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Line of Duty, season 4

Having seen the previous seasons -except for season 1, I should add, because Netflix never showed me that one- I was curious about the fourth one. The seasons I’ve seen before had quite a strong storyline and knew pretty well how to keep the tention.

Season 4 quite delivered.

Line of Duty is all about a police anti-corruption unit. There are very strict procedures and protocols within this unit, both in an out.
In this season, it’s about Roseanne Huntley, who seems a little too willing to lock up a certain Michael Farmer. Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott and Detective Constable Kate Fleming are the ones investigating the case for Superintendent Hastings.

In Dutch, we have a saying: ‘een kat in het nauw maakt rare sprongen’, literally translated: ‘a cornered cat makes odd jumps’, and that’s pretty much what you see in this season. But an entire season, can you make that credible? Wort watching? Well, that’s what Thandie Newton does. Gosh, how much you hate her at times, especially when you see the taunted victims of her actions, how willing her lapdog Jodie Taylor (a lovely, quite frankly naive girl, convincingly portrayed by Claudia Jessie) is towards her, and how Huntley still finds her ways. It’s incredible.

I’ve been at the edge of my seat watching this and I’d highly recommend watching it. It keeps taking turns and even when you think ‘yes, yes, but I KNOW what happened, I SAW it?!’ you’re still amazed by how you’re put on the wrong foot.

Frustrating? Oh yes, you’ll need popcorn and cake, but it’s good ­čÖé

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Posted by on February 4, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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The Break

A French thriller.
It starts out so well. A teen is found dead in the river, in a small village in the Ardennes, Belgium. They’ve put an inspector with a fuzzy backgroundstory at the head of investigation (of course) a police officer (the doofus) who has an affair with a woman who wants to build a dam in the neighbourhood (money factor) and the cop’s only child who has her own life at school and gets neglected most of the time.

Yes, all the factors are there.

To be fair, from the beginning I have been skipping through the therapie sessions. I’m not sure I missed much because of that, to be fair. Peeters, the troubled cop, turns out to be a very bad one anyway. You see him struggle to keep his act together with pills and stubbornness. He is not very convincing, to be fair. He is not convincing as a father either. WHo would leave their daughter to it for their job all the time? They have moved to a quiet village so she could have a better life. You don’t ignore her for over 70% of the time then, it doesn’t make sense.
Peeters has a colleague, Drummer, who becomes furious with Peeters -in itself you get that he’s very angry- but you don’t get is why nor Peeters nor Drummer is taken off the case. You see that happening more than once in series, it really doesn’t make sense why that doesn’t happen here.

The credibility of the entire policeforce crumbles around episode 6-8. And the one who wrote it, clearly forgot to tie the ends of previous episodes together, or to vary a bit more with credibility in total. All of the characters seem to suffer from a hint of paranormal behaviour. When it would be a group of people who hung on to some sort of cult, that would be believable, but this series just makes it clear that it couldn’t, for the sake of it, leave things to gut feelings, a lucky or strange find, or anything like that. So dreams it is then, for all involved? Yeah, I suppose that’s possible, but it’s taking away the shock/surprise effect after more than a few, to be fair!

It’s not a bad watch, but don’t expect too much surprises, as the storyline just isn’t capable of doing that.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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The Frozen Dead

This French series on Netflix is an interesting one. The first episode so clearly reminds you of The Silence of the Lambs, you’re sort of wondering if it can really be that good? The answer is: it depends on how you look at it.

The detective part of this story isn’t too strong in my opinion. What investigation, after all, doesn’t start with a list of suspects, or develops one during the course of it? One of the missed aspects is, in my opinion, when it’s become clear that one than more person was present somewhere. The investigators don’t really check on any of them. It goes seperate each time. Because they believe they have to follow the leads of a total psychopath.

The lack of certain background facts is in such a way, that by the end of the series, you’re like ‘geez, well this is the weakest backup story ever?!’ Or at least I was. I was very disappointed by how it ended, and not because of the obvious, but because it’s so far off anything that would ever happen in real life. You watch stories like these with a certain expectation. As I said, the first episode was looking quite promising, but for me, the promise didn’t become reality.

It’s definitely worth a watch though, because the acting isn’t bad at all. It’s just that at some point, reality comes to check around the door, and it’s impossible to believe such a thing as that would ever happen for real.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Black Mirror, Arkangel

This episode had me bored out flat. Funny, because the essence of the story could be a very interesting one. What if you could indeed inplant your kid with a device that makes it impossible for them to get lost? And if they get lost, at least as a parent, they could be retrieved by a searching system?

But no, this episode, probably based on a book or something, actually doesn’t touch any moral guidelines here. Instead it just shows the life of a solo mother with her only child who briefly gets lost. The mother then decides to get her daughter an implant to always be able to track her down (a concept that I’m sure lots of parents, if not all, would heartly welcome in itself) and you see their lives going on as usual afterwards. There’s no tention of any kind, it’s like watching a reality show that hasn’t been edited properly. Aren’t there ANY hiccups? Yes, there are, but not nearly enough to make it truly interesting.┬á It’s just a mother and a daughter living their lives, sometimes making a timehop, but still nothing interesting happens.

In former episodes of Black Mirror, at least surrounding details of environment or houses were equipped with something futuristic excitement: not here. The only device is the sort of iPad that keeps track of the daughter.

Aren’t the players playing well? Oh, they are, but since there’s no drama or thrill here, there’s really no need to bother.

Nothing to see here, folks!

 

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Dark

With Louis Hofmann, J├Ârdis Triebel, Oliver Masucci, Karoline Eichhorn and lots, lots of others.

