Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Grimm Versus Evil

This week, Amber West and I are visiting the fairy tale world, and we’re sharing our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of Grimm and Once Upon a Time

We’ve all heard of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, right?  

NBC’s new drama based on the Grimm’s Fairy Tales follows a detective as he balances his life solving murders and learning that he comes from a long line of criminal profilers (Grimms) responsible for protecting the people of the world against the supernatural – Grimm versus Evil.    

The first episode of Grimm begins as a sorority girl departs from her house wearing a bright red hoodie and listening to the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” as she sets out for her morning jog through the woods.  The opening scene immediately screams modern-day Little Red Riding Hood, right?  

While on her run, the girl spots an odd figurine positioned on a rock.  She stops to investigate when she is suddenly tackled by something with lightning fast speed, and the viewers can only assume she’s going to die. 

So far, so good….      

Next, we meet the Grimm on what should be the happiest day of his life (Detective Nick Burkhardt played by David Giuntoli); instead, it might just be the beginning of the end.  Walking out of the jewelry store where he just purchased an engagement ring for his girlfriend (Juliette played Bitsie Tulloch), Nick notices a beautiful blonde walking down the street suddenly transform into nasty looking creature.  He shakes it off as his eyes playing tricks on him.   

Nick pockets the diamond ring, and he and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), drive out to the scene of a crime where they discover a jogger has been ripped apart in the woods.  Unfortunately, there isn’t enough left of the victim for identification purposes.  The detectives assume an animal is responsible for the attack, although they can’t seem to locate any animal tracks – only boot prints.

Later that night, Nick returns home anxious to propose to Juliette only to discover his aunt has stopped by on a surprise visit.  After a cryptic, “we need to talk,” Nick and his aunt go for a walk where she begins to tell him that his family has a secret.  His parents didn’t die in an accident; they were murdered.  Why is she telling him this now?  She is dying, and the Grimm powers will pass to him in just a matter of days if they haven’t already. 

Before she can tell him the complete story, Nick and his aunt are attacked by the Reaper of the Grimms.  Nick can’t believe his eyes and he opens fire on the monster shooting him dead, but not before the attack renders his aunt unconscious.  

Reeling from the day’s events, Nick walks into his aunt’s travel-trailer where he finds an arsenal of bizarre weapons and an ancient family book revealing his destiny.   As most of us would, Nick decides to keep his secret from his girlfriend and his partner — for now, anyway.

The next day, Nick and his partner are called to another crime scene.  This time, a younger girl with the initials R.H. has been kidnapped .  Coincidence?  Using his new Grimm powers, Nick tracks down Eddie Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a reformed Big Bad Wolf.   Monroe can see Nick as a Grimm immediately, and he reluctantly agrees to help Nick understand the mythology. 

Monroe also agrees to help Nick track down the Big Bad responsible for the little girl’s disappearance.  He drives Nick out to the woods, sticking his head out the window along the way sniffing out the Big Bad’s scent. 

Nice touch….

Afraid of what might happen if he gets too close, Monroe retreats as soon as they locate the cabin where his nose has indicated the Big Bad is hiding the girl.  Nick calls Hank out to the woods, but explains he didn’t call for any additional backup because he “already cried wolf once” wasting the department’s resources.   

Another nice touch….

Hank doesn’t understand how Nick tracked this man down, but he believes his partner when he overhears the suspect humming the exact same song that had been playing in the jogger’s ear buds at the first crime scene, “Sweet Dreams.” 

The take down ensues, little R.H. is rescued, and Grimm ends with the Marilyn Manson version of “Sweet Dreams” — I’ve got to know what’s inside you.

Yet another nice touch.

Obviously, after just one episode, it’s too early to award Grimm with anything other than the SSTV rating.  This television series is definitely sitting on the hot plate and is warming up; but, the water is not hot enough for us to drop in the pasta to upgrade the rating to MacTV, but it is showing potential after just one hour.

What do you think? Did you watch the premiere of Grimm?   Do you think the dramatized fairy tales will last on television today?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of ABC’s new hit, Once Upon a Time.  Will Emma accept her destiny and return magic to Storybrooke allowing the fairytale characters to come back to life and return balance to the charmed city?  

We didn’t laugh enough last week, so come back next week when Amber and I review a few of our favorite comedies.

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
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 – Here a Laugh, There a Laugh

This week, Amber West and I are laughing up a storm over the new comedies on TV, and we’re sharing a double dose of laughter with our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of Suburgatory, New Girl, Up All Night, and 2 Broke Girls

Up All Night

Reagan and Chris Brinkley have it all – good looks, great jobs, exciting night lives, and most importantly, a healthy and loving relationship.  Reagan (Christina Applegate, Married with Children) produces her best friend’s Oprah-like talk show and Chris (Will Arnett, Saturday Night Live) is on his way to partner at his law firm.  Their successful careers are right on schedule, that is until their life changes forever with a simple announcement –they’re pregnant.

The Brinkleys refuse to think that things are going to change, but they are in for a big surprise.  It all starts when the birthing plan is thrown out the window the second they arrive at the hospital: Reagan’s water breaks at the studio, so she doesn’t have her overnight bag and favorite headband; their doctor is busy with another delivery and isn’t available to them; and the natural delivery just isn’t working so Reagan goes in for a c-section.  Despite all of the chaos, baby Amy arrives. 

After the baby arrives, the struggles continue as Reagan and Chris battle insomnia, attempt to clean up their language, and insist on not losing their “cool” personas, their sexy bodies, and their super sporty car.  They try, but they can’t avoid the inevitable.    

