Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eoin McNamee

I recently discovered the novels of this celebrated Ulster writer, previously known to me only for his prize-winning radio play The Road Wife. The first of his novels that I read was The Blue Tango (2000) a beautifully controlled evocation of a real life Ulster murder mystery. This week I read the earlier Resurrection Man, an extremely dark study of loyalist terrorism. Absolutely brilliant - a writer who makes every word count.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

New season TV (cont)

Still the new TV series keep on coming. Sky Living's Bedlam isn't original but it is extremely well done - stylish without being self-consciously flash.

I couldn't bring myself to watch Outcasts on BBC1. Well, not for more than a few minutes at the end. I'm no fan of science fiction and the sci-fi genre I like least is the post-apocalyptic which seems to me an excuse for saving money on special effects. Poor Hermoine Norris struggles gamely and Liam Cunningham impersonates James Nesbitt for whom the part was obviously written.

I read a piece about Matthew Perry's new sitcom Mr Sunshine in the New York Times which led me to read the pilot script, which MP himself had a hand in. It was witty enough but made the fatal error of introducing too many characters in one ep, several of whom are there only to be 'funny' (i.e. cray-zee). It will no doubt pitch up on UK TV somewhere. I may have a look but I'm not hopeful.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sky Atlantic

I am hugely enjoying the new Sky channel which launched on Tuesday (Feb 1). It's like a channel designed entirely for me. Boardwalk Empire is great, although I much preferred the second episode to the first. Oddly, it seemed to me that Martin Scorcese didn't bring as much visual flair to the pilot. A minor niggle, though. Steve Buscemi is amazing and the English actor Stephen Graham (This is England) is superb as Capone. The character of Arnold Rothstein likewise promises great things.

I watched Bluebloods, a fairly run-of-the-mill cop show but worth giving a chance, if only to marvel at Tom Selleck's morph into Mount Rushmore. I'm also catching up on Day 7 of 24, which I missed first time round, and looking forward to the pilot of Six Feet Under tonight.

That said, other channels have some goodies on offer tonight. Sky1 is premiering The Big C, the script of which made me laugh. And ITV1 has a multistrand ghost story, Marchlands, which features the divine Anne Reid.

So... bumper time for TV drama buffs. Count me in!