What have you been watching this fortnight (w/e April 9)

The people – or person, at least – have spoken and “What…?” has moved back to Friday (at least for now – let me know if you preferred Mondays). That means two weeks of TV to hazily recall, if you can so that others with access to iPlayer, Hulu, iTunes, etc, can play catch up. Here’s what I watched

  • Ashes to Ashes: Since series two was apparently better than series one, I decided to give this another go. Rather than just being bad, this episode was merely dull. I didn’t care what was going on, I didn’t care about the characters, who all annoyed the hell out of me. Gene Hunt does at least seem to have recovered his Geneisms, but Alex Drake, rather than annoying me by being a combination of thick and up herself as per series one, annoyed me by being wetter than Kristen Stewart. I think I actually preferred series one Alex – at least she was interesting. Still, the tie-ins with Life on Mars will probably make me watch the rest of the series – or at least the finale.
  • Chuck: Lovely if slightly low-key way to end the season, although the order of additional episodes means that season four’s story arc has been brought forward i guess. Didn’t make a whole bucket load of sense but c’est la vie, and I did miss Captain Awesome. However, Paris? That was supposed to be Paris. Which exact hotel in Paris is taller than the Eiffel Tower and can look down on it, can I just ask? And why does it essentially look like LA but with an Eiffel Tower stuck in the middle of it?
  • Cougar Town: Stuff happened with Sheryl Crowe. The usual cliches about women needing a man to be multiple simultaneously impossible things were trotted out, to not much effect (or realism). But at least Christa Miller and Dan Byrd have been remembered and are starting to get to do some things again.
  • Jonathan Creek: Absolutely arse. Sheridan Smith’s character was suddenly thick. Of the two puzzles, the first was pointless and utterly, utterly implausible, while the second was both guessable and obscenely implausible. Paul McGann was good though, and it was a nice touch to make Jonathan’s explanations actually make things worse for the hapless victim.
  • Lost: Always love a Desmond episode and even last week’s Sun and Jin episode was tolerable. But by God we’re getting answers. Look at that would you.
  • Life Unexpected: So, last week’s episode was dreadful, lifted only by a bit of gumption at the end. But in order for a magic reset button to be pushed, a whole load of characters had to do backflips to get out of the natural progression of their characters the previous week. This week, it was nice to see that bloke from thirtysomething/Brimstone back on TV, but a shame that Alex Breckenridge wasn’t around. It’s just all over the place though so I’m sure next week, Lux will be bratty and irritating.
  • The Minoans: More4 have very secretly – and without a proper repeat during the week – been re-running a load of Bettany Hughes’ documentaries under the title “Bettany Hughes’ Ancient World”, so I missed her one on Alexandria (and 4oD is a pain in the arse). They’re mostly stuff she’s done before, rather than new stuff (I think this week’s was from 2008, since there’s a US DVD on the same subject), but she’s always worth watching, so tune in if you can – Wednesdays 9pm. It’s Helen of Troy next week, which is a fab one.
  • Parenthood: Not seen this week’s, but last week’s was reasonable enough, even if Peter Krause’s “I wish I had a real son” routine was irksome.
  • Rome: I’m on to series two now and I’m not enjoying it nearly as much. The absence of Ciaran Hinds’ Caesar is palpable, and the disappearance of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern elements of the first series has robbed the show of some of its fun, just as it’s become very dark indeed. But I’m going to soldier on.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: It’s really hard to know what to say about Spartacus on a weekly basis. Each episode moves the plot along, each episode usually has a lot of violence and nudity. The acting’s usually a bit iffy, apart from John Hannah who chews the scenery up, and the accents all over the place. I’m still not feeling much interest in any of the characters, but it’s enjoyable now, I’ll say that for it, you can see more or less where it’s going, and there have been some clever intrigues. Yes, I will keep watching.
  • Stargate Universe: It’s back! To no one’s great surprise, Rush is back, but it’s all been handled very well. The aliens that cropped up here were genuinely alien – CGI, weird-looking, not speaking English, etc – for which I’m duly grateful. And in a lot of ways, although the characterisation is a little sketchy still, I’m finding this more enjoyable than BSG. You really get a sense of just how fucked they are that you never really got in BSG. There’s a real risk of mutiny, the food’s lousy, they haven’t got enough power to do anything, nothing works and everywhere they go is inhospitable. Loving it.
  • Supernatural: In the middle of this week’s episode, but last week’s “heaven sent” episode did answer – as well as raise – a whole load of questions. I did like the implication that the brothers had died several times in the previous seasons, but the angels had saved them and sent them back down to Earth again without their knowing it. That does make sense.
  • 10 Things I Hate About You: Two episodes in, and it’s so far, so dull. Absolutely none of the verve of the original movie is in this, and we’re having to get by on the charisma of the various actors involved. Watchable, but not stimulating.
  • 30 Rock: Alec Baldwin, funny. That’s all I have to say.
  • 24: If you do decide to get this season on boxset, might I suggest skipping to episode 12 and watching from there, because it’s all been really good – rather than mind-numbingly dull – since then. A great three hours of TV over the last two weeks, thanks to the double-ep on Monday. Loved the downbeat ending with President Hassan getting killed on time delay this week and the fact that guy off The Unit survived. More than a few stupid moments, of course – who on Earth, driving that kind of sports car in Manhattan, is going to leave his keys in the ignition while he goes to get a newspaper? But what’s going to happen to Starbuck next week? And, indeed, who will her boss turn out to be, given we have another eight episodes or so left now?

