Canadian TV

Review: Carter 1×1 (Canada: Bravo; UK: Alibi)

In Canada: Tuesdays, 8pm ET, Bravo
In the UK: Acquired by Alibi. Will start Wednesday, June 13, 9pm

Is there a difference between the police investigations you see on TV and the ones in real-life? The obvious answer is “Yes, significantly,” and over the years, many TV shows have been meta enough to address this thorny problem. Usually, it’s a line like “This isn’t a TV show – it takes five weeks to get the results back from the lab in real-life!” but other shows have gone deeper.

Castle is the most recent popular recent example, giving us a crime novelist ostensibly shadowing a police detective for research, so he can learn how crimes are investigated in real-life. However, YouTube Red’s Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television* did similarly, with the eponymous Hansen playing a version of himself who teams up with a cop to solve crimes, while TV cameras follow him around for his own TV show. Meanwhile, both Pulaski and The World of Eddie Weary went one step further, adding to the meta to instead give us a TV show within a TV show, showing us both the actor playing a cop and then applying his skills to real life.

In all these shows, even if the civilian has been able to help out the cop, it’s been despite their fictional knowledge, rather than because of it, as they learn that the real-world doesn’t work by the same rules. However, Carter wants you to think that reality is just a TV script waiting to be filmed.

It stars renowned showkiller Jerry O’Connell (Sliders, CarpoolersThe Defenders) as an actor famous for his portrayal of a TV cop in Call Carter. However, after getting into a fight with the man who slept with his wife, he bows out from his world-famous role and returns to his home town in disgrace. There he hooks up with his childhood friends (Kristian Bruun and Sydney Poitier) when a friend of his is charged with murder and he tries to help cop Poitier to solve the crime.

Carter on AXN

The Carter administration

Given this is coming to Alibi in the UK, you won’t be shocked to hear that this is all genteel, formulaic stuff. Carter moves around from traditional crime-solving scene to crime-solving scene asking the sorts of questions you expect from TV crime shows, prefacing them with lengthy spiels about how these are the sorts of questions you expect in TV crime shows and how his vast knowledge of the genre means he’ll be able to solve the crime. And hey presto! He’s right. Every time.

Will the medical examiner – after a bit of protestation about rules, regulations and how if there had been anything unusual she’d have put it in the report – mention a useful clue if O’Connell presses her a bit because ‘this is the point where I ask, “Was there anything unusual?” and they say, “Well, there was one thing…”‘? Of course she will. Will there be a last-minute, final-act twist that O’Connell flags up as a ‘last-minute, final-act twist’? Of course there will.

This isn’t really satire – it’s ‘have your cake and eat it’ television that sticks rigorously to a nearly exhausted formula and hopes that if you point out the formula at every turn, you can somehow breathe new life into it and get away with it, rather than expose its flaws. O’Connell’s character is the only one with any real depth or even personality traits, with Kristian Bruun and Sydney Poitier there because O’Connell needs someone to talk to, rather than because they offer anything themselves. Carter‘s not even especially insightful in spelling out how police reality should differ from fiction before eating its cake; it simply knows how scripts are plotted.

Carter on AXN

Not an unstoppable sex machine

That said, Carter isn’t without a few surprises up its sleeve. O’Connell’s Carter isn’t the low-brained actor you might expect – he’s got a photographic memory and is actually quite smart, remembering medical concepts about stress-induced amnesia from a script and applying that to solve the crime. He and his pals also grew up together investigating crimes and they actually became famous for catching a serial killer, so it’s not as though he’s coming to this fresh.

There’s also the occasional flash of amusing dialogue, such as when Poitier talks about reality not having a ‘third act revelation’ and O’Connell points out that one-hour crime dramas are based around a five-act structure.

But honestly, beyond the amazing discovery that O’Connell can still sometimes be an enjoyable and even likeable screen presence – what happened after Sliders? – there’s so little to Carter than no one but the most avid crime drama fan will get much from this. Don’t get Carter if you can avoid it.

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The CW’s upfronts 2018-9 – a rundown and clips from the new shows – Charmed and All American

All through ‘upfronts’ week, TMINE will be revealing the new shows that are going to be hitting US TV screens from September 2018

Rounding off the last of the major networks in this year’s Upfronts week is The CW. Surprising it may be to UK viewers, but until now The CW hasn’t had a seven-day a week schedule, handing over duties at the weekend to other broadcasters, and even sub-contracting on occasion – which led to the likes of Valentine.

Now, though, it;s planning to extend to a full week of programming, so unsurprisingly, they’ve not cancelled even their clunkiest of clunkers and are instead giving them at least another year, while simultaneously commissioning a batch of new shows to make up the days. These include Vampire Diaries spin-off Legacies, blind detective show In the Dark and Roswell remake Roswell, New Mexico, but The CW hasn’t gone any actual footage of them to show us, so instead, we’re going to focus on the two for which there are trailers.

Full synopses, complete with TMINE’s hottest of hot takes, after the jump.

Continue reading “The CW’s upfronts 2018-9 – a rundown and clips from the new shows – Charmed and All American”

L'art du crime (The Art of Crime)

When’s that show you mentioned starting, TMINE? Including L’art du crime

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

With the LA screenings just around the corner in the US and UKTV probably having spent its entire budget for the year last week, it’s not unexpected that this week’s been a bit light on acquisitions. Only Syfy (US)’s Krypton has been picked up by E4, although there are no details as to when it’ll air, yet.

Otherwise, that’s it, although I should mention that if you have TV5, France 2’s L’art du crime (The Art of Crime) started a couple of weeks ago and airs every Friday afternoon.

Antoine Verlay, an unlikeable police officer but a good investigator, and Florence Chassage, a renowned yet neurotic art historian, are forced to work together on art trafficking. Antoine knows nothing about art, yet Florence frequently has conversations in her head with the late great dead painters…! To solve the crimes, the poorly matched duo must decipher the paintings to get to know the personality of the artist, and understand the motivations of the thief. A funny and exciting clash of cultures and crime capers ensue…

Cast: Nicolas Gob (Antoine Verlay), Éléonore Bernheim (Florence Chassagne), Philippe Duclos (Pierre Chassagne), Benjamin Egner (Pardo), Stéphan Wojtowicz (Bertrand), Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (Charles Varane), Emmanuel Noblet (Hugo Prieur), Farida Rahouadj (the psychologist), Miou-Miou (Catherine Dutilleul), Venantino Venantini (Léonard de Vinci)

Thanks to Fans of European and World TV Dramas for that.


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