As we get ready for the return of your favorite shows, check out the previous seasons. This week’s offerings include Grimm: Season One, Mike & Molly: The Complete Second Season, NCIS: The Ninth Season, and NCIS:LA The Third Season.
Grimm: Season One
Using the Olympics to get a jump on viewership, NBC has already begun the second season of this show that features violent criminals based on fairytales and other sources, all who are hunted by the last Grimm, Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli). He’s joined by his cop partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a Blutbad/werewolf, who reluctantly joins forces with the descendant of his ancestors’ enemy. (Seriously, one of the best parts of having the series on DVD is that it includes the Wesen dictionary within the unique foldout, along with all of the special featurettes and the limited edition collector’s cards… I had to buy it after watching all of the commercials!)
The gruesomeness of the show’s more violent crimes is balanced by the humor between Nick and his two buddies, the romance he shares with his fiancee Juliette (Bitsy Tulloch), and the sometimes ridiculous nature of Mitchell’s furry beast. Watching Nick investigate the stories of fairy tales past is pretty sweet as NBC has spared no cost, and the stories are uniquely intelligent. It’s all wrapped around Nick coming to grips with being a Grimm—the storyline which keeps it all connected.
What would you do if you found out that you were called to something greater than anyone had shared with you before? What happens if some greater truth is revealed and you recognize that your life as you know it can never be the same again? That’s essentially what happens when we find faith, when we recognize that Jesus’ death on the cross saves us from our sins, but lays at our feet (or on our cross) the responsibility to share faith and blessing with others. We see that our old lives have to pass away, and our new life can be scary, powerful, and full of things that we didn’t see before. Grimm serves up some spiritual warfare with very real threats, and asks us to consider what lens we’re using to see our own lives.
Mike & Molly: The Complete Second Season
After Mike (Billy Gardell) proposes to Molly (Melissa McCarthy) at the end of the first season of CBS’s hit comedy, we knew that the second season was going to take the show to places few other comedies had been before. While there are several comedies about dating and some about life with kids, this new love-turned-married couple idea hasn’t been touched much lately.
With help from their families (played wonderfully by Katy Mixon, Swoosie Kurtz, and Rondi Reed) and friends (Reno Wilson, Nyambi Nyambi), Mike and Molly sort through this process in a way that is realistic, endearing, and hilarious. How do you shift from a life of singleness to a life of togetherness? How do you maintain your individuality and embrace something where someone else walks step-by-step with you? How can you build trust and transparency without being ridiculously over the top? This show delivers hilarity (rivalled only by Big Bang Theory) and with the special features, you can get more of the cast.
Mike & Molly might’ve started off thanks to a sexual attraction, and a need for some food therapy, but what relationship starts from a textbook? While the couple has plenty that they have to work through, including Mike’s mother’s Baptist beliefs, it’s refreshing to see a couple that doesn’t settle for what everyone else is doing (including their family and friends), and tries to find faith in a new relationship in a whole new way.
NCIS: The Ninth Season
Having seen every episode of Mark Harmon’s ensemble drama NCIS, I’ve appreciated the DVD release each preseason for a refresher on where the plot and cast stand, and for their behind-the-scenes delivery. Gibbs (Harmon) searches for the truth with the help of his team (Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, etc.) in this six-disc collection that saw Jamie Lee Curtis join the cast as a love interest (and shadowy consult) for Gibbs, includes the two hundredth episode, and ends with a cliffhanger that leaves the future of the NCIS team in doubt.
I’m still not sold on Curtis, and as much as I love Gibbs’ rules and all, she just doesn’t fit my worldview of the show. Maybe it’s that the two of them have similar haircuts, but Gibbs relies too much on trust that Curtis’ Dr. Ryan doesn’t really seem to be able to provide. While Jimmy Palmer deals with preparing for a wedding, and the team grows closer together, we’re far enough into the show in its ninth season that we get to see the team deal with some soul-searching, including Director Vance and Abby. Always about trust, truth, and protecting freedom, NCIS continues to delve deeper into a more spiritual understanding of why these people put their lives on the line and explore their reasons for being.
The special features certify this as mandatory watching for fans: you have to check out the cast roundtable, even if you don’t care for the Jamie Lee Curtis feature or checking out more of the 200th episode.
NCIS: Los Angeles The Third Season
The spin-off from NCIS provides us with a younger cast, namely LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, and this season crossed over to CBS’ “other” crime drama, Hawaii Five-O. While I’ve been sold on NCIS for awhile, and have caught every episode of Alex O’Loughlin’s show, I’m still not quite all the way bought into this other ensemble drama tinged with humor. Somehow, Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen don’t provide the same kinds of banter that the other two shows pull off, and while the cases are pretty solid, it’s just not as funny.
This season finds the team dealing with the revelations about Callen (O’Donnell) that were unravelling in the second season, and encountering double-crosses and traitorous actions that will have ongoing ramifications, as the cliffhanger leaves us… hanging. Thankfully, you’re not left hanging here with the crossover with H5-0 as they actually include that episode as a special feature, and provide quite a few special features that will allow fans of the more “hip” show to peel back the screen and see what lies beneath.