Monday, September 29, 2008

'Cold Case' Tackles College Football

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a HUGE college football fan. As in, Saturdays in the fall are my favorite day of the week because I get to plant by fanny on the couch and watch non-stop action from the nation's top college football programs. Soooo, I was a little worried about how one of my favorite shows, Cold Case, would tackle this topic (yes, pun intended). As is usually the case with Hollywood (pun not intended this time), there was the typical spattering of cliches: steroids, boosters, dumb jocks, etc., but I thought the story was strong enough to overcome them. And as much as I hate to admit it, it isn't as if these stereotypes don't exist, but they're not as wide spread as Hollywood would have us believe. I liked the way this episode showed the dark side to steroids -- from Breeze's career-ending kidney issues to Mike's liver damage. As the episode pointed out, nobody really knew what steroids would do to the body back in 1973. I also liked the true-to-life portrayal of the die-hard fans who, as those awesome ESPN-U ads say, never graduate. I'm one of them, so I get it. And having just spent the weekend at my alma mater watching them take on a tough SEC opponent between the hedges in Athens, GA, I can assure you that I am not alone. My one complaint about the outing was a minor less-than-realistic moment when Lilly and Scotty threatened the murdering booster with bringing the "witness" in to ID him. Clearly, the man has changed a bit in the last 35 years and even if the "witness" had seen the driver's face, he never could have IDed him now (I know, they were simply trying to goad the guy into confessing, but still).

Let me think... did anything else happen during the hour? Oh yeah! We found out that not only did Jeffries play high school ball, but he was known as "The Tombstone" because, as a linebacker, he knocked everyone into the ground. Go Jeffries! I really liked the way his knowledge and experience came into play with the case. It was seamless and made sense. The show is off to a good start with blending personal into the cases this season.

What else happened? Nothing? Well, there was that little thing with Lil and Saccardo! I've been a bit lukewarm on the Saccardo character because he burst on the scene in a very, let's just say, rude way. He was better in the finale and I even felt a few sparks between him and Lil. So, how did the story line work in the premiere? I thought it was much better than last season. Lilly was actually flirting with him at the bar! And did I see her make the first move? Just watching her let loose, go after someone she's attracted to (instead of constantly being the chasee) and take time for herself outside of work is really enough to make this story work for me. I'm not sold that Saccardo is a good match for her, but I'm at least interested to see what happens between the two and that's more than I was last season.

Overall, a solid start to the season. Cold Case wins its opener and starts the season 1-0 (finally after many seasons of writing about this show, that analogy works!). Screencaps courtesy RichE at Look Again.


RichE said...

I get name checked and I get a whole new episode of CC full of Lilly smiling. It's like Xmas and my birthday all at once :-)

A good episode, perhaps not the best. Maybe too much time setting up ongoing plotlines.


(why doesn't the name thing in the header allow capitals?)

suekola44 said...

I have to admit that CC is getting a little tedious for me. I'm going to stick with it for now, but I just find myself starting to get a little bored. It just seems to have lost something over the years. But for now, I'm still a viewer.

LillyKat said...

You're not alone, suekola. I am actually quite bored with CC as well - its formula, its lack of growth. I think they spun their wheels for too many seasons in a row, got way off track from the essence of what made it so fantastic early on, and I don't know if they're going to get back to those ... forgive me ... glory days. It seems new executive producer Jennifer Johnson has acknowledged what we've been saying for a long time - that it needs to get back to the characters and the dynamics that made it so compelling in the early years - but I fear it might be too little, too late. Or closing the barn door after the animals have run out, y'know?

I found the premiere to be very dull, and I really felt they tried to give Lilly too much look - at - me - I'm - happy - again personality ... almost like overcompensation for what they seem to now finally acknowledge as the LACK of personality for two-plus seasons (which TVFan and I have lamented about for a LONG time). That said, I'd rather have too much than the zombie routine, so I guess I can't complain. Still, I find Eddie to be a forced brood being used to bring her back from the brink when I'd rather see a Charlie ('Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles') or a Fritz ('Closer) take a real interest in Lilly and commit to her as opposed to what feels like a pick-up in a bar routine.

Cable has really upped the ante with the quality of character-driven dramas, and other networks have invested in unique and/or different shows since CC blew onto the scene. It's almost a victim of its own age and own formula. It hasn't changed, but the landscape of TV has. And I think the other shows out there
(like 'Bones' or 'Dexter' or 'Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles' or 'Closer' or 'Damages' or 'In Plain Sight') are making the likes of CC look a bit flat and predictable. As such, I'm more amped to want to watch those "other" shows right now, which is kinda sad since I used to be so inspired by CC.

I wish them a good sixth season, but I can't say I'm on the edge of my seat and/or I'll be around like I've been in the past. They lost me a while ago.

suekola44 said...

I think you put it in a nutshell, Lillykat.

TVFan said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with this, LillyKat:

"It's almost a victim of its own age and own formula. It hasn't changed, but the landscape of TV has."

This is exactly how I see it. Plus, CBS isn't exactly known as an "edgy" network (unlike its sister Showtime), so I think the show suffers a bit from that as well.

Bottom line -- the show doesn't excite me anymore and that's a bummer, but there are a handful of other shows that do, so I'm OK with it. I'll continue to watch out of loyalty to it and Kathryn Morris, but I'll be watching with lowered expectations.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with everyone here. It was disappointing and I found myself flipping through the channels during this episode. I will always continue to watch CC as tvfan said, but I hope I'll soon watch CC out of excitement rather than loyalty.