Random off the cuff review of The Good Wife and Mad Men as posted in my transcripts of comments on Rebecca Nicholson’s Guardian Blog on Homeland Ep 5

  • 8 April 2012 8:28PM

    hey you’re welcome:so that was you trying to be funny earlier?!

    re your queries about Breaking Bad/Suits/The Good Wife/Mad Men:

    The Good Wife:
    The Good Wife was all right to start with and then swiftly became dreary and formulaic. In spite of (for Sex ‘n the City fans) having the gorgeous Mr. Big in it it was fairly ruined for me by being plain annoyed at the tedious tottering around in tiny pencil skirts, towering stilettos, and eternal Scarlet O ‘Hara 18 inch waist and grinning/ gurning Geisha like behaviour of the star heroine. Timid, submissive & terse at intervals, to show she is ‘strong’ but forever frozen botox-like of face. So hard to read what on earth was really meant to be any emotion happening. As with most American Dramas and the women actresses therein.

    The Mother (of Mr Big) is the best actress in it, acting the rest of them off the screen in the short amounts of time she is allowed. Since, in spite of being a canny and clever natural politico more than capable of running the whole campaign, she is treated like some doddery old dear. Just on the basis of being old. When she is extremely clever and beautiful. She is relegated to being a Nanny and literally dragged away from the campaign room when she offers her perspicacious advice like she was suffering from dementia and just claimed she was Mrs. Christmas.

    Don’t waste your time. Ditto Boston Legal. All these Dramas are the same now. Stereotyped and formulated to death:amusing only if bored and feel like counting the tick boxes/stereotypes as they flicker up:one by dreary familiar one..

    Breaking Bad & Suits i haven’t seen so can’t judge.

    Mad Men
    However Mad Men is a treat indeed . Haven’t seen the new series as now out of my televisual reach. Best dialogue around at present, most fresh, most realistic and thankfully free of inane psychobabble. (all sentences that start with a negative:eg. “I’m NOT saying that.”& continue with how that person is Feeling!)

    Mad Men is probably the best thing on TV (or was the ones i saw) fresh, believable Real dialogue, that people (if you consider) might actually say in real life! and it’s set in the 60’s!
    depending on your age group you might, like me, find some of it uncannily familiar..The portrayal of sexism is harsh to the point of painful. The abuse the women in the office are subject to, particularly Joan, is painful to watch as is the amazement with which we watch her swallow it with finesse and only a subtle retort in reply..

    The juxtaposition of the women’s slow and painful crawl to equality with that of the civil rights movement is delicately exposed to our view.. Plus, of course, you have all the fabulous sets! painstakingly and minutely researched and every item hunted down:the Director would not suffer one wrong pencil in a scene. Even how the ice cubes were different then is carefully included. There are no anachronisms! (Either in the language or the sets.)

    Breathtaking clothes, specially the women’s, and furniture:in particular look out for Roger Sterling’s latest office a vision in splendid white with (i think) an original Bridge Riley dot painting on the wall and Startrek like chairs..Then everybody smokes! like chimneys! and drink like fishes! shock-horror…

    Don is the classic flawed hero whom we forgive for everything due mainly to his charm and handsomeness. He is the ultimate seducer in that he just can’t stop, even when he is married to the most beautiful women you may have ever seen, Betty, who is tethered to her housewifely role but has a few jangling skeletons hanging in her own cupboard and a surprising line in evil of her own..

    If you’re going to watch it you must watch right from the beginning or i don’t think it would make sense..

note to my readers:TV updates and endings Sunday 8th April 2012

Well what is a TV watcher to do? Official boo hoos for the ending of:
Those Who Kill (ITV3 Channel in UK)
The Walking Dead (though is a series will probably return:FX Channel in UK)
Underbelly (Fx Channel in UK)

Looks like i’m gonna stop waiting and hoping in vain for a return of Southland. Think that really was the end then.

Only thing i’m really enjoying is Inspector Montalbano at the moment. Am watching Homeland (Chanel 4 Sundays @9pm UK G.M.T) although it’s not as good as it thinks it is. Hey the opening credits are better than it is. Still it’s fun if a bit annoying. Writing about it on the Guardian Homeland Blog episode by episode and posting it on here too.

