Got a picture of David Tennant sitting, lying down or in some indeterminate state in between? Then leave a link to it below or email me and if it’s judged suitable, it will appear in the “Sitting Tennant” gallery. Don’t forget to include your name in the filename so I don’t get mixed up about who sent it to me.
The best pic in the stash each week will appear on Tuesday and get ten points; the runners up will appear on Friday (one per person who sends one in) and get five points.
You can also enter the witty and amusing captions league table by commenting on Tuesday’s Sitting Tennant photo, the best caption getting 10 points, everyone who contributes getting five points.
Bonjour, tout le monde! Welcome aboard previous Engrenages (Spiral) lovers and hello to all those of you with a The Killing-shaped hole in their Saturday night TV schedules and thought you’d give a French TV series a try.
Yes, after months of our collective breath holding, Spiral is back with typical high-powered BBC4 advertising – a brief trailer after last week’s The Killing – ready to make us all go “WTF? No, seriously, WTF? That’s seriously how France runs its justice system?” again at Canal+’s answer to The Wire. All our old favourites are back: Laure, the captain of police, consummate cock-up artist and lover of brutality; Pierre, the handsome ambitious prosecutor; Roban, the ambiguously sexual, fair but draconian judge; Gilou, the over-emotional prosie-loving detective; ‘Tin Tin’, the cipher; the wonderfully evil, foul-mouthed red-headed lawyer Karlsson; and that weird chief lawyer who looks like a lizard. He’s odd-looking. It’s the eyes, isn’t it?
To accompany us on our ride into darkness, we also have the usual gruesome scenes, blanket misogyny, prissy subtitles, police corruption and rule-breaking, and eye-opening sub-plots that we’ve come to expect from Spiral – as well as a new singular image to illuminate and potentially define a whole season. In season one, it was women suffocated by transparent plastic; in season two, it was Aziz setting fire to people in cars in the banlieues; in season three, it’s a handwritten sign: “Fermé pour pédophilie.”
Here’s a slightly low quality trailer in French for the first two episodes:
My usual recommendations for maximum viewing pleasure are: Archer, Being Human (US), The Daily Show, The Killing, Shameless (US) and Stargate Universe. Watch them (and keep an eye on The Stage‘s TV Today Square Eyes feature as well) or you’ll be missing out on the good stuff.
This week, after only three seasons, I’ve given the much-hyped Parks and Recreation a try. Starring Amy Poehler and Rob Lowe, this was supposed to be NBC’s sleeper comedy – the one for people who want to feel smug towards people who watch Community and think they’ve discovered the best niche comedy nobody’s watching.
However, with the exception of Ron, the wonderfully moustached real man character, this was probably the unfunniest thing I’ve seen in quite a while. Even Good Dog was considerably better. It might be because it’s episode eight and no one’s putting their best foot forward, but Portlandia does almost everything in it but better and you’d be hard pressed to find an actual joke. Ron was good though. Can anyone tell me what I’m missing?
“What have you been watching this week?” is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV that they might be missing or should avoid – and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I’ve watched this week. 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?
In the US: Sundays, 8pm ET, Reelz Channel. Starts 3rd April In the UK: Thursdays, 9pm, The History Channel. Starts 7th April
GCSE History empathy essay (by the writers of The Kennedys, aged 16) Please write about the Kennedys, from the 1930s through to the 1960s. Try to show the ambitions of the family and their attitudes to the presidency, the Second World War and especially John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s father, Joe.
It is 1960 during the presidential election campaign. JFK is running for office and he looks just like he does in those paintings you see of him. When he talks, he has a normal mid-west accent, I think, because although I’ve never heard JFK talking, I can’t imagine he would have a memorable or distinct accent.
“Hi, Jackie, my back hurts,” says JFK. “Can you help me to become president? Although it’s close, I think I am likely to win and become a significant politician if you do.”
“Certainly, JFK,” says Jackie, who looks exactly like Katie Holmes but dressed in pink. “But first I must have my baby.”
Joe Kennedy enters with Bobbie. Both are Irish so are Catholic. Bobbie talks with a strange Boston accent. I don’t know why.
“Hello, my brother who is running for president,” says Bobbie. “Can I help you?”
“You’d like that and so would your wife, wouldn’t she?” snaps Joe in an English accent, since Irish people from Boston are very like English people, I am told. “However, I am a domineering father and I will not let that happen.” Then he turns to his elder son and grimaces. “Hello, JFK,” says Joe. “I am not very glad you are going to become president since I always hoped I would be president and when that didn’t work out, I hoped my eldest son would become president. But he died during the war and now I hate God and you will have to do. Grr.”
Joe remembers 1936 which was before the war, when he was an ambassador in Europe. He remembers it perfectly.
“I will become president by taking over from Franklin D Roosevelt,” he says, looking just a little bit younger. “I will do this by ensuring that America does not enter the war that will happen in Europe in just a few years’ time and give many speeches without permission saying Germany is good.”
He then remembers the speech. Young JFK, who does not look much like older JFK, is watching the speech that he gives. He is not happy.
“I do not think this is a good idea. It will mean my father will not become president one day,” he says. He is very wise and is both fearful and worried about his father, who is domineering.
“Be quiet. You are rubbish,” says his older brother, who does not think much of his brother. “I will become president instead and you will not. Except if I die in a plane crash during the war and you will get lots of medals in the navy and have to take over from me, which will never happen.”
Six months later, after many dinners, Joe cannot run for presidency because his wife said so. Then his eldest son dies. So he says to JFK, “You will run for Congress and you will have to become president because my eldest son who is dead cannot do so.”
JFK is unhappy but he knows that he must become president.
Here’s a trailer of what happened when they filmed that particular GCSE History essay as a $30 million TV series that almost no TV network in the world would touch with a barge pole.