Pages

Monday, September 20, 2010

TV premiere week

Yep, I confess, I'm a TV addict. I'm salivating over all the new shows premiering this week and next. I can't remember the last time I was this excited about television. My DVR is probably going to have a meltdown trying to keep up! Some of my favorite stars are returning to the small screen. Well, in our case it's a 42" small screen...kinda different from when they coined that phrase, dontcha think?

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.
There are more returns from last season, but I'll spare you the rest. Just know that I probably won't be getting a lot of reading done. Gotta run, "Chuck" is on. But you can watch a clip from "The Middle".

34 comments:

Natalie said...

I like you better and better. Thank you for your points of view, insights, and appreciative perspective. I love being entertained by actors, with humor, intelligence, and drama... it is fun.

Relyn said...

Speaking of Julianna... On instant viewing Netflix has Canturbury's Law. Have you seen it? It had a very, very short run, but I loved it.

California Girl said...

I love tv too. What the heck. We grew up with it when it was a novelty.

Sela Ward first entranced me in the Tom Hanks movie with Jackie Gleason, "Nothing In Common". I'd never seen or heard of her before. I never watched "Sisters" but I loved
"Once and Again". In fact, was trying to recall the name of it just last week, remembering what a good show it was.

"Glee" I watched for the first time Fri night and so far, I don't get it. I am currently watching "DWTS" and I still enjoy it but I think it's totally rigged.

"The Good Wife" is the best network show of last year. She is amazing. I never watched "ER" so I haven't any reference. I have, of course, seen her in roles but this show rings so true. Wish I had her calm demeanor in the face of all crises. She's a rock. Hate the husband (character), love the cute legal detective.

"30 Rock" always gets DVR'd as does "Good Wife" but my favorite non season show is "Mad Men". I even repeat the DVR shows.

Wanda..... said...

"The Good Wife" and "Grey's Anatomy" are the only two shows I watch...my favorites!

steviewren said...

I counting down the minutes until the return of Castle tonight at nine central. I love the snappy banter and the clever nods to other crime/thriller writers.

Glee is also a favorite of mine. Like you, I'm taken with the crazy characters and singable music. Jane Lynch is the icing on a pretty sweet musical cake.

Ruth said...

Enjoy!

You did a terrific job sharing your thoughts.

Susan said...

Hi Natalie! It's nice to see you feel the same as I do about television. I love to be entertained by talented people and it seems these days there is a wealth of talent on TV. We went through a few years of mostly crap programming, and now there's so much good stuff I can't keep up...thus the DVR. Of course, there is still crap out there, but it doesn't seem to last long. Too many good shows to take their places if they don't perform.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I too have several TV addictions, but none that match yours. I'm addicted to some oldies such as the original CSI, Survivor, Criminal Minds, Fringe and (dare I say it) Coronation Street [perhaps only in Canada?]. I do enjoy a few others (Modern Family) and would like to find Thirty Rock on at a decent time for me. But I refuse to get hooked on any others. After all, I have to get off the couch sometime!!

Yes, this is an exciting week for us!

Susan said...

Relyn, I did watch a couple of episodes of Canterbury's Law, but I couldn't get into Julianna playing someone corrupt and mean-spirited, if my memory serves me correctly. Maybe I should give it a second chance, but it will probably have to wait until I run out of new shows to watch! ;)

Susan said...

Yeah, Cali Girl! A girl after my own heart! Growing up in the heyday of television was awesome, wasn't it? It got me well and truly hooked.

Isn't Sela beautiful? And I love her southern demeanor and slight lilt in her voice. She's from Meridian, Mississippi, you know.

I think Glee is something that just grabs you instantly, or not at all. I was expecting the not at all side, but was pleasantly surprised. I guess it shouldn't have been that big a surprise since I'm a frustrated singer wanna-be.

The Good Wife is one of the best dramas to come along in ages. Chris Noth's character (Peter) is handsomely slimey, isn't he? There are so many layers to all the characters and I have a feeling we'll be seeing some new ones this season. Delicious.

Susan said...

Wanda, you have great taste! I never got into Grey's Anatomy, but it's very popular. I think it coincided with one of my faves and that's why I didn't start watching.

Susan said...

Stevie, I watched a few episodes of Castle last year and thought it was a good show, but I had too many to keep up with, so I dropped it. I do love Nathan Filion though, so I may have to take another look.

I love Jane Lynch! She had a great part in Julie & Julia as Julia Child's sister. They were so good together. And, of course, in Best of Show she was outstanding.

Susan said...

Ruthie, I love you! :) You always find something nice to say even if you can't relate. :)

Susan said...

Hi Sandy! I'm not much into the crime dramas, but you are in good company. Tons of people watch all those you mentioned. We'll see if I can stick it out with CSI:NY, even with Sela Ward on board.

I haven't heard of Coronation Street, so it must be a Canadaian thing. Maybe it's on BBCAmerica. I'll have to look for it.

dutchbaby said...

In our house, Giants baseball trumps all other TV. Thank goodness, we're all avid fans. With 162 games per season, there's not a whole of lot of extra time to watch anything else.

"Top Chef" is the only other TV viewing that all four of us can all agree upon.

My hubby and I finally got our own DVR in our bedroom so that we don't have to compete with the kids. We love to watch documentaries - I know, I know, we are dull dull dull.

