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Trailers for USA's new shows: Rush, Complications and Satisfaction

Posted on May 16, 2014 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Last up of all the networks this week is USA, which has three new shows on its roster, most of which it's already been promoting for a while now and are all set to air pretty soon anyway.

Still, for completeness' sake, after the jump, you can look at trailers for Rush, with Miranda's Tom Ellis (yes, BBC1's Miranda) as a private doctor who absolutely, definitely isn't Hank from USA's Royal Pains because the show's set on the West Coast; Complications, which has Jason "I was the voice of Batman. Once" O'Mara starring as... a doctor called Ellis; and Satisfaction, which isn't about doctors at all, but does explore Maslow's hierarchy of needs instead, looking at exactly what is enough for happiness, if money ain't it.

Unfortunately, if you're not in the US, you won't be able to watch the Complications trailer without 'help'. Don't blame me.

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What did you watch this week? Including Life of Crime, Elementary, Arrow, Vegas and Hannibal

Posted on May 17, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's "What did you watch this week?", my chance to tell you what I movies and TV I've watched this week that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

First, the usual recommendations:

  • Arrow (The CW/Sky 1)
  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy)
  • The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
  • Doctor Who (BBC1/BBC America)
  • Elementary (CBS/Sky Living)
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living)
  • Modern Family (ABC/Sky 1)
  • Vegas (CBS/Sky Atlantic)

These are all going to be on in either the UK or the US, perhaps even both, but I can't be sure which.

Still in the viewing queue: new show The Goodwin Games, which I'll be reviewing on Monday, and I'll be playing catch up with New Zealand show Harry, too.

I did give Life of Crime a go, too, in which Hayley Atwell plays a cop in three different time periods at different stages of her career. Entirely fits the template of ITV crime dramas and you could predict virtually everything that happened in each time period, with the corresponding Attitudes written in neon lights all over every character.

Now, some thoughts on some of the regulars and some of the shows I'm still trying:

  • Arrow (The CW/Sky 1): No League of Shadows, surprisingly, but everything played out in the finale pretty much as you'd expect, beyond the final twist. Overall, a very decent season, although it started to lost its edge and become a tad more Smallville than Batman Begins by the end. One to look forward to next season, certainly.
  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy): There I was complaining there wasn't enough cool sci-fi in the show, when up it pops in spades. For my next trick, can we have some more intelligent schemes from the terrorists, please. 
  • Elementary (CBS/Sky Living): Everything played out pretty much as I expected in terms of revelations, but in many ways better than Sherlock's handling of similar Sherlock Holmes facets. I also liked the fact they made Irene Adler and Moriarty one and the same. It'll be great if they bring her back and make her a maths professor, too. A good explanation for an in-story bad accent, too. PS, New York can try to pass itself off as London, but it will always fail.
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living): I'm not convinced that Hannibal should be that good in a fight, particularly not up against Demore Barnes who was in The Unit. All the same, another fascinating episode, Gillian Anderson getting more to do this week. What surprises me is that the show, which I'm thinking more and more of as a cross between Touching Evil (US) and David Cronenberg's oeuvre, is actually capable of instilling dread in me, which is a very novel emotion of a TV show to be able to create in its audience. Magnificent, but its fate is in the balance at the moment. Please renew it, NBC.
  • Vegas (CBS/Sky Atlantic): And so it's gone, in a somewhat underwhelming finale that mostly just tied up loose threads, left a couple dangling and let everyone pat each other on the back and say goodbye, all while Carrie Anne Moss had nothing to do, which was par for the course. A shame, since it started off with so much fire.

"What did you watch this 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?

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CBS's upfronts 2013-4 - a rundown and clips from the new shows

Posted on May 16, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

CBS upfronts 2013-14

And thus we reach the apex of the quality pyramid with CBS, everyone's favourite purveyor of monotonous procedurals and insulting comedies that people still watch. Last year, we got the halfway decent Elementary, the pretty good but still cancelled Vegas, the pretty bad and so unsurprisingly cancelled Golden Boy and Made in Jersey, and the insulting bad and offensive 'comedy' Partners. That means that only one of CBS's new shows actually made it through to the next round - which also shows you just how many bankers CBS already had on its books.

Nevertheless, with CBS having now cancelled old faithfuls CSI: NY and Rules of Engagement, as well as those new shows, there's a little more room in the schedules for new arrivals, and so there's more to look at this year. 

Now, I said that CBS was at the apex of the competency pyramid, but that's really just in terms of making TV shows that don't look like they suck. Unfortunately, this line-up proves that in terms of making TV shows with stories that don't suck, CBS is just as bad as every other broadcast network - with perhaps a couple of exceptions: can you spot them?

Here's the rundown:

New Comedies

  • We Are Men: Four men and their dating issues. Terrible concept, but good cast, including Tony Shalhoub and Kal Penn. However, CBS show-killer Jerry O’Connell is also in there, so it'll die quickly.
  • Mom: Another Chuck Lorre comedy, starring Anna Faris as a newly sober single mother. Good cast, again, including Nate Corddry) and French Stewart, but in case you missed it, it's Chuck Lorre.
  • The Millers: Will Arnett gets divorced, inspiring his dad to get divorced and his mum to move in with him. Two characters have already been recast, so make of that what you will.
  • The Crazy Ones: An advertising comedy featuring Robin Williams... and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

New dramas

  • Hostages: Surgeon Toni Collette's family is taken hostage by Dylan McDermott so that she'll kill the President. Let's see them eke that out for a season.
  • Intelligence: Josh Hollway is a spy with a chip in his brain that connects him to the Internet. No, I didn't just make that up. It'll probably do well, though.
  • Reckless: A 'sultry' legal drama set in Charleston, S.C., where a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a charming Southern attorney must hide their intense mutual attraction as a police sex scandal threatens to tear the city apart. I didn't make that up either.
  • Friends With Better Lives: Romcom about six friends at different stages in their lives - married, divorced, newly engaged and single - who are outwardly happy, but secretly questioning if their friends have it better. Does at least feature James Van Der Beek.

After the jump, full summaries, trailers for everything except the mid-season replacements, and a schedule.

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