Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer TV

I remember so vividly that as a kid (okay - maybe teenager/college student/adult) - the one thing missing in the summer was good television programing. The summer months tended to be full of reruns and watching Lifetime movies as much as possible... until you've seen them all 100 times.

I'm so grateful that now the cable networks are pumping out good programing for the summer months while the regular stations take a break from most things - all except the "reality" shows that I know a lot of you love... I'm not so much into them except for maybe The Next Food Network Star... or something like that.

My absolute favorite cable network is TNT... yes, part of that is because I'm a Law & Order addict with a slight side addiction of Bones... and they used to show reruns of ER everyday that we watched religiously until we'd seen every episode at least 4 times - they recently stopped showing it anymore - which was sad for us because it almost didn't seem like our day was complete without one episode of ER being run through our DVR.

Anyway - TNT has some new shows this season, and one of our all-time favorites... so I thought I'd share these gems with you because their seasons are just starting and there is plenty of time for you to get plugged in for some summer enjoyment - and of course you can always email me to talk about what you think of the shows too - just be sure to give me at least one extra day for viewing because we tend to have to watch via DVR right now. (You can email me immediately - just put the show name in the subject and I'll be sure not to read until I've seen the most recent episode)

The Closer - this one we've been watching since it started several years ago - and we just LOVE it. The characters are great, and the stories are even better... it's just a quality cop program with a lot of heart. It is on Monday nights...

TNT says this about the show: As the new season of THE CLOSER opens, the squad is moving into its new high-tech digs. But it’s not long before they’re wishing they could be back in their old space, where a plain white board nailed to the wall was more practical than the troublesome sliding screens in their new murder room. But true to form, Brenda is determined to bend the space to her style.

With the LAPD on the hunt for a new chief of police, Assistant Police Chief Will Pope (Simmons) is among those in the running. Should he get the job, it could mean a promotion for Brenda. The political juggling around the office soon leads Brenda to do some career-minded soul-searching. It also has her colleague, Robbery-Homicide Commander Taylor (Gossett), smelling a possible promotion for himself, even though he can’t even seem to wrangle an office of his own in the new facility.

On the home front, Brenda’s husband, FBI Agent Fritz Howard (Tenney), has some career changes of his own in store. After turning down a promotion that would have sent him to Washington, D.C., he’s now in line for a job that could not only keep him in LA, but give him and Brenda the chance to spend a lot more time together. 

This season, Brenda and her squad will tackle cases involving a sniper shooting in a posh neighborhood, a possible serial rapist who uses a stun gun to immobilize his victims and a drug-related custody battle that ends in two deaths. Meanwhile, Detective Sanchez (Cruz) will struggle to care for a young boy involved in a case the squad investigated last year. And Lt. Provenza (Bailey), Brenda’s second-in-command, will once again find himself in a professionally embarrassing situation when a one-night stand with a flight attendant leads to the discovery of a dead body in her bathtub.

Also this season, Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica) will reprise her role as Capt. Raydor, the by-the-book head of the Force Investigation Division, who has butted heads with Brenda on several occasions. This time, her presence could have major implications for Brenda’s future in the department. 

Rizzoli & Isles is the newest show on TNT - another cop show, but with a twist. It's got the underlying story of two unlikely friends... they've only shown the premier, and I loved it. It is shown right after The Closer on Monday nights... (this one for sure won't be seen until at least Tuesday in our house because Mama can't stay up that late)

TNT says this about the show: RIZZOLI & ISLES follows Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), complete opposites and good friends who solve crimes and bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. Growing up at opposite ends of the economic spectrum, the two remain strikingly different from one another in many ways. Jane, the only female detective in Boston’s homicide division, is a tough and gutsy cop who doesn’t let her guard down (except with Maura), dodges her overprotective mother and is better at basketball than her brother. Maura, meanwhile, is usually more comfortable among the dead than the living. She is always impeccably dressed in designer duds with a steady, sometimes icy temperament. And she is working on curbing her tendency to diagnose the people she meets – including her first dates. Jane and Maura often find themselves working together as both use their brilliant minds and expertise to figure out the “who done it” as well as the “how done it” of Boston’s most complex cases.

