Tag Archives: In Plain Sight

Short Form Reviews: Plain Sight, Call Girl, Dance

Short Form Reviews

June 26th, 2008

Considering that a majority of my television watching has been spent finishing up one HBO show (Six Feet Under) and digging into another in earnest (The Wire), all in conjunction with regular TV viewing and some repeat viewings of some of the season’s best episodes (I’ll be getting to that maybe next week), some shows are either sitting on the DVR for longer and longer periods of time or, in some cases, just not grabbing my attention enough to warrant a blog post. So, we have short form reviews.

What’s there to say? Like my relationship with most USA Network shows, I enjoy my 42 minutes with these characters but never seem to really rush to watch them as soon as they air. I was the same way with both Monk and Psych before they got kicked from my rotation, and I might end up in the same position with this show. I enjoy Mary McCormack, and there’s some decent action/comedy hybrid stuff going on, but both of the most recent episodes (“Never the Bride” and “Trojan Horst”) have done little to make this must see TV.

I’d argue that both episodes had their issues – “Bride” was a bit too tacky in terms of the getup that Mary let her sister put her in, but otherwise featured a good mix of the series’ witness protection drama. “Horst,” which aired on Sunday, was stronger in action and tension, but literally stopped cold every time the storyline jumped to the mother/sister characters. There’s just literally nothing interesting about them, and I’d hate to think the show isn’t aware of it. I saw a comment over at Alan Sepinwall’s blog that the show had better be leading up to these two getting put in Witness Protection, and that’s right on: unless they’re part of Mary’s life, they serve no tangible purpose in the series’ narrative.

But if the show irons that out, it enters USA’s stable of watchable dramas – I’m more excited for Burn Notice’s return, let’s put it that way.

Having now been able to go through all eight episodes sent to critics, I’ll have to say that I have no interest whatsoever in continuing to discuss this Showtime series, even if I had interest in finishing the short season’s run. Yes, the show remains charming due to Billie Piper’s continued on-screen radiance, but each episode deals with such a small amount of plot or situation that it never amounts to anything. With only three “regular” characters (If we’re even willing to define her agent as a character), the show is such a small universe that its pacing does little to help me feel connected to anything beyond a very attractive female lead.

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Series Premiere: In Plain Sight – “Pilot” & “Hoosier Daddy”

“Pilot” & “Hoosier Daddy”

June 1st/8th, 2008

Dave over at the /Filmcast (Download the Episode or Subscribe in iTunes), which I was lucky enough to be a part of this week as a last-minute discussion fill-in, has often pestered me about not catching up on shows like The Wire, or The Shield, in favour of watching lighter fare. While I would tend to agree, and will eventually complete both shows, I think there is certainly a place for a show like In Plain Sight, and the network that airs it and its similar programming.

The USA Network has been on a roll as of late, with critics and viewers alike. Only recently, they were the network that aired Monk and Law & Order reruns, with the additions of the charming Psych, the engaging Burn Notice and first run episodes of Criminal Intent, it’s a network on the rise in terms of providing engaging characters within a procedural setting (well, I don’t care for Criminal Intent, but let’s forgive them for that).

With the introduction of In Plain Sight, I honestly question whether the well will ever end. I enjoy the series, and there’s a couple of strong comparisons that make it a great addition to the barren lands of summer television. With “Characters Wanted” as the network tag line, you have all of the elements here: a tough as nails female U.S. Marshal who oversees witness protection, her wacky and distracting family, her messed up personal interactions with those around her, inner emotion hidden by a cold exterior, etc.

The result is a series that seems a smart pairing with something like Burn Notice, especially considering the work of Mary McCormack in the lead role, although there’s a few growing pains that pop up in the first pair of episodes.

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