2008 Edgies - Most Attractive Woman

Category: By Rev/Views
I was going to go with sexiest woman, but it's not really the case. Instead of strictly the hottest women on TV it's the women I thought were most desirable, personally. Not to say these women aren't hot. They are, but it's not just the hotness of them that's made my decision. Maybe this is more of a reveal about my taste in women, but heck. Who cares?

OK, enough poor excuses. Here we go!

1. Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesley in The Office

Jenna's character Pam is just lovely, there's no two ways about it. I've been rooting since the start for her and Jim to get together, but I wasn't sure it would happen because the UK version of The Office didn't have any happy ending. It's still not certain the USA version will either, I'm dreading the 'break-up' episode already.

Pam is sweet, thoughtful, talented and has a wicked sense of humour. I always enjoy the way she's so active in her partnership with Jim, especially when it comes to pranking Dwight. Added to this is the wonderfully inappropriate way that Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) acts towards her and her fantastic reactions in the interview sections. "He said what?" still remains one of the moments in the Office that really makes me laugh. A superbly delivered line.

2. Tina Fey as Liz Lemon in 30 Rock

Tina is a fantastic writer/comedienne/actress and her character in 30 Rock, Liz Lemon is just superb. Liz is attractive and smart but intensely geeky and insecure. She's a fantastic character in so many ways, despite being in a position of relative power (running her own show) she's still completely helpless and unable to get her personal life in proper order. Sound familiar? That's one of the things that makes her so attractive to me, she's not only beautiful and funny but she's also very human. With her own problems and insecurities.

I can't help but like someone like that.

3. Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky in How I Met Your Mother

Cobie is fantastic as Scherbatsky in HIMYM, it's a shame that the series has already run the "Ted and Robin" relationship season because it was utterly fantastic.

This year has seen her more sidelined in the plots, she featured a fair amount at the start of the season but hasn't been in the limelight for a while. Which is a shame because she's incredibly dry in her delivery and makes an excellent foil for Neil Patrick Harris (Barney). The episode where the two of them go out for an evening and she plays as Barney's wing man was cracking.

I'm hoping we'll get another Robin centered storyline sometime in the upcoming weeks. She certainly deserves it.

4. Tara Summers as Katie Lloyd in Boston Legal

Another very sweet charater, Katie's interactions with Jerry are just wonderful. She's completely understanding of his character quirks and accepts him for who he is without any problem. The writers are keeping the friendship between them platonic, but I've never seen a character pairing more suited than these two and I'd love to see them get together. Partly because they're so good on screen together and partly because it would be nice for the writers to give us a functional relationship in that show and also demonstrate that people with Aspbergers can have relationships with normal people just fine.

It also helps that she's excellent in the court scenes too! She can really put across her point in both an impassioned and reasoned manner. She's one of my favourite people to watch in the court scenes.

5. Jacqueline McKenzie as Diana Skouris in The 4400

It's varied from season to season how attractive I've found Jacqueline, very dependant on her haircut. (Don't ask!) But Diana has consistently remained a strong, powerful woman who's able to keep focused in a situation that's frankly a bit out of control.

I'm running out of time so I'll expand on this when I have time...

There may be more later, but right now you'll have to be content with these 5 lovely ladies as I have to dash!
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Edgies 2008 - Funniest Characters

Category: By Rev/Views
The out and out funniest moments I recall seeing on TV this year. Excluding repeats.

1. Barney Stinson - "How I met your mother"
Neil Patrick Harris is the reason I enjoy watching HIMYM. He's so brilliant in the show it's well... Just watch this and see.

Legendary, this is so going in my blog!

2. Denny Crane - "Boston Legal"
While William Shatner's role on Boston Legal has felt a little diminished so far this season he's still comedy gold when needed. The lines, the delivery, the look, the entire package is just brilliant. Denny Crane is Shatner's finest hour and the interactions between him and the rest of the cast are always enjoyable and funny. The man has no shame.

3. Michael Scott (Steve Carell), Jim (John K) and Dwight (Rainn W) - "The Office (USA)"
I've put these three together to save space and words. Much of the of comedy in The Office involves at least two of these three interacting with each other. Ranging from Michael and Dwight planning and Jim's aside looks to the camera when Michael explains his bright idea to
the antagonistic pranks that Jim pulls on Dwight. These three are the heart of the comedy in the show, they're also the source of many of the more touching moments in the show as well.

