TV Catch Up – Body of Proof, Nikita, Chase, Breakout Kings, Bones, Hellcats, Desperate Housewives, The Killing and some cancellations

I am so way behind, it is time for a race through and catch up on some shows. Body of Proof continues to improve, Nikita ends its first season on a real high, Bones kills off a character, Hellcats future isn’t looking to promising and has been a little flat lately, The Killing isn’t quite doing anything much while a whole stack of shows have been axed and quite a few on my viewing list. Drat! Chase, Off the Map, V, No Ordinary Family, Mr Sunshine, Lie To Me, The Chicago Code, Human Target – all I can say is there better be lots of good new shows…

The most dramatic, action packed episode of the week was undoubtedly Nikita. A real high point was the guest appearance of Alberta Watson – Madeline in La Femme Nikita (the Amanda character played by Melinda Clarke on this show) who was always one of my real favourites. Unlike some other shows, Nikita has got better and better as we reach the climax to the season. After far too long with Alex in Division, Michael hunting Nikita etc, the last few episodes have really switched things around. I am not a fan of the Michael/Nikita hookup – too obvious, but I love the Alex/Nikita dynamic. Nikita is revealed to have killed Alex’s father, but was actually ordered to kill her too, yet she saved her. Just lots and lots of action and I hope we do get a second season.

It was interesting to have Chase and Breakout Kings on in the same week. As I have said before, I much prefer Chase, although this week’s episode was a tad melodramatic. Breakout Kings meanwhile benefitted from the always excellent Mark Pellegrino as a hitman escapee. I think it is that lead guy, the relentlessly blue collar red neck who keeps saying ‘ex-scaped’ instead of escaped. I so wish someone would punch him! The charisma free cast (apart from Jimmi Simpson) make me think this show is existing on the past Prison Break record of its producers. Chase mixed comic con chasing with a pretty effective story about Daisy (Rose Rollins) going after a music teacher who abused her as a child.

Bones had the sniper return, and the Mummy himself (Arnold Vosloo) killed off that eccentric but funny Mr Nigel Murray in a pretty emotional episode. There has been talk of a death on Bones for a while and when the episode featured him in the first few minutes as intern of the week, he was the most likely victim. FBI agent Tina Majorino also popped up, proving to be another possible victim. His death scene was really sad and touching, of only it hadn’t led to yet more of the Booth/Brennan romance that I hate so much about this show.

Hellcats has been of of my favourite new shows, but the episode this week was pretty weak apart from a super cool acoustic version of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance at the end. Marti hooking up with her professor featured far too many shots of them kissing. Louis and bitchy girl (can’t remember her name – Alice?) entered a dance marathon (yawn) while Savannah’s dad is released from jail for fraud only to run off leaving his family to face the music. Coward! Not the strongest, and I am hearing renewal for season 2 is looking less likely. Shame as there is a lot to enjoy about Hellcats.

Body of Proof is one of my favourite proceedural shows, mainly due to Dana Delaney, but the supporting cast, so poorly used in the pilot, are growing and developing nicely, whole the cases are involving and interesting. The show is making it’s way up my list of Order of Viewing.

A quick look in on Desperate Housewives, which continues to mix up some great comedy with tedious drama. Tom and Lynette are in trouble, Susan is arrested for poisoning Paul, the Gabby/Juanita horror movie story was daft. It is still fun, but after so long on the air, it seems like they can do little but have more new boyfriends for Bree, money troubles for Susan, crass parenting from Gabby and Lynette to be more and more unyielding.

The Killing on AMC is even more slow moving that the Danish original and despite some excellent acting from Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton, it is not gripping me. The lead actress is less inscrutable than the Danish Sarah Lund, just going for the blank stare too much. Maybe it is because I watched most of the Danish show in one weekend, whereas this show I am seeing one episode a week so momentum is lost. While the tone and mood is appropriately sombre, it is just too slow at times.

Finally, a mention about those cancellations. The Chicago Code’s axing was probably the most surprising, but I must admit I have the last 5 or 6 episodes saved but not watched. It just does not compel you watch. Love Jennifer Beals, but the show was just not intriguing enough.

I am very sorry Off the Map never took off, but hopefully the appealing cast will get work soon. Mamie Gummer, the find of  the show for me, returned to The Good Wife this week – although only briefly. She is a fine actress, and Off the Map’s characters, while a little cliched, were likeable and/or interesting.

Lie to Me used to be one of my real favourite shows. The first season was very good, but Cal Lightman has become a caricature in later years, swaggering and shouting and being incredibly arrogant. Tim Roth needed to be reined in more. Shoehorning the Lightman group into the crimes was more and more improbable too. However, I liked the rest of the cast and am sorry it is being axed.

Chase I have mentioned before, but another show Human Target is a sad loss. I enjoyed the addition of Indira Varma a lot in season 2 as Ilsa Pucci. The plots were pretty involving and the cast were always entertaining. Guess it just cost too much for not high enough ratings.

V, The Event and Stargate Universe all went (SGU announced a while back) and I am not surprised. V never sorted out what it was trying to do. We had too long with not much happening, then the kitchen sink thrown at us in the finale. Two great central performances by Elizabeth Mitchell and Morena Baccarin couldn’t save the show’s lack of direction and the most irritating teenage son ever on tv!

The Event has actually been pretty exciting lately – but it is too little too late. The show wasn’t helped by the scheduling, with long breaks, but again a directionless show that just rambled. They built up this ‘what IS the Event?’ suspense but you have to wonder, was this really the grand scheme?

No Ordinary Family had promise but ended the season very weakly and committed the almost unforgiveable sin of totally wasting Lucy Lawless (and Tricia Helfer earlier) As a Michael Chiklis unbeliever I was always struggling to really love this show.

Mr Sunshine had quite a few weaknesses – Matthew Perry and the curse of Friends being one. His character was just unbearably smug and unfunny. Allison Janney was the main reason to watch, no the ONLY! Potential but poor execution.

The Smallville 2 hour finale is the upcoming highlight for me.. lets hope it lives up to expectations.

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