Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – A Blessing or a Curse?

This week, Amber West and I return to CBS, perhaps the most watched network on television (that’s what they claim, isn’t it?) and review two new hit crime dramas picked up for the entire year – Unforgettable and Person of Interest.   

 

Unforgettable stars Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) as former Syracuse detective Carrie Wells.  Carrie remembers everything:  every moment and every aspect of every day, except for the murder of her sister when she was a child.   When asked to help the New York City police solve a crime that took place outside her apartment that she sort-of witnessed, Carrie is reunited with her ex beau and partner, Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck). 

Carrie decides to join Al and the NYC force with one major goal – solve her sister’s murder.

The other detectives on the squad (Detective Mike Costello played by Michael Gaston of The Mentalist, and Detective Nina Inara played by Daya Vaidya from Robbery Homicide Division) aren’t quite sure what to think of Carrie; both react as if they think she is weird and don’t appear to want to get to know her on a more personal level. 

But Detective Roe Sanders (Kevin Rankin from Trauma) actually takes an interest in Carrie; he’s amazed with her recall and often times tests her memory trying to catch her in a slip.  This friendly banter prompts Carrie and Al to open up and share her history and the mystery surrounding her sister’s death with Sanders. 

Unforgettable recently added a TV superstar to the cast – Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie was one of my childhood favorites) joins as Dr. Jane Webster, who will supposedly be crucial to Carrie’s ability to solve her sister’s cold case. 

Additionally, Marilu Henner (Taxi) consults production because similar to the character of Carrie, Henner possesses the rare ability to recall all autobiographical events, a condition known as hyperthymesiaHenner also guest stars in a recurring role as Carrie’s aunt. 

Technically speaking, I should like Unforgettable a bit more than I do.  Carrie Wells is the ideal detective; she’s the perfect study subject for a mystery writer.  Additionally, I absolutely adore Dylan Walsh; while I like Poppy Montgomery (big fan of Without a Trace and love the red hair), I initially watched Unforgettable because of Dr. Sean McNamara

I will watch anything Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) is in too....

I also really enjoy the ongoing mystery in addition to the fresh case each and every week; but the story lines seem a bit too predictable to me.  I personally don’t like to watch a one hour crime drama and have the “bad guy” figured out in the first twenty minutes (my guy likes to call me a TV ninja; I’ve had to learn to keep my opinions to myself while watching police procedurals).    

Don’t get me wrong; I record every new episode and usually watch within the week.  I consider most crime dramas great writing research, and therefore haven’t tossed it aside yet.  For this, I award the JFTV rating to Unforgettable – no matter the predictability, I’m hooked like a fiend, craving another greasy potato chip.  But, if I’m busy, this is one that can rack up the hours on the DVR. 

Oh, and guys – this one’s for you: Unforgettable really likes to show off Poppy’s amazing arms.  Carrie wears a tank top in almost every episode.  Yea, I’m jealous…

Do you watch Unforgettable?  What do you think?  Do you think Carrie’s memory is a blessing or a curse?  What other crime dramas do you enjoy? I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out why she thinks John Reese is the new Jack Bauer in her review of Person of Interest.  I can only imagine this one gets a high rating…. 

Come back next week when Amber and I review something worth a watch.  Any requests?

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Walkers Versus Humanity

AMC no longer means American Movie Classics. 

This week, Amber West and I flip channels over to the revamped AMC and discuss a few of the channel’s new original programs in this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday as we review the very popular Mad Men and The Walking Dead.

The supernatural element is taking over the television world today, and AMC joins this phenomenon by telling the story of a small group of people working feverishly to survive a widespread zombie epidemic in the great state of Georgia in The Walking Dead.  The series begins with small town sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) waking from a coma to discover he is alone in every sense of the word: the hospital is desolate, the town looks like a post-apocalyptic war zone, and his family has vanished. 

A man and his son save the deliriously weak Rick from his first encounter with a walker, or zombie as we know it, and nurse him back to health while educating him on the events that transpired while he was recovering from a gunshot wound suffered weeks earlier while on the job.  The outlook appears bleak, but Rick insists his family is alive and sets out for Atlanta to find his wife and son.    

