Sunday, May 17, 2009

The end is nigh

The pennultimate episode of The Shield. It continued in much the same way as the rest of the show; lots of unintelligable shouting, running about, rubbish dialogue, and below par acting.

The theme that had been developing over the past few episodes that I'd dubbed "At home with the Vendrells" finally made sense. We had endured multiple scenes of red neck racist thug Shane and his money-grabbing wife enjoying tender moments of domestic life whilst on the run, committing murders and robberies in front of their infant child, at the same time worrying about his future. I struggled to care about their fate. They have not been sympathetic characters and seeing them gather around a piano in a house they've broken into, isn't going to change that for me.

But then we had the pay-off for this.

(don't read ahead if you haven't seen it yet and intend to watch it)

Shane blowing his brains out, then the discovery of his wife and son dead, laid out on the bed, her with flowers in her hands, the son with a toy that we'd seen Shane purchase earlier.

It shocked me and I will admit almost brought me to tears.

And I think this may crystalise my problem with The Shield. It isn't all bad. Sometimes it is very good. It had the potential to be really great television, but mostly it squandered that in a chase for cheap thrills and ratings.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I caught one of the Law & Order meets Homicide Life on the Streets crossover episodes the last night. A woman living in Baltimore was murdered and her body dumped in New York which brought together the two squads. And gave the writers a great excuse to bring together Det John Munch with Det Lennie Briscoe, two of my favourite ever characters. The old hands paired off leading to some great banter for example discussing the victim:

Munch: She was a blonde
Briscoe: Top and bottom
Munch: That's what I like about you. You're succinct.

Even minor characters joined in. The investigation takes them to a lesbian bar:

Munch: I never believe a woman is a lesbian until she has personally rejected me.
Female in bar: You must know a lot of lesbians.

Det Rey Curtis was left to partner Det Rene Sheppard, who didn't seem pleased about it.

Curtis: Last time I was with Falsone. This is an improvement
Sheppard: You think?
Curtis: You're taller at least.

Unfortunately the screen chemistry was ruined when it moved over the lawyers section with Sam Waterstone draining the episode of any interest, but it was brilliant while it lasted.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

What I've Been Watching

Life has been getting in the way of my detective viewing, so apologies for not posting for ages.

I've been working my way through the Morse box set. I think I have watched most of it, although I have been watching them in bed late at night so keep falling asleep in the conclusions. The only full episodes I've not watched are the one where Morse thinks the Masons are out to get him (seen it loads of times), the one where there hasn't been a murder at all and the supposed victim is wearing a face mask (sorry if that ruins an episode for someone, but frankly it was nonsense) and the final episode "Remorseful Day" which I'm avoiding until I feel in the mood for uncontrollable weeping.

We are continuing with The Shield, which is drawing to a gripping and no doubt overblown finale. I still hate it but it will still leave a void in my life when it is over. So if anyone can recommend something else implausible with badly written dialogue to take its place, I'd be interested. Actually, I've just remembered that Prison Break is back on so that will fit the bill nicely.

For a bit of variety last weekend I watched a pair of Mary Higgins Clark Mysteries, dubious television movies, featuring plucky heroines (one was owned a wine company, the other was Clint Eastwood's daughter). They were rather silly, but there are worse ways to spend a Bank Holiday.

Song of the Week: "Midnight on the Murder Mile" by Carter USM

I thought this feature had died (a natural death, it wasn't murdered) as I'd ran out of appropriate songs. Then last night the OH and I were discussing The Kills and their song "The Murder Mile", and he mentioned the Carter song of a similar title.

Most of the songs I've featured have been ones I've liked. I was never a big Carter fan myself, but I will dedicate this to my OH and revive this feature.