Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Ten Best Shows On TV, DVD & Netflix

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Ten Best Shows On TV, DVD & Netflix

Grosse Pointe Geek’s pick of the current TV shows  now on Sky, DVD and Netflix.

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24: Live Another Day

Status: Showing now on Sky 1

Genre: Action Adventure

Kiefer Sutherland returns as Jack Bauer, scourge of evil doers and owner of the worlds strongest bladder.

This latest in the long running action series finds him in hot pursuit of a vengeful terrorist hell bent on bombing London back to the stone age. Instead of the usual 24 episodes  – this has been cut down to just 12, and is all the better for it.

To say the least its a drastic improvement on the somewhat disappointing last season and thus far very action packed – in particular the recently aired 7th episode which was relentlessly exciting.  Don’t  miss it.

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Penny Dreadful

Genre: Supernatural Horror

Status: Showing now on Sky Atlantic

Written by John Logan (Gladiator) and produced by Sam Mendes (Skyfall), with a decent cast that includes Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and Josh Hartnett. Set in 18th century London, the plot features Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and (yet to be confirmed) Dracula. Seems OK so far but is annoyingly taking its time getting anywhere. Plus it seems to be heavily influenced by Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Certainly worth watching but not as good as it thinks it is..

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Hannibal

Genre: Horror Thriller

Status: Showing now on Sky Living

Season 2 of this excellent series is getting better with every episode. Mads Mikkelssen is superb as Hannibal Lector – not quite as good as Anthony Hopkins but not far off. In addition Lawrence Fishburne gives great support as FBI head honcho Jack Crawford. However less successful is Hugh Dancy as Will Graham who is far too intense . Nevertheless its brilliantly put together, superbly written and features some shocking scenes of body horror and violence. Highly recommended.

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Bates Motel

Genre: Thriller

Status: Second season just finished on Sky. Season 1 on DVD box set to buy now.

Fairly solid adaptation of Hitchcock’s Psycho. Britain’s Freddie Highmore is very good as Norman, Vera Farmiga is equally impressive  as his slightly weird mother Norma. Thus far its a good watch but i cant see it lasting much beyond a third season as there doesn’t seem to be many more places it can go. Not bad but not really a classic.

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Game Of Thrones

Genre: Fighting fantasy

Status: Season 4 now showing on Sky Atlantic. Seasons 1 – 3 available to buy on DVD.

Took me ages to get into this but was so worth it, as its by far and away the best thing on TV at the moment.

For those not in the know GOT is an adaptation of George RR Martin’s fantasy books that concern a perpetual war for the throne of a fictional Middle Earth type country. Faultless in just about everything – cast, photography, script, characters and story. A must see for dedicated fans of Tolkien, Robert E Howard and just about anything written by Bernard Cornwell. Unmissable.

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Orange is The New Black

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Status: Available on Netflix

Taylor Schilling plays a naive white collar WASP, sentenced to 15 months in a women’s prison for a crime she committed 10 years previously. Sometimes difficult to watch but very funny and extremely clever in its writing. Other cast members include American Pie’s Jason Biggs and Star Trek Voyager’s Kate Mulgrew. Great stuff and well worth getting in to.

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American Horror Story

Genre: Supernatural Horror

Status: Available on Netflix

The first season is a haunted house story, the second takes place in a 1950’s mental hospital. Stars Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto and Evan Peters, who take on different roles in both seasons. Very odd series, uncomfortable to watch and damned icky in parts. Not my favorite but certainly well made and the acting is universally excellent. Very much geared towards fans of Saw and Insidious.

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Sons Of Anarchy

Genre: Action

Status: Available on Netflix and DVD box set

Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman play leaders of a criminal motorbike chapter. Now on its 6th season, this started out very well but gradually gets more unbelievable as it goes on. Despite what others would have you believe Hunnam is highly overrated in this and seemingly has only two expressions  – bug eyed mental and overly serious, however Perlman is brilliant and manages to anchor the whole thing. Enjoyable and never less than good value overall, but as it goes on you’ll have to take it with a very large pinch of salt.

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The Walking Dead

Genre: Post apocalyptic Zombie Horror.

Status: Available on dvd box set with season 5 starting in the Autumn on Fox.

Fantastic horror series focusing on a desperate band of humans trying to survive a zombie holocaust. Blood drenched and shocking. Greg Nicotero’s make up effects are fantastic, its seriously exciting, and very well acted. I cannot recommend this one highly enough – outstanding television.

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Boardwalk Empire

Genre: Prohibition era Gangster series.

Status: Final season to be aired asap on Sky Atlantic, other seasons available on DVD.

Produced by Martin Scorsese and Mark Wahlberg. Steve Buscemi is Nucky Thompson – the unofficial crime boss of 1920’s Atlantic City. Violent as all hell with sumptuous production values and a fantastic turn from Buscemi.

A must see for all fans of Goodfellas, The Untouchables and The Godfather.

* * * * * *

Breaking Bad

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Status: Available on Netflix and to buy on DVD.

Rightly seen as the greatest TV series ever made, basically if you haven’t seen this yet then you aint lived.

Bryan Cranston is Walter White, a a mild mannered chemistry teacher, who, after being diagnosed with cancer decides to fund his treatment by becoming a crystal meth dealer. Along the way he ropes in former student Jesse Pinkman played by the superb Aaron Paul. Without exception, every episode is a cracker, the acting (especially the two leads) is the best you will ever see, its highly intelligent, flawlessly written by Vince Gilligan and filled with a wonderfully eclectic mix of supporting characters  -of note, look out for Bob Odenkirk’s hilarious turn as shady lawyer Saul Goodman (“better call Saul!”).

 

 
Author: Will Strong 

 

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