What TV shows have you been watching ?

  • Loving Line Of Duty. I think there is going to lots of twists and turns as usual.


    You will not be disappointed with Broadchurch - excellent!!!!!

    LoD was as usual gripping and compelling viewing, and great fun speculating and thinking about all the various theories. It's top notch entertainment.


    However... two things. First, it feels like it's on a gradual decline - I personally think it hit its peak with series 3. And second, having now seen all of Broadchurch, in my view its by far the superior show. I couldn't miss Line of Duty but it doesn't get under my skin like Broadchurch has. In particular series 3 really got to me. All in all a truly memorable show that joins my top 3 TV shows alongside The Singing Detective and The Wire.

    Abandon all reason

  • Two shows on the BBC iplayer have me gripped. The Looming Tower is about the run-up to 9/11 and if accurate it's very worrying as it shows the CIA and FBI pretty much at war with each other with the CIA in particular holding back vital information. The scenes involving the FBI and CIA chiefs at each others throats are very tense.


    The other I just watched the 1st episode which is Years & Years. Bloody hell.... If you start watching it you'll think oh this is just a family drama. It is, but a very good one with some great dialogue. But my word, I've rarely seen a TV drama with such a chillingly stark change of atmosphere. It was quite scary at the end, I don't mind admitting! But do NOT read anything about it before. Allow yourself to be as surprised and unnerved as I was.

    Abandon all reason

  • Two shows on the BBC iplayer have me gripped. The Looming Tower is about the run-up to 9/11 and if accurate it's very worrying as it shows the CIA and FBI pretty much at war with each other with the CIA in particular holding back vital information. The scenes involving the FBI and CIA chiefs at each others throats are very tense.

    Unfortunately, there is a factual foundation for the FBI and CIA not sharing information back then.


    There is an excellent author here named James Bamford who must have sources inside the intelligence community - his books are so detailed. Anyway, his specialty is the NSA, but he knows all of the alphabet soup in DC. If you want to read the specifics about what your show is referring to, check out either his "A Pretext For War" and/or "The Shadow Factory". The first one details the run-up to 9/11; the second details after 9/11 - the amazing thing about the second book is that he revealed intelligence programs running inside the US that the leaks of Edward Snowden ended up confirming later! His sources are that good.

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • Chernobyl on Sky Atlantic. As I'm currently reading the book "Chernobyl" by Serhii Plokhy, a historian with a local perspective, it reinforces the story of the event, which makes any conflict between the FBI and CIA seem like playground fighting. It is also, ultimately, a tale of bravery and personal sacrifice few could write about in fiction and get away with.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Unfortunately, there is a factual foundation for the FBI and CIA not sharing information back then.

    I sensed from the show so far that this was the case, which is quite chilling given the subsequent events. Thanks for the author reference, I'll look him up.

    Abandon all reason

  • Waiting for the final episode of Game Of Thrones, with bated breath.


    We have started watching the new version of Catch-22, one of my favourite books. I don't know how familiar any of you are with it, but the first episdoe was very disappointing. My comment was 'take a work of satire and remove all the satire'. There is more to the book than Yossarian (who in the episode was referred to as Yo Yo, which happens in precisely one later chapter of the book) staring moodily into the distance. Strangely, the bombing sequences seemed determined to show precisely what the crew did with their instruments, none of which happens in the book, rather than using Joseph Heller's actual biting prose. I'm baffled by it. I can only hope it improves. It is a very hard book to adapt, but it made me realise that the film with Alan Arkin & Art Garfunkel was actually pretty damn good.

  • Catch-22 is a very singular book (the sequel was one of the most ill-advised novels ever) and I too thought the film wasn't too bad at all despite the generally bad reception it got. I don't know if it's been "reappraised" as critically knocked things occasionally are.


    Is this a TV series we're talking about? Personally I'm never too fussed about screen adaptations featuring stuff not in the book, or not featuring stuff that is. A film or TV show isn't a book so it has to take a very different form, and that will usually involve adding, cutting and changing stuff. My only concern is, never mind all that - does it work as a TV show/film in its own right, while retaining the spirit of the book?


    With a TV series they have more time to play with, which might better serve a complex novel like this one. But the book has a certain sort of semi-surreal other- worldliness that can be hard to capture on screen, which is why I think the film wasn't too bad as it did actually achieve that to some extent.


    I wonder if they'll retain the 'TS Eliot' sequence, I loved that bit although it's the sort of passing detail that usually doesn't survive an adaptation.

    Abandon all reason

  • Yes, it's a six part TV series. Of course they had to cut & change, because there is far too much in the book that couldn't adequately be filmed.


