faustus: (Default)
( Jan. 4th, 2012 04:01 pm)
I've been uneasy about Steven Moffat's depiction of women for a while - pretty everything I've seen since Press Gang, I suspect. The outpouring in favour of motherhood in the Doctor Who Christmas special left a nasty taste in my mouth, Amy Pond's job as kissogram seemed a little dubious and I wasn't entirely happy with some of the background to River Song. The woman at the centre of last year's Christmas special felt a little thinly written too.

I didn't have any especial alarm bells ring for Sherlock "A Scandal in Belgravia", as expectations were lowered. It was fankwank, I suspect. Just as we've had random reference to Androzani in Doctor Who, so there are references to Valley of Fear and various other cases. It did strike me that Irene Adler's dominatrix was a little, um, post-watershed. Moffat's Adler has clearly stood on a few corns.

Note the various girlfriends of Watson, comic foils all, the neurotic Mrs Hudson (with convenient cleavage) and the silly, unrequited lover of Holmes, Molly Hooper. Conan Doyle was no great creator of women, but Moffat (and Mark Gatiss) don't do much better. It is all too par for the course - and it sounds like the second Robert Downey Jr film is not much better (C.E. Murphy: http://mizkit.livejournal.com/710466.html).

ETA: Stewart Lee: (One of the few female characters in the original Holmes stories, Irene Adler, was changed from an opera singer to a prostitute. Out Mrs Hudson as an angel and the whole gamut of TV roles for women will be covered.)"

faustus: (Culture)
( Nov. 7th, 2011 02:10 pm)
I don't often record comments on tv I watch - although to be fair I seem to have stopped writing about film and books at the moment - but just to note that I'm halfway through series two of Secret Army, which I wanted to watch because of its links to the sf series 1990. Secret Army is a drama about a group of Belgian resistance workers who help downed British airmen escape to Switzerland during the Second World War. I've managed to avoid the Allo Allo effect by having avoided that sitcom, although there is a certain amount of awkwardness about accents (characters being British, German, Dutch, French, American and of course Belgian - and when a leading female character suddenly becomes a lounge singer, shouldn't she be singing in English?).

Some familiar face of course, writers, directors and actors - I know Bernard Hepton from An Inspector Calls, but a couple of them went on to sitcoms, and there's him off Survivors and him from Howard's Way and a very young Ken Stott. The Black Guardian, of course, without the dead bird on his head - which is my memory of the role - and whilst that wouldn't be the only time I'm seen John Scott Martin not dressed as a dalek, it's the only time I've realised it having seen the cast list.

It's bloody cheerful stuff, not. I don't suppose I saw it at the time, but I think there was a repeat - the opening credits are familiar. They've clearly got a budget in the second series because there's more external shots (Brussels or a stand in?), and there's more incidental music (not always a good thing). I've no idea how it ends, but clearly no characters are safe (and the existence of a spin-off suggests one character at least survives). I must work out what slot it was broadcast in.
faustus: (Comedy)
( Mar. 7th, 2011 12:28 pm)
There is a spoiler for South Riding in this link, but I suspect that I enjoyed reading this review of Wonders of the Universe, Civilization: Is the West History? and South Riding rather more than I'd enjoy watching the actual programmes.
faustus: (Culture)
( Aug. 9th, 2010 12:20 pm)
ETA: Wish I could claim "spoliers" was deliberate...

So, not so much the Napoleon of Crime, more the spoiler alert )

I liked the meretricious joke though.
After getting on for forty years, all good things (and Last of the Summer Wine) have to come to an end. I've just read the script of the final episode.

faustus: (Culture)
( Jul. 11th, 2009 05:17 pm)
I never really saw the first two seasons - it looked good at first, but the character of Jack wasn't as interesting as in New Who and, without any real conscious decision, it never got taped. I guess for me it just show up that RTD - writer of some of the best drama of the last dozen years - was no Joss Whedon.

And so, after a couple of impressive looking trailers, and some unwise bleating from Barrowman, we get the five part miniseries; I watched the first four episode back to back and then episode five.

