It isn't every daughter who can hand out a guest-starring spot on a TV show as a Father's Day gift, but "Witchblade's" Yancy Butler has that kind of clout these days.
Her TNT series, whose two-hour pilot notched the best ratings of 2000 for a basic-cable original movie, opens its second season Sunday at 8 p.m. with another two-hour effort, with proud papa Joe Butler turning in a serviceable effort as the grizzled father of a runaway teen.
Although it's his first acting job on television, Joe Butler is no stranger to the spotlight. Two years ago, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the original drummer for the Lovin' Spoonful ("Do You Believe in Magic," "Summer in the City"), and he also acted on Broadway in "Mahogany" and with the original cast of "Hair."
But it's doubtful that any of that could have prepared him for the hair-raising goings-on in "Witchblade," where gory impalements, live burials and occasional vomiting are the order of the day.
Yancy Butler returns as New York detective Sara Pezzini, who comes to possess a mysterious ancient weapon that seems to bring her as much trouble as anything else. The Witchblade is so powerful that it has yanked the series into flashback mode, and so in the first hour we see how Pezzini and the Blade became as one.
As the detective (and new viewers) slowly come to understand the weapon's characteristics and identify those who would have it for themselves, the action heats up. But Pezzini's relentlessly glowering dourness spoils much of the fun, and when a flip line is heard--"That blade must be duller than Hillary Clinton's libido"--it feels as if we've got our channels crossed.
"Witchblade" assumes its regular time slot Monday at 9 p.m. with a new hourlong episode.