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Tuesday Notebook

By admin Published: June 9, 2009

Notes on digital TV, "The Bachelorette," "The Closer," "Nurse Jackie," "Raising the Bar," after the jump.

I basically spent yesterday working on several stories relating to the digital transition on Friday (aka The Big Switch). You can find one of them here. This is far from my favorite kind of story to do, and every question on the topic seems to lead to three other questions. But it's still important to tell people this is coming, especially those people who have kept putting this off or still don't believe it will happen. (President Obama has been clear: It's happening.)

Still, by the end of the day yesterday, my head was close to exploding. And my big plans to blog about "The Closer" and "Nurse Jackie" and "Raising the Bar" gave way to an urge to just kick back. Which turned into watching "The Bachelorette" with the bride. (I also turned on "I'm a Celebrity" long enough to see that Speidi are back, which was no surprise at all. And then I moved on.)

Anyway, on last night's viewing, I like "Nurse Jackie" very much. I have seen six episodes, and it was more compelling after six than it was after the first. Edie Falco's top shelf, and the cast and characters well drawn. Lots of flaws in the people, but also a lot of redeeming qualities.
Keep watching.

"The Closer" was a solid enough episode. Not the best I've ever seen of the show, but good enough. As much as it focuses on a criminal case every week, "The Closer" is still a character show; Brenda's worries about her cat, and Provenza's grumpy streak, were as significant as the crimebusting. Nice to have it back.

I gave up on "Raising the Bar" a few episodes into its first season, and most of my reservations remain. I say "most" because the show finally did something about Mark-Paul Gosselaar's hair -- and did it in such a way as to admit that all of us who thought he looked lousy were right. Beyond that, it's still uneven in its courtroom stories; last night's show at a couple of points threw the barber case out of balance by cutting away instead of showing us what smart lawyers would have done in that situation. A later episode also sent out for review was more balanced, but still had a situation where you would have expected a lawyer to ask a question that goes unasked.

As for "The Bachelorette," it did a lot of building up to a dead-end confrontation -- with the Bachelorette wanting any of the guys who had a girlfriend to 'fess up. Even though there's one likely culprit, no one confessed and no one was outed to her by name. To me, these guys are acting like a bunch of women on "The Bachelor" -- backbiting, gossipy behind closed doors, but ultimately evasive because they don't want to risk getting kicked off the show. (Please note, too, I am not saying these men are like women, but are like women on "The Bachelor." Scary David from Dayton was sent home, and that's a relief. But there's still a pretty high level of creepy left, including Wes.

Over at my other blog, Northeast Ohio Onscreen, I have added posts about "The Fortune Cookie" and "Strike."

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