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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.


January 8, 2009

Review: Scrubs 8x1-8x2

Posted on January 8, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The cast of Scrubs

In the US: Tuesdays, 9/8c, ABC
In the UK: E4, some time this year probably

It has to be said that Scrubs hasn't been what it was for some time. Originally, a comedy show about doctors that also looked at the more human side of having to cope with people who are ill and dying, over its last few seasons, it's become something of a cartoon, in which reality has been shoved aside in favour of silliness and cartoon-like behaviour.

The strangeness of Scrubs is that it was an ABC Studios production for NBC, a network that didn't really seem to know what to do with the programme anyway, seeming at times almost to have forgotten the show existed.

But after NBC dropped it with a literal, medieval fanfare finale last season, ABC picked it up and has decided to run with it. Will the change in management help bring Scrubs back to its former glory for its probably final season, or like a giant oil tanker, will it prove impossible to turn back on course at this late stage?

Continue reading "Review: Scrubs 8x1-8x2"

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January 7, 2009

Review: Above Suspicion

Posted on January 7, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Kelly Reilly in Above Suspicion

In the UK: Sunday 4th/Monday 5th January, 9pm, ITV1

While shows like Demons demonstrate that ITV1 still has somewhere to go to redeem itself with drama after a decade of predominantly awful output, something that we can probably all agree on is that ITV1 is the home of decent crime TV in Britain.

While the Beeb has restricted itself to anaemic period stuff, comfy escapism like Jonathan Creek, Inspector Lynley cobblers or excruciating rubbish like The Invisibles, ITV1 has been producing classics of modern, gritty crime fiction for decades, including the Prime Suspects, Cracker, Wire in the Blood and even The Bill. Okay Wallander was good, but for the most part, BBC1 has sucked, while ITV1 has done well.

Blimey though, has it really been nearly two decades since the first Prime Suspect. Doesn't time fly? I'm sure they'd be cranking out more episodes if only Helen Mirren hadn't decided to get old, curse her.

That might well be the thought Prime Suspect creator Lynda La Plante had when she was writing the novel Above Suspicion - while simultaneously being unable to get much stuff on TV other than one of those few ITV1 crime misfires, Trial and Retribution, and the slightly bland The Commander. "If only we could do Prime Suspect: The Early Years, hopefully with some hot young actress. Let me write that as a novel and see if they adapt it."

Hey presto, here it is. A two-part mini-series starring the exceedingly hot (and talented) Kelly Reilly as a young rookie DC hunting a serial killer. This one's going to run and run.

Continue reading "Review: Above Suspicion"

January 7, 2009

Review: Demons 1x1

Posted on January 7, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Demons

In the UK: Saturdays, 7.20pm, ITV1

Unto each generation, a rip-off is born. This is especially true of ITV1, which never knowingly fails to panic when it sees someone else's format and decides to make it its own. And thus Strictly Come Dancing begat Dancing on Ice, Doctor Who begat Primeval and so on and so on. Here, though, ITV have decided they want to rip off both an American format and a book.

So with just the deletion of a letter y, Buffy the Vampire Slayer becomes The Buff Vampire Slayer: the last of a long line of monster-killers, equipped with super strength and reflexes, becomes mentored by a foreign national called Rupert with a fake accent, and has to take time out from school work and a platonic best friend (who'd really like it to be something more) to embrace an unwanted destiny, while a weary mother looks on unknowingly.

The only difference: it's a bloke, not a girl, Rupert is American (sort of) and the Slayer is the last of the Van Helsings who fought Dracula and other beasties of the night.

Sigh. Except it's ITV1 and it comes from the makers of Hex, so do I really need to mention the fact it's not very good?

Continue reading "Review: Demons 1x1"

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