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The Shillingbury Blowers (1980)
quite good fun
Story of a truly awful village band whose conductor played by Trevor Howard is removed because they are so awful. He is replaced by Robin Nedwell, a former pop star, who immediately manages to rub the band up the wrong way.
In defiance of Nedwell the band decide they are going to play staccato with the exception of the former conductor who plays a trumpet. The effect is magical as the trumpet sounds like a solo over the background.
Despite the efforts of the band they get to the regional finals. Then Nedwell helps one of the band members who is a farmer with one of his pregnant animals. Just before the final the excited band member tells the rest of the band that everything is OK, Robin Nedwell is one of them and to give it everything they have got in the final. Instead of the beautiful effect of earlier it goes back to the awfulness that it was and Nedwell, laughing, leaves the stage.
Pure Genius (2016)
not very good
Medical drama with a difference. A tech billionaire from SIlicon Valley has decided to open a hospital which he funds exclusively out of his own pocket. He has assembled a bunch of Doctors and other medical staff who he regards as the best in whatever their individual fields might be.
So where does it all go wrong ? The first big problem is that the lead character is a totally obnoxious and unlikable character who sits in on all these medical meetings despite having no medical qualifications whatsoever.
It is trying to follow the same formula as House but the big difference in that was that although House was thoroughly unlikable he was very practical rather than this rather idealistic trash.
I really can't see how this is going to improve and any series which needs a serious overhaul after episode one is probably not going to survive for long. I am writing this review after one episode so it may improve but at the moment .... NO.
Match Game (2016)
I honestly thought that they had stopped making these terrible shows for prime time television slots but how wrong I was. ABC subjected us to a game show which belonged in the 1970's and really should have stayed there. It started off with a dreadful signature tune and 6 Z list 'celebrities' all guessing the blanks along with the contestants and whoever matched the most went through to the final. The Uk did a version of this called Blankety Blank which mercifully got taken off the air in the eighties. Everything about this show was terrible, the production values, the excessive noise, the Z list celebs obviously delighted with some TV exposure all trying to steal the show. I doubt this will be on TV for very long and will shortly end up on the game show network. Absolutely awful - avoid at all costs.
J remember this being shown on the BBC in the mid 70's. It was a bout a boy's football team who are initially terrible until a new kid starts playing for them. The new kid's father does not want him to play although it is initially unclear why. We find out later on that the Father is a former professional player who won the European Cup but got badly injured playing and he is trying to protect son from a similar fate.
Despite losing their ground the team goes from strength to strength and starts winning and playing as a team. There is even a game where the sister of one of the boys plays. i would not mind seeing this again though I fear it is lost forever along with so many others in the BBC archives.
All in all a jolly good show for boys who enjoy football.
Secrets and Lies (2015)
not very good
A man out jogging discovers a neighbors small boy dead close by. After a failed attempt to resuscitate the boy (presumably leaving his DNA there) the police question him over the circumstances.
This is a remake of an Australian series of the same name except this one has been lengthened from six hours to ten hours.
This series is different to your standard whodunnits insofar as it concentrates on the stress levels of the suspect and his family as the police appear to have hung out to dry with the local news media. The local residents appear to suspect the jogger as well. One can feel a certain sympathy for the suspect as he is tried by the media. Whether or not he did it remains to be seen.
My big problem with this is that it could be done in 4 hours. I have no doubt I will be thoroughly bored by the end and only be watching to see who it was.
Be prepared for plenty of 'filler' episodes.
Escaping Alaska (2014)
not very good
Yet another series where a group of people from one environment are thrust into another environment. This one focuses on a group of Alaskans who relocate down to San Diego. They all supposedly 'lied' to their parents about where they were all going although quite how the parents didn't suspect something with all the camera crews around is quite beyond me. Is this going to be a fake like Breaking Amish ? Probably. It will last one series as it is on TLC and they do not have the money to axe series they have invested in. However, I feel most interest in this show will probably revolve around the pretty girls and what becomes of them. One of them is supposedly loved up in Alaska though I have grave doubts over whether that will last.
Old Scores (1991)
Lots of fun
I watched this when it first came out and managed to find a copy earlier this year. It tells the story of a rugby match between Wales and New Zealand played in 1966 which the Welsh won with a last minute try which New Zealand disputed. Years later, in a deathbed confession, the touch judge says the welsh winger put his foot into touch. It is decided to replay the game with the same players. Things have changed now. One of the All Blacks, known on the rugby pitch as the enforcer, is now in the salvation army, another is a homeless drunk another is an aspiring politician. As for the Welsh, one of them emigrated and there was a messy love triangle which had festered for 20 years which needed to be sorted out. Great game at the end full of ex-players, slightly silly ending, but we can forgive that.
Chicago P.D. (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.