Been There, Watched That . . . A Review of 'In Plain Sight'
But I would have enjoyed the new USA series In Plain Sight (premiering Sunday at 10 p.m.) so much more if the whole series wasn't a mishmash of clichÃ©s I've seen many times before. Sure this series is about U.S. Marshals who safeguard the people in the Witness Protection Program but it is still awfully familiar.
It's as if star Mary McCormack, who plays U.S. Marshal Mary Shannon, came a little too late to the "series featuring a strong female as the lead character" party. McCormack turns in an enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining performance that I feel like I've already seen. Mary is the kind of law enforcement official who will walk into a men's bathroom to interrogate to a suspect. She'll exchange smart and slightly flirtatious banter with her partner. She has a self-deprecating sense of humor. And mother issues. And a sibling in trouble. Certainly there's room on the TV landscape for additional female driven TV series. But this series is more retread than innovation. Call it - In Plain Saving Cold Case Closer Grace.
McCormack is surrounded by a strong cast including Lesley Ann Warren as her mother, Frederick Weller as her partner, Paul Ben-Victor as her boss and CristiÃ¡n de la Fuente as her lover. I'm only one episode in and I already thinking there's a drinking game in how often de la Fuente is shown without his shirt on.
So I like the series. I'm just not in love with it yet. For now three stars. After you've watched the series premiere of In Plain Sight, let me know what you think.
More final words on some season finales
Sure I could have spent Memorial Day weekend outdoors at barbeques enjoying the beautiful weather. But who has time with such frivolities when there is still so much TV to catch up on. A look at a few more finales and remember don't read until you've watched Ugly Betty, Criminal Minds and Law & Order:
Ugly Betty: Overall: Choose you Betty. Choose you. What worked: I love Vanessa Williams and continue to think she is giving the performance of her career. She is endlessly enjoyable to watch. The scenes between Daniel and Betty are some of the most heartfelt. And I did laugh out loud when Naomi Campbell took out her cell phone and everyone ducked. What didn't: For some reason the whole Gio/Henry/Betty triangle that I used to love now seems way past its prime. I mean really who proposes and then immediately leaves? Suddenly neither one of them seems like the right choice for our Betty. I'm so hoping Betty is heading for a "I choose me" moment a la Kelly Taylor, don't you? And Alexis suddenly turning on Daniel didn't quite make sense and undermined the relationship the show has built between those two. Maybe that's why will be seeing less of Rebecca Romijn next season. How the show is looking for next season: The series needs to decide what it's going to be in its third season. Because since returning from the strike it's been a little all over the place. That's not exactly ugly but it hasn't been pretty.
Law & Order: Overall: The show's still got it. What worked: Yay to seeing more Sam Waterson and giving his character a juicy story line. Plus the show thrives on ripped from the headlines stories and I loved Tom Everett Scott as the corrupt governor. Anthony Anderson fits right in with the show and he and Jeremy Sisto make a great team. What didn't: Really, Jack is the only one who recognizes the Governor's voice on the tape? Really? I know this worked best for the plot, but come on! How the show is looking for next season: Here's hoping Scott returns next season to reprise his role. Now that Jack's his enemy who knows what could happen?
Criminal Minds: Overall: I'm going to have to watch the season premiere. What worked: You know I've often written off this show as too dark and violent for my taste. But I really liked the finale and the way it built up to a shocking cliffhanger. And I liked how the series explored the long term damaging effects the job can have on people. What didn't: Alas poor Erik Palladino, the minute Emily said he loved his wife, you knew he would be shot. The series remains slightly too predictable and the dialogue (like the conversation between Palladino's character and Emily) a little too stereotypical. How the show is looking for next season: As I said I'm going to have to tune in to see who was injured in the car explosion. Do you guys have any guesses?
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Time for May 26- June 1
We'll be seeing a lot of Daniel Dae Kim this week. Of course, he'll be in the Lost finale this Thursday at 9 p.m. and he also stars in the The Andromeda Strain beginning Monday at 9 p.m. on A & E. Benjamin Bratt, Eric McCormack, Ricky Schroder, Andre Braugher, Christa Miller, and Viola Davis also star. The mini-series concludes Tuesday night.
Don't forget that ABC Family says goodbye to Wildfire Monday at 9 p.m. And that Ryan Sypek, who plays Junior on Wildfire, will guest star on Greek Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC Family. I don't think there's a show easier to love than Greek. It really is a perfect show. It doesn't make you think too hard. It's endlessly entertaining with smart pop-culture references (how many times did you repeat the scene that Beaver screaming "Donna Martin Graduates"), clever inside jokes (we all loved Alan Ruck calling his date Sloane in a nice homage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off) plus characters you really care about. And what do we make of Evan's recent return to the dark side (paying someone to not date Casey, really Evan?)
Fans of The Unit you already know the show is coming back for a fourth season and here's some more good news. Repeats of the series begin airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBS. In this October repeat, Jonas must protect a pop diva (played by season four American Idol finalist Mikalah Gordon).
Men in Trees won't be back for a third season in the fall, but at least you'll be able to see the rest of this season. The show returns to the schedule Wednesday at 10 p.m. on ABC. Jack prepares for his first college lecture and Annie auditions people for Elmo's First Annual Talent Show.
The Sex and the City movie opens Friday. There are not words for how excited I am. So skip TV on Friday, heck skip work and rush to see the movie. Let's all hope it can live up to the hype.
That's all for today. I'm back on Wednesday so we can begin to prepare for the season finale of Lost (go to your happy place) and with this week's familiar faces. Have a question. Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week or a topic for discussion? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you on Wednesday.