Tag Archives: Channel 7

Series Review: 9-1-1 on Channel 7

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Let’s be real here.  Those cop/doctor/fireman procedurals flooding the airwaves right now, would not really make for exciting watching if the emergencies they were attending were not of major grandeur.  A bomb in chest of a man, multiple plane crashes, a 20 story apartment building on fire with no fire exits….it’s rudimentary that the bigger the emergency, the bigger the show (no matter how outlandish) and that’s what new show 9-1-1 is aiming to do – except most of the emergencies featured in each episode are based off actual real-life events.

Created by the minds of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk  (American Horror Story, GLEE, Nip/Tuck)  this ‘first responders’ drama takes the most insane “what could possibly go wrong” horrors and amps them up ten fold to offer up some of the most skin crawling, “ewwww” ensuing and spine tingling emergencies.

Let’s just say a new born baby flushed down a toilet in the series opening episode (written by Murphy, Falchuk, and showrunner/co-creator Tim Minear and directed by Murphy series regular Bradley Buecker) isn’t even scraping the surface of what’s to come.

Along with the freakishly outlandish scenarios, 9-1-1 is fitted out with a dream cast of core characters including Angela Bassett as tough as nails cop Athena who is dealing with some home life dramas, Peter Krause as fire station captain Bobby Nash who is a recovering addict with a family secret he’s not telling anyone (well just yet), Connie Britton as 9-1-1 responder Abby Clark who is struggling to balance work and looking after her ailing mother and Oliver Stark as the rookie rule-breaker firefighter who may or may not be a sex addict.

The day jobs of these characters see them often intertwining with one another though Britton’s 9-1-1 call centre responder Abby Clark is virtually cut from any real involvement until she forcibly inserts herself into the life of young firefighter Buck.

Of all our heroes personal struggles, I found Krause’s Bobby Nash the most difficult to swallow with his former addict status sending him to the local priest to confess his sins on a regular basis.  It does takes five episodes of this sullen and private Bobby to finally reveal just what is causing him such depression and that reveal in itself is quite shocking and heart breaking but once revealed and dealt with, is quickly swept under the rug and never mentioned again.

For the most part, 9-1-1 seems to offer up a somewhat even balance between the  daily emergencies our heroes deal with and the personal struggles waiting for them at home though a note I took down while watching the first few episodes read “get back to the life saving action!!” – not to say that the home life aspect of our heroes was boring.

9-1-1 starts Wednesday August 1st, 8:30pm Channel 7.

 

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Review: Olivia Newton John: Hopelessly Devoted to You – Part One

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Image credit: Channel Seven

At some point during the two hours of this part one Olivia Newton John bio, A young Olivia Newton John (played by Morgan Griffin) finds a review about her album with the now infamous quote “If white bread could sing, it would sound like this.”….

Needless to say, that white bread is what we’re being delivered up in the first part of this ONJ biopic that literally speed-balls through two decades of her career within the blink of an eye, bypassing the darker, meatier topics that could have added a bit of wholegrain to the loaf.

Hopeless Devoted to You opens with one of ONJ’s most iconic film moments, the transformation of Sandy in Grease with her ink black leggings, figure hugging corset and hair tizzed within an inch of it’s life singing ‘You’re the one that I want’.  She’s riding a wave of praise with the world at her feet at the movie’s premiere wondering “how did I get here?” before we’re thrown all the way back to Melbourne 1965 with 16 year old ONJ  (Morgan Griffin) about to get her first break with boyfriend TV presenter Ian Turpie (Will Ewing) by her side.

A move to London, a failed attempt with her first single and movie plus a new boyfriend in Bruce Welch (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) from the band ‘The Shadows’ and suddenly ONJ is 22 years old and she’s beginning to make a name for herself with thanks to her boyfriend and manager Welch.  There’s a slight hint within this first part that attempts to look at Welch’s jealousy of ONJ has her career begins to soar (he left his band to manager her) but because that might delve a bit to deep into the dark side it’s quickly brushed aside and ONJ moves on.

White bread.

