Totally Far Out Excellent British Dramas

  • benobo wrote on 30 Oct '10, 17:56 report
    This topic has been due for some time.

    Watching Sherlock prompted its creation.

    Not that Sherlock is necessary "totally far out excellent" - it can be painfully over-the-top at times with Freeman, Cumberbatch, and Gatiss all being a little too Freeman, Cumberbatch and Gatiss respectively at times.
  • mustard wrote on 30 Oct '10, 19:44 report
    The Street.
  • fallon wrote on 31 Oct '10, 11:11 report
    At the risk of de-railing the thread early I am thoroughly unimpressed with Sherlock. I think it's mediocre at the best of times and fucking ridiculous the rest of the time.
  • dork wrote on 31 Oct '10, 20:03 report
    I saw half an episode and it didn't grab me but I assumed it was because I hadn't seen any other episodes. There's a little Stephen Moffat nerd fan group and my work that talk about it incessantly. He's like a god to them.
  • fallon wrote on 31 Oct '10, 21:31 report
    Moffatt's really really good at story structure - even his putrid sitcom Coupling, credit where it's due, was plotted very tightly like an old-fashioned farce.

    Gatiss is quite good at 'tone' type stuff - straddling that line between melodrama and high-camp without ever quite degenerating into outright silliness. He's written a couple of original novels now, too, combining his love of cheesy Victoriana and spy/detection novels and they're both very very good and make it all the more startling that a man so well-steeped in Conan-Doyle's work can come up with something as messy and strange as Sherlock.

    They're both very good with character development although they often take easy routes in actually executing it: Moffatt likes to have all his characters (yes, even the ones in Press Gang) basically sum themselves up with a big, occasionally-witty monologue or with a series of little sitcom style idiosyncrasies, which is fine for like, theatre or radio drama but becomes incredibly tedious if he's not actually writing, y'know, a sitcom. This is also incredibly subjective but it seems he's very good at completely missing the point of the various bits of literature he's adapted - not just this one, but the woefully misguided (although occasionally fun) Jekyll, which has approximately fuck all to do with the Stevenson story, and everything to do with "Oooh, it will be fun to write some evil dialogue" (one only need to look at how Moriarty was handled in this - and most - Holmes adaptations to see what I mean: I'm going to go ahead and assume it's because he hasn't had a chance to write for The Master on Doctor Who yet).

    Gatiss' characterisation flaws aren't QUITE as jarring as Moffatt's, but by the same token I don't think he ever quite reaches the same heights either.

    The acting's generally very good though. And I've read that Gatiss will be the sole head writer for the next series while Moffatt goes back to Doctor Who, and maybe that will work for the better. It might lead to a slightly more focused show.
  • benobo wrote on 23 Feb '11, 21:59 report
    Andrew put me onto Misfits. And I'm nearing the end of series two right now, and dead enjoying it.
  • andrew wrote on 23 Feb '11, 23:49 report
    Andrew put me onto Misfits. And I'm nearing the end of series two right now, and dead enjoying it.

    It's a hoot. Doesn't take itself seriously at all but has nice tight plots and strong characters, and handles 'super heroes' in a decent fashion. Interesting to note it won a BAFTA last year and there's a third season on the way.
  • hellno wrote on 24 Feb '11, 00:11 report
    Life on Mars
    Ashes to Ashes
    Ultraviolet
    This Life
    Press Gang
  • andrew wrote on 24 Feb '11, 00:25 report
    never got This Life. Ultraviolet - brilliant.
  • benobo wrote on 26 Feb '11, 11:51 report
    The Crow Road. Great book, great telly interp.
  • andrew wrote on 26 Feb '11, 17:37 report
    The Crow Road. Great book, great telly interp.

    I'll just have to agree once again! I couldn't stop watching it.
  • benobo wrote on 9 Mar '11, 20:29 report
    Ultraviolet

    Yep, cool, thanks for that. Lots of fun with Norrington, Jane Bennet, and Stringer Bell knockin' about - as is Bill Compton (who had already perfected the sexual-brood ten years before True Blood). D.C. Woods even pops-up in the last episode.

    There a glorious vibe of magic realism throughout. There is no supernatural element to it at all, there is no real questioning of the presence of what is supernatural. There is so much to explain, and yet there isn't even a hint of an attempt to explain it. The fantasy and the sinistery is wholly centred on the conspiracy and not the perpetrators of the conspiracy. The word "Vampire" is not used at all, the science is labelled Code V (said as "five"), and the colloquial term is "leeches", and sometimes, "immortals", as if they are saying "hippies" or "ferals".

