Guest Post ~ Law & Order – Why you need it in your life

Today I have a friend of mine, Daniela, guest posting for me. This is the second year in a row that she has done it, and I hope it’s a regular occurrence because I love reading what she has to say! She’s not a blogger but you should definitely follow her on Twitter, because she often tweets photos of sea otters.

Law & Order – Why you need it in your life

*dunn dunn*

For the uninitiated, this is the sound of a Law & Order scene change. A new witness to interview perhaps, or a court bail appearance? Yes my friends, today I am going to introduce you to the wonderful world of Law & Order and tell you why it is ESSENTIAL viewing.

*dunn dunn*

1. It teaches you you should never trust ANYONE. Your loving boyfriend? (Cheating on you, murders you). Your parents? (Sick of looking after you, murders you). Your librarian? (Fed up of overdue books. Murders you). You get the picture. Statistically* at least two people you encounter during the day will probably try and decapitate or burn you. You have been warned.

*dunn dunn*

2. Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to the eye candy of Law & Order, District Attorney Jack McCoy. No further explanation needed. He drives the lady assistant DAs wild.

*dunn dunn*

3. You will be able to represent yourself in any future American court cases. For all you legal buffs out there, you will surely be aware that American courts work in case law. After watching at least 2 series you will be fully clued up on when to use People vs Douglas.

*dunn dunn*

4. The comedy guest appearances. The guy who murdered his boss in series 2? He’s back in series 5 as a lawyer representing a big pharmaceutical company. Law & Order like to recycle the talent. So don’t worry if you get killed off at the beginning of the episode, chances are you’ll be back.
And finally…

*dunn dunn*

5. Because there are 456 episodes you will never have to leave the house again. Not including all the various spin offs, there are 20 seasons to enjoy which comes in handy on these cold dark nights. There will always be a channel on Sky showing an episode EVERY SINGLE DAY. If you find that this isn’t enough and you have a hole in your day between 3am and 5am there is a Law & Order game where you can flourish with your newly acquired knowledge.

Somehow I’ve overlooked the entire Law and Order franchise and have only ever watched a handful of episodes of the UK version. I will have to remedy this immediately! Thanks so much to Daniela for her guest post!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For the past couple of years, I have devoted a series of posts to the upcoming television season in America. As a huge geek about television, it’s one of my favourite times of the year, and I get super excited about all the new shows that are starting, and all my old favourites that are returning.

This year, I haven’t dedicated the same amount of time or posts to the new television season, mainly because I didn’t really have the time. But also because I have toyed with the idea of starting a new television blog, where I will share my thoughts on all manner of television things. I haven’t finalised all of that yet, but when I do, I’ll share it with anyone who is interested!

But I don’t like to let this wonderful time pass without commenting on it, and as the new television season is off and running, I thought I’d tell you about some of the shows that I am excited about.

One of the reasons that I love the new season is that it often means that there are familiar faces returning to the small screen. This year, amongst others, we have some The West Wing alumna returning. Bradley Whitford stars in Trophy Wife with Malin Akerman and Marcia Gay Harden, while Allison Janney stars in Mom with Anna Faris. Both are comedies, and neither look exactly stellar, although I think I am much more likely to give Trophy Wife a go. It’s a shame Mom doesn’t look better, because I adore Allison Janney.

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Another comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, looks as though it probably has some staying power; I was quite impressed by the trailer. It stars Andre Braugher and Andy Samberg and has been getting some good reviews.

There are a lot of comedies starting in the US right now, and although I have learnt to be very wary of them, I have a couple on my list to check out. Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are starring as father and daughter in The Crazy Ones, but the trailer didn’t promise too many laughs for me. Rebel Wilson is headlining Super Fun Night, and although I haven’t seen Bridesmaids or Pitch Perfect, I’m a bit of a fan.

There are some dramas heading in as well, though it seems like the schedules are rather comedy-heavy. (There are a lot more dramas debuting at midseason.) Almost Human looks very good from the trailer; starring Karl Urban it tells the story of the NYPD 35 years in the future, where police officers are paired up with life-like androids. I’m very excited about this one.

But the two shows that I have been actively counting down to are Hostages and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Hostages stars Dylan McDermott, Toni Collette and Tate Donovan (pretty great cast). Dylan McDermott plays a hostage negotiator turned supposed terrorist, when he takes a family hostage. The mother of the family, played by Collette, is a surgeon planning to operate on the president, and McDermott doesn’t want him to survive the surgery. It all looks terribly exciting, and though I don’t see how it lasts more than one season, I am looking forward to it.

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The big, big, big one, as far as I (and millions of others) are concerned, is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It follows Agent Coulson from The Avengers (he lives!) and his team as they try to find superhuman individuals. It debuts in the US next Tuesday, and luckily, Channel 4 have decided to air it in the same week, so UK viewers get to see the first episode next Friday! If that is not a good enough reason to stay in on a Friday night, I don’t know what is.

