TV Analysis

Photo Courtesy Of WBTV

Photo Courtesy Of WBTV

“A good Network apologizes for the mistakes of the past, but a great Network corrects them.”

We likely have all made decisions that we wish we could take back, unfortunately life rarely gives the chance to go back and change things. The ABC Network finds itself in that rare position, where they can rectify a bad decision and solve a scheduling program in the process. According to “Variety,”  the network has pulled their robes and sandals drama Of Prophets And Kings, from its prime-time schedule next fall. The periodical also reports that the network will move another new series Quantico, from its previous slot and now air the show Sunday night’s at 10:00 pm.

Moving the series that revolves around a group of rookie FBI Agents to Sunday nights, now leaves a hole in the network’s schedule on Tuesday night’s at 10:00pm EST. Is it perhaps more than coincidence, that the gap in the schedule is the same slot that “Forever,” occupied this past season? Would the ABC Network consider bringing back a show, that many fans are still discovering, and whose long-time fans have worked day and night to find the show a new home?

Rather than to rush a series to the air to fill that time-slot, the network with a call to Warner Bros. TV, the network can fix a programming snafu, while becoming heroes to a fan base that refuses to let the show die. Perhaps the best thing is, that ABC can promote the show all summer, giving it the exposure and the marketing it deserved its first time around the track. They can also use the summer to promote it heavily on the network’s website, streaming all 22-episodes, all summer long.

Long after the viewers of other cancelled shows have accepted their collective fate, the rabid fan-base has tightened their belts and doubled their efforts. Petitions to find the show a new home, have gone viral on the net, “Twitter” is jam-packed with tweets about the show and each day Facebook pages devoted to show, gain members at an astounding clip.

With the reports that the network needs a show to fill their old slot, series creator and show-runner Matt Miller, called on the fans to start tweeting ABC about bringing back the series. Donnie Keshawarz, who portrays NYPD Detective and former lead singer of the Craniacs Mike Hanson, took to Twitter Tuesday night with this message “Calling all @Foreverists! Given the recent issues over at ABC, there’s no better time to launch a tweet assault on them to bring us back!!”

ABC has a great opportunity to bring back a show that’s far more popular now, than when they decided not to renew it. Forever will air a Season Two, the only question that remains is if ABC is smart enough to take that second chance.

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alerts

It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings.”

With apologies to the Bard: I come to praise “Forever,” not to bury it. Although the ABC network declined to renew the Warner Bros. TV series for a second season, the show’s rabid fan-base have yet to give up the fight for this magical show. Some folks just don’t know when to quit and thankfully the incredibly loyal fans of Forever, fall into that category.

Rather than accept the fate handed down by ABC, they have circled their wagons and banded together, to send a message to the studio, that the show must go on. They have taken to Twitter, Facebook and other social-media sites, to spread the word and to recruit others for their fight.

Television viewers get disappointed constantly, by shows that look great on paper but fail to live up to expectations. However, when a series hits the airwaves, firing on all eight-cylinders and leaving viewers with a smile on their faces as the episodes concludes, it needs to be recognized as something special and given time to find an audience. ABC had such a show in Forever, but they lacked the foresight or the patience to allow the show to blossom and fulfill its destiny, to join the ranks of the best shows in the history of the medium.

There’s a laundry list of reasons that Forever never acquired a huge audience, but those problems lie at the feet of the network. ABC scheduled the show in a time-slot they’d gotten walloped in, during the previous three seasons. Rather than concentrate on the fact that the series brought far more viewers to the network than any of its predecessors in the three previous campaigns, they expected a freshman series to defeat a Top-Twenty show, like Person Of Interest?

The network also failed to market the show properly. After trotting the series out on the internet a few weeks before it aired and promoting the series strongly, ABC nearly abandoned the show after weak numbers in its third outing. They packed up the circus and moved it down the road, even taking Forever off the network’s website’s landing page. Although the show brought in some big-name actors, among them Billy Baldwin, Jane Alexander and Academy Award winning actor Cuba Gooding, ABC failed to promote the show.

In this cookie-cutter age of Television, ABC had a unique series that they didn’t know how to market.  Is it a procedural, a love story, a sci-fi/fantasy story, yes it’s all those but doesn’t really fit into any pre-designated slot. Series creator Matt Miller gave life to a universe centered around Dr. Henry Morgan, a NYCPD Medical Examiner with a bit of a secret. He’s lived for over 235-years and regenerates every time he’s killed. Brilliantly portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd, we witnessed life through Morgan’s eyes for 22-episodes, taking us on a trip through time as well as exploring the life he’s built, in the present.

The secret for entertaining television, is quite simple in concept, yet so hard to achieve in reality: Great writing and acting. They assembled a cast of very talented actors, who had incredible chemistry together. Anchored by veteran actor Judd Hirsch, playing Morgan’s adopted son Abraham and Alana De La Garza, as Henry’s partner Detective Jo Martinez, the supporting cast’s consists of flesh and blood, three-dimensional characters. They refused to settle for stereotypical characters, on most shows, Detective Mike Hanson, (Donnie Keshawarz) would constantly be busting Morgan’s assistant Lucas Wahl’s (Joel David Moore) chops, as a comic-relief device. However the characters developed a mutual respect and affection for each other.

During Forever’s first season we followed Morgan back through history starting in the early 19th Century, when Henry got shot in the heart, trying to save the life of a slave. When his body got thrown off the ship he was killed on, he miraculously returned to life, a situation he’s since gone through countless times over the past 200-years.

We watched Morgan get betrayed by his first wife Nora, whose fear caused her to get him committed to an asylum, then we saw Henry give his heart to another woman in 1945. She would turn into the love of his life, Henry’s English Rose, Abigail. Stationed in Germany as World War II concluded, they found a healthy infant boy in Auschwitz and raised him as their own. Seventy years later that boy, now resembles Henry’s father, more than Morgan’s son.

The show resolved what happened to Abigail, who left Morgan in 1985 and at least temporarily have subdued Henry’s fellow immortal Adam. Although we perceive Adam as a psychopath, he explains himself as the results of a decent guy living for two thousand years. Unlike Morgan, Adam looks at his prolonged stay on Earth as a curse and he has no regard for the value of human life. In the season-finale, Morgan injected Adam with some chemical concoction, that made the immortal a prisoner in his own body. He has no control of his body, yet he’s fully aware of all that goes on about him.

Morgan’s partner Jo Martinez, called Morgan out in the closing moments of the finale, asking him to explain his recent behavior as well as a photo from the forties, as he stands next to Abigail, whose got Abraham in her arms. Season one concludes with Henry saying to Jo “It’s a long story…”

Matt Miller and his writing team, did a nice job of wrapping things up in the series final couple of episodes. If a season two for Forever is not on the horizon, then the crew has a wonderful season that can be preserved in amber, with each fan creating their own version of the upcoming conversation between Jo and Henry.

However fans of this wonderful series, including this fan, are not ready to give up the fight for Forever quite yet. Three Facebook/Twitter pages, dedicated to the series have banded together, trying to find a new home for the series. They have set up a petition that you can sign, asking Warner Bros. TV to keep Forever alive. You can also visit and join all three pages on Facebook: Forever Fan Page, Foreverists Group for Forever Fans and The Official Ioan Gruffudd Group.

Show runner Matt Miller is aware of and supports these efforts. They are concentrating on talks with Netflix, Hulu and TNT, among others at present. Forever deserves a better fate than for it to get discovered as a “Lost Classic,” in ten or twenty years. The cast and crew of Forever, have just skimmed the surface in this first season, hopefully Warner Bros. TV will keep Forever alive.

Courtesy of NBC

Courtesy of NBC

We here at NotJustAnotherTVSite.com judge all major decisions on one primary criteria. Does it measure up to our expectation of quality? It seems simple enough. If it’s a show that we’ve decided to preview, promote, and cover episode to episode, you can rest assured the particular show in question maintains a certain level of quality. For the record, there have been shows that we have been over-the-moon excited for and ultimately decided that it’s time to walk away. Why? Because those shows failed to meet our quality expectation. NBC’s Constantine, is absolutely NOT one of those.

