn’t set out for this to actually qualify as a rule, it appears that any programming with supernatural elements or a good YA mystery finds a home high atop our recording list.

What determines DVR priority in your house?  Which show is your #1 Priority on the DVR?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and find out which one of her Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts she wants to share with everyone once again before the end of the year. 

Come back next year, I mean next week, when Amber and I re-review the fairy tales, Grimm and Once Upon a Time.  We left them simmering last time, have they worked their way up the rating’s chart?

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: TV’s Female Cops We Love to Love

Last week, we joined three other writers to share TV’s top 10 men with (and without) badges that we love to love.  In order for Tele-Tuesday to not appear sexist, we’re including a few of television’s strong and beautiful female cops we love to love today.

Sadly, most female character roles are not written as well as their male counterparts.  It’s actually quite predictable to determine which of the typical attributes the female stars on TV programs will have today: will they be weak and dependant on a man; or damaged beyond repair; or haunted by their past to the point of repetitiveness; or flat-out boring?

There are, however, a few female protagonists written today that could quite honestly kick their male co-star’s rears.  Perhaps not because they are insanely muscular like the women of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment for those that don’t follow Raw), but because these ladies have an inner strength that makes them as enticing as any male star; these women have the intelligence and drive to support themselves in what is sadly a man’s world on TV, and we love them for it.

Oh, and did we mention they are beautiful too?

Brenda Leigh Johnson – The Closer

 

Brenda Leigh is a southern belle from Atlanta running the all-male major crime squad in Los Angeles.  At the beginning, one may have wondered exactly how she landed the job as Deputy Chief (having had an affair with her boss and all), but she has proven herself in case after case after case.

No one can convince a criminal to confess the way that Brenda Leigh can, and she is about as polite as a she can be at the same time with her catch phrase, “Thank you, thank you very much.”  We can always tell when Brenda Leigh is having a bad day or stressing out over the case when she opens her desk drawer full of chocolate.  Who can relate, ladies?

Jane Rizzoli – Rizzoli & Isles

Detective Jane Rizzoli is about as tough as they come, even with her scarred hands as a reminder that she has come close to death on numerous occasions from the maniacs she chases around Boston.  She hails from a working class family where she picked up just as many tricks of the trade as her younger brothers.

Despite her absolutely stunning good looks, Jane is quite the tomboy; she loves to play baseball, field hockey, or any other sport with a ball.  Of course, these physical activities have to attribute to her long and lean body, one that all women wish they had (and men too, ha-ha).

Calleigh Duquesne – CSI: Miami

Another southern belle, with a to-die-for accent, Calleigh Duquesne is a brilliant criminologist working with other Crime Scene Investigators for the Miami-Dade Police Department.  She is an expert in ballistics and she speaks fluent Spanish (a bonus for law enforcement in Miami).

Calleigh has escaped death numerous times; she has been stalked by a serial killer, she almost perished in a fire in the lab and another fire at a crime scene, and she nearly drowned when her Hummer was forced off the dirt roads in the Glades and into the swamps.  Regardless of her day’s work, she always manages to smile – and capture the bad guy.

Jackie Curatola – Blue Bloods

Partnered with the Police Chief’s son, Detective Jackie Curatola is assigned most of the major cases for the great city of New York.  Not only does she and her partner investigate the biggest cases of the squadron, they also manage to capture the bad guys under constant scrutiny from those that oppose the Police Chief.

Jackie left home when she was just a teenager and she has been on her own ever since.  She made a few bad decisions in life (drugs, bad boys, etc), but she turned things around and put herself through school.  Jackie has the looks of a classic beauty, and she has used this to her advantage to work undercover as a high-priced call girl where she arrested a team of serial killers despite having been drugged herself.  Jackie holds her own…

Juliete O’Hara – Psych

Juliete O’Hara has proven herself to be more than a pretty face.  Partnered with the head detective for the Santa Barbara Police department, Juliete has fought her way through the frustrations of her coworkers not believing her to be the best suited for the position.  She faced similar scrutiny while also working as a rookie in Miami.

No one can believe that this petite, blonde girl can take on the bad guys roaming the streets.  But she can; between her con-man father and her military trained brother, Juliet isn’t as fragile as she appears.  With her aviator glasses and tailored suits, Juliete is one sharp-looking, yet tough, police officer.

Many other female TV cops deserved to make this list, including Jennifer “JJ” Jareau and Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds, Annie Walker from Covert Affairs, and Kensi Blye from NCIS: LA….

