May 6, 2011
Stewart Lee is back for another series of his brilliant Comedy Vehicle on Wednesday nights on BBC Two (Thursday’s on BBCHD). On the evidence of the first episode ‘Charity’ it’s gonna be as good as the first series. He’s dropped most of the sketches and instead intersperses the standup with more mock interviews with Armando Iannucci. Only a comedian of Lee’s calibre can stand in silence for twenty seconds and then get a huge laugh by simply saying “Plain”.
The first episode is available to watch on the BBC website for the next month by clicking here where you’ll also find reams of bonus content.
Click here to grab the first series for just £6.99
April 7, 2011
After a recommendation from my brother, I’m halfway through series one of Danish Crime-Drama ‘The Killing’ (Forbrydelsen in Danish). The comparison that first hits you is The Wire. It’s the way this show skillfully blends police procedural, political intrigue and family drama giving them equal weight. But where as The Wire felt like a brilliant examination of the ills of a society through it’s failing institutions. The Killing is much more grounded in everyday family life torn apart and social tensions.
Every episode ends with an excruciating cliffhanger that makes it nigh on impossible to watch just one episode at a time. It can spend 2 or 3 episodes building a suspect’s guilt in your mind (And the minds of the police) to a point when even as a jaded crime viewer you cannot conceive of their innocence. Then a new witness says one sentence and you realise they are totally innocent! The performances are uniformly excellent but special note has to go to Sofie Gråbøl’s DCI Lund (One of the best ever female TV sleuths) and Bjarne Henriksen as the father of the victim Theis. Bjarne’s face is continually contorted with wild emotion suppressed within a gruff masculine shell (To bring back The Wire again, it reminded me of Chris Bauer’s turn as Frank Sobotka).
Be warned… if you have any important plans (Or just need your sleep) do not start watching The Killing! Okay, that’s enough blogging it’s an hour since I saw an episode… I’m getting withdrawal symptoms.