New York Times reviews Strike Back: Origins — h/t Peggy Kincaid — see also RedeyeChicago

Here.

They like Armitage; they agree with me that the show has a lot of anti-American moments — but inexplicably they think it got better after the first season. Ok?

Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 11.36.36 PMScreen shot 2013-10-24 at 11.36.44 PMScreen shot 2013-10-24 at 11.36.53 PM

ps: here’s the Redeye Chicago review: “These episodes bear only a few similarities to the show we’ve been watching in the U.S., which isn’t a bad thing. The first two episodes feel more like a star vehicle for Armitage, which again isn’t a bad thing. He’s great in it. Check him out in the exclusive clip below, where Porter tries to get a job after being drummed out of the service. (Armitage was the first ever winner of RedEye’s Best TV Character contest in the early 00s for his role as Guy of Gisbourne in “Robin Hood.”) ”

ETA: reviews at TV Guide and Hitfix (h/t Petty Kincaid).

~ by Servetus on October 25, 2013.

48 Responses to “New York Times reviews Strike Back: Origins — h/t Peggy Kincaid — see also RedeyeChicago”

  1. Go figure right. I’d say we can see the reason but we agreed not to discuss that one so I’ll leave it. Article says it all.

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  2. They also missed that he was in MI-5 / Spooks himself. I would say — not very careful reviewing. Still, nice that they put his picture in.

    Oh, and his jaw isn’t square, either.

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  3. Terrible article that says absolutely nothing. Remind me not to renew my NYTimes subscription. I could have written a better one.

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    • So could I, as well as a lot of others. My respect for the NY Times just dropped significantly. If they can’t do a decent review of a TV show, what else are they getting wrong?

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  4. Yeah — I know as well as anyone what the flaws of that show are, but he kind of misses it. Then again, I know a lot of Times reviewers don’t have time to actually see the stuff they review.

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  5. If you like the bare boobs, butts, blood and bombs quotient radically upped, yeah, I suppose Cinemax improved it. 😉 Otherwise, can’t say I agree. And yeah, they missed RA being in Spooks and no mention of that little blockbuster known as TH, either. Meh.

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  6. I gave the NY Times more credit than this–I could have written a better review. Idiots.

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  7. Look at Chicago’s RedEye review. They were very complimentary. Most don’t seem to be talking though about Richard’s other accomplishments save for Robin Hood. I wonder if that is because that show was aired in the U.S. more so they figure that Americans can relate to that.

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    • It’s probably what’s in the ancient press pack that all the journalists received. If the “star” that Cinemax prefers to boost is Andrew Lincoln because of his success with The Walking Dead, heavens forbid they mention The Hobbit as one of RA’s credits. And no one outside of those who watch BBC really know about Spooks, or isn’t it called Mi5 here for us Americans? :-/

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  8. I think the Chicago reviewer only looked at his own archive (I wonder, actually, if it’s the same guy — would need to look that up). The New York Times *does* know Armitage was in the The Hobbit — it was in their TV listing about two weeks ago.

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  9. Underwhelming reviews. Very little information about anyone or anything. At least they weren’t too negative. SB has a special place in my heart, it was my gateway drug to RA. He hit me like a ton of bricks. Never happened before or since.

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  10. IF this reviewer watched the show at all (and i have my doubts) he had already made up his mind to snipe, in my opinion. How on earth anyone could say Cinemax improved the franchise is beyond me.

    “Livelier, less heavy handed” – well that’s one way of putting it – dumbed down and misogynistic is another…

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  11. Sufficiently square-jawed and troubled? And that does equate “liking”? Being reduced to generic action hero attributes is exactly the reason why I never wanted RA to do SB. Acting will never, ever be appreciated in a show like this. Not even if he dreams JP’s dreams.

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    • Well this show, unlike MI-5, which America apparently hated, got him on TV here. As did Robin Hood. If Americans knew who he was before TH, it was because of these programs you don’t like. I don’t think you can have it both ways, Jane. You want him to be exposed but not in the wrong way, but I don’t see how he could be exposed in the correct way for you.

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  12. Tch. Robin Hood started 2006 so it’s not early 00s at all.

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  13. I think that if RA’s SB appeared first on American TV, it would be a benchmark for the following seasons. As the other SB was aired before, viewers are used to another type of show, so obviously the first 6 episodes seem a tad confusing.
    I agree with Bollyknickers, “Livelier, less heavy handed” probably means “just sit there and watch things go boom”, whereas with RA’s episodes you did actually have to engage some grey cells.

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    • Agree about the grey cells. And I’d add you must also have some heart and soul.
      I agree with all the above comments. Only thing I’m “glad” is to see American reviewers are as dull & non professional as the Italian ones.
      As we said many times before, people enjoying Cinemax SB will probably find a little hard to enjoy RA SB. We’ll see.

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      • God forbid anyone should have to actually think or emotionally engage when watching television.

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        • You can’t understand how true this affirmation is here in Italy. How they put brains to sleep. TV manipulated people for the last 20 years, since TV owners was Prime Minister. And it holds even now. Terrible. We don’t know how to exit this situation 😦

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    • Agree Agzym! I’m so ridiculously happy that RA didn’t landed in that b..y crap!..that “bubble gum for the brain”. Good spirit watching over him and us! 😉

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  14. This one is a bit better:
    http://www.redeyechicago.com/entertainment/tv/redeye-strike-back-origins-preview-andrew-lincoln-richard-armitage-20131024,0,7731779.story

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  15. Mike Hale only reviews TV for the NYT. It’s worth reading his review of the original SB http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/arts/television/strike-back-on-cinemax-anti-terrorism-drama-review.html?ref=television – in which he said, * inter alia,* that it was meant to appeal to a young male audience, was like a Grade B international thriller , comic-book conspiracy & described other characteristics that I think most of this group would think unflattering – and then he recommended it. That may explain why Hale thinks the American series is a better show because it is “livelier and less heavy handed” ( both true).