NBC’s choice to produce Constantine, and more importantly, this vision of Constantine was brave. NBC should be celebrated for that by the way. Like so many comic book adaptations pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe, were ‘adequate’. They were entertaining, but they were also made with the understanding that they had to be workable for most audiences, not just the comic book underworld. Spawn, Daredevil (2003), etc as comic book adapted movies were nice, but compared to today’s expectations would have fallen flat on their face. The comic book television landscape was even worse.

The point is that today’s audience does not need their show dumbed down or made palatable for all time zones. Constantine has done that. Constantine is born from the same genesis as Marvel’s MCU and recent successes as Netflix’s Daredevil. Do yourself a favor. Google Netflix Daredevil and read just some of the feedback. You’d think it was the highest rated show of the calendar year. The showrunners at NBC working on Constantine kept one very important detail constant. Tell the story from an adapted version of the comic books, Hellblazer. The 2003 Keanu Reeves feature was the product of Hollywood changing all of the incredible details in order to make a production that appeals to as many people and demographics as possible.

Appealing to mass demographics is good. High ratings are good. They help sell ad revenue. When I was in the radio industry, one thing was always made clear. All of it is window dressing if the end product doesn’t bring in ad revenue. Ad revenue was literally what kept the lights on. Not to sound too idealistic, but NBC can make its money from their heavy hitters. I began this article by citing quality. Now anyone who knows anything about TV knows there is a direct and inverse relationship between numbers and quality more often than not. NBC is still going to make a killing from shows like Law and Order and Celebrity Apprentice. Every now and then the two powers of ‘quality’ and ‘are they watching’ converge perfectly. The Blacklist is a great example of that. The Blacklist is an incredible show and people are watching it. In the case of Constantine, it was playing against stacked odds from the beginning.

Courtesy of Vertigo/DC Comics

Courtesy of Vertigo/DC Comics

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Placing a comic book adaptation show that the vast majority of viewers are not familiar with late on a Friday night was borderline criminal. Comic book adaptations draw, period. Maybe this is a ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ situation, but it is true and really not up for debate. Next to no one watches television on a Friday night, and they definitely don’t do it live. Putting them on Friday nights, then graciously moving them up in the time slot but keeping them on Friday nights, put Constantine behind the eight ball and NBC knows that. This is 30 Rock vs Studio 60 all over again. Anyone with an objective eye could look at the first few episodes of Studio 60 and the first few episodes of 30 Rock and know without question, Studio 60 was the better show. Without a good time slot and promotion, better shows are going to continue to fall.

Promotion is another factor that had Constantine playing catch up. Before NBC rolled out The Blacklist, every American knew this show was going to be big. All because of promotion. There were promos and trailer for The Blacklist everywhere. On sports broadcasts, on shows that had no relation or connection at all. Spader was out there. The Blacklist was going to be successful because it had the full weight and support of the network. Constantine was never given that opportunity. You cannot produce a show based on a comic book very few people have any real familiarity with and just let people stumble upon it and hope it takes off. It doesn’t work that way.

The last detail I’ll get into before talking specifics about the show, is audience. Not everyone is going to “Get It”. If the aim is to maximize viewership by making something that will appeal to everyone in the same way, make nothing but what some call “Lowest Common Denominator” television. Keep cranking out Law and Order, Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation. There is a large and growing audience that wants no part of L.C.D. programming. To some of us, procedural is a four letter word. And in this “DVR Era” we, the viewer, can afford to be more choosy of what we watch and we get to dictate when we watch it. Now I have no idea if the ratings system has accounted for the current television era where the DVR has completely changed the way we watch television. Side note to television networks. I watch and obscene amount of television. Yet, I have not watched a non-sporting event (or game broadcast) live in almost 7 years. I sincerely hope you are taking that into account. Especially when you put a great show on Friday nights.

At the end of the day, you have the audience that will watch Bones, Big Bang Theory, CSI: Whatever, Survivor, Glee, etc and you are going to have the audience that has no interest in predictable, safe television. Serialized, big story arcs, sympathetic characters facing unbelievable trials is just more compelling to some than others. That my friends, is the difference. Ratings can no longer be a race to first. These networks need to start evaluating success and failure by two different groups at the same time. Take a look around the television landscape. It is getting very competitive. We really are experiencing a television and cinematic renaissance. You just have to navigate through the mountains of garbage to find it. If networks like NBC are going to continue to grade shows like Constantine under the same criteria as The Voice or Bad Judge, then another elite show is going to fall by the wayside. It’s not the same type of television and they cannot continue to paint all of these shows with the same brush.

Constantine is great. End of discussion. For anyone who has not yet seen it, take my word for it, Constantine is one of the better shows of the calendar year, regardless of network or time slot. That said, it did not start out that way. A large component in that again goes back to promotion by NBC, or lack thereof. If NBC had titled the show “Hellblazer” or ran far more promotion illustrating that this show was not going to be the story released in 2003 starring Keanu Reeves, then expectation and therefore results might have been different. They made very few attempts to convey that. So, most people went in with a certain expectation, which was not met.

The pilot episode on its own merits is alright and had the show continued on that trajectory, I would not be writing this piece now. By my expectations, the pilot episode was bad. Bad as in significantly underwhelming. So much so (again just my opinion) that I actually called up a colleague at the website to inform him I would not be posting a recap, but a ‘here’s what’s wrong with it’ piece. Thankfully, the consensus was to do just that, but leave room just in case they right the ship. The second episode is 100% better. By the time we are introduced to Papa Midnite, we’re off to the races and the show is exactly what it was supposed to be. Dark, intriguing, compelling, ever-changing, straddling the line between angels and demons lore and the plot plausibility. This is the problem.

The pilot episode feels like it had NBC’s Standards and Practices grubby little hands all over it. The pilot was bright and warm by comparison to the later episodes. When doing a comic book adaptation, visual texture is key. There is a reason The Dark Knight and Arrow were so wildly successful. You cannot produce a show like Constantine with that bright, bubbly sort of way. Thankfully the showrunners for Constantine were able to come back to their base and it begins with texture. Visual interpretation. Again, never more clear than the first introduction to Papa Midnite. By episode four, Constantine was must see TV. However, not many were watching it because the show stumbled out of the gate. If they were to run the show we came to build a strong affection for and aired it on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday in primetime the results would have absolutely been different.

Courtesy of NBC

Courtesy of NBC

Constantine may be a show or story about angels, demons, magic and one man in the middle of all of it, but it is very much character driven. Characters are the vehicle to success. Every single significant character is sympathetic and compelling. From there, all they have to do is tell the story. The story from the perspective of the comic book adaptation, not a major networks softer, lighter version of that story.

As it stands now, Constantine ended on a MASSIVE cliffhanger. Probably the biggest season finale reveal I’ve seen in a few years. I remember it clearly. Watching as the clock ticked down, I was certain I knew what would happen next and how the episode and season would conclude. When people say, “I had to pick my jaw up off the floor” it’s always blanketed in hyperbole. Now my jaw may not have been on the floor, but I easily could have caught a family of insects with how wide and long my mouth was open at the final moments of the season finale.

There are still very important details yet to be dealt with. Big, incredible, trajectory altering details. To drop this show now, simply put, would be irresponsible. Look, I understand that NBC is still a business that has to deem a certain show profitable. I don’t think anyone is naive to that concept, but there are three hugely important concepts that I fear NBC is not even considering. 1. They put Constantine in a position to fail before it even began-not the show’s fault, 2. The audience they are trying to reach is not the Law and Order crowd, and 3. Sometimes a show is just flat-out better than others that create more revenue. You could not pay me to watch Celebrity Apprentice or The Slap. Sometimes the better, higher quality show should just win the day. On the merits of quality. Not because it makes more money, but because it is just a better product.

