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Great British Television

Yay, Brooker's BACK!

Episode One of Black Mirror kicked ARSE (though didn't quite stick the landing...)

Loved it overall, though.

Episode Two doesn't look TOO SHABBY either...

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Originally Posted by Ianthe View Post

ETA: How could I forget to mention The Hour??? Cracking drama set in London in the 50's, based around a weekly current affairs television show (ie a "show within a show"). Season 2 finished screening here in Australia here last night, and I'm still reeling from Peter Capaldi and Anna Chancellor's performances, and Dominic West really started showing his chops again in an otherwise fairly easy role.

Speaking of Capaldi: Don't recall seeing "The Thick of It" mentioned here? Unmatched source of highly re-usable profanity, in my experience!

Yeah, that aired the other night in NZ.  A real step up from the first season now they can hit the ground running.  It's such a slick product, and they're really throwign the plot lines in this time.

Also, I love Peter Capaldi so much.

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Sadly, the BBC has evidently decided not to do a third series of The Hour (which really sucks if you've seen Series 2).

But mad props to Capaldi: I can think of few actors in recent years that have taken a range of roles as varied as Thick Of It, Children of Earth, and The Hour, and just fucking hit all three out of the park.

And just think, he was once the dweebie guy who fell in love with a selkie in Local Hero (and before that, Craig Ferguson's lead singer).

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Being Human is in it's last season too. I feel bad for the new cast.

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Oscar winner too Smile  http://videos.nymag.com/video/Short-Film-Franz-Kafkas-Its-a-W#c=788JNP2GZW4FJVM1&t=Short Film: 'Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life'

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Utopia. This show's season finale airs tonight. I just blew threw the season and it is pretty great. If you're a fan of Kill List, then you'll love Neil Maskell's turn as a waddling, child killing psycho assassin. I also liked seeing Stephen Rea show up, if only briefly. His Gatehouse character on The Shadow Line was a classic TV villain.

So anyway, Utopia, it's beautifully shot and acted, and the plot reveals throughout the first season are of the grand conspiracy type, which they did a great job revealing. It's also extremely violent, most notably in the now infamous interrogation scene in the first episode.

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Utopia. This show's season finale airs tonight.

Delighted to have been able to turn you folks onto this show (post #50). We'll see how they end it, but I wonder if there will be a second series.

Speaking of UK TV, when are they gonna air the new season of MAD DOGS ? Another great thriller / mystery / crime show full of dark humor. Our Mr.Saxon's avatar John Simm stars in it, along with Life On Mars co-star Phillip Glenister. David Warner plays a bad guy too! Has run 2 series and an already filmed third series is due to start, just WHEN?!? Every episode ends with a cliffhanger, and it's been a year since the end of series 2---the wait is agonizing.

And Shadow Line was great also, with Rea being a most memorable character.

I just found Mad Dogs facebook page and it sez

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Mad Dogs Series 3 will air on Sky 1 in April 2013

Time for you all to catch up. (4 episodes per season).

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Originally Posted by stevehauk View Post

Delighted to have been able to turn you folks onto this show (post #50). We'll see how they end it, but I wonder if there will be a second series.

Oh cheers, didn't see that. I hope there's a second season, they left things a bit open ended. I loved the dark, colorful tone of the show, and the actor who played Grant did a fantastic job in the final episode.

It also had a pretty memorable score. I loved how the theme would leak into certain scenes just as shit was about to hit the fan.

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Originally Posted by Deanburger View Post

So anyway, Utopia, it's beautifully shot and acted, and the plot reveals throughout the first season are of the grand conspiracy type, which they did a great job revealing. It's also extremely violent, most notably in the now infamous interrogation scene in the first episode.

Two episodes in and... I dunno. Interesting, but for me, giant conspiracies are too often lazy magic storytelling, and Jessica's only the most annoying of several annoying characters. And while I don't have an issue with violence, per se, its use here feels more like an attempt at envelope-pushing than a necessity.  I'm a bit disappointed, too, to read that a second series is a possibility (dramatically, at least), since that leaves me wondering if the conclusion will be anything more than a tease. But we'll see.

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My sister turned me on to Black Books, prior creation of the IT Crowd's Linehan. Don't think it reaches that show's highs, but there's usually one or two great moments per episode. That being said, most of the humor is heavily dependent on you finding the characters themselves funny rather than particularly sharp writing, so I can see it turning off a lot of people if it doesn't "click" for them.

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Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig are all good in Black Books, but also watch out for lots of familiar faces to pop up in various episodes, some bigger parts than others. Peter Serifinowitz, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost all from Sean of the Dead were in it. Dylan Moran channels Basil Fawlty to a point, being the caricature of the drunken Irishman running a small book store.

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Linehan's 'Father Ted' series was fun but light weight. It's star, Dermot Morgan, died of a heart attack during the wrap party for the 3rd series. Party pooper.

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Is anyone here watching Broadchurch and, more importantly, is it worth my time? The fact that it stars two ex-Doctor Who stars interests me (and look! David Tennant has sexy stubble! Swoon!) although it looks quite a bit like a UK version of The Killing.

