What have you been watching this week (w/e December 10)?

Robert's Web

Oops. Back after a two week gap, it’s “What have you been watching this week?”, your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV that they might be missing or should avoid – and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I’ve watched this week.

So I’ve caught up on a few things, fallen behind on a few others. It’s all so tricky, this TV-watching lark. Fortunately, it’s December in the US, which means House, Chuck et al are all sitting it out for a while.

After the jump, Al Murray’s German Adventure, The Apprentice, Chuck, Community, Dexter, In Treatment, Misfits, Modern Family, No Ordinary Family, Peep Show, Robert’s Web, Running Wilde, Smallville, Stargate Universe, and The Walking Dead.

  • Al Murray’s German Adventure: In which comedian Al Murray (aka “the Pub Landlord”) went off to Germany to explore its history, culture, et al. Now, if your mission is to try to convince people that Germany isn’t full of mentallers and is actually interesting (which, of course, it isn’t and it is), surely you should actually try to make your show interesting? Because I’m struggling through it and it’s boring as hell. It doesn’t help that he’s gone in the middle of the winter when it’s absolutely freezing.
  • The Apprentice: What the hell is Stuart doing in this competition, still?
  • Burn Notice: A week behind, but last week’s was a bit rubbish: almost taking the piss out of the whole series and the audience with its lack of plausibility. Still, some nice explosions.
  • Chuck: A good place to leave things, but why exactly was Chuck’s dad’s gift to Ellie a thing for giving Chuck back the Intersect, just in case Chuck’s mum had disabled it for him?
  • Community: Haven’t seen last night’s, but last week’s was marvellously unfunny. I say marvellously because after all the surreal activities of the season, last week’s was entirely a realistic character piece that actually helped you to get to know the characters better.
  • Dexter: Little bit annoyed that Lumen has been abducted, but brilliant stuff all the same. Looked forward to the finale on Sunday.
  • Horizon: An old episode called What happened before the Big Bang? Surprisingly, in contrast to a whole load of Horizon episodes I could mention, I actually learnt quite a lot from this one. Very good.
  • In Treatment: So now it’s all over and we had to wait until the final week to see the marvellous structure of the entire thing. Odd to see that every strand has in fact been about the impotence, dangers and limitations of therapy, particularly the brilliant Sunil strand, but glad to see it so rewarding at the end. Will there be a fourth season after this one, though?
  • Misfits: Last night’s episode had a real “jump the shark” moment, but both last week’s and this week’s were both top quality
  • Modern Family: Some funny moments, but Sofia Vergara’s performance is starting to grate a little. She needs to dial it down a notch.
  • No Ordinary Family: Julie Benz in action and the whole show’s getting darker. Nothing too extraordinary but nice.
  • Peep Show: Obviously very funny, but not quite possessed of the dark edge of yesteryear. Loving it though.
  • Robert’s Web: Some funny jokes, but largely just a big sneer by Robert Webb at things in an updating of Clive James’s show for the Internet/post Jimmy Carr age. He’s better than that, surely?
  • Running Wilde: I haven’t seen this week’s but last week’s was moderately dire with a few funny moments, quite a few down to a cameo by Jonathan from 30 Rock. I know! And I wish they could work out whether Peter Serafinowicz’s character is supposed to be a friend or an enemy (no, he’s not a frenemy) because his characterisation is all over the place.
  • Smallville: A fun parallel universe episode that saw the return of Lionel Luther. And not back to his old self but to a complete evil self. Magic. But what’s happened to Tess? She’s gone all flaccid.
  • Stargate Universe: Slightly weak as a mid-season finale – more or less what we had as the end of season 1 – but I’m fascinated to see how they get out of it. I’m suspecting Chloe might have something to do with it.
  • The Walking Dead: Cool way to end the season, but with only six episodes, they haven’t really gone anywhere or staked out themes beyond “surviving a zombie apocalypse leads to hard choices”. Looking forward to next season, which will be longer.

But what have you been watching?

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).


  • 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.