Archive | US TV 2011

Reviews of new US TV programmes from 2011


September 1, 2011

More John Goodman on Community

Posted on September 1, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The clue is in the title, but there's lots of other clips from the new season, too.

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July 26, 2011

Third-episode verdict: Alphas

Posted on July 26, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

CarusometerAlphas.jpgA Carusometer rating of 4

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

So we're three episodes into the Heroes-light superhero show, Alphas, in which a bunch of otherwise-ordinary people with slightly rubbish superpowers try to help or fight people with slightly better but still rubbish superpowers. Time for a verdict.

Continue reading "Third-episode verdict: Alphas"

July 19, 2011

Third-episode verdict: Necessary Roughness

Posted on July 19, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

CarusometerNecessaryRoughness.jpgA Carusometer rating of 3

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, USA Network. Available on USANetwork.com

So we're three episodes into USA Network's "sports and entertainment therapy" dramedy, Necessary Roughness, and it's still hard to work out why. While the first episode wasn't badly made, the big question hanging over it was: "What is the point of this programme?" After three episodes, that question's still here.

I guess if you're into sports, having a show about sports and sports psychology might be interesting in and of its own right. However, given these are fake players, the sports psychology is a little bit vague and "Oh, you're really worried about your father. Well, now you know that, you're fixed", and the show is also delving into other problems of the rich and famous (or journalists), this probably still isn't the show for you.

On its own terms as a drama, it's also a bit lacking. Callie Thorne is charismatic enough, but she never seems fully to commit to the moment – she's always looking for a way to play the funny, even when she's supposed to be angry. Her relationship with Marc Blucas, sports trainer extraordinaire, is slightly different from what we've come to expect of "will they, won't they?" TV relationships, but neither character has enough depth or charm for us to care.

Blucas is, as he was in Buffy and more or less everything he's ever been in, largely only there to give Thorne's character a love interest, and while there are countless shows with female characters only there as love interests for the male characters, those shows suffer from the same problems as Necessary Roughness but in reverse. Add on that the usual dollop of misogyny you'd normally expect from male sports stars (certainly on TV) and it's not really a hospitable environment for either male or female viewers, particularly when you factor in Thorne's whiny teenage children.

If there is one glimmer of hope in the entire show, it's Scott Cohen's Nico, the security detail for Thorne and Blucas's employer. He's a nice edge to a somewhat edgeless show, but isn't in it enough.

Nevertheless, it's not a show devoid of merits and it does have a few charms. Not enough for me to carry on watching, but a few. If you watched it, I wouldn't blame you. I'd wonder why, but I wouldn't blame you.

Carusometer rating: 3
Rob's prediction: Might get renewed for a second season, but probably doesn't deserve it.

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