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


July 23, 2007

Preview: Reaper

Posted on July 23, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Reaper

In the US: Starts September 25th on The CW
In the UK: Acquired by Channel 4 and E4. No air date yet

Remember Brimstone? Probably not, but it was a quirky little show starring that bloke off thirtysomething and John Glover (who's now Lex Luthor's dad on Smallville). In it, 30something had to return souls who had escaped from Hell back to their holding cells, while Glover the Devil looked on and made threatening, sarcastic comments.

Even if you don't remember it, a group of stoned TV execs did because they've decided to revive it as something a bit less threatening and a bit more amusing - at least, to people who have been smoking a certain illicit form of tobacco.

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July 23, 2007

Review: Mad Men 1.1

Posted on July 23, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Mad Men

In the US: AMC, Thursdays, 10pm/9c
In the UK: Not yet acquired

I imagine that during Klan rallies, there are moments when the bigotry has to stop. You just can't spend your whole time proclaiming that Catholics are evil, that black people need burning religious icons on their front lawns, that Jews run the world, etc: after a few rallies, even the dumbest member will have worked it out and started to get bored. So things will move on and they'll start discussing when the next bake off is happening, who hasn't paid his membership dues, etc.

It turns out though that the advertising men of Madison Avenue during the late 1950s/early 60s - the self-proclaimed “Mad Men” - spent 24/7 dedicating themselves to destroying anything that wasn't white, anglo-saxon and protestant.

“Peggy, get your sweet ass in here now!”

“Yes, Mr Albino!”

“What's on my schedule for today?”

“This morning, you're oppressing all women everywhere before heading off to put down the Jew man in the afternoon.”

“What? No time for lunch?”

“No, Sir.”

“God damnit! Peggy, once you've finished picking up my dry cleaning and baking me a cake, I want you to get me five packs of Marlboro extra-tarry. I'm running low and I'm going to need them.”

That's the other odd thing about Mad Men. As well as wall-to-wall sexual harassment and bigotry, everyone smokes, every second of the day. Even when they're asleep, their hand contains a smoking cigarette, just in case they wake up and need to have a drag on a fag.*

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July 20, 2007

Preview: Brotherhood 2.1-2.2

Posted on July 20, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Brotherhood

In the US: Starts September 30th on Showtime
In the UK: Probably on FX as per season one

Brotherhood was a somewhat surprising show during its first season. A somewhat odd combination of gangster drama and local politics, it starred a Brit (Jason Isaacs) and an Australian (Jason Clarke) as Irish-American brothers from Rhode Island. Clarke is a local politician trying to do the best for his constituents by playing the political game, simultaneously trying to stay clean. However, his efforts are undermined by his brother, a notorious gangster who returns to the neighbourhood after a long absence.

Season one was remarkable for being hard-hitting in both areas of its remit, without giving in too much to the pressures of dramatic forms (more realistic than The Sopranos? Maybe). It also had an exceptional visual style, with long, quiet, well composed scenes of astonishing stillness.

Thankfully, season two looks like it's more of the same, which will either delight you or put you off.

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