#telosvision: the good, the bad and the ok

greetings

in the month that we took off to do secret important things, the calendar changed from ‘summer’ to ‘autumn’ which can only mean two things: 1) slippery leaves, bonfires, conkers, mists and mellow fruitfulness and 2) there is a whole new lineup of TV to enjoy.

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before we get stuck into the meat and two veg of the new ones, i thought i’d do a small round up of what i’ve been watching over the last few months, just so that we’re all on the same page:

Louie: the first season of Louis CK’s new sitcom premiered on American FX over the summer and it went down a treat in the penthouse. despite a couple of fairly unwelcome up-pops from Ricky Gervais – who once again proved his immense range by playing a tactless, annoying, English nob-end – here at RQT we reckon it was something of a triumph. look out for it on DVD fo’ shizzle. the good

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This Is England ’86: this has already had a mention, but i thought i’d put it in here anyway. like two Crunch Corners it was rough in some places and sweet in others, but overall truly a treat in four parts. the good

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Sherlock: Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s twenty-first centuried mini-series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman was something of a mixed bag. given the hype and the liberally apportioned praise that it received, i was left a little underwhelmed. the main problem with it was the fact that it couldn’t be both realistic and set in a world where Sherlock Holmes never existed and his literary legacy never changed the shape of the public imagination. you just can’t do modern investigative fiction without the legacy of Holmes and Watson. from where i was sitting it was fine, but ultimately a bit meh. the ok

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Entourage: despite being only ten episodes, season 7 was a welcome return to form for the guys and gals of LA town. why they’re only making six episodes for the next season i’ve no idea. we got cameos from Nick Cassavetes, John Stamos, Jessica Simpson, Queen Latifah, Stan Lee, Mike Tyson, Aaron Sorkin, Randall Wallace, Bob Saget, Mark Cuban, Christina Aguilera and Eminem, as well as season long performances from Sasha Grey and, most excitingly, the insanely attractive Dania Ramirez. A sad tone to the season overall. lots of destruction, but hints that things may come right for Drama and Turtle, if not for Ari and Vince. E was as boring as ever. the good

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Treme: i enjoyed Generation Kill, but wasn’t blown away by it, so i wasn’t sure what i was going to make of this new offering from David Simon. i’m glad to say, however, that it was in every way as good as i would hope a series about the music, culture, death and rebirth of New Orleans would be. the deep spirit of NOLA was alive and well in the fabric of every episode and the script, acting and music were just superb. it’s too early to watch it again yet, but hopefully soon it won’t be, so that i can. if The Wire is about power, fear and greed then Treme is about hope. if you didn’t catch it on HBO, find it and watch it asap. the good

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so … now we’re up to speed, let’s have a think about some of the newer stuff that’s around:

House: so, they finally did it. and now it’s all about the boring making it work stuff. after the dramatic end to season 6, the run-of-the-mill-ness of season 7 is something of a comedown, but at least we have a new title sequence. i like House, but i honestly don’t think this season is going to grip me – i’ll be dipping in and out. the good

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Boardwalk Empire: one of HBO’s new season big hitters comes courtesy of Martin Scorsese and Mark Wahlberg and sees Steve ‘Shut the fuck up Donny’ Buscemi, Michael ‘I just look like a young Leo DiCaprio’ Pitt and Kelly Macdonald, among others, inhabit the murky, but sharply dressed world of Prohibition era Atlantic City. while i’ve not yet been blown away, i think it might have some legs. the good

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The Whole Truth: while it’s great to see the lovely Maura Tierney back on the tellybox after having successfully battled with breast cancer, i fear that ABC’s new courtroom drama is probably not going to end up making it into her ‘keepers’ box. it pits Tierney’s prosecution attorney against a defence lawyer played by the cop/normally-smart brother from Numb3rs in a ‘the way we want to beat each other in court reflects our obvious attraction for each other’ style cliche fest. however, the worst thing by far about the first episode was the way that it couldn’t resist using the last 5 seconds to remove all doubt about whether the convicted teacher really did kill his student and then carve chinese symbols on her dead body with a crucifix. why can’t the American public deal with even an ounce of ambiguity? the bad

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Spooks: yeah, the world’s most overworked intelligence officers are back. Ros is still dead, so a new woman has joined the team in the usual no interview, no questions asked kind of way. she looks like Kathy who used to be on EastEnders. Lucas is really called John, apparently, although we don’t yet know why. Harry just won’t have that inevitable heart attack, even after Ruth spurned his advances at Ros’s funeral. funerals eh, they give me the horn too. I guess that time when her husband got all shot is still playing on her mind. i still miss Malcolm, the new geek is terrible. the good

