Character TV

By Allison Brennan


Sometimes, I really hate following Alex. She’s so sharp when it comes to story analysis, that I feel inadequate. And while I’ve seen most of the popular movies, truly, I’m a television addict.


It’s true. I love TV. So when I gave it up for three years to write (because I was working full-time, had five kids, and the only time I had to write was in the late evenings) it was a huge sacrifice.


But ultimately, it was a sacrifice that not only showed me how much I love television, but made me cognizant of what I watch and appreciate the good shows.


My television time is still limited, because writing and the kids come first, and now I will not tolerate commercials, so all TV is viewed either on DVD or my AppleTV. Most shows are 40-45 minutes, so at the end of the evening, when everyone is asleep, after I’ve put in my writing time, I watch an episode of whatever series I’m on.


Maybe I don’t write the high-concept big books because I think in terms of episodic television and not two-hour movies. And high-concept movies are, ultimately, about plot. That’s what sells them. The “big idea”, the fear, the universal understanding. Television is about character. Sure, there’s a general structure to the storyline, but television that works (at least for me) is about the characters who tell that story.


It’s the same way with books. I like a good, twisty plot, but if the character isn’t there–if I don’t care what happens to them, if I don’t really know them, if they’re not three-dimensional and complex–then I don’t really like the book. I might appreciate the plot or writing, but I won’t love the book.


Some of my favorite television shows of late aren’t the popular shows. I don’t watch reality TV, or the singing and dancing shows. I hear about them, I know what’s going on, but I can’t sit and watch them, and I don’t want to DVR them or buy them. I’m just not interested. Few of the shows I watch are on network television. I always thought I had very popular-and populist-taste in modern culture, but maybe I’m just a bit off. After all, after only two seasons network television cancelled one of my all-time favorite shows LIFE, a brilliant story about an LA cop who’s wrongfully convicted of murdering his partner and spends 12 years in prison before his sentence is over-turned and he’s paid $50 million in restitution . . . and given back his old job, which he uses to find out who framed him. Though cancelled, the network let the creators wrap up the show, so it’s worth watching the two seasons. The character study of Detective Charlie Crews is amazing. Hmm, I might need to watch the show again.


(Another show that should never have been cancelled was VERONICA MARS, which I believe was on the WB, but I’ve blogged about that before. It’s essentially a modern day, edgy Nancy Drew and was amazing on all levels. It, too, was largely character driven but had the added ingredient of contemporary problems for teens.)


So what am I watching now or looking forward to?




The best show of the year. It seemed to be ignored by the awards circuit, but I’ve watched the first season twice. (And I rarely watch re-runs, just like I rarely re-read books.) This fact should tell you that JUSTIFIED is a must-see show. (And not just because Timothy Olyphant stars, though that’s a big plus!)


Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, and from the credits he appears to be involved in production as well, JUSTIFIED tells the story of a US Marshall who, after killing a fugitive in public, is forced to take a position in the US Marshall’s office in his hometown in eastern Kentucky. His ex-wife is there, his criminal father, and his old friends-and enemies.


JUSTIFIED would be just another cop show if not for the characters. Raylan Givens, the tortured hero with a lot of skeletons in his closet; his ex-wife Winona who had an affair with a realtor and divorced Raylan (OKAY-I just need to state for the record that I don’t like Winona, and not just because she was an idiot who cheated on her husband-not only her husband, but her sexy cop heroic husband, with a paunchy realtor!-but because she’s a siren, and when she thinks Raylan is falling for someone else, she takes off her wedding ring and . . . well, ’nuff said, you gotta see the show yourself.) Then there’s Ava Crowder, Raylan’s love-interest, who you think at first is a pretty white trash bimbo who killed her abusive husband, but who has more spine and courage than most women and really, she came into her own about halfway through the season until the finale where she really shined. And Boyd Crowder, arguably my favorite character, Raylan’s one-time friend and now a fugitive bank robber, who had an about-face after nearly dying-or did he?


The secondary characters are good, primarily in the US Marshall’s office, but they need to be fleshed out more in season two, particularly Jacob Pitts character Tim Gutterson, a veteran sniper who served in Afghanistan. He has a lot of potential. But the show is about Raylan and his past and present colliding.


