Happy on Syfy

It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for: it’s the TMINE Top N programmes of 2018!

As usual at this time of year, TMINE is busily packing its bags to get ready for its annual Christmas break. We’re not there yet, though, as everything will continue until Friday. 

But barring minor miracles, unless it turns out Chicago ILLDogs of Berlin or Tideland have been cruelly overlooked, there’ll be no shows that are both new and excellent for me to review this year, which means I can at last unveil this year’s TMINE’s Top N programmes, where N is a positive integer that I’ve more or less picked at random each year. This year, N=14, you’ll be excited to hear. Can you guess what they are?

There’s certainly been some interesting new arrivals, whose presence in the Top N you’ll probably have been able to predict in advance – I’ve certainly dropped a few hints throughout the year. But there’s a few surprises in there, I think.

As always, a caveat: I’ve not watched every TV programme broadcast or acquired in the UK this year and I barely watched any live TV, so there are almost certainly some good shows that that I’ve left off the list. There’s also a show or two that got made ages ago but which never made it to the UK or my viewing queue until this year, so it’s entirely possible some quite oldies have made it onto the 2018 list. And, of course, there are a few shows that started well but I’ve not finished yet, so aren’t eligible for the list (honourable mention to the likes of Plan Cœur, for example)

So best not to think of this as the definitive “Best new TV shows from around the world of 2018″, so much as just the top “TMINE would recommend to a friend shows of the ones I’ve watched in 2018”.

As always, too, feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments, on your own blog or on the TMINE Facebook page. Just for reference, here are previous years’ Top Ns:

And now, to the top N…

Continue reading “It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for: it’s the TMINE Top N programmes of 2018!”


Question of the week: have you abandoned any streaming services?

Tell everyone what you think about the latest burning media issue with TMINE’s Question of the Week

So, here’s a little nugget of information, courtesy of World Screen and Juniper Research:

Subscriber abandonment is outpacing adoption rates at Amazon Prime and HBO Now, among other platforms in the U.S. and the U.K., Juniper Research says in a new whitepaper, while Netflix continues to outperform its rivals.

Juniper says Amazon Prime’s churn rate is about 2.9 percent and HBO Now’s is 19.2 percent. Netflix, meanwhile, had a positive adoption rate of 6.3 percent in the U.S. and 7.7 percent in the U.K. The data was released in Digital TV & Video: Consumer Attitudes and Network & OTT Strategies 2018-2023, which explores SVOD trends in China, the U.S. and the U.K. In China and the U.S., respondents have an average of three subscriptions each.

“The use of multiple subscriptions suggests that no one provider offers enough to currently satisfy consumers,” says Lauren Foye, the author of the report. “Juniper finds a growing danger in users reducing, or switching SVOD subscriptions, as monthly fees inevitably rise as a result of ever-increasing content spend; Netflix alone is set to spend $13 billion this year.”

The research also highlights the growing importance of curation and urges greater collaboration between streaming and traditional platforms, such as Netflix’s deal with Sky to be on the Q platform.

Juniper also points to the continued importance of traditional broadcast, particularly in the sports space.

“Juniper finds the quality and volume of content made available through online streaming platforms will be critical for providers in the future,” the white paper notes. “The funds allocated for purchasing media by OTTs thus far has been considerable, as providers seek to entice as many customers as possible and out-compete their rivals.”

Juniper forecasts that total revenues for SVOD services will reach $66.9 billion by 2023, up from $33.2 billion in 2018.

I’ve used quite a few streaming services in my time – and TMINE. Currently, I’ve Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Netflix is a keeper, obviously, since there’s just so much new stuff on it all the time. The latter I’ve got mainly because I have Amazon Prime membership to cut down on the delivery charges, rather than a deep love of the Prime Video service, which I could probably dump quite easily tomorrow and not worry too much.

I did have Now TV, primarily because I have a Roku and you can’t get Sky Go to work on it, but Now TV works fine and with a bit of haggling, special offers, etc, it’s only about £3.99 a month for an Entertainment Pass. But I’ve given up on that because Sky doesn’t have any shows I want to watch at the moment and the movie service only gets about one new movie a week, usually one I already own at that.

But how about you? Which services could you dump tomorrow and which can’t you live without?

As always, answer below or comment on your own blog, leaving a link

TMINE is on holiday

TMINE is now on holiday

It’s that time again. August is nearly upon us, bearing little TV news and few new TV shows – as well as my annual pilgrimage to Greece.

