Magic City-Series Two. An American gangster series set in the late 1950s. The drama first begins in 1959. Some random notes on Series Two and My Final Review Of Magic City. Minor Spoilers only. This series is currently available in the UK on Virgin Media TV (if you have a TIVO Box and an XL package-now called Full House-go to On Demand-then Box Sets) (I have discovered that series One & Two of Magic City are on You Tube- since it is copyrighted content you have to pay- £12.49 for one series and be over 18)This review follows on from Reviews of Series One: Episodes One, Two & Three posted on 19th and Review of Episodes Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight posted on 23rd of September 2016.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Magic City Series Description:
“A hotelier conducts business with a mob boss among the glitz and glamour of late 1950s Miami Beach”

Episode one description:
“Ike Evans, the owner of Miami’s most glamourous hotel, makes an ill-fated deal with mob boss Bob Diamond to ensure the success of his glitzy establishment”
“With Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Olga Kurylenko”.

Nb. The hotel is called the Miramar Playa.

A Starz Original Series.


Magic City

Series Two.
Some short random notes on first watching.

Ben Diamond has a reptilian air. I swear his very eyes exude evil menace. (yet) Sometimes he is so convincing as the superficially charming and chatty gangster. His eyes remind me of a crocodile blinking. Just before he is about to pounce. With those great, enormous, ancient, double rowed jaws.

But of course we realise there is someone potentially far more deadly, even possibly more evil, than Ben Diamond around..because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned..

Possibly my favourite scene of Magic City is the plane, flying over the sea.

At several points Bod Diamond launches into poetic quotes. Possibly William Blake.

I thought that (actor) was James Caan!

At some point in series two we become aware of just who is driving a red car..


Random dialogue:
The Senator:
“Christ in high heels!”

My favourite scene with Vince and Ike.
Ike and Vince (ex New York Police Department/ NYPD) go on an escapade in Ike’s car.
Ike to Vince:
“What the fuck Vince?!”
“Don’ worry..”
“Ain’t nothin’ the hotel Doctor ain’t seen before..”


Final Review Of Magic City.

So what can I say about Magic City. That it doesn’t say for itself. In the very watching of it. Other than to wonder what on earth one could watch after this series?

I mean what could possibly follow this drama and not feel flat and dull in comparison. Possibly only the wonderfully lurid and intense: Wolf Creek which is all I have felt like so far.

Me, I’m slightly rambling since in my mind and imagination: I’m still there. In 1959. You may, as I did, spend some time after wards wondering; so what happened with that story-line or character? What will happen now?

Well the very sad news is: nothing. Since Series Three which to my observations was already at least halfway written in the writers’ (of the series) imaginations: was cancelled apparently.

Truly tragic. I think you’ll agree. With me.

There is no higher accolade I propose for a series than for the reviewer to be totally and utterly immersed in that world. As I was. Completely believing it: as in untold believability or credibility.

Yes, a wonderful, stunning and sumptuous drama, with a cast of full blooded and fleshed out characters. who gave some amazing, impressive and often menacing performances. In their various roles.

There’s the mesmerisingly beautiful Vera, the charismatic chameleon-like Isaac, who we follow throughout, the concrete faced laconic Vince, the valiant and proud Victor, the sultrily sexy and stunning Judy Silver and the reptilian Bob Diamond. Who manages to be equally if not more menacing when charming and chatty. As gangsters often are.

And these are just some of the cast of characters.

Then there are Ike, or Isaac’s two sons: Stevie and Danny. Who are like night and day opposites. In character. Indeed in retrospect I realise that often times: each of them is portrayed mainly in the dark or the light.

There is the brittle beauty of Mrs. Diamond, battling to survive, from day to day. Living by her wit and brains and body. Amongst and amidst all the tortuous machinations and twists and turns and plottings. Of her husband Bob Diamond. Just like Ike Evans.

Although of course Ike has more than on battle. And more than one enemy..

