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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.


September 27, 2009

Review: Dollhouse 2x1

Posted on September 27, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Dollhouse 2x1

In the US: Fridays, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: Sci Fi. "Coming soon" apparently

Dollhouse was a show that everyone wanted to love when it first came out. It was by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy. It starred Eliza Dushku - Faith off Buffy. It had that nice Tahmoh Penikett from Battlestar Galactica as an FBI agent. It was sci-fi…

The list could have gone on for a while, but despite all these plus points, there was always something missing from Dollhouse. To a certain extent, there was a problem with the format: lots of pretty people give up their bodies for five years to the mysterious Dollhouse, which then implants them with new personalities to suit particular jobs, usually sexual. It just sounded icky. Or like a porn version of Joe 90.

Then there was the question of what it all meant. Was there a message to it? Not an obvious one. Could we care about the characters? Not so much, when their personalities changed from episode to episode and we never found out what they were truly like.

So while some people watched it, it didn't garner great ratings or great fervour from many people, other than the true dyed in the wool Whedonites.

But now we're back with season two. There have been format changes aplenty and Whedon is slowly pushing for something a bit deeper than he was before. I'm still just not sure it's a programme with any real point other than to give Eliza Dushku a chance to dress up every week.

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September 27, 2009

Review: Smallville 9x1

Posted on September 27, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Smallville 9x1

In the US: Fridays, 8/7c, The CW
In the UK: Some time in 2010 on E4

No matter how you look at it, the Superman comics can be a bit silly. To be fair, as soon as you accept that there are aliens from the planet Krypton who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, etc, when they're on Earth, you have to accept there's going to be a certain amount of silliness anyway.

Smallville, however, did its level best when it started to avoid too much that was implausible in an effort to create a realistic view of what it would be like for young Clark Kent to grow up in Smallville, encumbered with super powers. Yes, to ensure that it wasn't boring there was the 'krypto villain of the week', but it still was on the less silly end of all the possible Superman worlds.

Over the years though - and we're in our ninth year now - it's gradually become sillier and sillier as more of the DC Comics intellectual property has been added to the scripts. So Green Arrow, the Flash, Aquaman, Brainiac, Black Canary, time travel, the Phantom Zone, Supergirl and a whole lot more have come and made everything a whole lot dafter.

For this, the opener to season nine, we have Lois Lane coming back from the year 3000 thanks to a ring she borrowed off Clark; Metallo's stomping around trying to chat her up; Chloe has become the Oracle of the Justice League's Watchtower; the Green Arrow is off cage fighting; Clark's decided to abandon his human side and embrace his Kryptonian destiny, complete with natty S on his chest; and there's a new boy in town. He's a soldier. One day he's even going to be a general. He comes from Krypton.

Kneel before Zod everyone. Or is that a bit silly?

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September 26, 2009

Review: Eastwick 1x1

Posted on September 26, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Eastwick

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC

The Witches of Eastwick is one of those movies that everyone seemed to enjoy. An adaptation of John Updike's novel, it sees three women in a small town suddenly get their wishes granted by Jack Nicholson - they discover they're witches, but worryingly, they also discover he's the devil.

Depending on your views, you can see it as a feminist parable - three women get together and triumph over evil using their own power - or an anti-feminist parable - three women are doormats until they meet the right man and then bad things happen to them because they use their own power.

Eastwick, ABC's version of the story, isn't really worthy of the word 'parable'. In reality a slightly - but only slightly - more adult version of Charmed it makes Practical Magic look like The Shield and has worse acting than the average soap opera.

And any show that has that nice mountie from Due South as a Jack Nicholson-esque devil has problems.

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