When will I be back? Good question that I’ve asked myself and answered already during this week’s WHYBW?, if you want the full vague details, the general drift is:

  1. The Daily News will be back on Monday, September 3
  2. Everything else will be back at some point between August 16 and September 3, depending on my mood, whether I’ve been seized by Nereids, etc.

However, I may be posting the occasional bit of TV news or thoughts on the TMINE Facebook page, or tweeting (or more likely retweeting) away on Twitter. And if I spot anything televisual, I’ll bung it up on the TMINE Instagram feed.

Keep ’em peeled, anyway.

Meanwhile, keep chatting here with one another, reviewing shows you’ve seen yourselves and being an excellent to one another. Also, if you have some holiday reading suggestions, let me know.

If you’re going on vacation yourself, I hope you have a great time. See you all refreshed and ready for more TV in three to five weeks’ time!

Because then Iron Fist will be back for season two. Oh yes. Will I avoid watching season one this vacation for a fifth time in preparation? Stay tuned to find out…

Nathan Barley

FreeAgent is a Nathan Barley fan

So I was never a great fan of Nathan Barley. Well, to be more accurate, I was a huge fan of Charlie Brooker’s original take on Barley in marvellous Radio Times pastiche TV Go Home, a required web site for anyone interested in TV in the late 90s. As a result, I hated Nathan Barley, which seemed to me to be just a piss-weak sitcom version and the fact both Brooker and Chris Morris were the writers deeply upset me.

Still, the cool kids loved it. Plus good cast who’ve gone on to much bigger things since (most of them, anyway). As has Brooker, of course.

The cool kids apparently still do love it, because I was just testing out FreeAgent, a cloud accountancy service, because that’s the kind of thing we freelances have to do, when look what turned out to be the default details for the free trial account:

Nathan Barley

Yep, Nathan Barley, who was of course a “self facilitating media node“. Kudos for a TV reference, at least.

Plus if you look here, you’ll see Dan Ashcroft gets a namecheck on the company web site, too.


International TV

What have you been watching? Including Jongo, Cobra Kai, Shooter and Condor

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

Gosh. Isn’t a quiet? I can’t remember when a July was this quiet for TV worldwide. I wonder what’s up?

There have been a least a few new shows for me to review in the past week. Elsewhere, I cast my eye over the first episode of What We Do In the Shadows spin-off Wellington Paranormal as well as the whole of Netflix’s first Indian original, Sacred Games.

But given the sparsity of viewing options, I had a look over Amazon to see what I could try to play catch up with. First stop was the second season of You Are Wanted. All was looking good for about a minute before I discovered that despite being an Amazon Original and despite the first season having been available with its original German dialogue, season two is only available dubbed in the UK.

FFS. No, thank you, Amazon.

Or so I thought until 10 seconds ago. Turns out that you have to specifically seek out the separate “English subtitled” version, rather than the normal version in order to get the German dialogue. Seriously, Amazon, could you not just have two audio tracks on your video?

You Are Wanted

I’ll probably watch the proper German one on holiday then.

While I was busily and inaccurately cursing Amazon, though, I did find something else to try, so after the jump, following on from TMINE’s first ever Indian show, I’ll be talking about the first African TV show TMINE’s tackled in rather a long time: Jongo. And on top of that, I finally got round to watching the rest of Cobra Kai.

However, that’s about it. I hope they’re not saving all the new shows for August when TMINE is on its holidays.

Upon which subject, this is going to be the last WHYBW for a good while, since TMINE’s holidays start next week! No reviews, no news, no slightly niche TV observations from next Monday for at least four weeks, I’m afraid. However, I’ll be back from mid-August, so although the Daily News probably won’t be back until September (on the general grounds there usually isn’t much news since everyone’s on holiday) and it’ll take me some time to play catch-up (although, thanks EU!), blogging could resume at any time from that point onwards. So stay tuned. At least from mid-August.

Normally at this point pre-holidays, I’d play my usual July game of “Can I be bothered catching up with this show when I get back?” However, all the usuals are now on the recommended list, so you can probably guess that I will definitely be catching up with Condor, Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger and Shooter when I get back. Oh well, so much for that fun. Maybe next year.

Anyway, I’ll be telling you about their latest episodes after the jump, too, so see you in a mo.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Jongo, Cobra Kai, Shooter and Condor”