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April 2, 2011

Preview: The Kennedys 1x1

Posted on April 2, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Kennedys

In the US: Sundays, 8pm ET, Reelz Channel. Starts 3rd April
In the UK: Thursdays, 9pm, The History Channel. Starts 7th April

GCSE History empathy essay (by the writers of The Kennedys, aged 16)
Please write about the Kennedys, from the 1930s through to the 1960s. Try to show the ambitions of the family and their attitudes to the presidency, the Second World War and especially John Fitzgerald Kennedy's father, Joe.

It is 1960 during the presidential election campaign. JFK is running for office and he looks just like he does in those paintings you see of him. When he talks, he has a normal mid-west accent, I think, because although I've never heard JFK talking, I can't imagine he would have a memorable or distinct accent.

"Hi, Jackie, my back hurts," says JFK. "Can you help me to become president? Although it's close, I think I am likely to win and become a significant politician if you do."

"Certainly, JFK," says Jackie, who looks exactly like Katie Holmes but dressed in pink. "But first I must have my baby."

Joe Kennedy enters with Bobbie. Both are Irish so are Catholic. Bobbie talks with a strange Boston accent. I don't know why.

"Hello, my brother who is running for president," says Bobbie. "Can I help you?"

"You'd like that and so would your wife, wouldn't she?" snaps Joe in an English accent, since Irish people from Boston are very like English people, I am told. "However, I am a domineering father and I will not let that happen." Then he turns to his elder son and grimaces. "Hello, JFK," says Joe. "I am not very glad you are going to become president since I always hoped I would be president and when that didn't work out, I hoped my eldest son would become president. But he died during the war and now I hate God and you will have to do. Grr."

Joe remembers 1936 which was before the war, when he was an ambassador in Europe. He remembers it perfectly.

"I will become president by taking over from Franklin D Roosevelt," he says, looking just a little bit younger. "I will do this by ensuring that America does not enter the war that will happen in Europe in just a few years' time and give many speeches without permission saying Germany is good."

He then remembers the speech. Young JFK, who does not look much like older JFK, is watching the speech that he gives. He is not happy.

"I do not think this is a good idea. It will mean my father will not become president one day," he says. He is very wise and is both fearful and worried about his father, who is domineering.

"Be quiet. You are rubbish," says his older brother, who does not think much of his brother. "I will become president instead and you will not. Except if I die in a plane crash during the war and you will get lots of medals in the navy and have to take over from me, which will never happen."

Six months later, after many dinners, Joe cannot run for presidency because his wife said so. Then his eldest son dies. So he says to JFK, "You will run for Congress and you will have to become president because my eldest son who is dead cannot do so."

JFK is unhappy but he knows that he must become president.

---

Here's a trailer of what happened when they filmed that particular GCSE History essay as a $30 million TV series that almost no TV network in the world would touch with a barge pole.

Continue reading "Preview: The Kennedys 1x1"

April 2, 2011

Review: Body of Proof 1x1

Posted on April 2, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

ABC's Body of Proof

In the US: Tuesdays, 10/9c, ABC
In the UK: Acquired by Alibi to air this year

In an effort to improve our quality of service, before watching Body of Proof, please complete the following questionnaire:

1) Do you like shows about strong, capable women?
a) Yes
b) No
c) Duh!

2) Do you like shows in which strong, capable women are called brilliant by every passing person in case you didn't get the hint the first, second or tenth time?
a) Yes
b) No
c) Um…  

3) Do you like shows in which strong, capable women are shown they can't have everything and have unsupportive husbands and lose custody of their daughters because they work just so damn hard at being brilliant to support the family but that just makes them an absentee mother rather than a good provider?
a) Yes
b) No
c) Would that really happen?

4) Do you like shows in which brilliant high-flying neurosurgeons give up their brilliant careers after having car accidents and killing patients because they worked so damn hard and end up becoming brilliant medical examiners who just aren't content to examine dead bodies but instead have to go round and interview witnesses while police officers look on dumbly and shout at them for breaking the rules, but who are ultimately proved right?
a) Yes
b) No
c) Isn't that kind of clunky and/or CSI?

5) Do you like crime shows in which at the end, the brilliant amateur detective gathers all the witnesses together, explains whodunnit, the clues that led her to that conclusion and then gets the police to escort the criminal away, while everyone tells her how brilliant she is and how wrong they were to judge her?
a) Yes
b) No
c) What is this? 1937

If you answered mostly b), do not watch this.
If you answered mostly c), my aren't you a cynic?
But if you answered mostly a), have I got a show for you. Here's a trailer

Continue reading "Review: Body of Proof 1x1"

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March 31, 2011

Preview: Camelot 1x1

Posted on March 31, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Camelot

In the US: Fridays, 10pm, Starz. Starts April 1
In the UK: Acquired by Channel 4 for second half of 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, Torchwood has a new home! It's Starz in the US!

What do you mean you knew that already? Ah, I see the confusion. Yes Torchwood: Children of Earth is coming to Starz in July. But I'm talking about the heart of Torchwood: Chris Chibnall, the man who made seasons 1 and 2 of Torchwood what they were. That is, largely unbearable.

You see Chibbers is the showrunner and co-creator - with Michael Hirst of The Tudors - of Camelot, a Starz TV series about the legend of Arthur and Merlin that stars Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, some young bloke as Arthur and Eva Green (Casino Royale) as the evil Morgan La Fay.

And it's every bit as good as that first season of Torchwood. In fact, in true Chibbers style, it's so bad it's painful. Here's a trailer and there's a longer one here - brace yourselves: these are the best bits they could find.

Continue reading "Preview: Camelot 1x1"

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