Showing posts with label television series review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label television series review. Show all posts

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Stranger, a TV Series

I would like to review a British television series called The Stranger and I can easily do it in one sentence.   Go and watch it right now!

Harlan Coben's The Stranger a Netflix series
The Stranger (British TV Series) - image adapted by Lou16
from a photo on Pixabay.com
Want more than my bossy sentence?   Well I must admit the trailer for this series looked good and certainly peaked mine and my husband's interest, but the series itself totally outshone our expectations.  It is based on a book by American author Harlan Coben and after watching it I am definitely going to start reading some of his books.

The series has a British cast that if you watch many British shows you'll probably be very familiar with.   There were lots of actors that I recognise from different shows that they've popped up on.   The main star of the show is Richard Armitage who as an actor first came to my attention in the British spy series Spooks, although he has a number of other credits to his name.

Another star is actress Siobhan Finneran who has appeared in several British television shows over the years, but I particularly liked her portayal of  a police detective in The Moorside (available through Amazon Prime).   In this show she, again, plays a detective.

I would also like to mention two other stars of the show - Shaun Dooley and Jennifer Saunders.   I will be honest and say that I felt both of these actors were not (in my opinion) on their best game, but the story was strong enough that they didn't need to be better.   As a fan of Shaun Dooley since I watched Married, Single, Other years ago (a great British drama series) I was a little disappointed in his acting.   I've also loved Jennifer Saunders since her French and Saunders days, but I didn't feel that her acting was to the standard of the rest of the cast.

An actor that was amazing was Paul Kaye, I absolutely hated his character, he played it perfectly

This series is what I call bingeworthy.   We started watching it on a Sunday night and were only going to watch one episode - 3 episodes later we had to turn it off as we had work the next day.   The following night we had things on and decided to just watch one episode before bed...we watched two and it was very hard to get up the following morning.

Luckily the third night we had nothing on and the series only has 8 episodes so we managed to finish it!   I recommend watching it when you have 8 hours to spare because you may not want to stop.

The main story line is very interesting as it's about a stranger approaching someone with details of a secret.   What keeps it enthralling is not just wondering about the stranger, but all the intricate little threads that the writers have kept running through it.   The book was adapted by screenwritter Danny Brocklehurst and he has done an amazing job.

The suspense was kept up with all these surprising things happening - as an example at the end of one of the episodes someone walks into their workplace and is greeted by their workmates.   That doesn't sound very cliffhangerish now does it?   However it made my husband and I both sit up as we hadn't anticipated that happening!

The ending of every episode has you wanting more and that is exactly why I loved it.

I did see that Danny Brocklehurst and Harlan Coben co- wrote another Netflix series called Safe so I am definitely going to put that one on the must watch list!

One of the great things about winter is definitely cold nights watching some great shows/movies with my hubby.





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Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Haunting of Hill House Reviewed

I have just finished the Netflix television series The Haunting of Hill House that Esquire coined as a spookier version of This is Us.   Not exactly how I would describe it!

The Haunting of Hill House, Television Series, Reviewed


I should also note that it is available to watch on Amazon Prime in the US (not sure about other markets), so if you don't have Netflix you can still watch it.

The series is based on the 1959 Gothic horror novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson.   I had actually watched the 1999 movie The Haunting that was also based on this book and although the critics panned it, I enjoyed it as I love psychological horror movies.   By the way, the series is very different to the film so it doesn't matter whether you've seen it or not.

It has been very hard to get my husband to watch any suspenseful or psychological horror films with me over the past couple of decades so when I saw this series I knew I would have to watch it by myself.   I stayed up late at night watching it and I loved it.

The series runs through two timelines (which is where the connection to This is Us comes from), the first is of the Craine family's childhood as they live in Hill House as children before their mother commits suicide in the house.

The second timeline is of them as adults and they are brought together when their youngest sister goes back to Hill House to commit suicide.

Each episode reveals to us how the different family members were impacted by their childhood in the haunted mansion.   I found I was eager to keep watching the next episode.   The youngest twin Nell was haunted during her childhood by the bent neck lady and in the episode aptly named the Bent-Neck Lady there is a surprising twist that I wasn't expecting as to the identity of this lady.

I was a little disappointed by how the season ended, but if I'm honest I'm not sure that I would've been happy with any ending.

I think the actors were perfectly picked for their characters and acted their roles really well, I found myself completely drawn into the series.  I recommended it to my daughter and my husband told her that he didn't need to watch it as he'd listened to my commentary, ' don't go, oh you had to go there didn't you?', I do not recall having that conversation with the television, but it is very plausable!

If you can sleep after watching supernatural dramas that are full of suspense then I thoroughly recommend this one.   Apparently they are bringing out a second season based on another family and another house.   I'll be honest I probably won't watch that one as I feel like this was a one season show. 

