Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe (2020) – TV Review

We are only into the fifth month of 2020, but it already feels like the longest and most significant year of most of our lifetimes, and their is only one man who can sum it up perfectly, and that is writer of ‘Black Mirror’ and former star of ‘Weekly Wipe’, Charlie Brooker.

The energetic, scathing, and absolutely hilarious coverage that Brooker brings in this lockdown special is truly unique, and he manages to truly capture the failure of the government and the way the whole world has handled this crisis, without ever losing the humour.

Many people don’t want to watch TV about Corona Virus right now because it is all too real, but this is really essential viewing, mixing all the key events of the last few months with a real sense of cynical fun.

Rating = 4.5/5

Dead To Me Season 2 (2020) – TV Review

Netflix is packed full of content, much of it entertaining, and therefore some great content can be slightly overlooked, and I really feel this is one of them.

While it doesn’t quite match the heights of the first season, ‘Dead To Me’ season 2 is still a throughly entertaining and well made piece of TV, with two very strong lead performances.

The plot of this season in many ways seems a bit unsure of where it is going, but I hope that will be corrected in a potential season 3, as the world created is so good.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini are really giving two of the funniest and most complex performances on TV right now, and they both take it another step up this season, and in a sane world, they would be strong awards contenders when the time comes.

I hope we get a season 3 for this great show as the season 2 finale was quite underwhelming and I wouldn’t want to leave it on that note.

Rating = 3.5/5

Code 404 (2020) – TV Review

Sky One’s new detective comedy, with a Sci-Fi twist, is a solid hit that replies heavily on the talent of its leading men, and they are able to deliver.

Stephen Graham is now well established as one of British TV’s finest character actors and has starred in some of the best dramas of recent years, and Daniel Mays has also built up a strong reputation over the years, but neither of them are necessarily considered ‘comedic’, but that may change after this.

Following the classic buddy comedy set up, only with the sci-fi twist that one of the detectives was brought back from the dead (this is really the only sci-fi in a other wise standard cop comedy).

The plot focuses on the detectives trying to figure out who Major’s (Mays) killer was, while Carver (Graham) tries to hide something closer to home.

The duo have really good chemistry together and it creates some string comedic moments. It’s far from a classic, but it was an entertaining few episodes to help get through this lockdown period.

Rating = 3/5

Most Dangerous Game (2020) – TV Review

Quibi is seeming more and more like a financial venture that won’t work out, and while that isn’t a great tragedy as I’m not a great fan of the ‘phone only’ streaming service, I am still making the most of my 3 month free trial to watch all of the TV shows on the service that I want to.

This was billed as the main event for Quibi at launch and I can see why. All things considered, it is a polished, well acted, and well shot action thriller. It is also packed full of cliche and some average writing, but in general the ‘cat and mouse’ plot works well with Quibi’s format.

Liam Hemsworth makes for a strong leading man, Sarah Gadon is given a very stereotypical ‘wife’ role, and two time Oscar Winner Christoph Waltz does what he does best, play a sophisticated villain.

Rating = 3/5

Brassic Season 2 (2020) – TV Review

The first season of ‘Brassic’ was a surprise smash hit for Sky last year, and following this successful follow up, it is now one of the channel’s flagship shows, and is likely to run for many years.

Joseph Gilgun stars as Vinnie, the leader of a group of working class, odd ball thieves. While we have seen many shows about the upper class, middle class, or even London gangs, we see very few shows like this about real Northern people, and it is refreshing to see.

The whole cast is great and they deliver the very sharp dialogue very well, with Dominic West continuing to steal every scene he is in and clearly enjoying playing a supporting role instead of carrying the show.

Joe Gilgun and Michelle Keegan are very much the heart and soul of this show, and the relationship between their two characters looks set to be developed even more following the cliffhanger ending.

Season 3 is already announced and I eagerly await it whenever they are able to film (and I also hear a rumour Peter Kay might be in talks to join the cast, although that is unlikely given the situation around his health and disappearance from the public eye).

Long live the Brassic gang.

Rating = 4/5

Killing Eve Season 3 – Are You From Pinner? (Reaction)

Killing Eve has always been about the complicated sexual/murderous relationship between two women; Eve Polastri and Villanelle, and in episode 5 of each season so far the two have had memorable meetings.

However, in a smart decision to freshen things up, episode 5 of season 3 is the shows first episode not to feature both leads, and in fact the only cast member it features is Jodie Comer, as Villanelle gets a stand alone episode to focus on her backstory.

While I thought many of the plot points were slightly disappointing, as the family itself and the reason Villanelle is like she is was never properly delved into, and the mother’s ‘decision’ at the end felt very rushed, the episode works on the basis that Villanelle leaves it massively changed for the rest of the show, and this will likely effect her decisions going forward.

One thing I do find amusing is how the show seems to present many Eastern European countries (Russia, Poland etc) as stuck in the olden days wildernesses (although there is nothing wrong with that), instead of modern cities, but I understand that may just be a coincidence and I love the show too much to make much of an issue out of it.

As for Jodie Comer, I believe this is arguably the finest episode of acting anyone has done in the show yet. She is vulnerable, playful, angry, and shows new sides to her character (we really see Oksana here instead of the Villanelle persona) but she also stays true to who the character is. She already won an Emmy and BAFTA for season 2, and she surely must be a huge contender again this year.

There are now only three episodes left of the season, and episode 6 seems to be a good one. Villanelle is reunited with Irina (one of the stand out relationships of season one) and Konstantin, as well as meeting the mysterious new figure from the twelve played by Camille Cottin, and even more interestingly, Eve doesn’t seem to have fallen for Dasha’s framing of Villanelle, and a bowling alley confrontation may be in order between Eve and Dasha…

Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours To Kill (2020) – TV Review

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most famous and successful comedians on the modern era, and he returns to the stand up stage here for a Netflix special.

One of Netflix’s most underrated and key aspects is the wide variety of stand up specials, from both then biggest stars in the world, and upcoming stars, and Seinfeld falls very much into the latter.

The special itself is solid but unspectacular, with very predictable humour used throughout. It’s certainly fine for something to watch in the background for an hour, especially during our current times, but Seinfeld can be very funny at times and this doesn’t feel like him at his best.

Rating = 3/5

50 States of Fright (2020) – TV Review

Sam Raimi made his name in the 80/90s as a new kid on the block with exciting horror projects, before conquering the blockbuster genre in the 21st Century, but now he is back, on streaming service Quibi, with a horror anthology series.

I like the general idea of the series, but the show never clicked for me at all. The tone was very confused, never quite deciding whether it is a schlocky and fun loving horror riff, or if it is a really serious horror show.

It is packed full of name actors, mainly because it would’ve been a small time commitment for them, and the ‘Golden Arm’ episode that Raimi directs Rachel Brosnahan and Travis Fimmel in, is both the most memorable and worst episode of the show.

This is apparently returning for more episodes but isn’t strong enough to get me to keep Quibi beyond the free trial period.

Rating = 2.5/5

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