April 23, 2014
by Rich Keller, posted Apr 14th 2010 3:11PM
A while back, while announcing the season premieres for 'Burn Notice' and 'Royal Pains', I briefly mentioned the reason why these original USA network programs, as well as their other offerings, work so well. As I thought about it some more, I realized that it wasn't just the focus on characters and the mix of comedy and drama that made these shows click with audiences. There was more to it. In fact, three more 'its' to make a TV Squad list. How's that for ironic!
So, if you'll indulge me for a moment, here are the five things that make USA network shows resonate with viewers.
1. Actual character-driven shows -- When USA uses the tag line "Characters Welcome" they aren't kidding. Every original program since 'Monk' has been character driven. They haven't relied on special effects, or musicals, or unanswered questions that, when answered, produced more unanswered questions. It's characters that drive the shows and move them forward.
by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 8th 2010 12:32AM
(S03E02) In its third season, 'In Plain Sight' has become one of the best dramas on cable. In a pool that includes 'Mad Men,' 'Burn Notice,' 'Breaking Bad' and 'Justified,' to name a few, that's some damn good company.
Granted, 'In Plain Sight' isn't as lofty as some of those others, but the characters are sharp, the writing is excellent for this genre, and it's a show that you can look forward to watching each week. Try saying that about some network dramas. More on tonight's episode and remembering when Hello, Kitty rings were cute, after the jump.
by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 4th 2009 8:02PM
Things are really cooking at the USA Network. Not only has the new show Royal Pains been renewed for a second season, but Burn Notice is also coming back for a fourth. Law and Order: Criminal Intent is on the verge of being re-upped, and now In Plain Sight has just gotten a pick-up for Season Three.
Wow! Talk about a winning formula. This part of the Universal family, as opposed to NBC, seems to have figured out how to make dramas work and work well.
by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 20th 2009 12:04PM
(S02E01) After the harrowing conclusion from last season, Mary Shannon was back and after 30 hours of sleep, she actually seemed ready to return to work. However, as Marshall soon found out, looks can be deceiving. Mary and Jinx and Brandi were still together and coping, but the effects of one of them nearly being raped, killing a man, concealing drugs, having their home turned inside out and suffering the indignity of the FBI invading every corner of your life took a toll. They thought they had come out the other side unscathed, but as the episode unfolded, damage was evident.
For Mary, getting back on a case, even as Marshall's sidekick, was a welcomed relief from administrative leave. Her denial of post-traumatic stress disorder was typical for her. In fact, she was suffering, but it manifested itself as a happy, chipper and congenial Mary. Stan, Marshall and Bobby D. were baffled by this alternate universe Agent Shannon, but for viewers wise to the ways of TV, it was clear that something was amiss.
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