The Good Fight deserved an Emmy nomination – it’s the definitive piece of post-Trump television

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Indeed, The Good Fight is shaped as an explicitly, brazenly post-Trump drama, intimately in tune with the concerns of the day. The series tackled police brutality, fake news, and the alt-right; it’s a bold, intelligent drama, one that fiercely and unrelentingly persists in its depiction of a post-Trump world. 

An article on The Good Fight, which was amongst my favourite new dramas of 2017. I genuinely, properly love this show – I’ve been massively enjoying the second season, too, which I’m planning on writing about in a few weeks. It’s genuinely just perfect.

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King Charles III is a Shakespearean epic for the modern age

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The central conceit of King Charles III is to posit a world in which Shakespeare survived to satirise a modern monarch in much the same way he did with Richard III or Henry V. Bartlett’s King Charles III is firmly rooted within the Shakespearean tradition, drawing on familiar aspects of the Bard’s work – Diana appears as a ghostly spectre akin to Hamlet’s father, while Kate Middleton fills the role of Lady Macbeth.

But this goes beyond simply remixing familiar archetypes and applying a modern veneer to Shakespeare’s existing work. King Charles III mimics the style of Shakespearean language, written in blank verse; such use of iambic pentameter, rarely seen on television, allows a grandeur of scale that positions the play firmly within a Shakespearean style, but allows it to seek out its own innovations and find a fresh outlook. In turn, then, King Charles III isn’t a ‘greatest hits’ compilation that aims to imitate Shakespeare, but rather a play that seeks to stand among his work.

A piece of King Charles III, the TV adaptation of Mike Bartlett’s award-winning play. I really enjoyed it!

In response to the obvious: no, when I wrote this I had not seen or read very much Shakespeare. Yes, I’m aware it shows. No, I haven’t read or seen a great deal more since, but enough to find the above faintly, albeit endearingly, embarrassing. Yes, I intend to read and watch more Shakespeare.

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Forget a James Bond movie – television should be 007’s new home

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We’re living in a golden age of prestige television, with TV dramas finding popular acclaim on an international scale, not to mention commercial success. It’s not difficult to imagine a James Bond TV series, with time, reaching similar levels of success as Game of Thrones – one of the most popular and well known intellectual properties in the world, James Bond would certainly garner people’s attentions. 

More than that, though, an ongoing television serial would allow for deeper storytelling than we’ve seen in the Bond franchise so far; one of the things Spectre was criticised for was mishandling the conclusion to an ongoing story arc across the movies – a Bond TV show would allow for a far more successful attempt at an ongoing storyline.

A recent post for Yahoo about a James Bond TV show. Within the article itself, I outline a couple of different concepts for the show, so that’s worth checking out.

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Is a sequel to The Night Manager a good idea?

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For one thing, one has to consider the integrity of the piece – given the ending of the first series, what reason is there to reunite our three leads again? It’s obvious that this is happening because of the success of the first series, and it’d be churlish to denigrate the follow-up on that basis – but the question as to whether it’s the only reason for a sequel is worth asking nonetheless.

Perhaps I’m just biased – after all, I was one of the few people who didn’t love The Night Manager, or even particularly like it. From the nasty fridging as the show began, to the thin writing and poor characterisation of Tom Hiddleston’s Jonathon Pine, there were quite a few flaws to the show that stood in the way of my enjoyment of it. And, indeed, they continue to stand in the way of my interest in a sequel.

Short answer: Probably not.

Long answer? Well…

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How The Night Manager gave us the Best TV Villain of 2016

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The Night Manager gave us one of 2016′s best TV villains so far – Hugh Laurie’s Richard Roper, international arms dealer, and supposedly “the worst man in the world”.

Across the first episode, we don’t actually see much of Roper; primarily, we hear of him by reputation, and reputation alone. The murder of Sophie Alekan is attributed to his machinations, and it tears apart the entire world of our protagonist, Tom Hiddleston’s Jonathan Pine; his business associates in Cairo are shown to be thugs and brutes, indulging in their own frequent bouts of violence. We can see the dedication with which Olivia Coleman’s Angela Burr pursues him, throwing all her resources at ensuring his capture, and describing him as “the worst man in the world”.

So when Roper eventually does appear, we expect to hate him. We almost want to hate him. But we can’t, not really. Laurie’s performance is charismatic in the extreme; from his first introduction – “Hello, I’m Dicky Roper” – there’s a sheer, infectious charm about his character. Laurie does a very good job of winning over the audience immediately; primed though we are to hate him, all of that is done away in an instance.

I actually mostly disliked The Night Manager – Tom Hiddleston struck me as uncharacteristically flat, mainly because the only character he was given was a fairly tired fridging/revenge plot – but one thing I loved was Hugh Laurie’s performance as the villain of the piece.

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