Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Da Vinci's Demons?

The latest offering in the category of shows-about-sexy/smart-weirdos a la Sherlock, Elementary, Dexter, and Hannibal—though with much less of a police procedural/serial killer vibe and way more (maybe) magic and boobies—Da Vinci's Demons follows twenty-something Leonardo Da Vinci through the streets, sewers, and surrounding countryside of Florence as he "invents the future," according to Starz. 

Should Da Vinci's Demons be a part of YOUR future? I've seen the first episode, and here's my take. 

Da Vinci's Demons? Sounds dark and scary.

Yes and no. There are definitely some thrilling (and thriller) aspects to what Starz is calling a "historical fantasy," but the demons in the title have less to do with monsters under the bed and more to do with young Leonardo's issues, a collection of tics that would keep Tony Soprano's Dr. Melfi on her toes through, well, at least a follow-up session.  At a time when the papacy and nobility kept the little guy down, young Da Vinci revels in his brilliance and inadvertently gets himself tangled in a web of conspiracy. Also: cults. Also: nudity (because Starz).

Who tapped into their own brilliance to bring us Da Vinci's Demons?

David S. Goyer created the series and penned the pilot. He's written for DC Comics in the past, notably on JSA, and he's written/co-written the screenplays for the Dark Knight trilogy and the upcoming Man of Steel. His most recognizable TV credit? Co-creating FlashForward for ABC. 

Da Vinci himself is played by Tom Riley, who has worked extensively on the stage in both the U.K. and the U.S. and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his performance in Arcadia on Broadway in 2011. He's joined by Laura Haddock (The Inbetweeners Movie, Captain America: The First Avenger) as the mysterious Lucrezia Donati.

When does this party begin?

Da Vinci's Demons premieres Friday, April 12—tonight!—at 10pm on Starz.



Who is 
Da Vinci's Demons aiming to please?

With the Spartacus franchise coming to a close just minutes before Da Vinci's Demons debuts, I'm willing to bet Starz is hoping to keep some of the Spartacus audience. While there isn't a whole lot of overlap with Sparty's geysers of blood and the stealthy murderin' on Da Vinci's Demons, there are plenty of similarities between the two given their inherent sensuality, and visually, both shows are simply stunning, with Da Vinci's Demons, for me personally, coming out juuuust ahead. It's less 300 and more OMG PRETTY. Since both series' leads are based on historical figures, Da Vinci's Demons also presents an opportunity for the network to follow up what is certain to be a SAD AS ALL HELL series finale (spoiler alert unless you didn't pay attention in 6th grade history: the good guys lose... badly) with a series premiere where, though he may have his ups and downs, we know Leo is going to be A-OK in the end. 

What's good about it?

It's pretty. Have I mentioned how pretty it is? So pretty. If you're shallow like me and you enjoy pretty things as much as I do, be prepared for some eye candy beyond the butts and boobies. Da Vinci's Demons also has just enough lighthearted shenanigans to balance the doom and gloom of ye olde' Cultists for Christ. Tom Riley is charming and fun in the lead role. Historically, I can't vouch for the show's accuracy because I went to a public school that slacked on the art education, and my knowledge of the real Da Vinci basically amounts to this: He painted the Mona Lisa, invented all the things, and looked like Dumbledore later in life. So it's entirely possible that the premiere is chock full of nods to the real Da Vinci that went way over my head, but even if it isn't, the show is a fantasy, not a biography. 



What's not good about it?

Eh. In my house, Starz is code for "porn with plot" so if you find occasionally-overlong-but-still-artfully-shot sex scenes to be a bit tedious you MIGHT not care much for the T&A in Da Vinci. However, honestly, compared to Spartacus and maybe even Magic CityDa Vinci's Demon's is downright prudish... in the first episode, at least. 

So, should I watch it?

Do it! Do it!

Is there a trailer I can check out first?

Ask and you shall receive, my friends:



What refreshments should I have on hand to accompany my viewing?

Bust out the communion wine and smoke em' if you got 'em. 


Da Vinci's Demons premieres tonight at 10pm on Starz, right after the series finale of Spartacus.

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Apr 15, 2013
Should Da Vinci's Demons be a part of YOUR future? I've seen the first episode, and here's my take. It was a big pass for me!!
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Apr 14, 2013
I loved it. Great story & acting. & yep, it was very pretty. For people who can't enjoy honest fictional dramas, those who support the so called reality TV saturated, arrggh. Those people may have a hard time enjoying an actual story with trained actors & wonderful cinematography. Tom Riley is a joy to watch.
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Apr 14, 2013
this show is set to replace Spartacus.
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Apr 15, 2013
nothing can replace Spartacus
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Apr 14, 2013
i agree with the downton surprise...i was...i think those who love da vinci will be unhappy if they go far into fantasy he is a hero to many. esp the gay community..he appeared along with 20 some other historical figures apparently know to be gay or lesbian..the poster was in the office office i worked in th late 80's..it also appeared in many men's health clinis etc.it was all over in the 80's.90's..maybe still?..he had no relations with women noted,did not marry,had no offspring and spent at least 20 yrs living and loving a young man that was not a student or anything else to do with his work...florence was the san francisco of europe of the times and it seemed, like rome it was part of the culture but not as defined as in rome...so while eye candy is nice,boobs and all i think if they do a tutors henry the 8th with leonardo the womanizer, it will appeal to those who don't know or care,but they could loose alot of the gay and die hard history buffs of his. the spartagus crowd and others that having seen a series on da vinci would tune in may know what there is to know as well..his life was not that well documented ...starz people seem smart . i am looking for a balance..if this were the 80's i would expect less..but esp after spartagus they have to know it doesn't hurt and prob helps ratings esp if it is the truth...we will see???
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Apr 14, 2013
Fiction. Story. Not Biography.
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Apr 13, 2013
You could've given us the heads-up on Hugh Bonneville's bare ass. Downton Abbey will never be the same.
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Apr 13, 2013
lol at the "porn with plot" description... Does Banshee qualify?
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Apr 14, 2013
Banshee had far more sex than Da Vinci's Demons as of yet
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Apr 13, 2013
Network names mean nothing to me, so when I first heard of this show I imagined something silly... but I was still considering checking it out. After this, I definitely will.
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Apr 13, 2013
MaryAnn, please do weekly reviews of this show!
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Apr 13, 2013
Leonardo will always attract seekers!
When I was in Paris 2005, I could not visit the Louvre. But the Louvre came with sound recording equipment, which were kindly provided by the French. Found the "Mona Lisa" and began recording background sound created numerous visitors who came to see the masterpiece. The logic was simple. Allow myself to be noted that any masterpiece has the property of highly structured information field. Man - this is also, at its basis, the field structure. There is a contact of two field structures – human and masterpiece. This is probably the power of art. The sounds published the people who were in the masterpiece (talk, the shuffling of feet, etc.) were very valuable to me, they were correlated associated with him. Subjecting these records complicated transformation process, I managed to get some incredible sound. Many are led into shock - these sounds there is a clear identification with the portrait of "Mona Lisa." Similar records I've made in the famous sculpture of Venus. As a result, based on these records, I had three works - "Knowledge", "Flow" and "Communication".

http://youtu.be/rUDsL8Rg4uo
MONA LISA_VENUS(Опыт работы с шедеврами) .avi

Structure of presented video: sound background at Mona Lisa – result of transformational processing of a background, a sound background at Venus – result of transformational processing of a background, a work “Knowledge” fragment (the transformed sounds are used only).
Full details can be found on my master class
Academia of Music, Kishinev MOLDOVA http://studiomusicnew.blogspot.com
(sorry, translated by google)
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Apr 13, 2013
Just watched the first episode and while I honestly cannot tell you what happened in the first half of the episode the second half picked up and become more interesting to me. It seems quite fun and worth sticking with. Da Vinci's leather jacket really bothers me though.
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Apr 13, 2013
That will teach me to read comments before watching the show...lol~~I was distracted by his jacket~~seemed to modern...maybe it was the style of the buttons or collar~see what you did;-)

