Thursday 6 July 2023

Lately I've Been Watching


My latest mini TV and film reviews, with trailers and 'where to watch'.  I haven't done one of these for several months as I've been busy writing my new series, so I haven't included everything I've seen or the post would go on forever!  

If you have trouble finding where any show/film is available in your country, this is a good site: Justwatch.  Just put the name of the show into the search, and choose your country further down, from the drop-down menu.  It shows where you can stream, buy or rent.  

If you can't find what you're looking for, try putting 'where can I watch (name of show)' into your search engine

If you would like to see more posts, please click here: Lately I've Been Watching.  If you get as far as the bottom, 'Older Posts' will take you to more.

Chocks away, then :)

Series: Colony - 3 seasons (2015-18)

5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I started watching this when it came out and for some reason only saw a few episodes, but recently I thought I'd give it another go.  A good choice indeed!  It's set in San Diego during the calm-after-the-storm of an alien invasion, but that part of the storyline is subtle; at first we're not quite sure who the enemy actually is, just that life is precarious and freedom is greatly restricted.  

As the story progresses, the divisions between the humans living in the occupied territory take centre stage as the full horror of the situation is slowly revealed.  I liked the first season a lot but preferred the next two, as life becomes more dangerous.  Definitely recommend this!  Stars Josh Holloway (yum) and Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori in TWD).  Shame it was cancelled after 3 seasons, but there is a proper ending.

Series: Rabbit Hole - Season 1 (2023)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐

(Paramount +)

Kiefer Sutherland stars in action conspiracy thriller, as John Weir, a private espionage operative.  Very different from Jack Bauer, btw.  Also stars Charles Dance, Jason Butler Harner (a favourite of mine) and various others you'll recognise.  Explosions and chases, unexpected twists and clever plot lines.  Good 'un.

Series: Black Mirror - Season 6 (2023)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Liked the first one - Annie Murphy, Salma Hayek, a nightmare scenario in which Murphy's character (Joan) switches on the TV to see that her whole life has become a TV show called Joan Is Awful.  Best of all was#2, Loch Henry - far superior to the other four and says so much about the TV industry.  Basic premise: the shocking truth about a serial killer revealed.  #3 was good, too (Aaron Paul in space - he's an actor I always love to watch).  Those three were up to standard, but I didn't think the last two were as good as usual.  A bit on the daft side.  

I've just discovered that Charlie Brooker no longer writes these; instead, they're put together by a team of Netflix writers.  Explains everything.

Series: The Last Kingdom - 5 seasons & film (2015 - 23)

5 stars plus plus ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Fiction based around historical fact, from the Saxon Stories series by Bernard Cornwell.  Tells the story of Uhtred, a displaced Saxon lord who grew up with Danes.  

Loved it so much I watched it all over again as soon as I'd finished it.  Yes, the whole 5 seasons.  Blog post listing my favourite and least favourite characters HERE (lots of pics and gifs).

Series: The Last Thing He Told Me (2023)

3.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Drama starring Jennifer Garner and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - husband goes missing and wife uncovers conspiracy.  Entertaining, a little plodding, nothing to write home about but worth watching if you've got nowt else much to do.

Series: Succession - 4th and final season (2023)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

(HBO Max)

The end of this gripping series about the obscenely wealthy Roy family, all of them the most self-centred, materialistic, manipulative, scheming and just plain nasty people you've ever met.  But it's so good!  All the stars for Matthew MacFadyen as Tom Wambsgans, one of my favourite TV characters for ages.  If you haven't seen this show, do - it'll make you thankful you're one of the 'little people'.

And for fellow Tom fans, here are some of his best moments.

Film: Nefarious (2023)

5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Heard about this on Twitter - gripping.  Wealthy psychiatrist hired to assess a vicious serial killer to see if he's insane (and therefore cannot be put to death), or faking it.  The killer claims to be the Devil, inhabiting the body of killer Edward Brady and making him do terrible things ... as he does with many other people.  Before long, Dr Martin starts to believe him.  

A Christian independent horror film that will give you a lot to think about...

Series: Silo - Season 1 (2023)

4* ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Always difficult to watch a TV show when you've read the book, and this contained many plot lines that weren't in the book at all; the cliffhanger at the end of the season actually occurs about a third of the way through the book.

It's about a time in the future when 10K people live underground in a purpose-built silo, with no idea why or how the world worked before.  Stars Rebecca Ferguson as Juliette Nichols, a mechanic who gets the job of Sheriff, and Tim Robbins, the mayor who plots her downfall and knows a lot more than anyone else about the silo's true history. 

It's good, worth watching, but not one of my favourites.  

Series: The Village - 2 seasons (2013/4)

S1: 4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐

S2: 3* ⭐⭐⭐


2013-2014 drama.  Season 1 took place during WW1, telling the story of a Derbyshire village and how the war affected the people, from impoverished farmers (Maxine Peake and John Simm) to those at the 'big house' (Juliet Stevenson as matriarch).  It was jolly good, a gritty drama showing the reality of shell shock, the shooting of deserters, the attitude towards conscientious objectors.  

Season 2 was very different.  Set in 1923, about the aftermath and the sociological problems created by the war.  Had a feeling of made-for-American-TV-like-Downton-Abbey about it.  More of a soap opera, full of plot clichés.  Not surprised it was cancelled, really.  Shame, because it could have been terrific.

Film: The Covenant (2023)

5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


New Guy Ritchie film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim, set amidst the war in Afghanistan.  Not giving any of the plot away, but it's excellent.  Brutal, tightly plotted, atmospheric, moving - highly recommend.  Unless you don't do violence, of course.  I gather it's based on a true story, but I'm not sure how closely.

Series: The Marvellous Mrs Maisel  

5th (final) season (2023)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐


The right time to end this show, I thought, and a good final season that contained the added interest of scenes from past and future.  I do love a flashback and a flash forward, though in some ways the future ones were rather depressing!  Really enjoyed it, though.  Rachel Brosnahan is ... marvellous.  Do watch from the start if you've never tried - Mrs Maisel is a stand-up comic, in the late 1950s/early 60s, in New York.  Even if you don't think it's your sort of thing, I bet you'll love it :)

Series: Crowded Room (2023)

5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Not finished yet but I'm loving it so far.  Explores the mind of a disturbed young man who is taken into custody following a shooting.  Can't say much more because *spoilers*, but if you love intricate psychological drama/thrillers, you'll want to see this.  Amanda Seyfried plays the psychologist who becomes fascinated by Danny's story.

Scifi series: La Brea (2021)

1* ⭐

(Paramount +)

Truly, truly dreadful.  Dialogue is so hackneyed it's like a parody, acting is pretty awful (though no one could do anything with dialogue that bad), characters are ridiculous.  Managed one and a half episodes. 

Mom driving teens to school when suddenly the road collapses, leaving a massive hole.  The people who fall through it wake up to discover they're in an alternative reality.

Yet they cancelled Raised By Wolves....


  1. Great summaries, TT. I'd have liked to see season 1 of The Village. That sounds right up my street! A couple of others there sound intriguing as well, but I'd skip the alien invasion.

    1. Yes, The Village #1 was most excellent. A shame the producers then said, 'how about we make this into a soap opera and sell it to those yanks?' !!! The alien invasion is excellent - it's not about aliens (you never see them) but about how the people react :) Thanks for taking a look although you have no telly!!!! xx