I liked this from the first episode and both the character and show remain perhaps my favourite Marvel thing. I don’t think there was a weak episode in the criminally short run.
Inside Amy Schumer
For some reason I tracked down 12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer and it was just as great as everybody was saying. I then noticed that the first season was available on Now TV for seven more days and proceeded to make my way through them. I’m all aboard the Amy train, she’s the funniest and smartest “new” comedian I’ve seen for some time and I’m more than a little bit in love.
Murder In Successful
This had been sitting on the PVR for a while and the first episode was missing the setup explanation and featured an unknown to me reality star so it wasn’t exactly clear what was going on. The series was a bit hit and miss but at times I found it incredibly funny and a lot of it’s success depends on how great the guests are with Dermot O’Leary and Deborah Meaden being the highlights. The mystery part could be stronger (or make more sense) and it didn’t take long to notice the pattern in each episode but that repetitive nature could also be a great basis for more humour. Hopefully there will be another series with better guests.
Wet Hot American Summer
I’d never heard of the film and only found out about it when Netflix started promoting the new series. I watched the film and thought it was great and easy to see why it had become a cult favourite. I was slightly concerned that the tv series couldn’t work and remained unconvinced by the first episode or two . Somehow I settled into it and thoroughly enjoyed the ridiculousness of the rest of the series.
Okay, I’m just going to say this – I think I enjoyed the second series of True Detective a lot more than the first. It took me a while to catch up with the first season after hearing a lot of hype (which undoubtedly negatively affected my opinion) and I did like it but I also found it a bit dull and thought the ending was terrible. S2 may not be technically as good and a lot more familiar but it was a familiar set up I loved. I loved that town, I loved the characters, I loved the Lynchian noir tone and I loved not really having any idea what was going on and didn’t care. Those amazing set pieces in episodes 4 and 6 were more impressive than that single tracking shot in the first series. My only real disappointment was the direction Rachel McAdam’s character took in the final episodes.
At the end of Season 4 I think it’s safe to say this has surpassed the original UK version although it’s hard to remember exactly when the UK version started going wrong.
Perhaps not as enjoyable as the first series but still great with lots of fantastic moments throughout the series.
It may not be groundbreaking but it was enjoyable enough that I wanted to keep watching.
- The Americans (S3)
Continuing and enjoying
- The Goldbergs
- New Girl
- Only Connect
- Last Week Tonight
- Family Guy
Continuing (but only because there are only a few episodes left)
- Under The Dome
- Life In Squares (ep2)
An interesting concept although heavily influenced by many other shows. I wasn’t expecting it to go in the direction it did which should be applauded but I think it did reveal too much too soon and then was left with little to do in the later episodes.
The Good Wife
I have no idea why it took me so long to get to the end of what is arguably my favourite ongoing series, perhaps I just wanted to savour every episode. Once again I found each episode surpassing the last, frequently funnier than any comedy and such excellent writing and performances. Every minor character feels like they could be the lead in their own show which is yet another reason why The Good Wife is so great.
Not Safe For Work
Disappointing, especially as I saw somebody suggest it could be a modern day This Life – it absolutely is not. The final two episodes were a step up from the rest of the series which gives me hope for a second series but then I wonder if I would bother with so much else out there.
The most watched TV show in the US? I was glad it was only 10 episodes not because I wanted it to end but it didn’t really seem to ever go anywhere. There were plenty of good moments and Cookie is a great character but it feels very soapy at times. Perhaps it’s because I don’t particularly like the music but it never felt as good as Nashville which covers similar ground. Also the dubbing of all the music scenes was atrocious and completely distracting every time there was a song.
Orange Is The New Black
Perfectly fine but also nothing special.
Another highlight in what I’m sure is turning out to be one of the greatest years for television.
My Mad Fat Diary
A satisfying conclusion to one of the most underrated teen dramas. The first episode of this three show run was something else.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
More evidence for 2015 being one of the most creative and impressive years for TV
I’m only four episodes in but I think I’m enjoying this a lot more than everybody else. I failed to understand all the fuss over the first series although I did enjoy it, until the disappointing generic thriller ending. This time around it may not be doing anything new, everything feels very familiar but it’s familiar things I like and done to a high standard. Personally I thought the scene at the end of episode four was more effective that first season’s tracking shot. Looking forward to see how it continues.
