2013 on Screen

2013 went by rather quickly, didn’t it?

Here’s my best–of, in no particular order.


2013 was a year when, more often than not, the fifteen or so bucks I paid to watch a feature on the big screen felt like money well spent.

Zero Dark Thirty
Iron Man 3
The Big Year
The Guard
Utu Redux
Unit 7
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Saving Mr Banks


For Mr White and friends, it was the end of an era — long live the king. As life goes on, Florrick & Associates continues to pull strongly, the Houses of Stark, Lannister, et al, remain compulsive viewing, and Nurse Peyton prevails in her adventures with prescription medicines.

Arrow — Seasons 1–2
Secret State
— Season 1
Top of the Lake
The Americans
— Season 1
The Newsroom — Season 2
The Fall — Season 1

In another box–heavy year, honourable mentions to Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Endeavour, Karen Sisco, Last Resort, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and The Fosters. Not perfect, some no longer with us, some not really my cuppa, but good, well–made telly.

Onwards, ho!


White vs Crawley

Fortress Mamea had been pretty good at hoarding recordings of the final eps of Breaking Bad, until loose lips in the real world threatened to spoil the surprise. A little bit of binge-watching has remedied this somewhat.


Our WRITER and his GODDESS remember to breathe again as the end credits roll on ep 14 of “Breaking Bad”.


Oh what will we watch when this is over?


Season four of “Downton Abbey” returns soon.


But not it’s not the same.

I suppose not.


About Time —

— writers got some television-love: there’s a new show called The Writers’ Room that’s about – you guessed it – TV shows’ writers’ rooms.

Host Jim Rash with the “Breaking Bad” team.

Yah, bring it.



I realised with a bit of a shock that 2013 is the year in which two must-see TV shows end their runs: Breaking Bad and Mad Men.

Salon has a nice piece by Joe Winkler on the impending departure of 30 Rock and The Office. It’s about sitcoms but the sentiments are similar:

In the most recent episode of “30 Rock” — there are only two more remaining in the series — Kenneth Parcell and Tracy Jordan discuss the reason behind Kenneth’s childlike love of television. Tracy guesses: “Despite cellphones, iPads and computers, they are still the most effective portals for poltergeists?” No, Kenneth tells him, It’s “because nothing ever really changes, the people you care about never leave.”

Even though it hurts like hell, good things do come to an end – how else can we remember them with fondness?


2012 on Screen

I’ve seen more titles this year than in any other since official records began in 2003. I’d like to think the year’s expanded viewing-slash-research goes some way toward explaining why posts on this blog have tended towards commentary rather than craft.


Tropa De Elite
(Elite Squad) and Tropa De Elite – O Inimigo Agora E Outro (Elite Squad – The Enemy Within)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
The Avengers
Never Let Me Go
The Angel’s Share
This Must Be the Place
La Jetee
End of Watch

Yes, that’s more than ten for the year but those 2011-and-earlier titles were just so damned good that I had to name-drop them.


Panama-hat-tips to The Good Wife, Mad Men, Justified, Nurse Jackie and Breaking Bad for continuing to be must-see telly three or more seasons into their respective runs. It’s sad that Mad Men and Breaking Bad will finish in the coming year but all good things do come to an end.

Hung – Season 2
Justified – Season 3
The Good Wife – Seasons 3-4
Inside Men – Season 1
Dirk Gently – Season 1
Game of Thrones – Seasons 1-3
Mad Men – Season 5
Nurse Jackie – Season 4
The Newsroom – Season 1
Hit & Miss
Longmire – Season 1
The Golden Hour
Breaking Bad – Season 5
The Bletchley Circle
Last Resort
Monroe – Season 2
Boardwalk Empire – Season 1
Vegas – Season 1
The Sopranos – Season 1

Late adopter excuse/s for ‘discovering’ Smith, Boardwalk Empire and Sopranos.

A great year for UK telly with The Bletchley Circle and Hit & Miss.

And sun-hat-tips to the excellent The Golden Hour that almost, almost, made me want to watch the Olympics, and the lamented Hounds.


Leilani Unasa’s His Mother’s Son
P-Lab’s Hypothesis One
Louise Tu’u‘s Gaga: the unmentionable

Disclosure: All three pieces are by Banana Boat colleagues,


Fifth and Final

Yay that X-Files alumnus Vince Gilligan‘s Breaking Bad has returned to the airwaves Stateside.

Boo that a). it’s the final season, and b). that it’ll be split up into two parts of eight eps each*.

All good things must, I suppose, come to an end.

Fortress Mamea awaits our free-to-air broadcasters’ programming whims.


2011 on Screen

These are straight from the viewing diary. Those that I remember with a smile get some link-love.


  13 Assassins
  Animal Kingdom
  Another Year
  Born into Brothels
  Frozen River
  Get Low
  Leaves of Grass
  Please Give
  El secreto de sus ojos
  The Social Network
  The Women on the Sixth Floor


  30 Rock: Season 1
  Go Girls: Season 2
  Breaking Bad: Season 4
  Downton Abbey: Season 1-2
  The Good Wife: Season 3
  Justified: Season 2
  Monroe: Season 1

There were some shows that were real… curate’s eggs that I wanted to try and be objective about but then I remembered that Sunday School chestnut about pointing fingers and the other three pointing right back at you. (Yeah, I chickened out.)


2010 in Film and Television


    Better Off Ted – Season 2
    Breaking Bad – Seasons 1-3
    Defying Gravity – Season 1 (a pox on whoever described it as “Greys Anatomy in space”)
    The Good Wife – Seasons 1-2
    Glee – Season 1
    Justified – Season 1
    Little Dorrit (fedora-tip to The Big A for putting us onto this)
    Modern Family – Seasons 1-2
    Nurse Jackie – Season 2
    The Unusuals – Season 1 (fedora-tip to MC Ash for the ah, tip)
    The Walking Dead – Season 1

A toast to Better Off Ted, Defying Gravity and The Unusuals, all cancelled, and all sorely missed.

Breakout television for 2010? Zombies, natch.


    The American
    District 9
    Green Zone
    I Love You Phillip Morris
    Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

    Let the Right One In
    The Men Who Stare at Goats
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    The Road
    Sherlock Holmes
    A Single Man
    Star Trek

Film of the year? Boy. God damn your eyes, Waititi.