Friday, January 27, 2012

Profit is the Name of the Game - Jim Profit, that is, and a lot more

So I admit to being behind on watching some series. For example, I'm almost at the end of the first season of Xena. I know - way behind. But I'm enjoying it, seriously. It's a lot of fun.  I can see why Lucy Lawless has admirers of both genders, although to be honest, my taste runs more to Ares, aka the late Kevin Smith. But I just started watching a series which I'd never heard of 'til I googled the actor that plays the main character, and wow, was I blown away. Its name is Profit.

Jim Profit, played by the very handsome and talented Adrian Pasdar (also of Heroes and Mysterious Ways) is ambitious, much as MacBeth was ambitious. An employee of the mega-corporation G&G (Gracen & Gracen), he has his smoldering eyes on the corporate prize. But unlike MacBeth, there is no woman pushing him up the corporate ladder. It's all him. He has enough ambition for ten men. As well as determination. And skill. And a background to rival the most dysfunctional family's.  

***Spoilers ahead****
We meet him at the funeral for the VP of Acquisitions at G&G, a man he's never met, but whose job he is taking. G&G is a family-owned  and family-run business, whether by blood or through marriage.  Jim Profit hits the ground running, beginning with blackmailing Gail,  the assistant of one the bosses, Jack Walters (Scott Paulin, who once played Steven Craig on St. Elsewhere, but that's a story for another time). Petty embezzling, just something to help care for her mother. But in Profit's capable hands, it becomes so much more.

With Gail's help, he gains computer access to the most private files of everyone in the office through a virtual
program, which he runs at home. All during the pilot, we watch him at his computer, sitting before it in the buff (no, we don't get to see any naughty bits, damn the luck, but keep in mind this originally aired on Fox, so you'll understand). As we watch Jim knock down the players at G&G one by one, manipulating his way through every situation, we also learn about him. How his mother died when he was a baby, and his father, with consummate parenting skills, threw the one year old Jim into a large computer box with a hole cut out so that he could watch TV, and once a week, he'd dump in food for him - as he would any other animal. Is it any wonder that Jim turned out the way he did? The last scene in the two hour pilot - well, I won't give it away, but let's just say my jaw hit the floor, and I can't forget it.

Jim isn't entirely unopposed, of course. Jack Walker is determined to show him up for what he is, with the aid of his ex-girlfriend  Joanne (Lisa Zane, formerly of LA Law and ER), who is head of security. I've only watched the pilot and one episode, but I have to say I'm already hooked and can't wait to see what happens.

Speaking of Fox, I just started to watch a brand new series there which recently made its debut - Alcatraz. I'd seen the trailers and not been sure if I was interested, but I gave it a shot, and I'm really glad I did. On March 21, 1963, the prison of Alcatraz was closed, its inmates dispersed to other facilities. Except that isn't what really happened. On March 20, 1963, 302 inmates disappeared without a trace. Now, almost fifty years later, they're coming back, some of the worst criminals ever assembled in one place. The question remains - what happened to them, why, and who's behind it?

Detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) watched her partner die right before her eyes. In the course of her work, she comes across evidence that a criminal she is tracking was once an inmate of Alcatraz. Her investigation leads her to Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia of Lost), a comic book writer, who owns his own comic book store, and also happens to be an expert on Alcatraz. Utilizing his help, they search the baffling mystery of the criminal, Jack Sylvane, crossing paths with federal investigator Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), who isn't what he appears to be.  **spoiler alert**  They end up joining his task force, investigating the 302 missing Alcatraz prisoners. Each week features a different criminal. So far there have been three, Sylvane, Cobb and Kitt Nelson.

I already like the series. The writing is good, the story is very interesting, and the acting is good too. Sam Neill is looking as hot as ever. In fact, even better. I think he's lost weight since he played Cardinal Wolsey in The Tudors. He's looking mighty fine. Hauser's assistant, Lucy (Parminder Negra, ER) is in a coma, thanks to Kit Nelson. We don't really know the nature of their relationship yet, but Hauser is obviously affected by her condition, whether he lets on or not. I like the character of Rebecca - she's strong and independent and loyal. She stuck up for Diego when Hauser was too hard on him. After all, he's not even a professional or a law enforcement officer, so dead bodies are a little out of his purview. This series is off to a great start, and I look forward to seeing more.

On Iron Chef America, we saw Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian in  his second battle in Kitchen Stadium since being crowned the newest Iron Chef. His challenger was Chef Jonathan Sawyer of The Greenhouse Tavern, formerly a sous chef of Michael Symon's on Iron Chef America. The secret ingredient was mint, definitely not a favorite of mine. I wasn't even aware that there were that many kinds of mint, outside of spearmint and peppermint. Although he failed to achieve the perfect score that he received on his first outing, Chef Zakarian handily beat Chef Sawyer, with the aid of his faithful sous chef, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. I just love their relationship, the banter and the obvious affection between them. I watch Iron Chef America every week now, in the hopes of seeing more of that.  I am beyond excited that Chef Zakarian has taken his place in the ranks of the Iron Chefs. He is without a doubt, my favorite, followed by Iron Chef Morimoto, whom I've liked since the original series.

Top Chef Texas is coming down to the wire, six chefs remaining. For the Quick Fire Challenge, they were paired up and set to work to come up with something quick. Chris Jones and Grayson were the winning pair, splitting $10k. The bad news was that for the Elimination Challenge the partners became adversaries, each making the same dish. Grayson chose chicken salad sandwich, which Chris went along with. Probably his undoing. Paul and Edward chose Asian food, and Lindsay picked meatballs. Then Padma revealed the catch - they had to make healthy versions of these dishes. Poor Chris was eliminated. He pre-made his sandwiches, not taking into consideration the 110 degree heat. Plus he had a bee issue which caused him to rush his blending of his smoothies, leaving unsightly chunks of ice in them, and for the dryness of the sandwiches and the ice thing, he was told to pack his knives and go home. He was my second favorite, but my favorite contestant is still there, luckily, as he was in the bottom three - namely, Edward. Now there's five left, and we're getting close to the end.

Next time, I'll talk about Californication, back for its fifth season, and Grimm and Once Upon a Time. Heat Seekers is back too.

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie


  1. I loved the show Profit. It was really trippy! I admit, I was a wreck worrying that Edward was going to get cut on Top Chef this week. I am going to start watching the online series with one chef getting to return to the show. It should be high pressure each week. I haven't started Alcatraz yet. I have it on my DVR. Right now I am getting caught up on Hell On Wheels and Downtown Abbey. Both shows are really good. Ok, I know I complained about Zakarian winning Top Chef. And, I love Alex Guarnaschelli and I really think she would make a great Iron Chef. Zakarian produced some amazing food in challenge mint. Even through the tv screen, I was excited about the food. Pooh, I said I wouldn't watch him but he has Alex on his team. Now I have to watch.

  2. I was really happy Beverly got cut last week, but I know she's the frontrunner now on the return chef thing. Did you watch the show afterwards? I watched a few minutes, just to see Fabio, but the host gets on my nerves. I loved Hell on Wheels, need to see Downton Abbey.

    Alex would have been a great Iron Chef, I agree. Ann Burrell too.