Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Great Stories and Great Characters--On the Small Screen

At last! My favorite television series have returned. Sorry, folks, those reality shows just don't do it for me. I want storytelling. Good storytelling, too. Not tired, same old-same old, seen-this-before storytelling either. I want new inventive, creative plot twists. That's why I'm so happy now. LOST and "24" are back. Yesssssss!!

And boy---they did not disappoint. "24" started first with a two-hour premier on Sunday before last with two-hours following up Monday night. That got you started with a bang. It was also fascinating to see a different setting. After several seasons "fighting terror" in Los Angeles, Jack Bauer and crew has moved to---ready for this? ----Washington, DC. Yep. Just like the new Prez, Jack is "going to Washington." Except Jack's not going for accolades, but congressional hearings. And that's where the exciting story takes off. The "24" writers do an excellent job of creating intricate, exciting plotlines. And as always---there's a ticking clock, because even in the Nation's Capital, the Bad Guys appear out of nowhere and have terrorist plans to kill thousands of people. And--only Jack can save the day. Lots of great action and fun to watch.

And last week my very favorite series LOST returned as well. Thank goodness they took three hours to review the last season's high points and everything that built up to the "rescue" survivors of the airplane crash on the remote Pacific island As with all the plot twists on LOST, the way the "Oceanic Six" actually got off the island is due to many different people's actions and interventions. We'd been teased last season with occasional scenes of "future" events. So, this three hour segment pulled all of that together and brought us up to the point of last week's new first episolde of this season. And it did not disappoiint. The island is in turmaoil and so are the lives of the "Oceanic Six" back in the real world. In order to save lives, they have to find a way to return to the island. Problem is---through some fantastic "magnetic resonance-fields of force" hocus pocus, the island has shifted. It's moved. It's still in the Pacific, just not where it was before. And to top it off, the "Six" have to bring a "seventh" back with them. A dead body. Now, that's gonna be fun to watch.

I know it sounds convoluted, but the plotline is the most creative and inventive I've seen in years, and it constantly surprises you by doing the unexpected. And the actors are great. What GREAT characters.

And----the last of my faves also returned a couple of weeks ago---DAMAGES. And it immediately started out with the plotline that it ended with last year----trying to trap someone. But--now the story is complicated with another fascinating character played by William Hurt as a foil to Glenn Close's excellent Patty Hewes. Again---storytelling at its best. And the acting is top-notch. Glenn Close got the Emmy for her performance in this series last year.

So----enough of my ramblings and ravings about my faves. Which are your favorites shows and have they returned? If so, are they still keeping you enthralled?