Rachelle Lefevre and Kelsey Grammer in Proven Innocent
US TV

Review: Proven Innocent 1×1 (US: Fox; UK: Universal)

In the US: Fridays, 9pm, Fox
In the UK: Acquired by Universal. Will air in March

Watching Fox’s new legal drama, Proven Innocent, reminds me of how it’s possible to feel sorry for actors even when they’ve managed to bag the lead role in a TV series. Sure, they’re the star. But in this? Oh dear, I’m so sorry.

I’ve always quite liked Rachelle Lefevre and thought she’s deserved a better career than she’s had, ever since she was bumped from the US adaptation of Life on Mars in favour of Gretchen Mol in the reshoot. She joined Off The Map, the only Shondaland series to get canned after one season. She was Victoria in the first two Twilight movies but was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard in the third movie, Eclipse, just as the role got meaty. It’s only Under The Dome that’s really given her any success and that was a prevaricating lump of daftness at the best of times.

Kelsey Grammer, on the other hand, is a fabulous comedic actor who had huge success with two long-running comedies: Cheers and Frasier. Unfortunately, all his comedy series since Frasier – Partners, Hank, Back To You – have been truly awful. Boss and The Last Tycoon both demonstrated that he’s an amazing dramatic actor, too, but those shows got cancelled fast.

And with Proven Innocent, all I can do is feel sorry for the both of them – as well as Vincent Kartheiser (Angel, Das Boot, Mad Men), Laurie Holden (The Walking DeadThe Americans, The X-Files) and Riley Smith (Frequency) – as they endure some really quite pitifully poor material as they head towards yet another inevitable cancellation.

Continue reading “Review: Proven Innocent 1×1 (US: Fox; UK: Universal)”

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Impulse
Internet TV

Review: Impulse (season one) (YouTube Red)

In the UK: Available on YouTubeRed

Few people can have come out of cinemas having watched Jumper thinking “Gosh, I’d really love to see another movie set in this universe.” Indeed, so unmemorable a movie is it beyond its awfulness, you probably barely remember it and are probably already mixing it up mentally with the far superior Looper.

To refresh your memories, Jumper was the movie in which Hayden Christiansen turns out to have the ability to teleport. Unfortunately, there’s a secret society, whose number includes the stupidly haired Samuel L Jackson, dedicated to killing ‘jumpers’. Oh noes.

The film was something of a disaster and more or less killed off the career of director Doug Liman, which given he revolutionised spy cinema with The Bourne Identity shows you just what a rubbish movie it was.

Since then, Liman’s directing career has been a bit more low-profile and tethered to Tom Cruise’s whims, so Liman has done well as a producer on the likes of Suits instead.

So it’s something of a surprise that he’s attempting to resurrect his career with a return to the Jumper universe. It’s even more surprising that it’s actually really good.

Missi Pyle and Maddie Hasson in Impulse
Missi Pyle and Maddie Hasson in Impulse

Impulse

Impulse is based on the third of the Jumper novels by Steven Gould, but is as much of a departure from its raw material as Jumper was. It sees Maddie Hasson playing mardie teenage girl Henrietta (aka Henry) who’s moved to the small town of Weston in New York state with her single mum (Missi Pyle). Dad left years ago and now commitment-phobe Pyle moves from guy to guy looking for ‘the one’ who might be good to both her and Hasson. She’s found a possible keeper – widower Matt Gordon – who has his own teenage daughter (Sarah Desjardins) and all would be fine, were it not for Hasson’s extreme mardiness and the fact she’s starting to have fits that doctors are finding hard to diagnose.

Hasson hooks up with local sporting hero Tanner Stine, but when things start moving too quickly for her, she asks him to stop… but he won’t, causing her to fit again. However, this time her fit somehow crushes the truck they’re in, paralysing Stine and instantly transporting Hasson back to her bedroom, along with bits of the truck. What’s going on? What will happen to Hasson? What will happen to Stine? And how will Hasson’s new ability evolve?

Continue reading “Review: Impulse (season one) (YouTube Red)”