Archive for the ‘Mark Harmon’ Category

Fall TV Update: Tuesday, Sept 25

September 25, 2012

So whatcha whatcha whatcha want (whatcha want)?  Well, hey, how about anything but this year’s Tuesday night line-up (ba-dum ching!)?

I mean, NCIS — fine.  FINE.  I’m still watching it, I still enjoy it for the most part, but truly, it could retire.  It’s really time for it to retire, guys.  NCIS: LA, on the other hand, should get fired, and should’ve been fired its first month — this is a crazy, crazy, mixed-up kinda world where that insufferable dreck survives and Pushing Daisies doesn’t.

As for New Girl, I keep hearing it’s great, and then I keep seeing that Zooey Deschanel iPhone ad and having to fight the urge to punch her in the face (which is only going to end up hurting me, because I still have an old CRT TV — you know, the ones with the glass screens?).  So, no.  Mindy Project, no.  Private Practice, GOOD GOD NO.  Ben and Kate, only if it’s renamed Ben and Kate Plus 8, Ben is an android, and the 8 are from the planet Melmac (wow, actually, I may be onto something there. . .).  And Vegas — well, now, Vegas.  I’ll get to that one in a second.

HERE’S WHAT’S UP TONIGHT:

NCIS — 8pm (CBS) — Look, I’m still in love with Michael Weatherly, and with McGee even more.  And Abby — Abby’s great.  And please, Mark Harmon?  Mark Harmon can do no wrong, even when he’s playing Ted Bundy.  But Ducky — Ducky was my favorite character, and Ducky’s gone now, right?  So, what’s the point?  I think there is no point.  I CANNOT GO ON.   I MUST GO ON.  I CANNOT GO ON.  I WILL GO ON.  Crap.  Can’t you just get canceled and put me out of my misery?  Why you gotta hang in there so tight?

New Girl — 8pm (FOX) — “Hey, Siri, can you order me up some TOMATO SOUP because I’m SO DUMB I do not know how to use a can opener.”  *punch* *blood* *911 call* *17 stitches*

Ben and Kate — 8:30pm (FOX) — Sit-com starring an adorable kid and a guy with really weird teeth.  PASS! (FAIL!)

NCIS: LA — 9pm (CBS) — Every time I see an ad for this show, I cry a little bit for the man LL Lame J used to be.  Why couldn’t this show be good?  Chris O’Donnell!  LINDA HUNT, for pity’s sake!  But the Navy doesn’t have a super secret undercover crack detective team in Los Angeles loaded to the hilt with money for fast cars, gadgets, and costume changes, and I can’t just pocket that information and pretend it’s fine you’re being ridiculous!  Stop being ridiculous!  It’s just so ridiculous!

The Mindy Project — 9:30pm (FOX) — Because, why now?  I mean, it’s awesome, sure, that an Indian female comic is headlining her own show in the US.  But I kind of can’t stand that Indian female comic, so. . . Congratulations, please go away.  Am I terrible?  I’m terrible.  I’m sorry.

Private Practice — 9pm (ABC) — I was honestly surprised to see this was still in the line-up this fall.  What is this doing still in the line-up this fall?  Is it just me or do Tuesday nights really blow this  season?  This show is absolutely insufferable.  I made it through a record six episodes of season one before I couldn’t stand the churning sensation in my stomach every time a character spoke a line of vapid dialogue.  WHAT IS THIS SHOW STILL DOING HERE?  I blame you guys for this.  No, not YOU guys.  YOU OTHER GUYS.  You know, the ones who keep watching this thing!  YOU!  Cut that out, already!

Vegas — 10pm (CBS) —  Upside:  the cast.  Hunky Ex-Boyfriends Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, together AND playing mortal enemies!  Ye-he-HES!  Downside: they’re playing mortal enemies in 1960s Vegas, and honestly, the likelihood of this primetime network TV show being even remotely as entertaining or interesting as Casino or GoodFellas is so teeny tiny it cannot be seen with the naked eye.  Upside:  Chiklis is playing a bad-ass again, which is great because after seeing him hitting people in the head with phone books for several years on The Shield, he’ll simply never square as The Commish for me ever again (although, having seen a few trailers and print ads for this, I’m not sold on his ability to pull of the 1960s mobster suit look, either).  Downside:  Quaid is playing a cowboy-turned-reluctant sheriff, a character I feel I’ve seen 97,000 times before (speaking of cowboy sheriffs, did you guys watch Longmire this summer, co-starring Ex-Boy/Girlfriend of the Week Katee Sackhoff?  I really enjoyed that one).  Oh, argh.  This is one of those shows I don’t really want to watch, but I feel like I should probably watch.  So, I’ll watch.  Let’s see what happens.

Fall TV Week Three: AVALANCHE!

September 21, 2009

Brace yourselves — the crushing onslaught of returning shows begins NOW.  Because there are so many shows to announce this week, I’m going to do tonight and tomorrow night first, and then will post again Wednesday with the next batch.

Monday, 9/21

Heroes (NBC) – 8pm.  It’s too bad this show sucks so much, because it was super fun the first season.  Alas, it just sucks SO MUCH.  I’m not going to bother at all this year.  I didn’t bother last year either.  Sorry, Greg Grunberg.  I still love you.

houseHouse (F0x) – 8pm (two hour premiere).  I quit watching House a few seasons ago, but sort of got re-roped into it last season and wasn’t all that sorry about it.  I’ll tune in, see how things go.  Assess the sitchuayshon.   I’m willing to put up with a lot for Hugh Laurie because he knows Stephen Fry and Stephen Fry is my hero.  Then again, last year’s finale ended with House being institutionalized for serious, serious mental illness; if this season starts with him immediately returning to work like he’s been magically cured, I may have to arch an eyebrow in this show’s general direction.

Dancing with the Pseudo-Stars (ABC) – 8pm.  I don’t understand the appeal of this show.  And people who love this show don’t seem to understand the appeal of So You Think You Can Dance.  Someday, I hope we can all be friends.

castleCastle (ABC) – 10pm.  This show is incredibly ridiculous, thanks to Nathan Fillion, who probably ought to tame it down a little bit but won’t, which is why I love him so incredibly much.  Castle, in my opinion, fills a necessary void in the crime-show line-up — it’s not intense, it’s not gory, it’s not dark, it’s not complicated.  It’s just a cute little cozy in television format, with a highly lickable nose front and center.  I’m extremely fond of it, so keep your snark to yourselves.

Sitcoms:  How I Met Your Mother (CBS) – 8pm; Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) – 8:30pm; Two and a Half Men (CBS) – 9pm; The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – 9:30pm.   I know that HIMYM and Big Bang Theory are hilarious; everybody tells me this constantly.  Some day, I’m sure I will rent them on DVD and kick myself for not having gotten into them sooner.  But that won’t be today. Two and a Half Men just won an Emmy, if you care.  Which I don’t.  And Accidentally on Purpose is a new one starring Jenna Elfman, who just annoys the ever-living beheysoos out of me.  Like I need THAT today, CBS.  Really.

CSI: Miami (CBS) – 10pm.  My Dad does the best impersonation of David Caruso of all time.  Imitation is not always the highest form of flattery, trust me.


Tuesday, 9/22

ncisNCIS (CBS), 8pm.  Still love it.  Of all the cop shows on right now, this is the one that is the most consistently engaging, funny, and intelligent.  A total winner.  Plus, TWO ex-Boyfriends in ONE SERIES (Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly)!  It’s like heaven on earth.

Bonus Round:  tonight’s season premiere of NCIS is followed immediately by the series premiere of its spin-off:  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, 9pm).  I confess I’m a little wary of this one, despite the fact I LOVE L. L. Cool J. and Chris O’Donnell.  Love them, love them, love them.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that this won’t be the CSI:Miami of NCIS.  Please, please don’t be the CSI:Miami of NCIS.  I’m begging you.  Please don’t.  Just don’t.

The Good Wife (CBS) – 10pm.  I thought for a while I might give this one a try, but to be honest, I think I’ve bailed before it’s even begun.  I’ve never been a big Margulies fan, and though it co-stars Chris Noth, hubba hubba, to me it sounds too much like Judging Amy, only without the Tyne Daly.  Working-mother shows are always the same, lawyer shows are always the same, shows without Tyne Daly are ALWAYS THE SAME.  I’ve got better things to watch (I hope).  If you tune in and love it, though, definitely let me know and I’ll go back and check it out later on.

slaterThe Forgotten (ABC) – 10pm.  I am going to try this one, I think, mostly because I really enjoyed Christian Slater in last year’s My Own Worst Enemy and I’d like to see him give this TV thing a second go.  That said, I’m fairly certain this show is going to stink.  It also sounds too much the same as every other show on right now — I’m getting as burned out on specialty-detective shows as I am on lawyer ones (this one is about a group of dicks who focus on identifying previously-unidentified dead people, by the way).  Plus, also no Tyne Daly!  Again with that!   I shrug and throw my hands in the air.  We’ll see what happens.

