What to Watch prides itself on often offering a wide variety of material from TV seasons to On Demand exclusives to remasters of classic flicks. Not this week. All six of the New Releases that you may be drawn to in your favorite store or on your favorite service are movies, and all released in the last 18 months. But the variety within those movies is remarkable. A Best Picture winner, action flicks, a superhero, and two indie drams that waste talented casts. Pick your favorites. Here’s how we would rank ‘em.
CHICAGO – “If you want a happy ending, it depends on where you stop the story.” Such is the theme of the mid-season premiere of “White Collar,” USA’s hit show that has essentially been working on one arc that could be coming to a close since it premiered — the attachment of G-man Peter Burke (Tom DeKay) to con man Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer). What if Caffrey had a chance to split? Would he take it? Or would he choose to walk the side of the tracks he used to rip off? These questions may not be completely answered by the end of this second half of the third season but it feels like we’ll be closer to the next phase of this massive hit.
CHICAGO – They can’t all be winners. The third season premiere of “White Collar” definitely feels like a show trying to find its identity after spinning several of the same plates in the air for two hit seasons and with no clear direction on where to go for chapter three.
CHICAGO – The USA network, like TNT, has adopted an unusual launch pattern for some of their shows, dividing their seasons in two. So, while “Royal Pains” and “Burn Notice” had their second season premieres last summer, they now return for the second half of their sophomore chapters.
CHICAGO – Winner of several Emmy Awards, including three for star Tony Shalhoub for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, “Monk” was easily one of the most successful and influential programs of the ’00s. It may seem like too light and inconsequential a show to be deemed so important but the show about the OCD detective has completely changed the landscape of basic cable television, proving that networks like USA could play with the big boys.
CHICAGO – The USA network continues its plans for world domination with an all-out assault on your summer viewing schedule. With “Royal Pains” and “Burn Notice” continuing to rack up amazing ratings on Thursday nights, the network kick starts the Tuesday offensive with the return of the entertaining “White Collar,” a clever riff on timeless TV archetypes.
CHICAGO – The creative roll of the USA Network continues tonight with the debut of another quick, clever, mystery-of-the-week series that should satisfy fans of their hits like “Monk,” “Psych,” “Burn Notice,” and “Royal Pains”. “White Collar” doesn’t break any molds, almost fitting too predictably into the USA dynamic, but it’s an entertaining program for the end of a long week and looks likely to be another slam dunk for one of the most successful cable networks of the ’00s.
CHICAGO – For seven years, USA Network’s “Monk” has consistently delivered quality entertainment. It’s never been a show that set out to break the rules or even do anything too interesting within them, but it has rarely faltered at all in its ability to entertain, something that can be said about very few series that have been on this long.
CHICAGO – Be honest, TV fans. Fall 2008 was lackluster at best. The TV season really starts now.
With the strike delaying production on established series and the development of new ones, many more programs are returning or premiering in Jan. 2009 than the average mid-season. It couldn’t have come at a more important time for the medium, too.