TV reviews

What did you watch last week (w/e September 7)?

 

Time for "What did you watch last week?", my chance to tell you what I watched last week and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case we’ve missed them.

My recommendations for maximum viewing pleasure this week: none. Sorry, but everything regular is finishing! Although Doctor Who‘s obviously good.

  • Suits: oddly low key ending to the season. Good to see Chi Mcbride doing an evil turn (is he going to be a regular next season) as well as one of the show’s few forays into the courtroom. A mini-cliffhanger to end it with and I’m looking forward to the next season, albeit worried about the change in showrunner (even if it is the show’s creator taking over the helm).
  • Burn Notice: confusingly, the previous week’s episode was a better cliffhanger than this episode’s. Good that they’ve picked up on some of the breadcrumbs laid down earlier in the season and some clever touches in the plotting, and good to see Jere Burns (Kirk in the US version of Dear John) still hard at work.
  • Royal Pains: really? That was the episode you want to finish the season on? Okay…
  • Seven Wonder of the Buddhist World: If you were expecting Bettany Hughes to enlighten you about Buddhism, this wasn’t the show for you. More a combination of travelogue and history lesson, instead, it left me feeling a little unsatisfied compared to the usual Hughes extravaganzas.
  • Strike Back: Project Dawn: a show that can only be said to be loosely connected to the original Strike Back. Largely ludicrous and with Cinemax (aka "Skinemax") now a co-funder, featuring a hefty amount of gratuitous female nudity, it’s good when dealing with action but otherwise poor. The central characters have almost no personalities or interesting qualities and the decision in the first episode to kill off John Porter (presumably because Richard Armitage is filming The Hobbit right now) was just bad. Episode 2 at least redeems episode 1, but it’s not getting that much better. Amazingly, this is mostly written by Frank Spotnitz. Nevertheless, we’re going to keep watching.
  • Chemistry: another Skinemax production, with all the scriping and production values of 80s soft porn (not that I’m an expert or anything). Attempts to have a script are painful, as is the acting.

And in this week’s list of movies:

  • Zorba the Greek: For a supposedly feelgood movie, this wasn’t half miserable. Honour killings, disasters, broken hearts, looting – it can all be fixed with some dancing apparently. But it was fun to watch all the same since it was filmed in Kokkino Chorio, which is where I went on holiday this year and some of the views and places are still the same.
  • Limitless: Actually, a pretty good film. I quite liked it. Essentially, "what would happen if you could take a pill and become a member of The Champions?" Flagged a bit in the middle, ends a bit abruptly and Anna Friel’s character could have been better served, but clever and interesting. Worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already.

But what have you been watching?

"What did you watch last 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. 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? And keep an eye on The Stage‘s TV Today Square Eyes feature as well for British TV highlights or you’ll be missing out on the good stuff.

TV reviews

Review: Doctor Who – 6×10 – The Girl Who Waited

In the UK: Saturday 10th September, 7.15pm, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday 10th September, 9pm/8c ET/PT, BBC America

So this one’s a bit of a mystery to me. On the face of it, I should have liked it. It was quite clever, it had some poignant ideas, it had some real character moments, some great acting, some great set designs and some good direction. Okay, the robots suffered from perenial robot slowness (where’s a Raston Warrior Robot when you need one?) so weren’t exactly threatening, but that’s not really a biggie, now is it?

Yet, the whole thing left me cold.

Continue reading “Review: Doctor Who – 6×10 – The Girl Who Waited”

Monday’s “self-defeating boycott” news

Film

  • Brian Cox and Natascha McElhone to star in Theatre of Dreams

Books

  • Waterstone’s to launch its own e-reader

Awards

  • Winners of the 2011 Creative Arts Emmys
  • Winners of the Venice 2011 film festival

British TV

  • Plaid Cymru backs TV licence boycott to defend S4C
  • Nick Berry and Michael French returning to EastEnders? [spoilers]
  • Sky Living acquires Secret Circle [subscription required]

Canadian TV

US TV