Tag Archives: Three Rivers

This Week 11/15 to 11/21

Well this was a less than stellar week for me. Which is unfortunate, because I’m pretty proud of the few things I did get around to doing. Remember that to-do list from a couple days ago? Yeah. Not too much progress on that front. Some, to be fair – I’ve done a lot of thinking about “Wheels,” at least. But I haven’t even gotten all my watching done with. Hopefully the large amount of extra sleep I got today will help me get back on my game.

Anyway, here’s what’s coming up this week:

Tonight:
9pm – Three Rivers on CBS

MONDAY:
8pm – Heroes on NBC
8pm – House on FOX
9pm – Trauma on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
10pm – Castle on ABC

TUESDAY:
8pm – V on ABC
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Top 14) on FOX
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: LA on CBS

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Results) on FOX
9pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

THURSDAY:
8pm – FlashForward on ABC
8pm – Bones on FOX
9pm – Fringe on FOX
10pm – Project Runway (Season Finale!) on Lifetime

FRIDAY:
8pm – Shrek the Third on ABC
10pm – White Collar on USA

Why do I mention Shrek the Third? Because I haven’t seen it. And hopefully putting it in this schedule will remind me to watch it. Because obviously I won’t be doing anything else with my Friday night.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the Dave Matthews Band)

Hopefully it will be better than this weekend’s January Jones disaster.

 

I guess the biggest news is that Project Runway will finally be over after this week (thank god, because this season has been a disaster). The most important thing for Melted Brain is that I need to make serious headway on my to-do list, revised below:

  • “Wheels” review (thinking yes, writing no)
  • V review (haven’t even watched last week’s yet)
  • Hindsight: Battlestar Galactica (it’s about halfway done)
  • general getting of head out of ass (work in progress)
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This Week 11/8 to 11/14

Guess what guys – new episodes this week! Those on-hiatus shows are starting to come on back! Which means I’m going to be playing a whole lot of catch-up this week, because I definitely don’t have time to watch it all as it airs…woo!

Tonight:
7pm – Celtic Woman: The Greatest Journey
9pm – Three Rivers on CBS
9pm – Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Ghosts of Christmas Eve on KBTC

If you’re in a location where you can get the KBTC PBS station, I definitely recommend both those programs as excellent music.

MONDAY:
8pm – Heroes on NBC
8pm – House on FOX
9pm – Trauma on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
10pm – Castle on ABC

TUESDAY:
8pm – V on ABC
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Top 16) on FOX
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS

Confession: I am not actually watching SYTYCD. There is definitely something to be said for it running during the summer season. Also, V – week two. We’ll see.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Results) on FOX
9pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

GLEE IS BACK AND IT’S THE ARTIE EPISODE!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

THURSDAY:
8pm – FlashForward on ABC
8pm – Bones on FOX
9pm – Fringe on FOX
10pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

Thursdays are ridiculous again. I’m happy to have the FOX shows back, but I think I’m going to miss the simplicity of only FlashFoward and Project Runway – of course, the latter of those two only has one more week…

FRIDAY:
Nothing new is airing today.

Which is good. Because I’m going to have a lot of catching up to do.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (January Jones and Black Eyed Peas)

 

So when I said some of my shows are starting to come back, obviously what I meant was that all of them but Dollhouse are. Yeah. Anyway.

In terms of the blog this week, I SWEAR I ACTUALLY AM GOING TO FINISH THE LIFE HINDSIGHT POST. REALLY. Mostly because I’ve now managed to finish ANOTHER series and so, thus, have to start working on a Hindsight post for that as well…as soon as I also finish up the BSG one that’s about a quarter of the way done and sitting in my draft bin.

Also on the agenda: last night’s SNL, and the unexpectedly aired Fringe and Bones episodes. Dear Networks, please don’t be bitches and change your schedules at the last minute. Especially on days when I actually have anxiety-causing things in real life. It just isn’t nice.

