Tag Archives: Castle

Castle: “Rise”

This week’s review of Castle is brought to you by the letter CAPS LOCK.

After watching the Castle S3 finale (in July…), I had a few general hypotheses about where the S4 premiere might go. By “hypotheses” I mean less predictions, more like “extrapolations of what might happen, based on well-worn cliches.” These were not, I stress, not things I was hoping for. Just things I was expecting.

1) We’d start after a time skip, when Beckett returned to work.

2) The new captain would try to split up Beckett and Castle/get rid of Castle.

3) Beckett wouldn’t remember the shooting, and she definitely wouldn’t remember the I Love You desplaration.*

So…how’d I do? Not too badly. Unfortunately, that means the folks at Castle didn’t do a whole lot better.

Let’s start with item #1: Time Skip. You could argue that I was flat out wrong about this. The episode did actually begin the moment immediately after the funeral, with Beckett being rushed off to the hospital in a high-stress, higher-drama sequence with some pretty sweet moving and handheld camera work. Effective way to get the audience’s blood pumping and recapture summer-muddled attention immediately, so props for that. However. However. I think it needs to be pointed out exactly how stupid the entire scene really was. For one thing, talk about a no-risk scenario. At no point was there any doubt that Beckett was going survive and be Just Fine. So, WHY EVEN BOTHER. (I actually rolled my eyes at the flat-lining. Most unnecessary melodramatic thirty seconds ever.) For another thing: Josh. All of that. He had more screentime in that opening scene than over the entire past season, and yet somehow I cared Even Less. Because first we see him being all That’s My Girlfriend! I Will Save Her! heroic (melodramatic cliche bullshit in its purest form), then we see him being Grar Macho Man I Blame You Castle! douchey (out of character, and we – the audience – didn’t like him anyway so why bother giving us a reason?). My final reason why this first scene was a terrible idea is probably the most important. The only important-to-the-story thing that happened in the entire thing was Beckett’s “I’ll call you in a few days (read: not).” And you know what happened then? The Same Damn Thing That Happens Every Summer Break On Castle: Castle and Beckett part ways, at least one of them angrily, and then reconcile. TRY SOMETHING NEW. Seriously. I don’t think this first scene – any of it – needed to happen at all, and the five-or-six minutes spent on it might have been more useful for development elsewhere. Like, say,

Item #2: New Captain**. I feel pretty justified in saying that I totally called this one. Which makes me sad, because it is about as cliche and predictable as you can get. The new authority character who everybody hates/fears, who is ultimately destined to either become a watered-down sympathetic shell of their former self OR who will get killed off/promoted/made gone. I don’t care that the authority character is, by-only-semi-unusual-choice, a woman. I don’t even care that that woman is Penny Johnson Jerald (one of the greatest parts of 24 S1). This narrative choice, even with the sneaky twist of her jealousy of Beckett, is kind of like the ancient family butler of the cop-drama genre. He’s perfectly effective, but even if you put a new, shiny, affirmative action vest on him, he is showing his age and maybe you should let him retire peacefully and choose something more interesting to take his place. Like a robot. Or a house elf. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.

Now, finally, item #3: Beckett Amnesia. I was flat-out wrong about this one, but I didn’t realize until the very end of the episode because the writers were tricky as fuck. Beckett didn’t black everything out: she remembers Everything. This is maybe slightly unrealistic (I don’t have any firsthand experience with getting shot at a funeral, but I don’t think memory loss is unusual after, you know, dying, even temporarily), but it is potentially a great starting point. Especially when it gets revealed during my hands-down favorite scene of the episode, Beckett talking to her new therapist, Michael Dorn. This was the scene of the episode, for two reasons. One: MICHAEL DORN (I mean really, does it get any better than having Lieutenant Worf as your therapist? No.) Two: This shows promise. Here more than anywhere else in the episode, I see potential for Castle‘s story actually growing and developing. Beckett, already a fascinating character played by a highly capable actress, has great potential for personal growth and development. And, as in real life, her admission to herself that she has problems and needs to deal with them is the place where change is going to start. She isn’t Sydney Bristow, required to go to therapy and spending all her energy on resisting. She’s human, admitting her own weakness, and striving in a believable way to build up strength. As far as character development and progress in the interpersonal storylines, this might be the most brilliant choice of the series so far. So writers, DON’T FUCK IT UP.

