‘Phil’s Quick Capsule Review’ (a nod to legendary comedian Bill Hicks who coined the phrase when he reviewed ‘Piece Of Shit’ movie Basic Instinct)… where a perfect 10 is rarer than a rain free British summer!
Written by Phil Hobden – UK based podcaster, writer and former filmmaker. Part of the All Things Film network…
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: 18 years after he last wore the uniform, Picard is back in a new 10 episode TV series. Yup the one and only Patrick Stewart returns to his signature role and it feels like he’s never been away. The first episode has some pretty heavy lifting involved – convincing us just why we should care about an older Picard especially one with no Enterpise-D (or crew). Well… mixing in a heathy dose of nostalgia, some impressive action and a bucket load of mystery Picard succeeds and quickly promises to be a must watch TV series. Stewart is superb (as you’d expect) and the support cast, which includes a notable ST:TNG cameo, don’t let the side down. A lot can happen over ten episodes but if Picard carries on like this I shall be very happy indeed. Make it so…
Best Bit: Is that… Oh it is. Okay WTF
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (prime in UK)
If You Liked this Try: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: First Contact
Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the award nominated Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years, currently co-hosts Ross And Phil Talk Movies and is a writer/editor for his own blog Phil’s Quick Capsule Review…
2018 was another epic year for TV. Even if we did miss Game of Thrones! Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime delivered again and even the BBC and YouTube jumped in with a good show or two. Here’s my lost and the 5 best and The Worst TV shows of 2018…
The Must Watch…
TV Show of The Year: Cobra Kai Nostalgia helped but Cobra Kai managed to step outside that to become a truly excellent Tv series. Compelling, funny and FAR better than it had any right to be Cobra Kai delivered across it’s first season and ended leaving you wanting more.
2. Nailed It In Brief: No i’m not going mad. Nailed it is bloody brilliant and grabs you with it’s ample charm and silliness. It’s a show you can watch with your family (I do) and one that defines compulsive binge viewing.
3. Better Call Saul In Brief: Better Call Saul finally gave us Saul Goodman this year and ended on a the dark downward spiral that would bring the character to what we know him in Breaking Bad. It was captivating stuff, brilliantly directed and expertly acted.
4. Billions In Brief: Billions is just insane. Lewis and Giamatti relish in their roles as they raise the fuckery weekly. It’s sharp, silly yet brilliant all at the same time.
5. American Vandal In Brief: Season 2 of American Vandal took the ball and ran with it. A poo based mystery once again played with all the tropes of the Serial style true Crime genre and delivered laughs, shocks and a mystery that kept you glued to the screen.
Bubbling under: Star Trek Discovery (ending the season strong), The Waling Dead (Season 9 has reinvigorated the series) , Silicon Valley (Still delivering even without TJ Miller), Sharp Objects (trippy as hell), GLOW (a strong second season) , Bodyguard (Slick BBC thriller)
The Must Nots…
Miss of the year: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
In Brief: I loved the first series of American Crime Story. It was amazing. But for me the second series just didn’t connect. Much like the Serial podcast the bar was SO high the first time out that Season 2 was always going to struggle. And Struggle it did. Overlong, confusing and at times dull there was little to grab me.
Other shows I check-out ion this year: American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Westworld, Altered Carbon, The Terror, Luke Cage, Iron Fist , High Maintenance
2017 continued TV’s dominance over film. With new shows launching almost weekly on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime it was hit after hit with shows like Glow breaking new ground (well kinda) and the old guard like The Leftovers and Game Of Thrones hitting to put the park. Here’s my lost and the 5 best and The Worst TV shows of 2017…
(Yet to watch Narcos Season 3 or Punisher)
TV Show of The Year: Billions In Brief: Season 1 of Billions was good but didn’t hit “great” for me. Yet Season 2, playing like a suped up cross between Wolf Of Wall Street and Boiler Room just knocked it out the park and then some. Pacier, sharper and rounded, Billions just threw out great episode after great episode and did something really special – made an unlikeable lead character into someone you DIDN’T want to lose.
2. Game Of Thrones In Brief: It’s second to last season Game Of Thrones upped the pace, threw in some major events and introduced the theory of “jet packing”. In truth it didn’t matter. Whilst the storytelling has diminished the action, pace and fun has increased making for a breathtaking run. Oh and THAT ending. Just wow.
3. Stranger Things In Brief: Season 2 fell SLIGHTLY short of Season 1. But that still makes it one of the best shows on TV. With more characters, more back story and more episodes Stranger Things suffered a little from not being as tight as it was last year but by upping the horror it was for sure scarier than ever.
4. The Leftovers In Brief: For a show I quit in Series 1, it’s pretty amazing to have the show end as one of my favourites of the year. But on the back of a knockout season 2, Season 3 pulled it all together in a surreal, confusing and often oblique way. No clear answers were given but there was enough threads to draw conclusions. Beautiful, clever and frustrating.
5. Silicon Valley In Brief: Into its fourth year, Mike Judge’s tech comedy continued it’s impressive recent run with another constant and entertaining season. Whether it can maintain next year with the loss of TJ Miller is another question but for now it’s still one of the best shows on TV.
Bubbling under: Veep (funny as ever), Better Call Saul (captivating stuff) Fear The Walking Dead (now MUCH stronger than The Walking Dead), Mindhunter (Top Notch stuff from David Fincher), House Of Cards (Bloody good, even with all the issues), Line Of Duty (Proving the UK can still smash it out the park), GLOW (brilliant fun), American Gods (Insane), Star Trek Discovery (the makings of something special), American Horror Story Cult (One of the strongest season yet)
Miss of the year: The Walking Dead
In Brief: Second year running! Falling from one of the best shows on TV at its height, The Walking Dead has been on a massive decline the past two seasons which culminated with a recent run of episodes that took on and then royally botched the All out War Arc from the graphic novels. Add to that the recent ‘death’ of a major character (which would have meant MUCH more if it had been earnt), some terrible editing and increasingly poor production values (save for the VFX) and you have a show so far from it’s good days that it mostly now exists to be ‘hate’ watched.
Shame because in the right hands this show could have been unstoppable.