This series has is courage and character and it’s my number one favorite show.




Essentially, this is CATCH ME IF YOU CAN if Frank Abagnale, Jr. was a cultured art thief and forger who worked in the field for the FBI after he was convicted. This show was on the skids for me at the beginning, and I’d never have watched the entire first season because the plots were a bit predictable and I didn’t see potential, except I loved the characters. This is a buddy show, with a smart FBI agent Peter Burke (played by Tim DeKay) and a smart con artist/forger Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer.) The stories are hit or miss, but the relationship between this unlikely partnership is terrific. I don’t see this show sticking around more than three seasons (I may be wrong; we’re in the middle of season two) because the conflict isn’t sustainable over time (IMO) but for now, it’s a great character study.




I didn’t expect to like this show, and honestly, it’s not fantastic, but I find myself compelled to watch it every week when it downloads to my AppleTV. Why? Because of the main character, homicide detective Jim Longworth. Exiled from Chicago after being wrongfully accused of sleeping with his captain’s wife, he thinks he has the easy life in a small Florida town in the Everglades. But of course, murder can happen anywhere! He’s smart, resourceful, sarcastic, and cutting. And he is falling in love with the wife of a convicted felon . . . and she hasn’t filed for divorce.


Why is it not fantastic? I don’t know . . . maybe it’s because it’s just five shows. It’s getting more comfortable, and I can’t NOT watch it, I love the character and his quirks and mannerisms. It’s truly a show that works for me because of the actor more than the storylines, because he fits the character so well. So . . . I’ll continuing watching it. I bought the first season, after all!


I’ll admit, these aren’t the only television shows I’m watching . . . there’s SUPERNATURAL and THE GATES and LAW & ORDER SVU and RIZZOLI & ISLES and CASTLE (yes, I watch CASTLE, so sue me. Again, character people! Put the bad police procedure aside, because it’s all about the characters. And Nathan Fillion . . . )


But these three shows are “off” season, they started mid-season or over the summer, and so they stand out to me.


I have BREAKING BAD on my AppleTV and MAD MEN season one on DVD and those will be up next. But when you only watch one episode a night, it takes awhile to get through the backlog. And then there’s BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, which I’m watching with my daughters and we’ve just started season five . . .


What television shows are you enjoying? What shows do you wish were never cancelled? What are you looking forward to the season premiere?  (For me, it’s JUSTIFIED . . . can not WAIT until season two . . . ) 

41 thoughts on “Character TV

  1. Barbie

    CASTLE is my favorite. I don't care the littlest bit about anything they have wrong on the show. I can't wait for the new season. And Nathan Fillion totally gives me bad thoughts ♥

  2. David

    I have to agree JUSTIFIED is great, and the cable offerings outshine the networks. I feel the same way about MEMPHIS BEAT as you do about THE GLADES, I watch it week after week but not exactly sure what it is about it I like. Others I watch from the USA NETWORK/TNT stables include LEVERAGE, ROYAL PAINS, THE CLOSER, of course RIZZOLI & ISLES and one of the most unappreciated offerings on TV, imo, IN PLAIN SIGHT,

    The two shows I regret not watching from the start (and plan to pick up in DVD) are BURN NOTICE and DEXTER. I did watch DEXTER's 1st season but have not seen the rest (yet).

    Also, I am so jealous of anyone who is experiencing BUFFY for the fist time. Amazing on so many levels. If you are enjoying BUFFY I also recommend you not ANGEL. A bit different feel than BUFFY but with amazing character development and interaction.

    Happy viewing

  3. David

    I meant to write:

    I also recommend you not miss ANGEL. A bit different feel than BUFFY but with amazing character development and interaction.

  4. Debby J

    JUSTIFIED rocks. I love that the writers have kept the whole Elmore Leonard feel to the show. It's not just TV characters with Elmore Leonard names–it's Elmore Leonard brought to life on the small screen. And you're right, it doesn't hurt that Timothy Olyphant plays Raylan Givens. To be honest, I'd watch it just to see him walk across the screen.

