Coffee and TV :: On-Screen Mondays

Time to review Mondays TV line-up with some mini-reviews to go along with them. I am going to skip Dancing with the Stars, as I tend to limit my reality television consumption to The Voice, and some of Ramsey’s cooking shows. I am also skipping the CW’s 90210, as even though I did once watch the original, this revamp has never interested me, and the one time I did try to sit through an episode, I could not get through it.

Castle, ABC Monday’s at 10pm (PST)

Starting with my favorite Monday night show, Castle returns for it’s fifth season with its main characters, Richard Castle and Kate Beckett, waking up together after finally confronting their feelings for each other, and well, consummating said feelings. I, along with many other fans of this show, have been impatiently waiting for this to happen, ever frustrated with the misunderstandings and near misses the two have been through, though also secretly enjoying the hell out of all that sexual tension and slow build emotion (I did mention before that I am a fan of the slow reveal). Now though, the tough stuff begins, and we all wait to see if they can manage a relationship without the show jumping the proverbial shark, which often happens when the two leads finally wind up together. I know that has been Nathan Fillion’s concern in the past when asked about the possible pairing’s fate, though I personally think they can pull it off. The show is well-written, if not at times a bit predictable in its crime-stories, it is the characters that are witty and wonderful. They are the reason I watch and get so fired up when Monday night rolls around. Nathan is delightful as Richard Castle, whip smart, clever, a single parent who is a good father, flirtatious, emotional and so damn funny, oh, and he’s a writer, too (swoon).  Nathan is one of my favorite actors out there, so I may be slightly biased, but I do love his character. Stana Katic is equally fabulous as Kate Beckett, strong and smart detective who has a troubled past. She is complicated, flawed, did I mention strong? (oh how I love strong female leads). The show also has a great supporting cast, my favorite being Castle’s daughter Alexis, played by Molly C. Quinn. I love the father/daughter dynamics and also have thoroughly enjoyed watching a smart, stubborn girl grow up, making strides and mistakes along the way. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next, what new twists and turns await especially Beckett has her over-arching four season story arc seemingly comes to a climax, or adds on another layer of complications and complexity.

How I Met Your Mother, CBS Monday’s at 8pm (PST)

Confession #1: I like everyone in the cast except for Ted, which is similar to how I could never stand Ross on the somewhat equivalent Friends, except for the fact that this show is supposed to be all about Ted. To me, though, it is all about Barney, Robin, Marshall and Lily (and the actors who play them). Confession #2: Despite my caring for the other four characters, I am as tired of this show as the kids must be of sitting on that same couch listening to Ted explain to them, in the longest way possible, how he met their mother. Yes, it was a workable premise at the start that actually became something better than I initially expected, but it is time for it to come to an end. I am ready to meet the mother, see Barney and Robin tie the knot (or not), and be satisfied in the knowing that Marshall and Lily stay together and raise a family. It is time, it is. Would it be too much to hope for that this could be the season that the kids finally get to return to their lives? We can always see them again, perhaps as a crossover to Joss Whedon’s upcoming show about S.H.I.E.L.D., where perhaps Robin works now, changing her name to Maria to finally hide her Mall-tour pop singing past.

Partners, CBS Monday’s at 8:30pm (PST)

I wanted to like this show, I really did. It has a likeable cast, especially with the inclusion of Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie, Brandon Routh who I loved in the film Dylan Dog and David Krumholtz, who I have enjoyed in many things. Also, I am usually cheering on shows that include well-written gay characters. This show seemed to have both a promising cast and an interesting premise, but it is missing the well-written anything. The pilot is full of nothing but stereotype after stereotype that border on insulting and are really not funny. I feel as if a group of writers sat together and threw around ideas of what a gay man would do and like and feel, based on no real gay man, just caricatures, and here’s our gay man. I mean South Park, a show that often boasts at being insulting, does not stereotype as much as the pilot to this show does. It was painful, embarrassing, and yes, insulting to watch. Maybe it will get better, though I am not sure I want to try again. This was honestly the worst pilot we watched.

2 Broke Girls, CBS Monday’s at 9pm (PST)

One of my least favorite shows that premiered last season, the other being Whitney, Whitney Cummings herself being the common connection between both shows. 2 Broke Girls turned me off near immediately in last season’s pilot due to flimsy written characters and a rape joke. I tuned in again after that for one reason, and one reason only, Kat Dennings. Kat is one of my favorite young actors and I have enjoyed her in a myriad of film roles, most especially Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Defendor, and Daydream Nation. Kat Dennings cannot save this poorly written sitcom, though, even when she transcends the bad, and often insulting (yes, that word and feeling again) dialogue. Will I tune in to see if season 2 brought about any improvements? Maybe just the season premiere, but if it continues the way it started, then it will definitely be off my watch list for good.

Mike & Molly, CBS Monday’s at 9:30pm (PST)

Confession #1: I never gave this show a chance because I hated the fact that this show’s premise is centered on the two lead characters weight. Despite the fact that I loved Melissa McCarthy in Gilmore Girls, and had missed watching her on my TV, I did not want to see her in a role that is written as a “fat girl” character. Her weight was never part of Sookie, the character she played on Gilmore Girls, or ever talked about. Plots did not revolve around her size, suggestions of dieting, complications of dating because of her weight, or anything. She was just a person like everyone else in the fictional town of Star’s Hollow, complex and full of attributes and flaws, their physical bodies never part of the writing, or show. Confession #2: I have heard that the show is entertaining, and that the lead character’s weight is not the topic of conversation or plotting any longer. That and the fact that I do want to support McCarthy’s career, I may give this show a chance at some point, maybe even this season. Please leave a comment if you have seen the show, and let me know your thoughts, pro or con.

