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Fall 2011 Review: Unforgettable

12 Oct

Poppy Montgomery’s character Carrie Wells can never forget.  No, really, she has an exceptionally rare medical condition in which she remembers EVERYTHING.  She used to be a cop up in her hometown of Syracuse, but she couldn’t deal with the memory so she moved toNew York, volunteers at a nursing home and makes money counting cards at blackjack.  That is, until a murder happens in her building and she runs into her old partner and lover, played by Dylan Walsh (of Nip/Tuck fame).  After catching up, he convinces her against her initial resentment to help them with the case by remember some things about the murdered woman’s apartment, which Carrie had been to a few weeks before the murder.  She helps them arrest one suspect, and then another more correct one and her ex eventually convinces her to come on board by showing her that she can still get closer to figuring out the one thing she can’t remember, the mysterious disappearance of her sister which she’s been trying to figure out since she joined the force years ago.

While American Horror Story was the strangest show amongst premieres, Unforgettable was probably the most predictable.  It’s as close to a straight CBS procedural as there is amongst the new shows this year.  Every week, there will be a crime, and Wells will consult to the police using her memory somehow to solve it (I’m not sure how they use this gimmick for twenty two cases a year, but I’m sure they’ll figure out a way).  Every once in a while, we’ll see a little bit of plot movement on the serial story of her figuring out what happened to her sister, and if we get a few seasons, maybe we’ll actually find out.

It’s hard to say much about this show that goes farther than what you already know from reading the summary.  It’s exactly what you think it is, and that’s neither a good nor bad thing.  If you like that kind of show, if you’re always watching CBS procedurals, it’s worth at least giving a chance, and if you like the actors, you’ll like, and if it’s not your kind of show, don’t even bother.

Two quick points – first, CBS is the network forNew Yorkshows this year, and Unforgettable continues the trend of A Gifted Man and Person of Interest highlighting the fact that they’re set in NY, here with some seriousEast Rivershots.  Second, there’s a flashback to when Wells is first getting together with Dylan Walsh and they play the song “It’s Been Awhile” by Staind to both represent the year (2001) and the fact that, well, it’s been a while since that scene happened.  Pretty brilliant.

Will I watch it again?  No, I’m not going to.  I don’t watch any police procedural show on a regular basis, be it a CSI, Mentalist or NCIS.  I hold absolutely no animus towards any of these shows; they’re almost all various degrees of watchable and I could do worse than spending a lazy morning hour watching Criminal Minds or an Unforgettable.

The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Eddie Cibrian

12 Oct

I had literally never heard of Eddie Cibrian before I watched The Playboy Club but after doing a little research I had stumbled upon a true TV all-star.

His first role was in an episode of Saved by theBell: The College Years and he followed that up with a spot in a The Young and the Restless.  He then appeared in one episode of anthology series CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1995 and then in the following year appeared in single episodes ofBeverly Hills90210 and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  He had a co-starring role in the next television season in David Hasselhoff’s Baywatch Nights.  From 1997 to 1999 he starred in the short-lived daytime soap operaSunsetBeach. As Cole Deschanel, a character who, well, it’s a soap opera, so everything.  During those same years he appeared in a couple of TV movies, 3deep andLogan’s War: Bound by Honor.

He was in a couple of films around the turn of the century, and in 2001 an episode of Citizen Baines.  He got his biggest role yet (and still) as a co-star in NBC’s Third Watch, which showcased police officers, firefighters and paramedics inNew York City from 3 to 11PM, the title Third Watch.  Cibrian portrayed firefighter Jimmy Doherty for the first five years of the series (there were six total which I want to point out is about three more than I thought there were).  He had some gambling problems, he slept with his wife’s sister, running his first marriage, and then eventually ruined his best chance for a second marriage, and got shot at the end of the first season.  He eventually got back with his first wife, got promoted to Captain, and disappeared from the show.  He appeared in an unaired pilot for a show based on John Grisham’s The Street Lawyer as the title street lawyer.

After he left Third Watch, he starred in one season of the supernatural Invasion as Park Ranger and marine biologist Russell Varon.  He also appeared in nine episodes of Tilt at about the same time. After Invasion was cancelled, Cibrian became the lead character in the one season Vanished the next year as FBI Agent Daniel Lucas, who takes over the search for the missing wife of aGeorgiasenator after another FBI agent is murdered mid-way through the season.  Caught without a regular role, he appeared in a number of shows, including an unaired pilot for Football Wives, an American adaptation of the british smash Footballers Wives, single episodes of Dirty Sexy Money and Criminal Minds and two of Samantha Who?.

He appeared in seven episodes of Ugly Betty and three episodes of The Starter Wife.  He starred in Northern Lights, a TV movie on Lifetime based on a Nora Roberts novel, in 2009, with LeAnn Rimes, who he cheated on his wife with and later married.  In 2009-10 he starred in a season of CSI:Miamias Jesse Cardoza, as a detective who returns from LAPD to work inMiamiwhere he started.  He was killed while in the lab which was poisoned by serial killer Bob Starling.  He appeared in three episodes of Chase and then got a starring role in this current season’s The Playboy Club on NBC, which was the first show cancelled, after three episodes.  He played Nick Dalton, a mysterious lawyer running for state’s attorney with ties to the mob.

Oh, and he was also in also in a boy band with two other actors from 1996 to 2001 which was unheard of in the US but had a top 10 hit, “Into You,” on the Canadian charts.