TV Tuesday: A Review of Motive

TV Tuesday: A Review of Motive

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Happy Election Day! Have you voted yet? Arizona is an early voting state, so we sent in our ballots about two weeks ago. If you already voted, you’re awesome! If not, please remember to VOTE!

Another benefit of living in Arizona is that we do not participate in the brutal institution known as Daylight Savings Time. So we wish all of you who live in affected areas: Congratulations, you made it to Tuesday! Al lived in Virginia for a couple of years where she had to adapt to the strange tradition after a lifetime of DST-free living. It took an entire week to recalibrate and it always felt like the LONGEST week ever. Now all we have to worry about is adjusting to the new times that our tv shows come on, a much better situation.
motive canadian television vancouver
This week, we wanted to discuss Motive. Motive is a Canadian show that aired in the US on ABC for two seasons and then on USA for two seasons. It starred Kristin Lehman as Detective Angie Flynn and Louis Ferrera as Detective/Staff Sergeant Oscar Vega. It also starred Lauren Holly as Dr. Betty Rogers, the medical examiner, who we loved in Picket Fences and NCIS. RIP Director Jenny Shepard.


The final season of Motive ended this fall. We are very disappointed to see it go. We love a good murder mystery and this show was quite different from others. Every episode started off with a scene showing us who the victim was, followed by a scene showing the killer. Then they jumped to real time, after the murder had been committed. This style of mystery storytelling is called an inverted detective story or howcatchem. Columbo, another great detective show, followed a similar format.

Since most current police dramas are done in the whodunit style, Motive was exciting. You might think that finding out the identities of the victim and murderer at the beginning would ruin the show. However, it actually made the show more exciting because the writers would always put in a surprise that you totally weren’t expecting. You could be sitting there watching, thinking you know the connection between the victim and murderer but then there was a twist to the relationship that was completely unexpected.

We will miss this show and the characters. Kristin Lehman was fantastic as the lead detective. She always had excellent one liners to play off the rest of the cast. The relationship between Angie Flynn and Oscar Vega was an excellent example of friendship goals.

The other great part of this show was the location. Motive was filmed in Vancouver, Canada and it looks like a majestic city.

Vancouver, Canada

We hope to visit someday! Have you every watched Motive? What did you think of the show?

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TV Tuesday: The Catch

TV Tuesday: The Catch

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We hardly ever watch shows we haven’t seen commercials for, however there are exceptions. The Catch would be an exception. We were quite late in watching this show since it aired in the spring, however, it was only 9 episodes so it was easy to get caught up.

We hadn’t seen any hype for this show at all. All we knew was that it was a Shonda Rhimes produced show about a private investigator and that was the only reason we recorded the series. We love How To Get Away With Murder so we presumed we might like this show. But then time went on and The Catch drifted further and further down the playlist. We were surprised to see that one of the creators of the show was author Kate Atkinson, creator of the Jackson Brodie mysteries. At first, we though it might be a different woman with the same name, but this article from Radio Times confirms they are one in the same.

At last, we watched The Catch and we enjoyed it. We liked the cat and mouse story line between Alice Vaughn, played by Mireille Enos, and Alice’s fiancee (Christopher Hall, aka Benjamin Jones), played by Peter Krause. We were not familiar with Enos however we did like Krause in Parenthood.

the-catch

The Catch starts off as what you think is the perfect relationship between Alice and Christopher. She is a private investigator and he is supposedly a venture capitalist. However, what Alice doesn’t know is that she has been part of a con for over a year and Christopher is a part of it. She discovers this when he disappears without a trace. We learn that the case she has been working, where some of her clients have had millions stolen from them, was orchestrated by Benjamin and his fellow con artists, Reggie, played by Alimi Ballard, and Margot, played by Sonya Walger.

FBI Special Agent Jules Dao, played by Jacky Ido, enters the story and tells Alice that he has been tracking Christopher across Europe and had followed him to LA. Dao believes that Christopher is a murderer and wants Alice’s help to track him down.


