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This week in stuff I know about TV:

1. Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] infinitemonkeys I've learned that they're announcing the 11th Doctor tomorrow. Everyone, stay very calm and we'll survive this unscathed! My money is still on James Nesbitt, or some unknown Indian woman.

2. So, Leverage is its own kind of lame fun, but if you want a good con artist team show, why are you not watching Hustle? Which is to say, if you like Leverage, you will love Hustle. If you think Leverage is lame, you will love Hustle. If you've ever liked Adrian Lester or Marc Warren or Robert Glenister, or Jaime Murray (Lila the 12-step support honey slash lover on Dexter), you will love Hustle. She out-Gina Bellmans Gina Bellman. And Gina Bellman is the best part of Leverage. Which is, let me remind you, a poor man's diluted American ripoff of Hustle. So, you know. Watch Hustle. It used to be on AMC somewhere near Mad Men, but it's def available at your friendly neighborhood UK telly community and/or other ahem-ing comms.

3. Fringe IS lame! But somehow entertaining. Mostly I like watching that blonde girl and waiting for her to slip into her natural accent, and I like the old dude and his cheap, yet interesting and entertaining, wordplay and cluelessness. But as [livejournal.com profile] runpunkrun warned me, Joshua Jackson is totally wasted as a glorified babysitter. Sigh.

4. Scrubs is coming back soon, for its final half-season! When is Scrubs coming back?

5. BSG is coming back for its final half-season! I am more excited about Scrubs.

6. As I asked K. -- would I like Merlin? Criteria to consider include the fact that I hate Sarah Connor Chronicles because that kid is way too emo and annoying, I have not a lot of tolerance for low-budg fantasy shows (see also Xena), and pretty underage boys are not enough to sell me on anything. Then again, I like magic, I like Morgan Le Fay (thank you, Mists of Avalon), I like Merlin and Arthur and Lancelot and the round table, and I like questy quests with problem solving and fantastic obstacles. Also witty dialogue. So... would I like Merlin?

7. Watch Hustle.

Date: 2009-01-03 03:00 am (UTC)
ext_9141: (Default)
From: [identity profile] suaine.livejournal.com
Dude, if you can stand Fringe, I bet you can take just about anything TV dishes out. Merlin is good, cracky fun. I find it utterly charming, there's banter and oodles of gay, and pretty people, and King Giles. The special effects are a bit lolarious, but the writing is pretty perky. And then in the second half of the season it gets properly good and, well, I can't not love it.

Date: 2009-01-03 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isabeau.livejournal.com
There is much of the low-budget fantasy cheese. Of the "Oh no, the evil CGI is attacking" variety.

There is, uh. Um. Are you familiar with Smallville? If yes: this is the Smallville of Arthurian legend. If no: You will not recognize much other than names; it bears about as much resemblance to Arthurian legend as ... um ... well, it pretty much doesn't.

(I will edit or re-comment if I can think of a better parallel.)

It *is* very pretty, though, and it has ASH in it, and I find it dorktastically adorable. (And for good or ill, I am convinced that NO ONE in that Camelot is straight.)

ETA for clarity: I adore the show to pieces, it is my favorite cuddle-toy ever, but I'm guessing you-liking-ness might depend on how close you need it to be to the standard Arthurian mythos. ...really, it's kind of like the relationship between Twilight and any other vampire lore on the planet, except that Merlin has good writing and adorable characters. That, and people do not sparkle.

Date: 2009-01-03 03:08 am (UTC)
ext_2456: (Default)
From: [identity profile] nakedwesley.livejournal.com
I LOVE HUSTLE!! Are there more than the 4 seasons, because seriously, I would watch more.

Date: 2009-01-03 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] svilleficrecs.livejournal.com
Re: Merlin, I think you might like it, but you have to commit to giving it through ep four to give a fair chance. First three are a *wee* bit uneven in terms of cheesiness. You'll also like it much better if you go in a) accepting that the creators are deliberately borrowing from several centuries worth of historicalness for a semi-fairytale world and b) viewing it as a reboot/remix of the story, and turn off your "arthurian mythos, ur doing it wrong" filter. Yes, the CG can be shite, but that's really only a minute or two total, each ep, you have to roll your eyes.

Er, yeah. Basically, if the vast, vast, vast majority of my Flist falling like dominos for it is any indication, you'll like it, but you have to give it a couple of eps to find its tone footing. It will totally reward you, particularly toward the back half season. And all season long, it's cracky, cracky fun. Essentially, smallville and harry potter had lots of gay sex and had an ass baby, and that assbaby was an arthrian legend high school AU where Anthony Stewart Head plays out all your Bad Daddy fantasies.