This Week: 11/1 to 11/7

I’m starting slack a little bit again, with the watching and the writing. Then again, it is officially sweeps month now and a lot of shows are on hiatus. So maybe I can be forgiven.

Tonight:
9pm – Three Rivers on CBS

MONDAY:
8pm – Heroes on NBC
9pm – Trauma on NBC
10pm – Castle on ABC

Heroes is travelling back in time to see…Jayma Mays! Trauma has been officially cancelled pending the airing of the rest of its thirteen episodes. And this week’s Castle is entitled “Famous Last Words,” which is pretty excellent.

TUESDAY:
8pm – V on ABC (series pilot!)
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: LA on CBS

It occurs to me that I’m not actually ever going to get to watch SYTYCD this season. Unless it turns out that V completely sucks.

WEDNESDAY:
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

THURSDAY:
8pm – FlashForward on ABC
10pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

This week on FlashForward we might actually see Dominic Monaghan on screen for more than thirty seconds. And on Project Runway, it’s the last week of pre-Bryant Park competition…I think?

FRIDAY:
10pm – White Collar on USA

And FOX will be airing some reruns of House and Bones if you’re starting to go into FOX procedural withdrawal.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Taylor Swift and…Taylor Swift) on NBC

It’s been rumored there might be a Kanye/VMA crack in there somewhere…

Agenda for Melted Brain this week:

  1. V preview
  2. Hindsight: Life (no, really, it’s gonna get done)
  3. Reaction Time: Strange Attractors (laaaaate)
  4. And then, like, y’know, some other reviews and stuff…

The Reasons to Watch (and Love) Three Rivers

After my initial review of Three Rivers, there was an enormous amount of response from the Three Rivers fan community which – wait, wait, what? There’s already a sizeable Three Rivers fan community? After two (now four) episodes? How does that even work?

…suffice it to say, I started to do an awful lot of thinking and investigating before, during, and after the two following episodes. The questions at the core of my exploratory process: Why do so many people love this show? And, why do they love it so soon?

I came up with two possible explanations* for how the fan community is so large so early. One is the cast. Simply put, if you watched Moonlight you love Alex O’Loughlin and if you watched The L Word you love Katherine Moennig (generally speaking). So, Three Rivers had a fairly strong potential following before it even reached the starting gate because of the already established popularity of two of its stars. A second possible explanation is that we are living in a post-ER world now and there is a good number of sad sad people with separation anxiety out there trying to find a new place to get their fix of dramaliciousness in scrubs.

*I don’t  have any statistical evidence to support the second point, it is just a theory. As for the first point: the Three Rivers fan site has 339 registered and active members at this moment in time, the Katherine Moennig fan site thekword has 147 registered and active members, I’ve found 5 of Alex O’Loughlin fan sites (on the first page of my search, no less), and my readership stats spiked dramatically after members of the first two communities mentioned posted links to my review. According to Nielsen reports, the show aired with approximately 9.2 million viewers and the numbers have since dropped to around 7.8 million per episode (as of last week). That is a lot of people (not by CBS standards, but it is Sunday.)

So this can help explain why babyshow Three Rivers has already gained such a significant audience. But the fact that it has such a devoted following cannot be chalked up to the pre-established fans/groups alone. The reason for that is, I believe, more intrinsic to the show itself. Because, while it is definitely not perfect – or even necessarily remarkable – Three Rivers has many elements that do make it a quality series:

