My Take On…TNT Tuesdays

Tonight on TNT, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Michael Vartan return to our small screens in the season 2 premiere of last summer’s breakout hit, HAWTHORNE (no, I won’t capitalize it how they want me to).  Last year, I have to admit that I tired quickly of the show, and did not stick around to see how the first season played out.  Needless to say, I was hesitant going into tonight’s premiere that I would once again have a reason (boredom) to not watch a show that has my beloved Michael Vartan as a part of the main cast.

It’s with relief that I say, thanks to the shows decision to close Christina’s hospital, and force the team over to new digs, tonight’s episode was fast paced and interesting, with enough of a hint of romance between Vartan and Pinkett-Smith’s characters (even though they don’t seem to share any chemistry), and a good chance for all of last year’s favorite people to shine under very difficult, very new circumstances.  Plus, who doesn’t love a stoic and sarcastic Sara Gilbert cameo?  I don’t think that I’m going to be tuning in on a weekly basis, but the first episode definitely felt like the show is moving in a solid and steady direction.

Immediately following HAWTHORNE, leave TNT on so you can catch the premiere of Jason Lee’s gritty new drama MEMPHIS BEAT.  TNT’s official description reads that “the show centers on Dwight Hendricks (Lee), a quirky Memphis police detective with an intimate connection to the city, a passion for blues music and a close relationship with his mother. He is “the keeper of Memphis,” a Southern gentleman who is protective of his fellow citizens, reverential of the city’s history and deeply rooted in its blues music scene.”

Like the write-up says, Dwight is a detective that wants to get the job done, no matter what happens, and he takes great pride in the city where he was raised and Lee plays him with relish – like after years of playing do-gooder EARL, this was a natural progression for him.  Throw in Alfre Woodward’s no nonsense police captain to tell Dwight when he’s doing something wrong, and you have the makings of a solid cop drama with a little bit of humor thanks to Lee’s great Elvis alter ego, and DJ Qualls in general.  The first episode was a bit slow in parts, but I think with a few episodes under their belts, they’ll be another hit for TNT.