Check back Wednesday for the update on Wed-Sun’s returning shows!

BOOK: The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

October 31, 2008

Many years ago, I saw a terrific miniseries about Ted Bundy starring Mark Harmon that was based on this true crime book by Seattle writer Ann Rule. I can’t remember what spurred my decision to get the book from the library recently and, in fact, I was surprised when it showed up in my pile of books on hold one day. But I took it home and read it anyway, and though I was kind of disappointed in it overall, I think that probably has more to do with the genre of true crime rather than the book itself.

Ann Rule actually knew Ted Bundy — they worked together at a crisis clinic in Seattle for years. And for years after the murders began, Ann sort of suspected her Ted might be “The Ted,” but couldn’t really bring herself to believe it might be true. That the author of the book actually knew Ted gave the story an interesting perspective, if only because Rule could recount conversations she’d had with him both before he was an actual known suspect and after he’d been arrested, conversations that demonstrated both the charisma that made it so easy for him to victimize women and stay unseen in plain sight for so long, and the struggles he had inside his own mind regarding his “urges” and fears.  His letters to Ann definitely changed after he got caught, even though he never confessed to her in any of them.  Crazy will out, I suppose.

That said, I confess what I found sort of a let-down about this book was that there was literally no attempt on Ann Rule’s part to theorize what made Ted do what he did (which, incidentally, I was sort of shocked to discover he did about three blocks from where I work — he actually lived more like two blocks from where I work, too, in a house I probably walk by every week). And sure, Rule is not a psychologist or a profiler, but she had amazing access to the man, and I kept wanting her to ask him questions she kept not asking. While I know some of that was because he was her friend and it was hard for her to believe what was going on, let alone pepper him with personal questions about his childhood and his anger towards women, I still wanted this book to go a bit deeper than it ever went. It’s all surface — descriptions of Ted, descriptions of his victims, detailed (ugh) descriptions of some of his attacks on those victims, details of his numerous escapes from custody, descriptions of his trials. But nothing deeper than that.

And maybe that’s the way the true crime genre works — I don’t typically read these kinds of things. Maybe if I want to get inside Bundy’s mind more, I need to read books written by abnormal psychology experts or something. In any case, this is a very well-written and gripping book and even though it’s a very disturbing tale, it’s also quite fascinating at the same time. I’m glad I read it, even if it did mostly just succeed in making me wish it could’ve told me more.

[NON-FICTION]

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TV Shows That, Like Me, Are Improving With Age

November 2, 2007

First, some blog business. I realized yesterday that WordPress had added “tags,” in addition to “categories,” so I went back through all the relevant posts last night and added tags that essentially relate to genres (thriller, horror, etc.). You should be able to click on those on the right side of the screen (scroll the page down until you get to the bottom of the linky content on the right) if you want to look at all the horror movies/TV, all the Westerns, etc.

These are different from the “Categories” links, which I’m mostly using to classify posts by ex-Boyfriend or general topic (movie review, TV show, e.g.). If you’re a librarian, you can think of categories as being equivalent to subject headings, and tags as being equal to descriptors (if only because I’m not going to be that careful about controlling the vocabulary in the “tags” section). If you’re not a librarian, you should just count your lucky stars I haven’t started classifying each post using the Dewey Decimal System. Nerd alert!

As most of you old-hat bloggers already know, the bigger the font size in the “tag cloud” display, the more posts that have been tagged with that term. So, the word “thriller” is huge because I’ve watched a lot of thrillers lately, while “crap” is still reasonably small. Based on my usual movie watching tendencies, however, I suspect “crap” will quickly expand in size over the coming weeks.

Okay, now onto the (extremely long!) post. I’ve already done a run-through of all the NEW shows this year (though I’ll give you another update on some of those soon as well, since my feelings on a few have changed recently). But, I didn’t want to neglect some of the “old” shows, especially since there are a few I think are having their best seasons so far.

