Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Square-Eyed Couch Potato: March 2014

It was long-awaited (well, here at EuropeCrazy HQ it was anyway!).  Series 2 of Chris O'Dowd's  "MOONE BOY" finally arrived on Sky One, and if I'm honest it was a little bit patchy at times.  After all that first series was going to be a tough one to beat.  But when there are such loveable characters and enough surreal and absurd moments to keep us happy, you quickly overlook any minor deficiencies.  The legendary Bressie also turned up in a cameo role as the school PE teacher. Pity it was only for only one episode :( The good news is that there's a 3rd series on the way. 
Above: Bressie in "Moone Boy": sadly it was only for one episode.
Back in my February Square-Eyed post I forgot to mention that I had been watching "THE MUSKETEERS" (BBC1) although my initial reasons for watching it were very different from the reasons that faithful travelling companion was watching...he was in it for the historical aspect, the swash and the buckle.  As for me, I noticed that Santiago Cabrera (aka him off Heroes) was in it, then I saw a photo of Luke Pasqualino in a magazine and that was it for me :)))  Eye candy aside, it was a very enjoyable series, which I enjoyed so much that I bought the DVD last week.  There is a second series on the way, so at least that will be one show to look forward to in 2015...

Above: Mmmmmmmmmmusketeers.  Aramis and D'Artagnan, yum yum.

Above: Gogglebox's Steph and Dom.
The first series of "GOGGLEBOX" (Channel 4) managed to pass me by.  When the second series was due to start, there was a ridiculous amount of inescapable publicity, so it couldn't be avoided.  I tuned in for a couple of weeks and then the novelty wore off very quickly.  Yes, some of it was funny, but watching people watching TV?  More like watching paint dry.  Maybe I'm just missing some psychological subtext here, and I'm not entirely convinced that it's as spontaneous as it looks: in this age of 'scripted reality' I can't believe anything I watch on TV any more. 

And now for viewers in Scotland....whilst there's English football going on, STV will often fill-in with the usual repeat cop shows, obscure movies or boring documentaries.  For once though, they got it right with "FU LONG - LITTLE PANDA, HAPPY DRAGON" which turned out to be an Austrian TV documentary with English language voiceover about a panda born into captivity in Vienna Zoo.  Rather good it was too, and it's just got all of us looking very enviously at the lack of panda action at Edinburgh Zoo and counting the days till they finally get it together...!

BBC4 continues to be the home of foreign-language drama and films.  How often do we get the chance to see a Belgian drama on British TV?  Unfortunately "SALAMANDER" couldn't hold my attention beyond the first episode.  There was too much going on in February/March that too many demands were placed on my attention span, so I had to ration my TV time, and Salamander was one of the casualties.  I did stick with "BARBARA" which was a recent German-language film set in the GDR in the 1980s, about a doctor banished from Berlin to rural exile, Stasi surveillance and degrading body searches. The slow-paced film captured the bleakness of that period perfectly, and the heartbreaking choices which the lead character had to make.  Maybe not quite as brilliant as "The Lives Of Others" but highly recommended nonetheless.

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