 

Hawaii 5-0, CBS Monday’s at 10pm (PST)

The show that my husband asks me “why are you not watching this“, Hawaii 5-0 starts it’s third season. I did see the pilot, and I did enjoy it, and then I lost track of it. It is a show my husband really enjoys, and since we have similar taste in TV, I will give it another shot eventually, probably doing a catch-up of past seasons when some of my favorites go on hiatus.

Gossip Girl, The CW Monday’s at 9pm

Julia and I watched Season 1 of Gossip Girl, back when it first aired, and liked it. The show may have been about breaking boundaries and shock value, but that first season had its share of tender moments and well-written characters, as well. Perhaps that is due to it being based on a book series, but I did enjoy the characters, and stories, especially Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Blair (Leighton Meester), and parents, as well as ex-lovers, Serena’s mother Lily (Kelly Rutherford) and Dan’s father Rufus (Matthew Settle). There were some issues that I thought were handled relatively well, including suicide, coming out, eating disorders and addiction. I found myself caring about some of these characters, and even enjoyed the over-the-top moments and guest stars, including Georgina Sparks, played by Michelle Trachtenberg who I have loved since her role of Dawn, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After season 1, though, we stopped watching. I do not remember why, most likely thought the show fell off our time and radar. I have no real idea if the show maintained any of what I enjoyed about the first season, and I am not quite sure I will tune-in for this final season, though I may just do a start at the start viewing of it at some point and see for myself.

Bones, FOX Monday’s at 8pm (PST)

Adding to the list of “why am I not watching this” is Bones. I have seen a few episodes here and there, and loved all of what I saw. The show is made-up of so many things I love, too, a strong female lead, a unique take on the procedural genre, and a talented supporting cast of characters. Oh, and I have always been fond of David Boreanaz, even if I was always on “Team Spike“. I will get around to really watching this, especially knowing that it is on Netflix streaming; it is only a matter of time.

The Mob Doctor, FOX Monday’s at 9pm (PST)

This is one of the pilots that I have not seen yet. Despite the lukewarm to cold reviews it has gotten, I am interested in giving it a shot, primarily because I have always had an interest in mob stories, and again, I love a strong female lead, especially if she is complicated, and full of both good and bad sides. Stay tuned and I will weigh in later, once I have given it a shot.

In a surface, “judge a book by it’s cover” way, I do think The Mob Doctor has the best promotional poster of all the new shows this season.

The Voice, NBC Monday’s at 8pm (PST)

I am not much of a reality show fan, at all, but I love The Voice. Perhaps it is because I love music so much, and I get drawn in to cheering on struggling singers, though I loathe The X-Factor, and have some major issues with American Idol. The Voice, though, I truly love. I love the idea of judging people for their art and not their looks (though, yes, I do know that initial auditions are a “casting call” as much as an audition, and that physicality may be a factor at that juncture). I love the idea of successful artists helping struggling artists, art helping art has always been close to my heart. I also really love the judges, with the exception of Christina sometimes. I will be watching all season, cheering on my favorites, and yes, even posting something once a week, starting next week, about the show and my favorite singers.

Here is a sneak peek at one of my favorites, so far:

Revolution, NBC Monday’s at 10pm (PST)

This is the show that everyone seems to already love to hate, or so it seems on most social media sites at the moment. For me, the pilot did some things right and some things poorly. I will start with what I loved: Sword play! Yes, I loved the sword fighting and the fact that I was watching a TV show with well-choreographed swordsmanship, something that does not happen very often. The pilot also featured two favorite actors of mine, Bily Burke, and no, not just because he looks a bit like my husband, and Elizabeth Mitchell, though sadly she will not be a regular character. What I did not like? Mainly I did not like that it felt as if we learned too much in the pilot, once again a show that seems to not know how to master a slow reveal, except I know both J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke do know how (see Lost, Supernatural, Fringe, and even Felicity). There are also some significant scientific foibles that may, or may not, be resolved as the show progresses. I will be watching, though, as long as it lasts (with the bad reactions to the pilot, I have my doubts about this show making it). I love J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke’s other TV shows, and Favereau did a good job with Iron Man, and Swingers, a long-time favorite film, so I will hang on and give it a real chance. It could very well be way more than the pilot has us believing, or should I say assuming.

Warehouse 13, SyFy Monday’s at 9pm (PST)

The SyFy network is not just the destination for so bad they are good (at least to us) creature features, they also have some actual well-written and enjoyable TV shows. Warehouse 13 is one of my favorites, a part procedural, part mystery, part supernatural, and part alternative history with some occasional time travel thrown in to the mix, how could I not enjoy it? Claudia, a computer hacker and musician with a past history of mental illness, the youngest member of the team is my favorite. Her father/daughter type relationship with head of the team Artie is warm and vulnerable, and realistic, and one of my favorite components of the show. I also love the dynamics of real friendship that make-up this show in lieu of romances, something that is rather unique, and more than a little refreshing. My favorite friendships, thus far, have been Claudia and Steve Jinks (“Jinksie”), and Myka and H.G. Wells, who in this incarnation is a woman who wrote as a man, and who lived her stories.

Alphas, SyFy Monday’s at 8pm

Another SyFy network show, and yet another show that I cannot help but wonder “why am I not watching“, especially since I do thoroughly enjoy a behind the hero super hero story, an ensemble cast and shows on this network.

So, what are you watching on Mondays this season?