/ December TV thread
As an experiment I thought it worth putting up a parallel to the film threads, especially as online viewing of box sets is still a growing trend in the UK and some of still watch or record broadcast TV.
I've just finished watching Spiral (Engreneges) series 7.... the usual murky dealings of a French crime squad and the criminal justice and political systems in which they sit.... and up to the usual excellent gritty standards. Available on the I Player for a short while yet.
For me it's the absolute pinnacle of BBC4 night viewing ( and not just because Maitre Karlsson is the stuff of fantasies). I found a similar French cop show called Braquo which was nearly as good but it fell short in a couple of places.
Good to see Tintin make a return and the scruffy leads of Laure and Gilou deserve each other.
I just binge-watched Scream Queens Season 1, deliriously campy fun, like Mean Girls meets Scream, with some very bold dialogue (nasty stuff, but spoken by nasty characters so the writers somehow get away with it)
Midway through Succession, an unflattering portrait of thinly veiled Murdoch type family.
I love the theme tune
Andy Murray - Resurfacing
Brilliant feature length documentary about the last couple of years of AM battling his hip injury, going through the rehab and trying to get back on court. Emotional and inspirational. I have total admiration for him....very open access and he comes across warm, vulnerable and completely professional.
> I just binge-watched Scream Queens Season 1, deliriously campy fun, like Mean Girls meets Scream, with some very bold dialogue (nasty stuff, but spoken by nasty characters so the writers somehow get away with it)
A comedy-horror spoof type thing? Sounds good. Streaming? Where from? (I'm still digging my heels in and resisting the lure of Amazon Prime so far.)
In a similar vein, possibly. (Bad pun, sorry.)
"What We Do In The Shadows" is still available on the BBC iPlayer.
It's a 10-episode TV series spin-off of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's vampire 'mockumentary' film of the same name, and it's just delightful. It's worth having seen the film first, but not at all essential.
> "What We Do In The Shadows" is still available on the BBC iPlayer.
> It's a 10-episode TV series spin-off of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's vampire 'mockumentary' film of the same name, and it's just delightful.
Pretty much everything with Matt Berry in is worth a look, to my mind. 'Disenchantment' perhaps isn't as good as one might hope, but that's not really his fault.
I'm not usually a big fan of his, but he is *perfect* as Laszlo.
> A comedy-horror spoof type thing? Sounds good. Streaming? Where from? (I'm still digging my heels in and resisting the lure of Amazon Prime so far.)
Just adorable. I feel let down by a lot of modern TV comedy but a few shows really click for me. I thought the film worked much less well.
> I thought the film worked much less well.
> I bought the DVD, £5 delivered.
Cool, I'll have a look at that then, ta.
Oh, and regarding WWDITS.. I agree with Offwidth I think, for my money the film is very good but the TV series is really quite a lot better. Perhaps you have to be a Kiwi to really, properly appreciate the film.
"I agree with Offwidth"... sticking that in my scrapbook
I agree with you about almost everything, that's why it pains me so much that you're such a bollock.
Well that escalated.....
I'm rather looking forward to the tiger who came to tea.
Well, I quite like you, despite that: if we can't have some passion in what we believe and enjoy, what is the point in life....
> Well that escalated.....
Ha ha. I did think about adding a winky smiley thing.
I'd never heard of the Tiger Who Came to Tea. It looks like the TV production has a strong cast - Tamsin Grieg is quite underrated I think, but it's always a good sign if she's in something.
(Well, on TV at least - lets not talk about The Archers.)
> Ha ha. I did think about adding a winky smiley thing.
> I'd never heard of the Tiger Who Came to Tea. It looks like the TV production has a strong cast - Tamsin Grieg is quite underrated I think, but it's always a good sign if she's in something.
Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes -
I must have been abroad at the time coz both these past me by but.....brilliant! lots of Bowie references, politically incorrect, Keeley Hawes (AtA) terrible plots, great character actors, Keeley Hawes, great soundtrack, constant drinking, Keeley Haw......you get the idea ; )
> Midway through Succession, an unflattering portrait of thinly veiled Murdoch type family.
We watched this and after a couple of episodes wondered how we would stick with it since there's basically no sympathetic characters, everyone is a c%#t. Still, powered through both seasons and ended up loving it. I've worked with some people though who might think it aspirational rather than satirical.
Another vote for Spiral - glad to hear they've just wrapped up filming on season 2. I'll have to check out Braquo.
Season 4 of the Man in the High Castle has just started so that's on the list.
Interesting point about dramas where there isn't anyone remotely likeable : to your nomination of Succession, which I agree with totally, I'd like to add Ozarks.
I do sometimes struggle with programs that have no sympathetic character’s but it been fairly quality so far. It’s like watching a nasty David Brent write large 😏
> Interesting point about dramas where there isn't anyone remotely likeable
Has this been on the increase in fiction in general in the past two decades or am I just either more sensitive to it or picking a lot of this stuff by coincidence? From Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, to We Need To Talk About Kevin, via unlikely fare such as Lucky Number Slevin and even The Big Sick, it seems to be a thing
Spiral 7 was great but a bit complicated to follow.
Ken Burns' [Burns's?] documentary on Country Music is being shown on BBC 4 just now. Has reached episode 4 out of 8. Watched first 4 episodes yesterday. Absolutely brilliant. [To save musical snobs the trouble I've heard all the "yee haw" etc comments many times.]
