the year. Revenge, the moreish US import that cheekily presented itself as a ….
What then is our political commentator’s astonishing secret?
Dear Readers just posted second part of Jack Irish review;today is 30th December 2012. See the end of the review for the sad and unassailable news that i mistook this for a series when it wasn’t. Boo hoo. Oh well. Shoulda knew that two hour long episodes were too good to be true..
Christmas TV in the UK:
Good news is that i have watched the Scandinavian trilogy of Stig Larson’s Girl with The Dragon Tattoo and really enjoyed them. Although think the first and third were the best. Not sure about her blond curly wig get-up..
That really was about it over Christmas although i sunk down on the sofa a bit late to give ‘Restless’ a try. Knew i usually find historical Dramas daft and unbelievable on BBC1. However for Restless the historical parts were the best and the modern day-or i think it was meant to be the 70’s- judging by the outfits and the crockery-were fairly pitiful. Still, it had Charlotte Rampling in it who could just talk about anything really and still look and sound absolutely stunning as an actress.
Best bit about Restless was drooling over all the 40’s style outfits that the heroine wore and her daring do’s. Plus the rooms and furniture etc. Did see a Documentary once on people who have decided to not only dress but live as if they were in the 40’s which i thought was taking it a touch too far perhaps..They even had the kitchenette style kitchens and the wives had decided that their socialising consisted of visiting other 40’s styles similarly attired couples and bringing cakes round that they had made in their really difficult 40’s period kitchens..
Still, i digress:alas poor Derek in EastEnders clutched his chest dramatically as actors do when they know their time has come but in Derek’s case nobody came and helped him. Well a little late . Then it was curtains for poor evil- but-he’s nice to little kids- Derek.. Luckily we didn’t have to metaphorically go visit him in the morgue as we have with other countless EastEnders deaths. Mostly when they dared to cross the road at the wrong time or tried to leave the Square. The Square being a little like Shangri La. Or Hotel California.
The good news is that Revenge is back=yey! great fun. 7th January, Monday.
Classified under fun TV. Emily Thorne being one of my heroines now for being an evil genius heroine bent on getting revenge for poor dead Daddy from years ago. Shown in flashbacks of black and white.
Best line of the last series of Revenge:
“Don’t do anything too reveng-ey”!
from her long suffering and ever steadfast Billionaire mate although he did desert her briefly for an affair with seriously mad socio path who was later badly blatted as in shot on the beach. Both he, Billionaire buddy (whose name will come back to me) and then Emily had been recently kidnapped and trapped in a dungeon by evil white-haired baddie. (that’s what they call him, really, the white-haired man)
Of course Emily Kung-fu-ed her way out. She is trained by a Japanese Master Sensei you see.
Madeline Stowe, of course, acting the whole rest of the cast of Revenge effortlessly off the screen. Now i am wondering if she is really dead? blown up on that private jet:or was she?..
Plus:Borgen is back=yey! i think. Or it could start to get really boring. It is all about politics after all. However as is always the case, other people’s/country’s politics always seem more interesting than our own.. The Killing III being the exception. Borgen returns to BBC4 next Saturday, that is the 5th January 2012.
***The Last Resort***Sky1*Virgin Channel 121
I will also look forward to catching up with The Last Resort which is really rather good. Ok it has its eponymous moments. Yet overall The Last Resort has been far better than i originally expected. Mostly due to the Captain Bligh alike towering persona of Andre Breugher, loving every minute of his role as Captain of the submarine and like Madeline Stowe, eclipsing every other actor off the screen in his time on it. Is Andre Breugher as Captain Marcus Chaplain mad? we are not quite sure and deliberately so..
***Arrow***Sky 2*Virgin Channel 123
Will also pop in to see Arrow, which in spite of the dreadful meaningful family moments is great fun.
Mainly for when Arrow gets dressed up in his weekend biker style all in one with ribbed knee patches green leather outfit. Then Arrow puts on his racoon style green eye make-up
( they don’t show that perhaps its not considered to be butch enough) Arrow puts up his hoodie
(yes that’s his disguise) and goes off on his quest to get the bad Guys Of The City with his super duper arrows that are electronic and somehow exploding of doors and draining of bad guy’s bank accounts.