4. Larry David - "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Season 6 of Curb was absolute masterpiece, but the honest truth is - what else could you expect it to be? Larry just understands what funny is, he's also brilliant at delivering cringeworthy performances as well, something so few people can do. Make you cringe, laugh and still like a character all at once. His performance this year was as on form as ever, the man just cranks out gold.

5. Jerry Seinfeld - "30 Rock" (Episode Seinvision)
It was only a single episode, but it was one of the best performances in comedy I've seen. Jerry was absolutely fantastic in the episode, including all the faux shots of him digitally added into the various shows. The scene between him and Alec Baldwin was particually good, both of them really put their all into it. It says a lot that Jerry's made it onto this list from a single episode guest star.

6. Darnell "Crabman" Turner - "My Name is Earl"
Eddie Steeples performance as Crabman is understated brilliance, while MNIS has sort of lost its way a little this season Steeples has not. He's remained consistently funny as the laidback, browbeaten, turtle loving, man with a past and hasn't lost his edge yet.

What category will I randomly decide to write about tomorrow?
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2008 Edgies - Worst Crime against Television

Category: By Rev/Views
In this category I'm going to nominate the worst events to occur this year in the land of televisual entertainment. I will be excluding reality/voting TV shows from being nominated as if I did they'd just win. Instead I'm going to focus on crafted fiction.

1. The Writers Guild Strike
The criminal part of this is not the Writers striking, but the fact that they had to strike in the first place. It shortened so many shows, killed off others and delayed more. The viewers had to pay for the executives idiocy. It was an all round suck fest that should never have had to happen.

2. USA Characters Welcome (aka NBC) cancelling The 4400 and The Dead Zone.
While it sucked that two excellent shows got cancelled, the timing was the thing that really stank like fetid rats droppings. Both shows got canned after their season had finished, both shows had set up some really exciting cliff hanger events. Both shows could have wrapped up their story if they'd had another season. Instead they get dropped after filming has wrapped and leave the viewers left hanging from another John Doe... I straight up hate NBC for this. So much so that I'm not going to be supporting them by purchasing Burn Notice on DVD when it's released.

3. Heroes Season 2
Yeah, that's right. I'm putting it up here as one of the worst crimes against TV this year. What were they thinking? Even Tim Kring stepped up and apologised for being involved in such a pile of stink. Don't get me wrong, it had its good points (Kirsten Bell, Sylar, Adam) but it was a real let down after

4. Mandy Patkin walking out on Criminal Minds
Damn it Mandy, you really try my patience. What is it about successfull shows that make you walk out on them? 'Dead Like Me' Mandy, If you don't get your ass back into that show somehow I'm never going to forgive you for walking out on Criminal Minds and making it lame.

5. Jericho
It got canned again. This sucks, just when I'm planning to get into the series again it gets nailed. I would write more, but I don't want to go watching Jericho knowing that it doesn't end properly.

6. Fox Network
Fox, you just suck. Enough said.
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Edgie Awards 2008 - Best New Show

Category: By Rev/Views
Now there's an unusual critera for best new show. It's not the best new show that's been released over the 2007/08 period but it's actually the best show that I watched for the first time during that period. This includes shows that may have been around for a time but I've never gotten around to watching.

1. Homicide: Life on the Street
Watching The Wire lead to a decision to watch Homicide. I'd previously seen Detective Munch on Law & Order, Arrested Development and most recently The Wire itself (great cameo). As I'd enjoyed his appearances and David Simon was involved in Homicide I decided to give it a try. Currently I'm at the end of season 4, waiting for season 5 to drop to a reasonable price before I push on. But I'm enjoying it no end, initially the show seemed to flounder a little and the second season seemed very short (was it hit by the previous writer strike?). But once I got used to the style it's been incredibly enjoyable. There's plenty to like in it if you already enjoyed The Wire and vice versa.

2. Invader Zim
I decided to watch this one because it made its way into the top 100 shows on tv.com and it had a very short run. This mades it very light to watch and simple to 'get through'. Not that it was a chore to watch, in fact it was a delight. One of the better kids programs I've seen, I'd hold it up alongside TMNT 2K3 and Justice League: Unlimited easily.

Plus Gir is the most ridiculously cute thing I've ever seen on TV ever. I'm not sure what it says about me that I find a retarded robot cute. But I do... how can you say no to that little cutie?

3. How I Met Your Mother
I can't recall what made me decide to watch How I Met Your Mother, I'm not that fussed on Buffy (Alyson Hannigan), Doogie Houser (Neil Patrick Harris) or Josh Raydor (Apparently he was in Six Feet Under, but I don't recall him). So I can't say why I started watching at all, it's not like anyone even recommended it to me... But I did start watching it and I really enjoy it. It's not genius comedy, but it is in a similar vein to Friends. But better imo. Neil Patrick Harris in particular is utterly fantastic as Barney Stillson...

4. Burn Notice
Burn Notice has a second mention here. It's also gotten a nomination in the badass category for Michael Western. But the show has so much more going for it than him. It has a wonderful setting (Miami) combined with a great concept, fun facts about various spy techniques and the worlds greatest actor. Bruce Campbell. I'm really looking forward to the summer, while I'll miss The 4400 and The Dead Zone (who got canned without finishing) Burn Notice will fill a small part of the void.

5. Life
This is Life's second nomination as well. It's just a fantastic and slick show, it looks good. It's great to watch and it's managed a good combination of the format 'crime of the week' along with 'metaplot'. Damien Lewis is immensely watchable as Charlie Crews and the supporting cast is also fantastic. I'm really looking foward to seeing where this goes, I just hope that the writers don't end up stringing out the 'mystery' too long as that's where Lost fell apart.
Regardless, right now it's looking strong and enjoyable.

Honorable mentions go to Bones and Jeeves & Wooster. While I enjoyed both shows, they're not as good as the ones above.
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DVDs in Review #7 - The Shield Season 2

Category: , , , By Rev/Views

We continue in my DVD reviews with the second season of The Shield. The first season is reviewed here and as such this one will be in comparison to the first season.


"I don't step aside. I step up. "

The second season picks up immediately after the end of the first season, jumping straight back into the grim world of Farmington L.A. without even giving the viewer a chance to breathe. Continuity continues to be observed exceptionally well, both in the metaplot, cases and individual personal lives. The threads of the show continue to look at Julien's personal life, Dutch's development, Vic's personal/home life alongside the continued cases, strike team actions, bureaucracy, politics and much more. The second season of The Shield continues the high standard of the first one, keeping in touch with minor characters and guest stars by returning them. All of this keeps a high level of consistency and helps keep the world they live in feeling real. Only one show "The Wire" has a higher degree of realism in it's story telling.

The only quibble I have is that the second season isn't as explosive as the first one, while it's still amazing it just feels a smidge weaker than the first. Of course this means it's still better than 99% of the things on television anyway.



"It's an Arm..."

The box is almost identical to the previous season, it has changed art but that's it. This means it keeps consistency of style, font and the like when put on the shelf. The only complaint I'd have is one that holds up over most DVDs. The age certificate label always seems to move up and down from one season to the next. Maybe I'm just a little obsessive about this, but it annoys me. See the season one review for more details

8.5/10 (Extra half a point for consistency)


"Dominos falling"

Season 2 contains commentary on every episode from a variety of people involved in the show, from the writers to the actors. This means that it can vary somewhat in quality depending on the people involved. Personally I prefer commentary that comes mainly from the actors. I find most writers are rather... dry when they do commentary. Anyway, this means the commentary remains fresh, but varies in quality.

The other extras included are deleted scenes, featurettes on editing, sound and the like. I skimmed through them a bit but the only one that grabbed me was about the choices made in the construction of the Barn set. I'd say the extras are about average, maybe a little worse than season one's.
  • Director and film editor commentary
  • Interviews
  • Music video
  • Photo montage
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene selection
  • Featurettes


"When was the last time you saw your d**k without using a mirror? "

The second season can be had for £17 atm, not as cheap as the first season sadly. Some shops occasionally have it for £15. Still it's a bargain at 613 minutes, which is 2.8p per minute. Very respectable as it's under the 3p per minute mark.


