All the American TV shows I watch have stopped now for their “Christmas hiatus”, including House (I wish I could stop watching it), The Office, Dexter, and Desperate Housewives. You’re always in safe hands with Desperate Housewives. Great background fodder. Though this week it got promoted to full screen with its mid-season big ‘un – the character stories all took place in and around a raging riot on Wisteria Lane. Brilliant Episode.
Although Desperate Housewives does seem to have an iffy “All Men Are Evil, Even Gay Ones” message, but fair enough, it’s the century of revenge. Sorry, I mean the millennium of revenge.
I also made my way through Flashforward, which I’m quite late to. They cancelled the second season. I checked it out because it’s got one of the funnest premises I’ve ever heard: everyone on the planet blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, during which they have a vision of their future. The scenes in which everyone on the planet falls unconscious at the same time are great fun to watch, and the repercussions hard to resist. Planes fall out of the sky, cars collide, swimmers drown, all that stuff. And it had Jack Davenport and Dominic Monaghan in it! Unfortunately, none of the characters were in any way believable or sympathetic. The best story was a very simple one about the concept of soulmates. Sickening? Yes! But! I thought it was the best bit about Flashforward.
Bizarrely, I felt slightly short-changed by the child-friendly content of the show. It’s supposed to be about the human race’s darkest moments – where were the drug abuses, sex scenes, bloody violences? Not that that’s what I look for in a TV show, but c’mon! It was a kid’s script written for adults.
Like everyone else in Britain, I’ve also been watching The Walking Dead, AMC’s zombie TV series.
Think a zombie TV series is an original, clever idea? Watch Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set. Much more interesting, funnier, gorier, cleverer. The Walking Dead was fine, but, again, generic characters that had no impact. Loved the way it looked, though. Like I Am Legend but sicker.
Back on British TV, I’ve been watching The Trip, which I recently cannonballed against my better judgement. It’s simply Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a little trip, and it’s got some funny moments. However, each episode ends with a Steve Coogan Sad Scene, which is a bit embarrassing. There’s no plot or structure or resolutions – it’s just two blokes doing impressions and talking about roads and things. There’s a few laugh out loud moments, like when Steve gets trapped halfway along some stepping stones and Rob yells out “you’re trapped in a metaphor!”, but it’s in-jokey entertainment, and I’m sure it’s okay and everything, but... BUT THIS ISN’T THE WAY I’M BEING TAUGHT TO DO THINGS ON MY COURSE!
I’ve also been watching Miranda, for Miranda Hart, who is endlessly fun to watch and hear and experience.
Lastly, I’ve been watching Misfits every week – brilliant British TV series on E4. It’s about a group of community service kids with superpowers. It’s a grim, hilarious, fast-paced series, and if you start watching it you can’t get enough of it. It’s got wildly credible characters in it, each with stories well worth following. Big fan of Misfits here.
Speaking of superheroes, I did go through a slight superhero movie phase a couple of weeks ago. Which is mad. I think someone tricked me into it. I watched Spiderman. And Spiderman 2. And Spiderman 3. I also watched Kick-Ass, which I didn’t like, and Unbreakable, which I very much liked. Unbreakable is the most subtle superhero movie I’ve ever seen – and it stars Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis. It’s delicate and strange, and the only problem is that it never seems to begin properly; I suppose because we’re so used to superhero movies being full of epic cityscapes and shooty shooty moments.
Right! That was a good ramble. Back to real life.