Talking Television

I’m a TV junkie. Always have been, probably always will be. Deb remains astonished I can recall the time and day an older show aired (at least through 1980 or so). As a result, we have our habits, our DVR remains programmed year-round and we watch quite the variety of material on prime time and across the cable spectrum.

As a result, I was astonished to realize that I missed the fact that Fox’s Human Target was done for the season. The last episodes ran in early February during sweeps but given the way it was bounced around the schedule, I just presumed it would be back. I checked its Wiki page and learned that it was done, sitting on the bubble, awaiting a verdict. Michael Ausiello’s TV Line is currently polling readers for their thoughts, pitting Chuck vs. Human Target with the former leading the voting by a substantial margin (which I wholeheartedly support).

Now, I like the show well enough even though it doesn’t resemble the comic book character at all. Mark Valley is an easy-going, likable actor who more or less plays the same role dating back to his much-missed Keen Eddie. Adding two female regulars to the ensemble satisfied the network but proved a distraction to the chemistry and formula for the series and this second season felt incredibly uneven. The blossoming romance between Christopher Chance and his new boss, Ilsa Pucci, felt forced and there wasn’t anywhere near as much chemistry as was witness between him and FBI Special Agent Emma Barnes (Emmanuelle Vaugier). I suspect, given its short season and so-so ratings, it’s not likely to return which is a shame because I am a fan of Valley and especially Chi McBride who I will watch in most anything.

We sampled The Chicago Code’s first two episodes and despite Delroy Lindoy’s amazingly smarmy politician, there just wasn’t enough there to convince us to stick with it. Jennifer Beals is a little tough to take in her Commissioner’s uniform and the storylines just don’t feel strong or interesting or fresh.

Harry’s Law was a tougher choice to stick with or abandon but we gave up when Deb realized how disappointed she was in Kathy Bates’ rather flat performance as Harry. I am a huge David E. Kelly fan (although I fear his Wonder Woman) but he has fallen into his usual shtick way too fast. The preposterous premise of a storefront legal firm/upscale shoe store was hard to swallow but the coalescing cast of characters showed promise, notably Malcolm Davies (Ami Ameen), a kid who just needed a break to get his career underway. But, the show was quickly hijacked by the latest version of Denny Crane, the over-the-top Tommy Jefferson (Christopher McDonald). The legal stories weren’t as compelling and the speeches, normally the best part of Kelly’s work, felt tired.

Maybe it’s because the show has been eclipsed by the far superior The Good Wife, which I could argue is our favorite show right now. The series deftly mixes politics, the law, and family with a rich and varied cast that features characters we haven’t seen before. The acting and writing are both top-notch and I find myself anxious to see each new episode.

On the sitcom side, we’ve been sticking with Mr. Sunshine because of my affection for the leads, but the humor and writing isn’t winning us over but we’re sticking with it a little longer.

Overall, it has not been a great season, as we find ourselves mostly watching existing shows having tried and rejected most of the newcomers. Of the series that began in September, we seem to be sticking only with No Ordinary Family and The Event.

2 comments

  • Chris

    I agree about Chi, it’s been interesting watching him develop and try different roles (I have a real place in my heart for his character in Pushing Daisies.)

    Also, I’m in the same boat as far as Mr. Sunshine. Hoping that the writing etc will catch up with the talent of those involved. Fingers are crossed. 🙂

  • We’ve been enjoying Human Target as well and are hoping for renewal. I liked the way the new characters shook things up. It’s especially fun watching Guerrero interact with them.

    We’ve stuck with Harry’s Law even with the over-the-topness of David Kelly’s plotting. I’m actually enjoying McDonald’s character and hope he will become a regular cast member. (Although he’ll always be Castillo in my book.)

    We gave up on The Event and have a bunch of No Ordinary Family episodes waiting on the DVR.

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