This is a tightly woven and tensely plotted story. Whilst mainly focusing on Ike, the many secondary or interwoven characters and story-lines were all intricately involved. In the whole story.

Just like my original comparison of life in the hotel as a termite mountain. The hotel is a world within a world. it is maintained by many myriad workers. It has a Queen. And unlike the termites, a King.


Special Mentions.

A special mention must go to all the characters I missed out describing: for no other reason that I felt like I was being pedestrian even reviewing Magic City in or with words.

I can’t even seem to find superlatives, or even enough of them, that don’t sound flat in description. of Magic City. Therefore even reviewing it finally, felt superfluous.

Each and every character, no matter how small or large their part, was wonderful I thought. Right down to the Hotel lobby boy, who pops up shyly one day to voice his admiration to the star of a certain show..I can say no more.

It may indeed be him, who also miraculously and magically appears by the side of anyone in need or newly arrived in the lobby. As happens in the best of any organisation. In fact how fast this happens I suggest is the one true test.

The perfect timing of the front of house staff, who throw Ike’s keys to him in one swift motion as he rushes to his enormous white car.

The Elevator Lady. The Chambermaids, Mercedes and her Madonna-like presentation-of shading and tones of the angles of her face, her cheekbones. Her fascinating, starched and intricate uniform.

I could go on. But I could be here a while. All day.

This is why I picked only a smattering, a small number of characters to describe. And also because I didn’t want to give away all the details. Because that would spoil the fun and surprise, the visual delights. the almost microscopic attention to detail in both period detail and the artistic creation that is Magic City.

Right down to a 1950’s heating pad, held on an injured knee: the technicolour skies, the sunsets, the salmon pink Miami streaks behind the palm trees. The sea breeze. The sparkling salt white sand.

The breathtaking silvery sheen of the plane as it skims above the sea. With the window, rounded, visible, within which we see Ike, gazing out as if from a fishbowl.

With the sun sinking and the sea slicked in muted rainbow oiled pastels below.



James Caan gives a blistering, if brief performance in series two. I would be hard put to choose just who was more chillingly evil an apparition: between his character and Bob Diamond..


When I first watched Magic City there was a set of “Extras” in the form of background to Magic City under the titles:
The Cars of Magic City, The Women of Magic City, The Sets of Magic City. The Music of Magic City, something like that.

However now-I cannot find these extra video films of background information on the making of Magic City. What a shame.


Jeffrey Dean Morgan is indeed the actor who is in the new series Seven of The Walking Dead.


The reason I felt that the writers of this series had already halfway written series three is because in the original Virgin “exclusive” preview trailer for Magic City and indeed in one of the stills/ promotional pictures for the whole series: there were two spoilers in all.

And I kept patiently waiting and watching for these, let’s call them things, to happen. But they never did..

In fact the complete opposite of one thing happened. This is what leads me to believe that the series was cancelled peremptorily.


Posted by Clarissima at 16:09

Quick note to my Readers on the 28th September 2016 of some new and returning series on UK Televsion/ TV and Netflix: New Series Six of Once Upon A Time, The Fall-BBC Two-Tonight, Thursday, 29th September @ 9pm and The Missing Series Two-24th October on either BBC One or Two. I will check..Update to The mIssing Series Two-this will be on BBC One on 12th October 2016.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Once Upon A Time. Series Six.
So Netflix have kindly written to me telling me that my wish has in fact come true!

There is a new Series Six of Once Upon A Time now out on Netflix in the UK.
Episode One:
“The Savior.”/ The Saviour.

This series is going to be released in weekly installments and Episode Two is on the 5th October 2016.

Have watched the first episode now and sadly Once Upon A Time is becoming even more over heavily laden (than it already was) with officially therapeutic psychobabble therapy-speak.

Me, I love the glorious hokum of the stories in Once Upon A Time.

The Fall. Series Three.

New Series of The Fall premieres tonight on BBC Two @9pm.

