Category Archives: TV

What Remains

What Remains

I’ve been watching more TV dramas this year, mainly BBC ones. I watched The Village, which was good but quite bleak and The White Queen which started off well but didn’t quite hold my attention for the whole series.

My favourite so far has been What Remains, which concluded on Sunday. It’s a very atmospheric and disturbing thriller, totally complusive with a masterful cast. It’s had good reviews, including this Telegraph one but I agree more with this Guardian one, in particular the implausibility of whodunnit. However, that’s a very minor niggle; I thoroughly recommend this drama. It’s immersed me for a very intense, chilling and perplexing four hours.


I don’t like Masterchef. To me cooking is about enjoying yourself not putting yourself under ludicrous amounts of pressure. Why on earth would home cooks go and put themselves through Masterchef? Also, what’s the stupid over-dramatic music about?


It’s not often that I rave about a TV series but this latest nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough is simply superb. Visually stunning, these stories from the African animal kingdoms inspire wonder, delight and occasionally sadness.

Paralympics 2012

I am enjoying the Paralympics very much but the whole experience of watching it on TV is marred by the coverage on Channel 4. Not only are some of the commentators second rate but the ad breaks drive me mad. The one redeeming element of the C4 coverage is The Last Leg which is very, very funny indeed.

I just happened to be in London during the Paralympic Games. The atmosphere in the capital was fantastic.

Martina Cole’s The Take

I watched all four episodes of The Take over two evenings as it was available in HD on Virgin On Demand. It’s the story of two cousins who are a part of the East End’s criminal network and their girlfriends.

The plot spans 10 years from 1984. I especially loved watching the fashions, hairstyles, decor, music etc change through the decade. There is a lot of violence and bad language but it doesn’t feel gratuitous. It all felt a bit like Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrels, but without the humour. The main character, Freddie Jackson, is a criminal psychopath and most of the shocking behaviour comes from him. Tom Hardy, who plays him, is incredibly menacing, though I couldn’t take him 100% seriously as he had what I think of as a comedy cockney accent. Still, I liked The Take a lot. It’s very stylish and, while the plot is very slightly ridiculous, it’s a cracking story.

One Good Turn

This is a decent read, addictive as claimed on the jacket, and kept me guessing. Unlike how I felt about Case Histories (the first book in the Jackson Brodie series) I was satisfied with how all the endings were tied up. I felt that some parts of the plot were a little cliched though, the prime example of which was the powerful businessman employing a dominatrix. But I do love how KA brings her characters to life by devoting long passages to their thoughts which I get lost in. I think that’s the best aspect of her writing. A special mention has to go to the bit where someone has to explain to his brother that there has been mix-up and he is not dead as previously reported. I cried with laughter. Twice.

The TV series of the Jackson Brodie novels is called Case Histories and is currently being shown on BBC HD. I thought I would read the books before watching their dramatisations. The books Case Histories, One Good Turn and When Will There Be Good News? have each been made into two part dramatisations. I thought the Case Histories episodes looked good (pretty scenes of Edinburgh, good looking cast and mostly decent casting) but the translation to screen didn’t work for me; it all felt very disjointed. I watched only the second part of One Good Turn (annoyingly I mistakenly deleted the recording of the first part) and felt the same. I’m now debating whether I should try watching When Will There Be Good News? before reading the book, to see whether I’ll enjoy the programmes more if I don’t know anything about the plot beforehand.

(23rd in 2012)

The Tube

I’ve been watching The Tube on BBC2 on the recommendation of my uni friends. The programme has been fascinating. I think it’s clear to any tube user that there is a high level of organisation required but I didn’t realise quite how much goes on behind the scenes.

I don’t mind using the tube but at peak times it’s not fun. I’m always surprised at how impatient people are. Last time I was in London my ticket didn’t open the barrier so I had to turn around to go to another barrier manned by staff. The girl behind me let out the most pained sigh. She’d been delayed a maximum of 5 seconds. The programme confirms that people have this attitude. Travellers don’t care about other people, not even when someone is injured. They just want to get to where they want to go. I guess this is the downside to London’s buzz of millions of people: it’s just not possible to feel connected to each other.

Super Smart Animals

I’ve enjoyed this series so far. I liked this dog in particular:

Also in this episode, during the cooperating elephants feature, there was a song that I recognised. It drove me mad trying to remember what it was. Finally something stirred in my brain: it was something to do with an Apple advertisement. Much later I realised it was from the ipad2 video. Bloody Apple, finding yet another way to drive me mad. Anyway, this is the song: