May 26, 2016

Holiday break

Posted yesterday at 13:28 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

I'm off on holiday from tomorrow for a week, but I'll be back on 6th June. Feel free to chat away while I'm gone!

Preview: Outcast 1x1 (US: Cinemax; UK: Fox UK)

Posted yesterday at 13:13 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Outcast

In the US: Fridays, Cinemax. Starts June 3
In the UK: Tuesdays, 10pm, Fox UK. Starts June 7

The Exorcist was justifiably proclaimed as one of the best movies of the 70s and perhaps the scariest movie of all time. Despite being about demonic possession of a young girl, its horror comes from the crisis of faith of a young priest who at first tries to explain the possession rationally, before the slow accumulation of facts and his partnership with an older, self-assured priest (Max Von Sydow) on an exorcism force him to acknowledge that the Devil - and God - exists.

This year, we're facing not one but two TV versions of The Exorcist, both of them airing on a Fox of one kind or another. The first, airing on Fox in the US, is explicitly a remake of the movie:

The second, airing on Cinemax in the US but Fox UK in the UK, is Outcast. Although based on Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead)'s comic of the same name, it's basically a remake of The Exorcist, with a young man (Patrick Fugit) gradually coming to accept the truth of demonic possession thanks to the sights he beholds while working with an older priest on an exorcism of a child.

Surprisingly, of the two shows, Outcast looks like it's by far the better remake. Even more surprisingly, Outcast is also a partial remake of 2008 ITV Buffy knock-off shitfest Demons. Because who should be playing the older American demon-hunter of the piece? Why it's none other than Life on Mars' Philip Glenister again.

Here's a trailer.

Continue reading "Preview: Outcast 1x1 (US: Cinemax; UK: Fox UK)"

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News: Limitless cancelled; The Americans renewed (and cancelled); Mirror's Edge TV series; + more

Posted yesterday at 06:25 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Daily News will return on Monday 6th June

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May 25, 2016

Preview: Preacher 1x1-1x3 (US: AMC; UK: Amazon Prime)

Posted yesterday at 21:48 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Preacher

In the US: Sundays, 9pm (8c), AMC
In the UK: Episodes available on Amazon Prime the day after US airing

Maybe I just found Garth Ennis at the wrong time. Hellblazer had been one of my favourite comics at university, thanks to Jamie Delano's unique blend of horror, politics and a UK setting. When he left the title, I expected more of the same. Instead, I got Garth Ennis.

For many, Ennis was the best writer of John Constantine, combining horror with a knowing playfulness that undercut the action. For me, I was losing amoral tussles with hunger demons as a metaphor for Western consumption and Ethiopia in favour of tricks on the Devil involving transmuted holy water. Horses for courses, but Ennis was definitely not my 3.15 from Aintree.

That's probably why I never read Preacher, Ennis' magnum opus. Even to tell you what it was about, I'd have to look at Wikipedia. To a lot of comics fans, that's tantamount to not being able to explain the plot of Hamlet, but I don't care - Garth Ennis stole my student Constantine, wah, wah, it's not fair.

So is AMC's Preacherwritten and exec-produced by (of all people) Seth Rogen and his childhood pal Evan Goldberg, a faithful adaptation of this esteemed comic? Don't know and don't care, either. Ennis - pphhtt. Wah.

What I can tell you is that it stars Dominic Cooper (Captain America, Fleming) as the improbably named Texan, Jessie Custer, a bad-as-they-come criminal who returns to become the preacher in his home town when his father dies. Trouble is he's a very bad preacher who's not really convinced there is a God. Then one day, just as he's planning to give it all up and return to his bad, bad ways, he asks one last time for a sign from God of His existence… and, surprisingly, he receives it. And now, whenever he tells someone to do something, they do it - often more literally than Jessie intended. It's almost like the Preacher now speaks the very word of God.

