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March 5, 2013

Mini-review: Golden Boy 1x1 (CBS)

Posted on March 5, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Golden Boy

In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS

Not really worth a full-on review, since it's so perfectly generic, I could recycle practically any other review I've ever written of a CBS cop drama and it would say more or less the same thing.

The basic idea is that the Robert Kennedy-alike Walter William Clark Jr (Theo James, who could see dead people in Sky Living's horror show Bedlam) will become the youngest police commissioner in New York City history seven years from now, and when he's interviewed about how he got to the top so quickly, we see in flashback the events that transpired along the way.

And it's incredibly, incredibly generic. We have the slobby black partner a couple of years from retirement (Chi McBridge) and the ambitious backstabbing detective who's intent on sabotaging Clark Jr's obviously inevitable career trajectory (Kevin Alejandro from Southland). We have a token female detective who's somewhere on the moral spectrum between those two. We have a wayward sister for our hero to look after.

All of which might be excusable if there were decent plots. But for a Golden Boy, he ain't half stupid. There is literally no obvious insight that he can't make, no obvious act of backstabbing that he won't miss. The show should more probably be called Earnest Boy, because this isn't a political animal like Robert Kennedy in the making (which someone who rose that quickly up the career ladder would really need to be).

So although, as with all CBS dramas, it is competently made, has a decent degree of verisimilitude and looks great, ignore it.

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March 2, 2013

Review: Wonder Woman #17/Justice League #17/Batwoman #17/Supergirl #17 et al

Posted on March 2, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Wonder Woman #17

Sorry for the slightly later than normal review - I was holding out for Superman #17 and the end of the H'el on Earth storyline (guest starring the Justice League and Wonder Woman), which was supposed to come out this week… but didn't. Guess that'll have to wait until next time.

But February was a bit of a bumper month for Wonder Woman. As well as her own title and the end of the Throne of Atlantis storyline in Justice League, H'El on Earth has seen her show up in Superboy #17 trying to save Superman; in Supergirl #17, she's once and for all proven the inequality Wonder Woman > Supergirl > Superman; her rather dreadful crossover with Batwoman finally comes to an end in Batwoman #17; Injustice: Gods Among Us #5-6 give us a possibly inappropriately flirty, possibly political Wonder Woman; and in Young Romance #1, Supes and Wondy go on another date together, which naturally goes pear-shaped.

Continue reading "Review: Wonder Woman #17/Justice League #17/Batwoman #17/Supergirl #17 et al"

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February 25, 2013

Review: Cult 1x1 (The CW)

Posted on February 25, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The CW's Cult cast

In the US: Tuesdays, 9pm ET/8pm CT, The CW
In the UK: Mysteriously acquired by an unnamed network

Cults are really big right now on TV. The Following is on Fox and now we have Cult on The CW. Intriguingly, both shows were thought up years ago, The Following as the script for Scream 3 and Cult as a show for the now-defunct predecessor to The CW, The WB.

The two shows both have good pedigrees. The Following comes from long-time writer Kevin Williamson (Dawson's Creek and The Vampire Diaries) but Cult comes from the even older pen of Rockne S O'Bannon, who started out on The (New) Twilight Zone, before going on to create Farscape, Alien Nation and seaQuest DSV.

So perhaps it's appropriate that Cult is a trickier, more knowing beast than The Following. The Following, of course, has all kinds of degrees of Scream-esque meta, but Cult takes things a step further. It begins seemingly as a somewhat stupid, tacky The CW show in which a young blonde cop, Kelly Collins, (Alona Tal) and an older, fatter, blacker cop have to investigate the cult run by Billy Grimm (Robert Knepper) to which Collins used to belong.

But just as they find somewhat buried in a wall and he utters the somewhat ludicrous and unfathomable "'Well hey. These things just snap right off," we discover we've been watching a TV show within a TV show. Collins is really actress Marti Gerritsen and Knepper is actor Roger Reeves and they star in The CW's Cult.

With me so far? Good. Anyway, so far, so Pulaski/30 Rock. But rather than being a spoof or send up of the making of a TV show, Cult is a far darker creation that focuses on the nature of cult television and its fans. This Cult has fans and it's created web sites and all kinds of other clues for them to seek out to discover more about the show. Except perhaps it's not all fiction. Because when one fan seems to work it all out, he disappears. When his journalist brother Jeff Dean Sefton (Matthew Davis) comes looking for him, he starts to discover the same messages in the show that his brother did, and with the help of a researcher on the show, Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), they begin to investigate Cult, to see if they can find out what's really going on and what's happened to his brother.

Here's a trailer that gives away all the good bits from the first episode.

Continue reading "Review: Cult 1x1 (The CW)"

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