Tag Archives: CBS

Parenthood and The Good Wife Feature Compelling Family Dynamics

Parenthood wasn’t on last night and I was bummed…I like hanging out with the Braverman’s partly to avoid my own family’s dysfunction but also because the NBC family isn’t perfect, either. Certainly, their troubles aren’t as wild as Kalinda’s (Archie Panjabi) on CBS’ The Good Wife, another of my must-watch television shows, but it’s those day to day moments of a family, that Parenthood offers, that are special. In contrast, The Good Wife is often all mirrors and illusions in terms of the political scene and the law firm…and the domestic life of both Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda is totally out of the realm of reality for most people. But still the character’s personal lives are what ground the show and allow for all the intrigue and high jinks on the job.


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The Good Wife’s Season Finale is Mixed Bag

Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Will (Josh Charles) finally lock lips in a scene that seemed a bit contrived…an elevator, come on that’s been done a zillion times…but then why not pop thousands for the presidential suite when you’ve waited this long to bed the love of your life. 

While their consummation was a matter of suggestion Kalinda’s roll in the sheets puts her back in action although perhaps with more of a conscious. But Jane Alexander steals the show as a rebel of a judge and Chris Noth as Peter Florick is definitely up to something.

As ambitious as Alicia is her chance for a corner office may come at a huge price…as liasion to the manipulative, cunning campaign manager as played by the wonderful Alan Cumming.

The past few episodes have been a bit “too much” for me and I found myself rooting for Noth when he challenged Alicia about Will. There’s no way Alicia and Kalinda will not get over this hurdle..and no matter what you thought about the season finale…it sets up some great storylines for next season.

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Odds-n-Ends — Big Love, Californication and The Good Wife.

Ok…first off I have been very sick for a long time…but I’ve also been a couch potato too and watching lots of television. Let me say that watching the Sex in the City reruns, even on E, which butchers them and bleeps the curse words out…that show still holds up…is so well written and was always about the relationship between friends.

Speaking of sisterhood. I’m still reeling from the series finale of HBO’s Big Love. While I kept thinking that Bill (Bill Paxton) was definitely going to be punished for his hubris but more for trying to make his lifestyle accepted in the state, to say it was a shock that he was killed by his neighbor is an understatement. But he paid the ultimate price for his faith…like Jesus dying on the cross? I don’t know if that symbolism was present for the writers or more of the suppressed anger and rage so many people have these days that they try to solve with a bullet. 

As much as I loved the show, it was inevitable that Bill would have to be brought down as much for his wanting to go public with their lifestyle as for trying to destroy the compound. What always interested me more though and what the show was really about was the relationship between the sister wives. And that’s what the creators left us with.three very different, and often flawed women who still love each other and will keep the family together.  Was it a satisfying payoff…I am still not sure but when the show ends with the wives together with their children in a send off to Margene (Gennifer Godwin), it seemed right that the “little girl” who has grown up went out to explore the world, while Barb (Jeanne Triplehorn became a  priest holder and the empowered woman she has always been and Nicki (Chole Sevigny, who will continue to act out and represent the wounds of the radical polygamist agenda. What she said to her daughter still haunts me and it’s that part of Nicki that is very hard for me to reconcile…in an era where sister wives are on a reality show and some appeared on Oprah polgamy has gone a bit more mainstream. And that’s what the show really pulled off was that as much as that lifestyle seems so strange to me, I was always drawn to the relationships between the women…how they dealt with marriage, sex while trying to grow and develop in their own right. That they definitely did…much more I think than Bill who ended up seeming much more naive and clinging to a way of life that no longer made as much sense to the members of his own family.

On to Showtime’s Californication’s season finale last night. As I’ve grown a little sick of Hank…even though he was afraid of the prospect of going to jail (funny that both he and Bill on Big Love were facing time for statutory rape)  it seems to have made no impact on him. Or maybe it will next season. But I am really tiring of the rampant sex…and him making the same mistakes over and over. Is it realistic, yes to some degree as we humans seem to do that…but as a writer I guess I assumed that he would be more reflective.