Let’s not forget about Reagan’s best friend and boss, Ava (Maya Rudolph, Bridesmaids).  While she undoubtedly loves Reagan, Ava doesn’t understand when the world doesn’t revolve around her – but not in a bad way, in a funny way.  Ava’s a mess; and Reagan holds her together, which is why when Reagan takes maternity leave, Ava is lost. 

We don’t watch many thirty minute sitcoms in our house, but couldn’t resist the urge to try Christina Applegate’s return to TV.  It didn’t hurt that we’re both huge SNL fans and love Maya Rudolph.  Preconceived notions aside, I can’t help but award Up All Night with a JFTV rating – it satisfies like a Snickers. 

Up All Night keeps the laughs coming, and anyone trying to maintain any kind of balance with children will enjoy.    

2 Broke Girls

Meet Max (Kat Dennings, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) – Manhattan nanny by day and Brooklyn diner waitress by night.  Max has control of her life, a life that’s not extravagant by any means; she has her own apartment, boyfriend, and overall seems happy.  That is until the diner hires a blonde, dressed like she owns the place, to share shifts with her. 

Meet Caroline (Beth Behrs) – a former Manhattan socialite who has lost everything courtesy of her father’s Ponzi scheme.  Caroline runs away from her life, not that she has a choice, and chooses Brooklyn as her new residence (because according to a Google search, Brooklyn is the least likely place anyone from her former circle visits). 

Caroline doesn’t need or use her Ivy-league education and her business and marketing background to wait tables, until she discovers the diner is not selling the tasty cupcakes for enough money – Max’s cupcakes.  Caroline knows that in the city, people will pay $7-$10 a cupcake, and she begins pocketing some extra cash and creates a business plan.  Now, all she needs is Max to hop on board.

Although it’s very difficult for her to do, Max invites Caroline to stay with her.  After a boyfriend mishap, the two bond and despite Max’s constant put-downs, the girls plan to start a new life together and open a cupcakery – Max is the talent and Caroline is the brains.  In just a few episodes, we’ve seen both characters grow, even if their cupcake funds haven’t (at the end of each episode, the cupcake savings tallies on the screen for the audience – the girls have a long way to go to reach $250,000).   

Let’s be honest, I only set the pilot of 2 Broke Girls to record so I could say, “I checked it out.”  After all, the sitcom is created by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and comedian Whitney Cummings, and it fills a very popular time slot between CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men.   

But, after only one episode, I returned to the series option on the DVR and updated the recording to grab all of the new episodes.   Even the man of the house has watched a few episodes with me and laughs out loud (even if he won’t admit it).   

For this, I must award 2 Broke Girls with my second JFTV rating of the day, especially since each episode centers around diner food and cupcakes.  The actresses have great chemistry and comedic timing, and the audience can’t help but root for the two to open their boutique cupcakery with Chestnut (the horse) hanging around outside.

All this talk about cupcakes has me drooling!

What do you think? Have you watched Up All Night or 2 Broke Girls?   Can you relate to any of the characters?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of Jeremy Sisto’s suburban-purgatory, or Suburgatory, and the “adorakable” New Girl, Zooey Deschanel, for a few more must-see laughs. 

Need another reason to watch?  All of these shows have been picked up!

Come back next week when Amber and I curl up with TV’s new dramas based on popular fairytales: Grimm and Once Upon a Time.  

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
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 – Just How Desperate are They?

This week, Amber West and I are flipping channels over to ABC and sharing our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of Desperate Housewives and Body of Proof

We all mourned the loss of the ‘80s night-time soap operas Falcon Crest, Dallas, and Knots Landing.  But in 2004, the genre was revived with Mark Cherry’s Desperate Housewives when the television world was introduced to a close group of residents on a unique street in a fictional town.

The series begins with the mystery surrounding Mary Alice Young’s (Brenda Strong) suicide, one of the housewives on Wisteria Lane.  Her death leaves behind devastation to her closest friends and her family (husband Paul, played by Mark Moses, and son Zach). 

Mary Alice narrates Desperate Housewives at the beginning and at the end of each episode; she shares her friend’s secrets and paints a picture for the audience explaining how and why the housewives make the decisions they do.

Meet Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher).

The series starts with Susan’s recent discovery that her husband Karl (Richard Burgi) has cheated on her.  She files for divorce and immediately takes a liking to the new neighbor, plumber Mike Delfino (James Denton), and marries him twice.  Susan is the classic train wreck – she’s quirky, loving, and genuine; but nothing seems to go her way. 

Meet Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman).

Lynette escapes her rough childhood by using her drive and intelligence to obtain a degree in Advertising.  She meets her husband Tom (Doug Savant) in college, and Lynette decides to change her career path to a stay-at-home-mom once she and Tom start a family.  Four kids later, the cabin fever sets in and Tom and Lynette switch roles – she goes back to work and he becomes Mr. Mom. 

Lynette’s ambitions take over and she begins to man-handle her husband constantly (think an alpha-dog or a my-way-or-the-highway sort of relationship).  Tom loves Lynette and for the longest time doesn’t fight back, until….sorry, no spoilers here.

Meet Bree Van de Camp (Marcia Cross).

Bree is described as Wisteria Lane’s Martha Stewart-Stepford Wife.  She’s a perfectionist and an obsessive compulsive with a side of neuroses.  A gun-toting Republican, Bree marries her first husband Rex (Steven Culp) and starts a picture-perfect family; until, that is, he cheats on her.  Bree files for divorce, Rex dies, Bree marries Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan), and Bree later files for divorce.   

