Killing Eve – Trailer and Early Premiere

The much anticipated launch of the Killing Eve season 3 trailer not only delivered some great and fascinating scenes, but also a huge shocker, as the show will launch two weeks earlier than originally planned, now on 12th April.

This is great news for fans, and just for everyone in general who will now be able to watch this spectacular show while they are in isolation.

The trailer itself features quick flashes of action but mostly on Jodie Comer’s Villanelle moving on with her life under the assumption Eve (Sandra Oh) is dead, until she finds out that isn’t the case and all hell breaks loose.

This is one of the best shows on TV right now, and features Comer giving one of my all time favourite TV performances, and I can’t wait for what the show has in store.

Girls (2012) – TV Review

Lena Dunham’s hit breakout comedy was a huge deal for the years it was on air and made many of its cast and crew into household names. However, in more recent years, due to some of Dunham’s questionable comments and retrospective criticisms of the shows lack of racial diversity and problematic presentations of sexuality, the response has been much more mixed. However, I am going to take it on a season by season basis and give my honest opinion.

The first season is packed full of undoubtedly good writing, a very strong cast, and a very pleasant and enjoyable side to New York. I love seeing the bustling streets, the skylines, the unique parks portrayed in film or TV, and this may make me slightly bias from this perspective.

The writing, mostly done by creator/director/writer/producer/star Lena Dunham is very quick, sharp, and often funny. The characters have very distinct personalities and interact with each other very well, although they are packed full of privilege while seemingly acting as though they are the worst done to people in the world, and as I continue with the show I will keep an eye on whether this is intentionally ironic or Dunham is just blinded to the actual realities of many lives.

As for the cast, the main four girls (Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet) are all clearly talented actresses who create interesting characters, although this is very much focused on the characters of Hannah (Dunham) and Marnie (Williams). The other stand out, and the man who has gone on to have easily the biggest and most respected career since the show is Adam Driver, and his character here is an odd mix of creepy, charismatic, and unpredictable.

I would say so far, so good, but time will tell where the show decides to go from here.

Rating = 3.5/5

Avenue 5 (2020) – TV Review

HBO’s new star-studded comedy from creator Armando Iannucci is on the face of it a large scale, sci-fi comedy, but like many Iannucci shows, it is much more about the characters and their interactions and situations they get themselves in, and that is where it thrives.

Following a reasonably slow start, the show really found its feet and became consistently engaging and entertaining series. The writing, as you would expect, is packed full with stinging one liners and distinct characters with unique personalities.

The whole cast are good, and they especially work together well. Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad are the two big name stars, and they both fit their characters very well, with Laurie especially being able to shine as the show goes along. However, this is very much an ensemble, with people like Zach Woods and Lenora Crichlow more than holding their own alongside their more famous fellow leads.

The season had a strong finale with a big cliffhanger that immediately sets up the status quo for an already commissioned second season. Iannucci is very much now one of the all time great comedy writers, and I look forward to what he continues to produce.

Silent Witness Season 23 (2020) – TV Review

Silent Witness has become an incredibly rare beast, a continuing crime drama on the BBC that has now lasted into its third decade, with seemingly no sign of it slowing down (it has been renewed for two more seasons, which will include its 25th anniversary season).

This is a show I watched from my early teenage years, but in the last couple of years I had stopped watching due to my frustration at how involved the pathologists were getting in police matters and therefore making the show unrealistic, but I decided to give this season a chance, and I am very glad I did. The show is now much more realistic again and this season was packed full of important, inventive, and gripping stories.

This season tackled many different subjects, including domestic abuse, police corruption, chemical warfare, and much more, and found a compelling take on each subject.

The guest cast was notably strong this season, with many recognisable and talented character actors popping up in each episode to really help add a sense of prestige to this BBC drama.

Emilia Fox has now been leading the cast of this show for over a decade, and she continues to be an incredibly likeable and talented actress to carry the show. However, this season especially, was very much an ensemble with all four leads getting their chance to shine. David Caves offers much of the comedic relief with his sarcastic and wise-cracking performance that fits perfectly to the tone.

*Spoilers Below*

However, the two stand outs this season are the two cats members who departed at the end of the season, Richard Lintern and Liz Carr. Carr often provides strong comedic moments but in this season she tackled many emotional scenes and knocked them out of the park. She is a shining light and inspiration for disbaled actors everywhere, and her presence will be missed in this show.

As for Lintern, he has often had to play the ‘straight man’ throughout the show and be the non-emotional, brain of the team. However, in the finale where he sacrifices his life to save his colleague, it is absolutely heartbreaking and his acting is a big part of that.

This show keeps finding ways to stay fresh, and this is why I believe it is one of Britain’s most loved and longest running shows.

Rating = 4/5

Veep (2012) – TV Review

‘Veep’ is one of the most respected and awarded comedies of recent times, but it never became a huge hit in the UK (mainly because we had already had ‘The Thick of It’) but with the world now essentially in lock down, I decided it was as good a time as any to give the show a watch.

