16 October 2014

The Flash S01E01-02 (The CW, 2014)

The Flash has things I hate in a network show: men with square jaws and women with coltish figures, their average age suggesting recent graduation from the Mouseketeers; and childhood flashbacks requiring child actors to emoting loss, grief, and rage.

And yet…

The lead is disarmingly clumsy and charming while his supporting cast is intelligently characterised, subtly acted, and sharply defined. And those flashbacks… they gave me a lump in the throat, goddammit.

There's honesty in the writing that's connecting with me. Where Arrow is all shadowed clenched jaws and adrenalised high drama, The Flash, with the lightest of touches from the its makers, seems to have really captured lightning in a bottle.

31 August 2014

Penny Dreadful S01 (Showtime/Sky, 2014–)

I've hung in here to the final ep — it's still playing as I type this — while the Better Half cut her losses after the second ep.

At first I had the very unrealistic hope that it could be some kind of not-quite adaptation of this:

But no.

Oh well.

08 July 2014

Can someone —

— please fucking explain how shit like Longmire, Major Crimes (a spin-off from the cold ashes of The Closer that was so stupefying that I didn't bother posting about it), and Hell on Wheels (90210 playing cowboys 'n' Injuns) can be in their second or even third seasons when actually entertaining and intelligent telly like Vegas and Last Resort aren't renewed beyond their maiden seasons?


17 April 2014

Jack Irish: Dead Point (ABC1, 2014)

2012's Jack Irish instalments, Bad Debts and Black Tide were very pleasant, staunchly Ozzie, and surprisingly intelligent telemovies that I enjoyed so much I even considered buying the DVDs (the moment passed). They were good: casting, acting, directing, writing — they were all the shit, man, and when wiki said there were more to come, anticipation was high.

And then Dead Point arrived this month and boy did it suck: blegh acting, stale plotting, plodding dialogue, a snail-like pacing. The Better Half looked at me balefully afterwards and I'm like, Hey, I'm as disappointed as much as you, yo.

What the heck happened?

02 April 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley (BBC, 2013)

Not my cuppa, really, but hey — Anna Maxwell Martin from The Bletchley Circle is in it. Ooh, and Matthew Rhys from The Americans.

And buckets of wonderfully English faces, almost all of them familiar but according to IMDb this is the first time I've seen them.

Oh yes, and horses for the wife. And dresses. And period interior design.

An entertaining three hours in Austen-land.

24 March 2014

True Detective S01

Great cast. Nimble, understated direction. Plotting and characterisation that was familiar yet compelling.

This would've been a keeper except for the final ep. Too many questions were raised, topmost among them: does one paint one's ears when painting a house?  And the ending in which we see what happens after the climax — not a noir convention, I believe.

But still: what a show in those first six and three-quarter eps.

Bring on season two.

15 February 2014

Boardwalk Empire S04

Not the most consistent season but it ends fucking terrifically.

So long, Mr Harrow: ave atque vale.