2019 Year In Review: TV

I’ve been a bit better this year with TV shows than I have been with movies (as you can probably tell from looking at my 2019 review of films) but I haven’t been great, I still have almost all the stuff from the autumn season to catch up on and will be spending the next few weeks doing so, but what I have seen has been pretty good, so here are my top five TV shows from 2019.

The Witcher

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It was a late entry as I only saw it over the holiday period, but the Witcher is what I want from TV, and fantasy in general. Its dark and its gritty, with mythical, magical elements and with a catchy ballad thrown in, and this is one of those cases where I’ve already gone out and purchased the books just to find out what happens because I can’t wait for the next series.

Good Omens

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One of the best books I’ve ever read adapted faithfully and without fault for the small screen, with able performances from David Tennant and from Michael Sheen they really bring the apocalypse to life

The Boys

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I was dubious about The Boys being adapted for a TV series, and if I was expecting a complete rehash of the comic book I would have been sorely disappointed, but then there are some things that will never be allowed on TV.

The Mandalorian 

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Its a Star Wars space western that borrows heavily from stories like Lone Wolf and Cub, but is just full of little easter eggs for the true Star Wars fan, and also has a compelling enough story to keep newbies and novices alike enthralled too.

Lucifer (Season Four)

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Picking up where season 3 left off, we deal with the fallout of Chloe finally realising that Lucifer is actually the devil, and Lucifer resuming his relationship with Eve (yes that Eve) with a lot of references to the bible and few bits and pieces and like John Milton and some very tongue in cheek devilish moments to go along with the detective drama.

2019 Year In Review: Movies

2019 in many ways has been a pretty good year for me, but what it has not been, is a year full of spare time. So this has left me with major backlog of books, TV shows,  comic books, movies and video games to catch up on, (and look forward to doing so over the course of the year). But here are some of the best that I got around to experiencing in 2019.

So here are my top three films from 2019 (star wars would have been on it, but I didn’t see it until 2020).

Shaft

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I absolutely loved this film, I honestly thing that we all need to be a little more Shaft, in this wide a woke, post me too movement era, its nice to see a little bit of un PC humour coming back into movies, and this one was action packed and full of beautiful one liners and so many amazing coats that I wanted them all (and in fact actually purchased one). I also like that it  ties back to all the previous Shaft films of yesteryear an incorporates them without

Downton Abbey 

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It may surprise you to find that I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey (although if you could see the room I’m typing this in, maybe it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise), however I was very impressed with the show, and was rather disappointed when the show came to an end some years ago, but was delighted to learn of that a movie was in the works and this piece certainly holds up.

Aladdin 

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I wasn’t expecting much from this film, but I was pleasantly surprised, basically if you go in expecting Robin Williams, you will be disappointed, but Will Smith manages to take the role of Genie for his own, and really nails some of the musical numbers, the Fresh Prince certainly manages to keep things fresh.

Murder Mystery 

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I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve really been enjoying the work of Adam Sandler, a great funny man, who in this instance teams up with Jennifer Aniston to bring yet another netflix original movie to a great deal of comic enjoyment.

As you can see its been a really slow year for me in terms of films I still haven’t even been to see Star Wars yet, which if you know me at all is shocking.  Looking forward to 2020 there are a few films that I’m looking forward to, most notably the New James Bond flick set for this year.

The Greatest Satires

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I work in the world of politics and I love it. I really do, I’m actually one of those people that enjoy their work. But one of the things I love the most about it, is the absurdity of it all. And this is why I love things that poke fun of the absurdities of the political world so here are some of my favourite pieces of satire from literature, film and television.

The Thick Of It

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The BBC’s television show that focuses on the life of the Secretary of State for the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship, and day to day trials and tribulations of senior government, from a hostile press to an even more hostile to director of communications, this series is full of swearing and having worked political press, its right on the money. Peter Capaldi as Malcom Tucker is manages to paint a comedic genius and a satiric masterpiece.

Boomsday

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Cassandra Devine, “a morally superior twenty-nine-year-old PR chick” and moonlit angry blogger, incites generational warfare when she proposes that the financially nonviable Baby Boomers be given incentives (free Botox, no estate tax) to kill themselves at 70. The proposal, meant only as a catalyst for debate on the issue, catches the approval of millions of citizens, chief among them an ambitious presidential candidate, Senator Randolph Jepperson.

