Box Watch Postscript

Despite the promise of The Street‘s pilot, subsequent eps have disappointed. I thought their About Schmidt-ep with Jim Broadbent was a blip but when it was followed by The Crucible-ep with Neil Dudgeon, and Timothy Spall’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?-ep, we cried uncle. Four episodes into the season might be overly generous and forgiving of us but I think it shows how much the acting talent elevated the scripts. Tch.

Last man standing is Burn Notice which, though light and disposable like a LAW, remains breezy and entertaining with no soapy aftertaste. Man cannot get by on one show alone – sure, I’ve a backlog of DVDs to watch study but I need my fix of regular programming and the current free-to-air schedule is, in a word, desolate.

And thanks to the very connected Motorbike Steve, The Goddess and I’ve enjoyed the pilots for Bionic Woman and Dirty Sexy Money, and look forward to more. Arriving soon is the much anticipated Pushing Daisies and the rather intriguing Dexter.

Also – miracle of miracles – we’ve just embarked on a seven season retrospective of Homicide: Life on the Street. That series nails everything so well, it’s only things like the ubiquitous smoking and the box-shaped cars that date it. Damn, it’s good.

Summer’s not looking so shabby after all.


Box Watch Update

Those TV nuggets were, of course, hiding on the VCR.

  • Jimmy McGovern‘s The Street is an excellent example of an involving drama that shows fully-realised individuals and their complex, interconnected relationships with their loved ones and the wider community. Such material may be grist for the soap opera mill, but in the hands of Mr McGovern, his collaborators and an ensemble cast that includes Jane Horrocks, Jim Broadbent and the ever excellent Timothy Spall, we’re in meaty Mike Leigh and Ken Loach territory. It took me a while to warm to it but The Goddess loved it because it’s all about relationships.
  • Equally satisfying was Burn Notice, a spy/P.I. series cut from the same cloth as Eighties classics Stingray and MacGyver, and lined with the cool absurdity of David Niven‘s Casino Royale and the sudden violence of True Lies. It’s got a light touch that’s rare in American television, and enough home-made gadgets, action set-pieces and one-liners to have me grinning by hour’s end.

(Am looking forward to Pushing Daisies after reading the Vidiotsreview – particularly since its premiere inspired one of them to poetry.)