Random Acts of Ali Larter: braving mudslides to give birth

So Ali’s still on maternity leave, having given birth last month. Of course, in true Ali Larter style, she had to brave the LA mudslides to do this – even when giving birth, she has to be random.

This week, her usual replacement, Scarlett Johansson, is obviously still too depressed and hung over to be doing anything after last week:

Scarlett Johansson for Mango

So this week, it’s up to Javier Bardem to save the day by doing something random.

Javier Bardem with a bad haircut

Now that‘s a random haircut. Nice one Javier.

Have you seen Ali Larter or one of her sub-contractors acting randomly? If so, let us know and we’ll tell everyone about it in "Random Acts of Ali Larter"

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Monday’s “Law and Order transfer” news

The new Thundercats

Doctor Who

Film

US TV

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US TV

What have you been watching this week (w/e January 28)?

Being Human

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. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you’ve seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

As you may have noticed, patient reader, I didn’t one of these last week, because I was busily killing myself trying to meet some deadlines. Oops. But it’s here now, my memories having faded only a little bit. I’ve come to a little decision though: there are a number of shows that are basically the same every week, so to avoid boring you, I’ll only give them a mini-review if they actually do something different for a change, otherwise I’ll just flag them us as worth watching.

So Cougar Town, Modern Family, Michel Roux’s Service, House, 30 Rock, the returning Royal Pains, Top Gear and The Daily Show – watch them, they’re good, but I’ve not got a lot to say about them that.

I’ve also got a slight backlog to if anyone would like to wade in with a mini-review of the following (to let me/us know if I should bother watching them), please do: Danish show The Killing, which I hear is rather good; the returning Archer, which definitely was good last season; last night’s Community; this week’s Chuck; this week’s Episodes; last night’s 30 Rock; Baker Boys (Welsh thing starring Eve Myles about the effects of the recession of a small Welsh community); and last night’s Fairly Legal.

I should also point out that if an effort to clear my backlog, I ditched both FX’s dark manly boxing drama Lights Out, which Joe says is really good but one episode is more than any one person can bear; and Off The Map, ABC’s “US doctors in the wilds of South America” show from the people who brought you Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice – I watched five minutes of it and couldn’t face watching any more.

So after all that, after the jump, mini-reviews of Being Human, Being Human (US/Canada), last week’s Community, last week’s Episodes, How TV Ruined Your Life, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Penn and Teller: Fool Us, Perfect Couples, The Secret Mediterranean with Trevor McDonald, Southland, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and The Ten O’Clock Show.

Continue reading “What have you been watching this week (w/e January 28)?”

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The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 3

Third-episode verdict: Shameless (US)

In the US: Sundays, 10pm ET/PT, Showtime

So Shameless, based on the Channel 4 series of the same, has been airing on Showtime for three weeks now. Time to pass a third-episode verdict.

On the whole, it’s been variable. Episode 1 was 50% pleasure, 50% pain, in which some loveable young rogues rip off the benefits system and try to make ends meet because their father, Frank, is a work-shy, amoral, immoral alcoholic. While it had romantic moments and funny moments and there were times that you were surprised to be watching a US show – what will all the nudity, swearing and members of the working/underclasses involved, –it wasn’t an especially fun hour of TV.

Episode 2 was a lot better, a lot more fun, while still maintaining many of the themes of the previous episode. We got some mental sex, thanks to special guest star Joan Cusack as the agoraphobic wife of Frank’s best friend, as well as a cross-border smuggling story. It was also warmer and funnier than the previous episode, where we got to see the love Frank the complete git bewilderingly inspires in his family and friends.

Episode 3, however, was back to episode 1 quality, maybe a little better, with gay middle son having to deal with some female interest and the family discovering their aunt has been dead for 12 years while Frank’s continued to cash her benefits cheques every month. We also have the continuing up and down romance between the sensible eldest daughter and her car thief boyfriend, which is the one central warm thing in the whole show.

I’m actually probably going to keep watching the show. It’s got a great cast, even if William H Macy doesn’t quite fit the lead role; it’s not desperately enjoyable, but the stories are interesting, it can be quite funny and it explores matters that are unexplored on most other US dramas. But if there’s a downturn in quality, it’s on a knife’s edge.

Carusometer rating: 3
Rob’s predication: Might actually last a couple of seasons, if not more

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