• First Review: Rain Shadow

    The overwhelming mood from the first hour of the new ABC drama series Rain Shadow is one steeped in the stillness of time. The landscape is spare, the people are unhurried, and the images, script and performances are languid. All of which is perfectly in harmony with a land struggling merely to hang on amid […]

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  • First Review: K-Ville

    Cop shows love to depict cities as a character in their dramas. Whether its The Streets of San Francisco, Hawaii Five-0, Miami Vice or CSI, the backdrop is as much a participant as it is silent observer. So it was really only a matter of time before somebody set a prime time cop show in […]

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  • First Review: Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

    This is Sam, a fifth grader, or if you’re truly Australian, a Grade Fiver. It’s a small point but one the Roving Enterprise producers didn’t opt for in picking up the local rights for Mark Burnett’s US game show. It’s about the only thing they could have changed in making this Aussie version of the […]

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  • First Review: Life

    This review is published prior to the American premiere due September 26 2007. Cop shows are always looking for new ways to deliver a fresh voice to a well-worn genre. There are police shows with psychics, mathematicians, anthropologists and dogs. We’ve even had musical cop shows and alien cops who partner with earthlings. Yet, it’s […]

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  • First Review: Damages

    Shhh. I don’t want to speak too soon, but the Nine Network may have finally bought something worthwhile. Let’s face it, it’s been a crap year for the network, with an empty war chest of American product, while Seven has rolled around like a pig in poke. When Nine has had something decent –Sopranos, Weeds, […]

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  • First Review: The Singing Office

    They sing everywhere these days from Idol to It Takes Two, from Rock Star to Operatunity. So it’s no surprise Foxtel was quick to pick up the Dutch format The Singing Office. It’s a simple idea really. Can you take a bunch of non-singers and get them to warble and drive up your ratings? It […]

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  • First Review: Summer Heights High

    Much has been aimed at Chris Lilley in recent weeks for the gags he is using in the upcoming Summer Heights High. Media reports some sectors of the community offended by gags that draw upon rape, ecstacy deaths and Down Syndrome children. I’m not sure if they’ve actually seen them yet. I have, and I […]

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  • First Review: The Office

    Ever seen the American version of Fawlty Towers? I’m not surprised. The Atlantic is floating in British TV formats that the Americans have sunk. Very occasionally they manage to get it right: Queer As Folk, All in the Family, Three’s Company. When Ricky Gervais on-sold the rights to The Office he ensured producer Ben Silverman […]

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  • First Review: Hot Spell

    When I was a kid there was no Australian Idol for budding performers. And there certainly weren’t any TV spelling bees around, I would have kicked arse. A.R.S.E –arse. Since the feature documentary Spellbound (US 2001), the sport of grammar has gripped America. The latest hit series, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? is […]

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  • First Review: Star Stories

    “Stay away from Madonna,” warns Warren Beatty to Guy Ritchie. “She’ll drag you down like she did to Sean Penn.” So runs the loose narrative of the irreverent Star Stories, Britain’s newest jab at celebrity life. Taking no prisoners, each 30 minute episode abandons all decorum as a host of comic actors impersonate the lives […]

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  • First Review: Australia’s Best Backyards

    Next week Durie competes head-on with himself in a curious piece of Aussie network scheduling. Nine, which dropped his programme Backyard Blitz claiming the gardening genre had been exhausted, has been somewhat-embarrasingly attracting good figures for their unscreened episodes dusted off their shelves. Seven, which was happy to snap up Durie, offers an alternative point […]

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  • First Review: The Dame Edna Treatment

    Is there anything new that Dame Edna can tell us we don’t already know? Probably not. Does it matter? Definitely not. The housewife megastar could read a shopping list aloud and I’d be perfectly mesmerised. In fact, she’d probably fill it with innuendo and tell us how it illustrates more about ourselves than was ever […]

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