Oh forgot True Blood (FX
Channel in UK) :in a class of it’s own. Great fun. Best dialogue around out of anything except Mad Men which sadly i can no longer see as it’s out of my televisual reach. Plus all the women in True Blood are thankfully sexist free and kick ass. Metaphorically you understand. Well most of the time..

Have been thinking that Inspector Montalbano deserves a re-write up or a re-cant if you like of my previous and original write -up. Because it is much better than i thought at first. It grew on me like roses. Plus on reflection although people die in it it’s a relief you don’t see all the gore. Plus it’s not always women victims: fancy that!

Do miss Current TV channel-it had 24/7 Documentaries from all over the world. It was excellent. It stopped broadcasting in the UK.

There is a new Special Victims Unit series on the Hallmark Channel (162 on Virgin Media) on Sundays in the UK @ 9pm. However:sadly, S.V.U jumped the shark some time ago. I saw a new Hallmark Cop show called King last night-words fail me. Ok they don’t..i wouldn’t bother unless you have some horrible paperwork or reading or study you need to do as i did and were seriously avoiding it..

Watch King whilst trapping yourself on the sofa with your work. You will find your tedious work more interesting and will do it. Or some. i might write a review of it for fun and hey it might grow on me. It’s really hard to tell what on earth is going on with some characters in American Dramas as their faces are locked in some kind of living rigor mortis of expressionlessness.. And so it is with Lady Detective King.

transcriptof my commments on Vicky Frost’s Guardian Blog on Borgen Episodes 9 & 10 page 39

  • 11 February 2012 8:42PM

    Yes, Alistair Campbell was on the 10 o’clock show last night and i liked him even more! he seems very down to earth, and he loves his team Burnley so that means he’s a Northerner so must be allright:) i didn’t know that about him. i guess we shouldn’t blame him for being a spin doctor extraordinarie, now that i’ve seen Borgen and everything.T’was just his job after al

    salut for now & thanks to everybody for sharing our mutual love of Scandiavian TV & thank you for the Blog to our host @Vicky Frost
    salut mes amis, i wasn’t invited to this facebook blog..boo hoo,
    nobody likes me, everybody hates me, i’m gonna go and eat worms, big fat slimey ones, itty bitty grimey ones, i’m gonna go and eat worms..

    for our Danish guests, this is a very ancient and culturally significant, in fact steeped in historical meaning, British song:)

    nb. i have just seen the trailer on ITV3 for Those Who Kill:new Scandinavian Drama “coming soon” looks really good.

    Inspector Montalbano is actually quite funny although i’m not sure it’s meant to be. Plus, so far, the crimes never get solved. This is the very elderly writer’s serious point about the influence of the Mafia and big businessmen apparently. However you can go on a mini-fantasy holiday to very beautiful Sicily and every now and then they give you a glimpse of the sparkling blue sea..

transcripts of my comments on Vicky Frost’s Guardian Blog on Borgen episodes 9 & 10 page 38 (b)

  • 11 February 2012 8:09PM

    YoYo(Danish again) @pdboxer:
    re my quandary over Niels’ jacketlessness in front of Birgitte being deliberately disrespectful?:

    Is that true? I thought I had worked out a few sartorial things over the years but I’ve never thought that it was necessary to wear the jacket at such times? Thinking back, I have been doing so anyway, but if it was a hot day I think I wouldn’t wear the jacket. So long as the other grooming is ok, shoes polished, tie on etc I don’t think I’d feel disrespectful but perhaps it is a rule in circumstances I’m not familiar with such as addressing the pm. I believe Blair and Cameron spend more time agonising over whether to wear ties or not in certain situations than they do on policy!

    i hear you, and in my experience, although i’m sure there are some serial killers out there (due to my extensive knowledge from watching Criminal Minds and the whole plethora of such TV) with them but you usually can’t fault a man who polishes his shoes! old school style, no handy applicators:) Yes, you are probably right about Blair and Cameron:more style than substance perchance?

