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Rate the last series you completed out of 5 - No spoilers!


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On 02/07/2022 at 09:52, sammy said:

The Bear - *****
 

New FX show, probably my favourite show of the year so far.  Brilliant characters, script, soundtrack and some incredible food photography.  It ended beautifully but I really hope there’s a second season, I want to spend some more time with these guys. 
 

IMDB synopsis: Carmen Berzatto, a brilliant young chef from the fine-dining world is forced to return home to run his family sandwich shop - the Original Beef of Chicagoland - after a heartbreaking death in his family. A world away from what he's used to, Carmy must balance the soul-crushing reality of trading in Michelin star restaurants for the small business' kitchen filled with strong-willed and recalcitrant staff and his strained familial relationships, all while grappling with the impact of his brother's suicide.

 

On 03/07/2022 at 21:30, Dark Soldier said:

Me and the missus binged that this weekend.

 

Best show I've seen this year. Its just 8 perfect episodes. Jeremy Allen White in the lead is astonishingly good.

 

13 hours ago, Arn X Treme said:

 

I only became aware of this through knowing of Matty Matheson (Who produces and stars in it) 

 

Dear god man, some of the food he makes! 😮

 

I've got it queued up to watch, but it's nice to see it getting lots of praise here. 

The last out of left field recommendation that I watched was Mr Inbetween and that turned out to be excellent.

 

Watched this over the last 2 nights and yup, another excellent series that was nowhere on my radar

 

Spoiler

Not sure if we needed that opening monologue in the final episode. If you hadn't worked out that by this point then what the fuck have you been watching????

 

Was fucking excellent to watch though :D

 

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The Holiday (Netflix, probably ITV originally?)

 

Another of those dramas-of-the-aspirational-middle-age-lifestyle-holders shows, probably based on a cheap holiday paperback.

It was ok, with a couple of unexpected twists.

 

3

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Not Going Out series 12

 

Of course it was always going to be a different show when Tim Vine left, but this continues to be a great vehicle for Lee Mack.

The sad death of Bobby Ball (who played Lee’s father in the series) prompted a poignant tribute and a hilarious episode centred around a painting, and a misdirected text message ends in classic farce. But it’s the last two episodes of the series I want to highlight. Lee on jury duty was always going to be good, and it ends up as a clever take on Twelve Angry Men. And taking the kids on a camping trip is not only packed with trademark barbs and insults, but winds up channeling classic slasher movies and generating a lot of surprise tension.

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The Bear 5/5.

 

What a series, one of (if not) the best series I've watched this year. 

 

I was surprised how short the episodes were (With the exception of the last) but I feel that helps keep the dramatic pacing.

 

I'm seeing a lot of praise for Carmey, but not enough praise (imo) for Richie. I'd only seen the actor before in The Punisher and he's leaps better in this. 

 

On a different note I read an article that explained that episode seven was filmed in one take, and you can see that in the episode with how it blends together. 

 

 

And as for what everyone's saying about the last episode. 

 

Spoiler

The monologue to me, was going over what we already knew but just fleshing things out with the feelings about his brother.

 

 

With all the praise it's getting I imagine we'll get more episodes, but that ended so well I won't be angry if it finished there. 

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On 22/06/2022 at 12:22, PeteJ said:

Outlaws: Season 1 & 2

BBC comedy drama by Stephen Merchant, following a group of strangers thrown together on community service who go deeper and deeper into the world of crime in Bristol.

 

This has a great cast, including rather randomly Christopher Walken (playing more than just a headline grabbing cameo, he's definitely part of the main cast) and the typical Merchant humour that he fits into everything he does. While it's an uneven series, with Merchant getting most of the jokes\ being the butt of most jokes (along with the community service official), and the rest of the cast playing things straight into some pretty dark (but well warn) themes, it somehow works. That said, the dark themes are never shown in a particularly gritty way, so it never stretches beyond just post-watershed entertainment. I suspect it never intended to, either. It's a Stephen Merchant piece. 

 

It's very on the nose with its culture war commentary, painfully so at times especially early in the first series, but I just rolled with it. The two series flow into each other nicely and things escalate in a satisfying but predictable way, though both series conclude rather too neatly. I enjoyed it.

 

Special mention to the actress who could be considered the lead, Rhianne Barreto, who plays Rani. I thought she really stood out by the end, could have a bright future. 

 

3/5.

I watched the first episode of this and thought it was absolute cat shit.

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I thought the first series of Outlaws was really great, and the second really shit. I'm surprised anyone could think they flow neatly into each other. 

