Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

OJ : Made in America

Posted: June 18, 2016 in TV

So good it deserves its own blog

As expected this was the definitive telling of a complex tale with amazing access to most parties involved. You can understand , if not accept, how the trial verdict occurred in a times and place scenario. At first it is clear that he was an amazing athlete and NFL star. Like a later day Rock he then made the transition to media star easily and had the same loveable charm and easy going nature . However, at a time when someone like Ali clearly represented the black race on the world sporting stage and also took an active part in civil rights during that period OJ was the exact opposite . It is thus the supreme irony that it was his “blackness” that set him free. He clearly aligned with white corporate America when it suited him but found his “roots” when life in prison beckoned. In short he was a phony.

Memorable moments and lasting thoughts from the 7 hr doco

* the quick jury decision was mostly a product of having been locked up for 263 nights alone and also payback for Rodney King and similar cases

* Juror 6 did the Black Panther salute after verdict. Maybe they didn’t have jury experts in those days ?? Poor research

* the prosecutors blew it on several points but especially the famous gloves

* Cochranes Hitler comment was reprehensible of course but in keeping with the general ” do anything needed” theme of the defence team

* Travolta did a better job playing Shapiro than first realised . Clearly struggled not being the star of the team

* he made $3 million just signing autographs from jail during the trial

* the media coverage was both amazing and pathetic and likely the origin of the crap we see these days that passes for “news” . The fascination with celebrity started in USA for sure

* before the trial it was blacks in the street with placards protesting. After trial it was whites doing the same thing

* ” I don’t think he was not guilty but was in touch with the fact that I wanted to think he was not guilty ”

* for a gifted athlete he has one shithouse golf swing . Think a skinny Charkes Barkley

* he craved attention of course and this led to some poor decisions most notably the book ” If I Did It” . Money was a factor too of course as long as he could keep it from the Goldmans

* unlikely to ever win ” Father of the Year” anytime soon

* girls still love the bad boy

* ” Keeping up with the Kardashians won’t last 2 weeks ” Oh dear, if only

* the memorabilia heist could make a movie in itself as long as Frank Drebin was involved ! Only in Las Vegas

* Marcia Clark finally settled on a decent hair do after 20 years

* 13 yrs to the day of his first verdict, the judge did not miss him the second time around .

* the “fifth quarter” was an interesting concept of ” payback” . 33 yrs was same as $33 million civil lawsuit . Seems a bit far fetched but one of the many interesting synchronisms

* Juror 9 was honest as day is long ,if misguided , but she summed it up perfectly ” he was a dumbass to go out there and get into some more shit ”

* ” it was all a waste. He wasn’t deserving ” “does not reflect on black people . It reflects on OJ ”

Early on he did not want to align with his black race but wanted to be judged only as OJ as if his personality was bigger than anything else . Ultimately it bought it all crashing down around him which only seems fitting . The circular nature of his story, like a floater disappearing down a toilet, with his rise as an NFL star generating money making memorabilia to his downfall trying to reclaim same in a ham fisted caper is not lost on this LBD

If you want the whole story and have 7 hrs to spare do yourself a favour

Ice Scream is Just Desserts

Posted: September 2, 2015 in TV

In keeping with my dotage directed viewing habits it was interesting this week to finish two seasons – and most likely one series – for two shows based on popular movie franchises. We are referring to Hannibal Season 3 and Scream Season 1. Another spooky tie in of course was the passing earlier in the week of Wes Craven who just may be rolling over in said grave now although many folk seem satisfied with the TV treatment of his movie.(Yes he was a creator of series) Not me , but then never expected to be. What both shows demonstrate though is how much more enjoyable a good story is when condensed to 2hrs in a movie rather than 10 hrs or more. Naturally in the latter you get padding and both shows are guilty of this

