Marshall Law: Texas premiere & Many Rivers to Cross finale

Jerry Bruckheimer’s ‘Marshall Law: Texas’ is just another tedious reality show Photo: Marshall Law

WASHINGTONNov 26, 2013 —Despite viewer fatigue with competitive reality shows, “Dancing With The Stars” and “The Voice” have both had good seasons. Last night ‘Dancing With The Stars” had over 14 million viewers, a number that is certain to increase tonight when the live season finale airs at 9 p.m. on ABC.

At 8 p.m. on PBS the six-part series “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” wraps up with its final episode. Tonight the Henry Louis Gates documentary explores the tumultuous years between 1968 and 2013. Many people assume that racism is a thing of the past, but Gates’ argues that we still have a long way to go for racial equality in America.

“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” has been an eye opener in that it presents the African American experience through the eyes of a renowned black scholar.

Henry Louis Gates chose to inject himself within the narrative of “Many Rivers to Cross,” a fact that is both refreshing and questionable.

It is understandable that Gates chose to be in the series rather than limit his participation to the editing room. But presenting history while walking and chatting with other scholars dulls the history lesson with such an informal approach. In the end the series’ success will depend on how the viewer feels about Gates rather than the quality of the historical perspective he has assembled.

The newest “unscripted” reality show “Marshall Law: Texas” premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on TNT. The latest offering from Jerry Bruckheimer follows real-life members of the Houston-based Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force as they pursue “the worst people on this planet.”

Just like most reality shows, there’s a lot of contrived drama before each commercial break followed by the inevitable and unnecessary recap. The effort to stretch each story line is so obvious it is almost embarrassing to watch. The only thing more annoying is the “action flick” sound track that pounds away in the background.

“Marshall Law: Texas” would work a lot better if it were a half hour show, but as it stands the show is annoying at best. Take a pass on this one.


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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