Archive for the ‘TV series’ Category

Doc Martin Season 1 – **

Posted: November 2, 2017 in 2004, Comedy, Satire, TV series, UK, XX

A grumpy, straight forward, politically incorrect, sarcastic, quirky surgeon with a fear of blood, moves to a small, remote coastal town. The adaptation to provincial life is slow and difficult. The locals are quite happy with a new general practitioner, but have a weird way of showing it. They use platitudes and other unsophisticated humor to tease him, which is not appreciated (yet) by the doctor. It’s a funny contrast. But it only works for the first couple of episodes. Then drama sets in. Episode 5 is already a drag.

The character of Doc Martin is a joy to watch. His replies and one liners are hilarious. The other town folk aren’t so intriguing. Some are plain irritable. The village is charming. It makes you want to visit one day. But it’s filmed for the British television on a low-budget and even if it’s been made in this century, it looks like something from several decades ago.

After years of being recommended to watch the show, the final view is a bit disappointing.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408381

Somehow there’s not really a trailer of the first season, BUT you can watch the first episode online.

 

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The six episodes of season one didn’t quite do it for me. Not sure what all the fuzz is about. It starts off like 28 Days Later, with a guy waking up from a coma in a post apocalypse world where zombies are roaming the streets and where survivors are trying to fight back and secure themselves from the zombies and other survivors. It also makes you think of the canceled BBC show Survivors and plenty of other shows that feature a very diverse group of people needing to live together by force.

The story isn’t really captivating. Nor realistic at all. The metropolitan area of Atlanta has about 6 million inhabitants. You get to see maybe 150 zombies and some 500 dead corpses. Plus a few dozen of survivors. The main character can ride on a horse into the city and not see ANY zombies or dead corpses, but then he gets to Midtown and suddenly he is surrounded by not all that many really. That just doesn’t make sense. Then he reunites with his wife and son after two episodes! Sure it adds to the drama because the wife has started an affair with his best friend in the mean time, who helped her escape. But seriously, after 2 episodes? Then of course you have the horror cliché of always wanting to go back to the horror scene. Also, what is this urge for people to keep living and fight back? Why would you choose to continue living under a constant treat of being killed and eaten by the undead?

You’d think the zombies would be scary, but they are not. They are silly. So the series doesn’t work as a horror show either. And the characters? Well, you have the racist one. The clumsy, chubby African-American one. The wife-beating redneck one. The nagging, cheating wife. The cheating on his best friend aggressive one. The geeky Asian one. Etc… Not really an interesting bunch.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1520211

Atlanta – **(*)

Posted: January 11, 2017 in 2016, Comedy, TV series, USA, XX1/2

Winner of a Golden Globe for best comedy show on tv, Atlanta feels more like the kind of free internet series you can find on youtube. It’s low budget and nothing like any tv comedy you’ve ever seen before.

Main character Earn is a loser who’s living with the mother of his daughter. Because he still loves her and she still loves him and because of the child’s benefit. However, the main reason he still lives there is because he is broke. When the new rap track of his cousin Paper Boi becomes an overnight internet hype, he decides to become the manager. But that doesn’t lead to instant success.

As stated above, Atlanta is quite unique. It’s slow paced (too slow at times) and the jokes aren’t always presented on a plate. The humor is in the small moments. It’s almost like a parody, mocking thugs and gangster rappers and street violence, dope heads and crime lords. It trivializes it as well, which is confusing. The bigger picture is more dramatic. Some of the social commentary is done in a very clever way. It’s actually the strong point of the show. And the four main characters are a joy to watch.

But the slang and the references to urban culture are quite tough to understand for those living abroad and speaking a different language. Even with the closed captioning on.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4288182

This is amazing.

This series is outstanding. The acting is incredible. The balance between emotional drama and small humor is so perfect that it just hits the right chords.

Not since The Wire: Season 4 did a tv show get me so hard. Every single episode brought tears. It’s almost flawless. The child actors aren’t really performing as well as the adult counterparts. And the final episode is a little bit too PC. But those are just minor complaints.

The biggest problem for this show is that the bar is raised so incredibly high that more episodes can only disappoint.

No trailer, but a few great scenes.