This show is upbeat and fun. What could easily be a tale of obsessive revenge turns instead into a light-hearted cross between Ocean’s Eleven and Romeo and Juliet. As the show progresses, you start to wonder how realistic the relationship between Alice and Christopher is. How can Alice still love a man who 1. Stole millions from her customers 2. Didn’t tell her his real name and 3. Continues to be a conman? Seems kinda ridiculous, but maybe love is ridiculous? What is going on in that girl’s head?

Towards the end of the first season, the series is saved by a pair of guest stars. The first guest star we loved is Nia Vardalos, of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame, who plays a skilled counterfeiter. She brought more humor and another interesting storyline back to the series. The other guest star that we loved was Lesley Nichol, aka Mrs. Patmore from Downton Abbey, who played the mother of Margot and her evil brother Rhys. The addition of Nichol was a surprise, especially her little cameo as a chef. We love her humor.

Overall, we liked the first season of The Catch and we will probably watch the second season. We hope that the story picks up and has some more variety in the coming season.

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Going Bodmin for Doc Martin

Going Bodmin for Doc Martin

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Doc Martin is among my favorite television shows of all time. Part medical drama, part comedy, part quirky British gem, Doc Martin is set in the fictional town of Portwenn, Cornwall.

The character of Doc Martin was originally born in the 2000 movie, Saving Grace, starring Vera‘s Brenda Bleythen, and former The Late Late Show host, Craig Ferguson. However, the Doc Martin of television fame, played by Martin Clunes, is completely different from his original big screen inspiration.

I first came upon Doc Martin while channel surfing. I saw a burly plumber resting and chatting away while his son fixed the plumbing and a man in a suit with piercing blue eyes and plump cheeks interrogated them in a rather rude way. The burly plumber was in no way disturbed by the man in the suit and the son was not disturbed by his father’s apparent slothfulness. Everyone was in their little own world; this was interesting television.

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The plumbers turned out to be Al and Bert Large and the man in the suit was Doc Martin himself. But those three characters are only a small part of the big cast of Doc Martin. There is also Louisa Glasson, played by Caroline Catz, an elementary school teacher and Doc Martin’s long-suffering true love. Mrs. Tischell, played by Selina Cadell, is the town’s pharmacist whose zealous obsession with Doc Martin is apparent to all but her beloved.

Not to be forgotten are Doc Martin’s aunts: first Joan, played by Stephanie Cole, a farmer and later bed and breakfast proprietor through series 5; then Ruth, played by Eileen Atkins, a retired psychiatrist for the criminally insane whose dry wit adds a lot to the show. Both Ruth and Joan act as emotional touchstones for Martin, to whom social niceties and nuances are often viewed as irrelevant until he has a word with one of these matriarchs.

There is also the town’s policeman: Mark Mylow, played by Stewart Wright, in series 1-2, and then Joe Penhale, played by John Marquez, since series 3. Both police constables have a knack for incompetence at the worst possible moment. Lastly, there is Doc Martin’s assistant, played by Lucy Punch, Katherine Parkinson, and most recently, Jessica Ransom. The assistant is always a local girl whose big personality strikes a strong contrast with the Doc’s more stuffy and formal nature.


Doc Martin used to be available to watch for free as a perk of Amazon Prime membership and with that, I was able to watch seasons 1-5. Unfortunately, Amazon has since removed Doc Martin from it’s Prime list, probably due to it’s popularity. Luckily, last Christmas, I received the box set of Doc Martin from Costco, and Season 7 from Acorn TV before it aired on our local PBS station. That was a real treat.

Season 8 is set to air in 2017. It is supposed to be the final season, which of course is sad, but the show has really progressed over the seven seasons so far and it does seem it would be a good place to wrap up the series. The conflict between Doc Martin and Louisa can be quite wearisome to watch, perhaps because it is too much like real-life.

That being said, Doc Martin is a must-watch for any fan of quirky British television. It has changed my life for the better, allowing me to spend hours doubled over in laughter at the antics of life in a tiny town in Cornwall.

