Thursday, 25 November 2010

State of the Blog: review updates, New Year shows, revamp

Thursday, 25 November 2010
We're speeding towards "winter hiatus" in mid-December, when UK shows are joined by festive offerings, and US shows... well, go off-air for awhile. I'm still mystified by that cultural quirk of US TV. Feels totally illogical to me. Anyway, it's a time when I start to reorganize things here: eyeing up new shows to review in the New Year, while deciding which ones to drop.

The Event is on shaky ground. I've already decided to stop reviewing at US pace, so I'll be tuning into Channel 4 every Friday now instead. The UK's a few weeks behind NBC, so I'm effectively taking a fortnight's break. Considering the lack of comments about it here, there's a chance I won't continue reviewing The Event next year -- unless its February "relaunch" is a marvel.

My apologies for dropping behind with Mad Men. A combination of ill health and "real world" concerns forced me to put it on the backburner. I hope to have a double-bill ("Chinese Wall" / "Blowing Smoke") up at the weekend. At the very least, "Chinese Wall" will be posted.

I intend to keep reviewing The Walking Dead on FX, as there are only a few episodes left of its six-part season. Likewise The Trip, which ends in a few weeks. I was going to review Todd Margaret, but episode 2 was so underwhelming I'd hate myself for even bothering. I also decided to drop Eastbound & Down from the rotation at the last-minute, without reviewing a single episode, mainly because of time issues. And as it wasn't very popular last year, I doubt there's an audience this year. I'll still be watching it every week, though.

In fact, there are quite a few shows I'm watching but not reviewing right now, which is unusual. I've been enjoying The Pillars Of The Earth miniseries (only have the finale left to watch), although the setbacks regarding the building of the cathedral have me gnashing my teeth every week; Community has become a welcome fixture on Viva; I'm still watching Boardwalk Empire (although I'm still 2-3 episodes behind HBO); and I sampled FX comedy Louie last night. The pilot was like a twisted hybrid of Seinfeld and a Buster Keaton (near)-silent comedy

As an update on some long-awaited reviews: Firefly will likely be a Christmas project for me, hopefully posted in January; the Alien Anthology review is 85% done, but I may have to limit myself to just reviewing the films, not the extras, because I simply don't have time; and, ironically, time is the main reason I haven't watched my Back To The Future trilogy Blu-ray yet. On the positive side, a DVD review of Dexter Season 4 is due at the weekend.

I've also been sidetracked with my intention to revamp DMD soon -- either for its 5th anniversary in March, or as a Christmas treat. It's been tricky finding a good design, that takes advantage of social networking, as I'm relying on someone who's kindly helping me (for free). I'll be looking for Beta Testers to help me decide if the template's up to snuff at some point. My guess is there will be concerns about the changes (especially how posts are displayed on the main page), and if that proves true... I'll need to merge the new design with the current one.

So what are the new shows I'm likely to start reviewing next year? V's return will certainly get looked at, series 3 of Being Human is a must (together with its US remake, which could air in tandem!), series 4 of Primeval will probably be reviewed, and US/UK comedy Episodes has my casual interest.

Over the Christmas period, I'm aiming to cover Dirk Gently (16 Dec) and Doctor Who (25 Dec) specifically, but I'm not going to guarantee a next-day posting for the latter -- as it's holiday time and I'm due a rest. Then again, you know me, I'll probably manage to do exactly what I'm warning you I can't. Hey ho.

Finally, I've heard a rumour that Sky Atlantic's going to launch on 24 January 2011, but take that with a pinch of salt. It's from the mouth of a Sky rep, via a follower of mine on Twitter. And while I trust my second-hand source, it's uncorroborated hearsay really. But does 24 Jan feel likely? That's sooner than I expected, although we know a few Sky Atlantic shows are scheduled to premiere in February, so I guess it's possible. Hopefully an official announcement from Sky is on the way.

Any reaction to the above plans? This is also the place to air your random, OT views.