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Series: Marathon Watching Weekend

Slothful is probably an apt way to describe the weekend that just passed. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks stressing about a few things — not the least of which is the fact that the whole cornea transplant deal is back on the table — so the good lady Barberella and myself treated ourselves to a lazy couple of days ‘catching up’ on some of the new TV shows that have landed recently:

The Riches – Produced by Maverick Television (who up until now have just produced crap reality television spam) The Riches is a complex, dark-comedy about a family of ‘travellers’ (think modern day Gypsies). After breaking the cardinal rule of their kind the Malloy family find themselves on the run and, when the opportunity presents itself, take on the lives of a couple who are killed in an undiscovered accident.

Eddie Izzard in no doubt the star of this series, but he has to work for it. Minnie Driver is giving what are some of the best performances of her career and even the usually unlike-able Gregg Henry (Slither, The Black Dahlia) is growing into the kind of character that you hate, but want in every scene.

Hopefully The Riches will be given time to develop. As much as I am enjoying the series now (after seeing five episodes), I have to admit that it took me at least two to warm to the characters.

Painkiller Jane – Wow! I have to admit that I wasn’t really prepared for this show to suck this badly! The pilot for this series has no connection what so ever with the content of the 2005 tv movie, which should have been a good thing. Sadly this thing pangs of the very worst elements of BLADE: The Series and I’d really be surprised to see this one last much longer than it.

In some ways the Painkiller Jane pilot feels like it’s rushing to make up for lost time resulting from being completely rebooted, but sadly the end result is that the characters are extremely thin and the dialogue is nothing short of trite.

To be fair, I’ll give this show one or two more episodes to find it’s feet – but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Drive – “This show wont last more than six episodes!”, I say that only because it was friggin great! Borrowing heavily on the popular ensemble style of LOST, JERICHO and HEROES, Drive backs itself into an interesting dilemma from the very beginning: How to sustain this concept? The plot, when described, sounds ridiculous but the execution is brilliant – Through various means a secretive organisation coerce an unlikely group of people into an illegal, cross-country, car race. More than that I’d prefer not to say, this is the kind of show best watched knowing as little as possible.

While I’ve only watched the first two episodes I can already tell that this is the next HEROES (remember – I called HEROES! I totally called it!).

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