Clarissma a day in the life of a tv watcher.london's Newsletter Number 1.
A Newsletter from London: what I have been watching on English TV/ television and Netflix in the United Kingdom. Which television series including on Netflix, I have been watching.. Quick note to my readers started 10th May 2017 to 4th June 2017.
MAR DE PLASTICO Netflix in the United Kingdom. In Spanish with English subtitles.
So I finished Mar de Plastico. Plastic sea in English, I am presuming. Or sea of plastic. I really should look it up. But hey, I know Spanish now. Or I think I do.
Some superficially schlock-y stuff: as previously described.
But once you get past the feeling that someone is going to start singing “Summertime” like they were in Porgy and Bess: this series warms up very nicely. Takes off from the ground running in fact: albeit appearing to amble at a leisurely pace..
The only downside of watching what turns out to be an absolutely (overall anyway) excellent series: is thinking what on earth to watch next.
This page of prose sounds like an exciting build up to announce that I did just that: find another intensely suspenseful murder mystery. But unfortunately this is not the case. This time.
Because Mar de Plastico is a hard act to follow. As was The Undertaker/ Das Blatter. It’s a shame Netflix doesn’t update as quickly as viewers might like. With the next available new series. Which we know is already out. But I digress.
SNIFFER Series One. ON Netflix in the United Kingdom.
I did find however, an enjoyable Russian series called Sniffer. Now I am quite into Russian series. Well purely on the basis of Silver Spoon. Being so good. Russian series are fresh and different and less cluttered with the preachy-teachy politicking that we all know.
Men chatting up women at work! Shock horror. Women flirt back! I think I might faint. In utter horror. Haven’t they heard of the isms and ists? Quick-send them to the Gulags! Double-time (it was a joke). They must be shown The Way.
Sacre bleau. Mon dieu. I think we may all have to go lie down in a darkened room. Call for some Laudanum. That will help.
Whilst we fan ourselves with our dainty hands. Or delicate fans (not sure if they had them in Victorian times but you get the gist).
Yes, as we recover our damaged sensibilities from such indelicacies/ indelicate sights. Quivering on our day bed, an embroidered chaise longue, with drooping fluted pale hands on forehead..
Until we recover, but I digress.
Russian series also have cool and funky music in the credits. You might find yourself singing along. Or maybe it was just that the laudanum was really rather good.
So now that I have finished Sniffer, what on earth am I going to find to watch? The herd of good and interesting series (it’s a metaphorical herd) is just going to keep getting thinner.. I just know.
Agent Raghev, Intersection, The Legacy Series three (now finished) the end of this series of Made In Chelsea.
MADE IN CHELSEA Channel E4 on English television.
The end of (this series of) Made In Chelsea. I avoided the end of season party. Since the host is always unconscionably cruel. To the cast. And he actually think’s it’s funny. Leave them alone: they all went to boarding school. Probably. Around the age of eight.
AGENT RAGHAV Netflix in the United Kingdom. In Hindi with English subtitles.
Agent Raghav had been put on my randomly chosen list of series that looked interesting. it could have been quite good. It looked like it could be good.
A crime investigation series set in India. But it was a bit silly. I did watch a whole episode though. Because I was thinking the series might warm up.
This series reminded me of the series The Saint, with Roger Moore (R.I.P). Except that everybody is Indian.
When there is an important or meaningful moment: everybody suddenly stands still. Then over dramatic music plays. Just like in the old series like the Saint. Hilarious.
They, the stock still characters who could be playing the statues game or the more recent mannequin challenge: just stare at each other. Or into space. At us. Then the camera goes in for a close-up.
That moment is often when the twangy music plays. To denote that everything, indeed everyone, is supercool. Just like in The Saint. Although it was always The Saint himself who was the most supercool. And so it is here, with Agent Raghav..
So after a fairly enjoyably silly episode of Agent Raghav (although it could well turn out to be better than I think) I continued my ceaseless search . For good drama..
CONTINUUM An American series. Sy-fy Television Channel in the United Kingdom.
I noticed that my favourite sci-fi series on Netflix. Continuum, is currently showing on terrestrial as in regular TV/ television in the UK. All four series.
THE LEGACY/ ARVINGERNE In Danish with English subtitles. Was On Sky Arts Channel in the United Kingdom.
Not sure if I mentioned that I finally finished Arvingerne. (series three) Bit of a slog really. But hey, it’s in Denmark and is all very arty. There are little cabins in the garden and there’s the Grønnegards.
SCHITTS CREEK An American series. Netflix in the United Kingdom.
I see that Schitts Creek has a third series. Recently added.
Myself I started to suspect Schitts Creek-much as I enjoyed it at first-as being one of those initially at first superficially politically incorrect shows that are actually masquerading as one: because it then starts dealing with so-called officially important issues that we were all hoping to escape (under cover of or via the means of comedy). Well I was.
FAUDA In Hebrew with English subtitles. Netflix in the United Kingdom.
I dipped briefly into Fauda. But I wasn’t in the mood. For something that looked pretty heavy. As in intense and realistic. We want escapism. Well I do. I probably would have watched this series normally. Just on the grounds of having loved the Israeli series Hatufim. Series One and two.
Not sure what happened to series three. Hatifum, or Prisoners of War, it has never been on Netflix. What a shame. They could put up Maison Close as well, that’s missing. From Netflix. Both figuratively and in reality. In my opinion. But I digress.
NIGHT WATCH An American series. Netflix in the United Kingdom.
Nightwatch looked mildly interesting mainly because I was confusing the title with Night Shift, the Icelandic series.
