The OA. A mini-potted one-off review of the first twenty minutes. Minor Spoilers only. On Netflix in the United Kingdom.

Netflix.
The OA.

An American Science-Fiction drama series.

A mini-potted review of the first twenty minutes.

So the OA is ludicrous tosh. So far. But then I only gave it twenty minutes. Or so.

For the life of me I canna remember how the doleful and artfully styled woman returns home. From being missing for umpteen years since she was about nine. And blind. But she has come back very different..

Now I had problems believing that her character was a teenager. As she looked so very much older. To me.

Anyway she returns after her mysterious absence to a gloomily lit backwater with a slightly sinister air. An ostensibly nice house in a suburb. One house in a development.

A Housing development that was never finished. Because “they” ran out of money. Or something to that effect.

As the antediluvian (by which I mean ancient in appearance) and strangely intense mother of the girl/ woman explains. As they walk one dark night, down the empty road. Where they live.

The mother picks up debris, a sign?  (it is deliberately unclear) from the grass. Spooky.

Apart from this early promising bit of atmosphere described: the young woman who was once girl (it’s all a bit ickily blurred) mooches about moodily. Mumbling about Homer in videos she makes of herself.

Or summat. It’s all very deep and meaningful. Or meant to be.

Then lo and behold she’s going all ninja up in the barn where the local all American High School guy watches calmly as he lets loose his Rottweiler on her.

Yep. ‘Cause that’s how he rolls. In between punching male choir members in the throat. He’s just you average neighbour.

But it’s OK. Because she does a whole super-duper dog whispering mind control thing. Of course.

Then she just has a bit of a wash with her Mum and hey presto. No untoward injuries from being savaged by a Rottweiler.

Poor, understandably curious and intense Mum: is questioning her all the while. About when she was-Away..

But the heroine refuses. No, it is not time yet. I have to talk (some more) to Homer…whilst staring moodily and America’s Next Top Model-ly into space.

When did she get around to dying her hair blonde I wondered. With such artful black roots. Over there in Alien land. Or wherever. Who knew that the other side, dimension, who knows, (we sure don’t know yet) had hair dye? But I digress.

Then, to the best of my recall, more mumbling about Homer, an obsession to get online, presumably to really talk to Homer, and a new alliance occurs. Between the heroine and previously described blue-eyed boy. Her apparently and officially deviant, next door neighbour.

OK not technically next door, as they are all individual houses, outwardly expensive and upmarket. But in an oddly deserted, decayed, slightly, state. Clues being the strange debris found earlier by the heroine’s mother.

When she and the heroine go for a night-time walk. And happen to espy said neighbour and friend, videoing each other up on the roof. Doing back-flips. For a laugh. That’ s how boring it is up there I guess.

In the half-built and abandoned housing development. We are meant to think perhaps, that things have slide sideways somehow. The people there have abandoned hope..

So I did like the initial sort of spooky feel to the OA as described. Then the heroine starts spouting alien, presumably, pearls of wisdom to a teacher.

Oh great. An all wise and knowing and wonderful other being. Thing..

 

 

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The Break. La Trêve. A Belgian Detective murder mystery crime drama. My First Review. Minor spoilers only. On in the United Kingdom on Netflix. In French with English subtitles.

Belgian noir.

La Trêve.  The Break.
My First Review.

So finally with the Break, I found a really good, meaty murder mystery. And when I say mystery, I really mean, mystery. Since we don’t find out who did it: until the very end. Hurray.

The drama leads us, the viewer on a merry dance. Through twists and turns and multiple red herrings strewn across our path. During the process of solving this crime. As seen so to speak, through the eyes of the mesmerisingly intense: Detective.

With his big domed head and almost shining forehead, Detective Johan Peeters looks exceedingly brainy in appearance. Assuming that lovely big domed heads and rounded foreheads: traditionally signify big brains.

Whether this is really the case, who knows. In reality I mean. However it is an accepted sort of trope in dramas. I suggest. Me I kept thinking of the character Fraser, in Cheers and Fraser. But I digress.

Yes, Detective Peeters appears brainy indeed. And certainly proves to be too. In a multilayered and often intuitive-way.

The progress of the solving of the crime by Johan is intertwined with his personal life, the lives of the other Policemen in the small town and their professional lives. As the team working the murder case.

Slowly, from the beginning, Detective Peeters is shown bringing all the local policemen up to scratch. In that Detecting work. He gradually gathers them around him as they improve their performance under his tuition.

But then there are the interludes when Johan is very much alone. And we slowly realise that he is really having rather a rough time of it. Himself…

 

 

 

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The Break. La Trêve. A Belgian Detective murder mystery crime drama. My Final Review. Minor spoilers only. On in the United Kingdom on Netflix. In French with English subtitles.

Belgian noir.