And that's basically episode one, which you might have already seen. I've left out Tulip (Ruth Negga from Marvel's Agents of SHIELD), Jessie's former partner-in-crime, who's got 'one last job for him' and isn't going to take no for an answer. I've also left out Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun from This is England and Misfits), the century-old Irish vampire who's being chased by a group of religious fanatics. 

We can talk about them and the next two episodes after the jump.

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A shiny graph showing you from which countries Netflix's content comes

Posted 2 days ago at 20:02 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The EU's currently proposing a mandate for online services including Netflix and Amazon Prime to include more EU content. If this means more continental European content on Netflix and Amazon, I'm all for it. If it means more UK content, boo!

Anyway, the proposals include:

  • Allowances for member states options to impose financial contributions to on-demand services.
  • On demand service must ensure that a minimum share of European content is represented.
  • On demand services must also give European content ‘prominence’ meaning changes to user interfaces and recommendation engines.
  • Small companies “with no significant presence” and social media sites should not be subject to changes.
  • Provisions were also added increasing measures to protect minors from harmful content.

Where does Netflix's content currently come from, though, you might ask? Here's a graph. It's sort of a graph anyway. I think it would have taken about three seconds' thought to come up with a way of making it clearer, though.

But the general gist is that on the right-hand side, you can see in descending order of hours of content the countries producing the TV and movies on Netflix; in case your grasp of EU member states needs help, the grey and blue lines are an attempt to show you which are non-EU countries and EU countries respectively.

It's not hugely surprising, given the strength of all the different countries' respective media industries and Netflix's English-language bias, but I'm surprised Turkey at least didn't manage to hit the list at all.

Graph: Netflix Content by Origin (duration) 

Source: IHS Technology

News: Get Shorty TV series; E4 cancels The Aliens; Richard Schiff joins Dirk Gentley; + more

Posted 2 days ago at 06:28 | comments | Bookmark and Share

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  • Richard Schiff, Neil Brown Jr, Aaron Douglas et al join BBC America's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

May 24, 2016

This week's 'Containment moment' - Ernest Lawrence Thayer

Posted 2 days ago at 22:12 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Containment moment: Ernest Lawrence Thayer

I think Containment has reached its level with its latest 'moment' - 'Casey at the Bat', America's most famous piece of poetry, written by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. And there was baseball in the show, too. Despite everyone being sick.

If they're going to keep picking quotes from relatively ordinary bits of work, there's not much fun in doing Containment moments. Let's hope they get back to Shakespeare, soon.

News: Lenny Henry joins Broadchurch; Another Period renewed; + more

Posted 3 days ago at 06:48 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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May 23, 2016

Weekly Wonder Woman: May's titles and movie news

Posted 4 days ago at 17:09 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Yes, I know - why call it Weekly Wonder Woman when the last one was more than a month ago and I'm not going to doing one next week, either, since I'm on holiday? Sigh. All I can do is apologise and confess that since I'm doing volunteer work on Fridays, most of my Friday work ends up on Monday instead, and I therefore usually have to choose on Monday between writing about tele (this 'ere blog's raison d'être) and WWW, which can take a good couple of hours to do (even if it doesn't look like it). Guess which one wins.

However, today, I have the time to do both. Yay! Plus Rebirth is on the way. DC's partial reboot of its universe, it's best summarised as "Hey fanboys? Yes, you guys who all buggered off when the nu52 started and who were the ones who actually bought comics? Want to have storylines exactly like they used to be 10 years ago? Want old Superman and Batman back? Well here you go!”

That means, following issue #52 of a whole range of titles, big changes will be afoot, numbering will return to issue #1, nu52 Superman will disappear/die (although maybe not) to be replaced by the old one who was married to Lois Lane and has a kid, and all manner of other things will happen. So I'd better do something to mark the change, hadn't I?

We've already seen a little of what Rebirth means for our Diana, although here's the full schedule:

Rebirth Checklist

Paulo Siqueira is also no longer illustrating Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1.