What do you think?  Are you a fan of these ladies?  Which of TV’s female cops do you love to love – past or present?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Come back next week when we include a few of the female criminals we love to love….

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The DVR Priorities de Casa Blanca

This week, Amber West and I aren’t reviewing a particular television program; instead, we’re discussing our individual DVR priorities as they stand in each of our households.

Setting the DVR is a serious business at Casa Blanca.  A certain someone might just go into cardiac arrest if her favorite TV shows don’t record properly.  Okay… it’s a figurative heart attack, not a literal medical emergency – but try telling her it’s not a big deal. 

So, what qualifies as a DVR priority in Casa Blanca?  The episodic series that don’t feature special encore presentations or reruns later in the week are the number one priority in our house.  Ironically, these shows aren’t necessarily all GTV rated programs.

One might ask, if the television program doesn’t earn a top Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday rating, why should it be considered a DVR priority?  Because if we record an hour-long show on the DVR, we can fast forward through the commercials saving twenty minutes of our day! 

When someone (not naming any names) records anywhere from five to seven programs a night, saving those twenty minutes is crucial to making our TV viewing as efficient as possible

So, let’s begin…

Take Survivor for instance – this reality sensation, hosted by the ever-adorable Jeff Probst, does not air again if missed at its original time slot.  Does Survivor earn a GTV rating?  No, but it is definitely a guilty pleasure and sits firmly as a MacTV favorite.  The same can be said for Big Brother because we don’t have another chance if we miss a show.    

Sometimes we can rely on the basic five (ABC, CBS, the CW, FOX, and NBC) to air the occasional rerun, but it’s never guaranteed; therefore, Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Bones, and Chuck sit high upon the DVR priority list (all receive a GTV rating, by the way). 

The cable channels (USA, TNT, and FX specifically) replay their original programming, so even if the DVR experiences a glitch while recording, we can schedule a future recording to ensure we stay on top of our series.  THANK YOU, cable networks; especially since so many of these channels produce top-notch GTV rated television: Psych, Burn Notice, The Closer, Justified and American Horror Story just to name a few.

Last week, one of our favorite and most loyal readers disagreed with the fact that The Walking Dead did not receive an undisputed GTV rating.  First of all, we can’t express enough how much it means to have a faithful following, and we specifically ask for our readers to respond and spark up healthy debates.  For that, we thank you, Andrew!  When Mr. Mocete speaks, we listen here at WatchWed – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t feel the need to back up our rating system. 

The Walking Dead did receive half a GTV rating with the newly awarded TBP rating – a twice baked potato is the best of both worlds: gourmet and junk food.  But regardless of the rating, AMC’s hit show receives top priority on our DVR for the mere fact it brings zombies (eh-hem, walkers) to the TV.  We can’t miss the walkers – the supernatural is a must in this house. 

We’re kind of going against our earlier rule about reruns with this next DVR priority, but at the same time, we’re sticking with the newly established supernatural rule.  While Death Valley only receives a JFTV rating, what other television program brings us thirty minutes of zombie, werewolf, and vampire comedy?   Trust us, it’s not the best television available today – but it is one of a kind and we look forward to the silliness and gore every Monday night before bed.    

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV also receives a DVR priority in this YA mystery writer’s house.   ABC Family provides mystery lovers with two fantastic on-going whodunits with Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game.  Again, neither receives a top GTV rating (although the mystery factor of each one deserves a top review), but both series definitely qualify as a guilty pleasure and earn a MacTV rating.  

Who in the world is A?  What additional secrets will Sutton and Emma uncover?  This thirtysomething loves the constant intrigue of these two young adult television shows – if an episode answers a question, it guarantees to develop two or three more before the hour expires. 

So, to recap:  When considering DVR priorities in Casa Blanca, we go with episodic TV without encore presentations or the possibility of reruns.  We ignore the rating scale for once, and go with what we may miss if we don’t schedule ahead of time.  And finally, while we didn’t set out for this to actually qualify as a rule, it appears that any programming with supernatural elements or a good YA mystery finds a home high atop our recording list.

What determines DVR priority in your house?  Which show is your #1 Priority on the DVR?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out which shows prompt her to scream at her DVR if for any reason they don’t record. 

Come back next week when Amber and I review something; we haven’t decided yet.  Have a great Thanksgiving!