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Image: Channel Seven

It’s a full 45-odd minutes before the Delta Goodrem version of ONJ re-appears just as she’s about to sing her first mega hit “I Honestly Love You” with new boyfriend by her side, Englishman Lee Kramer (Todd Lasance) who, also happens to be her new manager.  And very much like before with lover/manager Welch, ONJ finds herself struggling with the jealousy of Kramer as her lover/manager as her career continues to keep going higher and once again, she lets him go before we get into the meatier parts of their relationship.

White bread.

The nitty gritty of this part one is that there is none.  It’s simply white bread and in all honesty there is really nothing wrong with it as it makes for a nice and pleasant viewing filled with some hit songs and a couple of broken hearts.

As a young ONJ, Morgan Griffin shines, giving us the doe eyed soft spoken Aussie girl about to take on the world with her music though as this is the Delta Goodrem show, she’s brought in to play ONJ in her early 20’s and that may not have been the best move as Goodrem is too present, too self aware, too…well…Delta Goodrem.

Sure Delta and ONJ both embody the ‘good girl next door’ image but the similarities between the two end there and I had to remind myself constantly that this wasn’t a Delta singing singing ONJ’s greatest hits special and that’s through no fault of her own.  Delta is just too big a name, face and brand to easily morph into someone else – someone just as well known in the form of Olivia Newton John.

When you compare this to 2014’s Michael Hutchence/INXS biopic, Luke Arnold, while known, did not have the same status as Goodrem which allowed the actor to become Hutchence to a point the two were eerily alike but then again, there was more substance and darker, personal material being explored in that movie.

Part two, which airs the following week, delves into the more recent(ish) and more tabloid ONJ era with crazed stalkers, the Xanadu years, battle with cancer and a lover missing at sea.

Don’t expect too much depth from this part one, if we’re talking white bread it’s a cucumber sandwich made to look like a cheese sandwich but we still can clearly see it’s a cucumber sandwich.  Enjoyable but sadly not satisfying that hunger.

Olivia Newton John: Hopelessly Devoted to You – Part one airs Sunday, May 13th at 8:30pm on the Seven Network.

The MKR Grand Finalists Have Been Revealed!

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Image – Channel 7

After 5 long months (including a 4 week hiatus for the Commonwealth Games), we finally know which of the 16 teams have made it through to the My Kitchen Rules grand finale airing this Sunday night on Channel 7.

Victorian mums Kim and Suong who have powered through with their cyclone-in-a-kitchen traditional Vietnamese cooking, will battle it out against Gold Coast couple Alex and Emily who have proven strong with their Mexicali fusion cuisine, for the $250,000 winning prize.

The road to the finale has been a tough one for viewers with the ousting of fiery friends Hadil and Sonya after their abusive outburst while fan favorites Henry and Anna, along with Olga and Valeria failed to impress the judges enough to make it through to the semi-finals.

Leaving just four teams to cook off, brothers Nic and Josh and friends Stella and Jezzey both missed the final hurdle leaving the last two teams of Alex and Emily and Kim and Suong to cook off on Sunday night.

Who will win?  Find out this Sunday on Channel 7 and leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Channel 7’s Yummy Mummies Will Leave you Utterly Sour

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Picture Credit: Channel 7

In an aimless attempt to tap into the “Real Housewives of…” market, Channel 7 has incredulously decided to drag viewing audiences to their network with their own unscripted version titled “Yummy Mummies” premiering Sunday night at 9pm.

Yummy Mummies assaults viewers with their bland and tedious lives of four soon-to-be-mums who live their days through their “MelbourneYumMums” Instagram page, drinking mocktails at lunch and doing a lot of shopping for designer maternity wear while contemplating how “everyday pregnant women let themselves go during pregnancy”.

At first glimpse, there’s not much substance to the three Melbourne based nearly mums. While they seem like a lot of fun, there’s no talk of maternity leave or any sign these women have some form of a career outside of going to lunch and when it comes to finances, there’s no shame shown when talking about how the hubby will happily pay for a $99,000 “push present” aka a rare diamond ring.

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Yummy Mummy number one is Lorinska, an AFL WAG, married to former Carlton player Andrew Merrington and is a behemoth of a woman who towers above the other two nearly mums.  At 33 weeks pregnant, Lorinska has a very valid fear of breastfeeding her soon to be off-spring after a humiliating and traumatic cow-teet-to-the-face moment in her childhood.  Lorinska is also the only “yummy mummy” not afraid to look a little more casual during some of her cut screen commentaries.

