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September 22, 2008

Review: Merlin 1x1

Posted on September 22, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Merlin and Prince Arthur

 

In the UK: Saturdays, BBC1, 7.30pm
In the US: NBC, some time in the 2008-9 season. Probably

Ever since the return of Doctor Who made Saturday evenings viable viewing slots again, the onus has been on broadcasters not to fill their schedules with rubbish. ITV1 has tried to compete using shows like Primeval as well as a 1,001 singing and dancing shows; the Beeb, since you can't have Doctor Who all year round, has done likewise but also rolled an updating of Robin Hood into the mix, to not great success. 

Now here comes its latest effort: Merlin. You remember Merlin, don't you? Son of a demon/dragon, lives his life backwards? Welsh wizard pal of King Arthur?

Ah. Apparently, most of that was wrong. Because we're in for a good dose of 'Welsh washing' here for a slightly less whimsical version of Harry Potter.

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September 22, 2008

Season finale: Burn Notice (season two)

Posted on September 22, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

 

Burn Notice is something of an odd show for the USA Network. While most of the USA output is fluffy stuff like Monk or Psych, Burn Notice is quite edgy and dark – a spy show where villains frequently get shot by the good guys, who are all busily trying to avoid getting shot by the people who are supposed to be good guys, too.

After a slightly intermittent first season in which most of that initial edginess was squandered on USA Network quirkiness, the second season has been far superior. After the introduction of BSG's/Canada's Next Top Model's Tricia Hilfer as Carla, one of those responsible (possibly) for the 'burn notice' that ostracised our hero from the rest of the spy community, we gamboled merrily along from explosion and murder to explosion and murder – via way of the equally vicious spy Michael Shanks from Stargate SG-1 – in the hope that by the end of the season, we'd know what was going on and what Carla was up to.

Did we?

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September 22, 2008

Review: Smallville 8x1

Posted on September 22, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Smallville

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

You just can't keep a good Superman down, can you? We are now officially entering year eight of Smallville, aka Superman: The Early Years. But as you might expect, it's starting to show its age a little.

Tom Welling, despite playing a character who's only just sort of cleared college age, is now in his 30s, and the rest of the cast aren't as young and vigourous as they once were either - or they've scarpered for the hills as soon as they were free of their contracts at the end of the last season. The creative force behind the show, Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, have also left, leaving their deputies in charge.

So with a skeleton crew on board and no captains at the helm any more, is season eight going to flounder and crash onto the rocks?

Continue reading "Review: Smallville 8x1"

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