Archive | US TV 2011

Reviews of new US TV programmes from 2011

September 16, 2011

Review: Whitney 1x1

Posted on September 16, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share


In the US: Thursday, 9:30/8:30c, NBC

This year, we have something of a "battle of the sexes" going on between NBC and ABC. ABC has no fewer than three sitcoms in which men are officially dicks. More on those offences against humour when they air. NBC, which currently has a mandate of trying to attract as many female viewers as possible, has taken a slightly different route and has gone for "men are not all dicks". 

Yesterday, we dealt with NBC's Up All Night, which sees happy couple Christina Applegate and Will Arnett dealing with their new baby, Arnett opting to be a house-husband and not being a dick.

Today, we have Whitney, which sees single-girl-but-in-a-relationship-for-three-years Whitney Cummings (Chelsea Lately and her boyfriend, Alex, navigating the perils of modern relationships. Together. In a non-dickish, quite supportive way in Alex's case.

How refreshing.

While it's not brilliantly funny and as I remarked during my review of Up All Night, observational comedy is one thing but it's only funny if someone's failed to point out the observation 10 or 20 times already, it does at least raise a few laughs and has the occasionally original thing to say. Here's a trailer.

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September 15, 2011

Review: Up All Night 1x1

Posted on September 15, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Up All Night

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

A common question asked is "Do two wrongs make a right?" Here's my question: "Do two rights make a wrong?"

Because here we have the very right Will Arnett (30 Rock, Arrested Development, Running Wilde) and the very right Christina Applegate (Married With Children, Samantha Who?) in a sitcom about having a baby.

Yes, that's right. That's what it's about. That's not just a fact about Applegate's and Arnett's characters. This is the intended main source of all the show's humour.

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't have children. Nevertheless, I can confidently say, through simple osmosis, I know just as much as these two characters about raising kids, if not more, and apparently have just as much insight as the writers.

Here's a trailer that contains the funny bits. You'll notice that since the pilot, Christina Applegate's character has switched from PR person to talk show host assistant.

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September 15, 2011

Review: Free Agents 1x1

Posted on September 15, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Free Agents

In the US: Wednesdays, 8.30/7.30c, NBC

Funny, isn't it, how networks mould new shows to make them more like their other shows? Consider Free Agents, a Channel 4 comedy (that you can still watch on 4oD) starring Stephen Mangan and Sharon Horgan as two emotionally-damaged PR professionals who work together but hook up. Quite a dark comedy, it focused on the two's growing, mostly sex-based relationship, with only the occasional interjection by their sex-mad boss, Anthony Stewart Head.

Now NBC has adapted it. Gone are Mangan and Horgan, in are Hank Azaria (The Simpsons) and Kathryn Hahn (best known as a theater actress in the US). Fair enough. Anthony Stewart Head's come along for the ride, which is nice. But somehow,a show that would have been perfect for a dark network like FX has become a lot lighter and a lot more like any other NBC ensemble comedy along the way.

And it's not actually that funny now. Here's a trailer.

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