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Yummy Mummy number two is Rachel, a…..well not much is offered on Rachel except she’s a) heavily pregnant, b) gives great Carrie Bradshaw face, c) is the only “yummy mummy” who doesn’t look like a chupa chup who swallowed it’s chupa chup and d) likes to scare breast feeding phobic nearly mums with tales of alien-esque post birth scenarios.

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Yummy Mummy number three is Jane, a model who’s married to South Yarra hairdresser Joey Scandizzo and is the only “yummy mummy” to actually be on her second pregnancy.  It’s hard to hate on Jane because she’s very pretty, rocks a posh yet bogan twang and reminds me way to much of Karen Smith from Mean Girls.

While we are being introduced to the Melbourne gang, we are also invited to meet “Yummy Mummy” Maria from Adelaide along with her mum Patsy Stone Margherita (this show’s true and not-so-secret secret star) and her younger sister Bianca who seems like Kendall Jenner before Kendall Jenner became Kendall Jenner.

YMum_2 Maria is many months pregnant (I can’t for the life of me remember how far along she is or if it’s even mentioned – actually I don’t really care) and has already mapped out her unborn daughters life up-to the age where she’ll be resented for the rest of her life. From Burberry to Versace, as long as it’s branded and cost more than my annual wage, then Maria has bought it for her unborn child.

Maria is all about style over substance, she’s branded her partner with her name in ink and believes breast feeding in public is or should be illegal and is not a fan of counter-fake (yes, her words) handbags.

Maria is also the reason why the Melbourne based “Yummy Mummies” end up in Radeliade – to attend her uber tacky and garishly over the top Burberry-come-Versace themed baby shower as Maria, it seems has no friends and needs to invite three total strangers to this event in an attempt to show off and feel good about her vapid life.

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Maria, it seems, does not have it all….

Bridezilla’s are a thing of the past with Mumzilla Maria throwing tantrum after tantrum in regards to planning her most glamorous ever baby shower.  From the size of the event room to ordering a big enough balloon arch, the theme of the baby shower to present table size, nothing is off limits in tantrum town.

There is one saving grace in this abhorrent show however – event planner Jess –

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Patience of a saint – Channel 7

Jess is literally the ‘everyday person’s hero’ as she keeps composure through the stream of outrageous demands Maria vomits up in a single meeting.  There’s not a single raised eyebrow and no glaringly forced smile as Jess has a reasonable solution for every demand.

Yummy Mummies really is truly terrible television.  There’s no beating around the bush – it’s shit – but, it’s shit television that makes for twitter and social commentary gold and the fact that we still don’t make it to an actual baby shower by the end of this first episode will keep many shocked eyes on the following episode.

Yummy Mummies begins, Sunday night on Channel 7 at 9pm right after the House Rules finale…..

 

Winners & Losers Series Finale Wins Our Hearts and Tears.

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Girl power!  (L to R) Melissa Bergland, Demi Harman, Melanie Vallejo and Virginia Gay.  Image credit: Channel 7.

Better get the tissues ready as long running Aussie drama Winners & Losers is sadly, after five seasons, coming to an end on Monday night in massive double episode filled with tears, friendly faces, more tears, many laughs and even more tears.

With Channel 7 pushing out double episodes on a weekly basis since the shows return, they’ve decided to call Monday nights epic finale a ‘movie length send off’ while in reality, the first of the two final episodes is a follow up to last weeks cliff-hanger and takes a close look at Sophie’s (Melanie Vallejo) love triangle with Luke (Nathin Butler) and his brother Alex (Scott Smart) while Jenny (Melissa Bergland), who has discovered she’s finally pregnant, must find the right way to reunite with Gabe (Nick Russell) after she chose to pretty much end their marriage after his kiss with co-worker Riley (Demi Harman)

Thankfully it’s not all woe and drama wtih Frances (Virginia Gay) and Pete (James Saunders) deciding to take a romantic ‘mini moon’ after their sudden nuptials….in a fancy hotel, in the city…..but find themselves struggling to keep up with the fast paced youths running rampant in the same hotel and Riley discovering her ex is about to get married and toys with the idea of going to said wedding and making a scene to prove a point.