Show: 9.5
Packaging: 8.5
Extras: 7.5
Price: 9.5
Final Score: 87.5%

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The Edgie Awards 2007/08

Category: By Rev/Views
Because the Emmys and Golden Globes are frankly bull I've decided that every year on the 26th of March I will nominate my own 'bests' of TV (one per day) and then name the winners seperately. I would go with nominations from others, but I have no readership. Woo! So it's just me.

Here's the first category and nominations:

Biggest badass on screen

1. Michael C. Hall as Dexter ( Dexter - Season 2)

Dexter has just gone from strength to strength as a character. He's not afraid to kill and he's not even afraid of being caught. In fact he looks on his capture as inevitable, but that doesn't bother him. He keeps doing his thang.

2. Michael Chiklis as Vic Mackey (The Shield - Season 6)

Michael Chiklis just has being a bad ass right down. Vic Mackey was out of control in season 6, and for good reason. Vic on full tilt is something that has to be seen to believe

3. Jamie Hector as Marlo Stanfield (The Wire - Season 5)

Marlo is a cold customer, he has no problem ordering people to get dropped. And while he doesn't pull the trigger himself, it's clear that he would if he thought it was needed. Also, Marlo in a rage is biblical - like DeNiro's Capone with a baseball bat.

4. Jeffery Donovan as Michael Western (Burn Notice - Season 1)
Michael Western is a spy, he's not afraid to get the job done and has the know how to do it. While Burn Notice doesn't have much of a body count as it's a lighter show overall, he's still got 'it' when he needs it. In spades.

5. David Tennant as The Tenth Doctor (Doctor Who - 2007 series)
For the most part the tenth Doctor is a pretty bubbly and friendly chap. But Human Nature and Family of Blood showed us just how hard and badass he could be. As the show is essentially a kids show it tends to be light and keep the Doctor as a friendly character, but the scenes as he turned towards 'The Family' and the individual, eternal punishments that he inflicted on each member showed just how deep his wrath can go. It's so effective because most of the time he's willing to forgive, but once you cross the line his anger knows no bounds.

6. Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama (BSG - Season 3)
Season three of BSG was a very spotty one, it had moments of sheer brilliance followed by episodes that were just all kinds of suck. Consistent throughout all of it was the power and edge that Commander Adama held. He's the uncompromising knife point at the front of the fleet, willing to do what it takes for humanity to survive, even if he loses his own in the first place.

7. Damien Lewis as Charlies Crews (Life - Season 1)
Crews has spent a long time in prison, he was a cop before he went into prison as well. It's well known that cops in prison have a rough time of it. Crews did what he needed to survive, he came out of it in a very peculiar manner. He's clearly a very hard individual, driven and determined. But he's tempered himself by following zen buddist principles, or at least trying to do so. But when push comes to shove he will set those aside and do what must. Life is a fantastic show to watch and Damien Lewis's performance is the reason for this.

Seven nominations and while I thought I knew who'd win going into this I'm not so sure now I've written about each of them. I will need time to think about this.
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DVDs in Review #6 - The Shield, Season 1

Category: , , , By Rev/Views

I'm watching through The Shield again right now, so each season is going to get it's own review followed by an overall rating.


The Shield is one of 'The Big Three' as far as I'm concerned, one of the few shows that has raised its game so far ahead of the pack that it's premier league material. Currently there are only three drama shows that I've allowed into the premier league, others are close - but I've only let in "The Wire", "The Shield" and "Dexter" so far.

The Shield is in essense a cop show with a twist, it depicts a darker tone than most cop shows out there. Willing to show cops as being corrupt and performing actions which break the law themselves. While the police in "The Wire" are willing to step over the line at times, The Shield's strike team permanently live in the shadow. Still they're not cartoonish villains by any stretch of the imagination. They're portrayed as having both good and bad sides quite well.

Watching the first season again (I'm halfway through it now) I'm reminded just how good this show is. While I often tout it's brilliance to people I know, rewatching it has reminded me that it's better than I remember. Able to balance a mix of 'case of the week' and metaplot so perfectly that at times it just doesn't feel like a traditional cop show at all. "The Wire" is 'a case a season' and CSI is 'a case per episode' but "The Shield" is such a wonderful mix that it actually feels natural. The main plot threads of this season happily wind their way through fantastic scenes, both in home and in 'The Barn' (as the station is called). It's no wonder that this season was nominated for the highest number of Emmys in a single year ever and Michael Chikilis won one. It's close to perfect, if a little hard for the average TV watcher to stomach. But we have nothing but scorn for the average TV drone don't we?



