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Third-episode verdict: Painkiller Jane

Posted on April 28, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Carusometer for Painkiller Jane5-Full-Caruso

Oh the pain. If only there were some way to end it! Fortunately, there is. It's called the off switch.

After three not terribly good episodes of Painkiller Jane, I'm throwing in the towel. It's not without its charms: at its heart are some intriguing ideas; it feels at times like a 21st Century version of the rather good 80s show Max Headroom (the US sci-fi version, not the UK chat show); Kristanna Loken is?��Ǩ�� pretty; and it does look good.

But style can overcome only so much lack of substance. It's appalling in execution. The writing is leaden and cliché d, with dialogue that makes you feel like you've got Ebola; there's no real sense of place or time, so allusions to “Brad and Angelina” make absolutely no sense whatsoever in context; there's no characterisation and even Jane only gets to be something more than a cipher because she does the ridiculous voiceovers; the plots are bizarre mishmashs of effortlessly poor detective investigations, action thrillers and homely moralising (the bad guys turn out to be lonely teenagers or well meaning little old men); and the actors are blessed with less talent than a computer-generated console game interstitial.

So The Medium Is Not Enough has great pleasure in declaring Painkiller Jane has scored a five or 'Full Caruso' on The Carusometer quality scale. A Full Caruso corresponds to “a show in which David Caruso might be responsible for every aspect of production. In an attempt to make the show futuristic, he will force the cast to wear sunglasses, even when it means they'll fall over in the poorly lit sets he will insist on. He will also insist they end every sentence with the word 'hip!' because 'People will talk different in the future'. All their shirts will be made from PVC.”

Related entries

  • June 5, 2007: The Random Episode Carusometer: Painkiller Jane
    I give Painkiller Jane a last chance with the first outing for the Random Episode Carusometer.
  • October 10, 2008: Third-episode verdict: Knight Rider
    A review of the new series of Knight Rider, based on its first three episodes

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