I wasn’t sure if a second series could work and the cliffhanger on the first felt like it was tacked on to ensure they had somewhere to go. Fortunately it’s still about the characters and their relationships and continues to be just as good as the first series.
Under The Dome
Season 3 looks like it’s trying to redefine Jumping The Shark – I really have no idea what’s going on or why I’m still watching. Even worse I think if I watch much more of Dean Norris chewing up the scenery it might start diluting my memories of Breaking Bad.
Both the character and show may be my favourite Marvel thing.
Continuing (and enjoying)
- Jane The Virgin
- The Goldbergs
- Last Week Tonight
- The Daily Show
- New Girl
- Only Connect
I knew I should have watched the final episode before rounding up May. The whole series was wonderful but that last episode was something else, phenomenally good TV.
I never managed to get stuck into this, I found that it offered nothing new or anything to keep me interested. It’s a shame because I stuck with and the final episode appeared to be really good, sadly it didn’t mean much to me because I’d long lost interest in the story and characters.
E4 bought The Goldbergs and then quickly dumped the first two series as quickly as it could in a less than prime slot. I only watch because I listen to Jeff Garlin’s podcast and he’s particularly good as the father. I’m only about 6 episodes in but so far finding the whole thing really quite charming, it’s hard not to think of The Wonder Years even though both shows are quite different.
More great television from Denmark and further proof that DR1 is up there with HBO for producing high quality dramatic television.
Two British actors leading an American show and picking up lots of award nominations last year in the States. I didn’t know the split perspective was coming and initially it’s quite striking but later on it doesn’t work quite as well and often raises more questions about how things are structured. Things unravel in an engaging way and it’s surprising that this far in we don’t even know what it is that’s getting investigated.
Jane The Virgin
Fairly low expectations and something I wondered if I really had the time to commit to, my doubts appeared to be correct for most of the first episode but by the end it had won me over. High quality trashy soap which I mean as a compliment.
More solid high quality drama from the BBC.
Agents Of SHIELD
SHIELD is up and down but got good again by the end of season 2.
For what was arguably the worst Glastonbury lineup for quite some time, it turned out there were many personal highlights (in bold below). Italics indicate acts where I didn’t see the whole set due to boredom (Kanye West) or getting food and listening (Jamie XX). I think this is the first year when I didn’t see a headline act, on all three days, nothing on Sunday and only brief moments from two on Saturday. I had hoped to see Chemical Brothers headline on Sunday but it was far too crowded half an hour before they were due on stage so I bailed but Idlewilde made up for it. Wolf Alice were the only other act I really wanted to see but didn’t make it (lazily due to rain and been on the other side of the site) but there’s probably a whole lot more to discover on iPlayer.
- Film: Kingsman
- FIlm: The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson – introduction Q&A with Wilko Johnson and Julien Temple
- New York Brass Band marriage proposal at The Park (maybe)
- Film: Kurt Cobain Montage Of Heck
- The Charlatans
- Matthew and Me
- Everything Everything
- Hooton Tennis Club
- Kevin Eldon
- Jamie XX
- Super Furry Animals
- The Unthanks With Charles Hazlewood & His Orchestra
- Courtney Barnett
- The Strypes
- Stephen Frost’s Improv All Stars with special guests Phil Jupitus and Marcus Brigstocke
- Burt Bacharach
- Idris Elba (DJ)
- Father John Misty
- La Roux
- Kanye West
- The Mothership Returns: George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic & the Family Stone
- Alistair Barrie
- Tony Law
- Marcus Brigstocke’s Policy Unit
- Hozier – I only saw 1 or 2 songs and wasn’t impresses so left for…
- Cassetteboy and DJ Rubbish
- Patti Smith (and the Dalai Lama)
- Lionel Richie
- Belle and Sebastian
I wasn’t sure if the final episode was going to be necessary after nearly everything felt nicely wrapped up. The ambiguity of the closing scenes is really quite magnificent.
Fascinating and terrifying stuff even if it’s sometimes difficult to take seriously because of The Daily Show style setup of the interviews.
Not bad but quite disappointing considering who’s behind it. The choice of Breaking Bad style music and colours does it absolutely no favours.
As is often the case something getting removed from Netflix is the incentive I need to finally catch up before it disappears. I stopped watching Nurse Jackie when the BBC stopped showing (apparently the end of season 2) but I didn’t feel like I’d been away. Now I just need to find where I can watch the rest of the series.