This is the most powerful scene in recent tv history

 

This brother fight is brilliant:

This is strong too:

 

Black celebrity kills his ex-wife and her male (boy?)friend. Then tries to escape. Kind of surrenders. Gets a widely mediatized trial that lasts for several months. And ends up being declared innocent by a jury! All because the defense lawyer team played the race card and was able to make the jury believe that a) the black celebrity was framed by a racist LAPD officer and b) one of the murder objects (a glove) didn’t fit the defendant.

If this story would have been fiction, this crime series would have flunked terribly. However, it’s based on a true story and that fact alone makes this show a must-watch.

Apart from the white bronco chase and the verdict, this whole trial didn’t really create a buzz in Europa back in the mid nineties. We had the war in former Yugoslavia. This O.J. Simpson thing was just too American to be of interest over here.

So, it’s pretty fascinating to watch this show twenty years later and realize that this wás a big deal back then.

This series itself is close to excellent. Because it’s much more than just a whodunnit murder mystery. It’s a semi documentary about the legal system n the US and how it’s often nothing more than a theatrical game between lawyers. It’s also an excellent social commentary piece about racial tensions and how nothing much has changed in the past 20 years. But most of all this is a fascinating representation of multifaceted characters and a great stage of true acting talent.

Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown and Courtney B. Vance are brilliant as the main characters. Even when you have zero recollection of the characters they are portraying, you can just feel that their embodiment is impeccable. The entire cast is doing a great jb, but they are just top notch. You need ten episodes to appreciate the acting by David Schwimmer, Cuba Gooding Jr. and  John Travolta. Especially the last two cannot shine as the others because of their celebrity status. You’ll learn to love them by the end. Schwimmer (as Rob Kardashian) because he perfectly shows the doubt of a loyal friend, Cuba Gooding Jr. (as a smaller, fatter and goofier version of O.J. Simpson) because he makes it look like O.J. really believed that he was innocent and Travolta (as the campy lawyer Shapiro) who just plays such a weird character that it cannot be but a true representation.

Watch this show! You won’t regret it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2788432

 

 

 

Sometimes nostalgia takes over.

It’s nice to watch a sitcom 30 years after you watched it for the very first time.  Not that much is outdated. A few technical things and of course the fashion have changed a lot. But the situations and issues that the family encounters are still quite contemporary. And the jokes still work.

The very first episodes are a bit of a drag and so are some of the last episodes in this season. Clearly, 24 episodes is just too much. Some episodes look like they were improvised on the spot. And fail at being funny or interesting. Others are well scripted and well acted.

It’s interesting to notice how the character you identified with the most as a kid (Theo) is still the absolute best character of the show 30 years later!  Of all the child actors,  Malcolm-Jamal Warner is by far the absolute best. On the other hand, a character/actress that never thrilled back then, suddenly becomes an absolute delight to watch. Phylicia Rashad is excellent as Clair Huxtable. And regardless of whatever Bill Cosby did at the time of the shooting, he is a joy to watch as well. It’s unfair to pull this off the air.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086687

Somehow someone thought it was better to end Looking with a movie rather than with a third season. There were probably some financial reasons to stop this excellent series about three gay guys in San Francisco. The show kind of flopped despite rave reviews, which is sad. It wasn’t a flawless piece of television fiction, but at least it felt real with characters that you could actually relate to and storylines that were both fun and dramatic.

But now it’s over and based on the quality of this extra long episode, maybe that’s for the better. In this movie, Patrick returns back to San Francisco after having left the city to pursue new career possibilities in Denver (and to runaway from all the drama that he encountered in the Golden Gate city). His best friend Agustin is getting married and that’s the only reason why he’s revisiting. But for the makers of this special, the wedding is just a background theme, because it’s all about Patrick, Patrick and Patrick: the naive and immature drama queen de luxe. Will he make closure with Kevin? Will he reconnect with Richie? Or will he actually grow up?

We don’t want him to grow up. We want him to doubt. We want him to be a mess. But we also want to learn more about the other characters. Like Dom, who doesn’t even get 10 percent of the movie maker’s attention. What’s that all about?

Only watch it if you’ve seen the two seasons and if you are ready to be disappointed.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4552118