What have you been watching this week (w/e June 10)?

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: All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, The Apprentice, The Apprentice: You’ve Been Fired, Come Dine With Me, Endgame, 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.

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: A bit of a damp squib of an ending. Essentially 55 minutes of interesting facts, beautifully constructed, finished with “And that’s why no one tries to change anything.” Feels like some working out was left off.
  • Lead Balloon: Still not loving it – by which I mean finding it even slightly funny – but Sophie Winkleman is in it now, so I might keep watching.
  • The Shadow Line: More ludicrous fight scenes. Are they doing it deliberately now? And MRI-ing the head of someone who has a bullet lodged in his brain? That’s not a good idea… And for a full 10 minutes it looked like we were going to have a strong, interesting female character. Oh well.
  • Undercover Boss: Bit dull really, and it wasn’t even the boss this week

Didn’t managed to get through Single Ladies, which should tell you something about that. Haven’t watched Teen Wolf or Switched At Birth either, although that’s more because I’m probably too old for them. In With The Flynns I’m going to give a go some time this weekend, though.

But queued up in my pile are Case Histories – two episodes aired this week, two more next week – and Injustice – five episodes aired this week. Guess where they’re probably going to stay and get deleted, because I haven’t got the time to watch that much TV in one go. Stupid scheduling. I miss “one episode a week” scheduling on British TV so much.

And in this week’s list of movies:

  • The Hangover 2: While The Hangover was actually very funny, seeing the exact same story played out again and with fewer jokes isn’t actually funny at all. Who knew?
  • In the Loop: weird to see the entire cast of The Thick of It playing almost exactly the same characters in exactly the same situations but with different names. Very funny and the American perspective was a refreshing addition. And Peter Capaldi was as sublime as always.

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?

  • Hannibal

    Case Histories turned out to be pretty good – hello to Jason Isaacs – whose Yorkshire accent wasn’t half bad. Good acting all round, and the director didn’t treat the viewing audience like morons by explaining everything.

  • Mark Carroll

    “In the Loop” was okay and well-done but didn’t greatly amuse me.
    My son still mostly watches InuYasha. It’s okay.
    I started the UK “Being Human”. I like it. I’ll keep watching at least through season two. Is it still so that season three is rather a downturn? It may be better for me to stop after two, I don’t know.
    I started season two of “Community”. I like that too. I actually would prefer not to miss it.
    We’ve been watching more of “The IT Crowd”. I don’t know how far through we are. It’s still fairly good, worth watching.
    My daughter’s watching some Strawberry Shortcake DVD. It’s not as execrable as it could have been.

  • The American summer series are just starting up again, so a lot of my random DVR choices may be curtailed – like “When Aliens Attack!” (on NatGeo, I think it was), and an episode of “Honey I Shrunk The Kids” (which was about the ghost of an insult comic from the Old West – I was hoping it would have more of an “F Troop” feel to that aspect…..)
    Re-watched a couple of “Game Of Thrones” episodes with a friend who just read the book and is catching up now on the series. I know you’re not a fan, Rob, but it’s right up my alley.
    And his roommate showed me a bunch of YouTube bits by FilmCow – “Charlie The Unicorn”, “Detective Mittens” and “Llamas With Hats”. Sick and quick.
    The summer series I’ve got lined up – “White Collar”, “Covert Affairs” (I may drop this season) have already started; I’ve got 2 episodes of “Franklin & Bash” still to sample. “The Killing” is winding down – I’ll stick it out, but no second season for me.
    It’s repeats to most of you, but I think I’m near the end of ‘Doc Martin’ on the local pbs channel. Not sure I’ll get that image of Stephanie Cole on her kitchen table out of my head though…..
    And a big highlight each week is a marathon of old “Rifleman” episodes on AMC each Saturday morning. That’s been a lot of fun (seeing lots of big names when they first started out plus the old-time character actors), and I’ll be sorry when the well runs dry…..
    Via Netflix, I’m still going through the 1971 “Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes”. And just posted today a link to one episode of that to “The Runaway Bride”…. At work I’m watching a bootleg collection of Tea Leoni’s first big show – “Flying Blind”. Great David Byrne theme song!

  • Oh yes, I forgot about Covert Affairs. Frankly, such a dull opening episode that I’m tempted to give up on it altogether. I might watch next week’s but that’ll be it’s last chance, despite Piper Perabo.

  • Mark Carroll

    “The IT Crowd”: looks like we’re in season four.