  5. Doug Riddle

    Allison, check out Rubicon. . . .fantastic. LOL and you really don't like Winona. . . .because I don't remember it ever being said that she "cheated" on Rylan. Now I maybe wrong and missed something (I have actually watched the reruns, like you something I don't normally do) but I don't recall that ever being said. I know her and Raylan sat on the porch of his motel in one episode and discussed there past, but what I got was she left him because he wasn't around. I didn't get that the realtor came before the break up, but after. Like I said I may be wrong.

  6. PK the Bookeemonster

    Definitely Rubicon. It's not too late to get started on it, right before Mad Men on Sundays. It's a smart mix of conspiracy theory and A Beautiful Mind without the psychosis.
    I also watch Lie To Me regularly. Tim Roth is just a joy to watch and I like the body language stuff. I'm also watching currently the miniseries on Starz, Pillars of the Earth. Great cast and it's one of my favorite time periods.
    I have a hard time with sitcoms; I don't watch American Idol or the dance shows. The reality shows I do watch will have to be another time. When possible, evenings are best spent reading.
    But as to the thought that tv shows are more focused on character it seems like mostly they don't change or grow — there are exceptions of course. They have a set of characteristics that define them and then stick with it which gets stale over time.

  7. Cornelia Read

    I'm into TRUE BLOOD, BIG LOVE, TREME, LIE TO ME, THE CLOSER, DAMAGES, WEEDS… wish THE WIRE were still going. And SOPRANOS. And CRACKER, on Brit TV. And of course PRIME SUSPECT.

  8. JD Rhoades

    We just finished the last season of Buffy a few weeks ago and have been casting about for something to rep[lace the Friday night Buffy-thons. So far season one of MAD MEN is doing the job. Thanks to the fact that we can now stream some selections on Netflix direct to the TV, The Boy and I are working our way through DOCTOR WHO ( I don't know who I'll watch it with when he's gone!) We've also just started with DEXTER and VERONICA MARS.

    So we really don't watch much current TV :-).

    Tying your post and Alex's together, Alex talked yesterday about Big Stakes helping to make the book a Big Book.(I will always treasure "But was THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES on the island?")

    I was thinking, though, after reading one of Bryon's replies, that one way to make the stakes big is to make the characters so important to the reader that their destruction would be a major tragedy.

  9. Allison Brennan

    Barbie, I do enjoy CASTLE, but it's my fantasy. To, you know, be a crime fiction writer with a permanent ride-along with a cop. Of course, I'd want my cop to be Raylan Givens . . .

    David, I also watched the first season of DEXTER but stopped. Don't know why, it was a great show, but I think it was a factor of time. That was before I had my AppleTV. I watched the first 2 seasons of Buffy when it first aired, but they changed the time from 9 to 8 and that was when my kids went to bed and I read to them, so I dumped it. But I much more enjoy watching it with those same two kids now–they're 14 and 16!

    Because we have very similar tastes in shows, I'm going to have to try out IN PLAIN SIGHT. I'll often download the pilot (they often have them for free on iTunes) and then buy the season. How many seasons are they into it?

    Exactly Debby! (On both accounts–Elmore Leonard and Timothy Olyphant!) Leonard is still involved with the show, from what I've read, and I think that keeps the characters true to his vision and consistent.

    Doug, RUBICON, check. Will look it up (I'm never going to get any writing done!!! I'll have to binge watch after I get this book done.) re: Winona. No, I don't like her. I thought I did in the first couple of episodes, and I love how she and Ava are totally different. But now I'll have to rewatch the first 2 or 3 episodes. I'm almost positive that she slept with Gary before she left Raylan–for exactly the reason you said, because he wasn't around enough. (Though honestly, Gary? Really, if she was going to sleep around on Raylan Givens you'd think she'd pick someone better.) I do not trust her.

    PK, another vote for Rubicon! I agree about characters, though, that don't grow. I loved HEROES (for the first season, and then parts of seasons three and four were good, but it wasn't consistent) because the characters changed–some for the worse, some for the better. And, well, I just loved Peter Petrelli.) I think the reason these three shows stand out (well, at least JUSTIFIED) is the complexity of character and how integral backstory is and how beautifully it's woven in. I love the character interaction, the dialogue, and the relationship between Boyd and Raylan. I'd read that Boyd wasn't going to be a permanent character (Walter Groggins), but he was amazing and I think without him the show wouldn't have been quite as good as it is. But with sit coms and some of the network shows, I agree about character growth. It's like they can't push the envelop because of "ratings" or whatever, but they're losing because of predictable retreads. LIFE was an exception, but it didn't do well in the ratings and was cancelled (I think it was NBC.) If LIFE was on USA Network or TNT I think it would still be on. It was a little too "quiet" and smart for network television.