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Frances (Virginia Gay) imagines what life would have been like had she taken more chances after the lotto win.  Image Credit: Channel 7.

It’s not until the loose ends involving Sophie and Jenny are done and dusted and a sneaky little glimpse at a 15 year high school reunion invitation that we make our way into the final ever episode (insert tears here).  Jenny, Sophie and Frances are to be interviewed for a documentary on lotto winners five years on from their win, just how much their lives have changed and are they happier now than before they won.  It’s a smart way to push the newly inserted Riley out of the story line (she’s off with Gabe working on the presentation of the SpoilSport app) and allow the three remaining lead characters take the spotlight together for one last time while they take in their lives now and where they started off.

Familiar faces including the entire Gross clan – Trish, Brian and Patrick Gross (Denise Scott, Francis Greenlade and Jack Pearson) and former nemesis Tiffany Turner (Michala Banas) are a very much welcome return but don’t be expecting much more than that.  For a show that offered up a slew of recurring characters over its five seasons, sadly, there is virtually no reference to those we loved who have come and gone like Bec (Zoe Tuckwell-Smith), Doug (Tom Wren), Flynn (Tom Hobbs) or Sam (Katherine Hicks).

But, that’s not what this Winners & Losers finale is about.  The aim is clearly to give a massive send off to who we have left standing and to celebrate the big changes coming their way as we say goodbye to the girls we’ve come to know over the past five years.

Tissues will be needed and lots of them, but probably not until the last 15 or so minutes because that’s when it all gets real and we know the end is coming.  It’s always tough to give a show a respectable farewell and the final few scenes are actually a perfect way to say goodbye to Jenny, Frances and Sophie as we’re offered a perfect little glimpse into their lives after it’s all said and done.  The only thing that may rub fans wrong is that said ‘non mention’ of long gone series favorites.

I can honestly say for Jenny, Sophie and Frances, I wouldn’t have had this finale any other way.

The Winners and Losers series finale starts Monday night, September 12th at 8:50pm on Channel 7.

7’s The Big Music Quiz has a Great Concept but Less than Stellar Host.

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Bindi Irwin and Rebel Wilson on 7’s The Big Music Quiz.  (c) Channel 7 2016

Successful and good quiz shows featuring celebrity panelists comes down to three defining factors.  1: A smart yet funny quiz show offering up great questions.  2: A great selection of celebs that not only get into the game but are also good sports.  3: A good host that can interact well with those celebs appearing on said show.  The Big Music Quiz hits two of those three points and without the third, it painfully shows.

The premise is pretty simple, two teams of semi well known faces show off their music knowledge over six rounds of questions….all of which are of course musical based with the loosing team forced into humiliation by ending out the show with a dance off.

The selection of celebrities in the shows first outing range from Screaming Jets front man Dave Gleeson to model Kris Smith to Winners and Losers star Melanie Vallejo and over the coming episodes includes Rebel Wilson, Ada Nicodemou and Kate Ceberano.

The big miss with The Big Music Quiz is in host Darren McMullen – he of former The Voice Australia host and House Husbands actor – does not mesh well with either the celebrity guests or the show in general.  I hate to say it as I like McMullen but the quick wit required to host these type of shows is missed completely by him as he manages to miss any and all opportunities for zingy comebacks…even when presented to him on a silver platter.

For example, in the first round of the first episode, contestants are given a short 20 seconds to identify the artist of a well known song, model Kris Smith says “I remember 20 seconds being a lot longer than that!”  McMullen laughs and moves right onto a score check.  Heck, even guest Laurence Mooney (probably ascertaining the lack of hosting ability) attempts to have a decent crack at poking some tongue in cheek comments.

It’s a hosting gig perfect for someone like Paul McDermott or even say Hamish Blake who have a proven track record with this kind of thing.

