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October 11, 2007

Third-episode verdict: Cavemen

Posted on October 11, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Carusometer for Cavemen4-Major-Caruso

It's a special, custom Carusometer for Cavemen, thanks to ABC's somewhat interesting choice of shooting a pilot, deciding they didn't like it that much and getting a load of other episodes shot to precede it. The pilot's airing fifth, but since I've now seen three episodes with The Carusometer, I'm going to pass a third-episode verdict. This way, I'm not going to have to watch any more episodes.

The show's simply not that funny. It occasionally has a few moments of intelligence, when it exposes stereotypes and racist behaviour through people's attitudes to the cavemen - as well as the cavemen's own attitudes. The characters are affable enough. But for the most part, it just doesn't make you laugh. It's just people chiselling away the word “black” in the scripts, replacing it with “cavemen”, and hoping we laugh at the cleverness of it all - and not notice that there aren't any actors from ethnic minorities playing any significant parts, despite the show being about racism.

And yes, it's another show about slackers. Why this sudden craze in programming, I wonder? And will anyone find a decent way of making it funny?

The Medium is Not Enough hereby declares Cavemen 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 seeing an advert on television featuring cavemen. However, after deciding that cavemen are too dirty and too likely to vote Democrat, he changes the format of the show to be about a hard-working Polish actor, played by himself, who fights the terrible prejudice that exists in society towards people with red hair and who can't act.”

October 11, 2007

Third-episode verdict: Reaper

Posted on October 11, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Carusometer for Reaper 3-Minor-Caruso

Reaper didn't exactly start off on a high and it's pretty much maintained the same level ever since. A slacker who works in a faceless retail outlet (shades of Chuck), pushing around trollies, finds out his parents have sold his soul to the devil and he now has to return escapees from Hell back to their rightful torture point.

That's pretty much every episode. Bad person escapes. Slacker has to return them with the help of his friends. Every. Single. Episode. All that's different is the bad person and the way he sends them back.

Trouble is it's been done better (not much better, mind) as Brimstone. It might be a comedy drama, but the show's not especially funny or dramatic. It might have horrific overtones, but it's not especially frightening. The Devil is more like a cross between Frank Sinatra and Puck than the Lord of All Evil.

The show's just there. It exists, purely to fill the airwaves so that people smoking something illicit have something to watch while they're doing it.

The only spark of any real interest is the interplay between our hero and his secret crush, now recast as Missy Peregrym, who somehow manages not to be very irritating at all (a first for her). Now that's a miracle.

The Medium is Not Enough declares that Reaper 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 minor demon. Although perfectly happy for his character to shoot and torture other characters, he will insist that there be no use of 'cuss words' because it would set a bad example to young people, resulting in dialogue like 'I'll darn them all to Heck'. The show will be cancelled within two seasons.”

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October 11, 2007

Third-episode verdict: Bionic Woman

Posted on October 11, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

I'm going to hold off full judgement on Bionic Woman for now. Normally that's because of a sudden surprising increase or decrease in quality. But since the quality's been pretty much the same, albeit a little better since the pilot, this time, however, it's because of sudden and surprising increases and decreases in whatever the hell the show is about.

Seriously, are they swapping show runner every episode now? Is it a feminist parable? In episode one, it is. Episode two is a workplace comedy crossed with a lamo action adventure. Episode three is a comedy. Or is it cautionary tale on what happens when you empower women? Or was it a BSG-style piece of darkness about drug abuse and bi-curious stalkers? Erm... I don't know. They clearly don't know either. They're like kids playing with a combination lock, hoping to find the right numbers to attract viewers

Hopefully, by episode five, the show will set down for a true and accurate reading on The Carusometer. For now, though, we're holding off.

Do you reckon The Carusometer has bionic eyes behind those sunglasses?

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