Quite possibly that was my favourite ever episode of this show, not only has it made me look silly with all my “a second series won’t work” bullshit, I'm also now wondering whether this series is actually better than the first. I think the first had the advantage of the complete unknown, we literally didn't know what was happening and that mystery made it exciting. Now we are in the depths of the story, we know what's happening but there is still enough intrigue leaving us guessing every little plot line and the excitement levels are hitting maximum because of what we do know. The end of this particular episode was epic and I sense an even bigger episode to come with how it was left. I salute the writers completely, you made a sceptic like me, look very foolish indeed.
Outcast returned after a week hiatus and this series is doing a good job of keeping its cards close to its chest, I am still enjoying it but I fear it may have lost a few people over the last couple of episodes. This series began with an explosion that it now seems to be struggling to emulate action wise. A good story it certainly can be, however it is not perhaps the horror extravaganza it appeared from those early scenes that shocked us from the start. Certainly groundwork is being laid, as a layer of the story seems to be peeled off with each week, I just hope we get a bit more action to go with our helpings of fiction writing in the coming weeks as the really thrilling stuff has been few and far between the last couple of episodes.
My pick of the week is a new series just fully revealed on Netflix, I have only gorged on one episode so far but what I saw was absolutely fantastic. It is shot like an old 80’s cult classic; think the Goonies, think Gremlins, think even ET. It has that authentic feel to it which is making it a pleasure to watch. The composition and soundtrack adding to that vibe perfectly too, flowing from Tron style scores to Africa by Toto. The story follows a gang of kids, one of their friends has gone missing through a very mysterious encounter with something unknown and the first episode shows us the immediate aftermath as they try and find him, also a young girl who coincidentally has appeared from nowhere arrives in the quiet small town of Hawkins. It might be early, but this series could be truly special. You can enjoy every single episode now on Netflix, goodbye social life.
An episode of deep soul searching for some, whilst on the other side of the battle (after a massive loss to their schemes) a new plan and a new way of thinking is in order. Tensions between the two feuding camps are on a knife edge as both are now prepared to play the dirty side of this game. Only two episodes now remain and we can only guess as to who will end up as the victor in the end. Although it seems like Axe has got one over on Rhodes this week, a twist in this tale is never far away and I’m sure the scales will balance next week as Chuck finds a new way to get at his opponent.
OK OK so I know this is hardly current. This is currently in the middle of season 2 but my curiosity finally got the better of me. In regards to the TV adaptation of everyone’s “favourite scary movie”, I have to say, I was sceptical. I was sceptical about this and this is why I had ignored it for so long but somehow...it kind of works. It even refers to its own position as a TV adaptation with some tongue in cheek jokes that “Slasher movies can't work as a TV series” and perhaps it's this acknowledgement which made me warm to it. It has a nostalgic nod to the original films for sure, but it's definitely different enough at the same time to stop it being just a boring remake. The acting in it can seem a little cheesy at times on the other hand, the same could probably be said of any good horror movie really. All in all I was drawn in enough to want to keep watching and find out how this new spin on one of my favourite horrors pans out. So anyone too scared to watch for fear of it being rubbish rather than the actual horror within, fear not and let Ghostface in.
I can’t really say anymore about this, I’ve ran out of compliments. A week ago I started this epic TV programme and recommended it to you all, 48 hours later I was finished, all 8 episodes binged and all 8 episodes were the most fantastic TV I had ever seen. If you are still unsure, go check out my review I wrote this week. STRANGER THINGS. Believe me you have time in your busy days to watch this, it's worth every minute.
I am saying goodbye to two of my most beloved programmes and Billions is one of them. This program started as mere curiosity to me thanks to the sheer amount of oversized billboards that dotted the lands. If not for them I may well have written this financial epic off as something a little dull, I was totally wrong and this was absolutely gripping throughout. The final episode had both leads Giamatti and Lewis in a face off, the whole series had been a pleasure watching these two acting behemoths slug it out and it was a fitting end to the series, which leaves only excitement for what season 2 could possibly bring.