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
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: The Continuation of The Tamberny Awards

The Tamberny Awards are back!  Amber West and I didn’t like the idea of having the music play over our best banter or having some leggy model lead us off stage, so we stepped away for a bit to cut to the necessary commercial break.  Now, here we are, with the rest of our choices.

Isn’t it thrilling?  Can you feel the tension in the air?  

*****

First up, a category we can really get into… 

Lead Actor in a Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified

A: As far as I can remember, good ol Hugh has been nominated but not won the Emmy for House.  I think he does a great job in the role; so after all this time, I’d like to see him recognized for it. 

However, tough table to keep here.  These are all great actors. 

T: Hugh Laurie – brilliant.  Timothy Olyphant – brilliant.  Who will win?  Ugh, it pains me to say, but the cable channels.  I’m taking Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire.

A: Too much brilliant (and did we mention pretty?) in one category.  Steve Buscemi may get it for being brilliant AND not looking like a cover of GQ.  However, I’m still rooting for Hugh.  I got a weakness for a British funny man.  

T: As far as acting, I’m going to jump on the Hugh Laurie bandwagon real fast.  Did you see the episode this season where he performed surgery on himself in the bathtub to remove the tumors he gave himself by taking the unapproved meds from the rat lab?

 

A: YES.  Also, I should have preempted your comment with spoiler alert for those watching, but this is LIVE, baby.  Note: this is not live

Lead Actress in a Drama
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law

A: For my same underdog reasons as earlier, Julianna all the way.  If not her, Elisabeth Moss. 

T: I don’t really care for these nominations – where is Kyra Sedgwick?  I pick Kyra.

A: Maybe that means I should watch the show Kyra is in. *ducks*   

I’m still pushing for Julianna.  This category is lacking.  I blame that on poorly written roles for leading ladies.  Come on, women’s lib, catch up! 

T: Lucky for you, I’m tall and you ducked just in time!  I have season 1 of The Closer on DVD; do I need to send it to you?

A: Not yet. I still have about 100 episodes of Bones to watch because of you.  Then I’ll watch another one of your recommendations.  See you all when I’m 80. 

 

T: Back to the nominations at hand, I do Agree 1000% – this category is lacking.  Women’s roles are lacking.  Where the heck is Kyra?  Rose Byrne? Glenn Close?

A: I’ll send you some math videos when I get your episodes of The Closer.  Glenn Close for the win.  I’m writing the Emmy peeps now. 

Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family

A: I love the entire cast of Modern Family.  This show always makes me laugh, so I’d be happy with any of them.  Having said that, my views rarely reflect the majority, so it will probably go to Jon Cryer. 

Please don’t give it to Chris Colfer.  No offense, kid.  I just don’t think Glee is funny enough to be fighting in this category. 

T: Because the entire cast of Modern Family was nominated, and because of what he had to deal with this season, I’m picking Jon Cryer – 100%.  Not to mention, his comedic timing is perfect.

Oh, Ducky….

 

A: Ahem.  Remember my earlier mention of Chuck Lorre? So you can see why I’m not going with Jon Cryer.  Although, I like HIM and I’m sure he is great in that show that I have never and will never watch.  

T: Not even with the addition of Mr. Kutcher? Not even a peek?

A: Sweet Jeebus, no.  A thousand times no. 

I have to now quote something I heard in an interview involving Mr. Kutcher: 

“Ashton Kutcher should know every thought that goes through his head.  If he doesn’t, he’s liable to drop something, he can cut his feet, he won’t realize he’s been talking to a tree for an hour.   He needs to be aware of what he’s thinking.” 

T: Boooo, Amber!  Where did you hear that?  You realize that Ashton Kutcher is actually really smart, don’t you?  He studied biochemical engineering for crying out loud.

A:  I’m not listening.  Lalalalalala. 

Supporting Actor in a Drama
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Walton Goggins, Justified
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

A: I’m remaining loyal to The Good Wife.  Mostly to ensure that the network doesn’t get any bright ideas and try to cancel the show.  Although, using that logic, give the award to Andre Braugher so another network will grow a brain and pick up Men of a Certain Age

T: Walton Goggins!  He plays the best antagonist on TV. Without Boyd Crowder, Justified just wouldn’t the same.  And, I do love Timothy Olyphant.

A: Haven’t watched Justified!  Guess I need to try.  But I still stick with The Good Wife boys.  Josh Charles and Alan Cumming are perfect in their roles.   

