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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.


July 16, 2009

Review: Leverage 2x1

Posted on July 16, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Leverage

In the US: Wednesdays, 9/8c, TNT
In the UK: No one's bought it. Seriously, what's keeping you guys?

Leverage is one of those shows that's there purely to entertain. It's kind of smart, but not brainy. It's kind of funny, but not laugh out loud funny. It's action-packed, but not adrenaline-pumping.

Despite its grifter credentials, it won't convince you it's the best show in the world, but it's personable, it's fun, the characters are enjoyable: it's an hour of entertainment that won't make you feel like you've left your brain at the door, and it's clear everyone making it is having a whale of a time.

Like Ocean's 11 and Hustle, it's about a group of criminals who pull off confidence tricks; however, these guys do it to help the little people fight the rich corporations. At the end of last season, the gang split up to go their separate ways, but since then, there's become a whole load more little people, and a whole load of corporations doing suspiciously well during an economic meltdown.

Continue reading "Review: Leverage 2x1"

July 14, 2009

Weird old titles: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries

Posted on July 14, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew

There was a time when every kid with an imagination and who read books would have known about those young detectives the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. If you were a boy, you read about brothers Frank and Joe Hardy and their intrepid investigations; if you were a girl (or called Rob Buckley), you read about Nancy Drew and her equally intrepid investigations.

And when I say was 'there was a time', it was a very long time indeed, since the original books came out in the 1920s and continued to be must-reads into the 90s.

Times have moved on, and there have been attempts to update the books, and dramatise them on TV or even in the movies - Nancy Drew getting the latest movie treatment, a slight pisstake with Nancy as a goody twoshoes struggling with modern teens; Ben Stiller and Tom Cruise are still working on a movie with them as the grown-up Hardy Boys. These updates haven't been totally successful and the characters are fading somewhat into history.

Back in the 70s, though, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries was the Saturday night show to watch. The show starred teen heart-throb (and future TV show writer) Shaun Cassidy as Joe Hardy, Parker Stevenson (future star of Baywatch and Isaac Asimov's P.R.O.B.E.) as Frank Hardy and Pamela Sue-Martin (future Fallon on Dynasty) as Nancy Drew (she was replaced towards the end of the second season by Janet Louise Johnson).

The format of the Mysteries was a bit weird. In the first of the show's three seasons, it alternated each week between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. By the second season, only three episodes featured Nancy Drew by herself and the rest had her as a 'guest star' in the Hardy Boys' episodes. And by the third season, Nancy Drew was gone altogether, and the show became The Hardy Boys Mysteries.

Whatever you think of the show itself - and you can still catch an episode or two on YouTube (look, here's one with Melanie Griffiths) - the opening titles for the second two seasons were weird and creepy, as was the theme music. They also quite cleverly managed to add the members of the cast to the then-famous book covers. Over to you weird old title sequence:

July 13, 2009

Series finale: Torchwood - Children of Earth

Posted on July 13, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

A Carusometer rating of 2

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a first. Some thought it impossible, like finding a news outlet that hasn't mentioned Michael Jackson once in the last week. Some thought it could never happen.

But it has. An episode of Torchwood got a 0 on the Carusometer. It was really, really good.

After the break, let's discuss how this could have happened and the whole series in spoilery detail: you have been warned, those of you who haven't watched it yet.

Continue reading "Series finale: Torchwood - Children of Earth"

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