In and out of relationships and marriages, Bree finds her solace in the kitchen.  She briefly owns and operates a gourmet catering business until Rex’s son, from an affair, blackmails it away from her.      

Meet Gabrielle “Gaby” Solis (Eva Longoria). 

Abused by her step father, Gaby flees Texas and never looks back.  She takes her beauty to New York, its runways, and its magazine covers.  After years of a successful modeling career, Gaby meets her husband Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), a self-made wealthy and cut-throat businessman. 

These two have had it all – poverty and wealth, affairs and loyalty, blindness and beauty, superficial happiness and familiar bliss.  Kinda.  The laughs never stop with Gaby and Carlos; they are by far my favorite duo on the lane. 

Many other housewives have lived on the lane over the years including: Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), the beautiful yet spiteful real estate agent, often times regarded to as the “neighborhood slut” by many of the girls for bedding Susan’s ex; Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard), the neighbor who keeps her son locked up in the basement; Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany), the once-upon-a-time neighbor who returns with dark secrets surrounding the identity of her daughter; Angie Bolen (Drea de Matteo), the housewife running from the mafia; Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams), Lynette’s college best friend and recent divorce’ trying to define herself without her famous baseball player husband; and Karen McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten), the senior citizen neighbor who supports, babysits, and provides a bit of a reality check to the over-the-top housewives.

Desperate Housewives is a television dramedy at its finest.  For this reason, I must award the ladies of Wisteria Lane with a MacTV rating.  Guilty Pleasure?  Check.  Not Perfect?  Check?  Satisfying?  Definitely, Check. 

Honestly, can’t you just picture Susan, Lynette, Gaby, and Bree curling up to watch Falcon Crest with a warm bowl of Mac-N-Cheese?  Okay, well maybe not Bree….unless it was baked gourmet style with green chilis and bread crumbs. 

From watching each and every one of the seasons, this eighth and final season should close with a bang.  The history of Desperate Housewives proves that no one is safe.  It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for some of the housewives to die or even go to jail.  It’s doubtful that Cherry will wrap everything up with a pretty red-bow, and for that, we thank you! 

Here’s to a doozy of a series finale coming this spring…..

What do you think? Have you watched Desperate Housewives?   Who is your favorite character? How do you think Mark Cherry will close out the series?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of a former Wisteria Lane housewife’s new show, Body of Proof

Come back next week when Amber and I talk some laughs with a double dose of TV’s new comedies: Suburgatory, New Girl, Up All Night, and 2 Broke Girls

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
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

Friday FabOoolousness – The Go Without Game

Usually my Friday posts are reserved for movies, books, sports, vacations, and favorite things; but today I’m breaking away from the norm.  What else is Ooo Factor worthy?  Philanthropy. 

My great friend and Wednesday writing partner, Amber West, decided a few weeks ago to start a new kind of blogging game.  It’s simple: she’s encouraging the rest of us to give something up in order to give back to the community – the Go Without game.   

I agree with Amber that the economy has taken a toll on a lot of us.  While it may be difficult to think about making any sort of monetary donation right now, look at it this way: what can we give up, in order to give back?

Step one – Choose something to go without 

I won’t begin to speak for others, but the list of items that I would consider giving up for a week includes Starbucks, Sonic, Barnes and Noble, and Rosa’s Cafe (my West and North Texas friends know that giving up Rosa’s would be a real sacrifice). 

What will I give up?  My weekly writing reward purchase of a half a dozen delicious treats from Sugar Queen Cupcakes

No Cream Cheese Lime or Berry Pecan for me this weekend!

Step two – Decide which charity to donate to

There are so many charities out there for us to choose from.  Amber has put together a list of charities that accept text donations to keep it super easy for us:

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital:
Text KIDS to 27722 to give $10

Susan G. Komen – Breast Cancer:
Text KOMEN to 90999 to give $10

Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
:
Text HIVFREE to 90999 to donate $5

The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children: Text NYSPCC to 50555 to donate $10

The list doesn’t stop here!

Jillian Dodd is giving up Chick-Fil-A for a week and is sending her donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Way to go, Jill! 

Stacy Green is giving up her afternoon coke (or soda for those of you outside Texas) and is sending her donation to the American Diabetes Association.  There’s a bit of poetry here, Stacy!  

Andrea S. Michaels is giving up pizza and is donating her money to Save a Jaguar.   I adore cats, Andrea, and your generosity melted my heart.

Who will I give to?  St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Why St. Jude’s?  St. Jude Children’s Hospital does not deny service to any child, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.  They continuously strive to research preventions, cures, and treatments for all diseases plaguing our children. 

I’ve always held a special place in my heart for St. Jude’s, and this is why I am donating $10 via their online donation center

Step three: Link your blog

Link your blog below and join the others participating in Amber’s Go Without game.   The linky tool will be active for a month, so there’s plenty of time to join.

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

If you don’t blog, don’t worry!  Anyone can participate in giving back.  Leave a comment below and let us know how you will play the Go Without game.    

Amber also set up the hashtag #gowithout in Twitter for those of us twittering around the Twitterverse.  Come tweet and tell us what you’re giving up and which wonderful charity will get a donation from you! 

THANK YOU, Amber.  Your Go Without game only goes to show what a wonderful person you are and I’m proud to call you my friend.

