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New US TV show casting

What did you watch last week? Including Ambassadors, You, Me and Them, and The Tunnel

It’s “What did you watch last week?, my chance to tell you what movies and TV 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 “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. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there’s Locate TV.

Elsewhere, you can find my third-episode verdict on The Tomorrow People. Still in the viewing queue are last night’s Serangoon Road and Homeland and Saturday’s Atlantis, which given I haven’t watched last week’s episode either is probably telling me something. NBC’s Dracula I hope to be reviewing either today or tomorrow – certainly before Thursday when it airs on Sky Living.

But I’ve tried some new shows:

Ambassadors (BBC2)
David Mitchell and Robert Webb of Peep Show et al are a UK ambassador and a member of his staff, working together to further UK interests by covering up Mitchell’s cock-ups and framing the French as best they can. Unfortunately, if it weren’t for the fact that Mitchell and Webb were in it, you wouldn’t know it was a comedy, it’s that unfunny. Okay, to be fair a couple of laughs were emitted while watching it, but they may have been reflex actions.

You, Me and Them (Gold)
Seemingly a contradiction in terms, UK Gold – the home of old tele – is making its first new sitcom. From the makers of (terminally unfunny show) Outnumbered, it sees Anthony Head (Buffy et al) in a relationship with the 26-years-younger and impressively English now Eve Myles (Torchwood). They’re happy together, but everyone from Myles’ extended family to Head’s ex-wife and friends has an opinion on their somewhat icky relationship. Will the relationship weather this family-based storm?

Despite the impressive cast (Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Rawle and Susie Blake are in there, too, as Head’s ex-wife and Myles’ parents respectively), this suffers the same problem as Ambassadors in not being funny, although here, everyone is doing their hardest to convince you that actually it is. A few good lines here and there, but you do have to be the kind of person who thinks even the mention of sex or simple bad parenting is comedy gold to find this remotely entertaining. And isn’t it weird when Anthony Head uses his real accent?

Shows I’m watching but not necessarily recommending
Agents of Shield (ABC/Channel 4)
Ooh, secrets are revealed! But they’re not that secret or incriminating! And no one cares! And are we going to get anything except lots of Extremis this season?

The Blacklist (NBC/Sky Living)
After last week’s stonking Manhunter tribute, this week we got a tiny Prison Break tribute, with Robert Knepper playing a man who’s good at escaping from prison, although what a shame about his limp arm. I think the plan now is to have every actor who’s ever played a famous villain face off against Spader in a series of tribute episodes, while Spader archly hams away. It’ll be fun to watch if that’s what they do. And maybe next week we’ll get some answers about what’s up with Megan Boone’s hubby?

The Tunnel (Sky Atlantic/Canal+)
The story progresses, with prostitution the apparent political motive for the villain in this version of The Bridge. Things on the English side of the story are once again far more interesting than on the French side, with the Brtis served well by Ben Richards’ ear for blokey English dialogue (“If he messes with my bitches…”, “Hey Tupac, this is South Kent not LA.”) and Stephen Dillane giving an outstanding performance as the English plod. If only the same could be said for new arrival Keeley Hawes… First episode review.

Recommended shows
 (The CW/Sky 1)
A veritable DC comics fest, with Tony Daniel’s Dollmaker arriving on the scene (you may have noticed a head nod in the name of the Dollmaker’s attorney), Black Canary getting her own non-super-powered scream and – oh my gods – the mention of none other than Ra’s Al Ghul himself. We may even have the beginnings of a Deathstroke origin story. But oh dear, everyone on the island’s been captured and locked up again! Tsk, tsk.

Elementary (CBS/Sky Living)
The A-story was more interesting as a notion – Holmes isn’t getting cases so looks for them and one seemingly minor incident becomes a full blown, major investigation – than as a crime. The B-story, however, was more interesting from the point of view of character development. The show’s really starting to need a new Moriarty, although I really liked the old one…

Modern Family (ABC/Sky 1)
Ooh, a new character, as well as the return of Nathan Lane. Finally, something to change the formula. One question: are the women and girls who aren’t Gloria going to get some storylines soon?

Serangoon Road (ABC1/HBO Asia)
A really exciting episode, pitting our hero (and heroine) against the black market, MI6 and others. Now officially on the recommended list.

“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?

Weekly Wonder Woman

Mini-reviews: DC Universe vs Masters of the Universe #2/Smallville #68

Not much by way of new canonical Wonder Woman last week. However, in alternative universes, there was another issue of Smallville: Season 11. Since this is a Super-strip, despite Supes and Wondy facing off against the god Hades himself – gods being Wondy’s forte – it was Supes who saved the day, demonstrating to Wondy why killing is always, always wrong… except at the end of major blockbuster movies, of course.

Superman won't kill, Wondy will

Supes goes flying

It has to be said, though, that as a god, this Hades was a bit rubbish, given that his response to being grabbed by Superman and flown into space wasn’t to kill him on the spot or turn him into an ant, but to grin and bear it. Oh well, at least Wondy and Steve were reunited at the end, which was quite cute. 

Wondy and Steve reunited

Next week, we find out what happens now Washington DC has been turned all rubbly.

DC Universe vs Masters of the Universe

The other alternative universe on display is in DC Universe vs Masters of the Universe, which sees the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe universe crossing over with the DC Universe. What a lot of universes.

It’s all been a bit weird so far, with everyone magical in both universes having heard of each other already but as legends. Apparently, John Constantine is pretty much a killing word over in Eternia. Blimey. And I remember him when he was having problems with a simple demon in Newcastle…

Anyway, it’s also been a bit biased towards the MotU side of things, with much of the two issues published devoted to Adam’s mum (who came from Earth originally, as readers of the MotU TV series writers’ bible will recall. Yes, I have read it. Sorry).

It has to be said, the DC characterisation is pretty weak. Superman stonked all over the place by Skeletor and the Justice League only looks a bit wide-eyed? Hmm.

Wondy is impressed by Skeletor

The entire Justice League bewitched by Skeletor?

The Justice League bewitched

And then, of course, Superman gets killed by He-Man. I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more…

He-Man kills Superman

On the whole, it’s not great, particularly on the DC side, so probably one more for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe fans. However, I’m not sure that it’s actually going to please anyone.

A Charmed reboot, and more Atlantis, Peaky Blinders, Dads and Drop Dead Diva,



US TV show casting

New US TV shows

  • CBS rebooting Charmed

New US TV show casting

  • Carrie Fisher to guest on Bravo’s A Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce + other casting