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October 25th, 2010

TV Shows This Season - The Flat Syndrome

The DVR has been totally full lately. We've watched a bunch of new shows this season as well as welcome back returning favorites. And as happens every time, there are many we miss checking out entirely. Way too much out there!

This year though, something weird happened. A lot of the new shows we started watching though filled with good sounding premises and loads of actors and actresses I love just came across totally FLAT!

It really surprised me. Mostly we figured it was just a problem with the first episode or something so we watched more. Still the same! Just can't put my finger on it. This week we took several shows off the DVR record list as hubby had had enough. (He has a lower tolerance than I do!)

Here are the ones we tried and have let go and the ones we're keeping - in no certain order.

Undercovers: Love JJ Abrams. Love love Gerald McRaney in this (he does snark so well!). The premise sounded good. Ex-CIA agents now married getting called back into the fold. Has an undercurrent of 'not all is as it seems' running through it. Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (love her hair in the recent Mentalist!!!!) have good chemistry. The ex partner in the CIA to the two of them, Leo, played by Carter McIntyre is a hoot! The locations are fab. Love that they actually have people who really speak these foreign languages with correct accents. Yet...yet... Something just doesn't quit jell. Can't put my finger on it. Maybe they're trying too hard to be serious and light at the same time.

Also doesn't help that occasionally liberties are taken with reality/plot just to make things fit. Those are always a big turn off. (Can't help it! Inner editor will not be denied!) It is gone from the DVR list... :(

No Ordinary Family: Again a show with people I've enjoyed before. Julie Benz! (Angel, Dexter) Michael Chikliz! Stephen Collins! (Star Trek!) Several story lines and problems. Peeps with powers! Big conspiracy. Moral choices to be made. Have loved specific segments and the lawyer turned sidekick with the lair is a lot of fun. Yet again when it all is combined it comes out so FLAT. Took this one off the list as well. :(

Lonestar: This one only got one episode. The premise as shown was just too depressing - lifelong conman pushed to get deeper by his father, who is in love with both of his wives and thinks he can juggle the mess that is coming. No one was going to win here. Getting vested in anyone was too dangerous! We ran away. Off the list is went. (And hubby had been so excited about this one!)

The Event: LOST wanna be. The whole 'aliens' thing is interesting. And they've definitely done a couple of very surprising twists so far. Been great to see Jason Ritter (Joan of Arcadia) again and Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls) and many others. The show takes flashbacks a bit too far though. Frequency has been insane. Though it's mellowed out in the last episode or two. Still has my interest but it is losing hubby fast. I am fearing the old 'let's change this character from who they normally are for this one episode so we can make the plot fit' syndrome. I think they've coming dangerously close to that cop out once or twice, and that's always a MAJOR turn off for me. Still in DVR for now...

The Defenders: Had to see this just because of who's in it! Had to see them interact - Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell (Sliders). And what a blast they are! Defense lawyers with quirky lives and walking the line between respectable and shameless with gooey good hearts in the center. Plus it's set in Vegas! Sin City! This one has been delivering. Interesting cases too. A keeper!

Boardwalk Empire: Strong series for mature audiences only.  Deals with a fascinating period of time - prohibition. Mainly follows the travails of Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, the corrupt treasurer for Atlantic City, as well as that of several people around him. The best part is all the info and small touches about that period of time. Clothes, slang, attitudes. Totally fascinating. And they throw in some historical figures and their possible origins as lovely carrots too, like Al Capone. Keeping this one too. 

$#*! My Dad Says: William Shatner! He was so much fun in Boston Legal we had to check this one out. Unfortunately it is on super crowded Thursday so we've only been able to catch a couple of episodes when something else has not played for a holiday hiatus. It's pretty cute. Jonathan Sadowski, Nicole Sullivan, and Will Sasso are also a lot of fun. Will be watching this one when the DVR allows. :)

Nikita: Dollhouse meets Alias.  Nothing flat about this series. Started out with a bang and hasn't much slowed down. This is the one we've been most pumped about out of everything new this season. Maggie Q as Nikita is both angsty and super bad! Shane West and Lyndsy Fonseca and all the other actors and actresses have loads of presence and complex characters. Multiple layers and lots of intrigue. Definite keeper for us!

Hm, I think that might about be it for new stuff we caught for the fall.  What shows have you liked and will be keeping and which ones will you not?  Let's compare!
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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