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'Vegas', 'Black Mirror', 'Paddy's TV Guide': This week's TV review

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Dennis Quaid in new CBS series 'Vegas'.

© CBS


If I was picking dream jobs, being a cowboy would definitely be in my top five. Being a rockstar, playing James Bond and opening the batting for the England cricket team would probably come above it, but cutting a dash in a fancy Stetson, strutting about all day in some 501s and pistol-whipping bad guys sure sounds like fun to me.

All this considered I was rather excited about Sky Atlantic's latest big budget US import Vegas. Sheriffs and mobsters. Vegas glitz and Nevada dust. Cowboys and casinos. Who wouldn't be excited?

This premiere episode didn't sizzle as much as I was hoping - the '60s period detail was wafer thin, the show quickly slipped into all too familiar crime procedural tropes - but it was never boring and what it lacked in depth it made up for in bad-ass, ball-kicking villains and grizzled, horse-riding good guys.

Dennis Quaid's Ralph Lamb is an appealing lead hero, locking up snivelling lawyers with bikers, snarling at blubbering boyfriends and generally smouldering his way around the show as he accidentally struts his way into a job as local sheriff.

Equally, Michael Chiklis's mobster boss Vincent Savino is more than a match for Lamb when it comes to a bad-ass face-off and the more of the duo's head-to-heads the show manages to squeeze in the better for all of us.

It's not groundbreaking, the characters and relationships are all too familiar - ooh, I wonder if the Sheriff and Carrie-Anne Moss will have a thing - but dammit, I've been reeled in by this old-fashioned cowboy tale and I'm ready to strap on my boots and have a hoedown every Thursday night.

Vegas airs on Thursday nights on Sky Atlantic

Paddy's TV Guide

© Channel 4

Paddy's TV Guide


Due to the ever expanding world of TV channels, Netflix and DVD boxsets, I don't usually have much time to hate-watch or piddle around with nightmare-inducing TV.

I don't have the hours in the day to gawp at Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents when I've got a new season of US pilots to watch. And it's probably better for my job (and mental health) to binge on Attenborough's Africa rather than a marathon of The Love Machine and Sing Date.

However, occasionally a TV monster does cross my path and bewitches with me its sheer awfulness. Celebrity Wrestling, The Farm, TOWIE Live, Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights and now joining that list is Paddy's TV Guide.

Someone at Channel 4 clearly had a brainwave that the success of ITV's Take Me Out was based on affable host Paddy McGuinness rather than voyeurism at herberts with dodgy fake tans, bad hair extensions and personalities more shallow than a 2-year-old's paddling pool. They were wrong.

Paddy's TV Guide is a weird mix of not particularly amusing video clips and buttock-clenchingly awful editing that squeezes hysterical audience laughter on top of every inoffensive but utterly unamusing comment from the show's host.

Filled with the most basic sort of 'do you remember Marathon bars?' nostalgic humour, you didn't need to stay tuned beyond the cringing intro last week (Paddy marching on to the set to the Dad's Army theme tune with some utterly bewildered audience members) to understand the terrors that lurked in this TV horror.

Bafflingly bad, Paddy will do well to wipe this whole project from his wiki page and pretend it never happened if he knows what's best for him.

Paddy's TV Guide continues on Friday nights on Channel 4

Black Mirror Season 2: Be Right Back

© Channel 4


Would you want to stay in touch with someone after they died via some simulated software geekery? If the technology was there to recreate the voice, tone and personality of your best friend, mum, dad, son or sibling, would you want to speak to them again?

The obvious answer would be no, don't be so mad, but Charlie Brooker's latest strangely moving episode of Black Mirror posed this question brilliantly and although I may have had quibbles (that ending felt a little disjointed right?), this was by far the strongest instalment in the dark anthology series' history. Someone give Hayley Atwell a BAFTA sharpish.

I've also concluded that this sort of computer program is already in existence.

It would be a logical explanation for the general jerkery of Piers Morgan on Twitter. Perhaps Piers actually died five years ago and never really joined the social networking site. Maybe the 140-character buffoonery, which looks like the result of a toddler hammering a keyboard with a spoon, is just a software system mimicking, repeating, unable to learn, listen or develop.

Any other explanation for such goon-like behaviour is probably too dark even for Charlie Brooker's imagination.

Black Mirror continues on Monday nights at 10pm on Channel 4

What has been your TV highlight of the week? Let us know below!

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