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Archive for the ‘Southland’ Category

This week in TV Land has brought us 4 new programs, not that I didn’t already have enough to watch but thanks to some repeats I was able to check out the new fare and thus far they are all making the cut to DVR status.  I can’t guarantee they’ll stay that way and I like some way more than the others, but so far, not bad.  I’ll tackle the 4 in order from best to worst, in my viewpoint.

Southland

By far and away the best of the new programs I watched this week.  Immeasurably better than all the rest really.  As a rule I don’t watch cop shows, they’re too real for my taste more often than not.  I like my TV to be entertaining escapism from everyday life and cop shows tend not to bring that to me.  But as a former OC viewer, I felt compelled to show some love to Ben McKenzie’s new show, add in Regina King and you win all around with me.  And I really liked it.

Interestingly, it has some parallels to The Unusuals, a show I’ll discuss later, in that apparently Ben is a rich kid slumming it with the cops.  Where his partner is hardened and brash, he’s a rookie with a quiet, internal side.  It was a contrast that worked.  Like the girl in The Unusuals, he also took his first life this episode and he was wrecked about it.  His whole day was shit and was a test to see if he could stick it out and remain a cop.  In the end, he decided to do so.

Like I said, I don’t tend to watch these shows because the other case featured a child possibly being the victim of a pedophile and dying.  I just don’t handle those situations well, but I admit to being invested and disturbed and interested the whole time.  I loved Regina’s character, she goes with her gut.  I also liked the cops that were investigating the gang shooting, they seemed like cool guys.  9 out of 10 on this one.

Parks & Recreation

I don’t watch SNL so I don’t have a built in fondness for Amy Poehler like many may, but I found her somewhat enjoyable as the deluded Leslie Knope.  She definitely evoked Michael Scott comparisons in her cheerful, clueless attitude.  I LOVED Tom Haverford though, her co-worker who obviously doesn’t give a damn and used the public meeting to try to hit on Karen from The Office.  The fact that he did this while flashing his wedding ring and being called on it by Karen (Ann on this show) just killed me.  I didn’t have any real interest in him during his brief Scrubs stint but I do really like him here.

I also enjoyed Ann’s schlub of a boyfriend with his broken legs and Leslie’s boss, Ron, who has no interest in building parks or doing anything.  I guess what I’m saying is that none of the characters irritated or pulled me out of the show, so that’s a bonus.  If you like The Office, this one is alright, not nearly as good in comparison but it has the same feel and given time might find its legs.  7 out of 10.

Harper’s Island

I am a sucker for murder mysteries.  Let’s just get that out there right now.  And gory murder movies?  I enjoy them and find them hilarious.  Usually poorly written and acted but still funny and if I don’t know who the killer is right away, I’ll stick around and enjoy it.  And thus far?  I don’t know who the killer is, so I’m in.

Honestly, the cast is huge and the intersecting story lines are all a bit convoluted.  I don’t know who hardly anybody is at this point and what all their relationships are, but I do know that there are a ton of people that I recognize in this show which is always fun.  I have 2 Supernatural alums, Harry Hamlin, the Ugly Betty guy and a ton of other recognizable faces whose names I don’t know but whose faces I have seen many places.  Especially whoever is playing Katie Cassidy’s father, that guy has been in a ton.  I am too lazy to look him up but I have seen him many places.

Basic rundown:  7 years ago some guy killed about 6 people on this island and left them hanging in some kind of Death Tree.  For some reason, the Death Tree is still standing.  Anyway, Henry and Trish have fallen in love and want to get married on the island where they met years ago.  She’s rich, he’s poor, her dad hates him, his uncle seems shady, her ex is lurking around and his best friend’s mom was one of the murderees.  Both of them have siblings, hers is seemingly the perfect sister but something is off in her marriage and her daughter appears to be a raging psycho in training.  She’s only like 10 though so she’s not our murderer, sadly.  His brother is suicidal and gets in trouble constantly.  I’m already ruling him out as a suspect.  Too obvious.

Henry’s best friend, Abby, is the daughter of the sheriff (Bobby from Supernatural!) and her ex is some fisherman that still loves her.  I don’t think there’s anything romantic between Abby and Henry but they do have that best friends who may fall in love vibe, so we’ll see.  There’s tons of groomsmen and bridesmaids and some blond whore that has already been nearly naked a few times, so we’ve got that covered too.

This show is cheesy, make no doubt about that.  The use of music to try to ramp up the tension only to have it be a red herring only works when you know it’s not a red herring.  All of the non-attacks were quite clear, so you really had no suspense.  But we did get some good gore in the first minutes of the show when the bride’s cousin, Ben, died via boat propeller.  Loved seeing the red backwash from the boat.  But sadly, they don’t know he’s dead yet, I really wanted his head to pop up when the boat was docked and they were trying to extract seaweed from the propeller.  It’s right there but not discovered.  Sigh.

I’m not sure why the felt the need to kill off Harry Hamlin on the first episode either.  Why hire a name guy to off him right away?  Oh well, not like he had anything better going on and we might see more via flashback.  He was clearly up to something as he was toting a gun around.  He fell through a bridge and someone hacked off the lower part of his body.  Pretty funny.  Nobody knows he’s dead yet either, so there’s no panic to enjoy yet.

Final thought on this one, I truly hate the creepy little girl.  She’s trying to light snails on fire and stealing presents and standing at her mom’s bedside watching her sleep.  I don’t like that child at all.  I hate creepy kids.  6 out of 10.

The Unusuals

I honestly wasn’t sure where I came down on this show.  I’m not too into quirky, which this clearly is, but there are elements I enjoyed and elements I didn’t.  I have actors to support in this one as well; loved Amber Tamblyn on GH back in the day, Michael from Lost and Adam Goldberg has always entertained me.  I think my issue with this one is tries to balance the comedy and the drama and it’s not sure what it really wants to be.  Or what it really will be.  Or maybe it’s sure but I’m not.

We started with Amber working for vice and trying to land a john while fielding phone calls from her mother about the maid stealing from her.  Yep, her family’s rich and she’s a cop.  A car pulls up and it’s a fellow cop telling her another cop got killed and she’s homicide now.  She gets partnered up with his old partner, who I quite liked.  He doesn’t follow the rules but he knows what he’s doing.  Turns out they want her to investigate him and everyone else, I guess that’s what dead cop was doing.

I would have enjoyed it if the dead cop situation was not resolved in the first episode though.  Oh, they haven’t figured it out yet but we know one of his fellow cops killed him and set up some convict to take the fall.  Would have been better to keep us wondering on that for awhile.

The other big case involved a cat killer, which you know I have major issue with.  I don’t know the characters names so I will call them Michael and Adam for now.  Michael is apparently afraid he’s going to die this year so he’s all about staying away from confrontations and Adam has a brain tumor and is dying this year but won’t get treated or tell anybody.  So he’s pretty suicidal.  But he’s being kept alive for some reason, trains stop before hitting him and a rifle fired point blank at him does no damage whatsoever.  Maybe he’s God.

There’s an annoying cop that everybody hates who likes to be in the limelight, smarmy bastard.  But it is fun watching everybody lie to him and send him on wild goose chases.  Still, since he’s supposed to be the lead on who killed the cop that’s a bit out there to do.  I guess it’s UNUSUAL. haha

Anyway, this one stays for now but I definitely like it the least.  5 out of 10.

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