Blogs > The Frye TV and Book House

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

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dennis Farina remembered

He was one of my favorite actors, and he may have played a similar role many times, like many great actors, but he was so good at it.

Dennis Farina has his appeal, I believe, because of the time he spent working as a police officer in Chicago. Starting with "Crime Story," audiences like the guy, even when he played rough characters.

In "Snatch," the Guy Ritchie movie starring Brad Pitt and Jason Statham, he played one of my favorite characters, a loud, profane American gangster stuck trying to find his missing diamond in England.

Here's a sampling of Farina shining on camera:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Falling Skies shines

The third season of the "Falling Skies" show on TNT is off to a fast furious start, shining brightly but also racing ahead. They don't linger too long on story lines, keeping issues fairly short and jumping ahead quickly.

It makes for a fun viewing and it keeps you on your toes. I'm slow to get back at it, DVRing in favor of  quick updates, so the first two episodes brought some questions but also make me eager to rewatch the prior seasons... at some point.

For now, I'm sticking with it, as it is a treat worth savoring in large doses.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Top shows

In short, the best new show of the past season was "The American," the FX drama about Russian spies working in the U.S.

So I have high hopes for "The Bridge," a remake of a European show that now pairs a Mexican detective with an American counterpart after a body was found on the border. It airs at 10 p.m. on Wednesday's starting tonight, July 10.

Hoping for another gem, much like the Sci Fi network's "Defiance," perhaps the best show of the early summer.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday evening gem

Enjoyed the new "Masterpiece Theatre" on PBS, "Endeavor," which is a prequel to the Inspector Morse mysteries. It was sharp, well acted and a little long. But the nuance of the story was great, and I love the details, even if I'm late to the game and never watched the original series. I like the period pieces and the actors did a good job on a quality set.

But my Sunday evening gem is back and good as ever: The second season of "Death in Paradise" is on PBS Detroit at 7 p.m., replayed overnight later in the week. The season opener was just as good as season one, adding a bit of possible romance.

The show is more than "Monk" on an island, relying greatly on the British mystery telling and subtle humor. Not on On Demand, they are available online with a good search.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tuesdays are for catching up

Good thing that Tuesdays are quiet, so you can catch up on the Sunday-Monday featured shows, this time being "Under the Dome."

I can only say I hope it's quick, because it starts with a neat concept and some decent acting and storylines, though the characters are, as Entertainment Weekly noted, quite one dimensional. I gather that will change with plot twists, but stalker-victim storyline is rather traditional so far.

But if the series is short and sweet, it might prove quite fun. For now, I'll continue to DVR after blazing through the first two episodes last night.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday's are fun

Monday is turning into TV night, with "Defiance" leading the pack.

"Major Crimes" is still fun to watch, though it focuses on the humor and the emotional issues of raising the teenager. Less gritty than its predecessor, "The Closer," its characters still keep it strong.

"King and Maxwell" is fun, adding to the post-Closer celebration, with Brenda's husband back on TNT, as Jon Tenney, who played Fritz Howard tries his hand at a role with more comedy and snappy back and forth. So far, it's worth keep an eye on.

But how will "Under the Dome" be? DVR'd but having watched the premiere, I'll give it likely at least a couple hours of my time.

"Defiance" is still the best new show this season.