Created by Armando Iannucci, as an adaptation of his hit British comedy ‘The Thick of It’, ‘Veep’ is a sharply written, superbly acted and genuinely hilarious show. While it deals with people at the very top of world politics, the focus of the show stays on the main characters, with very low stakes and plenty of great character interaction.

The writing, as you would expect from an Iannucci show is both quick, incisive, boundary pushing, and funny. The episodes are short anyway but they fly by in no time due to the energy the scripts have, and it is exactly what you want in a show like this.

The whole ensemble work together so perfectly that it is flawless, with Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, and Timothy Simmons especially shining. However, the undeniable star here is the irrepressible Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the former Seinfeld star who turned herself into an awards machine with this show, and you can see why. Her comedic timing is inch perfect and she has a unique way to make a potentially unlikable character into one you can’t help but root for.

I will gradually continuing working my way through each of the show’s 7 seasons and will provide a review for each season, but this is certainly a strong start.

Rating = 4/5

Elizabeth Is Missing (2019) – TV Review

Alzheimer’s/Dementia is one of the most difficult and emotionally shattering illnesses that a family can deal with, and it is therefore not shown very often in the correct manner on screen. 

However, in the BBC’s feature length adaptation ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ the genius decision to have a dementia sufferer essentially trying to play detective and piece together a situation from her past and one from her present, all while her condition worsens, allows for the audience to properly understand the intricacies of the illness. 

Glenda Jackson, making her return to TV after nearly 3 decades, is simply remarkable in the lead role and it’s tough to think of anyone delivering  a better performance in the coming year. The whole cast is great and Sophie Rundle is used perfectly to create a real feeling of love and mystery in the few scenes she is given. 

A real triumph.

Rating = 4/5

Mistress America (2015) – Review

A Fox Searchlight Picture, Written by Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig, Directed by Noah Baumbach.

Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach are two of the most influential people associated with the ‘mumblecore’ movies, and their collaborations are often seen as some of the high points of those movies. Here we have Gerwig as co-writer and star, and Baumbach as co-writer and director, and you can equally feel both of their voices here. 

Mistress America operates on multiple levels and is a very self referential film, with its writers exploring the multiple aspects of humanity and also the impact of New York City. 

The script itself is so sharply written, with many brilliant speeches and one liners mixed in with deeply powerful and relatable character moments and musings about life. 

Lola Kirke makes for a very good lead and I’m surprised she hasn’t done much more work since, and I hope to see more from her. 

However, the absolute star is Great Gerwig, in a role quite literally written for her and she suits it so perfectly. Her unique line delivery, chaotic energy, and surprising depth make for a deeply compelling character. She has become a brilliant director and I can’t wait to see what she does next, but I would also love to see her continue acting in certain projects, as she is really talented. 

A true independent film gem, and a great watch during this worldwide quarantine. 

Rating = 4/5

Charlie’s Angels (2019) – Review

A Sony Picture, Written by Evan Spiliotopoulos, David Auburn, Elizabeth Banks, Directed by Elizabeth Banks.

This was one of the most unasked for and lowest grossing remakes in recent history, and I never got round to seeing it when it was originally in cinemas. However, it was to my surprise that I actually enjoyed the film. It is by no means a classic of cinema, but it’s packed full of action, it’s funny, sexy, and well acted.

The cast is the main reason it works, with Elizabeth Banks and Patrick Stewart each bringing individual charm to their versions of Bosley. 

Ella Balinska has a real power to her and was very believable going hand to hand with much bigger guys, and she also holds her own acting wise. Naomi Scott showed in Aladdin how talented she is, and she is the audience surrogate here and does the jobs very successfully. 

The stand out for me is Kristen Stewart, who after the great commercial success but critical panning of the Twilight saga, has embraced indie film and completely turned her career around. Here she seems to be cutting loose, delivering a charismatic, sexy, hilarious lead performance that really benefits the film. 

There was no need to make this film, but the one they did make was a decent way to spend two hours, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to kill some time. 

Rating = 3/5

Buffaloed (2020) – Review

A Magnolia Picture, Written by Brian Sacca, Directed by Tanya Wexler.

The pitch of this film being “a female wolf of Wall Street” does ring true in many ways, but it is by no means is a rip off and is very different to that film in many ways. I would say that it is a mix of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and the ‘The Big Short’ told from the female perspective and focusing on the poorer, working class parts of American society. 

Our lead character has been a hustler her whole life, and following a spell in prison, she discovers the world of debt collecting and the huge amounts of money that can be made in this very toxic industry. Without getting too much into plot details, it doesn’t go the way you would expect and it is refreshing to see how it tackles the class struggle. 

Zoey Deutch is the absolute star, delivering an incredibly manic and charismatic lead performance that any star would be proud of. For a few years now, she has essentially been the best thing in everything she stars in, and I really hope her career continues to sky rocket. Her ‘Peggy’ is one of my favourite characters, male or female, in recent years.

Rating = 3.5/5

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