I didn’t hate this episode, but I can’t say I liked it. Too many poor choices, not enough redeeming factors, and a homicide case backbone so nothing I barely even noticed it was happening. But, looking past the way “Rise” was reacting to last season and moving on to how it is setting up for this season, I’m actually pretty excited. Castle‘s development has been, a few trip-ups aside, on a permanent uphill trajectory. And while that is a wonderful thing, it starts to make us nervous around S3 when we start asking ourselves the inevitable question: “When is it going to reach the top and start going down?” I don’t think it will be this season. If Castle keeps up the solid episode-to-episode work and really digs in to the new character choices (Beckett’s therapy, as I mentioned, and also the newfound more-adult, more-aggressive Alexis we got a glimpse of), this season still could be the best yet, the show could still keep growing. BRING IT ON.

*That’s a mashup of “desperate” and “declaration”, incase you didn’t get it.
**Haha, I just had a funny moment in my brain where I realized when I’m talking about something related to Nathan Fillion and use the word “captain,” I immediately associate it with him, even when that’s completely incorrect.

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This Week 9/19 to 9/24

We’ve had a week of discovering just how much my life is ruined by not having internet access. (How much, you ask? SO MUCH.) Anyway. Ducks are in something resembling a row-like formation, approximately, so now here we are: a This Week post for the first time in MONTHS. It’s almost like I’m making a legitimate effort or something.

TONIGHT:
8pm – Eureka on Syfy (season finale!)
10pm – Castle on ABC (season premiere!)
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS (season premiere!)
10pm – The Playboy Club on NBC (series pilot!)

Really, Monday nights at 10? Really? Of course I’m going to be watching Castle, no question there. But it’s the principle of the thing. Also going on tonight: Ashton Kutcher’s Two and a Half Men debut. (Am I the only one who thinks the title should be changed to One and Two Half Men?) AND, two hours later, Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen. Somewhere out there is a marketing genius.

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS (season premiere!)
8pm – Glee on FOX (season premiere!)
9pm – NCIS: LA on CBS (season premiere!)
9pm – New Girl on FOX (series pilot!)
9pm – Ringer on the CW

So I haven’t watched the pilot of Ringer yet…or the finale of Glee. Probably going to watch NCIS prime and then New Girl (just to finally put my morbid curiosity to rest).

WEDNESDAY:

Apparently I’m going to spend Wednesday catching up from Tuesday and Monday. Or maybe I’ll give in to the temptation to watch the pilot of Revenge at 10pm on ABC.

THURSDAY:
8pm – Charlie’s Angels on ABC (series pilot!)
9pm – Person of Interest on CBS (series pilot!)
10pm – Prime Suspect on NBC (series pilot!)

What is Prime Suspect doing on Comedy Thursday? Can anyone explain this?

FRIDAY:
8pm – A Gifted Man on CBS (series pilot!)
9pm – CSI: NY on CBS (season premiere!)
9pm – Fringe on FOX (season premiere!)
9pm – Supernatural on the CW (season premiere!)

I don’t know what CSI: NY is doing on my schedule – I pretty much stopped watching. I don’t know what Fringe is doing on my schedule – I’m now two and a half seasons behind or some damn thing. I do know what Supernatural is doing on my schedule – just finished S4, so as soon as I slam down S5 (so to speak), I’m working it in because that show is freaking awesome.

SATURDAY:

Saturday is not even a day on TV.

And now I have to go do my last Fall is Fun post REALLY REALLY QUICKLY before I end up staying at this Starbucks for an awkwardly long time. Enjoy your week! Premieres, guys! Funandnews!

Oh THAT Guy!: Issue 4

Here it is, a fresh new group of people who you’ve probably seen a billion times but haven’t ever really noticed or remembered. There are only four this time because I eliminated one at the last minute. As always, the pictures are linked to their imdb pages.

Dakin Matthews

Selected Appearances:
Desperate Housewives [multiple episodes] as Reverend Sikes (2005-2011)
True Grit as Colonel Stonehill (2010)
True Blood [multiple episodes] as Dr. Robideaux
Gilmore Girls [multiple episodes] as Hanlin Charleston (2000-2007)
Dexter “Father Knows Best” as Dr. Pittman (2006)
House “Damned If You Do” as Marvin/Santa Claus (2004)
Star Trek Voyager “Relativity” as Admiral Patterson (1999)
Flubber as Minister (1997)
The Swan Princess as King William (1994)

…and I’m going to stop there. This man has been in a million different things over the years, on American and British shows. Much of the time he plays, doctors, judges, or religious figures – basically, fusty or fluttery or finicky old man type roles. Nothing so significant that he is a household name, but more than enough comic bits to make him an easily recognizable face.

Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Selected Appearances:
NCIS: Los Angeles “Lockup” and “Harm’s Way” as Abdul Habaza (2011)
Human Target “Taking Ames” as Andre Markus (2010)
24 [multiple episodes] as Colonel Ike Dubaku (2009)
Othello as Iago*(2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as Captain Jocard (2007)
Lost “The Cost of Living” as Emeka (2006)
Hotel Rwanda as George Rutaganda (2004)
*I haven’t quite been able to figure out how this can work.

According to his imdb biography, Hakeem Kae-Kazim is a classically trained UK actor with a lot of Shakespeare in his resume. On American television, though, he is currently the go-to guy for a very specific role: the scary-as-hell but also really smiley violent dictator and/or terrorist. Oh man is he scary as hell. And really good at it.

Carlo Rota

Selected Appearances:
Human Target “Imbroglio” as Eli Rosko (2011)
Little Mosque on the Prairie [multiple episodes] as Yasir Hamoudi (2007-2010)
NCIS: Los Angeles “Found” as Kalil Abramson (2010)
CSI: NY “Sanguine Love” as Joseph Vance (2010)
Castle “The Fifth Bullet” as Bahir Harun (2009)
White Collar “Threads” as Ghovat (2009)
24 [multiple episodes] as Morris O’Brian (2006-2009)
Othello as Othello (2008)*
Queer as Folk [multiple episodes] as Gardner Vance (2002-2004)
A Nero Wolfe Mystery [multiple episodes] as Barry Fleming/Felix Courret/Spiros Papps (2002)
La Femme Nikita [multiple episodes] as Mick Schtoppel/Mr. Jones (1997-2001)
The Boondock Saints as Yakavetta (1999)
*I find this Othello circumstance only slightly less puzzling than the last.

My first exposure to Carlo Rota was when he played the British comic-relief role of Morris O’Brian on 24. So, it rather confused me when I realized that the majority of his guest roles qualify as “The Middle Eastern Guy,” or at least “The Foreign Guy.” (…I guess British would count as foreign, huh?) Anyway, he seems to spend about equal amounts of time on the sides of Good and Bad, usually serving in small-time-crime-boss or dry-comic-distraction capacities.

Jeanette Miller

Selected Appearances:
The Middle [multiple episodes] as Aunt Edie (2009-2011)
Legion as Gladys Foster (2010)
Four Christmases as Gram-Gram (2008)
Scrubs “My No Good Reason” as Betty (2007)
Dexter “Father Knows Best” as Elderly Neighbor (2006)
100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd [multiple episodes] as Crazy Grandma Taylor (2001-2002)
Friends “The One In Vegas: Part 2” as The Elderly Woman (1999)
The Truman Show as Senior Citizen (1998)
Seinfeld “The Wizard” as Old Woman (1998)
Star Trek Voyager “Random Thoughts” as The Woman (1997)

I’m guessing most people probably recognize her as “the old woman who crawled up the wall and tried to kill a baby in the previews for Legion.” And that is fair enough. As you can see from the small sampling of her resume I’ve provided, she is comfortably typecast and tends to play roles described and named with various synonyms for “aged” and “not all there.”

Castle: “Setup/Countdown” – Tick, Tick, Tick…Boink.

(This post’s title brought to you by last year’s excellent Castle doubleheader and by a childhood spent reading Bill Watterson*.)

Translation: I am highly disappointed in how “Setup”/”Countdown” turned out.

The biggest problem is the premise of the entire thing. Castle and Beckett have no business hunting down and diffusing bombs. They just don’t. Taking down a smuggling ring or a gambling operation or something mob-related, I could potentially understand. But a terrorist threat? No. Just no. Castle has definitely rewritten the book (…so to speak…) on homicide procedurals and done a phenomenal job of that, no question. There is, however, a limit to its powers. A line, if you will, that has just been crossed.

To be fair, the team at Castle did embrace the chance to do what they do best and put a new, more personable spin on the whole counterterrorist genre. Sort of. Plenty of shows and movies before have explained the stress that Homeland Security types are under to do their very difficult and very dangerous jobs without completely losing all grasp on humanity/reality. Maybe it’s just that I’m more receptive to explanations of these things from Castle than I am from, say, Jack Bauer, but I will admit that I did have a bit of an emotional-context paradigm shift thanks to the Castle-and-Beckett breakdown of Agent Fallon’s baggage-sum-behavior. A bit.

