Anything Good on TV ?

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,632MI6 Agent

    Now you say you're "not suggesting the UK is fundamentally corrupt", but in your above post you say "we have a fundamentally corrupt society"? Make up your mind, please.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,632MI6 Agent

    I think you had the best intentions when you wrote what you wrote, but Transpararancy International is perhaps the most respected authorithy on corruption worldwide. It's easy to focus on anecdotes, hearsay and (in your case) individual cases and draw too general or even plain wrong conclusions, This may not sound so wrong and we're all guilty of this at some point in our lives, but one year ago a large mob attacked police and elected officials doing their job as written in the constitution based on hearsay, lies and possibly individual cases. It's important to use good sources to check the facts and the big picture. I hope you're not offended by what I write, because my intentions come from a good place.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,632MI6 Agent
    edited January 6


    The UK is number eleven, not twelve. My mistake.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,918MI6 Agent

    Not at all, we should all check our sources. You've probably noticed I tend to be a little flippant in my posts here, treating them more like a conversation. I'm not very academically minded and, while I can proffer reasonable argument, I don't always bother to cross check everything I write, hence errors such as those above.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,632MI6 Agent
    edited January 6

    I think we've been guilty of that at some point. I know I have.

    I think we were very good at pretending to be reasonable and civilized people this time. Don't you? 😎

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,620MI6 Agent

    The best the UK can come up with these days is that it's not as bad as North Korea, China, Putin's Russia, Belarus etc. This is true, but not wholly encouraging.

    One difference is that UK corruption is certainly not 'in your face'. It's not obvious, unless you find it out or go looking for it, or try to seek redress for some injustice. Other countries are a police state, the police are on the streets, they respond to bribes - though often you have to couch the monetary offer in different terms to avoid offence, something like 'May I offer a token to demonstrate my respect for you?' in Moscow for instance. In northern France the police steal all the immigrants shelter and facilities so they kind of feel compelled to make the dangerous trip across the Channel to the UK. The police over here wouldn't do that, they present a genteel face that is largely genuine at ground level but that said, you never really get a police presence unless at a special event like the Derby or Notting Hill Carnival.

    Local politics as cited by @ChrisNo1 is a good example. The hoo-hah over Johnson's flat refurbishment feels to me like a massive bit of misdirection compared to all over stuff going on. Much like his drinks parties during lockdown, the news leaked while I understand Sunak headed to America to sell off the NHS. MPs are sort of held to a high and lofty standard but frankly MPs are not that powerful. The very fact you've heard of them demonstrates that, because the really powerful people have no real web presence.

    It's interesting to ponder that there are thousands of books about Westminster politics and all our Prime Ministers, bios and all that stuff. I know personally of not one authoritative book about local politics over the decades and the scandals and controversies associated with them. Generally they get away with it.

    But what am I saying? @Number24 suggests that the UK is not really that corrupt compared to other nations. Well, maybe that's so - it's quite likely that those other nations are just as corrupt or more. I was in my late 40s when I finally got the gist of how bad the UK was, how on earth am I to know what is going on in France, Portugal, Germany, Norway and so on? Maybe indeed they are even worse!

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,632MI6 Agent
    edited January 17

    There's certainly possible and neccessary to fight corruption in any country, even in NZ (even Norway? 😱). But focusing on corruption near yourself can cause a loss of perspective. If that happens there is a danger of listening to demagogues who aren't interested in perspective at all, just selling the message that what we have is horrible and my solution is quick and easy. Usually the cure is much worse than the disease.

    Be aware of the problems that really are there, but don't make it out like you live in Somalia, Venezuela or Russia.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,632MI6 Agent

    Leonardo (2021)

    Aidan Turner stars as Leonardo da Vincy, and if you don't know who he was you should de a bit ashamed. Then google him and be amazed. Turner plays Leonardo from when he's about half his own age and all the way past it. Other than a beard Turner does this by acting the ages. I enjoy how he played the young Leonardo as impulsive, enthusiastic and insecure, something we haven't seen him do before. What I think the TV-series did well was showing us the practical and emotional process behind Leonard's work: Also liked seeing his relationship with his father and other real aspects of his life. While they don't shy away from the fact that he was attracted to men, the series focuses on his (non-sexual) realtionship to a woman. The series uses a made-up murder as a framing device and especially the last episode focuses on ths fictional event. I think the series shouldn't have used that as a crutch and focus on his great works and embellish on what we know and think is likely in Leonardo's life. Having his main realationship with a man would make the series more belivable and it would stand out more.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,597MI6 Agent

    The Saint has just landed on BritBox (Seasons 5 and 6 the colour episodes). I’m enjoying seeing a lot of Bond alumni in these episodes. Roger is better in his fight scenes than he was s Bond, being younger helps, obviously 🙄

    I don’t mind the obvious back projection and the fact that Roger is 100% studio bound is ok with me. The first episode of season 5 has an exact replication of the CR novel with a casino player being threatened by a walking stick with a spike.

