Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Great TV....

I'm sure many of you have heard that old adage that, "TV is a vast wasteland." At times I'm inclined to agree; especially when it comes to a lot (make that, most) of the "so-called" reality shows. However, in the past two seasons I've found a couple shows that I feel are real gems. Both are dramas; both are "cop" shows, and both deal with "Life." :)

The 1st of these is the NBC show "Life" starring Damian Lewis. The show debuted last season, and the premise is that Lewis portrays an LA police officer who is wrongly accused & convicted of the grissly murder of his best friends. After 12 years of hard time, his conviction is overturned, he's freed, he wins a multi-million dollar wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, and he asks for his old job back (which he gets). The reason for getting his job back is so that he can find the real killers & bring them to justice. Of course, part of the subplot is that while in prison he was brutally beaten (due to his cop status) by other inmates. He did his share of retaliations (or at least we are led to believe he did), made some good allies, and found inner peace through Zen.

Now that he's out, he find wonder in the advances in technology since he's been away. He also loves fresh fruit so much that he's seen eating some at least twice each episode (is was constant in the first season). He also has a "conspiracy wall/room" in his extremely sparsely furnished mansion, in which he has photos of those he beleives were "in on" his frame-up & the murder itself.

Initially, I wasn't sure I'd like the show. I'd seen Lewis in a couple of films, and he always played the heavy (bad guy). From that, I wasn't sure if I could believe him as a good guy. However, his acting is so good that I'm totally sucked in during each episode. Often I find myself disapointed when the episode ends.

The other show is ABC's "Life On Mars." It's also a cop drama, and it's on the same night as "Life," therefore you'll probably need to set your TiVo for them both (that's what I do). This show debuted this season, and it's premise is that NY police detective Sam Tyler is struck by a car while pursueing a serial killer on foot. He then wakes up in a vacant lot to find himself in the year 1973 (instead of the present). He goes to his precinct, the 125, and finds that he's supposed to be the new transferee to the unit.

Now I don't remember the name of the show's star (who portray's Tyler), but other cast members are the beautiful Gretchen Mol (from "Rounders" & other films), and heavy-weight actor, Harvey Keitel. Actually, I initially watched the show just because of Keitel's involvement.

A lot of the show is Tyler dealing with being in '73 (when he was actually only 4 years old). He runs into his Mother, and the Father that abandoned the family in that year. He also meets a cops who will later become his mentor on the force. Other situations with which he must deal is the rampant chauvanism still present in the department, the kick-backs that are part of "business as usual," and the lack of modern technology & detective skills that he's used to using.

This show is also well written, and I find myself hating to see its episode end as with "Life."

There are other shows I feel are "can't miss" television, but I think this is enough for now. Be sure to check them out; I think you'll enjoy them as I do. :)


Anonymous said...

Life is the best TV I seen in years and Damian Lewis is a brilliant actor. If you've only ever een him as the bad guy prior to Life then you haven't watched Band of Brothers - the best television drama series ever created. Even if you don't like war films you will love Band of Brothers. Lewis plays the leading character, the real-life Major Richard Winters, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. Check it out!

SumDumGuy said...

Thanks for the information on Damian Lewis. I've heard nothing but raves about "Band of Brother" but just never got around to watching it.
I do agree that Lewis is a great actor. I mean, the only reason I didn't care for him before is that I'd always seen him in "bad guy" roles. He was obviously convincing enough there that I took it as part of him, not the character(s). :)

SumDumGuy said...

...also, thank you for reading my blog & commenting.