Mildred Pierce – Tonight

Mildred Pierce is a new miniseries fresh from HBO in America and shown on Sky Atlantic to prove that America is capable at making a good period drama too, though with less Hugh Bonneville.

Mother of two, Mildred Pierce, played by lovely Kate Winslet, is swiftly left by her husband. Having to fund herself she goes looking for work… and then she finds it. Yes, this is most certainly the first episode; not a huge amount of excitement but plenty of establishing of plot, era and character.

Everything looks great, almost cinematic if not playing in the wrong aspect ratio on my decrepit TV set, and the acting is top-notch… just not a lot happens. Luckily with the quality of production in Mildred Pierce you will most likely look past a lacklustre start with the hope of a more riveting continuing series.

Mildred Pierce airs on Sky Atlantic tonight, 25th June at 9pm.

You Must Watch Community Tonight

You there! Do you have Viva? Apparently it’s a Freeview channel here in the UK. Go and check, I’ll watch this trailer for Community while I wait…

You do have it? Great! Well tonight on Viva at 10pm the best new American comedy since 30 Rock airs it’s first episode. Community is a smart ensemble sitcom that will soon be what you look forward to each week. It’s funny, clever and has no laughter track.

Lovely.

A Live Weekly Daily Show

This is old news by now but interesting all the same. Channel 4 are developing the UK’s answer to The Daily Show in the form of a weekly live show filled with topical commentary and fronted by David Mitchell, Jimmy Carr, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne. The same line-up that brought us Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night that was quite popular with the all important young people… and me.

I’ll be watching in October, though probably not live unless someone buys me a TV… and a TV license.

A Bit More Fry and Laurie

This autumn one of my all time favourite comedy duos reunites for a special retrospective on GOLD, a channel known for it’s endless repeats of classic British TV. Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie have filmed the programme looking back over their careers together, discussing their friendship, sketches and memories.

Expect lots of gushing and plenty of classic clips and maybe even a mention of House. What I really want from this is for them to announce an actual proper reunion where they act side by side once more. I don’t care if it’s a one-off A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Fry guest-starring on House or any other situation that has this pair working together again for real.

Below is their first sketch from their first ever episode:

Wasn’t He Good?

Speaking of good TV wasn’t Doctor Who great this weekend? Maybe The Lodger wasn’t the scariest episode ever but it was really enjoyable. The back and forth between James Corden and Matt Smith was hilarious, sorry Corden haters, and the man upstairs suitably creepy. Shame that Karen Gillan was kept so far from The Doctor this week as I do enjoy their chemistry too.

The two part finale looks all kinds of epic so expect me back here in two weeks having a bit of a gush or, if things go badly, a rant.

Randall and Hopkirk (Revived)

It seems that Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) is getting itself an American makeover. Having been an ITV series way back in the late sixties and then on the BBC from the year 2000 the show about two detectives, one of which is dead, is potentially to be made for the Syfy network in America.

The pilot is being written and executive produced by alums from Scrubs and American Dad so the series, while being an hour long buddy-cop style drama, is certainly being treated as a comedy. As close to Psych as they can get it the better.

The Syfy network has a murky history of original productions as their numerous mini-series and TV movies are a testament to. However in their long list of sloppy television sits the late and great Battlestar Galactica series that demonstrated that TV remakes and Syfy originals can be truly fantastic.

I know I’ll at least give it a try.

Bones Hits 100 Episodes

This past hour Sky One has aired the 100th episode of Bones. This was an episode highly anticipated not just for its premise of showing Booth and Brennan’s first case together but for the show runner’s promise of a change in the relationship between the pair. Did it deliver? Well read on for a spoiler filled look at this milestone episode.
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Veronica Mars Movie? I Doubt It

Since its finish three years ago, as with most cancelled TV shows, talk of a movie spin-off from Veronica Mars was rife before the idea was pretty much given up on last year. Out of nowhere yesterday the show’s creator Rob Thomas said, “It’s not dead,” before continuing to explain that while the film is far from being green-lit, or even written, he still wants to make it.

I’ve no idea how it came up in conversation as the film seemed little more than a Serenity fuelled fan fantasy and not something that is actually feasible. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Veronica Mars and was sad to see it go but there isn’t really an audience for one; even in the US few people watched the show which is why it was cancelled. In order to make a film version you need a big fan base in place to ensure a healthy profit.

Of course even if you can guarantee an audience the film itself could well be terrible. Yes Serenity was a great follow up to Firefly but Dead Like Me: Life After Death was a pretty good example of when a TV series should be left to rest in peace rather than dragged back for one last woeful story.

At the end of the day I’d kill for a bit more Veronica Mars, but I’d rather they got on with it than kept dithering about with it in development hell. Shiv or get off the pot you might say, if you were illiterate.

Forget the Cinema This Weekend

I’d love to present a list of Easter related films to watch, but barring any Jesus led epics I can’t think of any. Combine that with cinema’s lacklustre selection at the moment, barring Kick Ass of course and your Easter weekend is going to be served by the TV. Unless you want to go outside or something.

Tonight we get the return of Doctor Who which will either prove to be the best thing ever or a sore disappointment, the way my expectations have been raised is worrying. Stephen Moffat is easily the best writer the new series has seen and so having him as the essential show runner can only raise the show’s game. Matt Smith will hopefully bring a fresh energy to the role and Karen Gillan brings the first attractive assistant I can remember.

Tomorrow we get another slightly odd man in a long coat as Jonathan Creek returns for another special with Sheridan Smith taking on the sidekick role for a second time. Admittedly the previous special was a bit lacklustre, the twist coming from nowhere without any real clues, but it was enjoyable all the same. I can’t help but enjoy Alan Davies’ performance and fail to guess how the trick was pulled off.

Forget the cinema, the BBC is bringing the entertainment to you.

Doctor Who is on tonight 3rd April at 6:20pm BBC One

Jonathan Creek is on Sunday 4th April at 8:00pm BBC One