Category Archives: Television

Space Force

Covid-19 Day 75

Space Force is an American comedy web television series created by Greg Daniels and Steve Carell, starring Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers and Tawny Newsome.

The series centers on a group of people tasked with establishing the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Space Force. Carell’s character, Mark Naird, is the general in charge of the effort and the series follows his collaboration to get “boots on the moon” per the orders of the President.


As others have pointed out, this should be sharper and more satirical. The premise is good and there are a few laugh out loud moments. But mostly is’s wryly observed humour about the USA military forces.

Ben Schwartz is fun as a very bad PR man. Carrell is an obvious choice to plan the General, although he does come dangerously close to his Gru (Despicable Me) character and generally shouts a lot. It’s not that hard to play an incompetent military character.

But it’s Malkovick who is the real star. Playing the Chiel Scientist, he gets to be the voice of reason and often the Generals savior.

In the end they get to the moon, but what happens next seems to end the series for good.

 

 

1L Bridge

Covid-19 Day 65

TV Series: One Lane Bridge

During a murder investigation at Queenstown’s infamous One Lane Bridge, ambitious young Maori Detective, Ariki Davis, inadvertently reawakens a spiritual gift that endangers the case, his career and his life.


It’s a Kiwi murder mystery set in one of New Zealand’s most scenic regions. Cue long shot of mountains, fast flowing rivers and men walking across the landscape with intent.

It starts OK,  dead, a body under bridge. Who, when and why. Only Police Officer Stephen Tremaine (Joel Tobeck) can figure this out. Then young Auckland detective, Ariki Davis (Ona-Ariki) turns up. And he seems to have some extra sensory skills. He keeps seeing things. Will this lead to the killer, will there be weird stuf giong down.

Sadly, no. It all ends with a hilltop confession by the killer. And in the end it all boils down to that old human vice: Sex.

Jared Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Peter McCauley, Sara Wiseman

Zoey

Covid-19 Day 51

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is an American musical comedy-drama television series created by Austin Winsberg that premiered on January 7, 2020, on NBC. The series stars Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke, a programmer who discovers she has the ability to hear the innermost thoughts of people as songs.

If you were wondering where all the singing, dancing Hollywood actors are – they turned up in this show. While they call all sing and dance with skill, the best by far is Alex Newell.

Alex Newell

The premise is that Zoey can see people express themselves by song. But it’s not clear (or consistent) how this works.
Does time stop ?
It it only her perceptions ?

But to quibble is to miss the point. It’s fun when someone expectantly breaks into song. And the dancing is well done, often using dozens of people.

There are 13 episodes, with a through plot of Zoey’s Dad slowly dying of progressive supranuclear palsy.

 

May’s Toys

Covid-19 Day 18


James May’s Toy Stories is a UK documentary television series created and presented by James May.

The program was originally commissioned for BBC Two as a six-episode series for 2009, between 27 October to 25 December, but later received four specials after the series concluded – one in June 2011 and three more for the Christmas broadcast schedules between 2012–2014.

1 “Airfix”
In which May recruits a team to construct a life-size model of the Spitfire. Which can’t fly, and has to be dis-assembled to move anywhere.

2 “Plasticine”
May decides to create an entire garden out of Plasticine and enter it into the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show. Which has more creativity than most of the other displays and causes problems for the snooty judges. Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry appear.
The finished project was later given ‘The People’s Choice’ award, after filming was completed.

3 “Meccano”
May recruits a team of architectural, engineering and technical students from University of Liverpool to design and build an entire bridge made out of Meccano. The finished project, consisting of two parts – swing bridge, and a rolling bascule bridge – is eventually rolled out into the heart of Liverpool’s newlyredeveloped Pier Head, in order to span a canal.

4 “Scalextric”
To bring back car racing to the former race track of Brooklands in Surrey, James decides to rebuild the track in Scalextric. The project later earned a place in the Guinness World Records for that year, for the longest Scalextric circuit ever built at 4.75 km.

5 “Lego”
To prove Lego is the ultimate construction toy, James May recruits volunteers to make a full-size Lego house. It’s rubbish and completely impractical.

6 “Hornby”
James May sets himself the ambitious task of creating the longest model railway line, set along the picturesque Tarka Trail between the towns of Barnstaple and Bideford. He is joined by German founders of Miniatur Wunderland for the task of setting up ten miles of model track and ensuring five different model
trains complete the trip. This includes May’s very own 1970s-vintage model of the Flying Scotsman, and the prototype of Hornby’s Class 395 “Javelin” model – can complete the journey between the towns. The project is soon deemed a failure, when each train slowly breaks down in succession across the day of the
challenge, due to extensive overworking of their model motor component.

7 “The Great Train Race”
May reattempts his challenge to create the longest model railway line between Barnstaple and Bideford, but this time with a race between British model railway enthusiasts against a German team from Miniatur Wunderland. With sturdier track and a new power system, along with Oz Clarke helping out, the teams compete
with three different model trains – a steam locomotive, an electric train, and a modified model train with a unique power source – racing from opposite ends.

The renewed attempt proves a success, completing what was started in 2009, with the British beating the Germans by being the first to their destination with two trains.

8 “Flight Club”
James May decides on a new challenge for model kits – to fly a life-size model of the Slingsby Swallow gliderbetween two points of a set distance. With a team of engineering students from Brunel University. The challenge brings forth several problems, particularly when their initially intended route can’t be used because of issues from air traffic controllers. Forced to send the glider across the Bristol Channel, further issues from the weather lead May having to guide the glider to a safe landing on the island of Lundy. Despite
the risks the glider’s destination within an hour of its launch.

9 “The Motorcycle Diary”
Not seen due to the poor quality of the video on Youtube.

10 “Action Man at the Speed of Sound”
James May tries to make Action Man  travel faster than the speed of sound. Just stupid, however they soon face a race to achieve their goal against a rival group using a similar plan, but with the toy Sindy.

May’s team not only are successful in completing their challenge, but also beat their rivals, who had launched earlier and lost Sindy.

Why didn’t they call her ‘Supersonic Sindy’ !

I would also contend that may lost as the parachute failed to deploy and despite the model action man being intact, it did not drift to the ground by the parachute.

 

 

Brooklyn 99 S3

Covid-19 Day 9

The third season of the television sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine aired from September 27, 2015 to April 19, 2016 with 23 episodes.

Following the kiss that Jake and Amy had, the two decide to pursue a real relationship. The 99 gets a new captain, Seth Dozerman (Bill Hader) who dies of a heart attack after seeing Jake and Amy kissing. The Vulture assumes command of the precinct, but Holt takes it back.

Charles begins a relationship with an art curator who was framed for insurance fraud. Terry’s wife gives birth to their third daughter, Ava, on Thanksgiving. Rosa breaks up with Marcus and begins a new relationship with Adrian Pimento, a detective who’s been undercover for 12 years. At the end of the series, Jake is forced to go to witness protection in Florida.


After three seasons of the same characters, they start to get a little stale and annoying. On Michael Schur’s other shows, characters changed and grew. In Parks & Rec Lesley Knope ran for office, and in The Good Place, everyone changed, almost every episode. But here the same joked get mined again and again.

At least they do have a plot arc through the second half of the series. But it’s not enough to redeem the show.

So it’s goodbye to the Nine-Nine.

 

Brooklyn 99 S2

Jake returns to the precinct after going undercover to help take down the mafia.

He then begins a relationship with defense lawyer Sophia Perez, played by Eva Longoria.

Which I didn’t buy for a nano-second.

Holt continues a battle of wits with Deputy Commissioner Madelyn Wuntch

Not believing this either. It’s out of tone with the other workplace relationships.

Charles and Gina’s affair is exposed

Which is fun as Gina’s snarky attitude to work is fun and similar to April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) in Parks & Recreation.

April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza)

 

Rosa begins a relationship with Holt’s nephew Marcus.

Marcus, Rosa & Charles

Totally understandable (he’s a good looking bloke).

And relationship blossoms between Jake and Amy.

Totally unnecessary, and veering into soppy melodrama territory.

 

Archer #10

Sterling Archer, still in a coma dreams that he is the captain of the “M/V Seamus (934TXS)”, a space salvage freighter, co-captaining with his ex-wife Lana, with whom he is co-owner of the ship.

Krieger is the android scientist/doctor onboard. Cyril is the on-board accountant as well as Lana’s lover, and Ray is a gay courtesan.

Pam is a hulking grey alien, while Cheryl/Carole is a bloodthirsty/suicidal spacefighter pilot.

“Mother”, or Ms. Archer, is a glowing ball of light.


A total rip-off of the Alien series. Including almost lifting scenes from the movie and numerous references to other Sci-Fi TV shows and movies.

It is notable that creator Adam Reed has not written every episode for the season.

Not bad, just very derivative. Originally aired May to July 2019.

Expect Season 11 to come soon.

 

 

Archer #9

 

This series takes place in 1938. Same cast, but playing different versions of their characters.

Archer, who was found shot in actress Veronica Deane’s pool at the conclusion of season seven, remains in a coma, and the events of the season are of his imagination.

The season’s premise sees Archer as an alcoholic co-pilot with Pam, who crash lands onto the lush and mysterious Pacific island of Mitimotu.

This feels like a combination of “The Secret of Monkey Island” and an Indiana Jones movie.

According to creator Adam Reed, this is inspired by the short lived 1980s television series “Tales of the Gold Monkey” which featured a very similar premise as Danger Island. An this show was aired following the success of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark the previous year.

Because of all the derived tropes and plot it is not as original as previous series and subsequently my least favorite.

 

Brooklyn 99 S1

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an American police procedural comedy television series created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur.

The series revolves around Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), an immature but talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn’s fictional 99th Precinct, who often comes into conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher).

The rest of the cast features Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz, Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago, Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle, Chelsea Peretti as Gina Linetti, Dirk Blocker as Michael Hitchcock, and Joel McKinnon Miller as Norm Scully.


The main reason for watching this was the involvement of Michael Schur, the creative genius behind ‘The Good Place” and ‘Parks and Recreation’.


It also coincides with the ending of ‘The Good Place’ podcast that was hosted by Marc Evan Jackson who played Shawn the devil in the Good Place. He is also in Brooklyn-99 as the husband of Captain Holt. And he hosts a podcast of this show.

The only actor I recognized was  Joel McKinnon Miller, who was in Big Love.

Joal McKinnon Miller as Dom Enbry in ‘Big Love’ (2006-2011)

The series starts well, it’s very standard american comedy. The humor mainly based on Jake Peralta, a smart-ass detective and the differences between the characters.

 

Archer #8

The eighth season of Archer, known as Archer Dreamland, began airing on April 5, 2017

After the cliffhanger from last season, it is revealed that Archer survived but has been in a coma for three months, trapped in a 1947 noir-esque Los Angeles setting called Dreamland.

It also reveals the fate of Woodhouse (whose original voice actor George Coe died in 2015), the heroin-addicted valet of Archer dying shortly before the season premiere.