Sunday, May 13, 2012

Episode 1329: Characters Welcome

So Common Law has finally premiered on the USA Network. To some extent, it really is another paint-by-numbers, 'blue sky' dramedy, joining programming like Psych, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar, Covert Affairs, Fairly Legal, Suits, and Necessary Roughness. The cable channel has insanely consistent branding, much like the way The CW still tends to be associated with nothing but teen dramas, despite airing fare like Nikita and Supernatural. So it's easy to like a show like Common Law, since practically all original programming from USA seems genetically engineered to be likeable. On the other hand, it isn't exactly the most innovative of buddy cop dramas, but I guess it's not really trying to be anyway? So to criticise it on that basis, as several TV critics have been doing, seems to miss the point of USA's programming entirely. I mean, it's surely more anodyne fare than lots of network stuff. I personally love the light-hearted silliness of USA's dramedies, which make for perfect summer television viewing. Anyway, I stayed up last night to finish reading SJ Watson's Before I Go To Sleep, which is a decent thriller, even though it takes a while to really get going. Felt somewhat cheated by the ending, which seemed a little too contrived. There's apparently a film adaptation in development, and oddly enough, I somehow think the twist in the ending would work better on the big screen, whereas the novel's prose verges on tedious by the end. It seems that this novel was a huge deal when it came out, but having read it myself, I'm now inclined to consider it overhyped.

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