Fall Season Report Card

Films, TV shows, and books of the 'modern' era

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Lzcutter
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Fall Season Report Card

Post by Lzcutter »

Well, about six weeks into the new television season and I find myself agreeing with tv critic Tim Goodman, there is a renaissance in good drama going on in television.

My top five shows are currently on hiatus
Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Justified and Shameless

but this fall, while there may not be any contenders for the throne there are a number of good dramas (and some that may help me round out my list to ten if they keep the good scripts coming).

Sunday night is currently the most jam packed night of television.
Boardwalk Empire while season 1 seemed slow to get going, this season this period piece set in Prohibition era Atlantic City with a sense of history (Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, Meyer Lanksy, Ben Siegel, etc) and great acting all around, is hitting on all cylinders.

Dexter after the last two seasons, Dexter has gone back to the basics and found its sense of humor again. This season seems to offer three different characters all grappling with faith and ghosts of father figures. Mos Def is especially effective as Brother Sam. Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos are very creepy.

Homeland with Clare Danes and Damian Lewis. He's an Iraqi war prisoner that may have been turned, she believes he already has turned. Who's right? A terrific cat and mouse scenario with great assist from Mandy Patinkin.

Walking Dead. More than just a zombie show. A western masquerading as a horror series this show explores the idea of what happens to humanity when the majority of humanity is destroyed. How do you go on? Hold it together? Piece together a new world?

The Good Wife now on Sunday nights but still as smartly written and acted as it was when it was on Tuesday nights. Thank God for On Demand.

Pan Am A major piece of retro fluff but very stylish and after all that drama sometimes it's just nice to escape.

Other new shows I'm enjoying:
Body of Proof A good cast (Dana Delany, John Carroll Lynch (who I've loved since Carnivale), Jeri Ryan) make this a cut above the majority of procedurals on CBS (yeah Unforgettable I'm looking at you).

Person of Interest Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel along with co-creator Jonathan Nolan (Batmen Begins and Dark Knight and J.J. Abrams (Lost) make this one very intriguing.

Prime Suspect Leave all thoughts of the great Helen Mirren PBS show of the same name behind and just enjoy Maria Bello kicking butt and taking numbers. A shaky pilot but since then every week has gotten better.

Boss Kelsey Grammar reminds us all that he is much more than Frasier Crane. As a power building mayor of Chicago with a recent diagnosis of a degenerative brain disease, this one may be a game changer for Starz!. Definitely worth checking out.

Coming up: Hell on Wheels a western about the building of the trans-continental railroad and those that followed the workers. Could be Deadwood on wheels. The pilot is said to be shaky but it's supposed to improve with subsequent episodes.

House of Lies with Don Cheadle. Not sure exactly what it's about but the promos make me want to watch!

Luck starring Nick Nolte, Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Farina with David Milch and Michael Mann behind the camera. Set in the world of horse racing. Looks very promising.


All of that should hold me until Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Justified and Shameless return this winter/spring.

And for the record, Playboy Club deserved to be cancelled. Why? Despite a cool retro look, it was just plain stupid. How stupid? CSI: Miami stupid. 'Nuff said.

Returning shows:
Hawaii 5-0 isn't as fun as last season. Bringing in a new girl in seems to have thrown the team off their game.

CSI: Las Vegas Ted Danson is a welcome addition and has made this old war horse worth checking out.

The Mentalist the way the producers chose to conclude the last season's finale seemed rush and they took the easy way out with the guy Patrick Jane shot not really Red John. At this point (and for quite some time), Red John has become more of a joke than a Big Bad.

Blue Bloods All that made it interesting and worth watching last season now seems formulaic, sanctimonious and preachy.

Summer shows making a fall appearance:

Leverage, Rizzoli and Isles, The Closer, Covert Affairs and Burn Notice all return beginning next month for a few episodes leading up to the holidays.

Summer shows Cancelled:
Memphis Beat
while enjoyable was not as good as season 1.
HawthoRNe was totally unwatchable this season and from the various message boards devoted to the showw deserved to be cancelled.
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

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RedRiver
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by RedRiver »

I can never figure out when MAD MEN is on and when it's languishing in a black hole. It's a great show, but I can't keep up with it. I'd like to see BOSS. The first time Kelsey Grammar walked into CHEERS, it was obvious he had the depth to tackle a variety of roles. And I didn't know the wonderful Dustin Hoffman, maybe the best actor of his generation, had a show. Hoffman has effectively made the transition from cute and cuddly to quirky character.

For a while, there were ads about a lady cop in Internal Affairs. I got so sick of the commercials, I wouldn't consider watching the show. That's a tricky thing about advertising. Too much of it can almost backfire. My problem is, I NEVER know when shows are on. I flip through the channels. I find something that looks good. Done. TV by appointment is too much trouble.
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sandykaypax
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by sandykaypax »

Unfortunately, I just heard that Pan Am is being cancelled. Too bad.

My favorite tv drama is Parenthood on NBC, now in it's third season. Such a great cast--Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, Craig T. Nelson, Erika Christensen, Dax Shepherd, Monica Potter.

Sandy K
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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by Rita Hayworth »

One show, I really like last year was CBS's Hawaii Five-O ... now they brought in the new girl in and combine that with the (way, too many) disruptive changes and all; I no longer watch it anymore because of that. Even with the addition of Terry O'Quinn did nothing for me on that show. I rather watch movies on TCM on Monday Nights than Hawaii Five-O anytime!
kingrat
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by kingrat »

Sorry to hear about Pan Am. An enjoyable lightweight show. Two handsome pilots, cute girls in their blue uniforms, an espionage subplot. I especially liked Karine Vanasse as the French stewardess, Colette.
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Dewey1960
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by Dewey1960 »

Not mentioned is my favorite show of this new season: NEW GIRL starring the
incredibly beautiful and talented Zooey Deschanel!! Airs Tuesday nights on
FOX right after GLEE.
[youtube][/youtube]
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Lzcutter
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by Lzcutter »

they brought in the new girl in and combine that with the (way, too many) disruptive changes and all;
Kingme,

I totally agree that this season of 5-0 hasn't been on the same level as last season. The good news: This week's episode was the first one since it returned that reminded me of last season.