But no, this series is about a returning American soldier, from Afghanistan. Who returns to work in a Hospital in the USA as a Doctor in the Emergency room. We presume he was a soldier surgeon. Sort of a new age Mash (series). But I digress.
I only watched about ten minutes of Nightwatch. Mainly because an early scene shall we say: was just a bit too gory for me. As in gurgling blood. A very large, deep looking hole. Of blood.
I swear this blood spurted like a small geyser. At one point. Whilst our mysterious motorbike riding hero performs a magical medical trick. Upon a victim by the side of the road.
You just know that the supremely handsome surgeon: has learned that medical trick back in Afghanistan.
Oh yes and shortly thereafter the be-stubbled, black leather jacketed hero (I don’t really know these details for sure-I am just presuming) swans into the ER. As they call it in America. Short for emergency room. We call it Casualty. But I digress.
He is all bloodied up. From attending the trauma case on the road. So he whips off his shirt. Puts on a clean one. Over his Abs to the power of 64. Squared.
That was minorly distracting but disappointingly generic. At the same time.
SHADES OF BLUE & WYNONNA EARP. Two different and separate series, which I decided to review together.
Shades Of Blue is on Sky Living television Channel in the United Kingdom. Wynonna Earp is on the Sy-fy television channel in the United Kingdom.
A combined sort of phonetically described extremely minute review.
Please note that I have combined this description of both series together as it serves as a generally descriptive summary of the first ten to twenty minutes approximately of each series.
Heroine takes a break in the bar and knocks back shots. Most likely with a black, slightly fringed leather jacket on. Talks to the bartender.
Randomly inserted saccharine interlude. Where the heroine deals with her sweet teenager daughter and or saves a young woman/ child/ wimpy man (insert metaphorical damsel in distress as necessary).
Heroine: (biff baff boff signifying punching sounds)
Repeat as often as required. Sometimes there might be a really ugly demon/ man.
“Arrrgh groar, arghh”.
“Biff baff boff”.
(this can be at the gym punching a sparring partner or the eponymous punch bag).
CARDINAL. BBC Four television channel in the United Kingdom. A Canadian series. (was on Saturday nights @ 9pm)
So Cardinal is on BBC Four and taking that Saturday night slot traditionally reserved (well at intermittent intervals in time) for foreign language/ subtitled dramas. Back in the day when such showings used to be exciting.
That was back when such series were good. It seems so long ago. That’s why I say back in the day.
Sadly, at some point of watching Beck, followed by Modus, followed by Department Q: The Keeper of Lost causes (and the two other films in that trilogy) I turned against Scandi-noir drama. OK, strictly speaking these are several points.
Oh yes then there was Das Blatter/ The Undertaker (series one), but that was Swiss-German. I’m just so tired of the generic themes. You start to notice a repeating pattern.
Cardinal has all the right ingredients I suppose yet is lazily superficial and generic. I would list all the tiresome themes or politically correct collections of tick boxes. But that description in itself could conceivably be a spoiler.
Let’s just say: maverick gravelly-voiced Detective, eponymously righteously fearsome (by default) female Detective/ side-kick.
The case. The (forgotten by everyone but the Detective) case. From long ago..
Now all this could be good overall. Perhaps I was just not patient enough. But, I just got a bit bored.
Dialogue from Cardinal:
Gravelly voiced world weary Detective to fearsomely righteous woman side-kick/ Detective:
“Any leads?” (on the phones)
“No, just a bunch of useless racists”!
(but of course-the stereotypically evil small-town folk so beloved of the BBC and all similar productions). That was my final cue to bail..
Nb. The Detective is the guy from one of The Killings (the American remake) who was running for Mayor. Senator or summat. He was just as underwhelming in that series. He has a severely gravelly voice at sotto tone/sotto-voiced drawl/ gravelly drawl..
Update on Nashville. The Final series.
So what can I say about Nashville. That I have not already signalled. Way back in this tome of a quick note already. As in Nashville generally descending into the sinister somehow, soup of seriously slushy mush of emotion.
Yes, a veritable tsunami of emotion has descended upon us lately: clearly dictated by some universal edict from upon high.
We must henceforth, as a population: be subjected to a deluge of emotion. Covering and affecting everything we have formerly known. Not just in the real word: or rather the world we are offered up to experience as viewers of everything on screen. But I digress.
Sadly, this curse of hyper emotional subjectively based judgemental rinse: has become a deluge. All terrestrial television including the News has succumbed. Been ruined. And so it continues.
Even reality shows have fallen, into the craggy quagmire. Strange. I’m sure some kind of ironic statement somehow exists within that descent of an already meta-reality into achingly uncomfortable reality.
But reality unfortunately saturated so heavily in replicated half or is it whole emotion. Or, in a nutshell as experienced in or via the viewing experience: as total and utter cringe. Toe curlingly so.
And so it was with Nashville.
Yes, they took away toe tapping, black Stetson wearing, all round rock star god status and country western singer: Luke Wheeler for a start.
to be continued in Clarissima-a day in the life of a tv watcher/london’s Newsletter Number 2
ILLUSTRATION at top of page:
Quoted from Wikipedia:
“The Flammarion engraving is a wood engraving by an unknown artist that first appeared in Camille Flammarion’s L’atmosphère: météorologie populaire (1888). The image depicts a man crawling under the edge of the sky, depicted as if it were a solid hemisphere, to look at the mysterious Empyrean beyond.”
The caption underneath the engraving translates to:
A medieval missionary tells that he has found the point where heaven and Earth meet…
Source Camille Flammarion, L’Atmosphère: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888), pp. 163
This image is in the public domain.