June 16th, 2016


8 TV Reviews

War & Peace (1972) 1x18&1x19

The Retreat
This has no timeless clarity. Napoleon and his wistfulness and stands with his legs shoulder width apart. He has to retreat from Moscow. There are long awkward silences and no lively satisfaction. There is overacting and Pierre cleaves nobly to his earnest infatuation with his own self-importance. There is snow and no social amenities. There is derision from the French who are spectacularly aggressive. This ep is made entirely of stares. Pierre sees the salty little details of the aftermath of war. There is no moral strength. Stupid Petya is at war. There is no wonder, wisdom or joy. There is no splendid storytelling just 1970s perms and lisping. There is no majestic life. Petya dies and this was not wry and had no intrigue. It was boring and not witty or epic.

Best Lines:
“You imagine plots.”
“It’s happened before.”

“Dubious faith of the Austrians.”

“Yesterday he could have been one of us.”

“There must be 20,000 bodies in these fields.”

“He’s a bit of an idiot.”

“There’ll be fire enough where you’re going.”

“This is already too much.”

The Road To Life
Daft Natasha and Maria are gloomy as a crypt. Natasha’s mother learns about Petya’s death and goes hysterical. Pierre has had a shave and returns home. He seems to have been through a medispa. Pierre has a cousin apparently. Helena is dead of a botched abortion. Pierre is forthright, war has been an enduring experience and Boris is still on the go. Maria and her wedding cake hairdo is visited by Pierre who shrugs off Andrei’s death.

There are selfish plots and godlessness. This was codswallop. Natasha has ingrained idiocy and is not noble, benevolent and honest. Her vile presence pollutes the screen. Pierre is nasty and smug. The Tsar is thankless to his general. This was dull. The Tsar is immutable. The aristos dance. There is a terrifying threat to harmony. The general is derided and silenced and declared persona non grata.

Best Line:
“Perhaps you shouldn’t tell me.”

“Why should he will such a thing?”

“A certain displeasure we feel.”

“Arriving of its own accord.”

Unforgotten 1x03
Elizabeth confesses her NF past to her shocked husband. The vicar lies. Phillip Cross the East End Gangster turned Lord says the dead man knew the crime family and worked for them. There is fallout and revelations. The Lord was an enforcer. Who is the mysterious JoJo? Nobody listens to the old woman with dementia. Elizabeth is lying about the extent of her involvement in the NF. Someone sells a story about Cross’ past. Old gangsters resurface wanting words with Cross as his life collapses. The old woman with dementia seems to have been battered by her not so nice husband. No.

Best Lines:
“What I needed to, to earn my way out of a house with no running water.”

“When you were an East End gangster.”

“Violent debt collector.”

“They see you as toxic.”

Houdini & Doyle (2016) 1x04&1x05

Spring-Heel’d Jack
Historical anachronisms abound as a dark demon bounds around London. This was uncompellingly obnoxious.

The Curse Of Zorzha
A psychic and kidnapped children feature in this terrible ep. The female police officer is a joke; there were no female police officers in Victorian London. Houdini is a toxic jackass. This is ridiculous.

Versailles 1x03
Louis and his idling life bores. This was not expressive and rich. Louis spits divisive angry rhetoric. A Rohan shows up. The nobles have collusion. The musketeers stand around. This is not an attractive tragedy. There is an anachronistic painting. Louis has a verbal tirade against the Queen. Unmentionable things happen. Louis wants wars and has belief-specific behaviour. Phillip’s lover and wife stare at each other. There is yelling and creepy sexual initiation. Louis has no sense and a noble reduced to eating rats in the woods is knocked off. A massacre in the woods takes place. Who is the unwanted baby’s father?

Best Lines:
“The lands of Africa are a locked room.”

“How generous of you to assure my place.”

“The King’s road is sacrosanct!”

“We saw how well that went for the English.”

The Streets Of San Francisco (1972-1977) 4x05&5x20

School Of Fear
A veteran former teacher kidnaps four troublesome students and holds them in an abandoned school. They’re chained to desks and forced to learn. Naturally the cold unworthy female student and her blustery histrionics ruins everything. Good.

