Tag Archive | Caerdydd

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What have you been watching? Including The Magicians, The X-Files, Stan Lee's Lucky Man and Okkupert

Posted on February 1, 2016 | 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.

It's Monday and WHYBW is here. Something's gone wrong, surely. Indeed, work as usual. Damn money. But I also needed a little extra time to get through the big pile of TV that's been building up over the week. That can only mean one thing: it's time for a cull.

Some things will be coming off my viewing thanks to natural erosion: Endeavour has just finished its third season after only four episodes. Others will be disappearing anyway, thanks to unfavourable third-episode verdicts, although you'll have to wait until after the jump (and tomorrow, in the case of Billions and Angie Tribeca) to know which are for the chop.

But it's time for both Rebellion (Ireland: RTÉ One) and Byw Celwydd (UK: S4C) to leave this mortal coil. Rebellion's a fine historical, but with very little by way of characterisation to draw you in, just dry historical facts and a bit of shooting, so I've decided I've revised my GCSE history syllabus enough now. Byw Celwydd has a peculiar draw, simply because I know Cardiff well enough to enjoy the locations and the whole thing has a slight Caerdydd vibe, but it's pure soap with dodgy production values, and I don't do soaps, let alone ones with dodgy production values.

I also can't be bothered with the latest episode of Baskets (US: FX), as I hear it's exactly the same as the first episode.

So that means after the jump, you can find reviews of the latest episodes of 100 Code, American Crime, Angie Tribeca, Arrow, Colony, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Endeavour, The Family Law, The Flash, The Magicians, Grandfathered, Man Seeking Woman (Woman Seeking Man), Marvel's Agent Cater, Okkupert (Occupied), Second Chance, Les hommes de l'ombre (Spin), The Shannara Chronicles, Stan Lee's Lucky Man, Supergirl and The X-Files. Can you guess which ones will be getting the chop?

In case you missed them, this week I reviewed the first episodes of: The X-Files (US: Fox; UK: Channel 5), Stan Lee's Lucky Man (UK: Sky 1), Baskets (US: FX) and The Outsiders (US: WGN America); and ages and ages ago, I previewed Lucifer (US: Fox; UK: Amazon Instant Video) and The Magicians (US: Syfy), which started last week, too.

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What have you been watching? Including Room, Marvel's Agent Carter, Arrow and Endeavour

Posted on January 23, 2016 | 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.

It's been another huge week, full of new shows, continuing shows and returning shows. I've struggled manfully with them, but despite delaying WHYBW to Saturday to give me a little extra time to get through everything and then write about them, I'm still to cover three new series:

  • Mad Dogs (Amazon Instant Video): Shawn Ryan's US remake of the Sky 1 original brings back Ben Chaplin in a different role but none of the other cast for this relocated show about a bunch of old friends (in both senses of 'old') who reunite for a plush holiday in the middle of sunny nowhere. Before you know it, everything ends up going a bit criminally pear-shaped and holiday heaven becomes holiday nightmare. I haven't even watched the pilot of this, which has been sitting on Amazon for a while now, but given the original didn't overly impress me and I gave up after about three episodes, I'm not sure I'm going to be in much of a rush to watch this version either. I do hope they explain why it's called Mad Dogs, given the lyrics are 'Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun'.
  • Baskets (US: FX): Co-created by Louis CK, Zach Galifianakis and Jonathan Krisel, this sees Galifianakis playing dual roles as twin brothers, one of whom aspired to clown school in Paris, but who ended up becoming a rodeo clown. It's apparently a bit Marmite, but I'll try to review it in the first half of next week.
  • Stan Lee's Lucky Man (UK: Sky 1): Marvel's Stan Lee gives us James Nesbitt as a Brit cop, down on his luck, who gets a magical bracelet that reverses his fortunes. It's Stan Lee, so could be fun, but it's also Sky 1 so could be stupid/mediocre beyond belief. Again, first half of next week for this one.

Despite those three failings, I have managed to cover rather a lot this week already, with reviews or previews of the first episodes of:

As well as a third-episode verdict on Cooper Barrett's Guide To Surviving Life (US: Fox).

The meat of the week's viewing has, however, been continuing and returning shows, so after the jump, you'll find reviews of the latest episodes of (deep breath): 100 Code, American Crime, Arrow, Billions, Byw Celwydd (Living A Lie), Colony, Endeavour, The Family Law, The Flash, Grandfathered, Limitless, Man Seeking Woman, Occupied (Okkupert), Rebellion, Second Chance, Les hommes de l'ombre (Spin) and Supergirl. Oh yes, and the two-hour premier of the new season of Marvel's Agent Carter. Pardon me if you were hoping I would carry on with Idiotsitter, but no thank you.

I'm pretty sure something's going to have give on that list soon, but I'm not quite sure what yet. Pity the first show to turn in a duff episode.

This week, I also moseyed on down to the cinema to watch a movie:

Room (2015)
Adaptation of Emma Donoghue's book of the same, which sees five-year old Jake (Jacob Tremblay) discovering that the small room he's lived in his whole life may not be the extent of the universe and that his mother (Brie Larson) has been keeping some important and very disturbing details from him. While that scenario (inspired by real cases) doesn't sound like a very enjoyable subject matter, both the book and the movie quickly switch things around and give us a genuinely moving tale of parental love, the adaptability of children and finding hope in extremis, so if you think it's not your thing, you might find you're completely wrong.

Not quite as initially claustrophobic as the book, the movie is still a magnificent piece of work, with Larson and Tremblay justifiably getting all kinds of award nominations. William H Macy appears for almost no good reason, except to remind you of all the roles he used to get before he ended up doing Shameless (US). Recommended - you won't even be able to watch the trailer again afterwards, without wanting a cathartic little cry.

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Review: Byw Celwydd/Living A Lie 1x1 (UK: S4C)

Posted on January 7, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Living A Lie

In the UK: Sundays, 9pm, S4C. Available on iPlayer

The last time S4C decided to do a glamorous, exciting drama set in Cardiff Bay, it gave us the much-missed Caerdydd, a shiny, exciting, mind-blowingly Welsh soap full of hip young Welsh-speaking media types, entrepreneurs and politicians staying at the St David's Hotel & Spa, going to all the best pubs and generally enjoying everything cool and hip Mermaid Quay has to offer, apart from the Harry Ramsden's.

It launched the career of many a Welsh-speaking actor, but it's gone now. Sigh. We've still got the last series on the Sky box and we live for the day that S4C might eventually get round to putting it out on DVD. It was top. RIP Caerdydd.

Of course, almost no one outside of Wales had ever heard of Caerdydd until it started filming sex scenes in the Senedd, so it seems appropriate that following the success of Y Gwyll/Hinterland in the rest of the world, S4C's latest attempt to create a world-class drama follows largely in the footsteps of Caerdydd by being set in the Welsh Assembly and featuring bright young things having sex, albeit everywhere except the Senedd toilets.

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