I’ve been busy and stressing out a lot about work this week so there’s not all that much to report on my life in general, so instead here’s an update on what I’ve recently been watching TV-wise.
I’m still introducing Aisha to The West Wing, and we’ve made it over halfway through Season 2 but I can sense she is starting to get a bit annoyed with some of the characters, or at least the high-pressure fast-paced world within which they live, due to the concentrated nature of our viewing, so I think we might take a break from it for a while. Maybe we’ll try a season of The Wire in between. In contrast I’ve recently worked my way through the entirety of Veep, all five seasons, and it makes an interesting comparison to The West Wing. In TWW, all the characters – at least the ones we follow week-by-week – are inherently good people, all trying to do what they believe to be best for the greater good and, for the most part, they’re all great at their jobs. In Veep, on the other hand, the main cast is comprised of detestable and incompetent fools spending every moment fighting for themselves at the cost of anyone and anything, and I think both shows are fantastic in their own way. I also appreciate in Veep how with each season they try to write in someone even more vulgar and foul-mouthed than they’ve had previously, with Season 5 introducing Jonah’s uncle, Jeff Kane, played by Peter MacNicol. He doesn’t have an awful lot of screen time, but pretty much everything he says is an insult towards Jonah (Timothy Simons), and that’s OK with me. In fact about half of everyone’s dialogue is insults to Jonah.
After finishing Veep the other day I found myself at a loose end for half an hour, so tried the pilot of Vice Principals. I hadn’t been overly impressed with the trailer, and a prominent role (or in fact any role) for Danny McBride never works out, but the involvement of Walton Goggins showed some potential. Alas I failed to find any moment of the pilot entertaining, and Goggins, who seems to work best as an unhinged, unpredictable psychopath, is forced uncomfortably into a fey, almost straight-laced role he seems entirely wrong for, and instead of being on relatively equal pegging with McBride screen-time-wise Goggins seems very much in a supporting role, which is hugely disappointing to me. I won’t be continuing with this show.
Boisterous criminal Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) has taken over management of a restaurant run by French chef Richard Boarst (Richard Bohringer), who is none too impressed with his new boss’ outboasts, dietary preferences, associates or indeed his general behaviour. The only element of Spica that Richard doesn’t detest is his wife Georgina (Helen Mirren), whose refined palette and sense of poise make her a joy to cook for. Georgina shares similar feelings as Richard towards her husband, who publicly berates, belittles and beats her, so it’s no surprise when her eyes wander to the educated, civilised stranger (Alan Howard) who dines alone at the restaurant. Georgina and the man begin a silent affair right under her husband’s nose, but surely this cannot last without someone’s fingers getting burned? Continue reading →
I don’t do well in warm weather. If I was a country, my biggest export would be sweat. So this past week, the hottest in the UK so far this year, has been pretty unbearable. Even when sitting still I can secrete enough liquid to hydrate a small village. I’m the only person I know who could sweat in a bath of cold water. As in this is something I have done. Yesterday. So on Sunday, when I was invited to London to attend the screening of a film directed by one of my fellow writers over at Blueprint: Review (more on this later) I was of course honoured and delighted to be a part of the day, but I dreaded the experience of just being in London during a heatwave. Considering I don’t have much of a sense of style, I’d be attending via a 2 hour train journey and carrying numerous bags of shopping requested by my partner, I hardly expected to make anything close to a good impression upon these media professionals at what must have been a momentous occasion in their lives. Vigilante is the first feature film released by Blueprint: Film. It’s the first feature of director Darren Bolton, and also the first for many of the people involved, including my friend and regular Lambcast guest David Brook, who edited the feature. And here I was arriving a little late, dripping in sweat as though I was doing an impression of Lee Evans in a sauna, generally bedraggled and loaded up with a giant crate of Ben’s Cookies for Aisha’s work colleagues. Everyone else was dressed to the nines in decadent evening wear or at the very least something marginally photogenic, whilst I appeared to be debuting this season’s new look, “Post-Beach Hike Formal”. I feel I’m missing the point of the premiere – it was a great evening and an even better film, so instead of me self-indulging my own misplaced vanity, let’s talk about that instead, shall we? Here’s what I watched this week: Continue reading →
So the world got overrun with Pokemon this week. I haven’t played Pokemon Go, nor do I intend to. I played Pokemon when I was a kid, enjoyed it, traded the cards for a while, even saw the first movie in the cinema (as part of a friend’s birthday, but I was into it and watched the TV show too) but I bailed after I think Silver/Gold on the GameBoy Colour. I am however interested in the game and think it’s a novel and intriguing turn of events for the world of gaming and technology in general, and anything that encourages kids to get outside and exercise, potentially socialising with other like-minded individuals surely must be a good thing. A friend of mine has found it’s a great and so far effective way to spend quality outdoor time with his son. They’ll go for walks together in the evening, chatting as they catch pidgeys with one another. That’s great. Less so is the hordes of people tripping over one another to nab an elusive squirtle but hey, whatever makes them happy. And truth be told if I had more time and a phone that was currently capable of accessing the internet (my old phone just went and gave up on all online stuff, even Wifi, and my new phone doesn’t get activated for another 2 weeks) then there’s a chance I’d be all over this too. I think for a lot of people this’ll be a fad they’ll become tired after a few months, like a tamagotchi or gym membership, and for others it’s going to become a way of life. And to those people I say all power to you. Just please stop talking about it on Facebook. Here’s what I watched this week: Continue reading →
On it’s opening night, a 138-storey skyscraper is having a celebratory party on the 135th floor. However, due to corners being cut during production a fire breaks out on floor 81. It is up to the building’s architect Doug Roberts (Paul Newman) and Fire Chief O’Hallorhan (Steve McQueen) to try to save as many people as possible as the blaze intensifies. Continue reading →
This week has been pretty uneventful mainly because I’ve spent most evenings – in fact all of the evenings and most of the nights – doing craft projects for Aisha’s work. As such I’ve written about as many reviews as I’ve had full nights sleep, and I’ve watched a comparable amount of useful films. I did get a few in last weekend though, so here’s what I watched recently: Continue reading →
This month I’ve been taking some steps. Thousands of them. Every day. I could even tell you how many, because I’ve joined the Fitbit cult. But the metaphorical and marginally more relevant steps I’m actually referring to are ones in the right direction, blog-wise. Small ones, granted, but small steps of progress. What am I blathering on about? Well, for the month of June, and for the first time since January, I managed to meet all my targets, and even exceeded them on one account. I haven’t caught up to where I should be in the year overall, but I’m where I need to be on a monthly basis. Continue reading →
In 1919 several young men develop and nurture a passion for running, and all aim to compete in the forthcoming Olympics in Paris in 1924. Amongst them are the Jewish Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and his friends at Cambridge (Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers) and a Scottish former rugby player turned Christian missionary Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson). Continue reading →