Having written extensively on The Fall Series Two (not having seen the first series) I found it so generally tiresome that I ended up writing a completely fictitious story about Lady Stella (from another era) and The Scruffy Stray Dog as well as my official reviews. Which was a lot more fun.

However-for The Fall fans-as per the TV/ Television trailer I just saw: Detective Superintendent Stella is still: whispering huskily sotto voice, crying (red-eyed) and gazing obsessively and apparently (oddly) even fondly at?…..

I should say no more.

You would have thought talking would be a useful attribute for a Detective Inspector Superintendent to have. But nope.

Stella: (on TV Trailer )
(sighs heavily)

Expect a lot of those.


The Missing Series Two.
Either BBC One or Two. Not sure at present. Usually on BBC One.
Will be on the 24th October 2016.

Update & correction-Missing Series Two will be on BBC One on 12th October 2016.

Well you have to have a bucket load of patience to watch anything on BBC One or Two in my opinion. Probably several bucket loads.

Having strayed back foolishly to the realms of BBC One lately to watch One Of Us: well that is several very long hours (that seemed longer than hours-an indefinable eternity of time in fact) of my life that I can’t get back.

However The Missing has the inimitable and excellent Detective Inspector Jean Luc Baptiste (Retired) in it..


Posted by Clarissima at 12:45

Magic City-Series One. An American Gangster drama set in the late 1950s. Some descriptive notes and dialogue on Episodes: Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight. Minor Spoilers only. These notes follow on from my First Review on episodes One, Two and Three posted on 19th of September 2016. On in the UK on Virgin Media TV as an exclusive (if you have a TIVO box and XL) There are Two series.

friday, 23 september 2016
Magic City Series Description:
“A hotelier conducts business with a mob boss among the glitz and glamour of late 1950s Miami Beach”
Episode one description:
“Ike Evans, the owner of Miami’s most glamourous hotel, makes an ill-fated deal with mob boss Bob Diamond to ensure the success of his glitzy establishment”
“With Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Olga Kurylenko”.

Nb. The hotel is called the Miramar Playa.


A Starz Original Series.


Series One.
Magic City.

Episodes Four, Five and Six.
Some descriptive notes and dialogue on first watching.

So Bob Diamond really is a mumbler. But then aren’t all gangsters..I keep trying to find the subtitles even though I know they aren’t there.

Ike, the hero, has an amazing chameleon-like ability to morph into different faces and characters. With just his face. I think that is the point.

His amazing yet understated performance is showing us exactly that: he has to be all things to all people. He effectively evinces for us: those different people he has to become.

The scene settings continue to be simply sumptuous. Both inside and outside. Like the pastel pink and impossible clarity of the seaside sky. The Art Deco delight of the Miramar Playa sign espied at the very tip top of the building.

The stormy blue midnight mud night sky. Above the balconies. The sparkling marble interiors of the hotel.

The myriad workers busily working and never standing still. The amount of work involved in keeping such a pristine shine. Free from the heat, the sand and the corroding decay of the salt, the semi-tropical fug.

The glorious Hollywood close-ups of faces like paintings in their shades, their tones, touched by light of both sunlight and dark.
Random dialogue.
Woman in the Beauty Salon in the hotel Miramar Playa.
“He’s going to buy me a beautiful palace, a house by the sea..”
Episode Seven.
Some descriptive notes and dialogue on first watching.

Random dialogue:
Bob Diamond is Kimono shopping.
Bob Diamond to his Tailor:
“I’ll take this, in deep wine..”

The clarity of the light in the daytime is just amazing. Particularly in the 1950’s early autopsy scene.

Meg is an amazing character.

Meg as she makes her supremely stylish entrance into the Miramar like a 1940s film star:
“I don’t ever do anything spontaneous…”
“And this is why!”

Meg has shoulders that are so scarily muscular that they do not appear to be flesh. More like hewn marble instead. Later we find out just how she developed these shoulders when she ploughs powerfully through a pool. Doing butterfly.

