In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, NBC In the UK: "Simulcast", which apparently means some time within the next month or so
So Heroes is back.
Do I hear a hoo anyone?
No? Why's that then? Ah, you got hacked off with it. Too many odd character flips and complicated storylines that made no sense? Sounds about right.
But wait. Sit up and pay attention at the back. This is an all new Heroes. A refreshed Heroes. A Heroes that's going back to basics.
Promising a clean break with the overly complicated past storylines that estranged its audience (this being the third such clean break promised), Heroes is trying to recapture the glory days of season one with this, its fourth "volume".
With Nathan gone bad after the last volume, his new plan as junior senator for New York is to cosy up to the US President (Michael Dorn - Worf off Star Trek) and make him go Guantánamo on his fellow super-powered friends, who are all just trying to live normal lives now.
And that means - in case you missed all the advertising - if the heroes are to survive, they've all got to work together. The question is does this all add up to new and improved Heroes or is it well and truly time to call it a day?
Over the years, there have been surprisingly few shows set in the world of advertising. Given that it's a sexy, sexy industry, filled with volatile creatives, loads of money and gadzillions of product placement and sponsorship opportunities, you'd have thought it would have been a no-brainer, but apparently not. Bewitched and Mad Men and that's about it, really.
So, finally, at last, comes the show we've all been waiting for (?). Produced by former advertising execs and current producers of The Closer, Trust Me stars Eric McCormack (Will in Will and Grace, who recently had a brief sojourn on The Andromeda Strain), Tom Cavanagh (JD's brother on Scrubs and Eli's father on Eli Stone) and Monica Potter (Boston Legal and Martha in Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel & Laurence).
While the lack of class A drugs probably disqualifies it from being called a realistic portrayal of the advertising industry, in many ways it's a reasonably accurate look at the egos of the creatives in the boys' club that is the modern advertising industry, right down to the fact there's only one woman in it.
If you grew up during the 80s (or even the 70s) in the UK, like me, you were probably subjected to some pretty rubbish teaching programmes during science classes - they were usually narrated by Chris Tarrant, if that helps jog your memory. Joe has just reminded me of the marvellous first series of Look Around You, in which Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz mercilessly and very surreally sent up "television for schools and colleges".
I won't say too much about it, since it really does speak for itself. Here's a scary clip of the 'Helvetica Scenario' from the pilot episode, Calcium, for those that just want a sample.
For those with more time and who liked that taster, here's the entire pilot episode. Be warned, you will feel a palpable sensation of nostalgia within about five seconds if you are over 30 and British.
And here's the Sulphur episode, which is one of my favourites:
If you're in the US, you can watch all the episodes (with a few adverts) on Adult Swim's web site, since it's currently airing on Sunday nights. If you're in the UK, if you loved it, you can buy the whole series, including pilot episode, on DVD.
There was also a second series that sent up Tomorrow's World and Micro Live, but it wasn't as good IMHO - although it was still pretty hilarious at times. Here's a sample - you can get it on DVD, too.
PS: At no point should you rely on Look Around You for accurate scientific information.
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.