    i used to find amusement in comparing the sartorial styles of Obama Vs. Cameron whenever they appeared together. It was obvious, i felt, that Cameron had his own tailor however i liked Obama’s wide retro collars the best. My theory is that Obama soon had his own suits hand made although i might be wrong..it can’t be easy to get off the peg for his height:)


    It was very Sir Humphry ie my job is secure yours isn’t, you might be pm but I have the real power bee-aatch. Again when Tony Blair was in “power” he found he did not have the power to do what he wants and what a pm should be able to do, which in his case was sack his chancellor Gordon Brown and sack the most powerful civil servants who obstructed his moves. This is power he should have had as a pm. Ironically he was able to usurp power that he shouldn’t have according to our system and was able to take a lot of power out of the hands of the cabinet, parliament and the people through various dodges like discussing things on the sofa, setting up quangos and so on. *

    Very good points, you must be a politico! Yes, it was somewhat the wrong way around with Blair, wasn’t it?..I do wonder whether a PM can really get rid of a Civil servant at the level of Niels, although they oughta, as you say..We shall find out as Borgen progresses..i am sure that Birgitte is more than a match for Niels, however it is his behind the scenes moves and power that worries me and it should worry her. It may be a case of keeping your enemies close etc…

Transcript of my comments on Vicky Frost’s Guardian Blog on Borgen Episoees 9 & 10 page 38

  • 11 February 2012 7:38PM

    Yo@pdboxer, just catching up on your replies, hope i’m not being de trop posting one after the other however it’s moot since it will be closing soon anywayz..

    Hi Clarissima, it is not all that long ago that I had that same feeling. I despised politics and politicians, they never seemed to make any difference, they filled up the tv and papers, people would try to talk about it and I hated it. Then I got into economics and loved it, soon I found that economics relies on politics so heavily, started following politics and am glued to it now. So be careful! I enjoyed a vid of Alastair Campbell on Jamie Oliver’s dream school where he is teaching politics and the kids all say its boring, then he talks them round in a quite clever way. Vid is long though, 20 mins so only for the committed! It’s here.

    IThank you for that link, as it happens i saw that and felt exactly the same! in fact it changed my whole opinion of Alistair Campbell
    who i felt did the best out of all them in engaging the pupils in the dream school. He took them to parliament as well to meet Cameron! it was brilliant:)

    i so agree, funnily enough, someone somewhere or maybe i just read it, said if you really want to understand politics, follow the money trail eg. read the Financial Times or the Economist for ex. Whilst i’m not really up to that i did, along with my unpredicted yet surprisingly enjoyable foray recently into the back sports pages i have also ventured into the further staid and dry to the point of erudite area of the business section and started reading the economic articles by a guy called Stephen King.

    ok, it drew my attention at first because i actually thought my favourite author might have started writing for my paper (!) but nope-recently i was fascinated to read his prediction for the future financial powers/countries based on the old and established ancient spice trade route.. *

    I had great hopes for Obama too and have been disappointed. One politician really can make a difference though, if he is strong enough, principled enough, and realistic enough. Some politicians in the past really have made massive positive differences to the world. Won’t name any controversial ones, but people like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and of course: Birgitte Nyborg 🙂 *

    exactemente:) so

    there is hope

Transcript of my comments on Vicky Frost’s Guardian Blog on Borgen Episodes 9 & 10 page 37

  • 11 February 2012 7:06PM

    hey (in Danish:) @pdboxer
    i am a bit tardy today, meant to catch up here last night but became engrossed in an imaginary life and death struggle by Christian Bale in the Cambodian jungle in a film Escape Dawn i think, just had to know if he made it out! Christian Bale seems to specialise in skinny starey eyed guys doesn’t he?

    thank you very much for the advice on how to do a cool blue link. That does handily by-pass mentioning other newspaper’s names etc..