The Shield is a pretty standard looking box. Not flashy or clever in appearance, it mirrors the shows style quite well. It's has 4 DVDs in a 2 page plastic book contained within the standard dust sleeve. Functional, smart looking and it does the job. There's nothing to get overly excited about, the graphics on the DVDs and the case all fit the style of the show perfectly and it doesn't take up too much shelf space. But there is also nothing to complain about either. It's well executed and looks good.



Every episode has commentary on it and there are a selection of special features on the fourth DVD. I'll have to get back to this once I've reached the final DVD. (Yes I'm writing this prematurely... but who cares, it's not like anyone ever reads this blog anyway.)

It has listed:
  • Audio commentaries
  • 'Behind The Shield' featurette
  • 'FX' featurette
  • Screenplay for the pilot episode
  • Cast audition footage
  • Outtakes and deleted scenes
  • Easter Eggs (hidden features)
  • Interactive menu
I'll get back on this when I've had a chance to browse it.

I've been through them now. They're very good, but not amazing:


The Shield can be had for the amazingly low price of £12. It has 13 Episodes, running for a total of 9 hours and 35 mins. That's just over 2p per minute. Which puts it right up alongside Skins. This is such incredible value that everyone who likes cop shows, gritty drama or shows that challenge their viewpoint on life should purchase.


Show: 10
Packaging: 8
Features: 8
Price: 10
Final Score: 90%

We have a new leader in the DVD arena now. This is the very definition of Must Buy TV!

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TV.com List

By Rev/Views
Same drill as the previous. Red = Watched/Watching, Yellow = Don't want to watch, White = Want to watch and Green = Watched but gave up on.

From tv.com's list of highest rated shows, which I feel is a better indicator than their most popular ones.

1. House
2. Heroes
3. Avatar: The Last Airbender
4. Firefly
5. Prison Break
6. Supernatural
7. Scrubs
8. Dexter
9. Stargate SG-1
10. Friends
11. 24
12. Battlestar Galactica (2003)
13. Futurama
14. The Simpsons
15. Arrested Development
16. The Looney Tunes Show
17. The Office
18. Lost
19. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
20. Burn Notice
21. Top Gear (UK)
22. CSI
23. Seinfeld
24. How I Met Your Mother
25. Veronica Mars
26. Pushing Daisies - I really tried to like this, I did!
27. Bleach
28. Pocket Monsters
29. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
30. Life
31. Band of Brothers
32. FullMetal Alchemist
33. MythBusters
34. Batman: The Animated Series
35. Doctor Who (2005)
36. The X-Files
37. Rome
38. Family Guy
39. South Park
40. Stargate Atlantis
41. Gossip Girl
42. NCIS
43. Tom and Jerry
44. Star Trek: The Next Generation
45. Naruto (Decided I don't like the way anime tells its stories, the pacing doesn't suit me.)
46. One Tree Hill
47. Gilmore Girls
48. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
49. Grey's Anatomy
50. Skins
51. Farscape
52. X-Men
53. Greek (Not sure why I gave up on this, should give it another try)
54. Dragon Ball Z (Uncut)
55. Psych
56. The Daily Show
57. Entourage
58. Dragonball Z
59. The Wire
60. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
61. Justice League Unlimited
62. The West Wing
63. Angel
64. Six Feet Under
65. The Spectacular Spider-Man
66. Traveler
67. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
68. Death Note
69. Cowboy Bebop
70. Chappelle's Show
71. The Colbert Report
72. The Shield
73. Sailor Moon
74. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
75. The Sopranos
76. Babylon 5
77. Invader ZIM
78. Boy Meets World
79. Inuyasha
80. Wildfire
81. Monk
82. Boston Legal
83. Boston Legal (I know it's good, but why is it in this list twice?)
84. Dead Like Me
85. Rescue Me (I'm thinking about it)
86. Transformers Animated
87. M*A*S*H
88. Late Night with Conan O'Brien
89. Married ... with Children - When it's on I'll watch it, kind of fancy Katey Segal anyway
90. SportsCenter
91. I Love Lucy
92. Superman
93. Twin Peaks
94. Oz
95. That '70s Show
96. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
97. Yu Yu Hakusho
98. Curb Your Enthusiasm
99. Cardcaptor Sakura
100. The Soup

61/99 Ignoring that Boston legal is in there twice that's not bad. Most of the ones I haven't watched are anime and I'm not keen on the anime style so that's fine.
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A salute and a list

By Rev/Views
A short break from DVDs in review to do two things.