Here’s the kicker. It is my opinion that Constantine has not developed a consistent form of high ratings…YET. Move the show to a more appealing time slot and let people figure it out. One of my favorite quotes in all of television history (ironically from a show cancelled way too soon) is:

“I believe the people who watch television shows are not dumber that the people who make television shows. I believe that quality is not an anathema to profit.” -Jordan McDeere (Studio 60 Live On The Sunset Strip)

American television viewers are not dumb. They have the wherewithal to handle and in fact embrace a wide range of concepts and delivery methods. Despite popular belief, this country is not filled with Honey Boo Boo and Kardashian enthusiasts. We the viewers long for shows that push the envelope. That breach concepts and topics we haven’t embraced before. We want to empathize and build affection for characters. We want to feel like we have ‘experienced’ something from our TV watching time. We are in a different era of modern television. It’s about time NBC and other major networks got on board with this idea. Constantine does not need to be their bread-winner. It only needs to continue being what it is. One of the top 10 best shows on television. I don’t care what the ratings indicate. Give it a better time slot and let the showrunners, cast and crew do their jobs. The numbers will come. You just have to get out-of-the-way and let it happen.

If you’re a fan of Constantine, help spread the word. It is my understanding that showrunner, Mr. Daniel Cerone is set to pitch season 2 to NBC at the end of this month (April) beginning of next (May). And it seems NBC is willing to listen to fan outcry. So let’s do just that. We live in a new world. Utilize it. Access your Twitter account, your Facebook account, email NBC directly. Do whatever you must to explicitly and without any confusion articulate to NBC that they CANNOT let this one go. They cannot walk away from this show. And that it is not in their best interests to let Constantine die. The best shows available still only make up less than 10% of what’s out there. We cannot lose this one. Whether your efforts are here with us at NJATVS, social media or directly on NBC’s lap, take the time to support this effort. Use the established #saveconstantine or the more direct #renewconstantine and show those in charge that this show has a following, it’s larger than they think, and we will continue to support this series.

If you have not yet seen Constantine season 1, or feel you somehow missed out and need to give it another shot, NBC starting today Friday April 24th, will make the entirety of season 1 available to stream on their website for a limited time. Go to NBC.com (or the NBC app) and discover it for the first time or revisit it again. I don’t know if streaming numbers for this limited run is a test balloon or not. What I do know is that it’s worth watching, even if all that does is send NBC a message.

I can count on one hand the number of current shows that I would bang my fist against the table for. Constantine is one of them. The show did not get a fair shake and was judge by unbalanced criteria. Do your part to help the people who put this show together. Save Constantine. Make sure NBC knows they NEED to Renew Constantine.

#saveconstantine #renewconstantine

#saveconstantine #renewconstantine

Collage Designed And Created By Jason Jones

Collage Designed And Created By Jason Jones

Although the landscape of Television’s changed dramatically, since it first became embraced by Americans in 1947, in many ways TV hasn’t changed at all. Most viewers have no idea, why the Prime-Time schedule, kicks off in September, (the answer’s revealed below) or that the tradition’s a carry-over from radio. The question in 2015, however is if a system that originated in the early 1930’s in another medium, still works for Television today? The most frequent complaint I receive about Television’s, why do shows go on either extended, or frequent hiatuses, during the TV season. The answer’s due to maintaining the same structure that TV used during its first 20-years, of popularity, does that formula still work today?

Television first started becoming commercially viable in the United States, nearly 70-years ago and though many of that era’s shows, now seem crude and rudimentary, others developed formats still in use today. Many of the first Television stars, made the transfer over from radio, which entertained Americans, for nearly the two previous decades. Others, were former vaudevillians like Milton Berle who got dubbed “Mr. Television,” in the late forties and dominated homes on Tuesday nights. New York City reported that the water pressure would change radically, during commercials, due to the mass exodus to the bathroom.

Why does the Prime-Time schedule begin in September? Because that’s when American car manufacturers, a major advertiser on Radio and TV, introduced their new model’s for the following year. For the first few episodes of every season, the programs were loaded with automobile manufacturers, touting all the new models of their cars. Pretty much a case of the tail wagging the dog, but Radio and Television lived exclusively on advertising dollars. This was decades, before cable and satellite radio, where subscriptions, pay the bills.

The format started by radio, then carried over to TV, called for a show to run new episodes 39-weeks a year, then a Summer Series, would fill the void for the remaining 13-weeks. Audio-tape, didn’t exist during radio’s heyday, or videotape for many years in the world of television, so repeats were difficult to air. You’ve likely seen old TV shows on kinescope, a process where someone would actually use a movie camera aimed at Television screen, to send to the Western States, as we lacked the coast to coast coaxial cable setup we acquired in the sixties.

In the late sixties, the medium cut back new episodes to 26, to fill those 39-weeks, thus the repeat came into being. If you watched the show weekly, you got disappointed when repeats aired, however in the days before DVRs and VCRs, it gave viewers a chance to catch shows they missed the first time around. It also encouraged viewers to watch other shows, some of which became massive hits, after getting low-numbers earlier in the campaign.

Shows such as All In The Family, Hill Street Blues and Cheers, eventually all reached the number one spot in the Nielsen ratings, after looking like they’d get cancelled before its completion, started airing repeats. Of course the major networks, showed more patience with a show back then, especially if the series met the parameters of a quality show.

The networks altered the dynamics again, in the nineties, when they reduced their orders on episodes to just 22 per-season. Summer replacement series were no longer the norm, so more than half of the viewing year became repeat broadcasts. Cable networks, starting with HBO and Showtime, started producing Original Series, that began siphoning off a good percentage of the networks viewers. Before long, other networks, such as USA, AMC, TNT and A & E, followed suit. AMC of course produced two groundbreaking series in Breaking Bad and Mad Men and now have two new series, Halt And Catch Fire, which debuted last summer and Better Call Saul, which is currently airing.

TNT has become a prominent source of quality programming, introducing, Murder In The First, The Last Ship and Legends, last summer, all of which will return in a few months, for their second series. Our cousins from “Across The Pond,” have established BBCA, which includes the legendary series Doctor Who and one of my favorite series, The Musketeers, now in its second season.

To counter the competition, the networks introduced these “hiatus-periods,” for many of their series, sometimes replaced by limited run series, or a series of specials. We now commonly hear references to the fall season, or the winter season, in network promotions, terms that suddenly appeared out of nowhere a few years ago.

So now we’ve come full circle and face the question at the beginning of this article, does the system still work in 2015 and if not, then what can be done to improve things? With all the competition, from cable networks and new sources such as Netflix, Hulu-Plus and Amazon, is the system that the networks still hold into, now outmoded?

Many of the reasons behind the system still in use, are no longer relevant. During the days of radio shows and the first couple of decades of Television, Sponsors could host a TV show, leading to titles such as the Texaco Star Theater, Starring Milton Berle and the Kraft Music Hall. That changed due to a ruling in the late sixties and led to the variety of commercials we currently see. Secondly, there’s no longer the big kickoff to the model year for cars, so there really isn’t any reason, why the TV Campaign kicks off in September. With MLB playoffs and the World Series, the start of the NFL season and election coverage, once every four years, is September still the best time to start the season?

If we divide our 52-week year by four, we come up with the number 13. Would having four 13-week seasons of series, be preferable over the system now in place? After all how many series, can truly come up with 22 superior episodes, especially after the show’s been around the block for a while? For a series in its first couple of campaigns, the creative people are bursting at the seams with creativity, but as season ten of Supernatural attests to, it’s really rough creating 22 great episodes ten-years into a series. What if Supernatural only had 13-episodes this season and got supplemented by a spinoff series, concentrating on reoccurring character Charlie Bradbury, called The Adventures Of Charlie? Could something like that work for networks and viewers alike?

An idea that I’ve advocated for years, borrowing another concept from the British, limited run series, designed to tell an entire story in a ten-episode cycle, so the whole story’s completed in the show runner’s heads’ before they even hire a cast member. It’s actually recycling a concept from American TV in the seventies, when networks got hooked on miniseries. Some of those shows are now looked upon as some of the finest products in the history of the medium, unfortunately like most concepts in TV, it got overused and some very mediocre series, sullied the waters.

