Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's on TV? Part 2: More New Shows

Apologies for the delay since Part 1, I will now continue this series...

Human Target [Fox]

Human Target, an adaptation of the DC comic book is certainly superior and more believable than it’s somewhat fantastical and idiotic short-lived ABC predecessor. Mark Valley who portrayed Anna Torv’s on-screen partner in the Fringe pilot was retained by Fox for something a bit more in line with his talents than J.J.’s cerebral sci-fi show. Valley now plays Christopher Chance, a bodyguard for hire with a mysterious past and it seems it’s there that the similarity between the new show and it’s predecessor ends - thankfully.

Gone are the daft Mission: Impossible type masks meaning a different actor would not be replacing Valley for half the episode as originally done with Rick Springfield. Fox opted instead for a more practical “bodyguard” who will literally draw out the assailant putting himself in the line of fire. It's a far more realistic premise then the comic book maintains where Chance actually replaces his subject in his life; acting like and looking like him in an effort to reveal his assassin. The deficiencies of that nonsense in a world now where women are just as likely to be an assassin’s target would have been awkward in the pilot episode. Chance’s first case was to protect a super-railway engineer played by Tricia Helfer [Sweet Lucas! Is that woman improving with age?] – if it was still an ABC show, we’d have had lantern-jawed Valley dressing up as a woman and attempting to be Helfer – or Helfer in a man-suit or some inane CGI solution (I shudder to think!) – thankfully Fox eschew cross-dressing deviants.

Christopher Chance is supported each week by Winston, a retired cop, Chance's mentor and boss played by Boston Public’s Chi McBride and their extremely shady and well connected tech dude Gurrera, excellently played by Watchmen’s Jackie Earle Haley. Early episodes are mixed but overall a promising start to a new Human Target - without a stealth bomber-office!

US - Fox, Wednesdays 20:00/19:00c

****

Spartacus: Blood and Sand [Starz]

Spartacus: Blood and Sand tries hard to be as good as a HBO show with full frontal nudity and lashings of blood but the Starz series comes off more as a poor bastard son of a night of dirty sex between Gladiator and 300. There’s enough swordplay, blood, death and dismemberment here though to retain my attention for a while at least as I so rarely get the opportunity to yell “OOoooooooh yeaaaaahh heh heh hehhhh!” at the TV as I would often do in the cinema.

Starring Andy Whitfield, John Hannah and Lucy Lawless as Lucretia

US - Starz, Friday 22:00 Eastern

**1/2

Caprica [Syfy]

Caprica has begun to air its regular episodes after the pilot has been doing the Hulu and DVD rounds since April 2009. I’ll be perfectly honest, Battlestar Galactica is so good it’s on the shortlist for “The Whopper Awards of the Decade” for the best series of the past 10 years, even despite some of the esoteric religious angel nonsense towards the latter season. But one of the strengths of that series was the incredible opening, a mini-series of epic proportions which charted the downfall of human civilisation on 12 planets and scattered them out into space in the wake of nuclear explosions galore. There’s zero of that here, we do have an extraordinarily acted tale concerning religiously fuelled terrorism and the dangers of technology – but with no explosions in space, and I’d like things to explode in space…

Starring: Eric Stoltz, Alessandra Torresani and Esai Morales as Joseph Adama.

US - SyFy, Friday 21:00; UK/EIRE - Sky One, Tuesday 21:00

***1/2

Steven Segal: Lawman [A&E]

I watch precious little unscripted television unless it’s late night talk shows [which in many cases can even then be scripted to a large extent] but there is one show that has appeared on the scene for some 12 weeks now and is simply one of the most bizarre and frightening things on TV. I spoke about it before, but I’ve seen it now and it’s real and raw – I speak of course of Steven Segal: Lawman. Segal has previously reported has apparently been a deputy sheriff in a parish of Louisiana for the past 20 years and has only revealed this fact now to the world. That’s right – no one arrested by or perhaps even who crossed paths with Deputy Segal ever attempted to present this story to TMZ or other media outlet, in the days of the Internet no one reported or took a photograph, nothing. I’ll say no more on that element, you decide.

Segal is presented here as some sort of Robocop who can slow down time as he scans the [disturbingly 99.9% Afro-American] potential offenders he encounters during his routine patrols. He takes part in the arrests of those that appear to have perpetrated crimes and often are mostly surprised and even delighted to see and recognise him “Steven Segal? What the *bleep*” and “My auntie watches all-o-your movies; uh-huh she sure does,” are just two of some such examples. Segal also takes part in the training, development and mentoring of the less experienced officers, he can apparently shoot the top off a cotton bud so as a marksmanship instructor he's most certainly utilised by the department. Needless to say the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s department personnel have a high probability of knowing the basics of Aikido when called upon to defend themselves.

