The Past Month on TV #14

After last month’s bumper-bonus TV review (with three major series to review, plus a couple of big specials), the past four weeks have been pretty quiet. I’ve certainly watched stuff, just very little of it feels worthy of comment.

Nonetheless, there was this:

The Missing (Series 2)
The Missing series 2While everybody’s busy fawning over Happy Valley (never watched it) and Line of Duty (series one was quite good; I need to catch up), I reckon The Missing is one of the best dramas British TV has produced in a good long while. The second series (which aired towards the end of last year over here and, coincidentally, started last Sunday in the US) is every bit the equal of the first, and possibly even better — and considering how good the first was, that really is an achievement.

Featuring a brand-new case (what with the first one having been resolved), sibling screenwriters Harry and Jack Williams have this time made their story and scripts even tighter, partly in awareness of the scrutiny fans exacted upon the first run. What that means in practice is every mystery has an answer; nothing is thrown away, nothing is a mistake. That’s even more impressive given some of the audacious twists they pull off, which I shan’t spoil here.

As well as the enjoyable plot theatrics, the emotional lives of the characters are as on point as ever. Maybe none are quite as effective as the toll exerted on James Nesbitt’s character in series one, but the cast is arguably more well-rounded beyond a sole lead. Talking of which, the only major returning character, Tchéky Karyo’s detective Julien Baptiste, is even more central this time, which can only be a good thing because he’s a top character expertly brought to life. The writers agree: while a third series of The Missing is contingent on them having a good idea for a story, they’ve talked about potentially conjuring up a Baptiste spin-off instead.

I’ve recently been thinking about my favourite TV series of the last ten years. There are rather a lot of contenders, considering the golden age of “peak TV” we’re currently living through. Frankly, I’m not sure if The Missing will quite crack the top ten, but it’s definitely in the conversation.

The British Academy Film Awards 2017
The BAFTAs 2017aka the BAFTAs, obv. I have to say, I thought it was a pretty dull show this year. For starters, Cirque du Soleil — impressive, but what’s it got to do with the last year in film? Why did no one write Stephen Fry some good material for his opening monologue? Then there were the awards themselves. Short on surprises — the big prizes went where expected, the smaller ones erred British. None of the American winners are committed to giving a decent speech here because they’re saving it all for the Oscars. Well, apart from the Kubo guy — he knows his award is going to Zootropolistopia next fortnight and so he gave us his best stuff. Good on him.

Also watched…
  • Death in Paradise Series 6 Episodes 2-6 — Caribbean murder.
  • Elementary Season 5 Episodes 4-9 — Sherlockian murder.
  • The Flash Season 3 Episodes 10-11 / Arrow Season 5 Episodes 9-11 — not much need to investigate the murders here, as the heroes are doing them half the time.
  • Who Dares Wins Series 9 Episodes 5-6 — they’ve had to cut out the National Lottery bits now they’ve dropped that from TV, and they’re shunting it around the schedule like an unloved heirloom they’ve committed to display but really rather wouldn’t… and it is a kind of terrible show, really… but the lists, man, they keep me coming back. #addict

    Things to Catch Up On
    LegionIt must be a slow time for TV — I don’t even feel like I’ve been missing all that much. Well, X-Men spin-off Legion recently started and I haven’t got round to that yet, and 24 spin-off / sequel / continuation 24: Legacy started in the UK last night, so I’ve barely had a chance to watch it (I’ll have something to say about that next month, then). So I really have no excuse for not watching Westworld yet. Oh, and I need to get on with starting my long-planned re-watch of Twin Peaks, because there are only…

    94 days until new Twin Peaks.

    Next month… the final series of Broadchurch begins.

  • 7 thoughts on “The Past Month on TV #14

    1. Oh God, 94 days? I have zero chance of rewatching the original Twin Peaks (boxset accusingly gathering dust on shelf) by then. The new series was announced so long ago I thought I had plenty of time but here you go, its coming along fast now.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Sorry to add to the ‘to see’ list, but have you been watching TABOO? BBC go HBO/Starz with this one, a dark and violent thriller with supernatural overtones set in grim, grimy pre-Victorian England – worth a watch.

      This month I mainly spent rewatching SPARTACUS – a favourite from several years ago, and while it might have been running out of steam towards the end it remained such fun and so compelling. Gratitude 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I keep kind of forgetting Taboo is on, though it sounds right up my street. I’ve got a series link quietly ticking over in the background, I just need to bother to actually watch it!

        I never watched Spartacus. It looked a bit too trashy when it started and I never paid it much heed. Is it worth adding to The List, then?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think the first episode or so does look trashy, as though it’s overdoing sex and violence to mask the weak plotting… But stick with it. Once the action moves to the ‘Ludus’ where Spartacus is forced to train as a gladiator it soon starts picking up.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Crikey, Spartacus was great fun. I’d love to give that another go.

        Which makes me think about shows I really enjoyed and bought on disc to tewatch on a binge sometime. I have boxsets of Spartacus, Chuck, Fringe… a few others. Theres never enough time. I could just rewatch those and it’d fill all my time. I’ve tried rewatching BSG and am stuck near the end of season one. Will I manage to return to it or will the rewatch stumbleto failure?

        Liked by 2 people

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