UK TV

Midsomer Murders visits Denmark for its 100th episode, The Killings of Copenhagen

The Killers of Copenhagen

It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of ‘Nordic Noir’ and its popularity over here, it’s easy to overlook another question: what TV of ours is popular in Scandinavia?

ITV’s Midsomer Murders, it turns out. Yes, that everyday story of a quiet English village, the population of which gets culled every episode in the most extraordinary ways, is ‘big over there’, at least in Denmark. So in acknowledgement of that fact, for the programme’s 100th episode, Midsomer Murders is leaving England and indeed Britain for the first time and heading over to Denmark.

Given the popularity of Nordic Noir over here, though, it seems appropriate that a few familiar faces from Danish TV would pop up in this episode. So watch this lovely trailer for the aptly titled The Killings of Copenhagen and see if you can spot a whole bunch of faces familiar from Nordic Noir shows, including Ann Eleonora Jørgensen from The Killing and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen from Borgen. In case you’re wondering, in the UK, it’ll air on ITV1 on February 12th at 8pm.

For even more info, Broadcast has a nice behind-the-scenes write-up of the episode.

[via]

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What have you been watching? Including Helix, Rake, The Bridge, Olympus Has Fallen and Enlisted

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven’t already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I’ve missed them.

The usual “TMINE recommends” page features links to reviews of all the shows I’ve ever recommended, and there’s also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I’ve reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there’s Locate TV.

I’m only slightly behind on shows now, having not found the energy to endure last night’s Three Musketeers. Apart from that, though, I’m back up to speed, which is nice.

Shows that I’ve been watching but not really recommending:

Enlisted (Fox)
Brandon Routhe arrived, which was good; the lack of true “losers triumph” ending was welcome after the pilot’s initial venture into that unwelcome terrain; a slight drop off in dialogue and laughs, though. Generally good, though.

Helix (SyFy/Channel 5)
Swiftly becoming less of a sci-fi show with horror aspects, than a horror show with sci-fi aspects, the last two episodes haven’t had the smarts of the first three episodes, but it does feel like the show is righting itself. We still largely don’t have a dicky bird as to what’s going on, but with a death rate among the regulars that’s going to leave us with a cast of zero by episode 10, I imagine secrets will have to emerge soon.

Rake (Fox/Universal Channel)
Not even the presence of Alex Breckenridge could elevate this to anything more than mildly diverting. Greg Kinnear is just so wrong for this show.

The Tomorrow People (The CW/E4)
Oh gods, another breakout. Just don’t care any more, so even though it’s got the girl from Spy Kids in it now (Alexa Vega, and I don’t want you to feel old or anything, but she’s 25 now), I’m giving up. Oddly, I’ve only just noticed that with Stephen’s dad being called Roger, and Jedekiah being called Price, that’s an obvious reference to Roger Price, the creator of the 1970s TV show.

And in the recommended list:

Arrow (The CW/Sky 1)
Generally, some excellent moments, interspersed with some very stupid moments. The fights are back, too. Yay!

Banshee (Cinemax)
As with the previous week’s episode, a good look at both Amish and Native American cultures, this time giving Sheriff Hood a chance to do some proper kicking. Still a bit silly, but definitely dialling back on the more blatant and silliest bits.

The Bridge (BBC4)
Overall, a definite improvement on the second season, with some excellent character moments for the two leads, particularly Saga. The last episode did veer the show into more ridiculous, Bond villain territory, some of which made no sense at all, though, but otherwise excellent work all round. Intriguingly, Martin’s storyline has edged close to that of The Bridge (US)’s equivalent character. Looking forward to season three.

Community (NBC/some random UK channel)
Nathan Fillion turned up, to not much effect, but a funny episode with many clever moments.

Cougar Town (TBS)
Not a laugh in the entire episode. Potentially on the death list now.

Elementary (CBS/Sky Living)
A largely generic story. Is it just me or is Watson now more like the Sherlock Holmes of the books than Holmes is?

And in movies:

Olympus Has Fallen
Well, we watched White House Down last week and since this was on Netflix for free, we figured why not watch this, too, since it’s basically the same movie: secret service agent has to do Under Siege in the White House and save the President from a bunch of baddies. Here, we have Gerard Butler as the agent, Aaron Eckhart as the President, Morgan Freeman as the speaker of the house, having to deal with some Korean terrorists. And surprisingly, it’s a much better movie for the first three-quarters of its run, giving us better action, more excitement and more plausibility, all played straight. Unfortunately, it’s the final quarter that lets the movie down, as the action shifts from merely saving the White House to saving the entire world. A few Greek myth references (Olympus, Cerberus, Hydra) fail to help, too, and the excellent Ashley Judd gets discarded in the first 10 minutes.

“What have you been watching?” is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid – and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I’ve watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you’ve seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

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Superbowl trailers galore, Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor and Back To The Future: The Musical

Film casting

Trailers

Theatre

UK TV

New UK TV shows

  • BBC4 green lights: Detectorists with Mackenzie Crook and The Walshes co-written by Graham Linehan and Diet of Worms

US TV

US TV casting

New US TV show casting

  • David Schwimmer to star in ABC’s remake of Israel’s Bilti Hafich, Irreversible
  • Grace Gummer joins CBS’s Extant
  • Christina Cole and Carole Bouquet joins NBC’s Rosemary’s Baby mini-series
  • Tony Hale to guest on NBC’s About A Boy adaptation
  • Matt McGorry joins ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, Mike Colter joins TNT’s Agent X
  • Penny Marshall and Lorraine Bracco to guest on Fox’s Mulaney
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What have you been watching? Including Black Sails, Broad City, White House Down and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven’t already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I’ve missed them.

The usual “TMINE recommends” page features links to reviews of all the shows I’ve ever recommended, and there’s also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I’ve reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there’s Locate TV.

The January TV deluge is dying down, mostly in preparation for the February TV deluge, but also because of the Winter Olympics. Nevertheless, I’m still a little bit behind, with a Helix, Archer and The Three Musketeers to watch, so to cut my losses, I’ve abandoned attempts to watch:

  • Mr Selfridge, largely because I’d have to deal with the atrocious ITV Player but also the first season got too soapy for my liking and the fake cockney/posh accents started to grate after a while.
  • House of Fools continued in much the same vein as the first episode – surreal and a bit sexist, but not quite as funny as you’d hope.
  • Being Human I’m abandoning after three and a bit seasons, because it’s not going anywhere especially interesting and where it is going is too far removed from where it started (three supernatural flatmates). The second episode was better than the first, though.
  • Looking – I suspect this is not a show for me.

My third episode verdict of True Detective should be up tomorrow.

This week, I have managed to watch a couple of new shows, though.

Black Sails (Starz)
A prequel to Treasure Island that shows us the young, handsome Long John Silver in action on board a pirate ship in the Caribbean. And that sentence is probably the most interesting thing about the show, because despite the fact I love things maritime (Greenwich, Portsmouth, Master and Commander, the Aubrey and Maturin series, et al) and despite the pirates, the surfeit of female full frontal nudity, the exotic location, the boats, Mark Ryan from Robin of Sherwood and the occasional sea battle, this was possibly the most boring show I’ve watched in a long time, as it was largely about pirate bureaucracy. Plus pirates were gits, not nice guys. Dull, dull, dull.

Broad City (Comedy Central)
Based on the web series, this sees two female friends in dead end jobs trying to get by in life. Desperately tries to be fun and funny, while commenting on life at the crap end of the labour market for young people, but never actually manages to be funny.

Shows that I’ve been watching but not really recommending:

The Tomorrow People (The CW/E4)
Evil street Tomorrow People show up and beat up our nice Tomorrow People, requiring the new leader to deal out some punishment. Okay as episodes go, but this one’s close to getting dropped, too.

