Wolf Creek. Series One. An Australian Horror series based on the original film (2005) Wolf Creek. A One-Off Review. Minor Spoilers only. On FOX Channel HD only on UK Television.

Wolf Creek. Series One.

TV/ Television Description of Wolf Creek:
Episode One:
Billabong:
“When Eve Thorogood and her family take a vacation in the Australian outback, they get more than they bargained for in the shape of a monster named Mick Taylor”.
“Drama, Horror, suspense”.

*

Series One.
Wolf Creek.
A One-off Review of the first few episodes.
Episodes One and Two.

So Wolf Creek is really rather wonderful I think. Although being entirely and horrifically gory. At intermittent interludes. The warning of strong scenes of violence given at the beginning of episode one: is not for nothing.

I did actually stop watching the Netflix new or updated version of Scream: because of an exact same scene. Which unfortunately had coincided with a little bit too much reality: in the news. But I digress.

First of all as anyone knows or could guess from reading my reviews of the Australian series One of The Code: I could happily watch the red ochre sands and the wide open expanse of the outback all day long.

Just like I loved gazing upon the desert and the sandstone mountains in Skinwalkers-The Navajo mysteries.

There is something about those wide open spaces, that ochre red to orange and that ever burning, blistering sun. Plus the whole very unknown-ness to us: of the land. So unusual to view that it could almost be Mars.

And who doesn’t dream of going to Mars. Except for the fact that you can’t get back. To earth.

The opening credits are the now usual almost but deeply artistic depiction of insects and animals and devourings and death.

Along with neon washed vistas of green, orange and brown. As distant and oddly posed figures stand sideways gazing:into the outback. All is sky and sun and earth.

The colours are simply glorious and continue throughout. The neon orange, green and red seemingly a feature too: of the claustrophobically weird lair or garage of the owner of the blue truck..

***
Footnotes.

It was the series True Blood I reckon which first pioneered the style of the opening credit scenes.

***

I did find myself gazing down at my dinner at one point: for what seemed like the longest time. Rather than watch that scene. Then I had to decide if I still felt like eating it..

***

Posted by Clarissima at 15:43

Zoo-Series One. An American horror series based on the book of the same name by James Paterson and Malcolm Ledwidge. My Final Review. From Episode Five onwards until the end of Series One. Minor spoilers only. On Netflix in the UK. This Final Review follows on from My First Review on Episodes: One, Two, Three and Four of Zoo posted on 6th of September 2016.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Zoo-Series One.
“Netflix Description of Zoo:
“People have always been on top of the food chain, looking down on the animal kingdom. They’re about to get a new view”.
2015. Five stars.

Netflix-Further description of the series:
“When animal species all over the world begin attacking humans, the controversial Zoologist Jackson Oz tries to discover the cause of the sudden change”

*

My Final Review

Later episode dialogue.
A Scientist:
“That’s suitably eerie!”

So you gotta love a series where they say things like that. Well I do.

I’m glad I stuck with Zoo because I was wavering at one point. Thinking that it was verging on too teachy-preachy, considering the flurry of box ticking and so on.

For example, the proliferation of women at every turn in position of authority. Yep. Very Scandinavian in flavour I felt that was. As in the Bridge series something or other.

This is not a coincidence. But then possibly I’m suffering from or at propaganda overload. You see these are positive female role models. Official female empowerment. And so on.

However there was a counterbalancing theme later luckily, I felt, to all this severe right-on-ness on the subject of animals. And the lesson-style prologue thankfully disappeared. Mostly.

Zoo is not exactly deep and meaningful as a drama although note that I just complained of that very thing above. A classic sort of save the world tale with a twist. A modern update if you like. Which manages not to be completely corny.

The drama’s strength centres around the characterisation and intersection of its main characters and their interactions with each other.

Abraham and Mitch, the two characters to whom the story first introduces us: are old friends already. In fact they consider each other brothers. We slowly learn. The rest of the main cast are then introduced one by one and meet each other by both chance and planned introduction.

Certainly the scene setting, including the opening credit scenes are stunningly dystopian and artistic to see.

For some reason the street scene with the giant Rhinoceros in the street at the beginning, set in a smoky mist reminded me of a row of colonnades (in Mussolini’s Italy) in the series Inspector De Luca.

