Tag Archive | TV series

What to do when I can’t walk?

Read, of course.

  • Another Agatha Raisin book. A quick, light read.
  • The next book in the Ferrante Neopolitan series. I'm a third of the way through. Getting a bit heavy.

Binge watch TV series and movies.

  • Line of Duty Series 1. I don't know how I missed this series. Some shocking, shout-at-the-tele scenes. I will have to get season 2.
  • Pioneer Woman. I'm not sure how I feel about this show but it is kind of addictive. It's a cooking show but I doubt I'll cook any of the recipes. Too much butter and cream and fat and cheese. Handfuls and handfuls of cheese. With a layer of more cheese. The outdoor scenes are so different. The flat, apparently tree-less plains made me google if there are trees in Ohio. And there are. But you wouldn't know it. It must be so cold and windy!!! It's strangely addictive in the way of watching shows about cults are. All that smiling, wholesome American, blocking out of any diversity. And oh! The plastic. Everything comes in plastic and styrofoam.
  • The 100 Foot Journey. Light, schmaltzy, movie. As you'd expected from something produced by Oprah Winfrey. With great acting. As you'd expect from Helen Mirren. And wonderful scenes from France.
  • The Women on the Sixth Floor. A French movie set in the 60s. A gentle love story and personal awakening.

Play mindless games on my phone.

  • Twenty. My eldest got me onto this. And I'm hooked. My son got up to 18 and deleted it. I got up to 18 and deleted it too. But then put it back on. And got up to 19. Should I keep trying to get to twenty? Mmm, really it's a waste of time.

  • Desktop Tower defence. I have no idea why I'm still playing this. Have been for years or decades.

French lessons. The actual lessons are two hours on a Saturday morning. Add in travel and parking and that's a fair block of Saturday gone. But really, all I'd do is sloth around if I didn't go. Then there's homework and other revision.

Blog. I have more time for blogging. I have posts galore for the future. And I've developed an idea for a new blog.

Going to a cafe. I don't do cafes. I don't see the point of sitting in a crowded small place, often on a road side, on wibbly chairs, paying a premium for a sandwich I can make at home or a cake I don't really like with either too much icing or too dry or both, and poorly made tea or my other choice at cafes, iced chocolate, chosen because I don't like their tea, and then feeling sick because of all the cream in the iced chocolate. But as I can't walk far or up and down stairs, an invite from a friend for an outing to a cafe was accepted.

And did I enjoy it?

The view was of the road, and the intersection was noisy but we weren't right on the road. The chairs were stable. The food was yummy and something I'd never cook. A flourless orange cake with gelato and orange sauce and Persian fairy floss. And the tea was fine.


Do you spy the scone at the top of the photo? I ordered scones first but they only had one left so they gave it to me on the house. A bit too much with the cake but I powered through most of it. The scone was the softest scone I have ever had!And not at all crumbly.

So yes, it was a lovely. Thanks to my friend who took her temporarily disabled friend out for a Sunday outing. I'd do it again. As an occasional outing, it was good.

And plan my trip to France. Of course, I've been doing plenty of this. Must be time for another post on my plans.

The TV show or the book?

I really enjoy the English TV series, Agatha Raisin. It’s light-hearted murder mysteries bring Agatha Christie into the now. Kind of a Midsommer Murder meets Miss Marple. 

Just the thing for a Friday or Sunday evening viewing, I never bothered trying he books on which the TV series was based. Slightly too light-weight for me.  Something I’ll watch but not really read. 

Until now.  I needed something to distract being stuck indoors on the lounge with my bung knee. And I can borrow the electronic version online from my library while away. 

I found the books were perfectly distracting, and entertaining. 

But book-Agatha doesn’t have a blonde bob. And she isn’t noted for her lovely figure. 

What? I know. The blonde bob is so perfect for the character. 

Oh! You mean why would I focus on the blonde bob? As if that makes a character. 

Well, yes, I grant you that it could be seen as trivial detail, except the story isn’t deep and Agatha with a blonde bob is like Phyrne Fisher’s black bob. It seems to define the character. 

Anyway, I have accepted that the book-Agatha is slightly different from TV-Agatha. And that’s OK. I enjoyed the first novel so much, I borrowed the next instalment. And read it. And reserved book 3 – my library only has book 3 in real book so have to wait until I return home. And I borrowed and read book 4. All from the unit down the snow, 8 hours away from home!!!

Have you ever been disappointed by how a character has been portrayed in transferring a novel to a TV show? Or the other way? Or enjoyed both, even if the portrayal isn’t the same?

I know I will probably tire of the books. Like Alexander McCall-Smith, MC Beaton churns out a new volume in the series every year. And some of the details are more than slightly silly. Fine for TV series. And fine in small doses when house-bound. 

I’m so glad the series is being repeated on TV. I will have another look, especially as I missed some of the episodes. 

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.

Sword of Honour – 2001 TV adaptation

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After finishing Waugh’s series (again), I hunted down the DVD of the 2001 adaptation.

Originally shown in two parts; each was a mini-movie of over one and a half hours. As you’d expect with turning the books into a mini-series, much was cut out. In some ways, the show lost much of the black humour and the ridiculous; in other ways lots of action was lost. There’s an episodic, slightly disjointed feel, especially in the second half but the narrative is clear and told well.

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Daniel Craig is brilliant as the central character, Guy Crouchback. Again as you’d expect in a film the reflections and inner thoughts of the character don’t come out. We see less of his Catholic meditations and his character doesn’t change or mature so noticeably. And other characters are not as fleshed out.

Those criticisms really are minor. It really is well done and worth watching. Love the scenery and settings. The doodle bomb scenes are particularly evocative. Glad I watched it.

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