Someone Knows My Name
A new programme came to Fox this Sunday and this is not for the faint hearted, it's a tough look at the story of a young girl taken from her village to be a slave in the 18th century. Episode 1 was brilliant but I should warn you, it's pretty heavy hitting and this holds no punches. It can be truly distressing looking at what happened during this awful time for many people from Africa and I fully expect that this will be difficult to watch at times, but ultimately with what's been going on in certain parts of this world, I feel these programmes are essential to truly make people realise we cannot afford these sort of atrocities to happen in our world.
What better way to cure those hard hitting feels than with some silly laughs. Jody Hill and Danny McBride are back, following up from their immensely popular and terrific Eastbound & Down. It's similar comedy so fans of that show will definitely be happy. It follows the story of two vice principals who have just been overlooked for promotion. It may be a simple story but there are certainly enough laughs throughout to make this well worthwhile. As with Eastbound & Down expect a few cameo’s throughout this series, episode 1 had Bill Murray as the parting principal and I fully expect Will Ferrell to turn up somewhere at some point, even if he doesn't this will have more than enough it seems to keep you laughing anyway.
It felt as if this program could have lost its way slightly after the initial buzz of the first couple of episodes, a few episodes were more about story building and you could be forgiven for losing a little bit of interest as this certainly didn't seem to be the programme it was at the beginning. I know not every episode can involve a demon possessing someone, but it was good to have the demon back in the last one. Thankfully the story has been intriguing enough when the action stopped. At least to keep me interested, and the action did indeed return this week as Kyle realises his role to play as the Outcast is very important. There is still more than enough mystery keeping us guessing in this one as we still are yet to find out why these possessions are occurring and it suddenly feels like the introductions are over and we are starting to build towards the finish, revealing a few more layers of this secretive plot with each week.
This was well and truly hitting its stride this week and with Billions and Stranger Things complete, I think this will be my top pick as it races towards its own season finale. Beyond the outskirts of the town, a gathering is making those in the town fear for their lives and perhaps most intriguing of all, is the developments occurring between the research team and their subjects. Is that vague enough? It kind of has to be to not give too much away. Someone again asked this week if this was worth watching, the answer is a resounding YES and that's for both series. Also a quick note to anyone who did watch Stranger Things and liked it, the creators of that also have a say in this, so if you like your strange weird mysteries you should really give this a go!
I have to admit I wasn't completely blown away by this programme as most others seem to have been. I liked the first season but I lost interest a little bit in the middle on my first watch through and I actually had to go back to finish it before getting round to this second series. I’m not sure why I don't click with it like everyone else but the second season was more of the same. It's weird and I usually like weird, but for some reason something is missing. I think Rami Malek is certainly amazing as the very odd Elliott and there is certainly enough to make me keep tuning in, but a lot of people have this down as one of the best things on TV right now and for some reason I am just not singing from the rooftops like everyone else. I wonder how this will continue however, with so much of the story now told, the element of surprise in the characters has surely gone. Like Wayward Pines, the writers will have to be very clever to continue this story and keep it from just being weird for the sake of weird!
American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson
I decided this week to try and go back to some of the programmes I may have missed earlier on in the year and I got recommended this by a friend and I was blown away. This clearly is a subject everyone in the world will have heard about as it's one of the most widely known and reported cases in world history. But I was staggered at how little I knew about it, so to actually watch this and get a feel for it, blew me away. It focuses much more heavily on the two teams of lawyers fighting the sides than it does about OJ, and that's why I feel it works so well and there are some terrific performances. David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, John Travolta as Bob Shapiro, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, Sterling K Brown as Chris Darden, Courtney B Vance as Johnnie Cochrane and last but certainly not least, Cuba Gooding Jnr as OJ. All were absolutely phenomenal in their roles and this was about so much more than the OJ case, of course it was dramatised in parts but it was also a pretty entertaining way to take in some much needed knowledge.
Another one I missed back at the start of the year. James Franco is basically Gary Sparrow from Goodnight Sweetheart but instead of jovial capers in war time Britain, he takes his rabbit hole to the 60's to stop JFK being assassinated! It's mysterious yet it actually has a fair whack of time travel humour laid in to keep it fresh as well, and the plot is more intriguing than your average time-travel-rabbit-hole story, so this one is definitely worth visiting. If only I could time travel to fit more tv in!