  • @Mark Carroll. I LOVED season 3 of Being Human, but I know Rob wasn’t wild about it.
    @MediumRob I think you may be wise to leave Injustice where it is. It started off promisingly, and despite missing two episodes I have persisted and watched on catch up, but I felt, much as I love his writing, Anthony Horowitz was out of his depth. I think he wanted to write a tense psychological thriller about a man on the edge of sanity, which was a great place to start & he kept it up for episode 1 and most of episode 2, but then it degenerated into a completely implausible story with lots of loosely and improbably connected people. And the ending was worthy of Murder Most Horrid (which I loved, but that wasn’t what I thought I was watching). Plus the copper character who was James Purefoy’s bete noire was so two dimensionally nasty it got tedious. And Dervla Kirwan was just bloody annoying. It’s a shame as I thought it was a good premise, and had a good cast. Oh well…
    Other then that loved the mid series finish to Dr Who & we are all bereft on Saturday evening now. And really enjoyed this week’s Apprentice for squirm making behaviour all round.
    Oh and I know I’ve strayed into this week, but saw Camelot. Not quite as bad as I feared, but I was very bored by the end. And not quite sure why Eva Green had to get naked for a wolf at the end . We watched it with the ten year old and had to send her to bed when it got too rude. It is a toss up who gets more embarrassed parents or children at these moments, and I do wish writers/producers didn’t feel obliged to put them in. Unless it serves the plot in some way I really don’t need to see quite so much of James Purefoy’s bottom(-:

  • Stu

    Quite right about the dodginess of MRI-ing someone with a bullet in their brain, although on the plus side Blick did get fMRI right. I didn’t find the fight scenes particularly ludicrous, though (Although Gatehouse’s powers of recovery might seem a little implausible, but I’ll forgive them for the tension of that scene).
    You have to give Blick credit for that cameo by BLOODY PENDLETON FOR GOD’S SAKE, though! Not surprising that he got a knighthood, I suppose. Wonder what Harcourt’s up to these days?
    I watched five minutes of Come-a-lot just to see if it’s as bad as everyone says it is. It is. The continuing career of Chibnall continues to be one of TV’s biggest mysteries, along with whoever thought it was a good idea to sell off BBC TV Centre.
    It has to be said, one of the best things I saw on TV this week was a repeat of Black Books series 1, episode 3. ‘Old wine is good wine.’
    Film-wise, went to see Attack the Block yesterday. Young Mr Cornish done good. Smart script (with no concessions, you have to tune into the slang. ‘Llow it!), fantastic acting — especially by the kids, with John Boyega and Alex Esmail particular names to watch — and blimey, Joe C can direct an action sequence.

  • Stu

    Quite right about the dodginess of MRI-ing someone with a bullet in their brain, although on the plus side Blick did get fMRI right. I didn’t find the fight scenes particularly ludicrous, though (Although Gatehouse’s powers of recovery might seem a little implausible, but I’ll forgive them for the tension of that scene).
    You have to give Blick credit for that cameo by BLOODY PENDLETON FOR GOD’S SAKE, though! Not surprising that he got a knighthood, I suppose. Wonder what Harcourt’s up to these days?
    I watched five minutes of Come-a-lot just to see if it’s as bad as everyone says it is. It is. The continuing career of Chibnall continues to be one of TV’s biggest mysteries, along with whoever thought it was a good idea to sell off BBC TV Centre.
    It has to be said, one of the best things I saw on TV this week was a repeat of Black Books series 1, episode 3. ‘Old wine is good wine.’
    Film-wise, went to see Attack the Block yesterday. Young Mr Cornish done good. Smart script (with no concessions, you have to tune into the slang. ‘Llow it!), fantastic acting — especially by the kids, with John Boyega and Alex Esmail particular names to watch — and blimey, Joe C can direct an action sequence.

  • MediumRob

    “I didn’t find the fight scenes particularly ludicrous, though”
    Well, we had the infinitely ludicrous coat hanger fight a couple of episodes ago (really? You’re actually going to support a nine-stone woman while she walks up a wall, then instead of dropping her or bending your knees/snapping her neck, you’re going to wait while she tries to grab a light bulb and then stick it on your face? And that’s after you foolishly stood right in front of her with a handgun, rather than standing five to 10 feet away? Okay…)
    Last week, we had “no guns because they’re noisy” after the previous week’s gun with suppressor. We also got piano wire v blowtorch – who will win? fight (Easy: piano wire since you just throw your coat over the blowtorch or use both hands to disarm him of the blowtorch first then use the piano wire)/
    Was it this week we had the “I’ll accidentally shoot the kid who’s no more than three feet high and a just a few feet away from me while trying to shoot the guy 15-20 feet away” fight or was that last week?
    All the same, this week we had “old bloke just woken from a coma able to deliver a staggering wing chun one inch punch to a trained assassin’s throat after delivering a monologue so there’s element of surprise, knocking her out instantly with no struggling, all of which never raises anyone’s heartbeat above 60”.
    They’re certainly funnier than “In With The Flynns” or whatever it is. Dreadful show. Only watched 5 minutes of it, it was so bad.
    “You have to give Blick credit for that cameo by BLOODY PENDLETON FOR GOD’S SAKE, though!”
    Indeed – assuming it’s definitely him.
    I think I’ve concluded that The Shadow Line is BBC2’s intended drama for people who haven’t watched many action films and want something that’s essentially the same but much slower, with better acting and better cinematography.

