Category Archives: Action

Action series such as The Following, The Black List and Sleepy Hollow. These are series that get your adrenalin going.

CODE BLACK – My rating: 8.5

codeblackCode Black is another hospital series with trauma and drama that takes you beyond the norm.  In it’s 2nd season, Code Black continues to hold it’s own in the ratings.  Grant you, there’s nothing earth shattering happening that doesn’t happen in other medical series, save maybe one, but like the other medical series, it’s exciting, insightful and quite informative.  Over the last two seasons, Code Black has featured many actors. Currently, three main doctors that were featured in season one have been replaced.

Each week after showing short excerpts from last week’s show and a quick lead in to the current show, Code Black displays the following statements to your screen: 


When there are more patients than resources [in the emergency room]. 
An influx of patients so great, there aren’t enough resources to treat them.
The average ER is in Code Black five times per year.
Angels Memorial hospital in Los Angeles is in Code Black 300 times per year.

After displaying their customized definition of Code Black, the action begins.  Like ER and Grays Anatomy, Code Black features mini stories about the patients that have been brought into the ER, with running stories about the staff of their permanent doctors: Residency Director, Dr. Leanne Rorish (Marcia Gay Harden),  Attending ER Physician, Dr. Rollie Guthrie (William Allen Young), Chief of Surgery, Dr. Will Campbell (Boris Kodjoe) four resident interns: Dr. Malaya Pineda (Melanie Chandra),  Dr. Mario Savetti (Benjamin Hollingsworth), Dr. Angus Leighton  (Harry Ford), Dr. Mike Leighton (Tommy Dewey) and senior head nurse of Angels Memorial:  Jesse “Momma” Salander (Luis Guzmán).

SEASON TWO:
Angels Memorial welcomes Dr. Ethan Willis (Rob Lowe), a U.S. Army colonel attached to the U.S. military’s prestigious Combat Casualty Care research program. He joins the ER staff at Angels Memorial after the Army pulls him from the battlefield in Afghanistan.

Dr. Will Campbell (Boris Kodjoe), this highly regarded surgeon from season one, has become the new Chief of the ER as well, in order to save money.

Elliot Dixon (Noah Gray-Cabey), a new intern.

Dr. Amanda Nolan (Kathleen Rose Perkins), a new psychiatrist.

Noa Kean (Emily Tyra), a new first year resident in the ER.

Code Black is exciting and entertaining.  I enjoy watching it and I think anyone else who watches it will like it as well.  Code Black currently airs on CBS.

 

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DESIGNATED SURVIVOR – My rating: 9.3/10

designatedsurvivorThey’ve done it again.  The producers of 24 have come up with another hit series, Designated Survivor.  It’s every bit as exciting as 24 was.  I am having a real blast watching this new drama with a more mellow character.  No fighting, torture, jumping and running from building to building, just plain old fashion deceit, devious plots, murder, terror attacks and plenty of cover ups.  Oh, and lets not leave out brains, meaning cleverness, logic and street smarts.

Imagine all the heads of state, thrown in with some VIPs from other places meeting somewhere in Washington D.C.  Let’s say a bomb were to hit that meeting place and kill every single person there, including the President of the United State of America.  Well, that is just what happens in Designated Survivor.  That is why there is always one man left behind in case such a catastrophe should happen, thus eliminating an argument as to whom would run the country.  In this case, Tom Kirkman, (Keiter Sutherland) U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was also appointed as the “designated survivor”.  He ended up becoming the new President after the explosion claimed the lives of the President and all of his Cabinet at a State of the Union address. Needless to say, Tom was not welcomed with open arms, as no one felt he was really qualified to fill the shoes of the former President, so Tom was met with lots of resistance.  As the series moves on, we find there is something a lot more sinister going on than an explosion.  President Kirkman is under pressure to prove himself worthy, as well as resolve the ongoing problems of the country and punish the rightful terrorist of the attack on the US.  Following another unprecedented attack, the suspense is heart thumping, as we wait for the series to resume,  after the Winter break on Wednesday, March 8th.

Jason Atwood, (Malik Yoba) is the Deputy Director of the FBI who works closely with Hannah Wells, (Maggie Q) his most dedicated agent and closest friend in the FBI.  Together they are trying to unravel, what Hannah expects is a sinister plot, that may involve the newly appointed Vice President, Peter MacLeish (Ashley Zukerman).  Chuck Russink, (Jake Epstein) is an FBI technician who aids Hannah in her investigation.  President Kirkman’s wife, First Lady Alex Kirkman, (Natascha McElhone) is also an attorney, employed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Their two children Leo Kirkman, (Tanner Buchanan) and Penny Kirkman, (Mckenna Grace) have suddenly been uprooted from their everyday routines to come and live in the White house while also dealing with personal issues.  After an awkward encounter with President Kirkman,  Seth Wright (Kal Penn), who was the former speechwriter for the late president, initially harbored strong doubts about Tom Kirkman’s abilities to lead the country but quickly becomes one of his closest advisors and the White House Press Secretary.   Aaron Shore, (Adan Canto) who was the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff  became the new White House Chief of Staff and a close friend to President Kirkman along with Emily Rhodes, (Italia Ricci)  who happened to be Tom’s former Chief of Staff but is now his Special Advisor following his ascension to the presidency.  Mike Ritter, (LaMonica Garrett)  is Tom’s personal Secret Service agent, tasked with ensuring the Kirkman family’s safety in the wake of the attack.  Kimble Hookstraten, (Virginia Madsen) is a Republican Congresswoman and the designated survivor for the GOP who supports Tom’s authority while secretly harboring her own agenda. She is later elected Speaker of the House by the new Congress.

