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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'.”

October 19, 2007

Third-episode verdict: Pushing Daisies

Posted on October 19, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Carusometer for Pushing Daisies0 Anti Caruso

How sweet is your tooth? How much do you like whimsey? Me, I'm pretty sweet-toothed and I'm on first name terms with most of the local squirrels*, but despite all the love and hugs being heaped on it by all and sundry, I'm finding Pushing Daisies just too cloying and sweet. And there are no talking animals.

It's not that it's not nice, or well directed, or well written, or well acted, because it's all of them. It's a very well made piece of clever television.

It's simply too much of a fairytale, too much like eating a gallon of caramel in one sitting. Maybe I'm getting on a bit, but the children in The Sarah Jane Adventures seem to have more maturity than the adults of Pushing Daisies, who make Scrubs's JD seem like Methuselah. I could maybe watch one of these a month, and they'd all make reasonably good movies. But every week? No thank you, I'm making room for the savoury course.

Of course, sweet things are addictive so I might change my mind. But although there's a lot of love ?– a lot – going round, I'm just not feeling the love for Pushing Daisies.

All the same, The Medium Is Not Enough has great pleasure in declaring Pushing Daisies is the first ever programme to score a 0 or Anti-Caruso on The Carusometer quality scale. An Anti-Caruso corresponds to "a programme so good that if it were placed in the same room as David Caruso, the two would annihilate each other, leaving behind just the faintest sound of a sigh of pleasure."

* I probably shouldn't have shared that with you

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October 19, 2007

Fifth-episode verdict: Back To You

Posted on October 19, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Carusometer for Back To You5-Full-Caruso

In retrospect, it was must have been pure masochism that led me to hold out for a fifth episode verdict on Back To You. Maybe it was Kelsey Grammer's presence. Maybe the third episode caught me in a good mood. Whatever it was, it was a mistake, and now I've wasted 50 minutes more of my life.

This is awful. It is unoriginal, unfunny, over-acted, unlikeable rubbish. Do not watch it unless you like the idea of being placed in the village stocks and having rotten tomatoes thrown in your face - because that's how enjoyable it is. Even the retro “filmed in front of a live studio audience” voiceover at the beginning à la Cheers cannot redeem it. If there's any justice in the world, it would be cancelled right now, all surviving copies placed in a bin and then incinerated.

So The Medium Is Not Enough has great pleasure in declaring Back To You has scored a five or 'Full Caruso' on The Carusometer quality scale. A Full Caruso corresponds to “a show in which David Caruso might be responsible for every aspect of production, including starring, directing, producing and writing it. After casting himself as a veteran newscaster who snarls every story and can't read the prompter because he's wearing sunglasses, he's forced first to bribe the audience to laugh at his frequent blonde jokes then to threaten to have them put in jail for 'all the crimes they've no doubt committed' if they don't so much as giggle. However, when the show is aired in Eastern Europe and its frequent jokes about Albanians are translated, the country declares war on Caruso, forcing him to to change his identity and pretend to be an Alpaca breeder in Patagonia. The show is cancelled in his absence, and peace and goodwill once again return to the Earth.”

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