The Arrangement (E!)

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The Arrangement (E!) – Premieres 5th March – Renewed

Drama Megan Morrison a struggling actress gets the her change to audition for a film starring opposite Kyle West, an action star that has recently been jilted at the alter and is part of the Institute of the Higher Mind. An organisation that bears a resemblance to Scientology, and where its leader Terrence Anderson is looking for the right future partner for West.

After dismissing Megan on her audition tape, Anderson is talked into calling her back for a reading by his assistant. At the call back Kyle becomes enamoured by Megan taking her for a jaunt to Mexico where after, her agent gets in contact saying she’s been offered a $10million marriage contract and a deadline for her to accept.

For a drama made by E! it’s far better than initially expected, though there’s not much to it that would makes you want to watch any more.

4.1/10

Taken (NBC)

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Taken (NBC) – Premieres 27th February – Renewed

A TV show that isn’t a reworking of the original film, but the origin story of Bryan Mills. It starts off with Bryan witnessing his younger sister being murdered while on a train as they visit their parents, a hit called by a Columbian cartel boss to avenge his sons death at the hands of Mills.

As the reasons of the death are covered up to the media, a specialist CIA group put tabs on Mills as he beings to hunt down the cartel boss in hope they can capture and interrogate him, while using Mills as bait.

What follows is a lot of gun fights, a wee bit of double crossing and Mills being constantly miffed that his sister is dead. At the point where Bryan finally manages to get a gun point at the boss during the CIA raid of where he is being held captive, the CIA team shoot him to protect their asset. After which when Mills is recuperating in hospital he is offered the change to join the CIA group, and possibility to learn a very particular set of skills.

For an opening episode the whole story felt very rushed, forcing into the end offer where it can become a hostage of the week type deal which ended up making it quite forgettable. For something in the action genre, there have better more enjoyable shows.

4.7/10

When We Rise (ABC)

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When We Rise (ABC) – Premieres 27th February – Miniseries

Drama set in the 70’s following the formation of the LGBT movement in San Francisco and it’s reach across the US. It follows three main characters;

Cleve Jones an 18 year old who after revealing to his parents that he’s gay moves to San Francisco in the hope to find a more accepting community and to dodge his psychiatrist fathers plan to electroshock the gay out of him.

Roma Guy a young woman who after returning from a US Peace Corps Camp in Togo heads off to Boston to join the National Organisation for Women where she decides to move to the San Fran office. There she meets a couple from the San Francisco Womens Centre which she joins up with and helps organise protests and start the formation of a LGBT movement.

Ken Jones a sailor operating just off of Vietnam where after a bombing mission leads to his partner dying is relocated to the Treasure Island Naval Base to reform officers with racist tendencies. There he then gets involved with the more liberal nightlife of the area.

The show itself is a rather clunky affair where it comes across more like a History channel docudrama mixing up archive footage alongside the scripted stuff. With it flitting between the three protagonists it goes along at a painfully slow pace, with dialogue that a times sounds like they’re reading out a wikipedia entry. All-in-all it’s a very dry watch.

4.5/10

Mama June From Not To Hot (WETV)

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Mama June From Not To Hot (WETV) – Premieres 24th February

When S01E01 Watch started there was a decision made to not review anything shown on TLC due to it being filled with shite over scripted reality bollocks such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  Imagine the joy when after the open seconds it’s revealed that Mama June is the mother of Honey Boo Boo, they’ve switched channels and are now polluting unsuspecting eyes with their utter drivel.

So, this is set after Mama June has split with some chap called Sugar Bear, and purchased a house that doesn’t look like a shack. All the while doing the single mother type thing. After dropping off the youngest kid the Mr Bear reveals he’s getting wed, so June decides to lose a shitload of weight and go to the wedding to show him what he’s missing *click fingers in a sassy manner*.

What follows is one attempt of exercising, a fella legging it from a date with her, and then her manager arranging a meeting with a doctor to perform some weight loss surgery. All of it linked seemlessly together with some footage where it looks like June is wearing a fat suit, and with a bit of after show reading it seems that she was.

Even for a scripted reality this is unbearable shit.

0.3/10

The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC)

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The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC) – Premieres 23rd February – Cancelled

Spinoff of The Blacklist where after finding out that his father, Howard Hargrave, has died in a plane crash, Tom Keen heads off to New York to meet with the solicitors about his estate. When he arrives Tom discovers that Howard has faked his death and suspects that Toms mother, Scottie, was behind on the attempt on his life to gain control their private military company Halcyon Aegis.

Howard then asks Tom to go undercover at Halcyon Aegis to find out what he can on Scottie, while performing Blacklist style missions to rescues spies and the like who are in a spot of bother.

Unsurprisingly this is more than a little similar to The Blacklist, though the rescue mission is played out like a setup from Oceans 11, and is in general a bit more fast paced and entertaining.

If you like The Blacklist then this is literally more of the same.

5.5/10

Sun Records (CMT)

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Sun Records (CMT) – Premieres 23rd February – Cancelled

Drama about the formation of record label Sun Records. Sam Philips has arrived in Memphis from Nashville to open a recording studio with the aim of finding some original artists to record that are different from the usual country music being played at the time.

Inbetween Sam is setting up the studio, it also follows Elvis Presley as he starts turning up to a church in the wrong part of town to listen to the gospel choir, leaving him to be shunned by fellow white folk. And Johnny Cash who is tried of working on the family farm that is slowly becoming a barren wasteland, and announces that he’s enlisted to the airforce in a bid to get out of town.

The first ep wraps up with the local radio DJ hooking up Sam with the chance to record BB King for a label exec visiting town, which leads Sam to hunt out a local artist to record and to show the record exec in a bid to start up his own his own label.

For an opening episode it’s not too bad, if a bit slow going. Though it would definitely be of more interest to anyone who like that era of music.

5.4/10

Stranded With A Million Dollars (MTV)

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Stranded With A Million Dollars (MTV) – Premieres 21st February

A reality survival competition where 10 folks are placed on a deserted island supplied with nothing but the clothes on their back, and are challenged to survive for 40 days where the people left will split $1million between them.

The cash $1million is divided into $100k bundles, that are placed in 10 separate locations, and they can only collected if the group get to each drop point within a certain timeframe, but if they get there late they forfeit that $100k. In an additional twist the survivalists can purchase tools, equipment and food using the cash, but the have to an exorbitant price increase where a can of coke is valued at $1,000.

As the competition goes on one person in the group is selected to take part in a “temptation”, where they select someone to go with them and are offered a basic meal at a cost of $5k or a deluxe version costing $15k. The can either pass on the offer or select a meal and choose whether to let the rest of the group know they’ve spent money without consulting them.

The show is like a mix between the old channel 4 show Shipwrecked and a version of Naked and Afraid where no one has any survival skills. Though with the amount os additional twist it has along with the survival aspect becomes all a bit muddled in what it wants to be and becomes a chore to watch.

2.4/10