New British shows in February

Dear faithful readers,

I am fully aware Oscars were on last night. Is it ok for me to say I thought it was a bit blah? Yup. Not that funny (maybe they should have gone with Ricky Gervais instead of Hathaway/Franco combo?) I am delighted Colin Firth finally won (yay for that!) and yay for the King’s Speech winning but since I did bet on Geoffrey Rush winning the best supporting role I am a bit bitter about that (the odds on Colin Firth winning were too small, I didn’t even bother). Oh don’t be all shocked, I haven’t bet in ages!


Anyhow instead of harping on about who wore what/who was robbed (Nolan and Inception, sure they did win and I agree on cinematography and visual effects but overall I think that movie was seriously underrated) I will give you a list of a few new and returning British shows that have been hitting the screens over the last few weeks.


Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets


Raymond Blanc is back! I did harp on about him and some of his more complicated dishes (anyone in a mood to make a chocolate spoon and a chocolate cup? You can check how it is done in the trailer below) I do find his latest offering quite refreshing. He loves to cook, he loves to eat and he doesn’t shout – a definite win-win in my book. He can still get fiddly (the episode with shellfish featured a lobster recipe that involved making a jus that is too complicated for me to even attempt and replicate at home but that grilled squid salad looked absolutely delicious). Next episode – cakes and pastries, o la la!

I’ve also found a post on BBC blog written by the show’s producer and it was interesting to read how to show is actually made. All I will say is if they feed me I wouldn’t mind doing the washing up.



Silk


It has been a while since I last saw Rupert Penry-Jones on TV screen. Well he is staring in newest BBC show called Silk. Before your mind wonders no it’s not a spin off from Silk Stalkings, it is a show about the Bar and barristers who are all in competition to become the Queen’s Counsel. Whoever gets the job has to wear silk robes and a rather odd looking wig hence the name – it is called “taking Silk” after the robes. The rest of the cast includes Maxine Peake, Neil Stuke and Natalie Dormer. If you enjoy lawyer-y shows then this one is definitely for you.



Friday Night Dinner


Friday Night Dinner is latest Channel 4 sitcom that stars a face that you have maybe seen before – Simon Bird of Inbetweeners. I like the premise of the show – the two Goodman brothers return to their childhood home every Friday to have dinner with their parents and their gran. But their parents and their gran are a bit odd? Peculiar? I think the PC word would be eccentric? Well how would you call a gran that dances round the house in her bikini? Well that! Anyhow the series was meant for Channel 4 digital channel but they liked the pilot so much it is now shown on the main program. Overall it is giggle inducing.



Mad Dogs


Sky1 had a few shows that I have enjoyed of late – Thorne and Strike Back to name a few. And their productions are all snazzy and shit. But this latest production is not only snazzy and shit but also features quite an impressive cast – John Simm, Philip Glenister, Max Beesley, Marc Warren and Ben Chaplin. It a story about four childhood friends who travel to Majorca to visit their friend Alvo who is retiring. But Alvo is murdered and four friends get involved in world of crime against their own will. I found it funny and not bad at all.



Where are they now? – Veronica Mars

Dear faithful readers,


remember Veronica Mars? Ah we loved Veronica Mars here on Couchslobs. Remember they had a story line that lasted SHOCK HORROR the whole season! And you had to pay attention to keep up with the story? Pffffffft


Unfortunately since the CW decided to cancel it because they needed to make room for quality programming such as 90210 Redux (I still haven’t seen one episode) and something called Shedding for the Wedding we can only reminisce about the good old days.

Anyhow I wanted to check what has Veronica Mars cast been up to.


Rob Thomas (the show’s creator)


Rob Thomas had a number of projects – Party Down which was quite good was cancelled after two seasons and he worked on Cupid Redux (that one only aired 7 episodes). He shortly worked on 90210 Redux for the CW, Viva Laughlin and Miss/Guided. I do hope one of his pilots will get picked up soon (and manage to stay on air longer then a few episodes).


Kristen Bell (aka Veronica Mars)


Kristen Bell has been trying to make her movie career happen ever since Veronica Mars ended. And I don’t blame the girl for trying. But Couples Retreat? Burlesque? Forgetting Sarah Marshall? When in Rome? Even You Again with a formidable cast flopped. She is so much better on television. Luckily I’ve read the news recently Bell has joined cast of Showtime’s House of Lies. Hopefully it will be up to scratch and I’m cautiously optimistic since a) it’s Showtime and they’ve had a good run lately and b) it also stars Don Cheadle and I don’t think he’d attach his name to a project that is destined to flop.


Percy Daggs III (aka Wallace)


Percy wasn’t AS busy as some of her former co-stars but he did manage to snag a spot on Southland, In Plain Sight and Raising the Bar.


Jason Dohring (aka Logan)


Oh Jason Dohring, loved (LOVED) him as Logan. All intense and shit. None can do intense and shit as Jason Dohring. He had a role on Moonlight (that one got cancelled), Party Down (just one episode), CSI and Lie to Me. Now I’ve seen that episode of Lie to Me and he played a sociopath. Is it ok to say he played that role really, really well? Dohring also has a movie out this year called Searching for Sonny.


Francis Capra (aka Weevil)


Francis Capra has worked continuously ever since Veronica Mars ended. And his credits are impressive – Sons of Anarchy, NCIS, Friday Night Lights, Criminal Minds, The Closer, Castle, Heroes, Blue Bloods and Bones. Good you on Francis, good on you.