    Good 60’s fun.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,009MI6 Agent

    We started BOSCH on Amazon Prime. Really solid police show set in Los Angeles.

    If you're looking for something to binge, give it a shot. We started 10 days ago and we're already halfway through season 4 (of 7).

    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>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: 25,578Chief of Staff

    The second series of Mandy from Diane Morgan is now available…it’s another great watch, and only about 15 mins per episode…so you can binge watch the whole series in about an hour and a half 🍸

    YNWA 97
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,325MI6 Agent

    @CoolHandBond said:

    The Saint .... The first episode of season 5 has an exact replication of the CR novel with a casino player being threatened by a walking stick with a spike.

    yes I thought the exact same thing when I saw that scene, and posted screencaps here in the Saint thread, so others could see what I was talking about.

    Since we didnt get that scene in the Craig film, its nice Roger adapted it for us.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,597MI6 Agent

    DOCTOR FOSTER (2 Seasons)

    I thought this was going to be a Doc Martin clone but it’s totally different. Doctor Foster discovers that her husband has been having an affair with a much younger woman and revenge is priority on her list. I’m unsure of who’s side everyone is supposed to be on. Doctor Foster turns it to be a deranged harridan, the husband is running a business beyond his capabilities, and most of the rest of the cast are difficult to like. I ended up feeling sorry for the husband. Maybe that’s the point, men will side with the husband and women with the Doctor.

    Good acting, but because the characters are so unlikeable you really don’t care how it ends up.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,597MI6 Agent

    HOTEL BABYLON (2006-2009) 4 Seasons.

    The life and loves of the staff at a 5-star hotel are portrayed in this comedy-drama series as they try to satisfy the demands of their guests. This actually starts out quite good as we learn of the behind the scenes art of running a high class hotel. Dexter Fletcher is excellent as the concierge, and Natalie Mendoza and Emma Pierson are gorgeous as head housekeeper and receptionist, respectively. It soon runs out of steam though, and as 3 of the main characters leave the series by halfway through season 3 it becomes humdrum. It’s mostly all tosh, of course, but for a time it’s entertaining tosh.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,597MI6 Agent

    I usually have a dozen series on the go at once, I can’t binge watch one series at a time as I get too bored of the same thing, so this allows me to watch a few episodes of each series each week. These are the ones I am currently watching…

    Last Tango In Halifax - Season 4 - A soap opera style story of two families interlinked when Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid meet up again 40 odd years after being childhood sweethearts and get married. It’s all gone very silly now and there another season to go!

    Bad Girls - Season 2 - Life in a women’s prison as the prisoners battle against the guards and each other. Entertaining stuff so far with evil guard Jim Fenner being the standout character.

    Minder - Season 9 - This follows crooked entrepreneur Arthur Daley and is minder (bodyguard). George Cole created one of Britain’s finest characters as Daley who does everyone down, including himself. Since Dennis Waterman left at the end of season 7 it’s gone downhill a bit, the scripts are still ok but replacement minder Gary Webster isn’t as good.

    The Saint - Season 5 - I enjoy spotting the guest stars more than anything, but it’s consistently enjoyable.

    New Tricks - Season 5 - Three retired detectives and a current superintendent solve unsolved murders. The cast is excellent and we get involved in their private lives as well. Consistently good.

    Steptoe And Son - Season 3 - It’s still in black and white at the moment as we follow the father and son rag and bone merchants duo as Harold yearns for a better life and Albert scotches his attempts so he isn’t left alone. Galton and Simpson’s scripts are simply brilliant.

    Blackadder - Season 4 - Another brilliant British comedy series as we follow the adventures of Edmund Blackadder through the ages.

    Hotel Babylon - Season 4 - It’s onto the final season and the hotel has been sold to an entrepreneur. At least half of the original cast have gone now and you can see why as this series drags towards its conclusion - it should ave ended after the second season.

    Moving On - Season 9 - A series of one off dramas which are consistently good.

    Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads - Season 2 - Once again, a classic British comedy as we follow the lives of recently married Bob and returning best friend Terry after 5 years away in the army. Absolutely hilarious, one of the best comedies ever made.

    The Wrong Man’s - Season 1 - Two men get caught up in a kidnapping plot. I’m not very keen on co-star James Corden - he always looks so very pleased with himself - but the story is holding up well so far.