This German series on Netflix is a very interesting one. It strongly reminded me of Stranger Things, though it was mostly its atmosphere. There’s resemblences in storyline, yes, such as fantasy and science fiction more or less mixed together. It has no references to other films (that I’ve noticed) though. There’s certain elements of Back to the Future in there too, but actually not strong enough to make it truly mention worthy. I still do, because there is a reference to it after all.

The story is about a small city, Winden, in Germany, which is situated around a powerplant. A teenager has gone missing, so parents are trying to keep their own children more safe, and, because that’s mostly what such children do, they start looking for trouble.
First, another kid goes missing. It seems at random, but as the series more or less has the catchphrase: ‘nothing that happens is by accident’, this is really just the beginning.

The acting in this series is very strong, it’s nearly impossible to put the story aside once you’ve entered it. Everything is connected and the writer(s?) really put in a good base, I feel. The only thing that is sort of a pity, is that although the powerplant is the spot where it all seems to be happening, it really isn’t involved itself. They just needed a place that’s not allowed to be accessable to, say, police, without a warrant. It might aswell could have been a millitary facility, which in a way it is.

Once the storylines truly begin to unveil themselves, at times you’re a bit flabbergasted, but in a good way. There’s only one or two elements that don’t add up, even in the end. It truly is worth watching.

I must admit I turned off the sound in most cases, as the ‘I can play an eggslicer with a fiddlestick’ really isn’t my kind of thing.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Homeland (Netflix)

This series is based around Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes. Carrie has the responsibility to infiltrate in muslim terrorist networks to prevent mass attacks from happening and so on. She is like a pitbull in a way; if she’s convinced something is going on, she won’t stop until she finds proof that supports her suspicions. She is the kind of brilliant that let’s her get away with a lot of it, but not so convincing that she gets away with it ALL.
It starts with an American sergeant, Nicholas Bordy (played by Damian Lewis) who is found back after eight years of being missing.
This is, of course, a huge victory for America and for the CIA and FBI etcetera. He is welcomed with a massive amount of cameras, journalists, gets to meet the vice president and….his own family. Which means his wife and his two children who were both very young when he went on his mission. The children are teenagers now and have adjustment problems with their dad returning, especially as a good friend and colleague of their dad has more or less taken up that place. And if that’s not enough, Carrie Mathison is so convinced Nicholas Brody has a lot more to offer than just the tortured soldier that he is, she decides to bug his house with cameras and microphones all over the place.

The first season is based on Carrie Mathison basically bugging Nicholas Brody to find information about a terrorist who she believes he spend a lot of time with. Brody denies every alligation and Carrie doesn’t seem able to find any evidence to support her suspicions.
Suspicions that keep her from taking her medication against bipolar disorder at times. A condition she suffers from and that’s not general knowledge at her employer. Something she gets in trouble with once she decides her medications are keeping her from seeing ‘the real thing’.

First season and the second one are good, thanks to a storyline that surprises, actors who can properly act and get the chance to develop that sinister little bit of selfishness that every human suffers from. You want to push those pills down Carries’ throat, you want Brody to stop lying to his wife, you want his daughter to stop acting like a bastard, you want everyone to be honest etc. ┬áAnd aside that: none of the characters are stupid. You see them being torn at times (‘why would s/he do that?’ then the penny drops) but able to think and act smart on it.
Unfortunately, after a few seasons, things turn around.

In current times, it doesn’t seem like such a good plan to depict muslims as solely bad people, which is exactly what happens after those seasons. Basically, every single one of them is secretly bad, because working or sympathising for the wrong side, wanting to kill those who don’t want to join IS etc. I did find myself thinking: what did the actors playing these characters, think about their parts? I mean I know it’s work, but a lot of them are probably muslim in real life too and the good people of their faith are barely shown in this show. It shows the ugly side of people misusing their faith just to kill. I mean I know this series is based on preventing attacks from happening, but it can’t be easy to have to play such a negative depictation of what’s already believed by so many: that every single muslim has a shadow side.
To me it made the other seasons quite problematic to watch entirely. So I didn’t. I skiphopped through episodes.
In a way, sure, Homeland shows how the brainwashing works from within any faith, I suppose. How you’re not allowed to think for yourself, how you’re supposed to think of everyone as your brother (or sister) and how it, apparently, doesn’t matter if you get one of those killed, because that’s, again apparently, what your god/Allah/whomever had intended for you.

Carrie Mathison is the most likeable character in all this, since she doesn’t seem to judge people by their appearance, but solely by the information they (could) have. She’s also the surprising element, given that she’s bipolar and has periods where she has no problem with taking her meds, versus periods where she hates to do this and actually has to be convinced that meds are the only way to cope with her.
She’s also the queen, no, the empress, of the pout. My god, when she’s on her way to cry, or to get empathy, her entire face comes along. After a few of those actions, I was getting tired with it a bit. Realising I have seen her doing it in every part I know her from (Little Women, My So Called Life, etc) I’m guessing that’s how she gets her parts. Because this is so characteristic for her.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Glitch, Netflix

This series on Netflix, has a storyline similar to The Returned, except the characters climb literally out of their tombes.

The problem is that the one who wrote the story forgot to give any of the characters any of that. The first 4 or 5 episodes, you won’t witness any variety in responses to the unusual circumstances. None. Emotionally, the characters are even more dead than the state of being you’d expect from somebody who is supposed to be dead.
You do see how the ones who are saddled with solving the problems, namely a police officer and a local doctor, seem to have some inner struggle with the happening, but that’s it. No feisty responses from them either. You just wanna slap ‘m so they do anything you’d expect under the circumstances.

And no, it’s not the acting. You can see how it’s not the actors who do it wrong. They simply haven’t really been given any dept. It does become a bit better after a few episodes, but still most of the responses aren’t in any way realistic. Even if the series continues, I won’t watch it. Rather the French version of The Returned. Far better storyline.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2017 in Opinion, series