But after the jump, we'll see how the nu52 has effectively ended for our Diana when we look at Wonder Woman #51-52, as well as for Superman as we take a gander at Superman-Wonder Woman #28-29, Batman-Superman #32 and Action Comics #52. Finishing things up, the Darkseid War is nearly ending over in Justice League #49 (that's got to make up some ground, hasn't it…? Oh, it's going to end on Wednesday with issue #50 instead of #52. Do you reckon they planned it that way?), while Wonder Woman has to deal with her sister, Cassandra, and niece Wonder Girl, over in Teen Titans #19.

Meanwhile, the action hasn't been stopping for various Elseworlds Wonder Women. Wondy has to deal with Superman dying (again) in Dark Knight III #4continues her WW2 fight in Norway against the Titan in the acclaimed The Legend of Wonder Woman #24-26 (which has recently been granted a second volume)and is having her sexy origin retold yet again in the rather massive Wonder Woman - Earth One

All that after the jump. But for those of you with an interest in Movie Wonder Woman, here's some video of Movie Themyscira:

Here's a picture of Connie Nielsen as Diana's Movie mum, Hippolyta.

Hippolyta on Themyscira

And here's a picture from the final day of filming:

Yes, I've been saving this all up. Soz.

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What have you been watching? Including Lady Dynamite, Vis a Vis (Locked Up), Banshee and DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Posted 4 days ago at 16:03 | comments | Bookmark and Share

It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

The usual "TMINE recommends" page features links to reviews of all the shows I've ever recommended, and there's also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I've reviewed ever. 

It's the last WHYBW? for a little while, since I'm off on holiday next week. Fingers crossed, it'll be back on the 6th, but don't be surprised if the 10th or more likely the 11th is the actual date. You know me.

There have been a few new shows this week, although the networks oddly decided to start them on Friday and over the weekend for the most part, meaning that I haven't had a chance to watch most of them yet. Preacher (US: AMC; UK: Amazon Prime) started airing last night, but Amazon crazily got its act together and gave me access to previews of the first three episodes. However, it only gave me access on Friday, so it might be a couple of days before I get through all three of them. Also coming this week (more crossed fingers - how many hands do you have?) is a preview of Outcast (US: Cinemax; UK: Sky Atlantic).

But I have managed to watch a couple of new shows:

Lady Dynamite (Netflix)
Yet another "promises much, offers little" comedy from Netflix, with Maria Bamford the actress/comedienne playing 'Maria Bamford', the actress/comedienne, as she navigates family, life, mental illness, stand-up comedy, acting, etc. Coming from Pam Brady and Mitchell Hurwitz of Arrested Development fame, you'd expect a lot more of Lady Dynamite than you would of normal comedies. It certainly thinks it's better than normal comedies, playing with form and convention, from its 70s-style title sequence, its breaking of the fourth wall and having Patton Oswalt and John Mulaney turn up to critique the show's narrative choices, through to Bamford fight-tuning the colour balance for the video of the scene by asking the editor to adjust it.

But despite watching the show for an episode and a half, I didn't laugh once. I admired its cleverness, its time jumps and more. But I didn't laugh. I was also very irritated by Bamford, who's as close to the female equivalent of Pee Wee Herman as it's possible to get, I suspect. And following on as it does from Netflix's Flaked, perhaps I had less patience than I once did for YA show about a dysfunctional, self-involved Californian.

Then again, I never really laughed at Arrested Development, so YMMV.

Vis a Vis (Locked Up) (Spain: Antena 3; UK: Channel 4)
Young woman gets sent to prison and meets lots of other women of varying degrees of friendliness. The first 15 minutes or so are basically Orange Is the New Black again, but after that, the show becomes more of a thriller, with our friendly little office worker having to learn to survive inside. If you want to box-set it, all 11 episodes are now on All 4, but I didn't find it particularly arresting (see what I did there?).

