Sunday, October 25, 2009

Song of the Week: Bruce Springsteen "Highway Patrolman"

The conflict between family ties and upholding the law beautifully illustrated in this album track from The Boss. In this song, the patrolman chooses his wayward brother over his duty as a lawman, in contrast to the response of most tv detectives, who more often than not turn in their own flesh and blood.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Familiar Names and Faces

My aunt dated a man called John Kelly for years. He was a committment-phobic window-cleaner with an idiot brother and mullet.

This association has coloured my perspective of the first series of NYPD Blue where the main character is called John Kelly. NYPD Blue's John Kelly is quite different from my aunt's John Kelly, although both seem to consider themselves a hit with the ladies, for reasons beyond my comprehension.

NYPD Blue's John Kelly is also played by David Caruso, never my favourite CSI actor. Here he is younger and more carrot-topped (all that Florida sunshine seems to have lightened his hair). He is less prone to staring off into the distance, but he still fails to charm me and everytime another character mentions his name, I expect my aunt's former beau to appear.

Still this isn't enough to spoil NYPD Blue for me. Dennis Franz as Sipowicz is a tour de force and the supporting characters of Martinez and Medavoy are great too. And whilst it is not quite in the same league as The Wire or Homocide, it has shocked me a few times, and there are 12 seasons of it, which should keep us occupied for some months to come.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Christmas Wishlist

It has now turned October. My sister contacted me weeks ago to ask what I want. So I feel justified in making my wishlist now.

1. Ironside Season 2 - this doesn't seem to be available over here yet though but Region 1 may do the job,

2. Kojak Season 1 - my sister has her name down to buy this.

3. Streets of San Francisco Season 1 - this is available cheaply so perhaps my other sister will oblige.

4. Life Season 2 - unhelpfully not released here until 28 December. A new year treat to myself perhaps.

5. Longstreet (the one about the blind detective) given a DVD release, please.

6. More George Gently, please BBC.

Slight Return of the Shouty Man

The previous series wasn't particularly good, so Waking Dead wasn't as much "must watch" as in the past, so I managed to miss the first two weeks of the new series. I may have missed out as the two stories I did see were rather good.

A A Gill praised Waking the Dead in the Sunday Times, mainly for the acting as he isn't keen on the gruesome murders, and I agree it does seem to have become increasingly and unncessarily gruesome. He described it as a British CSI which at first I would have contested, but on watching this latest series, I can see it has become more CSI like. Lots of dependence on science plus the beautifully dressed cast. You are investigating a brutal murder - surely one day you might come into the office in slighly creased clothes and not bother with lipstick?

Whilst the storylines were exciting, the two I saw both involved plots personally relating to members of the team, which added to the unbelievability of it. By the last one, Spence had had enough and transferred to CID, possibly to avoid it being his turn next. Who can blame him though - seven series of being yelled at? I wouldn't have lasted this long.

With the final episodes being called End Game, I presume we've seen the last of Boyd, Grace and co. Of course, I may find time to watch the episodes I missed on the BBC website, but I think it is probably time for them to call it a day. Future careers as models for Boden or Next could await them all.