Nb. Rarely does Arrow, in true super-hero style nastily kill anybody with his arrows. Not that i have noticed anyway. In classic old school style he mostly incapacitates baddies with his regular plain ‘Ole arrows and then engages in, of course, super duper martial arts/ Kung-Fu fighting.
Arrow having been trained you see, by the master fighter/arrow man extraordinaire mysterious bearded Japanese man who saved our hero’s life and looked after him solicitously in a cave on that desert Island back when our hero was shipwrecked..
In an oddly ludicrous yet refreshing twist we have recently found out that it is Arrow’s own Mother (i have forgotten Arrow’s civilian name) who was, shockingly, behind the oh so accidental ship-wreck and had her own son tortured on the Island!
So far i haven’t mentioned this rather icky side of Arrow which is meant to make it supremely serious i surmise. Which is that on that deserted Island, after poor Arrow’s Dad shot himslef whilst in the inflatable life-raft out of a Captain Oates kind of sacrificial thing:Arrow was then netted up by a giant net trap (really) and held and tortured for days by yet more mysterious men.
The rest of the time Arrow was safely ensconced in the bearded Japanese man’s cave who taught Arrow to shoot with arrows of course and become a Master Arrowsman and who forced Arrow to kill his first little squirrelly animal otherwise he would have starved.
Well it turns out that these men were actually ordered by Arrow’s own Mother to find out ‘what he knows’ whatever that is. Poor Arrow is still covered in multiple scars on his chest and back from this rather over the top torturing sequence that went on for days. I didn’t look.
This is all to do with some strange and evil cabal that Arrow’s Mother is part of although its looking lately like she might want out since she cried a bit and was threatened by the banal yet evil and smiling baddie whose name i will find out. He happens to be the father of Arrow’s best friend.
Arrow’s best friend is now seeing Arrow’s One.True.Love from their childhood, the (sigh) district Attorney lady (when are they ever not this as a job? or say a Journalist) who only ever takes on impossibly ‘right-on’ cases usually involving officially wronged & victimised women.
Right, this cabal has dark and deadly plans for the future of the city” which don’t include, apparently the safety of Arrow’s family and is being plotted by Arrow’s Mother and evil ever smiling wotsisname. The Cabal has an insignia, or logo which has been stumbled upon by Arrow’s Mother’s husband who has an improbably British accent but is rather dashing if dim.
So far this insignia has turned up in a mysterious notebook that was hidden in a most secret place an ancient antique belonging to Arrow’s Mother in the Arrow family mansion. (a bit Batman like really) This mysterious insignia is inside tiny notebooks with lists of major players aka Bad Guys in the city. The thing is this list is only visible under ultra-violet light. Of course..
As luck or not so random chance would have it this is the same list of names and special invisible ink that Arrow found on his dead Dad’s body on the desert Island which luckily became visible in the light of the fire..
These are the names Arrow has been targeting as the bad Guys of The City.
Lately Arrow’s Stepfather has stumbled on this same list and has it translated with the help of an eponymous beautiful Computer Expert who held it under U.V.Light.
Arrow is very troubled too since he has realised he has a nemesis who also has this list who is killing off the baddies of the city rather than warning them and draining their bank accounts like Arrow does.
Well that really all i can make of Arrow so far. I mainly watch it for fun so can’t claim to have my full and detailed attention on it to further explain the apparent seriousness of the actual plot!..
Jack Irish Part Two
See Part One Jack Irish posted on December 24th 2012
So i like the dialogue in Jack Irish it is funny, terse and sometimes poetic when Jack gets drunk and sorrowful. Jack, drunk and slumped on his armchair on the phone to his girlfriend in Sydney:
“The chairs in my parlour seem empty and bare” (ahh..)
Jack & his friend Cam and the horse racing elderly crook are at a funeral of a jockey who died in a house fire. Jack:
“Its like a munchchkins meeting, its wrong to see them off their horses”
Yes, he died in a fire, probably couldn’t reach the smoke alarm to change the battery”!
As laid out in Part one: Jack is a one time high flying successful Lawyer who came down to earth with a bump after a terrible personal tragedy: and has slowly come back to a semblance of his life and self by working in a furniture workshop under the tutelage of a Master Cabinet Maker called Charlie.
