Unge Lovende (Young and Promising)
Scandinavian TV

Walter Presents: NRK (Norway)’s Unge lovende (Young and Promising), starting Tuesday

Walter Presents has a new show starting on Channel 4 on Tuesday at 11.05pm called Unge lovende (Young and Promising). “If you liked Girls, you will absolutely love this…,” Walter says.

Which is nice, since it’s Norwegian and as writer/star Siri Seljeseth says: “There’s been a real shortage of women on TV who aren’t just a dead body in the woods.”

The show, penned by and starring Siri Seljeseth, is highly autobiographical, drawing on her own experiences of what it feels like to be floundering in your 20s. Focusing on three women, it challenges everything from everyday sexism, consent, sexual harassment and the weight of expectation from an older generation who, particularly in Norway – a country where most people securely worked in oil-related business for decades – often look at a career in the arts as indulgent and irresponsible.

“I just thought there wasn’t really a show about being in your 20s here, and finding out that life might not be what you expected,” says Seljeseth. Thanks to national testing introduced across all schools in Norway, she says there is now an “extreme pressure on young people to be exceptional” that had led them to be branded “generation perfection”.

“I wanted to show people it’s actually ok to fail,” she adds. “In Norway the pressure not to fail is a huge problem and means people have breakdowns and develop eating disorders because they don’t have straight As.”

Young and Promising
Young and Promising. Photograph: Eirik Evjen

The show started on NRK (Norway) in 2015 and is now on its third season, so clearly it’s doing something right. I haven’t seen it (obvs) but here’s a plot synopsis and a trailer or two.

The series begins with Elise (Seljeseth) who, having tried her hand at standup in Los Angeles, has returned home to Norway to renew her visa. There she meets up with her girlfriends Nenne (Gine Cornelia Pedersen) and Alex (Alexandra Gjerpen).

Nenne is an aspiring writer who works in catering as she searches for a publisher, and Alex’s only focus is to get in to the Theatre Academy despite having already failed three times.

The girls discover that pretty much everyone, including their parents, have no idea what they’re doing with their lives. As they try to break into adulthood, they take comfort from the fact that we are all clueless fools doing the best we can.

Michael Shannon and Michael B Jordan in HBO's Fahrenheit 451
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Justice League
Weekly Wonder Woman

Weekly Wonder Woman: Trinity #11, Justice League #25

Yes, it’s Weekly Wonder Woman – keeping you up to date on pretty much anything involving DC Comics’ premier superheroine, including her motorcycle gang

So I think probably everyone’s now a little bit surprised by how well Wonder Woman did at the box office. It’s just surpassed Guardians of the Galaxy 2 to become the biggest grossing movie of the summer (so far) and is on course to beat Beauty and the Beast to become highest grossing movie of the year, if it gets a following wind. Indeed, it’s just passed the final Harry Potter movie to become the third highest grossing Warner Bros film ever.

Gosh. Small surprise therefore that Warner Bros has decided to juggle with its schedules a bit to include two more mysterious, untitled DCEU movies in 2020. With no Wonder Woman 2 in the current Warner Bros game plans, have a guess what one of those might be…

Of course, before then, we have Justice League, which might take the sheen off the whole enterprise if handled badly. Don’t like that new photo of the Justice League above? I’ve got another one on the right:

The Justice League

I won’t lie to you – it ain’t looking good.

Before even Justice League, though, there’s Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, which is a biopic of Wonder Woman’s creator(s) starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote, with Connie Britton and Oliver Platt lending a hand to proceedings, too.

I wonder what the world will make of that.

Meanwhile, over in the comics world, DC is capitalising on the apparent success of comics that are based on somewhat dodgy lines of action figures (cf DC Comics: Bombshells) with a new digital title in August: Gotham City Garage, written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, and drawn by a rotating team of artists including Brian Ching and Lynne Yoshii.

Gotham City Garage is an anti-fascist anthem for the open road, starring reimagined takes on DC’s great female characters through an outlaw lens. We’re bringing Big Barda, Steel, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Silver Banshee, Hawkgirl and the first Kryptonian this world has ever seen—the mysterious girl named Kara Gordon—into a world of bikes, outlaws and elaborate tattoos.

