A little while ago, I mocked Starz. To be fair, it's very deserving of mockery, given Camelot and - gods help us - Torchwood: Miracle Day, just for starters.
But Starz is trying, really trying, not to be the the worst and tackiest of the cable networks when it comes to drama. Even though it shows Spartacus, which while quite good in quite a lot of respects, still has the Starz tacky DNA in every cell of its green-screened, over-developed body.
Yet now, with Boss, they've actually got a show that's very good and only makes you think "Ooh, that's a bit tacky, isn't it?" two or three times in its entire hour-long first episode. It stars Kelsey Grammer as the mayor of Chicago and shows in glorious detail why the two things in life you don't want to see being made are sausages and laws.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. The first, no-reservations drama recommendation for the fall 2011 season is Homeland. I've not much to add to my review of the first episode, except to say that the next two episodes do answer all our worries and in some ways are better than the first episode. It's also acquired a nightmarish new title sequence that beats even American Horror Story's, despite that's show homage to Se7en.
Just go watch it – you won't regret it.
PS Interesting to note there are two secret Brits in this show: Damian Lewis and David Harewood.
PPS Is it just me or Showtime now better than HBO as a network?
Carusometer rating: 1 Rob's prediction: Will last a season. Where they'll go to after that, I don't know, but it deserves to run and run based on this
But then, when Glee was announced as a charming new show from the creators of Nip/Tuck about a High School glee club, there was a similar reaction, so let's just say "a new horror show from the creators of Nip/Tuck" and take it from there.
Anyway, American Horror Story is something of a misnomer in that it's not just one horror story, it's actually every single American horror story ever, more or less, particularly the ones from the movies: there's The Amityville Horror, Psycho, The Shining, Don't Look Now, Rosemary's Baby and more, all rolled up into one big story in which Dylan McDermott (The Practice, Dark Blue) and Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) move into a spectacularly haunted house in LA with their teenage daughter and have to deal with everything from a two-faced maid, ghosts and a weird melted man who murdered his family to a gimp and a boy who might also be a demon.
And the theme of this big story? What do the creators of Nip/Tuck and Glee think is the ultimate 'American Horror Story'? Family - and sex, apparently, and plenty of it.
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.