While Rob Lowe’s character has been hilarious…and the whole movie industry and Hollywood satirized to extreme…I am sick of sex being the way the characters communicate. Hank’s relationship with his daughter is the most rewarding to watch…always has been but it would seem that he would do anything to redeem himself in her eyes.  If he’s going after them as he drives into the sunset, the question I have is why is he always chasing them but when he has them in his grasp he always messes it up. It’s time for some tough love Hank and for you to grow up.

 The Good Wife revealed a zinger, too.  Of course I’m talking about Kalinda (Archie Panjabi). Early on in the CBS drama, I suspected that she knew something about Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), that there was some secret they shared but definitely didn’t suspect it was a sexual encounter. Guess a tryst should have crossed my mind since Kalinda uses her sexuality just like she uses people so what she really wants or who she really is has always been a bit up for grabs. But now maybe we will see the real Kalinda stand up and deal with Alicia (Julianna Margulies), someone who she seems to respect. So now we wait…hopefully not too long and please creators don’t make Alicia finding out part of the cliff hanger! But please do let her see another side of Will Gardner (Josh Charles) that may give her pause and fuel her realization that he may not be that different from her husband, after all. In the end, perhaps Alicia will let both go and just be on her own…the good wife no more.

 Looking forward to watching the new episode on Tuesday.

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Golden Globes FUELED BY “Girl” Power In TV Noms

The Golden Globe nominations for Best Television Series, Drama included four of my favorite shows — The Good Wife, Dexter, Mad Men and The Walking Dead and also Boardwalk Empire.  The Big C and Nurse Jackie receiving nods in Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy was sticky sweet icing on the cake.  These two comedies along with The Good Wife feature strong female leads that are allowed to be real flesh and blood women with major flaws. And Juliana Margulies should definitely win the Golden Globe, as she should have won the Emmy.  That’s no bashing Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer or the other nominees but Margulies is doing some of the best work, if not the best, of her career on this smartly written CBS hit, one of the few shows that my mom and I both enjoy.  And Laura Linney, without a doubt, should win Best Actress for The Big C…her performance literally hit the bullseye and delivered on material that could have been less powerful in the wrong hands. The Big C is my pick for best comedy, too.

While Mad Men was a bit uneven this season, it’s still so compelling and moving and that’s due in large part to Jon Hamm’s performance. Even though Don Draper is man who I wouldn’t want to date, I still can’t take my eyes off Hamm and that’s not just because of his looks (or that we both have roots in St. Louis and the University of Missouri) but because he’s a great actor who can also dance and sing. What’s not to like? And Thomas Jane should also win for HBO’s Hung, as he gives one of the best performances with blue-collar grit of a true Midwestern man who’s sexy yet  rough around the edges. 

Idris Elba should definitely win for his work on the BBC America’s Luther but I was a bit surprised that Timothy Olyphant was shut out as I love his work on Justified, which I am eagerly awaiting the drama’s second season on FX.  Love Chris Noth so if he wins for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture for The Good Wife I’ll sleep ok, but Scott Caan is one of the best parts of Hawaii Five-O so if he wins that’s fine.

Julia Stiles is excellent on Dexter and although no one could be as provocative as John Lithgow was last season Dexter’s foil, her character has added a new and welcome layer for the drama.

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CBS’The Good Wife is soooo Good – New Episode Tonight

The premiere of the second season of CBS’ The Good Wife, did not disappoint! This is women’s empowerment all the way and the writers haven’t backed off on Alicia’s journey of self-discovery. While I haven’t made a decision on who she should be with Will( Josh Charles) or husband (Chris Noth) but hubby scores points with me and I’m sure Alicia, Ha., for the wonderful bathroom scene where, turned on by her assertive, take-no- bullshit-court demeanor, goes down on her…although, that scene could have gone on a bit longer…but very good!!!!

Here’s comment from creator and showrunner (with his wife Michelle) Robert King during a recent panel at TCA on the title:  “I think it’s actually very descriptive I think the comment I made was it would have been niceto be ironic and call it “The Sexy Wife” or “The Sexy   Wife Whose Husband Goes Down On Her” or something like  that. That might have brought in more people.”   

And seeing Kalinda (Emmy award winning actor Archie Panjabi) in action is so satisfying, especially when she pushes the male investigator away…love it. These women drive the storylines and that makes it one of the must see TV shows on the air…not sure about the new people, although watching the new partner, played by Michael Ealy, won’t be too hard but let’s hope it adds to the drama because right now it feels like there may be too many people in the law office.