As pure entertainment it’s practically second to none. Segal certainly outweighs every other officer of the department which supports the idea of a documentary as one can’t very well run too fast or too long with steady-cam and sound equipment after real cops so we never miss much of Segal trudging his now portly frame after the action, it’s unintentionally funnier than Reno 911. Long may this insanity continue.

US - A&E, Wednesday 23:00/22:00c; UK/EIRE - Crime [Sky553], Crime +1 [Sky554] and Crime HD [Sky555]

****

14 comments:

vaughan said...

Spartacus is the only show not in danger of being cancelled....
AH the Human Target ..I miss the graphic of the 360 computer display that was always moving even when the plane was parked and where is the cloaking device...these are classic elements that made the classic original last as long as Six Weeks!!
Caprica is just Dynasty in space , boring and quite idiotic I (like many SyFy viewers) have already stopped watching.
Steven Segal Lawman is one of the greatest shows of all time ...I just don't think it's surreal humor is being gotten by everyone ...a future comedy classic...especially when he arrests someone and they never resist ...why "cause you're Steven Segal and My Mom has all your movies!"
Hey my word verification is Heist....tis a sign from Steven...a sign I tell you!

Civilian Overseer said...

Full Frontals, eh?, I note that the Colonel did not specify if this was the cool or uncool kind. Just goes to show that he is comfortable with either. ;)

Connie, your thoughts?

Constance said...

Mr. Overseer:

If I know the Colonel at all, the phrase you picked up on is his coded message to the film industry to say "I'm ready for my close up" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, bow chicka wow wow... you get the idea).

I think that we've indicated in our previous conversations that it takes a real hero to take his clothes off.

Civilian Overseer said...

Yes, Connie, the Colonel is a true American hero, he will literally do anything and I mean anything to anyone for his country and all on tape, he's a modern day Ollie North. ;)

vaughan said...

See there can be happy endings

A&E Have renewed Steven Segal Lawman and have ordered another 16 episodes....(the first season was only 13)even though just barely over a million viewers watch this show in the states.......it strikes me that someone in the A&E Network recognises pure comedy gold!

Colonel Creedon said...

@ Vaughan: Segal also trains attack dogs, brings toys to the childrens hospital and plays with his band in charity concerts. I'm not even on episode 6 yet!

@ Civvy: At time of originally writing that it was only the cool kind. But before I acually posted it I saw the uncool kind. So I took a couple of stars away. Still there is something about a semi-naked redheaded-Lucy Lawless demanding "I need your cock in me now!" that gets me hot under the collar...

@ Constance/Civvy: There may be "distressing scenes" filmed for my biopic when depicting my time in the Iraqi captivity... I'll say no more.

Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, Will they be showing the infamous gay bomb incident that your good friend Jack Donaghy took the rap for?

Colonel Creedon said...

I'd rather not speak if that agan...

Constance said...

Lucy Lawless as a redhead is, to be polite about it, oogy. Much like the "ladies" you pay to wear that tattered red wig and repeat same phrase in a bored monotone.

Or are we still pretending that they pay you for the privilege?

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie!, As an old friend of the Colonel, I cannot stand idle by whilst who cast dispersions on his good name!, Pay for the Privilege?!, Why not only does the Colonel pay and pay well mind you but as a Gentleman, he tips as well!. ;)

How do I know this?, as head of the financial review committee, I've seen the receipts.

Constance said...

Dear Mr. Overseer:

Please, for the good of all who read your comments... TAKE A NAP!!! Did you read what you just wrote? Good lord man! Caffeine, fellow, caffeine!

Thank god this isn't the Olympics of Things That Make Sense. We'd have to put you on the Alaskan team.

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie, the old noggin must have been in neutral, taking a nap now.

Constance said...

Now that we've gotten the whole napping thing out of the way, I can move on to comments of greater import:

I should hope that if the Colonel really is, as you say, a Gentleman, that a Lady would get more than the tip.

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie, Trust me, the Colonel knows how to wine & dine on the taxpayers dime. Well when I say "Wine & Dine", I mean a Big Mac Meal and a large Coke, the Colonel likes to start his dates as he finishs them..., quickly. ;)

This is all covered in the Colonel's unauthorised, lurid, biography, "Beast and Beastiality".