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April 1, 2015

Yahoo's really trying to get into the TV business

Posted on April 1, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Sin City Saints

As you may have noticed, Netflix and Amazon have pretty much revolutionised concepts of quality and Internet TV over the past two or three years. No longer do you hear the words "Internet" and "TV" together and think "made by two teenagers with a camcorder and iMovie". Now, we have the likes of Netflix’s House of Cards being put together for $5-6m an episode and receiving no fewer than 13 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

It's no wonder other companies have been trying to get in on the act, too, some more successfully than others. Sony's Playstation network is an example of how not to make good TV, with its first effort, Powers, being a notable false start.

Yahoo! - or to be more accurate Yahoo! Screen - has been ploughing a slightly more sturdy course than Sony over the past couple of months. Its first move into proper “broadcast-worthy” programming was to save the always-wonderful Community from execution at the hands of NBC, giving us a sixth season and who knows, maybe a movie, too.

Now we have another comedy, the eight-episode long Sin City Saints, about a Las Vegas basketball franchise owned by an arrogant tech billionaire (Andrew Santino) that runs into trouble when its star player is run over by a golf cart. That means basketball league executive Malin Åkerman (Trophy Wife) has to come in to give the team some help - as well as come to terms with the excesses of Las Vegas.

On the plus side, the show looks good and “broadcast-worthy”, and also features a host of cameos familiar to those of us who frequent Vegas (Penn and Teller, Carrot Top). Plus Åkerman’s always fun to watch.

On the minus side, it’s all about basketball.

On the double double minus side, despite this being Internet TV n’all, in common with Community - which airs in the UK on the Sony Entertainment Channel and isn’t available on Yahoo! Screen here - Sin City Saints is a US-only affair and while you can watch the trailer below in the UK, the episodes will be a bit trickier for you to take a gander at. Oh well - maybe it'll end up on TV over here, too, some day.

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April 1, 2015

News: New Girl, Americans, House of Lies, Bloodline renewed, Sky1 and Stan Lee team up + more

Posted on April 1, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

I offer no guarantees any of these are true…

Film casting

Internet TV


New UK TV shows


US TV show casting New US TV shows

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March 30, 2015

What have you been watching? Including Bloodline, The Good Witch, 19-2 and Fortitude

Posted on March 30, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

The usual "TMINE recommends" page features links to reviews of all the shows I've ever recommended, and there's also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I've reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there’s Locate TV - they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

So it’s Easter next week and I’m away at weddings and then taking a brief break, which means this is the last round-up for a fortnight. Somehow, though, I’m practically bang up to date. How did that happen?

I even managed to try a couple of new programmes.

Bloodline (Netflix)
A family on a Florida island is big in the local community, having run a hotel for 45 years and one of their sons (Kyle Chandler from Early Edition) being the sheriff. Then their black sheep eldest son returns to the fold, brining all manner of misery with him.

That sounds quite exciting, doesn’t it? But on the strength of the first episode, I’ll be putting this on my low priority “To watch” list, since it was quite impressively dull, despite the lovely location photography. In particular, there’s a scene that lasts about three or four minutes in which the three brothers argue over about whether or not black sheep’s girlfriend can sit at the family table for lunch. I kid you not. The only thing that managed to make watching the first episode at all was a hackneyed flash forward to more interesting times, interspersed throughout the episode.

The Good Witch (US: The Hallmark Channel)
The Hallmark Channel’s one of those channels that I pay almost no attention to, whatsoever. I bet you don’t either. Did you know that Andie MacDowell has had a show running on it for three seasons called Cedar Cove? I bet you didn’t, unless you’ve been paying a lot of attention to my News pages.

Equally, since 2008, there have on the Hallmark Channel been no fewer than seven The Good Witch movies starring JAG’s Catherine Bell as the absurdly named Cassandra Nightingale, a good witch who moves into a small town and starts helping people with herbal remedies, magic spells, etc. Over the course of those movies, she’s got married, raised kids and had a kid of her own. And now she’s got her own TV series, which started last month. But because it’s on the Hallmark Channel, I didn’t notice any of this until now – because even I don’t pay that much attention to my News pages.

Anyway, I tried watching the first episode, in which somewhat miserably her husband from the movies has now died (Chris Potter from Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, who’s too busy filming Canada’s Heartland to do more than a movie now and then). So now she has a potential new love interest in the shape of new neighbour James Denton (The Threat Matrix, Desperate Housewives) – how long will it be before he works out she’s a witch?

And that’s when I remembered why I don’t watch anything on the Hallmark Channel – it’s all twee rubbish, with the emotional depth of a Hallmark card, and as dreadfully written, too. It makes Charmed look like 24 in comparison. Avoid.

After the jump, the regulars: 12 Monkeys, 19-2, The Americans, American Crime, Arrow, The Blacklist, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Community, The Flash, Forever, Fortitude, iZombie, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Vikings.

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