Battlestar Galactica: Season three video

Doctor Who‘s all very nice and all, but at its heart, it’s a show aimed mainly at kids. Happily enough, adults can also get some fun from it, but if you want hard-core, adult sci-fi (which is very different from adult hardcore sci-fi, of course), you have to go to the States.

Battlestar Galactica is still the show to beat in terms of, well, everything really, if you want decent plotlines, decent effects, decent characters, etc. Season three would normally be starting right now, but the US SciFi channel has delayed it until October to make sure it’s all really well done and ready for when it finally sees the light of day.

However, there’s a trailer available on YouTube now (with a slight audio sync problem) to give you an idea of what season three’s going to be like.

Incidentally, Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 both began new seasons on Friday. I haven’t reviewed them because, to be honest, it’s the same old, same old there – they keep plodding along with nothing desperately bad or desperately good to take away from it all. Fun, but we’re in the 13th mile of a marathon, really.

One thing though. Both shows, together with Battlestar Galactica, have the kind of effects that Doctor Who can only dream of. So the next time you hear RTD going on about how fabulous The Mill is, show him an ep of Stargate Atlantis. Hell, even these mocked up season three titles for BSG should give him pause for thought:

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James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader

James Earl Jones has done plenty of movies in his long and illustrious career. However, he’s probably most famous as the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies.

I wonder what it would be like if someone were to take all of Darth Vader’s scenes from Star Wars and dub them over with lines from some of JEJ’s other, not-so-good movies. Hmmm….

US TV

Preview: Our Thirties

Our Thirties

In the US: ABC, not yet scheduled (although TV.com reckons 1st September)

In the UK: Not yet acquired

Last sitcom of the day, Our Thirties (aka Our 30’s) is another Friends ‘homage’. Its simple premise is that people in their 30s have already done interesting things and have plenty of back-story, so a sitcom about a group of 30-year-olds will therefore be interesting. Plus kids are all on the Internet these days, leaving only people in their 30s watching tele.

It’s not a theory that holds much water. But Our 30’s does have one saving grace – Peter Serafinowicz. Yes, the voice of Darth Maul and star of Look Around You, Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and numerous other fabulous British comedies has made his way across the Atlantic to appear in a US sitcom. And doesn’t he do well?

Continue reading “Preview: Our Thirties”

US TV

Preview: The Angriest Man in Suburbia

The Angriest Man in Suburbia

In the US: CBS, but no air date yet

In the UK: Not yet acquired

Ah, after The Class, we have another CBS sitcom. This one isn’t quite as interesting. In fact, it’s altogether tepid. So tepid, in fact, that CBS haven’t yet decided if they want to air it (it’ll probably be a mid-season replacement if one of the other shows commits suicide), and no one in the UK has acquired it yet.

The basic set-up is that a house-husband who stays at home and looks after the kids while his (literally) high-flying wife goes off and wins the bread is frustrated by the fundamental injustices of life: women who hold up queues by talking on their mobile phones for too long; being called “Mister Mum”. You know, really serious stuff.

So angry is he that he starts to hallucinate his car’s satnav system giving him advice on how to stress-down. That’s how angry he is. Ooh.

And that’s more or less it. Slightly dorky husband; smarter, infinitely patient wife who puts up with his gaucheness – you’ve seen it all before in Everyone Loves Raymond and King of Queens, to name but two.

If this ever sees the light of day, expect either significant changes or a run of three shows at most. But don’t waste precious eyeball time on it, whatever you do.

US TV

Preview: The Class

In the US: Monday, 8.30pm, CBS. Starting in the fall.
In the UK: Not yet acquired.

Time for some sitcoms I think. First up, The Class.

Watching The Class, you’ll get an eerie sense of Friends déjà vu. If you look at the production credits, you’ll understand why.

The show’s set-up is relatively simple. A guy who wants to propose to his childhood sweetheart decides it might be nice to have a party with as many of their third-grade compatriots as he can gather together. So he tracks them down, invites them to the party and before you know it, a motley collection of 27-year-olds who all knew each other 20 years previously is assembled in the front room.

That’s pretty much the premise for the show: a minor school reunion that ends up with everyone staying in touch and becoming sort-of friends again. The hook is in how much they have (or haven’t) changed, what old romances might re-ignite and so on.

It’s actually pretty good. I laughed and most of the characters were at least intriguing and not utterly off-putting – always a good sign.

Most of the cast are unknowns, apart from another Joey-escapee, Andrea Anders, who’ll probably be one of the main focuses for the show. Most of them aren’t great, but given something less sit-comy to do, they may turn out good in later episodes.

As for the Friends déjà vu, it’s directed by Cheers-creator James Burrows, who did an awful lot of work on Friends as well. It’s also the work of David Crane, one of the co-creators of Friends. All in all, with the slight exception of The Loop, it’s actually the most promising US sitcom I’ve seen since, well, Friends.

Definitely one to watch should a UK channel pick it up. For more info, check the CBS web site.