Despite their many differences, Jane and Maura are best friends, with a quirky and supportive relationship. As Tamaro explains, “That Jane and Maura are so different and yet so effective as a team makes them unusual.… There’s something rare about their relationship that I see in the world but not enough on television: two smart, strong, competent women who instinctively drop the protective shield when they’re with each other.”

RIZZOLI & ISLES also stars Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos) as Angela, Jane’s demanding and intrusive mother; Lee Thompson Young (FlashForward) as Det. Barry Frost, Jane’s somewhat green partner; Bruce McGill (Law Abiding Citizen) as Det. Vince Korsak, Jane’s seasoned former partner; and Jordan Bridges (Dawson’s Creek) as Jane’s brother, Frankie, a patrol cop who hopes one day to become a detective.

Our third favorite on the channel is HawthoRNe - staring Jada Pickett Smith... it is a fantastic story about a hospital - full of great characters with all their internal struggles... we really enjoy this one too. It's in it's second season and looks to be around for a long time... it comes on Tuesday nights. There is another police show set in Memphis (Memphis Beat) on after it that stars the guy from My Name is Earl too that looks pretty good, but I haven't paid much attention to it yet.

TNT says this about the show: The doors of Richmond Trinity have closed…permanently. That’s the dramatic reality that opens the second season of TNT’s powerful medical drama, HAWTHORNE. This June, the hit series returns with star and executive producer Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women, The Matrix trilogy) as Christina Hawthorne, a Chief Nursing Officer ready for battle on the front lines of a war against declining patient services and hospital budget cuts.

HAWTHORNE is told from the point of view of nurses as they struggle against the odds to deliver the best care possible. The series also stars Michael Vartan (Alias) as Dr. Tom Wakefield, Richmond Trinity’s Chief of Surgery who helped Christina’s husband during the last stages of his cancer; Suleka Mathew (Men in Trees) as Bobbie Jackson, a fellow nurse and one of Christina’s best friends; David Julian Hirsh (Lovebites) as Ray Stein, a nurse struggling with being accepted in a female-dominated profession; Christina Moore (90210) as Candy Sullivan, a nurse with a patriotic sense of duty; Vanessa Lengies (American Dreams) as Kelly Epson, who continues to find her footing as a nurse; and Hannah Hodson (TNT’s The Ron Clark Story) as Christina’s daughter Camille.

As the second season of HAWTHORNE opens, several Richmond Trinity doctors and nurses have been transferred to James River, a failing hospital in terrible shape. There, Christina butts heads with the ER’s head nurse, Gail Strummer (Vanessa Bell Calloway – The District), who is extremely set in her ways. Christina is impressed, however, by the charming Dr. Steve Shaw (Adam Rayner – Mistresses), who hails from England, and the hard-working ER clerk Marcus Leeds (Collins Curtis Pennie – Half Nelson), who has his eye on Camille.

This season, Christina and Tom will try to forge a romantic relationship, especially now that he is no longer serving as Chief of Surgery and can devote more time to patient care and a private life. Bobbie will once again find herself helping out homeless mother Isabelle. Ray’s lust-hate relationship with Dr. Marshall will hit some snags over Ray’s continued feelings toward Candy, who is serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Kelly’s confidence as a nurse will slowly build, thanks in part to her work with a nurse (guest star Sarah Gilbert – Roseanne) who’s even more insecure. And Camille takes a step toward adulthood that her mother isn’t sure she’s prepared to take.

Created by Emmy winner John Masius (St. Elsewhere, Providence, Dead Like Me), HAWTHORNE comes to TNT from Sony Pictures Television in association with Pinkett Smith’s 100% Womon Productions, John Masius Productions and Jamie Tarses’ FanFare Productions. HAWTHORNE is executive-produced by Pinkett Smith; Masius; Glen Mazzara (The Shield, Crash, Life); and Jamie Tarses (My Boys). 

I HIGHLY recommend that you check these shows out because if you're anything like me - and enjoy good characterization in your television viewing... I have to care about what happens to the characters or the show is dead for me... you won't be disappointed by the folks at TNT!


  1. This is a great post. Those are shows I would have never tried, but now may. Thanks!

  2. I almost have to take you on your word about Rizzoli & Isles. I'm not much in to the whole cobs & robbers TV genre, because it's all been done before. I don't really watch prime time TV dramas since Law & Order went off the air.

    Maybe I'll check them out!


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