The Life Of Brian

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re­leased 22 aU­gUsT 2015-2016 | 15 | dVd Cre­ator Craig sweeny Cast Jake Mc­dor­man, Jen­nifer Car­pen­ter, Hill Harper, Mary el­iz­a­beth Mas­tran­to­nio, Colin salmon

It’s a shame this TV spin-off from the in­trigu­ing Bradley Cooper movie of 2011 didn’t click with more view­ers, get­ting can­celled af­ter just one sea­son. De­spite a few is­sues, it had a lot of po­ten­tial, toyed with be­ing gen­uinely in­no­va­tive and was of­ten hi­lar­i­ous to watch. Still, you can’t help feel­ing by the time you get to the end of these 22 episodes that it seems to have said ev­ery­thing it wants to say: an­other sea­son could have seen it run out of ideas, and it does wrap up rather well as it is.

The show fol­lows the ex­ploits of an or­di­nary Joe named Brian (Jake Mc­Dor­man) who pops pills that give him un­par­al­leled men­tal prow­ess, thus en­abling him to team up with the FBI to solve cases. You can tell when Brian’s on drugs be­cause the cine­matog­ra­phy changes: ev­ery­thing be­comes colour­ful and sat­u­rated and it’s like you’re trip­ping with him, plus he also has hal­lu­ci­na­tions – many of which are great fun, from car­toon se­quences to Fer­ris Bueller homages. But un­der­neath all the gloss, glam­our and (of­ten bril­liant) geeky ref­er­ences, there are some rather clunky po­lice pro­ce­dural plots. There’s also only so much chirpy nar­ra­tion that your head starts to hurt.

Guest ap­pear­ances from Bradley Cooper him­self do help (the show kicks off as his movie char­ac­ter is start­ing to make eyes at the White House), and the cast – es­pe­cially Dex­ter’s Jen­nifer Car­pen­ter and our very own Colin Salmon – are great. But Lim­it­less suf­fers from smug over­load and isn’t quite as smart as it thinks it is.

Ex­tras None. Meg Wilde

The show isn’t quite as smart as it thinks it is

In one ep, Mary El­iz­a­beth Mas­tran­to­nio’s char­ac­ter is re­sus­ci­tated in a bril­liant homage to a scene in 1989’s The Abyss.

Lassie’s cam­era tour of New York City was a mas­sive success.

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