Review: Three Moons Over Milford

Three Moons Over Milford

In the US: Sundays, ABC Family, 8pm

In the UK: Not yet acquired

What would you do if you knew the world was going to end? Maybe not today. But maybe some time next week if the Nigerians are to be believed. Or in six weeks if the Germans are right. But some time soon and with absolute certainty, anyway.

Would you give up your life and go on a round the world trek? Would you throw your inhibitions to the wind? Track down that lost love and make a go of it? Or would you just get on with your life and hope for the best?

Three Moons Over Milford tries to answer this question by dwelling on the inhabitants of Milford, a small town in Vermont.

The problem is an asteroid has hit the moon and split it into three chunks (hence the show’s title). Bits of moon rock keep entering the atmosphere and burning up or decimating areas of the Earth, but it’s only a matter of time before some really big bits crash into the Earth, ending all life as we know it.

Needless to say, this has an effect on humanity. With everything about to end, people decide to focus on what’s important, and do all the things they’ve always wanted to do. Milford, Vermont, is no different.

This is supposed to be where the comedy starts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. What we get is an excuse for Wonderfalls crossed with Northern Exposure, as people decide to become quirky, rather than really let themselves go. Nude gardening and spurious lawsuits over bad customer service make up the majority of this town’s particular attempts to throw caution to the wind, which shows you exactly what a repressed and dull bunch they all are to start with.

Ooh, grannies going on motorbike rides: will the craziness never end? Still, this is the ABC Family channel, so maybe we shouldn’t expect people murdering their neighbours, orgies, massive drug use, etc.

It’s not all quirkiness. There’s a slight moment of misery when a husband decides to go find himself and dumps his wife, leaving her in (relative) penury with the kids, but it’s still all feel-good stuff otherwise, rather than anything remotely dramatic. Even the accidental razing of the local high school fails to generate any scenes of real drama.

The cast is largely uninspiring. Elizabeth McGovern, whom you might remember from the remake of The Scarlet Pimpernel the Beeb did a few years ago, is the lead, but doesn’t really have the charisma to drag the town of unimaginative dullards into the land of watchable television. She replaced Sherilyn Fenn, whom I can imagine being about 1,000 times more interesting on her days off than McGovern is at her kookiest.

Everyone else is even more forgettable, with the exception of her daughter, who is largely irritating, and all those other Canadian actors who turn up in shows like this.

I’ll let you know if it gets any better by episode three, but short of the annihilation of Asia or something equally interesting, I suspect Three Moons Over Milford is going to be Northern Exposure: Part Two, but without much character and individuality of its own.

Here’s the trailer for the show, so you can get some idea of what’s going on.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; 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. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.