Well I have to admit that we are starting to accumulate a fairly large library over here of dvds on tv series from the UK and the USA. Sometimes it’s a series that we’ve already seen and enjoyed enormously and don’t mind re-viewing but increasingly we are picking stuff that we meant to see but didn’t get into, or have stumbled across and now enjoy a lot.
We’ve got both series of The Office which I’ve sampled dozens of times. I love the Extras double series and we have a load of older stuff like Cold Feet (more C’s taste), Phoenix Nights and League of Gentlemen (mine), plus some of those great natural history series eg Life in the Undergrowth and the quite sensational Planet Earth.
But we’ve gotten into 3 American series (and obviously the US patois has forced itself on me) which have just transfixed us. Maybe it’s because we are watching some pretty rubbish Italian TV (to be honest the lower grade programmes are easiest for us to understand so we tend to watch more of them) but at its best US tv is very, very good. First up, Band Of Brothers which my good friend GK bought for me. It’s a joint production from Tom Hanks/Speilberg and it bears all the hallmarks of Saving Private Ryan. It’s based on the true story (or at least memories) of the men of Easy Company, a US army unit fighting in Europe in the Second WW and it’s a fascinating examination of the realities of war.
Second up a series which R and I initially came across on Italian Sky. R was missing her soaps and I found ‘Una Amica per Mamma’ (translated from the original title, Gilmore Girls) for her on one of the channels and fortunately available in English. It’s the story of a young unmarried mum Lorelei and her 16 year old daughter Rory, living in one of those apple pie Connecticut towns, Stars Hollow. It’s gentle, schmaltzy and overly sentimental but the dialogue’s sharp, there are many comic characters in the town (where every day seems to be a pumpkin festival) and I have to admit to enjoy watching Lorelai in her tight jeans. C was back in the UK at the time working for Harrods but having bought a few of the early series, she’s now as hooked on it as R. We’re up to series 4 now but I think there are several more still to go. The big question is do Lorelei, which is a preposterous name (especially for someone with such a great bum), and Luke ever get it together?
As I’m starting to sound like a big girl’s blouse I’d better butch it up a bit with my personal favourite, the incomparable Sopranos. My mate JP got me into this by lending me the first series. I don’t have to describe it to you – we must have been the only people in the world not to view it first time round. But I just love it. I’ve just finished the second series (yep we’re that far behind) which culminated in the killing of Big Pussy. What a second series and how about the final programme – the fevered dream sequencies brought on by food poisoning, Meadow’s graduation, the FBI arrest and subsequent release and of course Pussy’s final come-uppance? And what a nickname! All the characterisations are brilliant, even the unlikeable characters are compelling to watch – look at Ricki Asprile’s scene stealing! I re-watched the final episode with the special featured audio commentary from the episode’s Director, John Patterson. It was excellent. I know the programme’s now finished sadly but the good news is that we’ve got 3 (or is it 4?) more series to go yet. Badda bloody bing!
Are there any TV series that have gripped you and you can recommend for us? And if you can think of a better TV actor around at the moment than James Gandolfini I’ll eat my pasta and send some boys around….