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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.


June 22, 2009

Happy fourth birthday to The Medium Is Not Enough

Posted on June 22, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

A birthday cake

Happy Birthday, The Medium is Not Enough. Yes, four years ago (sort of - it was yesterday actually - subject to blog migration, blog splitting, blog reunions, etc), this blog emerged into the light of the Internet with its first two posts: previews of the just-deceased Prison Break, the not-unpopular Supernatural and the still-unseen Global Frequency; and tedious cruft about The Omega Factor (which I'm really not going to write a review of after all, except when I get stuck for a Lost Gem).

What we've learned this year
In our fourth year, we discovered the following ten exciting things:

  1. David Tennant is as popular sitting down as he is standing up.
  2. That while captioned pictures of David Tennant sitting down will get you lots of comments and even interest from the weirdest locations, ultimately, articles about Joanna Page or Ali Larter, preferably including the words 'naked' or 'sex', will attract vastly more interest from Google - albeit not many comments.
  3. Ali Larter's and Joanna Page's popularity are considerably dwarfed by Sarah Beeny's, even without the use of the word 'naked' or 'sex'. Either that or there's something going on with the housing market at the moment.
  4. David Tennant fans are more loyal and dynamic than Richard Armitage's, although Richard Armitage's head turns out to be the Muse of haikus.
  5. Six episodes may - or may not - be the natural length for any TV series.
  6. No amount of begging will make anyone watch programmes on S4C.
  7. Heroes is finally getting better.
  8. You all still loves Doctor Who. Well, almost all of you.
  9. The best invention in the world is Rob's Great Blonde Elevator.
  10. Twitter allows me to make passing comments on TV shows that I can't quite be bothered - or have time - to blog about.

Changes
Over the last year, there have also been a few changes.

  • We finally got a proper URL, rather than the cack old one I used to use.
  • We've seen the launch of Random Acts of Ali Larter, which approximately three people understand the true point of, including me. But even if you don't, you can still enjoy it.
  • Dick Heads came, went, then came back again.
  • Sitting Tennant's logistics became somewhat trickier and now involves flowcharts on a wall.
  • The new 'Meme of the week' seems to be doing quite well for itself.
  • People really do want to help their fellow TV viewers in 'What have you been watching this week?'
  • There were some quite weird title sequences back in the 70s.
  • Canadian TV has come on by leaps and bounds of late, although appears to have run out of money as well.

    I'd like to say a great big thank you again to AnnaLisa, Marie, Matt, Rosby, Scott, Stu_N, Stu, other Scott, Stuart, Iko, Poly, espedair, kaballa, Electric Dragon, Linda, cindylover1969, Fraser, Kev, Craig, Lesley, Jonathan, Cackle Jr, Murray, Mark, Toby, Phoenix, Persephone, Jane, TemplarJ, Vin, Chris and Andrea for continuing to hang around and contribute with always entertaining comments.

    I'd also like to thank Dan, Rev/Views, Aaron, Jaradel, Nik, Joe, Bob and Sister Chastity for joining in with the fun this year.

    Apologies to infrequent commenters and anyone I left out but my brain hurts - you know what I'm like with names. But you've all been absolutely wonderful to be here, join in and interact with my baffling ramblings.

    Fingers crossed, the fun's just going to keep on rolling on for another year. Hope you continue to enjoy your stay! And if you have any suggestions for what else you might like to see on the blog, please let me know below.

    Have a nice week,

    Rob

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    June 20, 2009

    Third-episode verdict: Nurse Jackie

    Posted on June 20, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

    A Carusometer rating of 3

    Three episodes into Nurse Jackie and I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not sure the makers know what to make of it either. Stepping away from the traditional depiction of nurses as angels (cf Hawthorne, for example), it shows a nurse who's a pill-taking, adulterous angel of vengeance and morality, who'll flush criminals' ears down a toilet if she thinks they deserve it. It also tries to show what arses both doctors and patients are, when most of the time, everyone's just an idiot.

    But that's a bit too in your face, it seems, so while episode one was packed with "I can't believe she just did that moments", episodes two and three have slowly removed those moments in favour of more drama and more comedy. It's still quite a 'bitty' show, but it now flows better. The only problem is that it's also duller. With the exception of her best friend and sociopath, played by British actress Eve Best, everyone's now long-suffering and worthy, with the occasional tendency to cut corners and not behave totally professionally. Best is still gloriously over the top and unconcerned with her patients, making her easily the best thing in the show.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with this. It's only half an hour, it's only six episodes (I think) and it's already been renewed for a second season. But, apart from Eve, there's not enough real character - rather than plot - to get me involved and not even plot to paper over those cracks. The "true to life" looks at work as a nurse seem real enough now, but the show's not quite got what it takes to be compelling any more. But maybe it'll pick up again: that's the trouble with short seasons - you have to compress the arcs so we're already in a mid-season slump.

    Carusometer rating: 3
    Rob's prediction: Already picked up for season two so I'm suspecting it'll run for at least two more seasons. However, with such a short season duration, if you blink, you'll miss it.

    June 20, 2009

    Third-episode verdict: Royal Pains

    Posted on June 20, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

    A Carusometer rating of 2

    Over the summer, it seems, if you're going to watch any network's programming, USA has it all sown up. While NBC is sticking out bland-to-rubbish content like Merlin and The Listener, and the other networks are content with re-runs, rubbish and reality TV (mix that up as much as you like), USA is quietly sticking out some of its best work. Burn Notice has been topping the ratings for three seasons now and Royal Pains, its new Thursday-night stablemate, is shaping up pretty well, too.

    We're three episodes in, now, and as I said during my review of the really quite good first episode, the show could have gone one of two ways: desperately dull or still entertaining and leisurely - a perfect summer show. Happily, it's continued in the same vein as before, a kind of cross between Gossip Girl (but without the excesses), House (but without the mean nasty doctors, just the nice ones), MacGyver (but without the mullet or spies) and The Apprentice (but without the strange hairpiece) in which amiable doctor Mark Feuerstein has to work out what the matter is with a bunch rich people (and anyone else he comes across), usually with the aid of whatever he finds lying around, all the while trying to build a new business and romance the local hospital administrator.

    And it does it all very well. The relationships are nicely handled, nothing seems too forced, nothing too bad seems to happen, and no matter how rich or how poor characters are, they all seem relatively nice. It's a feel good show about people feeling well.

    If I had to criticise, Dr Hank's brother is a bit of an arse and deserves a spade to the back of the head, and in an effort to stay away from anything too unpleasant for too long, there's a little shallowness to the characterisations. But it's just a nice to show to watch. It would last about five seconds in a winter schedule, but in summer, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better or more apt.

    Carusometer rating: 2
    Rob's predication: Should last for a good few seasons, unless the American economy falls into a giant hole in the next year or so. Or at least a bigger giant hole.  

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