Dead Lift
Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his TV acting debut as a champion bodybuilder (which he was at the time). He is hypersensitive to criticism and becomes enraged and kills people who belittle him. Karl Malden and Michael Douglas save the day. The 1992 reunion movie was terrible, like this ep.

Trailer, Quotes and Stuff

‘Two Broke Girls’ promo

Gluten & Wheat free chunky chocolate chip cookies - nice.
Low fat salt & Vinegar crisps - okay.

There is a new ‘Afterblight’ novel?

A stupid woman was shouting on the phone and annoyed me.

I kind of want to read the book ‘If The Witness Lied’.

Pecunia non olet - money has no smell.

‘Harts War’ and ‘13 Going On 30’ were naff movies.

Recall ‘2000 Malibu Road’, the 1992 soap with Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Beals and Michael T. Weiss? It was curiously restrained.

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Air hunger.”

“Gut issue.”

“A road which has no turning back.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“Unholy ungodly lifestyle.”

“Proposed to me in the toy aisle.”

“Calling her a moron.”

“Deranged idiots.”

“Hating on you.”

“Your whole town is judging you.”

“That speaks volumes.”

“I still serve the Lord.”

“There was acceptance happening.”


“You’re wife number 6.”

“You’re hurting her right now.”

“Separation assault.”

‘Teen Titans’ Quote:
“The world of mortals shall soon be ended.”

‘Sky News’ Quotes:
“Highly emotive evidence.”

“A hooligan watch list.”

“Periphery of disorder.”

‘Star Dreams’ Quotes:
“In light of recent events, he had forgiven Marie’s purloining of the ancestral silver and family jewels.”

“She was a ninety-pound alcoholic with a damaged liver, a cocaine habit, sunken eyes, and a social disease.”

“I mean, look at the clothes Sara Gold had! Four fur coats!”

“And when I got a sheared beaver last Christmas from dear old Edward, who else got one? You. Who insisted on it? Me.”

On ‘Neighbours’: Piper shoves her nose in, she’s a disgusting hateful brat. The Ned/Lauren kiss comes out. Piper ruins everything. Poor Ned. John Doe and Paige know he caused the hotel explosion. Paige has whore hair. Brennan has no sense. Paul is menaced and beaten up in jail. Everyone has forgotten Mason: Lauren and Matt’s nightmare son. Piper makes another vlog. Paul needs protection. Steph is understanding, Brad is shocked that Lauren is a slag and hates Ned. Who is Gary?

This has no inherent gravity and who cares about their personal difficulties? Ned is driven away. Lauren has ripped Brad’s family apart again. Brad does nothing. Paige did nothing to get to know Ned. Brad is a hypocrite. Gary is Xanthe’s father. Piper is a bitch. Brad only cares about Lauren. Everyone including Ned and Terese sing the praises of Brad and Lauren. Ned leaves rejected by his family yet again. Shelia is smug.

Best Lines:
“The way you and I got together.”

“I don’t stand a chance in here.”

“You need to watch him. Especially now.”

On ‘Hollyoaks’: The opening credits change as Grace’s three half-brothers are added. Sienna and Grace have a confrontation at the funeral. Where is the vicar? Esther slaps Sienna. Dirk doesn’t want Cindy. Grace goes for Sienna and the half brothers have no patient observational skills or rational reactions. There is a fight. Nico resurfaces. Who’s going to pay for that door? Lexie is home. Grace used to have tea parties. Grace is ungrateful to Esther. Mercedes cleans. Dirk and Cindy reunite. Maxine dresses like a toddler. A new cop shows up. Adam romances Maxine. Nico and Sienna plot against Maxine.

Best Lines:
“A pathetic little doormat that took beatings from my father.”

“The salon they burnt down.”

“You hate me like everyone else does.”

“They’re both in the ground.”

“Someone who didn’t sleep with Trevor?”

“Put our mum into a mental institution.”

“I said goodbye to his dead body.”


“Seeing mummy on some visiting order.”

“A little Borstal boy like Trevor.”

“You’re barred!”

“A hot cockney.”