    What bothers me more is the credit that Richard Armitage played in RH without or instead of mentioning TH or MI5. I would have said it’s because MI5 wasn’t shown here much – but it was shown here some and he referred to it in the review anyway – and that doesn’t answer why he didn’t mention TH.

    This supports my opinion that fans of the current SB aren’t going to like season 1 better. On the bright side, he didn’t pan it and he didn’t pan Armitage’s performance – “sufficiently square-jawed ( macho) and troubled” is better than “stiff and wooden.”

    The reviewer from “The Red-Eye” gets it. While the Times is an important reviewer of film and theater, it has no special status in television reviews, as far as I can tell.

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  16. Perdi meu interesse por SB quando Richard deixou a serie.

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  17. […] […]

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  18. […] The New York Times published a review of Strike Back Origins which was  discussed on MeandRichard, While the reviewer, Mike Hale, didn’t pan the show or its star, Richard Armitage, his […]

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  19. Well they did focus on Richard even tho they didn’t seem to care to mention much of his credits. It is true that this type of show can nullify the great acting of anyone in it which is a shame really. Just because it is action and all that doesn’t mean that an actor can’t bring a lot more to the table. Richard always brings the level up in anything he does. Still reviews are just that. We look at them for movies and often go see the movie anyway and love it so people are going to do the same here. I know I make my own mind up and so will others who have no idea who Richard Armitage is. There will be some SB watchers who could care less who that person was at the beginning three seasons ago and they won’t watch but there are some who will want to know how it all started and they will tune in.

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    • I am not convinced by any argument that says Armitage’s appearance in this show on US TV will be harmful to his career. Anything that makes him a familiar figure for US TV audiences has to do him a favor, and it’s not like these reviews are saying the show sucks.

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  20. The odd thing that despite the

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  21. “Score one for the Americans”. LOL! I don’t know, Mike Hale sounds like a lot of U.S. butthurt. [… Ed. Serv.]

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  22. Okay I read the HitFix review and then I read some of the comments on Facebook. I understand now. The SB American version is supposed to be “fun” not serious, not something to really think about. I felt like the review missed the whole point of what the first show was about actually. It was like John Porter didn’t like Collinson or having a partner so there. That is what this guy got out of watching it?

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  23. here’s the Hitfix review — this is obviously someone who watched it. I think it is actually a good discussion of Armitage’s work even if it doesn’t praise him effusively.

    http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-cinemaxs-strike-back-origins-brings-the-richard-armitage-season-to-america

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  24. Almost time and I thought I would watch the East Coast showing early but believe it or not the HD channel for that is acting up! Every other channel is working just fine but not that one. I can watch the regular East Coast channel but not the HD so I will probably do that and tape the HD West Coast one. Doesn’t matter I suppose since they will be showing it over and over again now.

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  25. They can’t be serious with this review? *face palms* Strike Back became “better” with Cinemax’s participation? No Way! I think we need to see if the reviewer owns stock in Cinemax and that’s why the review preferred the American series over Richard Armitage’s original SB series.

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  26. After watching tonight’s show I was wishing it was like when the Brits had it really. They got two episodes a week. We have to wait. I loved it. I might watch the other one just for comparison but really I prefer something with some thought to it. Of course I know where this is going, the thing with Collinson and Porter, and most Americans don’t. There is enough action here I think but Cinemax likes a lot more skin too I’d say. I think conflict in characters is good but apparently some reviewers just like the buddy system more.

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    • I found myself missing seeing the second ep, too, although at the time it was airing on Sky I wanted to see only one a week to stretch out the weeks in which I could look forward to seeing RA on my computer I think if what you purely want is a bromance with lots of loud explosions, big guns blazing and a plethora of bare boobies and gratuitous sex scenes, yeah, you will prefer the current SB. Since I am not an adolescent male or a grown man with a frat boy mindset, I prefer the original . . .

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  27. I like action movies certainly and watch them all the time but I also like programs with some thought to them when there is someone in them who makes it worthwhile. Richard brings that to what he does every time. If he didn’t then who would care right? In most cases men aren’t looking for plot really in their action films. They just want to see things blown up and the bad guys lose and the good guys win and get the girls. Sex is an added bonus to them. That is fine. Even with a buddy film I want a little more. Watching the show last night first off they need to understand this isn’t a partner thing. Collinson and Porter aren’t exactly partners here. Collinson is basically odd man out coming in as an extra. Porter already has a team and Collinson is the spook really who is going to “help” direct them to get the guy they need to rescue. That is all there is. No bromance here at all but reviewers, some anyway seem to think that Porter didn’t want a partner. They look too much at SB American style and try to put that on SB British. Maybe they need to watch Origins multiple times to get it right. LOL

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  28. […] focus on authenticity. The review doesn’t fall squarely into the goal of  Servetus’s  Me and Richard ( 2 posts) and my own  recent reports of reviews  – which is to see how Origins has been […]

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