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 British TV recommendations for Yanks
Jonathan Hertzberg
Posted: Aug 31 2011, 11:48 AM


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QUOTE (Julian Knott @ Aug 6 2011, 02:53 PM)
I really liked LUTHER, but friends say it's unrealistic, and relies too much on convenient plotting. Star Idris Elba (THE WIRE) is very charismatic, as is the aforementioned Ms Wilson (who doesn't feature quite so prominently in the second series). There is a new recurring female character in the second series, who's also very compelling.

I quite enjoyed the first series of LUTHER, which I just finished on Netflix Instant. I can see the criticism about "convenient plotting," but the same thing would apply to so many other shows / films of this ilk, British or otherwise.


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Lang Thompson
Posted: Sep 25 2011, 08:42 AM


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I just finished The IT Crowd which is fantastic. The first couple of eps were a bit too sitcom-y (loud laugh track, etc) but that doesn't really matter. It was also nice to see some plausibly geeky geeks, especially now that The Big Bang Theory has been consistently de-geeking its characters.

Monkeydust didn't do much for me - some decent sketches but all the grim, dark attitude gets to be a little silly. Saw part of Hustle which the US show Leverage really used as a model. Tried to watch Campus, the follow-up from the Green Wing people, but it was such humorless going I gave up. Got through the first disc of The Mighty Boosh but something about it seemed half-baked and that's probably all I'll ever watch. Second season of Being Human though was probably better than the first if for no other reason than they dropped the voice-over what-we've-learned morals.
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Bob Lindstrom
Posted: Sep 25 2011, 01:22 PM


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In my previous post I somehow failed to mention "Psychoville," a two-season (so far) black comedy created by some of the talents behind "The League of Gentlemen." Incredible stuff.
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Terry Barhorst, Jr.
Posted: Sep 25 2011, 08:12 PM


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I'm working my way through the Tomorrow People. The Tomorrow People are Homo Novus/Homo Superior a new species of human capable of teleportation, telekenesis and telepathy and incapable of violence (stun guns notwithstanding) and it being a kids show, they're all kids and/or young adults.

I've currently stalled in series 2; finished the Blue and the Green but haven't started the Doomsday Men cause I'm working my way through the five Foo books. The Tomorrow people is solid science fiction, even if the effects would make the Doctor Who sfx guys of the same period cringe a little. They keep a token human around so they can explain things (like telekenesis) him (and the audience) and also to knock heads when they're more evolved methods fail. It's nice pre-bedtime viewing.



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Scott Crossland
Posted: Nov 4 2011, 04:27 AM


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TOP BOY has just finished in the UK on the beeb. There was a lot of talk about it being Britain's equivalent of THE WIRE but frankly that's wide of the mark.
It follows a couple of brothers on a housing estate in London and their lives in the drug game.
Superbly acted and brilliantly directed. Well worth seeking out.
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Barry Kraus
Posted: Nov 18 2011, 11:19 AM


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An interesting 1968 ITC Series for the DANGER MAN/AVENGERS/SAINT/GERRY ANDERSON Series type Fan, that had a short run in the States in the early-mid 1970's(I would catch episodes on NY's WOR Ch.9 on Sundays around 1975/76), was "THE CHAMPIONS"...

International Nemesis Agents Craig Sterling, Sharron Macready & Richard Barrett crash land in Tibet after stealing bacteriological material from the Chinese. Dying, they are rescued by an unknown Lost Tibetan tribe & civilization (similar to JOE COTTEN & the inhabitants of "LATITUDE ZERO") who give them each a special heightened super-human power for the use of good. Upon returning from their mission & to their home base, they keep their powers & experience in Tibet a secret, even from their Nemesis Leader, Tremayne. Each story takes place in a different country & the series lasted only 30 episodes.

I enjoyed it as a pre-teen, though watching it now, the low budget offered the writers not much leeway, hence, the lower than par stories. This failed to make the concept a successful superhero version of "THE AVENGERS", though it tries. Maybe having BRIAN CLEMENS or American Writer HARRY JULIAN FINK(T.H.E. CAT/DIRTY HARRY) as a story editor would have made it work better. The Show was created by MONTY BERMAN, who worked on "THE SAINT/DEPARTMENT S/RANDALL & HOPKIRK/& THE BARON". Besides "THE SAINT" w/Roger Moore & the later incarnation w/Ian Ogilvy, I do not know if these other Berman Shows were shown in the U.S....

The lead Actors, which include American Stuart Damon, do work & they are appealing in their interactions as they try to keep straight faces. The prologues to each episode were usually the best part, giving an example & explaining how each of the 3 characters has been given a special gift, & demonstrating what it is & how they use it to do good.
The one thing I would have fired the producers immediately for, is for accepting "The Lamest. most Horrible" Theme Song "ever" composed for a 60's Spy Series. It is atrocious & thankfully forgettable. If the show was given a cool Guitar/Bass-riffing Theme, it would have created a background tone that would've raised the quality 100%. Undoubtibly another one of the reasons why the show flopped... ninja.gif

This post has been edited by Barry Kraus on Nov 18 2011, 11:28 AM
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Lisa Larkin
Posted: Nov 21 2011, 11:51 PM


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I've never seen the original RANDALL & HOPKIRK but the 2000 redo played on BBC-America. It looks like the original series was put out on DVD by A&E so it is available in R1. The 2000 version isn't, surprisingly, though it is readily available in R2. Among the actors who guested on it were Tom Baker, David Tennant, Charles Dance, Hugh Laurie, Martin Clunes, Richard Todd, Simon Pegg, Eleanor Bron and Derek Jacobi. Apparently they are taking another run at it:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821129/
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Mark Entwistle
Posted: Nov 22 2011, 02:36 PM


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The original RANDALL AND HOPKIRK was one of my favourite series as a child, and it held up surprisingly well on a recent viewing. The last R1 box set only featured about half of the episodes as far as I know, but the R2 release is complete and looks better than it ever has before.

Oddly enough the 2000 series has dated badly, and it was a major disappointment in the first place, substituting gimmicky cameos for the wit and warmth of the original. So I suppose there's still room for a remake, redundant though it would be.


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