T: You haven’t watched Justified?  You know that FX has some of the best programming on TV, right?

A: Meh.  Also, I now have the urge to yell “Walton Goggins” randomly when engaged in boring conversation.  

T: WALTON GOGGONS.  I yelled it, but not because we’re engaged in a boring conversation.  I may have a crush on Boyd….

Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

A: I’m kinda burnt out on Betty White.  Yes, I said that.  Sofia Vergara gets it since she has made me laugh more than the others in this category. 

T: Who will win? Probably Jane Lynch….that darn Glee.

Regardless, I am voting for Kristen Wiig here – talk about an underdog!  She is involved in almost every skit on SNL, and she makes me CRY sometimes.  Cry, good; not bad.

A: Jane Lynch IS funny.  BUT, I still don’t find Glee funny enough to be in this category.  It would be nice for an SNL person to get it, but I think it is unlikely as well.  I probably just voted for Sofia ’cause she is curvy and Latin.  Gotta represent for da’ peoples. 

T: I may let you win this one….If Modern Family wins anything, I bet it’s the hot Latin lady.

A: *dances to salsa and drinks inexcusably sweet black coffee to celebrate* 

T: Amber, stop dancing your little salsa.  We have a show to finish here!

Supporting Actress in a Drama
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified

A: What? I didn’t pick The Good Wife?  I know.  But, I think Christina Hendricks is perfect in her Mad Men role.  Go, curvy lady. 

T: Did I see a cable channel nomination?  Yep –  Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly McDonald takes it.

But, since you keep talking about underdogs, Amber, how about Michelle Forbes?  The Killing made a killing this season, but I’m not sure it will get any award love.  I’m sure they’ll say, “It was just an honor to be nominated….”

A: Again, I gotta stick with the shows I’ve actually seen. 🙂  

T: I’m just really not a fan of these nominations….

A: Not thrilled with this category either.  Again, I think that goes back to the lack of well composed female characters.  *Sigh* 

Mini-series or Made-for-Television Movie
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Kennedys
Mildred Pierce
The Pillars Of The Earth
Too Big To Fail

A: The only one I’ve seen is the one I am picking.  But, I DO love it –  Downton Abbey.  It makes me swoon.  I adore some of the characters, and others are so deliciously evil I can’t stand it. 

T: This one is up in the air – Downton Abbey has received great reviews, The Kennedys was controversial and axed from its original channel, and HBO (yep, again) rocked out with Too Big To Fail.  I have to go with it.

A: ..Downton…Downton…have you watched it YET?  How ’bout now?  

T: Not yet….it’s a period piece.  I’m not even sure our TV plays period pieces in our house.

A: Deliciously evil.  Come on.  You have to be curious? 

T: Curious, yes.  Curious enough to watch it now because I think it has a chance to beat Too Big To Fail?  No.

Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
Conan
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

A: Please, please, please, PLEASE, for the love of funny, give it to Stephen this year.  Thanks.  But I won’t cry if Conan gets it. 

T: Colbert deserves this.

A: *nods in agreement*  Stephen we love you!  

T: Should we start an “Emmy for Stephen” website?

Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or movie
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
William Hurt, Too Big To Fail

A: Haven’t seen ANY of these, so I’m going with Idris Elba.  That’s a pretty sweet name, and he is pretty. 

T: I’d like to see Barry Pepper win, but mainly because I like to look at him.  But, I bet you anything, William Hurt takes it for HBO’s Too Big to Fail.  He was great in Damages too.

A: *silence*  

T: Silence?  Really, Amber?

A: I am bored.  Moving on. 

Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or movie
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

A: Downton all the way! 

T: I’m going with the underdog of all underdogs here – Taraji P. Henson.  Why?  Because almost everyone else has a BIG Hollywood name, and this movie is based on a true story.

A: I think I’ve been clear on how I feel about Downton.  🙂  

T: Really?  I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Deadliest Catch
Hoarders
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List
MythBusters
Undercover Boss
 

A: I don’t really like any of these.  But I do occasionally watch Hoarders in absolute horror.  And then I scrub my tub and cry. 

T: YUCK.  Do I have to pick one?  Undercover Boss.

A: Maybe we should just go with “let’s replace these shows with ones that have real writers”?  I mean, Men of a Certain Age was CANCELLED and this crap is getting nominated!?  Bah.  

T: I’m speechless.  I know my mom is writing this date down right now…I’m not speechless often.

