Thursday, October 06, 2011
television views

I have a very hard time with the re-imagining of, the re-doing of, the taking-something-that-was-perfect, and deciding...'Hey, let's do a NEW version of this show'......Nothing against Maria Bello---she is a fine actress----But, in my not so humble opinion, it takes some kind of...what? Chutzpah? To decide...Hey, let's re-do this series....For any actress to step into the shoes of a part that is so identified with and 'owned by' another actress, Helen Mirren, who's performance was untouchably brilliant in the original U.K. series..."Prime Suspect"....That is Chutzpah, too. I know, a job is a job. And in truth.....from what I've seen so far, this Americanized version of "Prime Suspect" has very little to do with the Original......Yes, some of the basics are the same---a Policewoman trying to achieve equal standing in a world dominated by men, etc., etc. But, it seems to me, that is where the similarities end. Why did the powers-that-be do this? Because, in fact, that's where the true Chutzpah lies with the producers and writers of this new American 'Prime Suspect'....and with NBC, too. And because it is really like a brand new series that takes place in New York City, not London, where the lead characters name is Jane, but not Jane Tennison----it's Jane Timoney.And she dresses like a rogue Sheriff in the Old West---Why call it "Prime Suspect' at all--call it something else? To me, this so called 'Prime Suspect' is just another Cop Show with a strong leading woman character.....What set the 'original' apart was a combination of things---not the least of which was Helen Mirren....The writing was superb; all the actors were superb, and there was nothing about it that we had seen before, up until that time, particularly in the gritty subject matter--it broke new ground in that respect.It was first produced in 1991. Of course, now in 2011 we've seen so much since then that our senses are numbed to hard hitting subjects filled with blood and gore---(Think "Dexter", for one...)---well, now it would all seem old hat. A suggestion: If you loved the original series, avoid the pain of this new one and just put on one of the "Prime Suspect" dvd's with the sublime Helen Mirren.

Now, let me say something about "The Good Wife".A wonderful show that just came back on for it's second season....They changed the viewing night from Tuesday at 10pm---a perfect time---to Sunday, at 9pm, not such a good time. They've changed 'Alicia's' hair, not so good, either.And they've changed her---not good at all...She just isn't the same person anymore---it's like The Two Faces of Alicia....HELP!!! There is little enough on TV to look forward to---and 'The Good Wife' was one I really DID look forward to....Now? Not so much. I was always concerned that it would become a 'soap opera'....Does anyone else see those bubbles emanating from the screen?

BBC America has some exciting drama's....."Law & Order U.K." (which was fabulous in it's first season shown here last winter..). It was the perfect "fix" for all of us "Law & Order" junkies who needed something a whole lot better than 'Law & Order L.A.'....(Oy Vey!) Terrific acting and direction and the writing--a lot of it based on the early original scripts of L&W, ALL fantastic.....! Well, it just started it's second season here in the states, and three of the lead characters have changed.... The men in the picture above have been replaced....!!! (The 'order' side of L&W).....
And the actor on the right, one of the two police officers, was killed off in the very first episode of the second season, sad to say. I haven't a clue as to why these actors were replaced---who knows what happened to them. All I know is three really wonderful actors are gone---two, with no explanation. Disappointing? Yes! I really thought it was cast so perfectly.....Oh well, that's the way these things go, I'm afraid. is a better series than most of this falls new shows.......

More good news from BBC America....They showed a wonderful 6 part series called "The Hour". The fictional story is about a 'show' called 'The Hour' shown on the BBC and about the people who work on putting it together---and it is about the political climate at that time. A terrific show within a show, so to speak, with interesting characters and the detail to the period---the 1950's---is superb. Exemplary Acting, Directing and Writing---this was a 'I-so-look-forward-to' 6 part series that I wish had been 16 parts....! (16 parts...that's a laugh---we are lucky if we get twelve episodes these days....)! Look for it in repeats....!

"The Playboy Club"?I saw about ten minutes and switched to something else. It was cancelled earlier this week, so the public only got to see three episodes. What is sad about that is...Maybe it would have found it's audience, given a chance...No, I wouldn't have been one of them, but, so what? "All In The Family" would be cancelled today after the third episode given the way shows have to perform ratings-wise....Now, that would be sad...! The 'networks' really do not give new shows a chance to find their audience today.....! Truthfully, I think "The Playboy Club" would eventually have been cancelled anyway...but gee, give them a fighting chance at least....!