First of all I'd like to salute David Simon for creating The Wire and raising the bar for televisual excellence everywhere. The show has solidly set itself as the top of the premiere TV league. David, I doubt you'll ever read this but I want to thank you here for bringing so much joy into my life. I already miss The Wire and it's only been finished a short time.

Second part is I'm working through lists of shows and seeing which ones I've seen. Here's the list of the Top 100 Best TV Shows as listed by Time

I've marked in red the ones I've seen, White the ones I really want to see, yellow the ones I never want to see and I've commented here and there in itallics.

* The Abbott and Costello Show
* ABC's Wide World of Sports
* Alfred Hitchcock Presents
* All in the Family
* An American Family
* American Idol
* Arrested Development
* Battlestar Galactica
* The Beavis and Butt-Head Show
* The Bob Newhart Show
* Brideshead Revisited
* Buffalo Bill
* Buffy the Vampire Slayer
* The Carol Burnett Show
* The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite
* A Charlie Brown Christmas
* Cheers
* The Cosby Show
* The Daily Show
* Dallas
* The Day After
* Deadwood
* The Dick Van Dyke Show
* Dragnet (I watched the film, does that count? NO!)
* The Ed Sullivan Show
* The Ernie Kovacs Show
* Felicity
* Freaks and Geeks
* The French Chef
* Friends
* General Hospital
* The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
* Gilmore Girls
* Gunsmoke
* Hill Street Blues
* Homicide: Life on the Street
* The Honeymooners
* I, Claudius
* I Love Lucy
* King of the Hill
* The Larry Sanders Show
* Late Night with David Letterman (NBC) (I want to see this live)
* Leave It to Beaver
* Lost (And now it sucks!)
* Married... With Children
* Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
* The Mary Tyler Moore Show
* M*A*S*H
* The Monkees
* Monty Python's Flying Circus
* Moonlighting
* MTV 1981-1992
* My So-Called Life
* Mystery Science Theater 3000
* The Odd Couple
* The Office [American]
* The Office [British]
* The Oprah Winfrey Show (Really not fussed on her tbh)
* Pee Wee's Playhouse
* Playhouse 90
* The Price Is Right (I have watched the UK Version though)
* Prime Suspect
* The Prisoner
* The Real World
* Rocky and His Friends
* Roots
* Roseanne
* Sanford and Son
* Saturday Night Live
* Second City Television
* See It Now
* Seinfeld
* Sesame Street
* Sex and the City
* The Shield
* The Simpsons
* The Singing Detective
* Six Feet Under
* 60 Minutes
* Soap
* The Sopranos
* South Park
* SpongeBob SquarePants
* SportsCenter
* Star Trek
* St. Elsewhere
* The Super Bowl (and the Ads)
* Survivor
* Taxi
* The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
* 24 (Really not impressed with anything from Season 3 onwards, Once I heard Tony died I stopped bothering)
* The Twilight Zone
* Twin Peaks
* The West Wing
* What's My Line?
* WKRP in Cincinnati
* The Wire (Of course)
* Wiseguy
* The X-Files
* Your Show of Shows

Not bad, a lot of these shows are exceptionally American or quite old, so there are difficulties in watching them. But I haven't done too badly there - 36/100.

Sometime I'll do the tv.com one.
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DVDs in Review #5 - Spaced

Category: , , , By Rev/Views
Today it's the turn of a British Cult Classic Comedy.

(I've decided to move the Show section to the front, as that makes more sense.)


"Skip to the end"

Spaced is one of those shows that just screams cult classic. It's witty, innovative, has masses of affection for pop culture and it launched Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost into the movie Block buster stars that they've become. You can see much of the work that later influenced their movies, in particular there is a scene which directly spawned 'Shaun of the Dead'.