In my opinion, Designated Survivor is well done and before the winter break, it left us panting, with our minds racing and our thoughts running rampart.  The suspense in unbearable.  Reminds me of Dallas in the old days when everyone wanted to know “Who Shot JR”?  This time we want to know “Who Got Shot”?  Well I advice everyone to check it out on FOX where Designated Survivor is currently airing.

 

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ALLEGIANCE – My rating – 9/10

AllegianceThere are several series out that deal with national and international affairs but there are none that deal on the level of Allegiance.  A couple, Katya (Hope Davis) and Mark O’Connor (Scott Cohen) are retired Russian spies or as the pilot suggest, current sleeper cells.  The O’Connor’s have 3 children, Natalie (Margarita Levieva),  Alex (Gavin Stenhouse) and Sarah (Alexandra Peters).  Sarah is also a Russian Sleeper Cell but her brother, Alex is a gifted CIA analyst who is assigned to a joint FBI/CIA investigation into a SVR plot to destroy critical infrastructure within the United States.  Their younger sister, Sarah, has no clue as to the whole spy endeavor.  Alex also has no clue about his sister, Natalie, or his parents true lifestyle.  In fact Katya is the only family member originally from Russia.  She recruited her husband and daughter.  Katya and her husband have no desire to spy or carry out any Russian task but are being threatened by the SVR ( Sluzhba Vneshnei Razvedki (Russian Foreign Intelligence Service; post cold war intelligence service).  As an alternative to recruiting their son, Alex, who is “unrecruitable”, the O’Connors have agreed to spy on their son, giving the SVR access and information that will keep them several steps ahead of the FBI and CIA during their investigations regarding their (Russia’s) plot against the US.  Allegiance is very well written and very informative.  I find the series intelligent, entertaining and suspenseful.  I think it’s going to be around for a while.  Allegiance airs on NBC — check it out!

Obviously, I really liked this series, however, I just found out it’s been cancelled after 5 episodes.

EMPIRE – My rating: 8.7/10

EmpireTerrence Howard who plays Lucious Lyon and Taraji P. Henson who plays Cookie Lyon, are among the huge cast of hip-hoppers, singers and actors that fuel this new series.  A secretly dying CEO of a successful record company is trying to set up his empire so that it runs smoothly and efficiently when he’s gone.  He is divorced from his wife, who just gotten out of prison and is the mother of Lucious’ 3 sons.  Tradition goes out the window when he decides to have his 3 sons Jamal (Jussie Smollett), Hakeem (Bryshere Gray), and Andre (Trai Byers) make a legitimate play for CEO of the company.  He favors one son over the other two but tries to keep that to himself.  His x is clever, demanding and ready for action claiming half of the firm.  Together they are wheeling and dealing So far, the acting is good and the plot is good.  After 2 episodes, I feel like I’ve been into Empire for years.  For me, that’s one of the signs of a good series.  Everything is not what meets the eye, as there are plenty of illegal dealings in the back office as well as right in front of the world to see.  Strong characters and much talent will keep this one afloat for while.  Stay tuned for more on this series as it progresses.  Empire currently airs on FOX.

THE MISSING – My rating: 8.5/10

TheMissingWhen I first encountered this series I thought the Missing would be about the Rapture like “Left Behind” or “The Leftovers”.  To my surprise, The Missing is about a 5 year old boy they call Oliver (Oliver Hunt), who suddenly disappears from his father’s sight.  The entire set up is done so well it caught and held my attention immediately.  A couple on vacation with their 5 year old son in Paris were having the time of their lives when Tony Hughes played by James Nesbitt took his son swimming in a local pool.  After drying off, Tony and his son Oliver went to get something to drink from the local, semi-quasi out-door pub.  Because the soccer championship playoffs were in full swing, massive crowds were gathered anywhere a TV was on.  Europeans are very passionate about soccer.  There was barely standing room in the pub.  The moment Tony let go of his son’s hand, Oliver disappeared.  It happened so quickly, I couldn’t reconcile the boy’s complete disappearance with the time line.  Frantic, Tony tried to find his son to no avail.  This mini series picks up 8 years later with Tony and Emily divorced but Tony is still looking for his son.  After finding new clues, the case was reopened.   By the second episode, foul play is revealed to us and wella, a mystery is born.   The Missing is a thriller and is very entertaining.  Frances O’Connor plays the x-wife Emily Hughes and mother of the missing boy.  She remarried to one of the detectives on her son’s case, Mark Welsh (Jason Flemyng).  In the end, all is revealed with the help of the lead detective Julien Baptiste (Tcheky Karyo) and Khald Ziane (Said Taghmaoui.  The Missing airs on STARZ and is only 8 episodes.  Check the whole season out on “On Demand”.  I understand a teaser trailer was revealed entitled “A New Case”.  No date has been set, but this limited series looks like it may go into a 2nd season.