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Graceland Stars: Where Are They Now?

Graceland Stars: Where Are They Now?

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After our post about new fall shows we were excited about, we made the realization that a lot of the stars from Graceland are in new shows this fall.

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Related: The top 7 new fall shows we’re excited about!

 

Before we get to where are they now, let’s first recap, what was Graceland? Graceland was a show on USA that some of you may have heard of, about a house on the beach that had residents from several different government organizations (FBI, DEA, and ATF) that were supposed to work together undercover to catch bad guys. This show had a lot of drama but it also had excellent writing. Some characters were likable, like Charlie and Johnny, while others were unpleasant, like Paul and Mike.

The Graceland Cast, back at the beginning of the show in 2013

Graceland survived for three seasons as a summer show, but after last summer, the show was cancelled which made us sad. Like seeds scattered in the wind, the stars have found new roles on other shows and we are very happy for them! Here is a rundown of who ended up where:

Paul played by Daniel Sunjata

Daniel Sunjata is now starring in Notorious on ABC as a powerful attorney. It appears as though he plays another unlikable character in this show but who knows, maybe the show is good. It also stars one of our favorite actresses, Piper Perabo! We haven’t had a chance to watch the premiere yet.

Daniel Sunjata with Special Agent Annie Walker Piper Perabo

Mike played by Aaron Tveit

Aaron Tveit starred in BrainDead, a political satire show that aired this summer. BrainDead was created by Michelle and Robert King who also created The Good Wife. We have previously expressed our feelings about the conclusion of The Good Wife and therefore have mixed feelings about this show. It has been relegated to the bottom of the playlist on the DVR and we haven’t watched it yet. Tveit also starred in the FOX’s Grease: Live in February.

Aaron Tveit with BrainDead co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead at the Tony Awards in June

Charlie played by Vanessa Ferlito

Charlie was our favorite character on Graceland. Vanessa Ferlito made you feel like Charlie was a normal person trying to do the right thing. We hadn’t seen her in anything recently and then the other night we saw the last ten minutes of NCIS: New Orleans and there she was! Our hearts jumped for joy. We are not devoted fans to NCIS: New Orleans like we are to NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, however that will have to change now. We watched the first episode and we definitely think she brings a much need edge to the show.

 

Johnny played by Manny Montana

Johnny was also very likable on Graceland and his facial expressions were the best of the cast. When we were watching the trailer for Conviction, we shouted in joy and got really excited to see Manny Montana. It looks like he will be bringing his passion and excellent facial expressions to this show also.

 

Jakes played by Brandon Jay McLaren

Last season on Chicago Fire, Brandon Jay McLaren had a small guest role as a former gangster turned politician. We barely recognized him without his signature hair. He will be starring in a new CBS show in 2017 called Ransom, that is being filmed in his home country of Canada. He will play a psychological profiler.

 

Paige played by Serinda Swan

The only star from Graceland not to be in any current or recent shows is Serinda Swan. She too made an appearance on Chicago Fire, back in 2014. It looks like she will be in some upcoming movies but no new shows so far this year.

 

Were you a fan of Graceland? Who was your favorite character?


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Professing Our Love for The Great British Bake Off

Professing Our Love for The Great British Bake Off

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The Great British Bake Off (or as it is known in the US, the Great British Baking Show) is an amazing television show. If you are unfamiliar, you might have guessed it is all about baking. In the US, it is shown on PBS and depending on where you live, you may have already seen series 6, are currently watch series 6, or your local PBS station hasn’t shown it yet. Our station just started showing it last week.

We started watching the show in 2013 after hearing about it in an interview with Tom Mison who was getting ready to star in Sleepy Hollow (another of our favorite shows). Immediately, we fell in love with GBBO as we increased our tea consumption and learned many new words not frequently used in the US such as courgette, sultanas, Stilton, and caster sugar.