But this being 1959 she gets out and has a long, cool drag on a cigarette.
Possibly my favourite scene setting is the basement bar with the blue swimming window.

Episode Eight.
Some descriptive notes and dialogue on first watching.

Even the font is cool.

Victor is an excellent character.

At one point my theory about the hive nature of the hotel is amusingly proved correct. When the hotel staff react to their adored boss being..Well I had better not say.

There are several side stories. and as far as this particular one: I just knew it was all going to go wrong.

You know everything is going to go wrong. Hey it’s a gangster story.

Random dialogue.
Cliff to Vera:
“Look at you…barefoot..”
“Smelling of French soap..”
“Wearing a bathrobe..”

Loving the last scene of series one where we just see our ever inimitable and rakishly crumpled hero, lying down smoking, in the dark with just a spiraling blue cloud of cigarette smoke rising into the air above him.


End of Series One.


To be continued.

Posted by Clarissima at 16:11

Quick note to my Readers: Zoo Series Two. Zoo Series Two. Sky 1 Channel on UK Television/ TV.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Quick note to my Readers: Zoo Series Two.
Zoo Series Two.
Sky 1 Channel on UK Television/ TV.

So I have discovered quite by chance that Zoo Series Two is currently showing on Sky 1 channel in the UK.

The bad news for me is that I can only access Episode Six onwards as catch-up.

Episode six was shown on the 21st August 2016.

So series two must have started on 17th of July 2016.

Guess I will have to wait for the series two to end now. Hopefully the whole of the second series will be available then.

I note that all of Series One of Zoo is available on catch-up on Sky On Demand.

Nb. I am not on Sky, I just happen to have Sky 1 Channel on Virgin media TV.
Posted by Clarissima at 17:42

Magic City-Series One. An American gangster story set in the late 1950s. My Review of episodes: One, Two and Three.. Minor Spoilers Only. I watched this series on Virgin Media TV in the UK as an exclusive to Virgin TV users with XL and a TIVO box: but I am told that the series may be available by other methods..There are two series.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Magic City Series Description:
“A hotelier conducts business with a mob boss among the glitz and glamour of late 1950s Miami Beach”

Episode one description:
“Ike Evans, the owner of Miami’s most glamourous hotel, makes an ill-fated deal with mob boss Bob Diamond to ensure the success of his glitzy establishment”
With Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Olga Kurylenko.

“A Starz Original Series”.


Magic City

Series One.
My First Review.

December 31st 1958. Miami Beach Florida.

The hero has woken up from a bad, watery dream. A nightmare. He shrugs on his silken robe after gazing down, lovingly and tenderly at the woman sleeping peacefully next to him. We know that just looking at her has grounded him, released him from his nightmare.

He moves into another room and opens a small wooden box. Taking from it a large cigar. flicking open his Zippo, he lights the cigar. We can just see the small silver seal wrapped round it. He puffs in, exhales. (there is a lot of smoking in Magic City)

He moves forward and comes upon a large balcony with a stone floor. There are curved horizontal railings wrapped around. Like he was on an Art Deco cruise ship, high above the sea. And indeed he is. Looking down at the sea that is.

Instead of a cruise ship we see he is in a hotel instead. The Miramar Playa.

The sunset is a pale neon pink to apricot, with the sun a squished leaking ball. The white sand stretches out below. Miami Beach 1958. This was before all the drugs.

The scene somehow replicates that strange whooshing sound of the sea mixed with that overhead heaviness of heat. That makes for a sort of dull echoing in your ears. As the heat seems to hang heavy, then climb, up into the colder night air above..

This is the beginning of Magic City. That made me feel I was there, by the sea.

So usually I would say that magic City just gets better and better. But I won’t. This time. Because it was good right from the very start.

I could say that the drama is a slow burner. But only in terms of it building the story slowly. A story with many multiple strands.

