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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.


February 18, 2011

Lost Gems: Jane (1982-1984)

Posted on February 18, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

janegrab01.jpg

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:

Dempsey and 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…

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February 15, 2011

Movies you should own: Mr Frost (1990)

Posted on February 15, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Mr Frost

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.

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February 15, 2011

Review: Mad Love 1x1

Posted on February 15, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Mad Love

In the US: Mondays, 8.30/7.30c, CBS

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?

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