The OA
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Boxset Monday: The OA – Part II (Netflix)

Available on Netflix

When The OA first came to Netflix, it was to minimal fanfare. Just as Stranger Things came to us with almost no publicity, so The OA came with a not especially informative trailer and a title and that was about it.

Then, of course, we got to watch them and marvel in projects that at times bordered on genius. The first season of The OA wasn’t exactly plain sailing or without its ups and downs, however. Indeed, it took me a little while to get through all the episodes, rather than just boxsetting them (episode reviews: 1, 2-4, 5-8).

But Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s story about a blind girl (Marling) who disappeared and then reappeared seven years later, her sight restored, and now claiming to be ‘The OA’ (the original angel), was nevertheless a stunningly original piece of work, unlike pretty much anything you’ll see on TV, outside David Lynch’s most auteured piece. In parts supernatural, in parts fairy tale, it was a musing on a musing on the power of storytelling – and of the need to tell stories – as well as of art, music, dance, nature, life, love, masculinity, femininity and more.

The ending, however, wasn’t so much ambiguous as diminishing, suggesting that the whole thing was just made up by The OA based on things she’d seen and read, in the style of The Usual Suspects.

Marling also suggested that she hadn’t even considered a second season and that was that for the story – until the show’s success inevitably resulted in its renewal.

Britt Marling in Netflix’s The OA

A fairytale sequel

What then for season two – or Part II as it now is? How do you create a sequel to a fairy tale? And how do you do it when you no longer have the element of surprise, as you did with your first season?

As you might expect, Marling’s answer is not whatever answer you just came up with but is something staggeringly different. Indeed, there’s one key line in Part II that sums it up: “I think logic is over-rated.”

And I mean that in a good way, because in terms of ideas, I’d say Britt Marling is the closest we now have to a young, female David Lynch. Or maybe David Lynch is just the older male version of Marling.

Continue reading “Boxset Monday: The OA – Part II (Netflix)”
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Bad Banks
Airdates

When’s that show you mentioned starting, TMINE? Including Bad Banks, Tijuana, Ms Fisher and Black Summer

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

One new acquisition with a premiere date this week. The rest we already knew about but were just waiting to hear when they’d air…

Premiere dates

Bad Banks

Bad Banks (Germany: ZDF/Arte; UK: Channel 4)
Premiere date: Thursday, 4 April, 11.05pm

It’s taken more than a year between acquisition and airing, but finally we know Bad Banks is going to air in a couple of weeks. It’s billed as a “sophisticated financial drama from Germany about a young, ambitious investment banker who is drawn into a merciless and convoluted power play after being wrongly fired from her prestigious job”.

I watched the trailer. I can’t say I agree.

Tijuana

Tijuana (Netflix)
Premiere date: Friday, April 5

Netflix Mexican original. When a prominent politician is murdered, the intrepid journalists of Frente Tijuana risk their lives to uncover the truth.

Stars: Damián Alcázar, Tamara Vallarta and Rolf Petersen.

Ms Fisher and Steed

Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries (Australia: Seven; UK: Alibi)
Premiere date: Wednesday, April 10, 9pm

Spin-off series of TV movies from ABC’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries set in the 1960s that sees the original Miss Fisher’s niece, Geraldine Hakewill, get dragged into the investigating business when her previously unknown to her aunt disappears. Has Hakewill inherited any of Miss Fisher’s skills?

No, she hasn’t. But with the help of some other adventuresses, a bit of working class moxie and more 60s clichés than you can shake a lava lamp at, she might still save the day.

Best thought of not just as the Tara King version of The Avengers to Miss Fisher‘s Cathy Gale, but also as something almost unrelated to the original. It’s a diverting enough show, but without any real attractions.

Episode reviews: 1

Black Summer

Black Summer (Netflix)
Premiere date: Thursday, April 11

US Netflix original prequel to Syfy (US)’s Z Nation, in which mother Jaime King is separated from her daughter, so embarks on a harrowing journey on which she’ll stop at nothing to find her. Thrust alongside a small group of American refugees, she must brave a hostile new world and make brutal decisions during the most deadly summer of a zombie apocalypse.

