Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yes, I'm Watching...

Thanks to the fine folks at TNT and E1 Entertainment I have been plowing through a stack of screeners for some fine television, some not so fine television, and a movie that...well, didn't measure up to the high standards of exploitation we hold near and dear.

So, in order of no significance whatsoever:

THE CLOSER - loved the opening of the new season. I remember when the show started and I was not so smitten as to tune in every week and see Kyra Sedgwick do her southern accent. But, like kudzu I suppose, she's grown on me with that southern charm and righteous indignation over injustice. While not appointment television (is there such a dinosaur anymore?) THE CLOSER will hit my DVD player or laptop at some point.

HAWTHORNE - uneven at best. While Jada Pinkett Smith can be charming and engaging, the whole show (the pilot) seemed to forget one crucial factor: "If this main character is putting her life back together after losing her husband, shouldn't we see more of him to understand the bond that's been severed?" I just couldn't buy into it all. I hope the second episode raises the bar considerably and really makes us feel for these people. Speaking of which...

RAISING THE BAR - into its second season now (?) and it has started to find its groove. Like CLOSER I will wait and bank some episodes before watching further. This is much better than the first pilot which looked (frankly) cheap.

THE HUNGER (SEASON 1) - E1 has reissued this Showtime series, but has cheaped out by not adding anything new to the mix. Great locations, actors and a few stories by the sharp-toothed bastard himself, Harlan Ellison. It is a show that follows the other anthology show formulas before it (TWILIGHT ZONE, NIGHT GALLERY, THE HITCHER) but with an emphasis on the weird, dark and sexy. I'm glad they were able to finally collect all the episodes (something I wanted to do when I was a t York, but was shot down because "people don't want to watch big packages of TV shows at once." This was, of course, before TV DVD took off and righteously put two slugs into that theory). The packaging is good and really reflects the nature of the show. Netflix it.

SAVING GRACE - not a big Holly Hunter fan, but this show grows on you too, as I can relate to some of the characters and their idioms. The screener didn't help change my opinion as it was poorly mastered and didn't play after the first episode, though the menu says there's three epeisodes on the disc. Oh well.

SOME WEDDING REALITY SHOW ON TNT - I watched two minutes of this (whatever it's really called) and nearly broke my DVD player in my haste to throw the disc against the wall. Hate is too weak a word for this waste of money and effort.

ELSEWHERE - a low budget indie movie that forgot that. What I mean by that is an "indie movie" is supposed to provide audiences with something they can't get elesewhere. ELSEWHERE IS supposed to be a thriller, but it forgot to be thrilling. This was a movie that played it too safe with the premise and will probably play on Lifetime at some point. I knew who did it right after he was introduced. No twists that you couldn't see a mile away. No turns, no threats (except once! I will give it that). I was extremely disappointed because I wanted this one to go for the throat and couldn't even gofor the kneecaps. Skip it.

I have TNT's DARK BLUE sitting on my desk and I'm anxious to sink my teeth into something akin to THE SHIELD. This is the impression I get from the key art so here's hoping.

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