Perhaps by cutting back on older shows to 13-episode seasons, and making limited run series a part of their annual scheduling, the networks then could up the orders to new series, such as Forever, Gotham, Scorpion and other new series to a 26-week schedule to help eliminate those annoying breaks in the schedule.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The FOX Television Network, took a calculated risk last fall when they introduced their new series “Gotham,” a prequel to the Gotham City protected by Batman whose adventures first appeared in comic-books in 1938. The producers of this series take us back to Gotham City, when Bruce Wayne’s just a boy dealing with the recent murders of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne his legal guardian the family’s butler Alfred Pennyworth. The show’s focus however is not on the future Caped Crusader, instead Gotham City’s future Police Commissioner Jim Gordon’s the protagonist a young detective determined to get rid of corruption in the city.

Gotham’s not just an origin story for young Bruce and Gordon through the series first 16 episodes, we’ve gotten introduced to characters we know play a significant part in Batman’s future. Our first future foe of the Dark Knight that we meet’s Selena Kyle a young-teen who lives off the streets and fends for herself quite well. She of course will adopt the name Catwoman and get involved in the infamous love/hate relationship she has with Batman.

Her tag-along-pal’s Ivy Pepper, perhaps the creepiest little girl shown on a regular basis on the small screen. It’s truly tough to visualize she’ll one day be the temptress criminal Poison Ivy, a woman with a hypnotic hold on men. Earlier this season Bruce and Alfred ran into her walking in downtown Gotham City, when Bruce stopped to talk to her. Alfred’s revulsion was as plain as the nose on his face as he told his charge “Watch out for this one Master Bruce, I believe she might have the mange.”

There’s a young man employed by the GCPD as a forensic scientist named Ed Nygma, who’ll one day transform from public servant to public menace. Extremely intelligent and equally nerdy, Nygma’s instincts are excellent for his job. Unfortunately he’s got a terrible habit of attempting to share his latest riddles with all his associates, causing many of them to avoid him. We’ve already seen what the future Riddler’s capable of getting the former Medical Examiner dismissed, as he stuffed the doctor’s locker with various body parts. after the ME demanded he get suspended.

Of course the breakout star of the series is Oswald Cobblepot whose known as the Penguin due to the way he walks. Cobblepot’s advanced from being Fish Mooney’s umbrella boy, to the right hand man of Don Carmine Falcone. He’ll double-cross anyone, except for two people, to achieve his goals, a quality that’s almost gotten him killed quite often so far. For those new to the world of Gotham City Fish Mooney’s a character invented for this series, a deadly part of the old guard criminals that will eventually give way to the criminals whose exploits we’ve followed for many years.

The latest episode of Gotham entitled “The Blind Fortune Teller,” expanded the series’ universe greatly as a name that resonates loudly for fans of The World’s Greatest Detective, as well as the Caped Crusader’s chief nemesis get introduced to the series. Both situations could be considered fill in the blanks type of moves and advance the long-term story rather strongly. The revelations in this episode pretty much eclipsed the story line, as Gordon figured things out on his own rather easily.

I’m going to break format this go-round and just give a rather brief description of the storyline of the episode. Jim and his girlfriend Lee Thompkins are in the audience enjoying the circus, we join them as trapeze artists fill the space between them and the big-top. When their act ends and they bow to the crowd, the clowns come on, joking at first then start beating on the acrobats. Gordon approaches the center ring, flashing his shield, yelling GCPD, everybody freeze.

It turns out the clowns are the Lloyd family and the acrobats are the Flying Graysons, whose family’s started feuding before World War I and it’s gotten passed down through the generations. However John Grayson and his seemingly former girlfriend Mary Lloyd believe this fight came about as part of a rivalry between John’s older brother Alfonse and Mary’s uncle Owen, both vying for the affections of the same woman. Lila, the snake-dancer who works in the sideshow.

Gordon and Thompkins’ head to Lila’s trailer however she’s not there. Her son Jerome answers the door and he says he’s concerned, his mother was due back hours before. The Ringmaster says to Jerome his mother’s probably out on one of her binges, then he tells Jim and Lee that Lila takes off on little adventures with men all the time. Gordon asks Jerome to release Lila’s snake and it leads them to Lila’s dead body. The Ringmaster and some other circus folk found the body out in a field and planned to bury her when they hit the road.

Lloyd blames Grayson and Grayson blames Lloyd down at the station, each saying the other killed Lila because she chose them. The rest of the circus staff’s allowed to leave the station while Alfonse and Owen get incarcerated. A short while later an elderly blind man accompanied by a young boy wearing a coonskin cap, (Once again what era does Gotham take place in, or is it an alternate Earth?) The man asks Gordon if he’s Detective James Gordon then asks Lee if she’s Doctor Thompkins the Medical Examiner. He introduces himself as Paul Cicero a psychic from the sideshow and a longtime friend of Lila’s. He said she sent him a message from the beyond and although Gordon’s ready to tell Cicero to beat it, Lee wants to hear the message. He says that the servant of the Devil lives in the garden of the Iron Sisters. Then he leaves.

That night Jim comes over to Lee’s for dinner and she’s certain she’s figured out the message. The Iron Sisters are the two towers that support the Arkham bridge and there’s a park next to them that could be construed as a garden. Jim says they’ll check it out in the morning, but Lee wants to go right then. Despite Jim’s protests they go to the park.

As they’re searching the grounds with a flashlight Jim finds a hatchet the weapon that Ed said killed Lila. There’s an inscription on the handle, saying THC, Gordon says it stands for The Hellfire Club a cult of Satan worshiping killers that disbanded a decade before. Lee says perhaps they reformed but Jim says no, but he now knows what happens. He calls the station saying he wants two people to be brought in, but they’re not to know of each other’s presence.

They get to the interrogation room and Paul Cicero walks in. Gordon says that Cicero knew the Hatchet was there as he told the killer to plant it there, he’s also an accessory to murder. Cicero protests claiming he’s innocent then they bring in Lila’s son Jerome, Gordon accuses him of killing his mother and says Cicero helped him after the fact. He also says that Cicero’s Jerome’s father.

Paul realizes the jig’s up and tells Jerome he actually is his father and Jerome says that’s insane. His father was a sea-captain and he died at sea. Gordon asked the teen what was the name of his ship and Jerome responds he commanded lots of ships. Jim asks him what was the name of the ship he went down on and the teen responds his mother never told him.

Realizing there was no sea-captain Jerome starts to break down and cry for a second, only to look up at Gordon and flash that unmistakable grin. Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and the Joker from the comic-books, all wrapped up in one magnificently evil smile a truly chilling moment as we realize who Jerome will become.

Jerome looks over at Cicero and tells him his mother was a cold-hearted whore, who never loved anyone and would stay away from a pathetic creep like him. Paul tells Jerome to think things through why would Cicero help him after what he did only a father would protect a son that way.

Gordon asks Jerome why he did it and the future Joker replied, you know mothers she just pushed too much. You can be a whore, you can even be a drunken whore. But what you can’t be is a nagging drunken whore complaining the kitchen’s a mess when you’re having sex in the next room.

With Owen and Alfonse cleared they’re freed, ending the century old feud, which allowed John Grayson and Mary Lloyd to get engaged. Years later, they’ll have a son named Dick and John and Mary will get shot during a performance, leaving Dick an orphan until Bruce Wayne became his legal guardian. Due to his acrobatic ability Grayson became the first Robin, now guarding the streets as Nightwing.

There was no talk about introducing perhaps Batman’s greatest foe, the Joker in any of the preseason talk about the series, the show-runners kept it under wraps until the preview they showed at the previous episode’s conclusion. The fact that we got to meet Dick Grayson’s parents, was an unexpected bonus.

There’s a reason that the Caped Crusader’s still one of the most popular characters in comic-books, now 77-years after Bob Kane introduced him to the planet in Detective Comics. Gotham won’t last 77-years, but if this season’s an accurate indication for what’s up ahead, it will enjoy a  long and popular run, on the FOX Network.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Unless you’ve been under a rock over the last week or so, you’re probably aware that the anchor for the “NBC Nightly News” Brian Williams, has been the subject of controversy, after it got revealed that Williams lied about being shot down in an NBC News helicopter in Iraq, back in 2003. The news anchor, first told the tale as a guest of David Letterman on his nightly talk-show. He repeated the story at a New York Rangers game, when the NHL team honored a retiring veteran who served in Iraq.

