Pin It
Favorite

Remote Possibilities 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & In Plain Sight & r & & r & (USA, Sundays, 10pm) & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & D & lt;/span & amn, those are big lips, Mary McCormack! Seriously. They weren't always that big, were they? Certainly not back in your Dickie Roberts: Child Star salad days. What gives? Oh, wait, I get it... maybe. Are they for your hot new character? The one who looks like a girl but walks, talks, fights and -- most important -- has empty, meaningless sex like a boy?





A male stereotype, I mean.





Yeah, I can see why you'd collagen the hell out of those smackers, Mar. Adds to the psychosexual and interpersonal confusion/frustration. Smart thinking. Now if only your performances could communicate confusion and frustration, we'd be onto something.





& lt;span class= "dropcap " & U & lt;/span & SA is a network of characters. It's in their charter. "Characters Welcome," it says, right there on the station identification screen. After a half-decade of success as a station of lovable neurotics -- Tony Shaloub's eponymous Monk; Psych's biracial crime-fighting odd couple of Dul & eacute; Hill and James Roday; the idiosyncratic spies of Burn Notice, etc. -- they've thrown a curveball in the character of Mary Shannon, a neurotic who is quite the opposite of lovable.





Shannon (played poorly by McCormack) is troubled, see. A U.S. Marshall charged with keeping federal witnesses alive, her professional life is shrouded in career-imposed secrecy. It's a convenient parallel for her personal life, shrouded in secrecy of the self-imposed kind. There's something wrong about Mary. She has a perfectly adorable professional baseball player doting all over her, but she can't let him in. Instead, she sleeps with random dudes. The trouble may stem from her tramp of a mom, or her leech of a sister. Who knows?





The characters are so opaque as to be black boxes that the FAA forgot how to unlock. Mary's a charred, burned-out wreck of a person, with zero clues as to how the plane went down. USA clearly wanted to get edgy with In Plain Sight, but the result is dull.





In the June 27 episode, Mar-Mar had a bit of an epiphany about her promiscuity. "Should I sleep with someone," she asked via voice-over, "just because I'm isolated and long for human contact so much my skin actually aches?" I appreciate her telling us a) that she knows she's isolated and b) that she longs for human contact. Unfortunately, thus far, nothing in the writing or in her performance has hinted at either one.





The show's clearly stumbling toward some sort of emotional depth, but it feels like a blind grope. The writers haven't figured a way of writing in the emotional complexity they want, and McCormack certainly hasn't been able to wring it out of her performance. So we get voice-overs. Rad.





TiVo-Worthy





The Closer


Kyra Sedgwick's Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson is still the most compelling, nuanced character in cop shows. And after four seasons, the writing team still has things to unveil about her character. Good TV. (TNT, Mondays, 9 pm)





Generation Kill


Now half over, the seven-part HBO miniseries on the 2003 invasion of Iraq tells the story of the kind of re-sensitization to death that happened when a generation of young men brought up on videogames and "gangster rap" saw real killing. (HBO, Sundays, 9 pm)





Swingtown


A Chicago suburb in the early '70s forms the backdrop for partner-swapping and erotic awakening. Seeking to do for the aftermath of the late '60s what Mad Men does for the early '60s -- draw parallels to the present while maintaining an ironic remove -- the show's not quite as whip-smart. (CBS, Thursdays, 10 pm)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • In Defense of Refugees
  • In Defense of Refugees

    In the aftermath of the presidential election, local residents seek ways to love and support their refugee friends
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • No License to Kill
  • No License to Kill

    Task force says officers should be held responsible for police shootings; plus, state auditor clears Spokane Valley firing of city manager
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trumped-up Education
  • Trumped-up Education

    Could the President-elect's support of school choice trickle down to Spokane?
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Planetarium Show: Black Holes

Planetarium Show: Black Holes @ Spokane Falls Community College

Sun., Dec. 4, 3-4 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • The Scourge of Fake News

    Made-up news stories played a role in the presidential election: Who's to blame?
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


election 2016


Readers also liked…

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation