It’s “What did you watch this week?, my chance to tell you what I movies and TV I’ve watched this 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 “TMINE recommends” page features links to reviews of all the shows I’ve ever recommended, and there’s also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I’ve reviewed ever. Reviewed this week elsewhere: Back In The Game.
Normally, of course, this would be the time of year when the blog would be billowing with great big reviews and previews of all the new US shows heading your/our way. However, unfortunately (well, fortunately from my point of view, being self-employed), epic quantities of work have been keeping me busy this past week and will do for the rest of this week. Which is why this post is coming out today rather than last Friday.
However, I have watched a lot of the new shows so here are some previews and reviews of some of the new US shows, in potted, easily digestible format.
In the US: Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox. Starts 24th September
In the UK: Not yet acquired
Seth Green (Buffy, Robot Chicken) and Giovanni Ribisi play two guys, one a care-free single womaniser, one an up-tight married man, both have to learn to deal with their dads. You’d think with the talent involved (Seth McFarlane is behind it) it would be hysterical. Instead, it’s cliched, predictable and, thanks predominantly to an asian female character being the butt of a whole end of dodgy jokes and stereotypes, incredibly racist. Avoid at all costs.
Welcome To The Family
In the US: Thursdays, 8.30/7.30c, NBC. Starts 3rd October
Junior, the son of a Latino family, and Molly, the daughter of a Caucasian family, discover that Molly is pregnant. The pair decide to get married and the two families have to come together. Now while this is scrupulously careful to avoid too many Latino stereotypes – these are hard-working people and Junior is a mathlete – to get comedy, that means there has to be a stereotype somewhere else so Molly is a blonde, party-girl bimbo. What an advance.
While not horribly offensive like Dads though, it’s also not funny either. Avoid, unless you’re old enough to have teenage kids about to leave home, in which case you might be able to stomach an episode.
We Are Men
In the US: Mondays, 8.30/7.30c, CBS. Starts 30th September
In the UK: Acquired by Comedy Central
There’s an unwritten rule of ‘comedy’ that while divorced women go off, find strength in themselves and with female friends as they face up to living alone and looking after their children without their partners, divorced men go off and become extraordinary, bitter losers who go off to find the company of other loser men and moan about what bitches their exes.
No surprises here then, despite a cast that includes Kal Penn (House, Harold and Kumar), Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and series-killer Jerry O’Connell (Sliders, The Defenders, Carpoolers), this is essentially a sad, depressing show about a bunch of guys who wind up living in short-term rental complex together, hating women yet desperate to find a ‘good one’. If you’re a woman, you’ll end up hating men; if you’re a man, your faith in other men will plummet.
In the US: Tuesdays, 8.30/7.30c, Fox
In the UK: Acquired by E4
Cops that are a bit rubbish and muck around a lot (especially Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live) find their new, no-nonsense boss (Andre Braugher) isn’t so keen on hijinks. Hilarity ensues when Braugher tries to bend Samberg to his will.
Actually, deeply rubbish until Braugher shows up, after which it’s a bit more promising. I’ll hold out until episode two to see if it’ll continue to get better.
In the US: Monday, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: Acquired by the Universal Channel
Ichabod Crane wakes up modern day Sleepy Hollow, where he must face the Headless Horseman again, in order to prevent the end of the world.
Absolute nonsense that doesn’t make a lick of sense, yet the show doesn’t care about that and it is surprisingly enjoyable. Definitely one to stick with.
Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending
Under The Dome
Well, that was absolute nonsense but not in a good way. The finale didn’t answer anything and it was fundamentally ridiculous. What’s more, there’s another season of it coming your way next year. Overstretched? Not at all. Oh wait. Yes, totally.
The Bridge (US)
A slightly modified version of the original ending that was faithful yet tinkered with it ever so slightly. But there’s another two episodes still to go. Huh.
Strike Back (Cinemax/Sky 1)
Eye-rollling, soft-core lesbo rubbish last week. This week, eye-rolling silliness of a different kind, but some excellent shootouts as always. Robson Green’s simulated 80s haircut was daft as a brush, though.
The Almighty Johnsons
Gosh. Did they really just do that? Brave if they have. A fun dig at Burn Gorman’s Hobbit role, too. I’m hoping that we’re not going to have a retread of the season one finale, though.
Here’s a show that really has no idea what it is. For its finale, it wasn’t sure if it was a comedy or a romance, perhaps even a drama. Very Aaron Sorkin, in other words, and in some ways quite lovely. On the whole, a better plotted, less ridiculous season, but one that lost out on the human side, with relationships downplayed as much as possible. And the less said about Maggie’s hair plot line, the better.
And thus we have a cliffhanger plucked from thin air that’s pretty much the same as the cliffhanger to the first season. Probably the first season that’s felt like a mis-step, with way too much attention paid to the Hessington Oil storyline and Louis now too ridiculous to take seriously. Still a good quality show, though.
“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?