Television

Great Shows That You Didn’t Know Were On

Scamper TV Time

We started trolling for new shows that would be mutually agreeable to the adults in the family at the start of the holiday week. They can be a persnickety lot. Sister Scamper had no desire to watch Designated Survivor and frankly, ABC has pre-empted it so many times that even the show’s most avid fans no longer felt compelled to catch up.  

One by one, each person’s favorites were vetoed. We finally all agreed to seek out something new.

We came upon a few shows that everyone loved.

Each program had to be unique and well written. The plots needed to be complex enough to spark conversation and captivating enough to keep everyone in the room for an hour. They also needed to be available on demand.

These are the winners:

Action adventure/ crime thrillers

Eyewitness- USA Sunday 10 pm

eyewitnessThe story takes place in a rural town, north of NYC. The new sheriff has a mysterious past that drove her from her city life.

She and her husband recently decided, for some, as of yet, undisclosed reason, to take in a teenage foster child while his mother goes to rehab, or doesn’t. He and his friend attempt to dabble in teen amore in a remote cabin but find themselves in the midst of a biker gang shoot out.

There’s an FBI agent caught up in the mix. There’s an informant that no one knows about. The sleepy town is no less tawdry than the big city and everybody has secrets.

Despite all of that, there is nothing vaguely soap opera like in this show. It’s fast paced and exciting. It kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

The one caveat is that some of the scenes are graphically violent. Fans of Sons of Anarchy loved it and so did the ones who are dying to see the reunion of the Gilmore Girls. More bluntly put, it appealed equally to both sides of the current political disagreements and encouraged some fun conversations about what might happen next.

Shooter- USA Tuesday 10 pm

Shooter on USATruth be told, there was some ambivalence about this one politically.

A retired marine sniper is set up by the government for assassination. There’s an element of American Sniper in it. The ironically named Bobby Lee Swagger, is perhaps the nation’s best sniper, who despite being a highly decorated veteran, is a humble guy who just wants to live a simple life with his family.

His sense of honor and loyalty define him.

When he reluctantly agrees to offer his expertise one last time, his quiet family life is turned upside down.

This one is conspiracy TV at its best. Everyone was engaged. Only 2 episodes are available on line. That was the only source of aggravation. We all wanted more. This one is really good.

Incorporated- Syfy Wednesday 10 pm

incorporatedThe mere fact that this show airs on the Syfy channel was initially a problem. When it was discovered that it starred

Dennis Haysbert and Julia Ormand, the peanut gallery quieted down.

The show is set in 2074. The world has succumbed to the ravages of global warming (you can only imagine the commentary on that one. Fortunately, the show was instantly so captivating that silence took over) Corporations are now in power.

Those who work for a corporation are protected and live well. Those who don’t, live in squalor hoping to sell their illicit services to the entitled folks looking for fun.

The corporations though, are warring factions and they demand absolute loyalty. Fans of Marathon Man and Divergent enjoyed it equally.

This one is scary. It’s also thrilling and filled with super cool futuristic inventions. The cast is spectacular and the story is very well written. Only the pilot is available so far but the Syfy channel went all in on this one. If the production quality continues at this level, they may just have their breakout show.

This one was absolutely worth seeing.

Undercover- BBC America on demand

undercover_c21_620x3482Those clever Brits have done it again. This one is superb. It is a 6-episode miniseries about a criminal defense attorney whose husband has been keeping a whole lot of secrets.

You never know exactly where this thrill ride of a show will take you. Dennis Haysbert is in this one also.

It’s too hard not to give too much of the plot away to really describe this show properly.

The characters are fascinating and easy to identify with even though they are all flawed. The plot is riveting and the acting is superb. After the first episode, you’ll be hooked.

Historical intrigue

The Crown- Netflix

The crownThis is a dramatic and highly personal depiction of the life of Queen Elizabeth the second, as told by those in the inner circle.

We’ve only seen the first episode but we can’t wait to see more. If you liked Rein or The Tudors, this one’s for you. Our guess is that this one wasn’t approved by the crown. QE2 is one tough cookie.

Lighter fare

Drop Dead Diva- Netflix

drop dead diva TV ShowA B rated model suffering from vanity, superficiality and impaired intellect, suddenly finds herself on heaven’s escalator. In a snit fit of outrage, she sets about accidentally reincarnating herself as a plump, socially awkward, attorney. On the plus side, she inherits the lawyer’s intellect. Think Legally Blond meets Freaky Friday- the after school special. It’s fun and satisfying. What it lacks in intellectual stimulation, it more than makes up for in the non-tear jerking yet emotionally touching department. No one ever needs to know that you found it moving.

Happy viewing and happy Thanksgiving!

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The Scamper

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