Definitely worth a quiet night in and a big bag of popcorn.

More Television Series | Mini Series to Enjoy


If you don't fancy this television series I can also recommend the following shows (although please note I've only watched one season of Shetland):

Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series)Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series)
This mini-series starts with a young 26 year old woman running out of a house for a payphone and claiming to be a girl called Ivy who was last seen 13 years ago. Is it really her and what has happened over the last 13 years?


Good Omens 2019 TV MiniseriesGood Omens 2019 TV Miniseries
David Tennant and Martin Sheen are absolutely outstanding in this adaptation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman's book Good Omens. Even if you've never read the book you will love the writing and the chemistry between these two characters representing good and evil.


Upload, an Amazon Prime TV SeriesReviewing the Amazon Prime TV Series Upload
This dark comedy is based in the year 2033 where death doesn't always mean it's all over. If you have the money you can choose to upload your consciousness and memories into a virtual 'afterlife' where you can stay forever


Shetland Series ReviewedShetland Series Reviewed
Shetland is a crime drama set in the picturesque Scottish Shetland Islands, the main character is DI Jimmy Perez who's also a single father. The scenery is beautiful and the plots are full of twists which make them very watchable.


Reviewing Agatha Christie's the ABC MurdersReviewing Agatha Christie's the ABC Murders
The ABC Murders is definitely one of Agatha Christie's best novels, this adaptation does take some liberties that a purist may not like, but it is still an enjoyable mini series to watch.


The Widow Series ReviewedThe Widow Series Reviewed
This series starts with English widow seeing a news article where she believes she spots her late husband alive and well in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of course this leads to her flying out to DRC in search of him, the series has twists and turns, suspense and action and is thoroughly recommended.


Reviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV SeriesReviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV Series
Jack Ryan is a character who was born in a novel by Tom Clancy, the son of a Baltimore cop and a nurse who serves as a marine before becoming a history teacher and finally joining the CIA. A few of the books were made into blockbuster movies and now we have a television series.


And Then There Were None - The Mini SeriesAnd Then There Were None - The Mini-Series
Based on an Agatha Christie novel this is one of her darker novels and is based in the 1930s around a nursery rhyme called 10 Little Indians/10 Little Soldiers. It will keep you guessing right up to the end.





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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Reviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV Series

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan
My husband and I have been waiting for the television series Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan to start ever since we saw the first trailer.  It was released on Aug 31st 2018 here in Australia and as a family we finished watching it on the 2nd September 2018.  This is a big deal as the three of us all have busy lives and it takes quite a bit for us to find the time to watch a whole season together and this is the fastest we've ever managed it.

In case that doesn't convince you, it was great!  Now the great thing about this is that we all have different levels of knowledge about Jack Ryan and yet we all enjoyed this Amazon Prime series.  So who is Jack Ryan?

Jack Ryan is a character who was born in a novel by Tom Clancy, the son of a Baltimore cop and a nurse who serves as a marine before becoming a history teacher and finally joining the CIA.  A few of the books were made into blockbuster movies and now we have a television series.

Who Would Enjoy Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, the Television Series?


Well anyone who likes action packed spy dramas will enjoy this series, you really don't have to know anything about Jack Ryan beforehand.

Let me give you a little background from my family's perspective.  I have read a few of the Jack Ryan novels and enjoyed them before watching the movies.  I must admit when I watched the first movie released The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin playing Jack Ryan I enjoyed it, but wasn't sure which I preferred the book or the movie.

My husband loved the movie - he doesn't really enjoy fiction books so this was always going to be the case.

The next two movies that were released were Patriot Games then Clear & Present Danger with Harrison Ford playing the lead role of Jack Ryan.  Now I preferred these two movies to the books which is a rarity for me, but somehow they just brought the character alive for me.   As you can imagine, my husband loved the movies too!

My daughter hadn't watched any of these movies or read the books, so she was coming to the television series with no expectations.

All three of us thoroughly enjoyed the series and will be waiting with bated breath to see if it gets renewed.

How Does This Jack Ryan Stack Up?


I enjoyed John Krasinski's take on the Jack Ryan character, I haven't really seen him in much up to now.  I think he played the role really well.

Now I could get nitpicky and say that a couple of the scenes could've easily been left out and the continuity of story (from previous movies/books) relating to his relationship to the person who ends up as his wife didn't quite gel, but in reality none of that mattered.

Will We Be Watching Season 2?


The real test of a series is whether or not you'd watch the next season and in case you haven't realized the answer to that is a resounding yes.   I really do hope that they make a second series because otherwise there's going to be three very disgruntled people in this house!

Have You Read Tom Clancy's Books or Seen the Movies?

If you have I'd love to know what you thought of the Jack Ryan character (of course you could have read some of his other books!) and whether you think you'll be watching this series or not.



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