Roseanne

Can one of the stronger sitcoms of the 80’s make it in the 2010’s? Yes, but also, very much no.

What’s The Show? Roseanne (Slight Return)

What’s It All About, JG? Well, ostensibly it’s about a working class family in the fictional town of Lanford, IL struggling to make ends meet and dealing with the family, loves, successes and failures of everyday life. That may not be what it’s remembered for now though… The revived Roseanne is part of the pattern of dragging old properties from the past and giving them another season years after the original bowed out, and everything from The X-Files to Will & Grace have been reanimated in the hopes of hitting that ratings magic again. The surprise is that Roseanne actually managed it, proving to be a big hit and getting a near-instant second season renewal. That’s all fallen by the wayside now, thanks to Ms. Barr’s ability – like the president she so admires – to be racist on Twitter, a move which got the show cancelled just as swiftly as it got its initial renewal (and, though it’s understandably and correctly not what people are focussing on, all credit to the network, ABC, for not fannying about and just canning the show straight up despite its success).

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Superstition

Spooky goings-on and more Mario van Peebles that any one series can contain.

What’s The Show? Superstition

What’s It All About, JG? Black Supernatural, essentially. But with about a tenth of the budget, and instead of having two hot boys fighting monsters, they have one hot boy fighting monsters, and also Mario van Peebles for some reason. Actually the reason is very clear if you watch the credits, because he seems to have done everything on this show, including writing, acting and directing. The show is set in a funeral home in Georgia because Georgia has lots of film subsidies that’s a spooky location, and every week something of a supernatural occult nature will turn up to threaten or engage the central family in some way. Also Peebles’s character, Isaac Hastings, is sort-of immortal and knows more than he’s letting on… But basically it’s just an excuse to dick about with ghosts and demons and the like on next-to-no money.

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Broadchurch

All that time in the West Country and not one reference to The Worzels? Colour me disappointed.

What’s The Show? Broadchurch

What’s It All About, JG? That nice David Tennant and Olivia Coleman off the telly get to have slow-moving crime adventures in a picturesque part of the West Country. There’s been a death in the village – the titular Broadchurch – and lots of famous or soon-to-be-famous character actors are in the frame for it, many of whom fans of Doctor Who will instantly recognise (putting Tennant and Coleman aside, there’s David Bradley, Eve Myles and Arthur Darvill, and naturally we now have to add Jodie Whittaker to that list, as well as the fact that Broadchurch’s creator, Chris Chibnall, is Doctor Who‘s latest showrunner). This means lots of tension, just about every inhabitant of the village having some possible motive and/or secret, and it all leads to a big reveal in the final episode of the first season. Can you guess who did it? (hint: no)

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The Terror (Season One)

Clumsy historical horror struggles for a reason to exist

What’s The Show?The Terror (Season One)

What’s It All About, JG? Other than testing the audience’s patience? Two 19th century British ships go looking for the Northwest passage, get trapped as the sea freezes around them, and find themselves stalked by…. something. Wooo-oooh! Tempers run high in the crew (just like Battlestar Galactica), theres’s tension on the lower decks (just like Battlestar Galactica), there’s unexpected deaths (just like Battlestar Galactica), there’s an alcoholic who’s doing a poor job of hiding his problem (just like Battlestar Galactica), there’s inexpensive CGI (just like Battlestar Galactica), there’s two authority figures butting heads (just like Battlestar Galactica)… Even the Inuit woman that gets taken on board could be swapped out for the tortured Six. So, 19th century Battlestar Galactica, basically, with a bit of Lost’s “is this going to go anywhere?”, but also catastrophically dull. So. Fucking. Dull.

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