Tag Archives: State of Affairs

Pilot Review: State of Affairs

Katherine Heigl as CIA analyst Charleston Tucker.  Source: Privided

Katherine Heigl as CIA analyst Charleston Tucker. Source: Provided

Are we ready for another chance to hate-watch a show for it’s star?

There’s a moment in this first episode of State of Affairs where you begin to question your current feelings for star Katherine Heigl. Heigl herself, once beloved by fans as Izzy Stephens on medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, had a very public exit from the show followed by a string of mediocre rom-com movies and earned herself a ‘difficult to work with‘ moniker.

So the question begs….do we like her or not?

Now it’s been some time since Heigl has graced our screens (large and small) but she’s back as a top CIA analyst Charleston ‘Charlie’ Tucker (Isn’t that the most ridiculous name btw?) working directly with the Constance Payton (Aflre Woodard) who happens to be the President of the United States.

Both are dealing with the pending anniversary of an attack they suffered while in Kabul in which the president’s son – and Charlie’s fiancee was killed.  Charlie’s way of dealing is with the use of lots of alcohol, random sex and the wearing of mainly black clothing…but only when there’s time for it as Charlie has plenty to do.

From being a complete bitch to her therapist to briefing the POTUS on potential threats and shouting demands down the phone, it’s a wonder she finds time to even do her hair but even in the dead of night, walking down the halls in her impossibly high heels, Charlie still manages to look like she’s just stepped off a vogue cover shoot.

While there’s daily threats for Charlie and her rag-tag team of analysts to deal with, it’s those events in Kabul which propel the season along.  Just who killed the POTUS’s son?  Why can’t Charlie remember what actually happened that night?  Who is sending those mysterious and threatening text messages?  Why is she wearing big thick black rimmed hipster glasses?

To put it nicely, State of Affairs is a watered down , fluffy version of that other woman-who-protects-the-country-but-has-issues show – Homeland but where Homeland and it’s star Claire Danes aren’t afraid to get dirty (and give us that now famous ugly cry) State of Affairs keeps it’s hands rather clean.

Don’t get me wrong, it is watchable and if you stick with it, over-time, story-lines and characters develop a lot more (especially with Tuckers team members), but don’t come in expecting the quality that Homeland gives us.

State of Affairs begins Thursday night, 9pm on Channel 7.

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Channel 7 in 2015. New and Returning Shows Announced.

Rebecca Gibney and Peter O'Brien return for Winter in 2015
Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien return for Winter in 2015

A mix of new dramas both locally and overseas made, a reality show juggernaut spin-off and documentaries are all coming our way in 2015 as channel 7 announces it’s line-up for the new ratings season.

Sadly though, it seems with some of the imported US content, Australian viewers will be quite some episodes and by the looks of it, even over half a season behind American audiences.  No fast-tracking programs here.

So just what programs did channel 7 reveal?

How to get Away With Murder: This new US drama is easily one of the best to come out of the new US season.  Oscar winner Viola Davis stars as a high profile defense lawyer slash college law professor who finds herself caught up in a murder investigation along with some of her students.  Comes from Shonda Rhimes – she of Greys Anatomy and Scandal.

State of Affairs: Starting November 17th in the US, this Katherine Heigl vehicle has a mix of Madam Secretary and Homeland and see’s Heigl as a CIA agent working closely with the US President.

Aquarius: 1960’s based homicide drama see’s David Duchovny working with an undercover detective trying to solve a missing persons case that leads them to Charles Manson.

Winter: Spin-off series from this years “The Killing Field” telemovie with Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien back in the pursuit of a killer.

Restaurant Revolution: Another spin-off from the My Kitchen Rules juggernaut taking ‘inspiration’ from My Returant Rules, which will see contestants attempt to run their very own restaurant.

800 Words: New Aussie drama starring Packed to the Rafters favorite Erik Thomson who plays a a widowed father, who moves overseas with his two teenagers, then takes on the job of writing a weekly newspaper column.

House Rules: The home renovation show is back for 2015 and just like The Block, is offering up two seasons in the new year.

Catching Milat: Underbelly-stylized drama around the Ivan Milat murders.

What Really Happens in Thailand: First it was Bali, now it’s Thailand – or a heightened version of what actually happens.  This series is focused more on the emergency rooms, cosmetic surgeons and party hot spots.

Programs returning for 2015 include The X Factor, My Kitchen Rules, Winners & Losers, Border Security, The Force and Better Homes & Gardens while The Big Adventure, Bringing Sexy Back and The Amazing Race were not on announced as returning for the network in 2015.

No Fast-Tracked TV Shows Coming Our Way?

Debra Messing and Josh Lucas star in the new Mysteries of Laura
Debra Messing and Josh Lucas star in the new dramedy The Mysteries of Laura.  Source: Provided

This time last year, you might recall being inundated with ads for new shows like The Blacklist and Marvels Agents of Shield and previews featuring the words “Fast-Tracked from the USA” or “Airing the same day as America” but for some reason, these ads pushing for new shows are quite visibly absent from our screens especially seeing that the new batch of shows are due to start airing from Wednesday the 17th right through to mid October.

FX are fast tracking the new season of The Walking Dead on October 13th – which of course is to be expected, but to-date, with the slew of new shows due to hit US screens within the next two weeks, only Channel 10 have made any announcement as to any new US programming including drama Scorpion starring Robert Patrick and Katherine McPhee and new political drama Madam Secretary starring Tea’ Leoni and Tim Daly and is being touted as a mix between Homeland and Scandal.

Among the myriad of new shows that are making news include Debra Messing’s The Mysteries of Laura, Katherine Heigl’s State of Affairs, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes new How to Get Away with Murder, Kate Walsh’s Bad Judge, Batman prequel series Gotham and comedy Fresh Off the Boat about an Asian families foray into American society.

So why the vacancy of fast tracked programming to our screens?

While only speculation, one could possibly put it down toe due to the high levels of reality programming currently assaulting our screens right now.  Between The Block Glasshouse, Big Brother, X-Factor, The Bachelor and Amazing Race Australia, there’s not much screen time left on free to air prime time network television.

Watch this space for news on what’s coming out way!

Update 22/9 : Channel 9 are bringing us Gotham

Madam Secretary premieres Thursday Oct 2nd, 9pm on Channel 10