I’m breaking “old” shows (or “returning series,” in gentler terms) down into three categories: Aging Gracefully, Dying a Much-Too-Slow Death, and Just Plain Getting Old. I’ll start with the Aging Gracefully ones, and do separate posts for the other two categories over the next few days.

Aging Gracefully

Bones Fox, Tuesdays, 8pm — Last season, I enjoyed this show but wasn’t always in a huge hurry to watch it. I did love the guest spot from Stephen Fry as Booth’s psychoanalyist, but I’ve found some of the other characters on the show a bit hard to stomach since day one. Okay, okay, I’ll just come right out and say it: I HATE ANGELA. Everything about her annoys the bejesus out of me, especially her extreme overuse of the word “sweetie.” I realize this makes me a terrible person, since she’s supposed to be the nicest, most caring person in the lab. Nevertheless, I long for the day Tempe will be called in to identify her skull using dental records.

I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.

Since I’m confessing, I might as well also mention that I found the early version of Tempe annoying with her unbelievable lack of pop culture knowledge — “I don’t know what that means” was one of her most oft-spoken lines, and more than once, I found myself yelling in response, “NOBODY doesn’t know what that means! Gah!”

Also, of course, I’m a huge fan of the Kathy Reichs mystery series this show is based on, and the Tempe in the books is absolutely nothing like the Tempe on the show. This took some getting used to for me. I’ve enjoyed Bones consistently since the beginning, but it wasn’t really until last season that I started to get a little more enthusiastic about it. So far this year, though, I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed every episode I find myself actually tuning in for it live Tuesday nights (something I never usually do, especially now that I have a DVR).

I’m really enjoying the relationship between Booth and Tempe — they’ve got great chemistry — and Tempe’s quirks have started to become less grating and more endearing for me with time. Booth’s sarcastic sense of humor kinda makes me swoon, and I also love the geeks back at the lab, especially when they start arguing about Einstein and/or superheroes. All in all, this is an extremely charming show, with solid plots, entertaining characters, and an all around “fun” vibe (my mom just cringed at my use of the word “fun” as an adjective, by the way. Hi, Mom!). A keeper, and one I look forward to more and more with each passing week.

NCIS — Tuesdays, CBS, 8pm — This series has had its ups and downs over the years, and I still haven’t stopped hating Lauren Holly in her role as the NCIS director. Yet, there are many other things I adore about this show, and, so far, I’ve been enjoying this season more than ever before. This is a solid, consistent crime series that does a great job of giving us some insight into the characters’ personal lives, without making it feel unnecessary and clumsy (by comparison, think of the very badly-done personal stories peppering CSI periodically — Gil’s hearing loss, his relationship with Sara, all gak-inducing and distracting). I love Abby, the forensics girl, as well as McGee (and not just because he shares the nickname “McGeek” with me). DiNozzo’s penchant for movie quotes has endeared him to me for life, and, of course, Mark Harmon — ’nuff said. The only thing they should stop doing, in my opinion, is having Ziva continue to get American slang wrong — she’s been here too long now to keep confusing the colloquialisms. Aside from that, though, I’m still having a lot of fun watching this one.

Supernatural — Thursdays, CW, 9pm — Oh man, this show is just A BLAST. I thought last year was the best for the series so far (that episode about the trickster was 100% pure comedy gold), but instead, the show is getting smarter, funnier, and more creative with every passing week. I especially predict a LOT of fun now that Dean thinks he’s only got a year to live, as well. Aside from the mandatory artery-clogging burger-eating and the oodles of premarital sex he’s been seeking since receiving the news of his imminent demise (it’s a long story), I think we’ll see a lot more action as he starts to take increasing “death be damned” types of risks when going after Big Bads. That was a great plot development, though I do think they’ll have to be careful not to let Sam sink down too far into moodiness, as he is often wont to do. Because when Sam starts moping around acting all maudlin, I begin feeling twitchy, and with him thinking Dean is doomed, I’m a little concerned the mood of the show might start to crash at times.

No crashing. Crashing = bad.

