Tag Archive | Suits

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News: Wonder Woman's new director, more Midsomer Murders, New Black, a Wizard of Oz series + more

Posted on April 16, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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What have you been watching? Including Dig, Maximum Choppage, The Americans, Fortitude, 12 Monkeys and Vikings

Posted on March 9, 2015 | 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'sLocate TV - they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

A couple of days away and once again the new shows descend! It’s like they know. I’ve done my best to watch them all, and you might have noticed my reviews of The Last Man on Earth, CSI: Cyber and Battle Creek over the past week. I’m putting off my review of ABC’s remake of Secret and Lies until tomorrow when I’ve had a chance to watch the third episode (yes, they showed the first two on the same night) and American Crime only arrived on the scene on Thursday so I’ll be giving that a go either tomorrow or Wednesday. Netflix’s also dumped the whole of the new Tina Fey sitcom The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt onto our queues on Friday, which I’ll at least try to make a start on this week, too.

Which just leaves the following, which I have actually managed to watch but which don’t really merit full reviews of their own.

Dig (US: USA Network)
Tim Kring (Heroes) and Gideon Raff (Homeland, Tyrant) collaborate on what is essentially Touch 2, with FBI agent Jason Isaacs coming to Jerusalem to hunt down a murderer, only to be drawn into Jewish mysticism and Dan Brown-style prophecies and conspiracies involving a red-haired archaeology student and the guy who played Hardman in Suits (the fabulous David Costabile) having a big collection of cloned kids and a black-hair-free cow in Norway. It’s novel to have both the Israeli location shooting and the solely Jewish rather than Christian mythology as the foundation of the plot, but already it’s so intricate and beardy weirdy that I’m not really tempted to watch any more of the silliness. But there are enough bonkers elements, including Richard E Grant, to make me watch at least one more episode, I think.

Maximum Choppage (Australia: ABC2)
Asian guy returns to Melbourne after three years away in Beijing at a martial arts school, whereupon his family and friends demand that he protect them from local gangs. Unfortunately, it turns out he’s actually been at Marshall Arts School, learning how to paint and edit videos, which means he and his female kung fu-tastic best friend have to pull off a series of elaborate con tricks on everyone to keep the neighbourhood in check by convincing the baddies that he really is a true warrior. Written by and starring Lawrence Leung, it works best when it’s sending up the plots of 70s and 80s kung fu movies and transposing them onto modern Melbourne, worst when it has a bad guy called ‘Kai Lee’ who likes to sing ‘The Locomotion’. Not bad and occasionally quite titter-worthy, but not as good as the average episode of Hong Kong Phooey.

After the jump, the regulars: 12 Monkeys, 19-2, The Americans, Arrow, Banshee, The Blacklist, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Forever, Fortitude, Gallipoli, Man Seeking Woman, Marvel’s Agent Carter, Suits and Vikings.

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What have you been watching? Including Hostages, The Odd Couple, X Company, Living With Models and Bosch

Posted on February 23, 2015 | 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'sLocate TV - they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

Last one of these for a fortnight, as I’m on holiday next Monday. But somehow, following last week’s purge and with a bit of efficiency, I’m bang up to speed with practically everything and I’ve watched some new shows:

The Odd Couple (US: CBS)
Somehow, some strange sort of comedy lifeboat has been erected at NBC and floated off a big bunch of its more talented comedy actors to this CBS show based on the classic Neil Simon play/movie/TV series of the late 60s/early 70s about two divorced men, one a slob, one a tad OCD, who end up living together. Here, Matthew Perry (late of Go On) takes on the Jack Klugman role, once again playing a DJ; Thomas Lennon (Sean Saves The World) takes the Tony Randall role; Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) is Perry's PA; Wendell Pierce (The Michael J Fox Show) is one of Lennon and Perry’s mutual friends.

But despite the source material, the cast and the likes of Joe Keenan behind the scenes, it’s not that good. There are times when it comes close to funny and there’s more intelligence than you might have expected of a CBS comedy, with Perry’s romance with Leslie Bibb in the first episode not going quite how you’d expect; Lennon is as good as always, as is Perry, even if Perry is a more natural fit to Lennon’s role. It’s also better at characterisation than you’d expect and never hits the miserable bitterness of We Are Men, But it’s never laugh out loud funny. Or even funny. Needed to be a lot better, basically, given its pedigree.

X Company (Canada: CBC)
Second World War spy action drama, based on Canada’s real-life spy training base Camp X. In this first episode, a bunch of non-descript young people overact a lot as they’re sent undercover into a French village, while a bunch of better characterised people are systematically killed off. This being a Canadian show, lots of the Nazis are quite nice, as are the Canadians, while the Brits, whether working for or against Camp X, are bastards. For reasons unknown, everyone German (some of them actually played by Germans) speaks German, while despite Canada’s bilingualism, everyone else speaks English.

The first 15 minutes is quite horrendous and I almost stopped watching after that, but after that initial attempt to woo the viewer with action, everything settles down and becomes a lot more interesting. It’s still not great, but one of the better efforts from Canada of late. Incidentally, as I predicted not so long ago, 2015 is indeed turning out to be the Year of Synthesia

Living With Models (UK: Comedy Central)
Ordinary schlub looking for a flat finds one… occupied by models. Close your eyes. Imagine the series. Whatever you just imagined is better than the series itself.

Hostages (UK: BBC4; Israeli: Channel 10 – aired in 2013)
This Israeli show that sees a surgeon’s family taken hostage to force her to kill one of her patients – the Prime Minister – has already been adapted by the US as Hostages. However, despite having seen that show, I quite enjoyed this version, as it’s considerably better – more low key in the exact same way as Prisoners of War was. Although many of the beats are the same, the structure’s different, more time is taken and it does actually feel like a thriller at times. There’s plenty of genre clichés, such as the “illegal gun dealer who demands more money from the man he’s just sold the guns to” and “the bad ass cop who faces down a hostage-taker single-handled”, but largely, it’s not bad, and it does everything better than the US remake does – a step down from Engrenages, naturally, but a step up from Salamander. Good to see BBC4 branching out into Sky Arts’ usual territory, too.

After the jump, the regulars: 12 Monkeys, 19-2, The Americans, Arrow, Banshee, The Blacklist, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, The Flash, Fortitude, Gallipoli, Man Seeking Woman, Marvel’s Agent Carter, State of Affairs and Suits. Oh, Vikings and Bosch are back, too.

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