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July 25, 2014

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Extras: Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3

by Martin Conaghan, posted Sep 29th 2006 8:04PM
Extras(S02E01 / S02E02 / SE02E03) A few weeks ago, while I was on holiday in Florida, the second series of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's Extras aired here in the UK, and I only managed to catch up last week with the first two episodes.

Rather than give our readers a full review of each episode to date, I thought I'd jump in at episode three, and round up the other two along the way.

When Ricky Gervais helped created the global phenomenon of The Office, then decided to end production after just two series, few people believed he could follow up on the success with a whole new series that could be as fresh and original in its approach to postmodern comedy.

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Brett's Fall TV Schedule

by Brett Love, posted Sep 11th 2006 9:06AM
kristen bell is veronica marsOk, I like TV... a lot. You might even say I'm a little obsessed. When I started making up the list for this post I was reminded of the time I took a gig in Alabama. It was only two months work, but those two months were April and May. I didn't know what kind of cable access I would have while there, and you don't want to go missing shows in April and May! So I set up a crazy four VCR system so I wouldn't miss anything. There were charts, graphs, and explicit instructions. Sunday the cable box needs to be left on this channel. Tuesday you need to change tapes in VCR1 and VCR2. Wednesday change the cable box to this channel. Etc. I left the whole mess in the hands of my roomate Jen and made for the Yellowhammer state. When I returned, it was to a huge stack of television goodness. Now, here is my viewing schedule for this season.

Sunday - I'll kick of my week with The Amazing Race at 8:00. I've forgiven them for the disaster that was the family season. At 9:00, flip to FOX and catch Family Guy and The War At Home. Medium takes over at 10:00. I'll be covering that one for the site this season, so it will get recorded on the computer while I watch live. VCR1 will grab Brothers & Sisters while VCR2 tapes Venture Bros. at 10:30.

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Arrested Development, weeknights on G4

by Brett Love, posted Sep 5th 2006 10:02AM
Arrested DevelopmentWhoops. A day late and an episode short. Here's your reminder that the G4 network is now showing Arrested Development weeknights at 11:30 EST. There are just so many ways to go with this news that I can't pick. On the one hand, I have the tried and true G4 killed TechTV angle, which is always solid, because man did they do a number on the TechTV shows. Of course, there is also the pro G4 angle of what does this have to do with video games anyway? Probably not a lot of takers on that one though. And as always, holy crap, how is it that this show never found an audience? Choose your anger and let it tide you over until tomorrow when we can all sit back and watch another episode of Arrested Development.

For more info, you can find the schedule, an episode guide, chat and forums on the G4 Arrested Development page.

[thanks, Rocko!]

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New game show coming to FOX: The Rich List

by Brett Love, posted Sep 1st 2006 12:35PM
John McEnroe and The ChairTV Squad readers, let me take you back to the carefree days of 1999. You may recall ABC launching a little program called Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It was a huge success and sent the networks scrambling to capitalize on America's perceived new love of the game show. This brought about such forgettable shows as Greed: The Series, Twenty One, and The Chair.

Fast forward back to present day and NBC has a nice little hit on their hands with Deal or No Deal. And now, proving that they don't learn from their mistakes, network execs are once again bellied up to the rail shouting 'No whammy no whammy no whammy STOP!' as they try to hop on the bandwagon and pick the next hit game show.

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Big Brother 7 (U.K.) update: yes, it's still running

by Martin Conaghan, posted Aug 7th 2006 6:25PM

Big BrotherI haven't updated on the U.K. Big Brother series for several weeks, mostly because it started to lose whatever appeal it ever had as a reality TV show when the producers introduced half a dozen new housemates half-way through the series, but also because it started to feel like I was watching some kind of bizarre, mind-numbing TV marathon that had absolutely no point to it whatsoever.

In the intervening weeks since my last post on the show, we've lost Nikki (the most irritating person in the western hemisphere), the 'golden ticket' housemate Susie, loudmouth Jayne, Irish DJ Spiral, Michael and Mikey.

Things picked up a few weeks ago when Big Brother introduced a hidden prison in the house and split the housemates up like some kind of Stanley Milgram experiment, but it was temporary relief from the mundanity of this overly-extended offering from Endemol.

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Doctor Who: Army of Ghosts and Doomsday (season finale)

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jul 24th 2006 8:10PM

Doctor Who - Doomsday(S02E11/S02E12) Well folks, at last here is my review of the final two all-important episodes of the recent series of Doctor Who which ended here in the U.K. only a few short weeks ago.

It had everything the viewer was waiting for; a battle with the Cybermen and the Daleks, Billie Piper leaving the show, time-traveling twists and turns, the conclusion to a story arc which has run since the series was revived with Christopher Eccleston in the lead role, and, of course, the promise of more to come later in the year in the shape of Torchwood and the Christmas Special.

Do you really want to read about all of those things, and not actually sit down and enjoy them the way I did when it aired here in the U.K.? Or maybe you did watch it here in Britain, and you want to read what I've got to say about it?

Either way, watch out: there's spoilers galore after the jump.

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Doctor Who: Fear Her

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jul 13th 2006 8:22PM

Fear Her(S02E10) Now that the World Cup has sadly reached its zenith, I can finally catch up on my missed television and update everyone on my on-going reviews of the new series of Doctor Who.

It's often the case that episodes towards the finale of a given season in a series tend to either fill gaps until the big reveal, or pad out the main plot before setting off on the final furlong.