    Cornelia, out of all of those I've only watched THE CLOSER (I was religious about it for four years, but haven't watched the last two seasons) and THE WIRE (which I wish I'd watched from the beginning!!!)

  10. Allison Brennan

    Dusty, I know what you mean . . . who am I going to watch shows with when my girls are gone? My husband and I watch Rizzoli & Isles (and we're working our way through LOST) but the girls and I love the same types of shows. And it's our bonding time 🙂 I've got to check the Netflix out, because it would be cheaper than buying on iTunes, but I love iTunes and I can take episodes with me when I travel.

    My husband is watching STAR TREK with my 9 year old in the evenings. I've seen every episode a half dozen times, but Dan never gets tired of it.

  11. Debbie

    My fav's of all time areWest Wing and Studio 60 (anything done by Aaron Sorkin for that matter I expect). My husband and I don't have any cable etc. but he owns collections of series up the wazoo. We're making our way through Mad About You because I swear, it's a snapshot of our married life and we're narcississtic. We constantly hit each other and say, 'hey, that's you'.

  12. Jen

    Still mourning the loss of LIFE.

    LOVE Justified and I personally think Boyd Crowder is currently the most fascinating character on tv.

    While I enjoy Fillion on CASTLE, I really wish Firefly had never been cancelled.

    Great post, Allison. Thanks!

  13. Fran

    Let me add my voice to the pro-Castle group. It's fun, the writing's snappy and smart, and while I don't remember many of the plots, I love the people. The same is true of Leverage, although they periodically have some truly touching and teachable moments. Add to that Rizzoli and Isles as well as The Closer, and I think you've summed up my watching habits. With a little L&O:SVU thrown in.

    But I have the West Wing on DVD for back-up, because somehow it still seem timely.

    And I know we're supposed to stay away from politics here, but I gotta say I loves me some Rachel Maddow. She makes me laugh.

  14. David

    IN PLAIN SIGHT just finished airing its third season. 1 & 2 are available on DVD (I believe)

    Since you mentioned STAR TREK. Another unrated favorite of mine is STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. A show whose character development and overall story arc I didn't fully appreciate until I watched all 7 seasons in rapid fire secession with my daughter a few years ago.

    I recommend EUREKA and WAREHOUSE 13 over on SYFY. Different, clever and great fun.

    Oh, and while on this SF binge, anyone who likes great characters and fun, snappy dialogue, check out Joss Wheaton's other masterpiece; FIREFLY and the movie; SERENITY.

  15. Cheryl

    My first visit here, I couldnt resist the post on tv show. But I am not an author, I hope I am not doing wrong. In plain Site – it rocks! This show to me is right up there with Justified. Rizzoli and Isles because I have read everyone of those books 🙂 (As well as every one of yours Allison) The Closer, Royal Pains ,Memphis Beat, Leverage, White Collar, Covert Affairs (the new one that follows after White Collar)Supernatural, NCIS, NCIS LA,Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Eureka,Haven,Sanctuary, Stargate Universe and of course Castle 🙂

  16. Allison Brennan

    LOL Debbie! I can just see you and your husband . . .

    Judi, I have never heard of RUBICON before today, and now you're like the fourth person! Clearly, I'm missing something . . .

    Jen, I loved FIREFLY too! What a terrific show screwed up because of the network. (They rearranged the airing of the episodes so they were aired out of order–I saw it on DVD, so in the right order, and I was stunned that they canceled. GREAT show with very interesting characters.)

    You and I are very similar Fran! (And I agree about CASTLE–it's one of those shows that would not work except for the actors and dialogue. They deliver amazingly well. And I love the relationship between Rick Castle and his mother and daughter. I wish they'd work that in more.)