Meanwhile, Rick’s wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), son Carl, and his partner and best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal) flee the city hoping to reach the Center for Disease Control to seek refuge.   While trapped in traffic, Lori and Shane witness the US military’s bombing of downtown Atlanta and all hope fades.  They join others and set up camp outside Atlanta to assess just how bad the damage really is before proceeding into the city.

Beginning his track to Atlanta, Rick borrows a horse from a nearby farm and rides unknowingly into the city where he finds himself trapped in a tank surrounded by walkers, hundreds of walkers.  Miraculously, he hears a voice over the radio and follows the man’s instructions (Glenn played by Steven Yeun) to safety, but the horse isn’t so lucky. 

Warning: The Walking Dead is a bit graphic at times.  Honestly, I almost stopped watching at this point; I did not like seeing the walkers devour the horse.

Now, back to the story…

Glenn is not the only human in the city; fellow survivors Andrea (Laurie Holden), Merle (Michael Rooker), and T-Dog (IronE Singleton) are hiding out inside a department store attempting to make their way back with supplies to the camp site, ironically the same camp site where Rick’s family is holed up.  Rick immediately establishes himself as the team leader, and after a small mishap, everyone escapes but Merle. 

Rick reunites with his family, unaware of the intimate relations shared between Lori and Shane (in their defense, they assumed Rick was dead). After only a few short days at camp, the men make a final attempt to go back into the city to rescue Merle.  Working with Merle’s brother Daryl (Norman Reedus), the survivors find the remains of a sawed-off hand where Merle was last seen handcuffed.  Despite the fact that Merle’s demise is almost certain, Daryl buries the hatchet and decides to work with the rest of the men, utilizing his vast knowledge of hunting and experienced survival skills against the zombies.

After the camp is infiltrated by a group of walkers and a few lives are lost, the survivors retreat, pack up and head out.  And so the journey begins….or continues in this case.

The Walking Dead is shot without the vibrant colors of Hawaii Five-0 and CSI: Miami, but while not black and white, still appears dark and gloomy in relation to the current state of events.  The episodes are not for those with weak stomachs and are filled with suspense, leaving us hanging on by the seat of our pants.  Not every character is likable, yet we find ourselves hoping that the walkers don’t bite anyone else.

The first season of The Walking Dead is only six episodes, making it perfect for a marathon style viewing party (that’s what we did).  And don’t worry; season two is now airing on AMC. 

How popular is The Walking Dead?  Two episodes into this season, AMC announced it picked up a third. 

It’s difficult to decide which rating I should award The Walking Dead.  For bringing zombies to television, I’m leaning towards a GTV rating; but for the mere fact that each episode doesn’t leave me wishing the story would continue immediately without waiting another week, I’m leaning towards a JFTV rating

Therefore, I’m taking a page out of Amber’s book and I’m combining the two – The Walking Dead earns a TBP rating (Twice Baked Potato).  It’s not predictable like most television programs, making it absolutely delish with all of the combined flavors of butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, and bacon, but it’s still not good for our cholesterol at all (just like our favorite bag of greasy potato chips).      

So, what do you think?  Do you watch The Walking Dead?  Do you find it bizarre that knowing what we know today, the characters never once refer to the Walkers as Zombies?  Will humanity win out, or will the walker epidemic claim the rest of the survivors?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of the incredibly sexy Jon Hamm, I mean the TV series, Mad Men.    

Come back next week when Amber and I review our DVR Priorities in a special Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday 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. 

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 – Battle of the Network Funnies

This week, Amber West and I review a few of the more established comedies on NBC and CBS in a Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Battle of the Network Funnies.

Who will win:  Monday nights on CBS with How I Met Your Mother and Two and Half Men or Thursday nights on NBC with Parks and Recreation and Community?

We begin with the popular sitcom, How I Met Your Mother.  Commonly abbreviated to HIMYM, the series follows the main character Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) as he narrates to his children in the year 2030 the story of how he met their mother.  Well, Josh doesn’t narrate, Bob Saget does. 

Although we’re seven seasons in, we still haven’t met the mother of Ted’s children; but we have grown to love his best friends:  Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders), Marshall Erikson (Jason Segel), and Lily Aldrin Erickson (Alyson Hannigan). 

HIMYM has a true ensemble cast as each character plays just as important a role as Ted.  But why do we really love this show? 

