In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, USA In the UK: Coming to FX at some point, I'm sure
Burn Notice is the USA Network's big and very surprising success. Despite ratings of over 6 million, it sticks out like a sore thumb, with a mixture of spy tradecraft, fights, explosions, shootings and characters who really aren't that likeable at times - something that isn't really true of the other shows on the "characters welcome" network that gave us Monk and Psych.
After two seasons trying to piece together who slapped a Burn Notice on him and got him fired from his spy day-job, Michael Westen found out at the end of last season - it was Frasier's dad. With that cleared up and after refusing to take a job with the old curmudgeon, Westen has new challenges ahead: every enemy he's ever made could be on their way to Miami to get him.
There are some insanely daft TV programmes out there if you look hard enough. Just mental ones. Like the remake of Knight Rider or Torchwood for example. Probably the most mental TV show I've come across in recent months/years is a documentary. It airs on Spike in the US and it's called Deadliest Warrior.
Now, I watched the first episode and thought to myself "There is absolutely no point even reviewing this, because it's so insanely daft the entire review would consist of 'HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!'"
But I just saw the title of the latest episode and thought I had to share anyway.
The principle of the show is simple. See if you can avoid laughing as I explain. You take two of history's greatest warriors or fighting forces. You get historical experts and scientists to analyse their ways of fighting. You test some of their techniques out on dummies and the like. You then feed it all into a gaming engine and enact thousands of battles in the computer. And then you see which of the two would have won in a fight on aggregate.
HA HA HA?
Okay, it's clearly inspired by Discovery Channel's Fight Science but all the sensible things have been done already, so that's what they were left with.
They could still have done something halfway intelligent, though. They could have just made it a war games type programme in which armies faced off against each other, or had martial artists of different styles fight one another.
Instead, their choices of warriors to pit against each other veers between the insanely silly and the outright tasteless. Here's a list of the ones they've done so far – see if you can keep that smile off your face. The last two are absolute classics:
Episode 1: Apache vs Gladiator
Episode 2: Viking vs Samurai
Episode 3: Spartan vs Ninja
Episode 4: Pirate vs Knight
Episode 5: Yakuza vs Mafia
Episode 6: Green Beret vs Spetsnaz
Episode 7: Shaolin Monk vs Māori Warrior
Episode 8: William Wallace vs Shaka Zulu
Episode 9: IRA vs. Taliban
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.
It's the stupidest TV programme ever. Without a doubt.
Sometimes, I begin to wonder if there are any new ideas left or whether everything is simply a variant of something else. Sitting watching the first episode of Mental, Fox's new psychiatry-based drama, I had the déjà vus an awful lot. And I'm not talking about the naked men.
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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.
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"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.