House of Cards and the return of Sherlock [Spoiler-ish]

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First day of the new year I barely left my bed. Full on lazy day with a House of Cards marathon that lasted 6 hours followed by the new Sherlock. I can’t think of a better way to spend my day.

House of Cards reminds me of a darker, dirtier version of the West Wing seen not from the top but from the middle trying to climb their way up. I don’t mean to compare House of Cards with the West Wing just because it has white house politics in common, and I am fully aware that is a remake of a British series with the same name but sadly I’ve not seen said series to make any kind of comparison. What I like about House of Cards is that you see how each decision, each double cross, effects all the players from within the white house to those in the press and beyond that.

Despite Francis being quite possibly the actual devil you find yourself rooting for him to succeed. There is something quite captivating to see the master manipulator in action and seeing it all come to fruition, even when it doesn’t go to plan you know he has a way to bring it all back on track. Francis is playing chess, being 3 steps ahead of everybody and envisioning the whole chess board as he plays the people on it. Whilst those he’s manipulating can only see themselves and the moves that they make alone. The most telling of this is when an opponent Spinella tries to out manipulate the master manipulator and fails spectacularly. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the remaining 4 episodes holds.

To me the return of Sherlock was just as I imagined it would be and then some. Mark Gatiss is a brilliant writer, the script was smart, suspenseful and funny. A nice wink to the Sherlock fandom, specifically the obsessive fan fic writing kind. I also loved his performance as Mycroft. As much as I love the Sherlock/Holmes dynamic, there’s something that has to be said about Sherlock and Mycroft. Gatiss in an interview compared Mycroft and Sherlock’s relationship to that of Frasier and Niles Crane and I couldn’t agree more. I understand the reason why there is such a big rift in the Elementary version but even so I much prefer the brotherly dynamic in Sherlock. I have found there is a lot of talk, on Twitter mainly, of being a fan of one or the other. Personally I am a fan of both in equal measures, I appreciate what each of them bring to the table and I think Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch are brilliant Sherlock’s.

Next up on my TV viewing will be to finish up this current season of House of Cards and then may be start a mammoth series from scratch, one that I have yet to see…maybe Lost..

And yes I did have to read through the entire post to make sure I wrote House of Cards and not House of Lies, which by the way is also brilliant and well worth checking out.

2014

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When I first started this blog, many years a go, it was to document my efforts of broadening my televisual horizons. With the help of some twitter friends I had a pretty broad and lengthy list of shows that I either hadn’t heard of or hadn’t gotten around to watching. My one rule being that I had to watch anything I had been recommended. I did the best I could to watch as much as I could from the list but quite a lot of the shows where difficult to track down on DVD or otherwise. Eventually the list got lost in the whole Posterous debacle. I probably have the list within a blog post somewhere, I’m certain I have it written down in one of my many notebooks but it’s a question of which one..

As I ring in the new year doing what I seem to do every year, revamping my blog and making promises of posting more, why not start the list a fresh in order to maybe actually keeping that promise longer than a couple of months this year. With Netflix and other streaming sites continually adding TV shows to their roster, it should make it easier to make a list that I can keep to.

I really do love Netflix for feeding my TV addiction. I get a sense of accomplishment for finishing a monster series from start to finish. 2013 saw me finally watch every single episode of the X-Files 9 season run and it felt great to finally know what happened to Mulder’s sister and the big will they, won’t they. I also finally saw the entire 5 seasons of Kids in the Hall, after years of just watching just clips online. The Kids in the Hall series was such a brilliant show, I could watch it over and over again and I would have if it were not for the fact that it’s expiring from Netflix in a matter of hours. Oh and the West Wing! The West Wing! How could I forget that accomplishment, oh what a show and what a farewell!

The next couple of weeks I’ll be compiling a realistic list of shows for me to complete in it’s entirety within the year. At the top of that list is House of Cards, which I started watching on a whim at midnight on NYE, using writing this blog post as an excuse to watch just one more episode..

Arrested Development – Season 4 – 26th May – Only On Netflix

Arrested Development

Straight from Netflix: ‘Arrested Development. Season 4. 15 new episodes. 26 May. Only on Netflix.’

All 15 episodes will be released in one go at 12:01 AM PDT where Netflix is available – US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Latin America, Brazil and the Nordics.

US Gavin and Stacey Leads Cast

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The US Gavin and Stacey remake, entitled Friends and Family, has cast Jason Ritter as Gavin, Alexis Bledel as Stacey and Dustin Ybarra as Smithy. David Rosen is set to write and executive produce. The show is currently at pilot stage due to air in the fall TV season on Fox.

I’m not fond of remakes, especially of shows that aren’t even that old, they don’t tend to do well but networks seem very keen to keep on trying. I think they need to come to terms with the fact that the US  Office was an exception not the rule.  As this latest remake contains two actors that I greatly admire I am hoping that it will be a success and not end up on the long list of failed remakes.

Arrested Development coming sometime in May…

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Apparently early reports of a 4th May release wasn’t entirely accurate. Netflix have confirmed it will be releasing in May though. Who knows they may just turn around and release it on the 4th anyway.

If you haven’t read by now each episode will be named after a character and will be of varying length.

  • Michael 1
  • Michael 2
  • George Sr. 1
  • George Sr. 2
  • Lindsay 1
  • Lindsay 2
  • Tobias
  • Gob
  • Maeby
  • Lucille
  • Buster
  • George Michael 1
  • George Michael 2
  • Gob 2

The eps are apparently an ‘introduction’ to the upcoming movie. I assume this means it will set up the storyline for the movie to complete but that’s just purely speculation on my part.

I’ve noticed recently that there’s a neat little easter egg on the UK Netflix site. Although I don’t know if US Netflix watchers get this too, someone will have to confirm that for me. If you search for ‘Blue’ in the search engine,  there are blue marks in the back ground of the search results page. Click on any of the blue marks and just like the fake movies easter egg, it’ll play a relevant scene from Arrested Development. In this case it’s a scene from the first episode of season 2, where Tobias first blues himself…

Grown Up Colouring Books

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TeamArt have outdone themselves! I first came across their Jon Hamm colouring book earlier in the year and am ecstatic that they have followed up with many more themed books, Parks and Recreation and Hunky Dudes being among my favourites. Similar in concept to the Gangsta Rap Colouring Book, which I also love. As each book is individually made I’ll have to refrain from colouring it to an inch of it’s life, which I REALLY want to do! I really hope they bring out a Mad Men book next. Also is it just me or does the Hunky Dudes version of Jon Hamm look more like David James Elliott? Not that it’s a bad thing of course.

(Friends of mine please note that my birthday is just around the corner…)