The second greatest disappointment for me was the incredible lack of originality in “Setup”/”Countdown.” And by “lack of originality,” I guess what I mean is “predictability.” Perhaps my lack of surprise is due to the fact that I have seen every single episode of 24 and most similar movies, to the point where eighty to ninety percent of the counterterrorist genre resides in my head. Perhaps it is merely because Castle has established a pattern over the past two and a half years and, I flatter myself, I’ve pretty much got it down at this point. But I was surprised by nothing over the course of two episodes. And that is just sad. Seriously though. Having the Middle Easterners not be terrorists and having Castle and Beckett be the only ones to believe it? Not stunningly original (by genre standards). Having Castle and Beckett go rogue because they have a different idea, and then rogue-er when no-one believes them? Typical (by show and genre standards). Putting Castle and Beckett in a near-death situation only to have Ryan and Esposito rescue them at the last minute because Alexis made a call and started a chain reaction? Flat out lame (by Castle standards).

And, unfortunately, that standard of predictability colored my view of the whole thing to the point where I couldn’t even fully appreciate the bomb-stop-by-dumbass-luck purely on principle of “I saw that coming.” To be clear, that decision, which would probably be considered a cop-out anywhere but on Castle, is not something I consider an indication of lameness. That was, in fact, a quintessential Castle moment. A level of sheer ridiculousness, if you will, that no other show can get away with. The moment itself, and the immediate emotional reaction by the lead actors/characters almost made the whole two episode lead-in worthwhile. But only almost.

My final complaint with “Setup”/”Countdown” is a bit of a double-edged sword, actually, and it extends beyond this two episode storyline. It is, in brief, The Whole Doctor Motorcycle Boy Thing. That arc has been bothering me for all of S3 for a several reasons. Some of those reasons I will let go (and by “let go” I mean “just mention so you think about it on your own but move on with my larger point for the sake of this post”), like how Victor Webster is completely underused (even when you take into consideration that he’s moderately talented at best), or how calling Beckett/DMB updates “sporadic” would be generous on a saintly level.

What I can’t let go is the general feeling that the entire relationship and its place within the greater storyline of Castle is nothing more than a token romantic conflict. In a show that hinges entirely on the should-be romance of its two lead characters, the presence of a romantic rival is vital to the development of that central relationship and to the maintenance of fanbase interest. The problem is, Castle doesn’t hinge entirely on the should-be romance of Castle and Beckett! Obviously their relationship is the central element. But, newsflash, that relationship goes a lot further than Ooooh, They Want To Be Together But Can’t. Personally, I feel like the more platonic elements are actually stronger and more enjoyable than the almost-romance. I fullheartedly embrace the day-to-day snarking. The Kiss is not a moment that I’ve been living and dying for since day one, and it didn’t totally rock my world when it happened.

BUT I DIGRESS. Point is, “Setup”/”Countdown” gave the Beckett/Josh relationship a raise from Lame Background Story to Lame Forefront Story. And yes, that is a problem. If the counterterrorism two-parter was predictable, then I don’t think I know a suitably hyperbolic synonym for how boring the next developments in this love triangle plotline are going to be. We all know how it is going to end. I wish Castle would just get on with it and get it over with, for all our sakes. But not as much as I wish it had just never happened in the first place.

The DMB issue notwithstanding, there are elements of this two-parter to be grateful for. Little points of light include but are not limited to, the “Would You Just Let Me Drive” exchange, the “Best Dad Ever” moment, and the latest installment of “Ryan And Esposito: Bros For Life.” There was also the unparalleled excellence of “You’ve never heard of The Serenity?,” which gets double points for being both a Firefly/Serenity and a Star Wars joke. And, my personal favorite, the guest appearance by Adrian Pasdar, who I have been missing dreadfully in an inactive way since he was FINALLY killed off on Heroes.

It is possible that my overall disappointment with “Setup”/”Countdown” is the natural result of having high expectations that just aren’t met. I expect more of Castle, period. More originality, more nuance, and more elegance in storytelling than was displayed. Also more jokes. After last year’s “Tick, Tick, Tick…”/”Boom!”, this two-episode event was a letdown in comparison. I guess everyone is allowed an off-day, so to speak, so I certainly haven’t lost faith in the series as a whole. I’m just glad this particular moment is over with. Better days ahead.

