Let's Get Physical
US TV

Review: AP Bio (US: NBC) and Let’s Get Physical (US: Pop)

I don’t honestly have a huge amount to say about the following two shows, so since they’re derivative US comedies that aren’t that funny, I thought I’d stick them together and create a whole review. How’s that for innovation?

Let's Get Physical

Let’s Get Physical (US: Pop)

Short story

Basically Dodgeball with a hint of Blades of Glory but with aerobics instead of dodgeball or ice skating. Or jokes.

Longer story

Matt Jones (Breaking Bad) is a former teenage aerobics star who screwed up and ended up going to seed and becoming a Wedding Singer. Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend (Nip/Tuck‘s AnnaLynne McCord) ended up marrying his arch-rival Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley).

His tyrannical father dies, but stipulates in his will that for Jones to inherit the $8m coming to him, he has to beat McCord and Diamantopoulos at an aerobics competition or they’ll get it instead. So Jones is forced to recruit his mother (Jane Seymour – yes, that one) and anyone else who’ll dance with him, including criminals, to take on his former rivals… and get back into shape.

Notes

Diamantopoulos is good again as a total alpha dick and it’s nice to see Seymour in a starring role again. But if you’ve seen Dodgeball, you’ll have seen all the good jokes done before and much better by Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, and honestly, jokes about Jones being a bit unfit don’t come anywhere close to being as funny as people having balls and wrenches thrown in their faces.

AP Bio

A.P. Bio (US: NBC)

Short story

Failed Harvard philosophy professor (Glenn Howerton) loses his job and ends up as a teacher at a High School. However, instead of teaching his brainy class about advanced biology, he uses them to get back at his arch-rival (PhoneShop‘s Tom Bennett).

Longer story

While CBS spends its time iterating formats until it gets them right, NBC seems to be working on ways to take good formats and make them slightly worse. However, while Great News was still a very good show, if not quite 30 Rock great, AP Bio is a pretty poor version of Community, with Howerton taking on Joel McHale’s role of the smart cynical high-flyer who doesn’t give a f*ck about anyone else and ends up slumming it in the minor educational leagues.

The first episode is all about Howerton, with minimal attempts to give anyone else anything to do –even Happy!‘s Patton Oswald just gets to walk on, act frustrated, then walk out again. Howerton’s just a bitter, narcissistic loser, though, rather than a source of wit, which means most of the few gags that work are those given to his arch-rival Bennett, although Howerton tasking his class to reverse-Catfish Bennett did earn a bit of a chuckle.

Still, despite Howerton’s insistence that they’re not going to learn anything from him and it won’t be uplifting and Breakfast Clubby for anyone, how long do you reckon it’ll be before that changes?

Here’s a trailer, and if you want to see for yourself the show’s averageness in full, you can watch the whole first episode afterwards.

Strike Back: Retribution
TV reviews

What have you been watching? Including Strike Back: Retribution and Spider-Man: Homecoming

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching. TMINE recommends has all the reviews of all the TV shows TMINE has ever recommended, but for a complete list of TMINE’s reviews of (good, bad and insipid) TV shows and movies, there’s the definitive TV Reviews A-Z and Film Reviews A-Z

We’re now entering mid-mid-season in the US, that time when a number of shows have their November finales and a new set of somewhat lesser shows get ushered onto the scene to fill the airwaves. It beats alternating new episodes with re-runs I guess, but it does mean I had to endure S.W.A.T. (US: CBS) this week. Young Sheldon (US: CBS) has also made its return – but more on that later – and there are more to come now the likes of Will & Grace have bowed out.

Elsewhere, I reviewed Babylon Berlin (Germany: Sky 1; UK: Sky Atlantic) and the whole of Stranger Things 2 (Netflix), but there are a few new shows floating around the airwaves that I’ll be looking at later in the week. CBC in Canada has decided to staple The Murdoch Mysteries onto Miss Fisher’s Mysteries to give us (you guessed it) the ubiquitous Lauren Lee Smith in The Frankie Drake Mysteries, so I’ll be letting you know what I think of that in the next couple of days. Sperm-crimes drama Sisters (Australia: Ten) has somehow been slipping by me over the past couple of weeks, so I’ll try to play catch-up with that, assuming it’s any good.

After the jump, then, the latest episodes of the regulars: The Brave, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Great News, Marvel’s Inhumans, Mr Robot, Professor T, Star Trek: Discovery, Travelers, Will & Grace and Young Sheldon. 

