What have you been watching this week (w/e July 1)?

Time for “What have you been watching this week?”, my chance to tell you what I’ve been watching this week and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case we’ve missed them.

My usual recommendations for maximum viewing pleasure this week: The Apprentice, The Apprentice: You’ve Been Fired, Burn Notice, Come Dine With Me, The Daily Show and Top Gear. Watch them (and keep an eye on The Stage‘s TV Today Square Eyes feature as well) or you’ll be missing out on the good stuff. Still in the viewing pile: the first episode of Necessary Roughness (just in case lovely wife wants to watch it for Marc Blucas from Buffy), the return of Royal Pains, the second episode of Suits, the first episode of State of Georgia (although that’s ABC Family so I’ll probably skip it),

Now to the irregulars and new things, as well as a few thoughts on some of those regulars:

  • Arrested Development: Everyone raves about it, so I thought I’d give it a try and watch the pilot. Does it, erm, get any better and/or funny?
  • Burn Notice: My gods, they have actually changed the formula. Okay, still a little bit like the old show, but it’s different. It’s actually different – and I like it. Well done exec producers!
  • Combat Hospital: A slightly inept, international co-production medical drama whose two distinguishing features are that they’ve got Canadians, Americans and Brits all actually being Canadians, Americans and Brits; and it’s set in a war zone. Despite having Elias Koteas and Deborah Kara Unger in the cast, it’s instantly snooze-worthy, without a hard edge even in its set of surgical tools.
  • Top Gear: Better than the last series, but definitely lacking the pizzazz of previous series.
  • True Blood: I haven’t watched this since episode 7 of the first series and although things have clearly moved on, my, what a silly show it is. Good cast, good effects, interesting characters, but what silly, silly plots. Good to see Southland‘s Kevin Alejandro doing well for himself and Alex Breckenridge being all librariany, but this would ordinarily be too ridiculous, even for me.

And in this week’s list of movies:

  • 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer: Dreadful. Jessica Alba doesn’t even look human in it.
  • Blades of Glory: A severely overlooked Will Ferrell comedy about two male figure skaters who end up as pairs. Very silly and Will Arnett and Amy Poehler make great villains. Definitely up there with the likes of Dodgeball.
  • Bridesmaids: About 50% funny, 50% laughter-free. Some very funny moments, and good to see Melissa McCarthy of Mike & Molly getting a decent role for a change, but could have been a lot better. And some very weird casting going on – Chris O’Dowd of The IT Crowd as a love interest and Matt Lucas as Kristen Wiig’s flatmate? Weird. But Jon Hamm was great. Strange how he only plays non-Don Draper roles when he’s not doing Mad Men, rather than sticking to the “handsome manly man” roles.
  • Where The Wild Things Are: Absolutely not what I was expecting. A quite harrowing tale of childhood in which the sub-text is virtually text, but all done through giant beasts. Typical Spike Jonze, but it’ll leave you drained by the end.

But what have you been watching?

“What have you been watching this week?” is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films 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?


  • 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.