Anything Good on TV ?

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  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,001MI6 Agent
    chrisno1 wrote:
    chrisno1 wrote:
    chrisno1 wrote:
    THE SERPENT
    Not sure if this is good or bad yet. Certainly intriguing.
    Second episode: Still not sure...
    Third episode.
    They seem to be presenting a different character's version of events in each episode. This is very tiring as I have to watch every incident twice (or three times at one point, I think) without any explanation. There is an awful lot of detail not being presented to the audience. I do hope they clear it all up at the end. It all looks good and has sterling acting, quite authentic too - apparently the BBC has received complaints about the glamorisation of smoking. It's also a bit slow.

    Made it to the end last night.
    I'm still undecided.
    First, this is a serial murder case I have never heard of before. Nor had my parents and they were much older than me in the 1970s.
    Second, the non-linear storytelling was constantly confusing - places, times, people, changing constantly, back and forth, too difficult to follow - this is usually an editing strategy to cover up a dull narrative - I think so !
    Third, everyone's raving about Jenna Coleman, and I suppose if your idea of good acting is smouldering looks while smoking and wearing funky seventies outfits, she was good, when it really counted - towards the end of the story, when she needed to show doubt and then some fortitude - well, fairly average I'd say - it's easy to look good doing nothing and for a lot of it her character did nothing
    Fourth, a lot of haranguing by diplomats to one an other, the police, witnesses, etc, very hard going
    Fifth, and probably most alarming, this is a true story, Charles Sobhraj is still alive and paying for his crimes in a Katmandhu gaol.
    Sixth, odd performance from Tahar Rahim as the serial killer, very very ordered, at times frightening, at others you wonder quite why anyone was taken in by him as he's so creepy.
    Seventh, looked good, nicely photographed, nice eye for period detail, some scenes filmed at the actual locations of the crimes
    Eighth, rather long
    Ninth, occasionally got interesting and raised the tension, episodes 5 & 6 probably the best in that regard
    Tenth, I hope foreign embassy and consular staff are not as incompetent as the ones from the 1970s, they are after all supposed to look after their nationals, not just their national interests
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,027MI6 Agent
    Watched second episode of Zen - though we're talking two-hour episodes here, almost movies really.

    I enjoyed it, preferred the journey to the destination. It lacked the surprise factor this time round, and seemed a bit contrived. First time round it was 'This officer is known to be not corrupt, so we need him on the case for the PR to get a 'result' and for it to be convincing'. Not sure that applied this time round.
    Zen is almost getting a bit pat himself too, the way it all seems to work out.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,557MI6 Agent
    I'm watching the Canadian documentary series "Enslaved" about the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It bringes to light some aspects about this terrible trade, including diving to interesting wrecks. Samuel L. Jackson contributes to most episodes, but we see historians and archeologists more often. Absolutely worth watching.
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 2,944MI6 Agent
    TED LASSO on Apple TV

    Premise: an American football (US version) coach gets hired to lead a British football (UK version, 'Soccer' to those of us in the US) club.

    It's 10 episodes for season 1, with each episode roughly a half hour in length.

    It's really, really good. In addition to being pretty funny, the show also has a lot of heart. Ted Lasso, the coach in question, is a good hearted guy and filled with optimism. The owner of the team is a woman who acquired the team in the divorce settlement from her husband. She wants to deliberately scuttle the team to drive her ex-husband mad, so she hires Ted. He has no 'soccer' experience but is enthusiastic about the fresh start for reasons that you eventually find out about. In the meantime, he has to get used to everyone calling him a (word that rhymes with 'tanker').

    This is a lot better than the premise would make it sound. It's good natured and everyone...American and British...looks 'good' in it. The acting is solid from everyone and the humor all resonates. Most importantly, you end up caring for all of the characters. The show was recommended to me by several people and I finally got my wife to give it a try. She had no real desire to watch it but she agreed to give the first episode a go. We ended up watching 5 episodes that first night and the remaining 5 the following night. It's now one of her favorite recent shows and she can't wait for more seasons (it's been greenlit for seasons 2 and 3 already). Good stuff!
    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,134Chief of Staff
    Number24 wrote:
    I'm watching the Canadian documentary series "Enslaved" about the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It bringes to light some aspects about this terrible trade, including diving to interesting wrecks. Samuel L. Jackson contributes to most episodes, but we see historians and archeologists more often. Absolutely worth watching.

    I watched this 4-part series when it was shown on BBC television...it showed remarkable insight into the slave trade and really brought home just what an horrific practice this was...I actually felt a little dirty and ashamed after watching it.
    YNWA 96
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 3,850MI6 Agent
    A couple of series that I have been watching on Disney+

    WandaVision. This, apparently, is an offshoot of the Marvel Universe movies. Spider-Man aside, I have no interest in these movies (though my 10 year old son loves them), but fortunately it can be seen without reference to the movies. Wanda and Vision are seemingly a normal husband and wife in a pastiche of 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s sitcoms but everything is not as i seems. Brilliantly done, I see references from The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, The Prisoner, Life On Mars etc. Catch it if you can.

    Big Sky. This revolves around a series of abductions from truck stops. Once again, very well made and the ending of Episode One is really unexpected.
    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,001MI6 Agent
    I have been watching The Mallorca Files, with Ellen Rhys, which I recorded from a couple of weeks back.
    Perfect early morning telly. Simple plots, amusing characters, several caricatures, very pleasant scenery. They used to make TV shows like this all the time. Why did stories and people have to get so intense and the photography so dark? I recognise the shows faults, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It seems Covid may well have halted production at the very moment people have come to quite enjoy it.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,001MI6 Agent
    Zen is almost getting a bit pat himself too, the way it all seems to work out.

    Yes. Not as good as episode one.
    The corrupt internal politics things is already boring me and Zen is a bit too, well, Zen-like. The office romance isn't as sparky as in episode one. I did enjoy Aurellio's interview with Arianna [one of my favourite names] as she slips in and out of various cocktail dresses, not just because the actress looked good in her lingerie, but because the scene had that delightful tang of unsolicited possibilities. In a way, I rather like Aurellio Zen; all these women seem to throw themselves at him and he isn't capable of figuring out why - even his cheating ex-wife is a looker. The man must have a sub-level ego.
    Beautiful scenery (women included).
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,750Chief of Staff
    Gymkata wrote:
    TED LASSO on Apple TV

    Small world--I watched the series last week (I have free Apple+ for a while and I'm wondering if I'll keep it when the charges come due). I agree with everything you said, and will add this. . .pretty much everything in the show is familiar--the owner trying to wreck the team (straight out of the late '80s Charlie Sheen comedy Major League), the fish-out-of-water coach, the aging veteran contending with the hot newcomer, the team of misfits--but it's all done with heart, observation, and genuine humor. And I especially like that Ted isn't just a bumbling Good Ol' Boy stereotype--he's a genuinely GOOD guy who cares and wants the best for everyone. (And Coach Beard is hilariously surreal.) Love it--great show--I might keep Apple+ just for this!
    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,001MI6 Agent

    I was waiting for Napoleon to comment, but as he hasn't yet...

    Zen concluded at the weekend. The final episode was good fun. I enjoyed the intrigue surrounding the Monetti family although I figured out the culprit with ease. There was scope for an immediate sequel which was curtailed by the BBC penny pinching. Rufus Sewell was good as the hero, still looking bemused by his predicament. He's a very noble policeman. Disappointed his romance with Caterina Monro looks to have bitten the dust. The sex-on-the desk scene was hilarious. Overall, a fine little trio of stories. It looked as if it had legs, but someone obviously disagreed. Miss Monro's legs only remain firmly in the memory then.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,557MI6 Agent

    Lately I've been watching Michael Palin's series about his famous and excellent travel documentaries. It gives new perspective to the documentaries I enjoyed so much in the past.

    It Strokes me that Michael Palin can make a very good ally to Bond in the Ketim Bey mould. He is funny, quirky and his personality is both warm and engaging. I want him to be a MI6 station chief!

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,027MI6 Agent

    Oh, I thought I'd commented on Zen's final episode, seems I hadn't. I enjoyed it, but they do rush the resolution a lot as if to say, okay, it doesn't quite hold up but maybe they won't notice. Thing is, I remember the first one. And the second. The third I honestly can't recall the plot, only the sub plot with the office politics. Oh, there's a new priggish boss, a bit OTT. Having the powers that be keep calling on Zen got a bit much, then again this only went to three episodes (presumably six the first time round.) Not sure where the romance could go after this unless they kept splitting up or getting back together. Oh, it was about someone being kidnapped, wasn't it, and his dodgy family out to pay the ransom? It just didn't feel dangerous enough somehow but don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, just a teensy bit shaggy dog story with the denouement coinciding with the final dregs of white wine at the tail end of the evening.

    Zen kept coming out on top and the top brass never really got anything on him to compel him to do their bidding ad infinitum.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,001MI6 Agent

    Spent the last couple of Saturday nights engrossed in the Finnish drama Man in Room 301. A good, quite tense family drama which has some good performances. Some of the storylines seem a little bit unlikely, but it isn't hurting my enjoyment.

  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,492MI6 Agent

    I'm currently watching SNOWPIERCER on Netflix.

    Not my usual cup of tea but it's been fab, especially since Sean Bean appeared. He's great in everything he appears in.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,001MI6 Agent

    TOP GEAR on BBC1 (U.K.)

    They just did a OO7 special looking at some of the famous cars. They must have had them delivered special to the studio warehouse after the Bond in Motion exhibition closed. It was fun to see them less concerned with the iconic motors and more interested in the lesser models, like the Toyota GT 2000 from You Only Live Twice and the Renault 11 from A View to a Kill, the latter converted into a Renault '5.5' by being sawn in half !

    They also had Paddy driving the £3.3m Aston Martin D.B. Mark V Goldfinger Recon - which isn't road-insurable as it comes equipped with gadgets - ram bumpers, machine guns, oils licks, revolving number plates, smokescreens. All but the ejector seat.

    I don't watch Top Gear as a general rule, but this was fun. I was hoping they'd drive a Mercury Cougar though...

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,067MI6 Agent

    It’s actually not the gadgets which stop it being road legal but the fact it’s a brand new car but doesn’t adhere to the modern safety requirements for a motor vehicle because it’s a 1960s design.


    I knew those Toyotas were rare and valuable but I had no idea quite how much they were worth! Very quick too.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,001MI6 Agent

    I had no idea, thanks for that. And yes, that Toyota, boy, pricey.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,557MI6 Agent

    No, there isn't anything good on TV 😒

  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,492MI6 Agent

    I haven't watched Top Gear since Clarkson and crew left but I had this on in the background waiting fro Line Of Duty.

    I was very pleasantly surprised to see I'd picked a day when they had a Bond feature.

    I quite like Freddie and Chris but I can't deal with Paddy. I think he tries a bit too hard.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 3,850MI6 Agent

    I’ve been watching Prison Break again. I really enjoy this series, Robert Knepper is superb as the evil T-Bag. Full of twists and turns it is ideal binge watching TV.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,001MI6 Agent

    I spent three evenings rewatching the original 1978 BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

    A fine piece of seventies sci-fi. You can probably learn more about it on Wiki.

    I remember we got it on UK TV in 1979. Everyone thought it was brilliant. I enjoyed it equally this time. It cuts corners. It's not as detailed as the recent(ish) reworking, but it has a better pace because of it. Love the seventies fashions invading outer space. A workable, attractive cast, especially the women - Jane Seymour all nippley as Serina - Lorne Greene all stately as Adama - Patrick MacNee voicing the Cylon Emperor, always good to have a Britisher as your chief villain - a bothersome child and his robot dog (they put a chimpanzee in the dog suit; not sure animal rights would allow that today.) Good action scenes. SFX pretty good too. Cylons can't shoot for toffee; they are as bad as storm troopers in that aspect and also clearly inspired by Dr Who's Cybermen. The show cost something astronomical for 1978 and only lasted one season, which seems a great pity. Something of a cross between Star Trek and Star Wars, I feel. There was some dispute between George Lucas and the producers which was important at the time, but seems hardly worth anyone's effort with hindsight.

    They shaved the excess fat from the first three episodes and made a theatrical cinema release for Europe to view before the TV show aired, which is how I first watched it. Not sure I have the stamina for all 24 episodes, but I might drop in every now and then.

  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,492MI6 Agent

    I've found a new guilty pleasure. Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries.

    I watched the new film recently 'Crypt of Tears' and then started on the series from the beginning.

    Quite an enjoyable little series.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 2,944MI6 Agent


    My wife loved that show and I enjoyed many of the episodes that I ended up watching with her. It's a great cast and the overall tone of the show is quite appealing.


    As for us, we're watching SPOOKS (or, as it's known over here in the USA, MI-5). Fun show. You can tell that it was made around the time that the show 24 was huge as it's really trying to ape the style of that show. It's not the best thing that I've ever seen but it's proving to be a fairly enjoyable diversion.

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,492MI6 Agent

    Spooks was massive here but I never actually watched it. Many of the actors went on to be big stars.

    What do Miss Fisher and Spooks have in common? Rupert Penry Jones.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 2,944MI6 Agent

    That's right, he was in CRYPT OF TEARS. Good actor...he has that 'it' factor that the camera loves. I also recognize him from BLACK SAILS where he had a small but fairly important role.

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,492MI6 Agent
    edited April 5

    Just finished Snowpiercer on Netflix. Absolutely loved it. Great cast and Sean Bean is his usual brilliant self.

    Also finished The Irregulars also on Netflix. It was watchable. Found the first episode a bit childish and didn't like the female lead at all but it grew on me and came together at the end. Different take on the Holmes/Watson story for sure.

    Finally, I've just started A Discovery of Witches. Something I've been meaning to watch for a while and after watching a couple of episodes last night I don't think it's going to disappoint. I love Matthew Goode. He could have made a decent old school Bond.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 3,850MI6 Agent

    Some TV I’ve been watching recently:

    The Prisoner (1967). Not years, but decades ahead of its time. Some episodes are much the same but there are at least 10 really good ones. The theme tune is superb and it has the greatest title sequence in television history. I’ve really enjoyed watching this again.

    The Avengers, Season 4 (1965). A mixture of excellent, very good, good, and not so good episodes. There were many episodes that I don’t remember seeing before. MacNee and Rigg are good together. The stunt doubles are very obvious. Looking forward to Season 5.

    The Kill Point (2007). A good 8 episode series depicting a bank heist gone wrong. Donnie Wahlberg and John Leguizamo are both excellent as the negotiator and gang leader, respectively.

    Pennyworth, Season 1 (2019). Set in an alternate London this charts the adventures of the young future butler to Batman. Excellent acting and production values make this superb viewing. Viscerally violent and with very strong language coupled with good a pacy script this makes excellent viewing.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 1,740MI6 Agent
    edited April 8

    Robin of Sherwood is being repeated on ITV4 in the UK. Brings back such great memories of the eighties. Watching the programme and then re-enacting with friends with our homemade bows, arrows and wooden swords. It's still a great watch and what a soundtrack! 🌲🌳🏹🌳🌲

    Not sure if Michael Praed ever actually screen tested for Bond?

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 3,850MI6 Agent

    I watched episode 11 of The Persuaders last night. It was directed by Peter Hunt and George Baker was a guest star. There’s a lovely in-joke where an attache case is opened and it is filled with James Bond paperbacks including the movie tie-in of OHMSS 😃.

    This was a good episode with great support from Peter Vaughn and Suzanna Leigh. The beginning is very humorous with Danny Wilde roughing it in the countryside while Brett Sinclair has a luxury tent equipped with fridge-freezer, television and champagne!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Charmed & DangerousCharmed & Dangerous Posts: 7,045MI6 Agent

    I loved the series when it originally came out and I'm also rewatching it again now. The highlights for me are Dirk Benedict as Starbuck (who I aspired to be as a teenager in '79, and whose archetypal character is still appealing); the costume design for the Colonial Warriors by Jean-Pierre Dorleac; the design of the spaceships; and the overall sense of fun and light-hearted approach in the vein of Star Trek. It's fairly well known that the plot of BG was Gene Roddenberry's original idea for ST - a 'wagon train across the stars' - so that's no surprise.

    I still have the Colonial Warrior jacket I saved up for and bought from the US back in '79, from an advert in the pages of Starlog magazine!


    "How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."
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