And it's not just pretty underage boys (not to mention, they're all european/interesting cute, not cookie cutter bland WB surf show cute), it's pretty (not particularly underage) boys being as slashy as humanly possible for each other, to the point where you'll be like "Wow, this is as gay as this show can possibly get. It can't get any gayer" during no less than five different eps.

Date: 2009-01-03 03:24 am (UTC)
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From: [identity profile] raz0rgirl.livejournal.com
I have added Hustle to my Netflix queue as it looks like Leverage is pretty much an uncredited rip off. That said, I would like to point out that Hustle does not have fine, fine, zomg, *fine* Aldis Hodge, which means Leverage wins.

Also, Fringe is *terrible* but makes you drink the kool-aid around episode 7 or so when Denethor Walter goes back to the asylum. I'm in it for the long haul.

Date: 2009-01-04 09:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
But Adrian Lester, dude! Adrian Lester! He's been one of my &hearts since I saw him in Primary Colors in the theater -- and then 25 times more on VHS and DVD. His American accent's pretty flawless too.

Aldis Hodge is definitely some delicious eye candy, though I'm still not sure I believe he's the geek they say he is. Still, the cast IS good, I love all five of them -- well, I'm not crazy about Timothy Hutton but the other four are phenom. It's just a shame it's so much less smart and clever and con-artisty and sneaky and heisty than Hustle.

Like, in the most recent ep when Nate got shot in the bank? If this were Hustle it'd all be part of the plan. Though it did work nicely with the paramedics and the clothes-trading, so.

I appear to be sticking with both Leverage and Fringe as long as I can, so. Then again, my returning shows and my departing shows threaten to take up most of my spring. Scrubs! Dirty Sexy Money!

Date: 2009-01-03 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_abulafia/
Okay, so the thing to know about Merlin, and the thing that I didn't know about Merlin before I started watching Merlin, is that, unlike pretty much all the other low-budget fantasy stuff that has hit fandom in the last couple of years, it is competently acted, and the dialogue is witty even when the plots are super lame. I mean, in comparison with a T*rchwood or a S***rnatural or a **-*, it is the best show on the planet.

That is my opinion! That is my bias for shows with dialogue that doesn't totally suck! Maybe I am wrong about those other shows. Maybe I am wrong about Merlin. Maybe I am wrong about dialogue.

Date: 2009-01-03 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_abulafia/
Also, maybe you are burnt out on fandom telling you that such-and-such a show is gay, but I've got to say. I've got to say. That Arthur, man. And that Merlin. Are maybe a little, you know?

Date: 2009-01-03 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_minxy_/
re: point 6.

I agree on all points (Sarah Connor Chronicles does not hold my attention, tolerance for low-budget fantasy, pretty underage boys (I had to be talked into watching Supernatural repeatedly because I thought they were relying too much on pretty young boys), also Mists of Avalon, witty dialog.)

I enjoy Merlin. I started watching out of order, even. And the women are strong, if regretfully not the main characters. Morgan in particular is cool as sin. Don't go into it if you are too attached to the canon mythos, though, because the show deviates liek whoa, and if you aren't bemused by that, it could drive you batty.

Date: 2009-01-03 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] txvoodoo.livejournal.com
I'm putting my money on Pattison Joseph for new Doctor.

Merlin: cheeseTASTIC. Slashariffic. As far as historical accuracy (even historical legend), I don't think they know either word. Mindless fun romp, yes.

Date: 2009-01-03 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thingswithwings.livejournal.com
Hustle! Hustle Hustle Hustle. Hustle is a great show, I love it with you, let's make it a big fandom TOMORROW so that I can read 700 Mickey/Danny stories and about 20 Ash/Stacey stories and perhaps five Ash/Albie stories. Okay? Can we? Huh? Seriously, I am with you, it's an amazingly pretty show and the characters are great and it's just such fun.

re: Merlin: I just made a post that may help you on that one!

Date: 2009-01-03 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harriet-spy.livejournal.com
why are you not watching Hustle?

...because Hustle aired something like three years ago? I mean, I enjoyed it until it started getting repetitive, but there is that.

Date: 2009-01-04 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Then again, that's never stopped fangirls before. *g* I mean, look at Gilmore Girls fandom. Or Green Wing or Arrested Development or... just about anything that finaled in '05 or '06.