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The Sharp End (1991) - Gwen Taylor stars in this drama series written by Roy Clarke (Keeping Up Appearances etc) as a woman running a small debt collection agency struggling to keep the business afloat. She employs bad debtor James Cosmo to help her out. It has all the hallmarks of a Roy Clarke including strong, no-nonsense women and clueless but loveable men, but this is more dryly funny comedy drama than sitcom. Gwen Taylor's character is great, the way she deals with the debtors and creditors is inventive. Naturally it's a bit dated in places but generally very watchable. All 8 episodes are on Youtube.

 

 

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The Bear

 

Finished this up tonight and thought it was fine but I was pretty tired of it by the end. Lots of blokes shouting at each other then they all learn a lesson before the credits. The acting was OK but the few minutes of Jon Bernthal were miles ahead of the rest of them. I got a kick out of Joel McCabes evil chef too. Good soundtrack. 

3/5  

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Avoidance

 

R. Ranganathan gets dumped by long term partner and has to come to terms with the separation whilst looking after his son and dealing with his own character flaws. 
 

Nice small cast who all get their time to breath in the story line. The definition of bittersweet comedy drama and I lapped it up. 

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The Bear

 

I'm a bit against the run of play on this one. It's technically nice: good pacing, nicely shot, good performances, good soundtrack. But the scripting lets it down. Inflated, articificial melodrama, on-the-nose emotional exposition, and easily-solved situations being treated as impossible for the sake of ratcheting up the tension.

 

It's like a soap opera. Or someone who worked on one, and has now gotten into the prestige TV big leagues for the first time.

 

For me, it works best if you treat it as either a slightly dumb action film with stockpots replacing shotguns, or an exploration of a collective group of 

Spoiler

mental health issues. Exploring failure to exist anywhere outside of the kitchen, rather than failing to exist in it.

 

It feels like this series is a preamble for the 'real' show, which will be Cool Runnings/Bad News Bears with fine dining. Where at least some of those wild episodes would be slightly more explicable than it being a neighbourhood sandwich shop.

 

Pretty, pacy, and heavy handed.

 

3/5

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Sherwood 

6-part BBC detective series about a murder in a former mining town that might be linked to the strike back in the 80's. 

 

This starts out with a former NUM union man getting murdered. He was on the picket line in the 80's and still holds a lot of anger towards people who crossed the picket. The town he was living in was not an NUM town so most of the people living in it went to work and there's a lot of resentment even 35+ years later. 

 

I liked a lot of this but it just fell short of being great. The cast are top class (Lesley Manville and David Morrissey are the stars) the central mystery is solid and the plotting is efficient, just a little silly at times. But the last episode was a real mis-step and there were a few sub-plots that made no sense and just disappeared. 

 

4/5 for the first 5 episodes.
2/5 for the last one. 

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On 05/07/2022 at 22:54, PK said:

The Umbrella Academy (Series 1 & 2)

I only read about this for the first time on Saturday morning and am completely obsessed with it and have rinsed two 10-episode series already. It's so good. Dysfunctional family of superheroes is the basic premise, but there's so much more to it. Sharp, funny writing, cracking visuals, brilliant performances from pretty much everyone.

 

I'm on episode 2 of series 3 now and so far it's just as good.

 

I love this folder, every time I look at it there's some amazing programme that started two or three years ago which I completely missed when it started and now have hours of it to binge on.

How did you miss this? Now they Doom Patrol and Preacher. 

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Defending Jacob -Apple+
 

Really enjoyed this 8 part series. Quite a slow burn but suited the mood and subject of the story with a matching colour palate.  Nice to see Chris Evans in something completely different to Captain America and the guy who plays Jacob was very convincing. Would love to read some crime novels with a similar weight to them. 
 

4/5

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2 hours ago, Silent Runner said:

Sherwood 

6-part BBC detective series about a murder in a former mining town that might be linked to the strike back in the 80's. 

 

This starts out with a former NUM union man getting murdered. He was on the picket line in the 80's and still holds a lot of anger towards people who crossed the picket. The town he was living in was not an NUM town so most of the people living in it went to work and there's a lot of resentment even 35+ years later. 

 

I liked a lot of this but it just fell short of being great. The cast are top class (Lesley Manville and David Morrissey are the stars) the central mystery is solid and the plotting is efficient, just a little silly at times. But the last episode was a real mis-step and there were a few sub-plots that made no sense and just disappeared. 

 

4/5 for the first 5 episodes.
2/5 for the last one. 

 

Mostly agree with you here with the 1st 4 but I also enjoyed the conclusion too.