My daughter got me hooked on "Glee"; I especially enjoyed the episode with Neil Patrick Harris. Speaking of which, I introduced my son to "How I Met Your Mother" after I saw an episode on the airplane. Now he loads up the new episodes on the downstairs DVR and we watch them together.

My son the car nut got my husband and me hooked on the BBC show "Top Gear". I find it to be an amazingly creative and entertaining show and I don't care one iota about cars.

My guilty pleasure is "Project Runway"; I'm in awe of the talent it takes to succeed in that show.

As for Tom Selleck - nice to look at but I can't stand to hear his voice. If he could just stand there and not open his mouth... Hope I didn't ruin it for you; like pointing out a ticking clock...

So good to have you back, Susan!

The Bumbles said...

I am always intrigued by one's TV faves. I need to find more comedies to carry me through - I was spoiled for so long and then we hit a real lame lull in the sit-com era. 30 Rock still does it for me - I need to watch a few of those you reference - others have been touting them too.

I watch Survivor, Apprentice and Amazing Race. Those are my reality fixes. I also enjoy Deadliest Catch and Real Housewives of OC. As for shows, I do actually like Law & Order SVU. CSI Miami gives us the giggles but we watch it anyway for fun. My true loves are Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Weeds, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Some we record, some we rent. Mostly we watch sports and catch up on our shows and movies in between.

Happy viewing!!!

alaine@éclectique said...

I enjoy "The Good Wife" and look forward to the return of "Big Love". My absolute must not miss at the moment is "Mad Men" - love it!

Barb said...

Wow! I don't actually know much about these shows, but you make me think I should give a couple my attention.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

A fellow TV addict!
I really need something like PVR...
So I don't have to keep making these Solomon-like decisions over which to watch!

Oliag said...

I'm trying sooo hard not to watch so much tv...but it is so relaxing at the end of the day and I find I can do it while reading blogs or knitting...so I still watch way too much:) Love Glee, and must watch NCIS, and tonight will be my reality tv night....Survivor and Top Chef:) We tape Mad Men which I love too...I haven't seen The Middle but I do like Modern Family...as you see too much tv!

stacybuckeye said...

I'm most looking forward to 30 Rock and Modern Family coming back. I'm afraid to watch Glee because I know I would be hooked and I don't have time!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

I am so looking forward to the new Bones tomorrow night.

Susan said...

dutchbaby! Neil Patrick Harris is crazy good, isn't he? Whoda thunk he could have turned Doogie Howser into showbiz success. He's quite the rage on the Great White Way, too. I watched the first couple of seasons of How I Met Your Mother and then kinda lost interest.

I'm not a sports fan, except during the Olympics. I've never really watched any of the competition cooking shows, but I do love Diners, Driveins and Dives on Food Network. There's something about watching Guy eat all those horribly calorific fat fests that makes me eat healthier for a few days. ;)

I love cars, so maybe I should check out Top Gear. I had seen it in the listings, but didn't know what it was about.

I'm pretty sure you couldn't ruin Tom Selleck for me. After all, I watched him and listened to his voice for all his years as Magnum and it didn't bother me. But I do know what you mean. To some people it probably is grating.

Susan said...

Hey, blog buddies!

We're going camping this weekend and I'm feeling like crap this morning with a bad cold and sore throat. I'm going to respond to the rest of your comments when I get back. Just feeling too awful right now. Hopefully I won't feel worse when I get back home. :(

VioletSky said...

I was listing my faves to add, but I got caught off guard by your
I haven't heard of Coronation Street seriously??????

Susan said...

Molly, I can't believe we only have ONE show in common! You have to try The Middle and Modern Family. They totally crack me up.

Everytime I try to say Law & Order: SVU, I always say SUV. Mental block....or just mental. I do really like Mariska Hargitay. She's a fine actress and beautiful as well.

Susan said...

Hi Alaine! We don't get HBO, so I've never seen Big Love, but have read the great reviews. I tried Mad Men for a couple of episodes, but couldn't get into all the drinking and smoking. I think it distracted me from the storyline. It's won qute a few awards, though, so I know it's good.

Susan said...

Barb, you can't miss with The Good Wife. It really is excellent all around. You might want to catch up online at ABC to see what the story is.

Susan said...

Natashya, let me tell you, hon, Tivo has made me a happy woman. I can get watch all my shows now. It's so easy, and it even does two at a time. Of course, that means you can't watch a third, and that's why you need another TV. :)

Susan said...

Oliag, a woman after my own heart! I'm a baby boomer and most of us cut our teeth on the boob tube. It's a hard habit to break, and I don't really want to because it gives me a lot of pleasure. I love television!

Susan said...

Glee is pretty addicting, Stacy, so you should probably steer clear of it! I love singing and dancing, so it fits me to a tee. It's kind of over the top sometimes, but there are good storylines in there, too.

Susan said...

Iowa Gardening Woman, those Deschanel girls are fun, aren't they?

Susan said...

So, Sanna, I'm still waiting for you faves list! Obviously, I need to check out Coronation Street...it comes highly recommended by my Canadian friends. ;)

VioletSky said...

My faves of the new season: The Good Wife, Mad Men, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, Top Gear, and now also the new Hawaii Five-O.