Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Saving Grace – anybody watch it but Cindy?

I have to admit it – I love TV. Yes. I know. It’s supposed to dull my mind, or I’m supposed to have a dull mind if I watch the boob tube, but darn it, I love it. I even love the reality shows – well some of them. After 13 seasons, I’m still watching Survivor. I’m a new convert to Dancing with the Stars – those people work hard and the pros are incredible!! I jumped on the American Idol bandwagon a little late but now I’m gearing up for the season opener mid-January. Yea!!

But what I really love are the dramas. Some of my favorites are The Unit, NCIS, Criminal Minds (have a little trouble seeing Greg of Darma and Greg fame as an FBI agent but somehow it works), House, Bones, ER (yes, after all these years I still love that show), Shark, … I’m sure I’m leaving a couple out. But my two current, can’t miss ‘em, tape ‘em if I have to favorites are The Closer (Kyra Sedgwick is perfection) and Saving Grace staring Holly Hunter.

The Closer has been around for a while and I think everyone knows what a class show it is, so I want to talk about Grace today. Talk about a controversial show. Holly Hunter is superior as Grace Hanadarco, the foul-mouth, chain-smoking, hard-drinking, sexually promiscuous Oklahoma City police detective who is being dogged by Earl, a tobacco chewing angel, (beautifully played by Leon Rippy) who is trying to help her save herself before she self-destructs. Not that Grace is all bad. Despite her shortcomings Grace us a truly sympathetic and likable character. She's a good, clean cop, a good friend, a good aunt, and the only person she would willingly hurt (bad guys not withstanding) is herself. The supporting cast is excellent with Kenny Johnson (formerly of The Shield) playing Emma’s partner (and married lover) Ham Dewey. Laura San Giacomo (formerly of Just Shoot Me, a sitcom with George Segal and David Spader) plays Emma’s colleague and best friend Rhetta Rodriguez. And fellow detective (and one of many other of Grace's love interests) is the super hot Butch Ada (played by Bailey Chase). It's worth tuning into just to see him in his Stetson and jeans. :o)

The drama is tense, the dialog is rich, the conflicts are gut-wrenching. And yeah, I have to admit, the first time Earl appeared on screen complete with a heavenly aura, ethereal wings, and a chaw in his cheek, I felt myself squirm a bit in a ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ kind of way. I was loving EVERYTHING up until then and was afraid the writers had blown it. Afraid no one would buy this. But you know what? They make it work. Fabulously.

I can’t begin to summarize all the undercurrents and wounds – both emotional and physical – these amazing characters carry around with them (including losses from the Oklahoma City bombing and a struggle with diabetes that native American detective Bobby Stillwater deals with) but I can tell you, I believe it. I believe the premise, the characters and the message (and you don’t necessarily have to be a ‘spiritual believer’ to buy into it). But most of all, I believe that it’s darn good entertainment. The final episode of the season aired last night (but never fear – I’m sure you can catch it in reruns) and it was just as thought provoking and conscience raising as all the other segments.

So, what about you? Have you been following Grace’s rise and fall? Are you as impressed as I am (and the Golden Globe committee who have nominated Holly Hunter as best actress in a TV drama)? How do you feel about a tobacco chewing angel? And if you don’t watch Grace, do you have favorite dramas you can’t miss and what is it about them that attract you?


Cindy Gerard said...

Oh - and BTW - I have to tell you all that I just receive the cover art for my July 2008 anthology with Cherry Adair and Lora Leigh. It's up on my website www.cindygerard.com
I would LOVE for you to check it out and let me know what you think. This guy is SUPER hot!! Can you tell I'"m excited???

Michele Hauf said...

Cindy, put your cover up on the blog!

I watched the first Grace episode and loved it. But for some reason, I never watched it again. Might be because I caught it in the summertime, and just wasn't watching TV. Now, with the strike, I'll have a chance to go back and start it from the beginning. One good thing about the strike, and about the only good thing, is the opportunity to now catch up on shows we missed. Sigh...

My favorite drama is Dirty Sexy Money. Oh, so good. The angry priest kills me and I love him at the same time. The whole cast is spot-on.

Betina Krahn said...

Cindy, I haven't caught "Grace" yet, but probably because I haven't known when to look for it. I'll look it up. Sounds like a cool program. . . tobacco chewing angel and all.

Like you, I like a range of programs. I've been delighted with Chuck and "Pushing Daisies" and still love House, Bones, and Criminal Minds-- especially now that they've replaced Mandy Patinkin with Joe Mantegna. There was just something sanctimonious about Mandy that I didn't like. I like Joe's style much better with this cast. And Shemar Moore is fabulous eye candy that can truly act. I also love the gal who plays Garcia. . . Kirsten Vangsness. . . glad they finally gave her her own story line in one episode.