Jack Irish, whose name is revealed as not being Irish at all, still seems to hang out in an Irish pub where all the old men seem to be Irish and talk about an old football team they all supported or played in called the Lions. Jack’s Dad who liked a drink and had a tendency to get into trouble, sadly died when Jack was young in some kind of fight.
Jack is friends with all the old men in the Pub, Charlie the cabinet maker and a low level elderly crook who runs some kind of horse racing scam. The elderly crook has a right-hand man who is an Aboriginal actor by the name of Aaron Pedersen and is called Cam Delray in Jack Irish.
Cam Delray drives the Jaguar like a dream very successfully away from gun toting gangsters chasing them one time and admirably keeps his calm:
“Do you wanna pass me that box under the seat please?”
to Jack who sits in the front. The box has a gun in it.
I say successfully since the Jaguar unfortunately is slower than the gangsters’ car and Cam decided to then fight the gangsters off from behind the car with said gun after a screeching sliding stop of the Jag. Two classic cars in Jack Irish then. Jack’s huge white finned car so far unidentified by me and the blue Jaguar.
The horse racing scam i think is getting the odds talked up on an old horse that the elderly crook buys. The horse still has a bit of racing left in him and so confounds the odds or wins the race.
Quite how Jack is involved in the racing scam apart from going over to the bookies at the beginning of the race and placing loud bets on their horse to drive up the odds haven’t figured out yet. Except that Jack hangs out with the two men and sits in the front seat as Cam drives the crook around.
According to my research on Jack Irish (more of that at the end of this piece) Jack Irish works as a part time debt collector so presumably for the elderly crook for whom i can’t find a a name and Cam Delray.
Jack is still a lawyer but now only helps people out who come to him in need. Jack’s old buddy from his old Law Offices helps Jack out with research and hangs out with him. A stereotypically pot bellied burger eating and burping Cop also helps Jack out with information when Jack goes on one of his mysterious quests.
For the life of me I have no idea where the eponymous Computer Expert (Tec) lady came from as a character. I swear Jack just burst in on her and we were expected to accept that he asked her to solve his Tec problems on a regular basis yet we had never come across her in the Drama.
Charlie, the Master Craftsman(on being called a carpenter)
“Cabinet makers are to carpenters what Rolex is to sundials”.
Jack (on meeting a mysterious man called Dave)
“Dave?, that’s not really enough, is it?”!
“I was never any good at team sports Dave”..
Jack and his lawyer mate sitting and swigging from a bottle of wine outside at night next to a wooden cupola when Jack’s girlfriend has left for Sydney for a super duper job as a News Reporter:
Jack:”Want another bottle of Château disappointment?”
I like that the music in Jack Irish can be corny but it gets away with it. In one scene we see Jack and Cam both sitting in the front of the Jag moaning about “the corny music” that the elderly crook insists on having played.
“There was no Elvis available in the airport” So he must have bought this music. (Elvis being not corny at all of course)
Several scenes later we are treated to the sight of the Jaguar gliding along seamlessly down the road, the same previously described as “corny” music playing. Yet now the music has performed some kind of minor miracle since as it continues to play we find ourselves thinking, hey, this is all right as we notice Jack and Cam in happy silence nodding to the beat of the song and smiling. In perfect time. Under the speeding trees and the wide Australian sky.
As mentioned in Part One of Jack Irish (see December 2012) it is a touch Raymond Chandleresque. Jack Irish stops just short of being really dark and hard hitting. Thank goodness. I wouldn’t like it so much then. Although there were some icky scenes with certain unspecified organs in jars from a grateful somewhat psychopathic ex-client of Jacks’s. Luckily those did not seem sinister to me but i think they were meant to be.
Oh and i realised that now Jack’s brave & beautiful girlfriend is in Sydney being a Newsreader that i was secretly pleased as i enjoy that rarest of things: a drama peopled by mainly men. Plus they reversed the sexist trope and we saw Guy in the shower!
Whilst Guy slouches about in non-de-script shirts whilst still managing to look like a missing male model, i am really liking Cam’s outfits:last week Cam wore a double-breasted pale mustard jacket with jeans, check shirt and a giant wild-West style belt buckle. Cool.
