What I’m Watching

Fall TV Premiere Recap: Episode OneEpisode Two

The next stop on my tour of Fall’s new Television Premieres features some of my favorite shows so far.  One combines two of the things I love most in the world (cowboys and all things vintage), and the other creates a new take on an old story.  Both have impressive casts, made up of actors and actresses that have had success on both the big and small screens.  They’re also both new crime dramas, which I’m kind of excited about, since most of the new shows introduced last year in that genre (such as Prime Suspect and Unforgettable) were a flop.  I really hope to see these two succeed where the others failed!

Photo Credit: CBS

Elementary: 3 Stars.  I’m liking Elementary for several different reasons.    Jonny Lee Miller plays a current day Sherlock Holmes living in New York in this updated version of what in many ways, feels like the original “modern” detective story.  Holmes, along with his powers of deduction, and his sidekick Watson (Lucy Liu), join forces with the a Captain of the NYPD played by Aidan Quinn to help solve some of their most baffling crimes. Personally, I think Miller is one of the best actors to come along in a while (I absolutely loved him in Eli Stone), and I’ve always felt there’s just something likeable about Quinn.  Even though this show is based on a familiar character, and has a similar feel to detective shows such as The Mentalist and Lie To Me in that most of the crime solving is centered around Holmes’ powers of deduction, it still finds a way to be different.   I hope this one lasts!  Elementary airs Thursday nights at 10p on CBS.

Photo Credit: CBS

Vegas: 3 Stars.  So far this season, Vegas is the first show that hasn’t needed any time to grow on me – I liked it straight out of the gate.  First, there’s the cast: Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, and Carrie-Anne Moss are the heavy hitters, though you’ll recognize a lot of the other faces as well – and with names like that, it’s hard to go wrong.  Second, it’s set in Vegas in the early 60s, so it’s the perfect backdrop for romanticizing the glitz and glamor of the time, while still being able to play off of the ideas of corruption and greed. Third, the main character (Quaid) is a former rodeo cowboy/rancher turned sheriff (based on a real person, Ralph Lamb), so it’s got all of the rough-and-tumble action that you would expect.  Honestly, this entire review could be boiled down to one sentence: “It’s a 1960s crime drama about cowboys, starring Dennis Quaid,” and if that right there doesn’t make you want to tune in…then I might as well just stop talking.  Vegas airs Tuesday nights at 10p on CBS.

Have you been watching Elementary or Vegas?  What do you think?

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11 thoughts on “What I’m Watching

  1. Dude I think we are television soul mates … :) Although I did like Prime Suspect and was a little burned out that they didn’t bring it back. But I am watching both of these shows too. Although I prefer Vegas, not so much because of the story but more so because of Michael Chiklis. He is awesome! I loved him in The Shield and was hoping he’d do drama again. It was such a good show and Dennis Quaid as a cowboy is pretty amusing. I like the guy that plays his brother on the show, too. Hopefully it sticks around. Good post. :)

    • Haha, we so are! Each time I post one of these, I’m always interested to see what you’re thinking about the shows :)

      I enjoyed Prime Suspect too! I thought it was a bit rocky at first, but it seemed like something that would develop nicely if they had given it the time. (I was glad to see Aidan Quinn pop back up in Elementary though). Unforgettable just didn’t work for me though, for some reason.

      The cast in Vegas is really fantastic. I love his brother too! And yes, Michael Chiklis is great, his character is intriguing, I’m interested to see where they take it. I hope it sticks around as well!

    • It really is! I’m already starting to see which ones I won’t be following up with, but I’m definitely going to be sticking with these two :) Thanks!

  2. Somehow I’ve never been much on westerns or cowboys (more an aliens and spaceships kind of guy), but I have been enjoying Elementary. I gather there is a British show (Holmes?) that this is a “borrow” from (rather than an official, blessed, continuation). I’d really like to see the British show… I am a big fan of Holmes and takes on Holmes (like House, M.D.).

    • I’m afraid Cowboys and Westerns are my weakness! Lol

      The real question is, did you like Cowboys vs. Aliens? :P

      I haven’t seen the british version of the show either, but I’ve heard it’s fantastic (think it’s in my Netflix queue). Holmes really is a fun character though.

      Glad you’re enjoying Elementary as well!

      • I had to give Cowboys & Aliens a “Meh,” largely due to what I thought were horrible aliens and a lot of cliches. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t regard it very highly.

        My mini-review is here:
        http://logosconcarne.com/2012/08/27/bb-8-rsvp/

        Even while not much a westerns fan, there are some I really do like: Open Range was great, I thought, and all the Clint Eastwood ones. Really loved Unforgiven, and number me among those who consider Bad Day in Black Rock a western (and love it). Didn’t care much for Crowe’s 3:10 to Yuma. Oh, another old favorite: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance!

  3. I don’t have a tv so can’t see the new Holmes, but the British version is absolutely fantastic. Watch it right away, and please let us know what you think about it,

  4. I like Elementary and Vegas, but I was surprised to find out that Vegas is a procedural just like many of the other CBS dramas. It was pretty good though, and different since it is placed in the 60s. Perhaps if it catches on, it will change some as they get things rolling with the Chiklis mob character. My DISH coworker says it’s getting decent ratings too, which I figure should guarantee even more success and money to keep it a class act show. I found out about it when my Hopper PrimeTime Anytime feature I enabled, automatically recorded it. I like the fact that I find lots of new shows to watch, since every major network show records each day.

    • I enjoy the 60s setting as well. They’ve tried to do several “retro” shows in recent seasons – Pan Am, The Playboy Club – and haven’t been too successful, it feels like they really hit the right combo this time by making it a crime drama. Although the fact that it’s a procedural didn’t really surprise me too much because, as you said, that’s what they tend to do these days (I think it suits the demographics of the audience better).

      It will be interesting to see where they take Chiklis’ character, I agree. They’re just warming up, but they’ve already set up several different possible scenarios. I have my guesses as to where they might take that plotline, but it’s a bit too early to spill the beans here, I think :)

      Now that sounds like a cool feature to have!!

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