Categorised | US TV reviews

Tags | None

Third-episode verdict: The Brink (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)

Posted on July 6, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

BarrometerTheBrink.jpgA Barrometer rating of 4

In the US: Sundays, 10.30pm/9.30c, HBO
In the UK: Mondays, 10.10pm, Sky Atlantic

It’s fair to say the final two minutes of the third episode of The Brink made me change my mind about it a little. It’s slightly smarter than it first seemed, perhaps being more about political gamemanship than about a genuinely crazy Pakistani general taking over his country, causing the world to worry it’s on the brink of war. The US’s - and perhaps the world’s - only hopes are the asian-addicted US Secretary of State (Tim Robbins) and a hapless, idiotic US civil servant in Pakistan (Jack Black).

But it’s still not great. No siree.

The show has been consistent since day one in giving us a world run by hopelessly childish, corrupt and often stupid men who might nevertheless be quite good at their jobs - well, some of them.

It’s also been consistently unfunny, although it’s constantly firing a broad spectrum of attempted jokes that would probably sit well in any Judd Apatow movie comedy. Some of these make it through to their targets, whether it’s a simple swear off between two important officials or a sight gag involving a man with a very large penis.

But largely they follow a simple, uninspiring formula that juxtaposes the seriousness of the position or person with their conversation or vice versa - eg Pakistani president in a conspirators’ meeting talking about his brother’s cheap choice in wine, Secretary of State arguing with an Indian politician while in a urinal.

There is some intelligence behind it all, as I intimated earlier, and there’s certainly some wit to it at times. But the humour’s so broad that it neutralises most of that intelligence.

The Brink’s certainly not the worst programme you could watch and it’s not the least funny comedy on TV by a long shot. But it could and should have been a whole lot better.

Barrometer rating: 4
TMINE prediction: Should be dead by the end of the season

Related entries

  • July 10, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Terminator: Genisys, Man of Tai Chi, The Last Ship, UnREAL and Westside
    A review of the TV, films and theatre I saw in the week ending July 10 2015

Allowable comments

You can leave just about any kind of comment you like. You can argue, suggest I am (or anyone else is) wrong, leaving general messages of love – anything. However, you absolutely can't leave messages that attack other commenters (or me), are simple variations of "your review sucks" or that are misogynistic, racist, homophobic, etc: your comment will either be edited or deleted and you'll be barred from leaving any further comments. We want to keep it civil here.

Spoilers

You can hide a spoiler by putting <spoiler> before it and </spoiler> after it. Hover over a spoiler to reveal it!

Featured Articles

Marvel's Iron Fist

Season two of Daredevil but done right