A few things learned from TV last week: 24, The Mentalist, Chuck, Supernatural and House

Although I was generally in favour of TV companies being allowed to place products in TV shows – they really need the cash these day – I almost made a 180º turn on that after watching last Monday’s 24. Product placement is one thing, but when you have nearly two minutes of a show turned into a training video for Cisco’s WebEx digital signature system, I think we’ve gone too far.

Yvonne Strahovski looks like a tiny little girl playing dress-up when she’s next to Tricia Helfer.

Even if a show is formulaic, if it knows it formula well enough then it can be very clever in how it plays with that formula.

The Mentalist
Even if a show is technically a ‘procedural’, it doesn’t actually have to follow any known police procedures. Ever.

Even if an episode’s concept isn’t totally original (Stranger Than Fiction, etc), you can still make a damn fine and clever episode from it, even when you’re in your fourth season.


  • 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.

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