An archive of blog entries about international TV programmes and production, including co-productions and shows from countries other than usual
It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week
It’s been another slightly underpacked viewing schedule for TMINE this week. WandaVision (Disney+) has thankfully decided to explain a little about what’s been going on in the outside world, and if you’re an MCU fan it’s been majestic, with characters from Thor, Ant-Man, and even Captain Marvel, all showing up.
I’ve now finished the first five episodes of Lupin (Netflix). The final two fleshed out the characters and gave us some actual thrills and spills, rather than simply Now You See Me in France. I’ll definitely be tuning in for the next set of episodes, which are set to arrive on our screens in summer.
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I’ve also seen some new stuff, though. As threatened, I tuned in for Walker (US: The CW), which is a reboot of Chuck Norris’ finest – and cheesiest – hour.
I have to say it’s weird. They’ve got the guy from Supernatural playing an ex-marine turned Texas Ranger who’s also turned to alcohol since the death of his wife (played by the guy from Supernatural‘s real-life wife, usual as a ghost/in flashback). Most of the first episode is about him coming back to his normal life and job after ten months away and then having to deal with his mardie teenage daughter and the rest of his cliched family.
He does investigate crimes, with the help of his new Mexican-American partner. But does he kick arse? No! She does, a bit, but that’s about it. Who remakes Walker Texas Ranger without so much as a roundhouse kick? The mad fools.
I also watched The Dig (2021), which is a semi-fictional account of the unearthing of Sutton Hoo that sees Ralph Fiennes playing self-taught excavator Basil Brown, Carey Mulligan playing landowner Edith Pretty, who invites Brown to excavate two big earth mounds in her fields that she suspects could be historically highly significant, just as World War 2 is about to break out.
So it’s got a lovely cast, and Fiennes is clearly loving sporting a Suffolk accent and playing the working class boy being underestimated by the establishment. The shooting of the scenery is lovely and the recreation of a time that feels more like 200 years ago at points, with an actual ferryman having to row Fiennes over to meet Mulligan like a segment of Lord of the Rings.
But it’s actually a little short of archaeological detail and the second half of the movie starts to sag a bit from the addition of a fictional sub-plot that features Lily James as Peggy Piggott having to deal with her gay husband (Ben Chaplin) and her own desire for Johnny Flynn. I’m pretty sure it’s also a bit unfair to most of the British Museum archaeologists, particularly Piggott.
I don’t even remember them showing off the famous iconic helmet, but maybe I’d got a bit distracted by that point. All the same, a decent enough way to spend two hours and Mulligan’s relationship with her son as well as Fiennes are joys to behold.
But how about you? What have you been watching?