Will you join us in the Go Without game?  What will you give up?  Which charity will you choose to donate your money to?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Studying the Behaviors of the Criminally Inclined

The new television season has arrived!  Many of our favorite programs have returned, so Amber West and I decided to share a few more Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews to check out two additional CBS hit series – The Good Wife and Criminal Minds

First up – Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds follows a team of highly trained FBI agents who profile criminal behaviors for the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU).   There are tons of police procedural programs on TV today, but none like this. 

The BAU team’s home base is at the famous Quantico, Virginia location; however, they travel around the United States once a city’s local authorities request their presence at the scene of a crime.  The unit studies the unsubs, or unidentified suspects, instead of the crime itself.    

The team is led by Unit Chief Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson, Darma & Greg).   Hotch’s dedication to his job cost him his marriage.  After his ex-wife Haley (played by Meredith Monroe) was murdered by serial killer “The Reaper” (C. Thomas Howell), Hotch gained custody of his son, Jack. Hotch attempts to make amends by being the best father he possibly can; he even coaches the little guy’s soccer team. 

Due to the graphic nature of his job, Hotch rarely smiles and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders; but, despite the difficulty, he will do everything in his power to protect his team.      

Next in line is Senior Supervisory Special Agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore, The Young and the Restless).  Excelling at his job, Morgan has been named Acting Unit Chief when Hotch is out.  He was in line to be the next Unit Chief of the New York field office, but he declined the position.   He is strong and fast, and is by far the most physical on the BAU team (he’s pretty to look at too). 

Morgan had a difficult childhood: he witnessed his father’s murder and he was sexually abused by the local boys’ club caretaker.  As an adult, Morgan was framed for murdering a few of his hometown’s local boys, but was later proven innocent by his team.   

Also serving the BAU as a Senior Supervisory Special Agent is David Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna (Joan of Arcadia).  Rossi is credited as one of the founding members of the BAU, but he retired to write books and lecture on criminal analysis.  He returned to the team after Gideon’s untimely departure (see below), and seized the opportunity to solve a cold case that had haunted him for decades. 

Rossi has been married and divorced multiple times, and often jokes that divorce lawyers are the only people in his personal life that he can make happy.            

Special Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster, Friends – remember Kathy?  She dated Joey and Chandler….) joined the team after Elle walked away (see below).  Early on, Prentiss felt she had something to prove being that Hotch and Gideon suspected her mother’s position as a U.S. Ambassador had something to do with her joining the BAU team. 

Prentiss served Interpol for years, where she worked undercover hunting international arms dealer, Ian Doyle.  This past year, Doyle killed her Interpol colleagues one-by-one, blaming them for the death of his only son.  Doyle finally found Emily, hunted her, and killed her.  Or did he? 

Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler, Alvin and the Chipmunks motion picture franchise) is probably my favorite member of the team.  Reid is a genius; he graduated high school before he was a teenager; he has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology; he has a Ph.D in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Engineering; and he has an insanely high IQ – all courtesy of his eidetic memory.  Reid reads faster than anyone on the planet (he scans the page with his finger and remembers it verbatim), he remembers everything he sees, but he struggles with certain things that he hears. 

Reid suffers from inexplicable headaches and fears that he has inherited his mother’s schizophrenia.  He is not as physically fit as the rest of his team, which probably led to his being held hostage twice (once by a character portrayal by Luke Perry and another time by James Van Der Beek).     

Special Agent Jenifer “JJ” Jareau, (AJ Cook, Tru Calling) also serves the team as the media liaison.  JJ joined the FBI after attending one of Rossi’s lectures, and she is the only non-profiler on the team.  Because she isn’t a profiler, JJ has a hard time understanding how people can commit such horrible crimes, but she remains professional and battles through each case. 

JJ recently returned to the team after she was forced to take a position at the Pentagon.  Besides Hotch, JJ is the only BAU team member with a child.   

Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia, played by Kirsten Vangsness, serves the team from Quantico.  Garcia joined the team after the FBI caught her hacking into their systems.  Rarely does she accompany the team to crime scenes; instead, she prefers to stay locked inside her computer lair wearing bright eye shadows and lipsticks while  frantically surfing the internet and databases for information to assist the team. 

Garcia is one of the only BAU team members to have an actual romantic relationship (fellow FBI analyst, Kevin Lynch, played by Nicholas Brendon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).   

The BAU team has suffered its share of casualites over the years.  Previous team members include: Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin, Chicago Hope) silently walked away without telling anyone after his former girlfriend was murdered by a serial killer; Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini, The Sopranos) left the team after she was shot following an undercover assignment; and Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols, Alias) was transferred out to another department, explained by Strauss downsizing the BAU team. 

Recurring characters include: Reid’s schizophrenic mother, Diana Reid (Jane Lynch, Glee); former New Orleans police liaison and father of JJ’s son, William “Will” LaMontagne (Josh Stewart, No Ordinary Family); and  BAU Unit Direct Supervisor, Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson, 24).    

The Criminal Minds franchise took an unfavorable dip last year with the one-season-and-done spinoff, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior starring Forest Whitaker and Janeane Garofalo.  I have to admit that the story improved as the season moved forward, and unfortunately it ended with a cliff hanger.  Maybe the Criminal Minds team will do another cross over episode and close out that story line for us?

Regardless, the original remains strong airing new episodes every Wednesday night on CBS and in syndication on A&E and ION.  At almost any given time, one can find an episode of Criminal Minds to enjoy. 

