Monday, May 26, 2008

The Square-Eyed Couch Potato: May 2008

Contenders...ready! Gladiators....ready! Viewers....ready! Yes "Gladiators" (Sky One) is back, and as I previously mentioned on this blog, I am very excited about this indeed. And even after all these years, it still has most of the old magic, even if we still have to get to know the new batch of Gladiators before we decide if they are a match for Wolf, Jet, etc. (Oblivion obviously thinks he's the new Wolf) and there is just something about Atlas (pictured above) even though I'm not usually attracted to muscle-men...! Anyway it's all enjoyable, entertaining panto fun, although it's a bit more low-budget than it used to be.

Excellent documentary series are hard to come by these days on terrestrial TV, but "Russia - A Journey" (BBC2) presented by Jonathan Dimbleby is a slightly more highbrow take on the Michael Palin travelogues of recent years, but has managed to provide several thought-provoking, hard-hitting moments in its three episodes so far - for example, last night focused chillingly on the prison which held a number of political prisoners in the 1970s and 1980s.

In a total contrast I'm back watching "I'd Do Anything" (BBC-1) although my view remains the same, this talent search lacks the sparkle of the Maria/Joseph series of 2006/2007. Jessie, Samantha and Jodie will contest next week's final: initially we supported Jessie, although we now feel she's too young for the part of Nancy. I can't see the appeal of Lloyd Webber favourite Samantha, and we think that Jodie would be the most appropriate choice for Nancy - or are they looking for someone younger/more glamorous?

As I was off on holiday I missed the last episode of "Army Wives" (Living TV) - thank goodness for episode guides! - anyway the good news is that there will be a second series starting on US TV in June, and hopefully we should have it next year. It was lightweight and soapy, but a nice change from all the usual action/sci-fi/paranormal/forensic TV dramas.

I've been going on and on for years about how wonderful and underrated "Boston Legal" (Living TV) is, and even into its fourth season this funny, well-acted (and often surreal) law drama which manages to make many subtle political points through its sharp scriptwriting. The only thing that annoys me is that Crane, Poole and Schmidt never lose a case!
I haven't been following season two of "Heroes" (BBC2) - which may come as a surprise, as I loved season one so much. I can't explain why...I did watch the first episode and thought it was ok. Obviously not ok enough to go back for subsequent episodes...!


Bob Andelman said...

You might enjoy this Mr. Media podcast interview with Katherine Fugate, creator of Lifetime TV's hit series "Army Wives." She talks about Season Two, working with Kim Delaney and Catherine Bell, being a writer on "Xena," and life with her aunt, Barbara Eden ("I Dream of Jeannie").

EuropeCrazy said...

Thanks for the link - I'll certainly check that out, looks very interesting. Looking forward to Season Two.

Thanks again :)