I’ve been struggling to put this post together for a week. Part of the difficulty comes from intense emotions, or what my friends might call too many feels. The other problem is multi-layered regret: regret that I didn’t do this sooner, regret that I will never know all the stories and details that could have added to the tale, and regret that I allow my cramped and stifled brain to push me away from my keyboard anytime writing gets too hard. But this is important and I will get this together tonight if it kills me – okay, more likely makes me look like a red-nosed, swollen-eyed, mushy middle-aged woman.

As many of my friends know, my maternal grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease. She was officially diagnosed around five years ago, but it was clear to the family what the problem was long before that. We had watched her mother suffer through it until she passed in 1992, and two of her older sisters had already been diagnosed with it. She was fortunate that she still has my grandfather there to care for her, but as he is three years older than her, his health and mental faculties have been in a steady decline for a number of years. There have been repeated attempts on the parts of my mom and her siblings to get their parents moved into a senior community that has “memory care” facilities, but my grandfather – stubborn, proud and frugal as he has always been – always put the brakes on the move at the last minute.

That has changed now. We aren’t even sure he’s able to care for himself anymore, let alone my grandmother. My aunts and uncles have pitched in along with my parents to help as much as possible. The men help by doing little repairs around the house and mowing the grass. The ladies handle the paperwork and the ins and outs of doctor’s visits, dealing with the insurance company and shopping for their mom’s clothes. My mom makes a point of going over at least one day a week to play Yahtzee with my grandma to help keep her mind stimulated at least a little bit. But the time has come for the family to accept that we are not able to take care of them and maintain our own health and sanity. My mother comes home frequently all frazzled and frustrated from her visits, and I can’t imagine it is any easier on my aunts and uncles.

And what does this all mean to me? It’s pretty simple – my grandmother is the one person I know without a doubt loves me no matter how badly I mess up. The horrible way I used to yell and scream at her over my (not yet realized) frustration at my parents for farming me out to her every summer? She would punish me appropriately, if a little reluctantly, and then hug me and tell me she loved me no matter what I said to her. Flunked out of my freshman year of college? Maybe it didn’t bother her as much as my parents because she never made it out of middle school – she had been recruited to work in her dad’s general store before she finished the eighth grade. My marriage failed? Not so much as an eye blink, which was a refreshing change from the intense sense of judgment I felt from my sincerely religious family. The depression that kept me a virtual prisoner in my home for nearly two years? She only wanted to know how she could help and when I might come and sit with her for a while.

What matters most to me is what I learned from her, even if it has taken me the better part of four decades to figure it out. She taught me how to love the people that matter to me. It doesn’t always have to involve words. Her love for me was there in every bowl of macaroni and cheese, plate of sliced tomatoes, and dinner of salmon patties and fried potatoes she fixed for me. It was evident there on her couch as she taught me how to play rummy and Yahtzee while her “stories” – those lovely slices of daily melodrama we call soaps – droned on in the background. Every stitch in a Barbie skirt, or a matching one for me, thrummed with her love. The yarn critters she made still feel like love, even after years packed away in boxes. There isn’t a thing my grandma ever gave me that reminds me, even a little, that I was a disappointment at times, difficult to deal with at others, and have made so many mistakes that not even I can honestly say I approve of what I’ve accomplished with my life so far. My grandma doesn’t care about any of that – she just loves me for being me.

So why is it so vital I put these words together now? She’s not dead, we’re only planning to take her to a place where people can give her more attention than our family is able to now. The problem is that in order to do that, we will have to medicate her into complacency so that she won’t fight leaving behind everything familiar to her. See, while I still see my gentle, good-natured grandmother when we visit, her disease has stripped her of most of her self-control and these days, when things aren’t going the way she wants them to, she lashes out – sometimes verbally, but occasionally physically. She has always had a stubborn streak in her, but before Alzheimer’s started slowly stealing her away from us, she could figure out why people were doing things. There is no explaining to her anymore that this move is for her benefit, and Grandpa’s too. The world is so confusing to her now she can’t stand for anything to change, let alone leave her home of the last 34 years.

