What have you been watching this week (w/e February 4)?

Working Class

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 usual, a simple recommendation to watch Cougar Town, Michel Roux’s Service, 30 Rock, Top Gear and The Daily Show – watch them, they’re good, but I’ve not got a lot to say about them than that.

As usual, I’ve also got a slight backlog: last night’s Archer; last night’s Community; this week’s Episodes; and last night’s 30 Rock.

But other than that, after the jump, mini-reviews of last week’s Archer, this week’s Being Human and Chuck, last week’s Community, last week’s Episodes, and this week’s Fairly Legal, Portlandia, Royal Pains, Shameless, Southland, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and Working Class

Archer (FX)
While still delightfully offensive, not quite as funny as last season’s best. Fun though.

Being Human (iPlayer)
MY EYES! MY EYES! A bit of a silly one, largely as set up for Becoming Human on the web. But very funny. The Annie/Mitchell stuff was all a bit adolescent though.

Chuck (Hulu)
Although too low budget to actually do too much of interest, it was nice to see so many plot threads wrapped up in one go. Nevertheless, both lovely wife and I agree that we’re rapidly losing interest in the show. It’s come too far and lost too much of what made it interesting in the first place. Oh, and can they please ditch Jeffster ASAP?

Community (Hulu)
Another nice, normal episode and good to see Chang and Pearce front and centre for a change, too.

Episodes (iPlayer)
I’m curious as to who this is aimed. While I did like the accuracy of the writing, I can’t quite work out who is actually going to laugh at this beyond industry insiders. But it’s definitely improving.

Fairly Legal (USA)
More plausible than the pilot episode, with Sarah Shahi actually doing some decent negotiation. But still lacking in any real interest.

Funny, but not as funny as the first episode yet more consistent. Kyle McLachlan was excellent, too. Still worth watching

Royal Pains (USA)
Good to see the show starting to head out of water-treading mode and into plot advancement. In particular, great to see Anastasia Griffith back and something happening with the Jill/Hank storyline.

Quite a fun episode, with Frank becoming more likeable and everyone living up to more or less the premise of the title. I’m finding it a hard show to love but it’s a refreshing contrast to other shows on at the moment.

Surprisingly, just an average ep, and I’m a little worried that they’re going to start filling episodes more with season one-style filler than season two-style grit.

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (Starz online)
After last week’s mammoth gross out and descent into further excess, it was actually quite hard to convince myself to watch this episode. But it was a surprisingly subdued affair, largely about plot and character development. Shame they’re all going to be dead come series two though. Jaime Murray is, as usual, practically unwatchable though.

Working Class (CMT)
Although slightly in the Roseanne territory of blue collar people trying to make ends meet, this is still a traditional, old-school US sitcom, complete with long-suffering wife, feckless husband and irritating kids, with an attempt at a joke every second line. Switched off after 10 minutes because of its awfulness.


  • 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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