Sky Living and Sky Atlantic have built their audience by showing the very best of US shows. They recently screened a selection of their newly acquired shows, which will form part of their 4th quarter 2012/1st quarter 2013 line ups, and we were there.
So check below for our reviews of Arrow, Vegas, Elementary and The Following.
Warner Brothers’ habit of turning their comic book properties into soapy TV shows has always seemed a bit odd. Even without resorting to the stereotypes of bespectacled nerd and housewife, the core audiences for the two don’t really overlap. And yet, with both The New Adventures of Superman and with Smallville, that formula has proven remarkably successful.
No surprise then that Warners are trying to do the same again, although their choice of Green Arrow to front the series seems a bit odd. Still, here we are, with a character in a ridiculous outfit, who kills at least a dozen people in the first episode. He also does a bit of parkour, delivers some awful dialogue, and struts around for a remarkable amount of the show either topless or soaking wet.
And it really is awful dialogue, alongside some ropey plotting, thinly written characters, and hit and miss acting. All in all, it’s a pretty crappy show. But then again, I don’t fit into either of the two target audiences, and with its blend of pretty, athletic men and reference to the source material – even down to Speedy’s penchant for narcotics – it’s likely to pick up enough of both groups to survive for at least a season or two.
That not enough to tempt you? How about the image of Dennis Quaid’s horse riding sheriff going up against a gang of Hell’s Angels?
It’s utterly joyous, and while it’s unclear from the first episode whether this is going to be a Boardwalk Empire-style grand narrative, or a CSI-type Stiff of the Week show, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
If Sherlock didn’t exist, Elementary would be quite watchable
— Ben Mortimer (@montimer) September 18, 2012
Which really does sum up the show, because although it’s perfectly watchable, it can’t step out of the shadow of the BBC’s Sherlock. No matter how good Miller or Liu are in the roles of Sherlock and Watson it’s impossible not to think of Cumberbatch and Freeman (who are, incidentally, better). Even the mystery, and the moments where Sherlock shows his intelligence just bring to mind Moffat’s version.
It’s not that Elementary is bad, it’s perfectly serviceable. It’s just utterly unnecessary.
And as a guide to how little impression the show made on me, I just had to go back through this review and put in the word ‘Elementary’, as I’d repeatedly just called the show ‘Sherlock’ .
It’s no secret that I have something of a man crush on James Purefoy. To be honest, I’m a little obsessed. And I’m not alone. What’s wonderful about The Following is that it seems to be about people just like me. Sure, the publicity material paints it as a show about Kevin Bacon trying to track down a network of serial killers, but that’s just to draw in an audience. Those of us who enjoy Purejoy’s work know the truth.
The first episode, which sets everything up for the eventual miniseries has everything you’d expect from the writer of Scream. It’s sharp, clever, occasionally funny and has a fair few jumpy moments. Bacon’s solid as the troubled detective, and the supporting cast are great. The premise itself is complete balls, but given how many cop shows there are on TV – and as this article proves, they’re not going away anytime soon – it needs something pretty exceptional to hook people in.
It’s well worth a watch, and shows a lot of promise for later on in the series. It could have used a lot little more Purefoy though.