    Top stuff.
  • hellno wrote on 9 Mar '11, 23:52 report
    Yeah it rules. Took me a while to spot the vampire dude as Bill Compton though (saw it the other way around, before True Blood). There was meant to be an American series with Idris Elba replaying his same role but they didn't get past the pilot episode... wouldn't mind seeing it just to compare/get more Ultraviolet.
  • fallon wrote on 10 Mar '11, 00:01 report
    Joe Ahearne is a great writer.

    Although I don't quite know what happened on "Apparitions" as it was a bit ordinary.
  • fallon wrote on 10 Mar '11, 00:03 report
    Oh, speaking of Stringer Bell, what do we all make of Luther? I think it's worth watching for the performances, which elevate what might otherwise be a fairly formulaic "psychological thriller" (surely a duff genre title if ever there was one). I feel like there's an interesting story in there somewhere, maybe, or at least an interesting character. Maybe they'll get it right in season 2.
  • hellno wrote on 10 Mar '11, 07:57 report
    i havent even heard of Luther. I take it it's a new show that he headlines?
  • jdt wrote on 16 Mar '11, 23:34 report
    Ultraviolet

    Yep, cool, thanks for that. Lots of fun with Norrington, Jane Bennet, and Stringer Bell knockin' about - as is Bill Compton (who had already perfected the sexual-brood ten years before True Blood). D.C. Woods even pops-up in the last episode.

    There a glorious vibe of magic realism throughout. There is no supernatural element to it at all, there is no real questioning of the presence of what is supernatural. There is so much to explain, and yet there isn't even a hint of an attempt to explain it. The fantasy and the sinistery is wholly centred on the conspiracy and not the perpetrators of the conspiracy. The word "Vampire" is not used at all, the science is labelled Code V (said as "five"), and the colloquial term is "leeches", and sometimes, "immortals", as if they are saying "hippies" or "ferals".

    Top stuff.
    PHILIP QUAST.
  • benobo wrote on 19 Mar '11, 21:18 report
    Oh, speaking of Stringer Bell, what do we all make of Luther?

    Yep, I'm calling it. So much of it was completely ridiculous and over-done, but it didn't suffer as a result of that. Saskia Reeves was my pick.
  • fallon wrote on 20 Mar '11, 12:14 report
    Yeah, well put.
  • benobo wrote on 23 Mar '11, 07:40 report
    So, what's this Whitechapel thing all about?

    I was interested to see another League of Gents dude getting into crime-thrilling.
  • benobo wrote on 27 Mar '11, 22:24 report
    Just did series one, and I liked it a lot.

    I've got a bit of a UK drama horn at the moment after powering through Ultraviolet, Luther and Whitechapel. I've never looked at Life on Mars, Spooks, or Being Human...should I?
  • bsssm wrote on 27 Mar '11, 23:00 report
    With all three of those I like what I've seen but haven't watched all the way through consistently.

    It's all decent telly.
  • benobo wrote on 10 Apr '11, 08:51 report
    And what about The Tudors or Camelot?
  • hellno wrote on 10 Apr '11, 11:38 report
    I've watched the first two seasons of the Tudors... it's okay.
  • benobo wrote on 18 Apr '11, 07:56 report
    Red Riding
    Five Daughters
    House of Saddam

    I'm scopin' them.
  • teenwolf wrote on 18 Apr '11, 16:02 report
    I didn't rate red riding so highly - I found it slow going and the vibes weren't for me.

    Whitechapel was good disposable entertainment although the Ripper / Krays vibes got a bit cheesy at times - It was good to see Chalky step up.

    Life on Mars was great - The guv is top drawer and the set dressing was awesome. There's a sequel to it that is set in the 80s that I haven't seen yet... I know an ex London Met detective who digs the shit out of it 'cos that was how it was'.

    I enjoyed the first few seasons of Spooks years ago but haven't caught up with any of the later stuff - dumbed down Le Carre I guess.
  • hellno wrote on 18 Apr '11, 18:29 report
    Ashes to Ashes, that's the sequel to Life on Mars, and it rules! I liked it even more than LOM.
  • benobo wrote on 14 May '11, 19:44 report
    House of Saddam was certainly worth the sniff.
  • hellno wrote on 15 May '11, 00:00 report
    Currently doing the 4th and final series of the Tudors.
  • benobo wrote on 15 May '11, 16:40 report
    I'm giving The Shadow Line a go.
  • benobo wrote on 17 Jun '11, 12:27 report
    Luther series 2 has kicked off.
  • benobo wrote on 21 Jun '11, 08:27 report
    I'm giving The Shadow Line a go.