STATE OF AFFAIRS – My rating: 7.5/10

StateOfAffairsAn unlikely plot when 2 high ranking women decide to plot murder on the terrorist responsible for the death of their son/fiance.  In other words, revenge.  Alfre Woodard and Katherine Heigl are CIA and President of the United States, respectively.  Katherine Heigl plays Charleston Tucker, the CIA Official who was engaged to Aaron Payton, the President’s son, played by Mark Tallman.  Alfre Woodard plays President Constance Payton, a former war veteran and Courtney B. Vance plays the President’s husband, Marshall Payton.  For some reason, they were all together in Kabul, Afghanistan where they were attacked by a terrorist group lead by Omar Abdul Fatah.  Aaron was killed but the women were not.  It appears that their mission, going forward, is to kill any and everyone responsible for Aaron’s death.  There are many secrets yet to unfold.  While I love a good drama, I’m not sure this one is going to make it.  There’s  nothing wrong with the acting or the characters, except I’d hate to think that the President’s main agenda is revenge, yet I was happy when we took down Osama Bin Laden.

The pilot features  Dr. Benjamin Butler who is working in Africa and who resembles the President’s dead son, Aaron.  While in Kenya, the doctor and his colleagues were kidnapped and threatened with decapatation by a newly formed terrorist group.  In the meanwhile, the mission to take down the  much sorted after Omar Abdul Fatah, already targeted and  in clear site of a US ground military strike team (MI6) was called off by CIA Official, Charleston, in favor of rescuing Dr. Butler instead.  It wasn’t quite clear if the mission was redirected in favor of saving the doctor over killing Fatah because of the doctor’s resemblence to Aaron or Charlie’s  explanation “waiting 6 months would allow us to get Fatah and his entire network instead of just Fatah”.  A lot of risky business here.  It’s worth waiting to see what happens in the next few weeks.  One thing is clear, there is more going on than meets the eye.  A relationship was introduced between Charlie and Nick Vera (Chris McKenna) a CIA asset who worked for Charlie and is keeping a secret regarding Fatah.  There seems to be an obvious resentment between the two despite their romantic involvement.  Nick has been “dark” for over a year.  Secret photos that suggest Charlie and Nick are semi quasi partners in crime are repeatedly sent to Charlie’s cell phone.  Charlie does not remember all that happened the day Aaron was killed.  Her therapist is suggesting that Charlie is blocking out something she doesn’t want to remember.

I find this series a little ambiguous and I don’t think it’s very authentic.  The busyness of the Presidential Staff and the ambiance of the White House is missing.  Scenes like the President walking away from her son’s grave site, after speaking at a memorial, without visual body guards or Charlie being the President’s Daily Briefer which in real life is done by the Director of Intelligence, which is totally separate from the CIA and the fact that we don’t really ever see any of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  gives support to the unofficial look and feel of this White House.   Also, there are a lot of black women e.g., Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton or Jenifer Lewis,  I feel would have made a more believable US President — it’s not an acting thing, it’s the unnaturalness and the energy I find lacking.    State of Affairs airs on NBC.  I still think it has potential.

GOTHAM – My rating: 8.5/10

GothamThe acting is a little funky but Gotham turned out to be a very good series.  The story starts with the killing of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wayne.  Master Bruce Wayne is still a young child played by David Mazouz (known for the series Touch) who is way ahead of his years.  His role is minimal right now but we all know that he becomes Batman with his trusted butler Alfred Pennyworth played by Sean Pertwee who is raising him, at his side.  Gotham is a complete mess.  Crime and bribery everywhere, cheating, stealing, murder, you name it, Gotham has it.  The police aren’t very effective because most of the cops are on the take along with most government officials.  A new recruit and rookie detective named James Gordon played by Ben McKenzie seems to be one of the few straight cops left.  He has vowed to find the Wayne’s murderer. Police Captain Sarah Essen, played by Zabryna Guevara seems to be on the straight and narrow but I’m not sure at this point.   Jada Pinket-Smith stars as a corrupt night club owner named Fish Mooney, who favors women over men.  There are 2 major crime families fighting for territory and James’ partner Harvey Bullock played by Donal Logue is far from 100% legit.  The show is very good and action packed.  There’s one other character named Oswald Cobblepot, played by Robin Lord Taylor, who I’m sure is going to corrupt things even more in the future and probably the most dangerous of all.  He’a work in progress.  The acting is a little premature — it will most likely get better with age.  Future villains include The penguin, the Riddler, Cat Woman, The Joker, Poison Ivy, Scare Crow, Hugo Strange, Havey Dent, Mr. Freeze and Victor Zsasz.  Gotham airs on FOX and is a very good series, worth seeing.