It’s been a decade since Governor Lex Luthor saved his people from devastation and turned Gotham City into the modern utopia known as The Garden. With the rest of the world in ruins, Luthor’s city continues to thrive—but not for everyone. Order has been kept only by the LEXES technology that networks the entire population under one mindset—and if a citizen steps out of line, the Bat and his minions are brutal in restoring the status quo. So when a young Kara Gordon comes under suspicion by her LEXES superiors, she heads straight into the dreaded wasteland—where she’ll discover the fierce oil-and-gear rebels of the Gotham City Garage.

Basically, it’s all a big excuse to have the DC comics characters dress like bikers, including our Diana.

Gotham City Garage Wonder Woman

Oh dear. I don’t know what’s worse – the crop top or the fact she appears to have put on Captain America’s trousers by accident.

Wonder Woman 2‘s going to do about $4.50 at the box office, isn’t it?

After the jump, a round-up of this week’s new releases featuring Di: Trinity#11 and Justice League #25.

Continue reading “Weekly Wonder Woman: Trinity #11, Justice League #25”

Reece Sheersmith and Mark Gatiss
Bafflegab

Help crowdfund Blood on Satan’s Claw with Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith

Blood on Satan's ClawThem there Bafflegab people (producers of Baker’s End, The Scarifyers, Hammer Chillers and The Brenda and Effie Mysteries) have a new crowdfunding project on the way that will feature those highly famous League of Gentlemen people Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith:

46 years after the original film, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith are fronting a new audio adaptation of ‘70s horror classic Blood on Satan’s Claw.

Produced by Bafflegab Productions and adapted by horror writer Mark Morris, Blood on Satan’s Claw will also feature the star of the original film, Linda Hayden, alongside a stellar cast that includes Alice Lowe (Sightseers, Prevenge), John Heffernan (Ripper Street, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell), Ralph Ineson (The Witch, The Office) and Philip Hill-Pearson (Shameless, Good Cop).

Some scenes were recorded earlier this week, but Bafflegab will be starting a crowdfunding campaign in coming weeks to finance the remainder of the project. Crowdfunders will be able to receive exclusive rewards by donating towards production costs. There will be more details at www.bafflegab.co.uk or Bafflegab’s Facebook page in the next few days.

Mark Gatiss says: “I first saw Blood on Satan’s Claw in the Friday night horror slot on Tyne Tees television, when I was a kid. I remember it vividly because it scared the life out of me. It’s so distinctly different. The pitch for the film is so strange, and it’s very much in that folk horror tradition: dark, bucolic, earthy and genuinely disquieting. It’s a fabulous tale.”

Linda Hayden added: “It’s lovely working with Reece Shearsmith and Mark Gatiss, as they’re huge fans of the film. I’m really honoured. It was always a really atmospheric piece, and the script to this new audio really captures that.”

Scriptwriter Mark Morris says: “I was first captivated by its unsettling, nightmarish atmosphere at the age of 12 or 13, since when it’s been one of my favourite horror films. I leaped at the chance, therefore, to adapt and expand the original screenplay for this new audio version, and from day one this has been a real labour of love. The calibre of the cast we’ve been able to attract to the project is phenomenal, and a testament to the film’s enduring impact. Blood on Satan’s Claw is back – and I’m incredibly proud, this time around, to be a part of it.”

Blood on Satan’s Claw sits alongside Witchfinder General and The Wicker Man as one of the three films which make up the sub-genre known as folk horror. In it, a village in 17th Century England is overcome by a Satanic plague, after a hideous skull is found in the furrows of a farmer’s field. The village youth fall quickly under the devil’s spell and retreat to the woodland to conduct games of sexual violence and sacrifice.

Gatiss is, of course, correct: Tyne Tees television scares the life out of everyone. Fingers crossed, with a bit of your cash, he and Shearsmith will be able to scare you with this new version of the movie.

Hakeem Kae Kazim
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