I am not quite sure that the story itself lived up to the weightiness of its often dystopian artful setting. Sometimes the drama sagged a little in the middle.

This feeling may have been because of an ongoing inherent suspense attached to the urgency of the characters’ mission: being a tricky thing to maintain. In a drama of a good healthy thirteen or so episodes long. Which was interspersed with some slightly syrupy interludes.

However since the slushy stuff was mostly shouldered by the excellently acted, interesting and laconic Veterinary Pathologist: somehow these scenes survived mawkishness. Mostly.

However by the end or towards the end of Zoo we are fully invested in the characters. Whose own progression along the way is subtly evoked. In terms of their characterisations.

I liked how Mitch was evinced subtly to have become similar to someone we only see in video: right a the beginning. As he now films himself.

Abraham was a stolid and charismatic character as well as an enjoyable all action hero. Plus he plays an African character who for once actually has an African accent!

Chloe, who is at first distractingly beautiful, OK, she’s always going to be distractingly beautiful, is convincingly steely and brave. Right from the very beginning. But exhibits nerves of steel under eye popping pressure throughout and later- as Zoo morphs into another kind of madcap dystopian adventure and continues to surprise.

Especially when we are least expecting it and are thinking that our classical happy ending is all sewn up..
***

Footnotes.

I am sticking to my original description of Jackson Oz as a Veterinary Pathologist: since this is what he calls himself in the beginning of the series.

***

I could see Abraham’s back-story coming from a mile off.

***

The officially evil hick American hunters from the beginning of the series are simply recycled later.

***

As mentioned in the footnotes to my first review: series two of Zoo is currently showing on CBS channel in America.

***

Posted by Clarissima at 16:24

Zoo-Series One. An American horror series on Netflix based on the book Zoo by James Patterson and Malcom Ledwidge. Some notes and dialogue on Episodes One, Two and Three with my First Review at the end. Minor spoilers Only.

 

Netflix Description of Zoo:
“People have always been on top of the food chain, looking down on the animal kingdom. They’re about to get a new view”.
2015. Five stars.

*
Zoo.
Series One.
Episodes One, Two and Three.

Nb. The episode notes were done in the chronological order of watching the episodes. Without noting down at the time the seperate episode titles.

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

So I’m on episode two or three now and Zoo is really rather good. I wasn’t going to bother one hundred percent. It sounded corny.

Zoo does have moments of teachy-preachy. But mainly in the prologue so that’s not too bad.

The whole concept seems dated but turns out it’s pleasantly classic instead.

Zoo is set in several different locations.

Great dialogue:
“Sometimes lions..just get liony”!

Abraham to Mitch:
“Kikku Korribu”.
Yoruba or Swahili perhaps.

Oh yes. The locations are Botswana, Los Angeles, well I won’t say more.

There is a nice touch of Indiana Jones about Zoo.

The officially English couple have an accent like they were in Mary Poppins.

The veterinary Pathologist is an excellent character.

Abraham:
“I’m a very rugged man!” ha ha.

Zoo gets better and better.

Mysterious man:
“I’m afraid that the fate of the world…may depend on it”.

People say things like:
“It may be our only hope..for the future”
But Zoo still manages to be cool and stylish.

The safari guy, Mitch and Abraham are excellent too.

Journalist lady to the Veterinary Pathologist:
“Hey, the bartender, he kept all the decorations up since Christmas when his wife died”
The Veterinary Pathologist:
“Wow, how very Miss Haversham of him!”

The Veterinary Pathologist to the mysterious man in the nice suit:
“Hey mystery man in nice suit!”
then: (a little later)
“Mystery man in nice suit who knows things!”

So there is a dark story strand going on.

Someone’s quoting the Old Testament..

Mitch:
“The defiant pupil.” Oh, I get it now..

The dialogue is intelligent and medically and scientifically interesting. The reasoning keeps making lateral thinking bounds.

Oh my goodness.. Sheeete.

Oh yes. Zoo just got seriously old school on us. I’m getting shades of The Champions. I loved The Champions.

Abraham to Mitch:
My uncle Tobego used to say that if you got off on the wrong foot you would stay there.”
Mitch:
“You don’t have an Uncle Tobego!”