As if my love for the characters isn’t evident by the length of my post, I must give Criminal Minds a GTV rating: it has everything we want and more, especially for this fiction writer.  Criminal Minds is an excellent source of research for understanding a potential protagonist’s actions in murder mysteries.  That’s my excuse for watching so much of it, anyway.  Yes, I’m going to keep telling myself that…     

What do you think? Have you watched Criminal Minds?  Who’s your favorite BAU team member? Were you disappointed with the cancellation of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of The Good Wife.  Amber was very adamant during the Tambery Awards production that Julianna Margulies win best actress – and she did!  Congrats, Julianna. 

Come back next week when Amber and I click over to NBC and review two of the channel’s hit programs – Harry’s Law and Law & Order: SVU.

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 – Reagan Family Ties

The new television season has arrived!  Many of our favorite programs are returning, so Amber West and I decided to share a few more Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews to check out two of CBS’s hit series – The Mentalist and Blue Bloods

First up – Blue Bloods

 

The Reagan family loves each other and New York City.  Each member of the Reagan family serves, or has served, their city in one way or another. 

Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck, also known as the man with the best looking mustache in the industry, Magnum, and Jesse Stone), is the current NYC Police Commissioner.  Frank is the patriarch of the Reagan family, even though his father Henry lives with him under the same roof. 

Frank served in the marines and is a Vietnam veteran.  He is widowed and also suffered the untimely loss of his son, Joseph Reagan, who died while on the job, also serving New York City (later revealed to be at the hands of The Blue Templar, a group of rogue cops). 

The job of Police Commissioner in New York City is grueling enough, but throw in the added pressure of a mayor seeking re-election (played by Bruce Altman) who is constantly riding the commissioner’s case, and one can see why Frank needs a drink at the end of every day. 

Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) is one of the top detectives on the NYPD squad.  Danny gets the job done, even if he doesn’t follow the letter of the law to a “T”.  Like his father, he is a former marine and Iraq war veteran.   While Tom Selleck receives top billing, and rightfully so, Donnie Wahlberg is the star of the series. 

When one initially hears the name Donnie Wahlberg, they recall his role in the ‘90s boy band, New Kids on the Block.  However, Donnie has had many fantastic performances in both television and motion pictures proving himself as an actor, including HBO’s Band of Brothers, NBC’s Boomtown, and Hollywood blockbusters such as Ransom, The Sixth Sense, and the Saw franchise (movies 2, 3, and 4). 

Jamie Reagan (Will Estes, American Dreams) is the newest of the Reagan family to join the force, currently working the streets as a rookie cop.  Jamie attended Harvard Law planning to follow in his big sister’s footsteps, however he changed his mind after graduation to join the NYPD like his brothers, father, and grandfather before him. 

Because he was new to the force, the FBI approached Jamie to provide information as it pertained to The Blue Templar.  Through his investigations, Jamie learned that his brother Joe was helping the FBI uncover information about these dirty cops as well, and that these rogue officers were responsible for his brother’s death.

Erin Reagan-Broyle (Bridget Moynahan from Sex and the City and Coyote Ugly), the only daughter of Frank and his late wife, is an up-and-coming Assistant District Attorney.  Divorced and raising a teenage daughter (Sami Gayle), Erin tends to be the voice of reason that helps hold her family together, besides her father that is. 

Erin tries to keep Danny in line so that her convictions of his arrests will stick; but, despite his love for his sister, no one can make Danny follow the book.  In addition to balancing her family and her career, Erin must also decide if it’s appropriate to date her boss, a man gunning for the mayoral race and who will undoubtedly remove her father as Police Commissioner.       

Henry Reagan (Tony Award winning actor, Len Cariou), or Grandpa, is the retired NYC Police Commissioner.  Henry lives with his son Frank, or Francis as he calls him, and provides support to his son and the entire family.

Blue Bloods also has a stellar supporting cast: Jennifer Esposito (Samantha Who?, Spin City) plays Jackie Curatola, Danny’s partner; Amy Carlson (Another World, Third Watch) plays Linda Reagan, Danny’s wife and mother to their two sons; Nicholas Turturro (NYPD Blue, Third Watch) plays Sgt. Anthony Renzulli, Jamie’s partner; and Emmy Award winning and Tony Award nominated actor, Bobby Cannavale (Will & Grace, Third Watch) plays Erin’s boss and District Attorney, Charles Rossellini.  

Okay, so there is a ton of programming on television today, so what’s special about Blue Bloods? Every episode features at least one family gathering around the dinner table at Frank’s house, an aspect of television today that is often times overlooked. 

The Reagan family represents America’s finest fighting crime every Friday night in New York City, but the relationship shared among the characters is the real hero.   Because of this, I award Blue Bloods the GTV rating – this gourmet television program has everything we want, and more.  Fitting, considering Frank meets someone for lowball whiskey cocktails and fine steak dinners in restaurants with linen table clothes in most of the episodes. 

What do you think? Have you watched Blue Bloods?  Who’s your favorite Reagan? Are you like me and would watch Tom Selleck in just about anything? What do you think of Donnie Wahlberg – he has come a long way from singing and dancing with the New Kids, hasn’t he?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of The Mentalist….is Simon Baker’s character, Patrick Jane, not just the tiniest bit fabulous?  

CBS is so hot, that Amber and I can’t quite leave.  Come back next week when we continue to review a few more of our favorite programs on the hit channel –The Good Wife and Criminal Minds.

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 – 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 – Bones & Squints

Fall television is right around the corner, and many of our favorite programs are returning.  Amber West and I decided to change things up this week, and we’re sharing Why It’s Worth a Watch to check out a few of the FOX hit TV shows coming back in a few weeks – House and Bones.

First up, Bones!