An unnecessary long wait to watch the latest series in the UK but worth it in the end.
During the first double episode it did start to feel like W1A had become a W1A spoof but fortunately it settled down in subsequent episodes.
I don’t have a lot to say about Gotham but I have enjoyed it and hope it continues.
Peter Kay’s Car Share
I’ve been meaning to write something about Alien Isolation for the last few months when I finished playing it. Putting aside Nintendo I think it was the only game released in 2014 that I had any interest in but when it came out it didn’t feel like the reviews were that good and I was busy at Leeds International Film Festival. I finally started playing it earlier this year and I mostly enjoyed it. The Xbox 360 version is full of many bugs, most notably a display issue that meant part of background for on screen text was persistently displayed on screen which did ruin the atmosphere. The game often crashed on the loading screen and there were many graphical glitches.
The game is at it’s best when your alone in an area with the alien. Unfortunately the gaps between such scenarios seem to grow further and further apart. Worse than that there are annoying humans and more annoying androids that just get in the way and just make this like most other games. The developers perfected the “Alien” part of the title but failed on the “Isolation” part.
Like most games it’s also too long. Things are dragged out along long corridors far too often and those humanoid encounters are just a pain. Save points are often before a long boring corridor with an opportunity to die at the end, this kind of crap shouldn’t be happening in games, especially ones where death by alien is down to chance (or sophisticated Xenomorphic AI programming). Still I put up with all the problems to see the story through the end. If the story had been shorted I’d have been tempted to spend more time with the challenge part of the game but this option has remained untouched.
I’m glad I could go straight into the second part of the final series, I imagine it must have been a long wait as week to week currently feels like a drag. Can’t wait to see how everything ends.
I’ve mentioned Banished every month and the ending did not disappoint and a second series would be welcomed. Definitely one of the year’s highlights.
The final episode felt unnecessary and has messed up a second series, would’ve preferred things to have ended at the party in the previous episode.
House Of Cards
i raced through the third series and loved it, I’m hoping most of it was just a set up to really tell Claire’s story in series 4 but even by the level of preposterous events so far that may be taking things too far.
I tried Critical (for four episodes?) but gave up, I’d have stuck with it for 6 hours but couldn’t face 13 when nothing had happened. Focussing on the procedure rather than the characters was a novel idea but it just couldn’t keep me interested.
Inside Number 9
Just as good as the first series.
Lip Sync Battle
I really shouldn’t like this but think it is brilliant despite the poor presenting by LL Cool J and the completey unnecessary presence of Chrissy Teigen. So far I think it’s been down to the guests and the fact they are already friends, so it’ll be interesting to see how long it can keep going.
The Good Wife
Still the best show on TV and completely unexplainable why it’s taking me so long to get through.
Good idea, hopefully will get better as the writers and performers find their feet.
I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse
Another good idea, I’m surprised nobody has tried to make a live video game before. Like most video games it quickly got repetitive and could’ve done with being a lot shorter.
March felt like a month of catching up but also an introduction to the wonderful world of Better Call Saul.
Better Call Saul
At times I thought I might end up liking this more than Breaking Bad. There is just something wonderful about the character Jimmy McGill whether that’s his past as Slippin’ Jimmy or future as Saul Goodman there’s an eternal optimism trying to fight through the everyday sadness that just gets me every time. The series goes from good to great once we get Mike’s flashback and the later episodes in the series excel.
Cucumber & Banana
I haven’t finished with these yet and have just reached episode 6 which is the one everyone started talking about but both series were great from the start. Unfortunately once I knew the vague details of the shock in Cucumber I knew how it would arrive. Brilliant writing and performances not to mention the way the two shows compliment each other make this another highlight of the televisual year.
Another big period drama from the BBC and this is a lot more engaging than Poldark or C4’s Indian Summers both of which I’ve cooled down on after promising starts.
I finally caught up with the first part of the final series before the new episodes start this week and continued to love it. It’s amazing to think how much time has passed in the series and how much all of the characters have changed over the years. The ending was just brilliant, I bet there are people out there who didn’t like it.
Continuing (still watching, or watched, and enjoying)
The Walking Dead, The Good Wife, House Of Fools, Uncle, Last Week Tonight, The Daily Show, Togetherness
Continuing (but don’t know why)
Fortitude – I’m convinced there’s a good 6 hour series somewhere in here but over 10+ hours it’s largely boring and trying to be at least two different shows.