“Hi mummy.”
To Light The Way To Bed

Book Reviews: A Blade Of Black Steel + various Fear Street novels

A Blade Of Black Steel by Alex Marshall
The sequel to ‘A Crown For Cold Silver’ is a boring, padded mess. It is full of unpleasant people, death, betrayal, side-switching and an idiot plot. This was a dull tale of malign influences and was boring and full of clichés and scorn and no insight.

Best Lines:
“Foul prophecy.”

“Gives me a supposedly magic map with an equally magic compass and says just follow the needle, I don’t immediately assume that’s such a swell idea.”

“How long was he under my bed?”

“It seems silly to bring up the point about steering clear of cemeteries and keeps.”

“To traffic with dark and dangerous powers better left alone by mortals?”

“Neglected gods of our ancestors, take pity.”

“Unfit for life of any sort.”

“No trace of your tainted line remains in the world of mortals.”

“Whatever devil-riddled hell she had mistaken for heaven.”

“Long dead in a grave of her own making.”

“The bowels of the Empire they had both failed to save.”

Fear Street Saga #1: The Betrayal by R.L. Stine
This tells of how the terror began. A girl and her mother are accused of witchcraft and burnt, kicking off a long running feud. This was dull, these books had lurid covers.

Fear Street: The Prom Queen by R.L. Stine
A serial killer kills off prom queen candidates like in ‘Student Bodies’. Silly.

Fear Street Cheerleaders #1: The First Evil by R.L. Stine
This 1992 trilogy was hilariously unhoned. But it had great covers. Bobbi and Corky move to Shadyside and join the bitch-pack cheerleading squad. Kimmy is jealous and there are mysterious accidents and deaths. There is a specific deterrence from caring. This was dumb.

Fear Street Cheerleaders #2: The Second Evil by R.L. Stine
This trilogy was followed by ‘The New Evil’, ‘The Evil Lives!’ and ‘The Awakening Evil’. Corky does random crap and Kimmy attacks. This was diligently dull.

Fear Street Cheerleaders #3: The Third Evil by R.L. Stine
This has effectively lost any quality it ever had. This was 24 years old and shows it.

Fear Street Super Chiller: Party Summer by R.L. Stine
There’s no vacation from the terrors of Fear Street. A group of idiots work at Howling Wolf Inn on a tiny island owned by Simon Fear III. This fails miserably.

Fear Street: Double Date by R.L. Stine
Bobby the jerk dates sisters Bree, Samantha and Jennilynn. This was funny as his serial dating leads to pathological revenge. I’ve never read the ‘Cataluna Chronicles’, ‘Fear Hall’ or ‘99 Fear Street: The House of Evil’.

Fear Street: Switched by R.L. Stine
A mind is a terrible thing to lose. Nicole and Lucy swapped bodies; cue murder, mayhem and a good twist.
Scary Books

Movie Review: Lies (1983)

Robin an aspiring actress gets a role playing a mentally ill destructive heiress in a movie. Then the real heiress’ brother shows up and tells her she is part of a scam. Then the real scam traps the actress in the isolation ward of a cruel nut house with no way out and no hope.

This is a tale of a long con, deception, murder and tension. There is bad acting but a good resolution. There are callous doctors and Robin is trapped behind chicken wire. Uncaring nurses and orderlies gloat. There is greed and a giant conspiracy of gaslighting.

There is a sense of helplessness and this was eerie, ominous and evocative. There is cruelty and overreaching baddies. Robin attempts escape but keeps getting dragged back to her cell and subjected to ECT. She pleads for help to escape the pitifully convoluted plot that has entrapped her. Nobody listens and she’s restrained until the big climax. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“They’ll kill me if they have to.”

“We have ways of dealing with you. Some of them quite unpleasant.”
“I just want to know why you’re doing this to me. I need to know that.”

“Married Elizabeth for her money.”

“Realised what a terrible mistake she’d made.”

“The grand finale he had planned for them.”

“Something more than money.”

“Contest the circumstances surrounding her death.”

“You’re all alone Robin. Nobody knows you’re here.”

“I warned you what would happen if you didn’t behave.”

“They’re going to kill me.”
“I know.”

“Helping you gets me nothing.”
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