"Boardwalk Empire" is back for it's 2nd season.....!! Love this show. This is their second season and so far, the high quality is very much there in ALL departments, in my opinion....And, this is another show that creates the period, (1920's Atlantic City during Prohibition) in such loving detail....Hooray for HBO!

Showtime has a new series called "Homeland".... What a cast! Damian Lewis, Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkan....all fantastic talents....I have only seen the first episode and it looks very interesting. More about that later......And as always.....There will be......

More To Come......

Note: October 6th, 2005 I started my first less then a month, my computer died. And after I got a new computer, I was so new to Blogging I couldn't remember how to get on my Dashboard....So, I started this blog you are reading right now....I will honor my actual 6th Anniversary of this blog, in early November, but, I just couldn't let this day go by with saying a little something.....

Links to this post:


had this to say:

I loved Prime Suspect. I watch very little television but I never missed an episode of Prime Suspect. Helen was brilliant in it. I found it very "edgy" for it's time. It seemed so real which I put down to an excellent script and acting!

Happy blogging anniversary to you!

Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 3:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy 6th Blogging Anniversary my dear friend and because of blogging, we became friends and with your friend Seemah too :)

Like Cool Joe, I watch very little television programs except for half an hour to an hour cooking show, entertainment snippets etc. I enjoyed Oprah show very much too.

Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 5:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

LOL so true about how many NEW episodes we get to see!!! wasn't there a time when a *season* of new episodes was 23? It seemt to me I remember something like that.. things keep changing, less new stuff , more commercials, more reruns on more stations that cost us more money!! duh.

sometimes (a BIG sometimes) do overs are not so bad.. but mostly they aren't so good lol..

ohhh happy blog anniversary! I keep forgetting mine was the same day as yours!!! I began in 6 yrs! it seems impossible! But we should toast to our blogs, you and I!! cheers!

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 3:52:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Congrats on your 6th. I'll celebrate mine next month.

Thanks for the TV reviews. Re: Prime Suspect and other remakes, I feel that classic shows shouldn't be redone, unless there is truly a new vision for the characters while staying true to the original concept.

And the rule should be "don't remake anything which has an iconic original star, i.e. Helen Mirren."


Friday, October 7, 2011 at 5:41:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

First, Happy Blog Anniversay!
OK--a BIG discussion in my household about the "new" Prime Suspect===ICK and WHY? Just a bloody mess! I tried to give her/it a chance, tried to block out Helen---NOPE, a BLOODY MESS.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 7:24:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I don't even think of the original and ONLY Prime Suspect when I watch this new series
that makes it easier

I love Maria Bello and I'm enjoying the show

as for Alicia - I think, I hope, that they're going too far in the "bad" direction with her and that the pendulum will then swing back
I love the actress who plays Kalinda and hope she and Alicia will come back together
I really dislike Chris Noth - I met him once and he was so arrogant and rude so it's always fun to hate his character ;)

Hope says try watching 'Bubble Guppies' on Nick Jr
fascinating plot line and exciting characters :)

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 7:48:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

It does seem a bit daft to try to improve on something that has really worked.
I'm only really familiar with 'Prime Suspect' and 'The Hour.' I found the acting excellent in 'The Hour' and on the strength of it watched Dominic West in 'An Appropriate Adult' where his characterisation of that monster Fred West was scarily good.
Congrats on your sixth. You are a few months ahead of me in blogging and I am a few months and a year ahead of you in years.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 8:36:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Congrats on your 6th to celebrate the start of it all. Wonder where your other one went.
I haven't seen Prime Suspect, there are just so many new ones to watch, I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Sadly I don't have HBO or Showtime so those I can't see.
As for Alicia, I feel she has gone over to the dark side this year. I can't help but feel Will is the epitome of slimy lawyer. He will do what he has to for a buck.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 9:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The only one I watch now is Boardwalk Empire, which is brilliant!

IMO, NO ONE can hold a candle to Helen Mirren (Or Judi Dench, for that matter.)

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 9:41:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy Blogoversary! :)

It looks like you're getting quite a few of our TV shows. I forget that you guys get BBC America over there... However, the BBC are making cuts and its looking like we'll lose some of our shows and will be getting more repeats (Urgh!).

I started watching the first season of The Good Wife when it was shown over here and loved it. Somehow I started missing episodes though, I must try and find it to watch all the way through.

