Tag Archives: Unforgettable

The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Michael Gaston

11 Jan

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

We love character actors who play rich white guys here at the Zejlko Ivanek Hall of Fame and this week we’ll be celebrating on of the less well known entrants, Michael Gaston, who has experience playing rich white men and police officers, and who has gotten more and more work as the years have gone on.

He began his career in the mid-90s, with his first role in an episode of The Adventures of Pete and Pete.  In the 90s, he appeared in single episodes of New York News, New York Undercover, One Live To Live, Homicide: Life on the Street, andSpin City.  He was in three episodes of The Profiler and played the title character in TV movie Nathan Dixon.  He appeared in the pilot episode of The Sopranos as CPA Alex Mahaffey.  He works for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and participates in a scheme to defraud Medicare with Tony and Hesh to get himself out of debt he acquired through gambling.  To convince him to participate in the scheme, Hesh and Big Pussy threaten to throw him over a waterfall, after Tony hits him with his car and Christopher and Tony beat him.

In the early 2000s, he was in episodes of Third Watch, The $treet,100 Centre Street and two of Now and Again.  He was in TV movie Cora Unashamed and appeared in Oz as death row prisoner Shirley Bellinger’s (played by Kathryn Erbe) ex-husband.  He was a recurring character on one season Oliver Platt drama Deadlien and appeared in two episodes each of Ally McBeal, Ed, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  He appeared in five Law & Order episodes over the course of the series run as five different characters, with the first appearance in 1994 and the last in 2009.  In 2009’s Bailout, he played a Wall Street CEO for a sinking investment bank who is at first accused of murdering his girlfriend.  In 2001’s White Lie, he played the military husband of a woman accused of helping smuggle cocaine into the US.

He was in individual episodes of The Practice, John Doe, Hack, The Guardian, NCIS, Malcolm in the Middle, The West Wing, Without a Trace, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and two of JAG.  In The West Wing, he played a friend of Josh who has been waiting a year to be confirmed in his appointment to a federal appeals court judgeship by the Republican congress.  In 2005, he was a main cast member as a cop in one season literally titled Steven Bochco show Blind Justice.  In two episodes of Prison Break, he played Quinn, and agent from “The Company” who ends up at the bottom of a well.  He was in four episodes of three season Brotherhood.

In two seasons of post-apocalyptic cult classic CBS show Jericho, Gaston portrayed Gray Anderson. Anderson is a businessman who controls the Jericho Salt Mines.  He defeats mayor Johnston Green to become mayor himself and helps lead the construction of a new power source, a wind turbine.  He participates in an Allied States of America conference (I have no clue what this is but the show sounds vaguely intriguing) but disagrees with their ideas and eventually turns the town back over to former mayor Green.

He was in episodes of ER, Numb3rs, and Saving Grace.  He was in an episode of Mad Men as Head of Accounts Burt Peterson who is fired by Lane Price so that Pete Campbell and Ken Cosgrove can take over.  He makes a scene while leaving, knocking items off desks and yelling.  He was in two episodes of Raising the Bar and in TV movie U.S. Attorney.  He had a quick appearance in the pilot episode of White Collar as a director for the US Marshals working at the prison Neal Caffrey escapes from.  He plays recurring character Roger Kastle in six episodes of Damages.  In two episodes of season eight of 24, he was General David Brucker.  Brucker disagrees with President Allison Taylor and believes she should turn over Omar Hassan to potentially save Ameircan lives.  Brucker concocts a plan to abduct Hassan without the President’s knowledge, but his plan is foiled by Jack Bauer and he is later arrested.

Gaston appeared in four episodes of short-lived AMC show Rubicon as Donald Bloom.  Bloom is an independent contractor who formerly worked for the CIA.  He is hired by Truxton Spangler to kill main character Will Travers, and to make it look like an accident.  However, the plan is botched and Will manages to shoot and kill Bloom before Bloom can inject him with an overdose of heroin.  Later in the same year, Gaston was rich white guy Ben Zeitlin in four episodes of one season Terriers.  Zeitlin is a corrupt attorney who is part of a conspiracy at the heart of the season, and is attempting to purchase some land through shady means.

