Archive | US TV 2011

Reviews of new US TV programmes from 2011

March 3, 2011

Third-episode verdict: Mad Love

Posted on March 3, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

In the US: Mondays, 8.30/7.30c, CBS

Well, you have to admire a show for consistency, even if it's merely consistently bland. Mad Love – in part a mimic of another of CBS's sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother but in essence the US answer to Gavin & Stacey, with a central blandish couple who fall in love at first sight being eclipsed by their more interesting love/hate each other at first sight friends – has been nothing but bland, despite the best efforts of a good cast.

Much like the first episode, each week, we go through a situation in which the two main characters get to know each and they turn out to be as bland as we thought; meanwhile, the two wacky friends get to be wacky at each other, all without raising much by the way of laughs. At no point do you really care about the bland couple; you kind of want the wacky pair to get together, but since that's so completely inevitable and you'll have to sit through standard but inept US sitcom putdowns to get there, you don't want it that much.

There have at least been attempts to give all the characters some background and we even know what Sarah Chalke's character does for a living now – ooh! But with scripts that rarely offer anything fresh or original in terms of comedy, that's the best that can be said.

One to skip, despite the cast who deserve much, much better.

Carusometer rating: 4
Carusometer prediction: dead by the end of the season

March 3, 2011

Third-episode verdict: Mr Sunshine

Posted on March 3, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

CarusometerMrSunshine.jpgA Carusometer rating of 3

In the US: Wednesdays, 9.30/8.30c, ABC

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. What a shame. Mr Sunshine started so well, with a great cast and a cracking script. I got all light-headed with optimism.

Then episode two arrived and my God did it stink. Not a laugh the whole episode, which actually had me begging for the end to happen. And while episode three was mildly funnier, it's exposed the big problem with Mr Sunshine: the cast might be good, but they can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear, the scripts being the sow's ear in this case.

Strangely, episode two was written by the same writers as episode one with one exception – Matt Perry didn't contribute to episode two (officially at least). Which suggests that the only time Mr Sunshine is going to be funny is when Matt Perry is writing the episodes.

Oh well. Let's chalk that one up to experience.

Carusometer rating: 3
Carusometer prediction: will be cancelled by the end of the season.

February 28, 2011

Third-episode verdict: Traffic Light

Posted on February 28, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

CarusometerTrafficLight.jpgA Carusometer rating of 4

In the US: Tuesdays, 9.30c/8.30c, Fox

I guess, in the scheme of things, a rom-com aimed at men is novel. Three male friends hang out, talk about their relationships (or lack thereof) and try to get the upper hand with their wives and girlfriends - sometimes actually winning - without being complete dicks and occasionally being smart.


Yet, the problem with Traffic Light is it's not very funny. It's surprisingly smart, but it's very rare that its jokes hit home. The men aren't that relatable. The women are a little bit too much the voice of responsibility and lack of fun, and things are rarely from their point of view. 

So unfortunately, despite a brave attempt and a second episode that did at least raise a couple of titters, Traffic Light's going down in the books as a bit of a failure.

Carusometer rating: 4
Rob's prediction: Cancelled by the end of the season


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