The big Music Quiz is just that…a big music based quiz show, a flashier version of Spicks and Specks and of the first episode available for preview, it’s without the witty banter between host and celebrities that make those shows even more watchable.  Good news is that The Big Music Quiz is not a lost cause thanks to its host.  The mix of fun rounds, easy to moderately tough questions and great selection of celeb guests pick up the slack.

If there is anything 7 could take away from The Big Music Quiz it’d be to cast a wider net when looking for a host and look into viewer interaction via an app or website.  A show like this would work perfectly with at home viewers so they can watch and play along at the same time on a second screen device.

The Big Music Quiz starts soon on Channel 7 (possibly Sunday August 28th)

Pilot Review: Code Black

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Marcia Gay Harden leads new medical drama Code Black (c) CBS 2015

Medical dramas are a staple on television and have been for years.  From M.A.S.H to Chicago Hope, ER to Greys Anatomy and some other ones in between.  They’re like your cop/crime procedurals that infiltrate our TV listings but sometimes there’s a bit more blood and a bit more drama but in the end, there’s nothing really new or exciting about them.  Code Black (starting August 25th, 9.10pm on Channel 7) attempts to throw out everything we know about medical dramas and smears it with added blood for good effect.

Code Black follows the hectic work lives of doctors and interns at Angels Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles where on numerous occasions the patients outnumber the staff and resources available – hence the title Code Black.  Even in the opening scene we’re informed “while the average ER goes into code black five times per year, Angels Memorial hits that level 300 times per year.

For those familiar with the array of medical dramas that have been televised, the opening scenes of Code Black may feel a little familiar with Senior ER nurse Jesse (Luis Guzman)  going through the motions of introducing four new interns (including Bonnie Somerville as Christa and Benjamin Hollingsworth as cocky Mario) to life at Angels Memorial – what to do, what not to do and how not to kill patients before Dr. Leanne Rorish (Marcia Gay Harden) whips through the ER like a medical genius hurricane informing the crew that a “Code Black” is imminent.

While your usual shows like Greys are full of pristine hospital wards where everything is white and sterile and most staff can maintain their ‘inside voices’ while spewing out hospital speak, Code Black is full of shouting, yelling people moving very fast… and  blood stained floors saturated by unflattering hospital UV lighting.  It’s a major contrast to what we know but also feels very ‘slap-in-the-face-we’re-different-ok?’

As the story goes, Code Black is a hectic show with lots going on.  Leanne is dealing with a traumatic past, Christa’s personal demons involving a close to home death cloud her judgement and Mario’s over inflated ego mix right into the crazy world of week to week cases – and there’s plenty of those too.  To pull off the Code Black feel, the pilot alone features seven cases among a myriad of background patients and a waiting room literally overflowing with more medical professional seeking members of the public suffering from ailments ranging from common colds to broken limbs.

A major play that Code Black has going for it is that while there is sooooooooooo much going on, unlike our beloved Greys Anatomy residents, there is no time for Code Black staff to bang each other in medical supply rooms while wondering “does he really like me?  Like really like me?”   And while sex between docs is on the down low, there is still a few hints of flirting among each other, but thankfully it doesn’t register on the McDreamy scale that Greys forcibly pushed onto us.

Code Black begins 9.10pm, Thursday August 25th on Channel 7.

Familiar Faces Return to 7’s Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers' Katherine Hicks and Jacob Holt
Winners and Losers’ Katherine Hicks and Jacob Holt.  Source: supplied

Ok, first off, what’s up with channel 7 pushing the double episodes of Winners and Losers on a Tuesday night?  While i’m never one to scoff at a double dose of our Melbourne gals, it is starting to get some fans worried that episodes are just being pushed out so as to finish the show earlier than anticipated.

Well fear not as these double episodes look set to have ended as series four (yes, we’re still in the second half of the season!) draws to a close with the last of the double episodes gone and done with and the final three season four episodes being aired as singles cutting a fresh start for the shows fifth season.  It’s a smart move as these last three episodes deserve to be on their own, especially with the amount that’s packed into each one!

While the Carla (Sibylla Budd) and Izzy (Laura Gordon) story line moves to more tepid ground with Izzy making a return from time out in Sydney and Carla learning to deal with the almost kiss between Izzy and Doug (Tom Wren), it’s the fractured friendship between Sophie (Melanie Vallejo) and Frances (Virginia Gay) that continues to dominate everyone’s lives and sets the course for a rekindled relationship for Frances and a possible overseas move for Sophie.

