Let’s talk televisuals..


Heroes, Season 4, NBC & BBC 2 *WARNING CONTAIN SPOILERS*
February 12, 2010, 2:38 pm
Filed under: Drama, Fantasy, GENRE, Thriller | Tags: , , , , , ,

If you’re finding it hard to fall asleep, put on an episode of the latest series of Heroes. To say it is abismal is an understatement. If you’re a loyal follower, you’ll know that

Sitting Stiff as their Show

although there is usually one or two disappointing episodes, you will still see it through till the end of the series with enough viewing satisfaction. But this time, you’ll find yourself feeling cheated till the very end of the series. The main problem being: you’ve seen most of it all before.

There are new characters but they just aren’t that interesting. There’s a deaf girl who randomly starts to see colours come off sound. First she sees it from her tap dripping and then eventually from a cello. If she plays it vehemently enough, the colours can physically hit things, like leaving holes in walls, for example. Eventually it turns out that when she plays the cello, it can attract people to her. It’s a pretty weird power.

They’ve also found a new villain: Samuel, who runs a carnival of “specials” and who thrives off other people’s powers. But he just doesn’t have the same charisma of Silar, who by the way is now turning good. There are a few other’s that come and go, like an invisible girl and a woman who can see the future. However, most of them are not very convincing actors.

Our main characters are all very much the same. Clare, the cheerleader has started college and is “struggling” to fit in. She still has her usual trust problems with her Dad. Peter is still trying to be the ultimate hero. Matt Parkman is still a cringeworthy actor and Suresh is still a bit of a drip (one bonus – there’s a lot less of Suresh, now). Frosty Tracy is still having problems holding her water. The one tragedy is the loveliest good guy, Hiro is dying from a brain tumour.

But none of the plots that they have at episode 1 seem to be carried through the series. I must have popped to the loo when Hiro was cured from his tumour or when Tracy figured out how to stop freezing herself. There is, also, a plot where Clare has a kiss with her new roommate Gretchen…but this lesbian plot turned out to be just another red herring. It was like they got two-thirds through the chapter and then suddenly did a handbreak turn and focused all the attention on Samuel and his carnival.

Sorry if this all seems a bit harsh, but lovers of this show will agree that when Heroes began it was full of thrills, great cliff-hangers and intriguing characters. One positive aspect is that the visual effects have remained fantastic throughout all four season’s.

*SPOILER* As usual, it all ends with the beginning of the next series – Chapter Five – where Clare uses the attention of the whole New York press to jump off the top of a Ferris Wheel. But whether this season will happen, is yet to be confirmed.

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Being Human, BBC Three, 11.30 pm
February 8, 2010, 4:06 pm
Filed under: Clip, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, GENRE, Horror, SPECIAL FEATURES | Tags: , , , , ,

Being Human

Ain't nothing human about this crew

It’s all going on in the West Country…

You see, there’s this flat-share with a ghost, werewolf and a vampire…and it’s all set in suburban Bristol. That must have been an interesting pitch meeting at BBC Three headquarters, nevertheless, ‘Being Human’, the channel’s pitch-black drama punctuated with laugh out loud humour has made it to its second series, with a third recently commissioned.

The set-up of the show is brilliant – mixing the supernatural with the relatively mundane nature of day-to-day flat-sharing such as a minor obsession with ‘The Real Hustle’ and the drinking of endless cups of tea.

But this really wouldn’t make for an exciting hour of television, and so Being Human is packed with drama – everything from death trying to track down the resident ghost, Annie, to the attempted ethnic cleansing of so-called evil werewolves and vampires by a group of religious nut-jobs.

And so to the most important part of what makes ‘Being Human’ such  abusive boyfriend in the first series and subsequently he rents out the house they shared to George and Mitchell, the hairy and toothy ones and so the ‘Terry and June’ set-up with added blood lust ensues.

Annie is bubbly, slightly dizzy and spends the first series trying to work out why she hasn’t passed over to the other side and is stuck in her Bristol-shaped purgatory. George the werewolf is sensible, neurotic and fond of list-making, making him the Monica of the group if this were Paranormal Friends.

The third part of the picture is made up of the louch and troubled vampire Mitchell, a man trying to conquer his insatiable lust for blood whilst exhibiting a natty line in jackets.

The way that the three characters bounce off each other is fantastic viewing, and the humour peppered in the script is a welcome relief from the frequent blood-letting and dark plot.

The second series is currently half way through its eight episode run and offers up new twists every week, meaning that there is definitely life in the old werewolf/vampire/ghost (delete as applicable) yet.

By Andrew Collier



True Blood, HBO (USA) and FX (UK)
"Delicious to taste but doesn't satisfy a true appetite"

"Delicious to taste but doesn't satisfy a true appetite"

Goodbye (and good riddance) to Buffy and Angel, we don’t need your shallow, try-hard, overacted reruns anymore. Vampires have got a whole new look with HBO’s True Blood and it’s dripping with an apt macabre and seriously steamy style. 

From the creators of Six Feet Under, this sexy new drama serves up a world where vampires are now citizens and living among us. This is thanks to a Japanese scientist creating synthetic blood called True Blood that is sold like a pack of beers in gas stations or a hot toddy in bars. Understandably, many are still apprehensive but there are the ignorant and nasty few who go that one step further.

Roses are red...

Blood is red, Veins are blue...

Based in  a small town in New Orleans, our story centres around a telepathic waitress, Sookie (Anna Paquin) who falls in love with her neighbour, a lonely vampire, five or six times her age, Bill. There are frequent murders occurring and the prime suspect is her horny, dumb brother, Jason. So she sets out to clear his name with the help of her new man.

The funny thing is, that True Blood is the real world sugarcoated in fresh blood, so to speak. It seems to reflect society with the moral issues it flags up. Such as the severe prejudice many hold against the vampires and the few that accept and protect them. V (vampire blood), the new trendy drug can take you to new psychedelic heights or repair you. So some humans will drain a vampire, just to get their fix or make some money.

The creators have combined an intricate fantasy world combined with the real one for you to get lost in. Enhanced by an above average cast and occasional slashes of timely humour, this is worth watching. Although not appealing to everybody, there are also quite a few vehemently graphic sexual and violent scenes.   But don’t get too high expectations. It’s not always that thrilling and the cliffhangers are often an anticlimax.

True Blood has already finished in America and has just been commissioned for a second series. Alas, UK viewers will have to wait until summer 2009 and that is only if you have FX Networks. Otherwise, box set recommended.



Heroes, BBC2, Wednesday 9pm

Heroes is back for an extremely anticipated third series! For those of you that have never watched this adventurous drama, it is X Men on the rocks with a twist. There are surprises at every single corner but several things set it apart from other American thrillers. You want to escape to this fantasy version of our world where supernatural beings exist.

In the first series, these gifted people are brought together to save the planet (and the cheerleader). Each gift is very unique and helpful to the cause. When Hiro, a desk clerk from Hong Kong finds out he can time travel, he also discovers that the end of the world is close by. With the inadvertent help of the Petrelli brothers, the cheerleader and a few others he goes on his mission.

Series two introduces some new characters, helps us get to know the existing ones and the significance of their relationships to one another. Always running along side the many intertwined story lines is our relentless villain, Silas. His gift is knowing how things work. We aren’t quite sure how he steals powers except that he lasers their head open and we believe eats their brain. Maybe, we’re wrong. If you have any other theory, we’d love to hear them.

Hiro

Adorable and hilarious: Hiro

Anyway, all bets are on that the new series called Chapter Three, Villains, is going to be as addictive as the last two. So far, the cliff hangers are dramatic have been interesting enough, that you are always be hungry for more.