Catfish - Absolutely belter the latest episode of this. Catfish went bloody paranormal as if the usual cat fishing wasn't enough. Let me lay this down. It was about a woman who was a medium, who got in touch with a girl, saying her father had contacted her. The girls Dad, not only killed himself, but also her mum. As Neve and his camera friend Max eloquently put it half way through they were "out of their depth” here. And it was a smashing watch.
Peaky Blinders - Well obviously I can't say much about it with no spoilers. But what an episode that was. Easing us in last week but smashing us in the face with a cap of blades this week. Leaving us heartbroken its a whole other week to wait for the next showing. This is going to be some series by the look of it.
Elementary - I felt this season finale took us right back to the feelings of uncertainty and torment of the first season. Never knowing how much REALLY was on the line for Sherlock made for a gripping watch. I'll be doing a review of the entire season next week - JB
League of their own USA Roadtrip - Slightly entertaining panel show a League of Their Own decided it would try and follow James Corden in his success of US tv. Sadly it felt so staged and ridiculous at times it was kind of hard to enjoy. Redknapp came off like a right arse, Whitehall was annoying, Corden wasn't there for half the time as he was busy doing his real job “the late late show”. The only one who comes out of it with any credit was Mr Cool Freddie Flintoff, mainly because he looks the only one not trying to act up to the camera’s every second he gets.
Game Of Thrones - Well…. we are still kind of waiting aren't we? It still just hasn't got going. Worryingly, when I wrote about this after episode 1, I thought we were only a week away from something momentous, then episode 2 went by and I thought, "well episode 3 is definitely going to be the one", then…nope…a load of filler shite. COME ON. Murder someone we love right now and make me feel something inside.
The season came to a stunning climax and I can’t express enough how much of a gear up this whole season felt. This was the series which truly catapulted it into the category of one of the best TV shows you can ever watch. It was truly at its gritty, dark and seductive best. For me this has been why 'Thrones' has been in the villains so much. I used to love 'Thrones' because it would excite me at every turn, even in so called “slower” episodes, well now that baton has been well and truly passed to Mr. Thomas Shelby and his band of Peaky Blinders. The series was stunning from start to finish and left us with an ending that leaves so much open, that I am literally sat here salivating for what could come next in series 4.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (by JB)
This man can do no wrong. He is quite possibly the most relevant, satirical comic across the water right now and is doing Britain very proud. He talks about issues that no-one seems to know are even happening. Thanks to him laws are being re-evaluated involving religious groups being exempt from paying tax. The man interviewed Edward Snowden in mother Russia. He opens your eyes to so much you hadn't seen before whilst at the same time, splitting your sides at how fucking ridiculous the world is and how easy it is for us to change it. This week he broke a world record and gave away the biggest cash prize since Oprah gave a car to every audience member on her show that day. How? Watch, learn, laugh and cry.
Last week we got an episode which featured Metallica, that in itself was probably worthy of a mention. I am a truly biased man who would probably say anything was totally amaze balls as I turn into a massive fan boy at the sight of the awesome James Hetfield, but this show is really starting to strut its stuff as well. I was intrigued but not convinced by episode 1, slowly and forcefully as we have got here to episode 5 i find myself fixated in a storyline that seemed distant to me at first. I wasn’t interested in stocks or billionaires, but this has gripped me more than I thought it could and i find myself drawn to it. Once again i feel the need to mark out the two main lead performances in this, as they are about as good as it gets, watching Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis go at each other in this titanesque battle of acting is making for memorable and essential watching each week.
Preacher (by JB)
This show is like a super-natural 'Breaking Bad' in its tone. It is very dark but the humour is still there to crack a smile between the looks of horror on your face. Dominic Cooper has become my man-crush. Is it his chiseled good looks and bad boy swagger, or is it because he is a man of the church and I can never have him? Who knows. All's I know is that there are not many shows where you can refer to a scene using only a noun. All's that I will say is, the Chainsaw scene. Wow.
