Archive | Canadian TV

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


April 7, 2014

News: 12 Monkeys TV show, iPlayer to extend runs to 30 days, Cumberbatch's Richard III + more

Posted on April 7, 2014 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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  • iPlayer shows to be available for 30 days
  • BBC Wales to co-produce next series of Y Gwyll/Hinterland
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March 28, 2014

What have you been watching? Including Inspector De Luca, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Hannibal and Vikings

Posted on March 28, 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.

New shows I’ve already reviewed this week:

I’ve still got S4C’s 35 Diwrnod to watch – hopefully, I’ll get a mini-review up later today. But I did also watch:

Inspector De Luca (UK: BBC4; Italy: Rai 1)
Breaking Sky Arts’ stranglehold on South Mediterranean TV again, BBC4’s managed to find this 2008 series from Italy, based on Carlo Lucarelli’s series of books. Set in fascist Italy during the 1930s, it’s actually very good. Although the hero’s a bit rubbish, he’s tenacious and interested in serving justice at a time when justice and the law could be very different creatures. The show has a real feel for both place and period, will little touches such as dogs named after Haile Selassie, the Italian version of the Hitler Youth, torture and more all making an appearance, even if Il Duce himself doesn’t. It’s also quite chilling in its depiction of life under fascist rule. Well worth a watch, even if there’s an obvious bit of bad dubbing and a truly awful soundtrack.

I also watched a movie:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Easily one of the best and smartest of the Marvel films to date. It’s a slight cliché, particularly thanks to the presence of Robert Redford, to say that it’s like a 1970s conspiracy theory movie, but it very much is, particularly The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor. And with Captain America representing 1940s morality and having to deal with an age of profiling, drone warfare and more, it’s not just an interesting critique of the Marvel Universe, it’s also a critique of American domestic and foreign policies of the past couple of decades.

Of course, it’s still comics based, so there are nice little hat tips here and there, not only to the existing Marvel Cinema Universe (Iron Man, Hulk and others all get talked about) but to bits yet unseen – Dr Strange even gets name-checked at one point and then there’s the teaser for Avengers 2. Best of all, as well as the quite brutal car chases and fight scenes, which 3D ruins so watch it in 2D if possible, we do get lots of Black Widow (hoorah!) even if her more interesting comic book background has been ditched. And you’ll never look at Jenny Agutter the same way again. Heartily recommended, particularly because the ending utterly messes up Agents of SHIELD.

After the jump, the regulars, with reviews of Crisis, Secrets and Lies, 19-2, The Americans, Arrow, The Blacklist, Community, Continuum, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Hannibal and Suits

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including Inspector De Luca, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Hannibal and Vikings"

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March 21, 2014

What have you been watching? Including Remedy, Spun Out, W1A and Ender's Game

Posted on March 21, 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.

New shows I’ve already reviewed this week:

I'll be getting round to The CW's The 100 either today or early next week, but I did try a few other new shows, too: two Canadian, one British.

Remedy (Canada: Global)
Dillon Casey is a doctor who comes from a family of medics, all of whom work at the same hospital for some reason. After cocking up something chronic, he's forced to come back as a porter and we get to see hospital life from the viewpoint of everyone who works there who isn't a medic. Which might be interesting and different (at least, if you've never watched Casualty), except it's so self-consciously quirky and 'family', it's practically unwatchable, so I gave up. Only really notable for Enrico Colantoni (Flashpoint).

Spun Out (Canada: CTV)
For reasons best known only to Canada, they've decided to produce a totally unrequested response to CBS's The Crazy Ones that's even worse. Starring Dave Foley of Kids in the Hall fame, it's a multi-camera sitcom about a PR agency run by Foley, together with his daughter, and all the highjinks they get up to once newbie Billy from BSG turns up. All the same, it's possibly one of the least funny things TV has ever produced.

W1A (UK: BBC2)
A follow up to BBC4's cult comedy 2012, this reunites Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes as the former Olympic organisers now recruited by the BBC to handle sensitive issues. I've not worked an awful lot for the BBC but it is recognisably accurate but exaggerated as a piece of satire. How funny it is for people who don't work in television, I'm not sure, although parallels with any large organisation no doubt abound. Most of the humour, though, comes from wordplay, mostly provided by narrator David Tennant, and in the cameos by famous people, such as one by Alan Yentob and Salman Rushdie that'll send your eyebrows through the roof. 

Bonneville is, of course, the hapless sensible everyman, dealing with a quagmire of neverending meetings with 'timewasting morons', trying to use common sense of all things to deal with problems. However, the show has a slightly dodgy edge, with Bonneville fighting against the excesses of liberal political correctness so the show also treads a slightly tricky path around things like the Countryfile age discrimination suit. Generally, a promising start, so I'll be tuning in next week.

I also watched a movie:

Ender's Game
Evil insect aliens attack the Earth and 50 years later, we're still preparing in case they come back by training kids in war planning, in the hope their brains will be flexible and fast enough that they'll make great generals. Essentially, Harry Potter in space school, right down to its own version of Quidditch, but with a pleasingly darker, smarter, nastier edge, our hero essentially someone who can outstrategise his bullies rather than who spends the whole time feeling put upon. The final battle is a big intense surprise; Ben Kingsley's awful New Zealand accent is not a surprise. 

After the jump, the regulars, with reviews of Believe, Enlisted, Resurrection, 19-2, The Americans, Arrow, Banshee, The Blacklist, Community, Continuum, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Hannibal, Line of Duty and Suits

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including Remedy, Spun Out, W1A and Ender's Game"

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