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Old 11th Jul 2012, 10:59   #1651
Colyngbourne
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Default Re: Decent Telly

We watched Heart vs Mind: What Makes Us Human? on BBC4 last night, hoping that it wasn't just a jolly "how amazing is the human body" low-quality documentary with shiny visuals.

It was actually an incredibly moving search by the documentary maker, David Malone, to investigate whether the heart is "just a mechanical pump" or whether it is actually the locus of something more integral to our humanity. There was plenty of indepth science as well as well-chosen quotations about the heart, and the history and culture of the heart in human history was caught up in the investigation. And it was profoundly moving. (And we missed the middle half due to getting son home from work, so it was probably even more brilliant than I'm aware of.)

One to catch on iPlayer.
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Old 15th Jul 2012, 14:22   #1652
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Default Re: Decent Telly

Think I recognised the Gothic ceiling fans from the cloisters at Gloucester cathedral in yesterday's BBC production of Henry IV Part 2:

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Old 15th Jul 2012, 19:45   #1653
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I was wondering where they had filmed this - fabulous sets and settings throughout, I thought.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 17:48   #1654
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Tonight on BBC4 at 9 pm, the second of three programmes presented by James Fox (the art critic, not the actor) entitled The History of Art in Three Colours. This week is the turn of Blue, with White still to come.

I am as ready to admit as the next gal that Dr Fox is, indeed, very easy on the eye (Fox by name…) However I wasn’t wholeheartedly bowled over by his first in this series, which focussed on Gold. Intoxicating as it was to see row on row of gleaming ingots in the Bank of England vault, I ended up by the end of the programme thinking that there had been a bit too much focus on gold as a substance and not enough on its use in art. There was a brief flypast of its use in religious paintings but had it been Andrew Graham-Dixon, he would have given us Russian icons, Bellini madonnas and ancient reliquaries and made us feel the wonder of them. To be fair, there was the odd gleam of lovely things, but it was more ‘wow, that’s shiny’ than being knocked over by the wondrous lustre of the artworks.

And I think by focussing on the gold in Kilmt’s The Kiss, he missed out on the close focus on the physical contact, which is where the romance of this painting comes from – you have the vast glowing but impersonal areas of gold and this very small, intimate area of skin on skin which is thrown into such sharp relief by the opulence of the rest of the painting.

It was pretty enjoyable overall, and I’ll be tuning in tonight for the Blue instalment. The trailer has promised Picasso, so I am halfway to being delighted with it already.
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Old 15th Aug 2012, 15:05   #1655
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I hadn't watched any of Jimmy McGovern's Accused series before now but the notion of Sean Bean, playing the main role of English teacher Simon who becomes Tracie in his non-work life, was clearly the impetus I needed, and really this "play-for-today"-style drama delivered everything that good drama to offer has and in a neat one-hour package. Believable relationships, gradual and moving characterisation, alongside very strong acting from Sean and from Stephen Graham as the white-van-man that 'Tracie' ends up dating. All this and a satisfying ending too.
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Old 27th Aug 2012, 21:29   #1656
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Default Re: Decent Telly

I hadn't watched it before, either, Col and sadly didn't get to see all of the Sean Bean one, but thought last week's with Olivia Colman was pretty impressive. Intelligent, thought-provoking drama that's incredibly well-acted, and in a one-hour, one-off story. I hope I manage to see some more - tomorrow's looks like an equally interesting story.

I've also been enjoying Channel 4's comedy season, with lots of tantalising offerings that included old episodes of Vic Reeves' Big Night Out and The Harry Hill Show as well as pilots for potential new series. Some are still sitting on the digibox waiting to be watched but Just Around the Corner was very good - a pilot for a sitcom with quite a different pace. Perhaps not surprising for something written by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin (definitely more Old Harry's Game than Outnumbered). I'm very much looking forward to Bad Sugar, which was shown last night and written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show) and also features Olivia Colman, plus Sharon Horgan and Julia Davis. How could that be anything but brilliant? Not sure if it's a pilot or just a one-off, as it's a 50-minuter. Earlier this evening we watched Vic and Bob's The Weekenders, a pilot from 1992 for a series that didn't get made, which is a shame as it's a sort of proper (if mental) sitcom type thing, like an extended sketch of the type we're familiar with from their other shows, and quite, quite idiotically magnificent.
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Old 27th Aug 2012, 23:38   #1657
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Default Re: Decent Telly

May I recommend Montalbano bbc4 9pm saturdays. Sicilian detective series. Beautifully filmed and acted.
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Old 28th Aug 2012, 8:15   #1658
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Montalbano is great, I totally concur. I read one of the books several years ago and found it uninspiring, but I watched the series this year and loved it.
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 13:19   #1659
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Yes, I think the films are better than the books. Like all the characters.
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Old 6th Sep 2012, 2:50   #1660
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Default Re: Decent Telly

I'm looking forward to Lilyhammer, which finally comes to UK television next week... BBC4 @10pm, Tuesday 11th Sept.

I'm sure I'll be making Silvio Dante (The Sopranos) comparisons the moment Steven Van Zandt first appears on the screen as Frank Tagliano. And I doubt the writers tried to sneak in one of his, "Just when I thought I was out ... they pulled me back in," Michael Corleone (The Godfather Pt. III) impressions.


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