Share this article

print logo

'The Catch' and other things that went un-tweeted

They should sue for non-support. That’s what I think.

If Hulk Hogan can get a jury to award him $140 million of Gawker’s money for invasion of privacy, Mireille Enos and Peter Krause ought to get something out of ABC and Shondaland for the lousiest title of the TV year.

“The Catch.”

What is that, we might wonder? A sitcom about a sport fishing guide in Florida?

No, it’s about a beautiful upscale corporate private eye – Uhhh, make that “forensic security expert” – who spends a year thinking she’s got a handsome fiance only to find out he’s a con man who cleared out her $1.4 million life savings, along with all of the computer information of her firm’s clients.

All that up-close-and-personal high-gloss betrayal is a natural for the folks at Shondaland, right? That’s undoubtedly what ABC felt when this thing started out as a lowly treatment by a writer named Kate Atkinson.

Right then and there it should have been given a decent title – a title, at least, as good as those for Shonda Rhimes’ other Thursday winners: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.”

But no. They gave us a TV series title that sounds like the Friday special at a diner – fried haddock, perhaps, with tartar sauce on the side in a tiny paper cup.

The interesting thing about it is that the show’s not bad at all. As formulaic as it is, it’s also slick, fast, high-gloss, sleek-looking (loaded with impressively lunatic L.A. architecture) and very nicely cast with Enos and Krause as people who either may or may not be in love.

There’s a watchable TV show in there – not a great one, but a perfectly decent way to throw away an hour a week without any heavy intellectual or emotional lifting.

Among the weird things about TV as a business is that the behind-the-scenes stories about some TV shows are far more interesting than what they put on the air. I have a feeling that may soon turn out to be the fate down the road with “The Catch.”

The story of it finally getting on the air is a mess – a whole different show runner (Jennifer Schuur) at first, replaced by another (Allan Heiberg) and a major cast upgrade from the two original stars.

Enos was terrific – and notably different – in AMC’s “The Killing.” Krause has been a tall, charming, smirking winner from the git-go in “Sports Night,” “Six Feet Under” and “Parenthood.”

A show ABOUT eveything that went to putting “The Catch” on might be “30 Rock” times 10.

The show they’ve got is a very slick and very promising bit of numbskull TV if all that off-screen chaos never makes it onto the screen. That may not be the case. We’ll have to see.


It’s a social media universe, according to some. On the off chance they’re right, here are a few things I was too busy to tweet about last week.

A not-so-promising debut: The new spinoff from “Criminal Minds” – “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” – follows the FBI in search of American citizens in trouble overseas – a timely theme but, so far, a boring show.

Gary Sinise, who formerly led all those CSIs in New York City, deserved better.

And another: I used to think I’d be happy to watch Joan Allen in anything. After watching her play the mother to a long-lost son in “Family” – who is beset by Gothic doings – I no longer think so.

Farewell, Don Paul: I’m glad that a protracted multi-part goodbye marked his exit from Channel 4 news. Paul deserved that and then some, just as Rich Newberg did recently.

I must admit that I find it more than a little baffling that the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame hasn’t inducted Paul yet. It’s true he used to be prickly about his meteorological credentials but he also had a kind of unashamed nerdiness that was appealing, especially when he was also giving us reasons to understand why his career as a gag writer never took off. To have Paul and Van Miller on a TV news set nightly was accidentally brilliant.

He was a major TV news winner. So what on earth was the local broadcasting Hall of Fame waiting for?

Don’t get too used to seeing Doug Flutie weekly: Among my favorite moments proving Van Miller’s irrepressibility was the moment he came to his sports desk and announced a good day for Doug Flutie with the Bills by saying “Root-da-TOOT-da-TOOTIE (mumble, mumble) Doug Flutie!”

Flutie’s endurance as a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” is definitely going to be “Hail, Mary!” matter. A natural dancer he’s not, even though he said his daughter dances and his wife used to teach dance.

He danced to “Sweet Caroline,” buttered up his old Patriots fan to try to get their votes and then, when his judge’s scores were low, appealed as an afterthought to Bills fans to help vote him through the next weeks.

There are no less than three NFL vets on DWTS this season – Flutie, Antonio Brown of the Steelers and Von Miller of the Broncos. My guess? Root-da-TOOT-da-TOOTIE, don’t get used to Doug Flutie. Finals material, he’s not.

Garry Shandling and Jerry Seinfeld: Seinfeld’s bit with Garry Shandling on his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” turned out to be a very funny but also accidentally prescient and moving epitaph for Shandling, who died Thursday of a heart attack at 66.

On Seinfeld’s wonderful Internet show, the two talked about their old and warm friendship, but also a lot about Robin Williams’ suicide and what would have seemed Shandling’s hypochondria if we now didn’t know better.

As they said, it’s only when you die that people talk about how young you are in your mid-60s.


There are no comments - be the first to comment