But what did you watch? Anybody been watching Swedish Wallander on BBC4? I keep stacking these up to watch, but never get round to actually watching them.

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 did you watch on TV last week (w/e March 28)

I’ve given up the ghost on The Bridge and Sons of Tucson. They’re not happening. But I did watch the following on TV last week.

  • Chuck: Bit rubbish actually, although it did have a few good moments, none of which unfortunately were Morgan. Oh, by the way – Buy More DIE DIE DIE.
  • Clash of the Gods: History Channel documentary on (predominantly) the Greek gods that was broadcast in August but which I’ve only just got round to watching. Turned off after 15 minutes because although it was mostly right, turfing out complete kack like “the first idea of Zeus we get in writing comes from Hesiod” is going to make me seriously doubt any factual information the show is trying to impart.
  • House: An enjoyable mystery to solve, but the Taub stuff was where it was at. Interesting to see House developing some kind of conscience.
  • Justified: Nice, but nowhere near as good as the first episode, which given they’re not using an Elmore Leonard short story anymore shouldn’t be too surprising, I guess. Wry, but without the decent character interaction between the goodies that the show started with.
  • Lost: That was pretty groovy. Those were, like, answers. Wow. Most of the episode was in Spanish. Wow. And wasn’t Nestor C just great?
  • Life Unexpected: Yey, Alexandra Breckenridge is back as a regular by the looks of this. For the first half of this, I was thinking, “God, this is some terrible soap opera style writing.” But by the end, everyone’s character trajectories were making me go, “Ah! Isn’t that sweet?” Yes, even Lux and Bug. What I will say though is there’s almost no point analysing this show. It’s just a bunch of characters who go in various directions with no real message to impart other than “being a parent is hard. Being a kid is hard. But everyone just tries to do the best they can.” Loved Baez getting together with Alex B, too – that seems the most balanced set of relationships. It does make me wonder where the show is going to go next, other than to break everything up again.
  • Parenthood: Quite a nice ep for Erika Christensen’s character, but the show is still lacking proper female interaction and indeed seems to have the message that “women only cause problems, even for other women.”
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Has mysteriously turned into an adult programme (in the true sense of the word), albeit it one with a potty mouth and a loving of soft-core sex and hardcore violence (that would be the other sense of adult, then). It’s actually a reasonable show now I’ve suspended my brain.
  • Supernatural: A so-so episode by Supernatural‘s usually high standards. Semi-poignant in places, but lacking real teeth.
  • 24: Well, it’s been cancelled now. Told you they left it too late. All the same, a cracking episode last week, with an episode-long fire fight. Yes, still as dumb as 24 planks, right down to the CTU agents who can’t do what they’re told so mess everything up. But great to see Katee Sackoff’s character finally proving that she hasn’t been a complete waste of our time, and to make it look like there was a reason for her stupidity for the last 12 eps.

But what did you watch?

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 ge

What did you watch on TV last week (w/e March 21)

What I still had to watch last week: The Bridge, Sons of Tucson, Women, Archer, Modern Family, CSI and Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
What I still have to watch this week: The Bridge, Sons of Tucson, Women, CSI and Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

So I’m going to go out on a limb and say unless I have a very long train journey to and from a stag weekend on Friday and Sunday – oh wait – I’m probably not going to be watching most of those at all. But I definitely won’t be watching CSI: sorry, time to give up on it, since I’m just not feeling it any more.

But here’s what I definitely did watch.