I’ll also be casting my eye over one new show, Strike Back: Retribution, as well as a movie: Spider-man: Homecoming. See you in a mo.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Strike Back: Retribution and Spider-Man: Homecoming”

Blade Runner 2049
TV reviews

What have you been watching? Including The Guest Book, SMILF and Blade Runner 2049

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching. TMINE recommends has all the reviews of all the TV shows TMINE has ever recommended, but for a complete list of TMINE’s reviews of (good, bad and insipid) TV shows and movies, there’s the definitive TV Reviews A-Z and Film Reviews A-Z

It’s been a quieter week than last week, so there haven’t been as many new shows to watch as before. Mario Van Peebles’s southern BuffySuperstition (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix), I’ve already reviewed and I’ve passed a third-episode verdict on Matt Nix’s ‘The X-Men universe without The X-Men’ show The Gifted (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK).

But that doesn’t mean this week’s WHYBW is going to be an empty affair. For starters, I forgot to review Blade Runner 2049 last week. Oops.

But there’s been one new show I haven’t yet covered, The Guest Book (US: TBS), which comes from the pen of Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl), and there’s a forthcoming show, SMILF (US: Showtime; UK: Sky Atlantic), that I’ll be previewing, too.

I’ll also be running through the latest episodes of the regulars: The Brave, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Great News, Marvel’s Inhumans, Mr Robot, My Myself and I, Professor T, SEAL Team, Star Trek: Discovery, Travelers, and Will & Grace. At least one of these is for the chop – can you guess which one?

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including The Guest Book, SMILF and Blade Runner 2049”

ABC's The Mayor
US TV

Preview: The Mayor 1×1 (US: ABC)

In the US: Tuesdays, 9.30/8.30c, ABC. Starts October 3

For much of the past year, there’s been an ongoing race to see which TV show will be the undoubted first of ‘the Trump era’. Did The Good Fight get there first with its inclusion of the Trump inauguration, alt-right characters and people being discriminated against for voting Trump? Arguably not, as it wasn’t really about Trump.

How about any of the legion of forthcoming military shows due on US screens within the month? Are they going to claim the title by arguing that they speak to conservative concerns?

If they do, they’ll be too late because we now have The Mayor. On the face of it, it’s an unlikely winner, given it’s about a small-time Californian rapper (Search Party‘s Brandon Micheal Hall) hoping to hit the big time. However, Hall decides to boost his career by entering his city’s mayoral elections. His ignorance of policy shines through at debates, much to the disgust of his opponent’s totally clued in and competent manager (Glee‘s Lea Michele).

But his appeal to ‘the common man’ nevertheless means that when election day rolls round, he actually wins the contest he had no intention of winning and has to become mayor.

“Did the Russians hack the voting machines?” asks his best friend and campaign manager.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. The Mayor is ‘Trump Show: The First’.

Continue reading “Preview: The Mayor 1×1 (US: ABC)”

The Good Doctor
US TV

Preview: The Good Doctor (US: ABC; UK: Sky Living)

In the US: Mondays, 10/9c, ABC. Starts September 25
In the UK: Acquired by Sky Living to air in Autumn

Back in 2014, I made a confident prediction:

I’m confidently predicting synesthesia as the TV Aspergers for 2015. All the shows will be doing it soon – you’ll see.

I wasn’t 100% on the money, but synesthesia did pop up in a few shows and CBS did try a synesthesia pilot back in 2016.

However, my unspoken assumption was that TV was so over Aspergers. It was done with it. It had been in everything already, so now was the time to find something newer and groovier for TV drama to work with.

Oops. My bad. Here we are, at the start of the 2017-2018 US TV season, and we have ABC(US)’s The Good Doctor, which is centred on an Aspie. Yep, following all the lovely racial and sexual diversity work ABC’s been successfully glopping out onto people’s screens for the past few years, it’s now the turn of us ‘disableds’ for a bit of special treatment. It’s nice but it does feel a bit 2013 all the same.

Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel) is the central Aspie of the piece. He’s just starting out at a prestigious hospital as a surgical resident. So far, so uncontroversial.

However, forget 2013 – it’s almost like the past 10 years haven’t happened for The Good Doctor, because even though Abed’s been making movies on NBC’s Community and Ben Affleck rolling-pinned his way into the special forces in The Accountant, ABC isn’t quite sure if Aspies can hold down a job…

Continue reading “Preview: The Good Doctor (US: ABC; UK: Sky Living)”