Review: Callie Thorne gets tough in ‘Necessary Roughness’
Curt Wagner, RedEye’s Show Patrol ()
Breckin Meyer (left) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar play lawyers with a different approach to defending their clients. (TNT)
Rob Corddry and the doctors of Children’s Hospital return for another season of insanity. “House” star Lisa Edelstein guest stars in the season premiere.
Pictured, left to right: Lake Bell, Corddry, Ken Marino, Megan Mullally, Malin Akerman and Erinn Hayes (Adult Swim)
Ami James (left) became a tattoo celeb when “Miami Ink” aired in 2005. Now he’s moving to New York City. (TLC)
The Florida-set crime drama begins its second season going for a more serious tone. But wise-cracking homicide detective Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore, left in photo) hasn’t lost any of his sarcasm, even though in the season premiere he’s walking a dangerous line between rival drug lords as he works a case. Things really heat up in the second episode, when his old partner (on and off the job) from Chicago chases a serial killer to Palm Glade, leaving his sweetheart, Callie (Kiele Sanchez), feeling a little uncertain about where she stands. (A&E)
Don’t expect this new series to be a cheesy rip-off of the 1985 Michael J. Fox comedy about a boy and his wolf curse. MTV is going the way of “The Vampire Diaries” instead, with a moody story about Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), who gets bit by a local hunk/werewolf and soon is howling at the moon himself. There’s a bit of “Romeo and Juliet” in the story, too. Scott falls for the new girl at school, Allison Argent (Crystal Reed), who has a secret of her own. (MTV)
Three new drivers join the crew in the Season 5 premiere. (History)
Armed with cameras and a sense of humor, Shane “Shane O” Reynolds and his skeleton crew brings viewers some of Earth’s wildest places and elusive animals in this new adventure series. (Nat Geo Wild)
Ally Walker has played layered, compelling characters in FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” and in NBC’s “Profiler,” making her one of those actresses you just can’t ignore. But not even she can keep my interest in “The Protector,” in which she plays L.A. homicide detective Gloria Sheppard, a taskmaster who angers her co-workers by doggedly pursuing her hunches. The added twist that she’s a single mom gives the show it’s Lifetime-required touchy-feely vibe, but otherwise, the show offers nothing more than any other light police procedural of the summer does. Walker deserves better.
Pictured: Ally Walker (left) and Tisha Campbell-Martin (right). (Lifetime)
I guess the sisters are joined by the rest of the family in the new season. Whatever. (E!)
The “Glee” phenomenon spills over into reality TV with this show in which 12 finalists, culled from 40,000 applicants--as we’re told several times, apparently to remind the people behind “Glee” that viewers still care--compete for a seven-episode guest spot on the Fox series. Most of the kids are annoying and play to the cameras, as do the professionals preparing them for their auditions. As for those auditions, viewers only hear the studio versions of the performances, which makes this seem as real as the fantasy that is “Glee.” But hey, Gleeks are going to love it, and Darren Criss, who plays Blaine on the show, coaches in the first episode. The two-hour debut night begins with a casting special in which the finalists are notified that leads into the first episode. (Oxygen)
Skyler Samuels plays Chloe, a teen who learns she’s part of an ancient bloodline of cat people. A group of assassins wants her dead, but I don’t think they are werewolves. Meow. (ABC Family)
A new batch of Season 2 episodes begin with Elka (Betty White) on the lam and hiding in Amish country--because the Amish are always good for a laugh track. When her friends (Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves) come looking for her, they end up getting drunk in an Amish bar. Bertinelli wakes up with a beard and Malick churns butter. It’s dumb and oh so unbelievable, but these ladies know how to deliver a punchline. (TV Land)
Fran Drescher, she of “The Nanny” fame, returns with a new series drawn from her own life. She plays a woman whose 18-year marriage comes to an end when her husband realizes he’s gay. Was it her voice? Nah, that’s just my bad joke. This old-fashioned sitcom is full of groaners--and some funny moments, too. If you’re a Fran fan, you’ll love this. It’s perfectly partnered with Betty White’s “Hot in Cleveland.” (TV Land)
Pioneers from Earth begin to build a new society on a planet they call Carpathia in hopes of making a utopia. It’s new scenery, same problems. Why can’t we all just get along? The British science-fiction drama might confuse you at first, but sit back and enjoy; it’s supposed to confound and intrigue and answer do come. Americans likely will recognize Eric Mabius of “Ugly Betty,” who shows up in Episode 2 as a creepy refugee with a God complex. (BBC America)
Jaime King recounts the time she was attacked by an evil entity in her family’s Omaha home in the Season 2 premiere, which also includes Regis Philbin, Harry Hamlin and Ana Gasteyer. (BIO)
Bret Michaels (shown) and celebs such as Bobby Brown, Yancy Butler, Jose Canseco, Angie Everhart, Morgan Fairchild, Joely Fisher, Pam Grier, Tiffany, Brooke Burns, Lou Diamond Phillips and Elliot Yamin relive the moments when they were confronted with true danger. (BIO)
Humanity battles for its very existence against alien invaders who want our children. Why? Tune in.
