In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS
In the UK: Five. No air date yet
Out of all the new shows in the US last year, there was one big winner, the conclusive champion triumphing over all others: The Mentalist. Created by Rome's Bruno Heller, it sees former 'psychic' Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) join up the the California Bureau of Investigation to hunt down the serial killer, Red John, who killed his family and offer his unique services to solve other crimes while doing.
Jane isn't a 'real' psychic, but uses all the powers of those frauds - cold reading, misdirection, observation, etc - to deduce who the guilty party is. Although it might not be called Sherlock Holmes, that's essentially what Jane is - a man whose ability to observe and deduce is so powerful, he knows who the guilty person is within seconds and just has to spend the rest of the episode proving it.
Despite the Red John storyline, The Mentalist is essentially a standalone show in which every episode has little to do with Red John. Instead, unlike all those serial shows that were so hot a few years ago, The Mentalist made it to the top of the ratings through not requiring the viewer to know anything or to pay that much attention: instead, you can dip into and out of The Mentalist whenever you want, content in the knowledge that you'll just get to see that nice Simon Baker being very charming and quite clever while solving a generic crime story.
And frankly, as pleasant as that is, I'm bored of that now.
In the US: Mondays, 8/7c, Fox In the UK: Sundays, 9pm, Sky 1. Starts 4th October
The biggest accusation that can be levelled at House is that it's formulaic. Every episode, someone comes down with the lurgi after a fake out sequence at the beginning where you're not exactly sure who's going to get ill. They turn up at House's hospital. House and his team try to work out what the problem is, they misdiagnose a few times, then House (or someone) has a sudden moment of inspiration and the mystery is solved. All of this takes place while House makes various nasty and/or politically incorrect comments, messes around with his team and pops back the Vicadin.
Yes, they've messed around with that formula a couple of times, but that's basically what happens each and every episode.
So I have to wonder what's going to have to the show from now on, given this season premiere appears to be mucking around with the formula quite a lot.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Beautiful blonde media type is on a girls' night out with her sister when she bumps into an aimless slacker, who's out with his equally slack friends. They hit it off, they dance, they go back to his place together. And they don't use a condom.
Lo-and-behold, just a few weeks later, blonde media type lady finds she's pregnant, decides to keep the baby then realises she has to carve out some kind of relationship with the baby's father - and his friends.
Yes, it's Knocked Up. Except it's also CBS's new sitcom, Accidentally On Purpose, a vehicle for Dharma & Greg star Jenna Elfman.
But while it's not the funniest show in the world or the most original, it has just enough heart - and just enough Jenna Elfman - to make it watchable. Just about.
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.