Posted on April 17, 2008 | |
Some shows go on seemingly forever: Doctor Who's a good example, as is The Sky At Night. Sometimes there's a good reason: the quality of the show, interesting scripts, the fact it's a soap opera and so on.
Then there are some shows that go on forever where it's really hard to understand why. In the US, there's Law and Order, which has been going on for the best part of 20 years now. Then there's New Tricks in the UK, as well as Heartbeat and I'm sure Last of the Summer Wine is still out there somewhere. Why?
The obvious answer is ratings. The shows still get plenty of viewers. The question again though is why? Why do people watch these shows?
Suggestions on a postcard to the usual address. Or you could save yourself a stamp and a tree by leaving a comment.
Posted on April 16, 2008 | |
There's a certain amount of false advertising in the trailers for Leatherheads, the new George Clooney/Renée Zellweger movie set in the early days of professional American football. The trailers suggest it's a rom-com. Yet there's not much romance and there's not much comedy.
It has its moments, don't get me wrong, but ultimately this is a drama, with a touch of comedy and a touch of romance. And it's a reasonably worthwhile drama, because even if the subject matter isn't all that interesting, especially for a UK audience, the style of the film and its 'homage-matter' will appeal to anyone who's ever watched an old black and white movie.
Continue reading "Review: Leatherheads"
Posted on April 15, 2008 | |
ITV has something of a problem. It's had such rubbish programmes on for so long that even when it gets some decent shows, no one will watch them. And since no one watches them, it can't get the advertising to fund them properly so they're not as well made. Have a look at the Hornblower adaptations with Ioan Gruffudd for examples of what happens when you get a good cast and good scripts but bog-all cash.
Or, indeed, take a look at The Fixer. On the one hand, we've seen it all before: convicted criminal bust out of jail by the government to assassinate criminals who are above the law. It's La Femme Nikita, isn't it? Then make him a taciturn, thoughtful guy who has qualms about his job; give him an irritating sidekick and a stern boss who'll have him dumped in a river if he starts misbehaving and you've essentially got Callan for the 21st century: nu-Callan if you will.
But the show really transcended that unoriginal formula to give us a show worth watching. It's been an action show that's far less concerned with action than it has been about character, plot and dialogue. Sure, it was afflicted by Tamzin Outhwaite as an implausible femme fatale. But with Peter Mullan on hand to make even George Cowley of The Professionals seem like a soft Sassenach jessie, fine performances by Andrew Buchan and Jody Latham as the Fixer and his sidekick Callum (hmm...) respectively, and some interesting plotting pyrotechnics, it's been an interesting, gritty show that just needed a bit of a polish. And some budget.
Continue reading "Season finale: The Fixer"
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