Saul 1.06

Better Call Saul 1.06 “Five-O”

In a flashback, Mike arrives in Albuquerque on a train and is met by his daughter-in-law, Stacey. Their conversation reveals that Mike’s son, Matty, was a Philadelphia police officer who was recently murdered.

This  is really Mike’s episode as it explains his backstory. He reveals his character and dark past. By far the best episode so far. It was a nominee for outstanding writing in a drama series (2015)  for Gordon Smith.

Saul 1.05

Better Call Saul 1.05 “Alpine Shepherd Boy”

After Chuck’s neighbor reports him for stealing the newspaper, he is arrested and hospitalized. A doctor tries to have Jimmy commit Chuck to a mental institution, but Jimmy manages to convince her that he is fully capable of containing Chuck in his own home.

Jimmy’s newfound fame seems to attract mostly unpropitious clients, but he eventually comes across an elderly lady in need of a will, which prompts Jimmy’s lawyer friend Kim to propose that Jimmy specialize in elder law.

A rather slow and muddled episode, especially as I had inadvertently seen episode 1.06 before this. What happens at the end will neatly segue  into the next episode.

Mum’s Choir

(Court Theatre)
Written by Alison Quigan
Directed by Ross Gumbley

For years the O’Reilly household was alive with music – all the family sang. Now Mum has died and the family have gathered for the funeral.

Her final request is an almost impossible task: for her kids to sing Fauré’s Requiem at her funeral.

A NZ Comedy/drama with a good mix of humour, pathos and drama. And a lot of songs to lift what is the story of a funeral, ultimately a depressing subject.

Press Review



Saul 1.04

Better Call Saul 1.04 “Hero”

Here we get the origin of the name (rhymes with ‘It’s all good, man)

It looks like Jimmy has taken the bribe and splashes out on a billboard. However when he is order to take it down, he stages an impressive stunt to save a ‘billboard worker’.

It’s a brilliant stunt and shows just how devious he is.


Saul 1.03

Better Call Saul – 1.33 “Nacho”


Disguising his voice, Jimmy Calls the Kettlemans from a pay-phone and warns them that they are in danger of being robbed. As Jimmy returns to the Kettleman house, he’s informed they have been kidnapped.

This shows just how devious Jimmy can be. But it’s Mike that gives him the clue.Jimmy is persistent and tracks down the Kettlemans.

It looks like this is the start of the relationship between the two men.


Headline Love

Headline Love
(Abigail Love #2)
by David Blake (2017)

After a successful working partnership and a blossoming carnal relationship, Abigail Love and her boyfriend, Will, have moved up to London together to join their YouTube news channel, Prime Time Today. But all is quiet, and with nothing much to report on, Abigail’s job is soon under threat, along with her relationship. Fortunately for her, McDongle makes a timely appearance.

This starts as the first book ended. The psychotic killer from the first returns. In fact he is most of the story and the main protagonist. He engineers a series of mad and wild ways of knocking off people for money It’s him that drives the story forward and provides the humour. Just as good as the first, and hopefully not the last.


Saul 1.02

Better Call Saul 1.02 – Mijo

Tuco drags Jimmy at gunpoint into his house. Jimmy explains that the twins were part of his scam operation, but they picked the wrong car.

Here we see where Saul’s skills play out. He is able to persuade Tuco to ‘just’ break legs, not kill people who annoy him. During the episode he gets an overture to gain lots of money easily, but by crossing over to the other side.

Will he ?
It seems inevitable.


Saul 1.01

Better Call Saul 1.01 – ‘Uno’

Following the events of Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman is living under the assumed name Gene in Omaha, Nebraska and managing a Cinnabon. One night after work, he watches a tape of television ads made when he worked as an attorney.

Well, it wasn’t clear to me if this was in the future or past. Bob Odenkirk is almost unrecognizable.

Flashing back to 2002, Jimmy McGill (Saul’s original name) is a struggling public defender in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Here is where we really begin.  Saul is down on his luck, but persistent. And the episode ends with a question.

Just where has he ended up ?


Deep State 3

Finally Max gets to be reunited with his son. And it’s in a chase scene. If it was anyone else, he would have shot first and answered question later. But because it was his son, the plot demanded that he not shoot. The convenience just annoyed me and I lost interest.

Time to move on.

Throw Away English

(written 22/11/1998)
Have you seen “Pop-up Video” on Saturday nights, TV4 at 7pm ?
They play a range of music videos from the 80’s to the present crop. Each video has been “enhanced” by little pop-up messages that display messages about the musician (?), how the video was made and any other useless information deemed necessary. Perfect for the video/computer generation. Pure Rubbish… but is it ?

It’s important in this age of low IQ TV and coke consumerism to distinguish between the current forms of low brow entertainment :

Trash is something of low quality, but with that “let me see” quality. Like “white trash” (low income Caucasians ?), its obvious that this form of entertainment is not aimed at the great minds of our time. But it does have a certain quality about it; we want to look just to see how stupid the gnomes at TV think we are. This probably explains the apparant popularity of the “reality based” shows.

Entertainment This Week
When Animals/People/Trucks etc attack
Shortland St

Rubbish is something that has been thrown out. Its the product of something else and is of absolutely NO value to anyone. The only thing you can do with rubbish is bury it or render it
down to molecular level for use as something else. In TV, it is usually someone else’s idea re-used the fifth time for the New Zealand market. Or it can be just the stuff that other broadcasting organisations throw out.

Examples :
Talk Soup
(If you have seen “Frontline”, you will know that this type of program uses stories that have previously been published in the newspapers – or they make them up to satisfy the advertisers.)
Who Dares Wins
All Game Shows
60 Minutes & 20/20
(These have been thrown out by ABC, CNN etc but TVNZ scrapes them out of the bin and broadcasts them)

Junk is something else. As George Carlin said : “What’s my stuff is your junk”. So junk is something that may be of use to you, but not to me. For instance, the religious programs broadcast at 7am Sunday mornings are probably watched by some of the 20 million sheep who think they are people, but not by me. Conversely, there is some poor programmer in TV2 who thinks that Babylon 5 is junk, why else would they broadcast it at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. It may be junk to them, but to the better educated, it is a great story.

Some other examples :
Infocomercials/Home Shopping
All Sports Programs
Medical Dramas
American Sit-coms

So in conclusion, “Pop-up Video” is trash, not rubbish. And we will have to be careful in the future defining our low brow entertainment… after all… there is a lot more of it out there.