Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 11 November 2011

TV highlights

Some satisfying moments from this week's tv viewing: the return of REV - we loved the first series of this new BBC comedy with Tom Hollander as the inner-city priest, now we have the second series just starting and it promises to be just as good - particularly with Ralph Fiennes guesting in the first episode as the Bishop of London. Hilarious sauna scene! The series to be seen in then - and next week should be amusing when our put-upon vicar mistakenly takes ecstasy during church service!

And speaking of interesting guest stars: Jane Asher, elegant as ever [left, right] turns up in the otherwise routine school drama WATERLOO ROAD [while Liam Neeson was fun in the new Ricky Gervais series].

Below: Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley has something to announce in DOWNTON ABBEY, which finished last week, as he has been getting a tingling in his legs and is no longer crippled or indeed impotent ! Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Countess Violet (Maggie Smith) will be pleased, just as the great 'flu epidemic of 1919 strikes ... two things about DOWNTON: the amount of commercial breaks was annoying, so I ended up recording it and then starting watching half an hour later, thus zapping out the adverts - the final episode was 90 minutes of which 67 was the actual programme! Roll on the dvd. Also the timeframe: the first series begins in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic and ends with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, then series 2 takes us through to the end of the war and to 1919 - nobody looks any older but Matthew and Lady Mary have been mooning over each other for 7 years! Let's see what the two-hour Christmas special brings ...

Over at STICTLY COME DANCING (the UK's DANCING WITH THE STARS, but so much better) the best male celebrity dancer is Harry Judd from pop group McFly, who is sensational paired with Aliona Vilani - Watch out Jason and Kristina, Harry and Aliona's Argentine Tango is the one to beat. Their samba is sensational too! Holly and Artem's take on SWAN LAKE was also a favourite, let's hope he is back soon after his back injury, and one never tires of watching the professional dancers like Flavia and Vincent; looking forward to their Tango show in January! Flavia is a stunning woman - like Sophia she hails from Naples....

Then of course there is the latest from Sir David Attenborough, still going strong in his 80s: FROZEN PLANET is as superlative and jaw-dropping as one would expect. This is what one pays one's license fee for ... more amazing footage of animals in the Artic and Antartic wastes - that footage of the polar bears, and killer whales working in teams, and all those penguins .... nature in the raw indeed - fantastic stuff !

I don't bother much with cop shows, but its interesting catching up with LAW AND ORDER SPECIAL VICTIM UNIT from America, both the latest series and repeats of earlier - this is not mainstream viewing here so Meloni and Mariska [sometimes she looks so like her mother Jayne Mansfield] are not well known here; we have our own version, LAW AND ORDER: UK - the U.S. SVU also has some fascinating guest stars: Franco Nero recently as the diplomat accused of rape, a hilariously over the top Ann-Margret etc.

Bottom: a reminder of Tom Hollander in that hilarious scene from BEDROOMS AND HALLWAYS (1998) where he is blindfolded and tied to the bed as the owners of the house return ....

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