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AOrphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series on Space and BBC America. The series stars Tatiana Maslany as Sarah, a woman who discovers she is one of several clones. Lead look cute episode was solid nice setup can't wait for the next episode
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Black Mirror is something everybody should checkout. Clever. Intelligent. NOW> watch it it if you're able. By the gods, yes.

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Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post

Is anyone here watching Broadchurch and, more importantly, is it worth my time? The fact that it stars two ex-Doctor Who stars interests me (and look! David Tennant has sexy stubble! Swoon!) although it looks quite a bit like a UK version of The Killing.

I'd be interested to hear, too. I really like Tennant as an actor, but this trailer goes to great lengths to show not a hell of a lot. Is it decent?

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Originally Posted by stevehauk View Post

Black Mirror is something everybody should checkout. Clever. Intelligent. NOW> watch it it if you're able. By the gods, yes.

I've just watched episode one of the first season and really liked it. The act of forcing a world leader to have sex with an animal on live television, in exchange for a human life, was a horrifying but fascinating predicament - especially as the public at first sympathised with him but then rallied against him due to his own actions and the herd-like mentality of social media. I'm certainly interested in watching the remaining two episodes of the season to see if they're equally as good.

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Originally Posted by Workyticket View Post

I'd be interested to hear, too. I really like Tennant as an actor, but this trailer goes to great lengths to show not a hell of a lot. Is it decent?

Both myself and Stevehauk watched the show. I got somewhat further than him (episode three) but, in spite of the great lead performances, I didn't find it that gripping. I've never been a big fan of Chris Chibnall's writing and all of his weaknesses were on display in these episodes.

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Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post

I've just watched episode one of the first season and really liked it. The act of forcing a world leader to have sex with an animal on live television, in exchange for a human life, was a horrifying but fascinating predicament - especially as the public at first sympathised with him but then rallied against him due to his own actions and the herd-like mentality of social media. I'm certainly interested in watching the remaining two episodes of the season to see if they're equally as good.

They are.

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Originally Posted by Jeb View Post

But mad props to Capaldi: I can think of few actors in recent years that have taken a range of roles as varied as Thick Of It, Children of Earth, and The Hour, and just fucking hit all three out of the park.

And just think, he was once the dweebie guy who fell in love with a selkie in Local Hero (and before that, Craig Ferguson's lead singer).

Dig up Prime Suspect 3 sometime too if you get the chance.

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ARe-watched the Vietnam episode of Top Gear last weekend. Still completely awesome.

Also been watching a crap-ton of QI lately and thanking the Beeb for its existence. It's hard for me to choose favourite guests, but my dream panel is probably Alan Davies (of course), Rob Brydon, Jimmy Carr and Sean Lock, although it's also hard to go past Bill Bailey, Rich Hall and David Mitchell.

And speaking of David Mitchell, I've also been back on the Peep Show and am more than ready to proclaim it The World's Best Sitcom now that 30 Rock has finished.

Also been enjoying Never Mind The Buzzcocks which I'd heard about for years but which has only begun screening in NZ this year. Don't know what series it is but it must be fairly recent because Noel is on it. It's a ton of fun and the only (very minor) thing I don't like is that they don't speak with the people from the Identity Parade.
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Originally Posted by dilla7 View Post

Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series on Space and BBC America. The series stars Tatiana Maslany as Sarah, a woman who discovers she is one of several clones. Lead look cute episode was solid nice setup can't wait for the next episode

She's certainly going to give John Noble a run for his money, in terms of playing different variations on the same character.

Two episodes in, it's pretty good. I can't decide how I feel about BBC/BBC America spoiling the premise in their marketing: on the one hand, it made the setup less twisty and challenging than it might have been if I'd gone in cold; on the other hand, the "solution" (which finally gets stated outright in the first shot of the preview for Episode 3) might have felt a bit contrived compared to the fairly realistic buildup given to it, if it had been a sudden reveal (I love the fact that the writers really do force the viewer to think their way out of Sarah's situations right along with the character).

Like Continuum, they do a good job managing their budgetary restrictions, and the occasional cut corner in that respect isn't as problematic as is often the case with these cable series; it helps that (along with shows like Hunter) they seem to put a lot of their resources into freeing up the camera, rather than adding more low-rent FX, so that even an underpopulated or underdeveloped scene can play as visually interesting.

Like Continuum, though, I'm wondering about this as an ongoing: the premise really cries out for an endgame, IMHO, and I worry about the writers' ability to keep mining fresh takes.

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Originally Posted by Jeb View Post

 

Two episodes in and... I dunno. Interesting, but for me, giant conspiracies are too often lazy magic storytelling, and Jessica's only the most annoying of several annoying characters. And while I don't have an issue with violence, per se, its use here feels more like an attempt at envelope-pushing than a necessity.  I'm a bit disappointed, too, to read that a second series is a possibility (dramatically, at least), since that leaves me wondering if the conclusion will be anything more than a tease. But we'll see.


