Archive | US TV 2011

Reviews of new US TV programmes from 2011


February 9, 2011

Review: The Chicago Code 1x1

Posted on February 9, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Chicago Code

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: Acquired by Sky 1/Sky 1 HD. Coming soon

'Gritty' seems to mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To many, it means 'realistic' - that it depicts the seamier, less pleasant parts of life. To others, it just means 'looks a bit grimy'.

The Chicago Code - formerly called Ride Along - is gritty. A cop show set to a backdrop of corrupt Chicago city politics, it wants you to believe that it's gritty in the sense of realistic. But to be honest, although it has Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Unit) as show runner and principal writer, in a post-Wire, post-Southland world, it doesn't really succeed - it just looks a bit grimy.

It's not half-bad and it features the likes of Jessica Beals, Jason Clarke (Brotherhood) and Delroy Lindo, but it's not as cutting edge as it likes to think it is. Here's a trailer, followed by a featurette in which you get to hear Clarke's normal Australian accent.

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January 27, 2011

Review: Portlandia 1x1

Posted on January 27, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Portlandia

In the US: Fridays, 10.30/9.30c, IFC

The Independent Film Channel isn't well known as a haven of comedy - more for earnestly liberal movies - but I'll tell you what is well known for comedy: Saturday Night Live (at least it used to be). So imagine what would happen if you married IFC with SNL.

Portlandia, that's what.

It's essentially a comedy sketch show set in the (supposedly) earnestly liberal city of Portland, Oregon, a place where Steve Buscemi has to buy a 14-part series of books about a woman's journey from a feminist book store in order to use the toilet and people have to investigate the farm their organic chicken has been reared in before they'll eat it in a restaurant. Executive-produced by Lorne Michaels and featuring in most of the roles SNL's Fred Armisen and the most underrated female guitarist of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine, Carrie Brownstein - collectively known as ThunderAnt - Portlandia isn't 100% funny but it is one of the top two US comedies of the last year or so and if you like Flight of the Conchords, you'll probably like this, too.

Here's a hint at its hilarity and there are other videos over here:

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January 19, 2011

Review: Harry's Law 1x1

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

Harry's Law

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

Think of David E Kelley and one name immediately comes to mind, doesn't it? Wonder Woman.

Hang on. Scratch that. Remind me to use that intro in a year or so. Let's start again.

Think of David E Kelley and one name immediately comes to mind, doesn't it? Ally McBeal. Kelley, a former lawyer, was the creator of Ally McBeal and since finishing that show, has gone on to corner the quirky, largely female-oriented, lawyer show market, with programmes such as The Practice, Girls Club and Boston Legal.

Now, he's over at NBC with Oscar-winner Kathy Bates with - yep, you guessed it - a quirky, largely female-oriented, lawyer show that sees Bates playing Harriet Korn, one of the country's top patent lawyers, who finally realises that patent law is dull and decide to take up criminal law instead. Taking her secretary along for the ride, Korn sets up shop in a rough part of Cincinnati, where she quickly recruits Nate Corddry (Studio 60), one of her former patent law adversaries, to help defend universally ethnic alleged criminals against injustice - and sell shoes.

No really, they sell shoes as well. Told you it was quirky. Here's a trailer and a much more informative promo based on the original pilot, which co-starred Ben Chaplin instead of Nate Corddry.

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