Though it’s not all dark and gloom, with Jenny (Melissa Berglund) and Gabe’s (Nick Russell) upcoming nuptials, which see’s the return of not one, not two but three familiar faces, one of which is the long awaited return of Gross family matriarch Trish Gross (Denise Scott) who has been off in Denmark with Deidre Gross.  The other two faces you’ll have to watch to see!

Surprise returns, dream jobs, a wedding, a rekindled relationship, a move back the country – there’s a lot happening in the next few weeks of Winners and Losers!

Winners and Losers airs Tuesday nights, 8:30pm on Channel 7

MKR 2015 Final Teams Revealed

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Mount Isa cousins Jac Bakhash and Shaz Sellings are in the finals of MKR 2015

Two sassy country town cousins versus the super confident pommie best friends.  It’s an MKR final that no one could have picked when asked after the two instant restaurant rounds had been completed.  Cousins Jac and Shaz and best friends Will and Steve have – for the most part – had a breezy run in the uber long cooking competition.

 The Mount Isa cooks have actually had the easiest of runs into the final, nabbing multiple challenges off due to winning the coveted ‘peoples choice’ on two challenges.  Will and Steve however have found themselves in a sudden death cook-off only to finish the final instant restaurant round on top of the leader board.

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So who will win the title of My Kitchen Rules 2015 champions?

While Camilla and Ash were my top picks, Jac and Shaz’s easy going nature and fantastic home-style cooking have earned them a legion of fans with myself included.  Will and Steve too have a well earned following thanks to their British pub inspired recipes and are the first all-male team to make the MKR finals.

And just for reference….I’ll be backing Jac and Shaz for the win!.

My Kitchen Rules 2015 final airs this Monday night, 7:30pm on Channel 7

Pilot Review: State of Affairs

Katherine Heigl as CIA analyst Charleston Tucker.  Source: Privided

Katherine Heigl as CIA analyst Charleston Tucker. Source: Provided

Are we ready for another chance to hate-watch a show for it’s star?

There’s a moment in this first episode of State of Affairs where you begin to question your current feelings for star Katherine Heigl. Heigl herself, once beloved by fans as Izzy Stephens on medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, had a very public exit from the show followed by a string of mediocre rom-com movies and earned herself a ‘difficult to work with‘ moniker.

So the question begs….do we like her or not?

Now it’s been some time since Heigl has graced our screens (large and small) but she’s back as a top CIA analyst Charleston ‘Charlie’ Tucker (Isn’t that the most ridiculous name btw?) working directly with the Constance Payton (Aflre Woodard) who happens to be the President of the United States.

Both are dealing with the pending anniversary of an attack they suffered while in Kabul in which the president’s son – and Charlie’s fiancee was killed.  Charlie’s way of dealing is with the use of lots of alcohol, random sex and the wearing of mainly black clothing…but only when there’s time for it as Charlie has plenty to do.

From being a complete bitch to her therapist to briefing the POTUS on potential threats and shouting demands down the phone, it’s a wonder she finds time to even do her hair but even in the dead of night, walking down the halls in her impossibly high heels, Charlie still manages to look like she’s just stepped off a vogue cover shoot.

While there’s daily threats for Charlie and her rag-tag team of analysts to deal with, it’s those events in Kabul which propel the season along.  Just who killed the POTUS’s son?  Why can’t Charlie remember what actually happened that night?  Who is sending those mysterious and threatening text messages?  Why is she wearing big thick black rimmed hipster glasses?

To put it nicely, State of Affairs is a watered down , fluffy version of that other woman-who-protects-the-country-but-has-issues show – Homeland but where Homeland and it’s star Claire Danes aren’t afraid to get dirty (and give us that now famous ugly cry) State of Affairs keeps it’s hands rather clean.

Don’t get me wrong, it is watchable and if you stick with it, over-time, story-lines and characters develop a lot more (especially with Tuckers team members), but don’t come in expecting the quality that Homeland gives us.

State of Affairs begins Thursday night, 9pm on Channel 7.