Friday, 6 July 2012

Friday Five: Local TV

Moving to another country is weird in all sorts of ways. Even (or perhaps especially) if you're in a place that speaks that same language and is similar in many ways, you can still get thrown by everyday events, such as 'what's on TV'. Australia appears to be three years behind New Zealand in Coronation Street and, as New Zealand is already at least eighteen months behind Britain, it can all get a bit confusing. Charlie Stubbs popped up the other day, large as life (and twice as ugly)! The second series of Downton Abbey (which I saw in NZ last year) has just begun.

We have got repeats of Doctor Who from the Rose days through the Martha Jones/ Torchwood debacle and the Donna Noble days. I love David Tennant and I really enjoy the Doctor Who Confidential, which strangely manages to add to the magic as it demystifies the secrets. We're also getting old runs of Remarkable Vets, which make me feel nostalgic for the many times Chester visited and was so well looked after. Plus a couple of friends works there, and it's amusing to watch one try and dodge the camera, while another seeks to hog the limelight.

5 TV Programmes I'm Watching:
  1. Silk/ Harry's Law - It may not be fair to put them together, but they are both excellent examples of legal dramas in their own way and representative of their county. Silk is intelligent, well-written, and well-directed, highlighting persoanl, political, and legal concerns. It features great acting from Maxine Peake (Veronica from Shameless and Twinkle from Dinner Ladies), Rupert Penry-Jones (Adam from Spooks) and Neil Stuke (Paul from Grafters) and seems real. As a compariosn, Harry's Law is yet another legal drama by David E Kelly, this time starring the inimitable Kathy Bates with good support work from Nathan Coddry and Mark Valley. It's a lot neater and slicker with jump cuts and obvious musical overlays, and you don't have to think much to follow it, but it's fluffy emotional legal drama and I like it.
  2. Episodes - Relationships, writers, actors, relationships between actors and writers, anglo-American co-operation and miscommunication - it's all there, and it's funny. And Matt LeBlanc is the perfect foil to Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig (both from Green Wing among countless other things).
  3. Tricky Business - worth watching for Antony Starr and the scenery (Wollongong), it's billed as 'an Aussie family drama' about a debt collection company. As it's pretty good, and involves real actors, it will probably be axed in favour of yet another reality cooking/singing/home rennovation/ dancing programme.
  4. Once Upon a Time - Everyone is actually a fairy tale character in a parallel universe, and the evil queen prevents them from knowing the truth. It's as fun to imagine which character you might be (I think I'm the gingerbread house witch) as it is to watch Robert Carlyle play Rumplestiltskin.
  5. Death in Paradise - Ben Miller is a stiff-upper-lipped policeman trying to battle island crime while sweating in a suit in the French Caribbean - kind of like Bergerac with better weather, or a cross between Wild at Heart and Doc Martin. An excellent excuse to film somewhere exotic, and fill the screen with sun-drenched clichés.


Anonymous said...

I loved both series 1 & 2 of Silk. Maxine Peak is a fantastic actor (watched her last night as a slattern in Henry IV) and Rupert Penry Jones is good as the gormless one. Tamsin Greig is Debbie in the Archers so she can do no wrong and I thought that the whole cast of Death in Paradise were great.
We do get some good things on TV.

Kate Blackhurst said...

I know. As long as you manage to avoid most of the reality TV (I have a soft spot for Strictly) there are some great dramas out there.

Kate x