Hannibal was initially a bold interpretation of what was a well known and critically acclaimed yarn. Mads was great of course but never took to Fancy Dancy and really if he and Claire of Homeland fame ever reproduce I hope the kids dont go into acting ever – tortured souls dullsville. The first season was very good – and very graphic. I believe Fuller originally had a 5 season plan and dont know if and when that plan changed but season 3 did end up a bit of a mess with a wonderful Italian travelogue for first half before the introduction of Big Red in the second half. In a similar vein of course SOTL was always the standout in that movie series. By this season it seemed at times that sensible plot had been cast aside as the graphic set designers engaged in communal circle jerk . Some stunning imagery indeed but really at the expense of an engaging and believable yarn for most part. Gillian drifted in and out in a rather bizarre relationship even for this show – her final post credit scene was suitably teasing and not just for letting the puppies roam more freely. Eddie Izzard was sadly underused. I cant be bothered tracking down the timeline for when the cancellation was known but suffice to say it was very good and clever ending. Overall the seasons waned over time but it was certainly a worthwhile, if somewhat ambitious, endeavour. 6/10

Scream was a classic movie for its genre which sadly led to many inferior sequels but at least some good spoofs. It was of course part parody itself with constant references to what happens in slasher movies. The TV series has at least one character carry on this same parody which works well but the real problem is stretching a 90 minute yarn into 7 hours. Characters you simply dont care about are introduced and the whole back story of Brandon James doesnt really work. And you dont have any stand out scenes like u did in the movie with Drew Barrymore. Being MTV you also get plugs for music being played – which of course some may appreciate. It may have worked better if watched in quick succession over a couple of days – but doubt it. It would have appeared better methinks if not for the original movie. There will always be a market for this stuff and no doubt some already have the Season 2 premiere date inked in on their calendar. This little black duck will give it a miss 5/10

So, a couple of shows have had their season finales so lets run the sliderule over the current state of play

True Detective 2

Help. Now in my advanced years I have taken to saving up slightly convoluted shows for a binge watch at season’s end so that my unicellular brain can cope. To say that TD 2 is slightly convoluted is like saying Pup slightly divided the average Aussie cricket fan. I watched the first 7 episodes in quick succession prior to yesterdays finale and didnt mind it too much but really was looking through some rosy glasses methinks. On reflection and after watching the finale it was a muddled mess of misery. Rolling Stone summed it up best for me. Ben Caspere, the murdered man at the heart of True Detective’s second season, got his eyes burned out with acid. To many viewers who stayed with the series to the end, he got off easy.. I was never as enamoured with season 1 as many and still think MM is vastly overrated as an actor and they would be hard pressed to match his woodeness in season 2. How wrong could I be. VV is ok and wasnt given much to work with while Col’n just mopes around mostly and McAdams gets down and dirty but mostly just dull. After FNL I thought Riggins would be the next big thing but whether it is poor choices or a charisma bypass he has been hopeless. However they all get Oscars compared to Reilly as VV’s current squeeze. She had to be taking the piss surely? As with the first season the highlight really is the opening montage and haunting theme.

Halt and Catch Fire 2

Now this is a good show as it chronicles development of the computer and technology through the 80’s. When it stays on track and stays away from the suds it is a great story and one certainly hopes there is a season 3 in the pipeline. The addition of Cromwell only helped an already strong cast. Cameron is Some Kind of Wonderful although not Mary Stuart Masterson somehow ? Until we know its fate will work my way through Mr Robot which is very modern day IT caper but looks good.

It was a sad week in a way with the end of Daily Show of the Jon Stewart variety. Devoted fans would know I was lucky enough to see his show for my birthday this year (as in be in actual audience, not just download and watch with a bowl of popcorn!). It leaves a gap in my satirical look at US politics which never fails to intrigue. Oliver is great but different and will be a different Colbert that returns, although undoubtedly entertaining. Noah may be good but much like Charlie Pickering V Mad as Hell it wont be the same but hopefully not as bigger a gap. Oliver invariably has at least one memorable segment per show but hard to beat this last effort – epsecially if you watched the whole show and saw the earlier bowling ad with Mike

There have been some new kids on the block – Brink has its moments but uneven while Ballers is poor despite the charm of The Rock. Second season of Murder in the First has been weak only saved by the nostalgia stirring views of San Francisco in the background. Really, every cop show in the world should be shot in SF. Or London…. There is though a more important show restarted last week for this old nostalgic fart. In the week that George Cole passed the final season of New Tricks starts and Terry finally exits with a two parter at start of Season 12. Long past the glory days of Arfur and Terry maybe but that is a bit spooky dont you think ? So lets end with one of the most iconic openings this little black duck remembers with much fondness. They dont make them like that anymore. Instead we get an hour long show with videos of cats being stupid ie being a cat.

