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Blue Bloods: I started watching on Hulu, then realized it was  still airing on CBS. I am caught up through the end of the fifth season, but there are gaps in the middle I have not seen. (I will figure that out at some point). I love this show, especially the juxtaposition between Danny Reagan and Hank Voight from Chicago PD. (And other characters as well). You accept in watching this show that it's a morality tale. How can it not be when one of the main scenes in every show is Sunday dinner? It makes me feel guilty I did not eat with my family more often. Yes, again you need to suspend disbelief, but hey, it is a TV show. Tom Selleck is masterful, and even the minor characters have developed and show excellent acting.

Night Shift: I had absolutely no intention of watching this show, then I flipped it on one night and I was hooked. Probably a lot less known than any of the other medical dramas. This one is set in San Antonio, not one of your typical television-set cities, and they use that pretty well. The hook is that many of the docs and nurses are ex-military and some are dealing with flashbacks and PTSD. There is a very strong gay character, an extremely strong and good-looking guy, whose partner (maybe husband by now) lost a leg overseas. My wife is amused because it is such a soap-opera story line, even more so than many of the other shows of its type. So many things happen that you are pushed to the edge of believability, but I enjoy it.

Blacklist: Blame this one on the Super Bowl. I was working that night, watched the end of the game, then got pulled into this show, which I had avoided before. I had no idea what it was about. This episode, which was a new one, featured Ron Perlman, who you will see I am absolutely fascinated by. Once I saw a couple scenes with James Spader, I knew I had to go back and see some previous episodes. This is one of those shows that is definitely driven by a single star. There are some other great performances, and it is a compelling story with a lot of twists, but Spader just shines in this. I had never really noticed him before, but wow is he amazing in this show. I think I have watched most or all of Season 2, and maybe parts of Season 1. I am looking forward to the next season, though if you watch it, you know the tone and focus are likely to change in September.

Sons of Anarchy: OK, this is really odd. I have listed a dozen TV shows I have been watching and now I get to the one I had been watching most intently until I started up with Criminal Minds this week. I have watched most of Seasons 1 and 2 and at times, I am completely blown away by this show. I have done a lot of reading about it as well, and some of the background is really amazing. I mentioned Ron Perlman earlier, and he absolutely makes this show. I have never seen an actor use a prop (his cigar) the way Perlman does. It's an extension of him. You want to walk soap opera? This is soap opera with several sides of torture and murder. I finally had to stop watching late in Season 2, because there was just too much violence and too many secrets.

There is something else about shows like Sons of Anarchy, which have run for a long time and are now finished. There's a lot of documentation out there about the show and in fact I know what happens in the end. Some of the stuff in between, that I know is going to happen, sounds really depressing.

That said, this is a great show. One of the things I like about committing to a show over several seasons is that you get to see the characters develop. At first, it was Clay, Jax and the rest of the Sons. After a while, I began to see the different members and what their roles were. Female roles are important, but problematic at times.

I remain unsure when/if I will go back to watching it.

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September 2015

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