Streaming TV

What have you been watching? Including Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and The Essex Serpent

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 a bit quiet for TV viewing here at TMINE Towers of late. We’ve not really been watching much at all. I actually blame TV networks for this, since there’s not been much we’ve wanted to watch.

Superman & Lois (US: The CW; UK: BBC One) came back for all of an episode before disappearing again. That’s progressing nicely and has survived The CW’s recent Night of Long Knives, so it’s good to know that there’ll be a season three.

I did manage to finish Moon Knight (Disney+). That’s probably now my favourite of all the Disney+ Marvel TV shows, thanks mainly to its dedication to ignoring the comics to give us something a lot more interest and based in Egyptian mythology. The addition of Scarlet Scarab at the end was something of a punch the air moment, too, and the mid-credits sequence was if not a game-changer, something that genuinely twisted the whole show and what you’d seen.

However, its biggest flaw was that it felt like the middle of an MCU movie, one that needed some prologue and epilogue featuring our titular hero since he hardly ever showed up. Season two isn’t confirmed, either, making this feel like a weird random addition to the MCU, rather than something too important. For now, anyway.

Meanwhile, Bel-Air (Peacock) is still just there, waiting for us to watch the rest of it. We’ve only watched one more episode of Star Trek: Picard (US: Paramount+; UK: Amazon Prime). That’s mainly because Lovely Wife is sorely aggrieved with me for calling it ‘bobbins’ last time and has withdrawn my viewing privileges, as she is the official custodian of all things Star Trek. But it’s also because it’s bobbins.

But while Lovely Wife may be the custodian of all things Star Trek, I’m the custodian of all things “not yet available to view in the UK”, which includes brand new Star Trek show Strange New Worlds. So we’ve watched two of those episodes.

And while Netflix might be losing its lustre as the world’s premier streamer (thanks to all manner of internal ructions and hubris, about which much has been written in the trades, recently, as its subscriber figures start to slump and it contemplates an ad-supported model), Apple TV+ is picking up and is on the verge of becoming ‘must see TV’. And so even though The Essex Serpent is a British period drama, I decided to give that a try, too.

Both of those after the jump…

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International TV

What have you been watching? Including Moon Knight and Mr Inbetween

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

“Doing this every two weeks seems to be working out for me right now. I think I can pull this off. Famous last words.”

Oops. That’s what I said last time and it pretty much killed April. Work! Gah! More work! Gah. Holiday. Not gah. Actually quite relaxing.

Oh well. Best stop procrastinating and put some TV thoughts down on paper or those really will be my last words…

I’ve watched a whole bunch of new shows, as well as the regulars, but doing proper reviews will take the rest of the day, I reckon, so I’m going to be disciplined and stick to one sentence rundowns. And here’s the clincher: if you want to know more about one of the shows, ask me! Then I’ll respond in the comments.

I reckon that’ll work. And how’s that for fun, too?

There’s been an awful lot of new shows since the last of these, but here are the ones that interested me enough to watch them: The Ipcress File (UK: ITV); Minx (US: HBO Max); Welcome to Flatch (US: Fox); The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray (AppleTV+); Halo (Paramount+); Outer Range (Amazon Prime); Moon Knight (Disney+); and Russian Doll (season two) (Netflix).

Meanwhile, we’ve got stuck on a few of the regular shows: Bel-Air (Peacock) is sitting there, waiting for us to watch the rest of it when we’ve got the time; but Superman & Lois (US: The CW; UK: BBC One) has been on holiday all of April. The Endgame (US: NBC) got a bit repetitious so I gave up on that. I’ve been continuing to watch Star Trek: Picard (US: Paramount+; UK: Amazon Prime) and Severance (AppleTV+), though. And Mr InBetween (Australia: Showcase; UK: Disney+) has secretly been on Disney+ for months, I suspect, so I finally got to watch the third (final) season.

All of those after the jump…

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Moon Knight and Mr Inbetween”
BFI events

The BFI and Radio Times TV festival is back in May

And here’s the press release.

The press release

The BFI & RADIO TIMES TELEVISION FESTIVAL, the biggest, most exciting public television festival in the UK, featuring the very best TV shows and a star-studded line up, is returning to BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX from Friday 20 May to Sunday 22 May 2022

Over the course of three jam-packed days, the BFI & RADIO TIMES TELEVISION FESTIVAL will preview some of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year, including the BBC’s new adaptation of Sally Rooney’s award-winning novel CONVERSATION WITH FRIENDS and the first chance for members of the public, worldwide, to see Sir David Attenborough’s groundbreaking series for AppleTV+ PREHISTORIC PLANET. Executive produced by actor and filmmaker Jon Favreau and legendary natural history producer Mike Gunton, PREHISTORIC PLANET uses cutting-edge science, world class natural history filming and the very latest CGI to transport audience back 66 million years to the last great dinosaur era. 

The Festival will also reunite the cast and crew from some of the biggest dramas of the last year; including Russell T Davies’ masterly IT’S A SIN, which has just picked up an extraordinary 11 BAFTA nominations, Channel 5’s charming new take the classic on ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, the BBC’s epic adaptation of Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS, starring Ruth Wilson, and the beloved long-running BBC One drama series CALL THE MIDWIFE

There will be sessions dedicated to some of the best comedy series of the past year, including Stephen Merchant introducing a preview screening from the second series of his BBC hit comedy thriller THE OUTLAWS, which is returning soon, Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews will discuss their hilarious comic creation Stephen Toast, who recently returned to screens in TOAST OF TINSELTOWN, and Rose Matafeo will appear to talk about her pitch-perfect millennial romcom STARSTRUCK, which just aired its second season. 

