'Gated communities' are a largely US phenomenon that haven't quite caught on over here yet. The idea is to build a whole load of houses and 'McMansions', together with shops, schools and other important facilities in a nice area away from not-so-nice areas - then stick a great big fence round it. The aim is to stop bad people turning up, stealing things, killing people and so on, by keeping them out of the community altogether.
There's an obvious flaw in this plan: what if the evil's already inside the community? What are they going to do then to protect themselves against the witches, vampires and werewolves then, huh?
Yes, you read that right: witches, vampires and werewolves. Oh, but hang on, turns out that maybe the witches, vampires and werewolves might create their own gated community to keep the humans out. Because, you know, monsters have issues, too.
In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, USA Network. Starts 13th July
Piper Perabo should have had a great career in the movies. Okay, Coyote Ugly wasn't exactly a great starting point, but she's a good actress, she did well in The Prestige - exciting things should have happened but didn't. Maybe it's because most people confuse her with Jennifer Garner.
So it's good to see her getting her own TV show, Covert Affairs, even if it does appear the producers were trying to remake Alias and got her confused with Jennifer Garner as well.
In Covert Affairs, Perabo plays a new recruit to the CIA whose language skills and aptitude for the job get her rushed into the field by her occasionally helpful bosses Arthur Campbell (The OC's Peter Gallagher) and his distrustful wife Joan (Kari Matchett from Leverage and 24). While out and about, she gets to have fights and car chases, while putting on array of accents to fool the police, FBI and even, sometimes, the enemy. No wigs mind. That would have been too obvious.
But since this is about a "single woman [with a] double life" (as the show's posters and ads say) and the show is called Covert Affairs (emphasis on the second word), we also have possible romantic interest for her in the form of the helpful Auggie Anderson (Jake 2.0/Ugly Betty's Christopher Gorham), the smooth Jai Wilcox (Sendhil Ramamurthy from Heroes, but only from episode two) and whomever her unknowing sister (Anne Dudek from House and Mad Men) sends in her direction. If only she weren't pining for that guy she met on vacation all those years ago…
While it's not quite up there with Burn Notice, Covert Affairs just about manages to blend humour, romance and spy action to create something that while not unmissable, should make any pangs you have for the return of Alias disappear.
It's official. The UK's drama output has sunk to an all-time low. You know how I know? Because not only has US TV stopped plundering us for formats, it's now started plundering New Zealand TV for idea.
Outrageous Fortune is one of NZ's most popular shows, a slightly Shameless affair about a criminal family trying to go straight. Now ABC in the US has decided to remake it as Scoundrels - since clearly the cancellation ofThe Riches wasn't warning enough.
It's put some fair old talent into it, too: Virginia Madsen (Dune, Sideways et al), David James Elliot (JAG), Leven Rambin (The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Carlos Bernard (24), Patrick John Flueger (Brothers) and Jessica Collins (Tru Calling). So why does it fall so flat? Oh yes, because it's mainstream summer TV and edgy is just not what we're looking for.
Here's a trailer for Scoundrels followed by a trailer for Outrageous Fortune: see if you can spot the difference.
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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.