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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


July 20, 2007

Preview: Brotherhood 2.1-2.2

Posted on July 20, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Brotherhood

In the US: Starts September 30th on Showtime
In the UK: Probably on FX as per season one

Brotherhood was a somewhat surprising show during its first season. A somewhat odd combination of gangster drama and local politics, it starred a Brit (Jason Isaacs) and an Australian (Jason Clarke) as Irish-American brothers from Rhode Island. Clarke is a local politician trying to do the best for his constituents by playing the political game, simultaneously trying to stay clean. However, his efforts are undermined by his brother, a notorious gangster who returns to the neighbourhood after a long absence.

Season one was remarkable for being hard-hitting in both areas of its remit, without giving in too much to the pressures of dramatic forms (more realistic than The Sopranos? Maybe). It also had an exceptional visual style, with long, quiet, well composed scenes of astonishing stillness.

Thankfully, season two looks like it's more of the same, which will either delight you or put you off.

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July 20, 2007

Preview: Dexter 2.1-2.2

Posted on July 20, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Dexter

In the US: Starts September 30th on Showtime
In the UK: Will probably air on FX

Just as FX in the UK is finally getting its act together and showing the first season of Dexter, Showtime is ramping up for season two of the much loved/feared serial killer show. For those not acquainted with the show's premise, it's a little implausible, but if you buy into it, rewarding viewing.

Dexter is a serial killer, raised by his cop foster father to channel his unnatural tendencies into only killing (in his own, unique way) bad people. Now he works for the police as a blood-spatter expert, by night hunting down various naughty types so they can no longer kill, murder, rape, abuse, etc.

So far, he's gotten away with his acts of mass murder. But a lot of people are starting to get very suspicious...

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July 16, 2007

Never believe what you see on television. Particularly if it's Gordon Ramsay

Posted on July 16, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Gordon Ramsay, out hunting rooks

I don't know, what's the world coming to? Blue Peter's being fined for faking phone quizzes. The Beeb (and RDF) has had to apologise for distorting footage of the Queen. Richard and Judy are apologising for their phone quiz. To update Sarah Jane Smith for a new medium, “Never believe what you see on television.”

Michael Grade reckons it's all the fault of the training system in British television, which doesn't teach young recruits that lying is wrong. You'd have thought they'd have learnt that earlier in life, but apparently not.

The very, very latest person to have to apologise for faking footage is Gordon Ramsay. Naughty old Gordon pretended to catch fish when actually he didn't. Naughty Gordon. He's not much different from other fishermen in exaggerating his catching prowess, but this is a Channel 4 entertainment show and higher standards are expected, apparently.

Whatever next? Big Brother distorting the footage to portray housemates in particular lights chosen by the producers? Top Gear reshooting scenes to make everything look more impressive and entertaining?

Nah. Too improbable.

It's not going to do Gordon much good in the US of A, of course, where even before the show airs, Ramsay's Kitchen's Nightmares (US) is being accused of faking footage by one of the people featured in it. Ouch. Who's going to believe him now when he claims it all happened just as you saw on TV, honest m'lord?

Ironically for me, no matter whether he faked the catching of fish or not, Gordon Ramsay's F-Word did have one effect on me this series - for the last month, I've been vegetarian, thanks to Gordon killing off anything that moves in his vicinity. And that was even before he took one of his lambs off to the abattoir. I didn't actually watch that - my wife narrated it while I hid my eyes. “Oh my God, they're cutting it open. You can see its pancreas. God, there's its liver.” Could I have coped with seeing it? Not a chance. Poor little lambs.

PETA, I know you think Gordon is the enemy, so chose to dump all that stuff on his doorstep, but as you've now realised, he's actually doing your work for you...

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