Thursday, 20 May 2010

90210 - "The girl who cried rape"? Seriously, 90210? We're going there for a cliffhanger? I could happily go the rest of my days without watching another rape storyline in anything at all.
The Good Wife - I really enjoyed this series despite initial misgivings that stemmed from two basic no-nos: (1) it's a legal drama, which is the laziest form of tv show in that it doesn't require any effort on the part of the writing staff to engineer scenes of dramatic tension since they're built into the format, and (2) every last thing about it looks like it was tailor-made to be shown on C5, a channel that was far more entertaining when you couldn't quite watch it because of the lousy picture and even more lousy programming, although it did give us documentaries in prime time slots, an endless parade of Canadian dramas, the films of Shannon Tweed, and matinee showings of Goonies and Monster Squad - all of which were entertaining in their own way. Her Off ER was a bit anemic in the title role, but the rest of the cast pulled their weight in that usual soap-operatic where they just sort of fill the screen and deliver lines without you actually noticing they're not great actors and half of them are at least ten years too young for the parts they're playing. A decent enough time-killer.
CSI: New York - it starts with one character injured in a chasey bit, then turns into Rear Window (a premise now utterly incapable of being taken seriously through overuse in everything from the Simpsons to Kim Possible), before turning into "oh no Claire Forlani!" ("Chelsea University" - really? A trained CSI teaches in an art college?) It less exists as a mish-mash of styles than it does a failure to stick to any basic plot or theme, the entire thing hinging on a massive coincidence (a scientist is making nerve gas in front of an open window that faces the apartment of one of the regular cast) and not holding together from one moment to the next, but God bless CSI's reactionary, anti-intellectual, right-wing hatemongering socks but a character only goes and says "that is unAmerican" in relation to someone utilising freedom of speech and the character and the writer mean every word. It's like a window to another planet.
V - bloody awful. The sad thing is that I was actually nearly enjoying this for what it was at one point, but then it goes and becomes too derivative and unconvincing, not least because of the utterly terrible background compositing shots that look in places like the live cast have been plopped into the PS2 version of Lego Star Wars - the FX work is shocking in places. Where the original had space-nazis complete with armbands and space-swastikas who looked like a branded and believable force, the new aliens are a bunch of stiffs who live in a giant iPod and it's never quite explained why the internet has nothing to say about them or why people are generally in favor of a benevolent invasion, or why the ships have no internal cameras to see all this stuff happening with infiltrators or how an undercover FBI agent can be seen in public with a man who is literally the most wanted person on the face of the Earth. At best, V is a competent example of the 'secret invasion' genre that the Sci-Fi Channel churned out by the dozen at one time, but little more than that and never exceptional.

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