July 16, 2012 at 8:47 am #250059
So it’s summertime and the viewing is kinda limited, but I find I really do enjoy some of USA’s “blue sky” shows. They are perfect summer fodder for turning your brain off and being entertained.
Burn Notice is having an intense, successful sixth season so far and giving its cast members some meaty material. Having Fiona negotiating prison life has been a genius move and lent real stakes to the personal stories. Michael’s visit to her in prison and his resulting emotional breakdown was some of the best acting Donovan’s done. Gabrielle Anwar continues to impress as Fiona and has proven herself an extremely capable actress. The creatives have toned down the character of Maddie considerably, allowing Sharon Gless to show some softer sides while still maintaining that no-nonsense tough shell. Last night’s episode, “Under the Gun” was successful on nearly every level, with some exciting chases and nifty plot points, as well as good stuff for Fiona engineering a prison raid. Gless had some great scenes going to pick up the “package” for Fiona and getting frightened out of her mind. The only thing that didn’t work was Sam’s cheeseball call to his girlfriend when he found the cell phone while trying to escape from his kidnapper. I’m sure it was meant to add pathos, but it succeeded only in making Sam look incompetent.
The show just needs to make sure they don’t drag out the prison story or the Anson story too long, but they added some nice wrinkles with Rebecca teaming up with the gang last night, so it looks like we may be heading for the conclusion there.
Royal Pains is also having a strong season, its fourth. It wisely cut Jill Flint, whose character was just aimless and didn’t really fit any of the stories. Adding Brooke D’Orsay and Campbell Scott as regulars was another good move. The chemistry between Mark Feuerstein, Paolo Costanzo, and Reshma Shetty is a total winner and Henry Winkler is a treat as the senior Lawson guy. The show makes great use of the Hamptons locations and generally tells very entertaining stories. With the exception of the horrible zombies and ghouls episode, the season has been successful. This past week’s epsiode, “You Give Love a Bad Name”, was particularly good, mixing stories about HankMed’s growing pains with an interesting medical case involving a woman with two hearts, played by Judy Greer in a delightful guest shot. I initially had some reservations about this show, but as it has gone on, the dialogue has gotten a lot sharper than it used to be and the character relationships are always kept shifting around, so they stay fresh.
Started watching Suits this season despite the fact that the critics weren’t kind to it last year. It’s kind of a sticky premise, but now that it’s set you can just go with it. There’s an awful lot of corporate intrigue with clients here that’s not always compelling, but the inner dynamics of the firm are generally interesting. Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams are dynamic in the leads, despite the fact that Adams’s Mike is saddled with a who-cares? romantic subplot that never seems to go anywhere. Gina Torres adds elegant support as the tough-but-quiet senior partner. Rick Hoffman (one of Burn Notice‘s best villains ever) is deliciously smarmy as the on-the-outside-but-desperately-wants-on-the-inside Louis. There’s enough here to keep me watching.July 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm #250061
I’m addicted to Covert Affairs this season. I loved it in the past two seasons but this season premiere totally had me hooked on.July 16, 2012 at 11:23 pm #250062
I’m loving Royal Pains. I started watching last year after I heard a lot of good things about it and now I can’t stop watching. Hank and Evan are great together and it’s one of the most well-written comedies currently on TV.July 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm #250063
Thanks for starting this thread. I was wondering why nobody seems to give a sh*t about USA Network shows. Sadly, I have a feeling Emmy voters feel the same way.
I, for one, religiously watch “Suits” and “Necessary Roughness”. They are lighter in tone, but so well made. In fact, if “Suits” was on AMC or FX, I think it would have a better shot at awards recognition. The anti-USA bias is so frustrating.
In a perfect world, “Suits” would be up for Drama Actor (Adams in particular is fantastic, but I am amazed at how much I have come to appreciate Macht too) and maybe a guest acting slot, and “Necessary Roughness” would be in Drama Actress for Callie Thorne.July 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm #250064
PREACH IT ROB! I love Suits and Adams/Macht. Not every nominee should have to be in this stuffy HBO/FX/SHOWTIME/AMC Drama. Suits and Adams are just fun. He did get a SAG nod so maybe there is hope? Oh well. Suits is certainly more watcheable than Boardwalk Empire! Defintely a USA bias.August 1, 2012 at 5:16 am #250065
BIG TIME BURN NOTICE SPOILER!!!!
So killing off Michael’s brother Nate was an incredibly ballsy move–I just didn’t see it coming at all and I was literally stunned. Now we know Anson’s ass is going down in major flames. Michael out for revenge is not a pretty thing.
The last five minutes of “Shock Wave” were just gripping–Nate’s death, followed immediately by a brief, simple scene of Michael telling Maddie her baby boy was gone (looks like next week is the funeral, and I’m betting Gless will act the hell out of it), then followed by the relief of Fiona being released from prison. Congrats to the show and director Renny Harlin for pulling off a major surprise–even when you try to stay spoiler-free, it’s difficult, so I really cherish those moments when a show makes it work.August 20, 2012 at 5:24 am #250066
This past week’s Suits was directed by Mad Men vet Jennifer Getzinger (“The Suitcase”, among others) and it had real snap and pacing. She certainly has a way with actors, and the show itself is coming into its own, overcoming a hard-to-swallow premise with an appealing cast and some pretty compelling office politics.August 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm #250067
Does anyone watch Phyic with shawn and guss?August 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm #250068
I’ve probably enjoyed Suits more than any other show this season oddly enough. But as I said before, my expectations are much lower.
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