What have you been watching this fortnight (w/e April 9)

The people – or person, at least – have spoken and “What…?” has moved back to Friday (at least for now – let me know if you preferred Mondays). That means two weeks of TV to hazily recall, if you can so that others with access to iPlayer, Hulu, iTunes, etc, can play catch up. Here’s what I watched

  • Ashes to Ashes: Since series two was apparently better than series one, I decided to give this another go. Rather than just being bad, this episode was merely dull. I didn’t care what was going on, I didn’t care about the characters, who all annoyed the hell out of me. Gene Hunt does at least seem to have recovered his Geneisms, but Alex Drake, rather than annoying me by being a combination of thick and up herself as per series one, annoyed me by being wetter than Kristen Stewart. I think I actually preferred series one Alex – at least she was interesting. Still, the tie-ins with Life on Mars will probably make me watch the rest of the series – or at least the finale.
  • Chuck: Lovely if slightly low-key way to end the season, although the order of additional episodes means that season four’s story arc has been brought forward i guess. Didn’t make a whole bucket load of sense but c’est la vie, and I did miss Captain Awesome. However, Paris? That was supposed to be Paris. Which exact hotel in Paris is taller than the Eiffel Tower and can look down on it, can I just ask? And why does it essentially look like LA but with an Eiffel Tower stuck in the middle of it?
  • Cougar Town: Stuff happened with Sheryl Crowe. The usual cliches about women needing a man to be multiple simultaneously impossible things were trotted out, to not much effect (or realism). But at least Christa Miller and Dan Byrd have been remembered and are starting to get to do some things again.
  • Jonathan Creek: Absolutely arse. Sheridan Smith’s character was suddenly thick. Of the two puzzles, the first was pointless and utterly, utterly implausible, while the second was both guessable and obscenely implausible. Paul McGann was good though, and it was a nice touch to make Jonathan’s explanations actually make things worse for the hapless victim.
  • Lost: Always love a Desmond episode and even last week’s Sun and Jin episode was tolerable. But by God we’re getting answers. Look at that would you.
  • Life Unexpected: So, last week’s episode was dreadful, lifted only by a bit of gumption at the end. But in order for a magic reset button to be pushed, a whole load of characters had to do backflips to get out of the natural progression of their characters the previous week. This week, it was nice to see that bloke from thirtysomething/Brimstone back on TV, but a shame that Alex Breckenridge wasn’t around. It’s just all over the place though so I’m sure next week, Lux will be bratty and irritating.
  • The Minoans: More4 have very secretly – and without a proper repeat during the week – been re-running a load of Bettany Hughes’ documentaries under the title “Bettany Hughes’ Ancient World”, so I missed her one on Alexandria (and 4oD is a pain in the arse). They’re mostly stuff she’s done before, rather than new stuff (I think this week’s was from 2008, since there’s a US DVD on the same subject), but she’s always worth watching, so tune in if you can – Wednesdays 9pm. It’s Helen of Troy next week, which is a fab one.
  • Parenthood: Not seen this week’s, but last week’s was reasonable enough, even if Peter Krause’s “I wish I had a real son” routine was irksome.
  • Rome: I’m on to series two now and I’m not enjoying it nearly as much. The absence of Ciaran Hinds’ Caesar is palpable, and the disappearance of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern elements of the first series has robbed the show of some of its fun, just as it’s become very dark indeed. But I’m going to soldier on.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: It’s really hard to know what to say about Spartacus on a weekly basis. Each episode moves the plot along, each episode usually has a lot of violence and nudity. The acting’s usually a bit iffy, apart from John Hannah who chews the scenery up, and the accents all over the place. I’m still not feeling much interest in any of the characters, but it’s enjoyable now, I’ll say that for it, you can see more or less where it’s going, and there have been some clever intrigues. Yes, I will keep watching.
  • Stargate Universe: It’s back! To no one’s great surprise, Rush is back, but it’s all been handled very well. The aliens that cropped up here were genuinely alien – CGI, weird-looking, not speaking English, etc – for which I’m duly grateful. And in a lot of ways, although the characterisation is a little sketchy still, I’m finding this more enjoyable than BSG. You really get a sense of just how fucked they are that you never really got in BSG. There’s a real risk of mutiny, the food’s lousy, they haven’t got enough power to do anything, nothing works and everywhere they go is inhospitable. Loving it.
  • Supernatural: In the middle of this week’s episode, but last week’s “heaven sent” episode did answer – as well as raise – a whole load of questions. I did like the implication that the brothers had died several times in the previous seasons, but the angels had saved them and sent them back down to Earth again without their knowing it. That does make sense.
  • 10 Things I Hate About You: Two episodes in, and it’s so far, so dull. Absolutely none of the verve of the original movie is in this, and we’re having to get by on the charisma of the various actors involved. Watchable, but not stimulating.
  • 30 Rock: Alec Baldwin, funny. That’s all I have to say.
  • 24: If you do decide to get this season on boxset, might I suggest skipping to episode 12 and watching from there, because it’s all been really good – rather than mind-numbingly dull – since then. A great three hours of TV over the last two weeks, thanks to the double-ep on Monday. Loved the downbeat ending with President Hassan getting killed on time delay this week and the fact that guy off The Unit survived. More than a few stupid moments, of course – who on Earth, driving that kind of sports car in Manhattan, is going to leave his keys in the ignition while he goes to get a newspaper? But what’s going to happen to Starbuck next week? And, indeed, who will her boss turn out to be, given we have another eight episodes or so left now?

But what did you watch? Anybody been watching Swedish Wallander on BBC4? I keep stacking these up to watch, but never get round to actually watching them.

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 get killed by the spam filter).