Blogs > The Frye TV and Book House

Talking about what I'm reading and watching on TV.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sad day in entertainment news

Two deaths this week devastated the entertainment field, as actor James Gandolfini died at 51 of a heart attack and novelist Vince Flynn died at 47 after battling prostate cancer.

Gandolfini changed the entire way TV was perceived and produced, making character Tony Soprano truly must-watch television and "The Sopranos" a show that altered the landscape.

Flynn and his self-published start helped inspire writers and kick off his series of thrillers, which quickly developed into the Mitch Rapp series as terrorists were battled by the CIA operative.

Both will be missed and I will share more thoughts here later.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cozi gems

Cozi, a channel Comcast keeps at 286, holds some gems from the past. Tonight, it's "Magnum PI," four hours of the 1980s Hawaii-based comedy-drama. It's a nice glimpse back into how TV, popular and then-quality television.

Most interesting to me, not the shorts, but the use of songs not by original artists but covers.

I'm sure someone else started using better songs, but "The Sopranos" perfected it. It's part of the cost of quality, though.

Monday, June 10, 2013

'Major Crimes' carries on

Top celebrity-driven murders continue to keep the 'Major Crimes' division of the LAPD busy, as the show returns for its second season tonight.

The season-opening episode also continues storylines involving Lt. Provenza, who is played with style by G.W. Bailey, and last season's addition, crime witness and wayward youth, Rusty. 

TNT's strong first top show, 'The Closer,' ended its run with a lead in to the spin off 'Major Crimes,' minus star Kyle Sedgewick. Again, Capt. Raydor (played by Mary McDonnell) leads the unit, no longer fighting with her staff but instead fighting off interference from a young new assistant prosecutor who tells her to drop efforts to give teenager Rusty a chance at life, having taken the witness to a serial killing off the streets and into her home.

He now drives a car she keeps for her children, who apparently never return home, to school. He is cleaned up and continues to battle his past as he has accepted her home and going to a private school. He doesn't want to lose the chance he has been given but serving the greater good, and exposing himself to questions from lawyers in the upcoming trial, threatens that.

Raydor works to guide him but also shows glimpses of the toughness she showed when first introduced, fighting with Major Crime veterans as she led efforts to bring the unit within departmental and federal compliance of agreed upon standards.

This issue appears to be a season-long arc as does Lt. Provenza's dismay at yet another year on the force, now officially the last from his cadet class to carry a badge.

The season opener case involves a director, actresses and a dead wife. It is usually the spouse, we all know, as Provenza points out. Figuring who and why is the fun of the show, and this season, which will be 15 episodes long, does not disappoint.