All rights reserved.
2nd February, 2021.
United Kingdom. MAIGRET, starring Rowan Atkinson as the cerebral pipe-smoking Detective. Based on the Maigret books by George Simenon.
Author's note: Top left hand corner of gallery is my original artwork. All further print colourations are courtesy of the App, Paper Artist.
NEWSLETTER FROM LONDON NUMBER 12 AUGUST 2018.
Recorded after a recommendation from my brother on my TIVO box. Two series, each consisting of two, two and half hour long episodes which are seperate and different stories: Series One: Episode 1.Maigret Sets a Trap. Episode 2. Maigret's Dead Man.
Series Two: Episode 1.Maigret's Night at The Crossroads. Episode 2. Maigret at Montmartre.
So this was a rare delve back into television land for me. As in real actual television with just the retro Samsung screen with a circular base and a TiVo box sitting besides it. And a uniformly hideous new, router box. As in uniformly ugly upside down rectangular block. The monolithic blob which replaced the beautiful, curved retro modern Starship Enterprise contraption. That was there before.
The beautiful router with the Star Trek style curves and mysterious row of blinking blue lights all along the edge. I would have mentioned the name of the company. If they had let me keep the old router. Instead of enforcing the black monolith. But they didn't. The black monolith stands giant and slab-like, like some oversized misshapen metal book. With only one sickly horizontal line weakly blinking in pale green.
But I digress. yes, Maigret was me watching something from an English/ British TV channel. I haven't watched any television or television channels; for absolutely ages now. Probably it's only a few months. But it seems like much longer.
Long story short I absolutely loved Maigret. Despite the tiresome propaganda tropes annoyingly present: Maigret was set in a beautifully constructed 1955 Paris. Which almost broke my heart to see. And Rowan Atkinson as Maigret was believable and charismatically studiously mysterious: as the cerebral Detective. Maigret's realtionship with his wife, who was stunningly evocative and beautiful in her role, was believably moving. In fact their relationship was probably the most convincingly realistic aspect of Maigret for me.
Postscript added later, 30th January 2021: How disappointing to discover on research, that Maigret was not in fact filmed in Paris at all! I do wish that: a) they wouldn't do this. b) at least admit so in the pre-credits. c) I say this because when you are so mightily fed up of the propaganda tropes as I am, I often chose to watch such series prepared to stomach and or ignore said tropes, purely on the basis of a travelogue, to see and enjoy the country or city where the drama is supposedly set. A travelogue, if you like. However if we are not informed in the beginning as to the truth of the situation, ie the drama is not really set there at all, as has been the case more frequently lately, then what is the point of watching the series at all? Plus you tend to feel conned. Some examples of this that I have come across recently was the new series of the Young Wallander, which to be fair I only managed about five minutes of: as the first few seconds of a radio broadcast in the car of the supposedly young Wallander was enough to signal just how propagandised this series was going to be. However I later discovered whilst reading reviews on Young Wallander: that the series was not even set in Sweden, but in Lithuania! Nothing against Lithuania obviously, but why not let viewers know the truth at the beginning so they can make an informed choice? If they had announced it was set in Lithuania, I may then have decided, oh that's nice, I'll have a look at Lithuania then. Great stuff. However the drama does not give you that information. It leads you to believe that it is entirely set in Sweden. Which, I may point out, is one of the reasons many Wallander fans watch Wallander: to see and enjoy the actual location where it is meant to be set! The writer of Wallander, Henrik Mankel was Swedish and all his Wallander stories and hence the original series of Wallander, are set predominantly in Malmo, a Swedish town. Where his fictional Detective Kurt Wallander, lived. But we are not meant to point out such inconsistencies now. No doubt this goes against the We Are All One global messaging. At a guess. aka: We are the Borg. No one is different than the other: hence countries are all interchangeable now in dramas as are supposedly cultures and don't dare point out any differences.
NASHVILLE So having been drawn back into the dystopian world of television channels by watching Maigret, I discovered that Nashville had not in fact ended and there was one more final series of Nashvile. And before I knew it I had succumbed to the whole series. Of emotional mush. Although briefly moving in parts. Mostly down to the last few minutes and the stalwart efforts of ever stoical Deacon and his Dad, Gideon. I kept thinking Gideon might really be Willie Nelson (he definitely wasn't) but it was credited that he was playing himself. (I will check the name). Anyway, hurray Deacon and his Dad is all I can say, Deacon's Dad looking a little mysteriously Santa Claus, like one of those Christmas movies, to me. Plus it was great when he played in his band. Of all elderly Blues and Country music playing men, musicians, in the garage. That was the best piece of music in this show which sadly, used to be replete with every kind of style of Country music and alternative, to be found in Nashville. Well, imaginary Nashville, in the show. All the different characters had their own style of music. They were all phenomenol singers, showmen and musicians and had sizzlingly different styles. Scarlett was an incredible songstress, who sang like some angel who had landed briefly on earth for a while as wEll as writing moodiy angst-ridden lyrics. Likewise, Avery was original and alternative, writing aching odes to love and life on sometimes screeching guitar. And mixing and producing like a genius August 11th 2018 NASHVILLE an American series set in Nashville, Tennessee. Home of Country & Western music. & a brief mention of The Bridge/ Broen. The Bridge is in Swedish and Danish with English subtitles. (series Four or Five I think it was) Please note, there are several complete reviews of Nashville as I was watching it, on this site. Just type Nashville into the search-bar.
So it has really been very odd watching The Bridge after a complete glut of Turkish drama series. Except for Maigret. And a couple of episodes of The Rain. Oh and after Maigret my TiVo box told me metaphorically: that Nashville had not ended at all. There was a final series! The final series I wrote about earlier/ previously: was not final at all. So on discovering this fact (and adding it to a review of Nashville recently which made no sense at all). I realised that I had been wrong in the title of my last write up on Nashville. It should be renamed the penultimate series.
Nashville in brief was sweet but laden with cliched emotion, emotional messages and far, far too many singing montages.
How sad that the music, which used to be equally as good, if not better than the drama: is now so unremittingly whiny and bland I have to turn the sound down. Sorry, but it just goes on too long. All the songs sound the same. They have all blended into each other's styles and erased them now. Into one big mush. Of porridge fare. A strange phenomenon, both musically and personally, as all the characters became the same too. All reformed, righteous and indecipherable from each other. All eccentricities ironed out.
September 11th 2018.
Beni Boyle Sev/ Love Me As I am. In Turkish with English and other language subtitles. The complete set of series is on Netflix in the United Kingdom at the time of writing: Series One, Two & Three. Postscript added later, 1st February 2021. Though being an aficionado of Turkish series I could tell that they probably had another one planned (I had already figured out at least one dark, deep secret) but as far as I know this didn't happen.
So I'm quite sad I finished Beni Boyle Sev/ Love Me As I am, as it went on for ages. Now I can't really settle to another Turkish one yet, I am trying Deadwind.
I mean I was lining up Icerde/ Inside, as the next Turkish series, but I'm not sure I'm ready for full on gangster yet.
Postscript added later 2nd February 2021: Note to anyone interested in Turkish series: be careful when you research, as I have pointed out before in these Newsletters, one read of a Facebook group comment or a 'review' of a Turkish drama can completely spoil the ending or the entire series. Reviewers and commentators are not too bothered about spoilers, that's all I will say! Icerde was ruined for me in this way. So was another gargantuan & hugely popular Turkish series I was planning on watching: Kara Sevda. & That one had 90 odd episodes.