Do you watch Castle? I'm easgerly awaiting the 4th season, which I believe has started with you, but here in the UK we have to wait until earlier 2012.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 12:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy Blog Anniversary! Also, I LOVE Boardwalk Empire and am a big fan of Steve Buscemi. I don't watch any of the other shows you mentioned, but one new show has caught my attention - CBS's "Person of Interest" with Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson and Taraji P. Henson. The show is intelligent which combined with me watching it is always the kiss of death for a show. Every time I really like a show it gets axed. So tune into this show quickly before the network finds out I'm watching it and cancels it.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 7:24:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi :)

Congrats on the anniversary! Here's to 6 more!!!!!


Friday, October 7, 2011 at 10:28:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Six Years! - Excellent - I wonder if your 'original' short lived blog is still lurking in the ether somewhere?

As for the recuts of series...don't get me started! We've talked about 'The Killing' before but it does seem to happen to many series. I suppose its something to do with copyrights and 'who gets paid' as well.

In fairness, the Hawaii Five-Oh recent series was good but they didn't just do a remake, they added the history/heritage.

Of course, from the USA to UK we tend to get the original America. It seems to be when Europe tries to send things back the other way that they get reconstructed!

Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 5:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy Blogging Anniversary! The blogging world is richer for your presence.

We also love Boardwalk Empire. While some of the content on cable channels is "edgier" than we are, some of the storytelling is so expertly drawn that we try things we wouldn't normally. Dexter is something that did not make the first cut in that department, though. Neither of us could watch 15 minutes. Edgy is one thing. No socially redeeming value is a bridge too far. No matter who brilliantly done or elegantly acted.

Actors that take on re-do's must be exceptionally brave. The concept is understandable- but there is an added risk. Like bungee jumping or second marraiges, I suppose):-

Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 9:52:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Bravo! A Very Happy Blog Anniversary, my dear Naomi! And many more years to come sharing with us your wonderful posts, beautiful memories, great stories and stunning photos!
I remember well your first blog and I am so very glad I met you! You are a sweet, kind and gentle soul and you enrich my life so much, as you do with many others blog friends!
I am very grateful to have you as a great and lovely friend of mine!

I watch very little television series but I loved Brothers and Sisters and also Monk.

Congratulations again, dear Naomi!
Much Love!

Monday, October 10, 2011 at 5:46:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

dear naomi - am so so sorry to only now be making it over this way again - notwithstanding i came over in the middle of the night right after this was posted but was too exhausted from the day to respond as i'd wanted - however, the main thing is that i totally agree with your assessment of this batch of shows - what were the networks thinking! such a sore disappointment, this season - and the thing of the number of new episodes in a series, now, abysmal! just the other night i heard a blurp on one of the new shows exclaiming "5 new episodes this season!" - FIVE? puhleeeseee....of prime suspect i could not agree with you more and literally laughed out loud with your wonderful rogue sheriff assessment of the wardrobe of the female lead - now, if anyone thought for one moment that there could ever come anyone even close to helen mirren they have never seen the magnificent ms. mirren perform - i thought i might be the only one who felt the same about the good wife! again, could not agree with you more! alicia is not the same - the hair is not the same - the plot is not the same - the time in not the same - and i can barely see the screen for the bubbles bubbling! so sad! anyway, so now, i really have to grab hbo and showtime to get those that you mention - they sound great - in the meantime, there was already so little that i will watch on mainstream television - and now, even less - bahhumbug! wonderful post, dear lady, and thanks so much for the mention of those i've not been getting!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I was watching Boardwalk Empire the other night (using my cable's On Demand feature). My boyfriend (one can have a boyfriend at 54, right?) walked in the living room and looked at the tv for awhile. He never watches tv shows at all, only movies and documentaries, but this caught his eye. He asked what it was, I explained and he sat and watched it with me. It was nice to share something I like with him!

Happy anniversary!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 7:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The only series I watch is the Closer, so I didn't know any of this was happening. Thanks.

Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 2:06:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

In general I have allways pondered why Americans need their own versions of TV-Shows and Movies.

I have not seen the American version of this series, but only the original from UK.

But I've seen "The Office" in the original and the American version.
The British is far better in my eyes.

Same goes with the Movie "Three Men and a Baby". I found the French original version in another Class than the American, which reduced the story to a flat comedy compared to the French wich in a ironic way handled the Womens Lib and Men trying to handle day-to-day situations with a baby; which is now the reality in many European Countries...

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 9:25:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Raj
had this to say:

nice blog.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 3:37:00 AM PST 

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