Caged Heat – Am I seeing double ?

Posted: June 25, 2015 in TV

As luck would have it, and under strict medical supervision, the two preeminent shows about women in prison are being watched together – OITNB (as all Hipster dufi call it) and Wentworth. One is all orange , the other goes for a very fetching pale blue. One is Aussie and the other Yank. In fact there are not a lot of similarities at all except that at least they have both moved to the 21st century and not all gay women are depicted as butch dykes hit with the ugly stick – although still a smattering to be sure. And the stick did not miss, trust me. I should add that I understand gay women about as well as I understand your basic hetero version so its all a mystery to me still. The biggest difference though is in the grit factor and sense of danger if you like. OITNB has really mellowed to the point that it could be set in an LPGA locker room now while Wentworth depicts a more shiv happy world which is likely a more realistic depiction of life behind bars. But this is TV land after all, so which is the better show?

Both offer different viewing enjoyment. Wentworth is the winner for moi because it provides drama and suspense and characters you care about. All season built well to an excellent finale which answered some questions, left a few maybes swirling and of course set up the next battle for Bea. This is what a season finale should do – keep you hooked and not pissed off at delaying tactics as the season stretch continues. OITNB on the other hand was a bit like Summer Camp on steroids. There was no big baddie this season but there were some very funny lines, mostly throw away lines from the lesser characters. They ditched one of the better characters half way through – Nicky – and ditched one of the more annoying ones – Bennett – as well. The corporate take over worked well with Caputo a stand out as usual. There was no great character arc to follow and as such you were not hanging out for the next episode as you did with Wentworth. As such, it would be a better model to have Wentworth as a binge watch and OITNB a weekly sit down with slippers and a cuppa. OITNB of course comes from the creator of Weeds which faded after a strong start. I doubt the same will happen with OITNB but there has been a drop off since Season 1. Eventually we have to have seen all of the main characters back stories so one assumes more will have to actually happen in the present day each episode in ensuing seasons. This should be a good thing.

At the end of the day both are great viewing and you have to love the Netflix model – and support it! With Wentworth we are stuck with Fuxtel – especially now that our leaders have progressed down their desired path – back to 1950. Interesting times ahead.

Bates on Fire

Posted: May 30, 2015 in TV

Another week another couple of season binge watches. Only way to fly

Bates Motel Was rather skeptical of this first up but have to admit they have fleshed out a very well know story and here we are at the end of the third season and Norman has only just started to become Norma but does look rather fetching in your basic house dress. There were some unnecessary side stories initially in season 1 but all part of the plan it seems. The strength of the show is the two leads and really some of the interaction between Norma/Norman is getting creepy to watch – keep expecting that first tonguey any moment. Norma’s brother story is a bit soapy but some hammy acting by Opie this season was great to see. The O2 girl adds a bit more soap maybe but she has screen presence and adds a sense of your more normal every day drama. There is a 5 season plan which sounds fine but ultimately the whole series may well be judged by how they nail the Season 5 finale. One suspects it wont be Norman meditating on a hill with hippies. Should involve a shower and a bedroom window at the very least.

Halt and Catch Fire Speaking of Dapper Don this has been referred to in certain circles as Mad Men for Computer Nerds and while I get the connection it is a bit early to be mentioning it in the same breath as MM. It does however show plenty of promise although maybe could do with a few lighter moments. It seems everytime some success comes their way disaster cant be far away – most self inflicted mind you. Central character of Joe is the main self imploder due to a troubled childhood no doubt bu he does display well that 80s ethos of conquer the world and pay for it next year. It may have been about an IBM clone but clearly before that they cloned Mary Stuart Masterson for the role of Cameron! Good character mix even if you want to slap a couple of them at times. The rather climatic final action of Joe before he went stargazing was handled rather oddly in that no great reaction was detected next day ? Season 2 is well set up to see their now divergent paths cross back over once more I imagine.

