tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Is anyone else watching Deutschland 83? I'm rather enjoying it.
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Rev. is back!

I watched last week's episode in my old theological college, whence I had gone for a few days on the 'Deacons' Retreat'. It wasn't much of a retreat, but there was a lot of reflection and listening to each other, and I found the whole thing exhausting but unexpectedly healing. Bits of theological college were good, but bits of it made me profoundly unhappy, and I think that's a (worryingly?) common experience.

Anyway, yesterday I caught up with Monday's episode, which I think was the best they've done in ages (though I do wonder what any non-church people in the audience make of it).

Anyone who cares has probably seen it but - spoilers anyway )
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
The first gay TV drama, rediscovered?

It's an ITV television play, set in the South of the US, immediately before the Civil War. It's said to hold up well to a modern audience, though there is no word on whether the accents would cause American viewers to wince...
tree_and_leaf: Francis Urquhart facing viewer, edge of face trimmed off, caption "I couldn't possibly comment" (couldn't possibly comment)
Can we deduce from Julian Fellowes' slightly shaky grasp of how (pre-)eclampsia works that he's not a Call The Midwife fan?
tree_and_leaf: David Tennant in suit imitating Tony Blair, Boyish grin, last-of-the-timelord hand gesture, even shinier teeth (last of the timelords hand gesture)
I was going to just ignore CBS's new, unique, exciting, original, honestly-not-inspired-by-a-certain-BBC-programme-what-do-you-mean-we-cast-someone-who-doubles-roles-with-your-star updated and Americanised adaption of Sherlock Holmes. Then I heard that they were genderswapping Watson and had cast Lucy Liu, and I thought, actually, that could be really good; I'd have preferred girl!Sherlock if they were going that route, in order to avoid the 'wacky male genius grounded by a woman's common sense' angle, but it could still work very well and might be worth a look, and a female Army medic would be something new and different.

Then I heard that they were going to have her be a stuck off surgeon, and unless it turns out that the plot will involve her being wrongfully struck off, I must say that's not an iteration of Watson, who ought to be, despite all the possibilities for darkness and dubious attraction to risk, a fundamentally decent (and not, in fact, stupid) human being, that I'm particularly interested in seeing.
tree_and_leaf: Red and white striped lighthouse, being hit by wave (lighthouse)
Incidentally, I finally got round to watching Call the Midwife, which was originally brought to my attention by Sam Wollaston slagging it off. I should have taken this as a recommendation, but I actually didn't go and look for it until Fr Vice-Principal talked about it in his address at morning Mass.

Anyway, it's very good - it's the story of a newly qualified midwife in the fities who takes a job at what she thinks is a private hospital, but turns out to be a community of Anglican nuns whorun a midwifery service in Poplar.

I don't know how accurate the midwifery is, but it's a very good portrayal of a religious community as made up of actual human beings, and the rhythm of its life, sympathetically portrayed without being saccherinely pious, it's well acted, and there are a lot of believable female characters. It passes the Bechdel test without any effort.

Possibly worth noting that episode 2 (I missed the first one) contains a distressing story about a fifteen year old prostitute and a church agency's treatment of her, which while not "The Magdalene Laundries" doesn't give her anything approaching a happy ending. It's also possibly not a great watch if you're overly squeamish about childbirth, though mostly it made me intensely grateful for modern medicine. That apart, though, I'd strongly recommend it (and you can always look away at the bloody bits, they don't predominate).
tree_and_leaf: The Archdeacon from Rev., 3/4 profile, holding something, wearing tonsure collar. (archdeacon)
Just caught up with Rev. Ouch.

(Also, I continue to think that Alex is far too good for Adam, but mostly I want to give the Archdeacon a hug).

More on Rev

Nov. 7th, 2011 02:00 pm
tree_and_leaf: Spire of St Pauls Lower Manhattan surrounded by taller buildings (church in the city)
There are some clips up at the BBC - I think this one of Adam in a taxi with the Archdeacon is my favourite, because it's so good on the reality of urban ministry*, but I am also thrilled to note that Hugh Bonneville is in episode one. The clips are possibly spoilery, but I don't think most people watch Rev for the gripping plot twists...

