The Get Down
Have you all watched this yet? If not, why not because Netflix have absolutely nailed it again with another original series, just weeks after the incredible 'Stranger Things' they bring us this uber cool beast. It focuses on the disco scene giving way to the formation years of Hip Hop and I have to first commend the directors for the authenticity that it brings. I felt completely like I was there in the Bronx and even though this was a story set in the past, it could not have felt more fresh at the same time. Though it was visually stunning the true hero of this has to be the music and we are absolutely spoilt throughout with some quite stunning moments made so special by the music surrounding it, a personal highlight featuring a disco tune being belted out of a church with full choir singing along, was truly heavenly. Once again like Stranger Things this shines because of the young talent it has in its lead roles. Justice Smith as Zeek, Shameik Moore as Shaolin Fantastic and Herizen F. Guardiola as Mylene Cruz have all the charisma and charm required and you fall instantly in love with the characters from episode 1. The first half of season 1, 6 episodes, were released in one go in true Netflix style, so put on your binge coats, get wet with hip hop glory and join me in the rather anxious waiting room, eager for the next batch of episodes.
This week brought the end of season 1 for the new show from the makers of The Walking Dead and overall I have to say it's been hit and miss. The initial impact of the first couple of episodes left me absolutely stunned, I thought this series was going to be a monster that I would be raving and raving about but I have to say I thought the middle stagnated a little and my interest wavered. I pushed myself through parts in truth but I am glad I did because fortunately getting toward the end of the season it picked right back up again and started getting back to its thrilling best which hooked me in the first place. I know they had to focus quite heavily on building the story up in the middle of the season so maybe we could forgive them, but I still think that could have been achieved with a few more thrills in the process, it seemed to move at a pedestrian pace with a couple of side stories that just didn't seem to matter in the end. Despite that, overall it was definitely worth a watch and with the superb end to episode 10, we can be excited for the next season, with the characters now introduced and set up, hopefully we can expect a bit more action throughout the next one.
Someone Knows My Name
Another series coming to an end with only 6 episodes was this epic on the slave trade. I thought this was an absolutely stunning story, it was at times absolutely heart breaking but could be absolutely inspiring in others. I won’t lie, it could sometimes be a tough watch and it's probably not for anyone who doesn't like a serious theme with their tea but it will be rewarding for sure. Aunjanue Ellis absolutely shines as Aminata Diallo, a woman who faces so much pain and adversity but it never breaks her spirit and along the way she helps many beside her as she seeks to free herself from slavery and to return to her home in Africa. A truly incredible story beautifully done.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Just to lighten the mood a bit, does everyone know about this show? It's hardly new, in fact it's been on for years, but I just like to make sure we are all on the same page from time to time. If you don't know, this show features US comedian Jerry Seinfeld and as the name suggests, he basically takes another comedian in a cool car to a coffee shop for general chit chat. It's a great format for an interview and some of the guests have been people you won't see on the tele chat shows every week. Recently we have been graced by SNL creator Lorne Michaels, who obviously working with so many comedians over the years, has a decent anecdote or too. The episodes are very short so if you are just looking for a quick wit fix this could be for you. Other guests have included Ricky Gervais, Will Ferrell, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon, it's pretty much a who’s who of US comics and the cars are every bit as good as the funny too. All episodes can be found for free on Crackle.
The Night Manager
My weekly catch up of shows I may have missed earlier in the year brought me to Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston in this superb show. Once again it was only a 6 episode affair, so not hard to catch up with (should you want to). It focuses on a night manager of a hotel who gets mistakenly involved with an arms deal in Egypt. This show is riddled with revenge, espionage and deception and it's bloody marvellous, Laurie and Hiddleston both give great performances and it's quite nice to see a good BBC show, unfortunately they have become few and far between.
And finally another one I just recently caught up with, which is midway into its first season, is this show from the creator of 'Almost Famous'. 'Almost Famous' is my favourite ever movie, so to hear that Cameron Crowe was back making a rock themed show was music to my ears. Luke Wilson stars alongside Carla Gugino and the rather lovely Imogen Poots in a show which focuses on the guys behind the rockstars and so far, it's been great. 'Almost Famous' it will never be, but it has a similar feel to it and certainly has the same charm, which easily sucked me in. The humour is great and I have to mention how incredibly smitten I became with Poots who plays Kelly Ann, within minutes of seeing her skateboard through the back areas of a concert I was overwhelmingly looking longingly upon her. If you like rock music or music themed TV shows, this is another to add to your watch list for sure.
A great series comes to the end, I had major reservations about this show having a second season after a terrific first came to a shocking conclusion. I wondered how on earth they could replicate but boy was I wrong. The writers got this so spectacularly right and a couple of cast changes from the first only added to how good this show was. If anything I felt this series might have been even better and once again we have been left in total mystery as to where this show could go next series. Until then, we can only speculate but I will be very excited indeed when this show rolls round again.
It's bloody back, a show which pits robots with axes and spinning discs against each other shouldn't be so enjoyable but it just is. A lot of this will feel familiar to anyone who watched the old run of this show, the only change being Dara O’Briain replacing Craig Charles as the host and certainly unlike Top Gear the host change has not had a bad effect. In fact Dara’s humour actually makes those scenes away from the battle a little more enjoyable. The familiar voice of Jonathan Pearce still commentates over the battles so this has a very nostalgic feel for former fans. Sometimes shows need a break to come back and I think this is one of them, it feels fresh again, let battle commence!
The Get Down
On one of my last blogs I recommended the awesome Stranger Things, which let's face it, most people absolutely went crazy over, and Netflix might just be hitting a home run again with this number. A show about the birth of hip hop is always going to attract interest from someone into their music. I myself had been eagerly awaiting this since the start of the year. This is available to binge now for the first six episodes, I will say little until next week as I watched episode 1 last night and loved it, so I’ll let everyone catch up and discuss further once I’m further into it, however judging on episode 1, this could be another fantastic Netflix original we could all get down to. (Yeah I went there!)
OK OK, hardly a new show, but I missed this when it was first released but sticking with the music theme, I finally got round to giving this a watch. I went in slightly worried as this was massively talked about before the show premiered, not least for the superb names involved with it and I had to be nervous as I don't remember many people raving about it since it had been on. But I actually really enjoyed it, I think the first episode was too long, it should have maybe split that into two and maybe that detracted a few people. Yet after that episode I felt the series grew stronger, like Boardwalk Empire it features made up characters intertwined in a world with real life rock stars and this adds a very authentic feel to it, which is no surprise with Mick Jagger involved. Top[ that with Scorsese also involved and it looks an absolute treat as you are thrown right back to the early 70’s. All in all very enjoyable for someone into rock music of that era so if you haven't watched this yet, I can confirm it is definitely worth revisiting.
Has anyone been watching this? Well let me summarise this short but oddly good series. Basically...they got about 30 people together to go live in the middle of pissing nowhere in the hope they could be self sufficient and start a new community away from the modern world. Did they achieve this?? Well...no not really, they certainly weren't very self sufficient and most of them seemed to hate each other, so in short if you are fed up of the modern world and think it's a good idea to go build a hut in the middle of rural scotland, think again!
In case you missed this last time, you should all be checking out this very funny new show from America. Brought to you by the same people who brought you Eastbound & Down, it certainly has the same humour and I think it's got funnier with each episode, so if you are looking for some quick 20 minute episodes of something which will make you howl. Look no further.