Archive | Featured articles

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


May 23, 2011

Review: Doctor Who - 6x5 - The Rebel Flesh

Posted on May 23, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Rebel Flash

In the UK: Saturday 21st May, 6.45pm, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday 21st May, 9pm/8c, BBC America

Erm, yes. Doctor Who. It's running up and down corridors, while threatened by a bad special effects enemy generated through odd science and with poor motivation, isn't it?

Sigh. I wasn't expecting much from Matthew Graham after Fear Her, and given the last non-Moffat Moffat-years two-parter was the dreadful The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, I wasn't expecting too much from this either. And there were some nicely creepy bits, some decent direction, some decent acting and some good ideas underneath it all. Unsurprisingly, given this was Matthew Graham (co-creator of Life On Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus So I Won't Have Any Good Ones In My Show), Rory actually came out of this quite well and didn't come across as a total sponge for once – he didn't even die once – while Amy got precisely bugger all to do except scream.

But largely, this was an extremely boring episode where not much happened except people running up and down corridors in a slight homage to The Thing/The Clonus Horror. Worse still, come 20 minutes, I'm not just looking at the clock thinking "Oh, God, we've got another 25 minutes of this", I'm looking at it thinking "Oh, God, we've got another one of these next week as well."

Expectations: met.

However, your mileage may vary, so leave a comment or a link to a review on your own blog.

PS Is it just me or if you're going to have a story arc that runs across an entire season, it doesn't count having the same reference in every single week: yes, Amy is both pregnant and not pregnant; there's a woman with an eye-patch behind every wall; and the Doctor's going to die and Rory and Amy are wondering whether to tell him. We remember that from episodes 2, 3 and 4. Is anything else going to happen?

May 20, 2011

Lost Gems: Leg Work (1987)

Posted on May 20, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Margaret Colin in Leg Work

At the moment, CBS is top of the US ratings, able to deploy any old rubbish (Mike and Molly, Two and a Half Men) and people will watch it happily, while NBC is currently drilling a hole in the ratings basement so it can go and live in a new sub-basement it's planning on building, even though many of its shows (well, Community and 30 Rock) easily trump whatever CBS has to offer.

But go back 25 years or so, and it was NBC that was the ratings juggernaut, crushing CBS with its peacock feathers and shows such as The Golden Girls, despite CBS turning out more than a few decent shows itself. CBS did, of course, have private detective show Magnum PI, which amazingly ran from 1980 through to 1988. But in 1987, with Magnum's fortunes waning, CBS went on a great mental trek and asked itself what kind of show it could replace Magnum with and came up with the astounding idea of… a private detective show.

However, in contrast to other private detective shows of the 80s (Magnum, Simon & Simon, Riptide, Tucker's Witch), this one would be a little more realistic and star a woman - Margaret Colin, then famous as a comedy actress from shows such as Foley Square, but better known now for Gossip Girl, Now and Again and Chicago Hope. What a feminist move, echoing the likes of Honey West? Nope. This was a show for men and to let men know they were allowed to watch it, the producers called it… Leg Work. And focused a lot on Margaret Colin's legs.

Eschewing gun fights and car chases in favour of humour and wit, the show was actually quite good. Colin played Claire McCarron, a former New York district attorney who becomes a private detective because of her skills at tracking down people and information. Keeping it real, the show regularly had McCarron in meetings, dealing with admin and interviews, suffering from a poor personal life, never having any money, dealing with creditors and having to track down her own clients so she could get paid.

Assisting McCarron were her father, a retired cop, and her PR cop brother Fred, played by Patrick James Clarke of Saracen fame, as well as her best friend/roommate, former fashion model Willie (played by Frances McDormand of Fargo fame). And she drove a rather nice Porsche 911, as well.

"The scripts are great," Colin says. "The best of all possible worlds would be for us to be able to do a small picture each week. With a lot of emotion, a lot of character and conflicts that are real and not manufactured. Our stories are more Europe. They're not as tidy as most American shows. The focus is on emotion and the characters. And the writers have hooked into my sense of humor."

Nevertheless, up against NBC's Golden Girls, Leg Work only managed to squeeze out six of its 10 episodes before it was cancelled, although the whole run aired in the UK on ITV. While not a classic of TV, it was still a cut above some of its more ludicrous rivals and should have made Margaret Colin a whole lot more famous than she ended up. Anyway, here's a trailer for it and the title sequence, which has a very Mike Post-ish theme tune.

May 19, 2011

The CW's upfronts 2011

Posted on May 19, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The CW Upfronts

Poor Alex Breckenridge - let down by pilot season again. The CW, which is largely ruled by reality shows, only has about thruppence ha'penny to rub together, so isn't going to be picking up her pilot, Cooper and Stone. Shame.

Still, what have they picked up instead?

  • Hart of Dixie, in which Rachel Bilson gets used to being a doctor in a small town after she leaves the big city. Hang on, isn't that Doc Hollywood?
  • Ringer, in which Sarah Michelle Gellar goes on the run by assuming the identity of her twin sister. Genius plan that one. Still, it does feature Ioan Gruffudd, Nestor Carbonell and Kristoffer Polaha, so might be worth a look
  • The Secret Circle, which comes from the author of The Vampire Diaries and sees Britt Robertson from Life Unexpected discover she's a witch. Another good supporting cast - Thomas Dekker, Gale Harold, Ashley Crow and Natasha Henstridge - but if it's anything like The Vampire Diaries, I might be out before this has even started.

Not sure they picked the right shows there. Details and trailers after the jump.


Continue reading "The CW's upfronts 2011"

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398  

Featured Articles

Marvel's Iron Fist

Season two of Daredevil but done right