*For those of you who didn’t make the cognitive leap on your own: a link.

This Week 1/24 to 1/29

Coming this week from Melted Brain: one Big Screen Brain, three (maybe four) First Glances, and one Oh THAT Guy. I just need to figure out when to write them all.

ANYWAY. SCHEDULE.

MONDAY:
8pm – Chuck on NBC
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – The Cape on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – Being Human on SyFy
10pm – Castle on ABC

New Castle! My week is horribly sad when it doesn’t start with a good hour of snarky crimesolving.

TUESDAY:
10pm – White Collar on USA

Dear Tuesday,
Suck less.
Love,
Melted Brain

WEDNESDAY:
10pm – Blue Bloods on CBS
10pm – Face Off on SyFy

Blue Bloods has been upgraded from Fridays. I guess that means it’s doing well. And, reminder, Face Off is a special effects makeup competition show.

THURSDAY:
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW
9pm – Nikita on the CW
9pm – Bones on FOX
10pm – Fairly Legal on USA

FRIDAY:
9pm – Fringe on FOX

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Jesse Eisenberg and Nicki Minaj) on NBC

Now THERE is an SNL lineup I am dying to miss. Also on NBC: US Championship Figure Skating, Ladies Free Skate. (Looks like I’ll be getting a call from my grandmother later this week…)

Castle: “Nikki Heat”

All things considered, I’m actually a little disappointed in this episode. It was not as hilarious as I was expecting. Given Castle‘s usual M.O., I thought an episode where Castle comes face to face with Nikki Heat would be more comical than, well, pseudo-revelatory. Frankly, the more serious tone was a let down.

All the “insight” from this episode regarding the Castle-Beckett relationship falls solidly into the “duh” category. And the presentation was well suited to that level of subtlety (and by “subtlety” I mean “lack thereof”). Castle and Beckett have unresolved sexual tension?! Nikki Heat is an opportunity for Castle to fantasize?! Beckett actually does have feelings for Castle but doesn’t want to admit them?! Whaaaat? If you were surprised by any of that, you are a moron and I am revoking your Castle Fan Club card.

We did not need a Hollywood actress character to come in, study Beckett, make some observations, and then explain all of this to us. We just didn’t. And, sadly, having said Hollywood actress character become Beckett’s freaky doppleganger was not quite funny enough to balance out that insult to the audience’s intelligence. Which is not to say it wasn’t funny.

Laura Prepon (best known for her role on That 70s Show) as Natalie Gray gave an excellent performance. She hit just the right note in-between blonde bimbo slasher star and serious studious actress. I’m also going to compliment the people who cast her; at the start of the show, she didn’t look a thing like Beckett. But throw on the right clothes and wig and BAM!, suddenly you realize they do have fairly similar facial structures. She was a good choice, and she did absolutely everything that was asked of her to perfection.

 

Spending so much time on a guest character definitely had a costly effect on the usual supporting cast. Esposito and Martha and Lanie and the Captain each had about five seconds on-screen. Alexis was around only slightly longer – although the writers made that time count by revealing her bad side! (Of course, her “bad side” only amounts to watching horrible R-rated teen slasher flicks, but still.)

Ryan got the most attention of any of the supporting cast. Unfortunately, his time in the sun was one huge, honking WTF moment. Ryan and girlfriend storyline: WHY? Yes, having Seamus Dever and his real-life wife Juliana act out this adorable courtship is cute in an awwsqueeVOMIT sort of way. But it is a complete non sequitor in relation to the rest of the show. Obviously I am always looking for more character development of Ryan (and Esposito). This does not count.

One unquestionably great thing about this episode: it was basically a showcase of How Awesome Stana Katic Is. Yes we all knew about the emotional stuff and yes explicating all of that was pretty redundant. That said, how many of us were really in tune with everything that Stana Katic does to embody the character of Beckett? If you weren’t impressed before, you sure as hell’d better be now. This is definitely her season; the title of the series hasn’t changed, but she is starting to steal the show from Nathan Fillion. I love the man, no question. And he is a phenomenal actor. But now he’s found a worthy co-star, he needs to step it up. Together, both at the top of their game, these two could make Castle the best dynamic duo procedural yet.

