Bull’s first season

Bull has been light entertainment this year. But at least it has been entertainment. That’s more than can be said for Michael Weatherly’s last workplace on occasion. One evening recently I returned home late to an empty house, and I made myself lots of tea and sat down to unwind and feel good with the latest Bull. And I did. Bull has that effect.

I didn’t even hate J P Nunnelly these last three episodes. She was meant to be annoying. She was, wasn’t she? But it worked.

Bull

There is something relaxing about the way Michael doesn’t take himself seriously. And is Benny supposed to be Bull’s Cary Agos? They are alike both in manner and looks, setting aside that one is dark and one is fair.

I see Bull has been renewed for next season. This was something I didn’t believe in when I started watching. Well, I was barely expecting to continue to watch. It looked as if we’d have a possibly boring row of successful jury outcomes. What has happened is that, yes they are – successful, not boring – but it’s the how Bull gets his results that matters. That, and the fact that when someone goes free, they find the guilty one after a bit.

Here’s to more relaxing evenings with Jason and the gang!

(Photo © CBS)

Bye to the Saint, Ivanhoe and 007

Roger Moore died earlier today. He’s not someone I have thought very much about in recent years, but when I was a child and teenager he was right up there with the best.

Most people refer to him as James Bond, but his 007 days were almost a bit late for me. I’d liked Ivanhoe, and I’d loved The Saint, and sort of enjoyed The Persuaders. But that’s quite a bit of screen entertainment from one man, and enough to cover many of my early years.

Roger was a good 007; I think it’s mainly that I was never big on Bond.

But almost nine years ago when Roger appeared in Cheltenham, there was no question but we had to go to his event. He’d just turned 80 at the time, and had a book out, I believe, which is why he appeared at a book festival.

He showed his age, which I suppose is unavoidable, but his acting skills carried him through. The one thing that surprised me was his dislike of Hjördis Niven. Well, no. More that he didn’t mind airing it publicly.

Roger Moore

Goodbye to this handsome man who gave us so many screen adventures!

Who knows?

Doctor Who

He’s looking like a Rolling Stone in those sunglasses. In general I feel Doctor Who is looking cooler than before, or is that just me? He feels more with it, as well. So I’m already mourning the Peter Capaldi Doctor, long before he goes.

Bill is one of the most perfect assistants I’ve seen. Have they been listening to us, or was it merely a stroke of luck? But then, it’s one thing to match a new assistant to an existing Doctor. And another to make her work well with the next Doctor.

Not sure about Nardole, although he is starting to make more sense. First he was a bit fun, and then that fun got irritating. Now, though, I am guessing there is a point to him. Not even Missy was too annoying in the latest episode, and that’s saying a lot.

So far I’ve liked all the episodes. They’ve been the right amount of exciting and not too scary, because, as someone pointed out again recently, this is a programme for children. The fact that old people enjoy the Doctor is a bonus.

Keep this up!

NCIS/NCIS: Los Angeles – Uncaged, Something Blue, Unleashed, Rendezvous

So. I’ve not written much here about either of the NCISs. The last bit of attention they got was when they both had a seriously good episode back in the winter. Since then I’ve restrained myself from moaning about the state of things.

And when both NCIS and LA managed to offer up pretty strong 23rd episodes I didn’t know what to expect of the season finales. What we got was weak; clichéd as far as LA was concerned, and slightly lowkey for NCIS, apart from the last five minutes. Perhaps it sensed me wondering whether they were about to leave us for the summer with nothing more than an ‘ordinary’ episode.

Seems we are to worry about the father-to-be for the next four months. The man who fainted last week, is now risking his life in South America. Oh well, I suppose Delilah can hold off giving birth until September, if that’s what it takes. Or are we to have more team sacrifices?

I didn’t like seeing Mrs Hanna taken hostage last week, but when I worked out where we were heading, there was no avoiding the admiration that they dared, yet again. Although, we are back to my old complaint that it’s the women who go and the men who stay.

And then we had Sam Hanna ‘going rogue,’ which is something we have come to depend on too much. Macho is all very well, but some common sense would be refreshing. DiNozzo was able to hold back when they cornered Trent Kort a year ago. There is more to life than revenge. I’d have liked to see Sam act differently. If they’d let him, there could have been a final episode with feeling instead of what we got.

