Five brief reviews for things that don’t deserve an entire entry to themselves

Am I having a crabby week, I wonder to myself?

Criminal Minds 3.1: Every year, I try this, just to see why everyone’s watching it. Every year, I still fail to comprehend why anyone would bother to surrender an hour to it, let alone an hour each week. It’s formulaic, tries to be smart while simultaneously being really dumb, and it has appalling acting. This episode was no different, although I have to admit the way they wrote out Mandy Patinkin was quite gutsy. Might watch it next week just to see what Joe Mantegna’s like as his replacement.

Flight of the Conchords 1.1: It’s been hyped to hell, so I thought I’d tune in and see what the hype was all about. It’s mildly amusing and the idea of including songs in it was slightly novel, but it’s really just The Office with New Zealand singer-slackers. Again, I might watch this next week, to see if it gets better. Does it anyone? And does anyone else like it?

Shark 2.1: Despite being the worst of the new legal shows last year, it’s the only one that’s survived. But again, it’s so formulaic, I don’t understand why. It’s the kind of show that bears no resemblance to reality, and explores every cliché in the book and then some. We have new characters introduced in the tried and tested manner (show them to be a bit of a maverick, set up a false conflict, then have everyone came round together and be friends by the end), and we have format changes to ensure that dramatic events have no effect. Plus James Woods is almost friendly, so the show’s lost any of the House-ian charm it might have aspired to.

Highlander: The Source: If anyone ever threatens to show this to you, stab out your own eyes so you’ll never have to. Absolutely appalling. Makes Highlander 2 look like a work of art. A few trace vestiges of good ideas in there, but so badly executed they’re swamped out of existence.

Bionic Woman: I’ve already reviewed the pilot. This revamped version was quite a bit better, so it might be worth sticking with. Most of the flaws are still there, though.

Oh well.

Over the weekend, I should be posting reviews of the season openers for Smallville, My Name is Earl and CSI, as well as the first episodes of Dirty, Sexy Money, Big Shots and Whistleblowers. I’ve seen them, it’s just a question of finding the time…

UPDATE: Criminal Minds copped out! Plus still no Joe Mantegna. Don’t tell me I’m going to have to watch another episode.

  • Jonathan Reed

    Personally I absolutely adore Conchords.
    It’s very funny and quirky in equally good measure. Admittedly it often tries to push the “We’re New Zealanders, look we’re a bit weird and funny like” angle too much sometimes for some peoples liking but I don’t mind it when they do.
    Currently my favourite new show(although I have seen the entire first series so I know the rest is excellent).
    The music could well have become a gimmick but they’ve managed to incorporate so many styles into different songs that they’ve made it an organic part of the show and they don’t feel forced.
    Wait until the Bowie episode too. Hilariously weird!

  • Mark H Wilkinson

    Conchords: one that grows on you, it’s suggested to me. Though as someone who listened to the original radio series, and has enjoyed the fruits of leaks onto that bastion of intellectual property rights, YouTube, it must have already grown, as I think it’s the aces.

  • In that case, my friends, I shall stick with it.

  • Phoenix

    I’ve also watched the whole first season, and it’s great. It definitely gets better over time (from ep 2 onward), although the last couple of episodes fell a little flat for me (but perhaps that was because the middle episodes were so great).
    Actually, I felt that some of the songs did seem a little forced. Having been a fan of their music prior to the show, it was interesting to me to see which songs they would put into which episodes, but since I already knew the prior context of the songs, some just didn’t fit.
    Still, overall a great show, and I’m looking forward to the next season.

  • I’m with you on Conchords, Rob – I enjoyed it, but it didn’t ‘blow me away’, as they say. I’ll stick with it though, definitely.

  • Another vote in favour of Conchords. My new favourite thing on TV.