After the jump, the regulars: 12 Monkeys, The Americans, Arrow, The Flash, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and The Tunnel (Tunnel), as well as the season finale of DC's Legends of Tomorrow and the series finale of Banshee

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News: Damien cancelled; Ewan McGregor joins Fargo; Thor: Ragnarok's new stars; + more

Posted 4 days ago at 07:20 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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May 20, 2016

The CW's upfronts 2016-7 - a rundown and clips from the new shows, including Frequency and No Tomorrow

Posted 7 days ago at 15:21 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

As always, it's The CW that finishes up each year's Upfronts, following on from NBC, USA, CBS, Fox and ABC. Also as always, the network doesn't have many new shows to flaunt. That's because it's got a great big roster of returning superhero shows, among others - gone are the days when women aged 16-30 were the network's sole target; the median age of its viewers is now 43.

It's also because it's now got Supergirl, which is moving over from sister company CBS for its second season. The network is already promising mega crossovers between all the superhero shows, although whether we'll get a single The Flash/Arrow/Supergirl/DC's Legends of Tomorrow crossover, multiple crossovers or crossovers between different subsets of the shows remains to be seen. Also remaining to be seen, given the show's impending relocation to Vancouver for filming and reduced budget, is whether Calista Flockheart will be along for the ride, given that the LA filming of Supergirl was one of the reasons she signed up for the show in the first place.

Anyway, no new footage for Supergirl, but The CW has put together a couple of little trailers to promote its new arrival and expanding portfolio.

There are four new shows in total, but only two new new shows to look at after the jump:

  • Frequency: Adaptation of the movie with 2016 cop Peyton List is able to use her ham radio to talk to her dead father in 1996 and change history, not always for the better.
  • No Tomorrow: Adaptation of a Brazillian show, with staid office worker meeting carefree hunk. One problem: he thinks the world will end in just a few months. But he's hot so they decide to work through their bucket lists together.

The remaining new new show, Riverdale, is an adaptation of the Archie comic, but it's a mid-season replacement and there's no trailer, so there's nothing to be done.

Continue reading "The CW's upfronts 2016-7 - a rundown and clips from the new shows, including Frequency and No Tomorrow"

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News: Janet King renewed; Netflix's Argentinian fashion passion project; + more

Posted 7 days ago at 06:23 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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May 19, 2016

CBS's upfronts 2016-7 - a rundown and clips from the new shows

Posted 8 days ago at 19:54 | comments | Bookmark and Share

CBS ain't what it used to be. The home of procedurals and television aimed at old, white, conservative guys, it used to only need to come up with four new shows a year to replace its duds, its reliable stable of franchises otherwise ticking over nicely.

But now it's number two, its franchises are dying, and there are fewer and fewer old, white, conservative guys still alive to watch its shows. So following on from USA, NBC, Fox and ABC, here's this year's surprisingly large crop of new shows unveiled by CBS at its Upfronts, all designed to bring in a new viewership:

  • Bull: white guy helps fix trials while his white team looks on adoringly
  • Doubt: sexy lawyer Katherine Heigl is falling for her sexy white guy client
  • The Great Indoors: old-school white guys mock diverse millennials they don't understand
  • Kevin Can Wait: old white guy Kevin James retires
  • MacGyver: young white guy tech genius follows in his old white guy father's footsteps to defeat not-white guy criminals
  • Man With A Plan: old white guy Matt LeBlanc tries to become a house husband but isn't as good as his wife was
  • Pure Genius: young white guy tech genius cures all known diseases
  • Training Day: old white guy cop mentors naive young black guy cop

Spotting a problem yet? Oh yes. And there's Star Trek. But that's online.

Health warning: all the following trailers are virtually unwatchable and could lower your IQ

Continue reading "CBS's upfronts 2016-7 - a rundown and clips from the new shows"

Ianto and Captain Jack at the Ianto Shrine

Posted 8 days ago at 17:36 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Remember the Ianto Shrine? It's still there. And guess who else was there very recently…

[via]

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