Tag: Fargo

TV Recommendations – January 2016

I watch a lot of TV. I have no shame in this. It’s something I enjoy doing, it doesn’t cost very much and for me, it’s a great way to unwind after a busy day. Because of that, I get through a lot of TV, some good, some great, some awful but it passes the time!

One of the things I do enjoy about the winter months is that when it’s dark and miserable outside, you can be cosying up inside without feeling guilty about it. Over the Christmas break, Phil and I planned to do some serious sitting, as like most people, we had such a busy run up to the holidays. Here’s what we got our teeth into:

January 2016 TV recommendations

{Making a Murderer – Netflix || Fargo Series 2 – iTunes || The Bridge Series 3 – BBC4 || Homeland Series 5 – Channel 4}

Making a Murderer popped onto my Netflix ‘Recently Added’ and I didn’t think much about it, but then I started seeing some Twitter and Facebook support for it. I gave it a go on my own, and before long realised that, due to it’s similarities to Serial, in that it’s a true crime documentary, I thought Phil might like it too so we watched it together. I think it’s fair to say that we were gripped by it very quickly. I know that the justice system isn’t perfect in any country, and I’ve seen plenty of CSI and crime dramas to know (or think I know!) certain things you’d need to prosecute someone (thank you, Good Wife!) but this documentary leaves you reeling. There were so many times when I’d say, ‘That’s circumstantial evidence!’ or ‘Where’s the DNA?’ I don’t want to give too much away as it’ll spoil it, but it certainly has you questioning everything you thought you knew about crime and police work.

I really liked the first series of Fargo, in fact, I thought it was better than the film it was based on. I didn’t really hold out much hope for series 3, so much so that we didn’t watch it when it was on Channel 4. We had to buy it from iTunes after we thought we’d give it a go over the holidays. We both loved it! It’s so different to the first series, but charming, funny and dramatic all the same. Plus, you get to say things like ‘aw, jeez’ all the time. Brilliant viewing.

After the way series two of The Bridge ended, I wasn’t really sure what to expect of series three. Personally, I think this was the best series yet. Saga was her usual fascinating self, but there were lots of other twists and turns that showed some of her different sides. The new characters really added to the mix and the main murders that Saga was investigating had me scratching my head. I had no idea who was behind them, gruesome and weird though they were. Don’t be put off by the subtitles. This is really an excellent series.

To be honest, I thought Homeland had had its day. I thought the last series was a bit boring so I only put this on while I was washing up. However, this series was sooooo much better than the last one. It was back to its brilliant, intriguing and fascinating roots. Carrie was back on top form. She no longer works for the CIA but that doesn’t stop her getting embroiled in a new security threat. As the main story in the series reflects modern life in a scarily accurate way, it makes for unmissable viewing. I hope this return to form continues with series 6.

What I’ve Been Watching – May

TV

Fargo

I will admit that I’ve not seen the film that the Fargo TV series is based on, but I have loved every minute of this version. Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard is brilliant, as is Allison Tolman, who plays Molly Solverson. Personally, I think it’s worth watching for the awesome accents alone, but that’s just me. Once the series is finished, I’ll be watching the film to see how it compares. Have you seen both? Which do you prefer?

Hannibal

I’ve watched lots of gruesome stuff on TV – Game of Thrones, Vikings, The Walking Dead. I can handle my gore. Hannibal is a different ball game altogether. But despite the gore, this is one of my current favourites. Not only because I can’t believe Hannibal gets away with killing and eating so many people, but also because of the main character, Will Graham (played by the very dishy Hugh Dancy), who can see why serial killers do what they do. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, then this is one to watch, just not when you’re eating. Trust me on that one!

Mad Men

I have remained faithful to Mad Men, despite the last few series being less than good. (Anyone else feel like the writers were getting bored by the whole thing?) However, despite this being the final series, I think it’s picked up a bit. Don seems to be back to his old advertising self, which is good, and it still has some really interesting historic aspects, like the computer that’s the size of a room. Seriously! To be fair to Mad Men, I think I’m pleased that this is the last series (pretty sure I’m right about that!) as it isn’t as good as it used to be. Lets hope Don goes out with a bang.

In The Flesh

I am always slightly reluctant to get into a BBC Drama, as they have a habit of funding great programmes for a series or two, then stopping them (The Hours, The Fades and Ripper Street for example). However, I was incredibly pleased to see In The Flesh return for a second series to BBC 3 this Spring. It’s not just about zombies, but about PDS sufferers – Partially Deceased Syndrome and how they fit/don’t fit back into society. I was also pleased to see series two double the length of series one. Fingers crossed series 3 appears next year.

I’ve also continued to watch Game of Thrones (oh my word!), Suits (Bring on series 4!) and The Good Wife (No spoilers, but you’ll need tissues *weep*). June is also bringing about some new and returning series, which is always a good thing.

Film

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I am a huge fan girl of Kristen Wiig and will pretty much watch anything she’s in. While this isn’t laugh out loud funny like Bridesmaids, it is a lovely film and not just because they filmed part of it in Iceland. Ben Stiller is brilliant in it – he should do more like this. It’s such a sweet, light hearted, uplifting film. We watched it on a Saturday night and I don’t think I looked at my phone once throughout – the mark of a good film!

12 Years a Slave

In complete contrast to the life affirming film of Walter Mitty, we watched this the following week. I was slightly reluctant to, knowing that it was going to be harrowing, but it’s one of those films that I think you *have* to see, to remind yourself about some of the things humanity is capable of and that things like enslaving people isn’t new and continues today. This won Best Film at both the Oscars and Bafta and it’s easy to see why. Everything from the acting to the direction is impressive. A very deserving film.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Not sure what I can say about this that hasn’t already been said. Yep, there’s lots of swearing, drugs, sex, boobs and money. But that’s not what struck me – it was Leonardo DiCaprio that really struck me. Everything he seems to touch turns to gold. The last film I saw with him in was The Great Gatsby so I found it quite interesting that he played someone with money who threw lavish parties in both films (though, admittedly, the comparison stops there). This is an incredible film, made even more so because it’s based on a true story. Definitely worth watching, though make sure you’ve got snacks, as it’s really long.

American Hustle

I love Jennifer Lawrence, definite girl crush here and she’s brilliant in this. To be honest, I was hoping for more of her, but she’s not part of the central trio. I found this quite difficult as I disliked the main three characters quite intensely. None of them have any redeeming features, well, not initially anyway. It’s another long film, and it doesn’t need to be. They all seem to spend a lot of time talking incessantly, showing off Amy Adams cleavage or the appalling hairdos that the male characters were blessed with. Lots of people were comparing this to Wolf of Wall Street, but in my opinion, Wolf is way better than this. How can I tell? I checked my phone a number of times during this! Have you seen them both? Which is your favourite?