Spaced is essentially a plotless examination of modern life, it's somewhat meaningless and it goes nowhere. But that simply doesn't matter, it's brilliantly written comedy that turns the mundane into something special. Without Spaced we wouldn't have gotten The Green Wing.

(Would get 10/10 but 2 series isn't enough!)


The Complete series comes in a simple 3 page fold out book. Each series is placed on one of the DVDs and the third DVD contains some extra material, including a documentry about the show that kind of provides closure for the devoted viewer. It has some excellent art, the box cover can be seen above (an excellent spoof of Star Wars)

It does everything you'd want it too, looks nice and doesn't take up much space on the shelf. The only way it could be better is if it was the same height as a CD case. But that's just the weird convention that DVD makers have decided to use.



Spaced has a lot of extras, there are extras on each DVD. Including Out-takes, commentaries, deleted scenes, raw footage, photo galleries, 'Spaced Jam' (just watch it and cast & crew biographies.

But the real star is the 'Homage-O-meter' setting, which puts a series of captions at the bottom of the show everytime something pop culture is referenced. Including what it is referencing and where it is from. This brought about the a particually amusing drinking game here - where you drink everytime the Homage-O-Meter references something. Due to the quantity of references in some scence this can be a complete killer.

(The commentaries aren't amazing)


Spaced - The 3 Disc Collectors' Edition will set you back, well... not a lot. You can get it for between £10 and £20. Play.com right now have it up for only £9.99! You get 343 minutes - which about 5h and 45 mins. Short I know, but that's what happens when you have a British show that's only about 20min per episode. Of course because it's so cheap this really works out well for the show. It works out at just under 3p per minute. Not bad at all.


Show: 9/10
Packaging: 9/10
Features: 8/10
Price: 9/10
Overall: 87.5%

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DVDs in Review #4 - Arrested Development

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Arrested Development is the best comedy show to ever get cancelled. Probably the best comedy show of the past ten years. Time for it's DVDs to get assessed..


Arrested Development's packaging isn't really anything that special, the first two seasons come with a cardboard dust sleeve and inside the main box is plastic with the middle cd flip thing so it can hold all 4 DVDs. The first season's box has a decent sized booklet that contains all the episodes and also has a nice large backdrop image on the reverse side of the slip. The second season has less of this and it's clear that Fox decided to spend less, quell surprise there eh?
The Third season is even worse off, the season was cut short so it fits onto just two DVDs and the packaging is really skimped on. It's almost suprising that Fox bothered to release the DVD at all.

(I really hate giving it this score, but the packaging is a reflection on how poorly Fox considers this show.)


Happily the features section of each DVD is not so badly treated. This is where the creators and cast had the opportunity to take control and the quality starts to shine. We're treated to an extended pilot episode, selected episodes with audio commentaries, behind the scenes featurettes, bloopers, Ron Howard's inside look, deleted scenes, original songs and the featurette showing the last day of on location filming.
The commentary isn't bad. It's not up to the standard that Futurama set, but it's still interesting enough to warrant a listen.



Arrested Development is one of those shows. What do I mean by that? It's one of the best shows you've probably never seen (Along with gems like The Wire). I still don't quite understand how it failed and why it was so badly treated by Fox. It's one of the premium examples of quality comedy, I'd hold it up alongside Fawlty Towers at times - it's that damn good. It's simply the funniest thing I've watched ever. But yet hardly anyone has watched it and people still haven't twigged about how good it is.
I find it incredibly frustrating to constantly find people looking blank when I talk about the show. I can understand why not everyone watches The Wire, it's a hard show to get into and it's a little too real and intelligent for many people who want asinine rubbish like CSI drip-fed into their brains instead. But Arrested Development is accessable to all while remaining intelligent enough that you can still be discovering new jokes on the 3rd or 4th watching of it all. The sheer quantity of call-backs and even better call-forwards that this show uses is incredible, it has incredible continuity and subtle jokes are all over the place.

Plus, how can you not love a show that has a character who uses this as his business card to advertise his training as a therapist and an analysist?

Yes, that's right. It does indeed have this card shown in the show.

The show is so good I'm giving it a bonus point for being that brilliant. Specifically for the Season 2 jokes involving Buster, his mother and an animal (avoiding spoilers there as much as possible).