Favourite Tradition ~ BEDM

Traditions are funny things. You don’t always really realise that something has become a tradition until you’ve been doing it for a while.

I tried hard to think of some traditions that I have with my friends and family, but all I could come up with were the usual Christmas/birthday/special occasion traditions. So I thought I’d describe three traditions that centre around one of my favourite things: television.

One of my favourite Christmas traditions is getting the Radio Times, a highlighter, a cup of tea, and spending a couple of hours deciding what I want to watch over the Christmas period. The truth of the matter is that often I don’t get to watch half of what I highlight, but it’s the act of settling down with the magazine that I truly love.

When September rolls around, it means one important thing; Strictly’s back. I adore Strictly, I think in the entire time it’s been running I’ve missed 21 episodes (of the proper series, I don’t always catch the Christmas specials). I missed the entirety of Series 9 due to living in America for the entirety of its run, and a Halloween special one year due to a lack of internet. Anyway, various traditions have sprung up around Strictly, but mostly it’s just making an event out of watching it.

Another September tradition for me is getting excited about the new US television season. I watch a lot of American television, and this time right now, mid to late May, is the best and worst. It’s rubbish, because all my shows are ending, going on summer breaks, and I have to wait ages to see them again. But it’s amazing, because the US networks hold their upfronts, in which they promote the new shows that are starting in the autumn. For the last four years, I have done previews of these new shows in September, and last year I premiered US Television week, which I will be repeating again in September. It’s my own little tradition, and I love it!

US Television Week ~ Returning Shows Part II

Following on from yesterday, in which I previewed the new seasons of NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and Criminal Minds, I’m back today with a preview of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Happy Endings.

Again, you should note that there are spoilers here, so if you are not up to date with any of the shows that I am discussing, you should look away. I don’t want to be responsible for ruining a major plot point for you!

Grey’s Anatomy

This is your last warning re spoilers. I will be discussing deaths and departures imminently.

Grey's Anatomy Season 9

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When we last saw most of the Seattle Grace doctors, they were stranded following a plane crash that had killed Lexie and seriously injured Mark, Arizona and Derek. Over the summer we’ve learnt that Eric Dane is leaving the show, though we don’t know if Mark will die from his injuries or not (my guess is yes). Meanwhile, Jessica Capshaw and Shonda Rhimes both refuse to be drawn on whether or not Arizona survives the crash (my guess is yes here too).

We’ve had lots of details about forthcoming Grey’s action over the summer. We know that there is going to be a wedding, widely predicted to be Ben and Bailey after he proposed at the end of last season. There is to be a two-hander episode, done so rarely in American drama, between Meredith and Cristina. Derek and Callie are going to bond over losing their best friend, Mark. We are going to find out which doctors are staying at Seattle Grace Mercy West, and who will actually take jobs across the country. I think we’ll probably see April take the place on the team that Lexie dying has freed up; Sarah Drew isn’t leaving as far as I know, so she’ll need a spot on the team. Elsewhere, Shonda Rhimes has dubbed Season 9 the year of romance, so hopefully we’ll see some happier stories. There are lot of new faces coming too.

Grey’s Anatomy returns to ABC on Thursday 27th September at 9PM. It will air on Sky Living in the UK at a later date.

Scandal

Scandal Season 2

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Scandal is the best show you’re not watching. I think so, anyway. And the reason you’re probably not watching it is that it hasn’t aired in the UK. I hope that this will change, because it’s great, but if it doesn’t, you can buy the Region 1 DVD if you fancy it and can watch it.

Because it hasn’t aired in the UK, I’m not going to give any spoilers about it. The first season is only seven episodes long, and the plot centres around Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, a DC lawyer whose firm deals with problems. They make scandals disappear for the rich and powerful. All of this is interesting enough, but the best thing about this show is the story arc throughout the season involving Olivia, the US president, and a girl who claims to be having his baby. Add into this the newest member of Olivia’s team, a young lady called Quinn Perkins, who has a major secret herself, and you’ve got yourself quite the show.

Going into the second season, there have been some cast changes. Henry Ian Cusick has been dropped and will make no further appearances (I say boo to that), and Joshua Malina, guest star last year, has been promoted to series regular alongside Bellamy Young.

I’m super excited for the return of Scandal, because I hear the first episode back answers a lot of questions and sets up the season really well.

Scandal returns to ABC on Thursday 27th September at 10PM.

Happy Endings

Happy Endings

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You know, you’re probably not watching Happy Endings either. But you have no excuse for this one, because it’s on e4. And it’s hilarious. Seriously. It may not get the press that Community or Modern Family gets, but it’s really very good, and you’d probably like it if you liked Friends.

