Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Notes on Pop Culture: Dysfunctional Showtime Moms, Cancer on TV, Binging on 'Covert Affairs'

Dysfunctional Showtime Moms

When the Wall Street Journal ran a story this past spring saying that Showtime was cultivating a slate of shows featuring dysfunctional, strong women, building on the success of Weeds, I think they were underplaying it.

After watching the first few episodes of the new season of Weeds and the new Laura Linney cancer dramedy The Big C, on top of what they've with Edie Falco’s Nurse Jackie and Toni Collette’s United States of Tara the word "dysfunctional" doesn’t quite cover it. I wrote about Showtime's off-beat moms in my latest pop culture column this week.

Cancer on TV

Speaking of The Big C, watching Linney’s Cathy Jamison -- who’s upending her life in the wake of her stage 4 cancer diagnosis -- got me thinking about TV characters and cancer and how other characters dealt with the news.

As I thought about TV and cancer, for some reason, my mind kept going to Charlie Salinger from the 1990s show Party of Five. While Charlie didn't immediately shake things up in his life when he learned he had cancer, he did make some changes after he went into remission. (The video below features the scene where Charlie learned he'd gone into remission and shared the news with his family.)

My CliqueClack TV post looked at Charlie, Kitty Walker from Brothers & Sisters, Lynette Scavo from Desperate Housewives, Walter White from Breaking Bad and Izzie Stevens from Grey’s Anatomy.

Binging on Covert Affairs

I’d only seen a small number of episodes of USA’s new CIA drama Covert Affairs up until this week, when I decided to binge on them. It’s not Alias. Annie Walker is certainly no Sydney Bristow. But Covert Affairs is kind of light, kind of unexpectedly twisty and fun to watch, plus I get to see actors whom I've admired from other shows, like Anna Dudek (who’s fierce on Big Love, was conniving on House and is distinctly 60s suburban mom on Mad Men), Sendhil Ramamurthy (who was the mysterious researcher on Heroes), Peter Gallagher (of late from Rescue Me where he was an unconventional priest), Kari Matchett (who’d been turned into an alien but didn’t know it on Invasion and a political advisor on 24), plus I got to see D.W. Moffett. (Joe McCoy on Friday Night Lights)

Covert Affairs has been renewed for a second season.

No comments: