UK TV

The Peter Serafinowicz Show: online from Monday

The Peter Serafinowicz Show

Just got an email from The Peter Serafinowicz Show‘s PR.

Episode 1 of The Peter Serafinowicz Show is being premiered on myspace, on the Thursdays are Funny profile page www.myspace.com/bbc2comedy from Monday 1st October. It will be shown online in three parts, but with a few sketches held back so as not to spoil the show on Thursday!

The myspace profile has some Vivienne Vyle clips also as well as a few extra Peter Serafinowicz clips.

So there you go. Tune in to the show online from tomorrow, because it looks more than a little bit promising.

Eerie Sapphire and Steel-y picture, hey?

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US TV

Review: Numb3rs 4.1

Numb3rs

In the US: Fridays, 10pm et/pt, CBS

In the UK: One of the ITVs at a point determined by some stochastic process

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: -1

Major new characters: 0

Format change percentage: 0%

Beards grown: 2

What a difference a decent director and script make. As I have remarked before, Numb3rs is often quite a formulaic show. When it’s good, it’s very good; but most of the time, it’s just average – not utterly dumb, just mundane and unsurprising.

This season opener carries on directly, in terms of plot rather than chronologically, from the third season’s finale, in which Dylon Bruno’s hardcore ex-army FBI agent was revealed to be an agent for the Chinese. It was surprisingly surprising for Numb3rs, not least because it was written by the usually rubbish Ken Sanzel.

Although it soon becomes clear that yes, a magic reset button will probably reverse that one innovation the show has produced, the episode does have two even more surprising surprises: firstly, Ken Sanzel can write really good scripts – he’s even getting the hang of this maths thing to the extent that it’s actually relevant, rather than slammed in with a crowbar; secondly, exec producer Tony Scott, who’s been sitting on his hands doing not much to earn that title for three seasons, has finally gotten off his backside to direct this episode, the first time he’s directed an episode of a television show.

In true Tony Scott style, he’s brought along one of his favourite actors, Val Kilmer, who’s busily resurrecting his acting career after a long time in the wilderness. Before even a minute’s gone by, it’s clear that whatever you think of Scott as a film director with his somewhat bombastic style, as a television director he’s really first rate. Taken together, the script and direction turn this Numb3rs episode in something pretty good.

Continue reading “Review: Numb3rs 4.1”

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US TV

Review: CSI 8.1

CSI

In the US: Thursdays, 9pm et/pt, CBS

Characters re-cast:
0

Major characters gotten rid of: Ooh, that would be telling

Major new characters: 0

Format change percentage: 90% (for one episode only)

Number of contracts up: 1

CSI starts its eight season somewhat atypically – with an episode pretty much devoid of forensic science. Instead, it starts with the hunt for Sara Sidle, last seen trapped under a car thanks to the strange obsessions of the Miniature Killer (that’s not a tiny murderer, BTW). Where she is and whether she’s alive are the two mysteries that need clearing up.

Shows that have female characters kidnapped to increase tension are always treading a tricky path. Will they be weakening the characters by making them victims? Or will they fail to suggest any kind of peril by making the character too strong?

CSI manages to deal with this thorny problem reasonably well. Although it does go through most of the dramatic tricks you’d expect of an episode like this – the false discovery, etc – it still manages to leave Sara looking relatively strong during her ordeal while simultaneously creating a throbbing sense of menace, claustrophobia and desperation.

Continue reading “Review: CSI 8.1”

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US TV

Review: My Name is Earl 3.1

My Name is Earl

In the US: Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC

In the UK: Channel 4, some time in the year 2357 at this rate

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: 0

Major new characters: A prison full

Format change percentage: 25%

Number of shanks made: 1

Ooh, this is tricky. How to review this without giving the game away for UK viewers, who are still trundling through season two.

Can’t. Sorry. Don’t read further than this point if you’ve not seen the finale for season two.

Continue reading “Review: My Name is Earl 3.1”

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US TV

Review: Smallville 7.1

Smallville



In the US:
Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW

In the UK: On E4 and ITV2 at undertermined points in the future

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: Ooh, that would be telling

Major new characters: 1

Format change percentage: 0%

Number of superheros present: 3

Magic reset button? Where are you magic reset button?

What do you mean there isn’t one? That’s not right. This is Smallville. Every season ends with a massive cliffhanger, in which all the major characters are enperiled, Clark’s secret is revealed to everyone, etc. Then by the end of the first episode of the next season, everything’s back to normal again.

Actually, there is a mini reset button. After all, at least two characters died at the end of last season, so we couldn’t just leave them like that. You know: dead n’all. But apart from the necessary resurrections, not everything went back to the exact same place it was at the end of season six. Now that’s amazing.

Continue reading “Review: Smallville 7.1”