Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Trend - Long-Lost Moms Return

TV often has its trends, and one that is readily budding this summer is the return of long-lost mothers ...

Okay, this return happened a bit before summer ... the season 2 finale to be exact.  Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) believed his mother killed in a car explosion when he was 16.  Later he found out she had in fact been murdered on orders from his nemesis Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos).  Lately he has been on a personal mission to find "Shelburne," code name for someone who knows a lot more about the murder. In the last moments of the finale, Steve travels to Japan to confront the elusive witness, only to receive the shock of his life:  Shelburne is actually Mama McGarrett! (yet to be cast)

Brilliant, adopted Boston medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) learned in the show's first season that she is the daughter of Irish mob boss Patrick "Paddy" Doyle (John Doman, The Wire), but the identity of her biological mother remained elusive ... until now.  On the July 3 episode, Maura will meet mama Hope (Sharon Lawrence, NYPD Blue), but will not reveal her own identity to her just yet.  But similarities between mother and daughter will be readily apparent, especially their penchant for constantly rattling off esoteric facts and info.  Best friend Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) - who often can't believe and just barely tolerates the things Maura spews out randomly -  is gonna love that ...

Jane Quimby (Erica Dasher) was raised by big brother Ben (David Clayton Rogers) when their free-spirited, flighty, bohemian mother Kate left them years before to travel the world (I believe Daddy Quimby is deceased).  But mama has come down to earth in the form of Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives) for a four-episode visit (her third airs next Tuesday, July 3) to try and make it up to her kids.  Wary to accept her back into their lives, they reservedly do, Jane more than Ben, but will how will Kate leave things when she leaves once again?

Rookie cop Andy (Missy Peregrym) has done pretty good, making a name for herself in her precinct  despite being the daughter of an alcoholic ex-cop and an absentee mother - she left them both 15 years ago.  But on next week's episode (Thursday, July 5), Mama McNally returns, now a social worker and coincidentally - and awkwardly? - assigned to work a domestic violence case with her daughter.  Hope she knows the kid is now armed ...

Catch Hawaii Five-0 Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS.
Rizzoli & Isles airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TNT.
Jane By Design is on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.
And Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Picks for This Week

Here are some picks for the week.  I say "some" because I have a feeling I'm really not going to like Anger Management, Charlie Sheen's return to sitcom television - I've NEVER understood why Two and a Half Men has ever been considered funny, then or now - but the new show, well ... it's like a car wreck:  you can't help but look ...


The Newsroom Series Premiere, 10 p.m. on HBO

Army Wives Season Six Continues, 10 p.m. on Lifetime


Teri Hatcher Guest Stars on Jane by Design, 9 p.m. on ABC Family


Anger Management Series Premiere, 9 p.m. on FX

Wilfred Season Two Premiere, 10 p.m. on FX

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hot Picks This Week

Here's what's hot for this week's viewing:


Falling Skies Season 2 Premiere - 9 p.m. on TNT

The Client List Season 1 Finale - 10 p.m. on Lifetime

The Great Escape Series Premiere - 10 p.m. on TNT


Futurama Season 7 Premiere - 10  p.m. on Comedy Central

Review - Dallas


I am (sheesh) old enough to remember the original Dallas from the '80s - back when Fridays were must-see viewing with the one-two punch of it and Falcon Crest (with Dukes of Hazzard as the 8 o'clock lead in, if you can believe it) - and this ... comeback? return? ... isn't messing around when recapturing all the delicious scandal, backstabbing, double-crossing and family dysfunction the Ewings can serve up. 

It's no secret the genre of the nighttime soap - some may deem a "guilty pleasure" - is hot right now with ABC's breakout hits Revenge and Scandal and even the CW's short-lived Ringer, and this new Dallas seems right on par with the trend, featuring fast moving plot lines, big secrest and bigger reveals and story arcs that encompass all in one way or another.

There are familiar - albeit older - faces in the cast, the main trio being Bobby (Patrick Duffy), Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) and, of course, J.R. (Larry Hagman), who still holds the title of being the center of one of the biggest cliffhangers in TV history ("Who Shot J.R.?" anyone?).  Hagman hasn't aged terribly well physically with all of his health ailments (and could someone please trim those eyebrows?!), but the man hasn't lost his bite when it comes to playing the iconic devil in a stetson. 


Let me first compliment the producers for a terrific title sequence, which honors the original (on the air from 1978-91) by replicating the moving composite of shots of Texas and Dallas in particular, all to that classic Dallas theme song (you know you know it).  Hawaii Five-0 did the same, and it's awesome!

The new show introduces us to the machinations of the next generation of Ewings, namely J.R and Sue Ellen's son John Ross (Dallas-born hottie Josh Henderson, Desperate Housewives) and Bobby's adopted (or black market baby, if memory serves...) son Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe, Desperate Housewives).  It's actually a Housewives veteran trifecta, being that Brenda Strong (Mary Alice Young on DH) plays Bobby's now-wife Ann (sorry, Pam). 

John Ross and Christopher both endeavor to return the Ewing name to its former glory but in very different ways:  The former is following in the family tradition of oil drilling (on the legendary South Fork Ranch, expressly forbidden according to matriarch Miss Ellie's will) while the latter is pursuing a more modern path - undersea methane extraction.

When John Ross and girlfriend Elena Ramos (Jordana Brewster, Chuck, Fast and the Furious film franchise) - the daughter of a former South Fork cook and former fiancee of Christopher's - strike oil, it's a shower of liquid gold - until Uncle Bobby - who is dying of stomach cancer (does this mean a short-lived run for Duffy?) puts a kibash on the celebration by intending to sell the ranch to land conservationists (they tend to not be in favor of drilling). 

Over the course of the pilot episode - which centered a great deal around the wedding of Christopher and Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo, Eli Stone, Veronica Mars) with Dallas vets Steve Kanaly (Ray) and Charlene Tilton (Lucy) in attendance - this dispute erupts into a full-blown war full of cold threats,  hard shoves, blackmail, secret allies, power struggles, shocking reveals ... like I said, classic Dallas.

As for J.R. - first seen in a retirement home and said to be suffering from clinical depression - by hour's end shows he is back in the game (maybe he never truly left?), complete with his trademark Cheshire sneer, velvety Texan drawl and omnipotent swagger that made him the man you always loved to hate.

South Fork - the same ranch used in the original - is as stunning as ever.  There is word that other alums, including Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), will be making appearances, which, if the pilot is any indication, will work nicely to bridge generations old and new.

The action in the pilot moved along at an engaging pace and I hope that keeps up over the course of the run.  Unlike other failed attempts to revisit/re-imagine/re-invent shows of the past (Charlie's Angels, The Bionic Woman, Knight Rider), 2012's Dallas works for me.  It has enough history to stand on and just enough of the past to satisfy original fans while roping (see what I did there?) in new ones with the younger cast and fast-paced energy and plot lines.

Bottom Line:  Saddle up for this return of a true guilty pleasure classic.

Dallas airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on TNT.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hot Picks for This Week

Hello Tourists!

Here are my personal Hot Picks for this week's TV viewing:


True Blood Season 5 Premiere - 9 p.m. on HBO

Mad Men Season 5 Finale - 10 p.m. on AMC


Bunheads Series Premiere - 9 p.m. on ABC Family


Dallas Series Premiere - 9 p.m. on TNT


Burn Notice Season 6 Premiere - 9 p.m. on USA

Suits Season 2 Premiere - 10 p.m. on USA


Fairly Legal Season 2 Finale - 9 p.m. on USA