And of course, Heroes and CSI and one of my new favorites: Life. The hero there is a wrongly convicted cop who spend 12 hellish years in prison and came out to a 50 million dollar settlement and reinstatement on the force. Except nobody wants him back as a cop and he's trying to solve the crime he was convicted of and he's got a partner who's a lot like Mulder's Scully-- the skeptic. He's also Mr. Zen and has a remarkable way with people and a unique way of looking at evidence to solve crimes. Cool show.

It's the characters I love. . . and sharp dialog and great writing. The writing and dialogue and pacing on Pushing Daisies routinely have me in awe.

There is some really GREAT stuff out there these days, you just have to find it. I'm gonna check out "Grace" asap, Cindy. Thanks for the nudge!

Cindy Gerard said...

I hope you guys can find Grace. The show is on TNT. they have a cool website. Might be you can find a schedule of rerun episodes there.
Sometimes they have marathons on weekends. That's when I good hooked on The Closer. I had the flue and I laid on the sofa and watched 6 solid hours of it. Too much fun - well, except for being sick :o)

Helen Brenna said...

I think I need to get sick so I can catch up with my TV!!!!

I love Holly Hunter. She's spot on with everything I've ever seen her in.

Not sure I'd get a tobacco chewing angel, but I'll take your word for it, Cindy!!

Christie Ridgway said...

I haven't watched Grace but have watched The Closer a number of times. (I hated the red lipstick Kyra wore and then read that I wasn't the only one so they changed it! Sorta funny, that.) I'm going to get someone who knows how to work our DVDR (I =could= learn, just haven't yet) to program it to save Saving Grace for me.

I have a cold and could be watching right now!

Cindy Gerard said...

Christie - I hated that lipstick too. The way they changed it was they had an episode where Kyra had to interview a plastic surgeon. He assumed she was there to see him about work on herself. he told her that if she'd just change that horrible shade of lipstick, she'd look perfectly fine. She spent the rest of the episode self-consciously covering her lips and finally asked one of her woman detectives if she thought the color was horrible too? End result, she changed colors. It was so funny and clever how they dealt with it.
hope your cold is better

Playground Monitor said...

Never watched Grace but it sounds good. That tobacco chewing angel sounds like a hoot. That makes him real, and the tobacco is probably what got him to heaven anyway.

One of my favorite shows is Monk. How can you not love Adrien Monk? He's so flawed and un-heroic but he ends up a hero anyway. I also like CSI, especially since Sara's gone. Stop! Don't throw things! I love the character dynamics on the show but always felt Sara didn't fit. Now they're sending Warrick through the ringer and they brought in the new chick and the lab techs are getting their own story lines. Who knows what'll happen.

My absolute favorite is Desperate Housewives. I'm dying to see the follow-up to the tornado, which is supposed to air on January 6th.

Other than that, it's pretty much reality tv -- Survivor (couldn't you have cried when Denise told about losing her job??), American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. Oh and the occasional episode of What Not to Wear or Man vs. Wild or Mythbusters and other cable offerings.


Cindy Gerard said...

Oh man - I'm hooked on what not to wear. Not sure why///
And I wanted Denise to win. She's had it rough.

lois greiman said...

What I need is cable tv...and some down time.

But I'm with you, Marilyn, I looooove Monk.

Saving Grace soiunds really wonderful, Cindy. Do you think I can get it on video?

I was pretty into Gray's Anatomy, but after my daughter went to college I realized what I really liked was time with her. Now I watch...nothing. Nothing at all. And I love television too.

Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- We love SAVING GRACE. It's a fabulous, real, edgy, gritty show that just grabs you by the throat and says, "I dare you not to care." Love it.

In fact your TV hit parade is pretty much ours! We could be TV twins. LOL! Actually you are the complete blend of my husband and me in terms of what you like on television. You've hit either my favorites or his favorites right down the line.

Michele-- I'm new to Dirty Sexy Money. LOVE IT.

I tape a lot of TV because I have a number of things I can do while listening/watching TV, like my handwork and quilting so I get twice the fun. :)

Cindy Gerard said...

Yes, Lois - you need cable :o)
Since Grace is so new, I'm not certain it's available yet on DVD but I'm guessing it will be.

And Deb - next time it's on - you bring the soda, I'll pop the popcorn.:o)
So GLAD to hear someone else watches Grace. It truly is amazing.
Huge cliff hanger last night, huh?

Cindy Gerard said...

me again. As Michelle suggested, I posted the new cover for the RESCUE ME anthology with Cherry, Lora and me. BUT it's BIG. Sorry. Don't mean to be a hog about space. Maybe one of you guys know how to shrink it for me ??
In the meantime - what do you all think?
Is that guy hot or what??

Keri Ford said...

Great cover!

Never seen Grace, but from what I read, I could get the tobacco chewing angel. I mean, with a character like Grace that you've described, I think she needs a not-quite-perfect angel to give her guidence. hm..does that make any sense?