Based on the book series of the same name by Kathy Reichs, Bones follows forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan and FBI Special Agent Seely Booth as they solve some of the toughest cases surrounding the Washington D.C. area.  Each week’s episode begins with the discovery of human remains and showcases the unique personalities of partners Booth and Brennan as they work alongside each other and the team of expert scientists (also known as “squints”) at the Jeffersonian Institute to solve crimes.

Note – I don’t recommend watching Bones during the dinner hour.  The human remains are sometimes a bit graphic and very realistic. 

Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel, Rose Red)

In addition to being quite possibly one of the most intelligent, and one of the best forensic anthropologists in the world, Temperance “Bones” Brennan is also a bestselling author.  Saying she’s socially awkward is an understatement, she completely lacks what most of us consider common sense and she’s void of any pop culture knowledge making her jokes fail miserably with the rest of the team.  Her education clashes with her friend’s cultures and beliefs (particularly religious affiliations), but she makes an honest attempt to better understand those that she loves.  The Jeffersonian team and Booth are her family.    

FBI Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz, from Buffy and Angel)

A former Ranger Sniper, Booth’s sharp shooting skills have come in handy during his tenure with the FBI.  Of course, those same skills and his record number of kills have also haunted him over the years, especially considering his moral code, Catholic beliefs, and interpersonal relationships.  Booth struggles constantly with his past: his father was an abusive alcoholic and his brother is following the same path, minus the abusive side.  Booth focuses his life on being the best man and father he can be, and he’ll do anything to protect Brennan and her team.  Talk about a man of honor….         

Forensic Artist Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin, The Lincoln Lawyer)

Angela is Brennan’s best friend, daughter of ZZ Top band member Billy Gibbons, wife to Jack Hodgins, and proud mother to new-born Michael Staccato Vincent (after Nigel-Murray) Hodgins.  Her role with the team is to help with facial reconstruction, and she uses some really cool 3-D graphics programs that help generate holograms from even the smallest portion of a skeleton.  Angela is responsible for most of the social improvements seen through Brennan’s character growth season to season.    

Entomologist Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J.Thyne, How High)

Hodgins is the teams’ expert on all things spores, soil, and bugs, and he often times refers to himself as “King of the Lab“.  Hodgins is a bit of a conspiracy theorist, a fact not at all helped by his massive education.  His family has considerable wealth and is actually one of the main endowment donors supporting the Jeffersonian.  He loves Angela, while comically fearing her father (he has a huge tattoo of Angela’s face on his shoulder courtesy of a night out drinking with her dad).

Pathologist Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor, Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman)

The head of the Jeffersonian team, Cam, is Booth’s ex-girlfriend and is responsible for Booth asking Brennan to assist him on FBI cases.  She is the newly adopted mother of her deceased ex-boyfriend’s daughter, Michelle, and she struggles daily with trying to not control Michelle’s teenage years and collegiate future. 

Psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley, Freaks and Geeks and Waiting)

Introduced in Season 3 to help Booth and Brennan with their partnership, well, really the sexual tension affecting their partnership, Sweets has grown to be a favorite character on Bones.  He’s very young to have earned his Ph.D, and oftentimes encounters negative and rude comments from others about his age.  Sweets is brilliant, but not as secure with romantic relationships (he has an on again/off again love affair with one of the squints, Daisy).  Sweets is essential to the team and helps them solve many cases using his criminal profiling expertise in interrogations.     

Booth and Brennan have solved many crimes, the most dangerous and popular being the serial killers Gormogon (a cannibal) and The Grave Digger, who actually buried Brennan and Hodgins alive during season two.   Their partnership and relationship has survived brain tumors, gun-shot wounds, girlfriends and boyfriends, Booth’s return to the Army to train soldiers, and Brennan’s archeological digs around the world.

Each week, the Jeffersonian squints change.  This is explained in the storyline by Brennan’s inability to decide on an official intern replacement after Dr. Zach Addy (Eric Millegan) is taken away (I don’t want to give away any SPOILER alerts – you’ll have to watch the series).  The cast of other squints include: Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry), Colin Fisher (Joel Moore), Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright), Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat), Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd) and Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo). 

Ryan O’Neal reprises his role of Max Keenan, Brennan’s criminal father, throughout the series.  Other recurring characters include: Brennan’s brother, Russ Brennan (Loren Dean); Booth’s girlfriend, Hannah Burley (Katheryn Winnick); U.S. Prosecutor, Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher); Booth’s ex-girlfriend and mother to his son, Rebecca Stinson (Jessica Capshaw); and, Booth’s brother, Jared (Brendan Fehr). 

Bones happens to be one of the rare television programs that has me sitting in anticipation the first twenty minutes of the hour so that I can press play on the DVR and watch without commercial interruption.  I know, you’re thinking that I’m a TV addict and I feel this way about a lot of programs, but that’s not true.  Bones is an absolute favorite and therefore I must award the GTV rating.

The sexual tension between Booth and Bones; the love affair between Angela and Hodgins; the quirky relationship shared between Sweets and Daisy; the comedic oddities of each and every character; all of this is TV at its finest: yummy Gourmet Television.  Compare it to the best cut of meat, red wine, and flaming dessert available. 

Are you a Bones fan?  Without spoiling it for anyone who isn’t current with the series, do you feel the surprise announcement at the end of season six will ruin the show or take it in a new, fun direction?  Did you feel the Zach storyline jumped the shark?  Who’s your favorite Bones squint and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of the hit Fox medical drama, House!  

Come back next week when Amber and I review a few more of our favorite programs returning this fall – the opposing 10pm EST/9pm CST Monday night hit series Castle & Hawaii 5-0.

