What have you been watching this week (w/e August 2)?


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 recommendations for maximum viewing pleasure this week: Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Penn and Teller: Fool Us, Sirens, Suits, The Daily Show, and Wilfred.

The shows I’m watching, which you might like, but which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend: Come Dine With Me, Top Gear, and True Blood.

Now to the irregulars and new things, as well as a few thoughts on some of those regulars. We’re still watching BSG, although we got slowed down with the “worthy but choresome” season four, which was hard going. But that’s left little time for other TV:

  • Web Therapy: Lisa Kudrow has been doing a little three-minute web-based series called ‘Web Therapy’ for some time. In it, she plays an unlicensed and very broken therapist who offers people therapy over the Internet, including exs, her husband and others. Now Showtime has bundled them all together into 30-minute episodes, with little interstitials between them to act as glue. It has to be said, it’s not all that funny, although it has its moments of wry grinning to offer you. It’s clearly something, however, that could be good once it has a bit more budget for script editors and the like. Just not yet.
  • Franklin & Bash: As promised, I tuned in again to see if it had improved. While it’s not quite as misogynistic as before, it’s still stupid and immature, but without any real pizzazz. Surprising guest star: James van der Beek, who’s having something of a career revival of late – just not here.
  • Top Gear: Dull.

And in this week’s list of movies:

  • Captain America: Not as fun as I hoped it was going to be, but not bad, with a surprising Indiana Jones vibe. Obviously not as good as Thor, it’s pretty much the first part of The Avengers, with everything interesting postponed until that movie, including a decent finale. It’s also a little underpowered, with not much action worth mentioning at all. All the same, it has some nice touches, the romance is quite touching in places and the action when it does turn up is good.
  • Thor: Yes, the fourth time we’ve seen this now. Still awesome.

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? And keep an eye on The Stage‘s TV Today Square Eyes feature as well for British TV highlights or you’ll be missing out on the good stuff.

  • The other David

    Like you, I’ve enjoyed Sirens, but seeing how it’s doing in the ratings, like my other favorite show, Campus, I don’t think it’s long for this world. Speaking of Campus, just got the DVD of the series and am enjoying it as much as I did the first time.
    It seems like a slow period of time for British TV, but Law and Order UK and Single-handed have been some good time killers (although Single-handed seems to have lost its interesting quality). Saw that new show, Sugartown, and wasn’t too impressed (although it was fun seeing two of the principals from Single, Married, Other in it.) I’m going to try your ‘three-show’ test to see if I can be brought around to it, but it doesn’t look promising.
    Another good time waster is New Tricks. Watching it is like a ratty old sweater which has seen better days, but it’s still warm and snugly.
    The whole Murdoch-scandal (can I call it ‘Murdochgate’?) has produced a lot of interesting programs about his influence and reach in Britain. ITV has had few good programs about Murdoch including the Dispatches program, How Murdoch Ran Britain, and the documentary, Murdoch – The Mogul Who Screwed The News. The former was more factual (if rather melodramatic in its presentation), and the latter had a bit of an ax to grind, but they were both interesting nonetheless.
    The one program I was looking forward to seeing, The Hour, has, on the whole, been disappointing. I was hoping for a docu-drama on the early years of news magazine programming at the BBC. But instead, the characters don’t feel authentic (more like modern people dressed in 50’s clothing) and the whole murder/mystery subplot is, frankly, a waste of screen time. Rob compared it to pale imitation of Mad Men (I assume that’s what you were referencing because I can’t think of any other TV shows broadcast in the US about this era), but, never having seen Mad Men, all’s I can say is it’s a definite let down.

  • I came back from vacation on Sunday to find that all my pre-programming ended on July 20th, 3 days after the two-weeks began. Couldn’t access any of the programs I did get and there was no data available in the grid.
    Cable company had me unplug the set and when I plugged it back in, I couldn’t even turn the set back on.
    So during the next three days I filled the void by finding a few of the missing shows online (‘The Closer’, ‘Eureka’, ‘The Glades’) and watching all of the “Mercury Men” serial chapters. I also found an early fifties recording of a live broadcast of “Ellery Queen” with Richard Hart as the first to play the role on TV. (He died while making the show at the age of 35.)
    Cable Guy was just here, in time to have my set ready to catch the marathon of three ‘True Blood’ episodes I missed tonight. Spent an hour reprogramming my faves to record. I just hope I remembered them all!

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