Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Love A Mystery

I don't go out of my way to promote so-called reality TV, largely because success in this genre means more unemployed writers.

But a new show has caught my eye.

Growing up, I always loved mysteries and wanted to be a detective. Tonight, others like me get their shot.

Spike TV, the network not named for Spike Lee, is starting a series called "Murder," which airs tonight at 10 p.m. It involves ordinary folks who are invited to reconstruct crime scenes and go through all the evidence police get, then try to come up with a solution.

I'm not sure if prizes are involved or what, but it seems to be a neat little exercise that might be worth checking out.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Speaking of good reality TV, "On The Lot" (Fox, 8 p.m.) cuts down from six directors to five. I have to say, after stumbling at the beginning, the voters at home have done a good job in narrowing the field. The six guys left are arguably the six best directors in the competition, and any would be a worthy winner. Personally, I still think the competition is Zach's to lose, followed by Will. But I'd move Andrew past Sam in terms of favorites.

Also back is "The Bronx Is Burning," (ESPN, 10 p.m.), which continues to entertain.

My favorite new summer show, however, has been "Damages" (FX, 10 p.m.) If Emmy voters had a clue, Glenn Close would be a shoo-in for a nomination next year playing perhaps the most manipulative lawyer of all time. Considering how evil she is, it's a wonder we have anyone to root for since the guy she is suing (Ted Danson) is a Ken Lay type executive who bilked his employees out of their retirements.


Edge said...

Yes all of those left on 'On the Lot' are good. But I do really like Jason alot. And Will is another one of my fav's. Zach has always been a front runner, but I did not like his last short film very much. But overall he has been one of the best. At this point I would be happy with any of these guys winning. We are now at a point in the show where it is really fun to watch.

Jonathan said...

Overall I found the pilot for "Damages" to be entertaining and well worth continued viewing to see where the show will be heading. However, was I the only one who found the plot stretched a tad too far unrealistically in the opening hour?

Upon first glance, the scene in the bathroom at the wedding where Glenn Close has come to tell the woman who skipped out on her interview that she has been hired is asinine to say the least. But then I realize we're supposed to buy it later since we find out the true reason she was hired in the first place. Still, would a law firm really have to go to these lengths to get a witness to come forth; wouldn't killing her dog and sending her fake threats be more than enough of a reason?

I also found Danson's ego maniac/asshole tycoon to be a little on the cardboard cutout side; granted, after fleshing him out over the season, maybe that perception will change. But don't get me wrong, extremely entertaining television, and Glenn Close is great in the lead. I'm just a little concerned that in the end this might be a little more ridiculous than entertaining. I guess we'll see.

Phillip Ramati said...

i feel the same way, mostly. Jason was my least favorite to begin with, but he has improved greatly over the competition.

Some people have criticized Damages for being a bit over the top, but I think it's a case of not seeing the whole picture yet. We know something bad happens to the young lawyer in the six months between her hiring and the murder of her fiance, so I think we need to get into it a bit more. And I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that the two sides will pull out all stops to win, since you are talking about multi-millions of dollars being involved.

Jonathan said...

If that point didn't come across clearly, I was kind of getting at the same thing; I'm just hoping the overall storyline does make all the over-the-top scenarios make sense and not compound on them. And the scene at the wedding, no matter what comes of all of this, was still a poorly executed scene and took me out of it for the few minutes it played out on the tube. That was all I was getting at.

Phillip Ramati said...

That's a fair point, but I think the wedding scene makes sense because recruiting the girl is essential to getting the other woman to testify.

Killing the woman's dog is supposed to illustrate the contrast of Patty's personality by showing her regularly visiting the dog park, but then having a dog killed to send a message and help her meet a goal.