Top Gear (by JB)
Was it as bad as last week? No. Is it an entertaining motoring show? No. My father and I sat there and laughed at the trip to Africa, "Ooooooh"-ed at the supercar and enjoyed some of Matt LeBlanc's quips. We still had the same problems though. A voraciously loud Chris Evans who began the show wheeled out in a coma before unfortunately awakening. Then we had 4 guests being interviewed. FOUR! Graham Norton you are not Mr Evans as a section I deemed messy last week became a mighty shambles! Afterwards my dad turned to me and asked "What did you learn from that show about cars?" I couldn't really tell him anything. He then pointed out that whilst Clarkson and co did indeed fuck about, they talked about motoring. "THE NEWS!!" Clarkson would exclaim and tell us about upcoming models, current issues and changes in the law or driving standards. "This is meant to be an entertaining, motoring show and at the moment it is neither." My thoughts too dad.
Game of Thrones
I made the statement last week I felt this was the weakest season yet. I stick by that. It just doesn't seem to be exciting me anymore. I feel like I am just waiting...and waiting… and waiting for the ending where suddenly something interesting happens and everyone is supposed to forget how dull the episode has been. This is a long way away from the thrones which gave us the Red Wedding. I know not every episode can do to us what that did yet we are being sauntered through this season at such a pedestrian pace that I find it hard not to complain. I feel there have been good moments this series, more often than not involving our favourite blonde Khaleesi. On the other hand a lot of the other plot lines are simply soooooo dull. I know there are many out there thinking I am being harsh on this and I am willing to listen to that, but for me, I used to get to Monday and be so excited to get home from work and I have simply lost that feeling. This series needs to take a massive gear shift up and immediately.
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST.
It’s a bit camp, it’s totally cheesy, in some parts it is actually hard to see past the sheer crapness on show. But it's a bloody tradition many of us watch year in, year out while smashing back our favourite alcoholic tipples and in my case, it's a chance to perv at some euro babes. Somehow a new points system was dropped in adding to the excitement. It was beyond any doubt the most barmy way of doing it, but it did actually work. It was in the end victory for Ukraine, with a song i thought was awful. Clearly I am not swapping jobs with Simon Cowell any time soon.
GAME OF THRONES.
Finally welcome to the heroes side after 3 fairly poor episodes. There was one easy to see reason why this episode was brilliant. Go back to how underwhelming episode 1 was with it’s horrendous titty shot, and then compare with the truly glorious boobies in flames shot we were given here. Of course boobs were not the only reason this has made it to the heroes side. It really was a much stronger episode and genuinely gets the pulse racing for next week's, which will surely follow on with something awesome from here.
Without spoilers it's difficult to really express how genuinely brilliant this has been. But poor old Tommy Shelby has had it pretty rough so far this season, and its making for some superb viewings. I think this just might be the best thing on TV right now and I tip my bladed cap to the writers on this one. I am completely hooked.
Often I see drama’s appear on ITV and think, well clearly that's shite as it's on ITV. But fair play on this one, this was a fantastic whodunnit thriller that really kept you guessing. The series came to a climactic end this week and so it gets a deserved mention on the heroes side to salute its farewell. Better than a BAFTA that.
BRITAINS GOT TALENT.
I love my trash TV, but this is becoming worse and worse. It's produced in a way that you can tell instantly whether they are good before they hit the stage which takes away why people love these type of shows. Everyone wants those Susan Boyle moments where you think they will be shite but then they come out and blow the roof off. Then you hear their story, then they show clips of them in their own fucking house telling us their hardships. It's quite bloody obvious that if you're giving them that kind of intro...they will get through. It's just so obvious now it's completely annoying. And don't even get me started on dancing groups and dancing dogs.
TV REMAKES OF FILMS.
I am adding this week a general villain of TV right now. TV Remakes of classic films. Already this year we have been subjected to the shocking portrayal of Rush Hour which hit our small screens. But now we have word that Rocky Horror too is being redone and probably tragically destroyed in front of our eyes. I just don't get why? Some people might think "Well why not?" And to you I want you to go over to your mirror and repeatedly punch yourself in the face whilst telling yourself how stupid you are. No good will come of this and this constant need to rehash old firm favourites really grates on me. Now I may be made to eat my words when the TV adaptation of Westworld hits later this year. But until then, I shall vent my fury at any director, producer or actor who lazily takes other people's ideas from yesteryear and decides to make a quick buck off of them, whilst destroying the legacy of these cult classics in the process.
