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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 26, 2011

Review: Doctor Who - 6x12 - Closing Time

Posted on September 26, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Doctor Who - Closing Time

In the UK: Saturday 24th September, 7.15pm, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday 24th September, 9pm/8c ET/PT, BBC America

So another one that I quite liked, despite a slightly disappointing ending to the main plot. A strange callback to RTD-era style writing, principally because his best pal Gareth Roberts wrote it (clearly a man who has recently become a father), a lot of the time it felt like a David Tennant-era story. The Cybermen obviously helped on that score, but the familiar, everyday setting, copious one-liners, et al were indicative.

All the River Song stuff at the end was good, as was the Doctor's maudlin nature as he walks to his own death and the cameos by two former companions. Good to see some cybermats around, too, and they were actually scary for once to boot.

All in all, a good fun one. But what did you think?

September 26, 2011

Review: Pan Am 1x1

Posted on September 26, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

abc-series-pan-am-cast.jpg

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, ABC
In the UK: Acquired by BBC2

Again, stop me if you've heard this one before

There's a lot of talk about people harking back to the 'easier' times of the 60s, to wanting to once again enjoy a time when sexism, racism and homophobia were acceptable. When women know their 'place' and that was too look pretty and not do much.

That, apparently, is the appeal of Mad Men. And why there are now two other shows set in the 60s, vying for our attentions: The Playboy Club and now ABC's Pan Am

Of course, this is cobblers. Mad Men is successful because it allows us to look back and condemn those times and because it actually has good writing, good acting and good characterisation. And while Mad Men has certainly helped to get these two shows on our screens, American TV has been making 'period pieces' like this for years, whether it's Swingtown, Band of Brothers, John Adams, Life on Mars or Bonanza.

Like Mad Men, these new 60s shows also allow us to look back at the 60s and condemn, yet while The Playboy Club has decided to tread the dark path of the crime drama while showing us a certain amount of the sleaze at the Chicago Playboy Club and what women's lives were like at the time, Pan Am has gone light and fluffy when doing the same, trying to show us a world in which the air hostess was the height of glamour and empowerment and a job to which apparently any intelligent woman would aspire, whether it was to get away from her own life or because she's a secret CIA agent.

Yet, despite all the things that Pan Am could and should have ripped off from Mad Men, even with the help of West Wing producer Thomas Schlamme and a cast that include Christina Ricci, it's gone for possibly the worst option: it's picked up on Mad Men's pacing. Pan Am is about as exciting as an eight-hour flight across the Atlantic.

Continue reading "Review: Pan Am 1x1"

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September 25, 2011

Review: A Gifted Man 1x1

Posted on September 25, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

A Gifted Man

In the US: Fridays, 8/7c, CBS

CBS, the home of the procedural TV show, has been a little bit strapped for medical procedures. It's tried in the past with shows such as 3 Lbs , but they've never really stuck.

So desperate are they for a medical procedure, it would seem, that they're willing to take something with just a hint of medical procedure to it and revamp it to fit the new mould.

Take A Gifted Man. Now on the face of it, this is a supernatural/spiritual tale of life choices and redemption. Patrick Wilson (The Watchmen) is a rich and indeed gifted neurosurgeon, at the top of his profession. He's divorced, he's a complete dick, he doesn't have many friends and he treats his sister (Julie Benz) and her son like crap, but he's doing well for himself at least. Then one day, he bumps into his ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle from Pride and Prejudice) and they have dinner together.

But the next day, he discovers she's been dead for two weeks. After having the necessary brain scans, he comes to the conclusion that she really is a ghost and begins to re-evaluate his life choices, his attitudes to the poor, his family, his friends, his employees and in fact life itself.

Except that's not good enough for CBS, so on top of that, he has to do three to four exciting, brain-related medical procedures per show on top of that.

Here's a trailer.

Continue reading "Review: A Gifted Man 1x1"

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