I am looking forward to next week. Beckett and Castle investigating the death of an illusionist can only mean a return to the show’s signature dark-but-wacky brand of comedy.

This Week 1/3 to 1/9

MONDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family (midseason return!)
10pm – Castle on ABC (midseason return!)
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS (midseason return!)

This week’s episode of Castle brought to you by the excellent and intriguing title “Nikki Heat.” It’s gonna be a good ‘un.

TUESDAY:
8pm – No Ordinary Family  on ABC (midseason return!)
9pm – V on ABC (season premiere!)
10pm – Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC (midseason return!)
10pm – Southland on TNT (season premiere!)

Except I actually don’t watch any of these. Maybe I should take them off my schedule…

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – Human Target on FOX (2-hour midseason return!)

Also, there’s a Bones marathon on TNT.

THURSDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

FRIDAY:
9pm – CSI: NY on CBS (midseason return!)

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Jim Carrey and the Black Keys) on NBC (midseason return!)

SUNDAY:
9pm – The Cape on NBC (2-hour series pilot!)
9:30pm – Episodes on Showtime (series pilot!)
10pm – Shameless on Showtime (series pilot!)

Tis the Midseason

It’s that time again. Midseason return/premiere schedule. Go!

Monday January 3
8:00pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family (midseason return!)
10:00pm – Castle on ABC (midseason return!)
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS (midseason return!)

Hey, I could actually catch up on time to watch PLL! But that really doesn’t matter because I’m mostly just SUPER jazzed about more Castle.

Tuesday January 4
8:00pm – No Ordinary Family on ABC (midseason return!)
9:00pm – V on ABC (season premiere!)
10:00pm – Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC (midseason return!)
10:00pm – Southland on TNT (season premiere!)

…I probably will not actually watch anyof these. But I thought I’d include them just for kicks. (Question: Should I be watching No Ordinary Family?)

Wednesday January 5
8:00pm – Human Target on FOX (midseason return!)

Happy half-birthday to me!

Friday January 7
9:00pm – CSI: NY on CBS (midseason return!)
10:00pm – Blue Bloods on CBS (midseason return!)

Sunday January 9
9:00pm – The Cape on NBC (2-hour series pilot!)
9:30pm – Episodes on Showtime (series pilot!)
10:00pm – Shameless on Showtime (series pilot!)

Not gonna lie, all three of these shows look semi-ridiculous. The Cape is about a cop who gets framed and goes all caped vigilante on his city and, honestly, it looks even stupider than it sounds. Episodes is about Matt LeBlanc (playing himself) ruining the marriage of a British couple. And Shameless is just the newest in a long line of excellent British shows being stolen for and ruined on American television.

Monday January 10
9:00pm – Lie to Me on FOX (midseason return!)

Tuesday January 11
8:00pm – NCIS on CBS (midseason return!)
9:00pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS (midseason return!)
10:00pm – Lights Out on FX (series pilot!)

In Lights Out, a former heavy-weight boxing champ starts working as a debt collector to make ends meet. Doesn’t pique my interest, but FX’s original series track record is pretty good and so should this be.

Wednesday January 12
10:00pm – Off the Map on ABC (series pilot!)

Basically it’s Grey’s Anatomy, but without indoor plumbing.

Monday January 17
8:00pm – Chuck on NBC (midseason return!)
8:00pm – House on FOX (midseason return!)
9:00pm – Being Human on SyFy (series pilot!)
10:00pm – Harry’s Law on NBC (series pilot!)

Being Human is another of those ripped-off Brit shows. Harry’s Law is a legal drama with an incredible cast that will most likely be at least fairly decent…but, frankly, I’d just rather have The Whole Truth back. (Oh, wait, wrong network…) Also…I can totally catch up on Chuck by this day…right?

Tuesday January 18
10:00pm – White Collar on USA (midseason return!)

I’m getting the impression that this show has only gotten better. I should work on catching up at some point.

Thursday January 20
8:00pm – Bones on FOX (midseason return!)
8:30pm – Perfect Couples on NBC (series pilot!)
10:00pm – Fairly Legal on USA (series pilot!)

Perfect Couples comes from minds behind 30 Rock and Friends. Fairly Legal stars Sarah Shahi and Michael Trucco and I have been waiting for it for two years. So guess which of these two shows is the one I’m going to be watching.

Friday January 21
9:00pm – Fringe on FOX (midseason return!)

