US TV

Review: Help Me Help You

Help Me Help You

In the US: Tuesdays, 9.30/8.30c, ABC

In the UK: Anything with Ted Danson in appears on Paramount Comedy. You know that.

Help Me Help You is what is known in the trade as a “smart comedy” – that is, you won’t laugh very much, but you’ll be thinking “Oh, that’s wry and accurate”. It’s also what is known as a “Ted Danson vehicle”. That is, it stars Ted Danson with shockingly white hair.

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US TV

Review: Brothers and Sisters

Brothers and Sisters

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, ABC

In the UK:
Channel 4 has the rights. No air date yet.

I’m in two minds about this one. On the one hand, we have a show about three brothers and two sisters who are all ludicrously rich. I hated almost all of them immediately. It was also pretty slow-moving and uninvolving. On the other hand, the show has a pretty stellar cast (Calista Flockhart, Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Balthazar Getty, Ron Rifkin, Tom Skerritt) and it has a moderately interesting set-up for the rest of the series, so maybe it’ll be good.

I actually can’t be arsed to review the rest of it, though. It’s like trying to review a Hallmark card. Everyone has problems, although since they’re the kind of problems no one can really relate to (“How dare you become a radio host and talk about your feelings about the Iraq war!” “He may have embezzled money from the pension fund!”, etc), I’m not sure how much I can empathise with anyone. There are the usual second thoughts about marriage proposals, etc, etc. Pretty generic, pretty turgid, but with an incredible cast.

Toby at Inner Toob has a better review than this. There be spoilers, though. Maybe I’ll be able to get into it by the third episode, but I’m going to need caffeine in big quantities.

US TV

Review: Ghost Whisperer 2.1

Ghost Whisperer

In the US: Fridays, 8pm ET/PT, CBS

In the UK: Season one on E4 right now and on ABC1 in January. Hopefully, they’ll both be sane enough not to pick up season two.

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: 1

Major new characters: 2

Format change percentage: 10%

Well that was painful. I’ve seen some pretty rubbish shows in my time, but Ghost Whisperer makes Night Man and Viper look like Six Feet Under. It’s as though someone thought Charmed was just a little too edgy and a little too simple and they really needed something more complex and more touchy-feely.

Jennifer “I’d love to eat some food but I just can’t force it down” Hewitt can see and speak with dead people. She runs a shop. She tries to help the dead people. Occasionally there’ll be bad dead people. That’s it. It’s Medium without the good dialogue or the fun. It’s Charmed with only one sister.

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US TV

Review: The Office 3.1

The Office US

In the US: Thursdays, 8.30pm/7.30pm Central, NBC

In the UK:
Season 2 is on ITV2, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Season three after it.

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of:
0, I think

Major new characters:
None as far as I can see

Format change percentage:
No idea. 10%, I’d guess.

Episodes seen previously:
1

I have a disclaimer to make. Three actually. I’m not talking about the $1 million NBC pays me every year to write favourable reviews about its shows on this blog: that’s something best kept secret.

No, my disclaimers are these:

  1. I’ve only seen one episode of the US version of The Office
  2. I didn’t like it
  3. I didn’t like the UK original very much

The third sounds like heresy, I know, but I don’t like cringe comedy that much. I’ll hand in my nationality papers on the way out.

But here’s the third season of the US version of The Office and I feel like reviewing it anyway. And you know what, I kind of liked it – more than the UK version anyway.

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US TV

Review: My Name is Earl 2.1

My Name is Earl

In the US: Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC

In the UK: Repeats of the first season begin on Channel 4, 6th October. Second season planned for the “near future”

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: 0-2 (we’ll see in the next episode)

Major new characters: 0

Format change percentage: 50%

Bad deeds performed: Many

My Name is Earl is nice, isn’t it? A regular joe decides to make up for all the bad things he’s done and in return, good things happen to him, thanks to karma. Now Earl is back, he still has his list of bad deeds to tick off, but times they are a-changing.

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