    The Gentle Touch - Season 1 - This police drama suffers from cheap production values and some of the acting is decidedly amateurish.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,918MI6 Agent

    Goodness. Is your chair comfy ?

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,578Chief of Staff

    For me, there hasn’t been a better comedy series than Steptoe & Son - pure genius 🙌🏻

    I’ve only seen about half the programs you mention…and despite Corden, The Wrong Man’s was a good watch 🍸

    YNWA 97
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,620MI6 Agent

    Steptoe & Son is right up there. That said, I'd argue it reached its peak when it went into colour in the early 70s. The Partition, where Harold opts to divide their pad up with a tall wall - a piece of hardboard - so they can live apart is superb. One thing I have noticed, however, is that in common with many sitcoms of that ilk, much of the humour is what I call 'take down humour' - it is one bloke essentially bullying another and getting away with it because a) The victim deserves it and b) The perpetrator is so very witty. Only Fools... did this a lot but I think the writer after a while saw through his creation Del Boy and opted to make him the butt of the joke as often as not, with 'victim' Rodney giving as good as he got, to balance things out.

    Steptoe spawned two movies. However, the first, dealing with Harold's ill-fated marriage to a stripper, I found a bit depressing. In common with many British sitcoms that made it to the big screen, what works as a half-hour dip into a depressing situation becomes a bit much for well over an hour especially without a laugh track.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,578Chief of Staff

    I get your point about ‘take down humour’…but that’s not quite true of Steptoe & Son…it does happen but it’s definitely not what underpins the whole relationship between father and son…whilst I don’t find either of the films ‘depressing’, I agree that they struggle to fill the longer runtimes…although there is still plenty in both to enjoy…

    Bottom was basically an updated version of Steptoe & Son - and that’s hilarious too 😁

    YNWA 97
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,597MI6 Agent

    Most of the comedy series that spawned movie spin-offs were somewhat weaker than the originals, The Likely Lads bucking that trend. I think a laughter track on TV comedy is very important, there was a couple of Only Fools And Horses specials that were without laughter tracks and they both suffered as a cause of that. One of the reasons for the Steptoe films not being as good was the fact that a lot of the material was rehashed from the series and was too familiar to fans.

    @Sir Miles I haven’t seen Bottom, I will add it to my viewing list, thanks for the heads up.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,620MI6 Agent

    I enjoyed the second one, Steptoe and Son Ride Again @Sir Miles but that was really a few episodes strung together so a similar format. It didn't do so well at the box office as the first one. The first, as you know, is about Steptoe Snr deliberately wrecking his son's marriage to a good-looking, decent woman (a stripper, but her heart wasn't it it) and chance of a better life with her - it's different to him messing up his son's chance to cop off with Joanna Lumley on a date imo. An episode of Only Fools where Del Boy did the same to Rodney's hopes with a posher woman by embarrassing him deliberately also got a lot of flak. For it to be funny, the intended must be shown to be a bit of a cow of have some downside so we don't mind the split. Alternatively, the very fact that the intended is a cow can make for comedy gold - Velma or is it Thelma in What Ever Happened to the Likely Lads? is comedy gold, the perfect foil to layabout Terry who continues to hang out with her husband Bob, it gave the series a whole new lease of life.

    A sometime snag of the big screen versions is that the excellent theme tunes would be jettisoned, often for something inferior! Or rehashed in some way, so viewers wouldn't immediatley think, 'But I can get all that at home!'

    On the Buses - a massive box office success in 1971 that in the UK even eclipsed the big budget Diamonds are Forever, set in motion the 1970s big screen spin-offs. The nadir was surely Rising Damp, made after Richard Beckinsale died, set in a different looking flat to the one in the sitcom and faffing about with the key Rigsby character, giving him a flash sports car even. It also was a kind of reboot, like the big screen Dad's Army, it aimed to start from scratch effectively, introducing old characters as if they were new. RD also was criticised - well, on imdb - for rehashing plots from the series.

    Recently there have been forays into similar big screen adaptations with The InBetweeners and Alan Partridge films.

    I have a feeling that Steptoe and Son and Fletch from Porridge made returns many years later by way of TV adverts but I've never tried to hunt them down. or ever seen them again.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,578Chief of Staff
    edited February 7

    Spot on about some parts being rehashed from the tv series…same stuff just with a slightly better budget…and part of the reason why film versions are somewhat weaker is down to the extra running time being given over to character development and falling short of the ‘x amount of laughs per episode’ quota.

