This is my viewpoint, from the far end of the couch...and this week I've stumbled across a gem in ReelzChannel's XIII: The Series, while this week's list is all about my Top 5 favorite people to interview.
Channel-surfing last week, I found a great new (to the US, anyway) action series on ReelzChannel, of all places. It's called XIII: The Series, and is based on the Belgian comic book of the same name, loosely following the mini-series that aired on NBC way back in 2008. The show aired last year in Canada, but this is the first time we Americans are getting to see it.
If that confuses you a little bit, that's okay. I found out very quickly that you don't need to have read the comics or have seen the miniseries to get into the show. It centers on a mysterious hero known only as XIII (Stuart Townsend) who is trying to recover his identity and figure out the fallout from something known as the Roman Numeral Conspiracy.
Thankfully, XIII is not alone: he has the help of photo shop owner Sam (Caterina Murino, Quantum of Solace) and federal agent Lauren Jones (Aisha Tyler, Archer)...while plenty of other players, including intelligence honcho Samuel Amos (Greg Bryk), are at work.
XIII is well-cast with a group of actors who've all been good but generally under the radar. I was one of the people who enjoyed Townsend's work in the short-lived remake of Night Stalker, and I like him here as well: he does "dark and introverted action hero" without it dissolving into mumbling or brooding or any of the other half-dozen cliches of the character type.
Tyler is so perfect as Lana Kane on Archer that you might have forgotten she plays a great kick-ass special agent in the flesh as well. This is the second time I've seen Bryk in a series, after ReGenesis, and he's got a way of making characters still seem compelling even if you don't like them or their motivations.
It's a solid cast with lots of material at their disposal. There's plenty going on in XIII, whether it's action, mystery, character-driven drama or the requisite amount of romance - and it's all shot beautifully as well. If you're looking for another original series to sink your teeth into, this is a perfect summer pick. It's already been renewed for a second season.
It's also the latest in a string of great Canadian TV series. Between this, Flashpoint, ReGenesis, Endgame and Rookie Blue, I'm beginning to think we've severely underestimated what our friends up north are doing with television these days.
XIII airs Friday nights at 9 PM ET/PT on ReelzChannel (check your local listings for specific channel).
You can find out more about XIII by visiting the ReelzChannel official site. Continue on to the next page to find out who made my Top 5 list of the week...