Monthly Archives: October 2011

Person of Interest – Preventing Crimes

Hearing that Jim Caviezel was starring in this show was enough to make me try it out. The only thing I’ve seen him in before is The Count of Monte Cristo, but his performance helps make that one of my favorite movies. I haven’t seen Lost (tell me, should I add that to the list of shows I must try out? If so, why?), so Michael Emerson’s acting is new to me, and the “rest” of the cast is unfamiliar as well. (I’ll come back to the reason that’s in quotation marks.)

Person of Interest has an intriguing premise: After 9/11, the government had Harold Finch (Emerson) build a machine that could sift through all the data from cell phones, computers, and security cameras to predict future acts of terrorism. Finch found it could predict other premeditated violent crimes, but the government only was interested in crimes involving large numbers of people, so Finch built a back door into the system. The machine periodically sends him the social security number of a person who will be involved in a violent crime.

Finch hires John Reese (Caviezel), a presumed-dead ex-spy, to help him prevent these crimes before they happen. Their job is hampered by the fact that they don’t know whether the “person of interest” is the victim or the perpetrator, or when the crime will occur. A NYPD detective is also trying to track down Reese, though Reese is able to blackmail a dirty cop into helping keep her off his scent.

One of the drawbacks to the show is that I’ve mentioned the entire cast already. Both Finch and Reese are guarded characters who keep their pasts a secret and their emotions locked down 95% of the time. It fits who the characters are, but that makes it hard for the show to connect with its audience on an emotional level. Even though the individual missions tend to be highly emotional (teen girl hiding from her parents’ killer, war vet trying to do right by his dead buddy’s family, kidnapped child), they don’t compel viewers to watch the next episode.

Detective Carter, and the dirty cop Detective Fusco, are only minor characters, but don’t add much emotionally either way. I’m missing the camaraderie, passion, and humor of similar mission-based shows like Leverage and Burn Notice. There’s no funny sidekick or romantic interest (though the latest episode hints at the latter).

Yet in spite of these drawbacks, Person of Interest is still a great show. The episodes keep you guessing, and there have been some fun guest stars, such as Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Captain Montgomery from Castle) and Dan Hedaya (Rookie of the Year, Clueless). Because of the show’s emotional restraint, when the characters do show emotion, it’s vivid and poignant.

Person of Interest has recently been given a full season order, which is nice, since it will now be going up against not only The Office and Grey’s Anatomy, but Bones as well. And if you know me at all, you know what I’ll be watching Thursdays at 9.

House – Waiting for the Real Team

I was waiting for this show to establish the “new normal” before blogging about this season, but I’m getting the feeling that may be several episodes away. House hasn’t had this much upheaval since the end of season three/beginning of season four, when he lost his entire team and had to choose a new one (which took more than a third of the season).

Added to that is the displacement from early season six, only this time House isn’t in a psychiatric hospital, but a prison. There’s also the rift in his friendship with Wilson (a la season five). But the writers did bring something new to the table, though it didn’t originate with them: the departure of Cuddy.

Amazing what driving into a building can do.

The jury’s still out on whether all the upheaval will save this aging show. I really wanted to see the “new” team and how they worked with House before I made a judgment. After hearing about Lisa Edelstein leaving, I was almost positive this would be the last season. Now, I’m not so sure.

I’m mostly discounting the first and third episodes of this season. “Twenty Vicodin” was basically just House being House in prison. Fun to watch, but not a good indicator of the rest of the season. “Charity Case” was a farewell episode for Thirteen, with some bits on how Adams and Park get along (but who knows whether both of them will end up on the team).

Episode two, “Transplant,” showed that this show probably isn’t anywhere near done yet. First was the surprise reveal of the new dean of medicine:

House: Tell the dean that I don’t want to see her.
Guard: He said you’d say that.
House: He?

Cut to the visiting room, wherein sits Foreman.

It was quite a pleasant surprise. I’d assumed they were bringing in someone new, but promoting Foreman seems just as perfect as promoting Andy in The Office. Foreman knows how House works, what tricks he will play, and how to keep him under control while giving him enough leeway to figure out the cases.

Dr. Chi Park is an interesting addition to the show. I loved her in this episode, but I was starting to get a bit of tired of her by the end of her next episode. I think, like some of the more annoying squinterns on Bones (Daisy, anyone?), she’d better in small, infrequent doses than as a regular member of the team. (Oh, and speaking of Bones, they played a new preview for it during the latest House episode. Can’t wait for the new season!)

The “lungs in a box” patient made the episode unusual by itself, and I love how Foreman knew House wouldn’t be able to resist the case.

House’s efforts to repair his relationship with Wilson show how much he has grown over the seasons. Sure, he is still relentless and over the top – his playing “My Heart Will Go On” in Wilson’s office was hilarious – but he was also direct and open about needing to have Wilson in his life. He asked about Wilson’s arm and admitted he was wrong. Their closing scene ended the episode perfectly.

Top 10 Favorite TV Opening Credits

Nothing invokes the memory of a favorite TV show faster than its opening credits. That may be why I always feel a bit cheated when a show doesn’t have any, or when they’re terrible, or when they don’t match the show at all.

White Collar is a prime example of how attached fans get to show intros. When season three debuted with new opening titles, fans were very vocal about their dislike. Eventually the network hosted a poll, and the fans voted the old opening back in.