Oh shit guys, Fringe has been relegated to the Friday Death Slot.

Wednesday January 26
10:00pm – Face Off on SyFy (series pilot!)

Normally I avoid competition/reality shows like the plague. But a competition/reality show about special effects makeup? Hell yes!

Thursday January 27
8:00pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW (midseason return!)
9:00pm – Nikita on the CW (midseason return!)

Monday February 7
9:00pm – The Chicago Code on FOX (series pilot!)

It’s just another cop show, but it’s shot on location in Chicago and really wants to be the next hardxcoreawesome thing.

Tuesday February 8
8:00pm – Glee on FOX (midseason return!)

Wednesday February 9
9:30pm – Mr. Sunshine on ABC
10:00pm – Justified on FX

Mr. Sunshine sounds like an awful everyman semi-comedy indie film come to television. But more glamourous because, well, that’s just how it works.

Monday February 28
10:00pm – The Event on NBC (midseason return!)

Tuesday March 29
9:00pm – Body of Proof on ABC (series pilot!)

Crime procedural slash personal drama centered around an M.E. It could easily be interesting and fun. It could just as easily be awful and boring.

Wednesday April 6
9:30pm – Breaking In on FOX (series pilot!)

Oh look, Christian Slater‘s back. Again. Trying to make it as a television leading man. Again.

Wednesday April 13
10:00 – Happy Endings on ABC (series pilot!)

It’s another of these melodramedies about attractive young people and their romantic shenanigans. But I will admit, it has a pretty good cast.

This Week 12/6 to 12/12

I am watching the Rizzoli & Isles marathon on TNT all day. That is a fun thing. A less fun thing: no new episodes until summer. LAME. (But at least it’s been renewed!)

Tonight:
10pm – Castle on ABC
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

Castle is back!!!! Also, lack of new Chuck means that catching up isn’t becoming any more daunting, which is nice.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Glee on FOX
9pm – Eureka on SyFy

A Glee Christmas special? I’m very afraid.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – Human Target on FOX
10pm – The Whole Truth on ABC

The Whole Truth has been cancelled, actually. But I guess we get a few more episodes.

THURSDAY:
8pm – Bones on FOX
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW
9pm – Fringe on FOX
9pm – Nikita on the CW

FRIDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Paul Rudd & Paul McCartney) on NBC

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT

Shows that can totally pull off a three-episode Christmas special: Leverage.

This Week 9/27 to 10/2

WOW, last week.

I had no idea there were that many interweb-active Castle fans. For those who haven’t heard, last week’s Melted Brain review was a HUGE SUCCESS on Twitter. By “HUGE SUCCESS” I mean it has a Topsy.com page with twelve – count ’em, twelve! – tweets. Keep in mind exactly how ridiculously small-scale and amateur my effort here is and you should be AMAZED. I certainly am. Thanks, Castle fans!

Anyway.

No promises on what I’ll actually get done this week (because clearly those promises aren’t worth a whole lot). But you can probably count on seeing reviews for Castle and Glee and another installment of “Oh THAT Guy.”

MONDAY:
8pm – Chuck on NBC
8pm – House on FOX
9pm – The Event on NBC
9pm – Lone Star on FOX
10pm – Chase on FOX
10pm – Castle on ABC

Also, FX is airing 27 Dresses AGAIN. Seriously. They play that movie ALL THE TIME.

TUESDAY:
8pm – No Ordinary Family on ABC (series pilot!)
8pm – NCIS on CBS
8pm – Glee on FOX
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS
9pm – Raising Hope on FOX
9:30pm – Running Wilde on FOX
10pm – Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – Undercovers on NBC
10pm – The Whole Truth on ABC
10pm – The Defenders on CBS
10pm – Terriers on FX

Fyi, this week’s episode of Terriers is entitled “Fustercluck.” Keepin’ it classy, FX.

THURSDAY:
8pm – My Generation on ABC
8pm – Bones on FOX
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW
8:30pm – Shit My Dad Says on CBS
9pm – Fringe on FOX
9pm – Nikita on the CW
9pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

FRIDAY:
8pm – Human Target on FOX (season premiere!)
9pm – The Good Guys on FOX
9pm – CSI: NY on CBS
10pm – Blue Bloods on CBS
10pm – Outlaw on NBC
10pm – Haven on SyFy

HUMAN TARGET! SO EXCITED!

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Bryan Cranston and Kanye West) on NBC

Enjoy your week!