Hunted Episode 4, Review

October 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

“We need the answers before we ask the questions,? says Keel in this week’s episode. Well, sorry Keel, I know you’re very vague and important, but we’ve all got questions.

Like how does Sam even do her job with that many flashbacks? It’s probably difficult enough doing data entry, let alone being a spy, if you have to stop every five minutes to remember that time you did something in black and white.

And while were on it, what kind of spy doesn’t keep her mobile on silent? Even I keep my mobile on silent and you can generally find me just by following the trail of socks.

And speaking of socks, why does Sam wear such grey underwear? It’s the colour of a Windows 95 notification window and it depresses me.

Of course, I’ll never get an answer if I ask like that. The correct way to ask a spy question is to say, ‘What do you know about Sam’s grey underwear?’, wait for someone to say ‘What’s Sam’s grey underwear?’, then shoot back ‘That’s what I need you to find out’ and stride purposefully out of the room to have another conversation where no-one says hello or goodbye.

These unanswered questions are irritating enough on their own terms, but infuriating when you consider that Hunted’s main strength is that everything’s easy to understand. I like that it’s comfortingly clichéd, and the way everything’s laid out for you.

I like that Sam’s post-it notes, discovered by Aidan, literally say things like “Who??, “What?? and “Was it this guy??, with a big arrow and a photograph.

I like that they’ve thought, “Okay, we’ve got a new black character and he’s a criminal, better be careful here. Oh wait, I know how we’ll get the PC brigade off our backs, we’ll have a scene where he plays rap music too loud in his car, and we’ll call him Tyrone!?

More than anything though, I like how young Edward announces, “It was very cold at the cemetery this morning?, which roughly translated means, “It was very sad at the cemetery this morning.? I personally can’t wait for Edward’s first kiss bathed in bright sunshine, the thunderstorm as he’s dumped and the happy little rainbow when he starts exploring his sexuality later that year.

The above are all highlights, but you do feel there are moments when they’ve missed a trick. For example, when the ‘left wing economics expert’ is bludgeoned to death with a bust of Karl Marx – an inspired touch, I’m sure you’ll agree – the murderer doesn’t say “The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain? or “You were right, Marx is hard!?.

This is an awful shame. But there is good news: the director has stumbled on a fantastic shot for dramatic dialogue scenes, in which one character stands in blurry profile, whilst the other talks to camera face on, and they all look like they’re in the Mamma Mia video.

Hunted, Episode 3: Review (Minor Spoilers)

October 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

HUNTED, Thursday 18th October, BBC ONE, 9pm

The best thing about Hunted is undeniably the table made out of a giant i-Pad which the feisty Scottish one uses to fling documents literally – literally – across her desktop at the assembled spies. It’s absolutely great. She grabs the docs and she flings ‘em to the edges of the table, but do they fall off? Do they heck! They stop at the edge, like the first version of snake.

That is, they do if you don’t hold a normal-sized i-Pad underneath – or at least a non-branded device which looks rather a lot like an i-Pad – in which case they slither pleasingly off the edge and jump in.

I’d never get one, of course, or I’d forever be flinging pornography and half-written cover letters at people, and accidentally zooming my solitaire game into the mobile of someone who’s just sat down for lunch, but it is very cool.

The second best thing about Hunted, and there is a large gap between this and the magic table, is when somebody says something like, ‘You might find that difficult, Mr Jones, when you’re dead!’ and shoots them in the face.

Admittedly, there is nothing of that calibre in this week’s episode (or indeed of the calibre of the first week’s, “An accident? Is it my son?? “No, it is you!?), but there is a fantastic moment in which Aiden deadpans into his mobile, “The fish is on the line, I repeat, the fish is on the line.?

Now, we mere mortals can only guess the impenetrable nature of the message hidden within this top-secret code – a code formulated by the top crackers in the world – so I suppose it’ll have to go down in history as one of those unsolvable enigmas like, “The pig is in the poke? or, “I’m going to take the D-O-G for a W-A-L-K.?

