I learnt never to trust Damien Lewis. It took me a few episodes to get truly into Homeland but this new series from Showtime has become a firm favourite this year. The misdirects have been smart enough to make it not all about the bait and switch.‘The Weekend,’ last week’s ‘The Vest’ were both extraordinary hours of television and this week’s finale was extended to 90 minutes for a reason and showcased the strengths of the show and cast. Claire Danes is terrific as the unhinged agent Carrie Mathison and is by far one of the best ugly criers; something first witnessed in one of my favourite all time shows My So-Called Life. Damien Lewis is as brilliant as expected as POW Brody, who not only has to try to fit back into his old family life after 8 years but also under the watchful eye of Carrie who believes that he could be a potential terrorist. Mandy Patkin has also been impressive with each episode, doing more with silence than I could imagine. Plus he has a rather impressive beard.
There was REEEEEEEEEEVENGE. This one took me by surprise; I had no idea that Revenge would be so much fun and so addictive all at once. Emily Van Camp is a terrific lead as Amanda now Emily Thorne, but the real scene stealer is internet bazillionaire Nolan Ross who takes preppy fashion to a new level and uses his sexuality just as much as his female counterpart to get ahead. Nolan’s game is more dangerous as he is playing with Tyler; the next Talented Mr Ripley who has run out of his medication and will being going to desperate lengths when the show returns in January.
Schmidt went from the douchbag jar guy to the funniest person on New Girl. Like Schmidt, New Girl has really gone from strength to strength each week and I have found in the past that comedies take longer to find their feet than dramas do. This might be down to the shorter episode length or that comedies have their characters as broader representations at first and have to find nuance as they progressive. Schmidt seemed like he would be the boarish, ‘douche’ character but he has become so much more than that with some excellent hints at his childhood, OCD in the kitchen and moments of low self-confidence. And yes he is wearing a sexy Santa outfit in the photo above.
I watched two different versions of The Killing and found out who the killer was in one of them. I watched the US version first and found it as frustrating as most other viewers; it started so well and then became a mess of red herrings. The Danish original was longer and stumbled in places due to the amount of episodes and threads they had to untangle, but managed to find its way and remain a fantastic series. I’m playing the ‘original is better’ card but feel like I can do so as objectively as possible thanks to the order I watched them in. Also I was more than happy to embark on season 2 of The Killing with Sarah Lund and I don’t think I can say the same for Sarah Linden.
The Arctic and Antarctic were explored. BBC really knows how to do a wildlife documentary of a giant scale and that’s exactly what Frozen Planet did, as David Attenborough took us on a journey to the furthest regions North and South. The impressive amount of footage from both Pole’s showing all kinds of animals trying to survive in the harshest of conditions was a marvel to behold. Plus we got to see some criminal activity from a penguin which is always fun. My thoughts on the recent ‘controversy’ can be best summed up by this Guardian article.