TV Talk TV Reviews and Opinions

17/12/2014

In Praise of Fargo

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: — Cate53 @ 12:53 am

When it was announced there was to be a TV version of the Coen brothers movie, Fargo, not too many people were optimistic. It’s one of their most beloved and quirkiest movies, and who could possibly replace Frances McDormand as Marge, one the best movie cops ever.

Therefore it was a huge – and pleasant – surprise that it ended up being one the best shows of the year (and was voted the number 1 by TV critics overall)

The show was NOT a remake thankfully, but shared a lot of tonal similarities with the movie. Hapless dork Lester Nygaard (the fabulous Martin Freeman) is pretty similar to William H Macy’s Jerry Lundegaard in the film, but watching how conniving and selfish Lester becomes over the course of the 10 episodes was a lot of fun. Billy Bob Thornton’s bizarre wig was off putting at first, but as hitman Lorne Malvo, he was brilliantly menacing. Like The Terminator, this wasn’t someone to be trifled with.

However, the real star of the show was unknown actress Allison Tolman as dogged deputy Molly Solverson. As clever and determined as Marge Gunderson, Tolman’s Molly is a beacon of decency and intelligent level-headed¬† detective work while surrounded by knucklehead cops and FBI agents. The gentle romance between Molly and Colin Hanks single dad Gus was one of the sweetest relationships anywhere on TV this year.

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16/11/2014

It’s Been a While…

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: — Cate53 @ 02:35 am

 

Yeah, I know, no one but me is reading this so it really doesn’t matter how long it has been! I was interested to see the Breaking Bad mania here as I’ve had quite a few new TV obsessions since last posting. Coming soon (if I get the urge!)

Orange is the New Black (Netflix) – probably the best new show in years, prison dramady with a brilliant diverse cast

Transparent (Amazon) – the on demand revolution produces a groundbreaking comedy/drama classic

Once Upon a Time – since I discovered SwanQueen fan fiction, my Once interest has been reawakened.

Pretty Little Liars – another show I’ve been a casual fan of for a while but got more and more into

Orphan Black – fantastic sci-fi drama featuring a standout performance from Tatiana Maslaney as a bunch of clones

I’m also into:

Jane the Virgin, Major Crimes, Elementary, Haven, Game of Thrones, Covert Affairs, The Leftovers, Fargo, The Good Wife, Revenge, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, The Honourble Woman, Homeland, Borgen, Happy Valley, Line of Duty, Scott & Bailey, Broadchurch, Gracepoint, Faking It, Ugly Betty, Star Trek Voyager, Rizzoli & Isles, American Horror Story, Stalker, Arrow, Doctor Who and probably a whole lot more I can’t think of.

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16/10/2013

Breaking Bad – the Final Eight!

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: — Cate53 @ 12:09 am

So the final eight episodes aired and I have to say, Breaking Bad did an amazing job of being THE show to talk about! These final eight episodes weren’t perfect, but they got to the action really quickly, with Hank confronting Walt by the end of the first episode back. After 5 seasons of Walt sneaking around the truth with his family, things came out – and went bad – very, very fast. Some painful family scenes as Marie finds out and confronts Skyler, and then Walt too at the craziest Mexican family meal out ever!

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02/06/2013

Up to date with Breaking Bad and …

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: — Cate53 @ 02:30 am

Yes, my Breaking Bad 5 day marathon is complete. 54 episodes watched – and I actually took my time a bit, slipping in a bit of reading, a game of badminton and a cinema trip yesterday too. So am I glad I caught up with a show many people rate so highly? Hell YES! I love it, although I didn’t enjoy the latest season – the 8 episodes making up the first half of season 5 – as much as the previous two. Season 5 definitely misses Gus Fring played by the superb Giancarlo Esposito. His exit in the final episode of season 4 was extremely memorable – that Terminator-like gruesome image of him above and the way it unfolded was just brilliant.

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01/06/2013

More Breaking Bad

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: — Cate53 @ 01:03 am

OK, another day, another 11 episodes of Breaking Bad, and forget all that about not loving the show, I am addicted, hooked, will be needing Breaking Bad-Anonymous by the time I get to the end of the available episodes! I have two episodes left in the fourth season to watch and then the eight from season 5 and I just love the drama! The stakes are ramped up time and time again. You would think Walter being in danger of elimination by Gus would get tired after a while or that another Walt/Jesse argument would get old but it doesn’t!

