Author: Alex

Binge-Worthy TV #3

Our binge-watching marathons continues apace.

After we gobbled up 2 seasons of the Euro-centric co-production, THE TUNNEL, and watched the mini series, TRIANGLE, starring Sam Neil—which, by the way, was a silly bit of fun where the American Navy are trying to close a breech in space time created by the Philadelphia Experiment (which may, or may not have taken place) and, in turn, spawned a movie or two.

We decided to watch something a little less cheesy and jumped into the BBC TV 6-part series, THE STATE WITHIN, a tight political thriller starring Jason Isaacs (he of Harry Potter and Star Trek: Discovery fame) and Sharon Gless from one of my all-time favourite TV shows ever, CAGNEY & LACEY.

What is interesting about this mini series, which aired back in the UK in 2006 and was nominated for 2 Golden Globe Awards, is how relevant the premise is in the here and now. Nothing appears to have changed in the ensuing 14 years and similar situations depicted may have, in fact, gotten worse. It’s certainly well worth finding on DVD and watching.

After cheesy SF and tense political intrigue, we took a short break before taking a TURN, and joined Jamie Bell and cast in Turn: Washington’s Spies, a 4-season period drama set during the American Revolutionary War in which we see the creation of America’s first ever spy ring.

We are a couple of episodes into season 1 and loving it so far, despite the fact historical accuracy has been sacrificed (and, isn’t it always) in the name of drama.

Early Morning Blues

It’s tough in the morning when you get up before the sun does and your partner stares at you for a second, and then says, “Do you know what, you have Tom Selleck’s eyebrows.”

Sigh, sure, let’s go with that today …

My Sister and other Phenomena

My sister breaks things.

It’s a fact—a family fact.

She doesn’t just break ordinary things like you or I might do; dishes, glassware, bones in our body, no. My sister breaks things like, the internet.

What? Oh, okay, so maybe it wasn’t her, per se, who caused Google to have a nervous breakdown the other day, thereby causing everyone one on the planet to collectively hold their breathes. But we, that is, our family, on hearing of another Google outage immediately think, Sis! Yes, we actually text and or messaged one other asking, did she do it, did she break Google, again?

You see, my sister has this knack, put her within 3 feet of a remote handset and any programme you might have set to record will either start in the middle, end before it’s supposed to, record another channel entirely, doesn’t record because it has set itself to another century from now.

We have no idea why, let alone the how, but it happens. She goes through fancy watches like you and I might go through hot dinners. Digital? Forget it. The thing might work out of the box—for a week—and then stop. Or she manages to somehow cause the digital display to go haywire. I’ve seen it.

Microwaves? Not much better. Strangely enough, she has yet to break the fridge. We’re working on that one. Factoring it into the equation, throws it for a loop. Why one appliance, but not another? Why a digital alarm clock but not an old fashioned wind-up one?

Brother Number One reckons my parents dropped her on her head as a child. My sister gives a good evil eye. Brother Number Three thinks she was struck by lightning as a kid and, thereby, has been electrically discharging ever since. Brother Number Four is still doing the calculations and has yet to come to a conclusion demanding more verifiable evidence. But, as we all know, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. 

These things are abstract and, in a lot of cases, just her proximity to something can force the issue and blame assigned without anyone knowing the exact nature or details of the occurrence, such is the mystic that has grown up around my sister’s seemingly innate ability.

I’m sure someone, somewhere out there in the scientific community knows what I’m talking about, and would love to study her at length. But hey, good luck with that. You’ll need to do it without instrumentation, mechanical or otherwise, because as sure as my sister is my sister, she’ll break or f*ck up your equipment.

As kids, her freakish nature was fun but, as adults? Not so much. Invite over to dinner? Maybe. But just clear the room before hand, and under no circumstances let her into the kitchen.

Oh, hi sis, what? What am I writing about? I’m writing about you … no, no, don’t touch that …

A Change of Scenery

Dear All:

I’m reclaiming the Wry Writer website to utilise for other purposes. And have moved ALL my posts (along with all your wonderful comments) over to a fresh new site specifically created for all things books: BOOK BLURB

I do hope you will choose to join me there and sign up to follow along, and not miss out on any future posts. I’m looking to do a lot more interviews, giveaways and guest posts this year, as well, or course, as my customary reviews.

See you there, and a big BIG thank you for all your continued support!

Binge-Worthy TV #2

Oh boy, I didn’t expect at the end of last year, even with the long holidays we enjoyed here, to be watching so much TV or, I should say, TV drama series, as we have. And, let me tell you, the binge watching has continued apace without so much as us missing a step.

The latest series to capture our attention was THE TUNNEL, centred on (yes, you guessed it) the Euro tunnel. The series features both Brit and French actors and gripping storylines that had us hooked from the first episode—one where a severed body is found in an access tunnel of the Tunnel, right on the demarkation line (that delineates English soil, and French.) However, the top part of the body, on the French side, is that of a French diplomat, while the lower extremity, on the English side, is that of a well-known prostitute.

Do I have your attention?

It certainly had ours. And, as a result, we’ve whizzed, and I mean, absolutely whizzed our way through both season 1 and 2 these last few weeks! And while season 1 focused in on the bizarre murder in the access tunnel, season 2, featuring the same cast, centred on a whole new premise with a terrorist team downing a commuter jet in the channel. Heart pounding stuff, believe me!

We also discovered there’s already a season 3 out and available. So if you’re wondering why I haven’t posted any book reviews lately, know you know why.

FYI: weird fact — the actress, Clémence Poésy, who plays Captain (later Commandant) Elise Wassermann in The Tunnel, also played Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter movie, The Goblet of Fire.

Binge-Worthy TV

First we binge-watched the chilling CHERNOBYL, and fought the urge to hide behind the couch cushions as the slo-mo horror of what happened, unfolded in grisly detail.

Then we decided to counterbalance the chills with something (we hoped) would be fun and frivolous, VERSAILLES. And immersed ourselves in the politics and intrigue of Louis XIV court where grown men had better hair and clothes than the woman. Oh my, talk about the French giving their all … I’m sure this one with it’s full-frontal nudity will be severely edited for American viewers. This was such a delicious first outing, we cannot wait for season 2.

Before we started suffering withdrawal, we leapt into something completely different, going from historical drama to, well, Steven Moffat’s modern take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, simply titled JEKYLL. A fantastical reimagining if ever there was one and, if you haven’t seen this one already, may I humble suggest you grab yourself a copy of the 6-part mini series, and frighten yourself into insomnia!

We will watch the last episode tonight. Wish us luck, I think we might need it.