Speculation’s grown over the ensuing days that NBC would have to cut ties with the popular newsman, as his credibility took a severe hit within the news industry and for much of the viewing audience. However Tuesday night, “The New York Times,” reported that the network made the curious decision, to suspend Williams without pay for six-months, then return him to the anchor chair.

Williams presided over the highest rated network newscast, swamping his competition as he averaged 9.3 million viewers, five nights a week. He’s also developed a public persona away from the anchor-desk, with frequent appearances on Letterman’s show, the NBC staple “Saturday Night Live” and showed up on the networks former series “30 Rock,” from time to time.

Before we get into the damage that Williams seemingly did to his career, lets discuss the decision that NBC made. Before the network announced how they planned to resolve things, the choices seemed pretty clear, for NBC. The move that would have earned them respect from their peers and viewers alike, was to terminate Williams. A network news anchor’s reputation and credibility have to be beyond reproach, they are the “Gate-Keepers,” the people we invite into our homes, to provide us accurate information on the stories of the day. It’s doubtful that Williams has enough of the public-trust right now, to do that job well.

The other decision the network could have chosen was to stand behind Williams, saying that his record at NBC News far outweighs the foolish decision he made to falsify a personal anecdote. The network could have leveled with the public; Look folks, Brian did something really stupid, that he truly regrets. However, we believe that Williams has proven himself enough since taking the anchor-chair to withstand this crisis and we support him fully. It would have at least been a gutsy move, for NBC.

Instead the President of NBC News Deborah Turness stated in a memo “This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.” The Chief Executive of NBC/Universal Stephen P. Burke wrote “By his actions, Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News. His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate.”

Burke went on to say that Williams expressed great remorse in a private conversation and that the networks “rooting,” for him. So does NBC truly believe that after serving a six-month suspension, Brian Williams can take back the anchor desk with his credibility restored?

During the sixties, seventies and into the eighties, the networks nightly newscasts, were a staple in American homes. Long before the days of the Infotainment Networks that cable’s brought into our homes, news came on only in designated time slots. The local newscast would start at 6:00 pm and depending on what market you lived in, the network newscasts aired at either 6:30 pm, or 7:00 pm. That was our main source of information, until the newspaper came out the next morning. And the news anchors were like demigods for many families.

Former CBS news anchor, the late great Walter Cronkite, was voted the most trusted man in America in the sixties and his peers on the other casts, such as Huntley and Brinkley, along with John Chancellor on NBC, Howard K. Smith, Frank Reynolds and Peter Jennings were also highly regarded. Through all the turmoil of assassinations, protest-marches, the Vietnam war and civil unrest, we turned to these men to try to make sense of what was going on around us. We knew these men would give us accurate, timely and unbiased information, sounds almost quaint now, doesn’t it?

It’s a different playing-field in 2015, than it was even 30-years-ago, with many Millennials getting most of their news from the “Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” (although not for long, as Stewart announced this week, he’ll leave the show this year.) We have competing Infotainment Networks, FOX News for the Far-Right and MSNBC for the Center-Left, who give us plenty of commentary, but don’t provide a whole lot of information. One can also get the bulk of your news from the Internet, a path I’ve found myself taking more and more often.

The network nightly newscasts, don’t have the cache they had in an earlier era, however they still retain importance and we count on them to give us the unfiltered information with as little bias as possible. Many of our citizens still use those nightly newscasts as their primary source of information. That’s why it’s still important to have people in those anchor chairs whose credibility can’t be questioned, Williams has fallen out of that category.

If Williams had a substance-abuse problem, getting suspended without pay, could have been a severe enough punishment to get the viewers back on his side, upon his return. This is a totally different animal though, sitting on the sidelines without getting a paycheck, isn’t going to earn Williams’ viewer’s trust back. How can he report on a story about a Congressman lying, without viewers automatically thinking about his incident? I don’t believe it can work.

We’ve watched powerful people commit actions over the last few years, as if they were invulnerable, even though scores of others ruined their reputations doing the same things, these folks think they’re smarter than everybody else. We’ve seen it here in New York State, as our former Governor Elliot Spitzer, ruined a possible White House run, by stepping out on his wife with call-girls.

The biggest question that remains for me, is how Williams expected that his concocted tale would never catch up with him. There were far too many people that witnessed the incident, for him not to eventually get caught, was that what he wanted? Could this have possibly been some sort of cry for help? He wouldn’t be the first person who seemingly had it all, except for satisfaction.

Image Courtesy Of ABC

Image Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alerts

Since “Not Just Another TV Site,” started publishing, we’ve had the pleasure of recapping some tremendous shows and incredible events. We recapped, the final season of what I believe will be celebrated in the future as one the finest examples of “short-form Television,” when the HBO Original Series “The Newsroom,” completed it’s run. We recapped the bounce-back season for the Showtime series “Homeland,” as the show recovered from sticking with the Brody story-arc, a season too long. We witnessed our readers get caught up in the murder of a 12-year-old boy, in a Northern California, fishing village in “Gracepoint.”

What may come to a surprise to many of you, is the recap that’s received more hits than any other, by a very wide margin. It’s acquired 40% more readers than the runner-up, yet according to the Nielsen Ratings, the show has no business being our most widely read recap. We entitled the recap, “Forever: Sax Player’s Song Costs Son His Life,” however the title it aired under, was 6AM. The Forever episode about Jazz sax player Pepper Evans and the song stolen from him, still receives double-digit hits daily, more than two-months after it aired.

I’ve made no attempts to hide the fact that I’m an unabashed fan and proponent of the freshman ABC series “Forever,” since seeing the show’s pilot online, before the start of the 2014-2015 TV season started. There have been many new shows, that I’ve turned off after ten-minutes, never regretting the decision. Every so often, a show crosses my path, that shows me it’s got long-term potential, some fulfill their potential, while others fall short of the mark.

There have been very few times in my almost six-decades on this rock, that I’ve walked away from a pilot episode, thinking I love this show, Forever slipped quite comfortably into that category. It’s the first show that I’ve felt that way about since the debut of the now departed “The Newsroom.” I walked away from my laptop, telling anybody and everybody about this new gem of a series on ABC and after thirteen episodes, my affection for the show’s only grown stronger.

What’s the premise of the show you ask? Well let’s hear from the protagonist of the series, Dr. Henry Morgan: “My name is Henry Morgan. My story is a long one. It might sound a bit implausible. In fact you probably won’t believe me. But I’ll tell you anyway, because beyond all else, I have lots and lots of time.”

We soon find out that Morgan, born in the final quarter of the 18th Century, got shot to death, trying to defend a slave on the ship he was the doctor of. However after his corpse, got dumped into the sea by the crew, Henry regenerated, coming back as healthy as before he got shot, but unfortunately stark naked, which causes problems from time-to time. Morgan’s gotten killed scores of times since the incident on the ship and every time, he bounces right back.

The show’s based in the present, as Morgan’s now a Medical Examiner for the NYPD, a brilliant man who keeps to himself. His assistant Lucas Wahl, idolizes him but he can’t even get his boss to compliment him, wanting Henry as a friend far exceeds his wildest dreams. Morgan’s become a Medical Examiner for many reasons, one being the study of death, in hopes that he can find a way to end his life.

The other reason’s more compelling for the viewers, Morgan’s become a Medical Examiner, to minimize his contact with living people. The man’s lived over 200-years and surely lost many near and dear to him over the years and he doesn’t want the pain again. However we find out that Morgan lives with a companion, a man in his seventies named Abe, portrayed by Judd Hirsch, in his finest performance since starring in “Taxi.” In fact Hirsch  and the premise of the show, were what drew me into watching initially.