In other news was much excited for the arrival of Aquarius – especially in block format – until I started reading some reviews. Devoted readers would know of my penchant for all things US Presidential but coming a close second is anything set in the 6os especially if including involvement of the number one Slice and Dicer – good old Charlie Manson (yes oh anal ones I know he was not the actual killer but rather the maniacal leader!). It may be that having DD in the lead is the kiss of death but only time will tell. Watch this space.

Last week also saw the return of many of the Fast Forward etc alumnus in a new sketch show Open Slather. Many of the online critic fraternity gave it a big thumbs down while reviewing through their nostalgia stained bifocals. No, it is not as good as FF let alone the D Generation but my view is even if you only get a couple of good skits – and there were – then that is two more you can watch later you didnt have a fortnight ago. Do the Math. Australia has a rich history of great comedy/satire shows so any chance to add to this is welcome. Especially over another piece of reality crap TV! Just for your interest as I knew you were going to ask next here is my Top 5 Aussie Comedy Shows over the years. Note: IMT not included as really before my time (yes really!) but would not discount its influence on everything that followed or indeed that of Gra Gra himself

1. The Games
2. Frontline
3. D Generation/Late Show
4. Fast Forward/Full Frontal
5. The Big Gig – if for no other reason than DAAS and Sgt Smith

Happy Mad Men

Posted: May 24, 2015 in TV, Uncategorized

Everywhere you look there are reviews of the Mad Men series finale. So, one more cant hurt eh.

Read an interesting comment the other day that the series finale episode does not have to be the best episode because it has a specific purpose. Often the penultimate episode is a cracker ( see Breaking Bad) , after which the finale can disappoint, if somewhat unfairly. We really dont want a great series like MM to end so we project some of that disappointment onto our reviews of the episode. Generally, the world wide webby mob seem happy with this finale – but then shows like Reno Rumble rate well too. It was not a bad episode by any means but for a drama series I was hoping for something a bit more definitive with a little gut wrench – this was not Friends after all . Weiner had been exposed to some of the negative vibe from the ambiguous Sopranos finale so was always going to be a bit wary to leave us all hanging. Perhaps best way to review is to look at the various outcomes of the characters. SPOILER ALERT – HAPPY TIMES AHEAD!

Don – the central character was basically a charming and talented asshole. This is why we like him, we associate with him. The general consensus, which I agree with , is that Donny Boy sung a few verses of kumbaya, shagged a few more hippies, and then went back to NYC and created the famous Coke ad we see at the end. Seems to me he got off rather lightly while the two main women in his life got the raw deal – Betty and Sally. Good message, MW. Maybe the most amazing aspect of Don’s last journey was just how many sets of clothes he could fit into his paper bag carryall -amazing!The opening montage of every episode showed Dons fall and even a woman at first appearing to break his fall – and then kicking him? It never was going to be a drop from the 19th floor sadly – but then one could say even though his life stocks fell at times he certainly ended on a high. Nice misdirection, MW. Ya goose

Peggy While it was Don’s story, the strength of the show lay more in Peggy’s rise in the male dominated world. In the second last episode we had that marvellous vision of her walking down the halls of McCann Ericson with sunglasses on, a fag dangling and hauling some porn. This was the perfect ending for her – instead we got the Mills and Boon version where she acted like a 16 yr old about to be kissed for the first time by the hairy one an episode later. Weak ending for a strong character

Roger Always had the best lines ,even in the finale “Well she is her Mother’s age”. Once again his perfect swansong was an episode earlier drinking and playing piano. A slight stutter, a grab of the chest and a collapse on the keys – perfect. Instead he ends up eating french tarts with a french tart – and an old one too. Boring ending for a never boring character

Joan A strong last couple of episodes and maybe she makes a success of her solo adventure but she really got screwed over so many times. Sexism at work and home which of course reflected the times sadly. She remained strong and defiant which would make her the one you want to be in that lifeboat with. Especially when she comes with two extra flotation devices (Note :sexist remark only used in keeping with theme of her character)