And so this coming week, my mom and aunt will be taking her to be admitted to a geriatric psychiatric ward, so that they can stabilize Grandma’s medications sufficiently for her to move into the memory care unit of the senior community they and my grandfather have chosen. It is necessary, I understand that, but the realist in me knows that her already impaired mental faculties, memory in particular, will likely suffer for the stabilization process. And even then, once she is situated in her new “home,” we have been told that we won’t be allowed to see her right away, because the staff wants time to make sure she is well and truly acclimated and accepting of her new surroundings before any of us, even my grandfather, are allowed to visit. So she will likely spend weeks away from any familiar faces, any trace of her long life, surrounded by strangers who are trying to help her.

And in the end, the odds of my grandmother really being there when we are finally permitted to go see her is fairly low. It hurts to know she likely won’t recognize us anymore, or at best, that we will be permanently confused for younger versions of other relatives, most long since dead. I am glad that her needs will be met by capable and trained professionals, and that my mother won’t have to worry if her mom has been left unattended in her locked house again. But in a very real way, it feels like our weekly lunch tomorrow will be my last chance to look my grandma in the eye, tell her thank you and I love you, and know that some part of her will actually hear and understand me.

As much as my emotions have been wreaking havoc with me, I only hope that I can keep it together until we go our separate ways. If there are tears in my eyes, or if I look sad, I know her well enough to know that she’ll worry – not about herself, mind you, but about me. I know she’ll tell me to come see her soon, like she always does, and that it’s going to break my heart a lot when I promise her that I will. But I’m going to do my best this time – I already failed to say my goodbyes to one grandparent with a lingering illness, and I refuse to make that mistake again. And I will do my best to live what she has shown me. I know that I am flawed, but I will try to make sure that the people who matter to me know that they are loved – even if they are flawed too.

*** Danielle

Update:  I surprised myself at how well I did. When Grandpa was ready to leave, I went over and took both of her hands to help her stand up. She started to hug me while she was sitting, but I smiled and said, “Let me help you up first. I’m already too tall to hug you properly.” She laughed and stood up, then wrapped her arms around me. I leaned in close and just said, “I love you very, very much.” She asked her question after she told me she loves me too, and I told her I’d do my best. She even snuck back for another hug before they left. My eyes misted up a bit when my aunt hugged her for so long, doing the same thing I was, saying a last goodbye, but no one noticed. The mandatory throat lump was there as I watched Grandma, her hand on Grandpa’s arm, toddling out to the parking lot, but I feel good at least knowing she had a good lunch with her family. And I took a nap when I got home, because that sort of emotional restraint is just exhausting.

Never have dealt well with emotions.

Never have dealt well with emotions.

*** Danielle

After my last post, regarding the concept of love, I realized that it had been nearly 2 and a half years since I had posted here, or even hopped on just to check stats and comments. That picture I posted in October 2010 was not really any attempt to keep myself plugged in here; I was just testing the WordPress app on my then-new R2D2 smartphone. I was sort of dumbstruck at the absence and started thinking about why I just gave up on this, and in effect, my writing career, at that moment in time.

It took me a couple of days to piece it together, but as far as reasons for writer’s block go, it’s a humdinger. On September 30, 2010, I got on Facebook before work and was going through my daily ritual of checking up on all my friends when I saw an article that had been linked by one of my former journalism professors. One of my fellow non-traditional students had been found murdered in her home, by her husband, who then killed himself. While it would have been a shock under any circumstances to read about someone I knew being murdered, the whole thing hammered me pretty hard.

Melissa, Lissa to her friends, and I had gotten pretty close while we were at UC. I first met her in my magazine publishing class, where we ended up being assigned to the same group. We brainstormed like crazy and came up with the Rewind magazine concept together, drawing on our mutual longing for the good old days when we were young and carefree and we wanted to grow up to be Molly Ringwald or Ally Sheedy. The class required us to spend a fair amount of time together outside of school, and as luck would have it, we only lived about ten minutes apart.

I was super excited to have a classmate who lived up here in the northern suburbs, and it was just a bonus that she was also a mom and non-traditional student. She and I started hanging out more on campus too; we became each other’s sanity anchors and sounding boards over assignments we were dreading or the fun and sometimes aggravation of listening to our younger classmates go on and on about their super exciting extracurriculars. It was just such a relief to have someone who got how odd it was to be sitting in a classroom with people who were closer in age to my son than myself.

And then I graduated. Lissa still had a couple quarters’ worth of classes to complete to get her degree, so we spent less time together, with her focusing on her internships and my need to focus on finding a job. We still managed to get together a couple of times over the next six months and then all of our activities seemed to swallow up even those brief interludes. I felt bad about it, but at the time, I had so much going on between working my part-time job and applying for something in my field and spending time with other friends that I just shrugged it off, figuring I’d have time to catch up with her eventually.