There are the character quirks including: Barney’s womanizing ways with his “hot/crazy” scale, or his “Bro Code” justifications, or even his insisting everyone “suit up” before they go out on the town; Robin’s extensive misuse of the word ‘literally’; and Ted’s constant romantic gestures as he looks for love, including stealing a blue French horn for Robin during their courtship.

There are the enduring moments like when Ted finds out his parents are divorced; or when Marshall struggles with the decision to take a position as a corporate lawyer instead of working for an environmental cause; or when Barney sets out on a mission to learn the true identity of his father (once he discovers Bob Barker is indeed not his biological dad).

There is the comedy: Robin’s teenage Canadian pop-band flashbacks; Marshall and Barney’s on-going Slap game (Marshall earned five free slaps, and he saves them for when Barney least expects it); and the group’s hilarious interventions for one another.

But, most importantly, we love the realistic friendships between all of the characters.  We’re watching as these friends experience life together; as they celebrate Lily and Marshall’s pregnancy; as they mourn the loss of Marshall’s father; and as they bounce back from multiple broken romantic relationships.

It’s reasons like these that I award How I Met Your Mother with a MacTV rating.  As far as sitcoms go, it ranks among the best available on TV today.  Can the show survive many more seasons?  Probably not.  But will we tune in until Ted meets the mother of his children.  Absolutely. 

Oh, and before we move on, HIMYM hosts guest stars galore: Regis Philbin, Katie Holmes, Wayne Brady, Enrique Iglesias, Sarah Chalke, Britney Spears, Rachel Bilson, Jennifer Morrison, Kyle MacLachlan, John Lithgow, Kal Penn, and Martin Short just to name a few.

How I Met Your Mother is “Legen…wait for it…dary.”

A half hour later on CBS, another sitcom veteran airs on millions of television sets across the globe with Two and a Half Men.  Definitely not as enduring as HIMYM, Two and a Half Men promises comedy a bit more raunchy than anything else on TV (Archer wins most raunchy).

For the first eight seasons, Men starred Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper, the wealthy and drunken songwriter who opens his Malibu beach house to his recently divorced brother (Alan Harper played by Jon Cryer) and nephew (Jake Harper played by Angus T. Jones). 

The series follows Charlie’s sexual escapades, Alan’s incessant need to mooch off of his brother, and Jake’s hilarious adventures through childhood and the teenage years.   But, despite the title, Two and a Half Men wouldn’t be the same without the women: Alan’s ex-wife Judith (Marin Hinkle); Charlie’s foul-mouthed housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrell); the Charlie obsessed next door neighbor Rose (Melanie Lynskey); and the Harper matriarch, Evelyn (Holland Taylor). 

Speaking of women, the Harper brothers have dated a few familiar females over the years including Courtney Thorne-Smith, Judy Greer, and Jenny McCarthy.  Ironically, the most fruitful male/female relationship on the show is between Charlie and his therapist (played by Jane Lynch). 

We didn’t watch Men religiously until we caught the show in syndication.  For many Saturdays in a row, we sat and caught up with the Harpers, laughter guaranteed in each episode.  But, sadly, a few real life mishaps forced the show’s creator to kill off the character of Charlie and replace him with a fresh face: Ashton Kutcher. 

Season nine begins at Charlie’s funeral – and BRAVO Chuck Lorre and other Men writers.  The funeral scene was absolutely brilliant.  Many past guest stars return and ex-girlfriends applaud Charlie’s death (in a respectful, yet Charlie Harper deserved way).  The best of the half hour was undoubtedly the return of Rose and her eulogy, or was it a confession? 

After the funeral, Alan reluctantly prepares to move out of the house he can no longer afford without his brother’s money.  Suddenly, there is a wet, sad man standing on his patio.  Alan opens the door, literally and figuratively, when he meets Walden Schmidt (Kutcher) after an attempted suicide in the ocean. 

It just so happens that Walden is rich like Charlie, and agrees to buy the beach house.  Before we know it, he hires Berta to stay on as his housekeeper and he also invites Alan to move in for as long as necessary. 

Same story, new characters.

Some like the change, some don’t.  But, the new direction was enough to bring Men back to our DVR and we haven’t removed the future recording setting just yet.  For that, I award Two and a Half Men the JFTV rating.  The series isn’t great for us, but we keep digging our hand right back down into that greasy bag of chips.  Heck, before we know it, we’ll probably suffer chest pains much like Charlie’s character on multiple occasions. 

