Archive | US TV 2011

Reviews of new US TV programmes from 2011

February 15, 2011

Third-episode verdict: Fairly Legal

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

CarusometerFairlyLegal.jpgA Carusometer rating of 4

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, USA Network. Starts January 20th

Three episodes into "lawyer turns negotiator and lives on a houseboat" drama, Fairly Legal (I know there have been four now, but I'm playing catch-up), and the problems that were obvious in the pilot are still obvious now: this is a boring show, filled with largely uninteresting characters – with the exception of Sarah Shahi who's overdosed on kooky.

Episode two, it has to be said, was marginally better than the first episode, since rather than the overblown implausibilities designed to fool us into thinking this might actually be an interesting show that the first episode hurled at us, this episode focused on some more plausible negotiations while giving us a sub-plot about the reading of Shahi's father's will. This left us on a cliffhanger… that was completely ignored in the next episode.

In fact, episode three went back to mine the silly of the first episode, while Shahi's character continues to be kooky in a way the writers probably think is endearing – and fulfils USA Network's "characters" remit – but which is actually intensely irritating.

So it's time to leave Fairly Legal. This is average, mundane drama at best, with nothing to commend it beyond Shahi, who does what she can with the scripts. Fingers crossed she'll end up on something better afterwards.

Carusometer rating: 4
Rob's prediction: Will last to the end of the season but won't be renewed

February 11, 2011

Review: Mr Sunshine 1x1

Posted on February 11, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Mr Sunshine

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

Imagine there's a heaven. More exactly, imagine there's a TV heaven, a TV heaven where all your favourite actors can go to when their existing series end. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Well, ABC has found it and it's called Mr Sunshine. It stars:

  • Matthew Perry! Chandler from Friends! Yey!
  • Allison Janney! CJ from The West Wing! Yey!
  • Andrea Anders! The woman who lived next door to Joey on Joey and was in that Better Off Ted thing! Yey!
  • Jorge Garcia! Hurley from Lost! Yey!

How awesome is that?

Of course, it would also be great if TV heaven was a good show as well. Fortunately, Mr Sunshine is actually a very good half hour of fun, in which Perry - the somewhat grumpy Mr Sunshine of the title - has to try to manage a San Diego sports centre, juggling the constant demands of his very sunny best friend, his often high boss (Janney) and his friend (with benefits) Andrea Anders.

Cue the trailer - just imagine it has Jorge Garcia instead of the old Latino guy instead.

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February 10, 2011

Review: Traffic Light 1x1

Posted on February 10, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Traffic Light

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

Poor Alex Breckenridge. She never has much luck with Israeli imported TV formats, does she? One of the best things about both Dirt and Life Unexpected, she was also the best thing about The Ex-List, one of the first TV show formats to be imported by the US from Israel (the other being In Treatment). The Ex-List lasted all of four episodes before getting canned, but alas, poor Alex, she was in the pilot for Fox's new rom com, Traffic Light, back when it was called Mixed Signals, and then she got recast. Not even an episode this time.

Still, if it's any consolation to her now she's on True Blood, this one looks like it's going to last about four episodes too, especially since it's currently in the practically-dead Running Wilde's time slot.

Based on the popular Israeli sitcom, Ramzor (which is apparently very funny if you can speak Hebrew), Traffic Light - which had a better title back when it was Mixed Signals - feels like an odd mix of a lot of the other rom-com sitcoms out there right now, particularly Rules of Engagement, Perfect Couples and Better With You. It sees three guys, one heavily married, one considering moving in with his girlfriend and one perpetually single, trying to navigate their friendships and their relationships, all while slightly disapproving, slightly dull women look at them as they mess up and embarrass themselves.

You know who else doesn't have much luck with TV series these days? Kris Marshall - yes, him off the BT ads and My Family. He's in this, too.

Cue two almost identical trailers, one with Alex, one without, all with Kris. By the way, these contain all but three of the jokes in the first episode, so you can save some time by watching them.

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