  • Archer: Man is that show starting to dive off the deep end into the deviant pool. Brilliantly funny though.
  • Chuck: Wow they really are shaking things up this season (which is now by far my favourite already). Great to have some Casey backstory, some lovely Ellie and Awesome moments, great to see Sarah and Casey actually doing something for a change and some terrifically dark moments as well. What can the ending mean? Well, I’d know if I’d watched last night’s yet. Sad that Robert Patrick got to do more action scenes this episode than in the whole of The Unit though.
  • Community: Brilliant ending, very funny throughout. People should watch this show.
  • Lost: Interesting ‘alternative Sawyer’ and great to see Charlotte back. But a bit of a filler.
  • Life Unexpected: Yey, Alexandra Breckenridge is back and the whole show is now playing musical beds. More adult than previous weeks and better for it.
  • Rome: Still good – watch it if you haven’t already.
  • Scrubs: As a final episode (which it almost certainly was), this was a great big let down. It had some funny moments, but both it and the series itself hasn’t really caught fire. Loved Denise though. She should get her own show.
  • 30 Rock: Martin Sheen is doing well as the Englishman (with the Welsh accent) who uses some very bizarre Englishisms. But it really is playing to the media types now, isn’t it? Who really knew what was going on with the whole NBC/’Kabletown’ deal unless they’ve been following the trade papers? Funny end joke about the TV porn channel for women.
  • 24: WTF? Can I just ask that again? WTF? What kind of insane bunch of execs are running 24 these days? Who waits until episode 12 until they decide “Hey, maybe we should make this show interesting?” So for the last two weeks, we’ve finally had the high-octane, all-action Jack Bauer power hour we’ve all been waiting for all season. Is it too little too late? Probably. But great to see Action Chloe and Action Renee as well.

But what did you watch?

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 ge

Tuesday’s “the Hoff’s on TV. No, not that Hoff” news

Doctor Who

Film

British TV

US TV

  • Pilot casting, including Julie Benz on No Ordinary Family and Alexandra Breckenridge on Traffic Light
  • Dustin Hoffman to star in Luck – his first TV show in 40 years
  • TV Land orders 10 episodes of Hot in Cleveland
  • American Idol‘s Katharine McPhee to star in The Pink House
  • Matt Frewer to guest on Supernatural [spoilers]

What have you been watching this week (w/e February 12)

I haven’t watched this week’s episodes of Archer, 30 Rock, Community, or Modern Family yet, but:

  • Being Human: Mitchell’s stuff very good. Loved it, including the flashback to Herrick, but George’s storyline was loopy and what’s up with Annie? That’s not a storyline at all. I’m worried they can’t really think of anything for her now.
  • House: If you don’t love Cuddy already, you will by the end of this Cuddy-centric episode.
  • Chuck: Stupid in all sorts of ways, particularly the romances and the end scene, but reasonably diverting and I’m liking the continuing darkness that Chuck has gained this season.
  • Burn Notice: Excellent episode. Glad to see they’ve steered away from “client of the week” stuff in favour of proper spy stuff. Tim Matheson was epic and the twists were very clever. Still not convinced by Chris Vance’s accent or that the Chris Vance plot is in fact going anywhere decent.
  • Supernatural: The producers really have mastered the art of writing an episode so that it looks like a trivial, funny one, then twisting it into something far more important and interesting. A few duff moments, very gruesome, but really enjoyed it.
  • Leverage: Very enjoyable and the team chemistry seemed more like it used to be. Glad to see they’ve now jumped onto a story arc with good old Mark Sheppard again.
  • Archer: Still pretty funny, but losing it a little.
  • 24: Finally, some action! Didn’t last long though, but at least we have Jack front and centre this week.
  • Lost: Although you could see a lot of things that are actually poised to become answers being laid down, this felt a lot like a filler episode. The flash-sideways, complete with cameo by Ethan, was enjoyable, as was the sudden return of feral Claire at the end. But if they’re going to start raising more questions now, they’re going to need to start answering them soon, because this is answers season, okay? We don’t need any more mysteries. We have quite enough already.
  • Newswipe: Every week in every way, Newswipe is becoming more and more like Screenwipe, which is good, since when Brooker’s trying to educate us about the news, he’s only okay to good – when he’s pastiching, he’s great. Brilliant work by Adam Curtis as well.
  • Being Erica: Finally, after two months of having season two sit in the backlog, we started watching some more of season two, starting with episode five, which was dreadful. Fortunately, episode six – in which we went to 2019 and discovered Kai was from the future – was a whole lot better and the proper arrival of Dr Frank as a character for Dr Tom to interact with has definitely made the show more interesting. Even the publishing storylines are getting more interesting.
  • Life Unexpected: Talking of Being Erica, how odd. We appear to be on famous female guest star rotation duty here, since although Alex Breckenridge wasn’t in this week, Erin Karpluk has mysteriously added herself to the cast list as Cate and Ryan’s radio producer. As with 24‘s Nazneen Contractor (who starred in The Border), the rule appears to be “star in your own show in Canada, get a bit part in the US” but Karpluk managed to shine in her semi-Erica role all the same. The episode as a whole though was a lot closer in tone to the enjoyable pilot, although as someone recently pointed out, despite Lux being integral to the whole scenario, the show would be a whole lot better without her. She’s just so whiny and bitchy.

But what did you watch?

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 ge