The only performance of the series lead Ioan Gruffudd’s, I’d witnessed, was as Reed Richard in Fantastic Four, a movie and a role that was underwhelming, to say the least. (Though he had a great American accent, I had no idea he was from the UK.) That barrier melted about ninety seconds into the pilot, as Henry Morgan’s a man of many complexities.

Henry meets two NYPD detectives in the pilot, that he’s destined to spend a lot of time with as Detective Jo Martinez and her partner Detective Mike Hanson check with Morgan about the autopsy of the subway operator, that allegedly died at the controls causing a major crash. If he had a heart-attack, it’s ruled an accidental death, if influenced by alcohol or drugs, it’s murder. Henry tells Martinez that the operator died of poisoning.

Photo Courtesy Of ABC/Bob D'Amico

Photo Courtesy Of ABC/Bob D’Amico

If you’d like to read the entire recap, you can find it elsewhere on our site, however we do learn that Henry had a great love in the fifties, as we meet his young and beautiful wife Abigail and the feelings between them are palpable. However we’ve no idea of the fate of Abigail in the current time period, or what became of their great love.

Morgan helps Martinez capture the man who poisoned the subway operator and Jo asks him to accompany her on her next case as Medical Examiner and a friendship starts to flourish. However there was a scene that aired shortly before Martinez arrived at the shop, that elevated this show from good to great for me.

We get one final flashback; the year’s 1945 and Henry’s in Germany in a Red Cross jeep, as the war’s ending in Deutschland. A beautiful young blonde English woman asks Henry if he’s a doctor and we realize that this is the first time Morgan and Abigail met. He replies that he’s a doctor, and she presents him with an infant boy, imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, but except for the number tattooed on the baby’s arm, he’s in perfect health. We return to the present as Abe’s sitting in his shop and we see the same number tattooed on the old man’s arm, meaning Henry and Abigail raised him as their son. Henry kisses the old man on the top of his head and I was hooked-line-and-sinker.

Much of my day’s spent surfing the web, checking out fan sites on the shows we recap, to gauge the feelings of the fans. I also frequent the Facebook pages of the shows we recap and I’ve found, that I far prefer the fan-run pages, over those that the networks create. A fan who starts a Facebook page about a favorite show or personality, pursues a labor of love. Perhaps their efforts will get rewarded by a message from one of the show-runners or an actor, but they put the work into these pages, because it gives them a forum to gather and discuss aspects of a show they enjoy.

I had the good fortune to discover and get accepted to a Facebook forum, called the “Forever (ABC) Fan Page,” about a week ago and the page and it’s members are fantastic. The Page has about five Administrators, ranging across the United States and one from Scotland. Each member who joins the page, gets welcomed by the page and at least a few of the other members. The tone of the page’s inclusive and friendly, I’ve yet to see any negative feedback, or sniping between members, something that’s usually a given in these forums. These folks do such a great job, they recently got Forever creator Matt Miller to join their ranks. (Which speaks well for Miller also, as he’s interested in what the fans have to say about the show he created and birthed.)

Sometime last week, one of the page’s Administrators Tonya Lindsey, approached me to write an article about the letter campaign, started by two other huge fans of the show, who also host Facebook pages for Forever, Lin Blank and Deb Servey, with hopes that they can convince ABC to renew Forever for a second season, a move that should have happened already in this writer’s opinion. I decided to ask for input from the Page members, about why the show should receive a second season and the results were overwhelming. People from across the country, explaining why this show has become an important part of their week.

Certain topics seem mainstays of most of the comments, the quality, of the acting, writing, directing and production are almost universally praised, as are the characters themselves who’ve become people that the fans want to spend time with, every week. The contrast between what’s occurring in Morgan’s present, against the backdrop of what he’s experienced being on earth for over 200-years. They love the relationship between Henry and Abraham and the burgeoning friendship between the Medical Examiner and Detective Martinez. There’s also huge interest in finding out more of Morgan’s stalker, the man who identified himself as Adam and claims to have walked the earth for two-thousand-years who’ll return in the next episode, airing February 3.

Forever’s able to combine so many facets into 54 minutes each week; An Epic Tale of a man whose experienced over 200-years of evolution, tales of great love between men and women plus parents and children. Henry wasn’t born with the Holmes-like powers of observation he has, however he’s bright enough to realize by being observant, the same clues can help him down the line. Incorporating the flashbacks, is one of the aspects of the show I enjoy the most, whether it’s young Abraham leaning how to “Jazz-Up Chopin” or Henry getting water-boarded (Hydro-Therapy) in 1815. My initial fear was that show would rely too much on Henry getting killed and regenerating, but so far they’ve used it in a limited basis, which keeps the concept fresh when they utilize it.

The bond between Henry and Abe, which has somewhat reversed over 60-years, with the father becoming the son and vice-versa. And Morgan opening himself up to having friends in the present, with Lucas, Jo, Mike and Lt. Reece. If that’s not enough, we have a “BIG BAD” whose lived ten times longer than Henry. No wonder he’s jaded and bored, the thrill of feeling special when he impresses others that Morgan still receives, must have left him centuries ago. The show-runners have announced we’re going to see “Adam’s flashbacks” and he’s going to attempt to endear himself to Henry and become a mentor of sorts!

Photo Courtesy ABC/K.C. Bailey

Photo Courtesy ABC/K.C. Bailey

There are more than enough shows that cater to the Lowest Common Denominator, the Prime-Time schedule works out to 21-hours each week, on the three original broadcast networks and what few outstanding shows on the small-screen, usually end up competing against each other. Forever’s a perfect example as it takes on Person Of Interest on CBS, another one of the mediums finest shows and a perennial top-20-show. I happen to count both shows among my favorites.

ABC doesn’t have a strong record supporting “High-Concept Shows,” with “Flash Forward,” “No Ordinary Family” and the reboot of the series “V,” leaving the shows fans with major unresolved conflicts. The networks have to possess the intelligence, that situations like those, will make viewers more reluctant to try new shows, afraid of being left in the lurch once again.

My Friends Della and Troy, who host a weekly podcast called Forever Fan Podcast, sent me some documents last week, from Thomas Richard who runs a site named Television Town, stating that while Forever’s scoring higher ratings, than previous shows that filled that time-slot for the network, the numbers haven’t convinced ABC, that the show deserves to get renewed. However, he does believe a strong outcry from the show’s fans, could get Forever a second season.

So, how can you help? Well there are a couple of things you can do; first of all you can write a letter to the network. You can reach them at ABC Entertainment C/O Forever 500 S. Buena Vista St Burbank, CA 91521-4551.

Secondly, you can sign the petition, started by Forever Page Member Abigail Bricker. In the comments section make sure you write #RENEWFOREVER.

Lastly, support the show and tell your friends, they’re missing one of the best examples of “Quality Television,” in this era.

The Story Continues Tuesday, February 3, at 10:00 pm on ABC.

Image Courtesy Of NBC

Image Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

It was the perfect show, at the right time for this guy, when NBC debuted their Sci-Fi/Fantasy epic “Heroes,” in September of 2006. The only other network series, that I followed at the time, the ABC series “LOST,” was a weekly staple on my DVR, the NBC series achieved that status during its first episode. Series creator Tim Kring, borrowed from a ton of sources to create his own unique, intelligent and addictive product, a cult show for the masses. The series premise intrigued, it’s execution well done, the writing sharp and an excellent cast, of up and coming stars and off-beat veterans from the past.

Kring invented a world, in which suddenly a group of ordinary people from around the planet, developed extraordinary abilities. Throughout that first season, they discovered one another and saved the globe from losing a large portion of our population, a scenario that a cartel of shady businessman wanted to occur.

The series was also instrumental in changing our Television viewing habits. One could watch the episodes on NBC.com, starting at 5:30 am EST the next morning, when ever the viewer wanted to, it also benefitted greatly by the spread of DVR’s in American households. The show’s website, made the most of the series comic-book roots, by featuring their own weekly graphic-novel, that veered slightly from what we saw in the episodes. Fans that read the comics, benefitted by getting a little more knowledge and insight than those who chose not to. They took advantage of the burgeoning social networking sites, making “Save The Cheerleader,” a rally cry for the fans.

