Sunday, October 20, 2013


Sleep does not come easily to me on many nights, the result of the
blood pressure and gout medications I take.  Fortunately, when I’m
too tired to write, I can watch the TV shows I’ve recorded. Which
are far too many than can possibly be good for me.

Veteran readers know I’m a big fan of cop shows.  I love the idea
of justice being served in under an hour.  But I watch other stuff
as well, including several fantasy/horror/sci-fi shows and sitcoms.
As I write this bloggy thing, I am just “not tired” enough to make
some quick comments on things I’ve watched recently. 

Bones has gotten off to a rocky start.  Part of that is due to the
previous season ending on one of those dumb cliffhangers that some
dumb-ass producers think will increase interest in their shows.  In
this case, master villain Pelant was messing with Bones and Booth’s
marriage plans.  When this cliffhanger was finally resolved in the
fourth episode of the season, it was about as anti-climatic as one
could have imagined. 

The season to date as been one ill-conceived subplot after another.
Psychiatrist Sweets has a crisis of confidence.  Cam is a victim of
identity theft. The government wants the team to use some idiotic
profiling computer.  None of them rang true.

The high point to date has been “The Cheat in the Retreat” wherein
Bones and Booth went undercover at a couples retreat and which had
witty performances by guest stars John Ratzenberger and Millicent
Martin. Next up is the long-awaited wedding of Bones and Booth.  I
am not optimistic.

Sleepy Hollow is my favorite new show of the season.  Ichabod Crane
wakes up after 200 years to team with a police detective in a wild
battle against the forces of evil.  The chemistry between Crane and
Abbie is wonderful with a delicious side order of mutual sarcasm.
The Headless Horseman is shown to be one of the Four Horseman of
the Apocalypse.  While considerable back story has been laid
out over the several episodes to date, there is also a satisfying
“monster of the week” vibe. 

Castle is also off to a rocky start.  Beckett’s stint with the FBI
was awkward and neither her nor Castle seemed comfortable with the
season opening two-parter that followed last season’s cliffhanger
ending.  It took four episodes and a Hail Mary pass to get Beckett
back on the NYPD where she belongs.  Add to this the inane subplot
with Castle’s daughter shacking up with the boyfriend from Hippie
Hell and the series has fallen considerably in my estimation.  I’m
hoping it gets back on track soon.   

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t again hit the heights of its premiere
episode, but it’s still a very entertaining show.  Clark Gregg is
outstanding as Agent Coulson.  I love the nods to the larger Marvel
Universe beyond the show.  I give good marks to Brett Dalton (Grant
Ward), Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May) and Chloe Bennett (Skye).  But I’m
not feeling the love for the Fitz-Simmons scientists played by Iain
De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge. The writers haven’t given
those characters anything exceptional in the scripts.  They should
take a look at what shows like Bones and CSI have done with their
science geeks.

Supernatural always seems to be making it up as it goes along, but
manages to pull that chaos off well.  Jensen Ackles is the driving
force as Dean Winchester and Mark Sheppard is brilliant as acting
master of Hell Crowley.  Jared Padalecki often appears as if he’s
still figuring out Sam Winchester, but considering all the writers
put his character through, that works for me.  I get a kick out of
this series and always look forward to it.

Arrow has gotten off to a great start.  Last season’s finale called
for serious consequences and the show is delivering on them.  I’m
liking Stephen Amell’s portrayal of Oliver Queen more each episode.
He’s trying to make a better city.  He’s trying to be a better man.
And shit keeps getting dumped on him.  Amell is underappreciated as
an actor.  David Ramsey’s Diggle is still a very cool character and
I love Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity Smoak.  Also on my “like this”
list: the prospect of more DC Universe elements like Black Canary.

What I’m not liking much is Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance.  Neither
the actress or the character adds to the show.  Laurel’s switch to
the anti-Arrow side, even as her demoted father has come to accept
the vigilante’s efforts as a necessary evil, rings hollow.  She’s
never going to add anything to this series, so maybe it’s time for
her to move on to some other city and make a fresh start.  I like
her better as an advocate for the little guys than the driven-by-
hatred-and-grief district attorney she’s become.

Criminal Minds is struggling.  The writers are going more for the
gross-out than the compelling.  New chief Esai Morales has bupkis
chemistry with the cast and his past relationship with A.J. Cook’s
character, whatever the writers eventually decide it was, makes my
flesh crawl...and this comes from a viewer who thought Morales was
first-rate in NYPD Blue. If things don’t pick up, this will be one
less show I watch.

CSI had a season-ending cliffhanger and, as is typical of such dumb
gimmicks, dealt with it quickly and messily.  The hooker daughter
of Captain Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) turns out to be some sort of
murderous criminal mastermind? I hope the writers have the dignity
to be embarrassed by such nonsense.

However, past the season opener, CSI seems to be in good shape and
continues to entertain me.  Elizabeth Harnois is knocking it out of
the park as the quietly traumatized and vulnerable Morgan Brody. An
uncomfortable subplot involving David Hodges (Wallace Langham) and
his wildly improbable Italian fiancee has been resolved.  The rest
of the cast is terrific.  About all I could ask for is more screen
time for Marc Vann as Conrad Ecklie.  That character has come into
his own over the past few seasons.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more television talk.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. Bones: I thought that the profiling computer subplot would have been a lot better if it was all a scam to get Sweets' confidence fully back. I really thought that was where they were going until the end.

    Arrow: I also hate what they are doing with Laurel. I am hoping that this plotline ends with the resolution of the current cliffhanger. Felicity Smoak has some great lines. In the premiere did you notice the foreshadowing of the Flash?

  2. Tony, do you have high blood pressure? I have critically high blood pressure, which I control naturally. I keep my numbers down to healthy levels by drinking beet juice. I buy fresh beets and grind them up in the juicer. Three beets will yield one glass. A glass a day will keep your blood pressure down, with no side-effects. It works. If you don't like beets, there are other foots that can help tremendously. Research it.

    PS. The reason I always sign as "anonymous" is because I don't understand the other options. I'm not a computer geek, and I try to spend as little time as possible on the computer.

  3. I love SLEEPY HOLLOW. It has been a while since a show grabbed me from the very first episode. I remember feeling that way about X-FILES when I saw the premiere episode of that show. I liked the recent Roanoke episode and the introduction of another of the horseman. I looks like the better known one will be returning next week.

    I want to like Agents of SHIELD more than I do. Agents Coulson and Wen are the primary reasons to watch the show for me. I just don't buy the two scientists and the other regular characters really haven't grown on me. I hope they don't drag the 'mystery' of who Skye is really working for out over the entire season. My guess is either A.I.M. or Hydra, under the guise of some group that she believes are the 'good guys'.

    ARROW to me is how you do a comics based TV show, just as Marvel has shown us how to do them for the big screen. There are hints of a bigger DCU outside the city and there are still some mysteries about the island we haven't seen yet. I agree with you about Laurel and with the introduction of a Black Canary to the series, I think Ms. Lance can move on. It's funny but I originally thought that Oliver's younger sister was the dead weight on the show, but the final episodes of the first season have made me change my mind.

  4. I know I've said this many times before, Mr. Isabella, but it's kind of a treat to know the writers who I enjoy watch and like many of the TV series I enjoy. Especially interesting to hear your opinions on them. So, thank you again for this bloggy thing.