Archive | US TV 2011

Reviews of new US TV programmes from 2011

December 1, 2011

Review: I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox) 1x1

Posted on December 1, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

I Hate My Teenage Daughter

In the US: Wednesdays, 9:30pm(E/P)/8:30c, Fox

Sometimes, I feel like I'm psychic. Do you?

I'll tell you for why. I looked at the title of this show - I Hate My Teenage Daughter. I saw what network it was on - Fox.

And I knew in an instant that watching it would feel like being slowly licked by the Creature from the Black Lagoon, assuming that the lagoon was black because it was under a sewer outlet.

And hey! Guess what! I was right.

I wonder if I can use my powers to win the lottery.

For those of you whose psychic powers aren't as well developed as mine, let me fill you in on the plot: we have two single mothers, one of them played by Jaime Pressly from My Name is Earl. Both of them were nerds at school, but have since developed okay. But they both have pretty, popular daughters. And oh my lordy, it turns out the daughters are turning into the same sort of mean girls who made their lives a misery at High School.

Cue zero hilarity and an overwhelming desire to take a shower. Here's a trailer - one minor character has been recast since the pilot, otherwise these are the highlights.

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November 14, 2011

Third-episode verdict: Grimm (NBC/Watch)

Posted on November 14, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

CarusometerGrimm.jpgA Carusometer rating of 3

In the US: Fridays, 9/8c, NBC
In the UK: Acquired by Watch

Episode 3 and there are some signs of life still in Grimm. After the somewhat derivative first episode, the second episode managed to inspire a little more confidence with the (apparently) characteristic mixture of humour and horror that we've come to expect of the show, with 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' getting a decidedly macabre make-over. Not quite the level of humour as episode one, a bit more of a police procedural, it was okay, but lacked much of a real spark, beyond the humour value of the various reveals.

Episode 3 went off on a completely different tangent, giving us more of the show's mythos, with fights between Hexenbeasts and Mellifers (sp?), and hints at an overall plot. Solid lead got given some humorous lines to deal with and couldn't really give them anything much beyond solidness. The idea that the story should in some way reflect the fairy tale being mentioned also got thrown on the back-burner, since this one didn't even slightly resemble 'The Queen Bee'.

There's nothing really bad about Grimm. It's reasonably intelligent, it has its fun moments and it almost teeters on the brink of scary at times. But there's nothing really remarkable about it either. It's no different from a dozen, dime-a-dozen cable fantasy shows, from The Dresden Files to Friday The 13th. It'll amiable enough, it'll help you pass the time if you've nothing to do on a Friday night, but it's really nothing you should go out of your way to watch.

Carusometer rating: 3
Rob's prediction: Won't last more than a season

November 10, 2011

Review: Hell on Wheels (AMC) 1x1

Posted on November 10, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Hell on Wheels

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, AMC
In the UK: Acquired by TCM UK to air in 2012

There's been a lot of talk this season about AMC's Mad Men. The Playboy Club and Pan Am have both supposedly been trying to emulate the success of Mad Man by both being set in the 60s and allegedly glorifying sexism, racism, et al. The parallels are relatively few and often spurious but what people have latched onto in this 60s setting. Apparently, until Mad Men, period drama didn't happen on US TV so clearly anything period must owe a debt to Mad Men.

Now overlooking the quasi-period (e.g. Quantum Leap, New Amsterdam, Journeyman, That 70s Show, Life on Mars) as well as actually period (e.g. Glory Daze, Swingtown) is one thing. But to overlook the western? That's downright ridiculous.

The western was once the mainstay of US TV: Bonanza ran for 13 years, Gunsmoke ran for 20 years and there were countless others. Modern day TV networks also haven't forgotten the western: HBO had Deadwood while FX's Justified is essentially a western set in modern times; and even as I type, the development slates at various US networks are already filling up with a whole new batch of westerns, ready to be unleashed on us next September, including a remake of the classic TV western The Rifleman.

But now look. While everyone's been fixated on the 60s as the Mad Men USP, AMC - the home of Mad Men - is trying its hardest to cash in on the success of its own, currently absent show (as well as its first ever original mini-series, Broken Trail) with another period piece that relishes the mores and prejudices of a rapidly changing American society. Can you guess when it's set?

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