Reality Competition
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

A: Top Chef, but only because I’m a foodie.  I am not a huge fan of reality competitions. 

T: SurvivorBig Brother.  Oh, they’re not nominated?  The Amazing Race.  Although, I have seen some of  So You Think You Can Dance in the gym, and they’ve got talent.  But, I’m still voting for The Amazing Race. Traveling the world, experiencing new cultures and traditions, all while competing against others – great show.

A: I have heard great things about The Amazing Race.  So, I change my vote.  The Amazing Race, with a side of Top Chef.  

T: Not jumping off The Amazing Race trip here, but where’s Hell’s Kitchen?  DONKEY!

 

A: Hee.  I reluctantly admit that I watch that.  I reluctantly admit to watching any reality TV.  I kind of wish the category weren’t even here.  Having said that, at least I don’t see any “Housewives of Some Rich Place I Don’t Care About” shows nominated.  Small favors. 

T: Oh, and thank Heavens for no Jersey Shore!

A: *raises a glass* 

T: Cheers!

Host of a Reality Program or Competition
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Jeff Probst, Survivor

A: I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something about Jeff that I like. 

T: Probst.  The Probster.

A: He’s so pretty. 

T: Our tribe has spoken.

*****

Well, there you have it.  Tune in to FOX September 18th for the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards to see who takes home the little statue.

 

How did your favorite show, actors, and actresses do? If not listed, write it in!  Tell us who you think should win! We’d love to hear from you.

Tele-Tuesday #7 – Spring Cleaning

 

May sweeps used to indicate that the television industry saved the best for last.  The networks broadcast non-stop, action packed, cliff-hanging story lines every night of the week hoping to pull in the largest ratings of the year before announcing which shows would be receiving pink slips.  Times have changed, and today’s May sweeps ultimately means knowing which shows will return, and which shows will be swept away before the season finales have all aired.

Recent years prove that no show is safe: many shows are done after only one season, “One & Done”; some shows make it through the toddler years, a minimum of two or three seasons; some programs have aired for years, even decades with multi-generational loyal followers; and, some are still awaiting their destiny.  Television’s broom was very busy this year….

One & Done

 $H*! My Dad Says, 18 to Life, Better with You, Boston Med, Breaking In, Chaos, Chase, Chicago Code, Dating in the Dark, Law & Order: Los Angeles, Mad Love, Mr. Sunshine, My Generation, No Ordinary Family, Off the Map, Outlaw, Perfect Couples, Persons Unknown, Scoundrels, Skating with the Stars, The Cape, The Defenders, The Event, The Gates, The Good Guys, The Paul Reiser Show, The Whole Truth, Traffic Light, Undercovers

Terrible Twos & Threes

Dark Blue, Human Target, Life Unexpected

Seasoned Veterans

 Big Love, Brothers & Sisters, Entourage, Friday Night Lights , Last Comic Standing, Smallville

And the Answer is (Updated 5/18/11):

Criminal Minds (RENEWED),  Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CANCELLED), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (RENEWED), CSI: Miami (RENEWED), CSI: NY (RENEWED), The Good Wife (RENEWED), Hell Cats (CANCELLED), The Mentalist (RENEWED), NCIS: Los Angeles (RENEWED), Nikita (RENEWED), One Tree Hill (RENEWED),

Still Awaiting their Destiny: Flashpoint and Wipeout

On a positive note, not all chivalry is dead: some shows have earned advance notice that next season will be their last.  Thank you networks; thank you for allowing the writers to close out a series appropriately for the loyal fans.  This doesn’t happen all that often, just ask Law & Order.

All My Children – Last episode September 2011

 

Chuck – 13 episodes 2011/2012

  The Closer – Final season begins July 11,  2011

  Law & Order: Criminal Intent -Currently airing on USA

One Life to Live – Last episode January 2012

Seems a bit insane, doesn’t it?  What are the morals of today’s Tele-Tuesday?  Don’t get too attached to freshman television series, and no television show is safe from May sweeps.

The TV world’s information is so very scattered right now, and the networks will undoubtedly continue announcing changes in the days to come.  In the meantime, here are a few websites to check out for more information:

 TV Series Finale

Hollywood Reporter

Which of these cancellations came too soon?  Over the years, what television series has been cancelled that you still mourn?  Which network do you think sweeps the most shows in the trash before giving the audience a chance to watch week in and week out?  I’d love to hear from you!