I'm not sure the violence is envelope pushing, I remember worse being on TV back when I lived in the old country. The violence wasn't super standout to me. The story and the characters were though. Trust the show, it will reel you in I reckon.
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Finished it the other day, and... yeah, it was worth the time. You're right, that "envelope-pushing" was the wrong way to characterize the violence, but it does have a sordid quality that starts to get dreary after a while, and stops advancing the story very much. And the giant conspiracy at the heart of it turned out to be exactly the kind of magic laziness that I'd feared, Jessica didn't get any less annoying, and I'd have been really annoyed if I'd been watching it before I knew that the second series had been announced, because that would be a helluva note to end on otherwise.

But it's well-acted and visually interesting. I'll certainly give the second series a look.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post

I've just watched episode one of the first season and really liked it. The act of forcing a world leader to have sex with an animal on live television, in exchange for a human life, was a horrifying but fascinating predicament - especially as the public at first sympathised with him but then rallied against him due to his own actions and the herd-like mentality of social media. I'm certainly interested in watching the remaining two episodes of the season to see if they're equally as good.

Just watched that last night.  Unbelievable.  So well put together and absolutely devastating (the final shot was heartbreaking).  I loved how most of it was conveyed through reaction shots of people watching the event.

Have the whole lot MySkyd, onto episode 2 tonight.

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Season 20 of Top Gear started last night. Going by the first episode, it looks to be a goody.

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Parker View Post

Season 20 of Top Gear started last night. Going by the first episode, it looks to be a goody.

And they had a race past my hometown!  I'm from right near the top of New Zealand, and when they did that top-down shot of that incredibly winding road (it's the Mangamuka Gorge - a road I know all too well!), I gotta admit I got a little homesick.  I used to go diving and fishing at the race's finish point all the time back in the day.  It's a paradise.

And yeah, season looks like it's gonna be a riot.  The party for the new reasonably priced car was comedy gold.

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All five episodes of Jack Taylor are up on Netflix now. The last one, Priest, was ballsy and great. I feel like this little series deserves more attention. Iain Glen for the win.

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Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post

All five episodes of Jack Taylor are up on Netflix now. The last one, Priest, was ballsy and great. I feel like this little series deserves more attention. Iain Glen for the win.

How is Glen's Irish accent? I can't tell from the trailer I've seen although there are a few negative comments about it on IMDb. But that's IMDb so I take any comments there with the biggest pinch of salt EVER.

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Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 there are a few negative comments about it on IMDb.

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Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post

How is Glen's Irish accent?

I'm probably not the best judge, but it seems pretty much everyone's accents are mild in this. No one has a really "Oi'm Oirish!" thing going on.

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I just watched the first one and I've gotta say I wasn't impressed by it, and won't be watching the rest.

Kinda bland mystery stuff. sorry, guys.

And I like a rainy atmosphere, but geez, where they filmed this thing was depressing.

In other news, MAD DOGS just finished their 3rd series, and it was pretty disappointing compared to the first 2 seasons.

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BBC TWO's new series COUNT ARTHUR STRONG sitcom written by Steve Delaney and Graham ( IT Crowd & Father Ted) Linehan.

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Apparently Delaney has been doing this character in stand up and radio shows. It's a case of a younger performer playing a doddering elderly man, and he pulls it off without the old age makeup. The first episode was pretty funny. There's a nice collection of interesting supporting characters that help move things along.

I'm gonna have to try and find the radio version of this

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Finished up Black Mirror.  Great stuff.


The WHite Bear episode in particular was like a great Twilight Zone episode.

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Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

Finished up Black Mirror.  Great stuff.


The WHite Bear episode in particular was like a great Twilight Zone episode.


I don't think there's a bum episode of Black Mirror, but White Bear was pretty fucking outstanding.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post

All five episodes of Jack Taylor are up on Netflix now. The last one, Priest, was ballsy and great. I feel like this little series deserves more attention. Iain Glen for the win.


Thanks for recommending this series, Jacob, as I hadn't heard of it prior to you mentioning it. The first episode ("The Guards") was kind of weak and the second ("The Pikemen") was only marginally better (and benefited from the addition of Cody, his teenage accomplice / biggest fan) but it really took an upturn in quality with the third episode ("The Magdalen Martyrs"). The fourth and fifth episodes ("The Dramatist" and "Priest") were great and I felt adequately rewarded for having persevered. I don't know what the show's future plans are but I do hope there's another episode soon! Iain Glen's really good and I even got used to his irish accent after a while. My only real complaint is that they need to do something about the opening titles which look like something out of the eighties!

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I shotgunned the entire first season of Ripper Street over the past coupla nights.  Obviously alot of parallels to be drawn to Copper, which is also a pretty great show, but I may actually give this one a slight edge due to the incredible interaction between the main cast.  Jerome Flynn (Bron in GoT) is absolutely fantastic as Bennett Drake - one of my new favourite TV characters.  Essentially it's a police procedural set in London in the late 1880's directly after the Jack The Ripper murders, and the way the police force find themselves having to adapt to a new world with much more brazen criminals and "plotted villainy" (a new favourite phrase in the household) coming out of the woodwork.  Well worth sticking your head in for a nosey.

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