  • MediumRob

    “I didn’t find the fight scenes particularly ludicrous, though”
    Well, we had the infinitely ludicrous coat hanger fight a couple of episodes ago (really? You’re actually going to support a nine-stone woman while she walks up a wall, then instead of dropping her or bending your knees/snapping her neck, you’re going to wait while she tries to grab a light bulb and then stick it on your face? And that’s after you foolishly stood right in front of her with a handgun, rather than standing five to 10 feet away? Okay…)
    Last week, we had “no guns because they’re noisy” after the previous week’s gun with suppressor. We also got piano wire v blowtorch – who will win? fight (Easy: piano wire since you just throw your coat over the blowtorch or use both hands to disarm him of the blowtorch first then use the piano wire)/
    Was it this week we had the “I’ll accidentally shoot the kid who’s no more than three feet high and a just a few feet away from me while trying to shoot the guy 15-20 feet away” fight or was that last week?
    All the same, this week we had “old bloke just woken from a coma able to deliver a staggering wing chun one inch punch to a trained assassin’s throat after delivering a monologue so there’s element of surprise, knocking her out instantly with no struggling, all of which never raises anyone’s heartbeat above 60”.
    They’re certainly funnier than “In With The Flynns” or whatever it is. Dreadful show. Only watched 5 minutes of it, it was so bad.
    “You have to give Blick credit for that cameo by BLOODY PENDLETON FOR GOD’S SAKE, though!”
    Indeed – assuming it’s definitely him.
    I think I’ve concluded that The Shadow Line is BBC2’s intended drama for people who haven’t watched many action films and want something that’s essentially the same but much slower, with better acting and better cinematography.

  • Stu

    According to IMDB the character’s name is Sir Richard Halton, but I think we only had his word that his name was Guy Pendleton in EoD…
    If it is an unofficial sequel to EoD, then Gatehouse is actually the Angel of Death and I claim my five pounds.

  • Stu

    According to IMDB the character’s name is Sir Richard Halton, but I think we only had his word that his name was Guy Pendleton in EoD…
    If it is an unofficial sequel to EoD, then Gatehouse is actually the Angel of Death and I claim my five pounds.

  • Mark Carroll

    Thank you: “Attack the Block” now added to my Netflix “Saved DVDs”.

  • Mark Carroll

    Thank you: “Attack the Block” now added to my Netflix “Saved DVDs”.

  • ‘I think I’ve concluded that The Shadow Line is BBC2’s intended drama for people who haven’t watched many action films and want something that’s essentially the same but much slower, with better acting and better cinematography.’
    And that’s bad how? Although I have actually watched a good number of action films and found this a far more enjoyable experience.

  • ‘I think I’ve concluded that The Shadow Line is BBC2’s intended drama for people who haven’t watched many action films and want something that’s essentially the same but much slower, with better acting and better cinematography.’
    And that’s bad how? Although I have actually watched a good number of action films and found this a far more enjoyable experience.

  • MediumRob

    “‘I think I’ve concluded that The Shadow Line is BBC2’s intended drama for people who haven’t watched many action films and want something that’s essentially the same but much slower, with better acting and better cinematography.’And that’s bad how? Although I have actually watched a good number of action films and found this a far more enjoyable experience.”
    In the sense you can get away stuff in The Shadow Line with that audience that would be regarded as poorly researched or laughable by an audience of action movie aficionados. Kind of like how Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was loved by everyone outside China but was absolutely hated by everyone in a lot of China and in Hong Kong because it was such a poor imitation of things done much better in even the average Hong Kong action movie.

  • MediumRob

    “‘I think I’ve concluded that The Shadow Line is BBC2’s intended drama for people who haven’t watched many action films and want something that’s essentially the same but much slower, with better acting and better cinematography.’And that’s bad how? Although I have actually watched a good number of action films and found this a far more enjoyable experience.”
    In the sense you can get away stuff in The Shadow Line with that audience that would be regarded as poorly researched or laughable by an audience of action movie aficionados. Kind of like how Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was loved by everyone outside China but was absolutely hated by everyone in a lot of China and in Hong Kong because it was such a poor imitation of things done much better in even the average Hong Kong action movie.

  • For the record, I HATED Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I think I was the only one though(-: Have managed to miss most of Shadow Line. No time to catch up now…

  • For the record, I HATED Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I think I was the only one though(-: Have managed to miss most of Shadow Line. No time to catch up now…