31 May 2016

The bear and the reaper - US TV season 2015-16 in review

  • A lot more early renewals this year; pretty much all of the safe candidates got their new orders in March.
  • The CW surprised everyone by renewing all their scripted series in one go; even the less likely prospects with the exception of Containment that had yet to air at that point. That didn't do well enough to survive; unlike the Belgian show it was based on, Cordon, which has been renewed.
  • Castle botched the wedding last year... and then did a rather stupid break-up plot. The audience started heading for the exit. Castle and Beckett got back together and audiences stabilised, but the departure of Stana Katic was the final straw for me, along with much of the fanbase. A Beckett-less ninth season would have come in for considerable negative publicity and I'm not surprised that ABC decided not to go ahead with it.
  • Of Prophets and Kings became another member of the 'two and axed' club, the most ignominious fate a TV show can suffer; those gone after one will at least attract some notoriety.
  • I really don't know what made CBS take such an exception to Person of Interest. One of the best shows I've ever seen.
  • The Blacklist was always going to get a fourth season; it's still very good indeed if you realise that Liz Keen is fundamentally unsuited for the life she has ended up in. Of course the show did have to work around Megan Boone's pregnancy and did so in a very interesting manner... It has also got a spinoff starring Famke Janssen, who is best known to me for playing Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye.
  • There were the usual batch of bad ideas that got ordered and didn't last long; Rush Hour for example.
  • Agent Carter was a surprise renewal last year, but the axe this year was no surprise. Good show, but never got decent ratings. At least Atwell's Conviction pilot got ordered to series and I may well check that out.
  • The CSI franchise has finally died; Cyber was a silly idea for a spinoff.

13 May 2016

'Castle' cancelled after eight seasons

Multiple sources are saying that the ABC dramedy will not be coming back for a ninth season.

I am sad but also relieved. The show started getting silly and without Stana Katic in it wouldn't have been worth watching.

Best to end it now. In fact ending it last season or even at Season 6 would have been even better.

I'll miss it of course, but I am sure something new will come along that I will enjoy just as much.

06 May 2016

Captain America: Civil War - Mini Review

I saw this yesterday at one of my local cinemas and have to say that it was very good. I admit the plot got a tad hard to follow at times, but keeping me thinking obviously helped distract me at points.

The action scenes were superb throughout, combining humour with spectacular special effects and I have to say that the plot was a pretty good one, serving the characters well. The outcome felt genuinely up for grabs, which made the climax more tense.

Also, got to say that a certain new character was just on the right side of annoying.


Better than expected but not by much - 2016 local elections

Labour have lost fewer councillors than predicted but still lost overall. That is not good enough to win in 2020 by any stretch of the imagination.

Going backwards in Scotland and Wales makes the job harder as we have to win more seats in England.

Corbyn needs to stop making unforced PR errors. That's not even covering the anti-Semitism issue; I am really not happy about the response there.

If Ken Livingstone is allowed to remain in the party of what he has said, I will leave it.

02 May 2016

Congratulations to Leicester City

After the 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham tonight, Leicester City, a side at 5000-1 odds to win the title and in fact tipped for relegation, have won the Premier League for the first time.

This is a truly epic achievement and I heartily congratulate them; I sincerely hope this is the start of great times for the club.

I'll pass on watching the first Match of the Day next season though... Gary Lineker in his underpants isn't a sight I want to see...