Yeah, not watching that.

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What (yet more) TV’s on at the BFI and Radio Times TV festival in April

The BFI/Radio Times festival

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

Still following in BAFTA’s footsteps, the BFI and Radio Times have unveiled even more additions to their forthcoming TV festival. Rather than me type it all out again, though, here’s the press release with the new events:

The BFI’s Missing Believed Wiped annual programme, which seeks to screen TV material long thought lost, will mount a special event during the Festival featuring the latest exciting recovery from Philip Morris, CEO of Television International Enterprises Archives (TIEA). An archive television archaeologist who has traveled the world to track down missing episodes, Philip’s never say die attitude has helped him over the years recover a wealth of ‘lost’ British Television.

Fresh from rediscovering lost episodes of Morecambe and Wise in Sierra Leone, the Festival welcomes Phillip Morris back to BFI Southbank to give news of, and clips from, his latest finds, plus present his most recent return, The Scaffold Live at the Talk of the Town (1969, BBC). Unseen for 50 years since its original transmission, this prime-time BBC TV special, filmed at the popular ‘Talk of the Town’ nightclub at London’s Hippodrome, features the 60s Liverpool group whose unique mixture of pop, poetry and comedy made them regulars in the pop charts with hits including, Thank U Very Much and Do You Remember.

Filmed just weeks after the band celebrated their world-wide number one success with Lily the Pink, the original 16mm film of The Scaffold Live at the Talk of the Town was discovered by Philip Morris in Nigeria. What makes this remarkable find even more significant is the presence of colour subcarrier chromadots on the black and white print, which like the recently recovered early Morecambe and Wise episodes, offers an opportunity for colour recovery to experience the programme as it was originally filmed and broadcast. We are thrilled that The Scaffold (Mike McGear McCartney, John Gorman and Roger McGough) will join Philip Morris to introduce this special screening on Saturday 13 April, 7:30pm, NFT3.

The festival will also present a unique programme of Britain’s Earliest TV Ads drawn from the extensive television holdings of the BFI National Archive. When commercial television arrived in Britain in 1955 it resulted in the birth of an exciting new industry. Screening on Saturday 13 April at 1:00pm in NFT3, this specially curated event, hosted by John Lloyd (Spitting Image, QI), features some of the earliest television adverts in the BFI’s national collection, showcasing fledgling offerings from a nascent industry with an esoteric array of sometimes amusing, unintentionally hilarious but often informative mini-masterpieces.

The screening will include TV Talk, an informative film made by creative ad agency Lintas, exploring the possibilities and problems facing advertisers on the eve of commercial television in the UK. The event also brings together the six surviving adverts that were transmitted as part of ITV’s launch night schedule on 22 September, 1955. The programme will also explore the culturally unique British phenomenon of the admag, with extracts from these advertising magazine shows which were an early alternative to commercial breaks. Formatted as shoppers guides and fronted by celebrity presenters, such as Anne Shelton, admags extoled the virtues of various products and were extremely popular with viewers until the infamous Pilkington Report of 1962, which led to changes in legislation in television advertising which marked the death knell for the admag.

Undeniably a true giant of modern British culture, the Festival celebrates David Bowie on the box with, From the BFI Archive: David Bowie on Saturday 13 April, 2:30pm, NFT1, an enthralling programme of forgotten footage of the iconic star on British television across the decades, featuring clips from revealing interviews, unexpected acting appearances and dazzling music performances. The line-up includes a legendary duet with fellow glam star Marc Bolan on Marc, Bolan’s 1977 television show, an unguarded 1979 interview for Thames TV with Good Afternoon’s Mavis Nicholson and electrifying performances at Pleasure at the Palace and Channel 4’s 90’s Friday night schedule stalwart TFI Friday.

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Schitt’s Creek cancelled; Deadwood movie teaser trailer; + more

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