Thank goodness. I hate it when officially ethnic characters have to say wise sayings all the time!

Ha ha. The bat. Great stuff.

***

First Review.
So I had to stop as it / I was getting too spoilery. Zoo is fresh , fun and different. Whilst being distinctly classical in make-up as a genre.

You know-the end of the world might be coming and only the very scientific nearly nerdy and or action hero (or several such combinations including the usual Journalist on a mission) may be able to save it..

Zoo so far is almost corny but not quite. It somehow manages to escape corniness and being generic whilst being of a recognisable classic genre. As described.

The drama is also determinedly even avowedly: international. Jumping dizzily but neatly and believably, from country to country. And language. With the growing cast of characters as the focal touch point.

My only bugbear with Zoo is the increasing feeling of teachy-preachiness about hunting. Yes- we get it-hunting- boo hiss-hick hunters bad. Animals good.

Myself I’m rather tired of the caricatured hick American hunter. Surely the only allowable stereotype left in dramas these days. Well apart from Englishmen. And Irishmen.

Scandinavian hunters never get this treatment in dramas. Do they. Or the Inuit. No-they’re cool hunters see.

But I digress.

However Zoo is fabulously full of colour and stylish sets, of scenes in cities and countryside with classic horror set-ups with a twist.

There are shades of the American The Killing Three for me in one story-line. Plus one character’s story-line reminds me of the series The River.

And we learn the meaning of clowder..

To be continued.

***

Footnotes.

The Veterinary Pathologist is described in the Netflix notes as a Zoologist but in these early episodes he is introduced as a Veterinary Pathologist. We later find out that he is called Jackson Oz.

Jamie Campbell is the name of the Journalist.

Abraham Kenyatta is the full name of the safari guide and Mitch Morgan is the animal behavior specialist, who is Abraham’s friend.

I discover from Wikipedia (sourced 7th August 2016) that Zoo is an American Television series.

Not quite sure if this Netflix series Zoo is based on the TV series or is one and the same series-just being shown on Netflix as a whole series. Will check.

It appears that the Netflix series of Zoo is the same as the television series that was on in America on CBS channel. It was simply transplanted to Netflix.

The series two of Zoo is currently on CBS in America.

***

Posted by Clarissima at 15:40

Some new and coming soon- TV/ Television shows on UK TV and Netflix. On UK TV: Wolf Creek, New Series of Dag, One Of Us, The Missing Series Two?, Modus, The Outlaws, Nashville-New Series-Four, Mister Robot, Magic City and Made In Chelsea-South Of France. On Netflix in the UK: a mention of the new series Zoo and Series Three of From Dusk Till Dawn. From Dusk Till Dawn will be out on Netflix in the UK on 7th of September 2016.

 

Celebrity Big Brother 2016.
So I watched the totally and utterly chilling totalitarianism writ large of Celebrity Big Brother 2016.
Zoo.
Then I watched the new series Zoo on Netflix.
Great stuff.

Zoo is based on a book by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. I seem to have a knack of finding and often liking: series based on books.
Series that I have reviewed that are based on books.
For example:
Hemlock Grove Series One, Two and Three.
Wayward Pines Series One.
Bitten. (First two episodes)
Crimes Of Passion.
Intruders.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Older series reviewed here that I discover are based on books:
Underbelly. Series One.
Varg Veum-A series of films.
(Except for one of the films which is made up of combined short stories by the author).
The Unit.
Inspector Van Veeteren Series.
Vampire Diaries.

All of the above have been reviewed in full here on this blog except for The Unit which has been referred to in passing.

Nb. Apparently Pretty little Liars is based on a book.
Haven’t quite made my mind up about the series yet. A bit hard going so far..
*

I see there are some new shows on TV:

New Shows on UK TV.

So this looks interesting:

Wolf Creek
FOX Channel. Based on the original film Wolf Creek of 2005.
New. FOX Channel. To be aired on Tuesday 30th August 2016 @10pm. Nb. Only on FOX HD Channel.

Episode One:
Billabong:
“When Eve Thorogood and her family take a vacation in the Australian outback, they get more than they bargained for in the shape of a monster named Mick Taylor”.
“Drama, Horror, suspense”.
***

A new series of Dag- Series Four.
On Sky Arts Channel.
Currently showing on Sky Arts Channel. First aired on 3rd of August 2016.