 

But the whole thing kind of boiled down for me to Lindsay Duncan (one amongst so many stellar actors who chose to be in this) and her very small but crucial part in the series, as the current day NUM leader and her fantastic bit about the connection between the fucking Thatcher era Tories and their battle to close down the mines, with a line drawn between that strike*,  the Stephen Lawrence case, Hillsborough and the undercover police scandal of embedded officers fathering children with their marks. That brought it right into today for me. The BBC at its fucking best and the way it should be. Holding a light up to the shite we hear about every fucking day with these cunts in charge.

 

One of the best things I've seen on terrestrial TV in a long fucking time.

 

It was also just a very good story.

 

*I didn't know him at the time, but my father in law was a striking miner and I am SO fucking proud to have a connection to someone like that, with principles like that. 

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Yes, the spycops parts were excellent. I was a bit confused as to why

Spoiler

the first cop killed himself and why Keats was about to kill herself? Was it guilt over what they had done? 

 

 

Finished Dark Winds tonight. A 6 part AMC procedural set in the 70's on the Navajo reservation. A native American FBI agent comes home to the reservation and teams up with a Navajo cop to solve a murder that might be linked to an armoured car heist some months earlier.

 

This was based on one of the books in the Leaphorn and Chee series - there's loads of these books, so plenty of material for future series. 

 

This was pretty good. The mystery is fairly twisty with enough hooks to keep you interested over the 6 eps. The cast are quality - the always reliable Zahn McClarnon is the star and there's good support turns from Rainn Wilson and Noah Emmerich. There's some great scenery and landscapes and it doesn't overstay it's welcome.

 

4/5

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Under the Banner of Heaven

Disney+

 

This is fantastic. Slow burning and complex but really worth it. Excellent performances all round, particularly Andrew Garfield, who has a real dignity, and, in a surprise to me, Wyatt Russell (Craptain America in Falcon and Winter Soldier) who is fantastic, Rory Culkin (excellently deranged) and even Sam Worthington is great.

 

Oh Scottish actress Chloe Pirrie is amazing in it as well. Everyone is, really.

 

I really didn't expect the flashbacks to Joseph Smith and Bringham Young. Safe to say FX and Disney won't be getting any donations from the Mormons for a long, long time.

 

5/5

 

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Under the Banner of Heaven - 4/5

 

Have to echo the statements above from festoon. Really great show with strong performances. Was compelled throughout. 

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Stranger Things - Series 4 (Netflix)

 

The bagginess of the episodes really brought this down for me, despite some great moments. And there are far too many boring characters now. I really don't get why some people are so head over heels about this.

 

2/5

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  • 2 weeks later...

Black Bird (Apple+)

 

Absolutely fantastic six-part drama series. The story is gripping. All the cast are brilliant. Worth a month’s sub on its own.

 

Deserves a much bigger audience than it’s getting on Apple+.

 

5/5

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On 01/08/2022 at 00:22, Jamie John said:

Stranger Things - Series 4 (Netflix)

 

The bagginess of the episodes really brought this down for me, despite some great moments. And there are far too many boring characters now. I really don't get why some people are so head over heels about this.

 

2/5

I struggled with this latest series. Bar the obvious highlights, it was about two hours worth of story dragged out over ten. As the kids have got older I also find it harder to accept the constant hammy, concern face acting. It’s always doing the two characters on screen having v srs chat thing. Anyway horses for courses, it’s obviously just not for me any more.

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I've got a lot to go back over!

 

The Wheel of Time

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7462410/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

 

I've seldom seen a worse beginning to a fantasy story than the first episode of this. It gets a little better over its run, but dear god some of the performances are rock-bottom awful. Also, I don't give two figs about shonky CGI (and there's a lot of it here) as long as the characters are interesting, but 80% of them weren't and there was no proper villain. No villain! In a fantasy epic! It got better in its final few episodes, and I'm hoping it picks up in season 2 as aspects of it are really good.

4/10

 

Foundation

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0804484/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

 

Suffers some of the same issues as TWoT above, especially around acting ability (Brother Dawn is terrrrrrrrible) but has the benefit of a deep story and lore to carry it over the rough bits. Objectively it's not great, but the scale of the plot and the huge mine of ideas it's drawing from make it fascinating to me, even when the acting's end-of-the-pier standard.

7/10

 

Yellowjackets 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11041332/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

 

Haven't heard much chat about this on the 'muk, so I'll do a brief synopsis: in 1995, a high school football team (girls)'s flight to a competition crashes in the Canadian wilderness. In 2022, we see the messed-up, PTSD-ed, dodgy, criminal lives these messed-up individuals are leading as secrets and revelations keep coming out.

