I loved Maura Tierney in ER. She played nurse-turned-medical student-turned doctor Abby Lockhart in 189 episodes. Despite having been raised in an upper-crust family from the Hyde Park district of Boston, she played middle-class Abby with distinction and truth. There was never a false moment in her portrayal of a woman who is fragile and vulnerable on the inside, but tough on the outside, and who is afraid to love and let someone into her heart. Now, after a year of fighting breast cancer (in which she gave up the lead role in "Parenthood", and I'm glad she did), she has the lead in a new courtroom drama called "The Whole Truth". I have no doubt she will be awesome in the role.
Also making a comeback is Sela Ward. Remember her as "Teddy" Reed on the series "Sisters", for which she won an Emmy. She was the only reason I watched the show. Her stint with George Clooney (before his movie career took off) as Falconer was my reason for living at that time. Sela also starred in the highly-acclaimed series "Once and Again", again winning an Emmy for best actress. I've never watched a "CSI" show before, but I will have to give "CSI: NY" a try. She is playing a crime scene forensics expert (what else?) after Melina Kanakaredes' exit from the show.
And now I totally get "Glee". I've been hearing accolades from several sources, including Char from ramblins. The show won several Emmys this year. The songs are great...ones I can sing along with, it has much better dancing than "Dancing with the Stars", and Jane Lynch is fabulous in the role of head cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester. Never has there been a more ruthless coach (with a teensy soft spot in her heart) in cheerleading history. I recently caught up with a few of last seasons's episodes. I loved the storyline between Rachel (Lea Michelle) and the rival glee club coach played by Idina Menzel, who defined the role of Elphaba in the original stage production of "Wicked". Their duets were powerful and moving and perfectly in sync. I can't wait to see the season premiere on Tuesday. Oh, I almost forgot! It's set in Lima, Ohio...how cool is that?!!
Top on my list of returning shows is "The Good Wife" which will be premiering its sophomore season. This drama stars another of my favorite actresses, Julianna Margulies. I didn't think she would ever get another role equal to Carol Hathaway on "ER", but her portrayal of Alicia Florrick, wife of a Chicago politico (who was disgraced and imprisoned over a nasty sex scandal), who returns to work in a law firm to support her family, is nuanced, layered and perfectly on pitch. The show has a wonderful ensemble cast, including Archie Panjabi, Chris Noth, Alan Cumming, Christine Baranski and Josh Charles. But make no mistake, it is Margulies' show. The writing is superb with subtle twists and turns and I'm riveted to the screen from beginning to end, and then can't wait until the next week's show airs.
Then there are my favorite comedies to look forward to. "The Middle" with Patricia Heaton seriously makes me laugh out loud, guffawing even. The parents are inept and detached, but loving, and they usually get it right in the end. The kids are just hilarious, each one having his or her unique quirks. And it's set in Indiana, but it could just as easily be right here in Ohio. There's very little difference.
I've gone back and forth on "Modern Family", but it won so many Emmys that I'll have to give it another chance. "30 Rock" is just insane. Alec Baldwin cracks me up with his deadpan delivery. "Cougar Town" is my guilty pleasure...Courney Cox is a hoot.
Shows that have captured my attention, but I'll reserve judgement until I've seen a few episodes:
- "Blue Bloods"--starring Tom Selleck, this generational family cop drama is getting great first notice from the critics. I don't agree with his politics, but you gotta give 'Magnum' credit, he knows how to wear a 'stache.
- "The Event"--starring Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood and Laura Innes. NBC has been keeping this one a mystery, but word has it that it centers on a conspiracy to do harm to the President of the United States. I'm not sure I can handle a whole season of an arcing storyline, but I'll give it a try.
- "Body of Proof"--starring Dana Delaney. I've loved her since "China Beach", 'nuff said.