Peter Kay’s Car Share (2015) – TV Review

Peter Kay is one of the modern age’s most loved British comedians, for his work in scripted comedy, stand up, and beyond, but in recent years he has scaled back his workload and public appearances.

This made ‘Car Share’, a show almost entirely set in a single car featuring Kay and Sian Gibson, an even bigger deal to UK audiences, and to our delight, it was another home fun for the comic legend.

This show follows a very simple premise, and mainly operates as a vehicle to allow long time collaborators Kay and Gibson to bounce off each other and improvise a lot, and it is a real success as their chemistry is great.

What’s ever better is, despite not being plot reliant and having a real ongoing narrative, you still really come to love these two characters and even start to root for a relationship you never expected by the end of this first season.

Rating = 4/5

Talking Heads: Her Big Chance (2020) – TV Review

It was already a well known fact that Jodie Comer was an incredible actress with a rapidly rising career, but this just further proves her versatility, talent, and maturity beyond her years.

In this adaptation on the classic Alan Bennett monologue that Julie Walters originally performed decades along, which was filmed under Corona Virus lockdown on pre-existing sets, Comer is able to showcase her talent yet again.

Playing a naive aspiring actress who takes a role in a film but quickly discovers this isn’t the type of film she thought it was, the monologue looks at who men take advantage of vulnerable women in the industry, something that is improving but sadly not enough progress has been made to stop this in the decades since the monologue was first written.

Comer is the only person to appear on screen in all 42 minutes, with it consisting of five long take scenes, and she remarkably manages to keep you entirely engaged throughout, which is a very tough thing to do.

The accent she does starts off posh but gradual slips into a more northern accent, and while some may mistake this as Comer losing the accent (anyone who watches Killing Eve knows that would never be the case) it’s actually an acting choice as the character begins to become more vulnerable and slowly reveals her true self.

She has talked about her concerns about ‘not being classically trained’ so not belonging in the theatre, but I think she would be sensational on the West End stage and is something I would love to see from her one day.

Due to social distancing restrictions, Comer had to to her own hair and make-up, but you couldn’t tell, as she looks stunning and radiates off the screen.

Josie Rourke, famed theatre director and director of ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’ does a great job under tough circumstances, getting such a strong performances from Comer and also making the sets feel as alive and cinematic as possible.

When the original ‘Talking Heads’ was first aired, it was a BAFTA juggernaut, and this performance from Comer deserves the same. She is becoming a defining force in British TV (and she is still only in her mid 20s) and at this rate, she might be competing against her own Killing Eve performance for the best drama actress BAFTA in 2021.

Rating = 4/5

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (2020) – TV Review

This behind scenes look at the making of ‘The Mandalorian’ is interesting and adds great context to what we have seen. I wish more shows like this accompanied the release of big content, but the series themselves can’t act as events.

One thing I would definitely say is that while the weekly release format worked for the actual ‘The Mandalorian’ show, building conversation and momentum and stretching it out over 2 months of great TV, but it doesn’t work for this behind the scenes show.

It actually has the opposite effect for this show, as you lose momentum by watching a 20 minute behind the scenes episode and then having to wait another week for the next, and it is very clear they should have dropped all eight episodes at once.

However, apart from that, I found this to be a really informative and interesting look behind the scenes of LucasFilm and specifically this series.

Getting input from all the wide ranging creatives that worked on this show, and seeing the groundbreaking technology they used, is very fascinating to a fan of the industry like me, but could potentially grow boring to someone not so interested in people talking about making a tv show (but if that’s the case, why are you watching this at all).

The biggest stand outs from a directing perspective from the show itself and this documentary for me were Deborah Chow and Taika Waititi, and it’s very re-assuring to know they are both already committed to Star Wars properties going forward. The big and small screen future of the franchise is in safe hands.

Most of all, it offers real insight into why ‘The Mandalorian’ was such a success, and it’s how much Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni truly love the property. Hopefully it will be these two that lead the franchise forward post episode nine, and then I think Star Wars could have a very positive future.