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 – Seriously, Queue This Up!

Amber West and I are back with Netflix on this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday.  Courtesy of all the programs that television has to offer, we’ve got a few more series that are definitely worthy of queuing up! 

I’m taking a trip down memory lane and recommending one of, if not the greatest television Whodunit mysteries of our time: Twin Peaks.

Remember Dallas’ ever-so famous mystery back in 1980: Who shot J.R.?

How about 1984’s Wendy’s slogan: Where’s the beef?

The 1990’s wasn’t far behind with its very own unique conversation starter: Who killed Laura Palmer?

Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, Twin Peaks first aired April 8, 1990.  The series opened with the beautiful scenery of fictional town, Twin Peaks, Washington with the peaceful song “Falling” performed by Julee Cruise playing in the background. 

And then the hook – a teenage girl’s dead body is found wrapped tightly in clear plastic on the bank of the town’s river.  The sheriff and town doctor arrive only to identify the body as Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), the local homecoming queen.

News of Laura’s death quickly spreads across Twin Peaks.  We see the devastation the news brings to her mother (Sarah Palmer played by Grace Zabriskie) and father (Leland Palmer played by the great Ray Wise).  Both of Laura’s parents suffer some sort of breakdown – Leland sporadically breaks into song and dance and his hair turns white overnight, while Sarah begins seeing psychic visions of a white horse and a long-haired man. 

We also watch Laura’s high school classmates cry when the announcement pours through the loud-speaker.  Sadness sweeps through the school, and the crazy begins.  For example, Laura’s boyfriend, Bobby, begins howling like a dog – and this is just episode one. 

Everyone loved Laura. 

Or did they?

Making matters worse, this small town encounters another young girl walking aimlessly along the rail road tracks.  She’s badly injured and in shock.  Are the two incidents related?

Enter FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). Agent Cooper is a very special, or shall I say odd, individual.  His peculiarities fit right in with the bizarre townsfolk of Twin Peaks, but more on those individuals later.  When satisfied, he enjoys giving a thumbs up, he loves a good piece of pie and cup of coffee, and he constantly records case notes into his microphone addressing someone named Diane.  Quirkiness aside, Agent Cooper is one heck of an investigator. 

Together, Agent Cooper and Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean) begin investigating the two cases.  What happened to Ronette Pulaski, the girl found wandering the same morning Laura’s body was discovered, and who killed Laura Palmer?

Almost immediately, they learn that Laura is not quite who she appeared to be.  Everyone knew she was dating the football star, Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), but only her best friend, Donna Hayward (originally played by Lara Flynn Boyle, and later by Moira Kelly), knew that Laura was also seeing supposed bad-boy, James Hurley (James Marshall).

Next, Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman discover that not only was Laura in the middle of a love triangle with the teenage boys, she was also working as a prostitute for Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re) and Jacque Renault (Walter Olkewicz).

The twists and turns don’t stop there.  It seems every single person in the small town of Twin Peaks has some secret of their very own.  Well, if not a secret, they are so weird that they can’t be excluded from the investigation (like the lady who carries around a log as if it’s a child).  The cast of characters in Twin Peaks is one of the best ensembles I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing on television, that’s for sure.  And the acting skills? Simply superb.

Characters and appearances include: Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Miquel Ferrer, Kiefer Sutherland, Billy Zane, Chris Isaak, Piper Laurie, Everett McGill, Peggy Lipton, Heather Graham, Ian Buchanan, and David Duchovny

Twin Peaks also introduced a young and talented cast.  In addition to Laura, Donna, Bobby, and James, alumni also include the beautiful Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne) and Madchen Amick (Shelly Johnson).   The female cast was so hot that even Rolling Stone Magazine featured them on the 1990 College Special.

The success of the television series spawned numerous Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.  It also prompted a prequel motion picture, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and book stores sold The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (I have that somewhere…). 

Twin Peaks can only be described now as a cult classic

Lynch and Frost’s masterful whodunit mystery kept me on the edge of my seat week in and week out in the early ‘90s; therefore, I’d be remiss to not give Twin Peaks a GTV rating.  When viewers learn who the murderer actually is, it’s shocking.  One can also get lost watching the colorful characters like Ed’s crazy patch-wearing wife who thinks she’s still in high school. 

The plot, characters, and conflict of Twin Peaks are unlike anything on television today.

If asked what my favorite television program of all time, I’d say Twin Peaks.  I may be dating myself a bit, but I proudly own the entire series on VHS.  Of course, I no longer have a working VHS player in the house….but I sometimes am lucky enough to find Twin Peaks marathons on Chiller. 

And, as much as I love Twin Peaks, I have to tell you that the series lost its flare once the murder of Laura Palmer was solved.  But, regardless, it’s only 30 episodes – so I highly recommend you Queue It Up!

This is Psych, not Twin Peaks. See the similarities?

The USA Network’s hit television series, Psych, honored Twin Peaks last year in probably my favorite episode: “Dual Spires”.  James Roday outdid himself writing the episode: he perfected the oddities of the characters from Lynch’s bizarre murder mystery; he mimicked the eerie music and peculiar dancing to a “T”; and, he incorporated a few of the Twin Peaks iconic elements such as the dead girl’s body wrapped in plastic found by the water, the diner, the log lady, the caged bird, and the pie.  

Even better yet, Psych cast a few of the Twin Peaks alumni for the episode: Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), and Sherilyn Finn (Audrey Horne). 