The show was quite intriguing/enjoyable and I will keep watching to see how it goes.
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Apr 13, 2013
Did you say magic boobies and porn with a plot? Oh yeah. That is STARZ all over.
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Apr 12, 2013
Si senora! suena bien
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Apr 12, 2013
I don't think Da Vinci was into women..? Makes for kind of a shitty plot, if you ask me.
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Apr 13, 2013
He wasn't...... But I'll fall back on the "it's fantasy, not a biography"
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Apr 12, 2013
He's bisexual in this. One of the MANY creative liberties the writers take.
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Apr 12, 2013
Having seen the first episode I can't say it was all that "pretty". The CGI bordered on passable to downright laughable. I suppose if they are able to keep that to a minimum it might be an enjoyable series. The scene where Da Vinci studied the birds as they were released from the cage was beautifully shot though.
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Apr 12, 2013
About the sex,hem hem, ya folks know he was gay as a fruit tree with them delicate flowers blooming in the breeze, huh?So,is this gonna be a gay men version of Spartacus?
But seriously, I agree with you that this is but loosely anything to do with the real da Vinci who had an extraordinary life for real. This idea to spur things up with all the shmaltz seem to be kind of disrespectful to the man and his genius, if you see what I mean.
Otherwise, of course I'll see it.
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Apr 12, 2013
I was wondering if anyone was going to watch this for us... thanks, MaryAnn!

Anyway, I was kind of looking forward to this months ago, but now I'm not that sure. Why does everyone who worked on TDK trilogy suddenly have the need to now bring a different version of Batman to the small screen? Isn't JOHN REESE enough??

I guess I'll check in mainly for Laura Haddock, who is unbelievably gorgeous in that above photo.
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Apr 12, 2013
My wife loves Da Vinci. I love boobies. This is win-win.
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Apr 12, 2013
Now my husband will watch it knowing there are boobies! As the t-shirt says from Rock of Ages "Hooray for Boobies!". LOL I look forward to watching it anyway.
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Apr 12, 2013
Boobies! nothing beats boobies!
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Apr 12, 2013
"ye olde' Cultists for Christ"

Yeah, um . . . we're still around, you know. And we don't particularly like being called "Cultists". But of course you knew that, as you also know you can get away with it because hey, who *doesn't* make fun of Christians these days, right?

I know, free speech and all. It's fine. Just wanted you to know that was kind of a jerkwad thing to say.
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Apr 12, 2013
Except I wasn't calling Christians "these days" cultists. Or even Christians in THOSE days cultists. I was calling the cultists on the show cultists. They have cult robes and secret cult assassins and everything. Assassinations for Jesus are kind of jerkwad things to do.
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Apr 13, 2013
Understood. But I hope you're not thinking of my comment as entirely out of line, given that the show hasn't come out so I can't have context in that regard, and your only mention of cultists anywhere else is much earlier in the article, and it consists of this: "Also: cultists."

I do apologize if I jumped down your throat, although I don't apologize for assuming that a cable costume drama treats my faith like crap. That's kind of the norm these days, unfortunately.
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Apr 12, 2013
cult robes and secret cult assassins and everything"~sounds like Christians to me...lol. I'd like to say "lighten up people" but I think that is impossible with religion. I thought it was a funny comment (good funny) in the article
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Apr 12, 2013
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Apr 12, 2013
The trailers that I've seen look really good and exciting, so I am looking forward to watching it. Hopefully it is worth it, if not, I'm canceling my Starz because of Spartacus ending.
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Apr 12, 2013
I Enjoy Spartacus, and I'd have to cancel starz if they didn't end it. It's the sad thing about history, stuff ends, and new stuff begins. Maybe they'll come up with a new show titled "Spartacus's Son Strikes Back."
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Apr 12, 2013
I'll give it a try. Judging from the screenshots I can see that Leonardo daVinci did invent hair-styling products too!
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Apr 12, 2013
I will probably give this a shot, but I do get a little sick of the gratuitous sex scenes in most of Starz's programming. It just takes away from the cohesiveness of show, and takes away some time that could be better used for plot and characterization, in my opinion.
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Apr 12, 2013
Tom Riley is a great english actor. If you have the occasion, check out his part in the british show Lewis where he played an autistic art student. He was brilliant ; I will watch Da Vinci's Demons just for him.
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Apr 12, 2013
I'll have to check it out! He makes a fun Leonardi Da Vinci. There's a lot of fun stuff and a lot of dark stuff and he plays both sides really well, I think.
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Apr 13, 2013
I'm with you on this one ! I like Riley's subtle way of acting. It makes up for all the unlikely scenes, the not very good CGI and the story a la Starz. If you need precisions about the Lewis episode Riley appears in, PM me, i'll help you find it.
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Apr 12, 2013
Being in Canada, I can't view the trailer, but I'd love to watch if they decide to air it in Canada at some point. Spartacus is on the Movie Network, but haven't heard or seen any news about Da Vinci yet.
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Apr 12, 2013
This show seems completely ridiculous to me, but in a really really good way. As long as it wont take itself too seriously, it could be a lot of fun. I'll give it a go.
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Apr 12, 2013
After watching it I think a better description would be a mix between the Da Vinci code, Assasins Creed and Rome. There is not as much sex and violence as Spartacus, but they are trying to make another "maverick" leading character - a mix of House and Holmes
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Apr 12, 2013
You had me at "magic and boobies".
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Apr 12, 2013
Haven't heard of it yet, but now I'm kind of intrigued. Mostly because I want to see if he mirror writes. Cause I'd love for SOMEONE to mirror write on TV and da Vinci was kind of famous for taking his notes backwards (among other things, of course).
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Apr 12, 2013
I didn't even know about this show until now, I saw the name somewhere but had no idea what it was. Seeing as when Spartacus ends I'll have nothing to watch on Fridays I'll definitely give this a go and see how it is. Although I thought they were planing on making a show about Cesar to keep the Spartacus style and spirit alive? Was that just talk or is that still maybe happening?
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Apr 12, 2013
I'm curious too. I haven't heard anything about it other than here in the comments.
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Apr 12, 2013
Maybe we could tell if it was porn with a plot if there was a mention of what the plot is. What's it about? Leonardo has sex every week? Leonardo paints every week? Leonardo builds gadgets ala Doc Brown? Leonard fights bad guys who hold and stroke white cats? What? That's what's been bugging me about the promos: they don't tell me what it's about, either. Some vague "Leonardo has wacky adventures and runs afoul of the authorities" is about as much as I can tell...
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Apr 12, 2013
" Some vague "Leonardo has wacky adventures and runs afoul of the authorities" is about as much as I can tell.."

