What the what USA Network?!

USA Network does one thing well. And when I say well I mean REALLY well. Light, fun, frothy summer shows. Noone does them better than USA Network.

White Collar, Royal Pains, Suits, the now defunct Necessary Roughness, Monk and Psych, you get the gist. This is/was USA Network’s bread and butter.

Take pretty people, put them in nice clothes and gorgeous looking locations (with some to die for set design) and presto – you have a hit on your hands.

That’s why I don’t understand what the what they are trying to do with the new slew of shows.

For example – there is Graceland. Which I think was USA Network’s first foray into gritty cop show territory?

I know Graceland got renewed and all but as far as I’m concerned – gritty it ain’t

I watched their latest show Rush? Me thinks they wanted to go for House/Royal Pains hybrid of some sort?

Will Rush is a doctor to the LA’s rich and famous. People do stupid sh*t, people need to think of their image, people call Rush, pay cash and get treated, no questions asked.

The only problem being a) the main character is an arsehole and b) Tom Ellis the guy who plays him? He might be a good actor, but Hugh Laurie he ain’t. It takes serious skill to make me care about an arsehole is all I’m saying.

Satisfaction

Another new show Satisfaction is about a couple who have been married for a while. And then the husband finds out the wife is cheating on him. With an escort. Because she doesn’t feel appreciated enough? Be as it may – this one seems to look promising, but light and frothy it is not (also I *know* I’m a crusty b*sh but it kinda reeks of #firstworldproblems?)

tl; dr

If USA Network is going for edgy, dark and twisty I don’t think these two shows will cut it. They are kinda dark, but not all that deep?

And besides – what is wrong with light and frothy and fun? We all need more of that in our lives (says she after watching the Strain yesterday and dreaming about freaking worms all night (facepalm)

The Strain – grosser than Fringe?

Dear ladies and gents,

so the Strain? I think it might be even grosser than Fringe. Super and I mean SUPER gross. Even the poster was so gross Fox had to pull a number of billboards because people were complaining.

Because I’m nothing if not service-y here is how the poster looks like

:

I told you – SUPER gross!

But… BUT… for what it is – a vampire/horror drama – I have to say I enjoyed it.

It is based on the horror novel written by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (part of a trilogy that also includes The Fall and The Night Eternal). A plane from Berlin lands at JFK airport with 200 people on board. 4 survivors. The rest are all dead. All doors sealed, all lights off. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (played by Corey Stoll) from CDC is allowed to go in first.

And from there on out, sh*t starts hitting the fan.

This is no sparkly vampire sh*t. This is proper, albeit at times a bit cheesy, horror. And it will not be to everyone’s taste. But if you enjoy being grossed out and creeped out, if vampires are your thing, do give it a go.

What I watched (so you don’t have to) Part 2

The Last Ship

I am well aware the Last Ship is a Michael Bay production. You can see it a mile off, the pilot looked extremely expensy. BUT as much as I loathe Michael Bay (blech), I actually enjoyed this one. Or the first two episodes anyway (sometimes I have an attention span of a gnat).

Be as it may a short summary – some sort of virus has wiped out 80% of the Earth’s population. And the captain and the crew aboard USS Nathan James have been tasked to a) find a cure and b) prevent the extinction of the few people left on Earth. No biggie. Eric Dane plays Tom Chandler, the commandeering officer of the ship. Look – I want McSteamy to do well because I’m a soft touch that way. Like me that old dirty mistress. Also I love me a good “viral” thriller. The Last Ship while not ground breaking, at least is a) interesting and b) looks more expensive than Helix.

Murder in the First

Another TNT production created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal. Steven Bochco might not be a familiar name to all of you fetuses born after 1990, but the dude was behind some of the most popular series in the 80s and 90s (L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blues and that all time favorite Doogie Howser MD*). So it was a safe assumption Murder in the First wouldn’t suck. And it doesn’t.

It stars Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson** as two San Francisco homicide detectives who are investigating two separate murder cases. But as it soon turns out the murders might be related after all and lead to a computer prodigy Erich Blunt who soon becomes the prime suspect (played by Draco Malfoy. Or if you want to be persnickety about it – Tom Felton).

Be as it may – I thoroughly enjoyed Murder in the First and it made it to the weekly viewing list.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers in based on the book written by Tom Perrotta and the script was written by Perrotta and Damon Lindelof. The pilot was directed by Peter Berg. So that’s loads of talent right there.

