All 3 entries tagged Drama

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May 26, 2007

A Tale of Two TV Shows


Twelve months ago, I would have told you 24 was the most rewarding TV show that I watched and that Lost was the most frustrating.

Twelve months on, I’d have got it all the wrong way round.

Both series finished their sixth and third seasons respectively this week, and while 24 was annoying, predictable, dull and just awful, Lost was absolutely flipping amazing.

In 24, having had a double Emmy-award winning second season, we were thrown a sort of ‘greatest hits’ series full of rehashed plots from previous ‘days’ in the life of Jack Bauer. Nukes, kidnappings, White House conspiracies and foreign embassy shootouts. All done before, and all done again. It was poor, and the finale did nothing to redeem this season. A pathetic ‘shock twist’ involving a much-loved character was so predictable I nearly fell asleep.

But Lost was sublime. The producers of the show had referred to a “snake in the mailbox” which would bite us when we put our hand in the last episode. And bloody hell, did it do that. Serious spoilers now… The series’ flashbacks have been an integral part of the show, and the non-linear plot has made the show special. So how about a forward-flash? The final scene took us (according to the internet, three years) forward in time, to a meeting between two of the show’s main characters. They’ve made it off the island. But they’re not both happy. One has gone into a major psychological slide, and wants to go back to the island. Not everyone made it off the island. And one of the characters has just got into a coffin. Oh, and did I forget to mention that back in ‘normal time’, they think they’re about to get rescued from the island they crash-landed on? Except they’re not, and it’s a trap.

And then the season ends.

Every time the show gives us an answer, it throws up a billion more questions. And it’s brilliant. There’s only going to be 48 more episodes. And I can’t believe they’ll be anything other than amazing. If you’ve not got into the show yet, you need a box-set or three.

November 03, 2006

The shoddy production values State Within

What do you get if you put Doctors on in Primetime?

Answer: The State Within, the new serial drama on BBC One.

Now you might think I’ve gone barking mad, as the show had nothing to do with doctors and was indeed about a transatlantic conspiracy.

But what I mean is what happens when you put the daytime TV soap Doctors on in Primetime?

Because despite my high hopes for this show, it had more in common with a cheap British soap opera than the glossy American drama it aspired to be.

Principally, the direction was abysmal. Camera angles were predictable, static and so blindingly poor that you noticed them. That’s not supposed to happen. There were virtually no tracking shots, and as a viewer I felt like my eye-lids had been stuck together with glue because it was all so uninteresting to watch.

The script was unbelievable. A U.S. air marshal apparently goes up and down the plane telling people to turn off their laptops. Wrong. The governor of Virginia rounds up Muslims. Wrong. Two men start kissing despite showing no interest in each other beforehand. Wrong.

The editing was shite. There was one scene change that was so badly done you didn’t realise they’d moved to a different room! One minute the U.S. Secretary of Defense is giving a press conference, the next she’s addressing one man. What?!

Some of the actors, such as Jason Isaacs, did their best with the appalling material they were given.

But essentially this show was hackneyed tripe. If only they’d bothered to watch a few episodes of CSI, Prison Break or 24 they’d have realised how it’s done. Instead they seem to have tried to create an Americanised drama without actually checking it out first.


October 22, 2006


Being woken at 3am by a U.F.O. is slightly scary.

However it does mean that when you realise it’s not a U.F.O., but a police helicopter shining a spotlight on your window, it is somehow reassuring.

Of course when the aliens cops are running through your garden it does remind you that a murderer on the loose could actually be worse than having an alien in your garden..

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