Tag: What I’ve been Watching

What I’ve Been Watching – June, July & August

Blimey. It’s been a while since I wrote a TV roundup. Partly because I kept forgetting and partly because there’s not been a whole lot on the box. Summer is always a slow time on TV, mainly because you’re meant to be out enjoying the sunshine. But I’ve still found a few gems over the last few months.

TV

I completely missed this when it was on (a drawback of watching TV online), but thank goodness for iPlayer! I’m not a massive Sarah Lancashire fan, but she is brilliant in this. The storyline is quite gritty and Lancashire makes for a flawed heroine at times, but it’s well worth a watch if dark dramas are your thing, like they are mine. Ah, Utopia. My OH suggested I watch series one in advance of series two airing on Channel 4. And I’m really glad he did. It’s an epic show, which covers a very  unusual topic. It’s refreshing to watch another great British Drama, something that this summer hasn’t been lacking. Yay!
When I saw this advertised, I knew it would be a great series to watch. I was right. Maggie Gyllenhaal is brilliant, dealing with an always very difficult and very poignant topic of Israel/Palestine. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, there’s a twist and everything is up in the air. If you haven’t been watching – get it on iPlayer. In every TV viewing, some light relief must fall. I was a huge fan of Seinfeld so thought I’d give Veep a go. I wasn’t disappointed. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is hilarious in this. It’s very Arrested Development in my view, which is another great comedy. I’ve only seen the first series, but I can’t wait to watch the second and third. Fab viewing.
I know I’ve mentioned the Good Wife before, but I’ve been rewatching it with my OH from the very beginning. I’d forgotten how great it was. It’s one of the best dramas on TV right now. I pretty much love every character, though Eli Gold is my favourite because he just shouts at people. (I love a good shout!) If you’ve not watched it, it’s worth signing up to Netflix for. This was recommended on Twitter and I’ve been aware of it for a while but not watched it until recently. It’s bloody brilliant! Again, it feels a bit like Arrested Development and I can’t decide who my favourite character is, Ron Swanson or Ted Haverford. It makes me laugh out loud and want a job in the Parks & Recreation department. Watch it!

Film

I love Joaquin Phoenix. I think he’s a great actor. He can play such a wide range of characters. Her is no exception. It’s a brilliantly imaginative film, sadly a rarity in Hollywood these days. Her shows a very scary reality of what our future could be like, should Apple ever really get Siri to work properly. I kind of hope they don’t! Matthew McConaughey can do no wrong at the moment. Everything he touches turns to gold and Dallas Buyers Club is no exception. This is a really moving, scary and insightful look at the Aids epidemic when it first began and the lack of understanding/medicines available. It’s well worth a watch if you haven’t already. There’s no surprise that it did well at the Oscars – well deserved if you ask me.
I saw a load of fuss about this on Twitter, but didn’t really pay it much attention. Then, when we had a dog free day, we decided to go and watch it in the cinema. I love a good comic book film, so was quite content. But it was much better than I thought it would be and I totally understood the hype after watching it. It’s got a much fresher feel than a lot of the other Marvel films & Chris Pratt is great in it. Roll on the sequel. I remember watching the trailer for this a while back and not really getting it. When we decided to watch it on the weekend, we decided that it’s kind of like the Hunger Games (though not as good) and while it does have that post-apocalyptic vibe and a strong female lead, it’s still really good. Like the Hunger Games, it’s Divergent is part of a trilogy and I can’t wait for the next installment.

If you have any recommendations of what to watch, I’d love to know. I realise it’s not long until lots of great TV starts again in the autumn (The Walking Dead, I’m looking at you), but there’s got to be a few gems I’ve missed!

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?

What I’ve Been Watching – April

April saw the return of the amazing Game of Thrones, as well as the continuation of my favourites, such as Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Wife.

TV

Game of Thrones

I honestly didn’t know how Season 4 could possibly improve on what’s gone before, but boy, it’s really started with a bang. There’s really no telling which characters will make it through to the next episode, so it can be quite a tense watch. At the moment, I feel that there’s lots of stuff going on and its difficult to keep track. Needless to say I cannot wait for each new episode!

Suits

 

We’ve been watching Suits on Netflix from the beginning and love it. It’s got such a great witty banter, as well as great characters. We’ve since bought series 3 and pretty much devoured that while on holiday! If you like The Good Wife and Grey’s Anatomy, then this one is definitely for you.

I’m still enjoying the current series of The Good Wife and Nashville on Channel 4 and we’ve also been watching The Good Wife on Netflix from the beginning too. Even better the second time round.

Film

 The Hobbit

Now I’m not a massive Hobbit/Lord of the Rings fan and this did nothing to improve that. Long, drawn out, a bit dull, it really wasn’t for me. I can’t believe there’s still another one to go. Needless to say I got plenty of knitting done while watching it.

Thor: The Dark World

I really enjoyed the first Thor. What’s not to like? Decent storyline, a bit of adventure, great cast. This one, however, wasn’t as good. It felt a bit like pulling teeth, like it didn’t really get going. Some of the fight scenes really drag, like, we know you’re powerful and can destroy everything, but can you just get on with it? Part of me really hopes they don’t bother with a third, but then I thought that with Iron Man, and look how that turned out.

I don’t seem to have watched much in April, either that or I can’t remember them! If you’ve discovered anything worth watching, let me know!

What I’ve been Watching ~ March

I know, I know, I’m very late with this post. I’ve just realised that it’s May next week. Next week! Where is this year going?! Crazy. As the Winter season comes to a close in TV land, a lot of my favourite shows end, with a only a few to replace them. This is where Netflix and such like come into their own, as you find new little gems when there’s nothing on.

TV

The Vikings

Both I and my OH had seen this advertised somewhere so thought we’d give it a go. Have to say, am pleased we did. There’s blood, violence, sex and lots of eating, but it’s got a great storyline and the characters are really interesting. Season 1 and most of season 2 is available to stream via Amazon Instant stream, which is how we watch it. It’s had one or two slowish episodes, but it’s definitely worth a watch.

Silk

I’ve been a fan of Silk since day 1 and was really pleased to see another series. It’s really good British drama, with a great cast and intriguing storylines, though I’m not fussed over the will they/won’t they thing with Martha & Clive. She’s way too good for him. Fact. If you like The Good Wife and Suits, this will definitely hit the spot.

The Walking Dead

I’ve written about my love of The Walking Dead many times and for me, this series didn’t disappoint. Walkers: check. Tension: check. The possibility of your favourite character dying at any given moment: check. (No spoilers tho!) There were certainly a few episodes where I held my breath, waiting for the inevitable to happen and there were lots of things that I didn’t see coming. For me, October & the release of Season 5 cannot come soon enough! This boxset is definitely going on my birthday list!

Apart from these, I’ve been continuing on with The Good Wife, Southland, Girls, The Vampire Diaries and Nashville. Plenty to keep my going.

Film

The Butler

Not sure I can say any more than has already been said about this film. It’s pretty epic with an amazing cast. The story gets you from the moment the film starts and it’s quite emotional at times. The journey of the main character from a cotton farm worker to White House butler is amazing, as well as the journey of his family. Definitely well worth a watch.

Gravity

Unlike most other people, I didn’t see this at the cinema. (Probably a good thing, as I get motion sickness and I still can’t watch Cloverfield) It was worth the wait. It is brilliant. Hugely stressful, terrifying, beautiful and breathtaking all in one go. If you haven’t seen it yet, you won’t be disappointed when you do. A great Saturday night film.

Saving Mr Banks

When my OH suggested we watch this, I wasn’t overly keen, thought it sounded a bit boring. I was wrong – it’s not. It’s ace, if for no other reason than an insight into the making of Mary Poppins! It’s a bit of a tear jerker, especially when Mrs Travers has an emotional breakthrough about her father. I totally blubbed at the end! Perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

A few other films that I watched, which were bitterly disappointing include Enders Game and The Machine. Both looked good on iTunes, with a mixture of good actors and reviews. However both were far too long and left me looking forward to them being over. Avoid!

What’s the best thing you’ve seen on TV recently? Any good films out?