Have you been watching…Haven

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
Haven, Maine suffers from troubles. Every 27 years, the inhabitants are struck by troubles, strange powers that cause havoc with their lives. It could be a woman can cause people to spontaneous combust, a man could turn people to ice with his touch, or a family of selkies can finally wear their skins. Haven-on-the-Syfy-Channel More often than not, though, these troubles turn dark, causing destruction and despair for the inflicted.

Into this town comes Audrey Parker, an FBI agent assigned to investigate Haven. Upon her arrival, she discovers a knack for helping those who are troubled and also her uncanny resemblance to a woman who was involved in a 27 year old mystery – Who Killed the Colorado Kid

Based on a short story by Stephen King, The Colorado Kid, Haven has involved into an intriguing urban fantasy procedural with serial elements. I love it so much, I’m not even sure why. Let me see if I can discover Teh Reasons. A strong female character as the protagonist. A tortured gentleman love interest. A shifty criminal-lite secondary love interest. A town full of misfits. An ongoing mythology that grows with each season. An initial intriguing premise – Who is Audrey, really? Who is the Colorado Kid? Why was he killed? And what does it have to do with the troubles? – that has evolved and become something new and exciting. *sigh* I just love it.
 

You can check out Haven at:
the Website ~ Amazon.com ~ IMDb

 
 
 

Have you been watching…New Girl

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
New Girl is a nifty little hang out show that evolved from something I kinda thought I’d watch because hey, I had nothing better to do, to a show where I. Must. Know. What. Happens. Next!!! It also has the best will they/won’t they on TV at the moment, which has been built by showing the characters, gasp, getting to know each other! New GirlLiking each other as friends! Finding things to admire about each other! Letting the attraction grow naturally! My word, WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT SUCH A THING WOULD WORK?

It also features the best first kiss ever.

New Girl follows the antics of Jessica Day and her three roommates – Nick, Winston and Schmidt. Rounding out the regular cast is Jess’s best friend CeCe. It’s a hangout comedy, where we just hang out with these peeps and enjoy their fun times. The show brings a smile to myself with every single episode.

The characters are fantastic. Schmidt is super funny, and the way Max Greenfield pronounces his words is fantastic. Funny ha ha, my friends. CeCe is more than her extremely pretty face, a well rounded three dimensional character who is totally believable as Jess’s best friend and as one half of the other romantic relationship in the show. Winston is less well-rounded, but he still gets some very funny gags, especially when he puts on his deep, resonant voice. All characterisations are exceptional, with no one ever acting out of character. The show also deals with some darker subjects, such as the death of Nick’s father, CeCe learning her childbearing years are dwindling, and other big life issues.

And then there’s Nick and Jess.

The show did a fantastic job of gradually showing how these two grow closer. They talk and are there for each other and…and other super awesome ‘real life’ things that makes it extremely believable they would be good as a couple. I’ve recently rewatched both seasons and their gradual drawing together in season two is great. Seriously, peeps, check it out.

I’m not sure if I’ve adequately described how fun and heartwarming this show is, so perhaps you peeps should just check it out for yourselves!
 

You can check out New Girl at:
the Website ~ Amazon US ~ IMDb

 
 
 

Have you been watching…A Place To Call Home

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
A Place to Call Home is a new show on the Seven network here in Oz. Initially, I dismissed it as a Downton Abbey rip-off – big country house, check. Rich, privileged family, check. Upstairs, downstairs shenanigans, check. Finally, seven or eight weeks into its run, I finally checked it out.
A Place To Call Home

Peeps. I’m shocked. It’s actually good.

A Place to Call Home follows the adventures of Sarah Adams, a nurse returned from Europe to Australia’s shores. Set in the 1950s, Sarah works as a nurse on the ship transporting her from London to Sydney where she met the wealthy Blyth family. While employing her trade with the matriarch of the family, she intrigued the matriarch’s son, as well as his adult children. Quickly, she is extended an invitation of employment in the hospital of the Blyth family’s home town, and after quick scene or two where the show pretends she’s not going to accept, she rocks up in Wandin Valley Inverness. Shenanigans ensue, as they so often do.

