Tuesday, January 16, 2007

They're back...

Prison Break - screening Monday nights on Five

I love the Winter months for one reason - all the best television shows return! Here's five of the best that I'm watching at the moment:

ER - I've rarely missed an episode of ER since it began thirteen years ago, even though I hate watching medical stuff and won't go anywhere near the likes of Casualty. That said, the new series is shaping up to be the weakest yet with nearly all of the decent characters having now departed (last season was only worth watching for John Leguizamo's unhinged performance) leaving it in desperate need of a transfusion of new blood. And what's happened to the opening titles? 9pm Thursday E4

Masters Of Horror - A fantastic idea: cherry pick the best talent in horror cinema and get them to make a series of self-contained one hour dramas. The reality: small budgets, one star name per episode, patchy writing and some of the poorest acting on telly. Season 1 was decidedly hit and miss but there were some good episodes, and advance word on Season 2 is generally positive (look out for the John Landis and Dario Argento episodes I'm told) - last night's tale The Damned Thing, helmed by Tobe Hooper was very average, but at least it was an improvement on his last effort which I had to switch off! 11pm Monday Bravo

Prison Break - One of the discoveries of last year, having ploughed my way through the DVD box set of Season 1 in the Summer. Now the 8 inmates are loose and FBI honcho William Fichtner (Armageddon, Go) is on their tail. With one major cast member getting offed in the first episode, and Peter Stormare still hamming it up for all he's worth, I'm hoping this one will run and run... 10pm Monday Five

Shameless - Can this really be series four of Channel 4's flasgship comedy/drama already? I felt it lost its way a little last year after the departure of Fiona & Steve, and I only hope the loss of neighbours Kev & Veronica doesn't dilute things further this year... still, the writing is as sharp as ever and there are enough interesting supporting characters to keep me watching. Just as well as they're intending to film twice as many episodes from 2008. 10pm Tuesday Channel 4

Waking The Dead - My favourite crime/thriller drama returns, but again seems to be treading water if the first two stories of the new series are anything to go by. Still, Trevor Eve is as marvellous as ever, Felicite Du Jeu is as gorgeous as ever and Tara Fitzgerald is a promising addition to the team. 9pm Sunday/Monday BBC One

And here's five more of my favourite shows that are returning very soon:

24 - The daddy of them all! Hit a low point on Day 3 with the continued antics of Kim Bauer, but learnt from its mistakes, and really raised its game with Day 5 last year. Starting with Jack Bauer a wanted man, the trailers for the forthcoming season have already got me drooling and my friend Paul (who's seen the first four episodes) has described the action so far as "amazing" and "astonishing" which bodes well! 9pm Sunday Sky One

America's Next Top Model - File under guilty pleasure. It only seems like yesterday that Danielle was crowned the winner of series six, but the glamorous reality juggernaut returns in less than two weeks time to begin its seventh series! Expect more bitching, more drama, and lots more Tyra... it's a good job Living TV repeat this show constantly as I have to catch it when my flatmate is out. And just for the record, Ann from series three is my all-time favourite! 9pm Monday Living TV

Doctor Who - Fresh from The Runaway Bride Christmas special, the newly revamped Doctor Who returns for a third series in the Spring (eta: March) and if the teaser is anything to go by, should be as exciting and entertaining as the last two series. Admittedly David Tennant isn't anywhere near as good as Christopher Eccleston, and with Freema Agyeman replacing Billie Piper as the Doctor's companion, well, this could be a make-or-break year for the show. Still, with the rumoured return of Captain Jack Harkness (as hinted at the end of Torchwood) and at least one surviving Dalek left to terrify everyone, the omens are positive. 7pm Saturday BBC One

Life On Mars - Named after a classic Bowie song, how could it possibly fail? Without exception, the best new television drama of 2006. I watched the first episode last Winter and wondered how anyone could sustain a series about a modern day cop mysteriously transported back to the seventies... and then watched in awe, week after week, as they proved me hopelessly wrong. It just got better and better - full of great characters and great writing. And soon it will be back on our screens for a second - and final - series. No neverending unanswered questions here, everything will be wrapped up in eight short episodes, so enjoy it while you can! Date/Time tbc BBC One

Lost - Speaking of neverending unanswered questions... but hey, you gotta love Lost. At times infuriating, this is still the most mind-bending television drama since Twin Peaks graced our screens. Despite a few boring back stories (hopefully not so many now that Mr Eko has passed away) this remains essential viewing for me. Currently enjoying a mid-season break, the show should resume with episode seven sometime in February. Date/Time tbc Sky One


James Moran said...

Ooh, fancy new blog layout.

Yay, Prison Break! Taped it last night, will enjoy it tonight.

Yay, 24! Going to have to do the PVR thing and watch it week by week, I have to see the reportedly mind blowing opener.

Yay, Masters of Horror! And yay, for me forgetting about it and thereby missing Hooper's episode! Thank Christ!

Yay, Who and Mars!

Yay, America's Next Top Model, or simply "Bitches" as me and Jo call it. Yay, Bitches! Love that show, they're just crazy, and the hosts are amusingly cruel to them. Although my favourites never win. I love the plucky underdogs.

Adz said...

I love 24.....

Have seen Episodes 1-4 of Season 6, and, although plods along at a snails pace, and has completely unbelievable segments to the plot, it is still fantastic and still my favourite TV show! Enjoy!

CarbonToe said...

Series 3 of Battlestar Galactica has kicked off well (Sky 1 9ish on Tuesdays). I can't wait for the next episode.....

Blade The Series - Bravo - I think it's on Tuesdays at 10pm was a little patchy but they have started some interesting plot threads I'll watch another couple to see how it pans out.

soulmining said...

Jimbo - glad to know I'm not the only bloke who enjoys 'Bitches' then (we are talking about the show, not 'bitches' in general, I hasten to add...)

carbontoe - yes, I keep hearing good things about the *new* Battlestar Galactica series, but can't really start now... need to borrow the first season on DVD off someone I think ;) Not too sure about Blade - The Series, sounds a bit dodgy to me...

Heroes (coming soon on C4) is supposed to be excellent though.