You remember Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, don't you? They starred together in a little known sci-fi TV series called Firefly, which was sadly cancelled before its time.
Or did they? Maybe they were really in a show called Spectrum, which was sadly cancelled before its time.
I'll get back to that in a moment.
Fillion and Tudyk have since gone on to all kinds of exciting projects, including Drive, Castle and Suburgatory. But recently, they crowdfunded a Galaxy Quest-esque new web series written and directed by Tudyk called Con Man, about the stars of a cancelled sci-fi show called Spectrum. While the star of that show (Fillion) has since gone on to fame and fortune, co-star Tudyk is resorting to attending sci-fi conventions and the like to make ends meet, with all the issues that brings with it.
Given that the crowdfunding for Con Man managed to raise $3.2m, the third highest amount raised for a film campaign on any crowdfunding platform ever, don't be surprised that first, the production values are actually quite high and that second, Fillion and Tudyk were able to invite some of their friends, former co-stars and general members of the 'Whedonverse' along for the ride, including:
So for a long time now, this 'ere blog has had a USP in terms of recommending shows: The Barrometer, which itself replaced The Carusometer. This takes the long view, requiring a minimum viewing of three episodes before it's willing to give a cheesy grin and a rousing showtune - and the all-important thumbs up or thumbs down to the show.
But I often wonder if that's too much or even few. Some shows you sense are never going to be good from the outset, while others genuinely do take a long time to get to the point (I'm looking at you here Rubicon - 10 episodes before you reveal your brilliance? Really?).
All I can do is guess. However, Netflix knows better. Apart from its top secret way to covertly view your every move as you sit in front of your TV screen or monitor (shh, don't tell anyone), it also can analyse exactly how far you get into a show before you decide you've got to watch the rest of it or abandon it altogether. And they've just released the results in a shiny infographic (click it to make it bigger):
There's also a list:
Arrow — Episode 8
Bates Motel — Episode 2
Better Call Saul — Episode 4
Bloodline — Episode 4
BoJack Horseman — Episode 5
Breaking Bad — Episode 2
Dexter — Episode 3
Gossip Girl — Episode 3
Grace & Frankie — Episode 4
House of Cards — Episode 3
How I Met Your Mother — Episode 8
Mad Men — Episode 6
Marco Polo — Episode 3
Marvel’s Daredevil — Episode 5
Once Upon a Time — Episode 6
Orange is the New Black — Episode 3
Pretty Little Liars — Episode 4
Scandal — Episode 2
Sense8 — Episode 3
Sons of Anarchy — Episode 2
Suits — Episode 2
The Blacklist — Episode 6
The Killing — Episode 2
The Walking Dead — Episode 2
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt — Episode 4
Although it's worth remembering that the Netflix viewing experience is different from watching TV weekly, as you can see, it's never the pilot episode that grabs virtually anyone, so clearly I'm onto something there.
But there are a few surprises in there. Eight episodes before being grabbed by Arrow? Who waits that long? And episode five for Marvel's Daredevil, rather than the bravura episode 2? How odd.
Oddest of all: how can anyone get addicted to Sense8?
In the US: Fox. Set to air 2016 In the UK: Not yet acquired
Some ideas just sound rubbish as soon as you hear them. You take a much-loved adult comic strip, Lucifer, created by one of the world’s most esteemed fantasy writers, Neil Gaiman, in which the Devil decides he’s had enough of Hell and decides to start a new life for himself on Earth.
And then you make a TV series of it that’s also a police procedural. Yes, the Devil solving crimes every week. On Fox, the network where good procedurals go to die.
And then you get that bloke from Miranda to play the Devil.
Just total rubbish, right?
Except Lucifer somehow manages to take all those elements, mix them together and produce something that’s actually very engaging. I assume some soul-selling was involved.
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.