OK here is the bad news:remember my wonder in Part One of my review of Jack Irish about the episodes being two hours long?
Well after some research it transpires, sadly that this was for a reason. The two episodes i saw were “tele-movies” and there is only two of these episodes. Boo hoo.
The two episodes of Jack Irish i saw are called:Bad Debts and Black Tide. The good news perhaps is that these episodes are based on the ‘Jack Irish’ books by Peter Temple. Hence the demonstrably good dialogue and Raymond chandler Detective style feel to the whole thing.
So no more episodes after those two, it was just a ‘one off’ on FX. (now called FOX)
According to my research:The actor Aaron Pedersen who plays Cam Delray in Jack Irish is in a current Australian series on SBS called The Circuit in which he plays a character called Drew Ellis. Aaron Pedersen was nominated for a Most Outstanding Actor Award for his role in The Circuit in 2009.
OH Pleeez. I am with Charles Reynolds on this one. Quite why people feel the need to criticise the reviewer and not just say that you disagree & offer a different critique is beyond me. Don’t shoot the messenger.
I have really enjoyed these reviews and they belong in that (very) rare category, for me, that have quite often made me laugh out loud. Mostly in recognition and agreement of that point. Plus the enjoyment of making that point deservedly comic. Plus this reviewer agrees with me about Jazz! Hey:Homeland deserves to be made fun of:it takes itself waaaay too seriously.
It survived its overly drawn out stretching over several episodes from the wonderful original Israeli Hatifum (Prisoners of War) of one series only on the strength of some fairly wonderful and charismatic acting from Brody and Claire Danes.
But lets face it:they were cartoonish characters, with cartoonish grimaces and facial tics. They were cartoon capers made large.
Yes, Americans do glossy and slick Dramas so very well. The wife is always dutifully Stepford: Jess gave a whole new meaning to Stepford: scarily so. i would secretly have been relieved if Jess really had turned into a fish person from that brilliant alien/fish people invasion series set in the swamps of the American South years ago. At least that would have been interesting. It might have explained her stone faced seriousness.
The only time Jess ever became animated was in her cringe-worthy message to the troops/wives/families speech at the fundraiser. One wondered how on earth she ever managed for 8 years. Oh but then there was Mike. Equally plastic and stereotyped.
Jess was like somebody in an enclosed Amish community: shut off from the modern world. Oh wait, she lived in a Military milieu. Even though she didn’t live on the base i guess those social restrictions still remained. I could have sworn Jess had a job at one point?
Anyway:i digress re the language used in the programme:the official American dialogue. This is the curse of American Drama. the ever insidious interminable and insipid and completely meaningless pyschobabble. Yes folks, it sounds good,
it even looks good but it means absolutely nothing.
Jess was probably the worst perpetrator:conversations between her and Brody were near unintelligible for any meaning whatsoever.
Question:do people Really talk like that? I don’t think so. Not All. The. Time. However possibly quite a few Americans who have been subliminally or actively brainwashed into talking psychobabble for the rest of their lives. By some regular dialogue invasion of the bodysnatcher therapist.
Psychobabble is the dark matter of dialogue and drama. It is one long interminable therapy session going nowhere. It mostly speaks in negatives:eg. “I’m not saying that I’m Not..etc. etc” If you stop to examine this dribble by way of the double negatives rule it becomes plain that it is the most patently execrable verbal garbage. Script-Writers should do and Must Do Better.
Regarding the infamously cringeworthy potato peeling scene:of course it was meant to show us that they had no day to day conversation or even relationship. Since so far they had mainly been in bed. In, as our reviewer rightly puts it:some kind of dreadful Lovers Guide to Log Cabin Loving old Video.
However putting all logic and reason aside: eg. whether Carrie,a vulnerable Bi-Polar sufferer who had obviously really fallen in love with their target would really have been allowed to carry on thus? Answer= apparently-all is fair in Love and the Cold-oops War on terror..
Since nothing seems to have changed in America and the dreaded reds under the bed are now all eponymous ugly bearded official ‘Arabs like on the last video shown in this episode that they get from Arabs R us. Like for the equally eponymous market scene in supposed Beirut. ‘Cause that’s all there is in Arab countries:large markets where people ‘haggle’ geddit?
