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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.


March 6, 2012

Review: GCB (Good Christian Bitches) (ABC) 1x1

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

GCB

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, ABC

There's a lot to be said for a good name. Take GCB. What's that then? A recreational drug? Some kind of excavator? A vaccination?

Now GCB started with a good name, seeing as it was based on a book entitled Good Christian Bitches. That at least gave you a good hint as to what it was about - a bunch of Christian mean girls (well, women). But before that title could ever hit the airwaves, protest groups moved in and before you knew it, Good Christian Bitches became first the dull and unhelpful Good Christian Belles before finally becoming the useless and meaningless GCB.

Who'd want to watch GCB, huh? Watch as people skip nimbly over it in TV Guide and on their EPG*.

Now, Good Christian Bitches for all its apparent faults was at least an accurate and descriptive title. It sees Leslie Bibb (best known nowadays as the Vanity Fair reporter in the two Iron Man movies but who was the star of the previous generation's GCB, Popular) as a former Dallas mean girl who marries a rich guy and moves to California. Nearly two decades later, her husband is running a Ponzi scheme and dies in a horrific car cash while eloping with his mistress. That leaves Bibb penniless, the mother of two teenage children and nowhere to go but home - to her mother and all the girls she used to be mean to at school who are all grown up now.

Except everyone's changed. Now Bibb is sober and nice and all the grown-up mean girls - in particular Kristin Chenoweth - are wanting to pre-empt Bibb's expected meanness and husband-stealing with some meanness of their own, largely during church.

Cue a desperate attempt to do Desperate Housewives but in Texas and without much actual excitement or fun. Just like the show's title, in fact.

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March 5, 2012

Review and Competition: Doctor Who - The Sensorites on DVD

Posted on March 5, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Sensorites

BBC Shop Badge Starring: William Hartnell, Carole Ann Ford
Writer: Peter R Newman
Director: Frank Cox
Price: £20.42 (Amazon price: £12.99; BBC Shop price: £12.99)
Released: January 23rd 2012

I have to confess that I'm not the most diligent of DVD reviewers. Give me something that I can watch in an hour or two and I'm fine. Give me something that lasts two and a half hours and that also has commentaries and epic amounts of extras and basically, I'm not up for that. Call it being busy, call it being lazy - it ain't happening.

But sometimes, I'll give it a try. In this case, the BBC Shop, in their infinite wisdom, sent me the six-part William Hartnell Doctor Who story The Sensorites to peruse. Now, I hadn't seen this in about 20 years and beyond a slight reference to it at some point when the Ood popped up in modern Who, it had almost completely escaped my mind. Feeling semi-dedicated, I decided to give The Sensorites a go. See how I fared after this trailer and the jump.

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February 28, 2012

Review: Those Who Kill (Den Som Dræber) (ITV3) 1x1

Posted on February 28, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Those Who Kill

In the UK: Thursdays, 10pm, ITV3. Available on the ITV Player
In Denmark: Aired last March. Cancelled after the first series

Foreign TV is a funny old thing. What you get to see of another country's TV is usually the cream of the crop, some nice purchasing person at your local TV network having viewed it all and decided what's good and what isn't. So it's easy to think as a result, based just on what you see on TV of it, that another country's television output must be great.

French TV looks good thanks to Engrenages. Canadian TV looks good thanks to Being Erica and The Border. Danish TV looks awesome thanks to The Killing and Borgen. UK TV looks good because of Downton Abbey and Doctor Who. US TV just looks good all round. Israeli TV looks amazing thanks to all the adaptations like In Treatment and Homeland.

Italian TV, thanks to Inspector Montalbano, just looks silly. Some things I guess you just can't polish.

But if you have to wade through it and start delving into the lower reaches of TF1, CTV, Sky Living, TBS, et al, you soon start to realise that not all foreign TV is good. Equally, you start to realise that other countries watch other countries' TV and try to emulate that.

Now, here in the UK, we've had something of a Scandinavian TV love-in thanks to BBC4 and the rise of the 'Nordic noir' genre of books and movies. The Killing, Wallander and Borgen have convinced people that Scandinavian TV is universally brilliant. So ITV3, the home of old crime shows, has been trying to get in on that action and has bought in Danish TV network TV2's Den Som Dræber aka Those Who Kill.

On paper, this should be cracking. It's written by bestselling crime-author Elsebeth Egholm and Stefan Jaworsk, the writer of several award-winning and critically acclaimed features and TV series. The show stars, among others, Lars Mikkelsen from The Killing, and comes from the producers of several of the Wallander movies, and when it aired in Denmark last year, was watched by a record-breaking 50% of the adult population.

Yet, unfortunately, Those Who Kill is laughable old toss. Here's a trailer:

Continue reading "Review: Those Who Kill (Den Som Dræber) (ITV3) 1x1"

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