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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


September 11, 2012

Review: Doctor Who - 7x2 - Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Posted on September 11, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

In the UK: Saturday, 7.20pm, BBC1
In the US: Saturday, 9/8c, BBC America

CRACKLE, CRACKLE

This review… being transmitted… outer space.

CRACKLE, CRACKLE

…Dinosaurs!… Borderline Jewish stereotype…

CRACKLE, CRACKLE

…like nails on a blackboard…

CRACKLE, CRACKLE

…Chris Chibnall!

AAARGHHH!

End of transmission

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September 10, 2012

Preview: Animal Practice (NBC/ITV2) 1x1

Posted on September 10, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Animal Practice

In the US: Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC. Starts 26 September
In the UK: Acquired by ITV2

Watching nothing but new NBC programmes, one after another, is like going three rounds with Mike Tyson.

First the left hook of The New Normal. Pow.

Then the fast right of Go On. Smash.

Then the killer uppercut of Revolution. Aargh.

I'm lying on the canvas now, the referee counting me out. But stand up before the fateful 10 I do.

And now I've been floored again by one of the most obvious of jabs. Animal Practice.

If I'd had more energy I could have taken it. I'd have seen it coming and known what to expect. An NBC comedy, set in a vets, with Tyber Labine (Reaper) and a comedy Asian (Bobby Lee) as sidekicks to the misanthropic vet (Justin Kirk) who hates people, loves animals and uses his practice as a pick-up joint. Then along comes Kirk's ex-girlfriend, JoAnna Garcia (Privileged, Better With You), to take over the vets when she inherits it from her grandmother and turn it into a smooth-running business.

They have unfinished history. Kerpow.

Knock yourself out: here's a trailer.

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September 6, 2012

Preview: Revolution (NBC) 1x1

Posted on September 6, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

NBC's Revolution

In the US: Mondays, 10pm/9pm CT, NBC. Starts September 17th
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Family television. I hate it.

Okay, not all family television. It can be great. Look at Sapphire and Steel or Codename Icarus. Or Doctor Who.

But largely, family television is a miserable land of compromised, unchallenging, lowest common denominator plotting, conservative values occasionally masquerading as liberalism and attempts to be all things to all people. Plots are never too threatening or ever change the status quo significantly. There are magical MacGuffins that only children could believe in. Characters never move outside of traditional, largely patriarchal family relationships and stereotypical gender relationships. And everyone learns a (traditional) lesson about life, family and love by the end of it all.

Look at Merlin. Look at Robin Hood. Look at Crusoe. Look at Touch. Look at Terra Nova.

Ugh.

These programmes are too unchallenging for both adults (who need something more) and children (who need something more, too) pollute the airways and fill up primetime in an effort to get as many people watching at the same time, leaving less time for decent programming.

And it's not just primetime, now. For some reason, family programming can stray into the 10pm slot in the US. This is not when family dramas should be on, America. This is when kids should be in bed.

With Revolution, we have a prime example of family programming: the turgid, lifeless, recycling of limp ideas, stale characters and by-the-book writing that characterises the genre. Surprisingly, it's from Eric Kripke (Supernatural), Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and JJ Abrams (Alias, Lost, Alcatraz, Star Trek et al), who are all capable of much, much better but because it's family programming they've dumbed down.

So, here's the story: 20 seconds into the future from now, mysteriously the laws of physics are going to change. Suddenly, electricity is going to stop working. No batteries, no mains current. Nothing.

Well - and they don't make this explicit for some reason - all electricity apart from, say, anything in your body that requires the movement of electrons to work such as your nerves, muscles or, in fact, every single cell you have, of course. Apparently, that's some other set of laws of electromagnetism that makes them work. The jury's still out on ions, and covalent and hydrogen bonds, mind, but I'm sure Revolution will get there eventually once everyone's perms start to fall out, salt crystals fall apart and no one gets static electricity from carpets any more. No more oxidisation, no more reduction. Chemistry is going to be so much easier, but we'll miss that thing with balloons sticking to people's jumpers, I'm sure.

However, one man knows this very selective change in the law of physics is about to happen and he's preparing his family for the oncoming apocalypse. He's also got some top-secret computer files in a special USB necklace that explain EVERYTHING.

Cut to 15 years later and the world has fallen apart. America is now a set of different, feudal republics. Everyone's become an agrarian subsistence farmer and there are local lords to appease. But The Secret People Behind It All want that man and his files, which might explain how to reverse The Changes. They also want his brother, who also might know something.

So watch The Changes meets Jericho meets feudalistic collective farming techniques as a daughter and a son struggle to survive in an inhospitable - but not exactly even Z for Zachariah harsh - world and learn a little about family along the way. There'll be sword fights! Really implausible sword fights! There'll be baddies! Who won't really do anything bad! There'll be bad boys! Who quite like nice girls who aren't too threatening, who wear nice clothes, look very clean and have nice teeth, despite the end of washing machines, Persil and American dentistry as we know it!

Starring the dad from Twilight! Featuring lots of bows and arrows like in that movie The Hunger Games that you like! It's empty, vapid and it's coming to NBC soon! It's Revolution!

Here's a trailer featuring Andrea Roth before she was replaced by Elizabeth Mitchell. It gives away just about everything from the first episode but don't worry about that.

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