Heroes, also either started or greatly boosted the careers of a slew of actors; Zachary Quinto, Hayden Panettiere, Ali Larter, Masi Oka, Milo Ventimiglia, Adrian Pasdar, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Greg Grunberg. The veterans all had backgrounds in cult films, George Takei, Richard Roundtree, Robert Forster and Malcolm McDowell. Add in Jack Coleman as HRG and Jimmy Jean-Louis as the mysterious and powerful Haitian and the chemistry was perfect.

At first glance the plot might seem simplistic, however Kring’s cleverness didn’t make the characters black and white, both the heroes and the villains had various shades of gray. Characters that seemed destined to follow the path of evil, suddenly swerved and did the right thing. A trip to the future showed the series two most optimistic characters, become embittered and angry. However, Kring made it clear that the future we visited was one of an infinite number of futures that await us.

Humans are creatures of free will and deciding to take the right fork in the road instead of the left, will give you a different adventure, than if you’d gone the other way. We make these decisions, billions of times daily and what ever path you choose, will factor in where you find yourself, down the road. Hence, we saw quite a few variations of the future during the time the show aired, they were more like warning signs, cautioning those who traveled that this could indeed be their fate.

Had the original version of Heroes, been a one-season miniseries, it would rank high on the list of special television events. Although fans became ecstatic when they found out the show got renewed, the three remaining seasons had some moments of greatness, but it never consumed fans, as the first season did. Season two came during the Hollywood writers strike and it adversely effected the season and the show never really recovered. However, that first season was amongst the best science fiction series ever broadcast on the small screen, which made the downward plunge all the more frustrating.

A scientist from India, Mohinder Suresh travels to the United States to bring home the body of his father, murdered while doing research on a much ridiculed subject. Mohinder’s father believed that there existed people that had superpowers, or to use the terminology from the CW series “The Flash,” meta-humans. These people weren’t changed by a freakish accident however, the formerly dormant abilities came to life, freaking out most who one day realized they had super-human powers.

The people existed all over the planet, each with their own unique power, most of them wanted to use their new-found abilities to help humanity, but there were others that took joy in using those abilities to hurt others. Chief among them was Gabriel Gray, who adopted the name “Sylar” and could steal other’s powers by killing them. In another brilliant move, we never saw Sylar for the first few episodes, so fans got to imagine what the character looked like.

A Japanese tech guy Hiro Nakamura, working for his father’s corporation’s obsessed with comic-books, sci-fi movies and video games. One day standing in the middle of Tokyo, he tries to teleport himself to New York City, he concentrates as hard as he can on Manhattan, closes his eyes and he’s standing in Times Square. What he doesn’t realize is his trip projected him a few months into the future as well.

A Los Angeles police officer Matt Parkman, working with the FBI to try to find a little girl whose parents were murdered, suddenly hears her pleas for help and gets shocked when the two female agents don’t hear the cries. It turns out, Parkman’s suddenly developed the power to read minds and he locates the girl, causing the Federal Agents to get suspicious of him.

A video-sex operator Niki Sanders, not only has abilities, her husband D.L. serving a stint in prison and their son Micah have powers as well. Niki, goes through a Jekyll and Hyde transformation, as the soul of her murdered sister Jessica takes over her body during times of stress. Jessica has super-strength and has no qualms about using it to kill.

D.L. has the power to walk through walls, reach inside people’s body’s and being able to allow bullets to pass through him without harm. Their son Micah can make machines obey his commands, from a toy monkey to a complex computer system.

The cheerleader Claire Bennett, lives in Texas and she’s discovered that she’s become invulnerable. She and her friend, a nerdy-teen with a video camera record examples of Claire walking away unscathed, from situations that should’ve killed her.

Then there’s the Petrelli family, older brother Nathan running for a Congressional seat and his younger brother Peter, a paramedic who believes he’s destined for greatness. Their mother Angela’s a refined member of high-society, but she gives off the air of hiding something. Peter believes he can fly and one night he and Nathan are alone in the city, when Peter jumps off a building, knowing deep-down his flying power would kick in. It didn’t and if it wasn’t for his brother who actually can fly, he’d have slammed to the street below. However, after Peter touches Nathan, he absorbs his ability, an act that reoccurs every time he touches someone with abilities.

There’s a man without abilities, observing them all, as he’s had a long history of dealing with meta-humans, his sidekick a man known as The Haitian, can erase people’s memories. The man dubbed HRG by the fans (horned-rimmed glasses) for his distinctive eyewear, works for someplace that’s referred to as The Company, a compound that studies these people and eliminates the evil ones. His name’s Noah Bennett and yes, he’s the father of the cheerleader.

While dealing with their new realities, they also become aware of each other and the good-guys team up to stop Sylar, first in his effort to kill Claire and steal her abilities and in the final episode of the season to stop him from causing a cataclysmic event, that would kill millions of people. However, it turned out that it wasn’t Sylar that would cause that event, it was Peter Petrelli, whose given Claire a pistol and directions to the one part of his body that’s vulnerable, so she can put him down before he explodes, taking millions with him.

Nathan would eliminate the need for Claire to kill Peter as he flew his brother to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere, where the explosion dissipated harmlessly. We end the season without knowing the fate of the Petrelli brothers, but the rest of the meta-humans walk away, realizing that they just averted a crisis of catastrophic proportions.

Looking back with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, that should’ve been where the story ended, but NBC wouldn’t allow those ratings to disappear. So they brought it back for three more seasons, with the plots getting more convoluted with each episode, including completely revamping the back story that was established. Once a series strays from it’s “Bible,” it loses all credibility, especially in a show that’s made for sci-fi fans.

We saw Sylar go warm and fuzzy and Peter going evil. The final season’s something I wish I could remove from my memory, ending with Peter and Sylar watch Claire her abilities to the press and Sylar sounding like a New-Age Hippie says “It’s A Brave New World.”

Although I would’ve dropped the series if it got renewed for a fifth season, both Jason Jones and me got extremely excited when NBC announced back in February, that they’d bring back the show as a 15-episode miniseries in the Summer of 2015. We both experienced the same first thought, that they needed to bring back HRG, even if the rest of the cast’s entirely new. A few months ago the announcement came down, that Jack Coleman, who portrayed HRG/Noah Bennett’s been resigned for the miniseries. It’s doubtful we’ll see Zachary Quinto or any other regulars from the original series, but that just gives another cast the chance to make their own names.

I’m extremely excited for the upcoming miniseries as Tim Kring proved during that first season, that he can spin an epic tale as well as many creative types that are more household names than him. If it’s meant to return just for the upcoming summer, I’m fine with that, the only thing that matters is Kring recaptures the magic he had in the first season of the original show.

Heroes Reborn Will Air This Summer on NBC. 

Photo: Courtesy Of CBS

Photo: Courtesy Of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

In order for any human society to work, we need rules and laws, we’re not an enlightened enough species, to expect all to do the right thing without any guidance. Not killing one’s mother and father, should place near the top of the list of taboos, yet the act’s been committed countless times, even with laws in place. Evil will always exist on our world, finding the balance to keep those people in line, while not making rules too onerous for most folks to live with is the key to a just and fair society.

Of just importance, if not more so, men and women need freedom in order to prosper and evolve. Stories of people throwing off the yoke of tyranny, have inspired others throughout the generations to follow suit. As society’s grown, so have tyrants, from land-barons, to royalty and during the last few hundred years, countries have struggled under the rule of tyrants and despots.

Since the late 19th Century, machines have gained prominence in our lives, starting with labor-intensive devices, that helped farmers with their crops, eventually changing the face of manufacturing, with the speed and provision they provided. Jobs were lost along the way, as these machines made staffs smaller, by doing the work once provided by men or women.

Soon machines became every-day necessities in the home, with washing machines, vacuum-cleaners, refrigerators, radios and TV-Sets, sprung up in homes across the planet. As humanity evolved, so did our machines, to the point that by 1990, personal computers were in a large segment of American homes. Today computers are omnipresent, one can easily be connected to the Internet, from the moment they open their eyes, until it’s time for bed.

