Naomi Watts in Netflix's Gypsy
TV reviews

What have you been watching? Including Gypsy, Downward Dog, Doctor Who, Glow, Riviera, Ronny Chieng – International Student and Westworld

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching. Go on – I dare you.

The slowdown into summer continues and with the July 4th weekend having just passed, there wasn’t a huge amount for me to watch this week. Elsewhere, I’ve reviewed Spike (US)’s The Mist but that was the only new show other than Netflix’s Gypsy, which I’ll get onto in a minute. In fact, two more shows have had their season finales since last week: Doctor Who (UK) and Downward Dog (US). There’ll be nothing left at this rate…

Anyway, after the jump, as well as those two concluding shows, I’ll be looking at what’s left of the regulars: Glow, Riviera and Ronny Chieng – International Student. And, because I finally had some time to play catch-up, I’ll be looking at the final few episodes of Westworld (US), too – now there’s a blast from the past, hey?

Gypsy (Netflix)

Tediously familiar Chance territory in which Naomi Watts plays a bored psychiatrist trapped in a struggling marriage with Billy Crudup and dealing with a borderline-ADHD, possibly trans eight-year-old daughter and the mundanities and social rivalries of fellow mums. But then she begins to think that maybe she could do more for her clients by interfering in their lives, and in the process add some excitement to her own life. So she does and the boundaries between personal and professional begin to blur once she gets the hots for Karl Glusman’s dangerous ex-girlfriend (Sophie Cook) and begins constructing a boundary-crossing alter-ego for herself.

Gypsy wants to be a clever lesbian erotic thriller, playing with ambiguities about what’s real and who’s real, whether Glusman, Watts or Cook has the best idea of what Cook is truly like, and so on. The trouble is that it’s busy naming its episodes things like ‘The Rabbit Hole’, setting them in bars called ‘The Rabbit Hole’ set in basements you have to climb down stairs to get to, shortly before people say “We’re going down the rabbit hole now.” It’s basically a stupid person’s idea of a clever lesbian erotic thriller. Were it not for the production values, cast and runtime, it would probably be airing late night on Channel 5, having previously been released straight to video back in the early 90s.

I managed an episode and a half before the tedium of it all was too much for me.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Gypsy, Downward Dog, Doctor Who, Glow, Riviera, Ronny Chieng – International Student and Westworld”

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Playwright Joe Orton
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What TV’s on at the BFI in August 2017? Including What the Butler Saw and Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling

Every month, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

August is normally a quiet time for the BFI, as it gambles that everyone’s probably on holiday. Maybe this year it’s gambling that Brexit means we’ll not be able to afford to go on holiday, because there’s actually a surprisingly full schedule. Most of this comes from a season of works by playwright Joe Orton, but there’s also a preview of BBC One’s adaptation of Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)’s first Cormoran Strike novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, and a showing of ITV’s seminal The Naked Civil Servant.

Purely by coincidence, The Weekly Play this week is an adaptation of Orton’s final play, What the Butler Saw, which was broadcast as part of BBC Two’s Theatre Night in 1987. The play is a farce in two acts and revolves around Dr Prentice (Dinsdale Landen), a psychiatrist attempting to seduce his attractive prospective secretary, Geraldine Barclay (Tessa Peake-Jones). Also along for the ride are Mrs Prentice (Prunella Scales), her lover/blackmailer Tyler Butterworth, government inspector Timothy West and cross-dressing police officer Bryan Pringle.

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in August 2017? Including What the Butler Saw and Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling”

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