I have seen some great television over the past several months. The movies and shows below are how I got through the end of winter.
The Hunger Games (DVD)
One of those movies that everyone talks about and alludes to, so I thought I better check it out. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Some of the plot didn’t make sense and it was too long. Some of the scenes went on and on and on… But, Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic as was the rest of the cast. Excellent actors inhabiting interesting characters. Will I go see the sequel? Most likely. I hear that the books are excellent, so I have downloaded them. I’ll let you know.
This show kept popping up in my list of recommendations from Netflix, so a few months ago I started watching it. The first five seasons were fantastic. Two brothers, one an FBI agent, the other a math genius join forces to solve crimes. The math is fun and interesting and the cases were rarely dull. Unfortunately, it appeared that both the writers and the actors ran out of steam in the sixth season and it got a bit repetitive. Still, worth a watch if you are at all interested in math.
I cannot recommend this series highly enough. Only thirteen episodes, it was a mid-season replacement that never found an audience. For the life of me, I cannot imagine why as it is hilariously comic, highly romantic and just plain fun. If you are looking for something to while away a rainy weekend, look no further.
Kevin Costner won a Golden Globe for this role, so I was really looking forward to seeing it. The first hour was really interesting as the writers set up the reasons for the feud and showed how relatively minor events escalated because of two men who lived by the “death before dishonor” code. Once the feud was well underway, however, it began to feel a tad cartoonish as one scene after another just upped the body count. I watched all six hours, but the final three I watched while I did other things. Never a good sign.
Another show that never found an audience, yet should have. One of the best buddy pairings I have ever seen, supported by an interesting and complex group of friends and colleagues. The (anti)heroes are men that are incredibly flawed, yet on the road to redemption. A good mix of standalone episodes and an overarching story about corruption in a southern California town. If you haven’t seen this, you’ll be hooked by the end of the first episode.
I am the first person to admit that practicing law can be a boring business and, to make it interesting, we have to allow writers of television and film to bring a bit of dramatic license. This show, however, took that license to such an extreme that I spent a great deal of the series wondering how none of these people had been disbarred. Many of the characters were one dimensional (especially the son who was dreadfully miscast) and predictable. Kim Delaney, however, was very good as the lead and Rick Hoffman was outstanding as the prosecutor who is her chief rival and friend. Their performances kept this show from being a complete train wreck.
One of my favorite shows, Psych, celebrated its 100th episode by doing an homage to this film. As I had never seen it, I thought I would give it a chance. Simply dreadful. Great comic actors who had nothing to work with. Ninety minutes of my life I will never get back.
Dick Wolf does great television. One of the reasons his shows do so well is that he stays out of the bedroom and stays in the courtroom or the firehall. He broke his rule with this show. Centered on young DAs and their soap opera lives, some of the stories were good and I really liked many of the characters. Overall, however, it was a huge misfire. A lot of others agreed with me; it went off the air after only half a season.