Rating = 3.5/5

The Simpsons Season 6 (1995) – TV Review

Everyone has their own opinion on this (and I won’t make the statement that this is THE best of the show until I have finished the rewatch) but this season of ‘The Simpsons’ is one of the best seasons of TV you could possibly hope to find.

The variety in genres and focus between the episodes is so impressive, and the writing is so inventive whether it is creating new stories or parodying classic media.

‘Bart of Darkness’, ‘Treehouse of Horror V’, ‘Homer Badman’, ‘The Springfield Connection’ and ‘Who Shot Mr Burns? (Part One)’ are all some of the finest and most defining episodes in the 30+ year history of the show, and are all in this season, and it all adds up to make simply brilliant television.

There are a few episodes that drag a bit and can’t live up to the heights (that will happen in a 25 episode season) of the best eps, and I think this prevents it as being perfect season, but it is almost as close as a show with this many episodes can get.

Rating = 4.5/5

Overlook TV Series – Dream Stars and Directors

A few months ago, it was announced that JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot would produce a ‘Overlook’ series for HBO Max, and that it would be an anthology series with each episode focusing on a different story that took place at then hotel made famous in ‘The Shining’.

While we have little idea of the plans for this and how it will actually shape out, I think the concept is fascinating and could allow for great collaborations between big stars and directors, as they would only have to commit to one episode.

With that in mind (and I’m trying to be realistic and not just put the biggest names in the industry here) for some star and director collaborations that would be great to see for the individual episodes…

Star: Jodie Comer Writer/Director: Phoebe Waller-Bridge

This is the pairing I would be most excited about if it came to pass. Jodie Comer is my favourite actress right now and she is one of the biggest rising stars in Hollywood, and has worked her career almost entirely on TV so would likely be happy to go back to TV again for this one off episode, and RW-teaming her with Phoebe Waller-Bridge would likely seal that deal.

Waller-Bridge does have a first look deal at Amazon that was signed after the incredible success of ‘Fleabag’ and ‘Killing Eve’, so this is unlikely. However, she has always said she’d love to write another part for Comer, and this could be a great opportunity to do that, and bring her unique style to the horror genre, just like she has done for comedy and thriller already.

Star: David Tennant Writer/Director: Bryan Fuller

David Tennant was originally a contender to star as Hannibal Lecter in Fuller’s Hannibal, and even though the right man got that job in the end, seeing the incredible versatile Tennant team with the stylish Fuller could lead to a very memorable episode.

Star: Tessa Thompson Writer/Director: Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele, With ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’ is one of the hottest film directors in Hollywood right now, but he is also taking big strides into TV, and he could be lured to bring his brand of social and race commentary centric horror content to a one off episode, and it could work even better with the incredible talent of Tessa Thompson in the lead role.

Star: Daisy Ridley Writer/Director: JJ Abrams

JJ is producing this show so directing one episode isn’t out of the question (and he could do with a palette cleanser after the mess he made with ‘The Rise of Skywalker’). Speaking of Star Wars, the lead that Abrams cast in that has struggled for work since, and casting Daisy Ridley here would give her a great chance to show what she can do.

Star: Lily James Writer/Director: Edgar Wright

Lily James is one of the most instantly likeable and charismatic actresses working right now, and has mainly therefore made a career in romantic/comedy films, but she has real dramatic talent that deserves to be highlighted. Partnering her with her ‘Baby Driver’ director Edgar Wright could be genius here, and he could add a real energetic twist of ‘The Shining’ lore.

Star: Emilia Clarke Writer/Director: Alma Har’el

In her post ‘Game of Thrones’ career, Emilia Clarke is looking to broaden her CV and to show the great actress she is, and this is a great opportunity to try a new genre. Bringing in Alma Har’el, the exciting director of ‘Honey Boy’ could be a great combination and be a big career moment for both.

Star: Sophia Lilis Writer/Director: Andres Muschietti

Pairing one of the stand out stars of ‘IT’ with the director of that film for another Warner Bros horror property is a no brained. Lillis is one of the best young actors working today and she could really shine here.

Star: Samuel L. Jackson Writer/Director: Brie Larson

These two have worked together multiple times before, and it would give Larson further opportunity to flex her direction muscles, and give Jackson a rare these days leading role. It’s a no brainier, as long as they have time in their schedule.