Date: 2009-01-04 09:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harriet-spy.livejournal.com
Yes, but I do think it is rather odd to ask people who are watching a show that is airing right now why they are watching that instead of a show that aired several years ago. It's like asking someone who is watching SGA why they aren't watching Enterprise instead. They may well have already watched the first show! And even if they haven't, one of the is sitting right there on basic cable and one of them...isn't.

(Also, to be honest, if I liked a show and someone said to me, "Why the hell are you watching that shit? Don't you know it's a cheap ripoff of Far Better Show? Why aren't you watching that instead?" my likely reaction would not be, "Oh, thank you ever so much for enlightening me, I will now renounce this show that I *thought* I was enjoying and go watch the show you deem to be far superior.")

Date: 2009-01-04 10:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
I see what you're saying as far as Hustle being hard to get your hands on - me, I didn't mean to trash Leverage - which I am watching and enjoying for its somewhat lame yet delighfully fun cons. I just meant, you know, sort of a PSA, like, "if you like Leverage, you'll love Hustle!" Which I still maintain. I certainly didn't mean to slag on people who watch Leverage, simply to give a heads up to folks who might like con artist crew shows but haven't seen or even heard about Hustle. And I do seem to be getting some of those responses in comments, which, again, PSA, YMMV.

Me, I've seen all 5 eps of Leverage so far but when I watch it it remind me of Hustle, which I prefer. So I used my LJ to make that comment and share it with other people. I don't really see where I've done anything wrong.

And based on the comments, I'm fully planning on watching Merlin, so, I thought, sharing TV recs! For the win!

But I am terribly sorry if I offended you; I was just being energetic about a show I love and want to share, and that enthusiasm might have been misread. Seriously, sorry.

Date: 2009-01-04 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harriet-spy.livejournal.com
I enjoy both shows so I'm not really offended, and I sure wouldn't mind seeing some more Hustle fic out there, so I'm happy you're promoting it. I'm just saying that in my (hardwon through idiocy) experience, it's usually more successful to pimp your show without being snarky about another--particularly if you're hoping for a crossover audience.

Date: 2009-01-05 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Thanks for responding. I seriously didn't mean to offend anyone, and I'm the opposite of a squee-harsher, so I'd hate to be thought of as such.

But I'm taking your comments as advice, and will try to pimp my excitement in a more respectful equal-opportunity way!

Date: 2009-01-03 02:31 pm (UTC)
ext_10489: Jack-o-lanterns (Default)
From: [identity profile] jeviltwin.livejournal.com
OMIGOD, there's more than one season of Hustle? Whoot!

I clearly need some sort of UK-TV implant in my brain because I am falling behind on these things.

Anyway, more Hustle -- this has totally made my Saturday.

Date: 2009-01-04 09:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Duuuude, there's FOUR seasons. FOUR COUNT EM FOUR. Watch 'em and you will officially be part of the Hustle fandom that [livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings and [livejournal.com profile] eruthros are planning to come on strong with for '09.

Lovely Master/Lucy Saxon icon there. Man I love that happily married psychotic Saxon family, I does.

Date: 2009-01-03 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] loneraven.livejournal.com
I adore Merlin, but other people's caveats - yeah, I agree. One thing I would add, though: it passes the Bechdel test over and over in ways that make me squee.

Date: 2009-01-04 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
That's basically why I plan to watch it; people seem to like Gwen and Morgana, and apparently the Arthur/Merlin slash is off the hook. That's enough for me to give it a try...

Date: 2009-01-03 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chicklet-girl.livejournal.com
I loved Hustle until Comcast (may ravens pick at their entrails until the end of time) switched AMC to the digital tier, and I can't pay $20 more per month for two channels I'd actually watch. But the DVDs are in my Netflix queue!

Confession: I haven't even downloaded Merlin yet. I think perhaps I need a break from SF/fantasy shows for awhile, apart from Doctor Who and Torchwood. In fannish terms, it appears I'm back in a law enforcement mindstate. (There's something so fun about subverting those ultra-conventional shows by adding a lot of cocksucking.)

And yes, Fringe is wasting Joshua Jackson, but he's on my teevee every week, and that's all that matters.

Date: 2009-01-04 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
YAY more Hustle! There are four complete seasons and, while I could be considered by some biased, it never ONCE falters. Each con job out-intrigues the last, and the crew just gets more ruthless and more clever.

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