Month: May 2011

Nurse Jackie: Season 1

Nurse Jackie 1

Nurse Jackie DVD season 1

So, Nurse Jackie is a nurse at All Saints hospital in NYC.  She is the head emergency room nurse (I think).  She’s also addicted to pain meds, having an affair, and she bends the rules with regard to hospital regulations – all the time.

The supporting cast of Zoey, O’Hara, Akalitus, and Mohammad do a lot of work making the storyline well-rounded and filled out. Without the supporting roles and subplots, the whole series would be a miserable catastrophe. After watching only the first season, Dr. O’Hara (played by Eve Best) is my favorite character, followed by Zoey and Akalitus. The main character? Yeah, I must admit that I am not really fond of her.

The point of season 1 is that Jackie makes every possible bad choice she can and then, at the end, she ends up having everyone she knows angry, disappointed, or frustrated with her. The antics of the patients at the hospital provide a decent background for telling us this story. We are also watching Zoey, a nursing student, develop.  What it all boils down to, though, is that Jackie makes bad choices and at the end of season 1, her choices make people suffer – not just herself. So, we are left up in the air with the last episode – will Jackie’s friends just slay her, or can she find a conniving way out?

I watched the season in two afternoons, its not gripping and its not incredibly entertaining, but its not wretched. I suppose I will give this season 3 out of 5 stars. Generally, I dislike the depravity found on Showtime and HBO.

3 stars

Criminal Minds: Season 1

Criminal Minds 1

Criminal Minds DVD season 1

People I know kept hounding me to watch Criminal Minds, and I had heard decent reviews of this series. So, I found season 1 “on sale” for less than a million dollars.  I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, although I knew the main premise was hunting for bad guys.

I was disappointed – overall – with season 1. And by the time I was on disc 5, I was absolutely marvelling that this show has run so many seasons. I was convinced that the other seasons must be really awesome to make up for this nonsense. I think there are 6 or 7 seasons.

Anyway, season one’s characters include Gideon (the real boss), Hotchner (the unit boss in name only), Morgan (the token black guy), Garcia (the techie), Elle (the headstrong chick), J.J. (the media relations girl), and Reid (the dorky, socially-inept kid).

Each episode does not deal with a serial killer, but it is the main thing that this FBI BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) looks for. They are profilers and they tend to view everything first as a possible serial killing, and then next as some other killing.  We are often supposed to be in awe of their deduction skills – as they examine people and then can tell us great accurate details about the person’s personality and lifestyle.  Frankly, this doesn’t seem any more tricky than the stuff of fortune tellers at carnivals.

Also, for any of this to work at all, there is a heavy-handed overarching determinist principle at work here. I suppose that’s SOME of the point of the show – to get us to consider nature/nurture and so forth. I have to say, though, that all of this comes out flat and ineffectively. After disc two I was asking myself: “gee, how much more odd and convoluted can they make serial killers.”  Because after you do the cannibalism, the rapes, and the patterns, what’s left? And, also, every (and I mean EVERY) crime is somehow because of the sex. So, watching this show is like watching a determinist Freud show.

The characters…. ahhh…. for 5 discs, they have ZERO personality. They are flatline, boring people. For example, Morgan does absolutely nothing on any of their cases. Really. Its amusing how little he does. He’s just there to be “the black guy” and say a few lines. The girl who plays Elle (Lola Glaudini) is the best looking of the bunch, but apparently she’s only in seasons 1 & 2. I have no idea what her role in the BAU really is.   Hotchner. Holy crap, Hotchner. I almost quit watching after disc 1 because I just simply couldn’t tolerate the boring monotone any further. I get that he’s supposed to be the rule-abiding suit-wearing boss. But NO ONE is that monotone. NO ONE.

Garcia is the only character that I really like. And, to be honest, I only like her because of her witty quotes. She’s a smart alec and it amuses me.

Some of the script is lame, they say obvious things or tautologies, but I assume this is for the dumb people who watch the show. It is a graphic show, its not the easiest show to eat in front of. Bodies everywhere type thing – much like Bones in that respect.

The last two episodes of the last disc are finally pretty good – and the season ends on a big cliffhanger to-be-continued sort of thing. So that means, I am really stuck watching season 2. Hopefully, though, with the last disc, the show has found its footing and things will improve. Up until that last disc I was glad to be done with this show and didn’t want to see any future seasons.

2 stars

Arrow’s Flight

Arrows FlightQuite awhile ago I read the first book in Mercedes Lackey’s “Heralds of Valdemar” series.  I just finished the second book in the series, “Arrow’s Flight.”  It was originally published in 1987.

About the book:

Talia could scarcely believe that she had finally earned the rank of full Herald. Yet though this seemed like the fulfillment of all her dreams, it also meant she would face trials far greater than those she had previously survived. For now Talia must ride forth to patrol the kingdom of Valdemar, dispensing Herald’s justice throughout the land.

But in this realm beset by dangerous unrest, enforcing her rulings, would require all the courage and skill Talia could command- for if she misused her own special powers, both she and Valdemar would pay the price!

One of the main reasons I was reading this book is that it is easy to read while you are reading other books.  This book (and series) require little or no brain function in order to read and follow the story.  This is both a good and bad thing.  Its a great thing when you are just trying to read to fall asleep and you have had a hectic day and feel a bit restless or stressed.  It’s not a good thing because most of us like books that engage our minds.

The storyline continues from the first book in the series.  The two characters in this book, Talia and Kris are both Heralds of the Queen. If you wanted to read about the other characters found in the first book of the series, prepare for disappointment.  Overall, this wasn’t a very good book.  I really, really, really hate the thing with Talia and Rolan (her horse Companion) which allows them to empathically share stuff.  Its annoying at best, and pervy at worse. Really? There are some things that are so dumb that it hurts, and this connection between Rolan and Talia is one of them.

Nothing happens in the book. Talia and Kris ride around on their “circuit” wherein they visit villages and rule on court cases. They share news, organize folks, and then ride off.  The “big thing” in the book is when they get snowed in at a waystation. Big bad storm. Cold. Windy. Blah.  There is a short (couple of pages) where these two Heralds come upon a village being sieged by raiders.  Its pretty clear here that Mercedes Lackey is not comfortable writing combat.  The “fight” is really silly as this young girl on a horse puts arrows into the necks of a bunch of raiders. Wooo.

Kris and Talia really whine their way through the circuit. They are like little babies instead of special forces. They are undisciplined and overly emotive. They stress and whine about everything.  They apparently do hard work (shoveling snow), but then its three days of wailing about the hard work that they did.

I’ll probably read the third book, if only just to finish the series.  And, well, its utterly mindless and perfect for turning the brain off for sleeping.

2 stars