Rookie Blue – Review

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Rookie Blue

Rookie Blue (ABC Thursday nights at 9) centers around five fresh-out-of-the-Academy cops. The general impression you get is that they’re a little giddy and excited, which comes off a little bit annoying, as though they’re trying to be considered cutesy, when they’re actually officers of the law. They’re all really good-looking, too. Surprise!

Where are they cops? What mean streets are they patrolling? We don’t find out. I spent the first ten minutes trying to figure out which city they were in, only to notice that every police car and uniform was missing any form of identification. Nowadays it seems like many shows have the city in the title, and if not, you find out within the first few minutes. A generic city makes the show generic, which isn’t a good sign.

Parts of the first episode are kind-of obvious and stereotypical, complete with one cop putting her radio on the wrong side, pushing the wrong button, another not knowing when to have their gun out, and other hyuks that are too predictable. Also somewhat cliche is that the the veteran training cops roll their eyes at the young rookies. Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma), a pretty black female cop walks over to her new partner, full of cheer and excitement, with a giant pink bag, and the veteran goes “Great. I get Jenny from the block” and snarkily says about her bag “That is not coming in my car.” Not surprisingly, we meet a possible love interest for Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym), who appears to be the main character.

To the show’s credit, I liked the chemistry between the rookies. It kind-of reminded me of the (original) cast of  Scrubs.

I enjoyed the show. I might have enjoyed a little more substance in a first episode. It seemed like a lot of the show was fluff, and there needs to be more content and plot development. The show didn’t instantly draw me in, which was disappointing; it took me a while to “care” about the show. There is a lot of potential in the show, and I’m going to keep watching for improvements.

Other cast members include Gregory Smith (Dov Epstein), Charlotte Sullivan (Gail Peck), Travis Milne (Chris Diaz), Ben Bass (Sam Swarek) and Eric Johnson (Luke Callaghan). We’ll need to see more of these people to judge.

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The MTA completely redid the subway map, and it’s an amazing transformation.

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Before I get to my comments, and some photos, I’ll paste the press release here from the MTA website so you can have the background information before you hear from me. As always, the italics indicate a quote from a website, and the words in regular font are my own. I will highlight a few things I find most noteworthy.

For the first time in over a decade, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is unveiling a new edition of the one map every New Yorker and tourist should possess. The new simplified version of the NYC Subway map, rescaled and with new colors, will make its debut to coincide with subway service changes that take effect June 27.

Click here to view the new map.

The MTA has ordered 1.5 million copies for distribution this month, with 6 million copies a year expected to be printed.

The challenges in representing the most complex subway system in the world are clear, but the MTA’s goal in redesigning the map was a simple one – clarity.

“In its desire to be complete and provide a great deal of information, the previous map took away from some of the clarity you would have with something simpler and less cluttered,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder.

There are some changes riders will notice. Manhattan will become wider so it’s less cluttered in spots like midtown and lower Manhattan where the bulk of subway lines traverse. Staten Island, meanwhile, is displayed as an inset.

A simple street grid with notable popular attractions and neighborhoods remains to enable riders to better gauge their location when exiting the subway system.

To improve contrast, the taupe background changed tone, and subway lines gained a gray shadow.

For the first time, maps in subway cars will be different. Bus destination “balloons” were eliminated and the station fonts made larger for easier reading on a moving subway car. Maps located in stations will still have the “balloons” while pocket maps will have abbreviated “balloons.”

As an example, here is what the old map showed for midtown and lower Manhattan:

Old Subway Map

Old Subway Map

As you can see, it’s REALLY cluttered. There are multiple instances where unless you already know where things are, you might not know which words go with which stations.

Now look at the new map, of the same basic area:

New Subway Map

New Subway Map

The entire area is wider and more spread out. Everything is much clearer and I think the new map is really crisp and professional looking. The color adjustment also seems to give it more depth and clarity. Also, considering I have never met anybody that actually takes the Staten Island subway, I’m thrilled it’s merely going to be an inset instead of clogging up space on the map.

For all of the bad press the MTA gets, this is a real upgrade, and a welcome one.

