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Zomboat! (2019– )
1/10
Zombynumbers
8 October 2019
One episode in and this is possibly the most formulaic and least amusing comedy zombie show ever.
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21 Again (2019– )
5/10
Vegan daughters teach their mothers not to suck eggs
6 October 2019
One of the better examples of programmes of this genre. Though it dragged a little towards the end, and I'm not convinced the "21 again" hook was at all necessary, this was a reasonably enjoyable bit of pop sociology.

Being a BBC Three commission, I'm assuming this is aimed at a late-teen/early-twenties audience, rather than at mothers/parents in their thirties/forties/fifties. So perhaps it was natural that the focus was on "educating" the mums to appreciate their daughters perspectives, rather than a more balance attempt to try to get each group to challenge their assumptions.

I suspect each generation faces at least some novel challenges (e.g. social media), while facing some that are persistent (e.g. peer pressure). So there will likely always be a need for programmes like this, aiming to help parents better understand the particular challenges their children are facing as they become adults.
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2/10
Too slick and parodic
1 October 2019
Three episodes in (of the six episodes in the first season) and this feels far too slick and verging on parody. Perhaps it's because the drama is pushed to the background in order to foreground the (formulaic) comedy? Shame really, as I quite enjoyed the first episode when it was originally shown as a one-off/pilot.
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World on Fire (2019– )
1/10
Strictly Come Danzig
29 September 2019
There was a strange, flippant -- Strictly Come Dancing-esque -- tone to the first episode. Perhaps by the end of the series, a more appropriate tone will have been adopted.

I'm not sure what the USP of this series is. It seems like a simple retelling of history, perhaps for those who have never seen a documentary about the start of WWII in Europe? Is it claiming that focussing on the experiences of a fixed set of individuals, is in some way unique? But surely all drama involves things happening to distinct characters?

Nothing in the first episode drew me in enough to make me want to watch the remainder of the series.
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Scarborough (2019– )
1/10
Northern sitcom gone Bodmin
29 September 2019
Horrible, horrible, horrible; unfunny, unfunny, unfunny.

A dire script at the rotten heart of this enterprise, means this show simply can't be saved. Not even worth casting someone from Casualty so they can say: "Shocking!"

Go and watch Doc Martin -- if you want something entertaining in a roughly similar location -- instead.
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1/10
Colin Farrell, missing Bullseye
27 September 2019
This film is proof that a hybrid of David Mamet (the stilted, unnatural dialogue) and David Lynch (the watch-strap weirdness) is not a healthy thing.

Watched the first 21 minutes and gave up: "The idea of separating dogs, fighting, scares me."
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Summertime (2015)
4/10
Le bonheur est dans le pré
23 September 2019
An enjoyable film, with some great performances; but less travelled country roads should be rather more bumpy.

While a far from novel story, the three female leads (Izïa Higelin, Cécile de France and Noémie Lvovsky) give pitch perfect performances.

Where this film falls down is in giving the two lovers, far too smooth a ride. If you're fighting for freedom, surely the establishment would offer far more resistance? Here, the revolutionaries hardly seem to experience any push-back. There's one bump in the road, but that's really it.
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2/10
Limited company
22 September 2019
Pedestrian; an only slightly interesting "twist".

This might have worked if it were built around a fast-paced pursuit or if it were a thoughtful analysis of the difficulty of living according to your professed values, but it is neither. It's a mildly entertaining watch, but in no way thought-provoking, and you wouldn't miss anything of any significance if you were to give this film a wide berth.
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Elle (I) (2016)
1/10
What the elle
21 September 2019
Grossly unsatisfying; a very flat affair.

I expect (or at least hope) that the source novel goes into much more detail about the traumatic events in her childhood, but here all we have is a brief sketch. It was unclear if she gives an honest account of events; I wondered if she was more involved in what happened back then than she admitted to Patrick. All in all, there just wasn't enough exposition.
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3/10
I look for silky linings, but you're rotten to the core
20 September 2019
A not unpleasant watch, but it felt like the elements refused to come together. The characters seemed so distant and only partially revealed. Stuff was going on, but nothing seemed to have any real depth. Perhaps it's -- appropriately -- a rather confused film about people who are rather confused about how to live their lives. The music is by far the most interesting thing.
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Prospect (2018)
1/10
No prospect of a captivating story
19 September 2019
About 15 minutes of story, stretched to fill 100 minutes; a supposedly otherworldly setting that is as familiar as a forest in Canada.

This is a pretty simple, and slight, "heist" story -- and it isn't enhanced, or obscured, by the faux space setting and paraphernalia.
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1/10
God damn awful in Brussels
15 September 2019
Massively underdeveloped. An interesting idea, potentially, but the parts just didn't come together to produce a satisfying whole. Perhaps it simply wasn't absurd enough? (And I found it sad, rather than funny.)

Why have the gods of great cinema forsaken us?
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The I-Land (2019– )
1/10
The B-land
14 September 2019
I gave the first episode my full attention, but nothing drew me in and made me want to continue watching. The characters were uniformly unsympathetic and the dialogue was juvenile. It feels like a very very very bad remake of The Breakfast Club (1985).
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Back to Life (2019– )
1/10
Bleak House
11 September 2019
I gave up on this after 2 episodes. There was one mildly amusing bit in the first episode (the reference to Jamie Oliver) but I just couldn't find this funny. While Miri was inoffensive, I just didn't warm to her; and her home environment was just so depressingly bleak.

Perhaps this really picks up in the remaining four episodes, but at the end of the first two and despite being billed as a "comedy, drama", it seems to be neither much of a comedy nor much of a drama.