Betty/Sally Throw them in together as usually entwined especially in the end. Betty is going to die from lung cancer (yes there is family history)- while every male smoker survives. Sally then is drawn into spending some of her best months/years looking after her and the kids.Another odd choice for character story when everyone else was singing and dancing their way through the Seventies

Pete Last of the major characters and amazingly really did get it all. Went back to watch first episode again just before finale only to be reminded of what a weasel he always was. Yet, at the end he gets his wife back and a great new job. Got me beat

So, given my general distaste for the character end stories if is fair to say the finale disappointed me – and I appear to be in the vast minority here but that is not surprising of course. The show itself though remains a Top 5 of all time effort for me that also has rewatch value if time permits. At many times it was clearly the best thing on TV

Last Sunday Night (or Monday 1500 hrs for the pedantics) it was not.

Tuesday TV Finales

Posted: May 12, 2015 in TV

Mad Men still has a series finale to come ( me sad) so lets run the slide rule over some of the lesser lauded including a couple who popped their cherry this year. Do I really need to add


The Good Wife – only lesser in some eyes this is still a fave of mine and Season 6 did not disappoint although wandered a little mid season with the SA nonsense. Clitinda leaving was the big news and she will be missed but it was handled well. Oliver Platt kept up the record of excellent guest stars with various plot lines and of course the final scene had one of the best in Fox, J.M. Good new direction for show me thinks 9/10

Person of Interest Not really sure why I keep watching this after the SureRoot dynamic passed and with the death of two of the better baddies at the end it may have lost me for good. Harold is good as is the premise but the ridiculous action scenes are just too much and totally unnecessary. Ceweasal is just a dull actor even if part of his caper here. 4/10

Vikings This is good stuff. The attack on Paris in Episode 8 was as visually good as anything GOT et al have done. King Shagonarock mumbles and stares at times but is still a great character as is the evil King of Wessex . Petered off a bit towards the end when religion kicked in a tad too much 8/10

Gotham First of the newbies had its moments but the central character of Gordon is a bit dull and Fish Smelly way over the top. One of the big problems with such a well known yarn is certain things are known eg Penquin is not going to die in Season 1. The show sparked when the famous baddies and their origin stories were touched on eg The Joker briefly and of course The Riddler throughout. Selina is good too but little Bruce is a tad too young. Albert on the other hand along with Logue were the standouts. It looked good and has promise so will watch second season 7/10

Madam Secretary Being a sucker for all things US Politics like I made it through to the end but hard to recommend except for the aforementioned geeks. Basically, if based on Hilary, or as some suggest a subtle endorsement for her, then she should already be President, Vice President and Secretary of State because she can fix anything and everything. Tea Leanonme is an acquired taste and has limited facial expressions that reflect her 3 moods – happy, horny and harried. All of the other characters are very stereotyped. They even went with the old stricken Ruskie sub yarn. 6/10

Last Man on Earth Good premise to start with and when the first couple of extras rolled up it was still ok but then started to wane. Watching Phil squirm and weasel for a few episodes was fun but not 13. Seeing JJ smile for a change was worth an extra point 6/10

Next week will see Flash, Blacklist, Elementary and American Crime wrap up and all have had their highs and lows but there is of course one thing we can all agree on

You can never get enough of Flash

Island in the Streams ?

Posted: April 17, 2015 in TV

Australia is a large island. This we know, because there is water all around it and it says so on Wikipedia. We have often been isolated in many ways both in a geographical and social sense and lets face it, that is how some of us like it. Every now and then though it does come back to bite ya and even though the world is connected by that world wide webby thing it may not be as wide as we all hoped for

Many people say I remind them of a more handsome Kenny Rogers. Or a slightly flatter Dolly. I will take either one

Recently finished the rather excellent Daredevil on Netflix. And I streamed it all. Amusingly, or not, it was still one of the most pirated downloaded shows with Australia well near the top of culprits. Why is this so when Netflix is now here and you get a free month anyway even if you wont support original series for a lousy $10 a month ? Piracy is a complex issue and in the past where there may have been some “valid though still illegal” reasons for Aussies to do it those reasons are getting less and less. I remember when the big channels like Nine bent you over the bonnet regularly with the screening schedules of their big premiere US shows like Friends or Sopranos. Then PAY TV came in – originally with no ads:) Hell , I had a 5th Austar box in the toilet just in case. Piracy is piracy at end of day and we all know it is illegal although most would consider the download of “in theatre” movies as more illegal than simply downloading a TV show that was shown last night in America. Dallas Buyers Club LLC of course recently had their successful court case although interestingly it appears they went more after the DVD rippers rather than the Screeners/Cammers.

