Stranger Things

August 1, 2016

There is a very thin line between paying homage to something and being simply derivative. Strip away all the nods to the movies and books that millennials and their older siblings grew up on and Stranger Things falls squarely in the latter category, failing to live as a supernatural mystery in its own right.

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Blue Eyes

May 27, 2016

The biggest problem for most political dramas is that they are so totally divorced from the world their characters serve. That’s not the case for Blue Eye’s, the grimy, gripping Swedish thriller that looks at the rise of the far-right Trygghetspartiet- or Security Party, in a country world famous for its inclusivity.

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Spin

May 27, 2016

At a time when their is much uncertainty over what shape our political landscape will take, one of the best political dramas of this decade has made its way onto our screens via Walter Presents, and is still disturbingly relevant.

Spin, shot in France in 2012 (with a second series aired in 2014) follows the fortunes of two centre-right political candidates as they battle each other to fill the void left by the President who was assassinated when visiting a factory his economic policies helped close down

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The Family

May 27, 2016

The Family, starring two time Oscar nominee Joan Allen, is the perfect thriller to watch while doing household chores. Because even if you miss out on an IMPORTANT REVELATION, another one will be along in a couple of minutes, which is just as SUGGESTIVE and MISLEADING and SHOCKING. There’s so many of these twits that you don’t have to worry about not picking up on anything important, as that importance quickly wanes as another plot point is frog marched onto the screen, accompanied by the hysterical rising, dirge of a score that Wagner himself would find oppressive.
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House of Cards

May 27, 2016

The problem, as always, with the American remake of House of Cards is that it has no idea what it wants to be. Whatever it does try its hand at has been done better by other shows in recent memory. It’s out-camped by Scandal with its taste for Shakespearean-esque monologues and sex filled power plays; outflanked by Boss when it comes to violent malevolence, and its out-classed by The West Wing, who also best it in showing how the political sausage is made.
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American Crime

March 3, 2016

American Crime is one of the most important shows on television at the moment. It’s not one of the best, nor is it the most entertaining (though it really is terrific). But the issues that this anthology series examines – race, sexuality, class, tribalism -and the manner in which it inverts all these topics, starts a proper conversation, rather than prattling the same important message to the converted masses.

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GIRLS

March 3, 2016

Watching the new series of Girls is like hanging out with mates who’ve outgrown each other. There are shadows of the craic and the bond you once shared, but it’s increasingly difficult to see what you ever saw in one another.

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The Night Manager

March 3, 2016

There’s no bum sex or drunken jazz freak-outs in The Night Manager, making it the perfect old-school spy-caper for mum and dad to enjoy of a Sunday evening.

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Trapped

February 26, 2016

Against another unusual backdrop- this time an Icelandic port besieged by a blizzard, a murder mystery unravels. A limbless and headless torso has been pulled from the sea by some local fishermen, at the exact moment an ocean liner, a snowstorm and the ex-wife of our hero, Andri, the chief of police, descend on Seyðisfjörður.

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Happy Valley

February 26, 2016

Sarah Lancashire is so phenomenal as Sgt Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley that you manage to get almost the whole way through the first season before you realise that it’s her performance- and not the storytelling, which makes it such an absorbing watch.

For there’s nothing new to see here, really.

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