P.S. I watched the final episode, just to see if/how this was resolved. I think it's fair to say the reveal wasn't all that surprising. And while Daisy Haggard gave a very measured performance in the final episode, overall it just left me cold.
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State of the Union (2019– )
1/10
Enjoy The Trip (instead)
9 September 2019
It feels like the writer/director/producer watched The Trip with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon and dreamt up this two-hander that, unfortunately, lacks the chemistry, humanity and humour of the former.

Rosamund Pike gives a fine performance and Chris O'Dowd gives a (for him) relatively restrained performance. But after watching the first 2 episodes, I didn't care enough to want to watch any more.
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Singletown (2019– )
1/10
Breaking up with this show -- by IMDB review -- is far too easy to do
8 September 2019
After watching the first 5 episodes, this just never took off. It may improve later in this first (and only?) season, but I'll be awkwardly avoiding this from now on.

There are a few problems here.

Effective casting is the first thing they need to get right in series like this and, while some of the characters here are worth caring about, some are just so overpoweringly obnoxious (and not in a good way).

Secondly, the narration is weak. It often sounds like Luke Kempner (who's done much better work elsewhere) is channelling a very muted Rob Beckett, but the real problem is that the script for the narration (by the credited "Writer", Lee Gant? ) is lacking any real punch. Way way below the gold standard set by Iain Stirling on Love Island.

Thirdly, the (presumably) very limited budget means they've ended up with "cheap and cheerful", rather than effective, mentors. Emily Atack (elsewhere a good actor and great mimic) came across as particularly uninterested in her mentees.
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Atlanta (2016– )
2/10
Straight outta Theydon Bois
7 September 2019
Such a strange season 2: the surprisingly thoughtful episode 4 (Helen), followed immediately by the mind-numbingly tedious episode 5 (Barbershop). And what on Earth was the point of episode 6 (Teddy Perkins)?

Since I don't find the supposedly funny bits remotely funny, this series would work much better for me if it concentrated on the social observation. I'd be happier if they got rid of Paper Boi ("I used to manage an artist called Paper Boi, but he got blown away"), with the focus instead being on Earn and Van's relationship.
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1/10
Astro nought
3 September 2019
One small (cryo-)sleep for a man, one giant yawn for mankind.

Drab, boring, depressing and completely pointless. It barely had anything to do with space flight/exploration; it might as well have been set in a prison, where a long-serving inmate very laboriously comes to an insignificant conclusion.

Just say no to this turkey.
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Midsomer Murders: The Lions of Causton (2018)
Season 20, Episode 4
1/10
Frozen balls
31 August 2019
Really, this deserves a rating of absolute zero, rather than 1 out of 10: it's such a flat and unaffecting affair.

What must the people who work on this think as they're making it? Surely it must be soul-destroying to work on such rubbish?

ITV would be better off repeating the stronger episodes from earlier seasons than continuing to churn out such drivel. I'm sure this used to have interesting characters and real charm -- but not anymore.
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Midsomer Murders: Death of the Small Coppers (2018)
Season 20, Episode 2
1/10
Totally unbelievable killer
31 August 2019
A totally unbelievable killer and no real charm to this episode.
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1/10
Abandon hope all ye who enter here
28 August 2019
Nine minutes of this trash was as much as I could take. The boorish family with the overtly racist grandfather were just ridiculous.

Whoever commissioned this needs to be removed from post before they can do any more harm.
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6/10
Making America Great Again (with added irony)
26 August 2019
An interesting documentary, but I was left wondering what Fuyao's motivation was in opening a factory in the US. (Perhaps it was to more quickly respond to the needs of customers in the US?)

Also, some of the translations from Chinese (Mandarin?) to English seemed overly vague: on a few occasions, I couldn't quite grasp what the speaker meant. And the repeated use of "transparent" in the translated lyrics of the company song, seemed out of place; would something along the lines of "obvious" or "apparent" have been both less literal and also more fitting?

While I thought I knew where things were headed -- perhaps because of a bit of unintentional misdirection -- the conclusion was a surprise and so it is well worth staying with this documentary to the very end.
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1/10
X-Men Third Rate (a pun, not a spoiler)
25 August 2019
On this long-winded road trip, someone forgot to pack a story.

Yes, there's a plot, things do happen, but really they amount to sound and (muted) fury, signifying nothing.

Something like Tomorrowland (2015) is far more emotionally engaging -- give that a go instead of this pointless pile of piffle.
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Mindhunter (2017– )
6/10
From serial thriller to serial filler
17 August 2019
What went wrong? Season 1 was near perfect, season 2 got off to a great start, but they really dropped the ball as season 2 progressed.

The Atlanta plotline went on way too long. They teased us with the BTK killer throughout season 2 and all they were doing was setting up a plotline for season 3. Bill Tench's "coincidental" personal difficulties added nothing. Charles Manson was wasted. The atmosphere of the first couple of episodes (the ones directed by David Fincher) was the only enjoyable part of season 2.

I'd unreservedly recommend season 1, but give season 2 a miss. And Netflix, please don't commission a 3rd season.
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Year of the Rabbit (2019– )
1/10
Ripper Cul-de-sac
12 August 2019
Far less funny than Ripper Street (2012-2016). Reasonably well made and acted, and there were a few bits that made me smile, but this just isn't funny.

Other than as a means of redistributing money from advertisers to those working on this production, this serves no purpose. Could only have been worse if they'd cast Danny Dyer.

Here's a test. If you find the following line funny, you may enjoy this; otherwise, give it a wide berth. Rabbit: "Thing is, boy, Flora was a career criminal with a heart of steel, and that heart of steel was made of gold, and that gold was a diamond."

You have been warned.
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