It’s "What did you watch this week?", my chance to tell you what I watched this week that I haven’t already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case we’ve missed them.
First, the usual recommendations: Archer, Being Human (US), Cougar Town, The Daily Show, House, Happy Endings, Modern Family, Portlandia, Ringer, Royal Pains, Shameless (US), Southland, Spartacus, Suburgatory and 30 Rock. Do watch them (if you can and they happen to be on TV this week). The Almighty Johnsons is still in my view pile and there are a couple of other things that I’m going to be reviewing in the next day or so, including Those Who Kill (aka Den Som Dræber) and Justice League: Doom
- Caerdydd: Slowly catching up on this about a year (or two) since we recorded it. Not as good as the previous series, but still great fun.
- Modern Family: Very sweet
- Ringer: Nice guest cameo by Misha Collins from Supernatural, and thankfully the whole thing was as ludicruous as always.
- Royal Pains: Ah, the never-ending slow progress of the plot. And for a finale episode, incredibly badly written – bad dialogue, obviously plotting and no real draw for the next series and that might work in a lazy summer show, but in winter, you need to be a whole lot sharper.
- 30 Rock: Great cameos by Jim Carrey and Andie MacDowell. But very strange.
- Southland: I could see the cliffhanger coming a mile off, but still great work. Whoever does the trailers for TNT needs to be shot, since they give away the resolution to the cliffhanger.
- Spartacus: Back on track now, with a very well paced and plotted episode, although the crunch moment (ho, ho) was an obvious twist. Good to see the return of Gannicus, too. Pondering Spartacus, it amazes me that it’s so popular. Although there’s the obvious, nudity, swearing and massive violence, complete with bloody entrails, we’re talking about a historical story, set in a foreign country, with no Americans (obviously) in the cast, people talking in pseudo-Shakespearian language, gay men front and centre, full frontal male nudity and the whole thing largely filmed and staged like theatre. It breaks all the rules, but yet people love it. Isn’t cable great?
And in movies:
- Real Steel: Rocky with robots and Hugh Jackman. Surprisingly fun and not awful, although Evangeline Lilly is very much lost in a somewhat tedious "deadbeat father and son work out their differences by building and training a boxing robot" story that has no room for women unless they’re dead or wearing Gucci cocktail dress with cut-outs. But some great robot boxing, including a final homage to Ali’s rope-a-dope trick against Foreman. Wonder if they’ll turn ‘Zeus’ into a lean, mean fat-reducing machine.
"What did you watch 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. 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?