Category Archives: Television

Brokenwood 16

As if Nothing Happened

Sunset Manor is a rest home in Brokenwood for the aged and bewildered. The new resident is Edward Alderston. Having recently lost his wife, his family has decided Sunset Manor is the best place for him, especially now that the Alzheimer’s is taking hold.
Mrs Marlowe is a regular visitor, offering sing-alongs at the piano for the residents. But Edward is hoping for more of an ally than that. He’s planning an escape. In fact he’s been practicing. The only problem is he can’t remember the plan.

But when a man is found with a Samurai sword through his back floating in his swimming pool in the neighbouring street, Edward’s exact whereabouts becomes of real importance.

The man was Mitch Waterson, an ex-finance company high flyer, responsible for the loss of many millions to many people – in particular, he is the one responsible for many elderly losing their life savings. Mitch was responsible but never held accountable. It would seem now that the accountability has been sought. Revenge has been exacted.

So when Mike, Kristin and Breen begin searching for motive they need look no further than Sunset Manor. Many of the residents were victims to Mitch Waterson’s Ponzi schemes and are thrilled to know he’s met a grisly end.

Director: Mark Beesley
Producer: Sally Campbell
Writer: Tim Balme

Cast:
Mike NEILL REA
Kristin FERN SUTHERLAND
D.C. Breen NIC SAMPSON
Gina CRISTINA IONDA
Kahu RAWIRI JOBE
Mrs Marlowe ELIZABETH MCRAE
Hughes COLIN MOY
Dennis SHANE CORTESE
Frodo KARL WILLETTS
Kenny IAN MUNE
Wes STUART DEVENIE
Catherine CATHERINE WILKIN
Lydia LYNETTE FORDAY
Edward KEN BLACKBURN
Jools INGRID PARK
George WILLIAM DAVIS
Desiree IRIS CHURN
Margaret ELIZABETH PENDERGRAST
Christopher MILO CAWTHORNE
Mitch CHRISTIAN HODGE
Kimberly ZARA CORMACK
Nurse Amber KIRI LIGHTFOOT

House of Cards 58

House of Cards Season 5

Chapter 58 (Series 5 Episode 6)

Claire becomes Acting President of the United States until the House votes again. Frank congratulates her on the position, even if it’s just for a few weeks. Durant informs the Underwoods that a research facility in Antarctica has been taken over by an unidentified military group, suspecting the Russians. Meanwhile, it appears that Aidan has been kidnapped and may be forced to reveal secrets. Conway’s campaign manager Mark Usher is able to secure a meeting for Conway with the Congressional Black Caucus, in the hopes they will consider supporting him instead of Frank, but the meeting goes very poorly. On a private plane back to New York, an exasperated Conway finally cracks under the pressure and curses out Usher, threatening to leave him on the tarmac upon arrival, then berates the pilots for not allowing him to fly the plane and declares maniacally that he will be President. Sean visits Lisa then tells Hammerschmidt, who fires him after discovering that Sean looked through his notes. Hammerschmidt later investigates the death of Zoe Barnes. To avoid a mixed-ticket White House, Frank and Claire are able to convince Usher to support new elections in Ohio and Tennessee, so long as the Speaker approves. Claire, Frank, and Cathy learn it is the Russians who have kidnapped Aidan.

 


This feels like a mid-season lull. Everything passes slowly, shots linger a few seconds too long and just a lot of people walking through hallways. There wasn’t enough plot to fill this episode.

 

House of Cards 57

House of Cards Season 5

Chapter 57 (Series 5 Episode 5)

Nine weeks have passed since the unresolved election, which will now be decided by a contingent election in the House. A frustrated Conway believes he was fairly elected, and begins to show signs of a potential breakdown. Despite Frank’s approval rating falling to 19%, Claire says they are done winning the American people and must now win over Congress. Hammerschmidt meets with Lisa Williams to discuss information regarding Doug, but he is hesitant to believe her. Frank talks to convince Alex Romero, a Democratic congressman, to sway other House Democrats to vote for him. Aidan, who had previously gone missing, calls LeAnn to tell her that he will leak incriminating information on the Underwoods if she doesn’t get the authorities off his back. While LeAnn is able to flip a vote from Maine, Doug fails to win New Hampshire. On the day of the vote, Claire asks Donald to prevent a filibuster and keep Republicans off the floor. When he refuses, Claire begins insulting him and his late wife. Neither Conway nor Frank receive the 26 votes in the House needed to win, meaning that the Senate‘s vice presidential selection between Claire and General Ted Brockhart will assume the duties of the Presidency until the House votes again. Claire, alone in the White House residence, walks toward the camera and briefly looks directly at the camera audience as the episode ends.

