Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The panels I would attend at San Diego Comic-Con this year...

The geek mecca of San Diego Comic-Con opens its doors tomorrow morning, and I... won't be going. This will be the 35th SDCC I've missed in 35 years. I know, it's shameful. I just find it hard to justify the cost of international flights from the UK, and, frankly, queuing for six hours alongside a 42-year-old man dressed like Optimus Prime doesn't interest me. Neither does watching a few world premieres in that kind of cramped environment, even to see a table of distant celebrities answer questions.

24: Will Jack Be Back Another Day?

Fox cancelled 24 in summer 2010, but it was revived this year for twelve-part "event series" 24: Live Another Day. It was set in London (for real) and halved the episode order, which kept the storyline much tighter. They even included a twelve-hour "time jump" in the finale, to end the season with the kind of denouement usually denied to the show because of real-time constraints.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

TRUE BLOOD, 7.5 – 'Lost Cause' – party animals

PAM: Oh. My. God. I'm a Republicunt.
It helps when a show references its own ridiculousness, but it doesn't always remove the stench of a bad idea. In the aptly-named "Lost Cause", Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) organised a party round Sookie's (Anna Paquin) house, days after her best-friend and boyfriend were murdered? The writing did its utmost to make you swallow this preposterous notion, with various characters commenting on how weird it was, but I couldn't go along with it. I remain baffled True Blood is doing such a terrible job with its final season, because even season 4-6 has a sense of conviction that just about kept them watchable.

Trailer: BBC America's sci-fi drama THE INTRUDERS

The success of Orphan Black for BBC America has perhaps given the channel a taste for intellectual sci-fi, so here comes THE INTRUDERS from Glen Morgan (X Files, Millennium). It's based on a book series by Michael Marshall Smith and concerns a "secret society chasing immortality by seeking refuge in the bodies of others". In other words, someone made a book-turned-TV-show out of the explanation to 1999's Being John Malkovich?

Monday, 21 July 2014

FX will return to FARGO

Having secured 18 Emmy nominations, it was almost unthinkable FX wouldn't commission a second season of their hit crime drama FARGO. Unusually for U.S television, it will concern a completely different story, with new characters, in a different time period.

Review: MONTY PYTHON LIVE (MOSTLY) - flogging a dead parrot?

The last performance of Monty Python's reunion/farewell show at London's O2 stadium was broadcast on GOLD last night, and simulcast around the world. It was a historic moment, as it officially drew a curtain on Monty Python as a comedy entity. Their seminal sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus finished in 1974, they haven't made a feature film since 1983, and Graham Chapman's untimely death in 1989 forever dented the ensemble, but now the gang have officially bid fans goodbye.

TV Picks: 21-27 July 2014 (Alan Carr – Chatty Man, Commonwealth Games, Kevin Bridges Live, Virtually Famous, etc.)

Below are my picks of the most notable new shows, returning or premiering on UK screens over the next 7 days...

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Are you plugged into HALT AND CATCH FIRE, or have you hit Escape?

You've probably hit the Esc button, if AMC's ratings are any indication (having dropped from 1.19m to around 0.7m by mid-season). I can't see this new drama being renewed, as its quality reflects the disappointing ratings. Created by Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C Rogers (who have no real experience running a TV show, hence why Southland's Jonathan Lisco's in charge), HALT AND CATCH FIRE charts the creation of a personal computer by Cardiff Electric, a software company located in the Silicon Prairie of Texas during 1983.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Review: HBO's THE LEFTOVERS – 'Pilot', 'Penguin One, Us Zero' & 'Two Boats and a Helicopter'

WAYNE: All the people who stayed here and pretended it never happened; they're asleep, and they need to wake up now.
Another television series with a "big concept", this one from a showrunner behind the show that began the ongoing trend for such things; Lost's Damon Lindelof, now helping adapt Tom Perrota's novel with the author himself. The Leftovers concerns the unexplained, instantaneous disappearance of 2% of the planet's human population on 14 October; or, more accurately, the societal repercussions of such an extraordinary event on the vast majority left behind, three years later.

Trailer: HOMELAND – Season 4

Showtime have released a "first look" at the fourth season of their acclaimed drama HOMELAND. This year promises to deliver a big revamp of the show, in the wake of the Nicholas Brody narrative being brought to an end in season 3.