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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.


October 14, 2008

Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures 2x3

Posted on October 14, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Do you know, I really can't think of an introduction to this story that won't be a spoiler in some way to Americans and people who haven't seen this episode? So instead of wobbling on for a bit out on the front page, I'm heading off for the protective enclosure of the jump.

Join me if you will.

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October 10, 2008

Review: Life on Mars (US) 1x1

Posted on October 10, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Life on Mars (US)

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC
In the UK: I'm guessing the Beeb will buy it. What do you think?

This is the one we in Britain have all been waiting for. Despite running for only two series, time travel cop drama Life on Mars became something akin to the crown jewels - a national treasure to be revered by everyone. Even the awfulness of spin-off Ashes to Ashes couldn't dull our love for it.

So when we heard that the US was going to adapt it, we all feared the worst and assumed terrible things were going to happen to our precious*. "Take your hands off our crown jewels, Yanks," was the general reaction.

To be fair, once we saw the trailer and the pilot, we actually had a good reason to be dismayed. The trailer was truly awful and the pilot was bland. Relocated from Manchester to LA, the show ditched most of the characters, took away a lot of the fun bits without adding anything, and didn't really have any style of its own.

And ABC agreed. It took one look and said, "Guys, do you want to try again? Because this is sh*t." So the producers did try again. They changed production team, relocated the show to New York, brought back all the old characters and rewrote the script. Then they brought in heavyweight acting talent Harvey Keitel, Gretchen Mol and Michael Imperioli – and reshot the entire thing.

Wow. They say pilots can be unrepresentative of the series that follow, but that's all pretty unprecedented – although unsurprising given just how few new dramas ABC is running with this Fall.

Has that been enough though?

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October 10, 2008

Review: CSI 9x1

Posted on October 10, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

CSI

In the US: Thursdays, 9pm ET/PT, CBS
In the UK: Five, Five US, Living, etc, ad infinitum

It seems that just about every time I review an episode of CSI, I make the following points:

  • It's the only smart series in the CSI canon, with CSI:Miami being dumb, conservative propaganda with minimal resemblance to reality and CSI: NY being little more than live action fan fic now
  • It does dark and nuanced well
  • The characters feel like characters rather than plot advancers

And this time's no different. We open, as we have in most previous years, with a big character-related episode. And my, isn't it a tear-jerker?

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