The Morning Round-Up (Cop Show Edition): 'CSI' & 'Southland'
Morning Round-Up, part 2, with brief thoughts on last night's "CSI" and Tuesday night's "Southland" (which I just watched), coming up just as soon as you squeeze my hand...
Elisabeth Shue, who joined the "CSI" cast last night as new blood expert (or, as D.B. put it, "blood whisperer") Finn, has had a very up and down career. She parlayed "The Karate Kid" into a good stretch from the late '80s ("Adventures in Babysitting") into the early '90s (Busy Philipps' favorite movie, "Soapdish"), struggled for a few years, then stunned everybody with her Oscar-nominated performance in "Leaving Las Vegas," then quickly squandered the career-redefining goodwill of that by playing a scientist who favored knee socks and barrettes in "The Saint," and then she was at that difficult point in her career where the movie business doesn't know what to do with women of a certain age.
So now she's doing TV, and the "CSI" producers wisely introduced her in an episode that let Finn shine without dominating the entire hour. She didn't come in until we'd spent a good chunk of time on Nick bonding with the man he saved and seen our other regulars work the case, and once Finn turned up she got to interact a lot with both D.B. and Greg. (They didn't turn her into Poochie, in other words.) I thought Shue and Ted Danson worked very well together, and we'll see what kind of chemistry she has with the rest of the ensemble in the coming weeks, but not a bad start.
As for "Southland," I'm not loving how Lydia's cases the last few weeks have turned into various teaching moments about what she's in for as a parent. The procedural case that parallels a personal problem is a very familiar trope in drama — and one that John Wells loved an awful lot back on "ER" — and it definitely has value, but I've felt beaten over the head by the clue-by-four with these last couple of stories. Contrast that with the story of Cooper (temporarily) saving the gay teenager. Yes, Cooper tries to help the kid out by acknowledging that he's gay, but ultimately the story's not about what he has in common with the boy, but about what he tells Tang in that final scene: it's about what you have to do to yourself and your emotions to survive 20+ years wearing an LAPD uniform. That worked nicely, as did Ben and Sammy's ongoing prank war.
What did everybody else think?
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
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