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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 | Post a comment | 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?

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June 7, 2013

Friday's "Nurse Jackie renewed, Eastbound & Down cancelled and Orange is The New Black trailer" news

Posted on June 7, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Film casting

Trailers

French TV

Canadian TV

  • CTV acquires Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and The Goldbergs
  • …reveals fall line-up

US TV

US TV casting

New US TV shows
  • CBS to adapt Taxi 22
  • Trailer for Netflix's Orange Is The New Black

New US TV show casting

  • Paige Davis to co-star in A&E's Whitey, Gordon Clapp to recur on TNT's Lost Angels

May 30, 2013

What did you watch this week? Including Continuum, Arrested Development, The Fall, The Goodwin Games and The Black Dahlia

Posted on May 30, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

A little earlier than normal since I'm away tomorrow, 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, which are somewhat dwindling now 'summer' has arrived:

  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy)
  • The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
  • Don't Trust The B---- (ABC)
  • 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.

Now, some thoughts on some of the regulars and some of the shows I'm still trying:

  • Arrested Development (Netflix): Well, I watched most of the first episode of the new Netflix series and laughed a couple of times, but that was about it. I wasn't even sure at first I was watching the right episode. But I was. I hear, however, it gets better with episode three.
  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy): Shaping up to be quite a disappointing second season this, after the strong and clever narrative of the first season, but the arrival of Alessandro Juliani as a psychiatrist from the future was an intriguing twist, at least, and the final revelation was unexpected, too.
  • The Fall (BBC2/Netflix): A meditation on modern misogyny, with Anderson's cop staying calm under pressure from above and below for the terrible crime of having sex. It's all handled very well, with the media's participation in misogyny flagged up, and the parallels with the misogyny of the serial killer make it an inditement of patriarchy rather than just particular institutions.
  • The Goodwin Games (Fox): Gave up in the middle of the second episode. Just not funny.

And in movies:

The Black Dahlia
Ah, the irony – a Brian De Palma film about misogyny! Based on a James McEllroy novel, it's a fictional investigation into the real-life Black Dahlia murder, starring Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart as boxing rivals-cum-police partners. However, most of the interest is in the female cast, with Scarlett Johansson as Eckhart's ex-prostitute girlfriend, Hillary Swank superb as a rich girl Hartnett takes up with and the likes of Mia Kirshner as the murder victim and Fiona Shaw as Swank's mother, with KD Lang, Jemima Rooper and Rose McGowan in bit parts. For the turgid first half it tries to have its cake and eat it, concerning itself with the fates of the women involved. But De Palma can't avoid his exploitative tendencies and the second half is mostly distasteful misogyny, some of it admittedly in keeping with the 1950s time period. But it's in the last 15 minutes that the whole thing falls apart in quite the most insane way – I have literally no idea what Shaw in particular is up to in one particular scene and it consequently veers into unplanned comedy. Steer well clear.

"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: ,

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