US TV

Preview: Eastbound & Down 1×1

Eastbound and Down

In the US: Sundays, 10.30pm, HBO. Starts February 15th

Forgive me if this review is a bit hazy, since I actually saw this last July and haven’t watched it since. Anyway, there’s this guy… erm.

Okay, start again.

If you caught Tropic Thunder in cinemas last year, you’ll have noticed two good things: Tom Cruise and Danny McBride. McBride played the explosives expert on the film, and now, since the Frat Pack does like to stick together, here he is starring in his own TV show produced by Will Ferrell.

Here he plays Kenny Powers, a former big league baseball pitcher who has returned to his home town to teach at High School after his career collapsed – mainly because he’s the most obnoxious, racist, sexist, homophobic, anything-phobic jock imaginable and got thrown out of every team he joined.

Whether you’ll enjoy Eastbound & Down is really down to whether you like two things: cringe comedy and abuse – albeit clever, well-observed abuse.

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US TV

Review: Heroes 3×14 (aka Volume 4×1)

The Hunter in Heroes

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, NBC
In the UK: “Simulcast”, which apparently means some time within the next month or so

So Heroes is back.

Woo.

Do I hear a hoo anyone?

No? Why’s that then? Ah, you got hacked off with it. Too many odd character flips and complicated storylines that made no sense? Sounds about right.

But wait. Sit up and pay attention at the back. This is an all new Heroes. A refreshed Heroes. A Heroes that’s going back to basics.

Promising a clean break with the overly complicated past storylines that estranged its audience (this being the third such clean break promised), Heroes is trying to recapture the glory days of season one with this, its fourth “volume”.

With Nathan gone bad after the last volume, his new plan as junior senator for New York is to cosy up to the US President (Michael Dorn – Worf off Star Trek) and make him go Guantánamo on his fellow super-powered friends, who are all just trying to live normal lives now.

And that means – in case you missed all the advertising – if the heroes are to survive, they’ve all got to work together. The question is does this all add up to new and improved Heroes or is it well and truly time to call it a day?

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News

Tuesday’s desperately romantic news

Robert Downey, Jude Law and Rachel McAdams in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes

Film

Art

Radio

  • Mark Heap to star as an alien, with Maxine Peake, Paul Ritter and Susan Jameson, in Radio 4 sci-fi play

British TV

  • Channel 4 freezes pay and bonuses
  • Rafe Spall and Tom Hollander join Aidan Turner, Zoe Tapper and Samuel Barnett in Desperate Romantics
  • Prepare for lots of dramas about Africa

US TV

US TV

For Toby: the mysterious disappearing Ali Larter in the Heroes Superbowl commercial

I wasn’t going to do this (honest) but since Toby has tried to spot Ali Larter in the Heroes Superbowl commercial and can’t – because she’s been edited out – let’s play a game of Spot the Larter then. First, count the number of Heroes in the huddle at the start of the promo:

Heroes Huddle

Six blokes, right? Now, let’s have a look at the break after their huddle:

Heroes + Ali

Six blokes and… oh wait, who’s that on the left? Then they head off to play. Six blokes again:

Heroes of the Superbowl

Then there’s a line up: again, who’s that on the far end?*

HeroesLineUp.jpg

They play, Peter throws long and who’s that in the middle of the field, waiting to catch?

Tracy goes long

But someone else gets there first:

Heroes interception

Here’s the behind the scenes interview to show she was there for the filming and you can see some some of the footage she shot for the ad, And here’s the ad so you can watch for yourself. Sigh. People are going to think I’m obsessed… Curse you Tobes.

*PS Can you tell I have no idea about American football or am I bluffing well?

UPDATE: In case you weren’t convinced by that line-up pic, here are two official promo pictures supplied by NBC – look to the top left:

NBC Superbowl pic

And in the middle at the top:

Another NBC Superbowl pic

Audio and radio play reviews

Review: The Companion Chronicles 3×7 – Transit of Venus

Transit of VenusIt seems that if you want to listen to a guaranteed decent Companion Chronicle, you have to stick with the Hartnells. Whether it’s because the Hartnell years tended towards greater innovation and harder sci-fi, or whether it’s because the better Big Finish writers prefer it, the quality on the Hartnell releases have tended to be far better than those for other Doctors. Certainly, the very worst of the range is still head and shoulders above most of the rest.

Here, for example, we have The Transit of Venus, read by original Hartnell companion Ian Chesterton (aka William Russell). While not absolutely brilliant, it is a very Hartnellian piece, in which Ian and the Doctor are stuck on board the The Endeavour under the command of Captain Cook as it travels to Australia.

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