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October 6, 2008

Review: Valentine 1x1

Posted on October 6, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Valentine

In the US: Sundays, 8/7c, The CW

Valentine is one of those high concept shows that could, depending on how they're implemented, turn out to be fundamentally excellent or fundamentally awful. "The Greek gods are alive and well and living among us". Brilliant, hey? I'd buy that book/watch that TV show, because it's a great idea.

But, and here's the problem, if the gods just sit in front of the TV all day, it's going to be very dull; if they demand human sacrifices or set nation to war with nation to reduce the excess population, it's going to very dark and scary. So pitch is very important.

US TV tends to go for light and/or fighty when dealing with the Greek gods. Hercules (yes, I know he's Roman) and Xena (completely made up) went for light and fighty on the few occasions when they went modern-day; Cupid (also Roman and coming around for a new series some time soon, despite having been cancelled once) went for light. They were all fun in their way, sometimes extremely imaginative, but generally nothing to make you mourn their passings too much.

Valentine (yes, not even Roman but early Christian), in which Aphrodite, Eros, Hercules/Heracles and other gods try to fix mortals up with their soul mates, goes for light in a big way. Starring Jaime Murray (Hustle, Dexter) as Aphrodite aka Venus aka Grace Valentine, it's imaginative, quite fun, but at times excruciatingly bad - as well as instantly forgettable.

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October 6, 2008

Review: The Ex List 1x1

Posted on October 6, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

TheExList

In the US: Fridays, 9pm et/pt, CBS

What do women want? It's a despairing thought asked by male TV executives all the time, in the hope of getting some female viewers for their networks. Sometimes they'll look at the chick lit section of their local Barnes and Noble and go, "Oh. That's what women want." Other times, they'll look at other female oriented TV programmes and copycommission appropriately.

Sometimes, though, they'll look overseas, usually to Britain and sometimes to Canada. But for The Ex List, they looked even further afield: Israel.

The Ex-List's premise is dumbness in a glass: 33-year-old San Diego flower shop owner, Bella Bloom (seriously), takes her sister's hen night party to a psychic and gets told she has a year to marry or she'll die alone. After a series of other predictions come true, she becomes convinced the psychic is telling the truth. Thing is, she's destined to marry someone she's already dated, so she puts together a list of all her exes, and decides to try them out again, one at a time, to see which was really Mr Right.

So roll up, roll up for the oddball man vetting service.

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October 6, 2008

Review: Numb3rs 5x1

Posted on October 6, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Numb3rs

In the US: Fridays, 10pm ET/PT, CBS
In the UK: Five, Five US, ITV1 and ITV3 in some sort of rota system, some time next year

Think CBS and if you know your US networks, you'll probably think 'procedural' immediately afterwards. If it's not existing stalwarts like the entire CSI stable, NCIS and The Unit filling the airwaves, we've The Eleventh Hour and The Mentalist this season as well.

Then there's Numb3rs, which seems to exist simply to add yet another procedural to the CBS body count - and to win family programming prizes. A sub-exciting series in which the FBI seem incapable of solving even the basic crimes without recourse to a genius mathematician and his nerdy friends, it's been lurking on Friday nights for years and has now reached season five.

And I'm still watching it. I have no idea why.

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