Here's my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending April 3, 2011:
Army Wives - I've defended this show for most of its run as... well, maybe not great, but at least above the Lifetime "stigma" that a lot of people probably attach to it. That said, I've found the whole death of Jeremy situation kind of... slimy. From their promotion of the event two weeks before it actually happened to the fact that he was the most "convenient" person to kill for drama (almost anyone else in combat would've rendered somebody Not An Army Wife), I just haven't been a fan of the decision. But there's no denying it's made HUGE ratings for the show. That almost makes it worse.
Body of Proof - I think it's great that Dana Delany gets this kind of vehicle. She deserves it and is very good. But the rest of the show around her needs some work. In particular, I think the pair of detectives she's working with is pretty bland. The show seems to remedy that by making Dana Delany the detective half the time, which may be kind of unrealistic but isn't really a terrible decision. I don't think I'm gonna be sticking with this, but I may check back in down the line and see if the supporting cast weaknesses have improved. Nice to see the Miller High Life dude at least!
Chaos - From the way this thing was scheduled, it seemed pretty clear CBS didn't think there was much of a show here. Ratings-wise, that was borne out. But I actually thought it was pretty decent. It doesn't take itself too seriously and seems to have some performers capable of carrying what seems to be a multitude of tones. I kinda wish the show had gotten a shot paired up with the similarly-toned NCIS duo. It would've been a nice opportunity to see if they could outrate the very mediocre numbers produced by The Good Wife.
Shark Tank - I had some trouble coming up with a fourth "spot" so I'll talk a little more about my favorite unscripted show. It's clear, three episodes in, that they have made battles among the sharks a higher priority this season. I think that's smart. The problem is that when Mark Cuban isn't there, there are really only three sharks doing the fighting. Barbara's not making plays this year, but at least she's in the conversation. The real problem is Kevin Harrington. They've got to find someone else willing to get in the ring or just pare it down to 3-4 Sharks, I think.
The Killing - I'm a sucker for this kind of show (I watched most of Harper's Island, for God's sake!) but this was a particularly well-executed one. The cast is pretty exceptional, especially Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton (of the much-missed Life) as the parents, and they've created quite an interesting little world here. I don't have any real theories yet, but I'll let you know if I come up with one! I didn't like Rubicon, and I know some folks didn't really like The Walking Dead, but take one out and that leaves AMC at a resounding 4 out of 5 creatively. That is a pretty astonishing ratio.