This is the time in the TV year when you never know what to expect. Your regular shows might be showing re-runs already or they might be on a short hiatus, due to return in a few weeks. At any rate, it’s a good time to stick your toe in the water and try some programs you normally don’t watch.
I’m going to give you a “down and dirty” rundown of some I’ve tried and enjoyed. If you want to know more details, I’ll let you get those elsewhere. I’m just here to give you the general idea so you can decide if it might be something that would appeal to you.
Justified – This is a cable show on FX and since I don’t have cable, I’ve just finished Season One on DVD. It’s about a U.S. Marshall named Raylan Givens, a character created by Elmore Leonard and played by Timothy Olyphant, who is transferred from Florida back to his hometown in Kentucky. There he is surrounded by people he grew up with, many whom are now criminals. He’s known for being rather quick on the draw, but he never shoots anyone unless it is “justified.” I can’t take my eyes off of Olyphant. He’s that good. Great cast and stories.
The Chicago Code – This show is new this year on Fox and features Jennifer Beals as a police commissioner in Chicago. She was put in the job by a devious, crooked alderman who expected her to be his puppet. It didn’t work out that way. She has made it her goal to expose him and his criminal activities, with the help of an old friend on the force. This show really illustrates how dirty politics work. I didn’t expect to like it, but find myself enjoying it more and more.
Nikita – A spy-like show about a secret government organization which carries out assassinations. Nikita is one of their former “students” who escaped and has gone freelance. She has a mole inside in the person of a young woman. Fast-paced. Lots of action.
Shark Tank – This show was new last year and just returned. Five or so venture capitalists listen to regular everyday people make a pitch for a product or service they’ve discovered or invented. Any one or all of the “sharks” can make an offer to invest in their company. I find it fascinating to see what people come up with and how they sell their ideas. This is on Fridays at 7:00 p.m. central time.
Doc Martin – This is a British show on PBS that’s shown at 8:00 Saturday nights. It’s about a brilliant surgeon who discovered that he passes out at the sight of blood. Thus, he has opened a general practice in a small town on the British seaside. He’s goofy-looking, has no bedside manner and is a brilliant doctor. I would say that he’s like “House,” but without the maliciousness. This guy just doesn’t know how to act with people, except his elderly aunt who has a farm in the town. I came across this show by accident and, at first, was mesmerized by the strangeness of this character. The guy is so rude and yet cares about healing people. I often find myself getting angry with him and then feeling sorry for him. The stories are a mixture of humor and pathos. All I can say is I showed up by accident and now stay by choice. Charming show.
Okay, that’s it for now. I was going to make a crack about that new show, Body of Proof, and how, after seeing a million commercials with Dana Delany’s smug smile, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole, but then I figured that would be beneath me, so I won’t.