What have you been watching this week (w/e July 16)

Been a bit too busy to do any reviews over the last couple of days, so I’m doing a few third-episode verdicts – Rookie Blue and Scoundrels – and some new shows – The Glades and Rizzoli & Isles – in abbreviated form.

  • Burn Notice: Pretty much a nothing episode. I only watched it this morning and I can barely remember what happened. Lots of nice explosions though.
  • The Gates: Enjoyable, but what’s Paul Blackthorne putting on an American accent, when all the other vampires are English – and so is he? Weird. But not a lot really happened, although the revelations about you-know-who were interesting – what’s up there?
  • The Glades: Saints preserve us. A cop show about a maverick detective who plays by his own rules. True, it’s all set in the Everglades and this is more of a feelgood show, but it’s unoriginal and makes Memphis Beat almost stimulating by comparison.
  • The IT Crowd: Bizarre but funny – as always
  • Leverage: Reasonable enough. Nothing remarkable.
  • Memphis Beat: Gave up on it on the grounds of it being incredibly, incredibly dull.
  • Rev: Still enjoying it, but it’s not as funny as when it started, veering more towards “interesting thoughts about modern Christianity”. Still worth watching.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: Is Angie Harmon contracted to only appear in things that are basically Women’s Murder Club? It’s like a cross between Sex and the City and Silence of the Lambs, if that doesn’t blow your mind – it’s certainly blown the writers’ minds, because one-minute it’ll be dark and horrible, with people getting nails hammered through their hands, the next Rizzoli will be having problems with her mom and adopting a dog, and Isles will be brain-dumping bits of the encyclopaedia on anyone who’ll listen, while parading in Prada next to her tortoise. The mood of the show changes almost every scene and sometimes within scene, it’s so schizophrenic. It might well settle down, since this is based on a couple of books, but it does show promise and it has some brains hidden away as well.
  • Rookie Blue: Becoming increasingly fluffier, with just a hint of silly, but not bad. Not the first thing I’d cue up to watch, though. It’s just been picked up for a second season, but you’re not missing anything if you haven’t started watching it, beyond Missy Perygrym.
  • Scoundrels: Oddly schizophrenic (although not as schizophrenic as Rizzoli & Isles), when it tries to be comedic, it’s actually quite fun, but when it tries to be edgy, it just fails horribly. So close your eyes and ears whenever they try to be dramatic and you could have fun watching this.
  • Southland: Not quite as impressed by subsequent episodes as I was the first. There’s some good stuff going on, but it’s not as edgy as that first ep. I do like the fact that everyone swears in it, but it’s all bleeped out though – that’s nifty.

But what have you been watching?

As always, no spoilers unless you’re going to use the <spoiler> </spoiler> tags, please. If you’ve reviewed something on your blog, you can put a link to it here rather than repeat yourself (although too many links and you might get killed by the spam filter).

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What have you been watching this week (w/e July 9)

Fourth of July weekend seems to have knackered most of America’s normal TV output – even stuff that airs during the week since loads of people have gone on vacation so ratings tend to be low anyway – so not much to watch. However…

  • Britain’s Next Top Model: Can you really believe that Elle Macpherson is 47? No, me neither.
  • Caerdydd: I’ve been patiently saving all of the last series of Caerdydd on my Sky+ box to watch in one go. So what happens this week? I cue them up and discover that the vast majority are nothing but a blue screen and those that aren’t didn’t get the English subtitles saved with them – and were all from the previous series anyway. S4C is too backward to release them on DVD so all I’ll say is DAMN YOU RUPERT MURDOCH!
  • The IT Crowd: The Countdown episode. Cracking.
  • Memphis Beat: Watched the second half of episode two and practically fell asleep. At least Jason Lee has something approaching a love interest now, but more or less every line of dialogue is designed to say “You’re in the south now. They’re a different breed here. They just like to talk slow and drink lemonade”. Not sure I’m caffeinated enough to watch episode three yet.
  • Persons Unknown: Bit of a treading water episode in terms of revealing things, although it’s good to know that the guys in charge of The Village are perfectly happy to kill people if necessary. The weird seems to have been dialled down a bit, though, which is a slight retrograde step since that was one of the best bits about it.
  • Rev: Less comedic than the first episode, but good to see them tackling quite a difficult subject – the differences in style between old school CoE and evangelicals. Nice to see the Archdeacon doing something Christian for once, too, but I found the handling of Colin’s (? the mental one anyway) sexual harassment just a little bit suspect, with the Rev’s attitude towards whether something bad had happened to the girl seemingly coloured by whether she was really “an innocent” or not. Might have been good to have got Colin to apologise to her at least.
  • Royal Pains: Part two of the Cuba storyline was fun enough, and still managed to be relatively even-handed about Cuba, which was nice. The Anastasia Griffith storyline was interesting, too, and I find myself siding with her rather than Divia for some reason.
  • Southland: Watched the first episode and was very impressed. Dark, realistic, gritty. The first post-Wire police drama that can withstand the comparisons. You should watch it too – More4, Thursdays, 10pm. Still on 4oD.

