AHHHHH!!! The Sky is STILL Falling!

Hiya, peeps.

Yesterday was Rizzoli and Isles night. I’ve blogged about them here.

So I switch over to TNT and watch Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer and then Rizzoli and Isles. The Closer has kind of grown on me, actually, and I like the characters. Then, after R&I, what should come on, but another installment of the Noah Wylie sci fi drama Falling Skies. I caught the 2-hour premiere of Falling Skies (blogged here), and I wasn’t too impressed. The worst part about it was the incessant spate of commercials. Completely disrupted the flow of the show. Completely. I didn’t watch one since then, deciding that if it was warranted, I’d check it out on DVD later.

As it happened, I watched last night’s episode, and it was pretty good. It works better as an hour-long because the pacing’s better and the commercial pacing’s better (though there are still way too many commercials). It was fairly easy for me to pick up the plot, even though I hadn’t watched anything but the first episode.

Here, we have Noah Wyle’s son Ben with the rebels; they got the harness off him, but he still has icky alien spikes protruding along his spine and the rebel doc discovers something kind of creepy about them. The skin and tissue around them is numb. So on a hunch, she goes and buts into one a skitter body they’ve got and lo and behold, she determines that the skitter was something else before it became a skitter because, buried under its bone and tissue and muscle is a harness. The implication is clear: the harness seems to somehow transform its wearer into something other than its original form. In other words, Ben and the other kid the rebels managed to get the harness off of might be on their way to alien-ville. Which reminds me of the fantastic film District 9, in which the main character is exposed to some alien fluid, which starts transforming into an alien.

The rebels also discover that there are bipedal humanoid-types who seem to be in control of both the skitters and the mechs. And our outlaw guy from the first episode? He’s figured out how to craft bullets out of mech-metal that penetrates their armor. He also discovers that a basic mech bullet is actually a bullet shell from Earth that they altered to meet their needs. The outlaw guy sardonically tells Wyle’s youngest sun, “they’re into recycling.”

Suffice it to say this one episode made me interested, so I’ll probably watch the season finale on Sunday and suffer through the commercials.

Here’s TNT’s re-cap of Episode 7.

I love an alien apocalypse show as much as the next person. In this case, if you do decide to watch Falling Skies in its entirety, I still recommend getting it on DVD or some other method where you can avoid the commercials. TNT is outta control with commercials.

Happy watching!

Sunday readin’ and watchin’ tip

Well, okay, it’s actually a Sunday readin’ tip and a Monday watchin’ tip.

Tomorrow (Monday) begins the new season of the detective show Rizzoli and Isles, on TNT. The show features Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. It’s a great buddy cop show, and actresses Angie Harmon (Rizzoli) and Sasha Alexander (Isles) have a really excellent rapport. Not since Cagney and Lacey have I been as thoroughly entertained by a chick buddy cop show as I am by this one.

So what’s in store for the new season? Here you go!

All rightie, here’s a cool thing, and feeds right into the “readin’ tip” aspect of this here blog. The series is based on books by author Tess Gerritsen. Now, don’t think that means the TV series follows the book series exactly. It doesn’t. The first in what could be called the loose “Rizzoli and Isles” series is Gerritsen’s The Surgeon (2001), in which Detective Jane Rizzoli is introduced, working with Thomas Moore. Boston-based, they’re trying to head off a serial killer who seems to have targeted a doctor who survived an attack by a serial killer elsewhere and two years earlier. Rizzoli is not the primary character in this book, but she is a strong secondary character.

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You’ll find Maura Isles introduced as a secondary character in one of her standalone medical thrillers, 2007’s Bone Garden as well as in the Rizzoli and Isles books.

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So what’s reading Gerritsen’s mysteries like? She’s dark. That is, it’s like reading Patricia Cornwell‘s brilliant first Scarpetta books. Grim but engaging, with accurate medical details because of Gerritsen’s own background — she’s a physician. The TV series has a dark edge, but you’ll find light touches of humor and family that maybe don’t get expressed as readily in the books. I like what TNT has done with Rizzoli’s character, and I like the softer edges of some of the episodes. With regard to the books, Gerritsen is a strong writer, employing excellent craft with an eye for character and dialogue. But it’s not light-hearted work, so if you’re expecting the TV show in book form, you will be disappointed. Instead, think of the TV show as a nice alt-universe for two strong Gerritsen women. Enjoy both books and TV show, for different reasons.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy watching!