TV rundown

February 21, 2009

I’ve been catching up on some TV.  Much on TV is adequate.  But it’s so very striking when something truly great comes along.  Here’s a rundown.

Dollhouse:  I was deeply underwhelmed by the first episode.  Haven’t seen the second yet.  Let’s just say if this didn’t have Joss Whedon’s name all over it, it would have been mocked up one side and down the other all over the internet.  As it stands, the verdict seems to be, “But it’s Joss Whedon…maybe it’ll get better.”

Lie to Me:  I’m watching this for Tim Roth.  I would watch Tim Roth in anything.  I know this, because I’ve seen Four Rooms, Gridlock’d, Hoodlum, and that terrible ninja musketeer movie.  The show itself is decent.  I’m enjoying the interpersonal relationships.  I’m not convinced they can carry the basic concept on for more than a season.  But hey, I get to watch Tim Roth every week. Oh, and part of the third episode was filmed at my college!

Being Human:  This is a BBC show I know about through my secret UK connections.  I’ve seen the first couple of episodes.  The premise:  a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost are sharing a flat in Bristol.  Which makes it, essentially, an urban fantasy version of “Three’s Company.”  With more blood. Some people will probably argue with this assessment.  But just look at it — Mitchell is Jack, Annie is Krissy, and George is Janet.  Instead of dealing with Jack’s latest wacky girlfriend, they have to deal with George shapeshifting in the living room and ripping up the house.  Hell, this sounds like something I’d come up with.

Battlestar Galactica:  I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of the new season.  I’m still furious with the show for losing all its internal consistency in the middle of the third season.  It simply doesn’t make sense anymore.

Life on Mars:  The American version.  They’re doing some interesting things.  The homage to 1973 is fun.  It’s still not as focused as the British version.  I need to stop comparing.

All of the above shows are adequate and watchable.  I’m just interested enough to see what happens next without being totally enthusiastic.

Then there’s The Middleman.

I’m totally late to the party on this one.  People (you know who you are) have been telling me to watch this for a long time now.  Well, I finally caught the first episode.  And OMG. Chock full of geekiness.  Smart, fast-paced, hilarious.  That opening scene, where she’s answering phones and a horrible lab accident is going behind the glass without her noticing?  That’s what I’m talking about.  “It’s bad apples like you that put J. Edgar Hoover in a dress.”  Oh yeah.  A show that mentions both Barry Allen and Wally West?  Sold!

After one episode of “Dollhouse,” I’m thinking, meh.  One episode of “Being Human,” I’m thinking, huh, could be good.  After one episode of “The Middleman” I’m bouncing off the ceiling and can’t wait to see the next.  That’s the difference between adequate and great.

21 Responses to “TV rundown”

  1. Anna Says:

    I caught the second ep of Dollhouse, I wasn’t sure what to think after the first ep, but like you I’m all for Joss. But the second was pretty interesting. They did some background history which was is also nice.

    BSG… *sigh* This last season has been a disappointment.

  2. Antonio Rich Says:

    WOW! There are other human beings in the world who watch and like The Middleman? I assumed, by my polite inquiries to friends, that I was the only one who had ever heard of it… Being Human(BBCAm) – is it a comedy? Gavin and Stacey(BBCAm) was my favorite comedy this year. Tip: Wonderfalls(fox)- was cancelled after 4 episodes and later fully released on dvd. PS – Ms. Charlaine Harris gives you a little plug on her website.

  3. Johnnie Says:

    This reminds me, I need to catch up on my TV shows. On the whole I’m right with you on your observations. Have you checked out The Mentalist or Eleventh Hour yet?

  4. Speaker Says:

    Hi! You linked to my page! (Sorta… not really) I was the lucky bastard who wrote the blogs on the ABC Family Middleman page. (Though, they already seem to have been taken down!!! :O)

    Anyway – glad you love Middleman! The full series DVD set with a graphic novel version of the final episode that wasn’t filmed will be released in tandem with SDCC ’09! I can’t wait!

    I loved the show before it was a show and was only in comic form and wish it was coming back.

    But at least we have the one season!