Season 2 ended with Alex and Dave reconciling. I’m not sure how I feel about this, because a) Dave’s my least favourite character, while Alex is in my top five characters, and b) I was sort of shipping Penny and Dave for a while there. Although just typing that seems wrong. I think I prefer perpetually single Penny, because she’s pretty hilarious that way.

In other news, Brad lost his job, which should lead to hilarity for him and Jane. Everything else does, so there’s no reason why this shouldn’t. And Penny falls down the stairs and ends up in a full body cast.

Happy Endings returns to ABC on Tuesday 23rd October at 9PM. It will air in the UK on e4, probably in the new year.

 

And that ends US Television Week 2012! I’ll be reviewing the best of the midseason debuts in January.

US Television Week ~ Returning Shows Part I

Earlier in the week I previewed some of the new shows that are debuting on American television in the next few weeks. As well as the new shows, there are a few old favourites that I like to watch, and I thought I’d round them up for you too. Please note that there may be spoilers if you aren’t up to date (on an American schedule) with any of these shows.

NCIS

NCIS Season 10

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Last time we saw our favourite Naval Criminal Investigative team, they were being blown up by none other than Toby Ziegler Harper Dearing (played by Richard Schiff), apart from Ducky, who was having a heart attack on a beach. Because of the way that American television news gets reported, fans who keep their finger on the NCIS pulse probably already know that all the main stars of the series have signed new deals, so it’s unlikely that any of them are going to be departing in the season premiere. If you’re interested in a few teasers, there are some here and here. It looks as though Harper Dearing isn’t done with blowing things up, although I can’t imagine he will elude capture past the end of the opening episode.

I’m not sure what this season will bring, aside from exploring Abby’s adoption again, after we found out last year that she has a brother she didn’t know about. I don’t know if Tiva fans will finally get what they are looking for, or what the overall theme of the season will be. But I do know that I continue to love the number one scripted show on American television, and I will be sad when it inevitably comes to an end. Ten seasons is a massive achievement, and I do wonder if the creators are beginning to see an end in sight. Maybe not this year, but certainly within the next couple.

NCIS returns to CBS on Tuesday 25th September at 9PM. FX shows it in the UK, and will probably air the new series in the new year.

NCIS: Los Angeles

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NCIS: Los Angeles had a bit of a sticky ending. Callen went rogue and killed the Chameleon, in front of people and television cameras, and ended the episode being bundled into a police car. Hetty resigned (again), following the deaths of a couple of agents. All I know is that there is no way in the world that Chris O’Donnell isn’t returning for another season, so we should probably expect all of that business to be cleared up within the first episode. My guess is that the murder was set up somehow, that it possibly wasn’t even a murder at all, but a faked death. I don’t know exactly, but I know that we aren’t going to be visiting Callen in prison for too long. As for Hetty, I don’t know. She has been seen in promo pics on a yacht, so she’s definitely back. I wouldn’t be overly sad if she wasn’t back, but I think she probably is. I would just hope that we don’t yet another season with her resigning, because it’s getting a bit old!

As you can see from the photo above, we are also going to find out what the team have been up to over the summer. Deeks has been on a camel, obviously. Apparently episode two is a good one, great for Kensi and Deeks fans, and really funny. Also, later in the series, we have some mums on the show! LL Cool J, Daniela Ruah, Chris O’Donnell and Eric Christian Olsen have their mums in an episode!

NCIS: Los Angeles returns to CBS on Tuesday 25th September at 10PM. It will be aired on Sky 1 in the UK at a later date.

Criminal Minds

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No cliffhanger at the end of the last season of Criminal Minds; instead we had a wedding and a departure. Prentiss leaving has left a gap on the team, and it’s filled by Jeanne Tripplehorn, playing Alex Blake. I think I’m going to be happy with this, I loved Prentiss and I hated to see her go, but I am hopeful that Alex (Blake? What will we call her) will be great. She’s a linguistics expert who has a past (not a romantic one) with Reid, so I think she’ll fit in well.

Talking of Reid and romance, apparently he is set to have a love story this year. Morgan fans will be moaning, because yet again Reid seems to have a storyline where their favourite action man doesn’t, but as I don’t really like Morgan, I don’t mind. Bellamy Young, who played Hotch’s lady friend Beth, has been promoted to series regular on Scandal (more on that tomorrow), so she is making a couple more appearances to leave the show, though I hear that Beth will still be considered Hotch’s girlfriend for a while, she just won’t be around for it.

In other news, it seems as though we have another scary unsub this year, who is going to be hunting our beloved BAU team. As I mentioned to my friend Katy, Morgan and Rossi are expendable, nobody else is!

Criminal Minds returns to CBS on Wednesday 26th September at 9PM. Sky Living will air the new series in the UK at a later date.

I’ll be back tomorrow to look at Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Happy Endings.