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The first two seasons of “Mr. Show” (starring Bob “Breaking Bad” Odenkirk, David “Arrested Development” Cross, Mary-Lynn “24” Rajskub, and Sarah “The Sarah Silverman Program” Silverman), $29.99 in 2008 and $14.49 last month, is now $7.44!! (70% Off!!)
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NBC’s promos for “Grimm” tout that it comes from the folks behind “Buffy” and “Angel,” but they’re talking about writer-producers David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, and not the guy who directed Robert Downey Jr. in the “Avengers” movie.
“Grimm” is nowhere near as good or as much fun as “Buffy” or “Angel.”
The new series stars handsome Dave Giuntoli, who was introduced to America via the 2003 edition of MTV’s “Road Rules” alongside more memorable cast members Abram Boise and Cara Zavaleta.
“Grimm” is a procedural about an Oregon homicide cop who learns from his dying aunt he comes from a long, long line of monster slayers. As the pilot begins, be begins to inherit the ability to recognize all manner of ghoulies posing as humans, as if someone just gave him a pair of Rowdy Roddy “They Live” glasses. In Buffy tradition, a new slayer is chosen to inherit the slayer superpowers when the incumbent slayer dies.
I confess I was pretty bored with the pilot -- when I wasn’t confused about why the cop doesn’t react with more concern when some of the humans around him appear to be turning into demons.
... arrives with a variety of stumbling blocks of its own making. Nick, who discovers he's one of the last in a long line of Grimms, people with the power to recognize and then fight the fairy tale monsters, is played by "Road Rules" alum David Giuntoli, who comes across like a more wooden Brandon Routh, which didn't seem possible. The show takes its title far too seriously, and with the exception of one character is oppressively humorless. It is, if the pilot is an accurate guide, a police procedural in supernatural drag, and not a particularly inspired one. And the show looks both cheap and quite literally too dark. (Even NBC's promotional images are hard to entirely make out.) ...
... Wooden lead actor David Giuntoli, who plays cop David Burkhardt, adds nothing to the proceedings; he has an almost comical lack of range. Still, I wanted to like this show, given my genre proclivities and my deep and lasting love for 'Angel' (which 'Grimm' executive producer David Greenwalt used to work on). But there were several points at which 'Grimm' drained its own suspense away by having a plot development revolve around a convenient ability that a character happened to have. To compete with Friday's bumper crop of quality nerd bait ('Fringe,' 'Chuck,' 'Supernatural'), 'Grimm' has to have exciting, surprising plots and good characters, not bland leads and stories full of shortcuts. ...
... has a comic-book feel, and the story seemed a little thin and stitched together on first viewing, with a lurching tonal shift into peppy humor in the second half-hour. But some of the jokes work, and some of the frights are actually scary, and on a repeat viewing the craftsmanship and attention to detail made more of an impression ...
... adds up to a nice, moody, entertaining-enough hour and the troublesome question of how interesting this will be by the third episode. Joss Whedon had the tense longings of adolescence (not to mention the living nightmare of high school) to give "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" depth; in "Grimm," it will depend on the cleverness of the crimes and how effectively creators David Greenwalt (who worked on "Buffy" and its spinoff "Angel") and Jim Kouf (also "Angel") can convince us that the terrors of our childhood imaginations are actual forces of evil at work in the world. ...
... Rather than being dark and edgy, “Grimm” ends up being a show that’s trying to be dark and edgy. It relies way too much on cheap scare tactics (cue the sudden, dramatic music!) to deliver its suspense. Underneath the special effects and fairy-tale plot propeller lurks just another crime drama, and not a very good one at that. The premiere features one of the most boring murder investigations I’ve ever seen on TV. …
... seems less interested in character development and more concerned with procedural, case-of-the-week police investigations. …
... moderately entertaining, albeit somewhat predictable. The shape-shifting special effects are neat, but it's also hard to see exactly where the show can go. ...
... vacillates between hokey and clever as it mines the Brothers Grimm for contemporary analogues. ...
... has a low-rent Saturday Syfy vibe to it. Executive producers David Greenwalt and Sean Hayes (better known as Jack on “Will & Grace”) bring nothing new to the supernatural mythology. I found myself more fascinated by the product placement, and this opener features a few Apple devices. Why would the upscale tech company want to be associated with this drudge? ...
