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Review: Pure Genius 1x1 (US: CBS; UK: Universal)

Posted on November 1, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Pure Genius

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS 
In the UK: Wednesdays, 9pm, Universal. Starts 16th November

Healthcare research is an important topic. It is literally life-saving - or life-destroying if done wrong. It's no surprise that billions of dollars are spent around the world to develop novel techniques and medicines, but always subject to strict ethical controls and procedures to ensure as few problems occur as possible.

Of course, if you're from a completely different industry sector, such as computing, this speed of innovation can seem problematic, and Pure Genius gives us the somewhat odd scenario of a Silicon Valley tech genius setting up his own hospital, packed full of top doctors, so they can try out cutting edge procedures - all with the bare minimum of ethical oversight. Of course, the rules are there for a reason, and the entire first episode is almost a cautionary tale of why those rules are there. Fancy giving someone an experimental ingestible piece of technology without a control group and while she's pregnant? Let's just see what happens when that goes wrong then…

Indeed, the show feels like someone recently went to a blue sky healthcare tech show, saw all manner of whizzy gadgets being simulated and tried to work out a TV show where all these things could be demonstrated in the (more or less) here and now, no matter how impossible it would be in practice unless every patient were a billionaire, too.

There's certainly very little attention paid to any of the characters. We have a plethora of female doctors famous from other TV shows, including Royal Pains' Reshma Shetty and House's Odette Anable, picked because presumably it's easier for us to assume they're the same characters as before than to actually give them lives, proper histories, or relationships. Dermot Mulroney (Crisis) gets most of the attention, as a genius surgeon wondering if he should take a job in the hospital and then being persuaded by a 3D printer that prints out plastic hearts he can practise surgery on before dealing with the real thing - you can buy them down the shops now, Dermot, so don't be so hasty.

But even Dermot is there just to show off the whizzy things. Likewise Augustus Prew (The Borgias), the show's surprisingly stupid genius, who'll Google something on the Internet that sounds like an epic white elephant (brain to brain communication technology) and buy the entire company for millions. He may be a bit poorly himself and have built the hospital largely to fund research that will save himself, but he'd really be more at home at Comdex 2016 on stage demonstrating a smartphone than talking to another human being about the prognosis following a radical but failed new course of treatment, which is where he starts to get a bit sad. Maybe you should have read up about double-blind treatments first, Augustus, hey?

By the end of the first episode, I'm surprised the whole bunch of them haven't been sued and the hospital shut down due to serious malpractice, but given the levels of reality-warping needed for some of the things that take place to be realistic, I wouldn't be surprised if the FDA is now a bowl of petunias and a very surprised sperm whale. 

Pure Genius? Pure nonsense more like it.

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What have you been watching? Including Falling Water, Hyde and Seek and Westworld

Posted on October 24, 2016 | 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. 

Nearly there. Not quite, but nearly. Elsewhere this week, I've reviewed Travelers (Canada: Showcase; UK: Netflix), Shoot The Messenger (Canada: CBC) and Eyewitness (US: USA) and passed third-episode verdicts on Frequency (US: The CW; UK: Netflix), No Tomorrow (US: The CW), Westworld (US: HBO; Sky Atlantic) and Timeless (US: NBC; UK: E4).

I've started watching Graves (US: Epix), so I'll be putting a review together of the first couple of episodes of that tomorrow and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (US: BBC; UK: Netflix), Chance (US: Hulu) and Channel Zero (US: Syfy; UK: 5*) won't be far behind it. A third-episode verdict on Insecure (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic) will be in among the mix, too.

Regulars readers will realise that I still haven't watched Deep Water (Australia: SBS; UK: BBC Four), StartUp (US: Crackle) or Divorce (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic). I really will watch Deep Water one day and I might still give StartUp a go, but I think I'll have to leave Divorce to you guys to discover for yourselves, since TBH, I don't like the sound of it. Just the title. No.

Crisis in Six Scenes (Amazon), Haters Back Off (Netflix) and Easy (Netflix)? Never heard of them. Don't know what you're talking about.

I've had no time to watch last night's Son of Zorn or Eyewitness, but after the jump, the regulars: Ash vs Evil Dead, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Doctor Doctor, The Exorcist, Falling Water, The Flash, High Maintenance, Hyde and Seek, Impastor, Kim's Convenience, Lethal Weapon, Lucifer, The Secret Daughter, Supergirl, Westworld and You're The Worst. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to continue watching all of those, though, so this might be the last week for some of them and it'll definitely be the last week for at least one. You'll find out which after the jump.

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including Falling Water, Hyde and Seek and Westworld"

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What have you been watching? Including Supergirl, Halt and Catch Fire and DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Posted on October 17, 2016 | 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. 

We're now nearing mid-Fall season/mid-Spring season (delete according to the hemisphere of your choice), which means there's few new shows heading our way, except in the topsy space-time continuum that is the Internet, where blink and you'll miss another new show arriving of a Friday. That means I've nearly caught up with the backlog.

This week, I should have reviews of Graves (US: Epix), Eyewitness (US: USA), Divorce (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic), Shoot The Messenger (Canada: CBC), and maybe Deep Water (Australia: SBS; UK: BBC Four), too.

I'll also be passing third-episode verdicts on Westworld (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic), Frequency (US: The CW; UK: Netflix), No Tomorrow (US: The CW), Timeless (US: NBC) and maybe Hyde & Seek (Australia: Nine).

Outside gambles: reviews of Crisis in Six Scenes (Amazon), Goliath (Amazon), Easy (Netflix), Haters Back Off (Netflix), Offseason (Amazon) and El Marginal (Marginal) (Netflix).

Elsewhere, I've already reviewed a whole bunch of Australian showsHyde & Seek (Nine), Rosehaven (ABC), The Wrong Girl (Ten) and The Secret Daughter (Seven) - as well as Kim's Convenience (Canada: CBC) and American Housewife (US: ABC); I've also passed a third-episode verdict on This Is Us (US: NBC; UK: Channel 4). 

That means that after the jump, I'll be looking at the latest episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead, Designated Survivor, Doctor Doctor, The Exorcist, The Flash, Frequency, High Maintenance, Impastor, Insecure, Lethal Weapon, Lucifer, No Tomorrow, Son of Zorn, Speechless, Timeless and You're The Worst. I'll also be looking at the season finale of Halt and Catch Fire, as well as the return of DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.

One of those shows will be getting promoted to recommended. Cool, hey?

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including Supergirl, Halt and Catch Fire and DC's Legends of Tomorrow"

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