Honestly, even after watching the pilot, that's probably the best description there is. The first episode had the apparent bad guys and the apparent good guys basically doing their own thing for most of the episode. Wacky adventures are definitely a thing. Weekly sex is also probably a thing.
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Apr 14, 2013
I've also discovered through years of experience never to trust a show who doesn't show you the name of the characters that the actors played, in the end credits.
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Apr 12, 2013
This sounds interesting but the fact that its on Starz is off-putting. I couldnt get into Spartacus, but I might give this a try. I seem to be lacking in good TV to wach lately.
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Apr 12, 2013
Like CalumRobertson below, I also didn't know this existed. I miiiiiight give it a shot if I find myself with some time to kill (which I always find myself having).
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Apr 12, 2013
Well, cancelled Cult mid-week, and Grim is on a one-week hiatus. So probably as good a time to start as any.
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Apr 12, 2013
Too bad that cable network choose to show porn scene over plot and quality drama
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Apr 12, 2013
Wasn't aware they were. Hard to tell what plot is so far. Do you know? :)
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Apr 12, 2013
I didn't know this existed until now, but I'll definitely try it out. I needs my 15th century Italy fix and The Borgias doesn't start until Sunday.
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Apr 12, 2013
I'm going to give it a shot. It looks like it might be fun.
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Apr 12, 2013
Tons of fun!
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Apr 12, 2013
porn with plot... roflmao...
I want to see this but that's kinda what's stopping me. I mean I remember tom riley from lost in austen and laura culver in BBC's sherlock as well as david goyer's work in pretty much everything "dark" and nerdy but yeah something about starz is a bit ehhh...
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Apr 12, 2013
Lol, I understand that. Sometimes the levels of sexytimes-forever-because-premium-cable-can gets laughable, but honestly, compared to a lot of stuff I've seen on Starz, I didn't think it was gratuitous in the pilot at all. I'm not saying it might not get silly later, cuz I haven't seen past the pilot, but the pilot was definitely manageable. If that's the only thing keeping you away, I'd give it a try. :)
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Apr 12, 2013
Thats a fair argument. I mean yeah everything deserves atleast a pilot viewing right?
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Apr 12, 2013
Sad to see that TV.com still doesn't care. If you want to watch this video and belong to 95% of the world not living in the U.S. use ProxTube: https://proxtube.com/

Also, I hope Starz deinterlaces their videos when they broadcast them because this was atrocious quality.
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Apr 12, 2013
TorVPN. Tunnelbear, USA IP. Any number of VPNs that can allow you to see these. As well as watch a bunch of shows.
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Apr 12, 2013
You ungrateful little . . . If what is being offered to you freely isn't satisfying you, grab your manhood, sneak across our border, hide out for a few years, and then demand amnesty like everybody else.
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Apr 12, 2013
Did you ever know....that you're my hero??
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Apr 12, 2013
We do care, but we're a U.S.-based site and we don't have any control over which videos are geo-restricted and which aren't.
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Apr 12, 2013
Yes, but what usually happens is that someone finds a link that works for everyone and posts it in the comments. I realize that this isn't always possible, but when it is, you could find those links yourselves, and use them in the article.

