Guest blogger brother’s shoebox reviews

I may never have to write another post again. I’ll just continue to exploit my brother for material. Some day he’ll stop sending me e-mails for fear they’ll all end up on my blog. (Actually I ask him before posting. Honest.)

When I saw him at Christmas I gave him a shoebox of some of the review materials I didn’t know what to do with. I made it very clear these cast-offs weren’t his real present. His real present was a half bottle of rum. I got thirsty.

He rarely watches TV (well, he watches a few TV shows, just not on TV. Shhh.) so I passed on some of the CBS screeners I’d gotten in the fall, and he reads voraciously, so I passed on some books I didn’t necessarily want to keep for myself. Here’s his shoebox reviews, with links to my reviews, where available (CBS sent me a swack of “premiere week” screeners for returning shows, which I received after premiere week became old news week, so I never did end up writing about them):

The Class

I didn’t come to “The Class” with any expectations, and hated it in the first three minutes. It looked like another terrible sitcom with a laughtrack. But after watching it for a bit there were actually some clever bits in it, and some interesting characters. It never really did it for me entirely, but it looked like there was some promise there.

I felt kind of the same way. I’ve watched it a couple of times since seeing that batch of the first three episodes, but it hasn’t really improved. It’s still pretty hit and miss.

The New Adventures of Old Christine

My god, this was unwatchable. Seriously, I couldn’t make it through the entire episode. Specifically, it was bad. I’ve said enough.

I didn’t review it, but I saw it a couple of times last year and thought it was OK. Definitely not that bad.


I’ve already mentioned “Jericho” tells us the apocalypse will be really boring.

I called it the tale of the feel-good apocalypse. I didn’t mean it as much of a compliment. I think I liked it a bit more than Steve did, though.


“Shark” was really good. I could watch more of it.

I liked it too. And then never saw it again after the pilot. I guess I didn’t like it that much.

3 lbs

“3 lbs.” was actually better than I expected. Ya, comparisons to “House” are inevitable, but it would have been interesting to see a show that concentrated on broken brains. Broken brains are cool. 3 episodes? How can they decide a show is worth keeping or not after 3 episodes?

The perennial question. Which I can’t answer. I didn’t not like 3 lbs, but it didn’t live up to the premise. I was really looking forward to more exploration of the Oliver Sacks type broken brains too, but all that mediocre writing got in the way.

The Unit

“The Unit” looked like it might have been okay, but obviously I was coming in the middle of the story and didn’t really connect with the characters. Little less talking, little more shooting. And robots, too. It needed robots.

I didn’t see the episode I passed on to him – it would have been the second season premiere – but I did see the series premiere and was underwhelmed. Little more talking, little less shooting. That’s what it needed. And more robots.


“Smith” was really good, even if they copied the “Reservoir Dogs” plot thing. Umm, was this also canceled after 3 episodes? Too bad, it looks like it would have been interesting.

I didn’t like Smith much. I heard it was really expensive to produce, and the network didn’t like what they saw in unaired episodes. But that’s hearsay and would not stand up in court.

How I Met Your Mother

“How I Met Your Mother.” Umm, frankly I don’t remember much about it. I know I watched it, I don’t think I hated it. Just didn’t make much of an impact, I guess.

That’s kind of how I feel about the show overall. It’s likeable, but it just doesn’t grab me enough to watch all the time. Except the Robin Sparkles thing.

Fry and Laurie

Very funny, even if sometimes I didn’t get the references. Stephen Fry is really good, and his sidekick didn’t annoy me too much.

This wasn’t review material, and I haven’t written about it. And I didn’t give him my copy of it. It’s mine. All mine.

The Big Happy

“The Big Happy”. Well, I read the entire book. At first it seemed the author was trying too hard with his wacky humour, especially when he’s doing things like making fun of Alanis Morisette’s idea of ironic. Wasn’t that funny last century? but then either he relaxed or I just accepted it. Not the kind of book I normally read, and I didn’t hate it, but didn’t think there was a lot of point to it in the end. I mean, I got a point (perhaps not THE point), but it seemed a little mundane. Needed robots.

I didn’t really review it, just mentioned it here. I didn’t love it in the end, despite the promising start.