With the pending release of Netflix Australia a few other streaming services like Stan got in early and all for very reasonable and affordable prices. When recently in US the cable was great mainly because of the on demand feature so you could watch last nights Justified the next day at your leisure. Places I stayed at did not have Netflix but their cable was more than adequate. Of course when Netflix launched here it was quickly apparent that the Aussie Library was about 25% of the US library! One quickly became familiar with terms like geoblocking and smart DNS. What the smart folk do is set up their router so as to appear to be in US and then whooshka you have access to the US Netflix while paying for the Aussie one. Illegal ? Maybe looking at terms of use but most would think they were at least paying a subscription. Now , the Aussie Netflix was aligned with some ISPs like Internode so that the at times significant data download was not “metered content” so did not count towards monthly quota. If you alter your DNS to get US netflix, then it does count. Swings and roundabouts. Companies like Telstra with their Presto set up simply gave people massive increase in their monthly quota to offset this streaming impact.

Now any Pirate worth his rum would know GOT Season 5 was coming and if not then the early release on the net of the first 4 episodes would have cleaned the barnacles of their withered brain. At the same time HBO (purveyors of GOT) released their on line streaming service for $15 per month. Good value when you throw in Veep, Silicon Valley, Girls etc But the catch? You have to reside in the USA. Not an issue for the smarties who simply set up US iTunes accounts to false addresses etc and off they stream. Of course the companies are not exactly thickos and would appear looking at the “cease and desist” emails received to said smarties that by and large they can determine when you are streaming outside of the US. One may ask why would HBO turn their back on money from anywhere? Dont know really but assume it would be something to do with the shitload that Foxtel no doubt pays to show GOT exclusively on Showcase in our island nation. Recently Netflix have suggested that they should not have limited uncapped downloads to selected ISPs on their Aussie launch but rather prefer a world in which everyone can stream from everywhere. Good luck with that one

This is where our isolation at the bottom of the world will impact us. That of course and the butchering of the NBN by Tony et al. BC1 lives in Toowoomba and has had shocking internet service over the years but NBN cable is in the street and only a matter of weeks now. Rejoice?? Stayed at Beccles B&B on the other side of Toowoomba last weekend and they have the new NBN already installed . How do I know this ? When trying to pay by credit card on little card reader it took 3 tries to connect to the web. “Yeah ever since the NBN was installed our internet keeps dropping out or simply falls over”

Lord, take me now. Or at least drop me off at NYC on the ascent ok?

Oh crap I just assumed it was an ascent not a desc………

An Affair I need to Remember

Posted: January 15, 2015 in TV

I was aware of the drama The Affair and liked the actors but for some reason stayed away as thought it may be melodramatic nonsense. Then it cleaned up at Globes so thought , well worth a quick look. Within first 10 minutes I was hooked. After 30 minutes and they flicked perspective and retold the same story I may have even been salivating. They had the whole bag of tricks – time jumps, narrative flips etc. Sometimes we started with her side first, sometimes the second half followed on rather than retold. All good stuff. And simmering all underneath was a police murder investigation with our two mad rooters front and centre. I gave up chocolate for one day so I could concentrate on episodes 4-6 more fully. I knew there were 10 episodes – this was getting tasty

Then the boom was lowered. Once invested in a story, especially a mystery, I stay away for reviews and forums. By sad chance I became aware there was a second season. Ok there is also a second season of The Missing but it is a new story, same writers. Dont slit your wrists just yet. It was with 10 minutes to go in episode 10 that gloom descended and suddenly we had Revenge 2 on our hands – admittedly with better plot, direction, acting…….There would be no satisfactory conclusion and we would be waiting until October 2015 for next episode

Devoted fans would know of my admiration for the Fawlty Towers model where you tell your story and piss off. They would also be aware of my loathing of the Lost model where you get to end of season 1 and there is a bloody trap door all of a sudden to 12 more seasons!

