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The Meg is Closer to ‘Jaws’ Than ‘Sharknado’

MOVIE REVIEW When Steven Spielberg’s Jaws opened in theaters in 1975, it took the world by storm. Not only was the movie hugely popular as it was genuinely scary, it actually affected society in a strange way. Audiences began to have an irrational fear of sharks even when swimming at a lake. When Jaws 2 came to theaters three years later, everyone knew the catchphrase, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…” Since then, it’s been hard for movie studios to be able to drum up the same excitement with their own Jaws knock-offs. Shark movies became a joke. Even Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge were met with disdain (and with good reason). But sharks are still a popular subject, just not one that we take very seriously anymore.
This brings us to next big shark movie, The Meg which judging from the trailers alone, looks like another campy knock-off movie and while it indeed is campy, it isn’t as much as you would think. When comparing movies, The Meg is closer to Jaws tha…

'Instinct' Offers a New Winning Pair in the CBS Mystery Crime Drama Show

Bojana Novakovic and Alan Cummings star in Instinct. (Jonathan Wenk /CBS)

 TV SERIES REVIEW 

You can have the best writing, but without the best talent to give life to the written word the show is going to fail. CBS’s latest crime/mystery series, Instinct is based on the novel of the same name from James Patterson, but perhaps more'Inst importantly, the duo that heads the series Instinct is especially good. Though it seems a bit of a stretch that Alan Cumming has been cast as the former CIA operative turned author and university professor, he has a wit and charm to pull it off.

Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Cummings) should be happy, his life is in a funk. He’s a gifted author, but his publisher (special guest star Whoopi Goldberg) says that his latest manuscript is flat. Adding insult to injury, she mentions that he (who looks skinny as a rail) has gained weight. She encourages him to go out and experience some excitement to give his writing some pizazz. And he knows just where to find his next inspiration.

Earlier in the day Dylan was approached by NYPD detective Lizzie Needham (Bojana Novakovic) asking for his help in a murder case. Lizzie is pretty but rough around the edges and makes mention that she doesn’t do well with partners, however, she thinks that the author about abnormal behavior might be able to help with her case involving a victim and a playing card.

As to be expected, the two clash with two different approaches when it comes to case work. Where Dylan lacks tact, Lizzie is too tactful. She too is also having a difficult time in life dealing with a loss of her own. However, they each see how smart the other one is and this becomes a work partnership that is a match made in heaven.

“That was brave of you,” says Dylan when Lizzie risks her life during a scene in the pilot. “Stupid, but brave.” She replies, “That’s what I want on my tombstone.”

Helping the couple with the case is Dylan’s CIA comrade, Julian Cousins (Lost’s Naveen Andrews) who CBS says “can get top-secret dirt on anyone, anywhere, anytime.” Dylan doesn’t share with Lizzie who his friend is in the pilot episode and who knows if she will learn his identity or not. Dyan does share with Lizzie his spouse and bar owner, Andy (Daniel Ings) who isn’t too thrilled with Dylan’s reclaimed life of living on the edge instead of settling down. Andy doesn’t do or say much in the pilot episode to justify his character on the show, but fortunately his isn’t much of a distraction either. Yet.

Instinct is another show where the good guys try to get inside the minds of the bad guys, a staple these days on CBS. However, Cummings and Novakovic make the show feel fresh and a joy to watch.

Instinct airs on CBS on Sundays at 8:00 p.m. on CBS.

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