In other news, Aiden is the mole, the Cockneys are still on the run from Guy Richie who’s chasing after them with a big sack shouting “Get back in my brain where you belong!?, and the Scottish one who controls the magic table still won’t hook up with Fowkes.

On the upside, the plot seems to be getting thicker, but it still wouldn’t keep you warm if you wore it as a jumper, and Sam seems to have put down the sledge hammer and settled for a mere mallet in her attempts to get it into our skulls that she’s bonding with the little Turner boy.

In this week’s episode, for example, she gives him her favourite childhood book but declines to proffer him her naked breast, which is much better since she’ll almost certainly end up having to kill him anyway and we’ll all feel emotionally blackmailed and dirty.

Things We’ve Learnt From….The New Jack Reacher Trailer

October 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

The second trailer’s just been released for Jack Reacher, the film adaptation of Lee Child’s thriller about the 6’5? Military Police Officer with the 50? chest. But where is this giant, this behemoth who walks among us, this titan who breathes the rarefied air at the sky’s ceiling? Read more

5ive, Atomic Kitten, 911 and B*Witched to Reunite For ITV Show

October 18, 2012 by  
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In 1999 5ive felt Invincible, but just two years later they, and we, suffered Breakdown. For fans of the band it came as no surprise, and it became not a matter of if, but When The Lights Go Out.

However, this year, the band began Gettin’ Down and Got The Feelin’ they Don’t Wanna Let Go, and now they’re reuniting Until The Time Is Through.

They will join a whole roster of other 90s stars for a new ITV2 documentary called The Big Reunion, which will follow the bands as they rehearse for a fortnight and then perform a huge comeback show.

Rumours abound as to who the other bands might be, but it seems likely that Atomic Kitten will be Whole Again and that we might see A Little Bit More of unfortunately-named-for-the-noughties band 911.

Some other less well-known bands are also tipped to make an appearance, including Liberty X, B*Witched and early 90s girl group The Honeyz, around whom there’s been a lot of buzz.

Liberty X are chiefly remembered from the genre-spawning reality show Popstars, and it is now often heard that they were the show’s first winners, but that’s Hearsay, and they are actually a group formed of the same year’s losers.

ITV’s head of digital channels Angela Jain said, “A lot has happened in the time these bands have been apart – marriages, divorces and changes in careers – and who knows quite what will happen when they reunite.?

Fight Club, A History of Violence: Episode 2 Review

October 17, 2012 by  
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Fight Club: A History of Violence, Wednesday 17th October, Yesterday, 9pm

The first rule of Fight Club: A history of violence, is that if you don’t have a beard, you don’t know sh*t.

As such, this week’s episode of the four-part documentary series is essentially a collection of different facial hair telling you things about fighting.

In keeping with this, last week’s wonderful blogger-cum-historian Lucy Inglis has been ditched and replaced with a moustache, albeit a moustache which seems to know what it’s talking about and sounds like it’s smoked a hundred a day since conception. Read more

Misfits Season 4 Trailer Revealed

October 17, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Misfits returns on E4 soon, and to whet our appetite a new 40 second trailer’s been released.

The teaser shows an electrical storm similar to the one that gave the original Misfits their powers, but this time it endows the new characters, Jess (Karmla Crome) and Finn (Nathan McMullen), with their own abilities.

Jess has X-ray vision and Finn will have telekinesis “but not in an A-list kind of way?, whilst gender-swapping, time-bending Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) and Rudy (Joseph Gilgun), – both of him – return for another series.

David Mitchell Talks About His New Sit-Com

October 16, 2012 by  
Filed under News

David Mitchell is teaming up with Peep Show co-star and old university mate Robert Webb for a new BBC comedy about the British Embassy in the fictional country of Tazbekistan.