I really really liked this. It’s almost a fantasy that could actually happen. If things like that actually happened. You could just read it to see what other bizarre thing was going to happen and forget the plot. I’ll find myself rereading this.

The typographical tricks reminded me of Alfred Bester’s stuff from the 50’s (I didn’t read it in the 50’s, that’s just when it was written). It annoyed me when he did it too.

He liked it more than I did, but I liked it against my will.

In summary

So, not so much reviews as “Oh, I liked that” and “Oh, that sucked”. But isn’t that what a review really is? Anything else is just the reviewer trying to impress you. And trying to give you specific details about why it sucked and why it was good, and why it should be so in order to help you make a decision. But I won’t fall into that trap.

Yeah. That kind of review is lame. Ahem.

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4 Responses to Guest blogger brother’s shoebox reviews

  1. CAROLINE says:

    You big cheater, getting your bro to do all the work. I see how you are 😉

    I don’t like The Class, either. I think In Case of Emergency does that whole “people who went to school together reunited as adults” premise much better. Casting’s better, too. I try to like him, because I loved John Ritter so, but Jason Ritter bites.

    I happen to like New Adventures, but as previously stated, I’m sort of a jaded piece of work and frankly, so is Christine. I can relate. I think the whole ensemble is great, especially Wanda Sykes as her best pal. And Blair Underwood as the hunky teacher. Yum.

    Jericho. Not interested. I’m tired of the post-apocalytic thing. And it wasn’t really very realistic, I don’t think. And mighty slow.

    I wanted to hate Shark, but I liked it watched most of the episodes. Again, strong ensemble and Woods was born to play that part.

    3lbs is unforgiveable for two reasons … it made the always AMAZING Stanley Tucci appear dull, and it cast Mark Feurerstein. Any show with him in it grates on my nerves. Can’t say why, he’s harmless enough, but I just can’t take him.

    I like The Unit. And NCIS for that matter. I am secretly compelled to watch these, but I can’t explain why. I usually don’t agree with the politics, but the characters are compelling. Robots?

    I liked Smith but wasn’t sad to see it go. Interestingly enough, they’ve greenlit a pilot based on the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which Smith kind of ripped off, so it should be interesting to see how it fares by comparison (assuming it makes it to schedule).

    How I Met Your Mother leaves me cold. I just don’t care about any of them, or how they met. They have very little charisma as a group. I gave it two episodes and abandoned ship.

    Haven’t seen or read the rest so that’s all I’ve got.

  2. Diane Kristine says:

    Hey, it’s been a long week. It was either this or a whine about my long week. Besides, I think my brother’s pretty funny.

    Ditto to Jason Ritter. Blair Underwood on New Adventures? That’s new. I should tune in again sometime.

    I kind of like Mark Feurstein even though I think I shouldn’t. I swear it’s because he was on The West Wing briefly. Anyone who ever washed dishes for anyone associated with that show has a lot of goodwill in my books.

    I think we were both kidding about the robots. Though I wouldn’t be too sure about my brother. I’ve never seen NCIS and bailed early on The Unit. It was up against House and a billion other things I watched Tuesdays at 9 last year.

    I heard about Mr. and Mrs. Smith and my first thought was – didn’t that movie tank, and get bad reviews? So … let’s make a TV show about it! I do see the possibilities, but still.

    Now on to those three book reviews I still have to write …

  3. CAROLINE says:

    I think Blair Underwood’s like a recurring guest, not every week, but he’s the kid’s teacher this year. Cute storylines they’d have with him because Christine’s totally hot for him, of course.

    Re: Mark Feuerstein. See, you know it’s wrong. Like a bad date who can’t kiss. I loved WW too, but there’s a reason he was only on there briefly. They knew, too.

    I think Mr. and Mrs. Smith did OK as a movie, actually. And come on, it will go in infamy as the thing that brought Brangelina together. Ick.

    BTW, feel free to whine about your week. I had a so so one myself so I will be very sympathetic.

  4. Diane Kristine says:

    Oh, maybe I just wanted it to tank, because I knew it was going to inflict the Brangelina phenomenon on us.

    The whine is short and boring. Just too much work, too little fun, so also too little time for blogging that wasn’t stolen from my brother. Yay weekend!

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