Demo

Sadly, I couldn’t make it to the anti-Brexit/pro-Europe demo today. I had a work thing that ended up taking most of the day. But I was there in spirit.

Last night was Comic Relief, which included Red Nose Day Actually. I thought the speech by Hugh Grant’s prime minister character was amazingly relevant to the times. Obviously that was intended, generally; but specifically it had resonance with London’s reaction to the Westminster terrorist attack.

Also about that, Mitch Benn has written a song called “London’s Had Worse,” in which he sings of our resilience and the attacker’s crapness. Not his best song, but no bad.

Broadchurch Thoughts

I hope everyone’s following the new series of Broadchurch. If you thought the second season didn’t live up to the first, then I think you’ll find that the third brings it back to greatness. Trilogies always sag in the middle, don’t they?

People are being very positive about it on Twitter. Many of the comments are around how every guy you see is a possible suspect. Which is very true. I’m just glad to discover that there are eight episodes, not six as I had thought. Which means we’re still not quite halfway through.

David Tennant and Olivia Coleman are fantastic together as ever. and Jodie Whittaker as Beth is amazing.

Most of all, I think it bodes well for Chris Chibnall’s future role as head writer on Doctor Who.

Missed Again: What a Catastrophe

OK, so I didn’t post before midnight. But there’s a good reason: we were getting up-to-date with Channel 4’s Catastrophe, which is a great sitcom.

We only started watching it a few weeks ago. Luckily the whole thing is available on All 4. Thank the tech & TV industries for catchup services.

Channel 4’s even seems to have become stable, and improved its UI. It’s only about a year ago that we stopped watching Homeland because the playback was so choppy. And we couldn’t record it because it was on Sunday night at the same time as Downton Abbey, and we were recording that. (We only have a simple DVR.)

Though it had well and truly jumped the shark by then. What were they doing in Berlin?

Memorials

The Quietus reports on a crowdfunding proposal to build a memorial to David Bowie in Brixton. I like the look of it, but they’re going to have to go some to make the required £990,000 in 21 days, given that they’re only at £45,000 now.

In other news, the new series of Broadchurch started tonight. Strong start, powerful stuff. But it now seems weirdly old-fashioned to have to wait a week to see the next episode.

It’s Not Tomorrow if You Haven’t Gone to Sleep yet

Yeah, OK, so I missed my deadline: I’m typing this after midnight. But it’s still the same day I got up in, in sleep-cycle terms. Also in terms of how the TV listings mags give the days, too. Which can actually get a little bit confusing sometimes.

It stems, of course, from the days when all TV would have stopped by midnight or shortly after. Yes, kids, I know it’s hard to imagine, but TV stations used to “close down” at night. One or other of the channels used to even have a wee programme that was actually called Closedown, if I remember correctly. I think it was one of the weird religious things, where a priest or minister would come on and give a Thought for the Day kind of mini sermon.

Anyway, and still on TV, apparently the best comedy show around, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, is having that annoying recent habit, a mid-season break. We have no idea when it will be back. And… well, if you’ve watched it…

No, I’m not going to say any more about it. Just hurry up and get back, guys.

I may actually backdate this post, just so my daily posting doesn’t show a gap. After all, I’m treating it as still Thursday 16th of February, even if the clock doesn’t.

Things We Can’t See

There are certain interesting TV programmes that I’d like to see but I can’t watch for ethical reasons.

If you’ve been around here much before you’ll be familiar with my contempt for Rupert Murdoch and all his works. I’m far from alone in that attitude, of course. But this means, most notably, that I would never get Sky TV. That has only ever mildly bothered me on the odd occasion when they’re showing a film I’d like to see that isn’t available elsewhere.

But things have taken a turn for the worse lately, and it’s largely the fault of an American TV company that I generally heartily approve of: HBO.

Actually the rot probably started to set in when Sky got the rights for Mad Men Season 5, after the first four had been on BBC 2. I’ve still never got round to seeing the later seasons.

But the problem with HBO shows is that Sky has the exclusive UK right for something like five years. And that means I haven’t been able to see Westworld. Which is a shame, because everyone was talking about it a few weeks ago.

More worryingly by a long way for me, though, is that the new series of Twin Peaks, which is not being made by HBO, but something called Showtime. It’s due out in May, I believe, and guess who has the UK rights?

Showtime seem to have a streaming service, so maybe that’ll work here. I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t, though.

On the other hand, in doing some research when writing this, I discovered that Westworld is available to download via iTunes, so maybe the same will be true for Twin Peaks.

Either way, it’s going to cost. It would be a lot better if these kinds of things could go to proper channels.

More on The OA

I got to the end of The OA. Which didn’t take too long, seeing as it’s only eight episodes.

It was another one where I enjoyed the journey, but the destination was kind of annoying. Though luckily, not quite as annoying as I thought it was going to go at one point during the last episode.

One of those stories where you’re left not knowing what exactly it was trying to say. The ambiguity of the ending is not inherently bad, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind an open ending in general. But I think this falls down slightly because it doesn’t address several of the points it raises.

This (non-spoilery) review catches the mood of it all very well. I note that it describes it as “Season 1.” That may not mean there’s any plan for a season 2, though. I’d be surprised if there were, really.

They’ve also got a spoiler-filled version, which you should only go near if you’ve watched the whole thing.

Oh, Eh?

I watched the first episode of Netflix’s The OA last night. Very interesting. I’m looking forward to watching the rest, and speculating about what “OA” might stand for. “Operational Assistant”? “Overcome with Angst?” I kind of want it to have something to do with UFOs, but that would mean it had to be “Object” something.”Object Activity,” for example.

But none of that would make much sense. And I’m betting that it won’t be anything easily guessable.

One could of course google it, but that would be to walk into a pit of spoilers, and I came into this knowing exactly nothing about it, which is great.

Also watched the first episode of Person of Interest, which my son has been singing the praises of for some time. No bad, looks quite promising.

And (a bit of a TV-fest last night) a few episodes of That 70s Show, which my daughter has been singing the praises of. Quite funny, quite (but not exactly) like the real 70s. The joke may wear thin, but it should be good until then.

Just to Make the Numbers

Does it count if you write a blog post just so that you’ve written one today? Well, yes, of course it does. After all, you wouldn’t want to spoil an unbroken run of twelve days. 

The purpose of doing this is to make myself write and publish something each day. The act of writing is the thing, even if I don’t have a specific subject to discuss.

I could, for example, mention that while I was reading the Twin Peaks book recently, I ordered the boxed set on DVD. So I’ve started rewatching that. Only two episodes in (or the pilot and one episode, if you want to describe it that way).

I find there’s a lot I don’t remember, not surprisingly, as I haven’t seen it since the 90s. Each episode comes with an optional introduction by The Log Lady. They are suitably obscure and ambiguous. 

I hear today that the new series is going to be out in May. How we watch it in the UK is another matter, and I’ll have words to say about that in the future.