In the three months before her death, Lissa stepped up her efforts to get in touch with me. She called a handful of times, and even stopped by my house twice, both times while I was at work. The last time she was here my parents told me she seemed in good spirits, but seemed sort of pressed to get a bit of my time. That was two weeks before she died.

When I read the article, and subsequent posts from other classmates on Lissa’s death, I was just in shock. It took me a couple of weeks to get to guilt and anger, and they just sort of swallowed me for months. I kept doing what I had to do (working) and spent the rest of my time trying to escape and cope through my favorite past-time, role-playing. I even made a character who’s driving purpose was to punish abusive men. And the whole time, I was busy thinking about the whole awful situation.

I would never see this beautiful, confident, slightly irreverent woman pulling up outside my house in her white convertible. I had spent hours hanging out with her at home, and met her husband Dale. He seemed like a good guy, and from the times we three had sat on their back patio, smoking and talking, he seemed supportive of Lissa following her passion and trying to make a go of following her dream to be a writer. She had even had a book published while she was still a student at UC, a little local history book about the inclines of Cincinnati.

Had she been trying to reach out to me, as a woman who had gotten out of her unhealthy marriage, for help? I will never know. And that’s the thing that sort of killed my spirit. While I was struggling to process the whole thing, I wanted to write a scathing blog post about how terrible abusive relationships were, and why gun control was a good thing, and a number of other related topics. But I just couldn’t get my thoughts together enough to even try to write something.

And that’s when I gave up on my writing. I couldn’t seem to string together three sentences on any topic, no matter how far from the subject of Lissa’s senseless death it might have been. And it only took me two and a half years to figure out that I needed to do this, say goodbye to my friend and acknowledge how much it affected me, if I ever wanted to give this dream a chance.

I have driven past her house once since she died. It was probably six months after – up until then, I couldn’t even bring myself to drive up Kemper Road in that general direction. I turned around in the driveway of her house after sitting there for a couple of minutes trying to figure out what had happened. And I ended up pulling over before I managed to finish the ten minute drive to my house, because the tears simply would not wait.

After this epiphany I had about how deeply her death touched me, I realized how awful and wasteful my inaction has been. Lissa was driven to do this thing, just like I am, and she had been making real progress before her life was cut short. And here I sit, bemoaning that I can’t make a go of it as a real writer, when I have time and support and people who care about me who want to see me succeed. It’s a terrible thing to let something you love sit on a shelf because you are afraid of rejection or failure; it’s an absolute travesty to do that when you know there are others who will never have the opportunity to even try again.

So I am going to do this. It may never amount to more than my rambling here on the web for those few, you brave few, who want to see what I have to say. But at least I am going to try. To be perfectly honest, I made need your help, darling readers. If I have been silent for too long, feel free to give me a shout and say something. Want to hear my thoughts on something? Ask me – if I have anything to say, I’ll do my best to get it out here.

Finally, I just want to leave this video. My last chance to say goodbye to my friend, and promise her that I won’t let this gift we shared go to waste any more.

 

*** Danielle

Equality

*(Much Thanks to P!nk for the Title)

So I’ve spent a lot of time today thinking about what is happening in the Supreme Court and what it means to me. My initial knee-jerk reaction is to say something like, “Everyone should get a shot at marriage – not like they could do it worse than I have.” But snark isn’t helpful, it just encourages people to fire back with their own version and a genuine conversation doesn’t usually emerge from a snark-fest.

More thought needed to be given to the subject and I kept circling back to the idea that this is all about love. Equality is the headline of the day, but ultimately this is really about acknowledging as true and real a form of love that an ever-shrinking portion of society has deemed as “wrong” or “bad” in the name of religion. The irony in this situation is very rich to me, given that I was raised under the general umbrella of the very faith that people use as a weapon in this fight against same-sex relationships.

Love is the very foundation of Christianity – at least the way I’ve always understood the Jesus of the Bible. Not only did he love and accept everyone, but he specifically drew to him those who were considered unworthy of love or acceptance by the society of his day. So, yeah, I’m guessing He’s not really impressed with the way people use their faith in Him to justify being hateful towards anyone.