    *When I saw the “Women quotas” episode I remember chuckling to myself thinking “God almighty. Ha ha I’m surprised Blair or Cameron weren’t at this” because they are what are known as “focus group politicians” as opposed to the “conviction politicians” of yesteryear, but really I thought not even they would pander in this way. I took on board what LarsPal said that just because it doesn’t seem feasible in UK, doesn’t mean its not feasible in Britain. And then I open the paper today… (BTW I speak as friend and relative of some very successful women who would not want their achievements devalued by people thinking they got their jobs due to “quotas”). I’m not against Women Quota’s per se, if the government wants to allocate me a quota of women, I say let them 🙂

    exactly! in my new politics- is- interesting-though- i fear- this- is going- to become -somewhat all encompassing-hobby i read with pleasant cynical interest an editorial yesterday in my paper dissecting this very matter of spin. To summarise (which is not my strong point) they described Cameron playing this for his own ends and employing a very useful method which they named “exhortation”! which allowed him to sound concerned and reach out to women and others who believed in quotas without actually doing anything!

    i’m not sure;i’m against positive discrimination in principle since it is actually against it’s own principle of not discriminating on the basis of gender or anything else?.

    However, on reading this editorial i had to agree with the point that in the quoted ex. of boardrooms from which the members are only ever drawn from the same “pool” (an odd word about these days) perhaps they had a point:eg. possibly it could be useful to kickstart the process and get some women in to redress the balance-well not that it would be 50/50 but apparently Britain has only 15% women in boardrooms, much lower than any other European country..

    but then one (or i) could argue that having women doing the job doesn’t necessarily change anything does it? are they supposed to be more caring and humanitarian?! and should they be there, as you say, just for being women? it is discrimination and ultimately reinforces discrimination doesn’t it? is that why they call it positive to make it sound better?
    ..is it all just about numbers then?
    ha ha to your last bit:)

    ps. i’m not a guardianista, i’m independent..

transcripts of my comments on Vicky Frost’s Guardian Blog on Borgen Episodes 9 &10 page 35

  • 11 February 2012 2:18PM


    * Agreed @clarissima. I thought Niels wanted Sanne out because she wasn’t one of “his” people, couldn’t be controlled and he found her too lowly to “convert” to his side. I think he’s going to plant someone in there so he can have a further inside track on Birgitte. I found him utterly disrespectful — and plotting. He’s very cold and arrogant. I liked Sanne, but she showed poor judgement in letting Kasper have a go at her in the office. Foolish. I do think Birgitte was on auto pilot when she signed her away; she had gotten to like an appreciate Sanne. Added to the whole tragedy of the ending, really. Who could not like the little curtsy? *

    Yes, i agree, although hadn’t considered the idea of Niels thinking Sanne was “too lowly to convert to his side” it does indeed seem to be ‘his manor’ as a Londoner might say. Hence, i believe, the casualness of appearing in his waistcoat rather than a jacket. What exactly the ‘it’ that Niels feels that he runs:i’m not sure. The building, the parliament, or the whole government?!

    It’s a thin line he is treading (although i may be taking this to the extreme) by wearing a waistcoat:he almost looks as if he is a top rank servant, as if he was essaying himself as obedient? then there is the eponymous shirtsleeves look so beloved of Blair and even Obama has done it:eg. i’m in my shirtsleeves and i am going to roll them up a bit to really get the job done..eg. i’m the only one around here who gets things done?!

    i dunno , a Danish fellow forumer might know better the intricacies of etiquette i am theorising over:all based on a waistcoat! i do think it’s pretty universal for a man to show respect to his superior in this case PM by wearing a jacket though? i mean Birgitte isn’t the Queen, but she’s not far off it is she-would Niels appear so casually in front of the queen? or a male PM i wonder. Was Niel’s comment “I didn’t think you would last the year” just plain rude or was it sexist as well?

    i agree about Sanne and Birgitte, it may well be that Birgitte was on autopilot and totally drained emotionally at that time. In Sanne’s defence i would say that Kaspar had already flirted with her and is indeed (well he Is a spin-doctor) a very smooth operator! Sanne really liked him and thought he liked her. She was a bit innocent i think. Poor Sanne didn’t even know about Katrine i don’t think? Katrine, who Kaspar is obviously irretrievably in love with, ahhhh…:)

transcript of my comments on Vicky Frost’s Guardian Blog on Borgen Episodes 9 & 10 page 30

  • 9 February 2012 8:53PM

    hey i really enjoyed your perspicacious analysis of the elephant in the room and agree about the Ministers and Birgitte.