  1. The Visuals
    • The aesthetics of Three Rivers are pretty fantastic. The hallways of the Three Rivers hospital itself are wide, shiny, and all the surfaces are color coordinated. It definitely doesn’t look like a real, functioning hospital (certainly not one that isn’t brand new), but it is very very pretty.
    • Also, there are a significant amounts of monitors and screens shown over the course of an episode of Three Rivers. They look far more advanced than anything I’ve ever seen in terms of medical equipment, and the detail and quality of the images are plenty eye-pleasing and fascinating in their own right.
    • Finally, Three Rivers features some truly fantastic aerial views of the northeastern quadrant of the United States. As someone from Seattle, I haven’t ever seen a lot of that scenery – either in person or in pictures. The images are just gorgeous and are certainly one of the highlights of any episode for me.
    • The one visual aspect of Three Rivers I don’t enjoy is the pre-commercial side-by-side triptych of storylines. It is useful (and vaguely reminiscent of 24) in the way it establishes the simultaneous nature of what we have seen. But frankly, the color-washed images are pretty damn ugly. I mean, really, did they have to choose those colors? Maybe my view of the colors is getting skewed because I’ve watched every episode so far on my computer monitor, which may or may not be true to the show, but I’ve found the combination pretty gross.
    • Oh, one other not-so-great visual: that horribly amateur digital rendering of an ambulance zooming down the highway in the opening credits. That shot has got to go.
    • Overall though, Three Rivers is a wonderfully aesthetic show. So even when the plot gets a little boring or a pause goes on too long, there’s always something interesting to see.
  2. The Medicine

    • As I mentioned in my initial review, one of the strengths of Three Rivers is the fact that it highlights an angle of medicine that doesn’t get much detailed attention in most medical shows (not in my experience, anyway). Transplant medicine is a fairly new area, historically speaking, so the show is interesting just because it shines a light on something that is still relatively unknown in the wider world.
    • Another great thing about the medical angle of the show is that it isn’t gross. I mean, I am a huge fan of the gross. But there’s only so much gushing blood and weird skin allergies and rotting flesh a person can take. Three Rivers isn’t overly concerned with visual shock factor – case in point: the bus crash in “Code Green” wasn’t shown at all. The surgery scenes are perhaps a bit too neat and clean to be even mistaken as realistic, but that’s alright. Because it means the show has more to offer than an ability to make the audience squeamish.
    • The “more” is its attention to the non-medicine. Three Rivers is, superficially, a medical show. But it is much more about the patients and the process and the nonmedical duties of doctors/surgeons than it is about rattling off a list of complex procedures or long chemical names that no-one understands. It is medical drama television without the pretention of superior scientific knowledge. The main characters are doctors and they are performing medical procedures, but they are more human than educated professional.
  3. The People
    • That brings me to the final strength I see in Three Rivers: its attention to human nature and human characters and genuine emotion and conflict.
    • The best thing about the show is that it isn’t just a drama about the melodramatic personal lives of the medical staff. No-one is cheating on their spouse or having crazy sex or competing for a position via underhanded or down-right-nasty manipulation. Actually, the doctors have about an equal (if not lesser) amount of per-episode screen time as the patients.
    • Patients aren’t treated as mysteries or difficulties or tasks. Their personal lives and emotional baggage are more than merely token attempts to humanize two-dimensional fleshpuzzles. Personally, by the end of an episode I am usually far more emotionally attached to the patients than the doctors because the latter are the ones with the real struggles and stakes. Instead of overdramaticizing the weight of medical decisions or doctor conduct in order to garner a cheap sort of investment in the medical staff, Three Rivers acknowledges the fact that the doctors have it hard, but the patients have it even harder. Life and death is given appropriate preference over do-or-don’t.
    • The character development of medical staff isn’t falling flat because of the emphasis on patients, though. It’s just that the show is actually taking time to learn about the main characters and become more than superficially interested in their personal histories, emotional baggage, and characters. A main character’s personal drama isn’t shoved down our throats one episode to get that person established so they can move on to the next character. Instead, each episode contains tidbits of development for each character, making the process of getting to know and love the staff of Three Rivers more gradually – and, ultimately, more genuinely.
    • A final note about the people of the show: Here is minority casting done right. I don’t want to spend too much time discussing this because it is a very delicate subject in our modern, PC-obsessed world. But the fact that the medial staff is heavily female (and led by an African American woman) and the fact that the majority of the patients (donor or recipient&family) have not been white is notable and commendable considering the lack of true (so not counting token minority characters) diversity of most shows. Even better, the show doesn’t make a big deal about this. It is merely the way of things.