  

This was a solid 9 for me until the last third, when it decided it wanted to be something else other than a mystery/crime drama. It's still great, and plenty shocking in places, but it did shift towards:

Spoiler

cults and mysticism

 

...near the end, which put me off a little. Hopefully they can integrate it better into season two. The show is kinda like Lost in a lot of structural aspects, although it treats 1995 as the 'now' with how those things impact the 'future' of 2022, as opposed to Lost showing how the past informs the present. The wilderness story is more interesting than the present day, but the present day stuff is packed with amazing women actors who you just don't see often enough: Juliette Lewis, Melanie Lynskey and - best of all - Christina Ricci who slaps in a role she totally owns.

 

Despite some shaky missteps in places as it finds its feet within the layered world it's set up, the great premise and female-forward stories make it a strong recommend from me.

 

8/10

 

Ms. Marvel

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10857164/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

 

Continuing the trend of all Marvel TV shows being a... dog's dinner? Dog's breakfast? Whichever the messy one is. Although aren't both dogs' meals messy? And contain the same food?? A question for another time, perhaps.

 

I read the Ms. Marvel comics when they first came out - the first dozen or so anyway - and loved it. Pretty much all the stuff that's weak in this show is stuff that wasn't in the comic origins: duff superpowered enemies with cardboard personalities, a crappy will-they-won't they love interest plot with an anaemic bloke, too many 'secret departmental agents with limited and uninteresting powers and/or weapons' cannon fodder types, a plethora of supporting characters that never get fleshed out properly, an unwelcome (and slightly point-breaking) change to Kamala's core powers, and an uneasy mix of family conflict, politics, racial profiling, and a watered-down history lesson.

 

Despite it having tons of room to breathe - too much, in my opinion - the show still feels under-baked and incomplete. The irritating thing is that the template we get in the first episode, with reality mixing with fantasy, a focus on Kamala's ordinary life, coping with superpowers being a metaphor for coping with family/school/religion, the quirky teacher, the cliquey friend groups... all this stuff is great and makes a great return in the final episode. It's all the regular Marvel series nonsense that messes things up.

 

A supercut removing as much of the family backstory, the dull trip to Pakistan, pointless flashbacks, interminable wedding stuff and lots of the DoDC guff would help, but really the core fix would have been to add more of school life and family life, focusing on what it's like to be a young Muslim girl in modern society, versus the muddled and overlong gumbo of confusing origins, ill-defined powers, and hastily-sketched extended family we're given. I've added a whole extra point for how fabulously fun and watchable Iman Vellani is, though.

 

6/10

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Under the Banner of Heaven / Disney+ / 7 episodes 

 

Based on a true story of a murdered Woman and her daughter. Spiderman plays a detective investing the woman's (Extremely Mormon) family as to who may have been responsible.

 

A slow start but gets going pretty good... Extremely religious families shown in a bad light here, to put it mildly :mellow:

 

7/10

 

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18 hours ago, jonamok said:

Black Bird (Apple+)

 

Absolutely fantastic six-part drama series. The story is gripping. All the cast are brilliant. Worth a month’s sub on its own.

 

Deserves a much bigger audience than it’s getting on Apple+.

 

5/5

This. Nothing to add, totally agree!

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21 hours ago, jonamok said:

Black Bird (Apple+)

 

Absolutely fantastic six-part drama series. The story is gripping. All the cast are brilliant. Worth a month’s sub on its own.

 

Deserves a much bigger audience than it’s getting on Apple+.

 

5/5


My wife and I have watched the first three now and are finding it utterly compelling. Does it conclude or is it left open for another season?

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6 hours ago, Stejay said:


My wife and I have watched the first three now and are finding it utterly compelling. Does it conclude or is it left open for another season?

Do you really want to know?

 

Spoiler

It’s wrapped up and concluded

 

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Normal People on HBO Max. Finally got around to this. Knew nothing about it and apparently based on a book. Fantastic chemistry between the 2 main actors. Perhaps the most beautiful thing I've seen on TV. Some may get a little frustrated with the character arcs but hold on to the end even so. 12 episodes but less than 30min each.

 

5/5

10/10

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9059760/

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2 hours ago, Rayn said:

Do you really want to know?

 

  Reveal hidden contents

It’s wrapped up and concluded

 

 

Yeah thanks.  I don't personally consider it a spoiler to know if it's a one and done or not.

Spoiler

Just to be safe though, at the point we've reached, I did assume that would be the case.

 

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