Archive for June, 2009

Virtuality Premiere, Pilot, or One and Done?

27 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

The Virtuality pilot aired on FOX last night but I didn’t get around to watching it until this morning. I’d been looking forward to it a great deal due to its pedigree – Ron Moore, Michael Taylor, Gail Berman, and Peter Berg in various creative capacities – and the promise held in its premise: a dozen scientist/explorers aboard an experimental interstellar ship who were also the focus of a reality TV show and who were also dealing with a VR system with some glitches. With Ron Moore at the helm the risk of the show being an amalgam of every bad holodeck episode of ST:TNG was as possible as the show exploring the edge of reality and humanity.

So what was the verdict?

I didn’t like it.

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Burn Notice: “Fearless Leader”

25 June 2009
by R.A. Porter


And so the saga, nay the tragedy, of Detective Paxson comes to a close. I’m surprised she didn’t literally whimper as she trudged off the screen. For a show that rarely missteps, Paxson was a rolled ankle, stubbed toe, and nail fungus wrapped in a somewhat pretty package.1

After the first two episodes of the Paxson arc I thought Bloodgood and her character showed some promise; seeing how the arc played itself out I’ve had to reconsider my position. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Imdb only has Bloodgood listed for the three episodes in which she’s already appeared, indicating this arc is complete, though I expect we’ll see her later this half-season or sometime in the following half as an ally to Michael and the team. I do not look forward to her return.

At least we had some fun moments with Nick Turturro, my favorite being Fi’s lobster/bug line and the whole of the bush league smash and grab at the dry cleaners.

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  1. If you think that metaphor’s tough to parse, you should see the convoluted mess it was *before* the edit. []


17 June 2009
by Tawnya Jonsek

hawthorne_gallery01_512x341Just when I think I could give up on TV and walk away forever, TNT creates a new medical drama, Hawthorne. I was skeptical. Grey’s lost its appeal once Isaiah Washington left and Izzie started sleeping with her ghost lover. ER lost me nearly a decade ago and Private Practice always has been a bit on the goofy side. Added to the mix is the fact that almost every great drama or comedy I became attached to in the last two years has been cancelled prematurely. I’ve not been willing to spend time caring about yet another new show, especially another medical drama.


But, Jada Pinkett Smith, as Christina Hawthorne, is a great, talented actress. Based on the pilot alone, I would say the show has strong promise. The characters and dialog feel real to me. Having grown up with a mom who spent her entire career in the operating room, I heard a lot about what goes on at a hospital. I know about the real struggles of nurses and surgical techs, the clashes between staff and doctors and power plays between other nurses. Many of my own friends were also nurses. What I can appreciate about Hawthorne is they accurately portray many of the gripes and joys I’ve heard from my own mom and friends. The dialog felt real and the characters believable. Read the rest of this entry »

Burn Notice: “Question and Answer”

11 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3e02Things are heating up in Miami, Eff El A. Michael’s got a new admirer in Detective Paxson, she of the sly smile and withering looks, and some C4 in storage. If Paxson finds out what Michael’s got stored, things will get downright explosive.

Oh, and there’s a kid in peril and a birthday party in the works. It’s a busy day.

The Recap

Detective Paxson comes by to introduce herself to Michael and invites him to spend some time chatting at her place with bars and handcuffs. In the process, she takes away Fi’s bail jumper and costs her a commission. Which of course leads her to jump at another job on a referral from one of her former jumpers. Apparently a real sweet guy, he holds no ill will to Fi and sent his sister her way when she needed help with her estranged husband and missing son.

Bad things gravitate to  Michael, so of course this is a kidnapping.

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Royal Pains: Pilot

4 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

royals1e01Light. Frothy. Summertime fun. If you like your summers the way I do, with frosty drinks and evening breezes off the ocean, you might have enjoyed the premiere of Royal Pains as much as I did. Then again, if you’re in the camp who finds Mark Feuerstein bland and uninteresting, you might not have liked it. To each his own.

Me, I like Feuerstein quite a lot and have been waiting a long time for him to get a show that fit his persona. I liked him fine on The West Wing, but he doesn’t strike me as a Sorkin lead. He’s been good in some bad things and servicable in some good things, but this time I think he’s found the show in which he’ll shine.

Plus, he’s got the luck of a TV doc.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve played a lot of pickup ball in my day, against significantly less healthy competition than Doctor Hank, but not once has someone collapsed with heart failure. And at all the posh parties I attend, as filled with supermodels as they may be, never has one of them sniffed a flower and gotten poisoned.1 What I’m saying, is that Doctor Hank sure does find himself near a lot of critical people. I’m not sure I’d walk next to him in a thunderstorm.

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  1. My ex-Mossad bodyguards do carry Mark 1 Kits for just such an emergency, however. []

Burn Notice: “Friends and Family”

4 June 2009
by R.A. Porter


Fiona, he did his government work, as you call it, for a reason.

For what? His country? And what have they done for him lately, other than betray him, leave him for dead, ruin his life?

The fact that you have to ask means you’re never gonna get it, Fi.

It seems like ages since Michael Westen jumped out of that helicopter, but the long wait is over and he’s finally coming in from the wet. Not in from the cold, however. If anything, the blanket of protection his mysterious benefactor-betrayers had provided has been lifted exposing him to the elements and the scrutiny of people it would be best ignored him.

It doesn’t take long – less than two minutes, in fact – for Michael to attract the unwanted attention of a bicycle cop at the beach. Things are definitely going to be different this season. Maybe.
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Burn Notice Season Three

3 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

Michael Westen’s had a rough couple of years, even if they have been in the sunny clime of Miami.

Burn Notice Season 3 premieres this Thursday, June 4, 2009 on USA Network in its new timeslot at 9p/8c.

Tracked by Feds, hassled by Bly, attacked by Arye Gross, and splattered in Toby Ziegler’s blood, and that was just the first season. He’s been tricked and threatened by Cylons and partnered with a psychotic stargating archeologist. But now he faces his biggest threat of all: a pretty cop with the tenacity of a Terminator.1

The new season opens where the last one left off, with Michael five miles offshore, swimming back to Miami. But the good news is…

Well the good news is that…uh…your status has changed. I mean, whatever magic they were working to keep you out of the police computers, they’ve stopped. Oh, you’re back on the radar of foreign agencies, too.

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  1. Or of an actress in a Terminator film. []

Royal Pains premieres on USA Network

2 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

I’ve been a fan of Mark Feuerstein for a long time. I even pushed through the pilot of Good Morning, Miami, subjecting myself to 22 minutes of Ashley Williams,1 because of his presence. But other than a handful of appearances on The West Wing, he hasn’t had any roles meaty enough and exposed enough to take off. That might finally change.

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  1. Those who know me will know my extreme antipathy for that doe-eyed, charmless bimbo who nearly ruined season one of How I Met Your Mother with her talent vacuum. []
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