MARON - US Stand up comic Marc Maron starts season 4 of his own show, this is definitely for fans of Louis CK, as it's a similar setup to the show 'Louie'. Marc plays a fictionalised version of himself in it. In this season Marc, a recovering alcoholic, battles addiction to prescription drugs and after being down and out, is forced into rehab. Despite the not so happy subject matter, plenty of humour in this makes everything fine. Well worth checking out if you haven't yet.
GEORDIE SHORE - I can hear most of you screaming “you have to be kidding?” I probably should be, but there is something that draws me into this show every week. It's stupid, it's filth, it's trash, I know all this. But I can't help but piss myself laughing at the stuff that comes out of their mouths every show. Let your guard down, this is trash tele for a post-work, non-thinking brain. It's not meant to be clever or thought provoking. It's just finished 5 years so this is a salute in their direction for being possibly the worst show but best show on TV right now... on MTV
LOUIS THEROUX, DRINKING TO OBLIVION - Confession time, I absolutely love this man. It's another fantastic doc from perhaps the leading person in this field. Louis can go and get inside the stories like no other I have seen. Often his interactions with the people involved are heartwarming and sincere. In this one we meet people suffering effects of alcoholism and it was gripping. If you are a fan of his previous work you will obviously love this. And if you haven't ever taken the time out to watch Louis in work go dig around and find his specials somewhere over the internet.
PEAKY BLINDERS - The return of the Shelby’s was exciting and tense, this show seems to gather more momentum with each episode. And i’m excited to see what we have in store this series. I’ll say little for now to make sure i give away no spoilers but lets just say the episode led us in very nicely, and i’m expecting this could be the best season yet.
GAME OF THRONES - Have to say still not feeling this season yet. Before any one says anything, here is why! The ending, was probably the most predictable story plot that I think game of thrones has tried to run. One of its major appeals before was that you never really knew who would be killed and when. But right now? It seems to obvious. I hope I am made to eat my words in the next few weeks when they hit us with the big “What the Fuck” moment! But for now... I’m waiting.
THE BIG BANG THEORY - Is anyone out there still watching, let alone enjoying, this show. I have never been a big fan of this show, but caught the latest episode and I have to say I think it's worse than it has ever been. I hate the characters and the comedy is pretty awful. Shows like this just seem to churn out episode after episode. 9 seasons probably about 24 episodes a season. That's a lot of shit right there..
The Tonight Show - Jimmy Fallon
This is perhaps the only one standing up to fill the large Letterman shaped hole in US late night TV and this week has been Jimmy at his best. He paid tribute to Prince with probably the greatest ping pong story of all time. Spoilt with great guests including Ricky Gervais & Eric Bana and a great performance from D’Angelo, again in tribute to Prince, this week is well worth checking out if you haven't already.
As the season 3 finale draws ever closer, the current plot sees Red dealing with events of the last 2 episodes and all he has been fighting for coming down around his ears. It's getting sombre, thoughtful and it's a distinct change from the action packed episodes that have become the norm. I look forward to seeing where the show's writers are taking us on the emotional rollercoaster that is this season and its impending conclusion.
Starting off with some decent energy and gags. This Ricky Gervais attempt hits more highs than lows, albeit predictable to Gervais' usual style and it does tail off toward the end but Eric Bana is excellent throughout, and there was enough fun in this low budget effort to see it in the heroes column.
Game of Thrones
Returned Monday, but let's face it, it limped back into action with a fairly lacklustre opening episode. Let's hope for a return to form next week, maybe we all had been spoilt by the sheer brilliance of The Walking Dead’s latest season. Or maybe it was just the worst tits we have seen since Mae Young at Royal Rumble in 2000.
Who made this crap? Checking out the first episode was as much fun as ending up on first dates and realising your mystery woman is Katie Hopkins. “I’ll have the cyanide special please garçon”.
Available now on Netflix, Ashton Kutcher is reunited with fellow 70’s show star Danny Masterson, unfortunately this very obviously played out sitcom has none of That 70’s show’s magic, the canned laughter seriously irritates more than adds atmosphere and the jokes often fall flat.