Archive | Featured articles

Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


October 30, 2007

Third-episode verdict: Samantha Who?

Posted on October 30, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Carusometer for Samantha Who?2-Partial-Caruso

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'.”

October 29, 2007

Fifth-episode verdict: Moonlight

Posted on October 29, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Carusometer for Moonlight4-Major-Caruso

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'.”

Read other posts about:

October 29, 2007

Fifth-episode verdict: Bionic Woman

Posted on October 29, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Carusometer for Bionic Woman3-Minor-Caruso

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'.”

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398  

Featured Articles

Marvel's Iron Fist

Season two of Daredevil but done right