 

C

House of Cards 56

House of Cards Season 5

Chapter 56 (Series 5 Episode 4)
On Election Day, voter turnout for Frank and Claire is low, and the polls are working in Conway’s favor, yet he remains cautious. Frank calls the governor of Tennessee and tells him that the home of a suspected terrorist has been raided and a plot to bomb the state’s polling stations has been uncovered, urging him to shut them down. A riot caused by a bomb-sniffing dog occurs at one Tennessee polling station and injures several people. Frank is able to convince the governor to halt voting and declare a state of emergency. A curfew is enacted, much to Conway’s dismay. Amid terrorist threats, the governor of Ohio calls Frank and says he is considering closing down polling stations, while Frank adamantly tells him not to, pretending that he doesn’t want that to happen. After Conway wins the state of Pennsylvania, Frank calls him to concede the election, but slyly says to the camera audience, “What, do you think I learned nothing from Al Gore?” In the wake of the call, Conway, his wife Hannah, and some of his advisers are elated, but his campaign manager Mark Usher remains skeptical. Several hours pass and Frank has yet to publicly announce his concession, frustrating Conway. At that moment, the governor of Ohio makes a national TV broadcast to announce he felt he had no choice to close the Ohio polls due to the potential terror threat and that the results are not certifiable as a result. Several more states hold their election results as well, thereby leaving the election contested. In the Oval Office, Frank and Claire discuss remaining in power for decades to come.

House of Cards 55

House of Cards Season 5

Chapter 55 (Series 5 Episode 3)
The day before the 2016 election, Conway holds a 24-hour live-stream call-in with voters and is asked a question by someone who knows about his time in the military; Hannah insists that Will is too humble to discuss the topic. While Claire and Frank campaign together in Pennsylvania, Doug confronts Governor Matthews for not following through with establishing voting centers or bringing in the National Guard. Back in D.C., Cathy alerts Frank to a Syrian national with strong ICO connections named Mohammad Kalabi. With Conway getting all the publicity, Frank calls into the 24-hour live stream and tells Conway that he can ask him any question he wants. Will responds by asking why he was never given a chance to complete the mission and save Mr. Miller after successfully negotiating the release of Miller’s wife and daughter. Frank says the terrorists could tell Conway was weak, meaning Frank had to step in and take control. Frank’s last-minute call grabs the morning headlines. However, the Underwoods are given worrying news: voter turnout is unsettlingly low across the country. Frank, however, insists that they are not going anywhere.

House of Cards 54

House of Cards Season 5

Chapter 54 (Series 5 Episode 2)
At an event in New York City, Claire is informed that one of Frank’s old friends has gone missing and is presumed dead. Meanwhile, Frank hosts a luncheon of the nation’s governors, seeking to gain the support of the governors from five critical swing states. Catherine Durant states her opposition to Frank’s “war” on terror, while Donald Blythe believes it has helped his poll numbers. Meanwhile, Aidan Macallan attempts to hack into a telecom switching center and delete everything that may implicate him and the Underwoods. As Aidan nervously awaits the file deletion, electronic devices around the Washington, D.C. area are affected in what Frank claims is an ICO cyber attack. He uses the incident to pressure Congress to accept his declaration of war. Meanwhile, Conway takes his kids trick-or-treating, but as the military mobilizes in response to the cyber attack, he has an outburst on live TV which Frank and Claire drink to.

Thick S7

The Rise of the Nutters

This was an hour-long Christmas special, aired in January 2007.

While Hugh Abbott’s away, new enemies rear their heads inside and outside the government. A disastrous Newsnight interview, an opposition “week at the coalface” and a leaked “legacy” leave the PM with no choice but to resign six months early.