So, what do you think?  Do you watch HIMYM or Two and a Half Men?  Which network airs the best comedies: CBS or NBC? How much longer can the series last before Ted meets his future wife?  Do you like the addition of Ashton Kutcher on Men?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of NBC’s Thursday night laughs, Parks and Recreation and Community

Come back next week when Amber and I review AMC’s Mad Men and The Walking Dead.

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: 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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Parallel Universe, Fact or Fringe?

This week, Amber West and I are flipping channels over to FOX and sharing our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of the new sci-fi hit, Terra Nova, and the returning favorite, Fringe

Fringe science is a type of scientific study whose hypotheses and conclusions differ significantly from mainstream theories.   Creators J.J. Abrams (creator and writer for Alias and Lost, as well as executive producer for the new CBS hit Person of Interest), Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci (both writers and producers of Alias and Hawaii Five-0) used this unorthodox technique to create Fringe, a science fiction television series on Fox.

After Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) witnesses extremely strange events involving her partner and boyfriend (played by Mark Valley, Human Target), she joins the Fringe Division of the FBI.    Olivia tracks down Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson, Dawson’s Creek) and asks for his assistance in releasing his father, Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), from his seventeen year incarceration at an insane asylum.   

Why?  Walter is known as a “mad scientist” and the FBI needs him to experiment and explain the unusual events taking place all around them.  Not long after his release, Walter introduces the parallel universe to the team, and only he, Peter, and Olivia can safely transport back and forth between worlds.

Why Walter and Peter? In the world as we know it, Walter’s son Peter died when he was a young boy.  Distraught, Walter used his portal creation to transport over to the parallel universe where he took Walternate’s (Walter in the parallel universe who also happens to be the Secretary of Defense in that world) son, Peter.  As expected, Peter didn’t take the news that he was from another world so well, and spent some time quite angry with Walter. 

Why Olivia?  As a small child, Olivia participated in a scientific research program and drug trial led by Walter in Florida .  Confused by bits and pieces of memory, Olivia returned to the facility where she spent her childhood and eventually remembered all of the events that took places years before.  She and the other children of the trial possess the ability to transport back and forth safely to the other universe.  Oh, and before we forget – Olivia’s identity in the parallel world is known as Feuxlivia in our world, while she is Olive over there.  That’s right – two Olivias: our world’s Agent Dunham and the parallel universe’s Feuxlivia/Olive. 

Let’s not forget about Massive Dynamic, the company created and founded by Walter’s former partner William “Billy” Bell (Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek).  Nina Sharp (Blair Brown, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd) runs Massive Dynamic and knows all of Walter and Billy’s secrets as they pertain to the parallel universe.  Nina diverts Olivia and Peter from the truth as long as she can, but she can’t hide it forever. 

Sound confusing?  It kind of is, but the show is amazing!  Fringe is sci-fi at its best.  We watch as our world and the parallel universe go to war, and as previously unexplained events involving shape shifting, teleporting, and the intricacies of neuroscience, to name a few, are investigated. 

The team is also assisted by recurring characters: Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick, The Wire), Fringe Division’s leader; Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole), a junior agent with the FBI who serves as Walter’s assistant and confidant; Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo, Band of Brothers), senior FBI agent and Olivia’s friend; and agent Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel, Nip/Tuck), the newest addition to the team. 

This may come as a shock to many who know me, but I must award Fringe with a GTV ratingFringe is literally the first science fiction television program of its kind that has me tuned in on a weekly basis to see what the writers and creators will throw at us next (well, the first not involving the usual supernatural creatures like witches, werewolves, and vampires). 

It certainly doesn’t hurt that I have a minor crush on Walter (why hasn’t John Noble won an Emmy for his performance?) and a bit of a larger crush on Peter (Joshua Jackson isn’t Pacey any longer – and did I mention his voice is fabulous?). 

What do you think? Have you watched Fringe?   Who is your favorite character? Do you think the government has a Fringe Division we don’t know about?  Do we have a parallel universe out there, somewhere?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of Terra Nova, the TV show with time travel and dinosaurs.  

Come back next week when Amber and I switch channels again – this time we’re moving over to ABC and reviewing Body of Proof and Desperate Housewives.

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 – 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

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