The Good Wife, House, V, Pretty Little Liars, Harry’s Law

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With the return of new episodes to US TV after the Christmas break, I’ve been watching a whole bunch of shows in the last few days, so here’s a bit of a race through.

The Good Wife, top of my pops, featured another Alicia-liteish episode this week, as the Lockhart Gardner intrigue continued. Will finally figured out that the new guy Derek Bond was manipulating him and Diane and I was rather ridiculously delighted to see them friends again. I love Will and Diana together. In the meantime, Diane had approached Cary about joining her new firm. His demand – twice Alicia’s salary! However, it’s not going to be happening just yet. I kind of like him as their DA foe – for now!

The case involved a Cal Lightman-type microexpression expert, who unfortunately was full of crap! I think we could all read Kalinda’s microexpression about what she thought of him and his $60,00 A WEEK! pay. After more mind games from Blake, she managed to get Alicia and Will on side and forced a confrontation between Will and Derek. Also really good was the resolution of the actual case. The sleazy guy they were defending was convicted despite Will’s mind games with the judge and their supposed expert. Why Alicia asked the jury foreman. Because he did it! The scheming lawyers have not come across well in the last two episodes. Peter returned, as did Eli and Peter’s mother, plus the guy who played Jonny Lee Miller’s brother in Eli Stone as a very annoying campaign worker and old friend of Peter’s.

I’ve been enjoying House this season, but then I am a bit of a Huddy fan! Candace Bergen as Cuddy’s mother appeared this week. I was expecting more fireworks that there were actually, but House drugging her avoided the confrontations. Amber Tamblyn’s run as Olivia Wilde’s temporary replacement is ok, and after far too much dithering Taub and his wife are going to stop making each other miserable and split. While I find it a little unbelievable that the not terribly attractive Taub has such a hot wife (maybe it’s the doctor thing) at least something is happening for him. Foreman and Chase appear to have no lives at all.

V returned a few weeks back and they have been ramping up the gore lately! This third episode featured a rather nasty skinning of a visitor (the sneaky Cylon aide from BSG). I’m still not totally convinced by this show. Morena Baccarin is rather fab and convincingly evil as Anna and I’ll watch Elizabeth Mitchell in anything, but some of the plotting is still rather head scatching. I did like the final scenes with Anna and Erica sort of swapping kids! Both ended up hugging the other’s child as their children are both working against their mothers.

Pretty Little Liars is an intriguing mix of mystery and soap done is a fun way but I have one big problem with the show – I can’t tell the difference between a bunch of the actors and actresses and as for names!! Who is the one with the thieving mother? No idea what the one with the bitchy sister is called. And as for the men! I had to find a recap to remember who the guy was in the video at the end! Another problem is to do with the ages of the actors. The one with the sister (Spencer??) looks about the same age as the actress playing her sister, maybe a year or so younger, but I have no idea what the age difference is supposed to be! Are the girls 16? 17? 18? When the sly guy blackmailing the teacher confronted him I couldn’t tell who looked older. I know you rarely have people playing teens who are REALLY teens, (the lovely Maya is about 30 I believe) but I do find it confusing when the age differences aren’t emphasised a bit more.

The show appears to have dropped Holly Marie Combs although Chad Lowe is still around. A good more – focus on the girls. Something that I particularly like about the show is the way they have handled the romance between Emily and her girlfriend Maya. Yes, Emily’s mother is rather extreme, but while the girls have no problem accepting them, it’s not unbelievable that some parents would react badly. I’m much much less of a fan of the romance between Aria (who looks like a kewpie doll to me) and the annoying soulful teacher. I find the forbidden (not to mention illegal) love icky and I was hoping he really would leave this week. They’ve been dithering over making/breaking up for too long.

However what is great fun about the show is the mystery element. The show is based on a book so I guess they have some plotting help. Who is A? We thought it was the creepy guy but maybe not. Is Alison really dead? It’s a fun – if slightly confusing – show.

Watched the first episode of David E Kelly’s new legal drama/comedy Harry’s Law with the wonderful Kathy Bates. Nate Corddry (who I liked a lot in the brilliant Studio 60) also appears as Harriet’s fellow lawyer. She is a patent law expert who quits her boring job at the start of the episode. After being hit by a man falling from a window (or rather jumping) she decides to open a law office in a rough part of town that rather improbably still has all the old stock of designer, and presumably very expensive, shoes. I quite liked the joke that the office is named ‘Harriet’s Law and Fine Shoes’ although it seems an odd part of town to have a posh show shop.

The episode did require quite a large suspension of disbelief – the local protection racket bloke is really a good guy with a heart of gold, the dangerous looking thugs who appear at the end just want to patent a device for breaking into cars, the prosecutor is a twerp, how did either of their cases this week make them ANY money at all? However, there was a certain charm to it all and the characters are quite appealing. We will have to see whether it becomes too jokey. It didn’t help that I had just watched The Good Wife – the cream of legal dramas, but Harry’s Law could be a Drop Dead Diva type guilty pleasure.

Quick mention for the lovely Annabeth Gish, (a favourite of mine since I appeared to be one of the few X Files fans who like Agent Reyes) popping up in another uneven episode of Lie to Me this week. They’ve been struggling to find something interesting to do with the premise of a human lie detector for a while now. The cast and characters are good, but the plots have been increasingly daft.