Ploughed my way through a few series of late and thought I would air my views because … well, that’s what a blog’s for, right?
Damages, Season 1 was really very good, I thought. You can tell from the title sequence it’s going to be well put together and it really is, from plotting to editing to acting. I like the way the murder-mystery framing story is used to add great drive to what might otherwise be somewhat plodding courtroom antics in the early episodes, and the drama ratchets up nicely with a plot that keeps on a-twisting right to the end. And Glenn Close is suitably scary, of course, though it’s a great cast all round. Big fan of Zeljko Ivanec. He’s nuanced, man.
Breaking Bad, Season 1 was good, if slightly disappointing for me, since I’d heard such great things. Bit like the Hurt Locker in that respect, I guess. Interesting in that the main problem I had with it early on was a lack of sympathy for the central characters. Ha. Me. It got a lot better as it went along, though, but it was over before it really felt like it was going. Bryan Cranston is great, as everyone says he is, but overall it feels like a foreword. Remains to be seen whether they can do something really interesting with it.
Wallander, some episodes of. Hmmm. Beautifully shot, what with the defocus round the edges and the strong colours and the endless emptiness of the swedish countryside. Acting masterclass from Kenneth Brannagh, who can achieve more with one dishevelled eyebrow than many TV detectives do in a whole career. And I like that Wallander isn’t particularly a mass of character ticks as detectives can often be. You know, no crosswords, real ale, classical music, that kind of thing. He’s just a lonely, depressive curmudgeon. But the plots are kind of rubbish, to be honest, managing to be both banal and unrealistic at once. And apart from David Warner doing a great turn as Wallander’s increasingly senile dad, Brannagh’s incandescent drabness makes everyone else seem like watery non-people.
Other than that, just starting the fifth season of Lost. Pretty, sweaty people looking scared in a jungle? Never gets old.