What’s noteworthy about this show is how strong the female characters are. Sarah is a marvel, a self-possessed woman who takes crap from no one. The bitchy matriarch, Elizabeth, is bitchy, but you can clearly see what she does, she does for love of her family. The daughter, Anna, is less awesome, but she’s still far from the cliche most shows would portray her as. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the male characters, however half a cast of three-dimensional, well-rounded characters is a HUGE step up for Australian drama, so I’m happy.

There is a distinct Australian-ness to the show which I love. I don’t watch many shows set in Australia and so it’s refreshing to be able to identify so clearly with the characters. They speak how I speak, drink beer from longnecks, listen to the cricket, and just generally be Australian. This is, as they say, bonza.
 

You can check out A Place to Call Home at:
the Website ~ JB Hi-Fi ~ IMDb

 
 
 

Have you been watching…Luther

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
Part detective show, part journey into the dark corners of a man’s heart, Luther is a magnificent piece of television. Starring Idris Elba as the titular Luther, a cop who isn’t adverse to a bit of violence to get the job done, he’s ably matched by his antagonist, Alice, a sociopathic killer played with gleeful menace by Ruth Wilson. Luther Idris Elba BBC Ruth Wilson Gritty, mired in shadow, Luther follows our tortured hero as he stumbles behind the debris left by killers, his own humanity dwindling as he falls further into the psyches of the murderers he pursues.

The visual style of Luther is arresting, with a lot of strange camera angles and non-traditional framing of the subject of the shot. Sorry to sound a bit technical, but I really loved how in the first season, Luther was often framed in the bottom right hand corner of the shot, the complete antithesis of the traditional framing of the main character of a show. From this, can we extrapolate that Luther is himself not a hero, instead a man worn down by the constant muck he must wade through? Or is it just the director thought it would be really cool to frame the shot that way? Who knows?? 😉

The third series is out soon and the BBC have just released a trailer – witness the cool:

 
 

You can check out Luther at:
the Website ~ Amazon.com ~ IMDb

 
 
 

Have you been watching…Silk

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
Silk is a BBC TV series about barristers in a law chamber vying for a chance to earn their ‘silk’, or become a Queens Counsel. Our heroine is Martha Costello, a barrister who has many a front to fight – being a woman in a predominantly male occupation, being from a working class background. 250px-Silk_(TV_series) Martha is a dedicated and extremely intelligent barrister and has gotten where she is through hard work and determination. The other candidate for silk – and Martha’s antogonist – is Clive Reeder, a barrister from a privileged background. He’s also a bit smarmy, and you just want Martha to pound him into the dirt, which she does. Heh.

I really, really enjoy Silk. It’s an intelligent, well-structured show with great characters and wonderful actors. Aside from Martha and Clive, there is the fantastic character of Billy, senior law clerk in their chambers. He’s an appropriately shady charcter, dedicated to his barristers and making sure they get the cases they need – in whatever way he can finangle.

The head writer, Peter Moffat (no relation to he of Doctor Who fame), was a law professional in a former life, and this shows clearly in the authenticity of the writing. In point of fact, I was so intrigued by Silk that I wrote a book featuring barristers, which then turned into a series!

Series 3 will be filmed later on this year and I can’t wait to see what shenanigans Martha and co get up to.
 
 

You can check out Silk at:
the Website ~ Amazon.com ~ IMDb

 
 
 

Have you been watching…The Americans

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
The Americans recently finished its first season and what a fantastic season it was. Great characters, awesome storylines and a 1980s setting – what’s not to love?

The Americans follows two deep-cover Russian spies, sent to America by Moscow in the late 1960s to pose as a newly married couple. Over the next sixteen years, they have two children, get to know their neighbours, open a travel agency…and undertake innumerable missions. The_Americans_IntertitleOur story begins when an FBI agent and his family move in across the street from our covert spies, himself emerging from a decades long deep cover amongst cultists. Will our spies be discovered?

However, the show is way more awesome than I’m making it sound. Elizabeth, played by Keri Russell, is all manner of awesome, a staunch Russian patriot completely dedicated to her cause. Her husband, Philip, played by Matthew Rhys, questions the loyalty demanded of him and Elizabeth to the motherland, and wonders what’s really so bad about America. This leads to an interesting and inherent conflict between the two, and when they begin to realise their partnership contains complex feelings including love, the show gets seriously good.

