Canada seems to have had a thing for time travel for late. Maybe it's pining for a previous government or something, but following semi-hot on the heels of Being Erica, we have Continuum on Showcase - Canada's last best hope for original programming thanks to all the government cutbacks.
Continuum is doubly a show about time travel since you feel like you're going back in time when you watch it - it's essentially a remake of Time Trax, starring everyone who co-starred but didn't star in that series you used to watch: Rachel Nichols from Alias, Victor Webster from Mutant X, Lexa Doig from Andromeda, Roger R Cross from 24, and probably everyone who's been in any episode of Stargate ever (but not starred in it).
Here we have Nichols as a cop in a dystopia 65 years in our future in which the corporations have bailed out the failed governments and imposed their own not-always benign laws. When a bunch of incarcerated terrorists (or are they just rebels?) somehow manage to escape to 2012, Nichols gets accidentally dragged back with them and she has to round them up again before they can take over the world, prevent the future and kill lots of people in the process.
So far, so Time Trax. The big difference between Continuum and Time Trax, however, is that despite being a little mired in the police procedural genre, Continuum is actually pretty good, with some interesting attempts at world building, a couple of twists on the whole time travel thing, and some really halfway decent bits of futurology.
Plus it's got Rachel Nichols in a catsuit. That'll work.
Time for "What did you watch last week?", my chance to tell you what I watched last week that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case we've missed them.
My recommendations for maximum viewing pleasure this week: Dexter,Modern Family, Happy Endings, Homeland, Suburgatory and Community.
Things you might enjoy but that I'm not necessarily recommending: Being Erica, Boss, Burn Notice, House, Chuck,Ringer and The Walking Dead.
So, I've decided to give up on two regular shows this week:
The Walking Dead, despite an excellent revelation a couple of weeks ago, has just been boring me silly. I'm not a big horror fan, anyway, so the zombies haven't really grabbed me, but neither have the characters this season. It feels like they've been stuck on the same problem for five weeks (or whatever it is now), putting off the day when they have to progress the plot
Burn Notice: Now, I've been with this since the beginning, five seasons ago, and although it's usually worth watching just for a fight scene or two, again, the lack of progress has become a problem. Now, to a certain extent, Burn Notice has always been superb at having the same underlying formula (Michael and co help out some innocent people, using their improbable spy training) while changing the exact mechanism by which this formula is allowed to continue (the Burn Notice, Tricia Helfer, Robert Winston, etc). I'm just bored of it now. It didn't help that this week's was so poorly acted and written that I actually had to turn it off after 15 minutes. So I'm going to be big and brave and strong and see if I can cut the cord this week.
A few thoughts on what else I've seen:
Dexter: interesting reveal last week – haven't seen what they intend to do with it this week. But like I said, the series only ever kicks off around episode six or seven and this year that theory seems to be holding true, too.
Misfits: I think I'm actually liking Series 3 better than Series 1. Okay, no Nathan, but he was an unrelenting twat who really needed to be beaten regularly and Rudy does seem to have greater humility. This season seems to be balancing plot and characterisation well – better than season 2 certainly and I think better than season 1, as well. This week's guest super-power was a bit daft, though, but the episode was fine overall.
Ringer: I'm not saying that there was a massive loophole at the start of last week's episode, but how exactly did the guy who's been held captive for a week know the ins and outs of SMG's social life?
American Horror Story: Tedious and obvious. Turns out the only reason to watch this really is Alex Breckenridge.
House: good to see the rest of the old cast back, but this really is a show going through the motions now. Nice to see Jamie Bamber back on US TV though.
And in the movies section:
Justice League: The New Frontier – An adaptation of the graphic novel series set in the 1950s, with Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and co having to deal with a big nasty, as well as McCarthyism. It's faithful to the book while streamlining it, but it manages to include all the iconic moments (including one of Wonder Woman's most famous iconic moments) as well as adding a few. Not really for anyone who isn't a fan, but it's worth watching if you are and there are some great choices for the voice cast: Jeremy Sisto as Batman, Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman, David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan, etc.
And this week, in books (yes, a new addition!):
Absolutely, by Christopher Hitchens – a collection of Hitchens' essays from magazines such as Slate, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, etc, on a range of eclectic themes, including the Middle East (of course), authors ranging from Somerset Maugham to PG Wodehouse, whether women as a whole are as funny as men and more. It's all written with Hitchens' incredible wit and wisdom. Recommended (although you might end up skipping a few essays).
The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex – film critic Mark Kermode's latest book, this is a bit hit and miss. If you listen to his Friday show with Simon Mayo on Radio 5 Live, there's not much that's new and what there is is largely facts and figures that you really didn't want to know. It's also a little bit ADHD, heading off in all kinds of directions, rather than staying on target. But it's proving a good read so far.
"What did you watch last week?" is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid - and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I've watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you've seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?
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.
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"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. 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.