Read the full review here (TNT)
Brooke Elliott remains the reason to watch this delightful series about a dingbat beauty who dies and is sent back to Earth in the plus-size body of attorney Jane Bingum (Elliott). Now opening its third season, the show has escaped the trap of focusing on Jane’s weight, dealing instead with her weighty affairs of the heart. Oh, and she takes on some interesting and fun, if far-fetched, court cases. Get ready for new romantic roadblocks in the season opener, plus more Paula Abdul and another lively dance number. (Lifetime)
Ru puts regular gals through their paces in order to make them supermodels of the world. (Logo)
Jeff Sutphen hosts this reailty show in which contestants are ejected from the game via bungee cord, being strapped to the wing of a plane or pushed off a semi-truck. What will they base a reality show on next? (ABC)
Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan, right with recurring guest star Grant Show) has finally been “unburned,” but that may not be such a good thing. (USA)
Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) will deal with witches this season. (HBO)
Just when the caper series “Leverage” was getting a little too repetitive and sunny, Timothy Hutton’s team of Robin Hoods heads off to Alaska. Sure, these grifters do what they always have--take down the powerful in service of their victims. But the Season 4 premiere benefits from the gravitas of guest star Eric Stoltz, who plays a missing mountain climber with a secret. The team infiltrates a millionaire’s climbing expedition to find out what happened. Always engaging and fun, “Leverage” has an easy-breezy charm, but don’t pay too close attention to the details. Many of these cons are far-fetched if not impossible. (TNT)
Callie Thorne shines as a therapist dealing with family and professional issues. Read my full review here. (USA)
Clouds never threaten the Hamptons in this breezy, bright doctor dramedy now in its third season. As summer returns to the Hamptons, concierge Dr. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) and his brother, Evan (Paulo Costanzo), become local heroes when they help out after a traffic accident. Of course one of the drivers may have a more serious complication, but nothing Hank can’t handle. “Royal Pains” is nothing if not predictable, but that doesn’t mean this well-written, well-acted series isn’t the perfect prescription for any summer pains. (USA)
In an animated world where demons, robots, zombies, Koala bears, fish (with legs and feet) and wizards live side by side with humans, you’d have to expect a Harry Potter send-up. But “Wet Hot Demonic Summer,” the second season premiere of “Ugly Americans,” is much more.
Read the full review here. (Comedy Central)
USA network prides itself on its “blue skies” dramas, but those skies get cloudy in the intriguing new series, “Necessary Roughness” (9 p.m. June 29, USA; ** 1/2 stars out of 4).
“Life is like football,” Long Island therapist Dani Santino says in the opening voiceover. “No matter how much protective gear you wear, at some point you’re going to get the living crap kicked out of you.”
Oh wait, I should be coming up with football metaphors. Hmmm… sorry, got nothing.
Dani (Callie Thorne of “Rescue Me”) doesn’t know much about football, either, when she gets the living crap kicked out of her: Her husband (Craig Bierko) has been fooling around with several women. When she throws him out, he fires back by playing hardball in divorce proceedings.
Dan gets lucky—in more ways than one—when she meets Matthew (Marc Blucas), a trainer for the (fictional) pro football team New York Hawks. After she helps him kick his cigarette habit, he decides to bring her in to his boss, who then hires her to help their troubled star player, TK (Mehcad Brooks), stop dropping the ball.
Obviously TK’s problem goes beyond slippery hands, even if “Necessary Roughness” doesn’t dive too deeply into psychology beyond, say, “how does that make you feel?”
Like most of USA’s dramedies, “Necessary Roughness” isn’t necessarily believable. But I totally buy Thorne—in fact I love her—as a woman dealing with a philandering hubby, a teen daughter who skips school, a teen son who’s a player like his dad, and a mom who likes to play the ponies.
Thorne gets great support from Blucas and Scott Cohen, who stars as the football team’s mysterious fixer, but her scenes with Concetta Tomei, who plays her mother, really pop.
“Ma, he cheated on me, more than once,” Dani says when her mom suggests she stay with her hubby. Her mother replies: “But less than Tiger Woods.”
Scenes showing that kind of family dysfunction, in Dani’s brood as well as those of her clients, cast a shadow over the proceedings and make me think “Necessary Roughness” will be a bit darker than the usual USA fare. It also gives me hope that this will be more than a “psychological issue of the week” format. (According to the press materials, Dani will take on all kinds of high-profile, rich-and-famous clients.)
“Necessary Roughness” hasn’t scored a touchdown yet, but it’s early in the game. (Sorry, that’s the best I could do with the football thing.)
WATCH more videos from “Necessary Roughness” and other shows at my Sneak Peeks page.
ROYAL PAINS RETURNS
Clouds never threaten the Hamptons in “Royal Pains” (8 p.m. June 29, USA; *** stars out of 4), the breezy, bright doctor dramedy returning for its third season.
As summer returns to the Hamptons, concierge Dr. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) and his brother, Evan (Paulo Costanzo), become local heroes when they help out after a traffic accident. Of course one of the drivers may have a more serious complication, but nothing Hank can’t handle, I’m sure.
He’ll no doubt take on the issues of his former landlord, Boris (Campbell Scott), his girlfriend, Jill (Jill Flint), and his assistant, Divya (Reshma Shetty), and a myriad of guest-star patients.
“Royal Pains” is nothing if not predictable, but it’s well-written, well-acted and the perfect prescription for any summer pains.
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