So basically, Three Rivers is turning out to be athoroughly enjoyable show in a lot of ways. Not groundbreaking, perhaps. But it provides a new angle on an old staple, it is interesting to watch in terms of what you see and what you feel, and the overall presentation is well laid out and satisfying to watch. Plus, it is just so damn good at making me cry.

This Week: 10/25 to 10/31

Apparently the television universe has decided to be a huge bitch and take away a whole bunch of my shows until sometime in November. The good news is that this will give me some time to a) actually study for tests, b) go do real things with real people in the real world, and c) start making a dent on the growing pile of DVDs in front of my TV. But I’m still sort of bitter that there’s so little to look forward to this week.

Tonight:
9pm – Three Rivers on CBS

I’ve also got a work-in-progress post on this show to finish.

MONDAY:
8pm – Heroes on NBC
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX
9pm – Trauma on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
10pm – Castle on ABC

No new House this week. Which is maybe good, because I haven’t seen last week’s yet. Instead, the last non-competition episode of SYTYCD (finally!), with debut choreographed Top 20 performances…but I will still be watching Heroes anyway. And HALLOWEEN EPISODE “VAMPIRE WEEKEND” ON CASTLE – SO EXCITED!

TUESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX

Actual competition begins at long last – and the first two dancers are eliminated by the end of the two-hour broadcast.

WEDNESDAY:

Nothing new is airing today.

THURSDAY:
8pm – FlashForward on ABC

FRIDAY:
10pm – White Collar on USA

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing today. But if it was, I wouldn’t watch it. Because even I have plans for Halloween – weird, huh?

Tame week. Lame week? Whatever you want to call it. Point is, not a whole lot going down. And that’ll be the case for a few weeks, until the shows on break start trickling back on air. Good news for next week though: V premiere. Definitely looking forward to that.

Plans for Melted Brain this week:

  • Hindsight: Life
  • Three Rivers analysis
  • Belated review of White Collar pilot
  • even more belated review of the most recent FlashForward
  • Hindsight: Battlestar Galactica
  • Hindsight: Angel
  • and all the “regularly” scheduled reviews…

This Week 10/18 to 10/24

It looks like it’s going to be a pretty exciting week for both the blog and the television that’s happening.

Tonight:
9pm – Three Rivers on CBS

I might actually watch this.

MONDAY:
8pm – Heroes on NBC
8pm – House on FOX
9pm – Trauma on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
10pm – Castle on ABC

Heroes looks more epic this week. PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE. And this week’s episode of Castle has a title that could be either very intriguing or very disturbing – “When the Bough Breaks.” Yikes. Also, I’m breaking my Monday night FOX boycott to see Garret Dillahunt on Lie to Me.

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: LA on CBS

And FOX is rerunning cartoons. Which means actual competition on So You Think You Can Dance doesn’t start until next week. Dammit.

WEDNESDAY:
9pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

SO EXCITED FOR GLEE THIS WEEK. Don’t know why? Go read “Sweet Caroline.” Or just search for that clip on the web.

THURSDAY:
8pm – FlashForward on ABC
10pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

No new Bones. No new Fringe. It’s like my favorite TV day of the whole week has been dismembered.

FRIDAY:
9pm – Dollhouse on FOX
10pm – White Collar (Series premiere!) on USA

I am really excited for White Collar (and Matt Bomer). I hope it doesn’t suck.

SATURDAY:
Nothing is happening tonight. Unless you count a rerun of the Megan Fox/U2 SNL. Skip it. Even if you didn’t see it the first time.

In non-schedule related news, I’m working on the first Hindsight piece, on a post about my favorite guest actors in honor of Garret Dillahunt’s Lie to Me appearance this week, and looking forward to see how it all pans out. This could be a really excellent week for Melted Brain. Or, you know, it could end disastrously. We’ll see.

Three Rivers: First Glance

This Sunday, CBS will air the third episode of its new medical drama Three Rivers. I completely forgot about the first two episodes until today when I was reading a post on SideReel by the very excellent maxgt. Anyway, I had both the reminder and the opportunity, so I watched those two first episodes. And, while not blown away by any measure, I was reasonably entertained.