I have always found dramas set in hotels or department stores to be fascinating and enjoyable to watch. Because, perhaps such a building is a perfect scene setting: a microcosm of a world. That world within a world.

This set-up allows for multiple characters for instance, with myriad different roles. Who then all interact with each other or intersect with each other. On a day to day basis or randomly through time. As the story progresses.

Plus that miniature world of people can become an organism of one, a whole, which reacts to problems or dysfunction within. Or without. Meaning from outside. The termite mountain under stress, or threat: coming from external forces.

How will the termite mountain react? will it survive? What is the strategy of protection or attack. And so on. Goodness knows how I got onto termites. But you get my drift.

Magic City is like Casino met the style of Mad Men and then Goodfellas tagged along for the ride. If these dramas were all people.

The hero, Isaac, is like a kind of crumpled Cary Grant transplanted to the beginning of the sixties. Well 1959 to be precise. And boy was 1959 cool. The year of style.

My only bugbear with this series is the fact that it doesn’t have subtitles. Yes, this is possibly unfair as a critique in a review: so let’s call it a technicality. For me personally, subtitles would have been the icing on the cake.

I confess that I am addicted to subtitles and have them on for everything: English speaking dramas as well. For two reasons: one being that sometimes characters mumble a lot and the second being I love to see the sound description of sounds.

Also it seems that the setting for sound generally, or more specifically the speech in drama is often seemingly turned down low.

I did have to rewind one particular scene in Magic City when Bob Diamond is fishing on the wooden pier and mumbles sotto-voice to his two henchmen: about a “thing”.

In fact I had to rewind the scene several times to catch the details and discover, or realise; exactly what “that thing” meant. And that there were two “things”..

Apart from this described above, Magic City is simply a sumptuous creation. Of colour, intricate detail and sound. Since funnily enough the background, every day sounds of life in the Miramar Playa hotel and the sounds of the sea: are sparklingly audible.

That whooshing thundering sound of the sea that we sometimes hear just through a shuttered window. You can almost feel the loss of atmospheric pressure; that heaviness in the air.

That soporiphic feel: that you can find in semi-tropical climes, living by the sea. All this described is perfectly replicated by sound.

Then there is the stunning visual creations of scenes that simply drip with sensuality. When even the ice-cubes tinkling delicately in a glass: seem sexy.

In such scenes two characters may be simply chatting quietly, but just looking at each other: it is all in the glances.


Random dialogue.
Bob Diamond to his wife: (who was once the Wakita mermaid)
“Not a God…”


To be continued.



I like the fact that for Magic City, before it starts, there is simply a statement of what to expect in terms of its content.

A statement, note, not the usual warning!


Isaac is called Ike for short.


Posted by Clarissima at 16:56

Newsflash-the return of The Walking Dead. On FOX Channel on UK Television.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

New Series of The Walking Dead. Season/ Series Seven.
So the new series of The Walking Dead will be on the 24th October 2016 in the UK.

Presumably the new series will premiere one night before the date above, in America, on the 23rd of October 2016.

I swear the guy with the infamous bat is the same actor who stars in the wonderful series Magic City which I am currently watching..


New Show on Fox that I can’t even tell the name of.
There is also a rather weird and wonderful new series coming soon on FOX Channel which is so very cool and inscrutable that it has one of those titles that is indecipherable as a title.

The title, or possibly the promotion for the series is something like:
Apis.3. It looks decidedly creepy.
Featuring a lot of slithery looking bugs..

OK-this may be a promotional, albeit extremely short, TV trailer for: American Horror Story- Season Six.

Possibly. Don’t ask me.


American Horror Story Series Six.
Friday 9th September 2016 on FOX Channel in the UK.

Yep. The confluence of a question mark and the number 6 was the final coalescence of the unintelligible gibberish: of the trailer for American Horror Story Series Six. To all but its fans I suppose.

I reckon it does involve aphids though…

Posted by Clarissima at 17:22
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