But what have you been watching?

As always, no spoilers unless you’re going to use the <spoiler> </spoiler> tags, please. If you’ve reviewed something on your blog, you can put a link to it here rather than repeat yourself (although too many links and you might get killed by the spam filter).

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What have you been watching this week (w/e July 2)

It’s Friday so it must be time for “What have Toby and I been watching this week?” I’ve caught up with quite a bit of tele, but still a few things to watch, so bear with me: Southland started on More4 this week, so I’ve got to watch that; Rookie Blue‘s second episode aired last night; and I’ve a couple of documentaries to watch, too. But I did see:

  • Burn Notice: Last week’s bank episode was actually pretty good and I enjoyed it a lot. This week’s “heroin dealers” one was a little bit unconvincing, as is Navi Rawat off Numb3rs. Honestly, we need a bit more of a change of formula than the addition of Jesse to make the show as interesting as it was when it started.
  • The Gates: This week, it was werewolf week, where we got to find out a bit more about werewolf society, which proved interesting. We also learnt there are succubuses in the Gates! It’s proving to be quite fun, with basically the same issues everyone has, projected on the vampires, etc, but with some obvious twists. I’m definitely enjoying it so far, and the detective lead is proving that you can be both bland and intriguing at the same time.
  • Hot in Cleveland: Episode 2 was so bad, I turned off after five minutes, not having laughed once. Oddly, I’m sure Betty White said in an interview on The Daily Show recently that she wouldn’t do drug jokes. So how come every single line she gets in this is a drugs joke?
  • The IT Crowd: As funny as ever. Need I say more?
  • Leverage: Richard Chamberlain turned up for the first of this week’s double-header, which was quite an enjoyable piece of fun, full of Avengers and other references. The second was a tad drearier and the reveal (Nathan had used hypnosis) was downright stupid. Also surprised by Elliot’s variable fighting skills – he’s having problems with just one bloke at a time now.
  • Memphis Beat: About halfway through the second episode now and it’s proving about as dynamic as Heartbeat still. And how much hair dye is Jason Lee wearing? That’s is the most even black hair colour this side of Wayne Newton.
  • 100 Questions: I’ve negligently been forgetting to update on this one, even though I’ve been sticking with it. Episode four was a bit poor, but episode five was actually very good – a flashback episode to how Wayne turned up on the scene. Episode six was less amusing and my God the main cast has some dreadful actors (I’ll be charitable and assume it’s the presence of a studio audience making the cast give theatrical performances), but the Wayne-Charlotte non-romance continued pleasingly. But it’s all over now. No more episodes. Wonder what Sophie Winkleman will do now.
  • Persons Unknown: It’s very strange how claustrophobic the lack of answers, the general atmosphere, the constant cameras, et al are making me. I could definitely do a few more answers now, mind, purely through slight boredom – you’re stuck in a ghost town, there’s no escape, I get it. Still, there are signs at the end of the episode that there will be answers next week – and glad to see my guess at the mole was correct. Interesting statement about “the process“, too. What can it all mean?
  • Royal Pains: A depiction of Cuba by American TV that’s quite even handed and doesn’t make you cringe? How remarkable. Clearly they’d been watching Michael Moore films to get an idea of the island’s healthcare system, too. Anastasia Griffith was engaging as Hank’s new rival, although she appears to have stopped eating food since Trauma.
  • Scoundrels: Is working best when it tries to be funny and uplifting, fails hopelessly when it tries to be edgy, with David James Elliott failing particularly on this score. Carlos Bernard appears to think he’s in a sitcom now, and there are very few surprises about anything – you can pretty much guess every plot development as soon as the lead in begins. Still Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers) was it, which is always a good thing, Virginia Madsen’s keeping things together, and Leven Rambin and Patrick John Flueger are both worth watching.

But what have you been watching?

As always, no spoilers unless you’re going to use the <spoiler> </spoiler> tags, please. If you’ve reviewed something on your blog, you can put a link to it here rather than repeat yourself (although too many links and you might get killed by the spam filter).

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Wednesday’s news after all

Doctor Who

Film

British TV

  • Funny or Die UK to close [registration required]
  • David Jason going cockney again for tele movie
  • ITV considering remakes of Sapphire and Steel, Charlie’s Angels
  • Rab C Nesbitt gets a 10th series  

US TV

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Tuesday’s Yes, again, Minister news

Film

  • Two Alien prequels on the way
  • New The Ring sequel to ditch original characters, go 3D

British TV

US TV