Good American television
After ditching “Castle” and “White Collar” last season, and “Chuck” and “Big Bang Theory” before that, we now have a new lineup of American television. Not a lot, mind you, but these are the ones that stand out for us.
- Rizzoli and Isles features Angie Harmon (from “Law & Order”) and Sasha Alexander (from “NCIS”) as a female duo of police officer and coroner, solving murders and dealing with their work life and home life. They’re basically sisters who love each other, which makes it fun to watch.
- Perception has Eric McCormack (from “Will & Grace”) playing a neurology professor afflicted with paranoid schizophrenia. His hallucinations provide cryptic clues which help him and his FBI partner (Rachel Leigh Cook from “She’s All That”) solve crimes.
- The Last Ship, based on an end-of-the-world-pandemic-apocalypse book by William Brinkley, has Eric Dane (Dr. McSteamy from “Grey’s Anatomy” which I wouldn’t watch even if you held a blaster to one of my heads), Rhona Mitra (Sonja the vampire from “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”) and Adam Baldwin (from “Firefly” and “Chuck”) all stuck on a Navy guided missile destroyer, trying to find the cure for a viral pandemic that’s killed most of the world’s population. It’s well-done for television, but it still triggers uncontrollable eye-rolling at least once every other episode.
- Longmire features Robert Taylor from Australia (Agent Jones in “The Matrix”) as a sheriff in Wyoming, dealing with the usual white man’s crime and a long-running conspiracy on the nearby Native American reservation. Also has Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck from the modern “Battlestar Galactica” series) and Lou Diamond Phillips from “Young Guns” and “Stargate: Universe.” It’s great to see a show about the West and about relations between Caucasians and Native Americans, but it’s getting a bit soapy.
- Last Man Standing is a sitcom which plays to average suburban and rural Americans who are woefully underrepresented (or mocked) by most television shows. It promotes values and features storylines that are seldom seen in liberal television today. It features Tim Allen (“Home Improvement,” “GalaxyQuest”) as a sporting goods store marketer, and his wife (Nancy Travis of “So I Married an Axe Murderer” and “Becker”), dealing with home and work life in the suburbs. I don’t think I have ever seen a female geologist character on any other television show. Hector Elizondo (“Pretty Woman,” “Chicago Hope”) plays Tim’s boss. It’s a hysterically funny show.