Well:unless the terrorist is handsome and deliberately painted as sympathetic Nicholas aka Osama Bin Laden (OBL). Since what else was the uncomfortably realistic Islamic burial at sea scene other than to force those of us who hadn’t seen the Documentary on the killing of OBL and the subsequent replica reconstruction of his burial at sea-to watch said burial?
Question:why does Islamic chanting deliberately have to sound more ‘holy’ somehow? likewise the overdone Hebrew chanting of the supercilious and sanctimonious Saul at the again enforced sight of about a hundred black bin bagged wrapped bodies back in the CIA Hall?
The forced as in you shall watch it symbolism of 9/11 was pretty clear to see. I reject with some annoyance being forced into viewing these obvious ‘Teachable Moments’ in fully lit flashing lights.
Yes, Nicholas was a nice handsome terrorist, like OBL, was that it? he lost his family to a drone strike. We geddit.
Likewise Brody. it didn’t need to be rubbed in and we could have done without the bin bags and the uncomfortably realistic burial at sea. Which looked like a real live body to me, or did they get a dead one specially and shoot it full of four bullet holes? Whichever: its icky.
For the rest of it i hate to admit that being a soppy romantic i was fully buying into the love affair=Ahhh..Well once away from the uncomfortable Maris Piper or were they King Edwards juggling in the cabin. that were never cooked..
At least the conversations of Carrie & Brody were a touch more realistic and lively than those of Brody and Jess? Whose interchanges resembled a flat-lining heart monitor a little like Walden’s Thunderbirds Are Go set-up in the basement..
However overall Homeland, as mentioned as far as women go seems oddly set in the 1950’s:or is that just America today?
Yes:supposedly Carrie had an important high-flying job yet she didn’t, did she? She was just being pimped out for The Greater Good.
Then, much like the women in American Vampire Dramas, Jess & family were treated like medieval chattel and officially handed over by a jolly chat in a bar over a beer to Mike by Brody!
The whole earlier plot with Brody, his improbably stored suicide vest in his cupboard and his praying in the garage rested on the extremely unlikely idea in
this day and age: that good stepford wifey never went into his ‘man places’, you know, like the British shed.
The fact that Carrie, as an agent, was a woman at all was only so that the audience could perve on her generally: twitching naked but for a hospital gown in faux-orgasmic pain. (Likewise Dana, albeit to a lesser, more surreptitious degree) Nice one.
Offensive to both women And sufferers of Bi-Polar disorder whose illness was coopted just for this purpose and to further fully stereotype Carrie as an official weepy hysterical woman. Whilst absolving themselves from this via the disorder. Well thats OK then..
Oh and don’t forget the umpteen shag-athons :both maximised aural and visual in which poor Jess had to partake too. That was the essence of first Jess then Carrie’s roles.
As far as Saul goes i agree with the other posters:although its hard to care any more about the ‘mole’ I have long suspected Saul and particularly since his shady ‘here borrow my glasses’ visit to oh so quickly dispatched Aileen.
Mostly i just find Saul severely annoying due to his whole caring sharing persona coupled with the full on righteousness of his religion thrown in..The deliberate coupling or mirroring of these two religions in Homeland is irksome in the extreme.
No, we don’t need the official ‘Balance’, thanks..
Nb. I will miss the delectable ever hands on hips whilst angry & unaccountably shouting with the most endearing Spock-like ears:Estes=boo hoo..
My posted comments on The Guardian online Blog on The Killing III
posted 23rd December 2012
just popped back in to ask a silly question: (i think i have this right)
So if Loke knew it was Rheinhardt all along(?or was it just at the end?)
Then why on earth didn’t he just kill him instead of tall the other people and kidnap Emilie and cause all this rather alarming kerfuffle?
I’m sure this has been discussed somewhere but not enough time to go through all the Blog. Realise i was distinctly disengaged with the plot at the time and just couldn’t be bothered..
Now it has been aerating my brain this rather pertinent question. Can somebody please explain? cheers:)
in reply to a poster:
@William1981 – Yes, thank you very much, very detailed and deep an explanation, makes sense. Good point about the confusion being the point and how a Detective would encounter it as patterns and such like. Does seem like she never had the time to just sit back and kick it like Clint and look at said pattern?