Our Men will follow Mitchell’s Keith Davis, the new British Ambassador, and his team, with Webb as his deputy, Neil.

In a recent interview with Reader’s Digest, Mitchell said, “We couldn’t believe that something along these lines hadn’t been written before.?

“Like a lot of things we do, it’s exploring different attitudes to authority.? However, expect it to be very different from Peep Show, because “these are highly capable senior people who very much have jobs.”

The newly-married actor also stressed that “some people will think my character is right and some people will think he’s wrong and both sets of people will be correct.?

Our Men will hit our screens in 2013, but if you can’t wait for a bit of Mitchell and Webb action, Peep Show’s back on the 9th of November.

Sing For Your Life: Review

October 15, 2012 by  
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Sing For Your Life, Monday 15th Oct, Channel 4, 8pm

I challenge you to watch this documentary without welling up. I do so for two reasons: firstly, because I want you to watch it anyway, and secondly, because I do not think it is physically possible.

Sing For Your Life follows a newly-formed choir, consisting solely of cancer sufferers, as they form, learn to sing, and finally perform live at the Albert Hall. But they also have another purpose: the choir is part of an experiment to find out whether singing can improve cancer-sufferers’ well-being.

Now, unquestionably, they are all terrible singers. But, as condescending as it sounds, this really couldn’t be further from the point. Because there’s something undeniably special about bad but enthusiastic choirs. They remind you of school, they remind you of quaint Welsh villages, they remind you that music, that quintessentially public thing, has somehow become something private that you listen to alone on the bus (or, if you’re a teenager, in public, on the bus). But the point is this: music doesn’t have to be good to be good.

Its a very unusual thing, really, because here we have a group of very average singers, some of whom have always dreamed of doing it, some joining in for a laugh, and all with a sob story: exactly the same ingredients as the X Factor, but somehow more honest, more wonderful, less cringeworthy.

There is, however, too much clapping. Far, far too much. They clap when someone introduces themselves, they clap at the end of each performance, sometimes they just clap because they seem to like the sound, but mostly they clap because some non-cancer sufferer has made them start. You feel like screaming: “They’re not children! Well, some of them are. But still, if there’s one group of people you should never patronise, its children!?, but it’s rather a mouthful.

All in all though, it’s a beautifully-made documentary, but beautiful in an unobtrusive way that serves only to emphasise what’s being said, like the tiny, hidden German-made microphones Tom Cruise probably imagines are hidden inside his house.

Johnny Balls Up

October 15, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Johnny Ball, the former presenter, and father of ‘90s wild-child Zoe Ball, was the first to be voted off Strictly this week.

The 74 year-old had been dancing with his new partner Iveta Lukosiute, having accidentally broken the leg of the previous one.

However, their foxtrot couldn’t quite stand up to Richard Arnold and Erin Boag’s cha cha cha to ‘Love Shack’ by the B-52s, and Ball was kicked off the show by Judges Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tolioni.

Ball, though upset at the tough break, seemed reasonably upbeat about his performance, saying “I think for my age I did quite, quite well?.

Strictly Come Dancing returns for another X Factor-slaying week with a Hollywood-themed show next Saturday.

Hunted, Episode 2: Review

October 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

HUNTED, Thursday 11th October, BBC ONE, 9pm

Hunted’s back, and in this episode Hunter, who is also a hunter (!) becomes hunted (!!). Christ.

Given the writers’ predilection for word play, they probably already know that Sam Hunter is an anagram of ‘Name Hurts’, and also, incidentally, ‘Trash Menu’, but if they don’t, expect it to be the lynchpin of a later episode.

Anyway, in this episode, Sam stays undercover at the Cockneys’ house, whilst Hassan, betrayed and captured, is bundled into their basement for interrogation. Here, he takes turns being beaten up by the Cockneys’ magical chain which inflicts only superficial and photogenic injuries, and being interrogated by Sam, who thinks he knows who tried to have her killed.

Read more

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