Because, oh man, that banter. When it’s flowing, it is some of the best witty dialogue ever to grace the small screen. The writers of this show not only know a ton about supernatural stories and myths, but they know brotherhood and sibling relations like the backs of their hands. In fact, I’d argue that now Veronica Mars is gone, this is the only show left that really does banter. And man, does it ever do banter well. If you’ve never seen the series, I’d advocate for starting with Season One on DVD, because backstory is sort of important. But you could also be jumping into the current episodes while you’re making up for lost time (also, I describe the series in more detail in the Boyfriend write-ups for Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and their dead father, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan — so check those out for more information too). If you like spooky plots, brilliant writing, and two extraordinarily good-looking young men and you are NOT watching Supernatural. . . Dude . . . Seriously. Get on the ball.

Men in Trees — Fridays, ABC, 9pm — Technically, we’re still finishing up season one of this series, so I can’t really start this paragraph off by saying I’m enjoying season two even more than season one. (Last year, ABC cut the first season short so it could kickstart a few late-bloomers in its timeslot, and though that meant a torturous spring for us fans, the nice thing is that it means an extra-long season this year.) But, nevertheless, things have begun to improve radically for all the characters in Elmo, especially now that Lynn has hit the road and a few other plotlines are back on track. It can only get more fun from here, my friends. I feel confident of that. The bad news is I just can’t shake this sinking feeling that nobody else is watching this one and that, because of that, it’s simply not going to survive its second year. I will be more traumatized by its cancellation than I was by the cancellations of Eyes and Wonderfalls, and if you remember me back then, you know I was moping for WEEKS over those two. So, if you aren’t watching this show, I’m begging you to tune in so we can keep the numbers up. Even if you hate the concept (or, more relevantly, even if you hate Anne Heche, an emotion I fully understand), there’s just sooooo much to love about the boys, not to mention the lovely setting. James Tupper as the scruffy outdoorsman Jack! Abraham Benrubi as the bear-like barkeep with a heart of gold! Derek Richardson as the geeky boy toy! There’s plenty for everyone. The only thing so far this year I haven’t enjoyed much is the guest spot from Callum Keith Rennie, and that’s just because he suddenly looks old enough to be my grandfather. A fact I found sort of disturbing, especially since my grandfather is old enough to be DEAD.

CSI: NY — Wednesdays, CBS, 10pm — I watched about the first six episodes of season one of this CSI spin-off when it first started and got so sleepy from all the drearily (un)lit sets that I gave up on it. Besides, nothing irritates me more in movies or on television than a morgue that is badly lit — I refuse to believe medical examiners ever do autopsies in dark rooms, even when they want a cool air of mysterious ambiance. I caught a few reruns last year, and was still sort of “meh” on the series, I’ll confess. But this year, I decided to give it a more serious try after having a few conversations about it with friends and family who are fans, and I’ve been nothing but impressed ever since. They’ve finally shaken off some of the extra-silly darkness (both in the settings and in the characters’ psyches), and the mystery plots themselves have been intriguing instead of old news. I really enjoyed the “Second Life” storyline from two weeks ago, which looks like it’ll stick around for a bit this season, and even the Halloween one, a bit cheesy as it was (set in Amityville, no less), was still pretty fun. All in all, this show seems to be getting better with age. A quality I both admire AND share, if I do say so myself.

Numb3rs — Fridays, CBS, 10pm — I got bored with this show last year when they got rid of Peter MacNicol so he could do 24. I was surprised, really, by how huge a gap that left in the series for me. But I was sucked back in last spring by the season finale with the whole double-triple-cross thing with Colby. I got a bit more caught up with reruns over the summer, and was eager to tune back in when the show started up again this fall. So far, despite the fact I still don’t understand why all the geniuses have stopped shaving, I’ve been really enjoying this year’s round of episodes. I keep waiting for them to run out of ways they can work math into the mysteries, but so far, they’ve managed to continue doing it and in ways I frequently find fascinating and surprising (plus, I just like saying the words “Fibonacci numbers,” not to mention thinking about how cool they are). Geeks are fun; math geeks, doubly so. And I’ve been watching reruns of Northern Exposure lately in spare moments too, which is only making seeing Rob Morrow all grown up on Friday nights that much more entertaining. I can’t believe I haven’t made either of these two guys a Boyfriend of the Week yet. What am I, totally BLIND? Expect to see write-ups on both of them in 2008.

Tune in later this weekend for part two of this series, which will focus on TV shows that should be dead and yet continue to refuse to go gently into that good night. So to speak.