Time for "What have you been watching this week?", my chance to tell you what I've been watching this week and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case we've missed them.
My usual recommendations for maximum viewing pleasure this week: The Apprentice, The Apprentice: You've Been Fired, Burn Notice and Come Dine With Me. Watch them (and keep an eye on The Stage's TV Today Square Eyes feature as well) or you'll be missing out on the good stuff.
Now to the irregulars and new things, as well as a few thoughts on some of those regulars:
- Burn Notice: Oh my God. There's actually a possibility the Burn Notice formula is going to change. Rather a good first episode, with the format for the series left up in the air at the end. But there are enough clues laid down by the end of the episode that, yes, it's going to become exactly the same show again next episode.
- Lead Balloon: Nope. Still not funny.
- The Protector: Much as I love Ally Walker – Profiler, Universal Soldier, Southland – this is a very tedious bit of typical Lifetime drama: female-oriented therefore (apparently) rather than actually have a coherent crime story for police detective Walker to investigate, we spend most of the episode with Walker helping neighbours with their garden gnome thefts, her boss with his Thai bride, etc. Dire. And I actually think her black female partner qualifies as a race crime.
- The Shadow Line: was of course completely ludicrous, right to the end. But we were expecting that. Beautifully made, acted, etc – just a shame that the story and the dialogue were so silly. But I'll never look at Stephen Rea the same way again.
And in this week's list of movies:
- Green Lantern: a pretty rubbish first half-hour or so, but it finally kicks into gear after that and isn't half bad (although ultimately, it's still very silly, but that's the source material for you). Blake Lively is woefully under-used (all character set-up for the sequel I suspect). Probably a little more fun but not as good as X-Men: First Class and not as fun or as good as Thor 3D.
- Speed: Rewatched this for the first time in 27 or so years, which was kind of a coming home for me since it was the first film I ever reviewed professionally (Cambridge Film Festival Daily if you want to know). Still as ludicrous as it was the first time, when I described as the first film made specifically with stupid people in mind, but I have to say Keanu Reeves has actually got better as an actor since…
- The Lake House: which is the film that reunited him and Sandra Bullock in 2006. Two people living in the same house but separated two years in time find they can send letters to one another using the postbox. Really rather lovely in a lot of ways although you have to disregard the obvious flaw: why don't they use this miracle to win the lottery?
- Watchmen: incredible to watch, but ultimately empty and I have to say that I think the new ending is better than the original's. Some fun in-jokes and some surprising ultra-violence, too.
But what have you been watching?
"What have you been watching this week?" is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid - and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I've watched this week. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you've seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?
- July 8, 2016: Review: Roadies 1x1-1x2 (US: Showtime; UK: Amazon Prime)
A review of the first episode of Showtime/Amazon Prime's Roadies