    I would say after having now watched two episdoes, no, it doesn't work in its own right because people who haven't read the book won't understand it, and those who have will say it fell a long way short. The second episode was better. The old man in the brothel in Rome got to do his philosophising. Yossarian still stared into the distance. Cathcart is a blustering fool but played without nuance. The Chaplain finally made an appearance. Milo had his cherry tomatoes. A couple of Yossarian's friends, McWatt,, Dunbar & Orr, have barely been mentioned.

  • Started on Stephen Poliakoff's new drama The Summer Of Rockets. It's as engaging as his stuff usually is. There's always a slightly other-worldly feel to his dramas that I like very much.

    Abandon all reason

  • Chernobyl mini series on HBO.


    Scary stuff and riveting as hell. Fantastic performances by the lead actors. ( Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, and Emily Watson) While they've taken some literary license and combined several different people into one character ( Watson's) the show is very well done and a must see.

  • I watch all of The Graham Norton Shows, probably the best chat show host, Ive seen, apart from good old Parky from UK, back in the day.

  • There was a mildly interesting 2-part documentary on BBC4, called “I can go for that” about a genre mystifyingly described as ‘Yacht Rock’. This seemed to encompass the highly produced American west coast sounds of 1980s bands like Hall & Oates & Toto, who were interviewed extensively, although it also included some Eagles & Michael Jackson. Anyway, if anyone who can get BBC iPlayer is interested it’s here:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/…ck-series-1-2-episode-two

  • There was a mildly interesting 2-part documentary on BBC4, called “I can go for that” about a genre mystifyingly described as ‘Yacht Rock’. This seemed to encompass the highly produced American west coast sounds of 1980s bands like Hall & Oates & Toto, who were interviewed extensively, although it also included some Eagles & Michael Jackson. Anyway, if anyone who can get BBC iPlayer is interested it’s here:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/…ck-series-1-2-episode-two

    😄


    I remember hearing about Yacht Rock about 15 years ago. I hadn't heard the term before that but instantly got it. It makes me think of the 80s, misty music videos, US westcoasters wearing deck shoes, pastel sweaters over their shoulders with the arms tied together on their chests, the breeze ruffling their hair, while a bikini-clad woman lies bronzing herself in the sun, champagne in an ice bucket... Find the right soundtrack for that and it'll likely be Yacht Rock, whether or not there's an ocean-going leisure vessel involved.


    Consequently, given the kinds of artists in this genre I'm unlikely to watch the documentary!


    EDIT: I just read the Wikipedia entry on Yacht Rock and was amused to see mention of a sub-genre Dark Yacht, which is apparently typified by Joni Mitchell's song The Hissing of Summer Lawns.


    It gives a list of Yacht Rock acts and it mainly confirmed my feeling that they're very much not for me so I was puzzled to see the brilliant 10cc in the list. Eh?! I don't see them as the sort of anodyne soft rock of most of the other yachtrockers.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • On a similar theme Uncut magazine has just released its genre guide to soft rock, with the usual suspects of the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac & Steely Dan apparently joined by Wings, ELO, Supertramp and.... Genesis.


    https://www.uncut.co.uk/featur…re-guide-soft-rock-111105


    I think some here know that I was a massive Eagles fan & I never thought of them as 'soft rock'. Country rock, yes. Calling them 'soft' was an easy way to dismiss their entire output.


    It's obvious which part of Genesis they consider 'soft rock'. I suppose because ELO & Supertramp also dared to have hit singles they must be 'soft' too instead of prog (I am well aware you could argue about whether ELO & Supertramp are prog or not).


    As Backdrifter says, the person who decided 10cc are 'yacht rock' must have listened to I'm Not In Love & nothing else.


    (They still have not included Dire Straits in one of these guides, but if it ever happens it will be 'pub rock' I suspect. Dire Straits just didn't fit into any of these cosy categories. But then, neither did Genesis).

  • Yes I thought it was probably lazy categorisation of 10cc due to I'm Not In Love and possibly Things We Do and maybe Dreadlock Holiday (which I have to say is pretty bad).


    Despite my disagreeing with it, it kind of doesn't surprise me some will include Genesis on a 'soft rock' list. If you go by a tiny number of singles eg FYFM, Hold On, In Too Deep the casual listener would pigeonhole them as such. It shows how ridiculous most categorisations are.


    I'm sure that lazy labelling is probably linked to the perception of Collins and Rutherford's solo careers too. But have they partly called them soft rock due to their having had hit singles as you said FeelItComing ? That really would be a ludicrous reason. It would make Metallica soft rock as well!

    Abandon all reason