I'm a big fan of Dancing with the Stars. I'm starting to burn out on American Idol. I guess because they show so much of it. Fan of House, Bones, and Grey's Anatomy. Not so big on Desperate Housewives anymore. Oh, loved Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey--a lot of that might contribute to the fact that I worked in a resturant and couldn't beleive the way some of those places were ran. I know there's sooo many more, but can't think of them!

Yvonne Lindsay said...

Here in New Zealand, I was on the road to being hooked on Saving Grace but after screeninig only two episodes (yes, TWO!!!) our TV powers that be pulled the show saying it didn't rate as well as expected. Ex-cuuuuse me? After only two screenings they can make a blanket decision like that? Well colour me thoroughly ticked off! We've had a ton of sectarian protest over Californication (especially the first episode) here, and I'm assuming that Saving Grace's demise on NZ TV screens probably had more to do with more sectarian protest than ratings. Grrrr.

That said, I love Criminal Minds (sorry, Betina, I really like Mandy Patinkin and we don't have the episodes here yet that have the new guy you mentioned--something to look forward to?)

I used to really enjoy ER, Third Watch etc. but lost interest in them (obviously years ago) when key characters were killed off which altered the series dynamics too much for me. NCIS is another fav in our household, and CSI was for a long time too. Never got into the NY version although the original and the Miami versions get the thumbs up here.

Yvonne Lindsay said...

Forgot to add that when they pulled Saving Grace the TV channel started screening what it has optimistically called "The Best of Bones", which in other words is just every Bones episode they ever screened before. Not that that is a problem in itself, because I find the character dynamics in the series fascinating, not to mention the subject matter, but what ever happened to having something new?

Jane said...

I haven't seen Saving Grace. I know Holly Hunter is a great actress, she was amazing in "The Piano." I'm suffering from withdrawal because of the strike. I haven't seen a new episode of NCIS or Life for a while now. I also like Criminal Minds. I miss Mandy Patinkin, it's not the same with Joe Mantagna. It is a little weird seeing Greg as a brooding FBI agent, but's he great on the show.

Cindy Gerard said...

Keri - I hear you on the burn out on Idol and each year I think I'm not going to watch but it sucks me in :o)

Yvonne -How sad that Grace was pulled. Agreed, it is a controversial show - and the push the envelope with the sexuality and the nudity but the content is so redeeming I'm truly surprised they didn't have the foresight to give it a little latitude.

Can't imagine any beef they could have with Bones but then again ...

Jane, I kind of miss Manny too. And you must give Grace a try :o)

Playground Monitor said...

I don't watch American Idol til they get to Hollywood week. You get enough of the audition drama with that. I'm just wondering if they'll ever have another contestant as good as Carrie Underwood.


Cindy Gerard said...

Carrie is amazing!!

flchen1 said...

Cindy, that is one hot cover!!

Haven't been watching too much TV lately--we have been enjoying Chuck and Desperate Housewives :) My husband watches Heroes, but I can't take the suspense!

Dru said...

I can't miss The Closer. I will not pick up the phone or sit at the computer. This show gets 100% of my viewing attention.

I tried watching Grace, but I just found her character a bit harsh. Now that we are in repeats, I may check it out again.

Cindy Gerard said...

Thanks on the cover. I'm kind of liking it too :o)

And Dru - The Closer and I have the same kind of relationship. Nobody bothers me while I'm watching :o)
And yeah, you might want to give Grace another try. She is harsh but there's a lot more than meets the eye.

Kaitlin said...

I haven't gotten into Saving Grace. I'm not the biggest Holly Hunter fan. :P

My biggies are Chuck, Heroes, Project Runway (though this year basically sucks), Mythbusters, and I did watch Bionic Woman, but that got cancelled.

The one show I'm so disappointed got cancelled was a show called Traveler. It was on last season & was sooooo good, but they killed it. :(

Haven't been around online much. Dealing with an extremely severe case of tendonitis in my right arm (I'm right-handed). It's very scary since I also write and don't know when I'll officially be allowed to type again.

I hope you ladies have an amazing holiday season!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hope you're tendinitis goes away very soon, Kaitlin. No fun

marieconley3 said...

I LOVE Saving Grace. I am an Oklahoman and that is the only reason I started watching this show, but I love it. Though I have to admit I'm a bit nitpicky when it comes to Oklahoma info. Like in a past episode they used May 3rd video to cover a tornado. They used Gary England which is correct and good, but May 3rd tornado in todays time? Really. We just survived a hurricane and an ice storm that took 1 in 3's electricity and we are to care about a little tornado?
Nope not me.
And can they stop showing us everytime someone has sex? Other than that I love it.

I really do love it and never miss it.

marieconley3 said...

How can you watch Bones? The make Angel into such a wuss. Nope can't stand it.