Posted on October 30, 2007 | |
So, on the one hand, I like Christina Applegate, I like chick-lit (within reason) and I like tales of redemptive amnesia. On the other, I'm not especially wowed by Samantha Who?, a Christina Applegate vehicle that mixes romance, shoe addiction, bitchy friends, a man to be re-won, female failings, female strengths and comedy.
I can't seem to work out why that is. Despite losing some of its 'sitcom-ness' since the first episode, making it a better watch altogether, it's still not grabbing me. The characters are only okay, since they're not especially well drawn. Most of the cast are hamming it up, too. But the scripts have some good lines and the plots are pretty good, although occasionally veer towards cringe comedy when they shouldn't.
Maybe my oestrogen level isn't high enough, but as much as like Samantha Who? in theory, in practice, it's just not coming together for me. It is, to quote the great Joey, 'gentle comedy'. Nothing belly-shaking, just smile-raising.
On the other hand, it would be quite good if it considered itself a romance with comedic moments, rather than an American Bridget Jones. If it ups its game and gets funnier or more romantic, that would just be peachy, too.
At the moment though, The Medium is Not Enough declares Samantha Who? a two or 'Partial Caruso' on The Carusometer quality scale. A Partial Caruso corresponds to “a show with two walk-on cameos by David Caruso as the boyfriend of an amnesiac. However, the producers fire him after he claims he would never have gone out with his on-screen girlfriend because he 'can see from her face that she's a thinker'.”
Posted on October 29, 2007 | |
I thought, at first, that I'd spoken too soon. After a dismal first episode that mined every previous vampire story going for any clichés it could find, Moonlight started to show signs of promise. There was some originality in its second and third episodes. The story developed, with the season-long arc you might have expected suddenly coming to fruition straight away. If you've been raised on a diet of Angel and Forever Knight, you'd have thought you'd have known what was coming - and you'd have been wrong.
But things started to drop off in the fourth and fifth episodes. While the fourth episode was still no slouch, it had more than trace amounts of stupidity flowing through its veins, as well as a rock video director to mess things up. And the fifth episode was just ridiculous. Not truly abysmal, but certainly full of blatant absurdities that make no sense to anyone who hasn't been up all night listening to Marilyn Manson records.
The cast are pretty good, although Jason Dohring lacks presence and Shannyn Sossamon is thankfully not present most of the time. It has some niceish moments from time to time, and Mick St John is thankfully not as whiney a git as Angel and Nick Knight were. But it's still a bit dull, a bit stupid and taking a hell of a lot of time getting to the point.
The Medium is Not Enough hereby declares Moonlight is a 4 or “Major Caruso” on The Carusometer quality scale. A Major Caruso corresponds to “a show that David Caruso might exec produce or star in after reading an Anne Rice novel in an airport waiting lounge. After declaring it the 'best story ever writen by a woman', he goes on to cast himself as an immortal Irish vampire with a comb-over. After discovering that he can no longer move fast enough to convince people he has 'human speed', let alone 'vampire speed', he tries to get into character by biting his own thumb. Discovering it hurts too much, he decides that his character will feed on blood through chocolate straws instead, 'a major new innovation in vampire mythology'.”
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Posted on October 29, 2007 | |
After much delay, the Carusometer and I are ready to deliver our verdict on Bionic Woman. To say the show has been variable would be an understatement. The pilot episode was a full five on The Carusometer. NBC obviously took note and revamped it, resulting in a new first episode that was marginally better. A “dull as ditchwater” (sorry, Annie and Clarabel) second episode was no better, despite the arrival of Isaiah Washington in a somewhat pointless recurring role.
However, episode three seemed to be from another show altogether, with real humour and characterisation, as well as a weird drugs metaphor creeping through. Since then, the show has failed to recapture that third-episode magic, although it's now hit some sort of stride.
Michelle Ryan is no longer second fiddle to Katee Sackoff and managed to show some charisma in episode five, albeit only when she was allowed to use an English accent. The show's supposedly feminist subtext, which had the subtlety of the Three Stooges at first, is now quietly chugging away in the background and displaying some kind of nuance, which is nice. And episode five also showed us what the series might look like if super Jamie weren't to spend all her time whinging and the show managed to find some plots that didn't revolve around bionics.
All the same, it's still not brilliant. Where there should be some sort of excitement, there's just a gaping void. It's not cringingly bad, it's just not great.
So The Medium is Not Enough declares that Bionic Woman scores a three or “Minor Caruso” on The Carusometer. A Minor Caruso corresponds to “a show in which David Caurso might guest star as a bionic man. The show receives many plaudits at first, after Caruso's somewhat robotic style of acting is deemed to be a perfect fit with the show. However, after being granted a five-episode arc, he is quickly written out after he demands his character be given a 'bionic sense of right of wrong'.”