What have you been watching this week (w/e May 27)?

The Crimson Petal and the White

Time for “What have you been watching this week?”, my chance to tell you what I’ve been watching this week and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case we’ve missed them.

My usual recommendations for maximum viewing pleasure this week: Cougar Town, Endgame, Happy Endings, House, Modern Family, The Shadow Line and Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. 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. Of course, it being May/June, most of them are ending, so I’ll have to come up with a new set of recommendations next week.

Now to the irregulars and new things, as well as a few thoughts on some of those regulars:

  • All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace: Adam Curtis’s latest documentary series, examining how technology has come to – quite literally – rule our lives. One of those documentaries designed more to make you think and examine broad trends rather than create a watertight argument. Well worth watching.
  • The Apprentice: Very creepy.
  • The Crimson Petal and the White: Obviously was on tele a while back now, but we put off watching it while lovely wife was still reading the original book. Very faithful to the book, says lovely wife, and quite disturbing in its visual style, like being on an acid trip for an hour while trapped in a documentary about poverty in Victorian London. I’m not sure I actually like it though, since it’s one of those ones where you can see doom spiralling down on characters right from the beginning because they behave incredibly stupidly. Also, I find it hard to imagine Chris O’Dowd as anything except Roy from The IT Crowd. He just doesn’t seem plausible as anything else.
  • Happy Endings: Not quite as funny as in previous weeks but still good. Just ambiguous enough that you know they weren’t sure they were going to get renewed or not.
  • House: Oops. Last week’s wasn’t the finale after all. Still, what a weird way to end the series. Feels almost like it should have been the last House ever, since it’ll be interesting to see how they come back from this. Not a great episode though.
  • Running Wilde: Not a great way to end the series – felt a bit like they’d given up at this point.

And since people have been mentioning movies they’ve been watching as well, which seems like a sterling idea to me, this week I saw:

  • Tangled: Animated Disney musical version of Rapunzel, with Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi (Chuck from Chuck). Actually quite nice, decent animation, nothing too offend, with a few good comedic touches. But nothing outstanding and a few major plot holes.
  • The Ward: Amnesiac Amber Heard runs around and tries to escape a lot from a mental asylum when it becomes clear that a ghost is trying to kill off everyone in her ward. A return in style by John Carpenter to Halloween/The Thing, with very little gore and a few solid shocks, but a bit loose in the middle and suffers from the usual Carpenter trope of the third and fourth acts turning into lots of running. But the ending’s really good, Heard does well, even if the other girls in the ward are beyond irritating, and Jared Harris from Mad Men excels as the psychiatrist who runs it all.

But what have you been watching?

“What have you been watching 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 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?


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.