    PS – Matt Keeslar aka The Middleman might be in another second episode of a show you’re watching…

  5. Bree Says:

    The Middleman (aka Matt Kesslar) is in the second episode of Dollhouse. LOL It was…kind of funny. 😉

  6. Doruk Says:

    I have been watching Being Human, and enjoying it. However, just like many other stories out there, It feels like werewolves are getting the short end of the stick compared to vampires.

  7. The 2/13 episode of BSG answered a LOT of questions, which was awesome (admittedly, it was a rather info-dumpy episode, but we got some answers, so I didn’t care) and made a lot of sense in terms of what was happening with the final five and how they related to the rest of the cylons. Not everything’s been answered (they’ve got four episodes left) but I was really happy with what I’ve got.

    But this last episode, 2/20? Was a total piece of shit and didn’t belong as the fifth episode away from the end. I say that being someone who’s stuck with the show from the start and not had too many complaints through-out the ride. Maybe it’ll prove to be some genius set up for the rest, but I doubt it. I think it was a wasted episode.

  8. Ann Says:

    Eh. I’m more a movie person; TV shows are too often thrown together. In case you haven’t seen it, a great Tim Roth movie is _The Legend of 1900_. It’s a tear-jerker.

  9. -V- Says:

    I was very pleased with last night’s episode of Dollhouse. I googled Being Human for BBC America and it looks like it won’t be out until later on this year. I look forward to seeing that one.
    My shows are now Dollhouse, Bones, NCIS, and waiting for Eureka to come back.

  10. carriev Says:

    I’m sorry to hear Middleman’s been cancelled. Then I think, _of course_ it has, it’s smart!

    Ann, I’ve seen _The Legend of 1900_, the opening sequence is unforgettable, but I hated the end. I really have seen just about every movie Roth has ever been in. One of these days I’ll tell the story of accidentally being on the set for one of his movies.

  11. carriev Says:

    Oh, and I don’t think Being Human is supposed to be a comedy, but it makes me laugh…

  12. Robert Z Says:

    Being Human is not playing over here on this side of the pond yet. BBC America just picked it up. I’ve seen the trailers and it looks like fun. If you like Being Human, may reconmend another british suprnatural show that just ended its first six episode series. Its called Demons and its about the last Van Helsing.

  13. Chris Says:

    Glad you finally caught THE MIDDLEMAN. Knew you’d like it. I can’t think of a show that’s ever just made me so darn…happy. I just enjoy every bit of it. And considering the year I was having, I really needed those Middleman Monday nights.

    I’m glad the DVDs are coming and will have the original comics soon but man, I’m going to miss that show for the rest of my life I think.

    And I so need to get an Eisenhower jacket…..

    Meanwhile, hit the bookstore today – Kitty finally got around to Raising Hell in my little neck of the woods so I’m set.

  14. Adam Lipkin Says:

    For what it’s worth, according to the latest Middleblog, there’s a chance of TV movies or somesuch coming if the DVD set does well, so there’s some hope!

    And Matt’s appearance on the second episode of Dollhouse was damned fun (and the episode itself was much, much better than the pilot).

  15. Adam Lipkin Says:

    Also, the Middleblog has wonderful lists of the assorted easter eggs in every episode.

  16. Adam. Says:

    Carefull there Robert. You almost gave Demons a ringing endorsement.

    You could get peoples hopes up.

    Though I’ll admit that Mr Glenister’s accent is hilarious.

  17. Brandy P Says:

    ****Possible BSG SPOILERS*****

    On the topic of BSG, since they brought Ellen back she’s been almost nice, and loving. I was thinking hey, all those maternal feelings are coming back to her since she got her memory back. Then she found out that Caprica was prenant with Ty’s baby and she turned straight back into the cold vindictive bitch she always was. I was admittedly sad, though I don’t know why I’m surprised.

  18. Jacqie Says:

    Hey, Carrie, we’re looking forward to seeing you in Fort Fun next week!

    Just a quick ick about BSG. I thought that perhaps for the last season something cool might happen, and plot has actually advanced on and off. Not last episode. It was the worst soap-opera schlock I’ve seen in quite a while. BSG- the Telenovela!

  19. carriev Says:

    I haven’t seen that ep. yet, but boy have I been hearing about it…

  20. Helen Says:

    Being Human is F’ing Brilliant.

  21. Kirsten Says:

    Since I originally learned of this show through you, I figured I would point out that the BBC America channel is now starting to show it.

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