Radio and podcasts

Another podcast recommendation: 3 Chicks Review Comics

3 Chicks Review ComicsTime for another in our occasional series of podcast recommendations: 3 Chicks Review Podcasts. As the name may (or may not) suggest, this is a weekly (or sometimes more frequent) podcast in which three women review comics and usually interview someone important comics-wise.

The three chicks in question are:

  1. Sue from the rather good DC Women Kicking Ass
  2. Maddy from When Fangirls Attack! and
  3. Kelly Thompson of 1979 Semi-Finalist and Comic Book Resources’ Comics Should Be Good

It’s quite a long podcast at up to an hour and a half per episode, but it does have three people who clearly know and love their subject matter, looking over the best and worst comics of the week. They’ve also had some great interviews, including Brian Chiang, who’s doing the artwork for the latest Wonder Woman run. Give it a try.

What did you watch last week (w/e October 7)?

Time for "What did you watch last week?", my chance to tell you what I watched last week that I haven’t already reviewed 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: Archer, Dexter, The Daily Show, Modern Family, Happy Endings and Community.

Things you might enjoy but that I’m not necessarily recommending: Being Erica, Strike Back: Project Dawn, and Ringer.

Since last week, we’ve had a few cancellations, so I’ve delayed watching the remaining episodes of The Playboy Club and How To Be A Gentleman because there’s not much point.

We’ve also had another attack of "second episode-itis", in which a number of new TV shows with almost acceptable first episodes had second episodes too dreadful to carry on watching. The culprits were:

  • Pan Am: despite the lovingly recreated New York of the 60s, the complete absence of interesting plot or characters meant I was practically catatonic within the first 10 minutes.
  • Terra Nova: has mysteriously turned into Star Trek: The Any Series That Had Brannon Braga as a Showrunner. While better than the first episode, it was still deathly dull with a plethora of Wesley Crushers in desperate need of being eaten by dinosaurs and a great big chunk of technobabble being used to save the day. It did give us a visual nod to The Birds, but that’s as interesting as it got. If you’re a teenage boy, you’ll probably love it. Everyone else, stay clear.

Shamefully, Suburgatory, the big new comedy surprise, had a very poor second episode, totally lacking in the satirical bite and laughs of the first episode. It’s on the watch list now. Up All Night‘s fourth episode was dreadful so I’ve crossed that off the viewing list.

A few thoughts on some of the regulars:

  • Community: in the last two weeks, might actually have passed over from being funny into the realm of "too weird and too dark". Worrying.
  • Modern Family: Starting to feel a little tired, now. It needs to start being original again, rather than retreading old ground.
  • Being Erica: If you were expecting any big changes of format with the first episode of the new season, now that Erica’s become a doctor, think again. It’s gone back to the first season formula. Oh well. But let’s see if episode two perks it up.
  • Strike Back: Seriously, is there something in the contract that stipulates there should be one topless woman per episode?

Still in my viewing pile: last night’s Dexter, episode two of Being Erica, the third episode of Prime Suspect, the first episode of the very NSFW American Horror Story, and episode two of Homeland.

I didn’t watch any movies this week, I’m afraid.

But what have you been watching?

"What did you watch last 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. 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?

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 4

Third-episode verdict: Person of Interest

In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, CBS

We’ve now reached episode three of Person of Interest, aka ‘Batman without the cape’, in which Jim Cavaziel (Batman) goes around trying to prevent crimes before they happen, with the able assistance of Michael Emerson (Bruce Wayne/Robin/Oracle).

After an almost acceptable first episode, episode two was a whole lot weaker, despite giving us William Emerson’s "origin story"; episode three gave a bit more flesh to the police officer (who I’ll call "Commissioner Gordon" for now) who’s busy chasing Cavaziel, but not enough that could actually be described as "character development", Commissioner Gordon largely just turning up at crime scenes going "I bet I know who that was" and talking to Cavaziel on the (bat) phone.

Like a whole load of CBS shows I could mention, Person of Interest is glossy, looks good, is never offensively bad, but ultimately is empty and never actually good. Its single redeeming feature, other than Michael Emerson, is that it can do ultraviolence surprisingly well. Unfortunately, they spent the budget for ultraviolence largely on episode 1, and episodes 2 and 3 have had a reduced hitting-and-shooting people count that’s largely removed the only reason for watching the show.

It doesn’t make a whole load of sense, it’s not got decent characters – you’re better off reading a comic or watching Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies.

Carusometer rating: 4
Rob’s prediction: Dead before the end of the season

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 4

Third-episode verdict: A Gifted Man

In the US: Fridays, 8/7c, CBS

The problem with A Gifted Man is that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about it whatsoever. It’s just there. It’s well made, it has a good cast, but it’s glossy emptiness, despite a thin sheen of originality in episode 1 that may have led us to believe that there was a different show in the making. Originally about a brain surgeon haunted by the spirit of his dead wife – kind of Wilson and Wife (Deceased) – as predicted, the show has turned into a simple medical procedural, with Patrick Wilson flitting between his own clinic and a free clinic to fit in two to three patients with surprise diagnoses per episode, all while ex-wife Jennifer Ehle very occasionally turns up as a ghost to needle him a bit.

The show has been retooling, slowly adding in new members of cast, getting rid of old members of cast to make it more a procedural, rather than the slightly more spiritual show that we originally had. There’s the very slight philosophical question of whether the poor are intrinsically more deserving of help than the rich. There’s the very slight possibility that ghostly Ehle isn’t the only supernatural addition to Wilson’s life.

But ultimately, this is still 3 Lbs reheated. Still, it’s on CBS, the home of the procedural, so it’ll probably run forever, despite offering us nothing remarkable beyond a couple of good actors. If you like comfort food, medical procedurals, this is your boy; otherwise, steer clear.

Carusometer rating: 4
Rob’s prediction: Will last one season, but probably not more