    Bottom is puerile and silly but it is laugh-out-loud funny and ridiculous all at the same time…if you like Rik Mayall & Ade Edmondson, then you are in for a treat…if you don’t - then stay clear 🍸

    YNWA 97
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,578Chief of Staff
    edited February 7

    I’ve no idea if either did decent box office…think I enjoy the first slightly more though 🤔

    There were 3 On The Buses…movies, you wouldn’t be able to make them now…they are mildly amusing in parts, but having Stan & Jack going after the young girls is creepy.

    I’d totally forgot about the Rising Damp movie 😱 and then you go and remind me - thanks 😳🤣

    I’m trying to do the same with the two Dad’s Army films….an absolutely brilliant sitcom, but those films 😠

    YNWA 97
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,009MI6 Agent

    Finished BOSCH on Amazon Prime. I'm happy to say the series stuck the landing quite well. This is one of those rare shows that, in my opinion, only got better and better as it went along. There wasn't a duff season in there at all. The ending itself was very satisfying from a plot and character perspective and, while definitive, does leave the door open for the planned sequel series which could be a great deal of fun.

    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,620MI6 Agent

    Here's a Steptoe and Son advert for Ajax cleaner from 1977.

    There's a later, early 80s one for Kenco coffee on YouTube but that's not as funny.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,009MI6 Agent

    We're 3 (of 6) episodes into MURDERVILLE on Netflix.

    It's pretty hit and miss so far with some funny moments here and there and a lot of dead air, especially in the second episode (with Marshawn Lynch). The third episode (with Kumail Nanjiani) was the best of the three with some genuinely laugh out loud moments.

    I'd recommend the show but lower your expectations. We're going to motor through the final episodes soon.

    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>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: 25,578Chief of Staff

    Sounds like a ripoff…err…homage of Murder In Successville 👀

    YNWA 97
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,009MI6 Agent
    edited February 9

    It's absolutely based on that show. The main difference, near as I can tell, is that the American version has the celebrities play themselves vs imitating other people. I've never seen the original BBC show though.

    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,597MI6 Agent

    REACHER (2022)

    So how have Amazon fared with bringing Lee Child’s hero to the small screen? I’m halfway through the 8 episode adaption of the first novel and it’s excellent. The story is faithfully taken from the book with little or no alterations. Alan Ritchson looks exactly as Jack Reacher is portrayed in the books and the rest of the casting is exemplary. Bruce McGill as the villain, and Willa Fitzgerald and Malcolm Goodwin as Reacher’s allies, are well cast and small town America is captured successfully in a purpose built set. The fighting is brutal. This is so much better than the two Tom Cruise movies.

    If this is how good Amazon can adapt a book series, then I would have no worries in them taking on the production of James Bond.

    Superb, pulpy fun.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,620MI6 Agent
    edited February 10

    One UK TV critic said the new Reacher series made a fella feel like he was 7 years old again - he meant it as a compliment!

    I've just finished Series 3 of Breaking Bad, like I said I'm late to the party on this so no spoilers please! I'll compare it to James Bond though it has little or nothing to do with the Bond series, though it might make one think more fondly of License to Kill, as it deals with the production of drugs and eventually a sort of drug kingpin. That said, in this we are encouraged to sympathise with the hapless drug dealers who find themselves out of their depth.

    To recap - it's about a downtrodden, middle aged high school chemistry teacher with a family who has a sort of midlife crisis and takes to using his expertise to concoct MGMA drugs or crystal meths, actually not sure which it is. In his endeavour he coerces one of his hapless former students into helping him and they become a sort of Batman & Robin outfit.

    Now, the thing about this is, it's a comedy. There's just no getting away from it, so it's like those early Bond films, say from Dr No to Thunderball. Now, as a kid, if you'd told your mum you'd seen a Bond film at the cinema, and it was a comedy, well, no way would you say that. But the humour is always there, and it's subtle, to enhance the drama and believability. For me, when the humour doesn't work, the Bond films don't really work. Breaking Bad strictly speaking isn't that believable, that a chemistry teacher could lead this kind of double life and hide it from his family - and it does come to address this - but you don't care, you want to believe it. What impresses me about this series is hearing various people rave about it - my sister, the bloke at the lending library - because it just tickles that bone. It's not overtly funny, it's not really a comedy, but there's no question some characters in it are just a hoot. But others are supremely menacing, basically in Bond villain territory, but at a local level. Also, the series seems to be well plotted ahead, unlike recent Bond films.

    It's hard to cultivate that kind of tone - most Bond films don't quite manage it because the audience tends to be ahead of them. With a TV series you can be a bit more adventurous in plotting, I think. That sense of being in on a secret joke can't really hold out when something becomes a mega phenomena.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
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