… a darkly lit, bland mix of the mythological, procedural, and supernatural. It should be more original, and the characters should be less forgettable. …
... a bit slow-moving, in part because the show is determined to be ominous even in scenes where we're reasonably certain nothing ominous is actually going to happen. And as long as it's borrowing from Buffy, it wouldn't hurt Grimm to borrow a bit more of Buffy's sense of humor and surprise. ...
... The first threat is a predator with an appetite for young women wearing red-hooded sweatshirts (get it?), which is modestly clever and creepy. Still, as with any show of this variety, there's the haunting problem of exhausting viable monsters and spiraling into silliness …
... a high-concept hootenanny with varied results. ... has chills and humor and the ability to take a procedural story and twist it. (If there's an opt-out moment here, it's simply the realization that something like Kolchak: The Night Stalker and certainly The X-Files were more fun.)
A British version of “24” with nakeder Mandys, “Strike Back” comes from American writer-producer Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files,” “The Lone Gunmen,” “Robbery Homicide Division,” the 2005 version of “Night Stalker”).
I gather that Cinemax actually aired the second season of “Strike Back.” The first, Spotnitz-free season, with future “Walking Dead” star Andrew Lincoln, hit Britain’s SkyOne in 2010. (This sort of echoes what happened with “Torchwood,” which spent three seasons on the BBC before its fourth season landed on American pay-cable channel Starz.)
a British variation on “24” that offers reasonably competent action scenes, depressingly casual depictions of torture and death, and a comic-book conspiracy story line while also being an efficient nudity delivery system. It’s the kind of show in which an agent doesn’t realize there are terrorists in the hotel lobby because he’s upstairs having it off with the waitress he met 10 minutes ago. … won’t make anyone forget “24” or “MI-5” or even “The Unit,” but it has its pleasures for the aficionado of guns and flesh in exotic locales. …
Those jonesing for "24" may find some comfort in Cinemax's new foray into original content, a hostage-taking, bullets-flying, explosion-rattled special ops drama called "Strike Back." … But it's more methadone than madness; where "24" was the archetypal tale of the lone gunslinger operating within the grim realities of newly revamped military protocol (i.e., torture), "Strike Back" is, at its heart, a buddy movie, a simmering life-or-death bromance between its two male leads: the upright and gorgeously clenched Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), who is British, and the morally cavalier Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), who is American.
… bloody and predictable. … In typical “24” fashion, no one can be trusted and double-crosses ensue. In the first two episodes, there are numerous folks skulking around the hotel with rifles and much script-convenient stupidity. …
Strip away the counterterrorism lingo and this is really just a mismatched buddy copshow … Strike Back" does incorporate a few wrinkles regarding its leads, with hints of a larger plot to guide its 10 episodes. Mostly, though, pretty much everyone is reduced to geopolitical stereotypes …
… shows off high production values and an intense, fast-paced story reminiscent of "24" or "Sleeper Cell" that occasionally dips into the ridiculous (secret codes; a running conspiracy story; Stonebridge catches a bomb in episode two). … It's too bad the show's graphic nature, especially the bloodshed, is so off-putting as to make the series unwatchable.
… does succeed in wresting plenty of high-level suspense out of these low-aiming scripts—no small miracle. … As the series rolls on to other destinations and newer battles, plot cohesiveness becomes, at best, spotty.
At Home With The Georgians
Blade Anime: The Complete Series
The Costume Drama Collection
Federal Men: 16 Episodes
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Hatfields & McCoys (Blu-ray)
The Kent Chronicles
Magic School Bus: The Complete Series
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Weight of the Nation: The Complete Miniseries
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Little Women: The Complete 1978 Miniseries
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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 1.x Vol. 1
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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Vol. 7
Big Time Movie
Fringe 4.x (Blu-ray)
The Good Wife 3.x
Grey's Anatomy 8.x
Grounded For Life: The Complete Series
The Haunting Hour Vol. 1
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Hammer House of Horror
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Get A Life: The Complete Series
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Charlie's Angels: The Complete Five-Season Series
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Alvin And The Chipmunks: Christmas With The Chipmunks
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Doctor Who: Ambassadors of Death
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