His Dark Materials
This seemed pretty good. It’s a little more slow paced and toned down than the movie (from what i remember of the movie, which isn’t a lot) and seems a little more ‘real world’.
The main cast seems pretty good and the direction and writing seems to make the best out of what is probably a much smaller budget than the movie.
Some of the stuff about the church, academic freedom and dust seems a bit more on-the-nose than I remember, but that might be because I know the story already, or because I’m a bit older than the target audience.
(My main worry would be that I’m not quite sure on the target audience. It’s probably a bit old for kids and a bit young for adults. Maybe ok though, kinda Dr Who like).
The only flaw I foresee is that this version won’t have Eva Green in it, which is an automatic deduction. On the other hand, despite being the best thing in everything, she does tend to pick a lot of losing projects (other than Penny Dreadful) so maybe it’s a good sign for the show.
Oh, and if you watch the first episode on iPlayer (or maybe elsewhere) DO NOT WATCH the ‘coming soon on His Dark Materials’ bit at the end. I expected it to just be the next episode, but it basically shows you the entire bloody series.
End of the F*ing World (Season 1)
I had somehow thought this was a US drama, and it was only while reading about season 2 and it becoming a cult hit in the US that I read it was a C4 thing.
I’m not sure there’s actually as much depth there as first appears, but I can see why it got a following. It’s pretty addictive and I burned through about 3-4 episodes in one sitting. It starts off really strongly, but it seems to be slightly losing steam now… but the performances of the 2 leads are strong enough that I want to see where it goes.
Alyssa in particular is one of those guilty-pleasure characters that are really pretty awful, but also tend to say/do what we really want to do, but would never have the guts to do.
I can see why I thought it was a US drama though. It’s shot in a very US style. Even a lot of the locations and scenery seem to be framed as the US. The suburbs they start in look much more like US suburbs than any I’ve seen in the UK… but that might be partly due to framing, lighting, filters, etc.
I tried to get into Fleabag again, but despite it being smart it’s not actually very funny. I don’t think it’s made me laugh once. It’s also a bit in the ‘cringe-comedy’ genre like The Office, which I never really got along with - if it’s too awkward I just press pause or change the channel.
(End of the F*ing World somehow gets away with this because what Alyssa says is awkward, but it’s also intentional and what we wanted her to say. It also made me laugh more. )
So, anyway, in search of something funny, and even though it’s not new, I decided to try Black Books because it’s by the same people as Father Ted and The IT Crowd, but I never really watched it back in the day.
It’s very much in the same comedy style as those two, which is great because it made me LOL more in 5 minutes than the last 5 various comedy shows I’ve watched managed combined.