Glynis Barber may best be known now as a star of soap operas such as Emmerdale and EastEnders but back in the 80s, she was something of a small screen pin-up. After a brief appearance in The Sandbaggers as a Russian spy so beautiful "you'd crawl a thousand miles over broken glass" for her, her big break came as Soolin on Blake's 7, a role about which I've already written. After Blake's 7 finished, she went on to much greater fame and pin-up-dom as Makepeace in fondly remembered Dempsey & Makepeace:
But in between those two series, she starred in a much more poorly remembered show on BBC2 about a literal pin-up: Jane.
Yes, we're about to get a little bit racey after the jump
The Devil is a character who, for obvious reasons, pops up a lot in Western art and literature. Usually he's there to lead the heroes into temptation or to act as an antagonist, someone who chases the heroes. Occasionally, he's humanised and revealed to be part of God's plan - for example, Bedazzled, with Liz Hurley playing the Devil as just misunderstood.
Rarely though is the Devil the hero of the piece. Or should that be anti-hero? Rarely does anyone ask how he feels about the whole set-up or ask what his plans are, while simultaneously depicting Old Nick as basically malevolent.
So the 1990 movie Mr Frost is a wonderful delight that you should get if you can. In it, Jeff Goldblum plays the seemingly ordinary Mr Frost - well, ordinary until it's revealed that he's a serial killer who's killed dozens of people and buried their bodies in his back garden. He's declared insane and taken away to a mental asylum where for two years, he refuses to say a word. That is until he meets psychiatrist Sarah (Kathy Baker). Frost claims that he's the Devil himself. But what is the Devil doing in a mental asylum? Why would he allow himself to be captured? What does he want?
Well, if God moves in mysterious ways, surely the Devil must too
Here's a really bad trailer. Try to ignore the voiceover for starters.
CBS is the most popular of all US networks, but it does have an odd tendency. Whenever it has a successful show, it likes to create a backup in case things go wrong with it. So CSI spawned CSI: Miami and CSI: New York; NCIS got NCIS: LA; Criminal Minds is about to get Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior; and so on.
Sometimes, rather than create a simple spin-off, though, CBS likes to create a show similar to the original. So it is with Mad Love, a sneaky backup in case How I Met Your Mother gets corrupted. The basic premise is pretty much the same: two guys, two girls, two interesting, two not, and there are romantic complications. Here, Jason Biggs (American Pie), a very ordinary lawyer, meets Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), a very ordinary actually, I missed what she did, but whatever it is, it's probably very ordinary. Whatever - it's love at first sight, there's fireworks and everything.
Each has a much more interesting best friend: Tyler Labine (Reaper), an eccentric lawyer, and Judy Greer (Archer), a nanny who helps brain-dead trophy wives rear their kids. For them, it's hate at first sight, but you just know that's going to change.
And as is the trouble with carbon copies, it's just not as good as the originals. In fact, against a backdrop of the likes of Traffic Light, Perfect Couples and Better With You, it's a very pale copy that can barely raise a single laugh. Talking of Traffic Light, do you want to have a guess who was in the pilot but got recast again?
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.