International TV

What have you been watching? Including Squid Game, Cobra Kai, Hawkeye, The Mezzotint and The Book of Boba Fett

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

Hello, everyone, and welcome to 2022 – 2021 again but done right, we can all hope. How was your Christmas break? Hope you managed to get one and didn’t get the dreaded lurgy (or one of the other minor lurgies that were doing the rounds).

You’ll be glad to hear – since you’re here – that TMINE actually had the chance to watch some new TV shows over Christmas. Some of them were even good.

There was only one regular still on the TMINE viewing list: Hawkeye (Disney+). The final episode of that was fun, but somewhat lightweight. Its highlight was a tear-jerking confrontation between (spoiler alert) Yelena Belova (Black Widow’s grieving sister) and Hawkeye. However, the script didn’t exactly let both barrels blast on that, and it didn’t feel like we were getting Jeremy Renner, the Oscar-nominated actor, so much as Jeremy Renner, the bit-part player from an episode of Angel, so the emotion largely came from (spoiler alert) Florence Pugh and all the good work that other entries in the MCU had already done.

What also should have been a highlight of the episode – the return of (spoiler alert) Vincent D’Onofrio reprising his Netflix Defenders role of Wilson Fisk – largely got ruined through poor characterisation, right down to that atrocious shirt. I’m wondering if he’s a parallel universe version, rather than the one we’ve seen elsewhere. But maybe it’s down to a problem that’s intrinsic to both comic book crossovers and the MCU that stems from one of their supposed strengths: the ability to have different tones and genres in different shows and movies. If you stick something from a grittier genre into something more comedic and family oriented, something’s got to change, and more often than not, it’s the grittier thing. That can work, but here, it largely undid more or less all the good work that Daredevil et al in terms of characterisation and plausibility – despite some excellent acting from the star in question.

Overall, though, while not ultimately as good on average as WandaVision, it had almost as many highs, was more consistent and more fun, and was still a lovely Christmas treat for us all to unwrap. Plus it did give us this brilliant double-act.

After the jump, though, let’s talk about those new shows. Squid Game (Netflix) technically isn’t a new show, since it’s been around for a while – to the extent that we actually tried it a few weeks ago but gave up. However, we felt we should give it a second chance, given how popular it is, and we made it all the way through to the end.

Properly new were BBC Four’s latest Ghost Story for Christmas, The Mezzotint, and Disney+’s latest entry in the Star Wars firmament, The Book of Boba Fett. And although we’ve only got halfway through it, let’s talk a bit about season four of Cobra Kai (Netflix) as well. See you in a mo!

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Squid Game, Cobra Kai, Hawkeye, The Mezzotint and The Book of Boba Fett”
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2021? Including The Tourist and The Mezzotint

Whenever it can, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to be doing this as often as I used to, particularly since the last one of these was in November 2020, but I will when I can. And if there’s not much on.

This December, there’s a showing of Doctor Who‘s City of Death, previews of The Tourist, the Ghosts Christmas special and this year’s Ghost Story for Christmas (The Mezzotint), and a collection of Christmas specials past, as well as some slightly odd music-related treats. Plus more!

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2021? Including The Tourist and The Mezzotint”
Peter Capaldi in Martin's Close
UK TV

That was the TMINE UK TV Christmas that was

Behold! It is indeed a Christmas miracle. For on this yuletide past, TMINE did indeed watch some actual UK TV.

None of it live, of course, all on iPlayer and the like, but nevertheless, UK TV was viewed… and even enjoyed in some cases.

Nevertheless, TMINE is very predictable in its tastes so don’t be surprised when I tell you that one of the shows starred Joanna Page, one of the shows was A Ghost Story For Christmas, one was a horror show written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, one was a sci-fi show about a certain Time Lord/Lady, and one was a reboot of a classic TV show of the 70s.

Full reviews of all of those after the jump. In case you’re wondering, I did watch some other TV as well – all the Netflix shows I’ll be talking about later today while the remaining members of the regular viewing queue will be the subject of tomorrow’s discussions.

But first, watch the Queen like the good patriots you are. It is the afternoon, after all.

Continue reading “That was the TMINE UK TV Christmas that was”
The Ash Tree
The Weekly Play

The TMINE Ghost Story for Christmas – The Ash Tree (1975)

As is TMINE’s want at this time of year, let’s celebrate the birth of Christ with a scary story by MR James.

Part of BBC Two’s legendary annual A Ghost Story For Christmas strand, The Ash Tree documents the tale of Sir Richard Fell, who has just inherited Castringham, a country seat with an unfortunate history. The house has been cursed since the day his ancestor, Sir Matthew Fell, condemned a woman to death for witchcraft. It is soon discovered that the ancient ash tree outside his bedroom window is the root of the problem…

Directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark, it stars Edward Petherbridge as Sir Richard and features that Lalla Ward off of Doctor Who as well. It was also written not by Gordon Clark for a change, but by David Rudkin of Artemis 81 and Penda’s Fen fame.

Enjoy!

Peter Capaldi in Martin's Close
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2019? Including Dracula and Missing Believed Wiped

It’s Christmas!

Well, only in BFI calendar-land, which occupies its own time zone.

As usual, there’s an eclectic but truncated mix of shows, with Christmas typically removing not one week but three from most organisations’ ability to do any work. But there is some good stuff:

  • A preview of Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss’s Dracula, complete with Q&A with Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Dracula
  • A preview of this year’s Ghost Story for Christmas, complete with Q&A with Mark Gatiss. But not Dracula or Steven Moffat
  • A preview of Cinderella: After Ever After + Q&A with David Walliams. But not Mark Gatiss
  • A pantomime season featuring lots of TV pantomimes.
  • This year’s Missing Believed Wiped season.

That’s not bad, is it? What do you mean “Oh no it isn’t”?

Full details after the jump.

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2019? Including Dracula and Missing Believed Wiped”