Friday, 30 May 2014

Spring TV Wrap-Up!

Today I'm going to do something a little different and talk about some of the shows I've been watching recently. I don't consider myself a TV buff at all - I tend to read more books than watch shows, and I'm envious of people who can dedicate their time to so many different shows and keep on top of all the characters and plotlines.

What I tend to do when it comes to TV is wait until a series is finished - either entirely, so that I have a few/several seasons to watch, or just the first season so I can get a taste for it and see what I think - and then watch it, rather than watch it as soon as it comes out. I'm lazy when it comes to TV, and it's really easy for me to grow disinterested; a show has to be really good to keep me waiting for a new installment each week, so I prefer being able to marathon an entire season over the course of a few days.

So far this spring I've finished four shows: Channel 4's New Worlds; BBC's The Crimson Field; Hannibal Season Two and Orphan Black Season One.

Let's get the worst over with first, shall we?

I decided to watch New Worlds after I saw a trailer for it advertised at my campus cinema and realised it would be on TV when I went home for Easter in April. From the trailer it looked like it was going to be pretty epic.

As you might have guessed from my love of historical fiction, one of my favourite things to watch on TV is a good historical drama, and I particularly love anything set in the 16th or 17th centuries. New Worlds is set during the reign of Charles II and takes place both in England, where the English are growing tired of Charles's tyranny, and across the ocean in Massachusetts, where the colonisers are trying to break away from English rule while also fighting against the Natives for their land.

What I thought was going to be the first season of a long series turned out to be a Mills and Boon-esque four part mini-series, with terrible character development and a plot which fell flat despite having so much potential. This show was a real disappointment and I really wouldn't recommend checking it out.

Thankfully I had three other shows over Easter to keep me going: Hannibal, The Crimson Field and Game of Thrones - I won't be talking about Game of Thrones here because season four hasn't finished yet!

Luckily for me where Channel 4 failed the BBC stepped up. This year marks one hundred years since the start of WW1, so over Easter the BBC broadcast a six-part drama, The Crimson Field, which follows a group of women who travel to France to work as volunteer nurses.

I really enjoyed this show, so much so that I'm hoping there's going to be more of it in future! Despite only being six episodes long, it used those episodes wisely to include as many stories - from the early management of shell shock to the punishment of deserters - and as much character development as possible without making the show feel crowded. 

I'd definitely recommend it, whether you're a fan of historical dramas or not!

Last week saw the finale of the second season of Hannibal; a show that has become one of my all time favourite dramas on television since its premier last year. Following the first season's amazing finale, the second season follows Will Graham's pursuit for justice by any means necessary - even if that means teaming up with the very man who incriminated him in the first place...

My love for this show knows no bounds. Not only is it a brilliant reimagining of Thomas Harris's stories, with both male and female three-dimensional characters, it's also visually stunning. Even if you've never read the books or seen the films, everyone is aware of Hannibal Lecter, and despite the fact that the show deals with something as brutal as murder and cannibalism it's still a piece of art in its own right.

The end of the second season was just as shocking as the end of the first, and I can't wait for season three! If you haven't checked this show out then I highly, highly recommend it, though the second season in particular might not be an enjoyable watch for the squeamish.

Hannibal came to an end the same weekend in which there wasn't a new Game of Thrones episode, so to stop myself from pining too much I decided to pick up where I left off when I started watching Orphan Black some time last year.

I watched the first two episodes of the first season last year, and even though I liked what I watched I didn't love it enough to continue watching it. The past couple of weeks, however, I've been seeing it all over Tumblr, so I decided to give it a try and I ended up marathoning the rest of the first season - from episode three to episode ten - in the space of about three days!

The show follows Sarah Manning, a con artist whose life is turned upside down after she witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her.

I enjoyed this show so much more the second time around; Tatiana Maslany is an amazing actress and I loved the story. I'm a big fan of stories which feature any form of science vs. religion, and as someone who's just starting to get into sci-fi this show was perfect for me. I'm not quite ready for alien races and spaceships, but a sci-fi thriller I can handle.

One day I'll be ready for space. One day.

I haven't started watching the second season of Orphan Black yet but I will be soon, and I'm hoping to continue watching American Horror Story: Coven, another show I watched the first two episodes of and have enjoyed so far. I'm rather picky when it comes to shows involving witches, somehow they always end up cheesier than I'd like, but so far AHS isn't shying away from the darker side of witchcraft, and I love that.

As far as other shows go I'm also planning on sating my lust for historical dramas by finally watching Vikings and Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Ever since I went to see Pompeii a couple of weeks ago I've been craving something else gladiatorial and I've heard great things about Spartacus - I love a good rebellion story.

I'll be back with another TV wrap-up in the summer!

What have you been watching recently?

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