Ok I will line up in Oct 2015 because this is such a good yarn but they had a chance to really create something special here and instead went with something very good and also a guaranteed money maker. Its a complex story and so will need a refresher when October 2015 rolls around

I feel dudded somehow.

Like Cary Grant walked into the room and didnt see the wheelchair

Dumb and Dumber – 2014 TV Finales

Posted: December 22, 2014 in TV

Remember the good old days when everyone discussed and debated the Sopranos series finale. Went on for weeks. Some loved it, some hated it. I started out disliking the ambiguity of it all but slowly came around to actually thinking it rather brilliant. It ran for 6 seasons – about the max for a show methinks. Mad Men will bow out next year after a similar run. Devoted followers would know of my admiration/angst over the brilliance of Fawlty Towers 12 episode model – everyone a classic, leave them wanting more. Of course comedy and drama are different animals.

Then we had the lumberjack episode of Dexter . Whenever there is a bad series finale these days inevitably the Dexter Lumberjack conclusion is used as the gold standard for worst series finale ever. Unlikely to ever be beaten – but damn there are some writers out there that are giving it a bloody good crack

SOA finished after 7 seasons with a completely stupid final scene/ last 5 minutes. Sutter shot his load early in the previous two excellent episodes but will sadly be remembered most for the finale. Whether you go with the Jesus symbolism or whatever does not matter – if the 3 hr police pursuit prior did not put you in the land of nod then you are a better man than me Gungadin. His love of drawn out musical montages also increased with time. Sadly

Lotta people creamed their jeans over The Fall Season 2 – too be fair most of that was the sight of Scully in uniform. It was drawn out drama to start with – should have been one season of 8 episodes like The Missing. Now The Missing had a slightly ambiguous ending too but that is ok as it was a self contained season and it fitted in with the general theme of the show. The Fall had so many plausibility issues already with the way that Spector wandered the streets of a CCTV-obsessed city with gay abandon that the only thing that could save it – apart from Scullys uniform tearing – was a definitive ending. But no – we just have to tease the possibility of a third season ca ching ca ching and go out with a self indulgent final last scene

Homeland has a bipolar clown as its main and most annoying character which is kind of fitting as it reflects my attitude with the show. Initially the fact that his wife only called Brody by his last name as well was enough to reach for the pills but in between the annoying there was some good stuff. Each season though you think will I watch it again? Of course you do – but you may just have finally done me a favour folks with one of the worst season endings (as opposed to series endings) have seen since lumberjacks were falling out of trees. There had been some tense moments and good set up prior to finale – and then we got a fucking episode of Days of Our Lives!! Seriously I am at a loss of words to describe the narrative shift – 90% of the episode devoted to bloody Nut job, her dead dad, her missing mum, her carrot top kid and a CIA operative who wants to bone her bad but then realised fighting the Taliban would be a more rewarding experience.

Of course these days we also have the mid-season finale. Sometimes this is left on a poignant moment like The Good Wife and other times it is simply “Ok time for Egg Nog folks, see ya next year” as with most others . In summary then I cant recall a satisfactory season/midseason/series finale this year and that tells me a lot about the current state of television and why I much prefer my drama in the short mini series version that UK do so well

And then we also have the shows that simply stayed at least one season too long. Front and centre at present is The Mentalist. It is simply drivel since Jane and Lisbon went all gooey eyed at each other. TV Sitcom 101 first rule is – keep the sexual tension going, no nooky nooky or show goes crappy crappy. Here endeth the lesson.

I see Larry David is quoted as saying he may not do a final season of Curb due to some left over ill will from negative comments about the Seinfeld finale – which I actually liked. Got news for ya Sonny – whether you do another season or not there will always be a final season.

Only difference is you may not have written it that way!