US TV

Review: ‘Til Death

'Til Death

In the US: Fox, Thursdays 8/7c
In the UK: Not yet picked up. Paramount or Five will probably grab it though

Watching Everybody Loves Raymond is mandatory in our house. It’s not my choice. My wife feels sorry for Ray’s wife. So there you go.

In the deep misery that is the average episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, I find Brad Garrett to be the only beacon of light to keep me going.

ELR is over now, and Garrett has moved on to ‘Til Death, an average new comedy from Fox, this time featuring two wives with rubbish husbands.

I get the feeling a new mandatory show is looming on the horizon.

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US TV

Review: Standoff

Standoff

In the US: Tuesdays 9/8c, Fox

In the UK: Sky One from November

I’ve been busy this week, so I haven’t had time to review things as quickly as I’d have liked. Sorry. So we’re cramming a few reviews in today, starting with Standoff, which aired on Tuesday.

Not that there’s a load of good reasons to rush this one out, because despite the presence of the always wonderful Ron Livingston (Sex and the City, Office Space) and Gina Torres at the top of the cast list, this show is a bit of a dud.

Standoff, you see, has a double meaning. As well as being a drama about hostage negotiators, it’s also about negotiation within relationships. Oh, as they say, dear.

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US TV

Review: House 3.1

House

In the US: Third season, Tuesdays, Fox, 8/7c

In the UK: Repeats on Hallmark/Five at the moment. Third season January (probably)

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: 0

Major new characters: 0

Format change percentage: 10%

He’s back. God bless Fox and their decision to bring all their shows back in August and September. Gregory House is back with us again. The regulars are all back, too. But there is one big change from last year. Can you tell what it is yet?

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Third-episode verdict: Vanished

I’m so glad I invented this third-episode verdict thing. More often than I care to count, it’s proved its worth.

Take Vanished. Episode one? Silly. Episode two? Dull but not quite as silly.

Episode three? Ho, ho, ho. So magnificently stupid, it’s now passed through the other side of stupid and entered brilliant. Actually the first half was dire, but then the second half was just great. You know it’s silly. You know you’ve just passed Pluto on the way out of reality to somewhere far stranger, but you want to know more!

I won’t spoil it for UK viewers, since the episodes are going to air in October on Five US, but suffice it to say, if you’re familiar with Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’, you’ll know precisely who the bad guys are (I reckon). Fan-bloody-tastic. I was wondering when someone was going to use them.

Plus, our friendly visitor from Inner Toob has confirmed recently what I’d been hearing, too: we should hang around until episode 10 at least, because that’s when we’re all in for a big surprise. If what I think happens actually happens, Josh Berman and the rest of the production crew will deserve a great big tip of the hat for their ballsiness. Plus I was beginning to wonder why they’d chosen Gale Harold as the lead…

UPDATE: Vanished has recently had the seal of approval from Fox, which has commissioned another three episodes. Well, scripts for episodes anyway.