But putting matters of faith and belief aside, I realized the idea of legislating love is ridiculous. Love isn’t rational, reasonable and refuses to be confined within safe, arbitrary boundaries any group or individual might like to place on it. Love is breathtaking, amazing, brutal, awe-inspiring, terrfiying, fantastic and unpredictable. Seriously, if love was even remotely rational, would it be able to drive us to such lengths and make us all just a little crazy?

However the Court decides this week, and whatever the outcome of the various legislations addressing the issue of same-sex marriages across the country is, I just want to say that love is a slippery little thing, and if you find it, grab it, hold tight and ignore anyone who tells you it’s wrong because the Bible told them so. Love is such a rare thing to find and keep that anyone who tells you your notions of love are wrong may just be jealous that you found it and they haven’t yet.

*** Danielle

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Saw this at Meijer and just wondered who thought this was a good idea – time to rethink the signage folks.

I admit it – I am a television junkie. Even as I write this, I’ve got the rerun of this season’s finale of The Closer on my 32″ flat screen. So what if I watched most of it on Monday – I missed the first half hour or so because I was busy watching season 9 of Smallville on DVD in preparation for next Friday’s season 10 premiere. (On a side note, I’d have to say that the Smallville writer’s have to be among the best in the business at crafting cliffhanger season finales – if I had watched the final episode of season 9 when it aired originally in May, I might have blown a fuse faced with the prospect of waiting four months to find out what happens next!)

My bedtime ritual involves me saying good night to the internet, then moving over to my flattened futon to watch television for half an hour or more before going to sleep. During the week, when I have to get up the next morning, I don’t watch much usually, just whatever rerun happens to be on TNT or USA at 11:00 PM. But on Friday and Saturday nights, I find all sorts of strange things to become mesmerized by. Saturdays nights are fun because I usually end up watch Iron Chef America on the Food Network. There’s just something exhiliarting about listening to Alton Brown and Kevin Brauch banter back and forth while giving play-by-play descriptions of the chefs in action – I wouldn’t know a ganache from a gnocchi without their guidance, but somehow they make cooking look almost like an Olympic sport.

Last night, I caught a couple of episodes of one of my true guilty pleasures, Say Yes to the Dress. Of course, I was a bit confused that the episodes were not taking place at Kleinfeld’s but apparently the show was so successful that there is now an Atlanta edition. So as I was getting used to the southern twangs of the bridal consultants and listening to their resident gay fashion maestro Monte, I got to thinking about how much fun it would be to go to one of these massive bridal salons and try on dresses for a couple of hours. Because I did my own (very weird) thing at my wedding, I missed out on a lot of this traditional stuff. My wedding dress came off the clearance rack at The Fashion Bug and was a dark blue lacy mess – I was a big fan of the goth thing at the time, so no white for me :) But as I gave it a little more thought, I realized that the lovely bridal team would probably not enjoy wasting their time with a shopper who was neither planning a wedding nor able to pay for a tenth of one of their cheapest dresses. So I’ll have to continue to get my vicarious wedding shopping jollies from the television, further cementing my unnatural attachment to what my grandfather used to call “the boob tube.”

When I decided to write a blog post about this, I had a great idea. I could start a new blog (I always think I should do that :D) where I call myself the Couch Potato and rate television shows based on my years of viewing expertise. I could use a photo of this truly disturbing stuffed critter that my parents have stashed up in their bedroom – a real couch potato with spindly little green arms and legs and bulging plastic eyes – and give shows “two arms up” if they were fantastic stuff or “two arms eaten” (accompanied by a picture of Couchie with both of his arms stuffed in his enormous pocket-style mouth) for the dreck that needs to be cancelled immediately. Thankfully, I then remembered that I am terrible at keeping up with this blog as it is, and that a commitment like that might actually make my fingers fall off, so for now, you’re stuck with this little bit of floating babble that occasionally percolates its way to the Internet.

By the way, I feel like I must give a shout out to two really great bloggers who are much more together than I am and post regularly, with purpose and intelligence and a few laughs thrown in. Both have written books based on their blogs, which I also highly recommend. Rachel Held Evans writes about her experiences in faith, from her intensely apologetic youth to her more mature but less certain faith of today, in Evolving in Monkey Town. If you prefer a little more tongue-in-cheek wit in your discussions of all matters religious, check out Jonathon Acuff’s book Stuff Christians Like, or head over to his blog of the same name.

