A couple of decades ago I realized everything in my life up to that point had been determined by men. I can hear my friend Denise shouting, “It’s the patriarchy, stupid!” That’s not it – at least not completely. The patriarchy is still with us. But inside my head, things have changed. Continue reading “A Personal Manifesto”
Four new TV shows caught my eye. After checking them out for two or three episodes, I’ve picked the winners I want to keep watching and the losers that will disappear from my viewing schedule.
The two shows I find the best are Intelligence and Killer Women. Sheer dazzle makes Intelligence interesting. Josh Holloway is excellent as the cyber-brained lead character with whiz-bang computer skills embedded in his brain. His supporting team, Meghan Ory and Marg Helgenberger are both doing a terrific job in their roles. Plus the show includes some particular favorite actors of mine such as John Billingsley and Lance Reddick.
Intelligence is sci fi done right: engaging characters, plots that work, fascinating tech.
Killer Women is also a hit with me. Tricia Helfer, who’s worked in a long list of things we’ve all seen, never came to the front of my attention before the way she does with her leading role in this drama. She’s doing a terrific job as a tough Texas Ranger. Remember how awesome Gina Torres looked in Firefly with that gun strapped to her hip? That’s the vibe Tricia Helfer is giving off in Killer Women. One helluva woman.
I know Killer Women has suffered some negative reviews – by men – but the women reviewing this show have spoken positively about it. So as a representative of the female TV viewing audience, I cast my vote for a renewal of this show!
They looked good, the previews and trailers looked good, but two of the new shows failed to engage me.
I like Billy Campbell, I enjoy sci fi, and I had high hopes for Helix. It should be good. Good cast, great sets, strong premise, diverse characters. But it bores me. The 3rd episode, which will be the last one I devote my time to, left me yawning and wishing it would hurry up and end. It has devoted followers, if tweets in my Twitter stream are any indication, but I’m not one of them.
The other show that leaves me flat is Bitten. It’s rare that I can’t get into a show with a female lead character. Laura Vandervoort does a perfectly fine job as the lead in this werewolf story, so it isn’t her. Bitten feels opaque. Too many undefined characters, not enough clarity about the stakes involved. Not one thing in this series has made me care.
Do you have winners and losers from the new TV season? What are they?
Now that the new TV season brings back some of my favorite shows, there are so many shows on Monday night I want to see that it took me two days to watch them all. Here are some quick reactions to what I watched.
Join in with a comment if you have a different Monday night favorite.
Switched at Birth
I love this show, I love the silent moments where there is only sign language, I love the characters. The first episode of the new season was a solid one, building on where we left off last season. New students at the school will be interesting. Kathryn (Lea Thompson) is having some sort of personal crisis. Lots of new things going on while the old plot lines advance.
The honeymoon lasted all of one morning for newlywed moms Sherri Saum and Terri Polo. That’s when they figured out that the foster daughter they were all set to adopt (Maia Mitchell) had run away. The rest of the episode was the hunt for her and a look at how her absence affected other members of the family. Annie Potts was still hanging around post-wedding and anytime you get to see Annie Potts is a good time. This is such a good show. I hope you are watching it.
Here we are in season 6 of Castle and, WOW!, one of the best episodes ever of this show pops up. James Brolin guest starred as Castle’s father. There was just the right mix of crime solving, character, suspense, emotion, and great storytelling in this episode. It was electrifying.
I haven’t made up my mind on this one yet. It’s a werewolf story, which is okay. No problem with the scifi stuff. I’m not crazy about the ratio of male to female characters. Too many males, not enough females. Too many characters, period. Who are all these people? I had a problem with the one leading female character (Laura Vandervoort). I’m not really attached to her yet. And if I’m not hooked in the first episode, I may not ever take the bait. I’ll try again next week and see what happens. What did you think of it?
This show is a complete favorite of mine. You know that if you’ve read any of my Lost Girl recaps from season 4. This show does have a great male to female ratio and the women are not just there for decoration. Bo (Anna Silk) wasn’t around much in episode 1 of the new season, but it gave us a chance to see Ksenia Solo take a turn in the lead and do an outstanding job at it.
Episode 2 was even better than episode 1, in my opinion. Josh Holloway is doing a great job as Mr. Cyborg of America while remaining entirely human in his performance. Meghan Ory and Marg Helgenberger’s interactions with him are perfect. The tech is fascinating.
I know a lot of people like Sleepy Hollow and Almost Human but I can’t build up any enthusiasm for either of them. What was your Monday night schedule?
Intelligence and Killer Women both opened their seasons this week. Here are my first impressions.
Intelligence touts Josh Holloway as the lead character, Gabriel Vaughn. He’s a government operative with a computer embedded in his brain and is considered the government’s most valuable asset. It’s on CBS.
Behind this computer-man are Riley Neal (Meghan Ory) as the secret service agent in charge of keeping Vaughn safe and out of enemy hands, and Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger) who is head of the cyber security agency that manages Vaughn.
I am always interested in shows like this that take a look at the direction we are heading with technology. The technology here is dazzling, if unrealistic, and gives the series an awesomeness vibe that should serve it well in future episodes.
In the lead, Holloway is stubbornly human in spite of his computer chip of a brain, which makes the story interesting. Ory is tough and capable and in sympathy with Holloway’s tendency to be human. Helgenberger seemed a bit stiff and stoic, but perhaps that’s a requirement of the role.
It’s an action story with fighting and guns and international intrigue mixed in with the government operations and human interaction. I was happy with the first episode and think it promises to be an interesting ride.
On ABC, Tricia Helfer leads the cast on Killer Women. She’s Molly Parker, a Texas Ranger who works on murder cases where women are the murderers.
Molly is a bundle of complexity, which is always good in a character. She’s trying to get her husband to sign divorce papers while conducting an affair with an FBI guy played by Marc Blucas. (I’ll bet if you counted them all up, Marc Blucas has been the love interest for more leading women in television than any other actor.)
Molly’s living at her brother’s while getting the divorce. The brother (Michael Trucco) may play an important role in the series since he was all over the premier.
Molly is more interested in justice than in closing cases. Get this. She plays the trumpet in a band when she’s not working a case – that’s a new twist on a character.
The shots of Austin and what I assumed are San Antonio looked real, although IMDB says the show was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I saw the Frost Bank building in Austin and the state capitol building in Austin, and the highway scenes showed green vegetation beside the roads – not something you’d see in the New Mexico desert. I sure looks like it was filmed in Texas.
Much as I liked the main character and Tricia Helfer as a Texas Ranger, some of the situations were a little unrealistic. For example, Helfer and Blucas take off to Mexico, completely unofficially, to rescue some people and while there they shoot people without any apparent consequences. Drug cartel people, so shooting them doesn’t count or something – right? Action heroes in movies shoot people without consequences all the time, but I seldom see women doing it.
Killer Women has my interest so far and I’ll continue to watch.
Did you watch either of these premier episodes? What were your impressions?