Thursday, 26 November 2015

In Front Of The Telly - The Living And The Dead: River, The Bridge And The Last Kingdom

Yes this is how it is. I spend my life watching telly... when I am not writing posts for this blog. Some of my viewing has been a disappointment... some has been stupendous.

Let me say I do not know what has got up the nose of the telly writers on a certain national TV listings magazine when it comes to the detective series "River". (I know that this finished several weeks ago but I just had to say something about it.) I thought it was a fantastic show. It wasn't "depressing", it wasn't dreary, the lead actors were brilliant, subtle and wonderful (Yes, this includes Stellan Skarsgard) and pardon me for being a viewer that does not mind an "art house ending"... though I am not sure what such a thing is. True, I did lose The Old Man's company after a couple of episodes. Those who follow this blog will know that The Old Man can be challenged when it comes to telling one face from another (this is very variable... some times he sees resemblances that I have not spotted). Add factors such as flashback scenes and "hallucinations" and his brain do give up and he stomps off to do the washing up. Me, I loved the concept of a cop who chats to dead people. In fact I loved it all, acting, plot, photography....

However both The Old Man and I are present and swashing and buckling in front of "The Last Kingdom" - BBC's adaptation of Bernard Cornwell's historical novel series The Saxon Stories. (Well look there are Scandinavians in it, yes?) There are criticisms of the occasional chronological lapse in the prop department... and some reviewers have lashed out at the production as a whole. I did dread a cod CGI'd world of action, stereotypes and gore. But I got drawn into the plot and the action the subtleties. Blimey I wouldn't want a night out with Alfred... I expected a man who burned the cakes to be much more fun... and as for his wife..... Thankfully and praise-worthily (such a word?) the CGI is largely reserved for the landscape. Which is understandable. 9th century England was much emptier than it is now. So...if it is possible to swash, buckle and be thoughtful then "The Last Kingdom" does it for me.

Meanwhile Scandi-Saturdays on BBC Four continue in style with the return of Swedish-Danish production "The Bridge" in its third season. Episodes 1 & 2 set it off to a good start but I suspect that lead character Saga's new Danish cop partner may prove a challenge to The Old Man again.... for I'm not sure who that Danish cop talks to at home or what realm they are in.

On a disappointed note... I am persisting with the second series of French "dead" and "living" drama "The Returned"... but I think it has lost its way... or me. There are an awful lot of scenes between characters involving silent stares and very little conversation. So, so disappointed. I loved the first series.

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