All in all, LA was better this year than NCIS. The latter offered two good episodes out of 24. The biggest disappointment with LA was the end, plus the fact that so much of the action hinged on individual team members lives. What about the general public, or plain unbiased crooks?

A year ago a fellow LA fan voiced her concern that the show wouldn’t be renewed. That risk looks greater now, because they tied things up fairly neatly. No cliffhangers. Granger is gone and Hetty is feeling her age. And we have two couples in the small team.

As for NCIS, I don’t see how they can survive without Gibbs, but he could do with retiring along with Hetty. The way we left our heroes this week, Gibbs could be killed. But that would be the end of NCIS. I’d rather have left off after episode 23, when we had a ship-based crime, plenty of humour and a happy ending.

NCIS

Hacksaw Ridge

There are many questions you can ask after watching Hacksaw Ridge, the true story about the man who refused to carry a rifle in WWII and who saved countless soldiers’ lives, and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Did it have to be so violent, and did it have to show quite so many dead and maimed soldiers? In this instance less would definitely have been more. Besides, you see less of the film if you have to look away a lot of the time.

Hacksaw Ridge

Did we really need to have parts like ‘corpse with rats #4’ on the cast list?

Couldn’t it have been clearer about when the earlier parts were set? We had to look it up, to ‘unconfuse’ ourselves.

And might it have been better to stick to what surely must have been rules back in the 1940s, like did nurses have long flowing hair on duty?

But the main question must be, if Desmond Doss was able to save 75 wounded soldiers at Okinawa, through sheer determination; how many unnecessary soldier deaths have there been in all other battles before and after?

I am not wanting to complain that others have not done what he did. You need a strong character and plenty of courage to achieve even a fraction of what Doss managed. But seeing that he could return out on to the battle field over and over again, and come back with more and more wounded comrades; how many half dead soldiers do armies leave behind everywhere?

Keep following Follow the Money

Yeah, I know. There is another week to go for season two of Follow the Money. But, phew, there is a lot happening, isn’t there?

Bedrag/Follow the Money

I’d have thought that the time scale of things is fairly tight, in which case Kristina’s pregnancy is moving faster than all those crooks. But maybe not. It could be that they are chasing after The Bank for absolutely ever. Poor Mads, and poor Alf for that matter. They are a bit naïve at times, while astute on other occasions.

Now though…

For the first time it seemed that Claudia suddenly got scared, instead of merely turning her coat and sailing in the prevailing wind. I can’t decide if I think she’s good or bad.

And it’s so hard to accept that both Christensen and the Swede are bad guys, when previously they have played sympathetic characters. (In US drama, the baddie is ‘always’ British, and here it appears they get a Swede in to do the deed.) Poor Nicky who’s looking for a father figure. He’s so capable, and he should be doing something good with himself. As for Bimse, he’s so forgiving and has his friend’s back, no matter what.

Bedrag/Follow the Money

Amanda is a good type. Unusually likeable for a banker with an addiction. But bad Jens Kristian for hiding the fact that he is married. Until that point I liked him (no, not like that). And poor, poor Hans Peter… We didn’t see that coming, but then Søren Malling has had bad luck in the past.

We’ll have to be patient until the last two episodes, especially as we’ll miss them and need to wait even longer than a week. I wonder if anyone will still be standing at that point?

Dame Vera Lynn: Happy 100th Birthday!

Dame Vera Lynn: Happy 100th Birthday!

It was the old soldiers who made the programme. No matter how much fun it is to hear famous people say lovely things about our Vera Lynn on the occasion of her 100th birthday (Wow!), it was the men who fought in WWII, and who are still with us, like Vera, who started the waterworks, both on me and on themselves.

Hearing Vera discuss the past with her daughter was almost like hearing any mother and daughter pair hark back in time. And that’s good in itself, as it proves how normal she still manages to be. Dame and the forces’ sweetheart she may be, but deep down Vera Lynn comes across like that aunt from east London I never had.

The music specialists had much nice to say, as did those famous people dug up to talk. Odd in a way to have Paul McCartney sit there as though he personally remembered listening to Vera on the radio during the war. Maybe he did.

But as I said, the old soldiers, reminiscing about hearing Vera live somewhere in Burma, or on the radio, and crying at the memories; that’s what made this programme. Telling their own stories, and singing along to We’ll Meet Again, before finally wishing their star a happy 100th. There’s not many of them left.

(Photo © BBC)