Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review catch-up

It's been a really long time since I've done tele reviews (or at least it seems like it), so I'm gonna try to do a catch-up and do a bunch of mini reviews!

But before I start the actual reviews, I should warn you that most of the shows and storylines that I really go for are the "will they or won't they" type romantic entanglements (and just about every show has at least one of those type couples in it). Usually though, when the characters finally do get together, the show dies and ends up being cancelled. I've never understood why that happens because that's my favorite part...the happy ending and the bliss that follows! You can blame the Disney influence, but honestly, I'm totally OK with being a "happily ever after" kind of girl! And I know I probably sound like a broken record, but for me, TV is supposed to be escapism, I don't want to be reminded how crappy or lonely life can be (and is most of the time)...I just want to see the girl get the perfect guy for her and live happily ever after...just because I don't have a "perfect" guy, doesn't mean I want to brood about it and not wish it for others, be they fictional characters or real people (OK, so maybe I'd prefer it more with the fictionals...real people finding love just reminds me that it actually is possible, and that sucks!).

But, as per usual, I've managed to get way off the beaten path! So, first up - Peak Practice series 1-6:
At the time I started ordering these, I didn't realize the complete series wasn't out on DVD (and apparently never will be). That's a rare occurrence for me, I'm usually pretty careful researching a show before I buy (which is probably why I like pretty much love all the shows I get). I think the fact that Jamie Bamber was in this series is what had me jumping the gun, but it also caused a massive catch 22, the DVD's don't go up as high as the episodes he's in. So bloody typical! But after the first couple of series, I was OK with only having part of the them (and no Jamie) because each series ended without a cliffhanger...or so I thought! Of course series 6 just HAD to end on a cliffhanger and it made me furious! I usually get attached to characters a lot more than the storylines, and this series definitely offered up it's fair share of great ones, probably none more so than Dr. Andrew Atwood (played by Gary Mavers). His character grew so much through the series, from one I didn't particularly care for, to a totally hunky sweetheart of a guy, and I really hated how series 6 ended for him...UGH! But, crappy-cliffhanger-ending of series 6 aside, I still highly recommend this entire series, which starts with Morse/Lewis star Kevin Whatley and the original pathologist from Silent Witness, Amanda Burton (whose characters do get their happy ending!).

Now on to Call The Midwife:
Normally, I don't really care for period pieces from this era (around the 1950's), or from any era for that matter. About the only period pieces I go for are regency, Austen-type stuff. But I really like Miranda Hart, so I was ready to give it a shot (even though this role was completely off the beaten path for her, not an ounce of comedy, and she pulled it off brilliantly!). My good friend Kate recorded this show for me, but accidentally didn't record the last episode, so I decided not to watch it until I bought it (just in case I did really like it - but honestly I wasn't expecting to). Kate beat me to it though and bought it for me (yep...she's pretty darn cool that way!), and I must say, good call! It's based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a nurse who moved to East London to become a midwife. The series centers around young midwifes who live in a convent in the heart of East London along with a group of mainly elderly nuns who supervise and teach them their trade (one of whom is Jenny Agutter, obviously not elderly, and if you can buy her as a nun, then the show must be good!). The young women mature and grow the more they learn to deal with true poverty and even the realization that love comes in many forms and to all classes of people. The nuns change as well as they deal with getting older and even questioning their faith. Surprisingly, I absolutely can not wait until series 2...go figure! Kate knows me pretty well, apparently, better than I know myself. Well done!

A couple of shows I've watched lately have been the newest series of show that I've been watching for a while - one of which is Not Going Out series 5.
For those that don't know, Not Going Out is a show about Lee, a pretty lazy Northener, who shares a flat in London with his best friend's sister, Sally, who he also happens to be absolutely in love with! Add Tim, the best friend, Tim's completely mad girlfriend, Daisy, their respective parents, and what's not to love about this show! A lot of the time, I'll find myself head over heels for the lead male in a show, even if he may not be what would normally be considered "hot" by the general population (and other times if he's hot, I'll overlook his bad points - see Dr. Atwood above, hey, I am human!). Lee Mack is one of those "not your typical hottie"-type guys and I absolutely adore him, not to mention, he's hilariously funny as well, which is NEVER a bad fault in a guy. It takes a LOT to make me laugh and I can't think of one episode hasn't at least made me giggle dozens of times, not just in series 5, but the entire group of them! One day Lee will get Sally to admit she loves him too and then it will really get good. I can't wait!

Another one of my regular series, also in series 5 release (although they are re-releases), is Dalziel & Pascoe.
It's a detective show with a pretty much all Mancunian cast as well as being centered in and around Manchester (boy, do I have a think for those Mancunians!). Andy Dalziel (pronounced "D.L." for the non-Gaelic out there) is an alcoholic, chain-smoking, gluttonous, misogynistic prick who you can't help but love. This series showed a much "nicer" Dalziel, and I have to say, I really didn't care for him near as much. He's always been the perfect opposite for Peter Pascoe's borderline posh/OCD personality, which is what makes them a good team (and also makes for good drama). But in this series the roles reversed pretty dramatically since Andy's cleaned up his act (as much as he can anyway), while Peter takes on the jerk role since his bee-och of a wife left him (good riddance) and took their daughter. I do have to say though, I think Peter's a lot more attractive when he's angry than when he's being sweet, and I rarely ever find anger attractive. Series 6 is due out soon, and hopefully Peter can move on and find a good woman and Andy can go back to being the slob he was before!