With the aide of public relations guru Terry Tucker, Devine and Jepperson attempt to ride “Voluntary Transitioning” all the way to the White House, over the objections of the Religious Right and the Baby Boomers, deeply offended by the demonstrations taking place on the golf courses of their retirement resorts. A hilarious look at the mess that social security is in, and as the retirement age has recently gone up, maybe a blueprint for the future?

Yes Minister

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Set principally in the private office of a British Cabinet minister in the fictional Department of Administrative Affairs in Whitehall, Yes Minister follows the ministerial career of the Rt Hon Jim Hacker MP, played by Paul Eddington. His various struggles to formulate and enact legislation or effect departmental changes are opposed by the British Civil Service, in particular his Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, played by Sir Nigel Hawthorne. His Principal Private Secretary Bernard Woolley, played by Derek Fowlds, is usually caught between the two. The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, continued with the same cast and followed the events of the premiership of Jim Hacker after his unexpected elevation to Number 10 upon the resignation of the previous Prime Minister.

Man Of The Year 

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A late night TV host runs for president and wins owing to a computer error, the film follows Robin Williams as president Tom Dobbs as an independent president not beholden to special interest groups, and until recently, the thought of something other than voters determining the outcome of an election seemed like satire, but now, who knows

Veep

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A look at Vice President of the United States Selina Meyer as the hapless and almost powerless vice president, trying to gain a toehold in the muddy cesspit on the Potomac.

Film Review: The Last Jedi

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I’ll say it straight up now, I loved this film. I’ve heard a lot of negativity about it, but by goodness I loved it. I found the plot engaging and I started to see the characters of Rey and Finn become more rounded as individuals, which was a fantastic thing to see, as it was one of my main criticisms of The Force Awakens was that Rey was a pretty one dimensional character, so I’m glad this was rectified during this film.

Luke skywalker comes across as a bit of a little bitch, but that was to be expected, the whole thing adds a whole extra layer to the Star Wars universe and I was left rather satisfied, with a few questions, but that’s the beauty of knowing that there’ll be a sequel.

Overall 4.5 out of 5.

Five TV Shows That Should Not Have Been Cancelled

The Borgias 

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Sex, violence, intrigue and renaissance costumes, with Jeremy Irons, ending on a cliffhanger, I was pretty P.Oed when I found that this had been cancelled because of Budget reasons.

Class 

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I found out the other day that this Doctor Who spin Off had been cancelled citing low viewership, but I blame the BBC for putting it online episode by episode first before putting it on TV, I mean if you’re going to put something online first put it on all at once so that it can be binged ala netflix style.

Torchwood

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With the last series maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing that the show wasn’t brought back, why Americanise something British I don’t know, but the show did leave a lot of dangling plot threads that I would have liked resolved.

Powerless 

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I knew it was going to be cancelled from the first episode, but it was fun, it gave a fresh perspective on the whole superhero thing and was a different take from the usual grim and gritty superhero stuff we see on tv, but that wasn’t enough to save it, in spite of all the DC easter eggs that the show gave us.

Constantine

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This actually surprised me to find that the show had been cancelled, but I was glad to see the character get a little encore in Arrow.

 

About Me: Five Favourite TV Series

I’ve been writing this blog seriously for almost a year now, so maybe its time we got to know each other a little better. So here are some of my favourite TV series.

Doctor Who 

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This is a no brainer, it will always be my favourite show, the thing with time travel is that it can be anything, a period drama, a historic epic or a sci-fi masterpiece and Doctor Who manages to be all of them at once.

Shogun

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A fictional account of the first Englishman to come to Japan you get the costumes and the customs that you would expect. and you’re made to feel lost in this strange land yourself, because as the use of the Japanese language, without subtitles, goes on, you begin to pick it up for yourself, all while you get swept up in the intrigues and intricacies of feudal Japan.

M*A*S*H

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You would think sarcastic doctors drinking on the front line of the Korean War would grow thin really very quickly, but what M*A*S*H did, was probably the first sitcom to marry drama and social commentary in a wartime setting, whilst another, war was being waged, and managed to do it for over a decade.

The Thick Of It

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Political spin, British style, its something that I can relate to, and most of the way through I actually find myself thinking, this is so accurate. Not to mention Malcom F Tucker.

Downton Abbey  

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I’m not really a fan of period dramas, so I don’t know why I like Downton Abbey so much, except maybe for the biting wit of Dame Maggie Smith.