    David, I love Joss Whedon. He really creates people. Like a not-so-mad scientist! And I do enjoy WAREHOUSE-13, but it's not a must watch for me. It had a lot of potential, and I like the history lessons and the history tweaks, but it doesn't quite do it.

    Cheryl, of course you're not doing it wrong!!! Murderati is for writers AND readers 🙂 And obviously television viewers! I'm so glad you enjoy my books. I, too, have read all of Tess's books. I had a problem with the opening 2 episodes of the series because of the way the characters are in my head, but now I watch it for the show that it is, and am really enjoying it. I love Angie Harmon, and she really makes the show. The dialogue is fantastic, and I love her expressions and the way she moves.

    Louise, I did tell you I was a TV addict! While I enjoy WHITE COLLAR and THE GLADES because of the main characters more than the storylines, JUSTIFIED is a winner on all levels, so watch that. At Thrillerfest, I talked to some people about it and everyone there loved it.

    Who mentioned MEMPHIS BLUES? That's been recommended by two people, and now I think I'll need to find it. I have to fill my time before JUSTIFIED and SUPERNATURAL start up again . . .

  17. pari noskin taichert

    I know I should check out the other shows you mentioned because I loved V Mars AND Life!!!!

    I still enjoy reruns of Medium and am now hooked on The Good Wife.

    I have a question for you though: How do you get to sleep after writing late at night? I find if I take that particular time, I end up turning the story in my mind and can't wind down . . .

  18. Allison Brennan

    Hi Pari, I think we have similar tastes in shows too!

    I write at night because I don't get enough done during the day, and I'm a bit of a night owl. I usually stop writing @ 1, and watch an episode before going to bed. I have a glass of wine or whatever 🙂 and unwind during that 45 minutes. I have been known to fall asleep on the couch in my office . . .

  19. Patricia Sargeant

    I love The Closer, Leverage, Eureka and Rizzoli & Eisles. I didn't want to get hooked on Rizzoli & Eisles – like you, Allison, I have to protect my writing time – but those characters kidnapped me. I seem to lean toward larger, ensemble casts. I like the way the characters play off each other. The jokers, the brooders, the street smart and smart-smart characters, the goody two shoes and the troublemakers. I love the chemistry.



  20. Debbie

    I love witty fast-paced dialogue. Forgot to mention Star Gate and okay, don't laugh but…Gilmore Girls. As for cancelled shows really wanted to know where Earth Two was going – it was rich in symbolism and I enjoy discecting just about anything for hiden meaning and/or to create theories.

  21. michael

    Since all the shows I currently watch have been mention, let me mention a few I wish had never been cancelled. The Middleman was a great show on the wrong network and worth a look on DVD. Back in the late 1970s and early 80s I was a TV critic for local Louisiana newspapers, so I saw nearly every show. Coming out soon on DVD is one of those shows that died too young, Ellery Queen starring Jim Hutton.
    Two shows I still miss and wish were on (legal) DVDs are Harry O with David Janssen and Q.E.D. with Sam Waterson as a steampunk Sherlock Holmes complete with his own arch nemesis (aired only a few episodes on CBS in 1982).

    And forgive me but I have never been able to make it through an entire episode of Castle. From the cliche characters to the will they or won't they (ever let the characters relationship develop beyond the second date stage) I have seen too many romantic comedy mysteries to make it through one more. I will admit this coming season (spoiler alert) the Castle writers are giving it a twist that would have save my still missed Remington Steele.

  22. Mike Dennis

    No doubt about it, JUSTIFIED is a great show. And for all the reasons you mentioned, Allison. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing more of the Dixie Mafia chieftain in the second season.

    You know, I was worried about this show when it first came out. I loved the premise and pilot, and of course Timothy Olyphant. But I was concerned that they wouldn't be able to hold my interest week after week in Harlan, Kentucky. I mean, after all, how much crime can there be? How long before we grow weary of shotgun-toting rednecks.

    Not to worry, I was told on the blogs following each episode. The well is bottomless.

    So what happens then? The worst possible scenario: the third episode was set in, of all places, Los Angeles. I was certain that storyline bankruptcy had set in.

    But no! The writers dug deep and crafted a great season-long Kentucky-based arc involving Givens' father, the Crowder family, and the smoldering sexuality that pervaded every heated episode.

