Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Watched TV Lately?

by Maggie Sefton

Okay. . .better late than never, right? I started watching some of the new television series programs last Fall but never got around to posting on the CC blog. I did not check them all out, but I did check out a few. And---the last few weeks of the season, I checked into some others. I'd be interested if any of you have seen the programs and what your comments are.

FRINGE, on Fox: Perhaps I mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again. FRINGE has built a following of viewers who like the sci-fi/fantasy mixture of alternate universes and parallel lives and travel between them. Again. . .characterization is always key in building a series, and the main players are well-developed with fascinating personalities. Plus, the special effects scenes are cool.

THE EVENT, on NBC: So far, so good. The writers have gotten me interested with excellent characters and non-stop action with the "good guys/gals" trying to keep from being caught & killed by the "other guys." Again---the sc fi/fantasy element is invoked as we learn that Earth has scores of aliens who look just like us and have infiltrated everywhere. Even the FBI. :)

DETROIT 1-8-7, on ABC: This is one of the best police action dramas I've seen in years, and I remember the days of Hill Street Blues. Again. . .it all comes down to good characters, and this series has some of the best new characters to prowl the small screen. And their back stories are hinted at in the episodes. My favorite is the fascinating Detective Fitch. What a great face, and that stare of his is guaranteed to make suspects confess in the interrogation room without Fitch saying a word. He just stares at them. Hilarious. They start to lose it, then spill everything they know. Actually, this is an Ensemble production with no one character being the main lead. Everyone gets to be on center stage for a few moments, enough to tease you into wanting to know more about their pasts. Especially the intriguing African-American female lieutenant and head of that group of Detroit detectives.

NIKITA, on CW: Maggie Q makes a great kick-ass "special agent" for an off-the-books CIA operation gone rogue. Nikita has gone off the reservation to combat the "evil" that this secret rogue operation has set in motion. Great action scenes, too.

V, on ABC: I didn't see this last Fall because of schedule conflicts, but I'm recording it now that it's re-started. There were some "catch-up" episodes designed to attract some of us who wanted to give it a try. More sci fi center stage in this one, what with spaceships hovering in the skies above major Earth cities. But, again, it's the characters and their stories that carry it. I've bought in so far. Let's see how it goes. Again, aliens who wear layers of human skin to appear "just like us." Wow, everyone in the Universe must want to look like us. :) How self-absorbed is that?

BLUE BLOODS, on CBS: With Tom Selleck as the father figure in a big Irish-American family of cops and/or prosecuting attorneys. The good characterization and story lines have kept me so far, plus there's an intriguing sub-plot developing about a past betrayal that caused the death of Father Figure Selleck's son.

DOWNTON ABBEY, on PBS: I just started watching Sunday night before last, and I'm hooked. Great characters and lots of sub-plots going on, set in early 1900's England. Kind of a later Upstairs/Downstairs plotline showing the staffs trials/tribulations as well as the gentility's problems. Love those PBS historical series.

Have you checked out some of these shows? What do you think?