Euro TV: The Fall Series 2

By gomez

The Fall made its much anticipated return to British TV screens last night. Although 18 months later, Series 2 picks up just 10 days after the events of Series 1. We find serial killer Paul Spector unable to stay away from Belfast and DSI Stella Gibson unable to leave.

As Series 1 progressed, the similarities between Spector and Gibson became more apparent as they were slowly drawn into the minds of one another. But the 18 month/10 day hiatus seems to have disrupted the connection between the two and so begins the slow-burn ultra noir drama that seems to fit perfectly with a British damp November evening.

I would strongly recommend this to fans of Gillian Anderson. I have nothing really to compare this with as I was never an X-filer, but she really is superb. And though he has much less screen time, as in the first series John Lynch as Gibson’s supervising officer plays his role almost flawlessly — an intriguing mix of authority, awkwardness, lust and cowardice.

I’m looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.

Euro TV: Hinterland

The British appetite for Scandinavian noir obviously had TV producers looking around our fair isle to see where best to translate something like The Killing into a British setting. The answer was obvious: Wales, and not just Wales but deepest, windiest, craziest Wales. And so we have Hinterland or Y Gwyll if you prefer things in Welsh.

The first episode has all the necessary tropes: a grumpy detective transplanted from the city to remote Aberystwyth; a grisly murder; a creepy children’s home. Nothing remarkable really, but boy is it atmospheric, all Welsh bog and gloomy people. The truly remarkable thing is that the series was filmed twice, once in Welsh and once in English, the same actors delivering lines in both languages. The English language version ends up being bi-lingual anyway as befits this most Welsh corner of Wales.

Available on BBC and S4C in the UK and Netflix streaming in the US.

SYTYCD, Season X

Season 10 of this show is under way and the top 20 have been chosen. This year’s contestants are maybe not my favorite group ever, but (as per usual) they include three dancers from my home state, which makes it fun to watch. Interestingly, whereas last season included two excellent ballroom dancers from Utah County that happened to be blonde and female and a bit hard to tell apart, this year’s group includes two excellent ballroom dancers from Utah County that happen to be brunette and female and a bit hard to tell apart. What are the odds? Strangely, one of this duo of ballroom babes, Brittany Cherry, was never shown on any episode prior to showing up in the top 20. Conspiracy? You tell me. Continue reading

1968 and The Red Wedding: Mad Men vs. Game of Thrones

If you haven’t seen the most recent episodes of these shows and don’t want to know what happens, don’t read this.

I suspect you’ve noticed that two epic seasons are playing out right now in two TV shows that are arguably two of the best ever created. This is the sixth and final season of Mad Men and we are seeing Don and company in 1968, with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy and the protests at the Democratic National Convention. The world is in turmoil and the characters lives are a pretty good mirror of the times, as they struggle with a multitude of personal and professional issues. Game of Thrones is set in a different world that, if nothing else, shows it is possible to have even more cultural and political upheaval than the 60s. This show is now coming to the end of its third season with drama that is almost too excruciating to watch. Continue reading

Justified Season 4, The Americans

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Season 4 of this great series is under way and I have just started watching it. I have my own thoughts about it so far, but since I am behind in my viewing, I thought I’d start a thread where others could share their thoughts. No spoilers please.

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Also, is anyone watching the new FX series The Americans? I have been watching it and I’m mostly impressed. For those who don’t know, it’s about a couple of sleeper soviet spies living in the U.S. as an American couple during the 80s Reagan/cold war era, and stars Keri Russell as the conflicted female spy with a horrifying history and kickass fighting abilities. Let me know if you have been watching.