Archive | Canadian TV

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


June 14, 2013

What did you watch this week? Including The Fall, Up The Women, Family Tree, Game of Thrones, Wreck-it Ralph and The Iceman

Posted on June 14, 2013 | comments | Bookmark and Share

It's "What did you watch this week?, my chance to tell you what I movies and TV I've watched this week that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

First, the usual recommendations:

  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy)
  • The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
  • The Fall (BBC2/Netflix)
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living)

Still in the viewing queue: last night's Graceland and I'm toying with watching Channel 4's The Returned, even though I normally can't be arsed with zombie shows, even French zombie shows.

Here's a few thoughts on what I did watch this week, though :

  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy): After last week's improvement, yet more signs of recovery, with the various first-season story arcs starting to come back to life again at last, joining the new ones from this season. As well as some things that made precisely no sense, we did get a whole collection of great moments, mostly involving Carlos and Kiera. I think it's clear where a lot of this is going but there's enough surprises still coming that it still feels quite fresh and exciting.
  • The Daily Show (Comedy Central): John Oliver's first week on the job and although he's obviously not as comfortable in the job as Jon Stewart - give him time - it's actually been a pretty good run so far. To a certain extent, he'll need to find his own voice as a host to differentiate himself from Stewart.
  • The Fall (BBC2/Netflix): Ah! A notorious finale. Haven't had one of those in a while. Not so much a conclusion as a slight pause in the story. To be honest, the fact it's been renewed for a second series actually makes this a less impressive finale than it should have been, since it's quite an original thing to do (spoiler alert: let the criminal get away). Now it just looks like they were setting everything up oddly for a second series. Maybe they were. Nevertheless, despite this being the least impressive of all the episodes, it was probably the best British drama I've seen in a long time, so yay to a second series.
  • Family Tree (HBO/BBC2): I think I'm going to give up after this one. It's giving me wry chuckles but that's about it. Well observed, well acted, even Nina Conti and Monkey are tolerable, but it's just not very funny.
  • Game of Thrones (HBO/Sky Atlantic): So I finally made it through to the end of the third season. I think most of my comments from last week hold, particularly about the second season, although the nudity did drop off again in the third season, thankfully. I imagine that this is a show that's going to be best appreciated as one massive box set binge one day, because there's a lot going on that's frustratingly close to great but never actually gets there: you can see that everyone's eventual stories are going to end up being great, it's just we're in the middle of them as they head towards that greatness, and it's not going to be for another two to three seasons that we actually get to see it. Still, a lot to commend about it and I'm probably going to be glued to my set when the fourth season comes round. Perhaps Stephen Dillane and Patrick Malahide will meet again. PS The red wedding? What was all the fuss about?
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living): My hat's off to Bryan Fuller and co, as always, as the show hits its penultimate episode, revealing just how tightly written and architected this first season has been. What the finale will bring us is anyone's guess, but this has been one of the most consistently excellent first seasons of any show I've watched.
  • Up The Women (BBC4): Already renewed for a second series, for which it will transfer over to BBC2, this studio comedy about suffragettes in 1910 features a great cast - Jessica Hynes, Rebecca Front, Adrian Scarborough - and some clever writing. Unfortunately, it doesn't feature any real jokes. Well, not that I found funny. There's probably a few people who'll laugh at a joke in which a man shows he knows less about a light bulb and how it works than a woman does, but they've presumably never seen comedy shows before and this will all be new to them. If, however, you have seen a comedy show before, then the most you can do is hope it does better and wish it well, since its heart is in the right place, at least.

And in movies:

Wreck-It Ralph
Bizarrely, it's Pixar does Tron. A villain in an 80s arcade game decides he wants more from life so goes exploring other video games, messing not only his own game up but those he encounters along the way. Weirdly, the first half is probably going to be unfathomable to anyone under the age of 30, with clever references to Pac Man, Streetfighter and any number of games that a child of the 80s would love and remember. The second half on the other hand is probably going to be unfathomable to anyone over the age of 40, since it's largely references to modern console games, particularly Super Mario Kart on the Wii. It's all very precise and very clever, and there's great vocal work from John C Reilly (Ralph), Alan Tudyk (the evil King Candy), Sarah Silverman (Ralph's new friend in the superbly imagined Sugar Rush) and Jane Lynch (a heroine from a first-person shooter) among others. But the fun-density isn't quite as high as it should be, with big chunks that just sort of amble by. Some of the sexual politics are a little debatable, too, but only a little. Enjoyable but not a true classic.