Star: John David Washington Writer/Director: Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington isn’t going to star in a one off episode of a TV show, but give him a high budget and the chance to direct his son? Well then I think he’s step behind the camera for it. And having rising star John David Washington would also add real urgency to the project and following ‘Tenet’, potentially a huge rising star.

Star: Rebecca Ferguson Writer/Director: Mike Flanagan

This one is more of a bonus as it would tie into Doctor Sleep, where Rebecca Ferguson was the real stand out as ‘Rose the Hat’ and Mike Flanagan showed yet again why he is become a modern horror master. Seeing the two collaborate again at the Overlook would be a treat.

If any of you guys have any suggestions or things you’d like to see, let me know down below as I’m very interested what people think.

Staged (2020) – TV Review

Due to Corona Virus and the ongoing social distancing/lockdown, people have had to start getting very creative to come up with content from home, and this is one of the very best examples of this so far (Charlie Brooker’s Anti-Viral Wipe as well).

This show starting David Tennant and Michael Sheen, as well as a hilarious set of big name cameos littered throughout, is a genuinely funny and occasionally emotional show about trying to create art in lockdown and also a smart parody of ‘celebrity’.

Tennant and Sheen are genuinely very good here, and Georgia Tennant also stands out as she shows off the acting skills we haven’t seen from her in a while.

Arguably the biggest praise I can give this show is that at times you genuinely forget it’s just being filmed in their homes form computers, and you get lost in the world.

It is 6 episodes that run 15 minutes long, so you can easily watch this in one short viewing, and it would be well worth your time.

Rating = 3.5/5

Killing Eve Season 4 – Predictions

Killing Eve season 3 is over and season 4 is at best a year away, but to film the void the show left, I have been writing specific post focusing on it. Last week I wrote about what “should and should happen” in season 4, and here I will write my genuine predictions, based on the previous seasons, hints we’ve been given, and my own guesses. I hope you enjoy the posts as much as I enjoy writing about the show.

I will also be doing a watchalong of Season 1, Episode 2 this evening which I know many other fans are doing weekly, and everyone else is welcome to join.

Predictions:

1. This won’t be the final season, and the show will wrap up in a fifth season.

2. Eve and Villanelle will both survive the season.

3. Konstantin will die this season, potentially at the hands of Carolyn.

4. The leader of the 12 will be revealed right at the end of the season and it will be a familiar face to audiences (well known actress).

5. Eve and Villanelle will sleep together on screen and start to become an actual coupe (within the BBC/AMC nudity limits of course).

6. Eve and Villanelle will start episode 1 seemingly living separately, but at the end of the episode it is revealed they are in contact and only apart for now as they are being tracked by the 12.

7. Carolyn may be revealed as a member of the 12, if not the leader (this is my wildest swing).

8. Villanelle will reluctantly return to her killing ways, but then become comfortable and confident in it again with Eve’s backing as this time its to take down the 12, not on their behalf.

9. Niko won’t appear.

10. The season will have the iconic one liners and biting humour that resembles season 1.

11. Eve will get to wear more extravagant and fashionable clothing (Sandra Oh can absolutely pull it off as we’ve already seen briefly).

12. Eve and Villanelle will have equal screen time (and potentially an Eve solo episode) and the two will be the absolute focus of the show, not supporting characters

The Thick Of It Season 4 (2012) – TV Review

‘The Thick Of It’ has always been flexible and changed with the times, and this final season fell just a year or two after the coalition government was formed, and this season explores that greatly, with the plot split evenly between the cast of characters we have been used to following, and another set of characters who form one side of the coalition.

While it’s a shame we can’t follow the adventures of Malcolm and co constantly like usual, it almost makes the scenes when they do appear even more effective, and the new cast of characters do a good job.

This season feels like a big experiment built on the good will of previous seasons, and the hour long ‘hearing’ episode gives us real fascinating insight into the characters and a chance to look back on the events that we’ve seen.

It is as well written as a show could possibly be, and the talent involved have all gone on to brilliant careers.

As for Peter Capaldi, he will forever be immortalised as the man with some of the greatest one liners in British history.

Rating = 4/5

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