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Trolling Through This Week's Cable Dramas

By admin Published: August 1, 2007

"Saving Grace," "The Closer," "Damages" and tonight's "Rescue Me," after the jump ...

I was bummed by this week's "Closer," where the shooter seemed fairly obvious early on, and Brenda's medical condition is being dragged out to annoying length. I could at least forgive the weak mystery if there was something on the characters' personal side to think about, but there wasn't much of that either. Best thing about the episode was the way the other detectives tried to figure out how to deal with Brenda -- reminding us that they admire her, but they're also afraid of her.

"Saving Grace's" climactic shooting was something of a surprise, although it wouldn't have been if I had read the press material -- noting the arrival of the new boss -- more carefully. But even if such shootings have become a shopworn cop-show device, I like "Grace" enough that I will be back for more episodes with genuine curiosity. Does a new boss mean more conflict for Grace, or more sympathy?

Watched a second "Damages" and found it more entertaining than the first. But I looked at it that way by putting aside any notion that this is a serious, credible drama and accepting it as an over-the-top, anything-can-happen melodrama, the kind where characters can change on a dime to keep people guessing and the plot going, but you don't see the different behaviors as part of a fully drawn character. (Have we seen anything up to this point to explain Ted Danson's little backseat dalliance? Does Glenn Close have a back room full of goodies -- apartment keys, puppies -- to ingratiate herself with?) Basically popcorn television, but I'm more inclined to watch again than I was after that slowwwwww premiere.

I have already seen tonight's "Rescue Me," and it ends with the sort of cliffhanger where I don't believe for a second that there's more than one outcome. The show continues its creative struggle, and it's losing the fight.

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