Archive | US TV 2011

Reviews of new US TV programmes from 2011


September 21, 2011

Review: Unforgettable 1x1

Posted on September 21, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Unforgettable

In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS

Interesting fact 1: There are apparently about five or six people in America with very impressive memories. Thanks in part to OCD, they can remember more or less every detail of their lives: ask them what they were doing on 4th March 2006 at 6.02pm and they'll tell you.

Interesting fact 2: Marilu Henner, one of the stars of sitcom Taxi, is one of these people. As well as cameoing on the show, she is also a consultant to CBS's Unforgettable, which stars Marilu Henner-lookalike Poppy Montgomery as a former police detective with this condition who uses her skills to solve crimes.

Interesting fact 3: CBS has so many sure-fire hits and such a seemingly captive audience they can commission some of the most boring programmes imaginable and provided they're about cops, people will watch them. And even if they don't, CBS won't care.

Here's a trailer.

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September 21, 2011

Review: The Playboy Club 1x1 (US: NBC)

Posted on September 21, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Playboy Club with Amber Heard and Eddie Cibrian

In the US: Mondays, 10/9c, NBC

Stop me if you've heard this one before

Playboy. Say the word and there's going to be an immediate reaction. Some people will be excited at the hint of some flesh, some people will think it anti-female and some people will instantly think 'porn' and try to ban whatever you're talking about.

So it is with NBC's The Playboy Club - formerly known as just Playboy - which had the Parents Television Council boycotting it before they'd even seen it, which had NBC's Utah affiliate saying they weren't going to show it because of its associations with pornography and which had various people saying it should be boycotted because it was demeaning to women.

The producers and stars protested that this was a historical drama/crime story/soap and that everyone was making something out of nothing before they'd even seen it. Okay, the nudity clause in the stars' contracts didn't help, but this was NBC so the chances of actual nudity, given the Janet Jackson 'Superbowl nip slip' is still being dragged through the courts, was zero, but that didn't seem to stop anyone.

Anyway, now it's on our screens so everyone can see what the fuss is about - or at least 5m people can, given the show's lackluster ratings on Monday.

Set in Chicago, 1961, it stars Amber Heard - best known in the US as "that girl in the new Guess jeans ads" and in the UK as "Top Gear's best ever but slowest 'star in a reasonably priced car'" (and on this 'ere blog as one of our regular 'random actors') - as Maureen, a new 'bunny' in Chicago's Playboy Club. She gets herself into hot water when she's attacked by a patron who turns out to be a mob boss. Naturally, she kills him with her stiletto.

Aided by Nick Dalton - played by Eddie Cibrian, best known in the UK as "that guy who took over from Adam Rodriguez for a season in CSI: Miami when he had a hissy fit" and in the US as "that scum who ditched his model wife and baby so that he could have an affair with the equally married Leann Rimes" - Maureen manages to cover up her crime.

For now.

With a scattergun approach that involves firing just about everything possible at the screen, ranging from social issues and soap opera love triangles to singing, dancing and a little bit of ultra-violence, the show has a little something for everyone. Given all those ingredients, it's a little duller than you might hope, as well as a little stupider, but it at least shows some promise.

Here's a trailer.

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September 20, 2011

Review: 2 Broke Girls 1x1

Posted on September 20, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Two Broke Girls

In the US: Mondays, 8.30/7.30c, CBS
In the UK: Acquired by Channel 4

There's a lot of Whitney Cummings around US TV at the moment. Best known from Chelsea Lately, not only does she have her own show on NBC - the eponymous Whitney - she's the exec producer and co-creator of 2 Broke Girls, a supposed comedy about two waitresses who decide to run their own cupcake business - once they have enough money to quit their waitressing jobs, mind.

In case the mildly tepid Whitney hasn't put you off the concept of a sitcom written by Whitney Cummings, here's a little nugget of extra information that might sway you: it's co-created and co-written by Michael Patrick King aka "The Man Who Ruined Sex and the City".

So not funny in the slightest, but it does have two redeeming features: a relatively likeable pair of central characters; and Kat Dennings (Thor). But that's it.

Here - try to laugh your way through this trailer.

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