Walter channeling Dr. Jacoby

Fox’s Fringe has also paid homage to Twin Peaks.  Walter Bishop has worn Dr. Jacoby’s famous glasses with one red lens and one blue lens, and he also dated the actress who played Josie Packard (Joan Chen) in one episode. 

Flipping back to the USA Network, White Collar also hosted a few Twin Peaks veterans this year: Dana Ashbrook and Madchen Amick. 

If so many current day television programs honor Twin Peaks, shouldn’t you at least check it out?  Seriously, queue it up!

So, how about you – did you watch Twin Peaks?  Did you figure out the mystery or were you surprised?  What is your favorite aspect of the series – the mystery, the unique characters, or the constant intermingling of character conflicts?  Are you a David Lynch fan?  I’d love to hear from you! *Please try not to give away any spoilers here for those who haven’t watched it yet *

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see why she recommends everyone queue up BBC’s Sherlock!   

Come back next week when Amber and I review a few of our favorite FOX programs returning this fall – House & Bones.

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 – Magical Artifacts

This week, Amber West and I return to the science fiction world and review two of our viewers’ favorite SyFy programs.

Warehouse 13

Throughout history, government agencies have built secret warehouses around the world to house and protect magical artifacts.  These warehouses are overseen by the Secret Service and a group known as the Council of Regents. 

Warehouse 13, the current warehouse designed by a team including Thomas Edison, is hidden deep in the mountains outside of the fictional town of Univille, South Dakota, also known as the middle of nowhere.  As a part of their cover, the Secret Service agents claim to work for the IRS, and therefore the townsfolk snub them.  After all, who likes the IRS? 

Dr. Arthur “Artie” Nielsen (played by Saul Rubinek from the TV series Frasier and Nero Wolf) is the agent-in-charge of the warehouse.  Artie has a hard time trusting others with the artifacts, and he is oftentimes frustrated with his two lead agents, Myka and Pete.  Artie isn’t very personal, although he does have an ongoing crush on a visiting doctor played by Lindsay Wagner, who comes once a year to remove his regenerating appendix (it’s a magical show, remember?). 

Viewers learn that Artie’s mysterious past includes his unknowingly trading magical artifacts to the Soviet Union in exchange for the release of his imprisoned family members, an act that was considered treason by the United States.  Once he turned himself in, the US government assigned him to the warehouse where he has been ever since. 

Myka Bering (played by Joanne Kelly from the TV series Vanished and The Dresden Files) is the traditional, play by the rules, Secret Service agent working at the warehouse.  Like most women, Myka pays great attention to detail, and her professional style clashes with her goofy partner, Pete.  On a personal note, Myka has a pet ferret (that she named Pete) and she loves Twizzlers.

What “special power” does Myka bring to the table? She has a photographic memory.

Pete Lattimer (played by Eddie McClintock from the TV series Stark Raving Mad and Crumbs) is the other side of the partnership.  He’s a former Marine and a recovering alcoholic, yet he still has a goofy and fun side.  Pete loves sports, collects comic books, and craves junk food. 

What “special power” does Pete bring to the table? He’s a master at reading lips and he can sense when something bad is about to happen. 

The two partners share a cute relationship – it’s clear that they love each other, but more in a brotherly/sisterly kind of way.  Pete dated the town veterinarian for a little while (until an artifact possessed her and she tried to kill him), while Myka managed to kiss the boy she crushed on in high school at her reunion.  Other than that, the Warehouse 13 agents rarely have time for any romantic interludes. 

The Warehouse also employs Claudia (played by Allison Scagliotti), a young techie-genius who went to work for the team after breaking into the warehouse, and Leena (played by Genelle Williams), the proprietor of the local bed and breakfast where the agents reside. 

Other recurring characters include: Mrs. Frederic (C.C.H. Pounder), the director of the warehouse and liaison between the agents and regents; Helena “H.G.” Wells (Jaime Murray), an agent from the late 1800’s who bounces back and forth between good and evil; and, Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore), an agent brought in after Myka temporarily resigns. 

A huge bonus to working at the warehouse is the access to very cool gadgets.  The agents use a “Farnsworth” to communicate with one another visually and telephonically in lieu of cell phones.  Instead of using real guns, the agents use a “Tesla Gun” – a weapon that shoots lightning bolts that stuns the bad guys instead of killing them.  The agents also use caution when in public by capturing the magic of the artifacts by sealing it inside metallic “flash” bags.   

Warehouse 13 has featured many historical artifacts throughout the seasons including Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, Lizzie Borden’s compact, Marilyn Monroe’s hair brush, Harry Houdini’s wallet, Marie Antoinette’s guillotine blade (well, the one that killed her), Ben Franklin’s lightning rod, and Edgar Allan Poe’s quill pen. 

Click here for a complete list of artifacts to date.

Not personally big on most shows featured on SyFy, I find Warehouse 13 very enjoyable.  I read somewhere that W13 has over 50% female viewers, maybe for the very same reasons that I watch – it’s fun, magical, and an escape from reality.    That’s why Warehouse 13 earns a JFTV rating – it’s like the bag of potato chips that we just can’t put down.

Are you a Warehouse 13 fan? Is there an artifact throughout history that you’d like to get your hands on, and if so, what magical power do you think it might possess?   Do you like that the writers keep the relationship between Myka and Pete strictly professional and friendly, or would you prefer see a romantic spark ignite? I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she has to say about SyFy’s Eureka.

Come back next week when Amber and I recommended a few more queue worthy shows for your viewing pleasure as we close out the month of August with another Netflix edition.     

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

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