Watch This: Trailer(s) for Notorious

Piper Perabo is back this fall with a new show on ABC, Notorious. She stars with Daniel Sunjata in this thriller. The story is about “the professional and personal relationship between a charismatic attorney and a powerhouse television producer as they attempt to control the media, the justice system, and ultimately – each other…” Continue Reading: Watch This: Trailer(s) for Notorious

Brain Dump: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, The Good Wife, Covert Affairs, Person of Interest

A brain dump about this and that. Join in with a comment. We’ll hit on Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a not-so-new comer, the series The Good Wife, Covert Affairs, and Person of Interest.

Continue Reading: Brain Dump: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, The Good Wife, Covert Affairs, Person of Interest

Brain Dump: Stalker, Covert Affairs, Bones, Cristela and some Good Books

Time for a brain dump. It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that.


Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q in Stalker
Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q in Stalker

In the “Love is a Battlefield” episode of Stalker, which is the 6th episode of the season, we finally get a female stalker, played with convincing intensity by Jessica Tuck. One of my concerns with this show was that every episode would be about some dude pursuing a helpless female. We had to wait 6 episodes, but we finally did get a different scenario.

Covert Affairs

Piper Perabo in Covert Affairs
Piper Perabo in Covert Affairs

Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) is back with a new season of Covert Affairs. Annie has a heart condition and the CIA wants to confine her to a desk because of it. She wants to be in the field, but her heart does slow her down in critical moments.

Heart disease and heart attacks are the number 1 killer of women in this country. And the stats are showing that younger and younger women are dying of heart attacks every year. Kudos to Covert Affairs for working this theme into this tale of the best action hero(ine) on TV.


David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones
David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in Bones

The Bones episode “The Lost Love in the Foreign Land” (season 10, ep 6) was a moving story about human trafficking. In one scene Booth (David Boreanaz) was surrounded by a whole room full of Chinese women forced into slave labor. It came out that the women were controlled by threats against their families and loved ones back in China. The woman Booth was talking to (Leann Lei) held up a photo of her daughter. Every other woman in the room stepped forward with a photo. It was one of the most powerful images I’ve ever seen in efforts to put a face on human trafficking. Kudos to Bones for such a touching and important episode.

At the end of the episode, there was a brief mention of The Blue Campaign, a State Department effort to end human trafficking. I recommend the book Not For Sale. It will give you a lot more information about the global slave trade, particularly the huge numbers of slaves now forced to work in the US. You might be interested in this info from showing stats state by state.


Cristela Alonzo in Cristela
Cristela Alonzo in Cristela

I’m loving Cristela. Why?

  • Cristela’s Latina
  • Cristela’s sporting a normal body
  • The players deliver their lines in a normal tone of voice and with pauses and beats the way real people talk. It isn’t one of those shouting lines and saying them faster than a speeding bullet sitcoms.
  • It’s funny and real.

As long as I’m recommending books in this brain dump, may I mention The Richer Sex? Cristela Alonzo is a a perfect example of a south Texas Mexican-American doing exactly what is described in this book. With many examples from south Texas, the book talks about the trend across the country of women in charge, women making more money than men, and women being better educated than men.


Binge Watching VS. One Hour a Week

I rewatched all of season 3 of Lost Girl on Netflix. I was surprised to see many clues to what happened in season 4 that I’d forgotten about in the months between the two seasons. Now I’m rewatching Lost Girl season 4 and having an epiphany about binge watching.

Check this out
Kenzi from Lost Girl

When I watched season 4 on a weekly basis, I spent a good part of the time bitchy and irritated because the answers weren’t coming fast enough. When I look back over my recaps of season 4, the annoyance shows through. I cared about the characters and I wanted to know what was going to happen to them – and, by damn, I wanted to know right now!