*** Danielle

Sadly, it has been a year since I last posted here. First of all, I have to apologize. Procrastinating is an Olympic sport in my family and I am handily the gold medal winner. I got distracted by life, and my son’s first year in middle school, and kept putting off my final TV throwdown post until it was Christmas break and I had the house all to myself. At which point I considered finally catching up but then I decided that I had left this all sit so long that no one would probably be interested anymore.

It is ironic that I got a degree in journalism, in order to prepare myself to become a professional writer (or editor as I saw just how much I disliked reporting), and then let my lack of success in my job hunt completely kill my confidence in my writing ability. Apparently, I have a rare form of writer’s block that is inspired by my inability to earn cash – most likely, a hang-up developed under the watchful eye of my mother who seems to think that money makes the world go around, under God’s watchful eye of course.

My job search is still in progress, but as it draws out, each rejection and fruitless application slices a little more of my certainty away. In the last few months I have almost completely halted my search, at least within my own field. I have started re-examining what I want to do, and I find the idea of returning to school to be so appealing as to be nearly irresistible. I’m good at school, I excel in that environment and people appreciate the hard work that goes into academic efforts much more than this futile job hunt.

But school can’t be an end in and of itself, so what field do I choose for the next degree? I am keenly interested in getting a position like that of my best friend, who is history professor for an online university. Of course, it wouldn’t be history for me, but English, but my girlfriend has cautioned me against it. I get it, people who get master’s degress in English generally want to become professors, so that means I’d be putting myself into an even more competitive field. My other notion, finally going to law school, is simply a ridiculous pipe dream that is currently being tickled by the number of my Facebook friends who are going to law school right now. It’s too expensive, means another three years in school and would qualify me to get a job working more hours than I would ever consider working.

So that leaves me where exactly? Sitting in my parents’ basement, watching my student loans getting ready to come back out of “unemployment” deferrment and working 15 hours a week for $8 an hour. It’s impossible for me to accept that this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life, but in the meantime, I’m losing my focus on everything. Including this blog post – alas, my meandering has taken me far away from where I intended to go, but since I promised myself that I would post something tonight, I’ll just wrap up shortly and try again soon.

So let me end here, with another heartfelt apology to anyone who had been following my posts before my brain dried up. I’m going to keep at this writing thing until I either get it right or I win the lottery – and we all know how lucky I am :)

*** Danielle

Continuing on with my fascination in made-for-cable series, I feel I should explain why some shows are not going to be covered in my little mock battles. Although they are critically acclaimed and among the most-watched series in this vein, I do not particularly like The Closer, Monk or  Psych. This isn’t to say that I never watch them – The Closer, in particular, has a time slot that almost guarantees I’ll be watching since it’s usually followed by something I do enjoy like Raising the Bar or Saving Grace. The USA mainstays are just not my cup of tea, but since there is rarely anything better on TV on Friday nights – at least until Joss Whedon came roaring back with Dollhouse (thank you, thank you Joss!!) – I have seen the majority of both series.

Now that the explanations are out of the way – let’s get to the throwdown!!

Both In Plain Sight (IPS) and Leverage are rather quirky shows that rely heavily on their oddball cast of characters. IPS is the story of Mary Shannon, played by Mary McCormack, as WitSec U.S. Marshall – her job is to keep an eye on individuals enrolled in the Witness Protection Program. At the office, Mary has to contend with a few stand out characters – her trivia-minded, erudite partner Marshall Mann, played by Fred Weller; her nonsense, secret-softie boss Stan McQueen, played by Paul Ben-Victor; and the newest addition to the office, the wise-cracking tough gal office manager Eleanor Prince, played by Holly Maples. Mary’s life really gets crazy when she gets home, where she’s currently sharing space with her recovering-alcoholic mother Jinx, played by the wonderful Lesley Ann Warren; her wacky and trouble-prone sister Brandy, played by Nichole Hiltz; and Mary’s Dominican fiancee Raphael Ramirez, played by the yummy Christian de la Fuente. (I’ll admit up front that the only reason I started watching this show was that I had gotten hooked on Christian during his spin on Dancing with the Stars and was ecstatic to find out he was going to be in a show I could watch on a regular basis!)

 

Of the eclectic array on IPS, my personal favorites are Mary and Marshall. Forgive the bad movie reference, but there’s something about Mary that reminds me of myself – perhaps it’s the dismal luck she has having an organized and relaxed existence. More likely, it’s her quick-fire sarcasm and frustration with stupidity. But Marshall is the real gem of the show – even his name is a little off-the-wall (come on – Marshall Marshall Mann? :D). He is a geek in the best sense – quoting miscellaneous facts at random moments, having a far broader base of knowledge about sophisticated subjects like art and literature than is necessary for a U.S. Marshall and his tall gangly appearance make him a well-rounded, lovable character. However, while I love the two characters as partners and friends, I am entirely on the fence about this budding love interest aspect the writers have added to Mary and Marshall’s relationship. First of all, I adore Marshall and would snap him up in a hot second, so it’s pretty painful watching him moon after Mary who clearly prefers a little more beefcake in her squeeze – the tears in this season’s finale made ME cry!! But more importantly, I think the writers should have stuck with Brandy as the third point for a triangle between Mary and Raphael – more chemistry there and way more chance for tension and drama (hello, sisters living under the same roof, chasing after the same guy?!).

Leverage, on the other hand, is a show that focuses on a group of criminals who have joined forces to fight for the little guy, the average Joe citizen who can’t take on the powerful and elite. The honest man and leader of the group, Nathan Ford, is played by Timothy Hutton, who exhibits a real sense of fun in the role. The shadier members of the group are hand-to-hand combat expert Eliot Spencer, played by Angel alum Christian Kane (again I say YUMMY!!); super-tech guy Alec Hardison played by Aldis Hodge; con woman Sophie Devereaux played by Gina Bellman; and thief-extradordinaire Parker played by Beth Riesgraf. Now, while the premise of this show appealed to me a lot – I kind of think of it as a modern-day comedic twist on The Equalizer – the main reason I tuned in the first night was strictly physical. I am a Christian Kane fan since his first appearance on Angel – and to think, he nearly ended up as Riley on Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead! – so any chance to watch him is good, and to watch him get physical on a regular basis is even better.

While it appears that the writers are intent on focusing primarily on Nate and Sophie as the leads, I find the other three way more entertaining. So I’ve explained part of what I like about Eliot – but I also love his anti-gun thing and his soft spot for kids. Maybe it’s the cliche tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold character, but I love it! The real winners in the character contest on Leverage, however, are Parker and Hardison. Parker is creepy weird, yet oddly naive and lovable, while Hardison follows in the happy tradition of wise-cracking black guys like Chris Tucker – he smarts off about as often as I would with a group of goofy colleagues like his.

In the character department, Leverage puts up a good fight, but ultimately it’s IPS that gets the gold star – there’s more variety, more depth and generally more drama surrounding the people in Mary’s life, and that makes for good television.

In the realm of plot and storyline, Leverage seems to come out on top. I have a great love for any show that offers good twists that I can’t always figure out before the end of the show – this is a fairly rare achievement for any show or movie, so I enjoy it a LOT when I do find it. The basic formula for each episode is we set up who the group is working for and why, the development of the con, the implementation, the problem and the resolution. The show’s twists usually come between the problem and the resolution – just when it seems the gang is busted and the con is going to fail, they somehow pull through. The true bright spot is when they show what happened to change the outcome in our heroes’ favor - showing how they got themselves out of that tight spot when it looked like they were certain to lose.

IPS has a similar format for unfolding an episode – start with the crime that sent the witness into the program and their initial meeting with Mary and Marshall, then explain what’s gone wrong now in the witness’ life, wrapping up with the heroes saving the day in the end. The plots are a little more humdrum standard cop show fare, so it’s hard to get excited about them. What makes this show worth watching is the interspersing of Mary’s home life with her work life – just when things hit the fan at work, Mary comes home to another disaster at home, sure to make her blood pressure rise like a rocket. But for some, the domestic drama may be a little to soap-ish and melodramatic – personally, I like that sort of thing, especially when it makes me feel like my own personal life looks great by comparison! :D

In the end, I have been inclined to declare In Plain Sight the winner by a nose, but given the startling announcement at the end of last Sunday’s season finale that new episodes would not air until NEXT SPRING (!!!!), I’m not sure if it can carry the winner’s title anymore. Leverage is definitely the smarter, more sophisticated choice, but it’s strange time slot (9:00 pm on Wednesdays?) makes it less likely to draw in an ideal audience.

Though tempted to declare this a draw, I’ll stick with my original thoughts and declare this round for In Plain Sight – only the executives at USA better wake up and realize that seven months is too long to make viewers wait for a show!!

Next up – Round 3: freshman medical dramas Royal Pains and Hawthorne face off!!

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