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.


  • Rob Buckley

    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.