The big question is can they keep that up or will it return to its sub-par yawn?

Guess next week could tell us!
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

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RedRiver
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by RedRiver »

Do you believe I've seen Zooey Deschanel only one time? I found her so quirky and charming I made a mental note to watch NEW GIRL. Sadly, my mental notes tend to get misplaced between baseball scores and pizza delivery numbers! Haven't followed through yet.
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knitwit45
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by knitwit45 »

I keep forgetting to watch New Girl, and it's one I really wanted to see. Zooey Deschanel is so funny, and such a pretty girl. She was so good in Failure to Launch and Elf, and she was a running joke in one of the best episode of Bones..."Are you sisters? You look like sisters."
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Dewey1960
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by Dewey1960 »

Hey Nancy (and Red) - Here's some further incentive to
get on the ball and check out NEW GIRL!!
Zooey D. on the Craig Ferguson Show:
[youtube][/youtube]
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JackFavell
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by JackFavell »

New Girl is fun, but it's all because of Zooey so far for me.

I like Suburgatory, a pleasant show with Jeremy (could anyone have a better career?) Sisto and the pleasingly blase Jane Levy.

Modern Family remains funny, and Happy Endings can be good, though the characters are really starting to annoy me. Personally, I'd love it if they just gave brunette Casey Wilson her own show.
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by Lzcutter »

While Pan Am does struggle in the ratings, ABC has ordered up new scripts and the show has a new showrunner.

From what I can find in the trades, ABC is remaining mum about the fate of the show. But the script order is a good thing for fans of the show.
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

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mrsl
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by mrsl »

.
I won't totally miss Pan Am that much. I never really got into it to care if it stays or not. Hawaii 5-0 is another story though. I do like it, even with a streak of so-so scripts - everyone has bad days I guess. I wondered if Grace Park was debating whether to leave the show or not. That could be why they brought the new, blond girl in, but Grace is just too cute and cuddly. She kind of took the spark out of the show with her. To me, Terry O'Quinn does nothing but bring good things to anything he's in so I'm happy to see him. But I do wish they would make up their minds about Danno and his wife (or ex-wife, I guess).

I do know The Closer is wrapping up this year. That's the reason for the extra shows coming on in the Fall. The writers are going to wrap it up in style and have an ending for everyone. Now I'm going to have to scour the listings again to find Jon Tenney again and where he goes.

I'm disappointed in the new Tim Allen show. It's just a transfer from 3 boys to 3 girls, and Nancy Travis is the same forgiving her little boy hubby as before in Home Improvement.

I'm taking a break from the oldies on TCM right now and watching more of the stuff from the 80's and 90's. I was getting bogged down and decided to give myself some room to grow a little. I had to laugh today when Tom Selleck was on The View. After hugging him, as she sat down, Joy Behar said, boy, it's nice to reach up and have a big hunk of MAN to hug. (Which basically repeats what I said a few weeks ago about today's actors being so small and under developed in comparison to the old Joel McCreas, Randy Scott, Wayne, Grant, etc. And speaking of Selleck, they can mess up as much as they want to with scripts from Blue Bloods - that cast is so talented and together that they make even weak scripts look good. Even down to the two little boys. When those people are sitting down for the family dinners, you swear you're eavesdropping on a real family - don't you? I just wish they could get Jennifer Esposito in on those dinners once in a while, but she's not really family.
.
Anne


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Lzcutter
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by Lzcutter »

Anne,

Good news on The Closer, it doesn't wrap up this year. We get a couple of new episodes between Thanksgiving and Christmas and then they wrap it all next summer when The Closer returns for its final run of episodes.

After that, the team (minus Jon Tenney and Kyra) stick around for the spin-off show starring Mary MacDonnell. I think it's called Major Crimes.

There hasn't been any talk of Grace Park leaving 5-0. Maybe she was off making a movie and they had to write her temporarily out of the action. The blonde girl certainly doesn't have the chemistry with the guys, especially Chin, that Grace does.

This week's episode was by far the best episode of this season.

I watched the pilot last week for Hell on Wheels, the western series on AMC. It was okay, not great. But I'd heard the pilot wasn't great so I wasn't disappointed. I will give the show another couple of weeks and hope it finds its groove.
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

Avatar-Warner Bros Water Tower
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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Fall Season Report Card

Post by Rita Hayworth »

Rizzoli & Isles and The Closer

I like these two shows because of both shows have outstanding casts, good stories, and I like the main stars that makes it's unique and different.

First - I will start with Rizzoli and Isles.
Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander are perfect together and their humor is surprising well in this series. I also like Lee Thompson Young and Bruce McGill too. One thing for sure that this show makes the most of its actors & actresses strong points and this show is kind like a female Quincy M.E. with a twist. I love Quincy M.E. too. I hope this show remains for 2-3 more seasons because I also like the sex appeal of both Harmon and Alexander that combined beauty and brain with cohesiveness.

Second - The Closer
Kyra Sedgwick is amazing. I started watching this show on an advice of a friend and became hooked ever since. He has all the DVD's (so far) and I find this show another winner for TNT. This show has a powerhouse cast, well balanced, filled with tension, and excellent writing as well. I just can't wait for next season to start on November 28th. I watch this show really late night and loved it ever since.
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