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Monday’s TV March 1, 2010

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Before I get started on TAR, I feel I should talk briefly about the week in television that I forgot to write up on, despite the Olympics making the television landscape a barren wasteland filled with re-runs. The only things of note were a ho-hum episode of Damages (S03E05: It’s Not My Birthday), which didn’t reveal much and would have been graded a B, and a crappy BBC Four docudrama about the expenses report, On Expenses, centering on US ex-pat Heather Brooke’s quest to expose MPs’ expenses and Michael Martin’s attempt to stop her A truly awful script meant that even Brain Cox and Anna Maxwell Martin couldn’t salvage the dreck that was placed in front of them (although their performances left a lot to be desired, which seems strange in hind sight). Despite a disclaimer at the beginning saying that whilst they’d changed stuff, “you couldn’t make this stuff up”, the desire to ram the events into a Syd Field three-act structure meant that the whole journey became convoluted and boring. The best bits were when the script actually allowed the hysteria of the situation speak out for itself in the tribunal. Sadly, this was an oasis in a murky sea  of “character development” and other pointless TV conventions. Had it been graded, it would have received a C.

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Monday’s TV February 22, 2010

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The Amazing Race S16E02: When the Cow Kicked Me in the Head

Well, it’s Monday, and that means that TAR was on yesterday in the States (and today on my laptop). Though this is the second episode, here’s a run down of the teams and their nicknames thus far:

  • Jet & Cord: TeamCowboy
  • Joe & Heidi: TeamSpouseAbuse
  • Carol & Brandy: TeamEllen
  • Brent & Caite: TeamMactor
  • Monique & Shawne: TeamLawMomma
  • Jordan & Jeff: TeamBigBrother
  • Steve & Allie: TeamDaddyDaughter
  • Dan & Jordan: TeamHoBro
  • Louie & Michael: TeamDouche
  • Jody & Shannon: TeamGrammy (sniff)

Even though they’re not in this episode, Dana and Adrian would have been TeamHighSchool

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BAFTA results February 21, 2010

Posted by mrcatdog100 in Film News.
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Best Picture: The Hurt Locker

Slight surprise, considering the usual patriotic BAFTA love. Oscar sweep on the cards?

Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, An Education

No surprise, considering the usual patriotic BAFTA love. Meryl’ll win the Oscar though… shame, really.

Best Actor: Colin Firth, A Single Man

Slight surprise. I assumed the BAFTA patriotism would reward Andy Serkis for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. Nice surprise though. Again, Bridges is going to win the Oscar.

Supporting Actress: Mo’nique, Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Duh! (more…)

The Last Station review February 21, 2010

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Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer in The Last Station

I thought about starting this blog with a review of the first episodes of MasterChef, but it became obvious when I was watching them that they were virtually unreviewable in their early stages: it’d be a waste of energy to keep typing the words “that dish was good”, “that dish was shit”, “John and Greg are ridiculous”. Until the semis it’s always ridiculously repetitive, and to review it constantly would just provide fruitless criticism to write and read. So, the premiere critique is The Last Station. Enjoy!

In an early episode of Modern Family, Cameron Tucker says one of my favourite lines of the show so far. I’m probably paraphrasing, but it goes something like “Meryl Streep is so good, she could play BATMAN and she could make it work!” Whilst this may not be a new opinion/fact, The Last Station simply confirms Britain’s equivalent actress strikes again. While Sofya Tolstoya may not be as much of an acting challenge as Batman may be for Mirren, to turn such a shrill, self-involved shrew of a woman – one who would probably be the evil money-stealing antagonist in any other film – into a relatable character who the audience ultimately ends up rooting for is certainly an achievement on her part.

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One small step for man… February 19, 2010

Posted by mrcatdog100 in Other.
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Hey guys! My name’s Jonathan Storey and I write about Film and TV for the London School of Economics newspaper: ‘The Beaver’. Essentially this blog is a continuation of the rants and reviews that I do.

Having had a blog when I was in Sixth Form –  mainly revolving around food, neuroses and getting people to read my blog – the idea of setting one up again never really entered into my mind. However, all the people at The Beaver seem to have one tucked away and all, so maybe it’s not such a bad idea!

Expect reviews and analyses of films and TV programmes I’ve watched, as well as comments on the audiovisual news-sphere.

Happy reading, everyone!