Archive | May 22, 2014

Other currentish TV series

Have I told you I like a good story?

We all do. Google “the importance of narrative”. (Bugger business taking over this need of stories to sell things.) But I digress, as you’ve no doubt come to expect.

Time for stories adds to a gorgeous life.

So what’s on my current watch list from beyond the equator, from the other side, or as the Poms call us, but equally refers to them from our, sunnier, perspective, the antipodes?

A mixture of light and dark. “Posh” soaps, period dramas, murder mysteries without too much explicit, gratuitous violence and gore. Some are recent for me, but may be a little while after their original airing. And yeah, many Pommie shows with some American shows.

George Gently, has the high production standards we expect from the BBC. How come the English can get the colour, tone, language, set, scenery, language, props, light so it feels like the show is filmed in the time in which the show is set? In this case in the 1960s in north-east England.

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Bleak and somewhat depressing, not just because the shows are about murder but because the recurring themes of loss and corruption. And because of the whole hard life presented of those in the N-E. (And if it’s even half-way realistic, I can see why thousands and thousands migrated. I’d jump at the £10 ticket to Australia.) (Oh, but I do love the accents on the show – Geordie, Yorkshire and other north-eastern accents.) But, of course, there’s moments of humour. Total bleakness never works.

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Much lighter, though with moments of sadness, is Call the Midwife. I love this show. It is so uplifting. I love the characters, all of them; the actors; the story-lines; the sets. Everything. Two favourite actors/characters – Chummy and Trixie. I love Trixie’s clothes and her hair – both the curly and he pixie cut.

Some shots of Trixie, just because.

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And as much as I love Miranda Hart in Call the Midwives, I love her in the show of her own name, Miranda, another BBC show. Funny, silly, amazballs, delcioni.

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Yes, I dabble in Downton Abbey but as posh soap as Call the Midwives is, Downton is too soapy. Though, of course, we all love the sets, the clothes and the jewellery. No shots for this show. It’s too soapy.

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A bit of enjoyable fluff is Death in Paradise. Why they need to import a Pommie detective is never really clear but of course is necessary for the plot, character development and central character chemistry. I love the “let’s get all suspects together to let them know who did the murder a la Poirot” ending. It annoys me that the female detective wears shorts and crop tops while all the males wear clothes that cover everything. The second guy has grown on me.

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While I prefer the earlier episodes with Caroline Quentin, I do like to watch Jonathan Creek. Scary enough for me, but never too gory. And it’s back again.

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Now, lest you think I only watch shows from a little isle off Europe, I also watch shows from the US. I watch repeats galore, but seem to miss new episodes, of The Big Bang Theory. Laugh? Haven’t laughed this much since Grandma died.

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Same with The Middle. I watch shows here and there. Don’t laugh as much as smile in recognition.

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And so it is with Modern Families. The occasional watching that is, not the smiling rather than laughing.

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Ewww. I watch an awful lot don’t I? But I miss a lot too. I forget they are on. Or I am out. And for most of the shows that’s fine. They will come back eventually.

The only one I don’t want to miss is Midwives. Luckily I can catch up on ABC iView. (Not doing bit torrents downloads as I’m a goody two-shoes.)

Our Friends in the North

I loved this series. Can see why it made it on some list (hey, it’s on Wikipedia so it must exist) of top British TV shows.

It’s a little, actually a lot, bleak and gritty. But has great scripts, brilliant acting, and some good music.

Some random thoughts:

Random thought 1: Tosker’s a tosser.

Random thought 2: As a Sydney-sider, that bloody copy in small of our bridge, messes with my mind when they have it in the background, which is often. Bloody Geordies. It’s our bridge, an’ all. (See, those in the know will know I’ve appropriated the Geordie ending an’ all, just as they appropriated my bridge.)

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Random thought 3: Long hair on men is so unattractive. Compare the two:

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And it is not because he is all suited up. Look! Here he is in a suit with the long hair.

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(OK, maybe they are bad wigs and hair pieces.)

But what’s a TV show to do when some of it is set in the 70s? (Hair, hair, flow it, show it, long as god can grow it.) So I forgive the ugliness as it is a requirement of authenticity.

Random thought 4: Love the line to a snotty, pompous woman: first throw a tissue and say, “Here, blow your nose. It’ll make it easier to look down at people.”

Worth the investment of time.