Family favourite MALORY TOWERS, returning for a third season this year, will also be previewed, while the Festival’s much-loved sessions that draw on rarely-seen material from the BFI National Archive, this year celebrates a bona-fide musical superstar, with PRINCE: PURPLE PASSION AND POMP

In addition to the stars appearing live on stage to talk about their hit shows, there will be directors, producers and writers giving audiences the inside track and an exclusive look behind the scenes of some of televisions biggest shows. Names to look out for include: 

  • IT’S A SIN – writer and executive producer Russell T Davies, executive producer Nicola Shindler, actors Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells
  • CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS – actors Alison Oliver and Joe Alwyn, director Lenny Abrahamson, executive producer Emma Norton and series producer Catherine Magee
  • STARSTRUCK – creator and star Rose Matafeo, actor Emma Sidi and writer and actor Nic Sampson
  • CALL THE MIDWIFE – creator and writer Heidi Thomas, executive producer Pippa Harris and key cast members (TBC)
  • THE OUTLAWS – creator and star Stephen Merchant, co-stars Eleanor Tomlinson (TBC), Gamba ColeClare PerkinsDarren Boyd and Jessica Gunning
  • TOAST OF TINSELTOWN – writer and star Matt Berry, writer Arthur Mathews, director Michael Cumming, actors Doon Mackichan and Harry Peacock
  • ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL – actors Nicholas RalphCallum WoodhouseRachelShenton and Anna Madeley, executive producer Melissa Gallant
  • MALORY TOWERS – actors Ella BrightDanya GriverSienna Arif-Knights and Beth Bradfield

More than 20 sessions will take place throughout the weekend, with around half of them being announced today, and the remaining events announced on 26 April. Co-programmed by the BFI and Radio Times, the festival draws on the expertise of both organisations, for a broad range of audiences from telly addicts and boxset-bingeing aficionados, to those who love to discover archive gems and people who love nothing more than coming together to watch the latest prime-time entertainment. 

The Adam Project
Film

What Natya added to her streaming queues this week, including The Adam Project

All the movies added to streaming services in the past week that Natya has added to her watchlists and hopes to watch. But might not

I’ve been a teeny weeny bit naughty here, since I watched The Adam Project at the weekend. But I probably should have put it on the list last week, shouldn’t I, so I’m just fixing my own mistake!

Netflix

The Adam Project (2022)

After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-travelling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.

Disney+

Nightmare Alley (2022)

In 1940s New York, down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle endears himself to a clairvoyant and her mentalist husband at a traveling carnival. Using newly acquired knowledge, Carlisle crafts a golden ticket to success by swindling the elite and wealthy. Hoping for a big score, he soon hatches a scheme to con a dangerous tycoon with help from a mysterious psychologist who might be his most formidable opponent yet.

MUBI

Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According To St Matthew) (1964)

Starting from his Immaculate Conception, the life of Jesus is retraced according to the Gospel of St. Matthew. When Jesus begins to travel through Palestine with his disciples to spread the word of God, the Romans conspire to have him silenced, leading to his arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection.

MUBI adds: “A ravishingly textured, soulful take on the life of Christ from Italy’s greatest poet-filmmaker. Coming from a gay atheist-Marxist such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, the film’s radically realist—dare we say reverential—treatment of religious belief was startling, even winning acclaim by the Vatican!”

Klassiki

Тіні забутих предків (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) (1965)

The first mature masterpiece from one of world cinema’s true poets, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors bursts with imagination. Grounded in the folk traditions, aesthetics, and dialect of the Hutsul people of western Ukraine, Parajanov’s tale of the forbidden love between star-crossed Ivan and Marichka showcases his trademark visual exuberance. This magical realist triumph established Parajanov as one of the Soviet Union’s pre-eminent auteurs.

iPlayer

Queen of Katwe (2016)

Kampala, Uganda. Young Phiona finds surprising distraction from her life grafting in the Katwe slum when she is introduced to chess by youth worker Robert, and proves to be talented at it.

Film

Tune into MUBI to celebrate women, including Andrea Arnold and Céline Sciamma

I had hoped to do something big! and bold! and political! and exciting! on Tuesday for International Women’s Day.

But typically – perhaps even ironically – I was too busy working to do it. Pfft. 🙄

Fortunately, it’s also Women’s History Month – or should that be Herstory?

That’s a good get-out clause for me. Yay! I’m still succeeding in life!

Why don’t you all head over to MUBI then? Although it hasn’t formally said so, seems to be celebrating two women directors in particular this month. And they couldn’t be more different!

American Honey (2016)

Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold is English and very much dedicated to social realism, particularly with regards to working class women. She won an Academy Award for her short film Wasp in 2005, and her feature films include Red Road, Fish Tank and American Honey, all of which have won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. She’s also recently shot her first documentary, Cow, which is all about… a cow.

MUBI has pretty much her entire catalogue and while my above précis of her work doesn’t sound like too much fun, as I found with Wasp, it’s not as bleak as you might think. I’d definitely suggest giving it a try, starting with her short movies:

And if you’d like to hear her discuss her most recent work, I’d recommended listening to this interview:

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Céline Sciamma

Céline Sciamma is easily one of the most important and accomplished female directors, perhaps even directors working in France and perhaps the world in the past decade. The New Yorker argued last month that she’s on a ‘quest for a new feminist grammar of cinema’ – while simultaneously arguing that her representation of Black women in Girlhood is unfeminist.

At the very least, with movies such as Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Water Lilies, Girlhood and Tomboy she has managed to bring into the mainstream feminist ideas and complex questions about gender and queer identity that previously have been poorly addressed by cinema. And with movies such as Petite maman, she shows she can do movies that are fantastic and beautiful, rather than political.

And here’s another lovely podcast where Sciamma talks about her work.