It’s been a while since I posted about TV, probably because I hadn’t been watching anything much and certainly not anything worth posting about. But recently we’ve seen a few things worthy of writing about in my opinion.
Wow! Did anyone else catch this fabulous British series on the ABC recently? It finished up a couple of weeks ago now and was only a short, eight episode series to start with, but boy did they hook me in. It was a crime drama, set in a small seaside English town called Broadchurch. The kind of town where everyone knew everyone else, or they thought they did anyway. In the first episode a young boy is found murdered on the beach and the town is devastated by it, with accusations flying and suspicion falling on every second person in town. The starring roles of Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant, of Dr Who fame) and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) are played to such perfection they make the show, but that’s not to detract from the cast of more minor characters who are also brilliant. What sets Broadchurch apart from your typical small town murder mystery is the focus on what this kind of situation does to the people living in the town, the victim’s family, those who are at some point suspected on involvement, and others whose secrets get revealed along the way as well as the family of the murderer, when it is eventually revealed. While some (perhaps many) people had the mystery solved early on – I was not one of them, I was still guessing to almost the end – that didn’t really matter. The intrigue was there in all the side stories that came out and in the telling of this tragic story. I’m excited that the producers have announce a second series and I can’t wait to see what they dish us up. If you missed it first time around, it’s definitely worth trying to get a copy, I’m sure it will be at the library before long.
Incidently, The Town, starring Martin Clunes which came on immediately after Broadchurch as a three part mini-series was also an interesting watch.
2. Breaking Bad
Mr Good and I have enjoyed all five seasons of this American suspense/drama, although I did find season four pretty full on in the violence stakes. Season five was a bit more toned down, but full of twists and turns and last night we sat down to watch the very last episode ever. It was good, very good, but the few episodes leading up to the last one had me on the edge of my seat much more. For those not familiar with the series, the story focuses on Walter White and his family, wife Skyler, teenage son Walt Jnr and baby daughter, Holly. Walter is a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with what he believes is terminal cancer. In order to set up his family financially, Walt starts to make and sell methamphetamine with former student Jesse Pinkman. He becomes increasingly heavily involved in the drug world and transforms from conservative high school science teacher to a powerful, power-hungry and violent drug lord. His brother-in-law Hank, a DEA (drug enforcement administration) officer is on the hunt for this elusive new player in the drug scene and producer of the ‘blue meth’ dubbed ‘Heisenberg’, completely unaware that it is Walt he is after. It’s brilliantly cast and filmed right to the very last episode and well worth investing the time to watch all five seasons (though obviously not in one sitting).
Breaking Bad has been shown of the ABC, but I’m not sure what season they’re up to, or when it’s on. We’ve been getting copies as they come out in the US.
3. The Killing (US)
This was originally a Danish series and I think the original is probably better than the US version we’ve been watching, but even so this is another great crime drama. The US made series is set in Seattle where the weather (that is constant rain) is a character in itself. It’s another where a young person, this time a school girl, has been killed and the two detectives, Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, are charged with unraveling this mystery intertwined with high level corruption and a mayoral campaign. The first two seasons (the only ones we’ve watched so far) both focus on this same case and leaves it until the very end of season two to finally reveal the murderer and motives. It’s not a flashy, all-guns-blazing kind of drama, but goes about things quietly and at times frustratingly slowly, only adding to the suspense. I did find some episodes lacking in any real progress which I found irritating, but on the whole a very well produced series by AMC (who also did Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy from memory). There is a third season with a new case which has been broadcast in the US, but I’m yet to see this. It was cancelled after that, much to the disgust of its fans I understand. I am going to try and get a copy of the Danish version so I can compare, I’m told it’s brilliant.
Next on my list of must-see TV is Borgen, another Danish one, this time something similar to West Wing (and what a brilliant thing that would be!). Among shows currently on Australian small screens, I’ve been enjoying It’s a Date and Upper Middle Bogan (the former more than the latter), and the recently finished Time of Your Life, all on the ABC.
Do you have any must-see TV recommendations for me to add to my list? What are you enjoying at the moment? Or are you spending your time in higher pursuits than in front of the box. Given yesterday’s post, TV in the evening is about all I can manage before falling in bed exhausted.