Category Archives: TV

Butterflies (1978-1983)

Butterflies is a very strange TV series. It ran for four seasons across six years, totalling 28 episodes of about half an hour each: and in those 28 half-hours, almost nothing happens.

It’s billed as a comedy, and it does have some funny moments. But there are long, long stretches that could not be described as remotely humorous — for example, passages in which the viewpoint character wanders through a public mark, inwardly monologuing over how predictable her life has become. There is a laugh track, which is sometimes unbearably inappropriate.

Continue reading

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (TV Series)

I read John Le Carré’s classic spy novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy a few months ago, and found it difficult but brilliant. (The same can be said of most of his books).

23tinker2-jumbo

Back in 1979, the BBC made a highly regarded TV mini-series adapted very faithfully from the book, starring Alec “Ben Kenobi” Guinness as protagonist George Smiley. I was keen to see it, and to compare it with the book.

Continue reading

Stranger Things: well worth watching

If you’ve not yet seen the Netflix series Stranger Things, I recommend it — especially if, like me, you grew up in the 70s and 80s, with the films of Steven Spielberg and his contemporaries.

stranger-things-1200x675

Here are a few reasons.

Continue reading

Happy Days: I finished season 2, and I’m about done

I was surprised and delighted by the early episodes of Happy Days, and still enjoying it by the mid-point of season 2. A while back, I finished watching the 23 episodes of season 2. The second half of the series was … OK.

happy-days-anson-williams-ftr

Continue reading

My comments on the Government’s BBC consultation

At present, the UK Government is running a little-publicised public consultation on the future of the BBC. (That’s the British Broadcasting Corporation for you Americans — our state-owned and funded broadcaster.)

bbc

The campaigning group 38 Degrees has provided a simple way to respond online to this consultation, and I did so this morning. Here are the questions and my responses. I urge you to submit your own thoughts, too.

Continue reading

Oh, Doctor! How are you going to get out of this one? (The Magician’s Apprentice)

Somehow I’d managed to avoid all spoilers. Which is great, because The Magician’s Apprentice took me by surprise, repeatedly. The moment when the boy in the field of hand-mines told the Doctor his name raised the hairs on my arms. I was genuinely creeped out.

Warning: spoilers follow the break.

doctor_who_series_nine___the_magician_s_apprentice_by_lemonhead118-d8cgc5e

Continue reading

Happy Days: mid-season-2 report

I’ve watched Happy Days through season 1, and half way through season 2 — as far as S02E12, Open House. For reasons that I will explain in a moment, this is a good time to stop and take stock.

fonz_big

Continue reading