What have you been watching this week (w/e February 5)

I haven’t watched last night’s episodes of CSI, Archer, 30 Rock, Community or The Deep End or this week’s episodes of Life Unexpected and Cougar Town but:

  • Being Human: Very good. Scary and clever. Loved it, apart from Matthew Rhys who’s still hamming away.
  • House: Lovely wife was impressed that I guessed whodunnit halfway through. Quite fun, but the plot involving Foreman’s brother didn’t do it for me.
  • Chuck: The whole Kristin Kreuk plot was rubbish and they really need more money for CGI, but the main plot was excellent and it’s nice to see the show becoming darker, characters evolve and more. A definite step up from the last season. I’m also thoroughly enjoying the channelling of Sylvester Levay for the incidental music – bring back the 80s!
  • Scrubs: Caught up with all the backlog. The lack of JD is slightly problematic, if only because they keep going on about him all the time; but Sarah Chalke was great. They need more of that Australian student though…
  • Burn Notice: What’s up with Chris Vance and his fake English accent? He’s English, so why’s he putting on that crap accent? Of course, since he’s trotting out every stereotypical English clichéd phrase imaginable, it’s very possible it’s all part of an act the character’s putting on. Whatever, last week’s episode had moments of weakness (the persona Michael played) and this week’s was a little bit too “let’s pat the guy with learning difficulty on the head” for my liking, but they were at least refreshingly violent and Bruce Campbell is finally getting to be more than just comic relief.
  • Supernatural: A great one this week, even if there was a magic reset button and a poor explanation for a character being written out for the whole episode. And Michael was truly scary.
  • Spartacus: Ha, ha, ha, ha! So entertainingly stupid. It’s a show that tries to be shocking and outrageous and then to outdo its last piece of shocking outrageous in the next minute. Quick, let’s have some full-frontal male nudity. How about that and the F-word and the C-word, while limbs are being hacked off? How about a sex scene where someone explodes in blood? How about Lucy Lawless in a see-through dress? How about Lucy Lawless in a see-through dress being masturbated by a female slave, while her husband, John Hannah, swears at her, and is fellated by another female slave? Ooh, how are we going to top that? I know…
    Lovely wife, who is of hardy Welsh stock and normally more than up to some sex, violence and swearing on TV, was shocked to the core inside of three minutes so we had to turn it off and watch something else while I was doing the ironing.
  • Leverage: Kind of coasting along for the last two weeks, but it was nice to have a US show following in the footsteps of Psych and The Mentalist and demonstrating how psychics and mediums do their tricks. Thinking I actually might like Jeri Ryan more than Gina Bellman now, but Beth Riesgraf still is best.
  • Archer: Last week’s. Not as funny as previous week’s, but still full of wonderful moments. “He’s wants to sit at the table like he’s people!”
  • Modern Family: Another funny one. Minnie Driver added little to the proceedings, but a fun bit of farce, although it left Julie Bowen’s character looking a little dull and humorless.
  • Caprica: I’m kind of liking the “monotheists bad, polytheists good” angle on it, as well as the “what if machines have souls?” thing they’re doing with Zoe and the Cylon, but it’s all a bit dull and tedious, isn’t it? Where’s the fun? Where are the engrossing characters? I like no one on it in any way whatsoever.
  • 24: Shaping up to be possibly the most boring seasons of 24 so far. We want Jack Bauer. We want Jack Bauer. We want Jack Bauer. So why do we have him sitting in a car for most of the last two episodes? Admittedly, when he got out of the car and starting speaking some of the most appalling German I’ve ever heard, I almost wanted him to get back in the car, but he soon got things back on track. The whole CTU/Katee Sackoff plot is dreadful and should be chucked ASAP, but at least the Russians are vaguely interesting.
  • Smallville: Watched a bit of last week’s. Nope, still pants.
  • Newswipe: Charlie’s bits were more engrossing than previous weeks, where the normal rule is “guest contributor good – as long as it’s not that poet – Charlie Brooker okay”. I think that’s because it became a bit more Screenwipey than in previous weeks.
  • Floyd on the Med: Caught up with a few old cooking shows of Keith Floyd’s. So much more interesting than a lot of cooking shows I could mention, and with some great scenery. But they were Channel Five shows and didn’t have Clive, unfortunately.
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Just thought I’d catch an old Jeremy Brett episode. He was overly flamboyant, but it was just great. Can you imagine ITV doing anything as good now (and don’t say Whitechapel)?
  • Roger Scruton: Why Beauty Matters – Erm, for a philosopher, he doesn’t stick together a very air-tight argument, does he? “Beauty’s sent by God and connects us to Him therefore modern art and architecture is rubbish”. It was persuasive at some points, but comparing Michelangelo with Tracy Emin (rather than say Francis Bacon) isn’t really comparing like with like.

But what did you watch?

As always, no spoilers unless you’re going to use the <spoiler> </spoiler> tags, please. If you’ve reviewed something on your blog, you can put a link to it here rather than repeat yourself (although too many links and you might ge


  • 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.