News

David Tennant to host The Friday Night Project

David Tennant in velvetThe Sun reckons David Tennant is going to host the first episode of the next series of The Friday Night Project. Did he do something wrong in a previous life? Did he build a house on an Indian burial ground?

Incidentally, Daniel Craig is now saying the next Bond film should have gay scenes*, potentially involving 007. He cites Doctor Who as an example of their new-found acceptability with the masses. Who knew Craigy was a Who fan?

* No explanation of what exactly a “gay scene” is. Gay sex scenes? Bond noticing two gay men walking around? Talk about hedging your bets…

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US TV

Review: 10 Items Or Less

10 Items or LessFull Caruso

In the US: TBS, Mondays, 11/10c

In the UK: On a network that looks suspiciously like TBS but is actually a supermarket.

The Office Ten Items Or Less is a comedy show set in an office a supermarket run by a weak manager who just wants to be everyone’s friend. His staff are all a bit rubbish…

Oh I give up. There’s no point bothering with this one. It’s a rip-off of The Office, it’s partially improvised and it’s not funny. There’s no subtlety, no cleverness to the humour, very little originality – a bad manager who uses Japanese martial theory to motivate his employees? What a concept! – and I wanted to turn it off after ten minutes.

The Medium is Not Enough hereby declares 10 Items or Less to be a five on the Carusometer. This equates to a show so bad in every single aspect of its production that it seems to have been put together by David Caruso, although his mum might have done the set decoration.

PS: It’s “10 items or fewer”, curse you!

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US TV

Third-episode verdict: 3 Lbs

3Lbs

So here we are at episode three of 3 Lbs. (aka the sub’s nightmare: is it 3lbs? 3 Lbs? 3lbs.? All these spellings and more are available from CBS). Time for some sort of verdict.

Unfortunately, it’s still too early for the Carusometer, since the show isn’t obviously bad or obviously brilliant. It’s also been rushed onto the screen to fill a Smith-shaped hole in CBS’s schedule, so we should probably make allowances while the production team catch their collective breath. Therefore, I’m going to stick with it for a couple of more episodes before passing final verdict.

All the same, although it started off reasonably well, it’s already developed a formula. While it’s not House‘s formula, to which the show bears more than a passing resemblance, it’s a formula all the same:

  1. a couple of people come down with brain problems of some variety (this week: an aneurism and prosopagnosia, handily also the cover story of the current issue of New Scientist, for those who want to know more), the symptoms of which are then mocked up with CGI, dream sequences, etc
  2. the brilliant surgeon, Stanley Tucci, who’s more like Alec Baldwin in Malice than Hugh Laurie in House, says he’s going to fix it and explains how
  3. his touchy-feely co-surgeon, Mark Feuerstein, argues about how to deal with the family and the patient’s feelings
  4. they operate and mop up the general emotional/physical mess afterwards.

Meanwhile, Indira Varma gets to be kooky with the b-story patient, and we all learn a little something about the brain at the same time. Marvellous.

Without the mystery that is the central element of each episode of House, we’re left merely to gawp at how great/caring these surgeons are and discover how weird the brain can make things when it goes wrong. The characters aren’t quite compelling enough to make up for this deficiency, so we’re left with a show that comes across more like a Discovery Science documentary on how particular conditions can be treated than a drama in which we can become involved.

Still maintaining a general thumbs up for it, but as House learnt early on, it needs some variety if it’s going to become a fixture in our viewing diaries.

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