United States of Tara made quite a splash for Showtime when it premiered. It was [and is] the first television series to be built around a character who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder [formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder]. While the Diablo Cody-created series is quirky fun in its original weekly format, the storytelling seems even stronger when viewed on DVD – and if you thought the show was different during season one, well, it gets really weird in season two!
Have Gun – Will Travel’s Paladin [Richard Boone] lives by a unique code of honor that does not preclude the enjoyment of many pleasures. Wine, women, song – he loves them all. But as a greedy rancher finds out in, The Race, an episode from first half of the series’ fifth season, that also doesn’t preclude him from an appreciation of honor and maintaining a standard of honor, himself. It’s the combination of seeming contradictions that make Paladin so interesting – and why the series ran for six seasons and two hundred and twenty-five episodes.
After five seasons in which NCIS garnered ever better ratings, someone [CBS? NCIS: LA creator Shane Brennan] had the bright idea, “Why don’t we make a spin-off/companion series?” And so, in the fullness of time [or about a month before the end of the seventh season, take your pick], NCIS ran a two-part story, Legendary, that introduced an east coast-based team out of the NCIS Office for Special Projects – which would’ve been highly rated and made that spin-off happen even if the two-parter hadn’t ended with one of the LA team riddled with bullets in the final few minutes.
Numb3rs has always been a bit of a weird step-sibling in the world of procedurals. With its innovative use of higher math to solve/prevent crimes, it could have been boring. With its emphasis on family – both at home and, in a surrogate fashion, in the workplace, it could have been smarmy – or worse, maudlin. Instead, the series pursued a course that melded action, warmth and the joys of education in a way that had never been seen before.