Sadly, it ain't cheap to get this show. Outside of dropped sale prices you're looking at £28 per season for a grand total of £86. You get 53 episodes for that price because once again Fox screwed over the show and shorted their second and third season run lengths. F***ing criminal.

The total running time is just over 19 hours which sadly works out at 7.5p per minute. Which is massive compared to the previous scores (5p, 5p and 2p). While every minute is total quality and it's worth paying this price, I can't score it higher than a seven and if I'm honest it deserves the following score...



The problem here is the show is amazing and well worth getting. But Fox have treated it like total s**t at every opportunity. Even when producing the DVDs they still feel a need to stiff the loyal viewer and try and screw them over.
I wish HBO had aired Arrested Development, they understand quality programming.

Packaging: 5/10
Features: 9/10
Show: 11/10
Price: 6/10

Final score: 77.5%

Note: It's not the fault of the creators of this fine show that it's scored only 77.5%, it's Fox that have managed to drive the score down. Maybe they'll wise up and release a nice smart "Complete Series" box for about £60 and then I can revisit the scores for Price + Packaging and give this show the score it really deserves. Because I feel ashamed at myself for scoring this one so low.

In fact it leaves me feeling:

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DVDs in Review #3 - Skins: The Complete First Series

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My father twigged me onto Skins. He thinks it's utterly brilliant, while he has a strange dislike of American comedies (He'll watch American Sci-Fi no issues...) and as such won't watch Arrested Development... He does have good taste in television, so when I saw the complete series for $24 I thought "Why not?"

Skins comes in the plastic book form packaging. It's a two page book, with a pair of the DVDs on one side and the third one on the other, this comes in the now standard cardboard dust-sleeve. At first I was a little confused by the presence of three DVDs, but once I watched the 3rd DVD I understood why it had 3 instead of 2. It takes up a minimal amount of space on the shelf and is pretty nice to look at. The box art is functional and gives you a good idea of what to expect. Other shows should take note as this a very well put together piece of packaging.


On a side note, which is not related directly to Skins itself. I still don't understand why manufacturers of DVDs feel the need to use such long boxes. They really should switch to CD case sized boxes, especially for films which normally use a single dvd. This would decrease the amount of space a DVD takes up on a shelving unit and allow for more shelves to be used.

At first I wasn't that impressed with the special features on the Skins DVDs, the first two discs are lacking in any such things. They contain only the episodes and subtitles. But that's because the DVD designers decided to place all the special features onto the the third DVD. There are plenty of the usual options here, but the most impressive section is called Ancillary Stories and is essentially deleted scenes that have been edited up and put together then broadcast online. They fit into the main stories very well and if you pay attention to the main episodes you can see the points where they join up. Top stuff.


Skins is essentially a British comedy drama about teens in college. It stars Nicholas Hoult (from about a boy) as Tom, who's supposed to be the desirable & likeable but nasty lad. My first words when I saw him on screen were "Didn't he turn out ugly?" So that made it pretty difficult to swallow how he was supposed to be this heart throb. But I suspended disbelief and carried on.
Of course, the real star of the show is Mike Bailey in the role of Sid, who very much reminded me of Adrian Mole or the lead character in the TV version of "Teenage Health Freak" (whos name escapes me completely). He's very sympathetic, I guess more so for me because he reminds me of me (even if he looks and dresses like my brother).
The show is very much an Ensemble show in nature, with each episode focusing on the problems of one character in close detail. This brings a great deal of variety to the show and allows each cast member to shine in the spotlight.

The show is funny, clever and touching all at once. It reminds me of my times in late adolescence and is quite brilliant. If not as amazing as my Father makes out I still enjoyed it a lot. At some point I'll write a "Why you should watch" on this show. But this month is going to be about DVDs in review.


At £12 for the complete first series this comes out at £1.30 ish per episode, but you also get the Ancillary episodes which work out at around 1 extra episodes worth of viewing. So I'll call this £1.20 per episode which at 1 hour per episode is a very respectable 2p per minute.

That puts it as the current front runner for value (out of 3 shows so far :P) by a huge gap. As such I need to give this:



Packaging: 9.5
Features: 8
Show: 7.5
Price: 10
Overall: 87.5%

That's a pretty strong showing for this little British underdog show. The sheer value for money is a huge factor (other companies take note!). As such, I wish it much success and look forward to picking up the next season on DVD.
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