    I'm getting the boxed set and I'm looking forward to next season! Bring it on!

  23. David

    As far as canceled shows — and I believe it had run its course and cancellation was the right move, at the write time — I'm suffering withdrawal knowing I don't have Jack Bauer to looking forward to in January.

    One of the most creative, daring concepts on TV. Ever. 24 rocked!

  24. Dudley Forster

    I’m with you Allison on all the talent and reality shows, unless you include Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers and Dirty Jobs.

    First, let’s get Star Trek out of the way. I am not a Trekkie, I have never been to a convention, but I have seen every episode of STOS, STNG, STDS9 and STV at least ten times. The only other Sci-Fi show I followed that avidly was Stargate SG-1

    Now a confession, I admit I was a big BtVS fan. I was what was called a Bronzer. We were the nuts that posted on the official discussion board, named after the Bronze, the hangout club in Buffy. Here’s the thing about the Bronzers’ love for the show, it wasn’t about the cast, it was about the stories. The stars for us were Joss and the writers. A big event on the board was when one of the writers dropped by and one of the most coveted items was an autographed copy of a script. Most of us didn’t dream of being actors, we wanted to be writers for Mutant Enemy.

    Current summertime fare includes Rizzoli & Isles (though it is not the books, which I love), the Glades, Haven, Warehouse 13, Eureka and White Collar. All of which go on my DVR since I’m like Allison and I can’t stand commercials.

    Other current shows include Castle (yes I bought the book, yes it is a brilliant marketing gimmick and no I couldn’t resist) CSI and CSI NY, NCIS and Law & Order Criminal Intent (the ones with Jeff Goldblum) I used to watch Criminal Minds and my wife still does, but I got tired of Hotchner. Somebody just put him down; it’s the humane thing to do.

    I can think of a lot of shows I wish had not been canceled or just ended too soon. A lot of them are British. Their idea of how many shows are in a season drives me bat shit. I wanted more Primeval, Murder in Suburbia and Red Hats. On this side of the pond, I liked The Women’s Murder Club (the books are the only Patterson’s on my must read list) and still don’t know why Studio 60 was canceled, it had some of the best writing since West Wing. Hmm, wonder why I think that. The one that really made me mad though, was the cancellation of Threshold.

    The number one show on my “why the hell do they watch that' list is Lost and the number one show of all time would have to be MASH.

  25. toni mcgee causey

    LIFE, hands down, one of the best shows, and I am so glad they got to wrap it up. One of the best finales I've ever seen.

    JUSTIFIED (as you know) is my new favorite. I have rewatched the episodes and, well, everything you already said. (Although I'm pretty sure Raylan mentioned earlier in the season to someone… maybe his boss… that Winona had gone off with the realtor before they were divorced. Basically, he went to Miami and she was supposed to sell the house and join him, and she didn't–she ended up with the realtor.)

    Veronica Mars, Buffy, Firely, The Wire, Gilmore Girls (until Amy decided to write the little plot contrivance, aka, Luke's daughter, into the show. Talk about derailing a series. Bug GG was still one of the best written, snappiest romantic comedies in TVland, ever.) The Closer and Rizzoli and Isles are both favorites.

    I never could get into 24 or Lost. (I think I am the only person in America who hasn't watched Lost.)

  26. Paula R.

    Hi Allison, I caught a couple of episodes of Justified and I liked what I saw. It was maybe 6 or seven shows in, and I stopped. I need to go back to the beginning of season to really appreciate it. Currently, I watch L&O:SVU (reruns on USA), NCIS, Rizzoli & Isles ( love this new show). I am reading the books, which are waaaaaayyyyy better, but Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander are two of my fave actresses who are getting it done. I have been watching Burn Notice as well. Royal Pains if it's on, but I am not overly committed to it. I love Castle as well. I tried Covert Affairs, but I didn't like it that much, and that is purely because the actress playing the main character, just doesn't jibe for me as a CIA agent.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  27. JK Beck

    Thanks for the recommendation of Life! I'd never heard of it, but it sounds great, and I just bought the pilot from iTunes. As for Breaking Bad and Mad Men…LOVE them. Report back when you start watching them. And Buffy is a major given for me. Rewatching them with hubby and eldest daughter (though she's not old enough for the college eps, so there will soon be a big gap in our watching).