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Mad Men: some people are beginning to murmur that they don’t like season 4. i do like it. it’s fun to see everyone’s lives fall apart. Roger is a cockend and deserves to be hated. he will likely die soon leaving his annoying wife-doll to sling her stupid hook. the new Peggy is nicely spunky and it’s good to see Don’s veneer starting to crack. i still don’t like the new offices though, and i miss Sal. the good

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Pointless: yes, they made a new series of the dr’s and my favourite afternoon quiz show, and we are straight back in the groove of TiVoing it and watching it at teatime. Alexander Armstrong is a really good host and the banter between him and the answers-man Richard is verging towards classic. the fact that they zhooshed the format and changed the way several of the rounds work has detracted a bit from the pure experience of the first series, but we still like it. things do, however, get depressing when they have really stupid people on – so far in the new series there have been people who’ve thought that Hampshire, Orlando, Newcastle and Mexico were all US States. a preponderance of really camp men on this series too (obviously not a judgement, just an observation). the good

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Genius: another programme that’s had its format all messed around. the new way of doing things is frankly crapola. the whole point of genius was that it took itself too seriously, but now it’s like it’s trying to be too ironic about how it used to be so serious. this new approach pretty much makes everything a joke and is basically dull. the bad

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The Rob Brydon Show: “i can do impressions of Ronnie Corbett and Tom Jones – would you like to hear them?” we’re just all going to have to get used to that and that’s that. i basically like Rob, but he can be a bit samey. with good guests he’ll be fine though. to be honest, i’m surprised he has any time to film it the amount of adverts he does the voice for. already better than fawning, overpaid, boring, comic loving Wossy. Four Poofs and A Piano are missed though. the ok

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The Inbetweeners: why do people like this? i watched the first two episodes when it started and thought it was proper bollocks and that it would disappear gracefully, but instead it’s not, and now everyone seems to think they need to pretend to like it. i actually began thinking that maybe i was the one who was wrong, so i watched another two episodes of the new series. i am not wrong. it’s terrible. for a start, these are clearly 27 year old men pretending to be at school with zero apparent irony – it’s The History Boys all over again. then there’s the main one’s stupid grinning, squinting face and sniffy, posh voice. arrrrrggh, he’s so awful, i hate him. then there’s all the really bad jokes. in the four episodes i’ve watched, i haven’t even smiled, let alone laughed – not even once. the bad

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  • Comments (5)
  1. I’ve been watching loads of stuff this past few weeks, only a few coinciding with your picks. I’ll probably be doing a run down on my site at some point now that I’ve got a few minutes. However, not with any of the shows here, so I’ll tell you what I thought about them as I’m pretty bored:

    Louie was a little hit and miss. Some really funny parts – the ‘like packing a pipe’ line, for example – but other pretty inane bits. He’s a far better stand-up comic than actor, and the stand-up parts of the TV show were the best parts in general. You’re spot on with that utter

    Sherlock: I thought it was probably better than ‘ok’. Some good moments, some clearly unholmsian things though – like missing out on the taxi driver. Wouldn’t happen.

    Entourage is, well, Entourage. I love it. It’s starting to age and doesn’t have too much life left in it, but I’m still pretty hyped every time I see it.

    House: I thought season six episode one was the best house ever. However, I think season seven started pretty well, too. I had a bit of grit in my eye at some points; I am a bit of a cry baby, though. Cuddy would deffo get some MILF action. /misogyny

    Boardwalk Empire has left me a little underwhelmed. I’m not sure if it’s the great expectation I had, or whether it’s just not that good yet. Still, we’re only a few episodes in. There’s time yet, I’m sure they’re just laying the ground work.

    The Whole Truth: Didn’t even last an episode. Outlaw and The Defenders are two new law shows that are better. Outlaw is the best out of the three new shows.

    Inbetweeners: As somebody who found it hilarious to shout out of the window of a car ‘oi, workies’, I can’t believe you didn’t find them shouting ‘bus wankers’ out of a window even remotely funny.

    • Cheers for your thoughts, I look forward to hearing about what you’ve been watching.

      As for the “workies” thing, all I can say is that perhaps the 17 year old me would have liked The Inbetweeners.

    • Drew
    • October 8th, 2010

    Hope that you caught “The Song of Lunch” tonight.
    TV highlight of the season…?

    • Indeed. It was a beautiful thing, yet depressing. I have something of a thing for Emma T anyway.

    • Drew
    • October 9th, 2010

    Me too. She’s still got it

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