Recent TV

December 23rd, 2013

Long time since I went over my telly watching, particularly considering how much telly I watch.  What have we seen of late?

The Killing Season 3: Hmmmm. The first season of this Danish procedural was great, the second pretty good, with the obsessive personality of Sarah Lund, the central character, always the backbone.  But it always did suffer slightly from spinning the wheels too long, sending you off down different blind alleys endlessly until you reached the point where no outcome was really surprising.  With this final series they managed to come up with a surprising ending, alright, but not in a good way. It worked well enough up until the final 10 minutes, at which point everyone suddenly behaved in a completely bizarre manner, utterly out of character, to create one of the most frustrating and disappointing non-endings I’ve ever seen on a series…

Borgen Season 3: More from the Danes, this time a third season of West Wing style political hijinks.  They change things up admirably this time around, with central character Birgitte Nyborg suddenly out of power and facing a whole new set of challenges in her attempts to get back in.  Some occasionally obvious outcomes, some sub-plots that work better than others, but generally there are strong characters and performances throughout, and rarely any simple answers.  During its run the West Wing seemed to become more and more absurdly idealistic, deviating further and further from what was actually going on in american politics at the time.  Borgen is all about the centre ground – about deals, about compromises, about grey areas – and it’s all the stronger for it.

Hell on Wheels Seasons 1 and 2: I was expecting this slightly offbeat western series, centring on an ex-confederate soldier who gets caught up in the violence and politics surrounding the attempt to link the east and west coasts by rail to be, well, a bit shit. But actually it’s pretty good, on the whole. Colm Meaney is always reliable as the scheming tycoon in charge, and a chilling turn from Christopher Heyerdahl as his nutcase sidekick the Swede. Not every character, subplot or, indeed, accent, is equally compelling, but once you’ve accepted that it ain’t no Deadwood it bangs along pretty nicely, with some snappy dialogue and philosophical digressions along the way.  Looking forward to the next season, and I hear it’s already been renewed for a fourth.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 3,261: I don’t watch it, but my wife assures me it goes from strength to strength…

Posted in film and tv by Joe Abercrombie on December 23rd, 2013.

8 comments so far

  • Badger says:

    Out of interest – have you tried BBC’s Ripper Street? The second season has just finished and both have been fantastic. It’s a huge shame that they have decided to cancel it, although there are talks of Amazon’s Lovefilm taking up the reigns.

  • innokenti says:

    I would really recommend Grey’s Anatomy. It has lots of genuinely interesting character drama, a great cast of characters that evolves and changes and good sense of humour.

    What you would appreciate most though, is that it’s set in the most lethal hospital in the US. For the doctors. The number of doctor deaths is… yeah. You’ll love it.

  • Bobby says:

    Have you seen the third season of Game of Thrones? If you have, what did you think?

  • Walt says:

    If you had to list your favourite TV shows of all time what would they be?

    And what do you think are the best shows currently on TV?

  • Graham says:

    I have seen some Grey’s anatomy with the wife, it seems to mainly be Doctors talking about their feeling with Coldplay in the background. Possibly would be better if they put on some thrash metal.

    Person of Interest is my current favourite, seems a breath of fresh air to have mainly self contained episodes with such excellent characters.

  • James says:


  • deckard says:

    @walt. I very much second this. Also, please say you would never let anyone besides HBO even touch the first law.

  • Rob says:

    Banshee, oh god yes! best fight scenes on television bar none and absolutely batshit crazy.

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