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    I Choose Heart Over Grit

    I was recently watching “The Shield,” which is on FX TV and stars my old friend Michael Chiklis. Thing is, Herman and I didn’t get this station until we got a DVR and upgraded cable package.

    From what I saw of “The Shield,” and I didn’t last that long, it was very grtitty and the overall energy was very angry.

    In my humble opinion, Michael doesn’t look that great. He is bald in the show, something that was starting to happen many years ago.

    I don’t recall very well when he was starring in “The Commish,” but I do remember it didn’t have the gritty, reality show flavor that is so prevalent in shows today.

    One of my favorite current shows is called “House,” starring Hugh Lorey as the irreverent Dr. Gregory House. This show has none of the grit I have seen in other current shows on the air, yet in my opinion it is absolutely one of the best shows on today.

    House shows characters, interpersonal relationships and these are as important as the medical questions facing the team and usually solved by House. The show deals with larger issues of morality and right and wrong in ways that “The Shield” seems to dismiss.

    Back in the day when “NYPD Blue” was the first of its kind with hand-held cameras and reality type stories that made its viewers uncomfortable, it was breaking new ground. New shows may be using the gritty reality and hand held camera action of NYPD Blue, but without the heart-and they are falling short.

    One new show that Herman and I have been enjoying is called “Life on Mars.” The main character, played by Jason Omara is transported back in time from the present to 1973, 24 years ago. Everything from the music of the time to the awful styles of dressing of the 1970s is quite authentic.

    Harvey Keitel also stars in the show as the police captain of detectives and brings wit, honesty and has the heavy-hitter acting chops of a Robert Duvall or DeNiro to the part. He is generally known for his work in feature films and as they were advertising the show all fall they were definitely using Keitel as a draw.

    The year 2008 is rarely shown on the show, but Lisa Bonet makes her return to television as Omara’s present-day girlfriend who is lost in time to Omara.

    This show also doesn’t have the gritty, reality flavor of The Shield, but is very well done.

    My preference is definitely character driven relationships as opposed to anything reality or gritty in film technique.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com