The Iceman
Given a choice of Michael Shannon movies to watch last night, I chose to watch The Iceman rather than Man Of Steel: I'm watching that tonight. I'm not sure Shannon could be better in the latter though, since he gives a spot-on performance as the real-life Iceman, a mafia hit-man who killed probably more than 100 people from the end of the 60s through to the 80s, somehow managing to keep the terrible truth from his family. Surprisingly, it's a film of good performances from the unexpected likes of Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans (practically unrecognisable as another, rather hirsute killer) and, incredibly surprisingly, David Schwimmer from Friends. Perhaps a little slower and flatter than in needed to be, it's nevertheless a thoughtful insight into the mind of a sociopath who needs to kill people in order to preserve his marriage. Yes, that does sound weird.

Sponsored by voucher codes from My Favourite Voucher Codes

"What did you watch this week?" is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid - and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I've watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you've seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

Read other posts about: , , ,

June 12, 2013

Wednesday's "Rogue renewed, Linus Roache is king and a trailer for Smaug" news

Posted on June 12, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Follow TMINE on Twitter for breaking news updates

Film casting

Trailers
  • Trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Canadian TV

  • CBC and BET to adapt The Book of Negroes
International TV

UK TV

US TV

US TV casting

New US TV shows

  • BET and CBC to adapt The Book of Negroes

New US TV show casting

Read other posts about: ,

June 7, 2013

What did you watch this week? Including Game of Thrones, The Hangover 3, Hannibal, Continuum and The Fall

Posted on June 7, 2013 | comments | Bookmark and Share

It's "What did you watch this week?, my chance to tell you what I movies and TV I've watched this week that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

First, the usual recommendations:

  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy)
  • The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
  • The Fall (BBC2/Netflix)
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living)

These are all going to be on in either the UK or the US, perhaps even both, but I can't be sure which.

On Monday, I was somewhat incapacitated with food poisoning (oops), so spent the whole day in bed. Faced with the prospect of an entire day without brain stimulation, I decided to bite the bullet and try watching…

Game of Thrones
Yep, season 1 all in one go. And now I'm halfway through season 2. So no spoilers. On the whole, I'm liking it more than I did on my first attempted viewing a couple of years ago, but that might be because I made a stab at reading the first book to ease me in. I didn't love the first season, but I did enjoy a lot of the elements of it and the potential that it was building. I like the mix of mythic influences - the story's northern stories are more in keeping with Germanic and Scandinavian myth while the eastern stories are more in the style of Middle Eastern stories. I like the fact that a lot of it is about outsiders within a patriarchal system and how they learn to obtain power within that system. I like the fact it's essentially a good excuse to give overlooked British and Irish character actors (and Peter Dinklage) decent, regular, well paying jobs for a change.

Season 2 so far is feeling a bit of a filler season; the amounts of female nudity are ridiculous; and the increased magic quotient is unappealing. There's also no single Nedd Stark figure around which the second season revolves, which makes it feel a little rudderless. But both Patrick Malahide and Stephen Dillane have turned up, which can only be good news, and Charles Dance is marvellous.

Still in the viewing queue: Up The Women, BBC4's suffragette sitcom written by and starring Jessica Hynes, and last night's Graceland, USA's new cop show. My thoughts on those next week, I suspect.

Now, some thoughts on some of the regulars:

  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy): A near return to form this week, with sci-fi fun, some important revelations for both viewers and characters, and hints that all the standalone episodes we've been having actually had an arc in them (spoiler alert)that another corporation from the future is trying to acquire all its competitor companies and their technologies in the present, including Alec's. Still not up there with season 1 and we could do with Liber8 getting its act together, but it slightly restored my faith in the show.
  • The Fall (BBC2/Netflix): Less about misogyny, more about Belfast this episode, as well as some expansion on the background of Gillian Anderson's character. The revelation from Archie Punjab was a little too deus ex machina (spoiler alert)she knew someone who went out with the serial killer at university, but I'm hoping they can pull back from that.
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living): Last week's saw Ellen Muth (Dead Like Me, another Bryan Fuller show) turn up as someone who thought she was dead, making for an interesting piece of deconstruction. As in previous weeks, the episode ended with an entirely throw-away but stunning moment of horror that'll stick with you. The idea of Lecter and his friend withholding information like that was also ghastly, but in an entirely different way. This week's episode was slightly let down by Eddie Izzard turning up again and was a little low-key, but was also disturbing and affecting in its own way. I'm wondering what's up with Gillian Anderson's character - are they ever going to do anything with her, or is that for later seasons?

And in movies:

The Hangover 3
Not an especially funny film, yet still better than the second. Weirdly, though, it didn't actually feel like they were trying to make a funny movie, more an action drama with the occasional joke. All the regular characters were back plus John Goodman, but unlike 2, this didn't rehash the plot of the first movie, instead sending the 'Wolf Pack' to go looking for gold (literally) because of naughty old Ken Jeong. Weirdly, it's clear they could have made a funny film if they'd wanted to, judging by the end titles.

"What did you watch this week?" is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid - and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I've watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you've seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

Read other posts about: , , ,

Featured Articles

12 Monkeys

Improbably good