My personal take on it is that the screenwriters, bereft and desolate at being told that The Killing was to be peremptorily ended and naturally having a head full of dramatic ideas and denouements, stuffed the whole lot into The Killing III and kept pushing like an overfull suitcase on the bed until it finally snapped shut. After they sat on it..
Nb. i think its Clouseau:)
i guess its natural to pine for an all gathered in the library moment and a satisfactorily secure twirling of a carefully waxed moustache..
Or even a Mrs Marple moment, who would twirl and fix upon someone all of a sudden trembling with ill disguised guilt in the corner, with her obsidian and glacial blue eyes…
My Random Comment in reply to a poster on The Guardian Blog on The Killing III posted 14th December 2012
(nothing to do with The Killing III, talking about the Series Arrow instead)
i quite understand@pdboxer, Arrow is a lot of fun at the mo..
Marvel at just how many people now Arrow has let into his secret!
He even taught the near holy aspects of his crossbow arrow shooting to obviously ill-hinged Huntress last week:
No! super-heroes do not teach others their warcraft especially when it means we have to suffer them saying:’Yes, it takes
skill and patience and many years of training..”
(back when he was marooned and beardy and in dreadful flowery shorts on that desert Island)
Marvel too at how Arrow when he runs after a baddie’s car runs as fast as the car! No:really..
Part Two of: Jack Irish see above for details.
So i have mentioned Jack Irish in one of my notes to readers when i first saw it in December 2012.
I would put it under fun TV however it has some dark stuff in it. There is a har de har part too which i’m not sure really works. Yet without this jokey side it would be too dark and dreary since the last episode i saw had some pretty horrific murders in it. Even though you don’t see them bullet to body so to speak. Thank goodness. Jack has come face to face with some pretty smelly out of date bodies though so far in two episodes.
Still, as I’m sure i have written somewhere, a lot is forgiven for Guy Pearce who simply can do no wrong for me. He did try hard in the first episode to look truly down at heel and half alcoholic even. But Guy can’t help glowing with good health and fitness even as he attempts to look seedy whilst walking through numerous dark and rainy scenes through appropriately dark alleys at night.
Personally i adore all the loving nods to true Raymond Chandeler-esque Detective fiction style in Jack Irish. Even the dialogue is terse, funny and at times, poetic.
OK it may try too hard and some of it is corny but hey, did i mention it has Guy Pearce in it? From the film Memento where Guy as the hero wanders around confused and tattooed to within an inch of his life and living in perpetual flashbacks? The tattoos are all messages to himself that he has had done before he lost his memory you see. Anyway i digress.
Jack Irish gets better with each episode. Plus its a jolly, chunky two hours long per episode. What an unusual thing! Its a whole proper film. I’m so used to things being short that i get up and wander off after an hour thinking its ended and have to remind myself to return.
To cut a long story short Jack is a down at heel once high flying lawyer who has a personal tragedy. We see him spending time in a wood workshop under the tutelage of an elderly Master Craftsman with an Austrian or possibly German accent.
The Master Craftsman is called Charlie and really knows his stuff. We presume that our hero Jack has been healing in his apprenticeship there. Guy Pearce still looks like he walked off some lone male catwalk somewhere in a workman’s apron as the very latest thing.
Jack has certainly learnt a lot from what i saw since he can now do perfect dovetail joints. Charlie, his teacher says things like:
“here, try this Chilean Mahogany, 100 years old..” when Jack says he isn’t ready Charlie replies:
“But its only a piece of wood until you’ve worked on it”..
Bethoven’s symphony Number 7 plays in the workshop scenes. Nice touch and a cool change form most irksome background so called atmospheric music. I could almost forgive Jack Irish for playing Jazz when Jack is officially relaxing. Almost..
I haven’t figured out what kind of car Jack Irish drives yet there was a close-up at one point possibly for this very purpose since i could see the name written in silver longhand on the back. However i missed it. Suffice it to say Jack’s car is old, its all white and completely gorgeous. It has long double fins and is large like an old Pontiac.
To be continued in Part Two of Jack Irish
(having run out of time, not in an apocalyptic way or anything)