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Give me In Treatment, Big Love But You Can Have Boardwalk Empire

Ok I know I’m in the minority here but I just can’t get worked up about HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Despite its impressive pedigree, the pilot was directed by Martin Scorsese and its a creator and showerunner Terence Winter, a writer on The Sopranos,  I find myself unable to watch it…so instead I read what other television writers have said about the drama, which premieres this Sunday. Most of what’s been written is good but nothing that predicts glory for this series, starring Steve Buscemi. Part of my apathy is because I’m not interested in Atlantic City now or back in the 1920’s and I don’t see Buscemi, who I have loved in many films such as Fargo, as someone that’s charismatic enough to lead this drama. 

It’s not just that it’s a period piece, I loved Showtime’s The Tudor’s, it’s the storyline that leaves me cold.  Granted I have to admit that I also didn’t watch Dexter’s first season, believing that the subject matter wasn’t something I wanted to bring into my living room and then watched the entire first season in one weeked and am now a huge fan…so I guess I’m saying we all have our own prejudices and judgements.  A fellow writer and friend just doesn’t get Mad Men, despite consecutive Emmy wins for Best Drama…and I don’t watch Glee…or The Office or 30 Rock so there you go.

I’m a huge fan of most of HBO’s dramas and the trifecta of True Blood, Hung and Entourage ending their seasons definitely leaves my Sunday evenings a bit dull…thank God truly for PBS’ Masterpiece Mysteries and AMC’s Mad Men. I eagerly await the return of In Treatment and Big Love and the premiere of Enlightment…starring Laura Dern.

The entire new menu of television shows leaves me a bit lackluster, too. Very few pilots grabbed me and despite loving dark crime dramas, few of the new ones have made my “must see” list. Everyone buzzed about LoneStar, but I don’t know. I may watch the pilot and then go from there..will definitely try and get on board for NBC’s The Event and Hawaii Five-O on CBS because I really like the work of Scott CaanBut we all must wait and see…many of the new dramas and comedies won’t be around months of now and there will be the usual fallout. 

Until then, I’m content to watch Dateline and programming on Discover ID and that Parenthood’s new season is off to a good start (sorry NBC but I just am not into Outlaw, Undercovers). The second season of CBS’ The Good Wife begins on September 28, and  I’m enjoying The Big C. Stillsome show will emerge as a big winner and somebody will come along and shake things up. We will all just have to wait and “see.”

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 Last night’s episode of The Good Wife shows lead character, Alicia Florrick (played to perfection by Julianna Margulies)  as a true competitor who fights hard to keep her job.  But she definitely has gotten herself into something with her husband’s political consultant. And she has made an enemy although I’m a bit surprised (given the trailer for next week’s episode) that  Cary (Matt Czuchry)  will go to bat to destroy her and her husband (Chris Noth).  While Cary would be mad, that storyline lacks credibility. Sure, he went on his own campaign to be kept on as the junior associate, making cracks about her age, etc. but really?

Believe me, I love that Alicia is no push-over and quietly oozes strength and independence but if you get in bed with the devil…be prepared!!! And I don’t mean devil in any Biblical sense or fire and brimstone…I mean ethically and morally.

This show explores those gray areas and doesn’t deal in strictly good and bad, black and white….like with the mysterious Kalinda (the scene stealer Archie Panjabi)…thought her attraction was to women but last night the chemistry with the detective sizzled…love that subplot!!! Does she kiss him because she’s attracted…yes, mabye…but does she want the flow of information to keep coming to help out her law firm…yes.

I do have one complaint, though. Tread carefully showrunners if you were trying to make Alicia more likeable. I’ve got to believe that even though Noth has been jailed and is not working for a long time that there was some savings in their bank accounts, investments…that she could cash out to help the family’s finances. It seems though that  the creators wanted to show her paying her bills and being frustrated or anxious so we (the viewers) would sympathetic to her actions…as cutthroat as any man.

Come on creators — don’t throw in the towel now on this great character and try to make her more likeable…PLEASE.  She is flawed, multi-faceted, vulnerable yet tough, a mother yet a career woman…a survivor — in short a real flesh and blood woman on the small screen. Amen.

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