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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.


December 1, 2011

Review: I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox) 1x1

Posted on December 1, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

I Hate My Teenage Daughter

In the US: Wednesdays, 9:30pm(E/P)/8:30c, Fox

Sometimes, I feel like I'm psychic. Do you?

I'll tell you for why. I looked at the title of this show - I Hate My Teenage Daughter. I saw what network it was on - Fox.

And I knew in an instant that watching it would feel like being slowly licked by the Creature from the Black Lagoon, assuming that the lagoon was black because it was under a sewer outlet.

And hey! Guess what! I was right.

I wonder if I can use my powers to win the lottery.

For those of you whose psychic powers aren't as well developed as mine, let me fill you in on the plot: we have two single mothers, one of them played by Jaime Pressly from My Name is Earl. Both of them were nerds at school, but have since developed okay. But they both have pretty, popular daughters. And oh my lordy, it turns out the daughters are turning into the same sort of mean girls who made their lives a misery at High School.

Cue zero hilarity and an overwhelming desire to take a shower. Here's a trailer - one minor character has been recast since the pilot, otherwise these are the highlights.

Continue reading "Review: I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox) 1x1"

November 17, 2011

Lost Gems: The Name of the Game (1968-1971)

Posted on November 17, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Name of the Game

'Wheel' series have just about disappeared now. What's a 'wheel' series? Well, imagine a series with some high-profile stars, but they're so high-profile, there's not room for them in each episode. So each week, you have an episode that invariably features only one of those stars.

One of the pioneers of wheel series was NBC's The Name of the Game, which starred Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry and Robert Stack. Running for 76 episodes, it was based on the TV movie Fame is the Name of the Game and looked at three characters working at Howard Publications, a large magazine company. Franciosa played Jeff Dillon, a crusading reporting with People magazine; Gene Barry played Glenn Howard, the company's owner and publisher; and Robert Stack played Dan Farrell, the editor of Crime magazine.

Here's the ever-so-60s title sequence. Well, one of them. I'll explain after the jump.

Continue reading "Lost Gems: The Name of the Game (1968-1971)"

November 10, 2011

Review: Hell on Wheels (AMC) 1x1

Posted on November 10, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Hell on Wheels

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, AMC
In the UK: Acquired by TCM UK to air in 2012

There's been a lot of talk this season about AMC's Mad Men. The Playboy Club and Pan Am have both supposedly been trying to emulate the success of Mad Man by both being set in the 60s and allegedly glorifying sexism, racism, et al. The parallels are relatively few and often spurious but what people have latched onto in this 60s setting. Apparently, until Mad Men, period drama didn't happen on US TV so clearly anything period must owe a debt to Mad Men.

Now overlooking the quasi-period (e.g. Quantum Leap, New Amsterdam, Journeyman, That 70s Show, Life on Mars) as well as actually period (e.g. Glory Daze, Swingtown) is one thing. But to overlook the western? That's downright ridiculous.

The western was once the mainstay of US TV: Bonanza ran for 13 years, Gunsmoke ran for 20 years and there were countless others. Modern day TV networks also haven't forgotten the western: HBO had Deadwood while FX's Justified is essentially a western set in modern times; and even as I type, the development slates at various US networks are already filling up with a whole new batch of westerns, ready to be unleashed on us next September, including a remake of the classic TV western The Rifleman.

But now look. While everyone's been fixated on the 60s as the Mad Men USP, AMC - the home of Mad Men - is trying its hardest to cash in on the success of its own, currently absent show (as well as its first ever original mini-series, Broken Trail) with another period piece that relishes the mores and prejudices of a rapidly changing American society. Can you guess when it's set?

Continue reading "Review: Hell on Wheels (AMC) 1x1"

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