Monday, January 30, 2012

What I am looking at at the moment

There’s been a load of new TV series with potential, and a couple of books I’ve quite liked:

New Girl – the one everyone’s buzzing about with Zooey Deschanel.  My Dad always used to say that John Wayne wasn’t an actor; he only ever played himself, but it was so good you wanted to watch it over and over, so he made a decent living out of it.  I suspect that Zooey might be the same, but I’m not sure how long we’ll want to go on watching cute and kooky.  Plus, when she’s 73 it might not work so well…although Estelle Getty and Jessica Tandy seemed to manage OK on that one.  Anyhoo, that said, New Girl is quite fun, with an occasional nice twist.  This week Jess was being over-bearing about being emotional open and sharing about something she’d seen, much to her male flatmate’s horror.  This all seemed very predictable until the moment Nick stopped her in her tracks by calling her on not being able to use the proper words for what my daughter referred to as a “privacy area” when she was little.

Verdict:  I’ll stick with it and see how it goes.

Suits – This is a bit of a hidden gem lurking away on Tuesday nights on Dave.  It’s about lawyers and offices and business stuff, but in a rather interesting way.  The two main characters are interesting and nicely balanced, with good supporting characters, including the fact that the head of the prestigious law firm in New York is a black woman.  Yay for a good, strong female boss who kicks butt.  It fits into the slot in my TV life filled recently by CSI and House.

Verdict:  I’m recording it for weekly watching so I’m impressed so far

The Big Bang Theory – saved the best TV till last.  It’s just genius; really Sheldon Cooper ought not to have any friends because he’s a nightmare, but he does and they are very rich characters, although the humour often derives from them veering into caricature.  It’s a bit like Friends, in that as you get to know the characters you know how they’ll react so you start giggling when you know what’s coming, but then there is an occasional curveball.  So Rajesh is painfully shy and can’t speak in front of women, unless he is drunk.  One night he gets drunk and he and Penny end up in bed.  The next morning you think “Surely now he’ll be able to speak to her” but no, he is still struck dumb!

Verdict:  I’m hooked

Rivers of London and Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch – I do love me some crime thriller, and I do love me some supernatural stuff, so put the two together and I’m double happy.  These two books feel like the start of a series that could run and run, and I really hope it does.  The characters are so well written, and the plots so tight and clever that I’m feeling slightly bereft that I’m going to have to wait until June for number 3.  If Harry Potter is Mallory Towers and Billy Bunter meet magic, RofL is Poirot and Miss Marple meet  magic, without the horrendous plot holes Agatha Christie let slip.  Also, they would make fantastic telly, much better that the utterly ridiculous Eternal Law (ITV) about which the less said the better.
Verdict:  I’m pining for number 3

The Ghost – a political thriller by Roman Polanski.  The reviews on IMDB were very complimentary and I cannot for the life of me fathom out why.  It was meant to be a dark sophisticated thriller with plot twists and sinister overtones about global conspiracies but really it was just silly.  It was blatantly obvious who was the baddy from very early on, Ewan McGregor’s character was so thick and trusting it was unbelievable and the film didn’t so much finish as stop because there was no way out of the plot’s weird combination of simplistic and over-complex.  It is not possible for even the CIA to organise a hit and run accident in the time it takes for someone to walk out of a building and cross the street!!!  As punishment, Mr Polanski should be made to watch Tinker Tailor (any version, Alec Guiness or Gary Oldman) until he understands what a complex political thriller really looks like.

Verdict:  That’s two hours of my life I can’t get back.  The only redeeming feature was the Malteasers my husband gave while we were watching.

This is not the political thriller you were looking for

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