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The Basics

Each series, or season as we call it in the US, has 10-13 contestants from all over the United Kingdom who are home bakers. Each episode consists of a Signature Challenge, Technical Challenge and Showstopper Challenge. The contestants know what the Signature Challenge and Showstopper Challenge will be prior to the weekend that they congregate in the tent. Contestants can practice and perfect it by baking it several times during the week, while the Technical Challenge is an unknown recipe chosen by one of the judges.

What Makes It Special

The Great British Bake Off is unlike any American competitive cooking show. The typical formula for an American competitive cooking show involves one part drama, one part backstabbing and one part acting. In this amazing show, the only drama comes from you sitting at home, crossing your fingers hoping the bakes come out just right. There is no backstabbing or acting, though there was a little thing called #bingate back in 2014. (We should also mention that there was an attempt at an American equivalent called The American Baking Competition, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, which only lasted one season in 2013. It was not as good.)

Paul Hollywood is the dark and mysterious judge. You can’t tell what he is thinking behind the steel blue eyes; this makes the contestants cringe and makes us laugh. Mary Berry is the other judge that is like an eclectic grandma; you aren’t entirely sure what she is going to say and likes to drop some innuendos every once and awhile.

The hosts, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, are hilarious. We discovered, after some internet research, that they met while going to Cambridge and have been working together for over 20 years. This long time partnership is evident when they play off each other. They are also very punny, which is totally our kind of humor.

The Future?

Yesterday, we saw that the BBC lost the rights to air the series after the current series 7. This news struck fear into our hearts but Love Productions, the company that makes the show, has apparently signed a three year deal with Channel 4. Phew! This article also says that the first show on the new channel will be a celebrity edition, which sounds intriguing. We just hope that PBS will continue to air our beloved GBBO!

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Merging Science and Creativity: The Joys of Orphan Black

Merging Science and Creativity: The Joys of Orphan Black

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Orphan Black returns to BBC America this Thursday, April 14th and I am beyond excited! I watch a lot of television and I enjoy a lot of shows but I truly…I LOVE this show. 

A couple of years ago I was going to school for an advanced degree in the science field when I had a revelation that I didn’t want to spend my days toiling away in a lab and I should just embrace my inner storyteller.

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Around the time of this revelation, Season 1 of Orphan Black premiered. I loved how it appealed to my scientific side and my creative side. The writers of this show stay true to the science, but also are master storytellers, dropping little clues here and there and then dropping huge bombs that you never see coming. Absolutely glorious. I am so excited for season four!

SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD (If you have not watched seasons 1-3, do NOT read!)

If you are unfamiliar with this show (you really need to catch up before Thursday), it revolves around Sarah and her discovery that she is not just an orphan with only an adopted brother, Felix, but she is a clone and she has an entire family of clone sisters (also known as sestras). In fact she even has a twin, Helena, who is my personal favorite. The other main sestras are Rachel the dark and devious head of Dyad (the only clone that grew up self-aware of her clone status), Cosima the scientist and Alison the crafty housewife.

 
Throughout the show we discover that the clones have monitors and they have all grown up in different environments. Over time, the sestras discover the truth about Dyad, the company that created the clones. This leads to the discovery that there is also a set of male clones. The biggest plot twist from season 3 was that the cell lines that created both the female and male clones came from the same person, Sarah’s adopted grandmother. GASP!!! Mind blown!

 
The other fantastic part of this show is that all of the sestras are played by the same actress, Tatiana Maslany. Her acting skills are amazing and each clone has her own mannerisms and accents. In a fantastic scene from last season, Cosima has to pretend to be Alison speaking in front of a large group. Even though it is one person playing both characters, Tatiana masters the awkwardness of one clone trying to pretend to be another clone.  

As you can tell, I get really excited talking about this show and I hope that you too fall in love with the characters and the majestic story telling. The only bad part is that each season is only ten episodes. However, if you haven’t seen the show yet, that gives you plenty of time to binge watch it on Amazon Prime or BBC America before the premiere on Thursday night.

Happy viewing!


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