And in the recommended list:

Archer (FX/Channel 5)
Not where I thought that reboot was going. Some great individual moments.

Arrow (The CW/Sky 1)
Full on Deathstroke! This is what we want!

Banshee (Cinemax)
A very much better return to normal, although more soft porn sex that we could have done without. Strangely, Sheriff Hood seems to be getting beat up a lot these days, despite being number one bad ass last year. Interesting to see an episode focusing on the native Americans rather than the Amish for a change.

The Blacklist (NBC/Sky Living)
This year’s seen an odd focus on “black list” members, this episode dealing with – I’m not joking – an evil adoption agency. However, evil adoption agency turned out to be very creepy indeed and Campbell Scott was great, as was the continuing James Spader ‘vengeance’ sub-plot. In true NBC “we don’t really want any success” style, we now have to wait until after the Winter Olympics for the next episode. Weird note: odd references to Greek myth, with a fertility clinic called Galatea (the statue brought to life by Pygmalion) and an employee who works there called Nestor (the old warrior in the Trojan War).

The Bridge (BBC4)
Some weird, sometimes unpleasant sex things are going on and I’m wondering if we’ve been given another red herring to deal with. The usual excellence of The Bridge.

Community (NBC/some random UK channel)
Another one of Community’s traditional pan-college games, this time: keeping your feet off the imaginary lava. Very funny and a lovely send off for a certain character. Made Abed look a bit crazy, though.

And in movies:

White House Down
Channing Tatum wants a job on the Secret Service and while he’s at the White House, baddies take over and try to kidnap president Jamie Foxx. A stupid film, but one that knows it – essentially, it’s Die Hard in the White House but with the President blowing things up with a rocket launcher – and it’s got James Woods, Maggie Gyllenhaal and a whole host of people you’ll recognise off minor TV shows (Jason Clarke from Brotherhood/The Chicago Code, Jimmi Simpson from Breakout Kings, Lance Reddick from The Wire and Fringe, etc). Yet it’s also cleverer than you might think. Worth a try if you’ve nothing else to watch.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
A surprisingly not-awful origin story for Tom Clancy’s hero (this is his fourth movie), with Chris Pine adopting the mantel of the dull but earnest all-American brainy marine hero, recruited to the CIA by Kevin Costner. Here he also has to defend America from being destroyed by evil Russian Kenneth Branagh, while trying to keep his relationship with Keira Knightley together. Surprisingly competent, it falls between two stools, not quite being pure spy realism but not being very escapist either and trying to homage the 60s, the 80s and modern day spy thrillers. There are also bits that don’t make a lick of sense, either. Intriguingly, as with most Clancy things, it’s all about Americans working together as a team, all being good at their jobs but nuts in the overall awesome US spy machine. Pretty good overall.

“What have you been watching?” is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid – and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I’ve watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you’ve seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

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Bron/Broen/The Bridge
Scandinavian TV

So what do they speak on The Bridge? Swedish or Danish?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t speak either Danish or Swedish. Along with many other fans of The Bridge (aka Bron if you’re Swedish, Broen if you’re Danish. Or maybe it’s the other way round), I’ve often wondered what language everyone speaks on the show: do the Danes speak Swedish in Sweden? Do the Swedes speak Danish in Denmark? Do they just speak their own languages wherever they are?

Happily, we have something of a definite answer from the writer of the show, who as well as discussing the creation of the show and the characters, gives us this little explanation for who speaks which language:

In real life Swedes and Danes can understand each other, but we don’t understand each other as well they do in the show.

The co-creators and I decided early in the process not to make anything of it. So every Dane speaks Danish and every Swede speaks Swedish.

And in addition, here’s a behind-the-scenes video where the actors from the two countries explain their own linguistic challenges and enjoyment, particularly Skumfidus: