The Spy
Internet TV

Boxset Monday: The Spy (season one) (France: OCS; UK: Netflix)

In France: Available on OCS
In the UK: Available on Netflix

Gideon Raff seems to be on a one-man mission to publicise historic Mossad spying missions. The creator of Hatufim (Prisoners of War), which was the basis for Showtime (US)’s Homeland, he’s been trying to carve a niche for himself on US TV for a while, using his knowledge of the Middle East to give us the “squint and you can see it’s a biopic of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad” Tyrant and the “squint and you’ll see it’s Dan Brown in Israel” Dig. Neither of them were what you’d call successful.

But thanks to Netflix, he seems to have a place at last. This year alone, we’ve had the movie Red Sea Diving Resort, detailing how a bunch of Israeli spies set up a hotel in Sudan to help Ethiopian Jews escape to Israel in the 1970s, and now The Spy – both of which are written and directed by Raff.

Also based on a true story, The Spy improbably sees former Ali G/Bruno/Borat Sacha Baron Cohen playing Eli Cohen, an Israeli spy who had worked in Egypt pre-Suez Crisis but who was rebuffed by Mossad when he attempted to join them shortly after his return. However, after two years of working as an accountant at a department store, Mossad – primarily in the form of Noah Emmerich (The Americans, The Hot Zone) – decide to give him a second chance.

After training him up in elementary tradecraft, six months later Cohen is dispatched to Syria, in an effort to garner intelligence about Israel’s increasingly belligerent neighbour. Emmerich, however, is worried – is Cohen too keen to be spy? Is he going to make mistakes in his eagerness and over-reach? Time will tell…

Continue reading “Boxset Monday: The Spy (season one) (France: OCS; UK: Netflix)”
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Mr Robot
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Älska mig (Love Me) renewed; a Julia Child drama; + more

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  • New trailer for ABC’s Total Control (was Black B*tch)

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  • Trailer for Sky Atlantic’s Catherine the Great
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  • Ashley Zukerman, Marielle Scott, Shane Harper et al to recur on FX’s A Teacher
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The Bureau (season 4)
French TV

Boxset Friday: Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau) (season 4) (France: Canal+; UK: Sundance Now)

In France: Aired on Canal+ in 2017
In the UK: Available on Sundance Now

Normally, I’d write a rambly introduction to one of my Boxset reviews, but seeing as I reviewed season 3 yesterday, without further ado, let’s get on with the review of season 4 of Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau)

It’ll have to happen after the jump, though. Spoilers, you understand.

Continue reading “Boxset Friday: Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau) (season 4) (France: Canal+; UK: Sundance Now)”
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The Bureau (Season 3)
French TV

Boxset Thursday: Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau) (season 3) (France: Canal+; UK: Sundance Now)

In France: Aired on Canal+ in 2017
In the UK: Available on Sundance Now

In one way, the Internet has been very liberating for us TV viewers, giving us access to shows that we’d never have otherwise seen from all over the world. Look at Walter Presents. Look at most of the content of TMINE.

However, it’s also led to a certain Balkanisation of viewing.

You want to watch Igor Kosnokosnokovnokov’s latest and greatest 39-part drama about dissent dolphins during the Austro-Hungarian war of 1477? Sure, but it’s only available on the DolphinTV channel, which you can get on Roku and Android, but not your iPhone or Chromecast, but you’ll need to take out a subscription to Mammalian Channel X first and then buy the Aquatic Creatures top up for £100 a month, as only seven of you want to watch it.

It can also mean that a show that you’ve already started watching using normal, mainstream methods becomes harder to watch in full as subsequent seasons emerge. You may be a Lucifer fan (why?) but in the UK, after you’ve watched the first three seasons on Amazon, you’ll have to take out a subscription to Netflix to watch seasons four and ultimately five.

The Bureau 3

The Bureau – at last

Which is why, despite the first two seasons of Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau) being some of my favourite ever TV viewing, it’s taken me nearly two years to watch the latest two seasons. The first two seasons are available with an Amazon Prime subscription. I have that anyway, so it’s basically not a cost, and I can watch it on my Roku, Apple TV, iPad or iPhone.

However, the second two are only available through a Sundance Now subscription. That’s an extra £5.99 a month, and you can subscribe to it through iTunes – meaning you can watch it on an Apple device, but not a Roku – or through Amazon (again).

And seeing as there’s next to bugger all on Sundance Now that I want to watch that I haven’t seen already (including a bucketload of Scandi Noir), I’d basically be stumping up £5.99 per month to watch The Bureau and given my schedule – I had Capote on DVD for a year from LoveFilm and that was the only thing I had, and I still hadn’t watched it by the time I returned it – that could have wound up very expensive.

Thanks heavens for holiday projects, hey? Because over summer, I took out a Sundance Now subscription, downloaded all the episodes of The Bureau and set myself the task of watching them all by the time I got back. All for £5.99. Bargain!

Today I’ll be reviewing season 3; tomorrow I’ll be reviewing season 4, so tune in then for more of that but less of me whinging about subscription costs. Thank God for that, hey?

The Bureau

Maintenant…

For those of you who don’t know about The Bureau, I heartily suggest you check my previous write up, which explains why it’s basically the pre-eminent spy thriller of the 21st century. You think it’s The Night Manager? Then I can do nothing for you, I’m afraid. You’re lost to me. The rest of you I can work with. Please go and watch The Bureau if you haven’t already.

But as there’s very little I can say about season 3 that isn’t a spoiler for people who haven’t seen the first two seasons, let’s go talk about it after the jump.

Continue reading “Boxset Thursday: Le Bureau Des Légendes (The Bureau) (season 3) (France: Canal+; UK: Sundance Now)”
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Jane Fonda in Netflix's Grace and Frankie
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The Detour, Grace and Frankie cancelled; Infidèle renewed; Einstein a go-go; + more

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