Archive | US TV 2011

Reviews of new US TV programmes from 2011


January 18, 2011

Review: Being Human (US) 1x1

Posted on January 18, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Being Human (US)

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, SyFy
In Canada: Mondays, 10E/P, Space

Do you see that headline? "Being Human (US)". That's a lie that is.

Because although everything up to now would have told you this was a US remake of the hit BBC3 show about a vampire, werewolf and a ghost house-sharing and coping with life together, this is actually a Canadian remake: it's made by a Canadian production company in Canada.

Does that change your expectations? I have to confess it lowered mine. Sure, Canada now makes things like Being Erica, but it also makes things like The Listener and Lost Girl, and has a whole history of rubbish fantasy shows for us to point at and worry about.

Either way, you probably want to know what they've done to it to adapt it for the US (and Canada). Is everything identical, just set in America and with different actors? Or is this an altogether different show?

You probably also want to know if it's any good. Follow me after the jump to find out. Once you've watched the trailer, that is.

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January 18, 2011

Preview: Fairly Legal 1x1

Posted on January 18, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Fairly Legal

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

Ooh look. Another show on USA Network. Wonder if it'll be one of those "characters" ones. This one's about a lawyer. How will it be a little off the wall and kooky, I wonder?

Well, the answer is it's about an ex-lawyer, not a lawyer. The show stars Sarah Shahi of Life not-quite-fame as lawyer Kate Reed, who gives up her life as a lawyer to become a mediator: she sits down with both parties to a law suit and tries to work out a settlement that works in both their favours, without recourse to lawyers and an expensive trial.

At least, that's what it should be like in practice. Because this being a TV series, you don't expect Kate to just sit there and chat to people, do you? No, she has to do some investigating and figure out the truth and make things right and just and stuff.

Oh, and because this is the USA Network, she's got to live on her dead dad's house boat, have an on-again, off-again relationship with her ex-husband (Michael Trucco from BSG), be employed by her step-mother, have a personal geek assistant who plays D&D and solve all these problems with charm and idiosyncrasy.

What's it called? Well, because Kate is fair of face ("Less lawyer, more appeal" as the poster tagline goes) and because she's only loosely associated with the legal process now, it's called Fairly Legal. Hmm.

Hey, you know what else the poster says? "Don't go to court - go to Kate!"

Hanging's too good for them. Queue the trailer.

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January 11, 2011

Review: The Cape 1x1-1x2

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

The Cape

In the US: Sunday 9 January 2011, 9pm ET, NBC. Moving to Mondays from the 17th

Ah, my. What is up with NBC? They have the (initially) worldwide phenomenon that was Heroes then go and cancel it, just after an okay season set in a funfair. What do they put in its place? A superhero show called The Cape that's largely set in a funfair. I'm not saying they're a bit dim at NBC, but they are.

Of course, that would all be excusable if The Cape was better than Heroes. Yet "cop framed for a crime he didn't commit, goes into hiding and becomes a superhero but can never reveal to his family that he isn't dead and is actually fighting dark, sinister villains who like to wear silly outfits as well"? I think I might have heard that one before and it wasn't good the first time. No wonder NBC is fighting so hard to get it noticed after such a dreadful start to its Fall season.

Nevertheless, despite being desperately unoriginal, 'homaging' more c-grade comics than you'd find in a recycling bin, having a lower budget than Heroes that makes every CGI effect look like it's escaped from 1997 and having the world's least charismatic hero, it does have just a little bit going for it: it's actually very slightly fun and it does have Summer Glau, Vinnie Jones and Keith David in it.

Here's a trailer.

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