Archive | Canadian TV

An archive of blog entries about Canadian TV programmes and production.


May 10, 2014

What have you been watching? Including Bosch, 24, Agents of SHIELD, Hannibal Rising and Prisoners of War

Posted on May 10, 2014 | 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. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there's Locate TV – they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

Thankfully, there wasn’t much new on this week, so I haven’t been able to play catch-up on a few shows, and in fact I was able to watch one new show:

Bosch (Amazon Prime)
Based on the Michael Connelly series of books (which my mother in law likes so they must be okay), this stars Titus Welliver (of numerous shows but particularly Lost) as LA police detective Hieronymous Bosch. No really. That’s his name. Apparently co-starring most of the cast of The Wire, including Lance Reddick and Jamie Hector, it sees Bosch dealing with a civil suit in which he’s accused of shooting an unarmed man while also dealing with the discovery of the body of a long-buried child. But there’s no resolution to any of these stories, since this is just the pilot episode and a series is now on its way. It’s above average as cop shows go and there’s a definite air of authenticity to everything, but fundamentally it features a preposterous lead character who is also simultaneously very ordinary – it’s not like he's writing poetry or doing brass rubbing for a hobby but is off listening to jazz and drinking while having a silly name. Worth a glance, but nothing special.

I also watched a movie!

Hannibal Rising (2007)
Given it’s the one Hannibal Lecter story I’d neither read nor watched, I figured it was about time, despite the bad reviews, to give it a go. And it’s an odd little piece, a prequel story that gives us a teenage Hannibal Lecter escaping cannibalism in wartime Lithuanian to find refuge in France. It’s interesting as it both informs and is informed by other Lecter pieces, giving us a reasonable explanation as to why Hannibal’s Hannibal is so handy in a fight, for example, while also giving us some piggy foreshadowing for Hannibal (the movie). It’s also got a good cast, with Dominic West as a dodgy-accented war crimes investigator, and Rhys Ifans and Kevin McKidd as the naughty war criminals who ate Hannibal’s sister. But its low budget, poor French lead (Gaspard Ulliel) and equally French setting make this feel like an international co-production B-movie along the lines of Mr Frost, rather than any of the preceding blockbusters, it uses the same technique as Hannibal to try to make Lecter look a hero by giving him an even worse enemy to deal with (although as the name suggests, he does become monstrous towards the end) and it can’t be said to be scary or horrifying in any real sense. One for completists only.

After the jump, the regulars, with reviews of 24, Agents of SHIELD, The Americans, Arrow, The Blacklist, Continuum, Elementary, Game of Thrones, Hannibal, Prisoners of War, Silicon Valley and Surviving Jack.

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May 2, 2014

What have you been watching? Including Salem, Trying Again, Last Week Tonight, Vikings and Hatufilm

Posted on May 2, 2014 | 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. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there's Locate TV – they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

Well, there’s been an epic quantity of new stuff this week so I haven’t quite been able to fit in ITV’s Prey and BBC1’s Happy Valley. But I’ve already reviewed the first episodes of

I’ve also managed to sneak in a couple of other shows:

Salem (US: WGN America)
WGN America’s first scripted series, it’s a pseudo-historical from Star Trek showrunner Brannon Braga that goes back to the time of the Salem witch trials and – how original – suggests maybe there were witches at work. TBH, I couldn’t get very far into this at all – it’s almost unwatchable, dull and predictable, ahistoric in every sense, even if you let the modern day conventions of eyebrow plucking, etc, endemic in these things go as a lost battle. Even the witchiness isn’t very good and not even sexy. But then it’s Brannon Braga, so what do you expect?

Trying Again (UK: Sky Living)
Chris Addison and Jo Joyner star as a couple that split up and have got back together again and are trying to get over the fact she had an affair. Good cast, but no jokes. But then it's Sky Living, so what do you expect?

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)
The Daily Show's good correspondent gets his own TV show that is essentially The Daily Show (with more than a hint of TV Nation) except weekly and with only him doing it. Still, at least it's funny.

After the jump, the regulars, with reviews of The Americans, Arrow, The Blacklist, Crisis, Elementary, Fargo, Game of Thrones, The Gods of Wheat Street, Hannibal, Prisoners of War, Silicon Valley, Surviving Jack and Vikings

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including Salem, Trying Again, Last Week Tonight, Vikings and Hatufilm"

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April 30, 2014

News: Patrick Stewart's Blunt Talk, A&E's Les Revenants remake, Star Wars cast to return + more

Posted on April 30, 2014 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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