Review: Up All Night 1×1

Up All Night

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC

A common question asked is “Do two wrongs make a right?” Here’s my question: “Do two rights make a wrong?”

Because here we have the very right Will Arnett (30 Rock, Arrested Development, Running Wilde) and the very right Christina Applegate (Married With Children, Samantha Who?) in a sitcom about having a baby.

Yes, that’s right. That’s what it’s about. That’s not just a fact about Applegate’s and Arnett’s characters. This is the intended main source of all the show’s humour.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have children. Nevertheless, I can confidently say, through simple osmosis, I know just as much as these two characters about raising kids, if not more, and apparently have just as much insight as the writers.

Here’s a trailer that contains the funny bits. You’ll notice that since the pilot, Christina Applegate’s character has switched from PR person to talk show host assistant.

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A refreshingly honest journalist

Gordon Brewer's CV

From the BBC web site:

Gordon began his journalistic career on The Shetland Times after any hopes of a more technical pursuit were cruelly exposed by a short period working for the oil industry at Sullom Voe. He still keeps a nervous eye on the main flare stack, where he was supposedly monitoring the paint thickness.

In 1983 he moved to Glasgow to join the Sunday Standard as a business correspondent. The paper was closed down six months after his arrival.

After a stint as a freelance he joined the business desk of the then Glasgow Herald, where he proved so incompetent at sub-editing unit trust prices they let him loose as a business reporter. In 1986 he moved to London as business correspondent for The Scotsman, where he experienced the Thatcher boom years at first hand.

He joined the BBC in 1988 as business correspondent for network television news. After six months or so he was asked to move to a new bureau in Tokyo.

During four years in the Far East he mixed news coverage with making films for Newsnight and The Money Programme and Assignment. Despite strenuous attempts to learn Japanese, the nearest he got to fluency was with cab drivers after an evening in the bar.

He returned to London in 1993 to work for Newsnight. This was his opportunity to stop being a business journalist and he reported from Europe, the United States, Russia and the Middle East without the slightest use of arithmetic.

After the 1997 general election, Gordon became a presenter on Newsnight and then on Newsnight Scotland when the programme launched in 1999. He moved to Scotland full time in 2001.

Gordon has a degree in Philosophy and English Literature and wasted taxpayers money for three years studying for a PhD in Philosophy which he has never finished. During his career he has picked up an award for journalism and three nominations for Royal Television Society awards, although with his usual sodding luck he didn’t win any of them.


Review: Free Agents 1×1

Free Agents

In the US: Wednesdays, 8.30/7.30c, NBC

Funny, isn’t it, how networks mould new shows to make them more like their other shows? Consider Free Agents, a Channel 4 comedy (that you can still watch on 4oD) starring Stephen Mangan and Sharon Horgan as two emotionally-damaged PR professionals who work together but hook up. Quite a dark comedy, it focused on the two’s growing, mostly sex-based relationship, with only the occasional interjection by their sex-mad boss, Anthony Stewart Head.

Now NBC has adapted it. Gone are Mangan and Horgan, in are Hank Azaria (The Simpsons) and Kathryn Hahn (best known as a theater actress in the US). Fair enough. Anthony Stewart Head’s come along for the ride, which is nice. But somehow,a show that would have been perfect for a dark network like FX has become a lot lighter and a lot more like any other NBC ensemble comedy along the way.

And it’s not actually that funny now. Here’s a trailer.

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Review: Ringer 1×1

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Ringer

In the US: Tuesday, 9/8c , The CW
In the UK: Acquired by Sky Living for broadcast this autumn

Twins, huh? Why does there always have to be an evil one?

Ringer, in which former Buffy The Vampire Slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a pair of twins, one good, one evil, is no different, but slightly cleverly, it’s not obvious at first who the evil twin is or who the good twin is.

Bridget is a bad girl. A former stripper and prostitute, she’s also an addict who beats up police officers and steals their guns.

Siobhan is a good girl. She has the perfect marriage, lives in luxury in New York and the Hamptons with her English husband (Ioan Gruffudd), and has oodles of cash.

Neither has seen each other in six years. Siobhan hasn’t even mentioned Bridget to her husband.

But the thing is, Bridget is actually the good twin. She’s on a 12-step programme to recovery from her addiction, she’s taken a job as a waitress and she’s helping the Feds because she witnessed a murder.

Siobhan? Well, she treats her husband like dirt, she’s having an affair, loathes her step-daughter and she’s evil, evil, evil.

As Bridget finds out when she gets to New York and ends up taking over Siobhan’s life.

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