Teddy Dunn (aka Duncan)


Teddy Dunn did Jumper,Kill Theory and an episode of CSI: NY. He also has a movie out this year called A Good Funeral.


Ryan Hansen (aka Dick)


Ryan Hansen was cast for Party Down, but he also did a fair bit of both movie and TV work in between. he had a stint on Friends with Benefits, Gossip Girl, (818), Rockville CA and something called The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (yeah I don’t get what that is either).


Enrico Colantoni


Aaaaaaah Keith Mars has been missed. But Enrico Colantoni has been busy bee. He had a stint on Brothers & Sisters, Numbers, ZOS: Zone of Separation, Party Down and Bones. But it’s Flashpoint that is keeping him occupied. It is a series about a special tactical team that deals with all types of situations that are too complicated/dangerous for the police to handle. It first aired in Canada but then got picked up by CBS. Colantoni has 3 movies in post-production according to IMDB.

And in case you have been wondering why do we miss Veronica Mars check the video below. And I’ll admit I’m totally biased since I get persnickety too.

Trip down the memory lane – 90s sitcoms

Dear faithful readers,


I like me some blood and gore just as much as the next girl. But sometimes I fancy watching something funny. Really, really funny. And I haven’t found that one show that will make me giggle over the last few years. I’ll start watching something and then just give up half way through. I’ve been watching the Golden Girls and now I’ve switched to Malcolm in the Middle. Now we know 80s were great for sitcoms but 90s were nothing to sneer at either. It is the decade that brought us Friends but Seinfeld too.


So without further ado I will present to you some of the sitcoms I thought were funny back in the day.


Anything but Love


Do you remember this show? It starred Jamie Lee Curtis as Hannah Miller and Richard Lewis as Marty Gold as writers at Chicago Weekly who have romantic feelings for each other but do not want to ruin their friendship so romance is put on a back burner. Given the premise is a bit to sickly sweet for my liking but the show was actually funny. And witty. And clever.



Murphy Brown


How I loved Murphy Brown growing up. I loved her mad painter Eldin (played by Robert Pastorelli and totally OT but I didn’t have a clue he died in 2004 from a heroine overdose), I loved all of her crazy secretaries, I loved all of it.



Mad About You


Mad About You was a bit of a hit and miss with me but overall there were more enjoyable episodes then rubbish ones (if that makes sense). For some reason I also loved it because of it’s New York setting, not that we saw much of that anyway since it was filmed in the studio. And Murray? Cracked me up every single time.



3rd Rock from the Sun


3rd Rock from the Sun gave me horrible case of the giggles quite often. John Lithgow was right on the mark, Joseph Gordon-Hewitt grew up in front of our eyes, I think the whole cast just had this wonderful chemistry together. It did help that writing was quite good too.



Roseanne


We can all agree that Roseanne might be a bit mad but say what you will that lady is funny. Brash, sarcastic but funny too. The show dealt with tons of topics that were deemed controversial at the time like homosexuality, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse – whatever was considered a no-go zone, Roseanne went there. No wonder the show was so successful.



NewsRadio


Don’t know how many of you watched NewsRadio, it is maybe one of those shows you might have caught in the reruns? It is a show about a New York radio station that is full of odd characters and eccentrics. I thought the show was clever, well written and the cast was spot on (that was back in the day when Andy Dick was sort of likable and not known for being such a… well dick really).



So tell me dear readers, do you have any favorite sitcoms from the 90s?

What makes you tune in?

Image: Stock.xchng

Dear faithful readers,

I have been mulling this over the last few days.

Of course we all want to watch shows that are good and we all like to think we have good taste. But I think it’s much more complicated than that.

What makes you tune in?


Is it your favorite writer (I could watch anything written by Rob Thomas)? Your favorite actor/actress?

Is it wizzbangs and doodahs? Or do you want the drama? The laughs? What makes you decide – you know what? I’m going to check this show out next week. How many episodes do you have to see before you decide – right this is the pits, I’m out?

Also I’m curious how loyal are you, if a show suddenly goes off the deep end how long do you give it before you decide you can’t be bothered anymore?


For me with new shows I give it 3 episodes tops. Let’s face it, it is not an accident very small percentage of pilots get picked up. And even shorter percentage of those shows get the whole season pick up. Viewers are fickle and we do have short attention spans. I haven’t been watching any of the shows that started last September.

But as I said I will give it 3 episodes – for example the Good Wife. I thought first episode was good but not ground breaking. Second episode was better but by third episode I was hooked. The Cape on the other hand was laughably bad. And I didn’t have to see more then episode to know that.


With old shows I am more loyal as in I will give plenty of leeway if I like writers/actors/the show premise. For example – Lost. I thought third season was well… not good (but now that I have seen it again and now that I know how it ends I rediscovered and enjoyed it much, much more). And I will readily admit I was just about ready to give up and then they blew my mind away with the season finale (see, I told you – loyal). Then it got really, really good and well I still miss it.


With House I tried. Honest I did. But after 2 seasons of blah I just couldn’t take it anymore. No matter how much I enjoy watching Hugh Laurie on the screen (answer to that one is a lot).


So tell me dear readers what makes you tune in? And what makes you stay? Or in case of your favorite shows when your loyalty gets tested and show is just not good anymore how long will it take before you throw in the towel?