    And whoever said The Wire…YES.

    All in all, great post. Thanks!

  28. Allison Brennan

    Toni, I loved season one of LOST and they lost me with the end of season two and the beginning of season three. My husband really wants to finish it, but I can't get into it anymore. HEROES was another show that started SOOOO strong and they really messed up some things (I blame the writers strike for destroying that show–they had to deal with a lot in season two that just didn't get handled right. I mean, whatever happened to Caitlin???? No one ever talked about her again.)

    Criminal Minds . . . I don't love it, but it's okay. I don't like Hotch, I don't like the female characters, though I like Rossi (the new guy) and Dr. Reed. I just think it's too *perfect.* They don't make (many) mistakes, they're a little mightier than thou, and I don't see any real depth of character. When they finally start getting deep, they then pull back. I really liked the season that had Reed's relationship with his mother explained, it was truly compelling and interesting. I did NOT like the last season finale and I don't think I'll watch the show anymore because of it. I was Pissed. Off.

  29. --Deb

    I agree about CASTLE, too–not least because it's Nathan Fillion playing a writer. And I love WHITE COLLAR, yes, mostly because of the relationship between Neal and Peter (and Mozzie). Other shows? CHUCK is my number one show and I adore it, but am also loving LEVERAGE because, well Timothy Hutton and a bunch of do-gooding, talented thieves running help-the-little-guy cons every week? What's not to love?

    Otherwise? Most of the rest of my TV viewing is via DVD these days, for the shows that I love that aren't on air anymore. QUANTUM LEAP, EARLY EDITION, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, FIREFLY, WEST WING, ELI STONE … I've noticed I have a yen for normal, everyday heroes struggling to do good because of some extra gift (tomorrow's newspaper, hearing voices,leaping through time). Oh, and let's not forget FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS which is awesome. (For that matter, anything with Kyle Chandler is awesome, which is why I've been watching HOMEFRONT on YouTube lately, because it's not available on DVD yet.)

    And, did I mention how much I love CHUCK? The normal guy who gets a supercomputer in his brain and starts working for the CIA while trying to win the girl, but still try to have as normal a life as possible, creating a marvelous mix of spy-show, humor, action, romance, and just general awesomeness? (Not least because his brother-in-law is known as Captain Awesome because he just IS.) Man, I adore this show.

  30. Catherine

    The free to air channels here have a tendency to deep six audiences chances of seeing some shows. LIFE was a prime example. The networks usually only give a show a couple of weeks to pull the numbers, and it they're not there…. the shows end up on very late, or dropped for a couple of weeks, or put on repeat alternating with new episodes.

    It's a mess.

    I was sorry to see LIFE cancelled, but because the network here that carried starting doing switch-a-roo tactics I barely saw any of Season 2. Looking for the positive, at least it will be fresh for me when I buy both seasons on DVD.

    Thanks Toni for mentioning that the series ends well.

    I also miss CRACKER.

  31. Debbie

    All In The Family – can anyone even conceive of a character like Archie Bunker on TV in today's PC environment? …and yeah MASH absolutly.

  32. Tom

    Dudley, I believe new episodes of PRIMEVAL are planned for release next year. BBC uncancelled it, or so I heard late last year. Danny should be rescued.

    LEVERAGE; FRINGE (who can resist Walter?); LIE TO ME; STARGATE UNIVERSE; and Mary&Marshall, or as the USA folks call it, IN PLAIN SIGHT – these are enough to keep me way too attentive to other folks' fictions.

  33. Rachel Walsh

    JUSTIFIED sounds just my cup of tea, Alison. Will have to check it out …and I hope you love BREAKING BAD as much as I did. I watched the first four episodes just last week and I'm hooked.

    Another great show is THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, a series that is packed full of brilliantly drawn – and acted – characters. Love it!

  34. Allison Brennan

    Thanks so much for commenting! I had to run out and do back-to-school shopping today and it was Hell. Took FOREVER. And forgot to come back here and comment :/ Just watched an episode of THE GATES which was good and creepy. The series has potential . . . it's not quite there, but I'm liking the direction.

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