Alynda Wheat
September 21, 2009 AT 10:02 PM EDT

Our time has come, procedural watchers. This is Beat Cop, and it’s our TV watch. Well, it’s a mini-watch…in PopWatch…and we’ll cover lots of shows instead of getting all precious about just Lost or Fringe, but we’re doing God’s work here, ladies and gents.

No really! The hallmark of the procedural fan is that we have an overdeveloped sense of justice. We seek resolution, answers. We like our bad guys nabbed, diseases diagnosed, cases closed. It’s not that we mind continuing storylines—we like our cops, docs, investigators, and fake psychics to have personalities (even Columbo had a missus to whom he frequently referred, even if her spin-off wasn’t quite worthy of the man, himself). But there’s something about wrapping up misery and mystery in a neat little bow at the end of an hour that just feels satisfying.

So here’s what we’ll do: We’ll meet here twice a week (let’s start with Mondays and Fridays and see how that goes) and discuss our favorite procedurals. It’ll be a mix of review and preview, in that if I’ve seen an episode, I’ll tell you about it in as spoiler-free a manner as possible. Otherwise, we’ll just chat about what happened on CSI, Lie to Me, NCIS, and myriad other shows. Understand, though, this is an advocacy blog, which means I’m not even aiming for fair. I’ll talk about Castle more than I should because I adore that show (seriously, the chemistry between Nathan Fillion and Molly C. Quinn makes them cutest damned father/daughter pair on television). I’ll coo over Criminal Minds Kirsten Vangsness’s flirty banter with Shemar Moore, and make snippy comments that Richard Belzer and Ice-T don’t get nearly enough face time on Law and Order: SVU. I’ll ask you to explain–since somebody needs to tell me–why I just can’t seem to get into Cold Case even though I watch literally every other network procedural out there. We’ll talk.

So let me tell you what I know so far:

House (Fox, tonight at 8pm)

This two-hour episode is an unequivocal must watch, especially for those of us who caught those stellar last 15 minutes of the season ender. Okay, I’m gonna have to break the rules and drop a spoiler about that finale: House is the krazy! His hallucinations bled so far over into real life, he’d imagined that he kicked Vicodin and slept with Cuddy. Now he’s in a mental hospital doing what he does best—no, not medicine, instigating. He’s supposedly there voluntarily, but the nurse won’t let him check out without the doctor’s okay, and guess who the doctor is? Andre Braugher (squeal implied). There are few actors out there who can go toe to toe with Hugh Laurie and not look like the lesser being. Braugher is in that very tiny group.  And you gotta love the way House voices his displeasure at being detained by Dr. Andre: “Wow, and he’s black! I thought you’d be a little more sensitive on the slavery issue.”

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, Tuesday at 9pm)

Okay, no, they don’t have the fun, light feel of the original…yet. But what they’ve got is a very cool new set, one of those super fancy computer thingies like out of Minority Report (which they let me play with when I was on-set, so now I love them), and Oscar winner Linda Hunt. Let me repeat that: Oscar winner Linda Hunt. Her line delivery alone is worth giving the show a chance, and the season premiere has a few nice surprises. Hey, we’re friends, right? So I can tell you things. Like that time this summer when I was alone with L.L. Cool J in his trailer, and it was all I could do not to rub my hands all over his sexy, glorious, shiny…bald head. He’s a seriously positive dude, but I still don’t think he’d have taken kindly to being molested for EW’s Fall TV Preview. Oh, but I wanted to.

The Mentalist (CBS, Thursday at 10pm)

It’s a fairly standard ep, so I won’t waste much breath on it other than to say the first five minutes have a nice sense of style. I always wonder how much of what Jane (Simon Baker) does could possibly be replicated. I watched that British series, Derren Brown: Mind Control, and that guy got total strangers to hand over their wallets within, like, 30 seconds. It was insane. Check out this little bit with him and one my many imaginary boyfriends, Simon Pegg.

As for what I haven’t seen, we need to make sure we check in with three CBS shootings: Delko (Adam Rodriguez) on CSI: Miami (tonight at 10 pm), Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) on Criminal Minds (Wednesday at 9 pm), and the bullets at the bar on CSI: NY, right after Criminal Minds. And of course, please, please sit in for Castle (ABC, tonight at 10pm). Castle (Fillion) is diggin’ in Beckett’s (Stana Katic) mama’s murder, and at least in the short term I don’t see that going well.

So that’s it for our first edition. We’ll have a lot to talk about Friday, so let’s regroup then, Coppers. And hey—let’s be careful out there.

Photo Credit: Larry Watson/Fox

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