I find myself in the doldrums again in respect of what's on the box, I had every intention of sitting down and watching something over Christmas but I was to be sadly disappointed. As much as I am a great fan of Morecambe and Wise I do think using the boys to fill in several hours of peak viewing is a tad unwise (see what I did there), and just how many Z-listers can they dig up to agree with me that the duo were terrific, I don't have to be told that.
I was looking forward to the return of Sherlock but have to admit I did not last until the end before switching off. When the show first aired it was an inspired take on the old story but the crime solving is now a side show with the byzantine struggle against Moriarty taking priority, and the guys dead, or is he, I don't care. What killed it for me was the introduction of Mary, Dr. Watson's wife, a scrawny middle aged woman who we have to believe is one of the deadliest assassins on the planet, give me a break.
Do you think if I went to Channel 4 with a completely preposterous new idea on one of the worlds leading events they would give me a show, no I suspect not, so why were we given the latest earth shattering theory on why the Titanic sank. Now as far as I know we cannot see the part of the hull which struck the iceberg so people can speculate all sorts of nonsense on this without being gainsaid, apart from commonsense but why let that ruin a good story. The new theory is that a fire 'raged' for three weeks without anyone noticing, this turned the steel to tinfoil and therefore the supposedly blunt iceberg managed to cut a huge slash in the hull. I don't think there are many people who give the huge slash theory much credence even tying it in with a fire which can't be proved, but buckling the plates is right up there at number one. Maybe I should pitch it was an Alien on the grassy knoll.
I did manage a few movies over Christmas, not on the box, The Accountant with Ben Affleck, he was supposed to have OCD or Aspergers or some such which allowed him to act throughout like a piece of wood which talked and killed people. A beer and pretzels movie. Then there was Deepwater Horizon where the horrible British oil company caused a disaster, something you couldn't ignore throughout the movie. Having worked offshore I found fault with huge amounts of it but I can tell you that no matter who owns a rig or platform they all cut corners if they can get away with it. Next up was Nocturnal Animals, one I was not really interested in once I found out there were no beasties in it, but at a loose end I settled down and I enjoyed it, it was different, I was disappointed at the ending but perhaps it was too subtle for me and I missed the point.
TV which does not get my money to squander was kinder to me, I found Stranger Things, a kind of pulp sci-fi programme set in the 80's which was very good, the story had many different strands and it was compelling watching them all come together during the episodes. It also had a bunch of kids in it, something which would normally have me running for the hills but it worked, highly recommended. The same article had also mentioned The Night Of and I checked this out as well, another winner with John Turturro playing an excellent part as a down at heel ambulance chasing lawyer. Why can't we make stuff like this.
The third programme I left until the end despite being recommended, The Crown, I am not interested in the Royal Family but with the other two programmes done and dusted and liking something in the background while I paint I popped it on. It is well done, although John Lithgow was not the best choice to play Winston Churchill as bravely as he tries, and the reconstruction of the 40's along with the acting bodes well for the rest. However it is not for me, as I watched the flunkies hand over ashtrays, items of clothing, sort his majesty's tie etc. I realised that would be me, not for me the swilling of champagne, the world tours or the shooting of pheasants or mucking about on boats, no I would have been holding the toothpaste or standing in a red jacket like a prat proferring Ferrero Roche. So it is binned despite the promise.
Where does that leave me, awaiting the return of some of my favourites, Veep, Silicon Valley, Narcos, Daredevil and Gotham among others, all American and all first class.