    Finished this up last night...yeah, look....yeah...oh...it was all pretty ridiculous...I didn't switch it off though. Certainly far from far out.
  • fallon wrote on 7 Dec '11, 00:31 report
    Fuck me, I've not watched series 2 of Luther yet. Silly as shit, that show, but still a lot of fun.

    Anyway what I came here to ask is if you've seen Black Mirror yet? I'm just about to watch episode 1 on Red Sarah's recommendation. Didn't like Dead Set much but, y'know, Brooker.
  • andrew wrote on 7 Dec '11, 07:33 report
    I've had a bit of fun with The Hour recently. I wish there was a bit more about the show, but gee it's got it's moments.
  • fallon wrote on 7 Dec '11, 13:33 report
    Black Mirror's definitely a goer. Episode 1 is kind of like a dark and sardonic speculative-fiction remake of the newsroom series of The Wire.

    Where the prime minister is held to ransom demands that he fuck a pig for the safe release of a royal princess. Natch.
  • andrew wrote on 7 Dec '11, 17:28 report
    Black Mirror's definitely a goer. Episode 1 is kind of like a dark and sardonic speculative-fiction remake of the newsroom series of The Wire.

    Where the prime minister is held to ransom demands that he fuck a pig for the safe release of a royal princess. Natch.

    oh THAT THING! cool
  • fallon wrote on 7 Dec '11, 17:42 report
    It's REALLY involving. Loved it. Even the blue colour scheme didn't bother me this time.
  • bsssm wrote on 8 Dec '11, 10:21 report
    Yeah, that was great. Looking forward to the next two.
  • fallon wrote on 12 Dec '11, 23:52 report
    Episode 2 of Black Mirror.

    I'd urge you to stick with it. It starts out like a fairly conventional dystopian drama with reality TV trappings (which has been done before), and a corny 'cute' romance. There's still plenty of tiny, dry jokes to keep you busy (eg the sheer absurdity of gesture-based interfaces), but like last week's ep, the ep takes it's time in building up the overall grotesquery - which is played uncompromisingly straight, once again - to fever pitch. It really starts to sink in around the half-hour mark, where the lechery of a panel of reality TV judges (including Julia Davis!) becomes really sinister in a way that rings disturbingly true, rather than by way of simple parody. From there, shit gets hairier and hairier.

    I will say no more because you've gotta watch these things for yerself, if you've not already.
  • fallon wrote on 23 Dec '11, 01:41 report
    Episode 3 was boring as piss. What are you playing at Armstrong?
  • bsssm wrote on 23 Dec '11, 08:09 report
    It wasn't that bad, but the first two were much better.

    The ending reminded me slightly of a weaker version of Alexandra's Project.
  • sun&surf wrote on 28 Dec '11, 10:28 report
    Charlie Brookers "black mirror" series is excellent
  • fallon wrote on 16 Jan '12, 21:29 report
    Idris Elba won a Golden Globe for Luther.

    I don't actually give half a shit about the Golden Globes or the Hollywood Foreign Press and neither should you but there you go.
  • hellno wrote on 16 Jan '12, 23:18 report
    I like Idris Elba. He was easily the best thing about Ultraviolet.
  • fallon wrote on 16 Jan '12, 23:58 report
    Yeah he's a marvellous actor, I was just surprised that the HFPA would consider a genre program on the BBC to be worth promoting - generally their awards (or at least the actor-y, celebrity-ish ones) are entirely based on what will make for good newspaper copy. It's the only institution more self-serving than the Oscars, haha.
  • bb2 wrote on 19 Oct '12, 13:05 report
    Charlie Brookers "black mirror" series is excellent10j8z7fw]
    Caught this for the first time the other night. Very impressed with this week’s episode on SBS – kinda like a modern day Ray Bradbury crossed with the Voice and lil’ bit of romance for good measure. Seriously great writing from this dude; OK, amongst other things he's responsible for Dead Set - well that figures then. He's also behind the series 'How TV Ruined Your Life' which is apparently very good also.
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