Ultimately, this is a love story with a really interesting and intense spy dynamic. A suspense with strong romantic tendencies, I guess you could say. The choices for each of the characters is consistently smart and believable, and I never felt as if the storylines were dumbed down, always a massive plus. As an aside, the reason I started watching this show is because Graham Yost, the creator of Justified, was involved. If you know that show, you know the level of awesome The Americans contains.
 
 

You can check out The Americans at:
the Website (only available to US residents) ~ Amazon.com ~ IMDb

 
 
 

Have you been watching…Vikings

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
Peeps, have you seen Vikings? It’s pretty fricking nifty.

Vikings_logoI first started watching it after seeing all the chatter on the facebooks and the twitterers. People seemed to think this Vikings show was a pretty decent watch, and what’s more it was a production of the History Channel. Well, I thought to myself, self, that is weirdness. Let us watch and determine for ourselves. And so, we did. I did. Whatevs.

It was really good.

Because I can’t come up with a better description, here’s how The History Channel describes it: Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok the greatest hero of his age. The series tells the sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family, as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods, legend has it that he was a direct descendant of Odin, the god of war and warriors.

It reminds me of Spartacus for some reason, even though it doesn’t have the high melodrama of that beloved show. Maybe it’s because Vikings is clearly not filmed in the US, has an Australian actor as the lead, and the actors do a (mostly) admirable job of speaking with a vaguely Norse accent, though I did catch Travis Fimmel’s Oz accent on one word in the latest ep – brought joy to my heart, it did 🙂

The visuals are stunning. Filmed in Ireland, there’s a real sense of otherworldness brought to the shebang by the outstanding locations. The costumes, make up and hair is phenom, and the props and set design seems amazingly authentic.

The writing is also pretty nifty. While there are some stock characters (Ragnar’s brother Rollo has yet to evolve beyond the ‘oh my, I am jealous of my more successful brother and seek to undermine him in a myriad of ways’), Ragnar himself, his battlemaid wife Lagertha, the manic and unpredictable Floki and to a certain extent English monk-turned-prisoner-turned-Viking convert Athelstan are extremely well-drawn characters. Time is compressed in an awesomely no-nonsense way, with months passing with an ad break. The story moves at a fast clip, and it’s truly unpredictable. Also, the action scenes are outstanding.

BTW, peeps Travis Fimmel? Yeah. He’s this guy:

Travis Fimmel Calvin Klein

Crazy, no? I actually prefer how he looks in Vikings. Am I weird for saying that??

Travis Fimmel Vikings

You can check out Vikings at:
the Website ~ Amazon.com ~ IMDb

 
 
 

Have you been watching…FarScape

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
What? I know FarScape finished over ten years ago. What of it?? It’s still a brill show you should totally be watching! FarScape Rockne S O'Bannon Jim Henson Creature Shop SciFi

FarScape is the tale of astronaut and scientist John Crichton, who launches into space from Cape Canaveral on a craft he designed, FarScape1, to prove a theory about astrodynamicpropulsionthingymajig. He proves his theory, but what he doesn’t anticipate is his actions create a wormhole…a wormhole he’s sucked into. Suddenly, he’s lost across the universe, in a weird galaxy filled with strange alien creatures. Rescued by the prison ship Moya, crewed by escape convicts, he travels with them searching for a way home.

Man, this doesn’t even begin to describe the awesome. The characters are nuanced and realistic, without any rahrah gung ho crazy times. Crichton is a stranger in a strange land and he has no frakking clue what’s going on…and he’s not afraid to admit this. The alien characters have little patience with this human, who they deem as inferior and unsophisticated.

And there are puppets. PUPPETS. Jim Hensen’s Creature Shop made the prosthetics for the human actors and the amazingly realistic puppets for the, um, puppet actors. You completely forget you’re watching puppets and they simply become fully realised, three-dimensional characters.

FarScape also has one of the best love stories EVA. Crichton falls for Aeryn, a Peacekeeper closely related to humans, and she falls for him. Their love is fierce and epic and fantastic. The episode where Aeryn is kidnapped and prays to a destoryer god for her release, knowing ‘he’ will come for her is just so fricking romantic, in a weird Cassandra-likes-the-dark-and-epic-love way. 😉

Did I mention it was filmed in Sydney? Cos it was. It’s so strange to see all these Australian actors pop up in the show, not to mention Australian locations. I mean, Sydney beaches are featured! VB is drunk! Gum trees are spotted! It’s cray cray, peeps.