    Hey, thanks for this, it sounds very interesting! i can’t believe i’m actually getting into politics, the thought strikes me that it’s tantamount to my secret reading of the sports pages lately! ok it started out of utter boredom with my paper one day and then it progressed to actively following the John Terry and Luis Suarvez cases. Mainly because no other Columnists were writing about them. Did you know that Wayne Rooney’s tweets for ex. are taken very seriously indeed in the sports world?!

    is there a group for me?!
    (“hello,my name is clarissima and i’m a sports pages reader…i can’t stop..:) now i actually save up titbits and casually toss them out to guys i know..it seems such a straightforward uncomplicated world, well apart from having it’s own politics like at the moment, and girls, there’s men in shorts! (sexism alert beep beep:)

    on a more serious note, yes, that was terrible about the assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister, i can’t believe i didn’t know about it until i saw it related on the Nordic Noir programme on BBC4 (our spiritual home) one night. Awful. The commentators who were all Scandinavian linked that incident to what they called the “loss of innocence” in Scandinavia generally, that before that everybody thought they were safe.

    That’s terrible if it was for those reasons, somehow that seems worse than the lone mad gunman theory they posited in the programme.

transcript of my comments on Vicky Frost’s Guardian Blog on Borgen Episodes 9 &10 page 27

  • 8 February 2012 10:03PM

    Well some people want power to do things with it, and they are limited if they are not dictators. But your question is why would people want power for power’s sake. Well I didn’t venture into gender differences so far but feel I must a bit now. First, why does anyone want to be good at any career? Generally lawyers want to be barristers, barristers want to be judges etc etc. Politicians want to be prime minister. Deeper than that though, at least for men, achieving power be it through business, mafia or politics gives them status, brings them money – and brings them women. Or they believe it does.

    hey thanks for that:well explained:) i think my head was bending last night or rather my brain with all this talk of politics..:) that makes sense.

    n.b i read in my paper last night a whole article based round guess what? fighter jets, foreign aid to India, “political capital” eg. why didn’t we get the order for the jets when we gave you this nice aid not that it has any strings attached to it..there was also this interesting phrase “post colonial noblesse oblige” which i liked. There was a lot more but my point is that it was like an episode of Borgen!

    Nice genuine woman, but some of her policies are unrealistic, some insane, some suicidal in my view. If she became cynical and recognised we need things like a strong economy, a strong defence etc as well as thinking of environment… oh I know! She needs to become Birgitte!

    i’ve only seen her briefly on Question time (Caroline Lucas) but confess i don’t know much about her policies, i just liked the way she went on so to speak. It’s interesting to read that a lot of ‘Green policies’ are not green at all when examined and are tied into big business and global corporations and don’t even really work..Like the whole wind farm kickbacks/deals a plenty for leasing land etc. Oh dear. Do the greens know?!

    Plus the latest ‘green’ jolly idea is the rather reprehensible one of population restriction or whatever word they are calling it..David Attenboroughs keeps popping up with this one. Hmm.. i think there used to be another word for that people…

    i’m glad you like my werewolf analogy, the more i think of Phillipe transitioning into a werewolf, the more it amuses me!:) particularly having just watched the new Being Human-n.b don’t bother folks, it has jumped the shark sadly, no more gorgeous Irish vampire man (forgot his name ) and i can’t even talk abut what happened to (werewolf) George..

    thank you for the compliment but i am not a “politico” i am much chuffed though:)

    i am glad you agree about cynical and harder actually being good things! thought it was just me..being all hard and um cynical..

    off to see Underbelly FX @10pm. n.b i agree that £24 is a lot of money, if you live in the UK, libraries do often rent out films on CD and even old video format. There is usually a smaller ‘foreign films’ section. The Wire is in a class of it’s own:modern day Shakespeare.

    Just before seeing The Wire i watched a really good series called Matrioski:absolutely excellent and in a mixture of Russian and Lithuanian. Being that it’s quite old now, you might be lucky enough to find that in a library or to buy a bit cheaper.
    n.b there was subtitles of course-i really enjoyed hearing an unknown language to me and the storyline is intense and has some similarities to one series of the Wire without giving too much away…