Another vote for Spiral. Stumbled upon this back in series 2 and must catch up on s.1 on YouTube. Even the mrs is a keen fan. Best foreign TV since The Bridge!
Finally got round to watching BBC4 Storyville: Brexit Behind Closed Doors. This is like a comedy spoof on the EU side of the brexit negotiations, but it is in fact real and contains lots of telling information on tne attitudes and behaviour on both sides. Frankly the EU were mad to make this and it feels dirty but important to watch it.
A couple to catch up with...
Season 2 of The Sinner... almost as good as the first in setting a baffling scenario full of flawed characters and running with it without insulting the viewer's' intelligence.
Next, Pilger's 'War on the NHS', was very good but I felt flawed by his personalising things in a way that distracted from the key message (especially the bit about Vince Cable, who I suspect was foolish but no capitalist lizard man). I was also disappointed he didn't put in more numbers ...the US health system is the most expensive per capita state system in the world by a large margin (before any insurance top-ups) and has the worst overall outcomes of any western nation, yet the very best outcomes for those rich enough to afford it ... a system set up to suit the rich and the corporate health giants, at the expense of everyone else.
The UKC thread on it.
To stretch the brief of the OP a bit - here's a heads up about a potentially lovely thing on the radio:
"Playing in the Dark: Neil Gaiman and the BBC Symphony Orchestra"
Also featuring David Tennant, and AFP. (I know there are a few fans here.)
This seems to be the same thing that's on R4 split into two episodes a couple of days later: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000cl2r
Oh, and also a must for fans of Neil Gaiman:
Radio adaptation of 'Chivalry', the short story from his 'Smoke and Mirrors' anthology, with Glenda Jackson as Mrs Whitaker. I'll be slightly disappointed is this is anything less than absolutely delightful.
Profilage is also worth a watch, I have an idea it’s available here. I buy the dvd box sets when I’m in France. Not as violent or edgy as Braquo or Engrenages but really nice character development and unusual plots.
> Documentary that follows a lone Inuit as he hunts, fishes and constructs an igloo. It tells the story of skills that are disappearing and of how climate change is affecting the lives of Greenland's indigenous people.
> With its focus on the ingenious craft of igloo building before it becomes too late to record it, this is a meditative and poetic sensory immersion in a landscape of ice and snow, an elegy to a world that is melting away.
Not quite 'slow TV', but this is long (an hour and a half) and very sedately paced with quite sparse commentary (in Greenlandic with English subtitles - the "lone Inuit" himself does the talking). It doesn't really "focus on igloo building" at all, that's just one of the traditional skills the hunter demonstrates and talks about.
It's quite poignant, and the footage is *beautiful* (if a bit cliched in places with the swirly-round drone stuff) - well worth a watch if you have the time and the patience for it.
Second this. One thing that struck me was how much effort our hunter gatherer ancestors needed to invest to find a meal, and how stuffed we would be if we were ever forced back to live off the land, Ray Meres excepted.
Great one for kids - Grandpa's Great Escape BBC Read the book to my children last year and this tv adaption is great with David Walliams acting in it. Deals with the tragedy of alzheimers really well.
I mentioned Don't F*ck with Cats in another thread. Netflix. Very addictive documentary rollercoaster of internet detectives trying to catch a person who posts very disturbing videos on you tube. Quite a few holes in the plot but great entertainment.
Not new but excellent - Better Call Saul - Netflix. Absolutely brilliant story writing. Superb story arc, character development and deep plot that bubbles along at perfectly judged pace that dovetails brilliantly into the original Breaking Bad. Only the Americans seem to be able to write and film dramas this good. The ability to follow a great story for 40 hours ( I can't think of any duff/filler episodes - and a another 10 in the pipeline for early next year) is so much more immersive than any film could ever get close to IMO. Proper story telling.
After seeing the first two episodes of Wisting (BBC4 Saturday night slot) I suspect it might be up there with the best of the Nordic cop shows, with the added advantage that the presence of a couple of CIA agents gives the viewer regular breaks from the sub-titles.
There's a live version of Grandpa's Great Escape touring just now, very good show by all accounts. (Expensive tickets I imagine.)
It's making me feel rather old - for the benefit of anyone else who was a student in the '80s, the live version has Nigel Planer playing Grandpa. We are not "the young ones" any more! ;-)
I really like Hannah Fry, she would definitely be my favourite telly boffin if it weren't for Alice Roberts. ;-)
Have you listened to any of "The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry" on the radio. They're rather good - 75 episodes available indefinitely as a podcast download from the BBC here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07dx75g
A very scandi scandal - Swedish comedy on All4 player.
Two respectable women on the verge of retirement decide to rob a bank, very funny.
If you like Spiral have a look at Spin (All4?) for French political corruption rather than French legal corruption.
Son of bitch - Brazilian football ref story/ comedy, again all4 or Walter presents.
Code 37 and professor T - Belgian crime
I'm continuously gob smacked by how much foreign drama is available now and there is some very good stuff.
Another telly recommendation. (I know it's not December any more, but it didn't seem worth starting a new thread..)
Three very enjoyable unpretentious 1/2hr films following two pals as they go off and have adventures in the Scottish highlands. There's no macho nonsense here, nothing they do is "extreme", they just get out and enjoy the landscape and (most of the time) each other's company. Lovely. The music is good too.
Kevin Woods is 2 weeks into a winter round of the Munros, a challenge expected to last several months. If successful he will be, to our knowledge, only the third person to complete a full round of all 282 Munros in one winter. We've caught up with him to...