The Break. La Trêve.

Final Review.

La Treve/ The Break is set in sumptuous scenery of verdant green. Lakes, rivers and forests of trees. I was imaging those same limpid lakes and rolling grassy banks as being just the same-in ancient times.

The forest beckons, prettily innocent and sparkling in the sunshine. Yet on further glance, its insides are in a sort of silent shadow…Enter if you dare.

Perhaps the silence becomes strange in there. In the air. Like it sometimes does- in really ancient forests. After a while..

There are some really stellar performances all round in this drama I felt. To name them all might give too much away. In this nicely juicy, meaty murder mystery.

But I could mention the Police Chief and the young Policeman as two excellent characters.

Apart from the already described Detective Johan Peeters. Who seems so impossibly and exceedingly tall. And who has the ability to just silently stare into space. As we watch. And somehow make us understand the many myriad meanings of his silent cogitations. Or think we do.

Whilst affixed to the screen and metaphorically on the edge of our seats. In thrall to cinematic tension.

 

 

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Travelers. A Canadian Science Fiction drama series. My Final Review. Minor spoilers only. On Netflix in the United Kingdom.

Travelers.  
A Canadian Science Fiction drama  series.
Netflix.

 

Final Review.

So I really was over the whole Marcy thing by the end of Travelers. Much like the FBI Agent’s wife. They were just a bit sappy. As story-lines.

We seemed to spend an unholy amount of time staring at Marcy’s face. For some reason Often-as she stared at herself in the mirror.

Likewise the saintly and equally officially feisty-FBI Agent’s wife. Although Marcy had the extra ability to stare down people menacingly but upwards, through or with her chin.

I liked the officially un-likeable Cop, yes I know he was meant to be boo-hiss bad. But I did. Because he was an interesting character.

Some other excellently played parts I felt were the character Phillip and Trevor. Both were intensely convincing in their roles.

The FBI Agent, who we are introduced to in the very beginning: is an enigmatic yet heroic figure. Throughout. If a little stony in countenance.

There are some madcap moments and some almost if not quite downright horror. In this drama. Not quite in that I wasn’t always buying into the most obviously horrific scenes.

Yet I found a more subtle horror in a quietly understated boardroom scene..I can say no more.

I’m not sure all of Travelers is always entirely successful as a fully fledged dystopian Sci-fi drama. However it is successful in being so for enough of the time.  For me.   Often punchy in pace, snappy in dialogue and original in ideas: as in some enjoyable and interesting inventions.

 

Some dialogue.

David to Marcie:
“So you’re….Batgirl?”!

 

 

Postscript.

At one point one of the travellers superiorly and smugly advises a present day person that a particular “phobia” and “sexism” well they: “no longer exist in the future..”
Yawn. Yeah but you lived in a basement and had truly terrible jumpers.

 

 

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Travelers. Netflix. A Canadian Science fiction series. My First Review. Minor spoilers only. On Netflix in the United Kingdom.

Travelers. 
Netflix.
A Canadian Science Fiction series.




My First Review.

So Travelers is reminding me of The Intruders. And Continuum. A lot. Plus quite a few other similar series with the same sort of revenant/ returned thing. Going on. If that’s not a spoiler to say. Hope not.

Now Intruders was a rather madly wonderful series on BBC two a while back. Which I lovingly reviewed at the time. I only happened upon it by chance.

I don’t remember reading or hearing anything about Intruders . But it was good. And had the wonderful John Sims as the hero. That was some seriously beautiful drama to view. But I digress.

Point is, I was getting flashback so to speak, them wise and story-wise to both Continuum and Intruders: whilst watching Travelers. I really liked Continuum too.

As apart from observing that the Travelers is not hugely original itself in it’s premise of time travelers returning back to fix that timeline: I still like the set-up. The story.

I am already predisposed towards this series. On account of the drama reminding me of two series I really liked.

I was however wavering for a while over Travelers in the beginning. However by episode four the series really got into its stride I felt.

I was originally not sure if the drama, or rather the characters and the story-line and their evocation of that story: was entirely successful. and I’m still not sure.

But once the characters shall we say settled into their roles: they became more believable.

Well except for the wife. In my opinion. And officially she doesn’t count. She was in her role already lets say. So has no excuse. for being a bit woefully unengaging. As a character.

But then I might just be over the whole saintly long suffering spiritual being persona of the FBI Agent and or either Detective’s wife: in drama.

It’s like you get either kick-ass babes: or Mother Theresa. Now of course the practically halo-wearing wife of a hero can go all kick-ass babe.

But kick ass babes never go all Mother Theresa. Do they. Except possibly with small children and troubled teens. Because you see, the kick ass babe had been in trouble too. Back in the day.. But I digress.