Wednesdays @ 11:00pm and 11:30pm. Two half hour episodes back to back.
***
BBC One
One Of Us.

There is a new series on BBC One which aired on 23rd August 2016. Tuesdays @ 9pm.
One Of Us.

BBC One Description of One Of Us:
“A horrific murder shocks two families living in isolated rural Scotland”
With Juliet Stevenson”

***

BBC One.
The Missing Series Two?

I did get all excited to see a trailer for BBC One drama that included a clip with Inspector Jean Paul Baptiste in, from the series The Missing, in a car!

Was there going to be a new series of The Missing I wondered.

However the answer really wasn’t clear. The TV trailer seemed to be an Advertisement for BBC drama series generally. Whether past or present as in soon to be, new- I really couldn’t tell.

I would watch BBC One to see Jean Luc Baptiste Inspector, Retired. With his extra cool sunglasses, donkey jacket and limp..

A more recent BBC TV trailer announced that:
“The Code, Beck, and Modus (?) will be coming to the BBC this autumn.”

That means series two of the Australian series The Code. I wrote about The Code, series one on this blog.

Modus-BBC Four.
OK-a quick search on Modus- reveals that it is a Swedish Crime drama which is coming to BBC Four/ 4 to fill the Saturday night slot of 9pm traditionally (but not so much recently except for some random episodes of Beck) reserved for foreign language dramas shown on UK Television.

So all of the above mentioned series in the more recent BBC TV trailer must have referred to BBC Four only.
Series Two of The Missing?  BBC One
According to my quick internet search just now: there will be a series Two of The Missing. On BBC One. Date as yet unknown.

The second series will feature a different story and cast of characters. Except for Inspector Jean Luc Baptiste with his photo-reactive glasses!

Nb. I have found the correct name for these glasses: photochromatic.

The story in series two will be about another missing person..

***
New series-The Outlaws.
A Belgian series. First aired on 28th August 2016. On More 4 Channel and More4 HD. Fridays @ 9pm. Nb. “The Outlaws is a Walter Presents Production from All4.”

The Series description is too spoilery..

So I also discovered, completely by chance, a new Belgian series called The Outlaws.

Unfortunately it transpires that I have missed the first episode and it isn’t available. The first episode being really rather important. Especially as this is a murder mystery.

A Short Series Description of The Outlaws:
However the bad new for me anyway, is that The Outlaws is described as:
“A Belgian comedy Murder drama”.

Murder comedy is just not my cup of tea. Now horror comedy-maybe. But that only really worked in Z-Nation-for me.
***
Nashville. Series Four.
Now on Sky Living and Sky Living HD and E4 Channel and E4 HD. First aired on 25th August 2016. Thursdays on Sky Living @ 10pm.

So Nashville returns-yey!
Series Description:
“A country music star is forced to team up with a younger starlet to keep her career afloat.”

Where to start. So much has happened.

What’s not to love about this soap opera set in the world of country music and based in Nashville, Tennessee. With some live performances: this time including Juliette singing ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline.

Plus the harmonising vocals of Scarlett and Gunner, the two young songwriters are sublime.
Then there are men in cowboy hats with Southern manners who wear cowboy boots and play guitar.

****

(Mister) Mr. Robot.
First aired on Universal Chanel in the UK on 18th of August 2016.

Series Description of Mr. Robot:
“A young programmer who suffers from an anti-social disorder conncects with people by hacking them”
“With Christian Slater.
***

Magic City.

A new series exclusive to Virgin TV.
Series description of Magic City:
“Glitz. Glamour. Gangsters. Get ready for Magic city coming exclusively to Virgin TV from 1st September”.

From the trailer for Magic City:
Looks like it’s set in the early days of Las Vegas..

Yep. The titles say:
“1959. Miami Beach. The Miramar. Witness the playa. The birth of an empire..”

“To be aired on 1st September. Series One and Two available on demand on Virgin TV. Tivo/XL only.”

Well I am a sucker for a terse series description. It was mainly on that basis that I watched Skinwalkers-The Navajo Mysteries and From Dusk Till Dawn. On Netflix.

