Category Archives: Drama

Dallas Returns on TNT Wednesday, June 13

TNT is reviving the classic show Dallas with new episodes that extend the family rivalry, backstabbing, and secrets to a new generation. Every member of the family is hiding something from someone. Every member thinks they know what’s best for Southfork Ranch. And you can choose a member of the family to stand with and enter to win prizes by clicking the picture below:

dallas, dallas on tnt, tnt, j.r. ewing, sue ellen ewing, john ross ewing, ann ewing, rebecca sutter, elena ramos, christopher ewing, bobby ewing, southfork, southfork ranch, larry hagman, patrick duffy, linda gray, josh henderson, jesse metcalfe, jordana brewster, brenda strong, julie gonzalo, jordana
The image above shows the preview copy I received of tonight’s two-hour premiere (which begins on TNT at 9/8 central). I was selected to participate in TNT’s Dallas Roundup Network. I was not compensated for writing this post, but have received a screener of the first two episodes. Having never watched the original Dallas, I was a little confused at the beginning of how the family all fit together, but after I realized John Ross and Christopher were cousins, it began to make sense. Three actors reprise their roles from the original series – JR (Larry Hagman), Bobby (Patrick Duffy), and Sue Ellen (Linda Gray). If you also haven’t seen the original series, the catch-up clip below will help you out:

I thought the premiere episodes were excellent, though the constant friction as family members (and others) tried to outmaneuver each other was a little wearing. It’s definitely a serial show – you’ll want to watch every episode in order – but it’s not necessary to have watched the original Dallas to enjoy it. Out of all the shows I watch, I find it most similar to Ringer – almost a guy’s version of Ringer. Anyone could enjoy either show, but with Ringer the women have the biggest secrets and relationships are the focus, with business and wealth secondary concerns. In Dallas, the focus is on the guys – four strong male characters who want different things for the ranch and their lives. The four female characters have secrets and influence, but for the first episodes at least, the Ewing men steal the show.

I definitely will stick around for the next episode.

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship with Dallas.  This could include Dallas providing me with content, product, access or other forms of payment.

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Ringer – Mid-Season Wrap-Up

 

I just finished the fall finale of this amazingly twisty show. I’m loving how interwoven the storylines are – it’s definitely not a show you want to watch out of order! (The thought of someone doing that has me imagining Sarah Michelle Gellar’s “Wait . . . what?!?” face – wish I had a gif of it to inset here.)

Spoilers below – you probably won’t want to read this until you watch the November 29th episode.

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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.

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Ringer – Pilot

Sarah Michelle Gellar is back! That was really the only tagline needed for the new noir drama on the CW. But the premise is intriguing by itself. Bridget runs away the night before her testimony in a criminal trial and goes to visit her estranged twin sister Siobhan. When Siobhan apparently kills herself, Bridget sees a way out and assumes her sister’s life. But she soon learns that Siobhan has secrets of her own, and someone wants her dead, too.

I watched a lot of the Comicon coverage for Ringer, and several trailers, so almost all of the secrets revealed in the pilot (and even a few that weren’t) had been spoiled for me. So I didn’t expect to be wowed by it, and I wasn’t. I’m looking for the next episodes too, though.

So for those of you who didn’t see all the previews, or didn’t watch the premiere episode, beware of spoilers!

This is the first thing I’ve seen Gellar in since Buffy, so I was a little surprised at how much older she looked, but it was more her clothes and mannerisms than her actual face. I noticed a few Buffy references in the first segment of the episode, but my guess is they were more imagined than actual hat tips to the show. The gargoyles on the penthouse roof gave a cemetery-link feel to the first moments of the episode, so that was probably deliberate. I probably only noticed the word “amends” in a conversation since that was the last Buffy episode I watched, and the word cookie because the cookie dough conversation was in the final Buffy episode. And when Bridget mentioned waitressing, I could only think about how that paralleled with the final issue of the Buffy season 8 comics (season 9 starts today!).

One of the “surprises” that got ruined was when Kristoffer Polaha seems to be following/stalking Bridget. I already knew he wasn’t a hitman out to get her, but Siobhan’s best friend’s husband Henry with whom Siobhan was having an affair. The show did manage to keep the surprise of Siobhan’s pregnancy, and that Siobhan blames Bridget for her (apparent) son’s death.

It’s easy to see Bridget as the hero in this story, as she tries to right Siobhan’s wrongs – breaking off the affair, trying to mend things with Andrew (Siobhan’s husband), reaching out to his daughter Juliet. I also like the setup of Bridget’s relationship with her sponsor, Malcolm, as the one person she can be “real” with.

One preview showed an extended clip of the final scene, of Siobhan’s phone conversation in Paris (yeah, we knew she wasn’t really dead). Only when I saw the clip, I thought it was Bridget. So that was a bit of a surprise.

So who sent the attacker in the climax? Was it Gemma, the best friend who’d summoned her to the loft? Andrew, whose mysterious phone conversation seemed like he was trying to call off a hit after he’d learned of Siobhan’s pregnancy? Or Siobhan, wanting to put the final nail in the coffin of her fake suicide and get revenge on her sister in one move?

I guess I’ll find out next week.

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Suits – Legal Deceit

I watched the pilot of Suits based on two things – an interesting promo ad and the fact that the show stars Gina Torres (Zoe on Firefly and Jasmine on Angel, among other things). I don’t typically watch legal dramas. In fact, the only lawyer-related things I’ve watched recently on TV shows were a few courtroom scenes on Bones and stuff related to Wolfram and Hart on Angel.

The Suits pilot didn’t wow me. I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t connect with any of the characters. Harvey initially appears to be a stereotypical lawyer – cutthroat, selfish, and possessing an almost magical knack for getting his way. Mike is likable enough as a brilliant college dropout, but didn’t seem distinctive. At the end of the episode, I wasn’t excited about watching the next one.

So I set the show aside and didn’t give it a second thought until my sister mentioned she was enjoying it. And with all my other USA network shows ending this week, I figured I’d give it another chance.

The show is smart and well-plotted. The twist of someone pretending to be a lawyer helps this show stand out from the rest. It’s nice to see Mike becoming more competent, and to see that Harvey does have a heart, after all. Lewis is great as the rival you love to hate, Rachel is a cute potential love interest for Mike, and Donna, Harvey’s assistant, steals every scene she’s in. We don’t get to see too many sides of Gina Torres as Jessica, the managing partner, though, which is a shame.

I’m still not thrilled about the show, but I think that may be because I don’t care for legal dramas in general. In fact, this is the first time I’m even blogging about one, and I can’t think of another show in the genre of which I’ve watched more than an episode. And based on this show, I don’t think I’d ever want to work at a law firm. Yet I’m still watching this seven episodes in, so take from that what you will. And just yesterday it was announced that the show has been renewed for a second 12-episode season, so it must be doing something right.

What is your favorite genre of TV show?

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