Well? )
faustus: (gorilla)
( Apr. 20th, 2009 06:23 pm)
What smart alec scheduled Ashes to Ashes against Heroes? I noticed this last week, and it occurs to me I can't remember which I've set the ... harddrive for. One of them gets a repeat, I guess, though usually not the week I miss it.

Yes, there is I-player, but my modem has a love hate relationship with television websites (I still haven't seen the third and final episode of Whitechapel) which means that I can't guarantee I can access it (Wordpress has vanished this week, although Safari will let me access a badly formatted version).)

Oh, and I see that the BBC has already stopped showing The Wire - I thought that it was meant to be all five season back to back. Ha ha ha. Like that was ever likely to happen. Fortunately I have DVDs.

Feed cats, dinner, rewatch half of Jumper, avoid drinking the home made cider, go to pub, come back early.
faustus: (Default)
( Oct. 18th, 2008 05:24 pm)
Tonight is one of those rare nights when I need to watch three things at once - and catching up with repeats of Messrs Fry and Fairly-Witless end up with precedence over Harry Hill (and I confess I almost never watch him). Meanwhile Merlin drives a dragon and sword through the Arthur mythos so that only the names remain. It took four people to create this? And aside from Will Mellor, all the villains thus far are women. Do I need Timewatch to rewrite the Victorian age, or Timeteam to rewrite the bronze?
faustus: (dreamland)
( Oct. 14th, 2008 01:26 pm)
"Ayers Rock sits there like a large boulder on the landscape."

I paraphrase, but only just. I enjoyed Long Way Round and Long Way Down, but I thought the third time would be a mistake, and so it proved. Ewan MacGregor-less, this time By Any Means features at least a hundred means of transport (if you are allowed to count different trains and taxis as different forms) on a journey from Ireland to Sydney. And only taking friend/producer Russ and cameraman Mungo with Charlie son of John Boorman. And a translator. Or a fixer. And presumably various camera crews - I wonder do they stop the train so they can film it leaving and the platform receding?

Boorman's all-purpose commentary: "It's beautiful. It's awesome. Bloody brilliant. This is fantastic. I can't believe it."

Yes, but why?
faustus: (cinema)
( Sep. 28th, 2008 09:10 pm)
I'm shocked: this afternoon I went to see a film that I felt sure was one of the Top 100 - but actually isn't. Once Upon a Time in America is -and with good reason, it's one of the finest four hour movies I know. But The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Parently not. But you should grab any opportunity to see it on the big screen.

CXII: Il Buono, Il brutto, Il Cattivo (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Sergio Leone, 1966) )

Totals: 112 (Cinema: 44; DVD: 63; TV: 5)

I'm not discussing tv very consistently, but to just note I've finished season three (which is to say, four) of Homicide: Life on the Street )
faustus: (culture)
( Aug. 23rd, 2008 01:18 am)
Well, I accidentally watched the final episode today - having planned to save it for later in the weekend. If you've never seen the greatest tv series ever made, it's not a great place to start but set aside a week and work up to it.

Minor spoilers - actually only on the set up of the series, and certainly not how it ends. But you might prefer to go in ignorant )
faustus: (culture)
( Jul. 22nd, 2008 10:21 am)
I'd noticed various mentions by Charlie Brooker over the years of The Wire as the best tv show in the world .... evah, but didn't look closer becaufase it was on cable and I wasn't likely to catch it. Neither Channel 4 nor BBC picked it up, which is just as well because C4 would have shunted it off into the wee small hours (I assume they've decided not to bother with the remaining seasons of NYPD Blue) and BBC2 would have shown nightly episodes and then the remaining ones at random intervals (cf Seinfeld, which I think managed to see the later four seasons of despite their best attempts to avoid this, Larry Sanders, due South, Monk, Curb Your Enthusiasm...). It's almost as if they have shares in box set manufacturers.