For over eighty-years, authors have delved into the world of our own creations, time and again coming up with apocryphal tales, of societies, where the technology controls humanity, instead of these machines working for societies. Some tales have evil geniuses building machines to help them rule the world, others filled with machines that simply evolved far quicker than its designers did and they now rule all of humanity.

The CBS series “Person Of Interest,” are in the midst of exploring a story-line, in which an Artificial Intelligence System, known as Samaritan has started the process to take over every aspect of society, a force to clean up what it’s labeled as a cesspool of a society, filled with crime, corruption and hunger. The intelligence system aims to reshape our realities and in the process, eliminate all the evils that it sees taking place.

On the surface, that sounds pretty cool, however what are the methods Samaritan would use to achieve its goal. A scenario, brought up in the most recent episode “The Cold War,” was a system intent on helping mankind, in an effort to eradicate world-hunger, would kill off millions of people around the planet, thus leaving plenty for those survivors. Artificial Intelligence Systems, don’t share the values of humanity, they lack our sympathy and empathy and are emotionless, every decision’s made on what seems most logical to the system.

Lets create a scenario, that an Artificial Intelligence System predicts a 92% chance that Tom will murder Betty within the next 24-hours, so the system intercedes and kills Tom before he can act. Sure, the system may have saved an innocent life, but there’s still an 8% chance he wouldn’t have acted, most of that based upon emotions Tom felt at the time. Perhaps he’d seen the error of his ways and proposed to change the way he behaved, but never got to fulfill it due to the math of that system.

Catastrophes cause people to desire order, even the Italian despot Mussolini, received praise from his citizens for finally getting the trains to arrive on time. But what are you willing to give up for that sense of structure? Would you stop reading books, listening to music, or watch movies or TV, because the government frowned on it. Would you alter your beliefs, renounce your faith, pledge allegiance to the system even over your family?

Although we’ve shown concern and worry about the pitfalls of such a society, we’re standing right at the edge at this point in time. The Patriot Act and the NDAA have lessened our Constitutional rights, in the wake of 9/11 and 68% of Americans polled, stated they’d gladly give up privacy in order to ensure more safety. Every day our digital thumb prints get larger and larger, as we give more and more information to the Internet, barely thinking most of the time what will happen to that information.

The series creator, Jonathan Nolan’s upped his game since the revelations uncovered when Edward Snowden released a slew of documents, showing that the Government has had all of us under surveillance. He took an anthology procedural show with a gimmick, the use of modern technology to keep tabs on people and altered it over the last couple of seasons. We’ve witnessed corruption and misuse of power in the government as well as the private sector. We’ve seen the ever-growing fear of terrorism rearing its head in this country, put the government in the company of unsavory characters, in hopes of protection.

Nolan’s saying that we can’t become too reliant on these systems, as they could overtake us eventually. Instead of serving man, man would be serving the technology. Three chapters of “The Matrix,” were more than enough, we don’t need another version in reality.

Person Of Interest Returns on Tuesday January 6, at 10:00 pm on CBS.

Photo Courtesy Of ITV and The London Daily Mail

Photo Courtesy Of ITV and The London Daily Mail

WARNING: MULTIPLE SPOILER ALERTS!

The FOX miniseries “Gracepoint,” while not performing particularly well in the ratings, has intrigued our readers at “Not Just Another TV Site,” so much, we could make a strong argument, that we’re the show’s unofficial website. The tale of the Northern California seaside village, searching for the killer of 12-year-old Danny Solano, has proven that it attracts the most readers for us. We’re very pleased that we’ve become the “Go-To Website,” for the series that’s heated up dramatically over the last few episodes, with only three episodes remaining, before Danny’s killer’s revealed.

It’s possible you’re unaware, that Gracepoint’s based on a British TV series that ran on the ITV Network, entitled “Broadchurch,” that also starred David Tennant, who portrays Detective Emmett Carver, in the American version. He played Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and the 12-year-old boy’s named Danny Latimer, but many of the other characters retain the same names in both series, chief among them Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller.

The show-runners and Tennant, stated that they’re using a different character as the murderer in Gracepoint, than they did in Broadchurch, probably to keep viewers of the original intrigued, as well as giving themselves the challenge of telling the story a different way, besides the vast difference in locales. Danny Latimer got strangled and was found on the beach, but hadn’t been in the water. There was no blood, or boat involved.

Although I’ve yet to watch Broadchurch, in the interest of our readers, I went to the “Daily Mail” website, to find out who killed Danny Latimer, to rule the character out of murdering Danny Solano. Having only viewed the American version, I got quite shocked, whom the killer in the UK version is; it’s Joe Miller, father of two boys and the husband of Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller.

The finale revealed that Miller fell in love with the boy and they had met for several months giving each other hugs, but there was no sexual contact, a fact confirmed by the forensic team. Apparently, Miller bought Danny another phone and gave the boy 500 dollars, hoping the gifts would win Latimer’s love. However, Danny threatened to reveal their relationship and Miller panicked and strangled the boy, then left his dead body on the beach. When Ellie found out she physically attacked her husband, throwing him to the ground and kicking him.

Photo Courtesy Of ITV and The London Daily Mail

Photo Courtesy Of ITV and The London Daily Mail

So, knowing that Gracepoint’s Joe Miller didn’t kill Danny Solano, with three episodes remaining, who actually did kill the 12-year-old boy? After viewing the miniseries’ seventh episode on Thursday, although the focus centered on Ellie and Joe Miller’s son Tommy’s disappearance, possible clues got revealed, though this series isn’t adverse to planting things to throw viewers off the trail, as we witnessed with “Captain Jack” Reinhold. Lets take a look at possible suspects, that might have taken the young boy’s life. I’m ruling out San Francisco Globe reporter Renee Clemons, even though she’s the only other person than Carver involved in Rosemont and Gracepoint. Although I think she’s out to get Carver, it’s pretty far-fetched to think she’s the killer. Our list will go from least suspicious,to most suspicious:

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Raymond Connelly: “Mr. Telephone Man’s” certainly strange, even if he never told you about the voices he hears from some-sort of Spirit Master. But unless, he’s completely psychotic, he’s drawn too much attention to himself, in my book he’s the least likely suspect.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

Lars Pierson: The backpacker returned from his hike in the past episode and he definitely runs on a different wave length than the rest of us. He also happened to return, the day Tommy went missing, but I don’t look at him as a suspect in either incident. He recalled his conversation with Danny, for Detective Emmett Carver and seemed to sound true. Although Pierson’s got mental demons that he refuses to medicate away, he seems too gentle a soul in his present state to take another life.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Susan Wright: She puts the Creepy in “Creepy Town,” along with others in the village. Susan Wright, might actually be Ruth Ehrlich, a name that came up when Gemma Fisher ran her Social Security number, when Wright applied at the Inn for part-time work. She threatened the village paper’s editor Kathy Eaton, that she knew men who would rape her and the only person she’s connected with is Tommy Miller. She’s playing some sort of game of cat and mouse game with Vince Novik, seemingly she was smoking where Danny’s body washed up on the shore. There’s possibly at least a degree of involvement in the boy’s death.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Reverend Paul Coates: Creepy’s also an excellent adjective to describe the village’s Spiritual Counselor, as Coates behavior’s extremely off-putting. While hesitant to bring up molesting young boys by Catholic Priests, the fact’s are that we’ve found out it went on mainly unchecked for far too long. Carver seems to think that Coates is the guilty party and next episode may center around the Reverend.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Vince Novik: If forced to make a guess at this point, Mark Solano’s assistant would end up as my choice. Although he’s got an alibi for the night of Danny’s murder, it’s based on the memory of his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, making her statement unreliable. He’s done something that Susan Wright’s threatening about, although it could be a separate incident. In the past episode he had blood on his hands and face after Tommy went missing and his mother asked, why he was in trouble again? He’s got a habit of looking around suspiciously, every time he enters or exits his workshop and keeps the gate closed with a padlock. He also was the main instigator, in the village turning on Jack Reinhold.

The Story Continues Next Thursday on FOX at 10:00 pm.