Monday, 20 January 2014

Battlestar Galatica: Its first UK free-to-air showing shouldn't be missed, to be honest

Watching the first few episodes of the epic last-humans-in-space drama Battlestar Galatica, having binged on a box set of the entire series during the summer of 2012 - popped on an episode or two in between watching the Olympics, I did - is perhaps the ultimate in dramatic irony.

You know exactly what's coming, but the characters you're watching have absolutely no idea what lies in store.

And knowing how everything unfolds in the show, now getting its first UK free-to-air showing on digital channel Pick (Freeview channel 11), every Monday at 9pm (and a repeat on Saturdays at 11pm), makes it all the more interesting to go back to the start, and watch it at the rate of an episode a week.

And tv-ooh can say it is definitely, definitely worth sticking around.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Bridge II: 3 & 4 - The eco-terrorists are dead but someone's still not done with the animal heads

It's never nice, or indeed very normal, to be pleased someone's died, but in story-terms the death of the four eco-terrorists in The Bridge was a relief. Now we can, at least, stop worrying about orphan Linus' childcare at the hands of his under-pressure elder brother Niklas, who was too busy being forced into trouble by group leader Mads.

We trust Linus is now safe and within the care of Copenhagen social services - and will never be heard of again.

It was a shock to have them killed off so soon, but right - anymore of mad Mads and Mathilde and co, and they might have become irritating. And you can only watch so many home-made videos of people in animal heads before they lose their menace and just become annoying.

Although whoever is behind it all is getting them out again for another go.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Bridge II: Episodes 1 & 2 - More terrorists with a penchant for elaborate point-making theatre?

The second series of the gloomy Swedish/Danish police thriller The Bridge got off to a flying start didn't it - mainly because it was so inexplicably thrilling to see Saga and Martin back again.

Saga's still in that same long coat, those tatty leather trousers, and wearing the same blank expression while speeding about in her Porsche; meanwhile, Martin's come off a bit worse: his jeans appear tighter, his jacket's cropped shorter, and his beard's a bit greyer. If you didn't know better you'd think he's turned into a bit of bear-type.

Maybe it's the grief at losing his son August at the end of season one; maybe they've just got someone new in Wardrobe.

But what's so good, and also feels a bit surprising, is that the after-effects of season one are properly picked up and continued, rather than just head-noddingly acknowledged in the first five minutes before the adventures begin again.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Homeland series 3 episode 8: So many, many questions but Brody is back

Last seen locked in a windowless room in a half-finished tower block in Venezuela that's, like, actually a real thing*, the surprise appearance of a red-eyed and semi-conscious Brody at the end of the latest Homeland was both a relief and a shock. He's looked better, if truth be told.

But the question, as always, is: what's next?

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Celebrity Big Brother: 5.5 things we have learned from this year's CBB

This series of Celebrity Big Brother, what with all the shouting and all the egos and Lauren's pitiful inability to use a cup in the correct horizontal way, has taught us - the lowly, non-celebrity viewer - several things. These are they, and they begin with something called 'the slut drop'.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Blackout: We *heart* electricity, basically

There are two types of people in this world: those who don't mind pretend low-grade camera work wobbling all over the show, and those who watch such 'technique' for ten minutes and then start to long for a tripod and a stable shot with the sea-sickness pills to hand. We are longing for tripods.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Are loads of missing Doctor Who episodes about to be announced as found, or what?

It's been the talk of certain parts of the internet for a few years. Go and Google it; you'll see. And as a result, numerous Doctor Who fans have become incredibly excited; some may even have sought medication.

Could the rumour - that a batch of around 90 of the 106 missing episodes of black and white 1960s Doctor Who has been recovered from a warehouse in Africa - be true?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Stacey Dooley Investigates: Journalism-lite docos for people who probably don't watch Dispatches

Plucky young BBC Three reporter Stacey Dooley, from Luton, is an international investigative journalist and makes a living visiting different parts of the world and reading out the script of her producer.

But to criticise young Stacey's sincere efforts is like kicking a defenceless puppy - a defenceless puppy with its own film crew making hour long documentaries about drug trafficking, that is; and our Stace is so likeable in her journalism-lite documentaries, circumnavigating the edge of serious issues in a simplified way, that it's inevitable you warm to her personally if not as a reporter.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Southcliffe: A bleak drama with an identify crisis that promised much but delivered less

So what exactly was Southcliffe trying to be, exactly? Pitched as a story of a town coping with the aftermath of a gun massacre, the four-episode Channel 4 drama turned out to be far less straightforward than its simple-sounding premise.

And that would be fine of course - who doesn't love a bit of non-linear storytelling and a broody grey colour palette. If The Killing and other Scandinavian dramas have taught us anything, is that directors love to turn the colour settings down. It's a shorthand for 'moody', which in turn is a shorthand for 'serious'.

But although Southcliffe started strongly - watchable characters,  a nice build up of tension and the development of a convincing motive for the killer before the horrific rampage itself - the second half almost lost the plot, literally.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger: The possessor of the biggest mouth on television, which is nice

Tell me, reader, are you familiar with the name of Patti Stanger? She is a 'third generation' matchmaker, and has her own television programme called The Millionaire Matchmaker.

You can watch it here in the UK on ITV2 every weekday at 5.05pm. It's probably quite popular with the lonely and/or unemployed, and offers a nice 'comedown' after the tension-filled thrills of Deal or No Deal but, if truth be told, the standard definition picture of ITV2 is quite the letdown after the crisp HD of Noel Edmonds' shirt on Channel 4 HD.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Made in Chelsea series 5: When did everyone start acting like such massive fools?

Well, by 'everyone' we chiefly mean Spencer, and by 'massive fools' we just mean 'total bell-ends' or, if you will, 'like idiots', but either way, we think Spencer is doing this - that is, 'acting like a fool' - as a means of getting more screen time.

As tv-ooh has previously debated over and over, this here 'structured reality' of Made in Chelsea is often more 'structured' than 'reality', so essentially, it's probably all made up and in doing so Spencer's exploits make great television.

So who's the fool now? Is it Spencer? Or is it Louise? Or is it both of them? Or is it us for watching? The answer is, yes, yes and yes.

And possibly.

But let's not let that stop us now. Instead of debating our own self-worth, how about we look at several of the key characters this season, perhaps in a slightly mocking fashion, and glibly examine their 'story' so far this series.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Fall: Not a documentary about a famous US actress visiting the police of Northern Ireland

Watching Gillian Anderson walk about a bit and sit behind desks looking aloof with a pen and a silk scarf in BBC Two crime drama The Fall sometimes feels a bit like a famous US actress has come to visit a group of lesser known actors who have never met a star before, and so all are slightly in her thrall.

Such is Anderson’s reputation and celebrity, her rare appearances in UK-produced TV lend the finished result a sense of occasion, as if someone is just off camera with a pair of scissors ready to hand to her at any moment so she can cut a ribbon to open a new something.