Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Television: Binging Is The Right Word

It'd be a bit misleading to say that I've spent the Christmas break holed up watching television series, and more accurate to suggest that I've been watching television series to procrastinate from doing the essay that's in for Monday evening. It's probably also why I'm choosing to write a blog about said television series, but that's alright. I just have to learn LaTeX and Harvard Referencing before actually writing the essay and we'll be all good.

First off there was the 'Netflix Original' 'Orange Is The New Black'. I wasn't entirely sure what it was about but there were some good things said around the interweb, and it has Laura Prepon in the cast so it can only be good, right? (Right). I heard somebody describe it as one of the most solid first series they've ever seen and they're right because it's damn good. Basically, a rather middle-class woman committed a crime earlier in her life which they eventually caught her for and it's the story of how she copes in an all-women prison. I like the way it deals with subjects such as how people perceive her to be above the other inmates because of her status within society. It gives a really interesting view of the world outside the jail as well as within it. The only thing that nags me is that one of the guards seems to be a cartoon character, but I think they've just pushed a 'worst case scenario' which is probably quite plausible.

The other series that I got through in a day was Sky/Canal+ 'The Tunnel'. The idea comes out of Crime Fiction's epicenter in Scandinavia where 'The Bridge' told a similar story set on - get this - the bridge from Sweden to Denmark. The story weaves between so many different sub-plots that it can often become quite confusing but the concept itself - a body is found exactly on the midpoint between France and England within the Eurotunnel, the legs on the English side with the torso on the French - already makes for gripping viewing. The acting of the main cast is top class, especially the two in the middle of the investigation with a handful of others around the side.

I'm a massive fan of the Kevin Spacey line of thinking to allow audiences to binge, as seen with Netflix and Lovefilm's own series especially; Spacey's own House of Cards being one of the major attractions to the former. However sometimes you just don't have that luxury and so week-by-week you sit down in front of the television (the only time as a family) and ready yourselves for the latest installment of the most recent hit-show. This, at the moment, is of course 'Sherlock'. The third season started on New Year's Day and it's already quite a hit, although I don't think it quite lives up to the previous series. I thought that the first episode was a great follow-up to the end of last season but the filling of this series took a step backward.

I think that 'Sherlock' benefits from shorter series in a similar way to shows like 'Luther' in that it allows for short bursts of very high output - which in turn leaves the watcher wanting more, rather than overloading them with 25 episodes like some of the shows from our cousins across the pond - so I was fairly disappointed with 'The Sign of Three' but I do hope that the final episode will make up for it.

Well, that was it for my Christmas break. Did you happen to watch anything good? I have accumulated a rather large amount of series to watch, including all of The Wire which both me and my father received for Christmas - but hey, you can never have enough Idris Elba!

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