In 2011, Gaston began a recurring role on The Mentalist as California Bureau of Investigation head Gale Bertram.  Mostly concerned with the political and media aspects of being director, Bertram has noticed the impressive record of Agent Teresa Lisbon and Patrick Jane, and has been hinted to possibly have connections to serial killer Redjohn.  Gaston is currently a regular cast member of CBS detective show Unforgettable.  Unforgettable focuses on Carrie Wells, a police officer with a rare condition that gives her amazing memory.  Gaston plays Detective Mike Costello, a detective in Wells’ unit.

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Fall 2011 New TV Show Predictions Reviewed, Part 2

26 Dec

A couple of months ago, I made predictions about how long new shows on CBS, NBC and The CW would last.  As all the shows have aired for a few weeks, it’s time for an evaluation of my predictions, although for some shows, the final word is not in yet.  Such an evaluation follows:

CBS

2 Broke Girls

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up with high likelihood of renewal.  I knew it was likely to get renewed, but I still tried to vote with my heart by hoping it at least wouldn’t last multiple seasons.  Now, we could be looking at the next Two and a Half Men (shivers).

How To Be A Gentleman

Predicted:  12-

What happened:  Cancelled.  Fourth on my top five easiest cancellation decisions.  Sad, because there’s a few people I like in the show, but not really sad.

Person of Interest

Predicted:  Renewal

What happened:  Picked up for a full season, likely to be renewed.  I was worried when the show didn’t start as strong as expected, but it would be a surprise, albeit not a huge one, at this point if the show wasn’t brought back.

A Gifted Man

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for three more episodes, totally 16, leaning towards cancelled, but undecided.  Probably my best 13+ pick of the year, it meets all the middle of the road commercially and critically criteria to need an extended look but ultimately be cancelled.

Unforgettable

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for a full season.  Along with Terra Nova, the most borderline of the borderline.  No idea which way it will go, may come down to the last minute.

NBC

Up All Night

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for a full season, still up in the air for next year.  Neither a huge success nor a bust, on ratings-strapped NBC, executives are looking to grab on to anything with a chance of success (though not Community, unfortunately).  It’s moving to Thursday, and how it fairs there will determine its fate.  I’d lean towards renewal though.

Free Agents

Predicted:  12-

What happened:  Cancelled.  Number five in my most obvious cancellations of the year.  There wasn’t much press, and though this was likely the best of the comedies cancelled quickly this year, that’s not saying a whole lot.

The Playboy Club

Predicted:  12-

What happened:  Cancelled.  I’m out of my five obvious cancellation choices, but this would be number six if I had one.  It never really had a chance and it shouldn’t have.

Whitney

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for a full season, awaiting ratings on a new night.  It will switch time periods with Up All Night, making much more sense for both shows.  It never belonged on Thursday night, and hopefully will be put to bed by the end of the year, but it could go either way.

Prime Suspect

Predicted:  Renewal

What happened:  Probably cancelled, but not officially yet.  I was just straight out wrong about this one.  It got generally well reviewed and with NBC as ailing as it is, I thought even with middling ratings, they’d keep it around.

Grimm

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for a full season and leaning toward a renewal.  I went back and forth on this show as more news and previews emerged and I’m still not sure how I feel.  I think it will probably get renewed, but it’s not over yet.

CW

 

Ringer

Predicted:  Renewal

What Happened:  Picked up for full season, likely to be renewed, but not assured yet by any means.  It doesn’t take too much for the WB to renew, so I think Ringer will be in.

The Secret Circle

Predicted:  Renewal

What Happened:  Picked up for a full season and seems most likely of all the WB shows to merit a renewal.  I felt good about this choice partnered up with successful The Vampire Diaries and this just confirms it.

Hart of Dixie

Predicted:  13+

What Happened:  Picked up for a full season.  It’s likely to be renwed, though less likely right now than Ringer and definitely less likely than The Secret Circle.  Still, I feel good about my prediction even if it comes out wrong.

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.

Fall 2011 Preview and Predictions: CBS

15 Sep

(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  13+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  12- – the show is cancelled before 13)

We’ll tackle CBS next, the ratings leaders behind their procedural powerhouses CSI and NCIS and unfortunate comedy stars Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.  All their new shows start next week except for How to Be A Gentleman, which starts the week after.

2 Broke Girls – 9/19

No single preview has offended me more personally than that for 2 Broke Girls, in which Kat Dennings’s character makes a reference to Coldplay as a hipster band, amongst other things.  What Big Bang Theory does for nerds, it looks like 2 Broke Girls will do for hipsters.  Basically, it’s a show written to make fun of hipsters by people who don’t know what hipsters are, or it so it appears from the preview.  On top of that, I’ve disliked Kat Dennings since I saw Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, one of the worst movies I’ve seen in the last five years.

Verdict.  13+ – For some reason people claim to be liking this, and because it’s on CBS, every show might be renewed because people over the age of 50 just leave the TV on CBS and throw away their remotes, but boy I just can’t pick a show that looks this terrible to succeed in good conscience

How to Be a Gentlemen – 9/29

Ah!  Finally, a show that just looks really and truly terrible and has absolutely no reason to support it.  Wait – it actually has cast members who I kind of like?  David Hornsby, better known to me as Rickety Cricket from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia as the uptight Felix Unger roommate, and Kevin Dillon, or Johnny Drama from Entourage, as the crazy, slobbish, Oscar Madison roommate, along with Dave Foley, Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from 24) and Rhys Darby (Murray from Flight of the Conchords).  Cricket and Johnny Drama are roommates who are perfectly mismatched, have love-hate relationship, teach a little bit to each other, blah blah blah.

Verdict:  12- Boy, I like that cast, but boy that show sounds and looks terrible.

Person of Interest – 9/22

One of the more interesting sounding series of the new season, Person of Interest is something like Batman meets Minority Report.  Michael Emerson, otherwise known as the uber-creepy Ben Linus from Lost, is a reclusive billionaire who has developed a program which can predict information about violent crimes in the future, but with limited detail.  Linus hires an ex-CIA agent thought to be dead to do the legwork on stopping these crimes that his program picks up on.  Add all this to the fact it’s created by Jonathan Nolan, Chris’s younger brother, who co-wrote the screenplays to The Prestige and The Dark Knight and it sounds pretty promising.

Verdict:  Renewal – CBS is moving ratings giant CSI to get Person of Interest some viewers – if that’s not a sign of big-time network backing, then I don’t know what is.  On top of that, it apparently got legendary approval ratings for its pilot.

A Gifted Man – 9/23

Patrick Wilson is quite literally a man constantly bringing gifts to small children.  No, if only.  This is actually far more insane. Wilsonis a materialistic, selfish, scrooge-ish but extraordinarily talented surgeon working and dabbling amongst the upper crust exclusively.  That is, until his dead wife comes back in ghost form and starts trying to make him a better person, having him run the free clinic that she apparently ran before they died (how did they get along when they were both alive with such disparate interests?).  Oh, and Julie Benz (Rita from Dexter) plays his sister.

Verdict:  13+ – Jonathan Demme directed the pilot, which is probably good news, but this seems like it could get awful predictable awful fast.

Unforgettable – 9/20

Gimmicky procedurals are right in CBS’s wheelhouse, and Unforgettable fits right in with The Mentalist.  Unforgettable stars Poppy Montgomery as a woman with a rare medical condition, which means that she quite literally can not forget anything.  A former detective before the show begins, her former boyfriend and ex-partner (the same person) ask her to come back to help solve cases using her rare ability.  On top of that, we’ve got a long-term plot based on the only thing Miss Unforgettable can not remember:  The mysterious circumstances behind the murder of her sister!  Bum bum bum!

Verdict:  13+ – I’m sure it won’t be bad, but I have a hard time believing it will be that good either.  It just sounds so unbelievably generic.  On CBS, it’ll get viewers, but CBS expects more too, and one of these dramas has to not deliver