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31/05/2013

Breaking Bad

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: — Cate53 @ 01:51 am

You know there are some TV shows that are acclaimed, that people say you should watch but you just don’t get around to or don’t get into them? I tried with season 1 of The Wire and barely made it through one episode. One of these days I must try again… Friday Night Lights passed me by (American Football? No thanks!) I’ve only seen a few episodes of The Sopranos, I gave up after about 3 or 4 years of The West Wing. Never liked The Shield, Oz or Seinfeld. Watched about 6 episodes of Arrested Development and couldn’t see what the fuss was about.

After some hesitance, I did watch Deadwood, and enjoyed it but like Breaking Bad, the bleak situation and the repellant actions of the characters made it a show I admire more than love, and I have season 3 to watch still.

Well, this week I decided to have a go with Netflix and I think I definitely have had my ¬£5.99 worth for this month already! In the last 3 days I’ve watched the first three seasons of Breaking Bad – plus episode one of season 4. That’s a lot of meth cooking and deaths!

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25/05/2013

OMG Nashville!!

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: — Cate53 @ 12:27 am

The Nashville finale aired this week and oh my gosh, was there (slightly over the top) drama! Hayden Panetierre solidified her MVP status with a bruised and wounded performance mourning the death of her mother Jolene. Lots of sadness for Juliette, but Panetierre (and her make-up team!) showed the ranges of anger, guilt, grief and sadness really well. If there is any justice, she should be getting some mentions in the TV awards season.
The truth came out about Maddie’s parentage leading to Deacon falling off the wagon and going on a bender and showing what a nasty drunk he is. Getting to see what boozy Deacon was like helps you to understand why Rayna would have married Teddy and left him all those years ago.
The show ended on a typical TV cliffhanger, Rayna and Deacon’s car smashing into and intersection and tumbling to a standstill. We know they won’t die, but a dramatic conclusion to a great season!

18/05/2013

Psycho Killers!

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: , , — Cate53 @ 01:24 am

Serial killers are back! Well, they never really went away as the TV public seems to have a fascination with them, but three new shows have recently tackled some movie classic killers to varying degrees of success.Hannibal and Bates Motel are pretty interesting prequels to Silence of the Lambs and Psycho, while The Following saw Kevin Bacon return to TV as an ex-FBI agent caught up with a serial killer and his cult of followers in a pretty daft thriller.

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15/05/2013

Nashville Rocks!

Filed under: TV talk — Tags: — Cate53 @ 12:12 am

New this year, (and just renewed for a second season) is the country music drama Nashville starring Connie Britton as country music legend Rayna Jaymes and Hayden Panetierre as new sensation Juliette Barnes. Created by Callie Khouri, still best known for Thelma and Louise, this was not a show I was sure I would like, country not being a favourite genre of mine, but the show is far more of a drama than other musical shows Glee and Smash. Nashville really is a fantastic drama, and also a wonderful showcase for the two actresses.

Girl power continues with the supporting characters as the other main performers are a young couple trying to break into the business, Scarlet and Gunnar played by Aussie actress Clare Bowen and Brit Sam Palladio. These two actors come from more of a music background but Bowen has a beautiful voice and the pair’s ballads are a high point. Rounding out the girl power, Rayna’s daughters are played by Lennon and Maisy Stella, real life sisters who are YouTube sensations – just amazing singers at aged 13 and 8 – 17 million hits and counting for their cover of ‘Call Your Girlfriend’

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13/05/2013

The Trouble with Smash..

Filed under: Glee,Smash — Tags: , — Cate53 @ 12:58 am

Billed as Glee for grownups when it debuted last year, Smash will be taking its final bow in a few weeks as the second and final season comes to a close. Smash started brilliantly, with a great pilot and a fascinating premise. The series was following the development of a Broadway show called Bombshell, a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Many of the stars were real Broadway actors and the musical numbers from the fictional show were fab. Developed by Steven Spielberg and Robert Greenblatt the show had a good pedigree.

However, as the first series progressed, things began to go wrong. Cliched stories, ridiculous characters and falling ratings. Show runner Theresa Rebeck was fired, and despised characters like the sneaky PA Ellis and Karen’s dull fiance Dev were dumped. Sadly, season 2 was an even bigger mess, and ratings plummeted. So where did it all go wrong for such a promising show?

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