You could use a proxy outside of the USA to find out if the video is viewable to outsiders (or at least to people in the country where the proxy is).

If anyone has a recommendation for such a proxy, please reply to this with a link.
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Apr 12, 2013
You can also use a VPN network to find a server located in whatever country you are attempting to access video. You might consider VPN Gateway [www vpngate.net/en/about_overview.aspx] : "VPN Gate Academic Experiment Project is an online service as an academic research at the Graduate School of University of Tsukuba, Japan. The purpose of this research is to expand the knowledge of "Global Distributed Public VPN Relay Servers" ."

There is a list of 200 or so servers located in various countries with varying levels of traffic and capacity. For viewing clips and trailers I think you could make it work.
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Apr 12, 2013
Yes, they COULD, but why should they? (1) you're not paying for it, and (2) they have various legal agreements and restrictions that foreign commenters don't face. Quit bitching that what's given to you isn't enough; this attitude of entitlement is sickening.
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Apr 12, 2013
o.O? Seriously? People are still arguing about this? I can't always access the videos on this site either, and I live in the US. I find that Google isn't that hard to use if I really want to find a clip. But 90% of the time, I don't really bother, because I come to this site to read the articles, comment on show reviews, and engage in this community.
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Apr 12, 2013
If you give a mouse a cookie...
No good deed goes unpunished...
@emmiegirl, I don't hear much "asking nicely", I hear petulant whining.
I don't expect empathy for the conglomerates, but that goes both ways. And nobody should expect our "website overlords" (really? people who provide a free service are "overlords"?) to risk legal action to provide global links. Why not petition the providers in your country to make links available? Or use the interwebs and search for it yourself.
I love our global community too, but don't kid yourself that CBS is putting out money for that. And the global contributers I appreciate aren't the whiners.
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Apr 12, 2013
@stanking I understand your points, but should is a subjective term and many of us our here in the interwebs can find it difficult to empathise with a giant media conglomerate. I do not disagree that CBS especially is mired down with a crazy level of legal and contractual agreements, but I also agree with @tnetennba that this website and its parent company should give greater consideration to reaching its global audience. Many US produced shows are aired outside the US within hours, days or weeks of US premieres, either through proprietary foreign subsidiaries or through syndication deals, so why not attempt to provide trailers and such on a media platform that has greater access to potential subscribers? Obviously that will not work in all countries due to gov't restrictions (sorry China & N Korea) but it can still be done.

I love that this community is global and that people from 4 or 5 continents are chiming in with their perspectives on shows we are all watching. I would equally like it if the site (and the US media market in general) opened up to greater exposure of foreign media, but we have to do these things in baby steps I guess. CBS did license Flash Point from Canada, which is pretty progressive (perhaps NBC should ask the Canadians for some help???) so maybe if we continue to ask nicely the website overlords will hear us and grant our wishes.
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Apr 12, 2013
Americans are the target of this site. To correct you, the reason they posted a link to a video ... is that they wanted Americans to see it. Foreign markets are a secondary thought, and where it doesn't cost extra, they'll provide the content. But to expect American targeted businesses to put extra effort into making sure freeloaders can get it all is not realistic. This is especially true if the likely result is that most foreign viewers watch the show via torrents.
The ads probably trigger based on IP, but it doesn't cost the site anything in time or effort to do that, and that doesn't create any responsibility to make the rest of the site accessible to you. THAT attitude is just ridiculous. Nobody owes you anything.
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Apr 12, 2013
Uh..what? The reason they *should* is of course that the reason they posted a link to a video in the first place is that they wanted people to see it, and if they post a link that works for more people, more people can see it. It's not any more complicated than that.

By the way, there's an ad in the blue area below that's written in Swedish. If the ads are designed for me, then the web site content should be too.

Also, what is wrong with you? That attitude is just ridiculous.
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Apr 12, 2013
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Apr 12, 2013
Unfortunately over 50% of the population voted for the entitlement state.
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Apr 12, 2013
This looks REALLY good! I will definitely be tuning in tonight!
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