Series 14 of Midsomer Murders saw a change in the cast line up, with a new DCI Barnaby (the old one's cousin), but I don't think it affected the series as much as the negative reviews on Amazon claim it does.
This is one of the few shows where the story is way better than the characters anyway, so it didn't make that much of a difference for me, although, seriously, can't they give Ben a proper girl? For a while I thought he was gonna end up with John (the original) Barnaby's daughter, but then she went off and married somebody else (but I also thought the same thing about her and Sgt. Troy, the first Ben, so what do I know?). And seriously? I'm surprised those tiny little English villages in Midsomer have any villagers left since they all just love killing each other en masse (and sometimes in quite ingenious ways!). The British version of Peyton Place, that is!

Series 13 and 14 of Silent Witness saw the "will they or won't they" storyline between Harry and Nikki getting closer to the "they will" side of things, but not quite yet, and I'm afraid they may have actually gone past the magic point (which would be awful - those two need to be together!).
There were some serious cliffhanger episodes and some really had me on edge (and some made me mad as well). But, in the end, it didn't leave me hanging too much while I wait for series 15 to come out (and since Amazon has already pulled it from the lineup, I figure I'll have to wait until they release 15 and 16 in one package, like they've done with all the other series -'s almost like waiting for an American series, you have to wait at least a year for the package to come out!). Silent Witness is a show about three academic forensic pathologists (well, technically two paths and a forensic anthropologist, but why split hairs?) and their search for the answers behind the numerous deaths that occur during each episode. As someone who works for pathologists (although not in the forensic capacity), this show is pretty realistic from the gore standpoint, except for when they do bowels...those are almost laughable!

And finally, I did finish Wire In The Blood as well and it was yet another case an absolutely amazing show!
Robson Green...yum yum! I loved him from Touching Evil (and his brief stint on Being Human), so I knew this show was going to be good (if not a bit too close to home since he's an Asper with a meningioma, although the clinical psychologist who helps the police solve crimes by getting inside the mind of the killer part was off base from me). The ending wasn't a series, but a movie, and it didn't really finish the storylines very well from the show since it put Tony in America by himself without the other cast (especially his "will they or won't they" partner Alex). You got the sense that "they did" because he does have several phone conversations with Alex's answering machine and hints at a possible relationship, so who knows...I just did what I usually do and let my imagination run wild which means they are madly in love and shall never be parted! I was a bit skeptical about this show since Hermione Norris was the original D.I. that Tony worked with (and I've made my feelings known about her, even though she always seems to be in shows that I love...Spooks anyone?), but before her exit, I did find myself hoping her and Tony's "will they or won't they" moment would happen, although it never did.

And that's about it for now (I also watched series 2 of Sherlock, but I think I'll save that for another day). I'll try not to let the reviews pile up so much (even if my series stash does - the front of my TV stand looks like an isle in a video shop). If the Brits do create bad television, I haven't found it yet, but hey, there is always a chance in the next review!

I've got the 6th series of Lewis, Treasure Island (with not only Rupert Penry-Jones but Eddie Izzard), Downton Abby series 2, series 1-4 of Merlin, I still have the 7th series of Doctor Who to go (god, I miss David Tennant), New Tricks 1-8, Bad Girls 1-9, Robin Hood 1-3 (although I've seen 1 and parts of 2, I'm really not looking forward to this one since I know what happens), Psychoville 2, North Square (Rupert again!), Stephen Fry In America, Heartbeat 1-7, and the one American show (which stars a British actor), House season 6, waiting in the wings. Plus, I have Bedlam 2, Silk 2 (Rupert yet again!), True Love series 1 (finally some David Tennant!), and Wallander 3 on pre-order...good thing I don't have a life!


Miamina said...

It's really cool how much you love the UK TV shows. Strangely you watch the same shows that I do, although I do get to see them earlier being in the UK (living in Manchester as it happens)!

I love reading what you thought of the shows, which is often similar to what I thought too.

If there is anything that you are struggling to get hold of that I can help with, just ask and I'll do my best to get it for you!

Keebles said...

Thanks so much!! You guys release stuff on DVD WAY quicker than we do, so it's really not too hard to get a hold of anything. I usually find new stuff by looking for particular actors.

Miamina said...

If I watch anything that I think you might like I mention it, that way you can look out for it or at least read up and see if it's something you might like.

In fact, there's a new show started called "Line of Duty", kind of reminds me a little of "Luther", it's only the second episode tonight but the first was really good.

Another that is being shown again is "Garrow's Law" I managed to miss it being shown the first time round so loving that it's being rerun. It's an 18th Century legal drama based on factual stories and people, kind of like an 18th Century "Silks"!

I keep thinking if there is anything else that might interest you!

Keebles said...

Thanks Miamina! That would be cool! I have actually watched the Garrow's Law...Andrew Buchan was in another show that I liked, the Fixer, which is how I found Garrow's.

The other show I'll have to look out for! Thanks!