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Chicago PD (2014)
not very good
Yet another cop series set in Chicago this time which takes a dirty cop who first appeared in the excellent Chicago fire. Everything that is bad and over the top in cop shows is in this one. The lead actor overacts and you can see his face contorting as he tries to keep up his gravelly accent.
When you watch a show which has such a false unlikable lead it is really quite difficult to get into. I also have to say when the lead actor is a dirty cop it is difficult to know who to cheer for. This is certainly not Dick Wolf's best work and I would be surprised if it makes it into a second series unless it considerably improves.
The Waltons (1971)
not very good
Set during the Great Depression this series follows the life and times of the Waltons. It is made up of four generations who all live on Walton Mountain. Despite displaying sound family values there was always a rather sickly gooiness which seemed to permeate in every single episode. The most annoying part for me was everyone saying goodnight to each other at the end of each episode.
Despite it being the depression nobody ever seemed to go short of anything and there was always a huge amount of food o the table. This is really not the way things were and it tries to give out a message that the Lord will provide. This rather vomit inducing moral warmth ruined what potentially could have been a good show.
Screenplay: The Mozart Inquest (1986)
The Mozart Inquest
I remember watching this some years ago. The question being posed was how did Mozart die ? The actors and actresses had no set lines. They had been given material to research on their characters. The people asking the questions were real life barristers and it tried to unravel the questions and conspiracy theories of what actually happened. It helped if the viewer knew some background to it.
Several theories were put forward to an audience who had to vote on who they thought was the guilty party. I cannot remember what the result was but I think it was either rheumatic fever or his wife did it. Overall it was very good and one barrister in particular I would have liked defending me should I ever need it.
The Naked Civil Servant (1975)
Disgusting and tasteless
This is not me gaybashing. This film is pure filth. It tells the story of Quentin Crisp, one of the most outrageous homosexuals that has ever lived. He wore make up, nail polish, dyed his hair and was totally effeminate in every way. At a time when gays are trying to gain acceptance a character like this did no service back then and certainly does no service now to gays wanting to be seen as normal. The nauseating accent which John Huer put on for this film really set the tone for what followed. It was a portrayal of a real social misfit who made no attempt whatsoever to live properly in decent society. He may be a hero to some people in the gay community but to me he was little more than a show off extrovert who dressed and acted the way he did purely to try and make a statement. Tasteless.
The Brady Bunch (1969)
This is on my list of worst 5 programs to have ever been made in the US. The list in no particular order are this, The little house on the prairie, The Waltons, champion the wonder horse and perhaps the worst of the lot Joanie loves Chachi.
The idea for this was quite good. 3 girls 3 boys and 2 parents growing up together so where did it all go wrong ? The scripts were terrible, the acting equally bad and everything was completely unbelievable and far removed from American life.
Added to this was one of the most annoying them tunes ever written for the small screen and we have the complete disaster. Awful, really really bad and a blessing to the current generation that they have not been subjected to this,
North America (2013)
I am a fan of wildlife documentaries and take in as many as I can. I live in Washington State where we do have our share of wildlife. First of all the plus points: It has been beautifully photographed with great attention to detail and the sequences under water have been quite breathtaking. On the ground the one eyed bobcat hunting gulls and the intelligent hunting by the wolves has also been beautifully photographed.
Tom Selleck does a great job narrating in subdued though expressive tones and this is a good accompaniment to the already mentioned superb photography.
Now the BIG negative. The music choice. Playing 'wild thing' when the snakes are mating and California dreamin (that hippie drug anthem) whilst showing the west coast is completely unnecessary and in a way displays a lack of respect to the dignity of what we are watching.
Anglia TV's jewel which showed the world's wildlife to the viewing public of the UK. This was ITV's first foray into this after the BBC had made zooquest. A string of well known actors were brought in to read the scripts and this was one of the first shows that centred on the animals rather than the people. You rarely if ever saw a presenter and this was the forerunner to the may shows that the BBC have now put together.
My favourite ones include Tiger, tiger narrated by Kenneth More, the one with the gorillas and the two with Bill Arjan Singh about Tara and Harriet, a tiger and leopard.
I'd love a DVD collection to come out. The best ones were made by Joan and Alan Root.
Endurance UK (1998)
Absolutely awful. This was a take on the popular Japanese game show endurance where the contestants go through various forms of torture until by elimination there is a winner.
This British version was awful. Paul Ross presided over this with the incredibly annoying Mr Ochi and Mr Kochi putting contestants in unpleasant as opposed to dangerous situations.
I suppose we can reflect on the fact that Challenge TV made this which probably meant no reputable network would go near it. Just when you thought this rubbish was over the two 'Japanese' gentleman then did some awful singing to finish it.
Thankfully this was off the air very quickly. View the original Japanese one if you can, that was good in parts though sometimes a little sadistic.
This would have got 1/10 but gets a bonus point for a very pretty girl hitting the gong between rounds.
The Loneliest Runner (1976)
Not very good
I saw this many years ago and really thought Michael Landon was on a bit of an ego trip here. Interestingly I was watching it with a kid from school (I went to a boarding school) and this kid always was wetting the bed and then rather stupidly said he always wanted to be a fireman which inevitably let to much laughter and cruel jokes.
Back to the film, it charts a 14 year old who runs home each day to retrieve his soiled sheet which his Mother hangs out of the window as a punishment. This running ability eventually lands him a gold medal at the Olympics. All totally unbelievable. Why didn't the boy just remove the sheet himself in the morning when he got up ? Michael Landon described the film as semi autobiographical. I'd have loved to have seen him running on his 4 packs of smokes per day.
Not very good and certainly not a true story.
Blue Bloods (2010)
Can get a bit gooey
From the top I think Tom Selleck is excellent in this and plays the part of a calm Police Commissioner who has to deal with the day to day crises in New York as well as playing Politics with the Mayor.
I also think his Father is very well cast as the retired police commissioner who has all those years of experience of the Police and life in general and comes across as a favourite 'uncle'.
Where I start to have a problem with this is the incredibly annoying Danny. Any police officer who conducted his business on the streets the way he does would have either been kicked out by now for misconduct or be permanently suspended. The people arrested by him would, in real life, have sued the butts of the NYPD for maltreatment. None of this is ever touched on which rather negates the realism put in by Tom Selleck.
The other part I do not especially care for is the 'Waltons' style family meal held each episode. This happens each episode and I do not believe that extended families who do not live under the same roof meet each other on a weekly basis to discuss the day the episode is set in. There is a holier than thou gooeyness with this and the self righteousness which comes out is one of the shows major weak points.
Overall not bad but seriously flawed.