The Church Times has a piece on Rev this week; it's still behind the paywall, though. However, it promises us a high-achieving female curate (yay!) for Adam, and stuff about Adam's family, including his atheist father.

Also, there is the revelation that cut for spoilers, although frankly I saw this one coming a mile off ).



* OK, Archdeacons don't ride about in taxis being sinister while wearing black leather gloves, but, as some bishop who wished to remain anonymous told the Church Times, it feels like they do. I also keep confusing the guy who plays the Archdeacon with Martin Freeman, but he's actually Simon McBurney.
tree_and_leaf: Alan Rickman in role of Slope, wearing rochet, scarf, swept back hair, and hostile but smug expression (slope)
Article about Downton Abbey, from the Grauniad. I invariably find Tanya Gold slightly irritating* (and how she found the miscarriage scene funny beats me, though I suspect it's sloppy writing/ editing - there's another paragraph towards the end that doesn't seem to make sense), but there's some interesting snippets with Julian Fellowes, Hugh Bonneville, and others from the cast, as well as the Caernarvons, and Alastair Bruce, the historical adviser, who is "still getting over Braveheart.


* I find her irritating here despite the fact that I'd agree that Downton is at times a very sanitised portrait of the 'big house.'
tree_and_leaf: Spire of St Pauls Lower Manhattan surrounded by taller buildings (church in the city)
Apparently Rev won best sit com at the Baftas. Very well deserved.

Sherlock got an award. Good stuff. But I'm happier about Rev., despite the sheer fannish glee of two out of three episodes...

Tomorrow, mock exam :(
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
Lawyer and I just watched Rev. Cue horrified laughter, and the occasional cry of "why do I want to do this again?"

But really, very well observed (I loved the horrible cheap vicarage, with the crucifixes in odd places, comedy nun salt and pepper shakers, and piles of books on the draining board). Because like it or not - and however wet and middle-of-the-road the Rev'd Smallbone is - those are my people. God help me. I'm pretty sure I've met the Archdeacon.

(Also, it is very funny, in a cynical black-hearted way - but also with bits where the faith-stuff rings true, though I hope I succeed in developing more of a pulpit presence than Adam).
tree_and_leaf: Tardis silhoutted agains night sky, with blinking light. (Tardis)
Nothing much to say about the finale of Who, as yet, for I am tired, except: loved it.

Actually, here is some incoherent spoilerish babble )
tree_and_leaf: Cartoon of Pope Gregory and two slave children.  Caption flashes"Non Angli sed Angeli" and "Not angels but Anglicans." (Anglicans not angels)
I am really rather looking forward to seeing what this new series - Rev, starring Tom Hollander as in inner city vicar - is like, particularly after reading a longer piece on it in the Church Times (which, irritatingly, isn't available online). It sounds as if they've really done their research and it will have a recognisable relationship to reality, for a start, which already gives it a head start over "Vicar of Dibley" or "All Gas and Gaiters"... (For a start, they bothered to work out the vicar's churchmanship - liberal, middle of the road, would-like-to-be-higher-but-the-parish-won't-have-it - which is fairly fundamental to any cleric's identity, but I don't get the impression anyone considered that in Dibley, and All Gas and Gaiters is mostly office politics anyway).
tree_and_leaf: Photo of spire of Freiburg Minster (14th C broached gothic) silhouetted against sunset. (Schönste Turm)
Just seen Two Cathedrals. That was a pretty remarkable bit of television.

(On an unrelated note: wow, that allegedly non-denominational funeral was pretty damn Anglican. But in a good way).
tree_and_leaf: Tardis silhoutted agains night sky, with blinking light. (Tardis)
I quite enjoyed "Vampire of Venice", though I don't have much to say about it than "it was fun", I loved the fact that his library card shows his first incarnation, and the episode handled Minor spoilers, I suppose )

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