Binge watching season 4 is much less aggravating. Well, true, I know what happened. But also true, I can rewatch episodes of Lost Girl with as much enjoyment as I felt the first time through. I experience it all again. Knowing that I can play the next episode immediately, where more will be revealed about Rainer or The Wanderer or the time on the train or Bo’s strange behavior makes a huge difference. It changes how I feel about the slow reveal of the clues, the seeming detours into things like bird-women who sing opera that don’t turn out to be detours after all.

alan and celia
Alan and Celia from Last Tango in Halifax

When I have to wait a week to see the next piece of a show I love, the wait seems insurmountable. Having to wait for season 2 of Last Tango in Halifax to reach PBS sent me into an absolute tizzy. Especially when it was available on the BBC, on YouTube, on every freakin’ place but legal American TV. Geographic restrictions are another horrible annoyance.

Orange is the New Black cast

I distinctly recall the feeling I had when I reached the last episode of Orange is the New Black. I wanted 1000 more episodes and I wanted them right now! But I’d just spent 13 hours with Orange is the New Black in a big gulp. Even though I wanted more, I could wait. The binge filled me up in a way that a weekly dose of something doesn’t.

I have a friend with no TV. She comes to town for a meeting every couple of months and stays at my place. We watched Orange is the New Black during each visit, a couple of episodes at a time spread out over several months. I started noticing flaws. Flaws! It wasn’t as wonderful when there was a gap in my viewing. The binge has power.

The Fringe cast
The Fringe

I didn’t watch Fringe until it was off the air. When I’d tried watching it weekly, I lost interest. When I could binge watch, I was fascinated. When I look back at the things I binge watched the past year: Orange is the New Black, The Fall, House of Cards, Bomb Girls, Call the Midwife  – I realize that those shows are some of my favorites. Is it because they are truly great shows, or is it because I could watch them in big chunks? “Do I love you because you’re beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?”

I still love Lost Girl and The Good Wife and Scandal, Orphan Black and Covert Affairs and other shows I only get to see once a week or in dribs and drabs throughout the year. This is the way TV has always been and I’m willing to go with it. But if I could get a full season of these shows all at once, I would leap at it like a coyote on a cottontail.


Binge watching is so inherently satisfying. It’s instant gratification taken to its highest level. My conclusion is that more and more shows are going to release ready to binge watch. Television is going to change because of that. Electronic storytelling, streaming storytelling, is going to change.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I know it’s going to happen.

Why Annie Walker is the Best Action Hero(ine) on TV

Piper Perabo plays Annie Walker on USA Networks Covert Affairs, now in it’s 4th season. Annie Walker is a CIA operative who goes all over the world doing dangerous and exciting spy missions.

Piper Perabo
Piper Perabo in Covert Affairs

She goes undercover, she catches bad guys, she carries a gun, she dresses up as nicely as James Bond ever could, she chases people through the streets of strange cities, she drives a fast car better than Mario Andretti, she speaks about 57 languages fluently, and she kicks ass. And she does it all in high heels. If that isn’t an action hero, I don’t know what one is.

Of course, she’s just a girl, so no one has ever given her credit for being the best action hero on TV.

I’m here to correct that error.

Other CIA characters who surround our heroine Annie Walker include her handler, Augie, played by Chris Gorham. Augie is blind, but a genius at finding out anything Annie needs to know to carry out her missions. Once in a while Augie gets out in the field with Annie.

If you only know Chris Gorham as Ugly Betty’s dorky boyfriend – and took note of his amazing abs – you’ll be glad to know his abs are on display from time to time in this show, too. There’s a separate web series devoted to Augie called Sights Unseen. It features Augie’s history and story with the CIA before he went blind.

Some of the higher ups in the CIA who boss Annie around from time to time are Kari Matchett and Peter Gallagher, playing a married couple of CIA lifers. In four seasons, many characters have come and gone. There are family members, lovers, co-workers, spies, and assorted others needed to tell the spy tales in Covert Affairs.

You can catch episodes of Covert Affairs on USA Network. There’s a Facebook page for the show. You’ll find lots of video from the show on the Covert Affairs YouTube channel.

All images ©USA Network