All I really knew was that it was an HBO series, so adult themes, swearing and sex. HBO had also produced The Sopranos, a similarly crime-based multi-threaded narrative where the audience sympathies can lie on the wrong side of the law and where production values aspire to the feature film, at least in terms of mise en scene. Whereas The Sopranos seemed to win every award going, The Wire has gone largely unrecognised. Then someone gave me the first three seasons, and I was hooked - with a regular cast of thirty or more characters, and the West Wing like presumption that explanation is not necessary, it's as well to keep it all in short term memory. I should have kept notes.

The first season covered the establishment of a special unit trying to bring down the drug dealing king pin on an estate in Baltimore, using wiretaps and other surveillance equipment. The powers that be are not happy with this - in part because it shows up their incompetence and they want fast results (better 100 soldiers arrested than one general). And there is also the story told from the point of view of the drug dealers, plus Bubbles a homeless snitch and Omar an assassin of dealers. It's a complex, dense series, and in fact thirteen episodes is enough rather than the usual US run of 22/23.

The second season avoided simply repeating the first - whilst there was still action on the drugs front, the main focus was on the dockers' union and a people smuggling racket. As the "main character" (Jimmy McNulty, played by Brit Dominic West) was busted down to boat patrol, this helped the narrative along. The third season returned to drugs, but focused on beginning to follow the money (donations by the king pins to politicians) and an experiment of zero tolerance in some areas whilst legalising drugs in another - Hamsterdam. Inevitably the powers that be cannot tolerate either. The season also introduced Tommy Carcetti (Aiden Gillen, Stuart Jones from Queer as Folk and several West End Mamet productions) as an ambitious city councillor.

We've been talking at work about doing something on the series, and I realised that I hadn't actually seen Season Four )

Season five is out in mid-August. Torrents have already demonstrated themselves to be a waste of time (crashed at 98% of one episode), so... Clicky clicky.
faustus: (culture)
( May. 12th, 2008 12:53 pm)
Has anyone seen Raines and got an opinion on it? It's a detective series in which the cop solves crimes in an unusual way - by talking to dead people. So not at all like Medium, Pushing Daisies or Randall and Hopkirk, Deceased then. There are only eight episodes so far, so maybe it's safe to give it a go.
faustus: (culture)
( Apr. 14th, 2008 11:03 am)

Charlie Brooker has been commissioned to write E4's first scripted horror drama for broadcast in late 2008.

Several thoughts:

  • What were the unscripted horrors? (Probably involving Big Brother
  • That doesn't give him long to write and them to produce
  • Yippee! (and ditto on Chris Morris on terrorism)
  • faustus: (culture)
    ( Jan. 14th, 2008 01:45 pm)
    Atonement won? Yes, The English Patient all over again. Merchant Ivory direct The Usual Suspects. Am not happy. The TV winners look sensible as far as I can tell. 

    A spread around year: all shall have prizes.

    Best film (drama)

    Best film (musical or comedy)

    Sweeney Todd

    Best director

    Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

    Best actor (drama)
    Daniel Day Lewis - There Will Be Blood

    Best actress (drama)

    Julie Christie - Away from Her 

    Best actor (musical or comedy)
    Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd

    Best actress (musical or comedy)
    Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose

    Best supporting actor
    Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men

    Best supporting actress
    Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There

    Best foreign language film
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (France and US) 

    Best animated feature film

    Best screenplay
    Ethan Coen and Joel Coen - No Country for Old Men

    Best original song
    Guaranteed - Into the Wild

    Best original score
    Dario Marianelli - Atonement

    Television series - drama
    Mad Men

    Performance by an actress in a television series - drama
    Glenn Close - Damages

    Performance by an actor in a television series - drama
    Jon Hamm - Mad Men

    Television series - comedy or musical

    Performance by an actress in a television series - comedy or musical
    Tina Fey - 30 Rock

    Performance by an actor in a television series - comedy or musical
    David Duchovny - Californication

    Miniseries or motion picture made for television

    Performance by an actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for television
    Queen Latifah - Life Support

    Performance by an actor in a miniseries or motion picture made for television
    Jim Broadbent - Longford

    Performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series, miniseries or motion picture made for television
    Samantha Morton - Longford

    Performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, miniseries or motion picture made for television
    Jeremy Piven - Entourage



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