Archives For Netflix

Image credit: Showtime

Image credit: Showtime

‘Are you threatening me?’ – ‘You’re fucking right I am.’

This is an example of the sumptuously awful dialogue that Billions (Showtime/Sky Atlantic) has offered up for the delight and derision of audiences everywhere. In this exchange the threatenee is a widow, the threatener is Lara Axelrod, wife of billionaire Bobby ‘Axe’ Axelrod, played by Malin Åkerman as a sort of trailer-trash Claire Underwood. And this being a programme about ‘alpha’ hedge-fund gangsters, there’s a lot of macho swearing – and in fairness, some of it is quite creative, but you can’t help thinking you’ve heard it all before. What you might not have heard before is a cascade of legal and financial jargon which, like a sci-fi film, usefully pads the script out to make up for the absence of plot. Continue Reading…

Love in Actuality?

March 30, 2016 — Leave a comment

***Contains mild spoilers for Love***

Image credit: Suzanne Hanover/Netflix

Image credit: Suzanne Hanover/Netflix

Calling a relationship comedy ‘Love’ is so on the nose that it had better be ready to woo us with some pretty profound insight into the third-most consuming concept known to humanity. (Without doing any research, I wager money and sex are ahead – perhaps even food.) Judd Apatow and Paul Rust’s new Netflix series of that very name isn’t profound, but then it doesn’t even attempt a sniff in that direction. Instead, we are given a tender story about minor misfits with a surprising lack of cliché. Reader, it’s a treat.  Continue Reading…

Image Credit: Netflix/Marvel

Image Credit: Netflix/Marvel

In the first episode of Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix) its titular cranky heroine says the girl she is tracking is ‘either an idiot in love or she’s being conned – which amount to pretty much the same thing.’ The series then grabs ahold of this sentiment and runs with it. In fact you could say that it follows the course of its tremendous opening theme-tune: plinky-plonky noir then all hell breaks loose. Continue Reading…

Extreme Bromance

June 26, 2015 — Leave a comment
Image Credit: NBC

Image Credit: NBC

The threat of domesticated AI is a trend in the near-future sci-fi genre at the moment: Extant (Amazon) had a creepy robo-kid, though, having failed to watch the whole series, I don’t know how dangerous he became; the Terminator franchise is – once again – ahem, back, as you may’ve seen in what must be the most desperate, tragic trailer of the decade; and now Channel 4 have their somewhat familiar take on us vs. robots, Humans. Continue Reading…

Image Credit: Steven Lippman/Steven Lippman/SHOWTIME

Image Credit: Steven Lippman/SHOWTIME

Infidelity is almost as vital a staple of television as the violent murder of young women. Convoluted assignations are practically the only things that occur in our beloved, cryogenically-frozen soap operas, and these often end in someone’s climactic death. There isn’t a marriage on the box that doesn’t harbour a cheat or a killer. The message seems to be this: that we, the gawping masses, either want someone other than our significant others, or we want to kill them. But the telly, our moral guardian, is ever on hand to save us from our dark desires and enact them, ad nauseam, for our delectation and, presumably, titillation. Continue Reading…

Maddening Mad Men

April 10, 2015
Image credit: AMC

Image credit: AMC

Alas, there wasn’t time to sit through every episode of Mad Men (AMC/Sky Atlantic), as I had pipedreamed, before the first episode of the second half of the final season (there’s an easier way to put that but as long as showrunners want to tease us with half-portions of final episodes, they should know how uncomfortable we all are). This may be a good thing: that trademark blend of purposeless sexism and misogyny, ranging from the puerile to the sadistic, was, frankly, trying by the end of this opener – exposure to 85 episodes might force a tough re-evaluation of the company one keeps on screen. Just as, say, OD-ing on Breaking Bad might make Walter White seem less of a troubled genius and more of a simpering slap-head. Continue Reading…

Image credit: Netflix

Image credit: Netflix

What a good and generous thing it is for Netflix to offer a month’s free trial. But then, also, how devious. You think you’ll be in and out like a seasoned bank robber, binge-watch your series of choice and ride off into a blank screen. Not so. For once you’ve watched your series of choice – House of Cards – there’s another series – Better Call Saul that’s released weekly; then there are all those others – Lillehammer, Orange is the New Black – that you’ve never had chance to see and had better stick around to see what the twit-crits having been raving about; and, finally, there are the future enticements, such as Marvel’s upcoming Daredevil.

It’s a racket, all right. Continue Reading…