Three Rivers follows the day-to-day of Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Hospital, one of the best transplant hospitals in the country. I’m no expert on medical dramas – I only watch House, because it’s a) funnier and b) weirder than most of them tend to be. But it seems to me that Three Rivers has a fairly unique take on them.

The patients – those giving and receiving donor organs – get an enormous amount of time and, since the show is only a few episodes old, seem to be more fully developed than the doctors. There have already been some truly heartbreaking guest performances, and I anticipate that this could turn out to be one of the great strengths of this show.

Another thing that sets Three Rivers apart is the nature of the medicine being practiced. On other shows (again, most of my knowledge stems from House), organ transplants are usually portrayed as a big, scary, risky thing…and then giving about two minutes of attention. Obviously the information being communicated via a fictional medical series must be taken with at least a grain of salt, if not a spoonfull. But as the owner of a massive nerdbrain that just won’t quit, I find the insight into the donor process pretty fascinating.

The cast of Three Rivers is, as all good medical drama casts should be, reasonably talented and about six times more attractive. Alex O’Loughlin leads as Dr. Andy Yablonski, delivering slightly overwritten slivers of wisdom and rocking a much better haircut than during his Moonlight stint. Katherine Moennig has a few more acting chops than the rest – or at least more developed personality. Daniel Henney and Amber Clayton have yet to prove themselves worth screentime as characters (or even actors), but they are undeniably very attractive. Christopher J. Hanke‘s character Ryan is a strange cross between a puppy and a true Dude. And all of them answer to the very excellent Alfre Woodard.

All in all, there isn’t necessarily anything outstanding about Three Rivers. It has its moments of pathos. The medicine is intriguing enough. The people are, as I mentioned, easy to watch. Honestly, the show could sink or swim  in its Sunday timeslot.

I’d say the only real point against it is the one brought up by maxgt. The two episodes that have aired so far seem to have been aired in the wrong order. And try as I might to justify the reasoning for that, I just haven’t come up with anything satisfactory. But honestly, that’s the only complaint so far, so it could be worse.

The best thing about Three Rivers? Mandy Patinkin is slotted to guest star!

Week of 10/4 to 10/10

This coming week I am going to make a concerted effort not to slack off as ridiculously as I did this past week. (I still have a half-finished FlashForward review; Dollhouse is just not going to happen at this point). Hopefully now that real life has normalized somewhat that won’t be too difficult. It also helps that there’s nothing SUPREMELY exciting coming up.

Tonight:
Three Rivers premiered on CBS at 9. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m going to give it a try.

MONDAY:
8pm – House on FOX
8pm – Heroes on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – Trauma on NBC
10pm – Castle on ABC

I’m sticking to my NBC guns and I’m not going to stop until I have no other choice (read: Heroes inevitably gets cancelled because ratings are still dropping in inverse proportion to the quality of the show).

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS

WEDNESDAY:
9pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – CSI: NY on CBS

THURSDAY:
8pm – Bones on FOX
8pm – FlashForward on ABC
9pm – Fringe on FOX
10pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

FRIDAY:
9pm – Dollhouse on FOX

SATURDAY:
11:30 pm – Saturday Night Live (Drew Barrymore & Regina Spektor!) on NBC

Definitely making a point of watching SNL this week. Because Drew Barrymore is actually a good host. And I love me some Regina Spektor.

In other television-related news, I have one episode of Battlestar Galactica left before I finish the entire series. I reeeeeally don’t want to be done with it, but once I get it over with there will be a thorough (and possibly slightly tearful) overview/pitch for the entire series. In more cheerful news, I’ve got the first season of Six Feet Under and the first season of Mad Men in my possession now, so good times should ensue in short order. And, I think I’ve been coerced into trying to give Lost another shot. So there are quite a few things in the works, which I’m hoping will make for a more interesting and less procrastinitized week.