FarScape also has the distinction of being the very first TV series I purchased on DVD, many moons ago when it was RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE to purchase TV on DVD. Nevertheless, I will never regret that purchase, as I’ve watched this series over and over.

Do yourselves a favour, peeps. Check it out. I swear, you will devour all four series and the mini-series in a matter of days!
 

You can purchase FarScape at:
Amazon.com ~ Amazon.co.uk ~ JB Hi-Fi

 
 
 

Have you been watching…In The Flesh

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 
A brand new TV show! Huzzah! I love discovering new awesome shows and this one certainly is awesome.

In The Flesh is a new BBC Three show about zombies. Pshaw, I can hear you say. Another show about zombies? But there’s The Walking Dead and Dead Set and other zombie shows that I can think of but Cassandra totally can’t. Ah, I say smugly. But are these shows from the zombie’s point of view?

The series follows Kieren Walker (heh, walker. Snigger), a young man who is suffering from Partially Deceased Syndrome (or PDS). Under medication and rehabilitated, Kieren has regained his cognative ability and is no longer a threat to society. In fact, he’s going home. Today.

Home is a remote village in the north of England, a place abandoned by the government and authorities during The Rising, which saw the deceased rising from their graves to feast upon the living. A few years after this dread time, fear and hatred still runs deep.

A great allegory on prejudice, this emotional tale is just a thing of beauty. The visuals are stunning, but it’s the acting and the story that make it shine. Luke Newberry is amazing as Kieren, a troubled teen who took his own life only to rise again.

The last episode is a bit rushed, clearly setting up a potential second season, but all in all this is one hell of a tale.

You can learn more about In The Flesh at:
the website ~ Wikipedia

 
 
 

Have you been watching…Game of Thrones

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz

 

 

Game of Thrones HBO A Song of Ice and Fire

Seriously? I need to explain this show to you? Have you not heard of it?? 😉

In all seriousness, Game of Thrones is a bit of a phenomenon. The third season premiered on the weekend just gone to an audience of 4.4 million Americans, not to mention all the other peeps around the world tuning in within hours of the initial broadcast in the US as TV stations wise up to this thing called ‘torrent sharing’. In Australia, we were able to watch the first episode of season three about two hours after it aired in America – yay!

So. Um. I don’t know quite how to describe it. Based upon George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, it’s Epic Fantasy, loosely based upon Medieval European culture and events. It follows four families – Starks, Targaryns, Baratheons and Lannisters as they battle, lie and cheat each other for the Iron Throne and rule of the seven kingdoms of Westros. There are about a million characters and a gazillion plot lines, each more intricate than the last…You know what? I totally can’t describe it. Let us allow Wikipedia in all its wisdom to do this job for me – A Song of Ice and Fire.

This show is just the bestest. Seriously. It’s one of my very faves, with its outstanding writing, magnificent cast and glorious use of the four corners of this Earth. Filmed in Iceland, Croatia, Ireland and Morocco, the visuals are stunningly beautiful, suitably epic, and place you immediately in the heart of this world.

But the writing. Oh my, the writing. Intricate, dense, clever and never talking down or over explaining, the show is a delight to watch and to obsess over. Lord, it’s so very easy to obsess over. I have my theories…which I will explain now ***SPOILER STARTS*** (highlight to see) Jon Snow is actually the legitimate child of Robert Baratheon and Lyanna Stark. He’s clearly being groomed for a leadership role, and the story is forcing him to learn how to rule. Similarly, Daeneyrs Targaryn is also receiving a course in how to rule and the price of power. Morality doesn’t always mix, and a leader must be flexible. I think ultimately these two crazy kids will get married, rule Westros jointly, and Tyrion Lannister will be their Hand. Thus, all four houses are represented and fun times and stuff.

Alright. I admit, I’m a romantic. Of course I want people to fall in love and stuff. I don’t care that the last book had Jon being stabbed and lying there presumably dying. I like my theory, damnit! ***SPOILER ENDS***

I highly recommend you check this show out. It’s a bit violent, there’s a lot of nudity but I don’t mind either of these things. It also has one awesome credit sequence.
 

 

You can check out Game of Thrones at:
the Website ~ Amazon.com ~ JB Hi-Fi