Friday, October 20, 2017
Orange County Screenwriters Association


Category of review/article that can be anything old or new, TV or feature or...?

In Praise of - ARCHER

Archer Banner

Admittedly, I'm late to this party.  I've only been watching "Archer" for the last few seasons although I have recently gone back and I am re-watching everything from the first season that debuted in 2009.

How was I so blind?  I heard the word-of-mouth from a friend whose opinion I trust and didn't follow up on it.  I saw the awards, I heard the reviews...I just didn't act on any of that. Damn my lazy viewing spine!  I have miles to go before I sleep and watching a show this terrific should be on everyone's first up list.

And thank god for streaming.  Netflix specifically which has most of the seasons available allowing me to continue to right this egregious wrong.  ?

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In Praise of - Doc Hollywood

A230 02"Doc Hollywood" is a romantic comedy based on the book What?...Dead Again? by Neil B. Shulman M.D.  It stars Michael J. Fox and Julie Warner with a cast of great character actors including David Ogden Stiers ("Mash") and Barnard Hughes with Woody Harrelson and Bridget Fonda. 

Fox plays an egocentric young doctor heading to L.A. to join a plastic surgery practice.  He gets run off the road on the way, destroys the local judge's new fence and is sentenced to community service because the town needs a doctor.  The ploy is designed to make him fall in love with the town in the hopes that he'll stay and become their next town doctor. 

It helps that the first morning he's there, he's greeted by the fetching Julie Warner rising out of a lake, nude, like some demi-goddess nymph.  That definitely sparks his interest in staying and creates a truly warm and funny romantic comedy as Fox fights his urge to be a big-city doctor and not follow his heart which is captured by both the town and Ms Warner.

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In Praise of - NCIS

NCIS Wallpapers ncis 13737939 1280 1024"NCIS" (the original) has been an ongoing success for 13 seasons.  To gain some perspective on that, when the show started the agents were using PDAs, not smart phones.  No one knew (or cared about) Kim Kardashian, Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, Facebook (they used MySpace!!) or the Donald (Trump, not Duck.)  And there was no Homeland Security.

I have to admit that I was never much interested in this show - procedurals in general left me less than enthused.  I watched the various Law and Orders but not regularly (another great example of long-running episodic TV.)  Netflix brought me to this show and I somehow have become hooked.

I was a "Magnum P.I." fan but not "Jag."  Both were created by super-producer Donald Bellisario as was "NCIS."  The show is well-crafted with great characters - a hallmark of Bellasario.  You can rail against the "formula" but it works:

  • Gibbs (Mark Harmon) a tough-as-nails ex-Marine who runs the joint.
  • DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) the womanizer/joker.
  • Ducky (David McCallum) the quirky, yet formidable forensic coroner.
  • Abby (Pauley Perrette) - a goth in goth clothing (with pigtails) who is the (also quirky) jack-of-all trades forensic scientist.
  • McGee (Sean Murphy) - a whipsmart geek/agent continuously trying to figure out who he is in the scheme of the agency and his fellow agents.
  • Ziva (Cote de Pablo) the hot Mossad agent who came in on Season 2 and stayed until Season 11.
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