What it is about? Well… after watching the Leftovers there was a moment – what the what have I just watched? But in a good way.

There was a Rapture type of event and 2% of world’s population have been taken?/went missing?/disappeared into thin air? So the series explores how people who have been left behind are dealing with the aftermath. Because how do you explain/comprehend something when you don’t know what happened to these people in the first place? And it is human nature to need some sort of order. Our world view (no matter how warped our world view might be to begin with) needs to make sense, because that is the only way we can function. It’s fascinating to me.

But I digress.

Then there is some dude who unburdens with hugs (f*ck off?) and a cult like group of chain smokers who wear only white. I told you – what the what have I just watched? Also what the what (WHAT THE WHAT) with all the stags lately (looking at you Hannibal)?

It’s nuanced. It’s heavy. It’s messy. But interesting to watch all the same. Hopefully it will not turn into another Flashforward.

Dominion

Good God above, the Dominion! I’m sure it will have plenty of fans, but I didn’t care for it one bit. I’ll be frank with you – there is a scene at the very beginning with some crazy looking lady in control pantyhose that looked all sorts of awesome. And scary. And that is the only (ONLY!) reason I watched the pilot. The rest of it was meh.

The series is created by Vaun Wilmott and based on the 2010 movie the Legion (written by Scott Stewart and Peter Schink). The gist of it – 25 years ago the angels led by archangel Gabriel have started a war against the humans (something something they had to possess the humans so they can live something).

In the war archangel Michael sided with the humans (how dare he). Now humans live in fortified cities, one of these cities is Vega aka Las Vegas from the ages ago, the food is scarce and whathaveyou. The legend has it only “the Chosen One” will be able to end the war once and for all. The Chosen One turns out to be a soldier in the Vega’s Archangel Corps Alex Lannon (played by Christopher Egan).

tl; dr

Not impressed at all with Dominion. And I’m all OVER a good angel fight normally (file under years of watching Supernatural will do that to you).

* With Neil Patrick Harris or that dude of HIMYM. There I saved you the bother of googling that sh*t.
** Clare off Beverly Hills 90210. The proper one, not the CW one. Also she still looks the same. THE SAME. HOW is that possible?

What I watched (so you don’t have to)

Dear ladies and gents,

so. There’s nothing on. NOTHING. So I’ve decided to check out a few new shows. Because I’m a masochist that way. I don’t loathe watching the telly. Honestly I don’t. It’s just that it’s kind of difficult to get invested when sh*t gets cancelled all.the.time. You know what I mean? Be as it may here are some shows.

Crossbones

The only pirate I was ever really into was Guybrush Threepwood. Pirates aren’t really my thing. But Crossbones? Well it wasn’t half bad. NBC spared no expense and it shows.

Crossbones is about Blackbeard (or Edward Teach as he was known to his family and friends), a notorious pirate and head honcho at the island of New Providence in Bahamas. So the British send in a spy with a task to kill him. I like John Malkovich, he does malevolent so well. And then you have Richard Coyle (stars as Tom Lowe), who I had a soft spot for ever since the Coupling. So yes, will check out another episode of Crossbones.

Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire is an AMC production. It is supposed to give us an insider look into PC revolution that happened during the 80s. I like the music. So there’s that. But if we are being honest, it’s a show about people getting really shouty while building computers. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea is all.

And then there’s another thing this show has in common with the Killing (apart from the dead girl) – it’s slow. As AMC shows usually are. So there’s that. I will give this another episode, but don’t really see myself sticking with this long term.

The Night Shift

Oh Lord the Night Shift! I like medical dramas. Not as much as the crime/thriller shows, but there’s blood and guts and well… drama, so it will do. But the Night Shift was just… ok lemme back up.

The Night Shift is about the nurses and doctors working, you guessed it, the night shift at the San Antonio Medical Hospital. The hospital is seriously underfunded, there is no ER in 10 counties (filed under – stuff my brain retains) and people don’t have insurance. The Night Shift is supposed to be all edgy and sh*t, but it’s not really. I mean, you can see more “edgy” treatments on Royal Pains. Speaking of Royal Pains – the series stars Jill Flint. And I like her. And Freddy Rodriguez (you might remember him from Ugly Betty). But yeah, the show just lacks the oomph you’d expect from a medical drama.

Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful? Not bad at all. However. If the seasons are going to be unrelated, yeah? And all about the monsters? Does it really make sense to cram in so many monsters in one season? Is all I’m saying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Dreadful_%28TV_series%29