I didn’t include any classic shows in this list – in fact, only one show had episodes airing before the year 2000. There are no animated shows, and it’s also limited to shows I actually watch. I made my decisions based on the music, visual appeal, how well they meshed, and how well they matched the show. I included some unique ones as well.

I had a terrible time narrowing the list down to just ten, and that’s even with leaving out the shows that only have title and creator in their intros (like White Collar above and How I Met Your Mother) or have voiceover intros (Burn Notice’s “My name is Michael Westen, I used to be a spy” and Castle’s “There are two kinds of folks that sit around thinking about how to kill people – psychopaths and mystery writers”). This list changed several times even as I was writing this article, and the main excuse I gave myself for leaving Bones off was that I couldn’t find a good video for the credits!

#10 – Alphas

I love the music to this theme, and how well the lyrics fit the show. I also love the mysterious quality – it’s hard to catch everything the first few times you watch it, which works well for a show that has a lot under the surface.


#9 – The Cape

This theme sticks in my head long after I’ve watched the intro, and I love the way the comics dissolve into the show’s characters. Hate that this got cancelled.


#8 – Community

The folded paper design of this intro is just plain fun.


#7 – Chuck

The cartoon Buy More guy getting in and out of trouble is perfectly in keeping with the lighthearted tone of this show.


#6 – Warehouse 13

I love the mysterious quality of these credits, and the music fits perfectly! It’s cool seeing the artifacts “at work,” too.


#5 – Covert Affairs

Unfortunately, this clip cuts off the cool intro whistle (which plays before the credits actually start). I like the juxtaposition of the actors over the virtual background.


#4 – Veronica Mars

Yes, this is NOT the season 3 opening, which I disliked (it wouldn’t have been as bad if they’d simply changed the visuals, but they messed up the song, too). Bonus points for perfect lyrics (which were even quoted in an episode)!


#3 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Apologies for the quality of this clip. Love how this opening meshes scary and funny. I rock out to these credits whenever I’m watching Buffy by myself. 🙂


#2 – NCIS

A classic, solid, intro, with fun music and great transitions. I especially love McGee’s rocket pack impression.


#1 – Psych

No, I didn’t make this my top choice simply because it’s my theme this month and I’m giving away a season. I love how it matches the show, with zany moments and apt lyrics. I also love how they change it up to match special episodes – Spanish lyrics, a Christmas version, even a Bollywood rendition.


What openings would be in your top 10? Did I miss any good ones?

Psych – Giveaway!

This giveaway is over – check out my latest giveaway here!

May the best commenter win.

But first things first. The winner of my September giveaway was Ruth Anderson! She receives her choice of a Castle Season One DVD set or an Amazon gift card.

For October, I’m giving away (in case you haven’t already guessed) a season of Psych on DVD!

Psych is a humorous crime show about Shawn Spencer (James Roday), who uses his hyper-observant skills to pretend he’s psychic. Teaming up with his best friend since childhood, Gus (Dulé Hill), the two help solve crimes for the Santa Barbara police department, working with (or hindering) Detectives Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) and Juliet O’Hara (Maggie Lawson). Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) oversees the department. Shawn’s dad, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), is a former cop who trained Shawn to be observant, and often gets pulled into Shawn’s shenanigans.

Which season of Psych is up for grabs? Any of them! This giveaway is WINNER’S CHOICE! Want to start from the beginning with season one? Snag the newest season five? Fill in the season three you never got around to buying? You pick! And if for some reason (like already owning all five seasons) you’d rather have something else, you can select a $15 Amazon gift card instead.

Season six of Psych begins October 12th on USA Network!


To enter the giveaway:

Leave a comment on any blog post on this website. Your comment should add to the discussion (at least several sentences is good), and be relevant to the post’s subject. For example, you can comment on this post about what you love about Psych, what sort of giveaways you’d enjoy in the future, or what you think will happen in the season premiere. Any posts flagged as spam will not qualify (though I plan to scan through them to make sure all real comments get through). Every post you leave a comment on will count as one entry. If you leave relevant comments on 50 posts, you will get 50 entries.

Tweeting about the contest with a link back to this page will give you 5 extra entries the first time you tweet, and 1 extra entry per day for any tweets after that.

Linking to this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Google+ will give you 10 extra entries the first time, and 1 extra entry per day after that.

If you have other ideas for promoting this giveaway, feel free to use them, and I’ll award entries accordingly. The more creative/effecting the promotion, the more entries, you’ll receive!

To receive your additional entries for promoting this contest, email me at katie at tvbreakroom dot com to let me know what promotion you did.


The Rules:

Contest begins October 1, 2011 at 12:01AM EDT and ends October 31, 2011, at 11:59PM EDT. All entries received outside that time period are invalid.

Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received.

Open to everyone 16 or older with a valid email and mailing address. A winner residing outside the US may have to pay an additional fee for shipping. (Feel free to select an e-gift card instead!)

Winner must provide a way to contact (email or website with some means of contact) and respond to winning notification within 3 days or prize may be awarded to someone else.

What counts as a relevant comment will be at my sole discretion. Comments should be made in English. You may leave as many comments per day as you wish, but only one comment per blog post will be counted as an entry for the contest.

These rules may change at my discretion.

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