US TV

Review: Supernatural 2.1

Supernatural

In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, The CW

In the UK: ITV2 is currently showing season 1. No word on season 2.

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: 1

Major new characters: 1 (maybe)

Format change percentage: 25%

Surprisingly bleak moments: Several

The pretty boy ghosthunters are back. After chasing after the demon that killed their mum, while simultaneously looking for their dad (who’s looking for the demon that killed their mum) for a whole season, they finally caught up with both only for it all to go a bit pear-shaped.

When last we left them, they were all involved in a nasty car wreck that looked a tad fatal. Have they all survived the summer break?

Not exactly…

Continue reading “Review: Supernatural 2.1”

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TV reviews

The US season finales are upon us: Smallville, Supernatural, Prison Break, The West Wing

A good finale to a TV series can keep you watching even the biggest rubbish imaginable. They can be exciting, tense and a whole load of other things.

Stress, of course, is a major health hazard. Therefore, so that UK viewers can brace themselves to an appropriate degree, I’ll be giving near-spoiler free guides to just how tense and exciting each of the major US TV shows’ finales were, starting today. US TV shows don’t end all at once: they’re spread over a period of three weeks or so, so there’ll be another couple of updates to come after this over the next week or so.

Chlark

Smallville

Pretty tense, but not quite as tense as previous seasons’. Some good moments, some irritating moments and one excellent moment. Yes, Chloe and Clark finally get to smooch. Ha, Lana! I’m expecting a typical Smallville memory-wipe next season, though, so the tension will be only temporary at best.

Tension factor: 7/10

Supernatural

Supernatural

The finale was a couple of weeks ago and was actually quite good. Bleak, nasty and with almost no hope for the “sexy supernatural ghosthunters”. Since it’s part of an ongoing plot, I’ve no idea how quickly things will revert to X-Files “monster of the week” or whether there’ll be a format change coming with the move of the show to The CW.

Tension factor: 8/10

They made the break

Prison Break

It’ll be no surprise for anyone to hear that the motley band of inmates manages to escape in the last episode. Or that it all goes a bit pear-shaped. But there are a good collection of other surprises and the ending is actually my one solitary recurring nightmare. Obviously, with them out of prison, there’s going to be a complete change of format in season two, so it’ll be worth tuning in to see what season two will be like “After the Prison Break”.

Tension factor: 9/10

The West Wing's finale

The West Wing

Since the show’s been cancelled, no tension at all here. The finale was written by John Wells, who’s been responsible for most of the worst episodes of the show of late. It had a couple of okay moments and a few resolutions of ongoing plot lines, but not many. A flat ending to a former favourite.

Disappointment factor: 8/10

In the coming guides: CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, House, Numb3rs, 24, Scrubs, Lost, The Unit (assuming it has a finale soon – they’re showing two episodes every Tuesday now)

Incidentally, in compiling this guide, I watched CSI: New York for the first time in ages because the episode on last week looked like it should have been the finale. But it wasn’t. Anyway, the show’s still dull, it turns out, but I’ll bite the bullet, take one for the team, and watch this week’s episode, too.

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The WB begins to regret its mistakes

Following the success of “Pretty Boy Ghosthunters” – sorry, Supernatural – The WB has decided it needs more hour-long shows about the supernatural.

What they really want is a show about vampires. Or even two shows: one about a vampire, and another about someone who kills vampires. You know, like Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Oh. Wait. They were both The WB shows and the network decided it didn’t want either of them, because it was going for a different demographic or something.

Well done, guys. Good bit of thinking there.

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Screening screeners: Prison Break, Supernatural, Global Frequency

Well, I’ve done my best to track down the new shows set to arrive on US screens this Fall (and UK screens some time in the year 2011, at current network velocities). And now I’ve watched them so you don’t have to. Here’s the ones I’ve tracked down so far:
Prison Break: Man gets himself arrested so he can help break out his death-row-incarcerated brother (the ever-excellent Dominic Purcell from John Doe). Like West Wing, the message is the Ivy League-educated will triumph over the plebs. Kind of interested to see how it goes and why the hero hasn’t been stabbed with a shank yet/turned into someone’s bitch. Fox should run it as a double bill with episodes of Oz.
Global Frequency: Not-very-secret global alliance of mobile phone-using experts unite at short notice to save the world. Always nice to see Michelle Forbes in anything, really, and while it starts reasonably badly, it has the potential to be, ironically enough, the 21st Century’s answer to Century 21’s Thunderbirds.
Supernatural: Two brothers hunt after supernatural things, looking for the ghost that killed their mum when they were younger. Ooh, an actual horror show. Not brilliant, with some hurried plot explanation and crumby dialogue, but it’s nice to have a show where the supernatural is just full of evil things trying to kill us all. I think it could be a credible alternative to LivingTV’s 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry.