Television for 2015

Bluestone 42

Bluestone 42 goes under the radar for quite a few people; however I’ve had a keen eye on it for a while, even before it began back in 2013. It had a promising cast with Ollie Chris and Katie Lyons most notably of Green Wing, and Kelly Adams previously on Hustle, two of my favourite ever series. It turns out that I did well to pick up on the series, as although it has only aired two short series so far, they’ve been some of my favourite viewing of the last two years.

The show follows a bomb disposal unit and their various trials out in Afghanistan. It does well to make light of what is in reality a dark topic whilst maintaining the required level of sensitivity to make sure that it’s not overly offensive. Two of my favourite characters are the Scottish duo “Mac” and “Rocket”, who provide endless silly buggers, and contrast nicely with self-appointed pompous idiot “Skip”. It really is written well, providing a lot of laughs in its half hour slot and is undoubtedly something I’m greatly looking forward to returning in the coming year. Following the previous series air dates, expect an early spring release.

Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul’s announcement had Breaking Bad fans across the world doing jumping jacks of simultaneous joy and worry. They were worried that, what is for many people, their favourite drama of recent years would have its memory tarnished by a sub-standard new effort. Equally, they were joyous that something close to Breaking Bad in quality might grace our screens, satisfying our hunger for more since the end of the series.

I’ve chosen the optimistic approach. Vince Giligan’s eye for detail and ability to inter-weave complex story-lines to produce an outstanding final product can’t have simply disappeared over the last couple of years. Not only that, but they chose to base the series on Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), who was one of my favourite characters from Breaking Bad. The lawyer was frankly enchanting with some of the best lines of the entire series. With it being focused on someone whose job it is to interact with lots of criminals, I have high hopes for a greater depth of various storylines to make up for the vacuum left by the mesmerising and all -encompassing tale of Walter White. Not only that but Odenkirk is a comedian by trade and perhaps a slightly lighter tone would be appreciated after the at times gruelling Breaking Bad. For now judgement will be reserved until February 8th.

Have I Got News For You

It may seem odd to include a show that already has a secure position as a British great, running for an astonishing 48 series. Yet the show’s consistent quality is one of the reasons that I look forward to it every year. I thoroughly enjoy tuning in to watch the dry and cynical Ian Hislop tag team with the dry and surreal Paul Merton to thumb through the week’s events in politics and pop culture. For m,e the show is guaranteed laughs and will always present a different view point on current events.

The show also has an uncanny ability to attract some top guests with significant profiles. This includes politicians of all parties, with Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson regularly appearing. Often these encounters with Britain’s political elite are more revealing than what they say in formal interviews. Not just politicians but journalists and presenters, such as Victoria Coren-Mitchell and Jeremy Clarkson, who are just some of the distinguished names to have appeared. Finally although dare I say most importantly they always attract a top class of comedian with Ross Noble and Reginald D. Hunter being just a two of the notable names. These are the names alongside stalwarts Hislop and Merton that really make the show one of the most enjoyable things on T.V and a shoe-in for this article.

Walking Dead

I’m a long-time fan of the Walking Dead and unlike some people my commitment to the show has never really waned. My friends and I largely agree that series four, which finished in spring 2014, was the best since series one. The first half of series five aired at the end of 2014 and it was largely a process of tying up loose ends set up at the end of series four and the very beginning of series five itself. Because of this it wasn’t quite of the scintillating quality of series four, but I have a great deal of hope for the second half of the series, as it’s set up perfectly.

The half-series ended with the group coming together and without an established base to just loiter at. Previously the series has tended to stagnate a bit when the group have found somewhere to settle. It’s almost always at its best when the group find themselves on the road and pitted against the ever present and ever changing threats of the apocalyptic world they find themselves in. This series is set up for an explosive finale that has already got me on the edge of my seat waiting for the series to recommence on February 8th.


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