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Site of the Week: Criggo

Criggo

I would imagine that all of my Facebook friends know that I love posting photos, comic strips, and any other sort of image that I find amusing. I found the site via a tweet from Grammar Girl, so you may credit her if you like the site.

As the heading of the site says, “Newspapers are going away. That’s too bad”. Newspapers are full of hilarious photos that don’t come out as intended, typos, and other chuckle-worthy errors, and Criggo is chock full of them.

Some examples:

If you aren’t slapping your thigh yet, or haven’t ‘hyuk’ed out loud, you either haven’t been reading these, or are post-lobotomy. (Apologies to anyone who has had a lobotomy.)

Endless fun can be found as this week’s site of the week: Criggo

Bad News. Trauma is being canceled. Again.

Trauma NBC

Article courtesy of The Futon Critic:

NBC CUTS “TRAUMA” TO 18, FINALE SET FOR APRIL 26
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)


LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) — NBC’s on-again, off-again relationship with “Trauma” is back to the off phase.

The Peacock has confirmed the series will now wrap its season on Monday, April 26 at 9:00/8:00c.

Production was halted after 18 episodes, two shy of its planned 20-episode commitment.

Repeats of “Law & Order” will fill the Monday, 9:00/8:00c hour on May 3 and May 10 – “Trauma’s” original finale date.

This is just awful news. This has become one of my favorite shows, and now it’s being canceled. The worst part of it is that there is no word yet if the producers adapted episode 18 so that it could serve as a series finale or if viewers will be left hanging. Stupid stupid stupid.

The cast that includes Derek Luke, Cliff Curtis, Anastasia Griffith, Kevin Rankin, Aimee Garcia, Billy Lush, Jamey Sheridan, and Taylor Kinney has just been superb.

Argh!

Trauma is back, for now at least.

trauma-nbc

Trauma NBC

Trauma, a new show this year that’s on NBC, is finally back on the air, at least for the time being. I really like this show. There are so many shows on television that have turned everyday life on its head, and each one has a murder, investigations ensue, followed by shenanigans and the uncovering of some person who is cuffed and pays for their crime (NCIS, CSI, et cetera). Every time a car crashes, or someone gets stabbed, it has to be some wild part of a plot to do something dastardly.

What I find so refreshing about Trauma is that sometimes a car accident is just one guy not paying attention and hitting another car. People get hurt. Sometimes you’re just sitting around and a guy has a heart attack. It isn’t always the result of him being poisoned because he’s a spy for the Russians. The EMTs of San Fransisco jump in (or fly in) and try their best to save the day.

The show also does a really great job of making the show fun to “watch”, with some cool explosions and many helicopter rescues.

I’ve read that the show is just going to air its original episodes and then cancel it, but I’m hoping it sticks. There are many worse shows on TV right now. Ultimately, while I love the players, especially “Rabbit”, and think they’ve done a really nice job of selling the way the characters interact with each other and deal with the high-stress job that is being an EMT, I think they’re going to have to step the plot up to keep the show going.

I hope it’s not too late.

Read all about the show and watch full episodes here.

Win two English books from Oxford Press – Quiz

Ask Oxford

Another great book giveaway from a great reference publisher. From the site:

Competition

Win your choice of two books from the Oxford English Language Guides series

1001 Words You Need To Know and Use

The Oxford English Language Guides are handy, pocket-sized books providing clear and expert advice to help with different aspects of writing—with plenty of examples from everyday English.

There are five books in the series including; 1001 Words You Need To Know and Use: An A-Z of Effective Vocabulary, Oxford Guide to Plain English, Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation, Oxford A-Z of Better Spelling, and Oxford A-Z of English Usage.

The winner of this month’s quiz will win their choice of two of the above books.

The winner will be chosen from the correct entries after the closing date of 16th February 2010. The judges’ decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

Good luck!

To enter, all you have to do is know how to spell a word. I would write what the word is, but then you’d know how to spell it, ruining the quiz. The books seem like fun books, if you love English, that is.

The link to the quiz is here. Good luck!