US TV

Review: Unforgettable 1×1

Unforgettable

In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS

Interesting fact 1: There are apparently about five or six people in America with very impressive memories. Thanks in part to OCD, they can remember more or less every detail of their lives: ask them what they were doing on 4th March 2006 at 6.02pm and they’ll tell you.

Interesting fact 2: Marilu Henner, one of the stars of sitcom Taxi, is one of these people. As well as cameoing on the show, she is also a consultant to CBS’s Unforgettable, which stars Marilu Henner-lookalike Poppy Montgomery as a former police detective with this condition who uses her skills to solve crimes.

Interesting fact 3: CBS has so many sure-fire hits and such a seemingly captive audience they can commission some of the most boring programmes imaginable and provided they’re about cops, people will watch them. And even if they don’t, CBS won’t care.

Here’s a trailer.

Continue reading “Review: Unforgettable 1×1”

US TV

Review: Unforgettable 1×1

Unforgettable

In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS

Interesting fact 1: There are apparently about five or six people in America with very impressive memories. Thanks in part to OCD, they can remember more or less every detail of their lives: ask them what they were doing on 4th March 2006 at 6.02pm and they’ll tell you.

Interesting fact 2: Marilu Henner, one of the stars of sitcom Taxi, is one of these people. As well as cameoing on the show, she is also a consultant to CBS’s Unforgettable, which stars Marilu Henner-lookalike Poppy Montgomery as a former police detective with this condition who uses her skills to solve crimes.

Interesting fact 3: CBS has so many sure-fire hits and such a seemingly captive audience they can commission some of the most boring programmes imaginable and provided they’re about cops, people will watch them. And even if they don’t, CBS won’t care.

Here’s a trailer.

Continue reading “Review: Unforgettable 1×1”

Question of the week: do you prefer multi-camera or single-camera comedies?

On Friday, in response to my review of Whitney, Mark asked “What’s wrong with single-camera comedies?” (or something like it). Okay, let’s set out some definitions. Here’s 30 Rock as a single-camera comedy.

And here’s 30 Rock as a multi-camera comedy.

You’ll notice, for starters, that the multi-camera comedy

  1. Is shot on video, looks cheaper and is over-lit
  2. Has a studio audience guffawing at almost everything
  3. Has performances geared towards a guffawing studio audience and ensuring that the people at the back of the studio can hear what’s being said
  4. Largely is stuck indoors
  5. Not as funny

Okay, you might not be able to tell those last two instantly from those clips, but my points stand. Nevertheless, for much of sitcom history, multi-camera has been the way things have been done, single the rarity, so some might prefer it to single-camera.

So today’s question is:

Do you generally prefer single- or multi-camera comedies?

Question of the week: do you prefer multi-camera or single-camera comedies?

On Friday, in response to my review of Whitney, Mark asked “What’s wrong with single-camera comedies?” (or something like it). Okay, let’s set out some definitions. Here’s 30 Rock as a single-camera comedy.

And here’s 30 Rock as a multi-camera comedy.

You’ll notice, for starters, that the multi-camera comedy

  1. Is shot on video, looks cheaper and is over-lit
  2. Has a studio audience guffawing at almost everything
  3. Has performances geared towards a guffawing studio audience and ensuring that the people at the back of the studio can hear what’s being said
  4. Largely is stuck indoors
  5. Not as funny

Okay, you might not be able to tell those last two instantly from those clips, but my points stand. Nevertheless, for much of sitcom history, multi-camera has been the way things have been done, single the rarity, so some might prefer it to single-camera.

So today’s question is:

Do you generally prefer single- or multi-camera comedies?

US TV

Review: The Playboy Club 1×1 (US: NBC)

The Playboy Club with Amber Heard and Eddie Cibrian

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

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before

Playboy. Say the word and there’s going to be an immediate reaction. Some people will be excited at the hint of some flesh, some people will think it anti-female and some people will instantly think ‘porn’ and try to ban whatever you’re talking about.

So it is with NBC’s The Playboy Club – formerly known as just Playboy – which had the Parents Television Council boycotting it before they’d even seen it, which had NBC’s Utah affiliate saying they weren’t going to show it because of its associations with pornography and which had various people saying it should be boycotted because it was demeaning to women.

The producers and stars protested that this was a historical drama/crime story/soap and that everyone was making something out of nothing before they’d even seen it. Okay, the nudity clause in the stars’ contracts didn’t help, but this was NBC so the chances of actual nudity, given the Janet Jackson ‘Superbowl nip slip’ is still being dragged through the courts, was zero, but that didn’t seem to stop anyone.

Anyway, now it’s on our screens so everyone can see what the fuss is about – or at least 5m people can, given the show’s lackluster ratings on Monday.

Set in Chicago, 1961, it stars Amber Heard – best known in the US as “that girl in the new Guess jeans ads” and in the UK as “Top Gear‘s best ever but slowest ‘star in a reasonably priced car'” (and on this ‘ere blog as one of our regular ‘random actors‘) – as Maureen, a new ‘bunny’ in Chicago’s Playboy Club. She gets herself into hot water when she’s attacked by a patron who turns out to be a mob boss. Naturally, she kills him with her stiletto.

Aided by Nick Dalton – played by Eddie Cibrian, best known in the UK as “that guy who took over from Adam Rodriguez for a season in CSI: Miami when he had a hissy fit” and in the US as “that scum who ditched his model wife and baby so that he could have an affair with the equally married Leann Rimes” – Maureen manages to cover up her crime.

For now.

With a scattergun approach that involves firing just about everything possible at the screen, ranging from social issues and soap opera love triangles to singing, dancing and a little bit of ultra-violence, the show has a little something for everyone. Given all those ingredients, it’s a little duller than you might hope, as well as a little stupider, but it at least shows some promise.

Here’s a trailer.

Continue reading “Review: The Playboy Club 1×1 (US: NBC)”