Yes, I may be down on the wife mainly because she was responsible for the fairly slushy romantic stuff. Which interfered with the really rather good and excellently building story-line, multiple plots and escalating tension. Throughout.

As the drama hits halfway and snowballs towards the end.

I am at episode ten now. I pretty much binge-watched after episode four.

 

To be continued..

 

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

 

Quick note to my readers Part Two. 14th of January 2017. A mention of Christmas Eastenders on BBC One and a preview of The Break. La Trêve.

Quick note to my readers Part Two.

A Preview of The Break.  La Trêve.

Netflix.
La Trêve.  The Break.
A Belgian series. In French with English subtitles.

So I’m on episode eight, or nine now.  Lost track.

Decided to stop because I was binge watching it. To nearly the end. And then I’d have nothing to watch. But for the new episode of Frequency.

It was bad enough after Braquo.

After my post-Braquo mourning period only possibly worsened by the dreadful dirge of Eastender’s Christmas episodes filled with over artistically created demise. Well over artistically for Eastenders.

Eastenders is not meant to be that good. It breaks all the soap opera rules. Stop making it so good-it’s too intense! We want it half rubbish. We love it that way.

(We just want something to watch with dinner without any gore- although the bodies could be said to have literally piled up over the years- on those cold hard slabs of the morgue).

Let’s not even mention the Chapel Of Rest.  Inside the funeral parlour.

Yes after Braquo I eventually settled on Travellers after trying Expanse and 3%/ Three percent. Which were pants. Unfortunately.

Travellers was passable enough. Even a bit fun. (see review to come)

Then I discovered, by accessing some inner subconscious memory of adding this series to my list (ages ago) The Break.

All I could remember was that it was about a Detective, returning home to his childhood home after a tragedy.  And becoming caught up in a dark and disturbing case..

 

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Quick note to my readers Part One on 12th January 2016 and three mini-potted Reviews: Thirty Degrees In February Series Two, Expanse and 3%. Three Percent.

 

Quick note to my readers Part One.

So I don’t know what I’m going to do now I’m down to one last episode of Braquo. Oh woe is me. Everything is shit.

(well-compared to Braquo that is)

I know that’s not poetically descriptive. But it is. Drama-wise.

 

Thirty Degrees In February.  30° i Fevruari Series Two.
A mini-potted review of the first twenty minutes.

There is a series two of Thirty Degrees In February on at the moment on Sky Arts Channel. But I couldn’t get into it. The second series is even more disturbing than the first one.

Series two is both darkly disturbing and annoyingly stereotyped. In it’s depictions of the different characters in each country.

Glenn seems to be experiencing a case of cultural sexual relativism (or extreme politeness). As far as I can see. Will he snap out of it when he returns to Sweden? We shall see.

The Swedes appear to have a delusional view of paradise when in fact the local inhabitants appear to (mostly) hate them. Really. And only see them as a source of money. Just sayin.

For example one character is offered a place to stay- since it is empty. Perhaps to look after that place in return, we think. How nice. Until the lady’s husband scoffs to his wife:

“She’s too old!”. Too old to look after a place? Surely not. Too old for some other activity being considered as payment for the place to stay? I wonder..

You are silently urging the character to refuse, hoping they will pick up the whole bad vibe. About the offer. Because that couple are proper creepy..

 

Expanse.

Netflix.

A mini-potted review of the first twenty minutes.

So I tried Expanse. which was admittedly artistic a creation to look at: but cold and soul-less overall. Plus a bit boring really.

I am reliably informed that Expanse is considered to be a “Space Opera”. Which I kind of like as a term.

It means something more prosaic than I was imagining however: which is a soap opera in space.

Shame because the premise for the story line was promising I felt. And I like Sci-fi.

The rest of the definition of the term space opera is that there are no new inventions in the series. As I was told.

Hence the different classification than science fiction. To sci-fi fans. That makes sense to me.

I do like inventions in Science Fiction so i guess I would have to agree on that definition and distinction. Between two different drama genres.

I like my Sci-fi and I like human interest too but probably I prefer it not to overshadow the story line. Too much.

Plus I do like my Science Fiction with a slightly zany somehow cheerful air. Along with the dark. Continuum and The 4400 would be examples of such series.

I would add the insanely wonderful and strange: The Intruders.

However The Intruders is it’s own classification. Being unique as a series.

 

3 %.  Three Percent.
Netflix.

A mini-potted review of the first twenty minutes.

So three percent was a bit daft. And plastic. As in two-dimensional in artistic construction and characters. Somehow.

Shame. Because it was an interesting idea for a story. Albeit not hugely original. Other than being set in the future.
To signify it’s the future a character has one arm of his top sleeveless and one arm of it whole. Hilarious. When he is a bit stressed out we discover, he is prone to doing something very odd indeed. In a sink..

 

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This work or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.