***

Made In Chelsea-South Of France.
E4 Channel Mondays @ 9pm.

The increasingly charmless serial swoppers (without/ sans Lucy and Stephanie Pratt) are off on their hols/ holidays to the South Of France for the summer.

Wonder quite how sunlight can look like that. All the time. Pretend you are there. In a villa by the sea. Unless you actually are of course..

Learn from Mark Francis that:
“Monaco is the only place in the world where the weekend is not cliche!”.
***
Netflix.
From Dusk Till Dawn-Series Three.
Oh yes-nearly forgot-There will be a Series Three of From Dusk Till Dawn.
Hurray!

Series Three of From Dusk Till Dawn is to be aired on Netflix in the UK on 7th September 2016.

Nb. The original film of From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) is on Netflix.

The original film covers most of series One of the Netflix Series. With George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino.

Nb. The writer of the original film From Dusk Till Dawn is Robert Kurtzman. The director is Robert Rodriguez. The screenplay is by Quentin Tarantino who also stars as one of the Gecko brothers.

To the best of my recall (I will double-check) Robert Kurtzman writes the story, Robert Rodriguez directs and Quentin Tarantino does the screenplay: for the later Netflix Series of From Dusk Till Dawn.

Brilliant stuff.

I wrote about From Dusk Till Dawn, the Netflix series here on this blog-series one and two.
***

Posted by Clarissima at 14:46

Atelier. Series One. ” A Japanese web television drama”. “A coming of age drama”. On Netflix. In Japanese with English subtitles. My Mini-Potted Review on the First Twenty Minutes of episode One. Minor Spoilers Only.

Netflix Description of Atelier:
“A young “fabric geek” lands a job at an upscale Japanese lingerie company–and quickly discovers she’ll need help to survive.”
Four Stars.  One Season/ Series.  2015.
“TV Programmes.”  “TV Drama”.

*

Atelier.
Series One.
A Mini-potted Review on the first twenty minutes of Episode One.
I liked Atelier and especially the heroine, Mayuko Tokita, who had such a sweet charming face and was totally convincing as the innocent ingenue intern. She starts her new job straight after graduating in Textile Studies from College.

Mayuko Tokita both loves and is an expert on textiles of every kind.  She knows exactly which material has what properties, its weight and thread count.  Everything.  She gets excited when she sees people sewing, creating things on sewing machines, inside shops in the city streets.

Mayoko meets her friend whose outfit reminded me of one of Carrie’s in the series Sex and The City.

Indeed the intern’s new boss is a carbon copy in appearance, well the sunglasses and the helmet like bob-looks like Anna Wintour.  The Doyenne of American fashion.  Possibly.  But more likely probably-these touches are fashion in jokes within the drama.

So Atelier is beautifully filmed and focuses mainly on the sumptuous and work-a-day studio and shop of the bespoke lingerie company.  Where the heroine Mayuko comes to work.  We follow her progress right from her very first day.

Of course in the traditional Cinderella sort of way and perhaps in all classical fairy tales: the heroine knows more than all the rest of the workers and staff.  In fact she is an expert.  On textiles of every shape, colour, weight density and form. As we know.

And as classical tales of this kind always go, the veteran boss has run out of creative ideas..

I would have continued watching Atelier because of it being enjoyable to watch, if a little slow in pace and so beautifully created.

However the story was feeling a little bit too generic for me.  As wonderful as it was to see Japan and this city in which it is set (possibly Tokyo but I wasn’t sure) And to hear Japanese.

However I did feel like the English translation was a bit lacking.  Indeed the English passages were often only one line of speech and in one unusual case-no translation at all!  This sadly truncated translations. (well I can only guess as I don’t know Japanese).

However I do know that there was a great long passage of Japanese speech-then just one English sentence or two, in the subtitles! Which seems odd and sad.

There were huge bits of Japanese speech missing.

***

Footnotes.

The quotes in the title of this write-up describing the series are taken from Wikipeida-Atlier-sourced on 30th August 2016.

Wiki also explains that the drama takes place in:
“Tokyo’s Ginza District”.

And that:
“The high class lingerie company is called Emotion”.
***
Posted by Clarissima at 15:42