This is a good example of what happens when a 30 minute show gets expanded to an hour. It takes a good 15 minutes to get into the episode and work out what is supposed to be happening. They expand the story with two main plot lines. One following Malcolm, the other the opposition.

There is a great “bad” interview with Jeremy Paxman. As explained in the commentary, this was an actual interview with a junior minister done during the holiday break. They used Paxman’s questions and edited in the answers from their actor.

The longer format really does highlight just how much swearing there is in the show.

ST:D 1.09

Into the Forest I Go

 

Kol’s flagship emerges off Pahvo’s atmosphere, standing head to head with the Discovery. Tyler and Burnham teleport onto the Klingon ship to better understand its cloaking technology, so the Federation can adjust it to their own ships.

They find Cornwell paralyzed, and Tyler suffers a panic attack when he encounters L’Rell. To distract the flagship, Stamets is asked by Lorca to make 133 mini-jumps in order to prompt the flagship into cloaking.

The continuous jumps traumatize Stamets, who gains a vision of seeing a “clearing in the forest”, while Burnham distracts Kol by challenging him to a fight.

After the 133 jumps are completed, the cloaking algorithm is calculated, and Burnham, Tyler and Cornwell are transported back to Discovery which opens fire on Kol’s flagship, killing Kol and his Klingon soldiers.


The half season ending was good. I expected Tyler or Burnham to be captured. But both survive and bring back Cornwell.

Then the trope of ‘just one more’ comes out and we know the Discovery is making a jump into the unknown.

I think it’s a question not of where they are, but when.

 

Brokenwood 15

Episode 15 – The Scarecrow

Philip Henderson stands next to an impressive scarecrow amidst a field of damaged vegetation. His whole crop has failed. The scarecrow may have kept the birds away but this catastrophe is something bigger.

Angered and distraught, he confronts his neighbour, the cantankerous Doug Randall and accuses him of spray drift. Doug is having none of it and an ugly altercation ensues. The following day Philip is discovered dead in his field – the victim of an obscure poison.

Director: Josh Frizzell
Producer: Sally Campbell
Writer: Greg McGee

Cast:
Mike NEILL REA
Kristin FERN SUTHERLAND
D.C. Breen NIC SAMPSON
Gina CRISTINA IONDA
Kahu RAWIRI JOBE
Mrs Marlowe ELIZABETH MCRAE
Trudy TRACY LEE GRAY
Philip & Thomas MIKE EDWARD
Dahlia TAI BERDINNER BLADES
Ray JASON HOYTE
Doug PETER TAIT
Tamati MARK RUKA
Hemi BROOKLYN NATHAN
Whetu ATTICUS ITI
Larry ADAM GARDINER
Sydney CARL BLAND

Brokenwood 14

Stone Cold Dead (Episode 14)

Charity Highmore-Browne is the owner and curator of Brokenwood’s Historic Village. A stickler for all things Victorian, Charity lives in a time warp.
Her sudden death by an arrow brings Mike and his team into the realm of New Zealand’s colonial past as they deal with a blacksmith, a missionary and the local postmaster. Not to be overlooked is Charity’s sister, who once represented the country at the Olympics – missing out on a bronze medal in archery.

 

Director: Murray Keane
Producer: Sally Campbell
Writer: Tim Balme

Cast:
Mike NEILL REA
Kristin FERN SUTHERLAND
D.C. Breen NIC SAMPSON
Gina CRISTINA IONDA
Kahu RAWIRI JOBE
Mrs Marlowe ELIZABETH MCRAE
Hughes COLIN MOY
Frankie (Frodo) Oades KARL WILLETTS
Charity JACQUELINE NAIRN
Neil PHIL PELETON
Jack SCOTT WILLS
Evie VIOLET O’HALLORAN
Wally EDWARD NEWBORN
Patrick DAVID VAN HORN
David GRAE BURTON
Anna TAIMI ALLAN
Billy DAN VEINT
Nigel GEOFF HOUTMAN
Debra SALLY STOCKWELL
Tony BRETT O’GORMAN
Ron PETER FORD
Dennis SHANE CORTESE
Doctor Carlton ASCIA MAYBURY