What did you watch last week? Including Don’t Trust the B—-, Magic City and Touch

It’s “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 I’ve missed them.

The usual recommendations from the first-run shows are: The Almighty Johnsons, The Apprentice, Awake, BeTipul, Community, Cougar Town, The Daily Show, House, Mad Men, Modern Family, and 30 Rock. Hunt them down.

First, though, a look at some shows I’ve tried this week:

  • Magic City: Episode two was moderately better than episode one but there was such repugnant misogyny in the whole thing that I had to turn off. Just a nasty show.
  • Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage: Possibly the least informative travel documentary you’ll ever watch. Looks good though. “This is a fresco of blue monkeys. No one knows why they were painted. But I like their style.” Actually made Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey look informative by comparison.

And a few thoughts on the regulars:

  • Awake – One of the few episodes to not really touch on the dream side of things at all, except for their psychological meaning. Okay, but lacking the pizzazz of previous weeks.
  • Community – Another episode that was more sad than funny, but incredibly imaginative and bizarre at the same time.
  • Don’t Trust the B—– in Apt 23 – much better than episode one, with some decent surprises, some fun James Van Der Beek moments and Michael Landes guesting. Apart from Krysten Ritter’s character, the show’s trademarks are now becoming gross out moments and new euphemisms for vagina. The central character is still a bit dull, the supporting characters only okay, but now that they’ve edged Ritter away from true sociopathy in favour of cluelessness and a lack of empathy, the show seems to be finding its feet.
  • House – boring and obvious for two weeks now. This is turning out to be a very poor final season.
  • Mad Men – A wonderfully funny LSD trip coupled with some other great moments, including Don’s comeuppance with Megan. Great drama.
  • Missing – I’ve just realised that with the possible exception of her son and the female agent, Ashley Judd is actually the only American in this whole show. A bit of a silly episode though – no you can’t strangle someone with your feet if they’re standing up and you’re tied up in the boot of a car.
  • Ringer – An interesting way to conclude the season, with everything revealed, plot lines tied off and the worst possible things happening to everyone. I do hope it gets a second season.
  • Suburgatory – Alicia Silverstone came by to liven things up – there was even a dialogue nod to Clueless. Not bad, but not as good as earlier episodes.
  • 30 Rock – Deliciously perverse.
  • Touch – it’s like Tim Kring took everything he learnt from Heroes, listened to all the advice and criticism of the show, and then did the exact opposite because he’s Tim Kring and he knows best. Disparate plot strands that are linked but take forever to join up, minimal pay-off per episode – these are all the bad things about Heroes. Still, the ending was a surprise at least.

I’ve still got last night’s House, BBC4’s The Bridge, Sunday’s Girls, Sunday’s Veep, and Sunday’s NYC 22 to get through. I’ve also noticed that ABC has been airing Scandal – is that worth watching, anyone? And what have you been watching?

“What did you watch 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. 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?




  • Mark Carroll

    Mostly I've been working through BBC stuff like “Inside the Mediaeval Mind”, “How to Build a Cathedral”, “The Life of Muhammad”, etc. All generally good stuff. I did decide that life's too short for “Earthflight” though.

    Our TiVo stopped taping stuff because some weird thing happened at the cable company and they are insufficiently apologetically sending us things to plug in to make everything work again. Still, Hulu and suchlike let us watch things anyway.

    I don't think “House” has been too bad. It certainly beats the Cuddy relationship stuff. Things like “Grimm” and “Awake” have been average. “Castle” was unusually entertaining (if sillier) with a temporary change of partner to an old/new one though.

    I've been working through season two of “Law and Order: UK”. It's been fairly worthwhile. I'll finish that off imminently.

    I watched “The State Within” which was quite good. Worth a go, anyway. People who like that kind of thing would probably like it.

    I finally got around to “Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog” which was certainly worth the investment in time.

  • bob

    45 minutes is an investment?!

    I have a love/hate relationship with that musical… Love Fillion, hate Harris. Love the humour, hate the tunes.

  • Mark Carroll

    I liked the tunes enough and I have found I tend to like Harris, even when he plays himself. But, yes, 45 minutes is an investment, that's a whole hour-long show in American terms: I only have so much television-watching time, mostly in the gap between tea and bed, and anything chosen is other things not-chosen. That is the great value of blogs like this: a bit of time here, and I've saved myself lots of time getting into a show that looked good but isn't, and replaced it with something good that I'd not otherwise noticed.

  • The other David

    I loved the “Veep”, I would highly recommend it.� Since it's by Armando Iannucci, I was strongly reminded of “The Thick Of It”, but it stands quite well on its own.� I'll be interested in seeing what your thoughts on the show is Rob.

    Keep up the good work.

  • I quit liked it but it took such a time to get going that my wife gave up on it. I'm hoping to do a mini-review of it at least but it might have to wait until my min round-up, since I'm a bit 'time-poor' at the moment