Monthly Archives: September 2009


McGee and Ziva

I’m less convinced that I want to work for Gibbs now. There is this issue of him and toilets. Sometimes people need to go, and he will need to learn to let them. Maybe I could teach him some manners?

Ziva and Gibbs

Episode two of NCIS was a series of reunions, with people needing to get things off their chests. You can’t just go back to what used to be, considering what’s happened. And perhaps you can’t anyway?

Ziva and Di Nozzo

Gibbs may have his basement and the lift to conduct conversations in, but Ziva favours the men’s toilet. Hope it smells better than some. Not that I’m saying I have a vast knowledge of these things. Now that the boat’s gone it’s time for Gibbs to offer more in the way of seating comfort, considering he receives visitors all the time, from ‘satnav’ down.

Ziva and Abby

Abby has a more straightforward technique for getting things off her chest, and we love her for her outspokenness. We actually love her for just about everything, and even Ziva seems to know what Abby means.

Director Vance, and McGee and Di Nozzo

Whenever you get an English character, I always expect them to be the baddie. And is it McGee or Di Nozzo that the Director loves?

(Photos © CBS)

So how are Anvil doing?

Now that I’m going gaga and am beginning to reminisce and all that, it’s time to look at Anvil again. I really, really hope they will be going places now. It’s looked promising for them this year, after the film The Story of Anvil. I hadn’t realised that the DVD is already available to buy here in Britain, and it will be hitting the American shops some time next week. Buy it if you missed the film in the cinema. You could even buy it if you didn’t. I saw the film twice and could still see myself owning the DVD.

The ill-fated album, This Is Thirteen, which we saw being recorded in the film is also out, on CD and LP. Anvil have done some gigs in record shops in connection with the album release, and I see on their website news page that they are on television next week. I’m an idiot, but wonder if it’s Canadian television.


They have done some concerts and have more lined up for next year. I wonder if Lips is still doing school meals, or if he’s been able to give up his day job? I feel a little like a mother, hoping they’ll do very well, while not being a metal fan myself. And speaking of family, I gather Lips’ sister has had her money back.

(Photo H Giles)

Compared with the rest

Most of the men who review films got it totally wrong when it came to Mamma Mia. They seemed to think it was OK to ridicule this film, and then I get the impression they needed to turn their coats the other way when it became clear they’d been a little hasty.

I do believe in myself and in my own impressions of films. But at the same time I like to compare my own views to those of someone who reviews for a living. It’s not a good idea to read their reviews before I’ve written mine. I find I tend to see a film about nine days before it’s in the cinemas, and it’s often the same day that the Guardian will have their review.

So what I’ve ended up doing is writing and preferably posting mine, and then I will read what Peter Bradshaw and others thought. For the most part we are in agreement, and with Mamma Mia in mind I’m almost annoyed with myself.

Last Friday I went to see Creation in the afternoon of the day it was released, and I accidentally leafed through the Guardian review section that morning. I caught sight of their review and noticed the three stars before I clamped a hand over it and quickly turned the page. Afterwards I agreed on the number of stars, but interestingly Peter Bradshaw and I liked and disliked different aspects of the film.

Also noticed that I’m coming full circle, as my first film preview was shown on television this week.

Oh G!

So now we know part of Callen’s secret. The rest will no doubt come at a slow dribble. Female viewers will love Callen even more than before, and then we had the scars from when he was shot…

NCIS: Los Angeles is not NCIS. But it’s pretty close. Given time we can love these characters (almost) as much as we do Gibbs and co. Personally I’m partial to Agent Hanna, who is not a woman. I have this slight problem with Hanna as a surname, but I’ll get used to it one day. It beats Sam Hanna’s real name of LL Cool J. I mean, how do you even begin to call him in when dinner’s ready?

NCIS: Los Angeles

Linda Hunt as Hetty was good. Maybe every series needs a grumpy, but heart-of-gold type, individual. It was a little disorientating to find they had changed their ‘office’ from the last airing on NCIS in the spring, but at least the changes deal with the loss of Macy.

I quite like Dominic, too. Readers of books are good. But psychologists with guns in their boots? I don’t think so.

The adventure for the first episode was fairly ordinary, but fine for setting the scene. Not spectacular like Yankee White, but you can’t always have the President of the United States at the beck and call of CBS. (Though just think what Obama could do!) And what a relief it must be for them to film California as California, with no need to pretend we’re in Washington.

(Photos © CBS)


‘There are too many of those already’, says the good doctor or whatever he is supposed to be, to Darwin when he hears he is writing a book. That made me laugh, and I enjoyed Bill Paterson in his small role as the medical ‘expert’. Another bonus appearance in Creation was Benedict Cumberbatch as Darwin’s friend.

Martha West as Darwin’s daughter was excellent, and I had this feeling I’d seen her in something else, but can’t find any evidence of that. The whole plot line regarding Annie West and her early death and its effect on both her father and the rest of the family was touching and well handled.

Emma and Charles Darwin in Creation

Other than that, a film needs more than pretty pictures and settings to be really interesting. Darwin and his book are very much part of current discussion in the world of education, but this doesn’t automatically make the subject either riveting or fun.

I found the moving back and forth in time very confusing. As a technique it’s fine, but it wasn’t done clearly enough, leaving this viewer wondering where we were a lot of the time. There was a distinctly non-vegetarian feel with all those dove carcasses, and Malvern water will have new meaning from now on.

Creation has provided me with some new facts about Charles Darwin, but not enough for enthusiasm.

Truth or Consequences

I’d been informed that I’d be surprised within a minute of season 7 of NCIS starting, and although it was more like a minute and a half, they were right. Except, having been warned about the element of surprise, it was no longer a surprise. More a revelation of something. A pretty good something, all things considered.

This was very much a Di Nozzo centred adventure, which was not as bad as I used to think. This Di Nozzo was both quite DiNozzo-ish and mature all at the same time, which makes for a powerful cocktail. McGee got to be more macho than we usually see him. Abby’s concern over Ziva’s fate proved once and for all that her early antipathy towards her has disappeared. So had Ziva, of course, which was the whole point to this episode.

Di Nozzo, McGee and Gibbs

I sincerely hope Director Vance will not prove to be a bad egg later on, because I’m really warming to this wily fox. He and Gibbs work well together when they work well together. Gibbs needs to learn not to roar too much during job interviews, because I didn’t think all those ladies looking to step into Ziva’s shoes were totally hopeless. But if you can’t accept she may not be back, then you can’t. Say what you will, Gibbs is faithful, except maybe where wives are concerned.

So, we’re not disappointed.

(Photo © CBS)

NCIS: Los Angeles

To watch or not to watch? I had more or less decided I don’t need more television to watch, so by not starting I won’t develop an addiction to NCIS: Los Angeles, the NCIS spin-off when it screens later tonight.

But – there had to be a but in there – curiosity can kill both cats and their witches. And not only is Rocky Carroll going to pop up every now and then, because he is the Director, after all. But now I see that Abby is also going to be appearing in some episodes, and perhaps some of the others. So, all designed to tempt the doubters to watch.

Not sure what I think about the dismissal of Louise Lombard, and replacing her with Linda Hunt. It would seem that viewers (whoever they were?) didn’t warm to Macy, so out she goes. It would be better to try someone for a little longer, and slowly phase them out, rather than do a sudden chop. I felt there was scope for interesting development with Macy. Not saying Linda Hunt won’t be good, it’s just the pandering to fickle audiences I mind. It’s like giving in to your toddler too quickly.

And I see Callan is back, scars and all. They couldn’t kill him off. Yet.