It's not always the case, of course, but Doctor Who seems to be one of those shows that commissions episodes which can slot in just about anywhere in the series, with a few minor adjustments to the dialog, and then juggles them around like tracks on a mix tape for the viewers to digest.

Sometimes that mix is a hit. Sometimes it's a miss.

Fear Her was a bit of both.

Warning:spoilers after the jump.

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Big Brother 7 update: evictions, tasks and nomination twists

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jul 10th 2006 4:43PM

Big BrotherNow that the World Cup is over, I'm able to get back into some Doctor Who reviews and trying to keep up with the goings-on in the U.K. Big Brother house (more's the pity, in the case of the latter).

I reckon I've enjoyed every Big Brother since the series kicked-off here in the U.K. over seven years ago, but something about the current series has killed it for me. Perhaps it's the quality of the housemates this year, or the constant over-egging by the producers to try and make the show seem twisted and cruel -- perhaps it's because a World Cup has taken precedent for four weeks -- but it's probably just that the format has out-lived its shelf-life and maybe it's time to say goodbye.

Warning: spoilers after the jump.

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Big Brother 7 update: evictions, twists and more evictions

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jul 3rd 2006 1:06PM

Big BrotherAnother week, another twist to the Big Brother U.K. house.

If you're recording the shows and watching them later, like me, you might want to go elsewhere.

Warning: spoilers after the jump.

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Doctor Who: Love and Monsters

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 28th 2006 9:09PM

Abzorbaloff(S02E09) When the X-Files was at its height, one of the episode types I really liked were the ones that didn't actually involve Mulder and Scully in a prominent capacity. You know what I mean, those episodes where a central character told the story through their own eyes and the main players were really just incidental to the plot.

Star Trek: The Next Generation (and its ilk) were good at it too; peripheral characterization -- which probably arose from the main actors requiring a break from the shooting schedule.

Well, Love and Monsters was like this; a Doctor Who story without The Doctor.  A quirky, romantic tale with enough excitement and mystery to bridge a gap between episodes and entertain in the usual way.

Warning: spoilers after the jump.

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Big Brother 7 update: Friday eviction announced

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 24th 2006 10:05AM

Big BrotherThis week's eviction from the U.K. Big Brother house took place last night, but it wasn't the result I was expecting, nor the one I wanted.

Following on from a twist in the nominations procedure, Mikey, Imogen, Lisa and Nikki were all facing the public vote as a result of their own rule breaking. As part of the normal nomination process this week, they were required to nominate one of their fellow rule-breakers for nomination in full public view of the other non-rule breaking housemates.

Warning: spoilers after the jump.

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Doctor Who: The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 19th 2006 8:26PM

The Satan Pit(S02E07/S02E08) If I'm being totally honest, I can't say I really liked this two-part story which landed just over half-way through the current series of Doctor Who here in the U.K.

I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it was the blatant classic sci-fi rip-offs, or the dodgy technology and wonky science, or perhaps it was the ropey plot, which involved The Doctor and Rose landing on a planet orbiting a black hole -- with an ancient evil lurking in the rock below the Sanctuary base.

Warning: spoilers after the jump.

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Big Brother 7 update: Friday eviction and weekend tasks

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 18th 2006 7:51PM

Big BrotherI'm finding it increasingly difficult to watch this year's Big Brother, despite being quite a big fan of the show in previous years. I think it's down to the group of housemates chosen to take part this year; with the exception of Pete, there's very little to like about the bunch of lunatics they've caged up for our so-called enjoyment for a whole 13-weeks.

Probably the worst of this year's bunch was Grace, who spent her entire time in the house maliciously bitching about every single housemate, with the notable exception of herself. Thankfully, she was evicted in the Friday public vote when she went head-to-head with Nikki, following a single nomination each from new housemate Susie.

When Davina McCall announced Grace's eviction live on the show, she stood up and threw a glass of water of Susie, thereby disgracing herself one final time, before stepping out to an exceptionally hostile crowd.

I sat down to watch Sunday's show tonight (which shows events from the previous day in the house) and eventually turned it off due to the repulsive nature of the task Big Brother had set the housemates; a breathing challenge which required each housemate to eat a plate of food and breathe in to a machine which was connected to individual gas-masks.

The other housemates had to then guess what the others had been eating, based on the fumes from their breath.

Thank God there's a World Cup on.

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Billie Piper quits Doctor Who

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 15th 2006 10:41PM

Billie Piper as Rose TylerBBC Entertainment News is reporting that Billie Piper, the actress who plays David Tennant's assistant Rose Tyler in Doctor Who will depart the series at the end of the current run. It's not yet known if her character will die at the end of the series, or simply end her relationship with The Doctor and leave the possibility of a return open.

It's long been rumored that Piper wanted to leave when Christopher Eccleston jumped ship after just one series of the show's recent revival, but thankfully the producers managed to keep her on for one more series.

She'll be sorely missed, both in her role as the Doctor's first real companion who has managed to delve deeper into the soul of the mysterious Timelord than any assistant before her, but also as a fine actress who has helped breathe life back into a near-dead franchise.

Oh, and if you're wondering where my reviews of the recent two-parter here in the U.K. are, they'll be here soon -- there's a World Cup on at the moment, and all of my valuable viewing time is being choked up watching The Beautiful Game.

[Thanks Jamie.]

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Big Brother 7 update: nominations announced

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 13th 2006 8:39PM

Big BrotherAs ever folks, look away now if you don't want to know who will be facing the chop in the Big Brother 7 public vote over here in the U.K. this week...

Warning: spoilers after the jump.

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